Thursday, March 24, 2016


Aretha Franklin released the song shown above way back in 1967. Although the theme is about a woman who wants a little more respect from “her man”, the title came to mind the other day when I read a story about President Obama, which is a train of thought that most people would not have.

As you know, the President and his family recently traveled to Cuba, which made him the first sitting President to do so in 88 years. While he was there, his oldest daughter, Malia (who has been studying Spanish in school) did some translating for him in a local restaurant.

Malia is not the only child of the President who has studied a foreign language. His younger daughter, Sasha, has been studying Chinese, When Chinese President Hu Jintoa visited American in 2011, the 9 year old girl had an opportunity to practice her Chinese with him.

(that visit, naturally, led to another story from my fingers)

I’ve long been of the opinion that the best way to get along with people is to show them respect. Not only does that make your life a lot easier, it also makes the world a lot safer. Not long after President Obama was elected President, he made a trip to Cairo in January of 1999., which helped him to earn the Nobel Peace Prize later on that year.

Ever since 9/11, the anti-Muslim rhetoric in our country has escalated, and the 2016 Presidential race has seen that xenophobia escalate to new heights. Knowledgeable government officials have acknowledged that the foreign policy plans of Donald Trump or Ted Cruz would be disastrous for the security of our country, but their campaign speeches have attracted a large army of narrow minded bigots.

I’m of the opinion that people that want to live in our country should attempt to learn the English language, and just about everyone would agree with me. However, I also believe that more Americans should learn a foreign language, which would allow them to show more respect to visitors (or citizens) whose native tongue isn’t English. When I lived in China, I made an attempt to learn Chinese, for exactly the same reason. I didn’t live there long enough to become fluent, but at least I made the attempt.

The native tongue of Pope Franics is Spanish, but he also speaks English, Italian, Portuguese, French, German, Ukrainian, Latin, and Piedmontese (a language spoken in Northern Italy. About six months ago, he delighted people around the world when he asked a young girl in Chicago to sing a song for him.

Our relationship with Cuba has been more than a little strained for more than 50 years, a situation which has benefited neither country. Obama’s decision to resume diplomatic relations with our neighbor south of Florida will ultimately benefit both of us in a lot of ways, His leadership has caused America to become the most respected country in the world (according to the most recent Gallup poll)

There’s no reason to “make America great again”

We already are.

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