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.
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
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.