Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ranting about the Washington xskins

A surprising new fourth rant - thanks to my new toy:

I thought it would be at least a month after my surgery before I could share a new rant on my blog. Once again I discover the importance of the intergenerational approach to life - how marvelous it is for an 88-year-older to be able to use a modern tool – a Dragon (simple dictation machine) – to send a letter. What are all the secretaries who used to take dictation doing for a living?

Some thoughts on the Skins

For some time I thought it would be fun to initiate a lighthearted campaign to change the name of the Washington football team. The situation has become so dire, however, that this no longer seems appropriate.   Instead I decided to enlarge on a quotation in the Washington Post for Tuesday, November 18 by Thomas Boswell.

"The team's biggest and insoluble problem is not its DNA, but it's DAN".

While Boswell has cleverly stated the underlying problem (the owner), he fails to understand that to an optimist there are no insoluble problems. Perhaps instead the insoluble problem might well be an opportunity for a teachable moment for the owner:.
  • That money and power alone cannot ensure success, and
  • that for all humankind to coexist amicably together, the rights and feelings of all must be considered - not just a privileged few.
I recall the tremendous gains made in civil rights in the 60s and 70s thanks to sensitivity training. Perhaps a minuscule amount of the many millions the owner is spending might be diverted to a weekend of sensitivity training for the owner. Possible lessons he might gain are:
  • acknowledging that changing the name of the team is the right thing to do. Changing the name of the team could result in a renewed spirit of comradeship for the team – certainly many of the current players have known the trauma of being taunted by racial slurs
  • recognizing that money and power alone cannot buy success - that one can learn meaningful lessons through failure and by taking a financial loss in selling the team at a financial loss he may find a meaningful lesson in humility.
As a prudent consumer I believe there are actions I might take at this time to assist the owner in seeing the light and learning valuable lessons about humility and true leadership.  Thus my personal pledge will be:
  • to never to use the R word again 
  • to refrain from purchasing or wearing team apparel, and
  • to refrain from attending games or watching on television.

  • Ron 

Friday, November 7, 2014

I've changed the name of my blog........................

...........I just can't "Rant".  Life for me is too good!  I feel particularly fortunate to live in a vibrant city surrounded by so many fascinating young people with positive thoughts for the future.  The new title then is:


Thus my last Rant and Rave before taking a month off for surgery will contain both.  The Rave is simple - how fascinating life in D. C. can be when one is attuned to life around you.
The young woman with the map............
seemed quite confused.  Wearing my national Park Uniform I thought I could help her but I thought there might be a language barrier as her black T shirt had white "script" that I could not make out.  Since she appreciated my directing her to the Newseum, I thought she wouldn't mind my asking what the language and message of her T shirt.  Her answer, "I Love you," in black and white, written in Arabic. Wow, thought I, what a message for the world.
                                                       The elevated  metro ride ..........
was high enough that I could see a marvelous sunset.  The Green line near U of Marylands afforded me an opportunity to see one of the most beautiful sunsets ever in a very unlikely place.  
                                                     Then as I got off the elevator ..........
I saw this strange vehicle - a bus? a rickety truck? driven by a young couple.   And then I saw only one of the crude signs written on the side - "This bus is driven on discarded vegetable oil."  
Such idealism by youth, so much beauty around us, but yet the RANT kicks in:
  • how much are young people missing of the world around them by constantly being attuned to some place else on their cell/pad/whatever?
  • The frustration of an election, when
    • so few bother to vote.
    • forces in our beautiful America seem bent on seeing a president (and the country) fail.  I TRULY BELIEVE THAT THE PROBLEMS FACING THE WORLD TODAY ARE EVEN GREATER THAN THOSE FACING MY "GREATEST" generation.  Blaming one man for an accumulation of decades-developed problems is totally irresponsible and off-putting in my opinion. 
    • and to return to a theme with which I began my Rant:
  • I said I would say no ore about the Bottle Bill - a simple way all of American could pitch in to curb  litter and limit the need for more landfill.  Yet the vote in Massachusetts provokes me to no end.  Think of this:
    •  Massachusetts is one of but ten states to have a bottle redemption bill - something that much of the rest of the developed world - concerned with the future takes for granted.
    • As in all ten states the bill works well to curb litter and protect the environment.
    • PEOPLE IN MASSACHUSETTS SEEMED TO SUPPORT THE BILL when it was first introduced.  Yet MONEY BY THE TUNE OF MORE THAN $8 MILLION PUT UP BY THE THE INDUSTRY to less than $2million eked out by organizations and agencies that truly have an interest in preserving the environment.
  • Thus when I return after the first of the year with new rants, I'll also be looking for ways to get the Youth of America looking at the pros and cons of the question. I can think of no more meaningful way to get them involved in meaningful leaning than to have them consider an issue that COULD have an impact on their future world.