On Sunday the 6th the USWNT soccer team received its earliest Women's World Cup elimination ever, falling to Sweden in an epic 0-0 (4-5 penalty kicks) match that could not be settled in regulation or overtime, sending the tilt to the penalty kick phase in which the Swedes prevailed.

With the pending retirement from the team of one of its most vocal and visible stars, Megan Rapinoe, Don Trump cheered for the loss, which in turn engaged the sheep division of MAGA who went full-on crazy with joy that the team had lost. They also wanted players kicked off of the team.  

After the match, Julie Ertz also announced her retirement, thus ending a run of all runs in women's football. I cannot explain why a US citizen would cheer this loss by our National team on the biggest stage of the sport in the World. But then I consider where it's coming from and it hits home quickly.  

We receive daily examples of some citizens' hypocrisy when it comes to the issues of our day. Some of us have studied how things function in this country, and others haven't but unfortunately they always seem to get the biggest megaphone from the MSM. I get it. I didn't always understand these matters but as I aged I decided when I was in a position whereby I was working on my viewpoints and opinions that it would be a good idea to see the "big picture."  

Not enough people have gotten to that point here, but I understand. It took me a while to learn to research and think first then speak second. It's still a work in progress, but I have improved. If I have accrued any wisdom at this point in my life it is because I purposely worked on obtaining some. How do freedom and rights work in the US? What is discrimination, on paper and in practice? Why would one group claim to stand for a particular item, like freedom, but then wish to deny that to another group because they don't like them? It's political hypocrisy. It would surprise me if they didn't see that, but some just don't. It can be frustrating and any honest debate with them can be an exercise in futility.  

I can still recall one of the first times in my life I had an eye-opening experience as to how freedoms and rights were applied here. It was a 1978 legal case in Skokie IL, near Chicago, based on an event in 1977. To quickly summarize, the National Socialist Party of America ( a group that supported white power, hate speech, and nazism) had been holding demonstrations in a park in Skokie near their group's headquarters. The Village powers in charge there at the time blocked them from continuing the demonstrations by banning them within the park (Marquette Park) and further requested that they post a $350k "public safety bond."        

In October of 1976 the group solicited several park districts in the area for permits to assemble and the right to hold their demonstrations within them. Originally, the Village of Skokie was going to grant them limited permission to have their events. But Skokie is home to a large Jewish population, and at the time still had several WWII holocaust survivors as residents. As an aside, the NSPA prominently displayed Nazi regalia whenever they gathered, and it wouldn't be a stretch to say they were openly soliciting trouble when they decided to settle in Skokie. The public outcry and outrage toward this group was at an intense level.   

The short of the long was that the group decided their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech were being denied by the various ways in which the Village attempted to stifle their rights to assemble and speak. They had sought the proper permits and permissions and tried to appease whatever the Village was seeking to allow them to be able to exercise their First Amendment rights. But in its attempts to assuage an angry public, the Village made some legal missteps along the way.   In a 1977 document, the NSPA notified them that they wished to hold an event where they would hold up "Free White Speech" signs among others and would be wearing their Nazi uniforms. The Village obtained a court injunction to stop them. The group took them to court, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled with the Village, an Illinois Appellate Court ruled to uphold the injunction and the case ended up in the US Supreme Court.  

The SCOTUS would rule that the Village was incorrect to block the group from their First Amendment rights. This was also a personal matter for me. I grew up in my city's Jewish neighborhood. I had a classmate whose mom, I noticed, never wore any short-sleeved attire. It was because she was ashamed of the numbers the Nazis tattooed on her arm as a young girl in a concentration camp. When I found that out later in life, it was a stunning and somber moment to say the least.  

So, who can have freedom and who can't? In this country the MAGA faction says that the USWNT can't. For some quick background, there are some gay athletes on the team. Some of them have same-sex partners. Sometimes they are vocal about equal rights for the LGBTQIA+ community. They fought a lengthy battle with US Soccer to gain pay equity relative to their male counterparts. They are vocal about women's rights and rights for anyone in this country that is under attack from the right-wing MAGA zealotry machine.  

As a result, they decided as a team that when the US National Anthem was played, they would remain silent. Of course, this is as egregious an offense toward the country as it gets for the MAGA crowd.    

I can picture some of them now, spinning on the floor in a corner, foaming at the mouth, and cursing every group and individual citizen that doesn't share their same beliefs. For me, I simply shrugged my shoulders.  

I already understood what the MAGA crowd does not. The athletes were exercising their First Amendment Right to Freedom of speech and expression. I will gladly stand with the USWNT any day of the week over the MAGAs. They are delusional, politically dishonest and have little concept of what true freedom and rights are.  

If you are an American woman, you have probably had to endure equality of pay issues unless you belong to a Labor UNION, your reproductive rights have been under blatant attack since I was in HS, among other injustices, and the old white male politicians of the US have done little to protect you or your rights. Is that what the MAGAs want you to sing a song for?  

In what allegedly educated, civilized and democratic country would there exist a separate set of rights for some citizens and a lesser set of rights for others? That is what the MAGA crowd stands for and supports. That doesn't work in a democracy that espouses "Freedom, Liberty, and Justice for all."   

This is what I studied and have known for years, free·dom, the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. PEACE