About Nate

Nate is a contributor and past co-host on the “Arsenal For Democracy” show. He was previously the co-founder of the Starboard Broadside political blog with Bill in 2008.

100th Episode! September 24, 2014 – Arsenal For Democracy 100

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Topics: Implications of the Scotland no vote, ADA non-compliance in higher ed, 100th episode celebration. People: Bill, Nate, Persephone. Produced: September 21, 2014.

Discussion Points:

– What are the implications of the Scotland referendum outcome for the United Kingdom and other European separatist movements?
– Why aren’t colleges and universities doing more to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act?

Part 1 – Scotland:
Part 1 – Scotland – AFD 100
Part 2 – ADA Compliance, 100th Episode:
Part 2 – ADA, 100th Episode – AFD 100

To get one file for the whole episode, we recommend using one of the subscribe links at the bottom of the post.

Related links
Segment 1

Boston Globe – Opinion: On education technology, college lobbyists are keeping disabled students behind
USA Today: U.S. Justice Department sues Kent State over student’s therapy dog
CentreDaily: ADA football parking changes off to rocky start

Segment 2

BBC: Madrid opposes Catalan referendum
Financial Times: Alex Salmond brushes aside the foreign policy facts for Scotland
AFD: April 14, 2014 – Arsenal For Democracy 80, Part 2: European Nationalism

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iTunes Store Link: “Arsenal for Democracy by Bill Humphrey”

And don’t forget to check out The Digitized Ramblings of an 8-Bit Animal, the video blog of our announcer, Justin.

September 17, 2014 – Arsenal For Democracy 99

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Topics: NFL, colleges, and handling assaults; Obama’s new Syria/ISIS policy. Content warning: Domestic violence discussion. People: Bill, Nate, Persephone. Produced: September 14, 2014.

Discussion Points:

– What role should institutions like the NFL and colleges play in investigating and punishing players and students for alleged domestic violence, sexual assaults, and other crimes?
– Is President Obama’s plan to strike ISIS in Syria really comparable to his airstrikes in Somalia and Yemen? Can it succeed?

Part 1 – NFL and Crimes Off the Field:
Part 1 – NFL and Violence – AFD 99
Part 2 – ISIS/Syria:
Part 2 – ISIS and Syria – AFD 99

To get one file for the whole episode, we recommend using one of the subscribe links at the bottom of the post.

Related links

ThinkProgress: The Most Discouraging Sentence in Obama’s Entire ISIS Speech
Arsenal For Democracy: Is Obama’s Anti-ISIS Operation Really Just Intended to Overthrow Assad?

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iTunes Store Link: “Arsenal for Democracy by Bill Humphrey”

And don’t forget to check out The Digitized Ramblings of an 8-Bit Animal, the video blog of our announcer, Justin.

September 3, 2014 – Arsenal For Democracy 98

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Topics: Big Idea – Low-Income Banking Reform; 2018 and 2022 World Cups controversies revisited; Guest interview on the Ebola outbreak – Sara Laskowski, US Peace Corps, Guinea. People: Bill, Nate. Produced: August 29, 2014.

Discussion Points:

– Big Idea: How could the U.S. reform and expand consumer banking services for local income Americans to reduce predatory lending and other bad practices?
– Will sanctions on Russia and Qatar’s sponsorship of terrorism, among other problems, force the FIFA World Cup to change locations or schedules in 2018 and 2022?
– Guest Interview: UD Alum and Peace Corps member Sara Laskowski discusses being evacuated from Guinea due to the Ebola outbreak.

Part 1 – Consumer Banking Reform:
Part 1 – Consumer Banking Reform – AFD 98
Part 2 – Future World Cup Controversies:
Part 2 – Russian and Qatari World Cups – AFD 98
Part 3 – Sara Laskowski on Guinea and Ebola:
Part 3 – Sara Laskowski – AFD 98

To get one file for the whole episode, we recommend using one of the subscribe links at the bottom of the post.

Related links
Segment 1

The Globalist: “The Democratization of Banking” by Robert J. Shiller
NYT Editorial Board: Reining in Payday Lenders

Segment 2

Moscow Times: Putin Hopes Russia Won’t Lose Right to Host World Cup 2018
Washington Post: New study says 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be too hot to even sit and watch
James Dorsey/Al Jazeera: The stakes are high in Qatar’s World Cup drama
James Dorsey/The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer: Gulf states and their US critics seek to shape US perceptions on the soccer pitch
James Dorsey/The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer: Amnesty International report undermines Qatar’s soft power defense strategy

Segment 3

Sara Laskowski / Guinean Dreams: On Being Evacuated: It’s Every Volunteer’s Worst Nightmare
AFD: Ebola outbreak causes Peace Corps pullout

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iTunes Store Link: “Arsenal for Democracy by Bill Humphrey”

And don’t forget to check out The Digitized Ramblings of an 8-Bit Animal, the video blog of our announcer, Justin.

July 23, 2014 – Arsenal For Democracy 93

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Topics: Big Ideas in U.S. Reform — Is health care a human right? Central American unaccompanied children. People: Bill, Nate, Greg. Produced: July 20, 2014.

Discussion Points:

– Is health care a fundamental human right? Why or why not?
– What should be done about the wave of unaccompanied children arriving in the United States from Central America without permission?

Part 1 – Health care:
Part 1 – Health care – AFD 92
Part 2 – Unaccompanied children:
Part 2 – Unaccompanied children – AFD 93

To get one file for the whole episode, we recommend using one of the subscribe links at the bottom of the post.

Related links

AFD: Central American toddlers are existential threat to USA, say militias
AFD: Unaccompanied minors forced to defend themselves in court

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iTunes Store Link: “Arsenal for Democracy by Bill Humphrey”

And don’t forget to check out The Digitized Ramblings of an 8-Bit Animal, the video blog of our announcer, Justin.

July 16, 2014 – Arsenal For Democracy 92

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The Big Ideas for Reforming American Governance episode. Topics: gerrymandering, constitutional amendment conventions, interstate compacts. People: Bill, Nate, Persephone. Produced: July 13, 2014.

Discussion Points:

– How should Congressional districts be drawn?
– Should the states exercise their option to request a national convention to discuss constitutional amendments?
– Can some U.S. policy problems be solved through interstate compacts instead of state-only or Federal-only approaches?

We’re piloting a new concept on this week’s episode for future segments. All three segments this week are examples. Please email us or contact us on social media to let us know what you think.

Part 1 – Gerrymandering:
Part 1 – Gerrymandering – AFD 92
Part 2 – Amendment Convention:
Part 2 – Convention – AFD 92
Part 3 – Sectional Interstate Compacts:
Part 3 – Interstate Compacts – AFD 92

To get one file for the whole episode, we recommend using one of the subscribe links at the bottom of the post.

Related links
Segment 1

– PBS Newshour: Judge rules Fla. Legislature broke laws on congressional district maps
– AFD: Democrats need to focus on state legislatures (or stay doomed)

Segment 2

– AFD: Amending The Constitution: The National Convention Option?
– The Atlantic: “A Real Step to Fix Democracy” by Lawrence Lessig

Segment 3

– Book: “American Nations” by Colin Woodard
– Wikipedia: Interstate compact
– Wikipedia: Compact Clause
– Wikipedia: Driver License Compact

Correction Note: In the third segment, Bill incorrectly listed the states in the Delaware River Basin compact. They are Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.

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iTunes Store Link: “Arsenal for Democracy by Bill Humphrey”

And don’t forget to check out The Digitized Ramblings of an 8-Bit Animal, the video blog of our announcer, Justin.

June 22, 2014 – Arsenal For Democracy 89

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Topics: Washington NFL trademark, U.S. oil royalties for American Indians, Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan, and US/Iran in Iraq. People: Bill and Nate.

Discussion Points:

– Continued U.S. oppression of American Indians
– Will Iraqi Kurdistan declare independence with Turkey’s support?
– Should the US and Iran work together in Iraq?

Part 1 – Washington NFL trademark & American Indian policies:
Part 1 – Washington NFL – AFD 89
Part 2 – Turkey/Kurdistan:
Part 2 – Kurdistan – AFD 89
Part 3 – Iran in the Iraq Crisis:
Part 3 – Iraq – AFD 89

To get one file for the whole episode, we recommend using one of the subscribe links at the bottom of the post.

Related links
Segment 1

– Nate’s AFD Essay: “Washingskins”
– Greg’s AFD Essay: What took so long? Washington NFL team loses trademark for racial slur.
– DOI: Interior Considers Procedures to Reestablish a Government-to-Government Relationship with the Native Hawaiian Community
– DOI: Interior Announces Improved Valuation Method for Oil Produced on American Indian Lands

Segment 2

– AFD: Iraqi Kurdish PM calls for Sunni autonomy; Will Kurds leave Iraq?

Segment 3

– WSJ: Secret U.S. Plan to Aid Iraq Fizzled Amid Mutual Distrust
– AFD: Iran Supreme Leader not keen on working with US on ISIS

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iTunes Store Link: “Arsenal for Democracy by Bill Humphrey”

And don’t forget to check out The Digitized Ramblings of an 8-Bit Animal, the video blog of our announcer, Justin.

Washingskins

Greg had a great post the other day on the controversy surrounding the Washington football team’s long-standing “nickname” — Redskins. I’ve spent more time than is healthy reading internet comment sections on this issue, so I consider myself an expert on the arguments against changing the name. Most are as vacuous as they are willfully ignorant.

“But what about the Fighting Irish? Or the Vikings? Or the Celtics? We would have to change them too.”

This one is my favorite. As if there’s no difference between mascots named for the predominant ethnic group in the area and a racial nickname for the sports team in a capital that once carried out an active policy of ethnic cleansing against that racial group. As someone with Norwegian, Irish, and Native American ancestry, I am particularly amused by these comparisons. No Minnesotans of Swedish origin are up in arms about being compared to their Viking ancestors. Sure, they did a fair share of pillaging, but Vikings had democratic assemblies and were among the most advanced seafaring civilizations of their era. Boston Celtics? The history of the basketball team cannot be told without contextualizing it within Boston’s identity as an Irish city (for better and for worse). Fighting Irish is a similar situation. It was coined by a member of Notre Dame’s own football team and embraced by the Irish Catholic student body, unless there’s a massive uprising against it we’re not hearing about.

“But Indians support the name!”

Then they’ll point to some ten year old poll and talk about how there are Redskin team names on Native American reservation. Oh, ok. No problem then. I guess the fact that some Natives don’t care negates those that do. I’m pretty sure that’s how it works. Just like if your black friend lets you say slurs, you’re free to yell them around other black people and then name your business a racial slur. No problems there.

“Uhhg it’s the LIBERALS trying to PC everything up.”

Ah, the old P.C. canard. I prefer to think of this issue less as enforcing “politically correct” terminology and more making sure none of our sport teams are named something blatantly racist. When the Redskins were founded by vile racist George Preston Marshall, the term Oriental was in vogue to refer to Asian people. Does that mean we should name a team the Orientals? What about the Coloreds? That word and a few others were pretty popular around that time to refer to black people. Dan Snyder, owner of the Redskins, is a Jewish person. I wonder if he would appreciate a team named the Hebes (or worse) with a hooknosed Jew clasping a bag of gold. I know for sure the Washington Darkeys wouldn’t fly today, but this is essentially what we are talking about: an antique word, a relic from an era where pasty scientists obsessively studied the differences between the “races” and learned men established white dominion over the language.

“Don’t be weak and choose to be offended.”

This is perhaps the stupidest. First of all, you don’t really choose to take offense. But second of all, I don’t think Natives are “offended,” so much as sick of the bullshit. I know a decent amount of Natives, most of whom grew up on/close to a reservation. I once asked a friend of mine about the name Redskins and he replied,  “It’s not that it’s offensive — it’s just really dumb.” He went on to describe numerous different ways a team could honor Native Americans without going right to skin color. This guy has also paler skin than I do, but grew up in Oklahoma in a Native family. Just demonstrates the name is inaccurate in addition to stupid.

“It’s not racist! The Redskins are named after their Indian former coach”

This ones complicated and involves draft dodging. The Redskins were founded in Boston and originally shared a field with the Boston Braves baseball team. When they moved to Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox, the name was changed to Redskins. Marshall was quoted at the time saying the name change was to avoid confusion with the other Native-referencing team, NOT because a coach was Native. It is also not at all clear the coach Marshall referenced, Willie “Lone Star” Deitz, was actually a Native American. Deitz was put on trial and briefly imprisoned for draft dodging WWI by claiming he was a Native American. The jury could not conclude he knowingly lied about his heritage, but a number of discrepancies in the Deitz family’s testimony, as well as his interactions with his supposed sister and her Sioux tribesmen, suggest otherwise. So not only is this origin story not true, the supposed Indian coach likely wasn’t a Native.

“There are bigger issues we should be concerned about”

The history of the United States is a road paved with Native American bones. Since coming to this continent, Europeans have cleansed Natives from their lands, reneged on treaties, massacred Native women and children, conducted biological warfare against them. Many Native Americans live today in extreme poverty, while rape and sexual violence are epidemics on reservations. These are obviously much more pressing issues than a stupid team name. But the name Redskins remains a window into an epoch (one not yet entirely over) where racism was blissfully casual and the Washington football marching band wore headdresses and played “Dixie” before the anthem. Perhaps it is a fitting name for Washington D.C.’s team after all.