Archive for the ‘soap box’ Category

This is Justice?

June 8, 2013

I’ve been reading a lot of cases on the Internet lately, but this one has got to make you think that justice is truly blind.

A woman, Christine Padilla, runs a red light killing a pedestrian and seriously injuring a child. Her defense? Being “sleep deprived”. Because the judge deems her “remorseful” he sentences her to two days in jail. Did the fact that the driver was an attorney weigh on the outcome of this trial? 48 hours for a killing certainly re-enforces the idea that “life is cheap”. When there are cases of people shoplifting and spending more time in jail than this person, you have to question the capability of this judge.

There is no doubt that Christine Padilla is indeed sorry and that it was an accident, but what message does this case send? Is there no accountability for our actions? If you are “sleep deprived”, should you be driving a vehicle that can kill and/or severely injure pedestrians? I would think no more than a person who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol should be driving and yet her defense satisfied the judge in this case. Mrs. Padilla is young, attractive, well educated, financially stable and a mother. One has to wonder if it were an old, ugly, illiterate, dirt poor farmer, would his being “remorseful” carried the same clout? The loss has to be accounted for, or does it?

With this kind of “justice” making headlines, is it any wonder that criminals are becoming more brazen in committing their crimes?

I didn’t think so.

Don’t Hate Me ‘Cause I’m Rich

May 25, 2013


Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
So, that’s what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. “Since you are all such good customers”, he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20”. Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men – the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his “fair share?”

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. “I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, “but he got $10!” “Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I!” “That’s true!!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!” “Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!” The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.

Professor of Economics, University of Georgia

Bone Island Abattoir / Part 2: Which Sides You Are On

January 22, 2011

 Author’s note:  This is the fourth book of The Shades of Hemingway series.  While reading this installment, Bone Island Abattoir is complete in itself, it is recommended that the reader search out the begining of this incredible story…


I realize the sun is going down as I am sitting in the dimly lit room still fastened to the chair Jake Barnes has tied me to, but I feel different… aware that I am not alone in the dark. The Key West detective is laid out on the bed smoking a cigarette, the glow of it’s end brightening to illuminate Jake’s face with every drag he takes.

“Have a nice nap?” Jake asks with a little sarcasm in his tone.

“Jake, why am I tied up like this?”

“Because the bastards took my ‘cuffs when they lifted my piece.”

“I mean, why are you holding me? What tangible proof have you got that says I killed anybody, let alone a policeman?”

“You mean aside from resisting arrest?”

“Resisting ? How could’ve I resisted when you never declared the intention of placing me under arrest?”

“I was getting around to it… besides, I like it where I can keep an eye on you at a distance.” Jake’s free hand cups his balls and gives them a slight adjustment, then his arm slides back around to form a headrest.

“Jake, if Brett’s been here then Lord Cristobal must know where she is. Maybe we can help each other find her and then all of us can get the hell out of here.”

“You’re a smooth talker, kid. So go ahead’n talk. Give me one good reason why I should listen to ya.”

“Because I’m innocent! What would be my motive to kill anyone, let alone a cop? I had never laid eyes on Key West prior my first visit there seven weeks ago and I have only just met Brett one day before running into you.”

“Mr. Fiore, wouldn’tcha say it is just a tad bit ironic that twice within one week you turn up as my prime suspect? That twice within one week I’m supposed to meet the guy that killed Patrolman Jordan and then you show up? That twice within one week I’m supposed to find Brett and I run into you instead? “ Jake stubs his cigarette out on the ashtray perched on his stomach then swirls his legs around to sit up while placing it on the end table. “Just a little too coincidental, don’tcha think, Bub? Life is a crappy meal and you’re caught between the bun.”

“This is absurd! I can’t believe you’d be so goddam dumb!”

Jake Barnes shifts his weight to the edge of the bed, his form leaning forward menacingly.

“Easy, kid. We’re still in Cuba, remember? I don’t have to play nice.”

“Yes… you’re right and I’m sorry. The situation has gotten me all discombobulated… caught in this room and being tied up like this. Forget the “dumb” remark I made, Jake. But can’t you at least tell me how is it you are here?”

In the shadows I can see Jake reach over and turn on the table lamp next to the bed. I squint a little, remembering those interrogations performed in all those Sam Spade type black and white movies that made the film noir so recognizable. Jake smiles at my obvious discomfort.

“Thought you had it all figured out, Mr. Fiore.” The Key West detective almost sounded like Peter Lorre.

“Right now I’m not sure of a damn thing except that I’m hungry and I gotta pee. Any chance we could get rid of these ropes if I promise to behave?”

“Where do you think you are, the Ritz? Ain’t no bathroom here… unless you want to hang it out the window.” Jake’s head motions towards the opposite wall.

“Out the window or on the floor… I’d just as soon not wet my pants, if it’s all the same to you.”

Jake stands up and towers over me, almost making me do what I just said I did not want to do.

“Okay, kid… I’m gonna untie ya so you can take your piss out the window, but if ya try anything funny… and I mean anything. If you even shake it more than twice, I’ll have to lay some wood on ya.” Jake raised his big fist and gently placed it under my chin like an upper cut. I could feel a shiver in me timbers.

“Honest to God, Jake. I just wanna take a leak.”

The big man moves behind me and begins untying the rope. As he is working a thought comes to my mind.

“Jake, why did they want your gun? I mean, you’re a cop, right?”

Detective Barnes grunted in disgust as my bonds began to loosen.

“Their friggin’ security, I guess. Patted me down when I arrived.”

I stood up as the ropes were removed. The pressure on my bladder lessened.

“But didn’t you come with Sgt. Garcia?”

“Nope, they met me at the airport and I was brought here by a couple of his flunkies.”

“And then he was supposed to come here and help you find Brett?”

Jake stops and looks at me, the way he had done before back in Brett’s apartment when he thought I was asking too many questions. The peering up over the spectacles once over.

“Look, Mr. Fiore… God help me, I like ya… I really do. If you’re tellin’ the truth… when this thing is over we’ll have a drink down at the Green Parrot on me. Screw it, we’ll get shit faced. We’ll drink a toast to Brett ‘n’ her twin brother for bringin’ two of her former lovers together to charge to the rescue and solve this thing. But in the mean time… do me a favor? Leave the questionin’ to me.”

“Brett’s twin brother?”

“Well now, we don’t know everything, do we? Yep. Bobby was her twin.”

“But you called him her kid brother!”

“A little joke between family members, kid. Brett was born first… three minutes later her fraternal twin brother, Robert, came squirtin’ out.”

“I thought he was a rookie… and yet, she’s a detective? Why the disparity?”

“Brett got into law enforcement right outta college. Robert dropped out and joined the Marines then became an MP. Got out of the service and bummed around for awhile… bicycled across the country. Brett got him to come down to the Keys and the rest, they say… is history.”

“Jake, how did you know Brett was supposed to be in Cuba? What made you come to the Villa Vinales de Eden?”

Jake scratches his head while shaking it side to side, then looks amused.

“Okay… for a bright guy you’re not so smart. We have informants, kid. This one guy we know works in and out of Cuba as an import/exporter. Through out this investigation he has let us in on this ring of smugglers. When Brett turned up missing and you ran off…” He gives me that look again, like I’ve been sat before my grade school principal and caught in a lie.

“Your informant indicated I had something to do with Brett’s disappearance and her brother’s death?” I ask as I move towards the window.

“Naw…this Lord Cristobal character is a business affiliate of our informant. He was supposed to be able to locate her and have her here when I arrived.”

“What about the guy who brought her here?”

“I thought it was you.”

“Jake, I think I know the man you’re looking for. He’s the same guy that got me involved in all this in the first place. He works with this Lord Cristobal character.”

“Yeah? And how’d you get privy to that information?” Jake Barnes raises up one arm and gestures towards the opposite wall, allowing me to pass by him.

I stood before the double window. It was one of those old twin vertical crank out style windows that had the interior screens. I reached up to remove the screen that had a palm tree outline inserted within it’s frame then began twisting the lever that forced one side out. Jake was close at my side. I went for my zipper… then paused.

“I don’t know if I can do this with you watching.”

“Well, sweetheart… there’s no way you’ll be doin’ it without me watchin’ so you’ve got a problem.”

We are up in a second story bedroom looking out of one wing of the Villa Vinales de Eden that does not have an exterior wall guarding the property, only a drainage ditch less than fifty feet away with the tropical forest beyond. I am at least 12 feet off the ground, 15 if you count the window sill. Just as I am about to over come my shyness and begin pulling out Teddy Roosevelt, there is a commotion outside in the courtyard of the villa.

“What’s happening?” I ask, forgetting the task at hand.

“Sonofabitch… pullin’ that screen off must’ve triggered an alarm.”

We can hear the sound of footsteps running and shouting voices approaching the bedroom door. I look at the window frame and sure enough, there is a magnetic switch that must have opened when I removed the screen.

“Get back away from there before…”

But it is too late. Two armed guards burst through the bedroom door only to catch me standing facing the window with Teddy Roosevelt exposed. Jake put his hands up and declares “Don’t shoot! We’re not goin’ anywhere!” But I go ahead and pee like it may be my last act on earth. Within moments more guards appear outside, looking up and pointing their rifles while my urine trail rainbows out into the lawn. I raise my free hand up over my head and wave it slightly.

“Me go numero uno, pour favor…?”

The one called Anselmo that had accompanied Lord Cristobal when I had met him earlier entered after the two guards. I struggled to zip up one handed, keeping my other hand waving free and my head lowered as I slowly turned around. After I had awkwardly finished I let my other hand go up.

“What is the meaning of this?” asked Anselmo.

“Hey, you gotta go… you gotta go. Your boss said to sit tight ‘til we was sent for and there ain’t no john in this room. My buddy had to take a leak so he hung it out the window.” Jake shrugged matter-of-fact allowing his hands to drop down. I left mine raised but relaxed a little. After the initial commotion caused by the busting in of the guards Jake seemed to get his composure back. The Key West detective raised his clenched fists to his hips. “And we don’t appreciate havin’ guns pointin’ at us while we do it!”

Anselmo said something in Spanish to the guards and they lowered their weapons slightly. He motioned with his head towards the door.

“Come downstairs.”

He turned and spoke to one of the guards as we left the window to follow him. The guard crowded past us towards where we had stood, waving off the others below while cranking the window closed and returning the screen to it’s place. The other guard waited until we went out before coming up behind us. The narrow balcony led to a stairway but Jake Barnes stopped before we began our descent.

“You go ahead, kid. I’ll meet ya downstairs.” Jake had found a bathroom at the head of the stairs.

“What’s up?” I asked, taking the first step and turning back, our escort was obviously not pleased with the delay and the guard pausing behind us began to look suspicious.

“You go on ahead, I’ll be right down.” He said to Lord Cristobal’s aide. Then turning to me Jake added. “I gotta go shake the dew off my lily, kid. Those amigos almost scared it right out of me.” And with a wink he entered the small water closet and closed door behind him.

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.


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.


In China… they don’t hardly have anything (except contempt for the American public)

April 10, 2010

I have been following this:listedblogpost.aspx?post=1738522&_blg=1,1738522&ucpg=4#uc2Lst and have been commenting:

It is idiotic for anyone to blame the contractor and/or homeowner.  I have worked construction for over thirty years and the general consensus has always been “cheaper is better.”  The supplier looks for the best price and markets materials to the consumer for the best bottom line.  It used to be “Made in America”  then we shifted to “Made in Mexico” then finally we sunk to “Made in China.”  The cheapest goods on the market today are made in China.  It is a “buyer beware, buyer be aware” market. 

Until we as consumers realize that the cheapest product is not the best for us, we will continue to buy from China.  They make inferior products, folks.  As an electrician, I have installed materials that have fallen apart, corroded or simply stopped working in less than a year, electrical materials that once installed should last for years.   Spend a little more, demand better products and write to your political representative and tell them, “We are being put at risk by a Chinese government that puts the consumer at risk.” 

They don’t play by the same rules we do and they are sucking the American consumer dry because we keep asking for cheaper products.  Quality comes at a price.  Safety comes out of concern for individuals and the Chinese have demonstrated again and again that they do not care about civilians, theirs or anyone else’s.

Folks, you owe it to yourselves to insist that this trade with a communist ideology is discontinued before it is too late.  If the above article scares or concerns you, write to the political powers that have authorized this travesty.  If enough people complain, things might change.  Stop shopping at Chinamart, start asking for better quality, make some noise… 

Bad drywall indeed.  Bad karma is more like it, and money is the root of all evil.  This evil is over money.

and here…

 I was an electrical contractor for many years.  Inferior products come by way of the supplier.  If you refuse to purchase their materials, where else do you go?  To say it is the contractor’s responsibility is garbage.  The facts are that we have regulators and laws that should be complied with.  In my case, it is Underwriter’s Laboratories or UL.  The UL label is placed on material’s that are supposed to meet or exceed government standards. If said materials are being supplied to the consumer, we assume that the SUPPLIERS are buying these government approved materials. 

Somehow there are loopholes being created for manufacturers outside our borders and laws to allow inferior and dangerous products to be marketed here.  As I wrote earlier, people need to demand better from our politicians.  THEY are the ones that are supposed to be protecting the citizens that elected them.  An unsuspecting public should not be held accountable for political wrangling and corporate greed. 

And WE as consumers need to seek a better quality of product, re-establish our pride in being able to build better and lasting structures and quit thinking that cheaper is better.  Remember; every single building, automobile and stitch of clothing you wear was manufactured by the lowest bidder.

China owns a great deal of American debt… and we are paying for that now.  It should have NEVER been allowed to have a foreign entity own American soil, influence American politics or dictate where Americans purchase their products.

One more thing, as an electrician I have always been proud of my profession.  Electricity can be a dangerous power source if materials are not installed properly.  To think that someone or something could be harmed and I could be held liable, not because of my ability as a tradesman, but because of materials bought in good faith…  is disturbing.


I don’t know if we can change direction but I do know this…

a government of the people, by the people is not for the people when things like this are happening under our very noses and you feel helpless to do anything about it.


Olympic Green

February 27, 2010

I was perusing the Internet today, searching for the answer to a burning question… what ever happened to amateur athletes in the Olympic games?  I bring this up today because tomorrow will be the showdown between the Canadian and the U.S.A. hockey teams for Olympic gold.newsid=449331.html?__source=msnhomepage&cid=  I don’t mean to pick on hockey as a game because up here in the North it is an obsession.  Hockey IS Canada.  I jokingly said to a person at work while the Canadian and U.S. women hockey teams were playing for gold that if I didn’t want to sleep on the couch I had better cheer for the Canadians.newsid=447401.html?chrcontext=teamusa#canada+women+shut+u+s+hockey+gold  But under closer scrutiny, here’s the rub. 

The women’s teams are all amateurs while the men’s teams are all professionals.  I scoured the rosters of both the Canadian and American men’s teams and could not find one amateur.  Oh, I know… the women played in college and university teams (possibly on scholarship) but the men are paid to do a job whether they win or lose… and their job is hockey.  It is more an all-star game than an Olympics and I had to find out why this happened.  Not just in hockey, but in other categories such as basketball. 

But first, a little Olympic history.

  Jim Thorpe, All-American.  Here is a young man plucked out of obscurity and made an Olympic hero by none other than “Pop” Warner himself.  Jim Thorpe was possibly the greatest Olympian in modern history and was an amateur.

 Jesse Owens was an Olympian who not only won  gold but also defeated Hitler’s Aryan race philosophy on Germany’s own turf.  Jesse Owens was an amateur.

 Alice Coachman was the first black woman to win Olympic gold.  Setting a world record in the high jump, Alice Coachman was an amateur.

 Fanny Blankers Koen, “The Flying Housewife” is considered to be the best woman athlete ever.  Recognized as the greatest female athlete of the 20th century,  Fanny Koen was an amateur.


I guess it comes down to the money,  aka:  Olympic green.newsid=452090.html?__source=msnhomepage&cid=  If the Olympics was going to survive it had to enable professional athletes to compete otherwise viewership would continue to decline.  Every other society in existence knew that the best teams were the professional ones so why not allow the professionals to compete, each representing his native country?  But in doing this, they form a core of elite participants.  Gone are the days when a Nebraska farm boy who can hurl a bale of hay one-handed further than anyone in the county gets a chance to pitch the discus or shot putt…  and that’s too bad. 

I wonder, what’s wrong with an amateur reaching the pinnacle of his chosen sport and then turning professional?  Again, it is about the money.  Olympic committees wrestled with the fairness of sponsorship, endorsements and compensation for decades.  Competing countries found creative ways to train their athletes under the guise of military enrollment, thus enabling the State to pick up the tab.

It is interesting to note that as television became more popular so did professional sports.  We expect professional athletes to perform well because they are getting paid to do so.  But then when they do poorly, we feel robbed.  Famous sports figures are overpaid, they are prima donnas and not worth the price of admission.  Olympians, on the other hand being amateurs, have the advantages of heart;  i.e. the love of the game and pride of nationality without monetary gain.  If they fail it is understandable because (though they excel in their chosen field) at the end of the day they are like the rest of us mere mortals.

I have enjoyed what I have seen of the Olympics and look forward to the men’s final in hockey.  But wouldn’t it be interesting to see Sidney Crosby in the figure skating competition or Ryan Miller as a speed skater?  To be slightly out of their element might make the sport a little less calculated and a little more… amateurish FUN.  It would put the professionals down to our level and make for a more interesting participant enjoying sport as a sport, not as just another job.

Oh, by the way… I will not be sleeping on the couch Sunday night.


Have a little cake with your Tea Party?*

February 20, 2010

The citizens of the United States are pissed.

I mean really freakin’ pissed. 

I think it takes an angry society to bring about change in government and right now I do not doubt that most people feel that the federal government needs to change.  Not like the empty Barack Obama “change” slogan because change for the sake of change doesn’t really change anything.  It is a continuous loop playing the same tune over and over again.  Nope, Americans need more than just empty rhetoric.  They want and will demand more than just promises.  The American people are going to insist on results and accountability.    There is a rumbling across the nation that discontented voters have had enough. 

But what does it take to produce results?  And more importantly, how will they go about it?

There is a movement out there called the Tea Party. 21410   This movement harkens back to the Boston Tea Party of colonial days.ny-times-goes-idaho-explore-paranoid-tea-party-movement#ixzz0fncij2zz You remember history, right?  Taxation without representation?   Well, if history does repeat itself there is going to be a lot of product pitched into Boston Harbor, figuratively speaking.  All it takes is for people to get organized and they are doing it.  This is Democracy at work. 0,2933,586407,00.html

And because there is such a swell of interest, a growing concern and an increase of distrust in both  political parties two things are happening.  First; discredit the followers of the Tea Party as malcontents and rabble rousers.  This has come from the ranks of the Democratic party.  Second; claim allegiance as closet Tea Partiers in order to gain votes against the prevailing party, this from the Republicans. 35486037  As this growing mass of dis-satisfied Americans gains ground and becomes more visible it is a force that has to be reckoned with.  Now organizations that are not a part of the mainstream are banding together under this one banner, the Tea Party, and that has some people worried.  I imagine the powers that be were concerned over that little band of colonies back in 1776, too.  Some viewed them with disdain, some with alarm while others carried on with business as usual.

It is interesting to note that while I paid a visit to Ottawa last year I had the pleasure of visiting the Canadian Museum of Civilization. civilization.html  Amongst other fine exhibits there was a series of displays depicting the American Revolution, only it wasn’t referred to as the American Revolution.  It was called simply, the rebellion.  The folks that sided with King George were dignified with the term Loyalists.  They were forced off their land and fled to Canada because of relying on the status quo of tyranny.  The American patriots were called rebels.  They saw English rule as a yoke they could no longer bear but were deemed enemies of the crown.  So, one man’s rebellion is another man’s call to freedom.


Politicians seem out of touch today.  Monies are being spent, bail-outs being given and millions of dollars worth of bonuses ?GT1=43001 are still doled out idUSTRE6122ZH20100203 while unemployment has reached epidemic proportions.  You see, Americans are an educated lot.  They know that a $185 billion dollar AIG bail-out amounts to 18.5 million unemployed workers receiving $10,000 each.  That would be a nice little nest egg to help tide things over while the economy “recovers.” business-the_new_york_times Many view the health care reform package as a huge welfare system that would be a financial burden to the working class.  There are those that feel the global warming and green energy proposals are a sham to enrich the political elite.  Others feel the government seeks to control the Internet and thus,  information that condemns and exposes it.

There is a story that follows historical views that Marie Antoinette  Let_them_eat_cake and the French hierarchy were so out of touch with their citizens that when she was informed that “there was no bread for the people” she replied, Let them eat brioche!  Of course, now it stands to reason that if peasants couldn’t afford bread the dainty dish referred to was well out of their reach, but the point is:  Who was looking out for them then and more importantly… Who is looking out for us?

America needs a strong third-party.  When elections come down to selecting one over the other because he/she is the lessor of two evils, things are pretty darn gloomy.  Politicians will tell you that a vote for the likes of a Ross Perot is a vote for the guy you don’t want BUT…  a party has to form sometime.  Tea Partiers need to start with local offices and expand from there.  When this happens, organization and recognition will follow.

Every generation needs a new revolution.   So said Thomas Jefferson,  one of America’s founding fathers and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.  What he was advocating was not an over throw of government, but a forging ahead with new ideas and principles to guide us and keep us free.  If Americans are dis-satisfied with their government it is within their fundamental right to change it. 

We should not fear the status quo when it is in every American’s DNA to continually challenge it. 





*Author’s note:  All images were acquired from the galloping sea of free and open Internet sites… long may it wave!

Is the film “Avatar” racist?

January 12, 2010

Okay, we interrupt our normally scheduled program to comment on the latest phenomenon…

I took my beautiful girl out last Saturday night to see the much ballyhooed movie “Avatar”.  I am probably what you would call a typical movie lover.  Seeing the rave reviews and the revenue mount, I thought I’d stop and see what all the hubbub was about.  My BB is also a great film buff, though our tastes can vary slightly depending on context and themes, but we try to stay open-minded enough to be a willing participant to the other’s choices.  “Avatar” was my choice.  She was a bit reluctant to feed the James Cameron machine, but joined in with good spirits.

Surprised at how good “Avatar” was, we both agreed it was an enjoyable adventure.  Not just because of the special effects, which were astonishing, but the storyline itself was excellent.  The fact that we enjoyed it in 3-D only enhanced an already mind-blowing experience.

But today I read on the Internet people are complaining that “Avatar” has racist overtones?  Pah-leez! 

I for one did not think of it as anything but a good story with an excellent moral, but I guess if you look for it you can see something racist in just about anything, even the Bible. 

Why do we have to put labels on things that may actually do some good?  I think it is a shame that there are those who constantly stir up prejudices and find that they do no great service towards anyone.  Instead of moving us closer to a harmonious society we are continually being pushed apart by choices singled out by some as being “racist”. 

If you want to see a movie where the good guy is white or black or red or yellow, choose that movie.  But don’t call me racist because I happen to enjoy a flick that has a person of one race saving a particular group of people of another race.  Why is that bad?

And folks… we are all different.  Regardless of skin or origin or language or beliefs,  differences are what makes us unique.

“Avatar” is a worthwhile film.  The message is inspiring.  There is more to right and wrong then race, plain and simple. 

Viva la difference!



First Pitch

November 21, 2009

Two Cents’  Worth in the Nickel City
First Pitch

As an American writer, I imagined once how it would feel to approach the editor of a big city newspaper and “pitch” an idea for a new column.  I had read somewhere that the best way to partake of any new venture is to play it out in your mind first, like a dress rehearsal.  By doing this you would take into consideration the method of accomplishing your goal, what obstacles to avoid and the unforseen circumstances to overcome.  That way when you get around to actually doing the deed, it will come to you as if by rote, automatically.

I am new to Canada, there are a lot of contrasts compared to the American way of life.  Politics, entertainment, social issues, each one affects us in different ways.   There is the climate factor, employment, the language, all sorts of fodder for my creative mind.  But in my plan for submitting this idea,  I would not be a meek and mild Clark Kent of the Daily Planet.

The black- and- white scenario that projected in my mind made me the Curt Schilling of pitching new ideas.  I would stride into the corner office and my very presence would metaphorically scream, “Stop the presses ” as I hurled well placed salvos like filet-mignon wrapped with the ribbons of originality.

My initial idea?  To write about “nothing.”  I could just “Forrest Gump” my way through the sights and sounds of this Canadian community reporting my American reactions while using my usual flair for resplendent detail.  What could be a more creative way to give my two cents’  worth?  But my projector threw a belt and the film started to unceremoniously melt on my mental screen, causing the reel on the loose spindle to spin and snap its celluloid tail.

“Already been done.”  would be my future editor’s fatalistic response.

“Been done?  By who?” Or is it, by whom?

“Jerry Seinfeld, 1989-98.  You’ll need to come  up with something else.”

Of course, I do what every other self-confident professional would do in a similar situation.  I stall.

“What do you mean, come up with something else?”

“Something different.”

And right then and there I would curse syndication and American programming.  What place does it have on Canadian television, anyway?  Now the wheels are turning.  The boss wants something fresh, different, and readable.  I need to make an appeal.  I require foresight and depth.   That is where you, dear reader, come in.

As an American from Florida currently residing in Sudbury, surely you have a question or two about why I am here?  Something on your mind?  Just feel like venting?  Don’t care what Americans think?  Drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you.  Anything is better than nothing, right?  Besides, that was my concept.  It’s not my fault that Seinfeld came up with my very own original idea first.  So you cannot just sit back and do nothing and I think you know why.

Because nothing has already been done.