Archive for the ‘Obama’ Tag

Redskin Haters   1 comment

NFLIf you’re a football fan, you’ve read about it. The name of the Washington Redskins is hate speech, and it’s gotta go. Even President Obama weighed in last week, saying he would look at changing the name if he were the owner.

ABC’s Face The Nation weighed in on Sunday morning, and all of the pundits agreed (even Cokie Roberts, who IS a season ticket holder) that the name has to go.

Because it offends somebody.

Read a couple of opinion pieces below, and the last link includes the letter that the owner of the Redskins (OMG) wrote to his season ticket holders. He says he’s not going to change.

The problem with all of the haters out there is that they aren’t going far enough. You see, if sports team names have to change if they offend anybody, then they all have to go.

Because I am OFFENDED by every NFL team name. To wit (HA! I kill me.):

Arizona Cardinals: This team was originally in St Louis, and then moved to Arizona. The problem is that Cardinals are not migratory birds. Fail.

Atlanta Falcons: Falcons kill other birds, and that makes them inappropriate as role models.

Baltimore Ravens: Edgar Allen Poe was crazy, lived in Baltimore, and created a mythical raven that said “nevermore.” You can’t use that name for a sports team; it has too much negativity.

Buffalo Bills: This team name offends because it’s alliterative with no meaning. What’s a Bill? If this is an homage to the real Buffalo Bill, then that’s not right. He never even heard of football (he died in 1917, before the NFL was founded).

Carolina Panthers: Panthers don’t live in the Carolinas, and black panthers don’t live farther east than Texas. I’m offended when a team tries to assume a relationship with an animal that isn’t true.

Chicago Bears: Bears don’t live in Illinois. Bears in Chicago? It’s a lie.

Cincinnati Bengals: Tigers don’t live in the US. It’s a lie, and I’m offended that a team in Ohio would assume a relationship with an animal that isn’t even native to the Americas.

Cleveland Browns: When the Browns were founded, they wanted to be called the Panthers, but couldn’t be because they didn’t own the name. Brown was the name of the first coach. I’m offended that they are named after a dead person, but it was their second choice. They should respect their coaches.

Dallas Cowboys: Cowboys don’t wear white and blue. And they don’t have scantily clad cheerleaders, either.

Denver Broncos: Rodeos torture animals. It’s not appropriate to name a team after a tortured animal.

Detroit Lions: Lions don’t live in Michigan … not even in bankrupt cities.

Green Bay Packers: The Green Bay Packers were first sponsored by the Indian Packing Company … need I say more?

Houston Texans: Team members are not all from Texas or Houston … so this team name is a lie.

Indianapolis Colts: The helmets of this team have a horseshoe imprinted on each side. What are they thinking? Don’t they know that football players have concussion issues? And they celebrate the idea that horses are going to kick every player … twice? I’m offended.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Another regionally inappropriate name. Plus, since the species is threatened, it’s inappropriate to gain advantage by trading on its threatened name.

Kansas City Chiefs: Stop with the Indian names, already!

Miami Dolphins: Dolphins deserve our protection; they should not be tackled.

Minnesota Vikings: I’ve seen Vikings, and they drink mead and wear hats with big curved horns. Since these football players do neither, they can’t be named the Vikings.

New England Patriots: It’s unfair for this team to insinuate that they are more American than other teams. All teams are equally American, and all equally support the US of A. This team can’t claim a preferential American name.

New Orleans Saints: Really? We’re bringing religion into the discussion? Unacceptable.

New York Giants: Giants are mythical creatures that scare children. That’s an inappropriate name for a team.

New York Jets: The Jets were a gang in West Side Story. Team names cannot glorify musical theater. Or gangs.

Oakland Raiders: Though the team must be given some credit for supporting the handicapped, as their logo Raider only has one eye … the implication that they are pirates or outlaws cannot be ignored, even if they are handicapped. Fail.

Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles are nothing more than an organization that succeeded the Frankford Yellow Jackets, who went bankrupt. That’s not an appropriate reflection on our national symbol, so they must not be called the eagles.

Pittsburgh Steelers: This represents old, rust belt technology. Any backwards-looking term is inappropriate.

San Diego Chargers: This term implies the total waste of energy. Lightning bolts as a logo? Inappropriately wasteful.

San Francisco 49ers: Using a number as a team name is far too confusing, as most of the team wears other numbers.

St. Louis Rams: I’ve lived in Missouri, and never seen a ram there. Regionally inappropriate.

Seattle Seahawks: A sea hawk is an occasional nickname of the osprey, a bird of prey that feeds on fish. Unacceptable. We should never glorify creatures that kill innocent animals like fish.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Pirates are evil. Why would you want your team to be evil?

Tennessee Titans: The Titans are a part of the Greek mythology. Again with the religious references?

Washington Redskins: I have no problem with a team called the Redskins … as long as they all have red skin. If not, then….

More

Reuters: Will Anyone Defend The Washington Redskins Name?

Down & Distance: Redskins Owner Dan Snyder Writes Letter To Season Ticket Holders About Team Name

New York Times: Redskins’ Name Change Remains Activist’s Unfinished Business

Posted October 11, 2013 by henrymowry in Living Life

Tagged with , , , ,

The Week That Was   3 comments

Random Thoughts In A Random World

1.  Detroit is going bankrupt, government dawdles

The cash will run out as soon as this month.  The result of this bureaucratic gridlock could be the largest municipal bankruptcy ever.

The city can’t overcome the white flight that has lowered the tax base.  Now, it’s trying to fix crushing problems with no money.  Oh, and apparently its island is sinking, too. The New York Times offers no solutions.

All of those residents and businesses that fled the city aren’t coming back. City government? Still fiddling around while the cash is almost gone. Irresponsibility in governance is everywhere it seems.

2. No more Saturday mail, government dawdles

This issue has been around for a while … the US Postal Service could save billions by not delivering on Saturday.  The USPS announced Wednesday they were unilaterally ending Saturday delivery, because Congress hasn’t told them they can’t do that this year.  Previously, Congress has always specifically blocked the initiative, which they still could.  For now, however, they haven’t said NO, so the Postmaster General has taken the initiative.

This week’s LA Times editorial blames the Republicans for mandating the USPS fund the retirement program for its employees.  The vicious plot imagined by the LA Times is not seen by the Washington Post, which observes the bureaucratic nightmare is the problem:

Like Gulliver tied down by the Lilliputians, this supposedly independent, self-supporting entity answers to a presidentially appointed board, Congress, several labor unions and a regulatory commission — not to mention the demands of corporate mailers and, last but not least, the general public.

But what’s really to blame?  Revenues are down 37% over the last 5 years.  Losses last year were $15.9 billion.  Any business – any business – would struggle with losing over a third of its revenue over 5 years.  Add in a rigid cost structure with bureaucratic oversight, and you’ve got a mess.  And we do.

Who’s for ending Saturday delivery?  According to the NY Times, the American people.  And, the Obama administration.

Here’s a piece from George Will about the controversy when we ended Sunday delivery – and it was just as controversial.

Personally, I am a supporter of sending and receiving mail, but have no problem with 5-day delivery to save money. As the saying goes, a billion here and a billion there … and soon, you’re talking real money.

3. 92% of electronic data is under two years old

Let that statement sink in a minute.

Almost all electronic information – 92% – has been created in the last two years. Imagine the profound differences in our world when data mining matures as a business.  Feeling like you have lost some privacy?  You ain’t seen nothing yet. And the perspective of one of the chief data miners is that by marrying databases, we aren’t even losing privacy, as it’s all anonymous!

Personalized ads are already popping up on cellphones and news feeds everywhere.  It’s just a matter of time until that personalization adds geographic proximity and we’re confronted with ads from nearby stores specifically targeting us based on past behavior.  We saw that in the 2002 film Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise.  It was frightening then, and it’ll be frightening when it’s “normal.”

Gian Fulgoni was a co-founder of comScore; he’s definitely on the leading edge of getting this massive amount of data to work for companies.  To see what he’s thinking about, read this fascinating piece about the priorities and progression of data, here.

4. Congressional drones object to the President’s drones

Here’s what the Washington Post has to say on the topic, here. And, some other views….

President's Drones

More Drones Needed

Here’s to next week being better for us all!

Portraits: Rutherford B Hayes   5 comments

Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822 – 1893)

The 19th President of the United States, 1877 – 1881

AKA: Rutherfraud or His Fraudulency

From: Ohio

College: Kenyon College, class of 1842 and Harvard Law, class of 1845

Married to: Lucy Ware Webb (the first wife of a President to graduate from college)

Children: Birchard, Webb, Rutherford, Joseph, George, Fanny, Scott and Manning

Party: Republican

Previous Jobs: businessman, lawyer, soldier, congressman, governor

In His Words: “He serves his party best who serves his country best.”

“Fighting battles is like courting girls: those who make the most pretensions and are boldest usually win.”

“In avoiding the appearance of evil, I am not sure but I have sometimes unnecessarily deprived myself and others of innocent enjoyments.”

“Lemonade Lucy” Hayes was the first Presidential wife called “First Lady” in the national press.

Not true: President Obama invoked Hayes in the 2012 Presidential campaign, saying,

“One of my predecessors, Rutherford B. Hayes, reportedly said about the telephone, ‘It’s a great invention, but who would ever want to use one?’ That’s why he’s not on Mount Rushmore because he’s looking backwards.  he’s not looking forwards.”

There is no proof that this ever happened.  Indeed, Hayes installed the first telephone in the White House, given the number of 1, when there were only 190 telephones in all of Washington, DC.

True: Hayes was the first President to travel to the west coast while in office.

Hayes is the only President whose election was decided by a congressional commission.  The 1876 election was rife with fraud by both parties.  Eventually both sides agreed to have a non-partisan congressional commission appointed, with 5 from the House, 5 from the Senate, and 5 from Supreme Court Justices.  Affiliations were to be 7 Republicans, 7 Democrats, and a well-respected independent Supreme Court Justice, David Davis.  The Democrats attempted to influence even this process, with the Illinois legislature electing Davis to the Senate.  Davis then declined the nomination to the congressional commission due to the conflict, further muddling the process.  Eventually, a compromise was worked out, with Hayes agreeing to end Reconstruction, withdrawing the Army from the South, and the Democrats agreeing to support his Presidency.

Hayes was the first President to have a typewriter in the White House.

Banned alcohol from the White House, perhaps in support of his wife who was a staunch supporter of the temperance movement.

The Official Portrait:

Daniel Huntington was one of the most fashionable portraitists of his generation.  He accepted Lucy Hayes’ invitation  to paint her portrait after the National Women’s Christian Temperance Union offered to fund this memorial for her.  After her husband retired from the Presidency, Huntington was selected by the President to paint a companion piece, which was to be his official portrait.  It was completed in 1884, three years after Hayes left office.

Liars vs. Winners vs. Me   3 comments

I don’t believe people should lie.  It’s what my momma taught me.

I am fascinated by a line of thought I’m seeing in the media that we WANT our President to lie.  I mean, what???  Didn’t President Clinton get in a speck of trouble over that?  Didn’t President Nixon actually get booted after he lied to the American people?

Perhaps the world’s most famous liar, Pinocchio.

And yet.

The Worst Lies Ever

An article in Monday’s New York Times by Kevin Kruse, a professor of history from Princeton, espoused the belief that the lies in this Presidential campaign were the worst ever … here is his conclusion:

To be sure, the Obama campaign has certainly had its own share of dissembling and distortion, including about Mr. Romney’s positions on abortion and foreign aid. But nothing in it — or in past campaigns, for that matter — has equaled the efforts of the Romney campaign in this realm. Its fundamental disdain for facts is something wholly new.

I don’t want to get into a political tit for tat on who lied the most in the campaign.  It’s over, it’s done, and who wants to go back?  However, it’s certainly true that both President Obama and Governor Romney stated things directly — and approved ads to run — that stretched the truth beyond the breaking point.  Websites are devoted to tracking statements and evaluating their truthfulness.

“Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire” is the category used by the fact checkers for what they consider the most egregious lies in the campaign.

We need professionals for that, apparently.

Now, we have factcheck.org and Politifact.com, who tell us what they think is true and false.  Many other websites do this, but some have obvious, slanted agendas, like MoveOn.org and Newsmax.com.  Soon, you have spin doctors telling their version of a truth that is based on the implication of the other candidate’s statement after it is taken out of context, rotated and mutilated.

Walter Cronkite was called “The Most Trusted Man in America” as he anchored the CBS Evening News, 1962 – 1981. He ended his broadcasts with “And that’s the way it is….”

Journalism, I mourn for thee.  We used to trust Walter Cronkite to tell us what was right, and he didn’t let us down.  Those days are gone, unfortunately.

Today, we have Presidential debates where both candidates confront each other, saying things like, “That is simply not true!”  In the tightly formatted debates, however, there is no one moderating to require either candidate to respond directly to such basic allegations.  Truth has become a matter of perspective, not a matter of being correct.  And since we now know both sides lie … who cares?  Everyone is doing it.

The Governor did it.  The President did it.

An article in Tuesday’s Reason.com postulates that we expect our politicians to lie, in that we expect them to do any reasonable thing to win so that they can represent our shared interests.

Here’s how Johnny Schad, my co-worker and the Democratic Committee Chair for Iowa’s Palo Alto County explained it:

“We the people have to be willing to take some responsibility for our government. Politicians (Republican or Democrat) don’t lie because they want to; they lie because we demand that they do.

For example, Gov. Romney had a 59 point economic plan that few people would even consider until he cut it down to a simple 5 point plan. That means over-simplifying to such a ridiculous level that the result cannot be entirely true.”

The Awful Truth

Thomas Jefferson said “The government you elect is government you deserve.”

This scares me to death.

I certainly hope that we do not deserve a government that lies.  I absolutely expect our President to tell us the truth.  Don’t you?

And, finally, I certainly hope that our elected officials learn that telling the truth is better than the alternative … because we need to teach them exactly that!

My President   9 comments

Natalie Maines, the lead singer of the Dixie Chicks, got her group into a lot of trouble in 2003 when she loudly, publicly and internationally declared that she was ashamed that President George W Bush was from Texas.

She was not happy with the policies of President Bush, so she proclaimed her dissatisfaction from the bully pulpit of her London concert stage.  The result:  she insulted a great percentage of Americans, including a whole bunch of the Country radio community.  Those Country radio listeners expressed their unhappiness quickly and loudly … and within hours, you did not hear very much Dixie Chicks music on Country radio stations.

There was a public debate on Ms. Maines’ right to free speech, which she lustily engaged in for many months.  Free speech was never in question; I support her right to express her opinion 100%.  I also support the right of the listeners of Country radio to say that they don’t want to listen to her music.  Free speech won, but the way we view our President was tarnished.

In 2006, Maines also retracted her earlier apology to President Bush, stating, “I apologized for disrespecting the office of the President, but I don’t feel that way anymore. I don’t feel he is owed any respect whatsoever.”  This appears to be Maines’ final position:  that President George W Bush was not owed any respect whatsoever.

Other entertainers jumped on the bandwagon, by the way … Julia Roberts and Carlos Santana are both quoted as saying that “W” was “not my President.”  That began a whole slew of back & forth partisanship about who was, or wasn’t, or wouldn’t be, “my president.”  That inflammatory rhetoric continues to this day (buy a t-shirt!  buy a bumper sticker!).  And as celebrities and politicians feed the media escalating and bombastic rhetoric, we are left with an emotionally exhausted society that believes the end of the world will come if their candidate does not win.

When you wholly invest yourself into the political process, you run the risk of losing track of your values when your candidate does — or does not — prevail.  If your candidate wins, you may feel you can dictate “how it’s going to be” to everyone else.  If your candidate loses, you may feel disenfranchised from your government.  You may feel you have no hope.  Such is not the case:  the strength of our country is based on the balance between the three branches of government, and we believe that balance will save our republic, come what may.  And we have been proven right through civil war, world war, assassination, economic turmoil and social upheaval.

Let me tell you about my President.

In his farewell address to the American people given in January 1953, President Truman gave his philosophy on being in charge of our government, “The President–whoever he is–has to decide. He can’t pass the buck to anybody. No one else can do the deciding for him. That’s his job.”  This sign was on his desk throughout his Presidential term, and is now in his Presidential Library in Independence, MO.

He is, first and foremost, the defender of the Constitution.  He swears to protect the Constitution when he takes the oath of office. He will do whatever it takes for the United States of America to survive.  To thrive.

He is the Commander-in-Chief, and directs our armed forces.  Hopefully, he will use them sparingly.  But he will use them to protect American interests here and abroad.

He is the head of one entire branch of our government:  the executive branch.  He is the face of America to the world.

These days, it seems that he must be a referee, as he attempts to balance the odious extremities of both parties and work with the Congress to craft the laws that govern our nation.  Today’s rhetoric is not the most spiteful in our country’s history (Lincoln was denounced as a “military dictator … grasping at the power of a despot,” for example. ), but today’s political statements are certainly the most insulting and divisive in the memory of most Americans.

I regret that today’s citizens believe they must speak in an extreme fashion in order to be heard.

I regret that today’s presidential candidates feel they must spin their opponent’s statements and implications into a twisted version of “truth” that has little to do with the original statement’s intent.  And many journalists are eager to feed the monster and escalate the statements even more with screaming headlines proclaiming the other guy a liar, an idiot … well, you’ve seen the headlines.  They look the same to me, whether you’re reading the Huffington Post or the New York Times, Newsmax or the Drudge Report.

I know that I’ll disagree with our next President on many issues.  That’s not really news:  I disagree with everyone, including myself, sometimes.  Disagreement is not the same thing as discourtesy.  Or defamation.  Or destruction.

I don’t know who’s going to win the election on Tuesday.  But, I can tell you this:  he will be my president.

Posted November 1, 2012 by henrymowry in POTUS

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Black and White   2 comments

Best trivia question of the week:  Name the last African American to lead UCLA in passing for a season.

If you’ve been reading MowryJournal, you probably know I’m a simple guy.  I believe in the golden rule.  I believe people are good.  I believe people are smart.

With me so far?  ’cause those are big ideas, and they inform how I believe life should be lived.  That’s why I was so struck this week by two different examples of how people view the importance of race in America today.

Note:  I won’t be making angry political comments.  Please stick with me for a few ‘graphs and see if you can agree with my conclusion.

Alec Baldwin. Do you trust this man’s opinion about race relations?

Alec Baldwin tweeted this week that “If Obama was white, he’d be up by 17 points.”  I was astonished by this unfounded, inflammatory statement.  Mr. Baldwin had no research to support his tweet; it’s just another example of overblown partisan rhetoric.

Rush Limbaugh, “with talent on loan from God.”

And, of course, when a provocateur from one side of our political equation makes a bombastic statement, then we always hear from the other side.  It was later that day that Rush Limbaugh proclaimed that if Obama was white, then he would be losing by 20 points!  He also had no supporting data, of course … he also had no credibility.  In my humble opinion.

A much different, a much more positive comment on the state of race in today’s America was in this week’s LA Times.  Bill Plaschke wrote a wonderful article about UCLA’s new quarterback, Brett Hundley.  He is African American, hence the trivia question.

Name the last African American to lead UCLA in passing for a season.

The answer is Jackie Robinson.  Yes, THAT Jackie Robinson, who was a running back for UCLA in 1940.  He led the team in passing with 444 yards.

Jackie Robinson was a multi-sport athlete at UCLA; its baseball stadium is named for him. He later broke the color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers, and his # 42 is the only number retired by Major League Baseball.  All baseball players wear his number on Jackie Robinson Day each year.  No other person in professional sports is accorded such an honor as this.

Plaschke’s article is a wonderful portrait of a young man at the beginning of his college football career … his hopes intertwined with the hopes of the Bruins Nation.

UCLA is not only one of America’s top universities, it is also recognized as being one of the leaders in campus racial diversity by US News & World Report, which publishes some of the most watched ranking lists for universities today.

Here’s my bottom line:

I live in the America where race is important as an indicator of how far we’ve come.  I have no interest in sniping about our President’s race and how that does or doesn’t affect his chances in the 2012 election.

I will root for Brett Hundley, and I root for UCLA.  For Mr. Baldwin and Mr. Limbaugh?  Not so much.

You still with me?

Brett Hundley is a redshirt freshman, and just might be the starting quarterback for UCLA for four years.

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