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Archive for March, 2008

What a few Davison, Mich. residents say about local boy Michael Moore…

March 29, 2008 Leave a comment

It’s amazing what you learn when you work in Michael Moore’s hometown of Davison, Mich. (Moore was born in Flint but grew up 10 miles east of Flint in Davison). “Stella”, a lady at work said that Moore’s wife comes in to the shop every so often. Very nice lady, I’m told.

Apparently, contrary to what many would lead you to believe, local sentiments toward Moore don’t seem to be very favorable. Efforts to get Moore inducted into Davison High School’s hall of fame, for example, have stalled.

Stella also told me that a friend of her family once served on the local school board with Moore. Their impression of the fake-umentarian? Negative.

Furthermore, I was told, Moore’s also not very popular in Flint, where his documentary Roger and Me is considered more to have hurt the city than helped it. (There is also a rumor that Moore did interview then-GM CEO Roger B. Smith but deleted the interview from the documentary’s final cut–an accusation Moore vehemently denies). I told Stella that one of my in-laws, a 30-plus year GM employee and longtime United Auto Worker, refers to Moore by an unprintable expletive (I’ll give you a hint: it’s also the title of rock star Gene Simmons’ 2004 solo album).

I also know of this retired DHS teacher who once taught Moore. “Jake” tells me that even then Moore was the iconoclast who loved to play devil’s advocate.

Such negative feelings make me wonder if this is why Moore now lives up north in Traverse City.

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As the stomach turns: latest installment of Election 2008

March 29, 2008 1 comment

First it was Hillary Clinton’s race to win, then Barack Obama’s, now we don’t really know. We’re just over six months from Election Day, and nobody knows who the democratic candidate will be.

To me, it makes very little difference. I will be voting for John McCain. Not because he’s Ronald Reagan resurrected (granted, Mrs. Nancy Reagan is endorsing Senator McCain), but because I can’t stomach Hillary and feel Barack is all talk and no experience.

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Paging Darrell Swanson…

March 29, 2008 Leave a comment

I worked for you at the now-closed Golden Corral in Beeville, Texas from 1995-1996. You were married and had five kids. Oldest child was a teenaged son whose first name began with an M. If I remember right, you were about 5’8”, very stocky and had a moustache. Despite your dark hair and medium complexion, you were of Swedish descent. Last I heard, you had moved to Georgia.

There’s a very important question I need to ask you, regarding a bizarre story you once told me. If you’re reading this, drop me a line at richardzowie@gmail.com so that I can validate that you’re the same Mr. Swanson I used to work for.

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Looking for more friends I knew while growing up

March 25, 2008 Leave a comment

I’m just a very sentimental person who loves to keep in touch with people I used to know. If you’re one of these people, feel free to drop me a line at richardzowie@gmail.com, or simply drop a comment on this blog.

From the time I lived in Colby, Kan., from 1975-ish to 1981 and attended kindergarten through second grade: Matt Christiansen, Jennifer Commerford, Mrs. Peterson and Mrs. Fullwider

From the time I lived in Alvin, Texas, from 1981-1983 and attended second through fourth grade: Suzy Goad (who might actually be a distant cousin of mine), Marty, Joe Sanders, Martin Anguiano, Meredity Briscoe, Michelle McLeod, and, of course, my best friend from that time, Lance Boyd

From the time I lived in Beeville, Texas from 1983-1991 and finished high school: Ben Wilson, Patricia Bartlett, Valkena West, Mrs. Saenz, Dr. McTee, Rosgil Gutierrez, Matt Nicholson

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Sometimes, eating Chinese food can be hen bu hao*

March 25, 2008 Leave a comment

A few weeks ago, my family and I went to eat at a Chinese buffet restaurant in Flint. This restaurant had received a good review in the Flint Journal and also featured seafood (my wife and kids love crab legs).

When we went, we couldn’t find a sign for the restaurant. What gives? we thought.

Finally, we were able to pin down a location to a vacant-looking unit in a shopping complex. I got out and read the sign posted on the door: “Closed by order of the Genesee County Health Department.”

Yikes!

We went to another Chinese restaurant that night and had a decent time. I suppose the next time we want to eat Chinese, we’ll head up to Frankenmuth, Mich.’s Panda King Buffett.

*In case anyone’s wondering, “hen bu hao” is Mandarin Chinese for “not very good”; literally, “very no good”.

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Is John McCain legally barred from being president?

March 25, 2008 Leave a comment

Paul Bannister thinks so. He wrote the article “McCain presidency would be illegal” in the March 17 issue of Globe Magazine. Yes, it’s a tabloid, but when you’re in the checkout line of Wal-Mart, what else is there to do?

Bannister noted that since McCain was born on a U.S. military base in the Panama Canal zone in 1936 and not in an American state like Arizona, Texas or New York, he’s ineligible to serve. Bannister added that 1964 Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater would’ve been ineligible to serve, since he was born in 1908 in the Arizona Territory in 1909—three years before it became a U.S. state. It was, though, an American territory.

What does the U.S. Constitution say? Banister neglects to mention what it says on the matter. Here is Article II, Section 1:

“No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

The idea is that those eligible for the presidency were those who were natural born citizens or those who were U.S. citizens at the time the constitution was written. Today, this would apply only to those who are natural-born citizens.

To me, “natural-born” citizen would apply to three people: those who were born in America (like me; I was born in Louisiana in 1973); those who, though not born in America, were born in American territories (such as my cousin, Brad, who was born on a military base in Wiesbaden, West Germany or actor Kelsey Grammer, who was born in the U.S. Virgin Islands (a U.S. territory); or those who weren’t born in America but who have parents who are American citizens (such as the people I’ve known who were born in foreign countries where their American parents were serving as missionaries).

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Mexico is upset with America, and it has to do with an execution

March 25, 2008 Leave a comment

Today, the Supreme Court ruled that President Bush should not have ordered a Texas court to hold a new hearing for a Mexican national who’s on Texas death row for rape and murder. Jose Ernesto Medellin contends that he was prevented from police from talking with Mexican diplomats, something ordered by international treaties.

According to one ruling by an international court in 2004, the U.S. was found to have fiolated the 1963 Vienna Convention. This convention states that people arrested in a foreign country must have access to their native country’s consular officials. Furthermore, the Internatinoal Court of Justice ruled that Mexican prisoners are entitled to have new court hearings to see whether or not their rights have been violated.

The Supreme Court disagreed in a 6-3 ruling. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his majority opinion that states should not be compelled to comply with international court decisions. He added that a president cannot “…establish binding rules of decision that pre-empt contrary state law.”

I don’t know much about the Medellin case, but the moral of this story is that if you’re a citizen in a foreign country, be on your best behavior. Among some it’s likely the sympathy for Medellin is minimal when you consider the American murders Mexico has refused to extradite: Mexico, unlike many U.S. states, does not have the death penalty.

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