Archive for the ‘If I were the President of these United States’ Category

Bogie and the Cherry Tree (An American Apology)

October 19, 2012


Hey! It’s 2011! Scroll Back, Ya Varmints!

January 2, 2011

2011.  A new me and a new you.  WordPress was kind enough to summarize the previous years posting for AMRFP… check it out!


The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 6,200 times in 2010. That’s about 15 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 51 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 408 posts. There were 162 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 4mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was October 12th with 56 views. The most popular post that day was John Lennon Sat Here….

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and WordPress Dashboard.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for socially unacceptable behavior, 27 club conspiracy, 49 bye byes, how to succeed in amway, and advantages of respect.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


John Lennon Sat Here… September 2010


rude, crude, lewd and socially unacceptable behavior October 2007


The illegal immigration solution, conclusion… a.k.a Illegal Immigrant for President! (he’ll do the work George Bush won’t) June 2007


songs to play at your funeral April 2008


How to Succeed in Business Without Really Lying April 2008


I’d like to thank WordPress for hosting such a cool site which in turn enables a writer’s whimsy to see daylight on the Internet and finds audiences such as you whom I otherwise might not have met!  (Hey! a little rhyme there!)

So from the bottom of my heart to the top of the apple cart…(I can’t help it)  thanks for reading!  I look forward to adding future posts in 2011 here at Advantages of Mutual Respect and Fair Play. 

There really are… you know.


un-American activities

July 3, 2010

Oh beautiful for spacious skies…

Have you heard about the mural that was painted over in California?  Not only did I find the article disturbing but the comments afterwards made a lot of good points about the sad state our government is in.

I live in a foreign country now, and while Canada is not that much of a stretch, it never ceases to amaze me how much I DO know about the U.S. when having a discussion with the kids… things that I take for granted.  Things that an outsider does not know.

For example: the fam was having dinner the other night when we started talking about our national anthems (Canada and the United States) and their origins.  The kids were comparing Oh! Canada and its melodious content to The Star Spangled Banner.  I have to admit, when I hear Oh! Canada it brings a lump to my throat because it is a beautiful song.  To make a case for The Star Spangled Banner  I would have to delve way back into a part of my brain that hadn’t been tapped in a while.

Francis Scott Key was being held by the British in a ship off the coast of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.  As the cannons blasted on into the night, Key watched from the deck to see if the American forces would prevail.  As the smoke cleared, the American flag remained!  Later, Francis Scott Key penned the words that would become our national anthem. 

Oh!  say can you see

by the dawns early light

what so proudly we hailed

at the twilights last gleaming?

Whose broad stripes and bright stars

through the perilous fight

o’er the ramparts we watched

were so gallantly streaming!

And the rockets red glare

the bombs bursting in air

gave proof through the night

that our flag was still there!

Oh! say does that star spangled

banner yet wave

o’er the land of the free

and the home of the brave?

 (the flag that inspires…)

The symbolism of the American flag is not a graffiti object.  Whether it be hoisted up on a pole, displayed from a front porch, carried in a parade, worn as a uniform/article of clothing or painted on the concrete embankment of a state-owned highway, it is the representation of a people united against tyranny.  We were not granted our freedoms by some foreign dignitary’s masterful stroke of a pen.  WE TOOK OUR LIBERTIES BY FORCE!  They were not handed down to us or granted as if by favor.   

I sometimes forget where I came from.  I sometimes forget the history of my native land.  I hurt inside when I hear disparaging generalities hurled at the people I grew up with and the heroes I cheered for.  Still, I can forgive the outsiders, because they know no better.  They do not know my home as I do.

But when representatives and employees of the very government that protects them fails to show proper respect to the American heritage and the republic for which it stands I just gotta say…

shame on them.




May 21, 2010

I love the Internet.  You do, too…  don’t you?  I love the information superhighway, the instant communication between family and friends, the unlimited expression afforded  to me and the audience that AMRFP has garnished.  I really do listen to your comments and try to think of important information to convey to both of you.  But I do not like spam.   It reminds me of Dr. Suess…

I do not like it on my blog, I do not like it on a log.

I do not like it in a tree, I do not like it on my knee.

I do not like it on a house, I do not like it with a mouse.

I do not like it here or there, I do not like it anywhere.

I do not like unsolicited spam, I do not like it,

I wish there was a way you could return spam with your own spam magnified ten-fold.  That might help curb the content in my little in-box.  As of this posting, Akismet has blocked 32,108 pieces of spam.  That is a lot of junk spam.

Like this one:

atlanta cheap tickets Says:
May 22, 2010 at 7:52 am | Reply   edit

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Didn’t they realize they had already spammed me on this very same post earlier?

atlanta cheap tickets Says:
May 20, 2010 at 4:44 am | Reply   edit

I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and have my children check up here often. I am quite sure they will learn lots of new stuff here than anybody else!

Nice try atlanta cheap tickets…

There is also legitimate spam. and it really has quite the history.Spam_(food)

But there is a different kind of spam out there that I don’t like as well.  Obama spam.

I fully realize there is some mending of fences required as far as the U.S. and world relations are concerned.  Americans should not be viewed as a “we’ll take what we want and ask questions later” people.  We need to be accountable to other nations and consider their rights and sovereignties in all our extended operations outside our borders, because we do not own the world.  We are a Republic and are governed by a Democracy;  i.e., the will of the majority of the American citizenry.

Recently our president, Barack H. Obama, criticized Arizona law authorizing law enforcement officials to request proof of legal status from possible illegals aligning himself with the visiting president of Mexico.  I do not think that our president should go against the will of the American people, in this case, the American voters of Arizona.  Barack H. Obama is OUR president representing AMERICANS!  Duly elected officials enacted a law that the federal government can not or will not address for political reasons.  It is plain to see that they are dragging their feet and do not have the interests of Arizonans in mind.  You can’t blame the people of Arizona for taking action.

Another Obama spam.  Just recently Obama lifted a ban on offshore oil drilling.?q=Obama%20lifts%20oil%20drilling%20ban&mkt=en-ca&setLang=en-CA Within a few weeks, BP has an oil spill.  Immediately Obama rescinds the lift and is calling for tougher regulations on oil drilling.  BP has said it will pay for all damages and clean-up efforts,b182270 but now it is a political hot potato.

It makes me wonder if this was truly an accident. 

Now that would be really scary… if it wasn’t.

spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spaaaam, wonderful spam!


Is It Any Wonder We’ve Lost Confidence?

April 24, 2010

There is a storm a-brewin’… us_news-life

When the President of the United States is more concerned about the rights of illegals than his own citizens, whose to worry? After all, there is enough tax money to go around for everybody… isn’t there?

You know, this profiling argument has got me even more giddy. Why should we look out for criminals that look like criminals just because they look like criminals? If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, flys like a duck and tastes like a duck… do we call it a herring? A certain nationality is crossing our borders illegally, why is it wrong to suspect them?

If I matched a certain description and was questioned by authorities, would I get my panties in a wad? No. Why not? Because I went through due process entering a foreign country. It was not a pleasant procedure; it took effort, time and money. But was it worth it? Yes. I do not have to fear the repercussions of having entered Canada illegally.

I read this statement on the Internet this week: WHY DON’T WE STOP BLAMING BARACK OBAMA FOR GEORGE BUSH’S MISTAKES? and I couldn’t agree more. Bush put us in the sewer; financially, socially, morally and hopelessly. When George II opened the doors to illegals by saying, “You got a job… you’re welcome here.” the flood gates poured in thousands. But that was yesterday. It is never too late to correct our mistakes.

I have stated previously on this blog that I do not begrudge people wanting a better way of life. I do not blame immigrants for wanting to come to a country where they have opportunities not afforded to them in their native land. But two wrongs do not make a right. One government should not relax its laws in order to accommodate citizens of another.

What George II did plummeted the U.S. economy into the worst economic recession in history… and we might never recover. I DO NOT WANT TO STAY THE COURSE!

So here comes a state plagued by illegals that wants to do something about it. Concerned voters contact their representatives and say, “This is wrong, we need to enforce the law!” and their duly elected officials respond. This is the way democracy works. What business is it of the President of the United States? Protect the rights of Americans. Enforce the laws of the United States.

On the other hand, we cannot lose sight of our humanitarian efforts to help others in need. I am proud of the way the U.S. responds to countries like Haiti. The American people have shown time and again their compassion and generosity because we want others to enjoy the freedoms and way of life that we do. That is the true American spirit.

Abraham Lincoln stated: “A house divided will not stand.” Our house is in need of repair before it collapses because if it does… who will pick up the pieces, the illegals?

I applaud the governor of Arizona for complying with the wishes of her citizens. I think Barack Obama should butt out.


Does God Hate Haiti?

January 17, 2010

Of course, by now the world is aware of one of the worst natural disasters in history affecting the island nation of Haiti.  Less than a week later estimates  list the death toll at between 45-50,000 people.  Photos of anguish and suffering abound in newspapers, television and the Internet.  Cries for help have been heard and a worldwide outpouring of support has responded.  It always seems that at a time of natural disaster we set up a united front no matter our politics to come to the aid of those who suffer such tragedy.  And that is a good thing.  Compassion is what sets us apart from the cold, cruel and calloused world of indifference.


So I wonder at some reasoning out there.  There are those that have said that Haitians some how deserved to suffer calamity.   A natural disaster such as the earthquake at Port-au-Prince is none other than the hand of God exacting punishment on the heathenish, devil worshiping inhabitants according to Pat Robertson. 


So I did a little research… (you knew I would, didn’t you?) 

Does Pat Robertson know that 80% of Haitians profess a Catholic faith and another 16% Protestant?  This is confusing to me because if their religion is similar to ours, why would God punish them for the “sins” of 200 years ago?  Pat seems to think that God causes this poor country to suffer from a history of corrupt government, mis-managed social programs and poverty because of a “pact with the Devil.”   What kind of godly man makes such a claim?  And do such sayings draw people closer to God or push them further away?

Another bully pulpit is under the watchful eye of Rush Limbaugh.  He says that we pay enough taxes that go towards foreign aid and because our country is in such sorry shape now a more concentrated effort at relieving Haiti is not necessary.  Do we put a price tag on our sense of humanity?  When Rush was suffering from those chest pains a short time ago and was uncertain as to whether  his time had come… did he say a prayer to the God of Pat Robertson?  I’m not a big fan of Keith Olbermann, but his comments here are interesting…


I like to think of God as a god of compassion, one that doesn’t hold past sins against us if we are truly sorry for them and try to do better.  Isn’t that what the Bible teaches?  If the Haitian people of old did such a despicable thing as make a “pact with the Devil”, how long will passing generations since have to pay for that abomination?    Would it go on indefinitely?  Are innocent people forever cursed as Pat Robertson has indicated the Haitians are?  And in our time of need; do we gather unto ourselves, turn our backs to the downtrodden and say,” We have given enough in the past and cannot help you now” as Rush Limbaugh has indicated?  

We claim to be a Christian nation.  Our charity should not come as a matter of convenience but as a matter of pride, because now and always…  it is the right thing to do.


Saying Goodbye and Kudos to the Y2KO’s

December 31, 2009

Well, it’s that time.  Time to say goodbye to a lousy year and a fizzled decade all in one big sigh.  At least that is what some people will tell you.  As I sit here thinking about the past 10 years, I remember the trepidation the general public was feeling about the new millenium.  The world was going to come to a stop because technology hadn’t prepared for the changing of 1999 to 2000.  I remember all those headstone manufacturers that were lamenting the fact that not enough people had died to deplete their stock of tombstones that had been pre-inscribed 199_  and they were set to lose a fortune… like no one really thought the new decade would arrive.

But arrive it did and now we are about to say adios to the y2ko’s to make way for the double digits.  I choose not to look back in despair and criticize but to meander fondly through some incidents that you may have forgotten.  So as we ring in the New Year and decade, think positive about the past… after all, it’s too late to change it now!

First, in 2009.  It is hard for me to take seriously the fact that many people are pointing to 12-21-12 as the end of the world because of the Mayan calendar.   This may not have been too hard to swallow except for the fact that they released a movie depicting the end of the world called 2012!   Perhaps what the Mayans were predicting wasn’t the end of the world but the end of credibility from movie producers.   I predict the end of the world in 2112.  December 21, 2112 to be precise.  Then the digits would be 12-21-2112.  Much tidier and numerically friendly, don’t you think?

A lot of people have been complaining about the past decade, like this person…

These Terrible Aughts

  • Posted: December 29, 2009 at 12:37 PM
  • By Lauren Bans

As the curtains close on what Pew is calling the worst decade in half a century, the Internet is aflutter with uncharacteristic positivity, offering up bushels of best of the decade lists. The Village Voice recently ran a piece on the Best Dining and Drinking Trends of the Decade that included nods to the Slow Food movement and the mainstream emergence of local brews. The Hollywood Reporter issued a best films of the decade list with United 93 and No Country For Old Men making the cut (though feminist blog Women & Hollywood quickly pointed out that HR failed to elect even one female-directed movie to their list.) And Paste Magazine put together an all-encompassing series of Best of lists ranging from Best Video Games of the decade to the more self-indulgent Best Paste Magazine Covers of the Decade.

But what about the worst of the decade lists? From the attacks of 9-11, to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, there’s a reason 50 percent of Americans view the ‘00s with negative feelings. Lucky for us neggos, Engine Industries has put together an exhaustive compilation of the Best of The Worst of the Decade Lists. Feast your eyes, and breathe a sigh of relief that the ‘00s are nearly over.

 But do we have to call them the aughts?  yikes!  like we ought to know better!

Nope, I prefer the y2ko’s.  But aside from the obvious, was the past decade really all that bad?  I mean, shucks, with the new millenium came a much enlarged and speedier Internet.  We have blogs like Advantages of Mutual Respect and Fair Play along with Facebook and Twitter.  There are phones that allow us to text message that include cameras with pixels enabling us to make videos, take pictures and surf the web as well as make a phone call.  How can that possibly be bad? MP3 players and digital downloads are cool.  We didn’t have those a decade ago.  YouTube.  Kijiji.  Wii. X-Box.  All innovations of the y2ko’s.  Who ever thought that e-mail would become quaint?  And yet, technology advances with alarming speed while we seem to accept it with a less than enthusiastic yawn.  This past decade has been marvelous as far as technological advancements are concerned.  We take too much for granted.

Oh I know, there are things that have been shitty, too.  911. Iraq.  Iran.  Afghanistan.  North Korea.  Katrina.  The economy.  Bail-outs.  AIG.  The Big Three.  Foreclosures.  Job losses.  The decline of the American dollar.  Protectionism.  But you don’t need me to list them here.  There are all kinds of people out there telling us how bad it was or still is.  But try this one on for size…

Highlights From the Happiness Project

Posted Tuesday, December 29, 2009 6:07 PM | By Gretchen Rubin Gretchen Rubin is the author of the new book, The Happiness Project, an account of the year she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from popular culture about how to be happy. On her popular blog she recounts her adventures and insights as she grapples with the challenge of being happier. Aristotle, Samuel Johnson, Oprah, Benjamin Franklin, the Dalai Lama, Martin Seligman … she considers it all.

She’s also the author of the best-selling Forty Ways To Look at Winston Churchill, Forty Ways To Look at JFK, Power Money Fame Sex: A User’s Guide, and Profane Waste (with artist Dana Hoey). Rubin began her career in law and was clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor when she realized she really wanted to be a writer.

Here are some highlights from her blog, the Happiness Project:

A Secret to Happiness? Don’t Get Organized.
When facing a bursting closet or a cluttered office, don’t make the mistake of saying to yourself, “I need to get organized.”

Eight Ways To Tell If You’re Being Boring
Watch for the warning signs that show that you’re being a bore.

The Movie Twilight Inspires Me to Do A Better Job With Some of My Resolutions
Inspired by watching the romance in Twilight, Gretchen reflects on memories of falling in love with her husband-and redoubles her efforts to keep her resolutions related to love.

Bad Habits: Swear Off Them Altogether? Or Indulge Occasionally?
If you’re trying to resist temptation, take this test to determine whether you do better when you go cold-turkey, or when you indulge moderately.

Exercise Tips from a Recovering Couch Potato
Try some of these nine strategies if you have trouble sticking to an exercise regimen.

Can You Curse During a Gratitude Meditation?
Comedian Louis CK’s hilarious rant that “Everything’s amazing, nobody’s happy” is a (slightly unconventional) gratitude meditation.

Quiz: Are You Drifting?
When you “drift,” you make a decision by not deciding, or you make a decision that unleashes consequences for which you don’t take responsibility. We often deny that we’re drifting, so take this quiz to see if you’re at risk.

Happiness Myth: It’s Selfish To Try To Be Happier
Contrary to popular belief, happy people aren’t self-centered and complacent; in fact, they’re more concerned with helping others than are less-happy people.

How To Respond to Your Happiness Emergency-Stat!
Having a really lousy day? These nine strategies will help you boost your mood right now.

Can You Predict If Someone Will Be Happy in the Future?
Sizing up the temperament of a potential boss, roommate, or spouse? The best way to predict whether a person will be happy is to know whether that person has been happy in the past.

Happiness Myth: Money Can’t Buy Happiness
Money, spent wisely, can buy a lot of things that contribute mightily to happiness. Some of the best things in life aren’t free.

Embrace the Paradoxes of a Happiness Project
Niels Bohr wrote, “The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true.” Here, Gretchen outlines some of the paradoxes of a happiness project.

Quiz-Are You an Overbuyer or an Underbuyer?
Do you fit the description of an “overbuyer” or an “underbuyer”? These categories will help you identify strategies to be happier with your spending.

Life’s Cruel Truth: You Get More of What You Already Have
We all contribute to the atmosphere in which we live, so we get more of what we have. Friendly people meet with friendliness; irritable people find themselves surrounded by irritable people.

Practice a NON-Random Act of Kindness
Practicing non-random acts of kindness, it turns out, brings more happiness than random acts of kindness-especially for recipients.

Eleven Myths of De-Cluttering
For most people, outer order contributes to inner calm. Don’t let these de-cluttering myths get in the way of keeping your surroundings clutter-free.

Five Mistakes I Make in My Marriage
Gretchen confesses to five mistakes she makes in her marriage-and explains how she tries to do better.

Why Might Small, Comfortable Changes Work Better than Radical Steps?
To bring about change in your life, it’s often more effective to focus on small, manageable steps rather than setting ambitious goals.

Bob Dylan Helps Me Recognize a Paradox of Happiness
Bob Dylan’s observation about his wife, “she’s always had her own built-in happiness,” highlights one of the paradoxes of happiness.

Is it really possible to be happy after one of the most difficult decades of the last century?

I mean, where would we all be without Reality T.V.?  and American Idol? or Dancing With the Stars?   This past decade has brought some innovative sources of entertainment.  Lest we forget, it was only a few short years ago that a very small and select group were telling us what to watch.  Now the selections seem endless.  With the advancement of the Internet, we have choices and information at our fingertips that used to take hours if not days to reach us.  I’ve read articles in newspapers that are at least three days old.  No wonder the printed page as a news source is dying. 

I could not imagine a time I would rather be living in than right now.  It is because of our ability to grow, change and adapt that we have made some of the advancements we have made.  Not that losing a job and going bankrupt is progress, it certainly is not.  But the way we viewed credit and buying more than we could afford had to be curtailed.  We had to re-think our priorities and the long-term effects of our purchase.  People are far more frugal towards the end of this decade than in the 90’s and that’s a good thing.

My wife predicts Oprah will run for President in 2012, that’s why O.W.  has announced the end of her talk show.  Or perhaps Obama will choose Oprah as his running mate for his second term, I’m not sure which.  But the politics of the y2ko’s has made this possible.  We would not have thought about electing someone with absolutely zero qualifications before.  Now just the thought of somebody inspiring somebody else without actually accomplishing anything other than the possibility of said accomplishment garnishes praise and awards.  That was unthinkable just a short decade ago.

The thing with the y2ko’s is that we are more uncertain of the future than ever before.  Fear plays a lot into that uncertainty and it has been played up to a level that is worse than any time in recent memory.  Fear makes us ill.  Our society is heading towards a nervous breakdown if we don’t get our heads out of our asses and do something about it.  We need to demand more of our politicians but more than that… we need to demand more of ourselves. 

So I am looking forward to the future and the double digits, the teen years.  I have no doubt that politics are going to change and change appreciatively for the better.  People are fed up with government and paper champions right now.  We will scrutinize more.  We will want substance and not rhetoric, details and not empty promises.  When we hear the word “change” we will want to make sure that that word is accompanied with “change… for the better” and find out exactly how this is proposed to be accomplished.  Technology will continue to advance at an amazing rate, medical breakthroughs will astound and cause us to cheer.  And the world will be a better place because if the y2ko’s accomplished anything, it is this…

You are responsible for your own happiness, nothing is free and nobody is going to do anything for you that you could not have done better yourself.

Have a safe and happy New Year.

Like George said… it’s all in the mind, you know.




To thine own self be Trudeau

September 7, 2009





My wife and I watched Blazing Saddles a few nights back, the Mel Brooks classic.  She has decided that one way to understand her American husband better is to review his entire DVD collection alphabetically.  The next night we saw Bite the Bullet with Gene Hackman, another western albeit not a comedy but you get the connection.  Anyway, I remarked to BB after we watched Saddles that the movie would not be made today due to how sensitive we have become with being offensive towards any racial, social, ethnic, pantheistic, hedonistic or humanistic group, which rules out quite a few possibilities for good comedy, in my opinion.  I thought about this for a while and pondered how far we have come in this enlightened society of ours.  I remembered some of Lewis Grizzard’s comments on the Thought Police of 1984 (some 25 odd years ago), thinking he was uncanny in his prediction of our future .  We have succumbed to rubbing out individualism and the free expression of an open mind for fear it may be offensive.

I read recently over in England they are in the process of cleaning up the Queen’s English by removing certain expressions from our lexicon.  It is no longer acceptable to say, for example: “It’ll be a black day for…” or ” A dark cloud hung over…” because these words, black… dark…, might relate to a certain minority that may find them offensive.  Fortunately for us we can still be “… in a blue mood…” or “…be green with envy…” because those colors don’t exist in people.  We may still have “…our golden moment…”  “…turn yellow…” “…drive a lemon…” or “…be aglow with saffron…” with no direct affiliation to Orientals, fruit pickers, Ra and/or the Egyptian sun worshipers… yet.  We might even be “…in the pink…” though the latter expression hasn’t been fully approved by the Caucasian Society of Corrective English Speaking Rosy Red Assholes, but their decision is pending.  The article I was reading even declared that there was opposition to the word, “moist”.

Immediately I thought of Duncan Hines Cake Mix.

A few years ago, Duncan Hines proclaimed their cake moist as opposed to being dry.  Nobody wants a wet cake, but a moist one?   Well, that is to be most desirable and they displayed the fork pressing the spongy content to prove it wasn’t cardboard.  How could that word hardly be offensive?  Have we lost the essence of the old declaration, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me!” that we used so eloquently in our defense throughout grade school?  Are words really that harmful?  Can it be so that “moist” is truly subversive and needs to be rooted out of our conscience minds and forever banned from our parched lips?  I… for one, say no.

I have this big, thick research book; The Random House Dictionary of the English Language – Copyright 1969 (which hasn’t been altered to comply with New Age thinking) and it defines moist as: adj. 1. moderately or slightly wet; damp.  2. (of the eyes) tearful  3.  accompanied by or connected with liquid or moisture.  Nowhere in that definition do I find it as intended to be offensive.  Which leads me back to Lewis Grizzard.

A popular humorist with a column in the Atlanta Journal, Lewis Grizzard had the ability to make people laugh with him or at him and themselves by telling the thinking public we are taking this life way too seriously for our own good.  Lewis was a southerner and by some opinions; a redneck.  Though an educated man and fairly successful in his day, Grizzard defended his heritage with pride but with malice towards none.  He understood prejudice, having been raised in the Deep South and found most of his detractors decrying the fact that he was non-apologetic for what he considered his good fortune to be “… southern by the grace of God.”  In his book, I Haven’t Understood Anything Since 1962, he stated our society was heading towards a time when expression would be stifled by the ever invasive “thought police”.   Back then (early 90’s) his prediction was founded in subtle humour, today it is commonplace for people to be offended by words that need to be stricken from the mouths and printed pages of our enlightened societies terminology.  Which brings me to that great Canadian, Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

I’ll admit that Canadian politics still baffle me, but there is one thing that has been affirmed in my mind.  Outside of Wayne Gretzky, Neil Young or Alex Trebek; no other Canadian comes close in representing the independent, Canadian spirit better than Trudeau.  Why?  History paints him as a maverick riding in a see-sawing playground of popularity amongst his countrymen.  Trudeau was not a puppet politician who succumbed to the whims of Parliament and/or the White House.  To the best of his ability, he did what was right for Canada.

Trudeau was the first head of state to meet with John and Yoko when they set out on their effort to join political dignitaries together for world peace, lending credibility to John and Yoko’s quest.  Trudeau represented a lessening of government and a more independent role of leadership in the free world as a commonwealth nation.  He was both widely popular and harshly criticized, but even through the fickle polls of public opinion he never compromised.  When asked how he was going to deal with certain political hot potatoes, he’d reply, “Just watch me.”

Jesse Winchester declared him, “the poor man’s friend” because of his seemingly neutral stance on the Vietnam War.  Thousands of draft evaders (including Winchester himself) fled to Canada during those years of conflict, yet Trudeau would not bow to political pressure from the U.S. to turn them away.  While not encouraging them to do so, his view of allowing these “immigrants” to move freely across Canada’s border gained him the unique status of a “people’s hero” in favor of the stuffed shirts of the old political regime. 

Pierre Elliott Trudeau even adopted the dual national language of French/English and would embrace both as Canada’s rightful heritage.  He did not seek to change those official languages to fit a mold or mindset, but united his country equally under them.  Would this be offensive today?  Only to the closed minded.

Unfortunately, there are some who feel threatened and/or exposed by certain terms or the usage of words that are unflattering, so they think if these are done away with prejudice will cease.  But you cannot censor thoughts or feelings with the deletion of expression, because if you try to do so… where does it end?  There is no language on earth more expressive than the English language as it continually evolves ever larger in content.  I say, don’t suppress it… 

I read recently that because one Canadian family head found the book, To Kill a Mockingbird, offensive it was being removed from the school’s curriculum, despite being a Pulitzer prize winning work.  So countless readers will be sheilded from this piece of classic American literature.  Ernest Hemingway’s work is being called into question and I wonder if Mark Twain could be next.  When we start censoring words, we shut down the free will to express and in turn foster resentment towards those who champion the ability to choose.

Last night my fair Chantal and I sat down to watch a black and white classic from 1938, Bringing Up Baby.  Early into the film, Cary Grant’s character was informed that a large private grant was being offered to the university to aid in his research as a paleontologist.  When told he’d be meeting a lawyer representing the party who was very favorable to placing the grant in their institution, he  commented, “Why, that’s very white of him!” 

If today’s thought police had their way, no doubt this film would have been nixed, too.

Don’t let them do your thinking for you.


How to put Barack back in the black

August 29, 2009


US.Health.Overhaul.Republicans –  SB124890178435291341.htmlUS.Obama.Health.Care –214254?GT1=43002 – ?GT1=43001

Uh-oh, have you heard?  The Prez is slipping in the polls.  I guess this health care thing has got Americans up in arms about the cost and ramifications of government control in the insurance business, even amongst Democrats! Whoa.  And rightfully so, when has the government ever been able to take anything away from private enterprise and make it better?  But I agree something has to be done.  Maybe if MY plan is put into practice, instead of the public predicting a run on red ink and producing a chasm in the polls, Obama can regain the approval rating he had from the beginning of his term, perhaps even soar to new heights!

Since I have moved to Canada I have been able to observe first hand how their system works.  We all pay for the health care service.  And while it does not cover things like liposuction or cosmetic surgery, it is an arrangement that has positive results.  Canadians are healthier and more robust, averaging higher than Americans though WE spend more on health products and care than anyone else on the planet.

I know you’ve heard the rumors, a shortage of health care professionals and inferior service, but where I live I have not found this to be so.  Maybe this is true of larger cities, but that would make sense because the per capita would be less as the populace grows.  The fact is that emergency rooms in the States have long waits so what you might have here is not so abnormal.  And while Canada may not have the latest innovations, it only makes sense that the U.S. would because it has the resources and the money to develop them.  Remember, though Canada is a very large country, it has only 1/10 the population of our neighbors to the south.

I long for the days when doctors were people who cared for humanity and while taking that Hippocratic oath felt it their duty and privilege to serve.  It wasn’t about making money but helping people.  Somehow I think we lost that.  In choosing careers nowadays the emphasis  is on how wealthy a person can become.  Imagine that kind of bedside manner; a doctor who has the meter running and dollar signs in his eyes…  I wonder if a brazen, methodical, Gucci-wearing, diamond- studded, Tesla- driving, gated-community-living, high-society-seeking surgeon is really better than one who lives by modest means, motivated to heal the sick rather than skin them?  We need to put noble back into the medical profession.

I don’t mean to paint with a broad brush and imply that all health care professionals are only in it for the money because this would not be accurate.  I know several people who render certain medical expertise and are very good at it, make good money and find great satisfaction in knowing they are providing the best possible care in their field and love the fact that they can be of service to their fellow man.  Shucks, there are wealthy plumbers and used-car salesmen who are the same way.  There is nothing wrong with making money!  But I do feel the motivation of health care should be a higher calling, not merely a higher tax bracket.

So here goes, how to put Barack Obama “back in the black” with American public opinion.

1)  Students that receive government loans ( zero interest loans, perhaps?) to put themselves through any medical training should be required, (upon graduation) to work in a government run facility (like a free clinic) for a minimum of 5 years with a base salary while their loan payments are deferred.

2)  Career medical staff working at government run institutions with a fixed pay scale would receive their salaries tax free.

3)  Insurance cards would be available only to those who are employed with the exception of the elderly, handicapped or infirm.  Supplemental insurance would be encouraged to cover lost wages,  living expenses, and intensive or convalescing care.

4)  Welfare recipients, illegal aliens, career criminals and the habitually unemployed would not qualify for this program.

5)  Any government initiative would gradually be introduced and progressively adhered to over the course of the next ten years, making those who qualify covered by government insurance by 2020 while  workers are required immediately to begin funding in order to have substantial capital by that date.

As President, I would discourage the enormous profits of the current health care and pharmaceutical industry.  Barack Obama could regain the confidence of the American public if he championed this.  They put pictures of diseased lungs and decaying teeth to discourage the public from cigarette smoking, why not show pictures of people having to give up their homes or work three jobs in order to afford surgery?  There are some things that to receive a profit on is just morally wrong in my opinion.  I mean really, folks… how much do we need to be adequately fed, clothed and sheltered?  This is not a promotion towards communism, but a plea towards humanitarianism.

Imagine the Good Samaritan of the Bible being motivated by profit…


it kinda takes the compassion out of the parable, doesn’t it?

Of course, this is a work in progress and may raise a few eyebrows but the point is… good health care should not be equated to social status.  There will always be specialists who will no doubt carve their niche with a certain clientele, but this is a call to all those others who feel that pain and suffering should be relieved… at a minimal cost.


Make Wiser Brewery Presents: A Beer With Obama

August 2, 2009

A funny thing happened on a pit stop at the White House, our president had a kegger and invited some average Americans to be his guests.  Ofcourse I am referring to the group session “beer summit” between Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and police Sgt. James Crowley.  We can only imagine what transpired… 

“We drank a toast to innocence, we drank a toast to now.  We tried to reach beyond the emptiness, but neither one knew how.” 

What a unique idea!  I think the next meeting of Congress should be held at a tailgater’s party.  Think of all the fun that could be had!

“Friday night I crashed your (Democratic) party. Saturday I said, ‘I’m sorry’.  Sunday came and trashed me out again.”

Oh, I know it was just an informal gathering of our two chiefs of state with two ordinary citizens  to discuss better racial relations, but why did it have to escalate to a national setting in the first place?  Somebody should have been smarter than this.  Why can’t we all just get along? 

“They don’t serve beer in Heaven, that’s why we’re drinkin’ it here.”

But all that aside, maybe Make Wiser Brewery should come out with a new brew, call it “Obama’s Blue Ribbon” or “The Average Joe Biden’s Choice.”  It might just bring the country closer together. 

“Oh, I get drunk most every night, seems like all we do is fight.  The more I drink the less I feel blue.  Sometimes I feel like an awful fool, spendin’ my life on an ol’ barstool and yes, I guess, they oughta name a drink after you.”

Something that ALL Americans can partake of and feel equal in!  The only question being, should it be a dark or light?  Imagine all the bickering that could be avoided if we all just took a time out and had a unifying beer…

“Well, I gotta get drunk and I sure do dread it ’cause I know just what I’m gonna do.  Start to spend my money, callin’ everybody honey and I’ll wind up singin’ the blues.”

Better race relations start at being mutually respectful.  An officer of the law represents the margin between civility and chaos, no matter your stature in life or how much “higher” education you have.   A citizen is obligated to recognize that authority and conduct himself accordingly.  Said officer is also duty bound and has sworn to protect and serve that citizen whether they be black or white, remembering that they are also his employer.

“Just sittin’ round drinkin’ with the rest of the guys, six rounds bought and I bought five.”

There are good cops and bad, just as there are good citizens and bad.  If each would give the measure of respect that they feel they themselves are entitled to, any meeting between them would be harmonious and productive.

“Give me some beer drinkin’ music, good country music.”

The morning after would be business as usual…

“Well, I woke up Sunday morning with no way to hold my head that didn’t hurt.  And the beer I had for breakfast, wasn’t bad so I had one more for desert.”

The Gates claim, “It’s because I am black, isn’t it?”  should not have even entered into the picture.  Why do we make excuses for it?  Remember,  it was his neighbors who called the police in the first place.  Were they prejudiced?  The tape recording of the conversation doesn’t bear this out. 

“You were cryin’ in your pretzels, cryin’ in your beer.”

Why did Gates have to bring up his race?  As a highly honored and educated man, he should have known better.  Righteous indignation?  Hmmpf!  More like SELF-righteous!

“Make it one for my baby and one more for the road.”

Truth is, race relations will not improve until people quit using race as an issue, pure and simple.  Our president is not a “black” man, but a supposed  “everyman”.  He represents us all.  When HE makes race an issue, the country is divided.  Obama should have known better, but it was a friend of his so emotion got the better of him.

“Show me the way to go home.  I’m tired and I wanna go to bed.  I had a little drink about an hour ago and it’s gone right to my head.” 

How much better it would be if we viewed each other as the superior person instead of trying to elevate ourselves.  As the one who turned the water into wine, Jesus once said, “The least amongst you shall become the greatest.”

No amount of beer drinking will change that.