The Washington Americans

19 June 2014 » Football, Politics

This week presented yet another opportunity to suggest a proposal to rename the Washington Redskins to something less controversial. As I see it, the “Washington Americans” makes the most sense.

It removes a racial slur from the name, expands the appeal of the team to represent the capital city (as a kid, I thought the team hailed from Washington state), and it requires little – if any – change to the existing uniform and logo.

I’m not sure if I’m the first one who came up with the idea, but I’ve sent messages via the redskins.com feedback form a couple of times over the past 10 years.

December 2005

Greetings,

Congrats on the win today, and good luck next week at Seattle.

I just wanted to share my thoughts on your team name. I enjoy the history of the team, and the logo and colors. However, every time I hear the word “redskin,” I cringe (and it’s not just because I’m a New York Giants fan :).

My suggestion is to seize the opportunity and rename the team the Washington Americans. You would honor both native-American heritage, and unify that with your home in the nation’s capital.

Just a suggestion. And again, good luck… Unless you face the Giants in the NFC Championship. :)

December 2009

Greetings,

I wrote a similar note about four years ago through redskins.com, and after watching the prime time Sunday night game last night, I thought I’d write again.

I wanted to share my thoughts on your team name. I enjoy the history of the team, and the logo and colors. However, every time I hear the word “redskin,” I cringe (and it’s not just because I’m a New York Giants fan :).

My suggestion is to seize an opportunity and rename the team the Washington *Americans* without a change to logo or team colors. You’d continue to recognize native-American heritage and team history yet also strengthen the team’s association with your home in the nation’s capital.

Furthermore, by using the name “Americans” by itself, without any hyphenated prefix suggesting exclusion or exception such as “Native-,” makes a statement that all US football fans are united as a single nation with a common history.

Of course, this is just my suggestion. But, in what’s looking to be an off season full of change, I think you have a golden opportunity to break with a negative aspect of the past and look to a greater future of the franchise here.

If you could float the idea by Daniel Snyder I’d very much appreciate it.

I’ve also shared the idea a couple of times on Twitter to a positive reception.

Putting aside whoever it was that first came up with the suggestion to rename the team to the Americans, it’s at least a positive starting point to find common ground in this controversy.

It addresses the most offensive part of the name, reduces the cost of change to logo and uniform, and it expands representation of the city and the sport of American Football during this dreadful onslaught of World Cup “football.” :)

Images of Cuba now on Flickr

12 March 2009 » History, Media, Photos, Politics, Travel

I just took a few minutes to copy the photos from my time in Cuba over to Flickr.

I spent three weeks in and around Havana while studying abroad after my junior year in college during the summer of 1998.

The scans have long been available at PlayaGirón, but in the recent spirit of freer relationships between the two nations, I figured I’d follow suit and open them up to a broader audience and to tag them, making it easier for folks to find them.

I’ll probably also post the scans of the Cuban stamps that I collected sometime soon.

Quotas for Women in Politics

11 March 2009 » Politics, Writing

My sister Mona recently published her first book, “Quotas for Women in Politics: Gender and Candidate Selection Reform Worldwide,” just in time for International Women’s Day.

And it seems to be out of stock on Amazon already :)

Mona Lena Krook

Cat, my parents, and our family friend Mikey Ward took a trip to The Coop at Harvard for her book signing last week and posted a few of the pics on Flickr.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t record her entire talk on video which is a shame because Mona summarized the book concisely for a general audience.

While the book focuses on the various tactics and strategies that parties and legislatures have followed to achieve better representation for women, I think the end goal is what’s most important:

“A society that is without the voice and vision of a woman is not less feminine. It is less human.” – Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland

So, give it a read… it’s just over 200 pages and has great reviews. While you’re at it, buy a few copies for your friends and relatives too!

Refueling like it’s 1989

17 February 2009 » Photos, Politics, The truck

Well, the important thing is that I didn’t lose money by trading in my truck for a Prius, and that there are other incentives for developing alternative fuel sources.

$1.01 gas

DHS: Preserving our Freedoms, Protecting America, Sharing Files

21 October 2008 » Music, Politics, Potpourri

I saw this interesting entry in my Web server logs today. It looks like the folks at the Department of Homeland Security may have some time on their hands to share their iTunes libraries among coworkers.

While it’s nice to see they have the spare hardware and bandwidth to set up an enjoyable working environment at the bureau, I worry about the threat posed by a malicious audio file introduced to their internal network.

Lets have a look at something United States Secretary of Homeland Security Michael B. Chertoff said last week, on the occasion National Cyber Security Awareness month:

Question: I just want to ask you what DHS has done to protect the information that the private sector is supplying to DHS through online systems. I am asking this because I am interested in the information that high-risk chemical facilities have submitted to you through your online system and how do we know that that information is secure.

Secretary Chertoff: Generally, we do pay a lot of attention to securing our own systems. I am happy to say a grade that government — I hate it when they grade you, I figured I was done with this in elementary school. It is worse in Washington because people that grade you are often — it is like the parent of your competitor. We do get graded on our security systems and I do think a few years ago we were getting a low grade, two years ago we got a D, last year we got a B+, this year our internal security systems are going to be better than last year’s.

I think we are getting our own house in order, but in a larger sense by reducing the number of entry points to the domains and by putting in a more robust set of protections for detections and prevention, that is going to protect our data.

Of course, this all assumes that the rogue Googler was intending to find instructions on how to set up a system at work, as opposed to doing some personal research for his network at home, but it raises questions nonetheless.

Oh well, at least according to my logs they have their own secure build of Internet Explorer 6…

The revenge of Al Gore

21 May 2008 » Politics

“Mr Obama’s Internet strategy was at the heart of his plan to win the Democratic nomination, according to expert Phil Noble, who tracks trends in relation to the Internet and politics.”

Interesting links of the week

31 January 2008 » Football, Friends, IBM, PHP, Politics, Zend

Well, not exactly this week. I gathered a few links from the end of January that I figured would have some blogworthiness to them.

Instead of dedicating a whole post to each, here they are with a bit of commentary.

First up, because it’s my sister’s first appearance on TV, are Mona‘s remarks to local news in St. Louis on what the female demographic means to this year’s presidential campaigns. While it is a Fox affiliate, congrats are still in order. :)

Yossi Leon announced that Zend Studio for Eclipse was tantalizing close to release. We heard a few more details at NYPHP about its launch. The Zend page carries the official announcement.

If you’re wondering exactly how the new Zend Studio for Eclipse differs from the Eclipse PDT (PHP Development Tools), this chart breaks it all down.

Jon Udell backs up my “.htm is dogsqueeze” argument in his much more eloquent .NET-specific rant, .aspx considered harmful.

I caught a glance of this article on naming the Triborough Bridge for Robert F. Kennedy in the New York Times.

I too am a little weary of the Kennedy badge on so many public buildings, but have an alternate suggestion… Rename the bridge for John F. Kennedy, and rechristen his namesake disaster of an airport for someone worthy of its reputation for mismanagement, George W. Bush.

And finally, though it pains me greatly to see Tom Brady’s name on a Web site I lovingly crafted for all that is good, there is an interesting press release on how IBM and the NFL have gone about making all those random stats available to announcers in real time.

That about wraps it up. Enjoy the weekend, I know I will.

Revolutionary folk makes a comeback

18 May 2007 » Music, Politics

Salsa has long been viewed as the sound of Cuba. With the international success of the Afro-Cuban All Stars and the documentary/album Buena Vista Social Club, this genre has further overshadowed the other major movement in Cuban music: Nueva trova, which is a form of folk driven by political themes.

Silvio Rodríguez is probably the most famous of the nueva trova movement, and there were a few artists outside of Cuba that embraced the sound. “Playa Girón” by Silvio Rodríguez and “Hemos Dicho Basta” by Daniel Viglietti from Uruguay are good examples of this style.

I haven’t listened to those songs in a while, but I stumbled across a new tune from The Nightwatchman called “The Road I Must Travel.” It instantly reminded me how much I enjoyed this genre. After hearing the song on the radio, I dug into the “group” and discovered that it is none other than the solo work of Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave fame.

It’s nice to see folk brought back to its roots and away from the insipid variant which has come to dominate the coffeehouse radio circuit.

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