Thursday, October 25, 2012

Get real, Phyllis: the fire is in your own back yard

Racism is an insidious sickness.
Still rearing its ugly head throughout our society in subtle ways.
White  people still use the N word when they think it's safe in their own circle of like-minded bigots.
American citizens are denied housing, jobs, and business opportunities because of some prehistoric decision-maker filled with prejudice.
We have laws against that sort of thing and thankfully we have courts that will enforce them.
Here's my problem.
When racially neutral behavior is punished, we dissipate the importance of destroying true racism.
Last week, Cleveland City Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland raised a big stink over billboards placed in  cities throughout Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio.
She railed against  billboards that said the following words.
 Voter fraud is a felony with up to 3 ½ years and  $10,000 fine.
The  exact words on the billboard: Voter fraud is a felony with  up to 3 ½ years and  $10,000 fine.
Every  word on that billboard is  true.
According to critics, however, it was designed to suppress voter turnout in minority communities.
I have a degree in English literature and I can tell you that the only people discouraged from voting by that advertisement are in fact a minority: a very small minority.
Fraudulent voters.
Unless  you plan to vote twice or  on behalf of those who populate our cemeteries, this billboard is not meant for you.
It is a great insult to the minority community to presume that deterring election fraud is synonymous with suppression of the black vote.
It presumes that African-Americans are more likely to commit electoral crimes and thus less likely to show up on November 6 if they see this outdoor ad in their neighborhood.
Perhaps what is most offensive is that this attitude presumes  minorities don't understand the difference between the legal exercise of your franchise and attempts to fix an election.
Councilwoman Cleveland, your constituents are smarter than that.
They know the difference between right and wrong.
The only people staying home on election day because of the sign are those  intending to skirt the law.
Amazingly, Clear Channel Advertising agreed to remove  these billboards throughout the Midwest because of the uproar  from Councilwoman Cleveland.
I'm stunned by all of this.
Here are examples of real racism.
Allowing abortions to destroy more African American infants in the womb than any other racial group.
Creating a culture of welfare recipiency that condemns entire generations of families to government dependency, robbing them of a sense of self achievement.
Repeating decades of failed policies in the public schools that reward teachers unions in the face of children denied the skills they need to make it in this world.
That's what I call real racism.
Councilwoman Cleveland,  do something about  real racism.
Leave the billboards alone.
Stop bullying those who merely want to eliminate voter fraud.
Start demanding accountability from politicians whose political success depends on the continuing  decay of the  smoldering remains of the inner-city.
Let's see that on a billboard.
Have a nice day.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Crooked Dealer Fixing game with marked cards

During the  1940's, Olympic track star turned Navy bombardier Louis Zamperini was recognized for his remarkable bravery.


He faced unspeakable torture at the hands of his Japanese captors.


This inspiring hero experienced  starvation, medical experimentation, and bludgeoning with clubs.


After two years, the commandant of the internment camp  discovered that Zamperini had  world running records to his credit.


The prison director seized  upon this  for a little propaganda. 


Various runners from the land of the setting sun were brought in to compete against POW Zamperini.


The Emperor wanted to show   Japanese superiority.


These Japanese wannabe's defeated the Olympian on a regular basis.


Here's why.  


Zamperini had been the target of such unbelievable atrocities that his body was decimated.


Zamperini was  ravaged by corporal cruelties.


Barely  able to walk.


In other words, these races weren't set up to be  fair.


Which brings us to the Commission on Presidential Debates' adoption of strict rules to make things fair.


The complicated rulebook has 3 main elements.


One. Equal time.


Two. Equal treatment by moderator.


Three.  Zero audience participation.


One and two are obvious:   unequal time would be like giving one team an extra out per inning.


Equal treatment by the moderator avoids bias.


The last rule requiring audience non-participation is a written condition of admission to the auditorium.


No applauding, no cheering, no booing.


Have these recent debates been conducted fairly?


Let's review our three rules.


Equal time:  The  VP and two presidential debates gave more time to the democrat in each of the 3 debates.


All three forums together total almost 9 minutes more for  the democrat than the republican.


Let's talk about Moderator neutrality:  did you see the Hofstra University debacle?


The Moderator, Candy Crowley, of CNN fame, injected her own fact-checking into the broadcast spontaneously.



Crowley told Romney he was wrong about Obama's September 12 statement on Benghazi.



Transcripts of the President's Benghazi remarks show Romney had a point.


However, even if you buy Crowley's  interpretation, the moderator is not allowed to take sides.


But CNN'S Crowley wasn't done yet.


She interrupted Romney 28 times last Tuesday.


Obama interruptions? Nine.


Rule Three:  The live audience must be a non-factor, maintaining silence.


Except last Tuesday.


A patch of audience erupted into applause when Crowley corrected Romney.


Romney was checkmated.


Not by the President.


By the moderator and audience: They couldn't keep their promise to abide by the rules.


By the way, that patch of audience applauding was led by an over exuberant young lady who practically clapped her hands off  for Obama.


Rules are for losers anyway, aren't they?


That excited clapper was Michelle Obama, Row S, Seat 6.


If you doubt me, watch a video of the debate on the internet.


There she is, pretty in pink.


Love that smile.


Like I said, rules are for losers.


Louis Zamperini  knew this: in a fair game, he beats anybody.


Maybe that's also true for Obama.


We'll never know.


We can't get a fair game


Thursday, October 11, 2012

The rain that stains stays mainly in my brain

Mark Twain said that politicians are like  diapers: both should be changed frequently and usually for the same reason.


It reminds me of something from  my files marked "My Years as Mayor".


The City of Euclid has an unusual wastewater treatment system.


All the toilets in Euclid and a few surrounding communities flow to the wastewater treatment site located just north of the Lakeshore and Babbitt intersection.


The contents of your commode end up at this plant where  fecal matter and other impurities are removed.


These solids removed from the sanitary flow are mixed together to form something called sludge.


Here's the unusual part that most people don't know.


The sludge is  then piped a long way underground to what constitutes the diagonal opposite end of the city.


This disgusting material  takes a subterranean route from Lakeshore Boulevard to the south marginal sludge plant where this substance is dried out to a cake-like material so  it can be disposed of properly.


A few years ago when I served as Euclid's political leader, something amazing happened.


The underground tubes carrying the sludge broke open underneath a major intersection with explosive force.


Poop pudding shot up into the air.


It was a huge version of  the milk chocolate fountain  you see at a desert table at a wedding reception.




You would not want to dip a strawberry into this gunk.


Fortunately, no automobiles or pedestrians were in the intersection when the pavement blasted open.


No   accidents even though the viscosity of this crap (literally)  made for a slippery slimy surface in the immediate vicinity of the burst.


An emergency contractor was summoned  and the situation was corrected within a couple of days.


For some reason, the media virtually ignored this incident.


To me, it was incredible because such a large volume of foul-smelling excrement paste rocketed up into the air and oozed about in   one of our neighborhoods.


One would've expected at least a story on the 11 o'clock news or the morning paper.


I remember anticipating the critical headlines.


Why didn't the city inspect the sludge lines sufficiently to avert such a problem?


I envisioned local broadcasters making jokes about politicians with diarrhea.


However, because of quick action and the dumb luck of media just not finding out, the potentially  negative public relations problem never materialized.


So, citizens, as you drive through the city of Euclid, and you feel some kind of rumbling, remember this.


It could be your stomach.


Or it could be the thunderous  underground transport of something you never want to see.


So look at what goes swirling round and round and down that porcelain  bowl.


And think about what happened one day  a few years ago.


A smelly brown came raining down.


Have a nice day.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Emperor's clothes reveal Obama's ordinary nature

One of the favorite stories I was exposed to when I was a kid was the story of the Emperor's new clothes.
The Emperor hires a fancy designer who strips the kingdom's leader naked, indicating that he has placed a remarkable new outfit on his Royal Highness.
It is explained that only those with the most discriminating taste can actually see these beautiful new threads.
The egotistical Emperor is surrounded by  subjects sucking up to the King.
He marches through town, Lady Godiva style , basking in the cheers from the devoted throng.
A little boy standing along the parade route loudly declares his assessment of what he sees.
"The king is naked, mommy! The king is naked!"
One can only imagine the face of the King when he realizes that everyone is learning the truth.
The King is in fact naked.
This scene was repeated at the University of Denver last Wednesday evening.
Mitt Romney had the unmitigated gall to strip away the myth of Barack Obama's infallibility.
In front of an international audience of 70 million.
The President of the United States had the uncomfortable look I usually get when those first hints of diarrhea make themselves known and I am a long way from the nearest bathroom facility.
It's that "UH-OH" moment.
The previously impenetrable fortress of invincibility constructed by the mainstream media was surrounded by a moat filled with alligators named Planned Parenthood, the National Education Association, and the Gay Lesbian Transgender Association.
I hate to comingle my children's stories, but I can't resist a Humpty Dumpty reference.
The president was up there on stage without anyone to help him.
Neither Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, nor David Axelrod were permitted to step forward to lend assistance.
Barack Obama's image as an intellectually superior master of complex issues gave way to reveal something people said about him when he originally announced that he would run for president four years ago: he just wasn't ready.
And all the king's horses and all the king's men just couldn't put Humpty together again.
Prior to the debate, polling data showed Obama with momentum, especially in battleground states such as Ohio.
The truth is that the debate wasn't really a blowout for the Republican challenger.
However, the exchange in Denver was remarkable because it stripped away the carefully crafted mystique that has protected Obama over the last several years.
Many citizens have been in a trance.
They have viewed Obama as the Second Coming, to be treated  with great reverence  befitting one whose inspirational rhetoric transcends politics.
Last Wednesday, the spell was broken and people began to see Obama as just another politician stumbling his way through.
Let's complete the children's story trifecta.
Obama's strategists have been telling us not to look behind that curtain at the Wizard's Castle.
Thursday night, it wasn't Professor Marvel we observed clumsily maneuvering all the smoke and mirrors with levers and pulleys.
It was Barack Obama.
Game on.