Tag Archives: politics

Fifteen Favorites From 2013

We did it! We completed another year discussing things that start with F. I thought for sure we’d run out of compelling things to talk about by now, but the letter F continues to yield a rich supply of fascinating, fantastic minutiae.

2013 was another banner year for TMF. I want to thank all of you for your kind and continued support for this incredibly silly endeavor, which hopefully will continue to serve as an enjoyable escape for F enthusiasts — and Indonesian spambots bent on selling me low price fashion design purses — for years to come.

OK enough with the platitudes, let’s have look at fifteen of the finest flashes from the year that was: 15 of our favorite posts (along with choice excerpts) from 2013!

15. Fourteen Freds“…but the Crime Dog is the best of the bunch. The Tampa native managed to smash 493 career dingers despite his awful swing that looked like an old left-handed man swinging a cane at a mosquito…”

“Another all-time great Fred, Mr. Rogers is still inspiring all of us to be better neighbors. Last year after reading a story about Mr. Rogers, I removed a spiteful cactus wall I’d planted just to anger my neighbor.”

14. FreebirdYou’ve probably heard the song. You most likely know at least some of the words, have cranked it on the radio, and dare I guess, you’ve fervently air guitar’d along with it at some point.  But for those of you in far-flung places like Australia, Belgium, or Ohio, you may not fully appreciate the true meaning – the profound cultural weight – of Freebird.”

13. Frightening Fish“Despite Sebastian the Crab’s misleading portrayal in The Little Mermaid of life under the sea being some sort of delightful Calypso paradise; the reality is not quite so idyllic. The truth is that there are many alarming things lurking under our waters…”

12. 440s – 450s A.D.“Legend has it that during this time, Polynesian bigwig Hawaiiloa and a group of intrepid sailors sailed thousands of miles from their home in the South Pacific and managed to reach Hawaii. (Just another early example of Americans goin’ big, punching limitations in the face, and rockin’ it superpower-style).”

11. Fillmore, Millard“Did he enable a little bit of slavery here and there? You bet. Was he anti-Catholic, anti-Mason and did he generally loathe immigrants? His Know Nothing party affiliation would suggest probably so. Is he almost always rated as one of the worst U.S. presidents of all time? Strike… Either way, it’s redemption time for one of our most obscure, forgotten leaders.”

10. Flossing (Scared Straight)“Y’all just take a seat right over there. I wanna talk about your teeth. I used to be just like you. Cruisin’ through life, not thinking about my teeth. Sure, I knew in the back of my mind it was wrong to not floss; I had seen the commercials and whatnot. Momma always told me it was important. I suppose I knew there would be consequences one day.  But I didn’t care; I was young and invincible, right? <really starts yelling and getting into frightened kids’ faces> Look at me! Look at me now! Y’all don’t wanna be like me! Bleeding gums, needing a prescription mouthwash and a special toothbrush… You think this is funny? Advanced stage gingivitis homey!” Continue reading

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Four Freedoms

We are delighted to welcome back our resident historian and stalwart friend today, Mr. Paul Washington. Please take a few moments to enjoy this timely reflection, and to appreciate all those who have sacrificed on our behalf.

In January of 1941, the United States was just beginning to emerge from the throes of the decade-long Great Depression. We were aware of the burgeoning war that had begun across the Atlantic, but our young men would not be called into full-fledged battle until that terrible attack on Pearl Harbor some 11 months later.

It was against this historical backdrop that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress and, via radio broadcast, to the citizens of the United States. He closed his speech with the now-famous “Four Freedoms Discourse,” in which he espoused the four freedoms essential to all of humanity: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.
President Roosevelt's speech inspired four paintings by Norman Rockwell.  Clockwise from upper-left: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from fear, and freedom from want.

President Roosevelt’s speech inspired four paintings by Norman Rockwell. Clockwise from upper-left: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from fear, and freedom from want.

In light of today being a day set aside to honor our Veterans, we here at The Mighty F would like to take this opportunity to dedicate our little corner of the world wide web to honor those who have fought on our behalf to secure President Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms.  The text of the Four Freedoms Discourse is below:

“In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.”

“The first is freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world.  The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants — everywhere in the world.  The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor — anywhere in the world.”

“That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called “new order” of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb. To that new order we oppose the greater conception — the moral order. A good society is able to face schemes of world domination and foreign revolutions alike without fear. Since the beginning of our American history we have been engaged in change, in a perpetual, peaceful revolution, a revolution which goes on steadily, quietly, adjusting itself to changing conditions without the concentration camp or the quicklime in the ditch. The world order which we seek is the cooperation of free countries, working together in a friendly, civilized society. This nation has placed its destiny in the hands and heads and hearts of its millions of free men and women, and its faith in freedom under the guidance of God. Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights and keep them. Our strength is our unity of purpose. To that high concept there can be no end save victory.”

*Paul is a proud son of Madison County, Florida, home of WWII hero Capt. Colin P. Kelly, Jr., and location of the Four Freedoms Monument, which was commissioned by President Roosevelt.

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Foreign, Familiar Faces

One of the greatest things about our world is that everyone is different. Every person is a unique snowflake.

However some snowflakes are not quite so unique. The truth is that many of us look exactly like other people. In my case that has unfortunately mostly led to Rick Moranis or Steve-O from Jackass comparisons (save one glorious time when a small, possibly nearsighted child misidentified me as very tall NFL quarterback Matt Ryan), but for better or worse, almost all of us look like someone else.

Even the world’s powerful elite are not immune from looking like other people. No corridor of power is untouched by this phenomenon. When I first saw His Holiness Pope Francis I thought he was Rudolph Giuliani. Or maybe Dennis Hopper.

Here are a few other examples of world leaders past and present who look like someone else. Continue reading

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Face Off! Fanta vs. Faygo

We’ve got ourselves a humdinger of a mid-level soda battle today! Both with a chip on their shoulder, something to prove, and a formidable list of hilarious discontinued flavors to consider, this should really be an epic bout.

Who will win? Who will lose, and be bumped down the list of soda obscurity behind the likes of Chek Cola, Grapico, RC, or that warm banana soda they sell in Haiti?

Full disclosure: I have not officially “tasted” a Faygo product. I don’t think I’ve had a Fanta either, so this judgment will be based largely on speculation, marketing and flavor ambitiousness.

FAYGO

Straight out of Detroit, we first have the Faygo brand.  While I have never personally ventured to the fair city of Detroit, we do love underdogs here as well as woeful entities in need of support. This most definitely gives Faygo an early edge before we even start judging. Continue reading

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Fillmore, Millard

Keeping with our theme of supporting underdogs, losers, unpopular things and all-around forgettable folks, today we’re chatting up one of our least regarded presidents of all time: Fillmore, Millard. We felt it was high time we give this F legend his due.*

Did he enable a little bit of slavery here and there? You bet. Was he anti-Catholic, anti-Mason and did he generally loath immigrants? His Know Nothing party affiliation would suggest probably so. Is he almost always rated as one of the worst U.S. presidents of all time? Strike.**

But there is more to the man. As with all human beings, Fillmore was a flawed fellow who did good things and bad things. As a leader he achieved impressive victories and endured embarrassing failures.

Either way, it’s redemption time for one of our most obscure, forgotten leaders.

Fillmore fanatics rejoice! 

Continue reading

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Freaking out about the Future

“Everything’s gonna be totally fine.”

— Keith Stone

A couple years ago Keystone Light ran a series of ads featuring a creepy but self-assured fellow with flowing locks named Keith Stone. In one of the ads, Stone sees a crying bride in a convenience store making a call on a payphone. With his comically large stick of beef jerky, he hangs up the payphone and ever so smoothly dials the phone to speak with the distressed bride.

A case of KL’s under his arm, he reassures the woman with deceptively profound words: “Everything’s gonna be totally fine.”

Of course this is a ridiculous commercial meant to sell cheap beer. Yet how many of us can honestly say that we can match the optimism, confidence, or perspective of Mr. Stone? How many of us live our day-to-day lives in the hope and full expectation that everything really is going to be just fine no matter what happens? And if we do feel hopeful today, what is it that hope based on? (Hopefully not Keystone Light). Continue reading

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Filed under F Abstract Concepts, F Commentary, Faith

Fan Free-Agency

Folks, there are times in life when inexplicable things happen and you just need to re-evaluate your life and the sports teams you root for. When that existential crisis comes, and it will, you need to surround yourself with people of wisdom – or at least someone who is very tall. (Tall = Trustworthy… sorry it’s Science).

It’s been that kind of a week here for all of us in South Florida. Our beloved baseball team, The Marlins, have once again broken our hearts and given us the ol’ Three Stooges eye poke by trading away all our best, most popular players. To help us sort through our feelings and deal with the fallout of this most recent debacle, please welcome back the very wise and tall, Mr. Rick Hunter.

By: Rick Hunter

As a native South Floridian, and life-long baseball fan, I remember life without a local Major League Baseball team. That all changed when Charlie Hough threw that first knuckleballed “strike” into Benito Santiago’s mitt in April of 1993. The years since have had their share of highs (two World Series championships) and lows (a strike that cancelled the 1994 World Series, a pitcher deported for playing under an assumed name, another former pitcher serving prison time for attempting to kill five men with a machete and then pouring gasoline on them, Scott Stapp’s “Marlins Will Soar”).

All things being equal, as a fan, one can live with the occasional attempted murder/burning and trouble with INS for an average of one World Championship a decade (thinking of you, Cubs fan… thanks for Bartman, by the way).

But as much as championship success has defined the Marlins, so has the regular purging of its roster. Marlins fans have had to suffer not one, not two, but three fire sales – the last one of which has pushed this baseball fan over the proverbial cliff. Continue reading

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