Thursday, June 26

What Is An American?

There has been some talk among John McCain's supporters that perhaps Barack Obama isn't American enough. You know, unusual name, Kenyan father, Mother from Kansas.

But at least he was born in America. Unlike John McCain, who was born in Panama.

Are we ready for a Panamanian president? If so why isn't Manuel Norieaga running? Or Mariano Rivera?

The Constitution states that only a "natural born" citizen can serve as President. So how does someone born in Panama qualify as a "natural born" citizen? How many electoral votes does Panama have?

Some people say this constitutional restriction doesn't apply to Mr. McCain. Since he was born in what used to be called "The Canal Zone" the constitution must be interpreted so that "The Canal Zone" qualifies as being part of the United States.

Well may I refer to no less an expert as Supreme Court Justice Atnonin Scalia? Justice Scalia adheres to the philosophy of "orginalism," which means the Constitution must be interpreted based on what it originally meant to the people who ratified it over 200 years ago.

So what did "The Canal Zone" mean to the ratifiers of 1788?


Because there was no Panama Canal in 1788. There wasn't even an Erie Canal, for that matter.

So, I'm sorry Señor McCain. When it come to a Panamanian being elected President of the United States I have just one thing to say.

¡No se puede!

Thursday, June 19

Is He A Muslim?

His ties to the Muslim community are clear.

There is no doubt.

John McCain has been seen within the past few months associating with several men who have been identified as Muslims.

Here is the proof:

Here is John McCain with so called Iraqi President Jalal Talibani, a well known - you might even say Card-Carrying - Muslim. Sunni or Shiite? Not so well known. I'm not too sure who that other guy is, but he might be a Muslim, too. Who knows?

And here he is with a couple of guys who look an awful lot like Muslims. Some might say that just because they look like Muslims doesn't mean they are Muslims. That, my friend, is September 10 thinking.

This is a Muslim woman voting for McCain in the Florida primary. To be fair, she later said she thought she was voting for Pat Buchanan.

Finally, there is this disturbing picture of McCain conferring with someone named Abdullah. King Abdullah. Notice how McCain is turned away so we can't see what flag pin he is wearing. Red, White, and Green perhaps?

So, is John McCain a Muslim? Sadly, that is not the only question we must ask ourselves. Clearly, we must also ask

Is He A Mormon?

Tuesday, June 17

This Stella's For You

I saw in the paper that the Belgian brewery company InBev wants to buy Anheuser Busch. That's Anheuser Busch as in the makers of Budweiser, the most American beer on the market.

InBev's flagship beer is something called "Stella Artois".

I'm willing to bet that a substantial majority of Budweiser drinkers cannot even pronounce "Artois".

So what are we to expect once these Belgians have taken over our beloved Bud?

Will we see some ersatz Hercule Poirot coming home from a hard day of sleuthing and cooing "'Astings, decant for me the Weiser of the Bud, s'il vous plait. I must refresh the little gray cells, 'Astings. The little gray cells."

And what about the Clydesdales? Can we expect to see them put out to pasture, only to be reproduced in chocolate - dark, bittersweet, and milk?

While you're at it why not just throw some chocolate right in the beer, Belgians? And you might as well add a couple of Brussel sprouts too!

As you may have guessed I'm against this deal. I don't want to appear to be an isolationist, but I think we all remember what happened a few years ago when the Japanese bought Montana for the beef.

Tuesday, June 10

What's in a Middle Name

His middle name is unusual. Not one you commonly hear, although it belongs to some fairly well known people. But still, it is an odd name. Not what you would expect in a regular guy.

That's right, John McCain's middle name is Sidney.

His full name, in fact, is John Sidney McCain III.

That's III.

That means both his father and grandfather had the middle name Sidney.

Coincidence? You be the judge.

And what are the origins of this name? This "Sidney"?


That's right. According to good ole "Sidney" is a contraction of Saint Denis.

And according to good ole Wikipedia Saint Denis was a martyr. As in someone willing to give up his life in the expectation of some holy reward.

And exactly how was this Saint Denis martyred?


Willing to die for a holy reward?

Familiar with beheading?

Admired by the French?

Remind you of anyone?

Finally, after examining the best images of Saint Denis available on the Internet it must be concluded that this "martyr" never wore a flag pin on his lapel.

In fact, sometimes he didn't even wear a lapel.

But this is America.

We are a fair country.

We are a balanced country.

We don't hold someone's name, middle or otherwise, against him.

I think we must be open enough to give John Sidney McCain III the benefit of the doubt.

There is no verifiable evidence that he supports religious martyrdom or beheading.


Of course the Main Stream Media hasn't bothered to ask him about it, so we don't really know what he thinks, do we?


Wednesday, June 4

Subway Scene

I'm riding uptown on the #6 train. At 51st street a guy with a shaved head and wearing a tank top, black jeans, and motorcycle boots gets on by grabbing the door at the last minute and forcing it open.

That's a bad sign, I think.

I notice the guy has a hunting knife hanging from his belt. It reminds me of a hunting knife I saw in a sporting goods store once.

They call it The Skinner.

Another bad sign.

Under his arm he's carrying a folded up copy of The Post.

Real bad sign.

At 59th street a couple of kids get on selling candy. Milky Way, Hershey Bars, Skittles. They start moving up the aisle talking loudly about getting uniforms for their basketball team. Riders begin to grumble. They don't appreciate the intrusion.

The kids are heading right for The Skinner.

The Skinner licks his lips and his fingers begin to twitch.

The Skinner steps into the aisle to confront them. They are not intimidated. All of them are soon face-to-face.

The Skinner looks at the kids. The kids look at The Skinner. Nobody moves. Nobody blinks. Nobody breathes.

The train pulls into the 68th street station.

The Skinner's hand moves toward his belt. The kids tense up.

The Skinner speaks.

"Skittles," he says, pulling a crumpled dollar bill from his jeans pocket.

The kids give him his Skittles, the Skinner gives them the dollar, all three exit the car.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Sunday, June 1

Barber, Please!

I went to my neighborhood barbershop the other day for a periodic trimming.

It is interesting to me to see how fussy younger men seem to be about their hair. They'll go on endlessly about how short in the back, how close around the ears, how long at the sideburn. I've always found it difficult to describe exactly how I want my hair cut. Maybe it's generational, but usually "Like this, only shorter" is about as descriptive as I get.

That's why I like to go to my barber, Gregor. He's been cutting my hair for many years and by now knows what I want without my saying anything. Like a bartender familiar with a regular patron's favorite drink - "The usual?" - he knows just how I like it.

So I was disconcerted when I entered the shop and didn't see Gregor. A stranger had taken his place.

"Is Gregor not in today?" I asked hopefully.

"Gregor not work here anymore," barked the stranger in an accent vaguely reminiscent of an Ian Fleming villian. "You need haircut? I cut."

He rather forcefully guided me to the chair which suddenly had taken on the aura of a waterboarding table. "How you like?" he demanded.

"Uh, like this, only shorter?" I stammered.

"Like this, only shorter..." he muttered in disgust, then started to spit on the floor before remembered where he was.

"So, what happened to Gregor?"

"I buy shop. He not here now. End of story." The more he spoke, the more he sounded like a KGB agent. "My son is barber now. He here in afternoon."

He snipped away for a while humming what may or may not have been the Soviet National Anthem. He seemed to know what he was doing, though, so I sat quietly and hoped he didn't cut off my ear as a souvenir.

After a few minutes of silence he whispered "Your old barber is watching." I could see in the mirror that he was looking out the front window. "Across street."

I couldn't turn my head at that moment because he had a straight razor pressed against my neck, so we both sat there frozen for a few seconds. "I hope there no trouble." he said, and returned to trimming my short hairs which were now standing up very nicely. I had a the sinking feeling that I had wandered into the motion picture "Eastern Promises".

How far, I mused, would a barber go to protect his "turf"?

He finished up quickly and pulled me out of the chair. "You go now," he said while collecting his fee ($2 less that Gregor charged, I noted.)

"Is there a back way?" I asked, looking in the mirror to inspect what turned out to be a highly satisfactory haircut.

"No," he said, shaking his head sadly. "No back way."

"Okay, then, see you later," I said as I made my exit.

"Maybe", I heard him saying to himself. "Maybe."

As I walked into the bright sun of a gorgeous Manhattan afternoon, I squinted across the street to see if I could spot Gregor. When I didn't see him I turned to go home and ran right into --- Gregor!!!!

"Uh, Uh, Hi! How are you?" I tried to sound as upbeat and non-betrayal as I could.

I smiled.

He didn't smile.

He just kept shifting his eyes accusingly from me to the barber shop. We stood there uncomfortably for a moment. Then I broke.

"I didn't want a haircut. He made me. He pushed me into the chair. I fought and fought, but..." I noticed his hand going into his jacket pocket.

This is it, I thought. Brought down in my prime. By a haircut.

"Here," he said, holding out a business card. "I work here, now."

I took a look at the card. It listed another barber shop around the corner. "Sure, great. This is great." The relief in my quavering voice was palpable. "Next time."

"Yes," he said pointedly. "Next time."

He started to go, then looked back and pointed to my head. "Like this, right? Only shorter."