Watch out for the politically correct police — they’re on the warpath

The New England Patriots have perhaps the most racially insensitive name in all of professional sports. The origin of the team name is based on those who fought the British crown and gave America its independence. If you’re to believe today’s history books (as written by the PCP), these were bad men who were mostly white, wealthy and slave-holders who used mob violence to get their way.

By Chris Ingram

Almost as predictably as the decennial census, every decade or so the politically correct police (PCP) aim their sights on the Washington Redskins, for what they view as the team’s racist name.

Although the intended meaning of an individual’s usage of a word, and how it is interpreted by those who hear it is subjective, Smithsonian Institution senior linguist Ives Goddard has concluded that the term “redskin” was first used by Native Americans in the 18th century to distinguish themselves from whites.

Former Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke said, “I admire the Redskins name. I think it stands for bravery, courage, and a stalwart spirit, and I see no reason why we shouldn’t continue to use it.”

Daniel Snyder, who is the current owner of the National Football League team, has said he will never change the name because “what it means is tradition, what it means is competitiveness, what it means is honor.” Adding, “It is not meant to be derogatory.”

But facts about the origins of the word, or the intent of owners current or past, are not relevant to the PCP.

But why should they stop there?

Verlin Deer In Water

In an effort to help them with their efforts to make the world as politically correct as possible, I have compiled the following short list of other team names that should be changed. Like the Redskins team name controversy, these are based on ignorance of facts and renaming any of the following would do nothing to actually make the world a better place.

This being Tampa, we should start with the Buccaneers. A Buccaneer, of course, is akin to a pirate. Pirates rape, rob and plunder. These are bad people, and they are extremely dangerous and threatening. The Bucs should rename the “pro-violence” name they have and change it to one that would more adequately reflect the team when it is on the field. I suggest the Tampa Bay Continue reading “Watch out for the politically correct police — they’re on the warpath”

A year after Tampa, can the GOP fix itself with a third party?

Unfortunately for the GOP, there is truth to both concerns, and the present dichotomy between these two views from within the party is unenviable.

The problem is compounded by the fact that millions of people are abandoning the Republicans (as well as the Democrats), preferring instead to register with no-party affiliation.

So what is the GOP to do?

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune, August 27, 2013

One year ago, the GOP convention came to town, albeit delayed for a day because of sensitivities to what Tropical Storm Isaac, brewing in the Gulf of Mexico, might do.

As Isaac passed and the party began to convene, Republicans began what they thought was the last leg of their road to retake the White House. The convention ended up being a seemingly seamless and perfectly choreographed affair — unless you consider the Isaac issue, Clint Eastwood’s performance with “Obama’s chair,” or the fact that the assembled delegates on the convention floor looked whiter than a bowl of cottage cheese.

Mitt Romney left the convention without much movement in the polls, and days later, the Democrats met in Charlotte, where they held one of their most successful conventions in recent times.

The hopes of Republican voters jumped after the first debate, but Romney couldn’t sustain the enthusiasm and lost big to Obama on Election Day.

Caption: Delegates cheer for Mitt Romney at the Republican Convention in Tampa last year.
Caption: Delegates cheer for Mitt Romney at the Republican Convention in Tampa last year.

For the GOP, the Tampa convention and the Romney campaign with the flaws that came with the candidate are now mere asterisks in the annals of party history. The question is, what have we learned since, and when will the party change?

Since the election, the most common comments I hear about the party contain one of two views, one being Continue reading “A year after Tampa, can the GOP fix itself with a third party?”

Reflections by Florida’s senior Republican statesman

The “other side,” as Martinez refers to the Democrats, is very adept at playing politics with important issues. He points to the sequester as a prime example. Initiated by Democrats, they then turned around and pointed the finger at the Republican-controlled House of Representatives as being the villains for the forced spending cuts — which Martinez accurately points out are just cuts in the rate of growth, not really cuts in total spending, which continues to increase.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

After serving as mayor of Tampa for six years, Bob Martinez resigned to run for governor in 1986. The former Democrat became Florida’s first Republican governor in 16 years but lost his re-election bid four years later following the state’s controversial attempt at implementing a tax on services — a measure the Legislature passed but quickly repealed.

He later served for nearly two years as the nation’s “Drug Czar” under President George H.W. Bush. Since then, Martinez, who has always maintained residency in Tampa, has kept an active but mostly behind the scenes profile in Florida political circles.

I recently sat down with the former governor in the offices of the law firm where he works as a lobbyist to talk about his life in politics, his legacy and issues facing the Republican Party and the country.

We start out talking about the national political environment and the major issues facing our country — most notably the national debt and government spending.

“Since the federal government doesn’t have to balance the budget, they have the ability to just kick the can. Every time they kick the can, after a while voters stop listening,” he says.

Economic and budgetary issues are hard to explain, and are far removed from people’s lives — or so they think, Martinez says. Explaining them is “… complicated because there is no sound-bite answer.”

The “other side,” as Martinez refers to the Democrats, is very Continue reading “Reflections by Florida’s senior Republican statesman”

Addressing gun violence one bumper-sticker solution at a time

But would banning ice cream sales result in a reduction in the number of rapes? Almost certainly not. Why? Because the correlation does not demonstrate the causation. Looked at another way, they have a shared cause, but there is no correlation. The cause in both cases is hotter temperatures. That is, rape is more likely to occur in warmer months, just as ice cream sales shoot up during the hot summer season. Banning the sale of ice cream to reduce rape makes about as much sense as banning guns to reduce violence.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published Tuesday, February 27, 2013

Most anyone who has taken a statistics class has heard the example of the incidence of rape rising when sales of ice cream increase. Does that mean rape is more likely to occur as ice cream sales rise? The evidence says yes.

But would banning ice cream sales result in a reduction in the number of rapes? Almost certainly not. Why? Because the correlation does not demonstrate the causation. Looked at another way, they have a shared cause, but there is no correlation. The cause in both cases is hotter temperatures. That is, rape is more likely to occur in warmer months, just as ice cream sales shoot up during the hot summer season. Banning the sale of ice cream to reduce rape makes about as much sense as banning guns to reduce violence.

We get bombarded with stats, figures and polling data every day. Much of this, particularly the polling data, is next to useless. But it doesn’t stop the media from fixating on often-times meaningless numbers to tell a story. Real facts and figures are harder to explain, thus the preferred use of polling numbers.

But hard facts don’t lie. According to the FBI, in 2011 there were 8,583 firearm-related Continue reading “Addressing gun violence one bumper-sticker solution at a time”

Election outlook prediction

By Chris Ingram

Here are five things to look for tonight

As voters across the country head to the polls today, here are five things to look for tonight as the ballots are counted. My Electoral College and popular vote prediction is included at the end, along with a link to an Electoral College map creator.

Photo: Katherine Harris holding a Palm Beach County voter in 2000.

Here is the list:

1) It’s going to be a long night. Voting started and ended in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire shortly after midnight Tuesday. The handful of first-in-the-nation voters were evenly split between the two major-party candidates just like the rest of the country is divided.

Ohio is a swing state where the candidates are virtually tied in the polls. The Electoral College could hinge on Continue reading “Election outlook prediction”

A message to Romney and Obama

The next generation is the first generation in American history that is not expected to have a better quality of life than the one that came before it. All Americans should be ashamed of this. Most parents frequently remind their kids to share and to think about others, but no one seems to be thinking about them.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published Saturday, November 5, 2012

Dear Gov. Romney and President Obama:

No matter who wins the election for the presidency tomorrow, many Americans are hopeful the winner will make changes that improve the long-term prospects for our nation’s children. For years, Republican and Democrat politicians alike have ignored long-term problems that will affect the next generation, in favor of taking care of those who will vote for them in the next election.

Not only does the next generation not have a say (because they can’t vote), they also don’t get many of the benefits that are targeted to other segments of the population. The real whopper is, they also get stuck with the bills for all of the goodies that went to everybody else.

To fix this problem, it will be necessary Continue reading “A message to Romney and Obama”