I remember the first time I encountered the martial arts form of Aikido, which essentially uses the power and strength of an opponent to your advantage. Per Wiki, "Aikido techniques consist of entering and turning movements that redirect the momentum of an opponent's attack, and a throw or joint lock that terminates the technique."
Aikido, as a philosphy and means of martial arts, dates back to the late 19th Century to Morihei Ueshiba, and was designed as a physical defense that would essentially disarm the enemy without hurting them.
Now, I am not saying there are not bad people out there in the world who need not be spared the rod as they say, but the world has indeed changed a lot among the Internet and Twitter and Facebook and Smart Phones, and it is seriously time for those with a more parochial view to take a step back and think not only of what is being proposed or enforced, but also the ramifications of said action.
It happens so often, for example, Donald Trump maintains he could have made a deal with the Iranians in two minutes. Yeah, right. Obviously, Trump views the Iranians as the evil enemy, and while in no way do I mean to defend Iran, it takes very little to try and work with them to be part of the modern international community. Not to mention whether he likes it or not, there are a lot of subtleties to negotiating such a deal, whether anyone likes to admit it or not.
For, though that might sound naive--and even acknowledging Iran has hardly been trustworthy in the past--in the end Iranian kids will want McDonalds and Air Jordans and iPhones and that means business with the west and that means the Internet, and iPhones are the means to this end, whether anyone likes it or not.
But, for some reason, we have this idea that punishment--subjective or not--should still be harsh and almost selfrighteously so.
Though I have indeed felt this way for a long long time, every time Roger Goodell does something, all I can do is smack my forehead and scream "D'oh" in my best Homer Simpson voice.
This latest craziness of upholding the Tom Brady suspension because there was circumstantial evidence thought to be on the cell phone that Brady was alleged to have destroyed is not just stupid: it is an open invitation to pass on control of the activities in the league to the U.S. Court System.
Of course, we all know of Brady's four-game suspension for his part in deflategate, even though no concrete evidence was ever produced that proved Brady was the brains let alone involved with the crazy affair. But, as I have written before, by the time deflategate happened, it was really too late to do anything about it, and the problem appeared to be the NFL never unilaterally administered any procedures with respect to the care and handling of the ball.
So, instead of acknowledging a problem and that something may have gone on with the Patriots/Colts footballs, and then going on to present a program to ensure the care, handling, and custodianship to a neutral party for every game from now on, the league suspended Brady.
Now, I am not saying the Patriots are model citizens, and as smart as I might think Bill Belichick is, I am not sure I would want to have dinner with him. But, there is no question that the Pats coach is smarter than Goodell.
Because the corner that Goodell has painted himself--and by proxy the league--into is that if the court overthrows that circumstantial conviction for his role in the ball scandal--and not destroying his phone, which was the means by which the suspension was upheld--that is basically telling every player suspended from now on that if you don't like what the Commissioner says, go to court.
And, should the court back Brady and Robert Kraft, that more or less makes the rulings of the Commissoner pretty much impotent, and that means why even bother with him.
Goodell, or those opposing the Iran deal, as an example, but really anything where there is an intransigent black and white solution to a problem, will always create an entire new set of problems for themselves by acting in this way. But taking a step back, and setting up a formal public structure to follow shows not just thought, but suggests that if there is a re-occurance of the transgression, it is clearly on the miscreant.
Which is kind of like Aikido in that it allows the guilty party to hang themselves.
As it is, the only one who will be hung out to dry is Goodell.