Sunday, October 30, 2016

You're Offended? I'M Offended!!

As I write this, the Cleveland Indians are in the midst of the World Series with the Chicago Cubs. It's an exciting time in baseball for both clubs.

Me? I'm very excited. I love baseball. I'm not much for playing the game; I enjoy watching it. To be honest, I'm not much of a “gamer" in any sense of the word. I once was asked to join a company softball league. I declined by telling them, “Softball is seven innings long. My attention span is an inning and a half.” But to watch the game? Nothing like it. My motto is that football (or basketball) is what you watch when there is no baseball. And baby, we got baseball!

Of course, along with the excitement come the haters. Now, one topic of hatred is the official mascot of the Cleveland Indians: Chief Wahoo. Usually, the only time you hear the gripes are at the beginning of the season, and at the end (and only IF Cleveland is doing well). This year is no exception. And with Cleveland playing in the post-game season, the whiners are in full whine.

I saw one article that said it's okay to root for Cleveland, but if you are an Indians fan, you are racist. Why? Because Chief Wahoo is a racist mascot. I'm not sure if the writer was an American Indian (or a Native American, or of the Indigenous People – whatever they are being called today), but regardless, he, like the rest of the haters, is an idiot.

(Note: For the rest of this article, I'm going to use the descriptor “Indian" when referring to said “Indigenous People".)

Let's start out by stating that the city of Cleveland sits on Lake Erie (lovingly known as the “North Coast"). Erie is named for the Erie Indian tribe and it means “wildcat".

The city also has a river that divides the east side from the west side, called the Cuyahoga River. Many of you may recognize it as the river that caught fire. True. But with our Cavaliers basketball team, and Indians baseball team, the city itself is truly “on fire". (As of this writing, the Browns have a perfect record in football; just happens to be a no-win perfect record . . . )

Another important aspect of the Cuyahoga River is its name. Cuyahoga is an Indian word meaning “winding stream". Cuyahoga is also the name of the county the city of Cleveland (and my home town, for that matter) resides.

Here are a few other Ohio counties:

Ashtabula – “Fish River" in the local Indian dialect
Auglaize – “Fallen timbers" in Shawnee
Coshocton – “Black bear town" – an anglicized version of “Goschaching" or “Goschachgunk"
Cuyahoga – (previously mentioned)
Delaware – named for the Delaware Indians
Erie – (previously mentioned)
Geauga – “Raccoon"
Hocking – “A bottle" – the Hocking River was once claimed by the Wyandot Indians
Huron – the name was given to the Wyandot Indian tribe who lived there by the French
Mahoning – “Lick" or “At the lick" from the Indian words “Mahoni" or “Mahonink"
Miami – for the Miami Indians
Muskingum – “A town by the river" – a Delaware Indian word
Ottawa – “Trader" – from the Ottawa Indian tribe
Pickaway – a misspelling of the Piqua (Shawnee) Indians
Portage – from the old Indian portage path between Cuyahoga and Tuscarawas rivers
Sandusky – “Cold water" – in Wyandot and Huron languages it means “water within water pools"
Scioto – “Deer"
Seneca – for the Seneca Indians
Tuscarawas – “Open mouth"
Wyandot – for the Wyandot Indians

For those counting, that is 20 out of the 88 counties in Ohio. (The above list came from – interesting site.)

Even the name of the state, “Ohio", meaning “great river" is a name originated from the Iroquois.

Let's shift gears. The following comes with help from the Cleveland Historical Society. Please read the article by Cathy Priest and Jodi Rzeszotarski for more details.

Tehotiokwawakon, a.k.a. “Oghema Niagara”, a.k.a. “Chief Thunderwater", a.k.a. “Henry Palmer" was born to the Algonquin nation in 1865. Early in his life Cleveland became his home, where he lived a full and active life (again, see the details of the article) before passing away at the age of 85 (1950).

“In 1948, as the Cleveland tribesmen were about to face the Braves from Boston in baseball's World Series, Chief Thunderwater, in full regalia, offered his benediction: 'May the best warriors win, as long as they are Cleveland's.' And they did.”

Now, the origin of Chief Wahoo can be found as far back as 1932, as a cartoon by Fred George Reinhart in the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper. This was to represent the Cleveland Indians winning an important victory. Originally, Chief Wahoo was known as “The Little Indian". In 1947, Walter Goldbach, working as a draftsman, was tasked with creating a mascot that “would convey a spirit of pure joy and unbridled enthusiasm". The name “Chief Wahoo" was derived from sports writers of the time, though Goldbach stated that he wasn't a chief, but a brave – only having one feather.

The logo has gone through many style changes throughout the years. And regardless of the style, one thing has remained the same: the mascot was always displayed with pride and love. It is a mascot, like the baseball team it represents, that gives honor to those for whom much of our state is named.

So, before you go about trying to change Chief Wahoo and/or the Cleveland Indians, you might want to think twice. For to change the mascot would be the same as changing every Indian name of every county – and even the state – lest they be deemed racist.

And, as I watch my Cleveland Indians play in the 2016 World Series, I too am filled with “a spirit of pure joy and unbridled enthusiasm". Play ball!!

©Emittravel 2016

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Get Out the Get Out the Vote

“Get Out the Vote.” Remember that? It came about a few election cycles ago. The idea was to get as many people to the polls as possible. Now, at first glance that seems a great idea. But when you give it a little more thought, like me, you discover it is not such a good idea. Especially when it comes to this current election.

I've joked that my Twitter feed seems to be all liberal and my Facebook feed seems to be all conservative. My social networking is a bit bipolar. And since I'm the same guy in both networks, the algorithms seem to be a bit . . . off.

Now, in both the emphasis is the same: you have to vote for one candidate to make sure the other candidate doesn't win. And if you are thinking of voting for a third-party candidate, you are guaranteeing the other candidate will win. In all cases, I see very little convincing for you to vote FOR a candidate, only AGAINST the other one. This tells me that people really don't like the candidate they are voting for, but the other candidate is so much worse and needs to be stopped.

As I've written previously, this is a job interview, and we are the potential employers. We are trying to find the best person for the job. When you hire someone, you not only look at their background and opinions, but you look to see what their job qualifications are. You don't have to go much further than the last three Presidential debates, to know that the emphasis of this particular job interview has very little to do with qualifications.

So, if your intention is to vote for someone only in order to vote against someone: DON'T VOTE!

If your intention is to blindly vote along party lines: DON'T VOTE!

“J.P., are you seriously telling us not to vote?” Yup. Absolutely. What's more dangerous than a wasted vote? A vote made in ignorance.

I don't care how many women Trump may have groped. I don't care how many emails Clinton may have deleted. I don't care if Johnson can't find Aleppo on a map. If you can't honestly say you are voting FOR someone because you AGREE with MOST (not necessarily ALL) of what they have stated their POLICIES are, DON'T VOTE!

Now, you'll notice I did not say to stay home. Go! Vote! There are usually local issues and candidates on the ballot, and those you need to vote for. Oh, and as in the above, if you can't honestly say you agree with most of what the candidate's policies are, you don't for them either.

Here is what I do: I read the ballot carefully. If I do not know enough to make an informed decision on an issue, I skip it. A non-vote is not counted as For OR Against. If I cannot say I agree with a candidate based on their policies, I skip them too. I do NOT vote along party lines (to be honest, I'm a registered Independent, so I don't HAVE a party line to vote for). And that includes those situations when there is only one candidate running for a position.

I hear that voting is one of the most important things an individual can do, outside of running for office. I say that is wrong. INFORMED voting is one of the most important things an individual can do. UNINFORMED voting is one of the most DANGEROUS things an individual can do.

So, get out and vote, or get out the get out the vote. This is too important for an emotional decision.

Our democracy depends on it.

©Emittravel 2016

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Is the Game Rigged?

Donald Trump has been all over both (so called) main stream and social media shouting that the whole election process is rigged. You know Donald Trump: the guy who didn't pay taxes in about 18 years. Or did he?

Now that I have your attention, let's try to decipher both of those accusations.

First off, is the election rigged? I've written quite a few posts where I go into the election process ("Does the RNC WANT Me to Vote with the DNC?"; "I'm Bushed: Have We Ben Trumped?"; "What's a Reagan Conservative?"; "Independent Influence"; "Thank You Obama?"; "Stuff My Brain Says #77"; "A Dress or a Pantsuit - Your Choice"; "Vetting - Not Just for Pets Anymore"; "It's Broke. Time to fix it. Article #8"; "It's Broke. Time to fix it. Article #9"; "Stuff My Brain Says #78"; "Repeat After Me"; "What Are You Afraid Of?"; "It's Broke. Time to fix it. Article #10"; and "It Just Doesn't Matter!"), so you can take some time and read those. One aspect I haven't given time to is the “early voting" process. I mentioned previously that I didn't know much about it, but I've done a little digging since. And what I've found seems to support Donald's cries.

Several states have the option to vote early. Those votes are not counted UNTIL election day along with all of the other votes (not including Absentee Ballots). So, what's the point of early voting? Polls, my dear friends. Polls.

Once people have voted, whether via early voting or on election day, pollsters like to ask immediately to whom did a person vote. They are then able to report this information as “news". This is helpful in that people tend to vote for those whom they believe are going to win. If they hear that a certain candidate looks to be winning, they tend to vote for that person (so they can say they supported the winner). Or, if they were going to vote for another candidate, they don't vote at all ("What's the point?")

This is especially an issue on election day, as those in the Eastern Time zone tend to close their polls earlier than those in the Pacific Time zone. Reports of those results have the ability to have an effect on voting results in other states voting later. And the polls don't have to close to be impactful, as pollsters report on what the trends are based on those leaving the voting stations say they voted for.

(Personally, I believe that it should be illegal for any results reporting to take place until AFTER the last state has closed their polls. This would eliminate such voting influence on election day.)

Hillary Clinton has been pushing promoted tweets on Twitter encouraging people to vote early in states that can. The (so called) mainstream media report the polls of those individuals asked after voting early whom they voted for. Why is she pushing the early vote? Because a lot of the reporting says that she is the one winning in those states who vote early.

Now, as far as Donald Trump paying, or in this case not paying, taxes goes…

Donald Trump reported a very large loss about 18 years ago. According to tax LAW, that loss can be written off over subsequent years, especially if the loss amount is far greater than the amount paid in taxes in any given year. And since the U.S. government won't give a refund covering that loss (the government hates having to return any of OUR money), the loss is divided over the number of years it takes in “paid" taxes to cover the loss. More like credit than "cash back".

Hillary Clinton used the legal polling system to show herself the winningest candidate that you should vote for, and Donald Trump used the legal tax code to not pay taxes. Both functioned within the law.

If you want to be mad at anyone, be mad at the (so called) mainstream media who uses polls as news, and be mad at those very leaders in our government who WROTE the tax laws that people can use to not pay taxes.

Is the game rigged? That depends on your perspective. Are you playing the game?

©Emittravel 2016

Sunday, October 9, 2016

It Just Doesn't Matter!

Every time a politician calls for voter IDs, screams erupt over the possibility of disenfranchising people from voting. “It's not fair!” “Poor people won't be able to vote!” “Keeps blacks from the polls!” “Dead people won't be able to vote!”

(Oops. Sorry. That last one was from the DNC.)

Anywho. Having to prove who you are in order to vote should not be something to be alarmed about. You need identification to get a library card for crying out loud. Try taking money out of your bank (from a real teller, not the ATM) without showing an ID. Can't do it.

Whether or not your representatives agree with voter IDs, you have to wonder where are their concerns when it comes to this:

Ever see one of those? I get these every election cycle. And it drives me almost as crazy as the AARP mailers! Want to know why these bother me? Because, unlike voter IDs, Absentee Ballots really DO disenfranchise voters.

The only votes that count are the ones placed at the polls on voting day. (Okay, I may not be 100% accurate about that, as I don't know how “early voting" actually works.) If you vote Absentee Ballot, you might as well have NOT voted.

Regardless of being a fan of the Electoral College or not, a single vote really won't sway the election. Now, getting out there and voting on local elections and issues DO and CAN sway, but not so much when it comes to the Presidential race. Yet, if you vote Absentee Ballot, realize your vote won't get counted at all.

And here's why: The only time Absentee Ballots are even counted are if the total number (100%) of ballots are considered going to the candidate with less votes, AND that number of ballots would change the outcome. If not, those ballots are not counted. Period.

Let's assume Candidate A has three million votes and Candidate B has two million five hundred thousand votes. For those of you keeping score, that's a difference of five hundred thousand votes. Now, in order for the Absentee Ballots to be counted, the total number of Absentee Ballots have to be more than five hundred thousand AND be considered 100% for Candidate B.

For starters, you KNOW the chances of the Absentee Ballots being 100% for Candidate B isn't going to happen. So, the number of them has to considerably larger than the count difference.

Back in the Bush / Gore Florida election fiasco, a number of Absentee Ballots were contested because they came without being postmarked, or postmarked AFTER the election. So, even IF the difference between candidates was small enough to count the Absentee Ballots, a number of them would STILL be disregarded! How many of those were “operator/equipment mismatch" (the person mailing the Absentee Ballot erred) and how many were U.S. Post Office incompetence (got through WITHOUT a postmark or with the wrong date) is unknown. Regardless, if it wasn't for the fact that the election was that close, those Absentee Ballots would not have even been considered.

So, the next time you hear someone get upset over something like having to have identification to vote, ask them if they vote Absentee Ballot. Then tell them this:

©Emittravel 2016

Monday, October 3, 2016

It's Broke. Time to fix it. Article #10

It's broke . . .

First off, let me make this perfectly clear: this (particular) blog post is not meant to bash Hillary Clinton. I've done that plenty in other articles. As a matter of fact, I've made it a point to make sure my bashing is truly nonpartisan (I bash BOTH sides of the aisle!) What I do want to get across is that this is a serious concern and it needs to be addressed.

For the first time in American history, we have the potential of electing the first…

…I know, you were expecting "woman" or "female" President. Uh uh!

For the first time in American history, we have the potential of electing the first SPOUSE as President. And this, my dear readers, is something I've not seen addressed.

Oh, what has been addressed is to what we should call the "First Husband". What about "First Mate"? Well, first off, that sounds like something from a Popeye cartoon. And second, this country isn't ready for an LGBT President. But that isn't the point.

The point is that, in this particular case, Hillary Clinton is disqualified from being President. You'll notice that I didn't say "unqualified". She is definitely qualified. According to Article II, Section I, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution:

"No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."

What I did say was that she was DISQUALIFIED. According to the 22nd Amendment:

"No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once . . . "

Hillary Clinton was married to Bill Clinton when he was President for two terms (1993 - 2001). And THAT disqualifies her from becoming President.

According to (excerpted from “The First Ladies of the United States of America,” by Allida Black. Copyright 2009 by the White House Historical Association.):

"As the nation's First Lady, Hillary continued to balance public service with private life. Her active role began in 1993 when the President asked her to chair the Task Force on National Health Care Reform [later known as "HillaryCare"]. She continued to be a leading advocate for expanding health insurance coverage, ensuring children are properly immunized, and raising public awareness of health issues."

Hillary Clinton was not much different in her role as First Lady as others before and since. All tend to take active roles in influencing public policy. Which is both good and bad. Good, in that many of the ideas and actions are beneficial for the country and its citizens. Bad, in that the First Lady has unelected power that holds sway over the office of the President.

In the case of the Clintons though, the opinion was that "we are the President" - which is an opinion that only gives weight to my argument.

I once heard a minister once say that "…the Bible says that man is the head. And if the man is the head, the woman is the neck. And what does the neck do? It both supports and TURNS the head." There is great power in influence. How the First Lady is addressed and treated has great influence on one's standing. Can you imagine bad-mouthing your boss' wife? I didn't think so.

(I used to work for a small company that was owned by the wife, but ran by the husband. No big deal, except that the wife took an active role. So much so that you would get contradictory orders from each. And you didn't want to upset either.)

Now, imagine that Hillary Clinton has become President. This means that former President Bill Clinton will be there. Do you honestly think a former President would not get the respect of that office? It would be "Good morning, Mr. Clinton." Or perhaps "Good morning, Mr. President." Each would be valid. And if a First Lady tends to take an active role, how much influence do you think a First Husband (a former PRESIDENT) would have? I would say, so much (possible) influence as to be in conflict with the 22nd Amendment.

"But J.P., nothing in the Constitution prevents the First Lady from becoming President."

True. But honestly, do you think that the founding fathers ever considered their wives running for President? They didn't even think a woman should VOTE. It was a long time from the writing of the Constitution to the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920. Which means they never gave thought to the possibility of a former First Lady running for President.

Now, if a President (of either gender!!) serves only one term, there would be no issue with the spouse (of either gender!!) serving one term. But outside of that?

So, Hillary Clinton is disqualified from being President. The same if Michelle Obama were to run.

Now, if Rosalynn Carter or Barbara Bush wanted to give the job a go…

. . . time to fix it!

©Emittravel 2016