Posts Tagged ‘History’

Dear friends, acquaintances and citizens.

I’m going to break FB protocol and add a lengthy status update. The double-edged sword about Social Media today is that it allows us to keep in touch with many people, but it’s format leaves so much to be desired that in topics such as politics we are left to the posting of a link and bound by brevity. It has become the equivalent of running into a crowded conference room, shouting a string of one-sided epithets as if it were a ticking IED (Improvised Explosive Device), then slamming the door and running away.

As we enter this year’s election I make a plea for everyone to remain civil in our attitudes. What good is our democracy if we have to spend the next several years repairing hurt feelings and harsh attitudes at each election? Our lack of trust in each other erodes our ability to stay civil, work together and truly progress.

Politics requires a medium where all sides of issues can be explored or it will only serve to divide. Healthy debate and the challenge of ideas must exist for us to make policy. The first amendment can only serve its purpose when we show restraint and kindness and truly open our minds.

We can disagree without ridicule. We can share a counterpoint without disgust. Humor can be used to relieve tension rather than create it. The mark of true tolerance is being able to share space with a person, with whom you disagree, without feeling fear, offense or that they are the enemy.

Tolerance: The ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.

However we as a people have not showed restraint enough to achieve true tolerance to make progress.

  • Tolerance is not the same as acceptance.
    • Our culture has confused tolerance for acceptance.
      • Acceptance: The action or process of being received as adequate or suitable, typically to be admitted into a group. Agreement with or belief in an idea, opinion, or explanation.
      • Tolerance sits on the opposite end of acceptance. If we are to have any exchange of new ideas, we must embrace tolerance and be clear about the distinction between the two concepts and value them differently.
  • Tolerance must lead to co-existence.
    • In order for us to have productive, happy, healthy communities, we must coexist. We cannot merely live next door to each other with a brewing sense of hostility.
      • Coexistence: a policy of living peacefully with other nations, religions, etc., despite fundamental disagreements.

We call upon all people everywhere to recommit themselves to the time-honored ideals of tolerance and mutual respect.

I sincerely believe that as we acknowledge one another with consideration and compassion we will discover that we can all live peacefully despite different ideologies or interests and despite our deepest differences.

I used to love election years, because it was a time when people stopped worrying more about Beyonce Knowles and focused on issues that really make a difference in our lives. We have lost what it means to have healthy debate. We surround ourselves with people, books and ideas that only support our preconceived notions. Places where we have found acceptance.  We insist on/attempt to categorize others and their viewpoints in terms of “good” and “bad,” “black” and “white.” and pit the opposite into an all-good or all bad judgment.

American politics have always been full of character attacks and salacious headlines. It is time to evolve. If we purport to have kindness and tolerance, we must ensure our attitudes and our hearts reflect it first, before our laws can truly reflect it. Before we can make policy, we must truly understand it, believe it and be able to exemplify it.

The question is “How can we be better than we believe we are, when nothing less will do?”

No matter which leader you have been inspired by all of them promote the ideal that we can rise above our current condition and have hope for the future.

“My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

-John F. Kennedy

“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

Barack Obama

“We can meet in service, in shared moral convictions about our nation stemming from a common worldview.”

Mitt Romney

This election year we can stand for civility.

The only difference in our candidates is HOW they propose to effect change. One statement or stance does not make them a socialist, a woman-hater, a bigot, or a tyrant.

I would like to restore the definition of hate back to its former glory. Hate: (v) Feel intense or passionate dislike for (someone). (n) Intense or passionate dislike.

Not supporting a certain cause does not imply hate or a judgment about the opposite. It implies support for a preferred resolution over another. Hate is an emotion, which is completely controllable. Can you disagree with someone and not hate him or her? Of course. However the propaganda today would have you believe this is not so. How do you disagree with someone and still love and respect him or her? Mislabeling someone’s proposition for change in a different way than you would suggest as hate only exposes weakness of heart & emotional immaturity. It will render us powerless in the long run.

Taking offense at the prosperity of another only shows a weakness of heart and mind, which will render you powerless.

I make a call to all journalists to raise the bar of integrity of reporting. Retractions & miscued reporting should be treated with the same import as the original article. If there is a headline that is found to be misleading, inaccurate or untrue, you should reprint the retraction as a headline. The small note from the editor in small print on the inside cover does not repair or redeem your credibility. Glenn Beck, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, Sean Hannity, I don’t care about your opinions just give me the facts. And BTW folks as much as I love John Stewart and Stephen Colbert they are comedians. They exploit situations for the profit of laughing. It’s not real news.

The mark of the greatness of our country is the peaceful transfer of power. I’ve had the privilege to attend the inauguration of two of our presidents. This one sacred event is a powerful example of how civility marks our nation’s attitude.

For most part of my life I have lived in places where ideologically I am a minority. Even as a white, heterosexual, male I have felt the pangs of discrimination. Ridiculed for beliefs, without proper foresight and feared for my well being if I were to publicly express my own opinion. We must all have the courage to be able to express our opinions without fear. A community that ensures that safety is the true mark what tolerance can do for us. It is true freedom, rather than following the rhetoric of groupthink as we have today.

News flash: we do not live in democracy. We do not vote for the president the same way we “Like” a Facebook post, vote for American Idol or Reddit threads.We live in a Democratic Federalist Republic. By design we have checks and balances for the wisdom of restraint. (Here some reference links. Democracy, Federalism, Republic)

We cannot afford to make assumptions:
Let’s all read the Constitution, Bill of Rights, All the amendments. Let’s study political & social history. Let’s study how read the results of a scientific study. Let’s listen more than we talk so that we can discover truth together.

I learned long ago that when you accuse someone/thing incorrectly without all the information you’re exposing to people much more about your own heart than theirs, even if they are making mistakes. And for those who think the reversal is too late? Well if we have no room in our society for forgiveness than we have no real hope for progress.

“If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.”

-Nelson Mandela

Before you make an accusation, verify the facts, dig deeper, truly put yourself in the others shoes and try to understand why they might feel that is a good solution. Do not vilify others.

This is our greatest hour, and the world is watching. Our greatest testament of the power of who we are is the peaceful transfer of power.

From my liberal friends in Wisconsin to my conservative friends in Utah to all my friends on the coasts, we can be united in purpose and service. Recognize each other’s efforts as efforts. Accept the good in people and see their flaws as just that. Flaws. No one is perfect, but we would be remiss to throw the baby out with the bathwater just because we don’t agree with someone’s point of view.

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I am prejudiced when it comes to college nicknames and mascots. Nicknames and mascots serve as a rallying cry and source of pride to all those affiliated with the school. Some schools only have a nickname, others have a nickname and mascot which are different, while the majority have a nickname and mascot which are the same. I love the ones dripping with folklore and traditions. Every time I hear some crazy idea, like oh the students have voted to change the colors or the mascot, I think… they’re missing the point. They must have no soul or school spirit. Most people don’t realize that nicknames were created by the press in the early days of organized sports. The nicknames came from an either inspiring moment or  a coined phrase that gained popularity over time.  Though not a college team, a great example are the Pittsburgh Pirates, who were just plainly the Pittsburgh Baseball Club until they pioneered the art of buying out another players contract to “steal” them from another team. Hence the Pittsburgh Pirates.

My Nickname / Mascot Criteria:

  • Penned by writer, journalist as a characteristic about how they’ve played, or reference to folklore in their region.
  • Regional Folklore.
  • Stories that gathered a following and taken on power of its own.
  • Mythical beasts or apparitions rate very highly with me, as well as ordinary creatures with extraordinary names, particularly when the names aren’t readily identifiable by most people without reference to a dictionary or encyclopedia.

Criteria for Soul-less Nicknames for institutions that feign as impostors of higher education.

  • Any decision voted on by students in any given year. Since when did a poll taken from one body of students represent the whole body of the community who embrace the ideals, and have contributed to the identity of the university?
  • Any ferocious animal that doesn’t have regional/cultural significance or folklore.
  • Native American Tribal names – I defer to the delicate sensibilities of some tribal members; , but don’t get me wrong I don’t think the NCAA’s championship rule was right.(This could be a whole other blog. I’ll leave for another day.)

The Point

It’s a matter of pride and celebrating who you are, rather than trying to create a moniker for things you think are cool, or things you’d like to be.

History, Traditions, Real History and Evolution.

The Alabama Crimson Tide bama

The origins of the Crimson Tide first developed with Alabama’s first football teams.  Dressed in crimson attire and described as malnourished, they were known as the Thin Red Line or the Crimsons. Two former writers are credited with the name evolution to Crimson Tide.  Hugh Roberts, the sports editor for the Birmingham Age-Herald is said to have first used the nickname when he described Alabama’s efforts in a muddy 6-6 tie against Auburn in 1907. During a World War I experience, Zipp Newman noted how the “tide incessantly pounded on the seashore”; When he returned to cover Alabama Football he made the comparison of how the team was a “Crimson Tide” that continue to pound on their opponents.  It was this 1919 description that many say was the catalyst for the name’s popularity.

The University of Wisconsin, Badgers badgers

The team’s nickname originates in the early history of Wisconsin. In the 1820s and 1830s, prospectors came to the state looking for minerals, primarily lead. Without shelter in the winter, the miners had to “live like badgers” in tunnels burrowed into hillsides.[1] As a result, the territory was dubbed the “Badger State,” and the team took its name from that.

Louisiana State University Tigers LSU

Although LSU adopted the Tiger nickname in the same time period that many other schools were selecting ferocious animals as their nickname source, the Tiger term lept into LSU tradition as a tribute to a group of State Civil War heroes. The LSU “Tiger” nickname first roared into existence in the midst of the school’s undefeated 1896 season. The name reflected the honor once achieved by another band of Louisiana men that had distinguished themselves on the field of battle during the “War Between the States.” The Confederate soldiers consisting of New Orleans Zouaves and Donaldsonville Cannoneers were dubbed as the fighting band of Louisiana Tigers by other Southern troops thanks to their fighting spirit displayed at the Battle of Shenandoah.  LSU’s nickname became more closely matched with the state’s military heritage in 1955 when it evolved into the “Fighting Tigers.”

University of Michigan, Wolverines  mich

If  you’re ever watching the television program “Unsolved Mysteries,” don’t be surprised if the University of Michigan nickname isn’t examined.  Since the earliest memories of Michigan athletics, its teams have been known as the Wolverines.   However, there is no known reason why this animal was ever associated with the university.  There has never been a verified trapping of a wolverine inside the state, nor have there been any skeletal remains of a wolverine found that would suggest a history with the state.
The nickname topic has been debated through the years.  Legendary Michigan football coach shared his theory when he wrote about the subject in the 1944 Michigan Quarterly Review.  Yost thought the nickname evolved from the trading of wolverine pelts at a Sault Ste. Marie trading station.  The fur
traders may have referred to the Michigan trappers as “Michigan Wolverines.”  This fact would have
led to the state nickname and eventually to the University. Albert H. Marckwardt described another theory eight years later in the 1952 Michigan Quarterly Review.  His thoughts focused on when the French first settled Michigan in the late 1700s.  Their appetites were so gluttonous or “wolverine-like” that the wolverine name was given to them. A border dispute between Michigan and Ohio in 1803 is the catalyst for the third nickname theory. While the two sides fought over the proper establishment of the state line, the Michiganders were
said to have called themselves wolverines for their fierce negotiating skills.  The Ohio version leaned
more to the wolverine name being more associated with gluttonous “wolverine” habits of the
Michigan natives.

University of Nebraska, Cornhuskers Nebraska

The term husker might confuse college football fans that lack an
understanding of an ear of corn’s anatomy.  If your only acquaintance with
corn has been the canned variety, then you might know that the starchy
vegetable comes complete with a husk.  A husk is a thin dry covering of a
seed or fruit and a husker is something or someone that strips the husk
away. While Nebraska grows its fair share of corn, it was the University of Iowa’s
football teams that first were labeled the Cornhuskers.  However Iowa
followers preferred Hawkeyes, opening the door for another school to adopt
the name. Sure enough the nickname finally ripened in 1900 when former Lincoln
sportswriter Charles S. (Cy) Sherman grew tired of Nebraska’s nicknames
that included Antelopes, Old Gold Knights and Bugeaters.  Sherman was
aware of the Cornhusker nickname that Iowa had used and began applying
it for his Nebraska stories.  The Cornhusker name grew tall in Nebraska
circles and eventually became the state’s nickname as well.

The Ohio State University, Buckeyes buckeyes

One of college football’s most puzzling nicknames is the term “Buckeye.”  Unless you hail from Ohio, you might have driven yourself “nutty” by wondering where this nickname “sprouted” from.  Have no fear, you’ll “leave” this page with a new understanding. A buckeye is a tree that is common in Ohio.  The tree’s “standing” in the state is so tall, that Ohio citizens have been referred to as buckeyes and Ohio is know as the “Buckeye State.” The buckeye tree produces an olive sized mahogany colored seed and leaves that are replicated on OSU football helmets for player achievements.

University of Southern California, Trojans trojans

The Trojan nickname took its first steps when Warren Bovard, director of athletics and son of university
president Dr. George Bovard, asked Los Angles Times sports editor Owen Bird to choose a more suitable
nickname.  Bird was later quoted by USC sports officials on how he selected Trojans to symbolize the
“At this time, the athletes and coaches of the university were under terrific handicaps,”  explained Bird.
“They were facing teams that were bigger and better-equipped, yet they had splendid fighting spirit.  The
name ‘Trojans’ fitted them.”    “I came out with an article prior to a showdown between USC and Stanford
in which I called attention to the fighting spirit of USC athletes and named them ‘Trojans.’  From then on,
we used the term ‘Trojan’ all the time and it stuck.”

The University of Idaho

The Vandal team adopted their moniker in 1921 after sportswriters had said  that Idaho basketball team had “Vandalized” their opponent. The story of the actual Vandals are that they sacked Rome in 455 A.D. A story not so well known these days, is more reminiscent of a Trojan rather than the common thief most people associate with the word today.  In July of 2009 “Joe” Vandal was ranked fifth in the nation by sports page magazine among the 100 top most unique mascots in the NCAA.

University of Indiana, Hoosiers hoosiers

The Hoosier term certainly has received vast exposure through the years. The Indiana Hoosier basketball team has long been a household name in college basketball circles.  Despite the common usage of the word, it seems there have been more theories of its origin dribbled around by historians than
basketballs in Indiana.One theory that was fostered by Indiana historian Howard Peckman, was that the nickname might have resulted from the work performed by crew that was directed by either Samuel Hoosier or Hoosher.  The men, most of which hailed from Indiana, were building a canal on the Ohio River in 1825 and were referred to as “Hoosier’s men.” Perhaps the most popular “Hoosier” tales is the one that echoes a response to a knock on the door.  Apparently when early Indiana settlers were alarmed by a knock on their cabin door, they would respond with the question: “Who’s there?”  Eventually according to the theory, “Who’s
there,” evolved into “Hoosiers.”

I cite my sources:









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A few months ago, a friend of mine at work approached me with the idea of training for a 10 mile race. The annual Cherry Blossom 10 miler. As I contemplate a move to the west coast I’ve been reminiscing of my time in NOVA. (Northern Virginia) I always thought of myself as an adventurous, and daring person, but the reality is I’m far more a person who likes creature comforts. I would expect myself to think of this as more of a great adventure. The way I’ve thought about it as I continually have visited. But as in the movie , Rocky Balboa (which was in my mind the best of them all) Pauly reminds Rocky of something he once said. “If you stay one place long enough, it becomes you.” That’s kind of the way I feel about NOVA/D.C. Like hundreds of DC-ites I know, I came here just after college to “conquer the world, expecting to move on after a few years”, it came lot harder than expected and here I am 10 years later, finding it kind of breaks my heart to leave it all behind.

Top memories that come to mind 1998-2008:

  • Life in Warrenton, VA: Country livin, big city dreamin’
  • The beginning of my professional life: Tech boom days
  • The life of my twenties and early thirties: Footloose and fancy free, Fun roomates and hot dates.
  • Life outside the beltway: I’ve always lived just on the outside of the mainstream.
  • Young interns, Hill Staffers, Gov’t Contractors and Fed Employees: The people in Washington who do the real work.
  • Places I’ve lived (My Northern Virginia) :Warrenton, Vienna, Falls Church, Fairfax, Arlington, Herndon, and Reston. The Old Dominion, Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • 4 hours radius of interesting places to be:Times Square for New Year’s, Outerbanks beach trips, Carolinas, Shenandoah and Appalachian Mountains, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Navy Football games in Annapolis, Paw Paw, West Virginia.
  • American History Geography: Revolutionary and civil war history is everywhere. (My current neighborhood was home to several civil war battles.)
  • D.C. Specialties: Fourth of July on the National Mall, The Marine Corps Barracks 8th & I. Presidential Inauguration, Free/Smithsonian Museums, Georgetown Halloween, Balmy Summer Evenings at Wolftrap, Screen on the Green on the National Mall.
  • Days of Infamy:9/11/2001 Pentagon, Supreme Court Election cases, Tech Boom, Economy Woes,Unemployment, War, Baseball is back.
  • Friends & Families: People with ideals and courage come to D.C. to make their mark and change the world the best way they know how.

Here’s my tribute soundtrack to life in NOVA/D.C.

Old Dominion – Eddie From Ohio (lyrics),Magnetic Fields- Washington D.C., John Denver -Almost Heaven

[splashcast MZYE5499UC]

And remember ……Virginia is for loversThere’s nothing more evident until you’ve lived there.

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