Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Washington Redskins Name is Offensive

Recently the U.S. Patent Office ruled that the Washington Redskins name is “disparaging of Native Americans” and have canceled federal trademarks for the name in a 2-1 ruling on Wednesday, June 18, 2014.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democrat from Nevada threatened the team that he will not attend another Washington Redskins home game in his luxurious skybox at FedEx Field until the name is changed.  That means he will have to watch the NFL football games in his suite that he resides in while in Washington D.C. at the Ritz-Carlton. House Minority Leader, Democrat Nancy Pelosi said the team’s name has long stood as a “deep offense” to Native Americans.
As you roll your eyes at another political correctness gone wrong, let’s look a little deeper into this.  Should we really be distraught of the Redskin name?  Shouldn’t Native Americans be more upset to have their name associated with the “Washington Politicians”?  That is where the real travesty lies.  I propose to change the name to the Virginia Redskins or Northeast Redskins and then maybe we can put a quick end to this controversy.  Do you remember Democrat James Moran of Virginia saying he and his fellow representatives in Congress are in dire need of a raise?  He stated, “I think the American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid” as he tells Roll Call that “We can’t live decently on 174K a year!”

Honestly, our politicians around the country are so out of touch with reality, but what is sad is that we the people continue to let them speak for us.  So in my opinion we deserve what we are getting until we stand up to them and make them do their job that they were elected to do.

Since this is not a political blog, let’s look at the name “redskin”.  The online Oxford Dictionary says this: “‘Redskin’ is first recorded in the late 17th century and was applied to the Algonquian peoples generally, but specifically to the Delaware (who lived in what is now southern New York state and New York City, New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania). Redskin referred not to the natural skin color of the Delaware, but to their use of vermilion face paint and body paint.”

Smithsonian Institution senior linguist Ives Goddard who probably knows a bit more than Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi went further, saying in 2005 that the term’s genesis was not derogatory. When it first appeared, “it came in the most respectful context and at the highest level,” Mr. Goddard told The Washington Post. “These are white people and Indians talking together, with the white people trying to ingratiate themselves.”

Mr. Goddard found, the earliest usages of “redskin” came from American Indians themselves in “statements made in 1769 by Illinois tribal chiefs involved in delicate negotiations with the British to switch loyalties away from the French,” the Post wrote.

“‘I shall be pleased to have you come to speak to me yourself,’ said one statement attributed to a chief named Mosquito. ‘And if any redskins do you harm, I shall be able to look out for you even at the peril of my life.’ The French used the phrase ‘peaux rouges’ — literally ‘red skins’ — to translate the chief’s words.”

Because our politicians don’t want to really do the work we sent them to office to do- they are pandering to the minority of unhappy people who want to impose their views on the rest of America.  You know, these are the people who have multiple degrees but never held a real job in their life.  These are the people who don’t want you to drive your SUV and complain that you are smoking a cigarette while they are growing Pot in their backyard.

So what’s next?  Now there is a complaint about the Dallas Cowboys name as well.  I have to disclose first that I am a life-long Dallas Cowboys fan so this blog could be a little bias.  The complaint says, that we should change the name because Cowboys used to kill Indians.  Are you kidding me?  This more than likely will not gain traction, but in today’s world who knows.  This is especially true with who we are electing in decision making positions.

Let’s look at some other potentially offensive names around sports.  I’m going to stay away from the low hanging fruit like the Chicago Blackhawks, Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Indians because although the intent was to honor Native Americans- liberals want to impose their views on the rest of the world.  They don’t want others to offend anyone and make it their business to point out all of our shortcomings.  I would say they were the student’s in grade school that were the “crossing guards”, but that would mean they would have had some type of actual responsibility when they were younger.  Instead they were the kids who were raised by parents who said everyone is a winner in any type of competition and didn’t like scores to be kept in case someone’s feelings were hurt.

So what about the San Francisco Giants or New York Giants?  Giant means unusually large and greater or more eminent than others.  We have to take this name away because this makes others feel like they are less adequate or even worse, do Giants really want to be described as large people.

The Oklahoma Sooners were named after individuals who cheated (they left the starting line early) to grab land during the establishment of the Oklahoma territory.  I am sure the natives of Oklahoma don’t like to be referred to as cheaters and should immediately disband using the derogatory term.

Mark Cuban needs to take notice about his Dallas Mavericks.  Sure, a maverick was originally described as an unbranded calf, cow, or steer, especially an unbranded calf that is separated from its mother.  However, now the term refers to a person pursuing rebellious, even potentially disruptive, policies or ideas.  People in Texas like to be known for their hospitable nature and this name is deeply offensive to some.

Descendants of Scandinavian pirates who plundered the coasts of Europe from the 8th to 10th centuries were called Vikings.  These sea-roving bandits are now acknowledged by the Minnesota Vikings.  Very offensive to the Europeans who lost everything from these Pirates.

Oh no!  That leads me to the Pittsburgh Pirates.  We have to change that name too.

In the 1950’s the Cincinnati Reds change their name to the Redlegs because they didn’t want to offend anyone during the height of communism.  Now they are offending all of the business owners who fear being in the “red” on their books.

How about the New York Yankee’s name?  The term “Yankee” has several interrelated meanings all referring to people from the United States.  Outside the United States, “Yank” is used informally to refer to any American, including Southerners.  Within the United States, it usually refers to people from the north, largely those who fought for the regions in the Union side of the American Civil War, but also those with New England cultural ties, such as descendants from colonial New England settlers.  Within Southern American English, “Yankee” refers to Northerners.  Do I need to explain how offensive this term is?  The name must be changed.

So what are we to do?

Every sports team’s name is offensive to someone.  We have to stop this travesty!  All names must be eliminated so our world will be a better place.

My proposal is to take a page from Prince Rogers Nelson.  He is the artist known as Prince then a “Love Symbol” and then as “The artist formerly known as Prince”.  I’m not 100% sure, but I think his name is Prince again.  You get my point.

Let all of the teams become a symbol.  However, symbols also offend people too.  Take my wife for example.  She hates the big red symbols in our neighborhood as she drives around.  Not only is the color of the signs red, but the word “Stop” implies she is being told what to do, and the octagon shape is not her favorite.

So we can’t have names, colors can have adverse meanings, and symbols are offensive as well.  You tell me.  Are we going too far with political correctness?

Just to keep everyone out of trouble.  This blog was written for fun, but in hopes to create some thought provoking common sense.  In no way is this the opinion of everyone associated with The ANE Show.  This blog was not meant to offend anyone unless that offends someone, and then that means it was to offend everyone so that all readers feel equally offended.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Opening of King Stutz Tomb: a short story about A.K. Miller

Alexander Kennedy Miller was an eccentric recluse who operated Miller’s Flying Service in 1930 out of Montclair, New Jersey.  He provided mail and other delivery services by means of an autogyro as well as listing “Expert Automobile Repairing” and “Aeroplanes Rebuilt and Overhauled” on his business card.

After retiring from the Air Force in 1946, Miller and his wife moved to a large farm in East Orange, Vermont.  His house had no central heating, antiquated plumbing and limited electricity and hot water was created by metal coils inside the wood stove.  The neighbors often worried that the Millers were poor, and sometimes made offers of charity.  
Alex and Imogene Miller eked out an existence on a small farm. Alex would scrounge rusty nails from burnt buildings to repair his roof. At times, to raise cash, Miller would sell "spare parts" to other Stutz owners for their repair/restoration projects. However, rather than selling the actual parts (which he owned a large quantity of), he would painstakingly fabricate them himself from scrap metal, using his own cars and spare parts as templates. He was known to other Stutz aficionados as a shrewd but cheap businessman.  He drove a ratty VW Beetle, and when it died, he found another even more ratty, and another...the rusting carcasses littered his yard. Alex died in 1993, and Imogene died in 1996. The local church took up a collection so they could be buried in the churchyard, and as no heirs were found, the IRS moved in to assess the value of the estate (taking a particular interest in collecting the years of back taxes the Millers had owed).   That would have been the end of a sad story, except there is so much more to this interesting story.

While preparing the estate for auction, the sheriff discovered a cache of bearer bonds taped to the back of a mirror. That triggered a comprehensive search of the house and outbuildings. The estate auction would eventually be handled by Christie’s, and it would bring out collectors from all over the world.  The following are pictures of the hidden treasures found on his farm.

Pictured: a '28 Franklin ($4500 US) and a '23 HCS ($14,500 US) lurk inside.

It seems that Alex Miller was a Rutgers grad, son of a wealthy financier. He lived in Montclair, NJ, where he founded Miller's Flying Service in 1930. He operated a gyrocopter (look it up, it's too much of a digression) for mail and delivery service through the 30's. But the Millers had a secret, and they moved from Montclair when they needed room for it.
1913 Stutz Bearcat went for just $105,000 US.
Choosing to live low profile, and paranoid about tax collectors, Miller moved to the farm in Vermont, and took his collections with him. Most of his cash had been exchanged for gold and silver bars and coins, which he buried in various locations around the farm. He carefully disassembled his gyrocopter, and stored it in an old one-room schoolhouse on his property. He then built a couple of dozen sheds and barns out of scrap lumber and recycled nails. In the sheds he put his collection.

1916 Stutz Bearcat ($155,000 US).

In one of the sheds, authorities found a 1920 Bearcat in excellent condition.  ($50,000 US).

Alex Miller had an obsession with cars. Not just any cars, but Stutz cars. Blackhawks, Bearcats, Super Bearcats, DV16's and 32's. He had been buying them since the 1920's. When Stutz went out of business, he bought a huge pile of spare parts, which was also carefully stored away in his sheds.
A Springfield Rolls Piccadilly Roadster ($115,000 US), made in Illinois.

Sometimes he would stray, and buy other "special cars", including Locomobiles, a Stanley, and a Springfield Rolls Royce. He never drove them. He'd simply move them into his storage sheds in the middle of the night, each car wrapped in burlap to protect it from any prying eyes. Over the years, the farm appeared to grow more and more forlorn, even as the collection was growing.
A snappy car: 1921 Stutz Bearcat ($58,000 US).

Occasionally he would sell some parts to raise cash. Rather than dipping into his cache, he would labor for hours making copies of the original parts by hand.
Stutz factory spares. Cylinders and pistons from a brass era Stutz in foreground.

Collectors knew him as a sharp trader, who had good merchandise but was prone to cheating. His neighbors had no clue at all, they thought Alex and Imogene were paupers, and often helped out with charity.
Wheelbarrow blocks a '28 Stutz Blackhawk Boattail Speedster ($78,000 US).

The auction was a three day circus, billed as the "Opening of King Stutz Tomb." It attracted celebrity collectors, as well as thousands of curiosity seekers. The proceeds were in the millions, some items went for far more than their value in the frenzy. In the end, the IRS took a hefty chunk of the cash for back taxes, which proves the old adage about the only two sure things in life.
A vanilla '31 SV16 Stutz Sedan ($10,000)
Bargain of the show: a '29 Stutz Blackhawk sedan for $7000 US
A beautiful Stutz DV32 Sedan ($27,500)
Anyone need a new Stutz engine? Still factory fresh.
A'23 HCS ($12,000 US) lurks in the darkness of the barn.
A Lebaron dual-cowl Stutz from 1929 ($68,000 US)
A '27 Stutz AA Sedan for $6500 US
1925 Stutz Speedway Six ($9000 US)
T-Head engine in a '21 Bearcat
Build a '22 Stutz touring car from this pile of parts for just $10,000 US 

The final tally of the Miller’s loot!  The auction earned $2.18 million with $1 million in gold, $75,000 in silver, $400,000 in stocks totaling over $3,655,000. 

And they never got to enjoy it!  Or did they while they were laughing up above?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Woman Football Player Welter To Play In Revolution’s Season Finale In The Allen Event Center on June 14

ALLEN, Texas – The Texas Revolution will be playing female running back against playoff contender Nebraska at their home finale inside the Allen Event Center on June 14.

The 5 foot 2 inch, one hundred thirty pound running back made national headlines once making it through the indoor football team’s training camp and has appeared in 3 games including one against the IFL’s reigning champion the Sioux Falls Storm. The Revolution marked Welter on short term injured reserve for a part of the season; battling back, she maintained her position on the practice squad and played in some key match ups for the Revolution.
Encouraging young women of all ages and taking a strong hold in the community, Welter has inspired, and been someone that any athlete can admire. “I like the way she comes to work every day, always ready to go.” Said Revolution Head Coach, Chris Williams.

Dr. Jen Welter played Rugby for Boston College, 13 years in women’s professional football having played for team USA twice and now has been the first female to carry the ball in a men’s professional team in a highly competitive league. Featured on several major entertainment and media outlets through the season becoming the darling of professional football.

The Texas Revolution are members of the United Conference in the Indoor Football League and play all home games inside the Allen Event Center in Allen, Texas. The Revs take on the Nebraska Danger (9-4) on Saturday, June 14 at 7PM inside the Allen Event Center.