In a previous posting, I was scratching my head over the fact that the US Trade Commission had (retroactively) denied trademark protection to a sports team because "Redskins" was judged to be pejorative. The comments got so far off track that I closed them down - a first for me. So...let's talk about how insulting it is for Native Americans to have sports teams named after them, such as Chiefs, Redskins, Braves. Should those teams be required to change their names?
My personal opinion: I don't give a rat's ass. I'm not a sports fan and I don't care much what they call the teams. To me, we have a tempest in a teapot. In addition, I am prone to judging speech/labeling by intent and I fail to be a very sensitive person.
All of my life, strangers have been calling me "Red". While I didn't/don't like it, never once have I felt insulted. Intent is very important when it comes to that sort of thing. If someone called me a "dirty, rotten Redhead", I might feel differently. Well..even worse than being called "Red" is that Hunky Husband has called me by a shortened version of my real name (he uses the first syllable, for those blog friends who know my real name) for about 58 years, now - a name that I really, truly dislike. HH's whole family, and anyone to whom I have been introduced by HH, have always used the shorter version of my name. BUT...I know that he means/they mean no harm and that it is just easier for him/them to use one syllable instead of three, so I don't make an issue of it. And...one VP insisted upon calling me "Doll"! (I usually tell people once what I prefer and ignore whatever I'm called, thereafter.)
Moving along: one of my blog friends (in the previously mentioned comments) thought that I was excusing a practice without having a basis for judgment. Were I to have an opinion on the appropriateness of the name "Redskins", I would agree that I have little basis on which to form an opinion. Among my friends/acquaintances, there are a number of Native Americans - to varying degrees of inheritance. Since closing the comments to the previous posting I've had the opportunity to quiz two self-identified Native Americans on the whole thing. I asked if they thought the teams should be required to change their names.
Woman - Did not care one whit. She saw nothing insulting in the name "Redskins" and thought that people were getting upset over nothing. She volunteered that her husband (also Native American) didn't care a whole lot, but that he would be just as happy to have the name changed. BTW: She's a Kansas City Chiefs fan.
Man - Thought the whole thing silly. He's a sports fan. He didn't give a [obscenity omitted]. He felt that people were going out of their way to find insult where none was intended. (His wife is not a Native American so I won't include her thoughts.)
That's not a large sampling size, but it's a start.
Historical tales to give you a laugh: 1) In grade school, I was terribly jealous of Ruth Sunday (and several other classmates) because she was 100% Native American. I believe that one of my 3X great-grandmothers was Cherokee [not enough for me to have bragging rights!] 2) Our teams in high school were the Knights - never once did anyone think we were insulting knights. 3) Back in the late 1970s, Bogie and I were driving in Oklahoma. Stopping to get directions, the two of us were salivating over the gorgeous cop from whom we asked directions. He was obviously pretty much 100% Native American and, to this day, Bogie and I agree that he was the best-looking guy we'd ever seen! *pant, pant*
The carpeting in our bedrooms is being replaced, today (I guess I never got around to posting about it when the rest of the carpeted rooms in our house got new carpet - not wishing to bore everyone to tears?), I have more time for posting. Thus, I'll share with you that I find a recent US Patent & Trademark Office ruling beyond comprehension.
I can understand that folks might not appreciate some names; but, their being disparaging should be a reason for barring issuance of a trademark? Obviously, this must stem from some anti-discrimination law or another, but it is beyond my understanding. I'm wondering if companies that make products such as the line of Tired Old Ass bath products are denied trademarking? The name, after all, disparages elders. Aren't elders protected from discrimination? *wandering off mumbling to myself*
While on the subject of fracking, below is another posting on the subject - from the same source. (Full disclosure: I have a few shares of Chevron that comprise less than 1% of my holdings. It allows me to get the company reports and, for all the good it does, vote against some of the board members.)
(I was interested to read about Dunkard Township because some of my father's ancesters were born and died there.)
I'm going to let you in on a powerful secret. A secret so big, once you know it, your life will never be the same. Okay, here it is: Buy the problem, buy the solution. Got it? No? Alright, fine, lemme break it down for you. If someone can devise a problem and convince you that it is the cause of all your troubles, then they can sell you a solution. And here's the kicker: If you really believe in the problem, the solution will actually work. For example: If you can be conned into thinking that the reason you're unhappy is because your body is encrusted with evil spirits (the problem), there is an organization that will, for a very reasonable price (considering your dilemma), free you of the pernicious little devils and make you feel like a demigod (the solution). The same holds true with the thorny thicket proposed by another, more established institution: If you can be made to believe that your life is in ruins because you were "born in sin" (the problem), then salvation is just a donation away (the solution). On a secular level, if you can be convinced that the reason you're miserable is because a black guy wants you to get health insurance (the problem), then relief is available through a small campaign contribution (the solution). Got it now? Buy the problem, buy the solution. Here's one created by a pharmaceutical company: She's ready, but he's not (the problem), which forces him to buy a pill to ensure that he's always ready (the solution). This one amuses me because the company assumes it's his problem. But it could just as easily be hers. Why not sell her a pill? Maybe something to make her less ready.
1st Aired: 16 April 2012
Below is the beginning of an article posted by Aviation International News. For prior postings on the landing addressed, please see These things happen, Follow-up on "These things happen", Follow-up on the follow-up - for grins, and Stu's postings Very short, very wide runway ;-) and 200 and a half.
Atlas Air’s internal investigation into how its crew landed a Boeing 747 Dreamlifter at the wrong airport last November has uncovered important factors explaining how the freighter, headed to Wichita’s McConnell Air Force Base, mistakenly landed at the smaller Jabara Airport, nine miles to the northeast of the air base.
In a crew-training video obtained by AIN, Atlas Air flight operations vice president Jeff Carlson said that a number of intermittent issues with the first officer’s primary flight display earlier in the night-time flight created some skepticism on the part of the pilots about the reliability of the aircraft’s automation system. Although Wichita’s weather was good, the pilot flying programmed an Rnav/GPS approach [see Stu's posting - CC] to Runway 19L at McConnell that would have placed the aircraft at 3,000 feet over Jabara. According to Carlson, the pilot said previous VFR [visual flight rules - CC] approaches to McConnell had often put him at a higher altitude than expected and that difficulties in picking out McConnell’s runway prompted him to make an instrument approach.
If you did not go read the full article, I'll alert you to the fact that there was a shocking lack of communication between the two pilots!
Slashdot.org has daily injections of items of interest to geeks - and non-geeks (AKA "normal people") for many of the items. Here are a couple of the latest items that I found particularly interesting this morning. Enjoy or not - your choice!
That last sentence gets my attention. A "very well-controlled beam" is mostly under the control of the driver, depending upon how s/he maintains the vehicle. I get sick, sick, sick of having vehicles follow me with wildly misaligned headlamps. (Part of the issue is the prevalence of hi-jacked pickup trucks in my neck of the woods!) I am prone to slowing (or changing lanes) to force them to pass me - which - isn't exactly how I wish to drive. However, being blinded by following headlamps isn't good, either. Unfortunately, my latest car has an "auto-dim" rear-view mirror which doesn't dim enough when it does measure the triggering intensity of light.
Another gem from Slashdot.org:
Do you think they will come up with a man-bra? *shuddering* (Stu--You are NOT to come up with a more male-oriented garment!)
Illustration by Rob Donnelly
In the United States we are raised to appreciate the accomplishments of inventors and thinkers—creative people whose ideas have transformed our world. We celebrate the famously imaginative, the greatest artists and innovators from Van Gogh to Steve Jobs. Viewing the world creatively is supposed to be an asset, even a virtue. Online job boards burst with ads recruiting “idea people” and “out of the box” thinkers. We are taught that our own creativity will be celebrated as well, and that if we have good ideas, we will succeed.
It’s all a lie. This is the thing about creativity that is rarely acknowledged: Most people don’t actually like it. Studies confirm what many creative people have suspected all along: People are biased against creative thinking, despite all of their insistence otherwise.
“We think of creative people in a heroic manner, and we celebrate them, but the thing we celebrate is the after-effect,” says Barry Staw, a researcher at the University of California–Berkeley business school who specializes in creativity.
Staw says most people are risk-averse. He refers to them as satisfiers. “As much as we celebrate independence in Western cultures, there is an awful lot of pressure to conform,” he says. Satisfiers avoid stirring things up, even if it means forsaking the truth or rejecting a good idea.
The article goes on to say:
Unfortunately, the place where our first creative ideas go to die is the place that should be most open to them—school. Studies show that teachers overwhelmingly discriminate against creative students, favoring their satisfier classmates who more readily follow directions and do what they’re told.
Even if children are lucky enough to have a teacher receptive to their ideas, standardized testing and other programs like No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top (a program whose very designation is opposed to nonlinear creative thinking) make sure children’s minds are not on the “wrong” path, even though adults’ accomplishments are linked far more strongly to their creativity than their IQ. It’s ironic that even as children are taught the accomplishments of the world’s most innovative minds, their own creativity is being squelched.
The article concludes:
To live creatively is a choice. You must make a commitment to your own mind and the possibility that you will not be accepted. You have to let go of satisfying people, often even yourself.
It seems that "hero" is applied to far too many people thses days.* However, this guy gets my vote as an authentic hero. From Slashdot.org: