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Archive for the tag “football”

An America I Do Not Know

Ken Kastle is a parishioner with me at our church St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Abington, PA. He writes a blog called “Looking at Things Through My Eyes.” Mr. Kastle has had a long career in education and often views his politics as I do, so I often find his blog posts compelling. Below is one of the posts to his blog, enjoy!

Looking At Things Thru My Eyes

November 9, 2016

I awoke this morning to an America I do not know—an America that just elected as its next president a man whose only qualification for this high position is that he conducted a campaign that appealed to the basest instincts of our many of our citizens.

I believe it is universally agreed that Donald Trump has no other qualifications for the presidency. He has absolutely no experience in governing. He says he is extremely rich, a claim that could not be verified because he refused to release his tax returns. He is best known by the public as a reality TV star. Many of his statements lead many to believe he is a racist and an anti-Semite. He is a misogynist, as demonstrated by his vulgar comments about a variety of women during his campaign. To some, he is a failed businessman, capitalizing on three bankruptcies that…

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Someone Explain This to Me

Ken Kastle is a parishioner with me at our church St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Abington, PA. He writes a blog called “Looking at Things Through My Eyes.” Mr. Kastle has had a long career in education and often views his politics as I do, so I often find his blog posts compelling. Below is one of the posts to his blog, enjoy!

Looking At Things Thru My Eyes

RealClearPolitics.com provides the current approval rating for the U.S. Congress as reported by six polls. The reported ratings range from a high of 19% (reported by the Monmouth poll) to a low of 13% (as reported by both the Economist and PPP (D) polls). The average approval  rating reported in these polls was 15.2%.

By any measure of satisfaction, these ratings are abysmal. Any worker given that kind of rating would be fired immediately.

p.s. The most recent weekly average job approval rating for President Obama reported by the Gallup poll was 51%. And, this is the man being excoriated by the candidates of the opposition party for what they call his poor job performance.

Can someone explain this to me?

According to The Center for Responsive Politics (as reported at www.opensecrets.org/bigpicture/reelect.php), the reelection rate in the 2014 mid-term election for incumbents in the U.S. House of Representatives was 95% and…

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DONALD TRUMP: A FASCIST?

Ken Kastle is a parishioner with me at our church St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Abington, PA. He writes a blog called “Looking at Things Through My Eyes.” Mr. Kastle has had a long career in education and often views his politics as I do, so I often find his blog posts compelling. You can fund his blog here.  Below is one of the posts to his blog, enjoy!

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In a December 8, 2015 article by Henry Giroux published in Truth-Out.org, Giroux presents a strong argument that the content of Donald Trump’s candidacy for the U.S. presidency consists of “a blatant appeal to fascist ideology,” and his proposals are based in the fundamental principles of totalitarianism. Giroux draws vivid parallels between Trump and the fascist demagogues of the past such as Hitler, Mussolini, Pinochet, and others of that ilk.

This article should serve as a wake-up call for America’s electorate to recognize the content of Trump’s  proposals for what they are–a call for a totalitarian state reminiscent of Hitler’s Germany–and to demand that the other candidates and the media call out Trump’s candidacy for the anti-democratic movement it is.

Giroux’s article can be read at:

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/33951-fascism-in-donald-trump-s-united-states

The Higher Ed Scam Part II

Ken Kastle is a parishioner with me at our church St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Abington, PA. He writes a blog called “Looking at Things Through My Eyes.” Mr. Kastle has had a long career in education and often views his politics as I do, so I often find his blog posts compelling. Below is one of the posts to his blog, enjoy! This post is the sequel to a previous post called “The Higher Ed Scam” which you can find here.

Looking At Things Thru My Eyes

In June 2014 I offered the view in “The Higher Ed Scam” that higher education in this country is no longer about “education” but should now be called The Higher Education Industry [https://lookingatthingsthrumyeyes.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=442&action=edit].

My goal now is to continue this theme in regular updates that provide evidence to support my thesis garnered from news reports about higher education.

Today’s update features actions by the Republican controlled Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina system. An article in The Chronicle of Higher Education dated May 27, 2015 [http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/as-degrees-are-cut-critics-continue-to-decry-dismantling-of-u-of-north-carolina/99587?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en], reports the UNC Board’s continuing actions to strip large numbers of degree programs from the system’s 16 campuses. The latest action taken last week, a continuation of such actions every other year for the past two decades, eliminated 46 degree programs.

The rationale for these draconian cuts, and the evidence that UNC is no longer an institution of higher learning, can…

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Health or Jobs?

Ken Kastle is a parishioner with me at our church St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Abington, PA. He writes a blog called “Looking at Things Through My Eyes.” Mr. Kastle has had a long career in education and often views his politics as I do, so I often find his blog posts compelling. Below is one of the posts to his blog, enjoy!

Looking At Things Thru My Eyes

A recent news report about the reaction of some officials in Alabama to the EPA’s new standards for carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants [www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/29/alabama-coal-epa-god_n_5630945.html] states:

“Pushing back against new Environmental Protection Agency standards limiting carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, Alabama officials gathered Monday to argue that the new federal policy flouted the Almighty’s will by regulating a God-given resource.

“’Who has the right to take what God’s given a state?’ Alabama Public Service Commission (PSC) member-elect Chip Beeker asked during a news conference held in the offices of the Alabama Coal Association on Monday, according to AL.com.

“By 2030, the Obama administration’s new rules would require Alabama to reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants by 27 percent from 2012 levels.”

The use of a resource of the earth in coal-fired and polluting power plants is God’s will????

This is just more example of how Republicans at the…

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WHY DO THEY RUN?

Ken Kastle is a parishioner with me at our church St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Abington, PA. He writes a blog called “Looking at Things Through My Eyes.” Mr. Kastle has had a long career in education and often views his politics as I do, so I often find his blog posts compelling. Below is one of the posts to his blog, enjoy!

Looking At Things Thru My Eyes

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has not made a formal announcement that he is Republican candidate for president in the 2016 election, but he sure is acting like one. As such, he has joined an unprecedented number of Republicans who are either announced candidates or are seriously thinking about it.

The current numbers break down as follows: formally announced (5), announcement pending (2), exploring (11), and have expressed an interest (5).

Much has been written over the decades regarding what drives a man or woman to seek the presidency of the United States. There seems to be at least one common thread among those who aspire, and that is an incredible over supply of ego that acts to exaggerate his/her qualifications for the job and override any and all reasons they are not qualified.

Christie is an excellent case study to demonstrate this point.

Christie is in the last half…

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The Higher Ed Scam

Ken Kastle is a parishioner with me at our church St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Abington, PA. He writes a blog called “Looking at Things Through My Eyes.” Mr. Kastle has had a long career in education and often views his politics as I do, so I often find his blog posts compelling. Below is one of the posts to his blog, enjoy!

Looking At Things Thru My Eyes

In an article published in Salon.com on June 8, 2014, (Colleges are full of it: Behind the three-decade scheme to raise tuition, bankrupt generations, and hypnotize the media) (http://www.salon.com/2014/06/08/colleges_are_full_of_it_behind_the_three_decade_scheme_to_raise_tuition_bankrupt_generations_and_hypnotize_the_media/?source=newsletter), Thomas Frank states that college/university tuition “…is up 1,200 percent in 30 years…and no one is helping.

He goes on to say:

“The price of a year at college has increased by more than 1,200 percent over the last 30 years, far outpacing any other price the government tracks: food, housing, cars, gasoline, TVs, you name it. Tuition has increased at a rate double that of medical care, usually considered the most expensive of human necessities. It has outstripped any reasonable expectation people might have had for investments over the period. And, as we all know, it has crushed a generation of college grads with debt. Today, thanks to those enormous tuition prices, young Americans routinely start…

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Companies That Do Not Pay Their Fair Share

Ken Kastle is a parishioner with me at our church St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Abington, PA. He writes a blog called “Looking at Things Through My Eyes.” Mr. Kastle has had a long career in education and often views his politics as I do, so I often find his blog posts compelling. Below is one of the posts to his blog, enjoy!

Looking At Things Thru My Eyes

This post by Bill Moyers on Salon.com (http://www.salon.com/2014/05/30/10_disgustingly_rich_companies_that_will_do_anything_to_avoid_paying_taxes_partner/?source=newsletter) is too good not to share.

Can this be the real reason why our Congress has such a difficult time 1) creating a balances budget and 2) maintaining the social and financial safety nets our less fortunate citizens deserve?

10 disgustingly rich companies that will do anything to avoid paying taxes

Corporate taxes are near a 60-year low, and these uber-successful corporations are a big reason why

This piece originally appeared on BillMoyers.com.

recent report by Americans for Tax Fairness suggests that corporate taxes are near a 60-year low — and that’s partially because corporations have become adept at not paying their share.

Here’s a list of 10 tax-dodging corporations excerpted from the Americans for Tax Fairness report.

Bank of America logoBank of America runs its business through more than 300 offshore tax-haven…

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It’s Time for a Revolution III

Ken Kastle is a parishioner with me at our church St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Abington, PA. He writes a blog called “Looking at Things Through My Eyes.” Mr. Kastle has had a long career in education and often views his politics as I do, so I often find his blog posts compelling. Below is one of the posts to his blog, enjoy!

Looking At Things Thru My Eyes

Bleacher Report today features a story about a school district in Texas that spent $60 million to build a stadium for its football team.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1976798-60-million-high-school-football-stadium-closed-after-cracks-found-in-concrete?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=college-football

As a side note, cracks in the concrete have forced the district to shut the stadium for repairs, but that is not the point.

How many teacher positions would $60 million add to the Texas’ schools?

How many Texas school system deficits could be erased with $60 million?

Would you agree that spending this amount of money on a high school football stadium falls into the category of SINFUL?

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Some [Red] Skin in the Game

I had an entirely different post for today in the hopper as recently as this past Monday, but I got engaged (sucked into?) a Facebook debate (as I am wont to do (un)fortunately) regarding the name of the renowned National Football League team Washington Redskins and the recent controversy – or at least media controversy – over that name.  I have never really thought much of the debate in the past, mainly because I do not really self-identify as a Native American and/or American Indian, but the aforesaid Facebook debate made me take a little more time to consider the issue.

Now, it seems obvious to me, a veritable so-called W.A.S.P., that the term “redskin” could not be translated to other races.  For example, I could never imagine a team called “the blackskins”; so that begs the question as to whether “redskin” has the same pejorative power as, say, calling a team or a person a “blackskin.”  

Now, I am generally of the belief that people should try to be compassionate and kind to others and do their best to “treat others as they wish to be treated.”  I also think this is consistent with Christian teaching.  So, in that spirit, if someone (e.g.: an American Indian) feels that a term is offensive or an epithet against him, then maybe we ought to reconsider using the term even if the user of the term, say the W.A.S.P. writing this blog, does not see what the big deal is.  It is the nice thing – and other-person-centric thing – to do.

When it comes to potentially “racial” team names, I think some close analysis needs to be done.  So, for example, is “Redskins” the same as “the Braves”, which is a term describing Native American warriors?  I don’t think so, otherwise we would consider other team names, like the Vikings, Spartans, or, indeed, the Warriors as also racial.  In the same way, is a nationality also racial?  For example, “the Seminoles”  and “the Blackhawks” are team names which are, of course, Indian nations but are not necessarily representative of the Native Americans as a race; however, this seems to be balanced by, perhaps most famously, the Fighting Irish, a nation of white people but not necessarily representative of the white race.  In fact, in my view, Fighting Irish seems terribly offensive as it highlights an Irish stereotype, but there seems to be no out cry for that team name to change at this time.  What about “the Chiefs”?  This seems to represent an office and not a race, much like a team name like “the Senators.”  What about team names like “the Aztecs”, who where an ancient Native American civilization?  This sort of name seems balanced by a team name like “the Celtics” who where an ancient white (European) civilization.

This leads us to the worst offender, in my view, which would be teams like the Cleveland Indians, with its big goofy Indian mascot and his absurd name “Chief Wahoo”.  The team name seems to directly implicate the entire race of Native Americans.  I could not imagine a similar team name for other races being acceptable.  Could you imagine a team like, say, the Cleveland Asians?  How about Cleveland Africans?  Or Cleveland Caucasians?  What sort of racially offensive mascots would these teams have?  I am sure you can imagine what they could be and how offensive they could be; perhaps similar to that of the existing Chief Wahoo?

Of course, when it comes to something like a team name, the issue involves not just a person but an entire ethnic group, which consists of various individuals who have various feelings toward things like a team name like “Redskins.”  How many offended American Indians are enough of a critical mass to make it appropriate to change the name of the team?  I do not necessarily have the answer to that.

Perhaps that is the difference between “blackskins” and “redskins” and some of the other names listed above  A team name like “the blackskins” would be nearly universally reviled by black people whereas Native Americans, as a whole, seem rather ambivalent on the name “Redskins.  Apparently, the name was to honor Washington’s first NFL football coach who self-identified as having Indian heritage.  Also, as it turns out, many sports teams in areas primarily populated by Indians have the name “Redskins” and they use the name with pride.  Some say the term “redskin” started its life as an epithet against Indians, yet it is reported that something like 90% of Indians do not think the term is offensive and many embrace it.  So, I suppose, there is simply not a critical mass of Indians opposed to the name to make it worthwhile changing it; indeed it could be argued that Indians do not just “not oppose” the name, but embrace it with pride.

Who am I, this W.A.S.P. from Philadelphia, to tell 90% Native Americans that they should be offended by something?  If they are offended, I am sure they will be able to say something and, thus far, only a very small percentage has said something.  Maybe then something will be done; it does not seem anything will be done now.  To bring it back to the point of this blog, the law, it is for this reason I think all of the ovations and clamoring for the government to pass a law regarding the Redskins’ name to be absurd and entirely overreaching.  First, I question the authority and jurisdiction of the government to do that and, second, I simply do not think there is a critical mass of people to warrant such a move.  The fact is, no matter what someone does or says, it is likely that someone will be offended.  That simply cannot reasonably be avoided and is an unfortunate part of life both for the offender and offendee.  Until there is a critical mass of people opposed to the name to warrant a change, I think the only thing we should do is listen to those offended and provide a simple but sincere apology.

For more on this issue check out this fantastic article from EPSN “Have the People Spoken?”  Also, here is an interesting story of one Indian tribe’s advocacy of changing the Redskins’ name: “Oneida Indian Nation Plans Symposium on ‘Redskins’ Name“.  Finally, if you have a sense of humor, but are not easily offended, check out the Onion’s take with their list of Most Offensive Team Names.

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