Tuesday, October 29, 2013

No Third Term for Obama?

RandPaulReview.com is the proud author of this little gem. 

Say what?

Yes, you heard that right.  No third term for Obama!  Some of my otherwise normal friends are deathly afraid that President Obama is going to suspend the Constitution and run for a third or even fourth term so that he can carry out some diabolic scheme to ruin America with Obamacare or some other such thing.  

If you don't believe it, just google for Obama Third Term and see how many articles pop up.  Apparently, the Rand Paul Review (not sure if that reflects the views of Senator Paul himself), GOP.com, Fox News, the Washington Post, and hundreds of others have published articles on the subject.

This is just a hallucination that the wacky right has concocted in order to avoid dealing with real issues.  According to one opinion poll, 44% of registered Republican voters believe the third term conspiracy theory ( Public Policy Polling  )  That's sad.  

I want the Republican Party back.  What happened to the people that used to support limited, but good government?  Economic growth?  Conservation?  A clean environment?

Yes that was the Republican Party back in the day.  Now it is a cesspool for conspiracy theories and insanity.  They have been driven mad by losing to Obama, and paradoxically by making him out to be some kind of demonic conspiracy, they make him more powerful.  The Republicans are completely ineffective when they start blathering about birth certificates, Muslim Communist conspiracies, a Fifth Branch of the Armed Forces, and now this, a third term for Obama.  

Well, what is going to happen is that the Tea Party and the far right are going to go nutsoidal to block this supposed candidacy (which will never never happen).  Then they will congratulate themselves for having saved America from being taken over by Obama.  But the rest of America will perceive them as idiots.  

And then Hillary Clinton will get the nomination. No third term for Obama?  Well how about a third term for the Clinton family?  That's legal, since it is Hillary who will run instead of Bill.  

We will never have any serious opposition to the Democrats as long as Republicans are lost in fantasyland.  Please wake up.    

As long as Republicans are distracted by their bizarre fantasies, they are completely ineffective at addressing the real problems that America faces.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Roy and Fran Seitz Celebration of Life

That's Roy on the left and Fran on the right, with friends in the middle.  That's kind of the way they lived.  

     Yesterday I attended a memorial service for Roy and Fran Seitz, two people in my personal Hall of Fame.  Mr. and Mrs. Seitz designed their own service, and made sure that it would be a celebration of their lives and not a gloomy service.  Well, there were some tears shed, but it was far from gloomy.  More like a scene from "It's a Wonderful Life."  The sanctuary was packed to overflowing. 

   The Seitzes, you see, touched many many people by constantly being in service for others at the Church, the Children's Home and especially its garden, the Berea Jaycees, Baldwin Wallace College, Little League and a thousand other causes and activities that we will never find out about.   Mr. Seitz served in the Army in World War 2, was an athlete, musician, coach, salesman and probably had 100 other roles that he filled. Among other things, Mr. Seitz was my baseball coach in Pony League when I was about thirteen.  Kenny Seitz was our slugging first baseman.  At that time, truth to tell, I thought I knew much more about baseball than Mr. Seitz (despite the fact that I was the worst player on the team), and I didn't much care for his coaching.  Years later, my mother started attending Berea United Methodist Church, and I reconnected with the Seitzes and to make a long story short, I understood that the Seitzes embodied the teachings of Jesus Christ as much as anyone I have ever known. You see, it wasn't just sports.  Mr. Seitz was trying to teach us about life. 

    The Seitzes influenced everyone around them, and brought people to church and to service projects of all kinds.   I can only imagine how many people helped support the Children's Home, not to mention all the kids who came to attend college under their encouraging influence.  They love to work in the kitchen, cooking dinner for Baldwin Wallace students.  Years ago the BW football team, coached by Lee Tressel, was fueled by chicken power, courtesy of Mr. Seitz.  One time they cooked 500 chickens for a fundraiser at Finney Stadium, and the cloud of smoke caused Dr. Bonds to fear that stadium was on fire and he called the fire department.  Mr Seitz threw out the first ball of football practice for some 50 plus years running.  He taught hundreds of kids at the orphanage how to plant seeds and grow their own food.   

    It was great to reconnect with Don, Ken and Gary, as well as other friends like Keith Keller, Dave Tressel, Kevin Preston and others.

    We had the opportunity to recreate one of their legendary chicken barbecues along with Mrs. Seitz's jello fruit salads.  Very simple, but about the best food I have ever tasted, served with love.  A lot of laughter, band music and some examples of Mr. Seitz's wicked jokes, courtesy of Gary.  

As with most things in life, the Seitzes did it right.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sports Teams Should Quit Ripping Off Native Americans

Recently the Washington Redskins have been in the news again, due to problems with their unfortunate nickname. I think this may be resolvable with some simple common sense business etiquette.  

When rich white people (i.e., Dan Snyder) insist that they are not being racist, but substantial numbers of Native Americans disagree, that sort of defines a dispute along racial lines, doesn't it?  You can't say that Native Americans are being honored by the name.  At least they don't seem to feel very honored. 

I went to Miami University, which used to be called the Miami Redskins (Miami being the name of a Native American Tribe, by the way), and we changed our name to the Redhawks and nothing really terrible happened.  Similarly, the Stanford Indians decided to change their name and logo and they seem to be doing okay.

I think the litmus test for sports names and logos is that these names and logos should be licensed from a bona fide Native American tribe, along the lines that Florida State does with the Seminole nation.  If you can get a Native American tribe to stand up and agree to be honored with the title and logo with a paying license to the tribe from the team, then you would have a good case that you are not being racist.  However, when you are keeping all the money to yourself, thus stealing the rights to this intellectual property associated with a specific group of people, and turning a deaf ear to the complaints from the Native Americans, then you kind of suck.  Dan Snyder, it sucks that you claim to be honoring a group of people, using a team name and logo from them that generates millions of dollars, and as far as I know you are not sharing a penny of it with a bona fide Native American group.

Incidentally, the Washington Redskins are actually named after the Boston Tea Party participants who were disguised as Native Americans.  The team was originally the Boston Redskins before moving to Washington.  I don't think that qualifies as honoring Native Americans.  The maroon uniforms incidentally come from the old Pottsville Maroons, who moved to Boston and played there one year before becoming defunct.  But the Boston Redskins decided to stay with maroon uniforms and pay homage to the Boston Tea Party.  They were not honoring the Native Americans.  

 If I'm not mistaken, Florida State licensed its logo from the Seminole Nation.  That's the right way to do it.  This is a real logo, whereas as far as I know the Redskins logo is a fake that does not pay royalties to any legit Native American organization. 

    By the same token, the Cleveland Indians need to get a new logo.  They were named after one Alex Sockalexis, a member of the Penobscot Nation.  So far so good.  But they claim that their "Chief Wahoo" honors the Penobscots. Well, if you can get the Penobscot Nation to agree that this is so, then logically the team should be paying a logo for the use of the logo.  

Who exactly is being honored by logos like this?

    But this is just not going to happen because in fact the logo is a racist caricature and no one feels honored by it.   I think the Cleveland Indians should negotiate with the Penobscot Nation to generate a better mascot, and both the team and Penobscot Nation should share in the royalties.    
Clean this artwork up a bit, and we might have something here. Give the Penobscots a similar royalty deal that the Seminole Nation gets from Florida State.  This would definitely work, in my opinion.  

     By the same token, the Washington Redskins need to come to terms with Native American organizations.  To be sure, not all Native Americans regard "Redskins" or the team logs as offensive. In fact some Native American high schools use that phrase as a nickname for their sports teams.   

     But I wonder if the Redskins logo represents some real Native American tribe.  If so, they should pay a royalty for it.  If not, then it is a cheap imitation, whose main purpose was probably to avoid paying a royalty and it should be scrapped.  It may or may not be illegal, but it is unethical and needs to be stopped.  

     The NFL should get this.  It's like a company selling maroon and gold-colored football jerseys, and they change a few minor details and say that it is not infringing the Washington Redskins team logo.  Well, the NFL would take that company to court, wouldn't it?

  Pro teams should get their logos and nicknames from a bona fide Native American tribe, and legitimized by a royalty bearing license with that tribe.  THAT would be honoring a tribe.  It does not honor the tribe by ripping them off.  

    Does money solve everything?  No.  But in my opinion 99% of the mascot/nickname/logo controversy would go away if simple business etiquette were observed.