there are laws governing trade in America. Whether or not these laws
actually protect our economy or harm it is not the subject of this article.
I even understand the use of trade embargoes as a means of international
coercion. Again, the efficacy of these agreements are not the subject
There have been trade embargoes against Cuba since Fidel Castro came
to power there. If you want a great Cuban cigar in the US, you can’t
legally get one.
According to The
Copenhagen Post, American laws have gotten out of control.
A Danish man was trying to buy Cuban cigars from Germany. And then it
all went to hell in a hand basket.
Torben Nødskouv tried to buy 137,000 kroner’s worth of the island
delight. He owns a small business called Cigarhuset and was looking
for the Cuban cigars as stock for resale at his place of business. He
was using a Hamburg-based distributor to get the cigars to Denmark.
The problem for Nødskouv came when the transaction in US dollars
was automatically routed through the US. In the US, the funds were frozen
with the stated reason as it interfered with the trade embargo we have
with Cuba. The US$20,000 of funds were frozen last fall.
The transaction was legal in both Denmark and Germany and violated none
of their trade laws. The issue has raised concerns across the ocean.
When asked that the funds be released, the request was denied. The funds
may be completely irretrievable. Nødskouv, who was acting in
good faith, may simply be out $20,000.
Villy Søvndal, Denmark’s foreign minister, claims the entire
transaction is a European concern and he and others there believe the
US has grievously overstepped the bounds of decency as well as international
trade. The issue will be brought to the European Union for discussion.
"It is worrying that the US is extraterritorially applying American
legislation to regulate business activities outside of the US,” Søvndal
said. “I do not think it is fair that the US intervenes with European
businesses, especially with a legal transfer of money between two European
The US has refused to release the funds, at least for now. Denmark does
hold some sway with the European Union as president of the Union and
may be able to put some pressure on the US.
Hans Jørgen Bonnichsen is the former head of the Danish domestic
intelligence agency. He is urging those in a position to do so, use
their power in the European Union to help resolve this breach of international
"The case is an obvious opportunity for the Danish presidency to
step up to the plate," Bonnichsen said. "It’s a clear example
of the US abusing rules which were implemented to fight terrorism. That
the American authorities can stop a completely legal financial transaction
between two European countries is an abuse of EU citizens’ rights."
Does the US have any cause to believe their trade embargo should be
an issue for two independent countries? Is there a terrorism alert against
Denmark or Germany out there? Are Cuban cigars now terrorist weapons?
Will an outcry from the European Union have any influence on the US
policy? Should it? How much of a global economy do we have and can one
country demand other nations follow their laws? If so, when does that
occur? Does money filtering through the American banking system somehow
make the trade an American concern? Would this mean that any US monies
being used outside the US and filtered through other nations’ banking
systems are then required to meet their trade laws?
On This Article
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Perhaps imagination is only intelligence having fun. - George Scialabra
Don’t ever wear artistic jewelry; it wrecks a woman’s reputation. -
An absent-minded husband
thought he had conquered his problem of trying to remember his wife’s
birthday and their anniversary. He opened an account with a florist,
provided that florist with the dates and instructions to send flowers
to his wife on these dates along with an appropriate note signed, “Your
His wife was thrilled by this new display of attention and all went
well until next year, on their anniversary, when he came home, kissed
his wife and said off-handedly, “Nice flowers, honey. Where’d you get
A neurotic is a man who builds a castle in the air. A psychotic is the
man who lives in it. A psychiatrist is the man who collects the rent.
It’s always such a joy that you wake up in the morning and there’s work
The man who has everything figured out is probably a fool. – all from
Jerome Lawrence, American playwright who died on this day in 2004
I’m A Political Observer!
Most Embarrassing Moment
My Scariest Moment
Speak right up!
Right at the elbow, just on the bottom inside is a bone. Right
in that same spot there is a major nerve that serves the entire lower
arm area. If you bump this area on a door jamb, the edge of a
table, or even on the remnants of a tree limb, you will get a sensation
similar to placing your hand in an energized bucket of water.
This spot on the elbow is called the "funny bone", but when
it is struck in such a manner, it is definately not funny. Apparently,
to the outside observer, it is funny.
In a similar vein, we have a very popular television show that has had
a very long and successful run. For many years, the "America;s
Funniest Home Videos" (AFV) has shown videos they receive from
various individuals from the United States, Canada, Mexico, and seemingly
from around the world as various languages are recorded on the sound
tracks of these videos. Some of the funniest videos are where
the hapless "star" of the video encounters a situation where
pain is inflicted, either from misjudgement or general circumstance.
Often, the first reaction is "OH!" or "Oooooooo!"
It is quickly followed by laughter. We find this funny.
A guy sliding down a snowy hill to end up finding the only tree nestled
in his groin with a sudden stop elicits peals of laughter. He
didn’t find it as funny as did everyone else.
Often what people find funny is different, or at least how funny differs.
A close friend of mine will often try to quip something humorous and
fail miserably. He just cannot deliver his meaning in such a way
to create a funny moment. Contrarily, he often fails so badly
that it is offensive rather than funny. He thinks it is funny.
Observers see a humorous tinge to it, but still do not see the overall
humor in it. Other times, what he says, even in a similar context,
is hilarious. There just aren’t enough of the latter moments to
offset the other humorless moments.
Many comedians comment on how their material is received in different
cities as they tour at various venues. They say that some of their jokes
are considered hilarious in one town, but find the opposite reaction
in a different town. What New York may find funny will be considered
humorless in Des Moines, or vice versa. Comedians will often tailor
their shows to the audience as they receive the reaction to their jokes.
If a particular topic doesn’t get the expected response, they will change
to a different line of jokes to provide the entertainment. They
may even comment on the lack of response as they adjust the focal point
of their routine.
What I find most telling are the videos of babies reacting to activities
around them. A family dog biting at soap bubbles makes one toddler
go into fits of belly laughter. Another finds that his dad tearing
a newspaper is hilarous. A family member making faces sent a set
of triplets into hysterics. That someone so young can react in
the same way with laughter shows it is a universal and basic reaction
to how we see the world.
Here’s your quiz:
Do your friends comment on your sense of humor?
What makes you laugh the hardest?
Do you have a favorite comic strip?
Humor - The Source Is The Funny Bone
Cliff (the High-Tech Redneck who doesn’t rate a fancy ’signature pic’)
P.S. Happy Sadie Hawkins Day, or as is otherwise known, "Leap Day"!
You get to work an extra day this month.
on this article
take your toys inside just because it’s raining.”
~ Cher ~
I was initiated into the world of children’s toy buying when my best
friend Jenny gave birth to her first child, Mathew. I was just sitting
down to breakfast in a hotel in Wales when Jenny’s husband called to
tell me about the new arrival. As soon as I had finished my breakfast,
I went to the gift shop at Cardiff Castle and bought Mathew a bright
red stuffed dragon.
When Jenny asked me to be Mathew’s godmother, I eagerly accepted. Not
only was I quite prepared to do anything for this kid. Being godmother
gave me license to be a cool aunt who could buy cool presents (Jenny
and I have been friends for long enough that we automatically have aunt
status to each other’s kids). And so I started spending time in Toys
R Us, looking for toys that Mathew could bang, play, or otherwise make
a noise with. I religiously adhered to the age guidelines on the packaging,
not wanting to get Mathew anything that would either frustrate him or
create safety issues.
Little did I know that age guidelines are, at best, a WAG on the part
of the manufacturer, where WAG equals Wild Ass Guess. When my own kids
came along, I discovered that virtually all stuffed toys are not recommended
for children under the age of three, and that most parts smaller than,
say, a tennis ball, constituted a choking hazard.
I abandoned the age guidelines and instead used good old-fashioned common
sense. I was able to identify and remove any small parts that my children
could choke on. I avoided toys that little fingers could get caught
in, and I stuck with things that my kids would actually be able to use
without needing an engineering degree.
For Christmas, my younger son received a Lego Transformer. It has about
a gazillion pieces and an instruction book about half an inch thick.
Following the instructions, you assemble either a car or a robot. While
the instructions are easy enough to follow, there is plenty of room
for error and the Lego pieces go together in quite a complicated way.
My son turned six on Christmas Day. The age guideline for this present
is 7-8 years. We had a challenge simply because my son was already a
year younger than the age recommendation. But quite apart from that,
I really don’t believe your average eight-year-old would be able to
use this toy without a great deal of adult intervention. By which I
mean, the adult has to put together the entire thing and will probably
make several mistakes along the way.
That’s exactly where I found myself over the weekend. I had promised
my son that I would make the Transformer for him, thinking that it might
take half an hour or so. It ended up taking the entire afternoon. By
the time the Transformer was assembled, my eyes were burning and my
fingers were aching from handling so many small objects. It was fun,
though. I enjoy projects that involve a bit of detail, and if I say
so myself, the Transformer looked quite impressive when it was all together.
My son told me that I must be a boy because I’m “good at building stuff”.
The best part of the whole exercise was that it gave me some bonding
time with my son. We don’t often get to spend time alone together, and
that’s worth at least a million Transformers sets.
On This Article
to a computer problem, part of this column appeared last Friday.
Here is the full story!
Sometimes, humor eludes me. After all, a girl has to sleep occasionally,
and funny things probably happen when she is unconcious. However, sometimes
funny stuff happens in my presence. Sometimes, the same kind of humor
happens, as it did to me, twice in one week. It is like the big Smart
Alec in the sky is arranging themed entertainment just for me. I mean,
the two incidents that occured were so humorous in a foul way, not to
be countinenced in a respectable ezine that I had no choice but to present
it to RGQ.
One of my colleagues had a welfare case where the children were taken
away from their mother. It seems that Mom fell asleep in the middle
of the afternoon, leaving her two young children to entertain themselves
as they would. The refrigerator offered several artistic possibilities,
and mustard and ketsup were nicely distributed on the kitchen floor.
Flour and sugar were added to the canvas, and the artists decided to
look in their mother’s bathroom for additional supplies. One of the
things they thought might be interesting was to redecorate the cat.
One of the little scamps had apparently learned that you should prime
the surface destined for your creative endeavors, so he upended a large
bottle of rubbing alcohol over the creature. Because of this finishing
touch to their efforts, both children were placed in foster care.
I pointed something out, because it is a moral duty for all smart alecs
to say something low and common when in the courthouse, and the risk
of being overheard by a judge is greater than when, say you’re standing
in the middle of a corn field on a winter’s day.
"That," I announced grandly as our local prosecutor entered
the room behind us, "is one way to disinfect your —- "
Tonight, I read another story about a man who didn’t like to pay for
beef and chicken, so he snacked on his neighbor’s feline family members.
It is disgusting, but if you want to challenge your lunch ridden stomach,
you can follow this link.
No, this is even two low for me. Hard to believe it, but even I
exhibit good taste sometime. Not often, I agree. But, I will resist
making even one juvenile observation. I won’t suggest that anything
funny or distasteful could arise out of such proof of severe mental
All right, I give! It would hurt too much to pass up this opportunity
for a cheap and lowly pun. His daddy should have had "The Talk"
with him. At least he should have told the little jerk something like,
"Son, that ain’t no way to eat ——".
On This Article
The world’s biggest bookstore is called the "World’s Biggest Bookstore"
and is located in Toronto. However, Barnes and Noble makes the same
claim of its outlet store in New York City, but its claim is based on
floor space. The World’s Biggest Bookstore’s claim is that it has more
titles. Both are true… so which one is bigger. It’s all relative,
so I’ll let you decide. (Wiki)
Thanks for your limericks!
Here’s another one for you-
I walked to the store for a book…
Here’s a great new rhyming/composition tool. http://www.writerhymes.com/
There’s also a great rhyming dictionary at http://www.rhymezone.com/
Limerick rules. http://freespace.virgin.net/merrick.sheldon/limerickrules.htm
drove across town to the mall
My doggie needed a new ball
The one that I found
Was blue and quite round
The problem was, the ball was too small.
- Bonnie >^..^<
drove across town to the mall
then gathered with friends in Roc Hall.
We drank and we ate,
the evening was late,
but we were not done, not at all.
- LDO in OH
Re: Zero Intelligence
him my 12 gauge. - L&K, herm
What if he had had a gun,
and a permit to have one? What the heck kind of ridiculousness is
this anyhow? I grew up with guns in the house. No one ever took me
away from my parents not even for a short period of time. I find the
whole thing absolutely unacceptable. Maybe they could’ve asked the
dad about the drawing, but not have him taken to the police station
and the kids taken away from their parents, even for a short period
of time. - Patty
Well, you wouldn’t print what I really want to say, so I will only
say coming soon to the US of A….. - “Tom” from Nashville
It was obviously an over-reaction.
It came from a 4 years old! The school should have known that at that
age they have a vivid imagination and take things out of context.
The father is 26? Maybe he does use a gun to shoot bad guys and monsters,
in a video game!? That was my first thought when I read it. Thank
God that my 3 year old did not tell them that her new Tinkerbell book
was given to her by mommy’s boyfriend, they would have called my husband
to tell him I’m having an affair! That is what she told her grandma.
And no, an apology is not enough. It is abuse of power. - Nathalie
I can see both points of view. I wished the people in charge had asked
the child if the gun was real or just an imagination gun. I realize
her first statement was it belonged to her father but more questions
might have stopped this incident. - BJ
No with all the videos out
there how did they know for sure wether this was what she was talking
about. So before they did all this locking up they should have dug
a little deeper. After all this was a child. my 9 year old grandchild
does not explain things right .I have to talk to his mother to get
the correct story. - dEE
Just when I lost my tin foil hate, and stepped down as president of
the local conspiracy group. A call to the parents would have straightened
this out. Hell, I used to think my dad could be president of the United
States, but no one ever investigated hinm for campaign violations.
Maybe what society needs is a real definition of safety. It is when
your government isn’t heavy handed in its enforcement techniques,
not when it is so anxious to protect you from your neighbor’s existance
that you don’t even ask questions. - Lucille
I understand correctly, Canadian citizens have no right to own weapons
such as this. However, the way this was handled was crazy. The cops
treated the guy like he was a serial killer instead of the protective
father and husband he really is. I don’t think an apology is enough,
but I can’t think of anything they can do to undo the situation. I’ll
bet they kept his pistol. They should instead help him get a license
to own it and return it to him. - John from Iowa
Fever" is usually associated with isolation, exacerbated by little
activity and sunshine. I used to live alone in the forest, and also
avoided the sun because of the Ozone hole. My moods improved the year
I decided to resume sunbathing, and now I take Vitamin D whenever
I can’t. Even though the days get shorter here, and the winter is
colder, I prefer it for the sun, enhanced by the snow. - Bob of the
quickly warming North.
I cannot stand the winter.
It does make me more depressed than I would get if it were spring
or summer. However, I try to get in the sun every day that it shines
even if it is just for a little while. I find that it is very important
for my over all emotional and physical health. I have a friend who
is 100 years old, and she too thinks that sun is very important. When
I spoke to her yesterday she told me that even in the winter she gets
sun every day. She said it comes streaming in to her house through
her front door in the after noon, and so she pulls a chair over to
the door, and lets it shine in through the glass. She says that it
feels good on her bones, but that she benefits from it in so many
other ways too.
I think that it is very important to get the natural sun light. Alot
of people depend on artificial substances during the winter to give
them their Vitamin D but I think that if you don’t have the sun too
you’re doing yourself a dis-service. JMO. - Patty
cure for “Cabin Fever” in the winter that I’ve found is Audiotape
Books! It does two things - someone is reading you a book of your
choice (I get mine at the Library) and another human voice in the
“Cabin” is company on bleak winter days. To reach beyond and actually
DO something, nothing beats making a loaf of bread and a pot of soup.
Then put a soothing CD of light classical music on and curl up with
a book you read to yourself and munch the crust of the freshly baked
I never deliberately try for a tan. Dries the skin, then you have
to apply lotion, chemicals invade your skin, and none of it is good
for you. But some tanning occurs through the long sleeved gardening
shirts and wide brim hats. So I absorb a bit more Vitamin D, which
is not mixed with the two calcium pills I take daily that also contain
Vit. D, and find myself drowsy. Nap time! When it finally gets warm
enough to work outdoors, I try to get myself out there before 7 and
quit by ten o’clock.
Each year this gets harder to do. Along with aging, one seems to acquire
a bit of lazy. The other “cure” for cabin fever is sleep. Two hour
naps now and then refresh and make a couple hours go away with very
little you have to do about it. Of course, if you have space and funds,
setting up a winter garden indoors under Grow Lights allows you to
absorb sun-like rays and fiddle with plants, some of which you can
eat. I have lettuce, parsley and basil growing right now. Soon I’ll
start tomato plants. Maybe a few flowers. Nancy L in Ohio
Maybe I am strange,
but I love winter, never get cabin fever and prefer the heavy clouds.
type of weather gets my imagination stirring and then all is well
with my soul. I do not like the bright sunshine as much. Maybe I am
part vampire…. - BJ
Disclaimer- All quotes printed in this publication are believed to be
accurately attributed, but no guarantees are made that some incorrectly
attributed, or even outright false quotes won’t get in here from time
to time. I assure readers that I will do my best to weed out incorrect
quotes, and will print a retraction as soon as I become aware of any errors.
Click here to see the archives of past issues, or go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/reallygoodquotes/messages.
If you run across something really outstanding when perusing the archives,
I’d appreciate it if you’d mail me at TheBestOfRGQ@yahoo.com
and point it out to me. I’m in the process of compiling an e-book
called, not surprisingly, The Best of RGQ, and I’d like to hear from you
which pieces impacted you the most.
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