Monday, January 19, 2015

Lyle Denniston: 'Is The First Amendment on The Side of a Pro Football Team’s Name?'

Source:National Constitution Center- the Redskins against their big NFC East rival New York Giants.
Source:The New Democrat

“I believe strongly in the rights of all Americans to celebrate and maintain their unique cultural heritage. Going forward, we will strive to maintain the ability of the United States Patent and Trademark Office to make its own judgment on these matters, based on clear authorities as established by law.”

Excerpt from a statement on January 9 by Joyce R. Branda, an acting assistant U.S. attorney general, announcing the federal Justice Department’s plan to join in a lawsuit filed in federal court by the Washington Redskins seeking to protect the team’s right to continue using trademarks based on its name and its logo. The Department’s role will be limited to opposing the constitutional challenge by the team to the nullification of its trademarks." 

You can read the rest of Lyle Denniston's article at the National Constitution Center

"Mike Ditka on Redskins controversy: 'It’s all the political correct idiots in America'" 

Source:US Sports News- former Chicago Beats and New Orleans Saints head coach Mike Ditka.

From US Sports News

I’ve sort of gone out-of-my-way to avoid getting into this debate because I quite frankly find it stupid. It’s now 2015 and Americans and the U.S. Government has just decided that the Redskins is a racist name. Even though the franchise has been around since what, 1933 or 32. Give me a break! (To put it mildly) If Redskins was a racist name, which is what Nigger would be for people of African descent, that it would’ve been thrown out a long time ago. Saying the Redskins is a racist name, is like calling Bill Maher racist towards Muslims because he criticizes Islam, even though Muslim is not a race, but Muslims are followers of the Islāmic religion. It’s not even worth considering.

But that is just the practical argument. How about this little thing called the First Amendment that protects all Americans right to free speech and allows for people to call themselves essentially whatever the hell they want to and that includes organizations. But even if you say the federal trademark law about profiting from names that some Americans may tend to find offensive, (again where was this 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 years ago) why is the name Redskins offensive in 2012-13 when this controversy started and not again decades ago. This is really nothing more than pop culture political correctness at its worst.

The Redskins are now getting the Bill Maher treatment from the Far-Left and being labeled as racists. Not by Bill Maher who I imagine is on the side of the Redskins here for First Amendment protections. But a man who just back in September was considered a hero on the Far-Left, is now considered to be a “White Devil” or something. 

But if you put all of the other nonsense (to put it mildly) aside, the fact that Congress is not very good at writing laws and people wonder why they are so unpopular, because even when they do pass laws, they don’t write them very well, but lets say the trademark law is constitutional for a second: The fact that they didn’t define what is racially offensive in a name, means the Redskins at the very least will probably, win on a technicality.

The only people that seem to be offended by the Washington Redskins nickname, are overprivileged, overeducated, hipster-yuppies, of European-American descent, Especially very young people and aging baby boomers of this background, who are still fighting the culture wars of the 1960s, who when they're not protesting the Redskins nickname, are protesting Columbus Day and calling that racist or are saying we shouldn't support Memorial Day because of all the people American soldiers have killed, are that July 4th is also a racist holiday, etc. 

Since when does any ethnic or racial group in America, have the right to do the speaking and protesting of another? You don't seen American-Indian organizations making any deal about the nicknames of sports franchises, simply because they have lives and important issues to concentrate on instead. 

The New Republic: Opinion: Kevin Mahnken: President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch and Need For Succession Reform

The New Republic: Opinion: Kevin Mahnken: President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch and The Need For Succession Reform 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Here’s a post that perhaps only political, Constitution and American history junkies would be interested. I just happen to be all three, so I’m more than qualified to be interested in this. But here’s something that I actually agree with a New Socialist, I mean New Republic author on and that is the need to reform U.S. Senate rules and perhaps even the U.S. Constitution itself. That is if the Senate simply couldn’t reform the President Pro Tempore position itself. And it might be able to since under the Constitution Congress writes its own rules. But I’m not a lawyer.

But what I would like to see done in the Senate and I’ll explain why assuming this could be done by the U.S. Senate laterally, is to add an amendment to the Pro Tempore position. The amendment would say that the majority party decides who the Pro Tempore is and that person doesn’t have to the longest Senator in the majority party. Actually I would go further than that and say the Pro Tempore or Leader of the Senate, whatever the title of the position is who would be the first ranking member of the Senate, would be an at-large seat and member. Mot elected by a state, but by the American people themselves, or at the very least the Senate majority members. But that is for a future post.

What I would do is essentially male the Pro Tempore or Leader of the Senate like the Speaker of the House for the Senate. The lead presiding officer, but also the person who appoints committee chairman, decides what bills come to the floor and up for a vote. And have that person in charge of the Senate floor. Because if we are going to even have this position, then it shouldn’t be signed to someone simply because they are the oldest or have been in the Senate the longest. If the Pro Tempore should ever become President because something happens to the President, Vice President and Speaker, that person should be ready to be President and healthy enough for the job.

I doubt Orrin Hatch ever wants to be President of the United States, at least at this point, he did run in 2000. He’s someone who I respect as a Liberal, even though he’s pretty right-wing and I’m not taking this position because he is currently the Pro Tempore. But just to point out that someone shouldn’t be the chief presiding officer of the Senate with real responsibilities, that is when the Vice President is not up at Congress and third inline for the presidency, just because they are in their late seventies or eighties and have been in the Senate for a long time.

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