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Greg Maresca | Remnant Columnist

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It was one of those stories that should have headlined across our fruited plain, but in this age of COVID-19 and Trump Derangement Syndrome, it wouldn’t suit the narrative. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their website regarding COVID-19’s deaths and the numbers have been greatly reduced of those who died strictly from the virus. 

“For 6 percent of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned,” the CDC’s latest report revealed. “For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death such as pneumonia, respiratory failure, diabetes, or heart disease.”  

It was evident that when Kamala Harris emerged on the national scene that her political ambition would not cease with shinning a Senate seat from California. 

Harris quickly made headlines when she claimed that Brian Buescher, who was nominated as a federal district judge, should be disqualified due to his membership in the Knights of Columbus. 

The economy is another way of saying, our lives. No matter what the popular ethos preaches, there is no such thing as a non-essential business.  All businesses are essential for those who work them. 

When government says it is safe to go to Walmart, but unsafe to attend church, and when dentists’ offices must close and Planned Parenthood is open for abortions, the mantra of “your health” is a expedient excuse.     

All 50 states have made a disaster declaration for the first time in U.S. history.  Twenty-two million have applied for unemployment in a number that grows weekly.  We are a $22 trillion economy subdued by a virus with a mortality rate below 0.30 percent.  Those initial models forecasting more than 2 million deaths were bunk.

The politicization of American life continues. Under the guise of player safety (for a virus with a 99.4 percent survival rate and a mortality rate of .0001 percent for young adults),the PIAA, pressured by Gov. Wolf, has delayed the high school fall sports’ season for two weeks. 

Rumors persisted daily over canceling the season and still do.

Collegiately, the autumn anchor for the big five college athletic conferences is football as its revenue stream floats many boats within their athletic departments. Football raises plenty of money, and is an economic vessel for surrounding communities. 

Two of the five, the Big Ten and Pac-12, will not play fall football, but are considering spring games.  The other three conferences – the Atlantic Coast, Big-12, and Southeastern will play, for now. 

For perspective, the U.S. Department of Education reported the Pac-12 made $1.3 billion in 2018-19, while The Big Ten earned nearly $1.9 billion.maresca sports 1

By forgoing football, Nebraska will lose up to $120 million, while Oregon will forfeit $50 million.  Yet some question how coaches can command millions in salary with 42 of the 50 states having an athletic coach as their highest paid public employee. 

Stanford was on board with cutting 11 sports’ teams before they opted out of a football season.  According to the Wall Street Journal, Stanford is anticipating a $25 million athletic budget deficit. 

The financial hole sunk deeper when the NCAA announced it had reduced its disbursements to schools by nearly two-thirds after their annual March men’s basketball tournament was canceled. 

Running football aground even for one season will certainly affect Title IX, and other collegiate sports.  In this era of the aggrieved snowflake do universities dare reduce available women’s sports’ programs? 

Forgoing football is nothing short of a lockout by management, as not playing hurts a player’s potential value to professional teams.  The likelihood of players not recovering from COVID is equivalent to being struck by lightning.  maresca sports 2

Despite the risks of incurring traumatic brain injuries and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), colleges still play football.   Ironically, a “student’s health”, albeit physical or mental, was always a nonstarter – until COVID. 

Moreover, given the risks of CTE, how is football an integral part of the taxpayer-funded mission of public education? 

Granted, athletics provide valuable life lessons, but such instruction does not have to be necessarily realized within a scholarship program.  Likewise, intermural athletic and extracurricular participation is often higher at Division III schools. 

Plenty throughout academia, especially among the smaller FBS schools whose athletic budgets are bled dry through football, would be more than happy to see their school’s program regulated to the haunts of gridiron past like Boston University did a generation ago. Their reasoning has plenty of firepower from exorbitant costs, player injuries, and a dearth of student body allegiance. 

At places like Bucknell, the athletic administration attempts to induce student turnout through giveaways and promos.  It doesn’t work.  Their football program is a major sieve on the overall athletic budget.  It has been nearly a quarter of a century since their last league title.  A dual combination of a title drought and a budget drain could mean a football flush. 

But don’t count on it. 

Bucknell is much too obstinate to consent to common sense.

After all, they won the first Orange Bowl – in 1935. 

The same budget woes concern neighboring universities: Susquehanna and Bloomsburg.   

Why does a conventional college football team need 14 coaches and a basketball team five coaches for 15 players? 

Sports has a place - it should be the tail, not the dog.

COVID-19 can be juxtaposed to a stock market correction, the result of which has the potential for rebalancing priorities. maresca sports 3

Universities need to question what their true mission is.  Evaluate who they serve against those to whom they are subservient. Gauge tuition costs relative to affordability, and the ongoing impact of protracted student debt.  Appraise their departments, their administrators, and the role of tenure.

Provided Uncle Sam got out of the student loan business, such prudence would be taken seriously.  

With undergrads carrying vast student loans and most of them having unexceptional job prospects, why should colleges continue to fund an array of varsity athletics? 

Don’t expect these college presidents that have ignored sending waves of students into a generation of debt to be any more responsible in overseeing and reforming collegiate athletics.  Their indifference to student and family financial burdens is irresponsible, not to mention bewildering. 

What did you expect from tenure? 

When provided job protection, a guaranteed salary and benefits, you become indifferent to reality.    

All savings should be applied to educational outcomes that will ensure the nation outpaces its geo-political rivals in artificial intelligence, robotics, engineering, biotechnology – studies necessary for a country’s innovation and economic growth.

If there are consolations of the 2020 non-season, it is not seeing Oregon in their hideous green uniforms, Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh making excuses for losing to Ohio State, and listening to Penn State’s Steve Jones trying to explain the overtime rules and the notorious transfer portal.

November’s election countdown is underway. The political signage has sprouted up among the inescapable roofing, paving, and real estate placards.  On my daily jaunt, there was even one “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) sign among them, nearly equaling the support for Joe Biden (two signs total) in a neighborhood as ethnically diverse as the Augusta National Golf Club.

Unlike the two Biden signs, the BLM one is sequestered away from the road and practically hidden from view.  The sign, situated just off their manicured lawn and in the shadow of their well-upholstered Wayne Manor façade, appears to be a first-degree case of virtue signaling serving as free publicity for the Pied Pipers of Marxism.  

With the recent death of Carl Reiner, some perspective is in order.  The longtime actor, writer, director, and straight man for Mel Brooks believed humor fostered his longevity and his curtain call proved it by enduring two years short of a century.  

For decades, Reiner’s witticisms and wisecracks were a perennial favorite that crossed generations.  He was the last regular of “Your Show of Shows” and “Caesar’s Hour” that had no hidden agenda other than obtaining laughs.  The comedians, writers and producers of Reiner’s era possessed intelligence, imagination and talent.  

Throughout the mainstream media, leftist doomsayers and their cronies in the Democratic Party are all engaged in a synchronized effort to keep people fearful and locked down. Given that COVID-19 is not the killer we were led to believe, it has turned the opening of public schools into a political maelstrom.

Public education is a huge enterprise that spends $680 billion a year with 51 million students and six million teachers and staff complimented by tens of millions of parents.

Dr. Anthony Fauci’s Brooklyn stickball days were anything but evident when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch of Major League’s Baseball (MLB) season’s opener between the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals in D.C, proving he doesn’t want anyone catching anything.    

Perhaps Fauci thought he was there to throw out the First Amendment.  

Maybe, Fauci is all bat and no balls, or as the New York Post put it, his pitch had finally flattened the curve straight into the ground.  The screwball attempt was about as accurate as his advice for immobilizing the COVID pandemic. 

If anything, Fauci should be cited for baseball malpractice. 

Under a Biden administration, disadvantaged and minority students would fare last.

Provided present polls are realized, as President, Joe Biden said he would codify abortion as federal law and restore federal funding to the nation’s most productive abortion mill, Planned Parenthood. 

Whether Biden knows it or not, abortion and education are the civil rights issues of this generation.   

Right before Independence Day weekend was to commence and for three riotous and murderous weeks, a section of Seattle, Washington remained occupied by a small army of insurgents, who were most likely ignorant of the fact that Seattle’s namesake the Native American, Chief Seattle, was a slave owner. 

Factual history never codifies well with the duplicitous leftist narrative that has America’s enemies cheering them on. 

Throughout our fruited plain, calls for the Jefferson Memorial to be eradicated and the demolition of Mount Rushmore including the renaming of streets, parks, towns and cities are acknowledged as serious issues. Some even consider the national anthem as racially insensitive.  The speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has ordered all portraits and statues of men who served in the Confederacy to be removed from the Capitol. 

What’s next? 

The renaming of Washington state and Washington, D.C.?

From Confederate monuments, the Founding Fathers to the only perfect man to walk the earth, Jesus Christ – nothing is sacred to the left whose blatant contempt for Christianity they no longer disguise.  Belief in the God of the Bible was instrumental in the creation of these United States.  Leftists know all too well that their rejection of God and His Word is instrumental in destroying America. 

Who needs fireworks?

4th of Leftist July

Where is today’s Martin Luther King Jr., who is unafraid to construct the protests as a peaceful, dignified, and politically effective means for dialogue, negotiation and conversion?

Many in authority do nothing to stop the rebels that some even tacitly support.

Such bedlam underscores how the cancer of leftism has metastasized throughout America’s institutions and in particular, academia.  These rebels are their historical and constitutional illiterate offspring who have been indoctrinated to believe our nation is a hideous place where truth is considered hate speech, abortion is health care, white folks are all “privileged” racists, and men can become pregnant.

Rewriting, and destroying the monuments to history is what communists, fascists and Islamic terrorists do.  Once upon a time in America, we were thankful, such fanatical behavior didn’t happen here.  Something very ugly is happening as we lose our longstanding traditional core American values that is now dominated by Orwellian extremes that just a generation ago was nothing short of science fiction. 

Two distinct political flanks with contrasting philosophies are fighting an ideological war for our nation’s soul predicated upon revisionist history.    

One side believes in the principles of the Founding Fathers where liberty, justice and opportunity for all is creed.  America has always been imperfect, as has every other nation.  The difference between them and us is how we have continually strived toward a greater and more inclusive union.  Our battle scars include 620,000 dead in the Civil War and 27 amendments to the Constitution that are testimonies to the American ideal. 

The other side believes our nation was founded to preserve slavery and that capitalism is a discriminatory enterprise as outlined in the New York Times’ “1619 Project” that actually won a Pulitzer Prize. 

Even the once-vaunted Pulitzer has been politicized. 

Leftists want to expunge the Founders, while overthrowing capitalism for a socialist utopia that doesn’t exist.  

Is it any wonder gun and ammo sales are booming?

Our Founders laid the foundation for a nation that remains a beacon of liberty resulting in a prosperous and just nation and, whether the left will admit it or not, the envy of the world. These masked looters and arsonists will never come close to achieving such greatness.

What we have is a first-degree case of a lack of gratitude.

How many rioters ever spent time in the Third World where clean water from a tap is a near-miracle and law and order an unrealized dream? 

Their criminal behavior and ignorance are the byproduct of two generations that were taught America is evil and that other cultures, which are objectively more racist and sexist, should be celebrated and welcomed to our borderless shores.  Their historical ignorance fails to recognize how they are creating a totalitarian culture of fear and terror — something Americans have defeated, repeatedly.  

Will the majority stay silent and allow this to continue?

If we do not right our American ship, future Independence Days will be filled with much more than harmless fireworks’ displays.