Phelps, Football, EU And the Moon

Rick Hamada
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Wednesday - February 11, 2009
Michael Phelps

The images of Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps taking a bong hit of marijuana elicited an interesting range of response. Some criticized him for his use of an illegal drug, others were more critical that he was so blatant in jeopardizing millions in earning potential, while anti-drug groups applauded his forthright apologies.

There was a day when admitting to (let alone getting busted for) drug use was the downfall of a celebrity’s career. Not only is Michael Phelps going to be just fine, but consider the World’s Most Recognized Celebrity, President Barack Obama. His disclosure of alcohol and drug use as a young man was not an impediment to his ascension as president of The United States.

So, Michael, go ahead and get that brand-new Ferrari. You’ll be just fine.


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The 2009 Super Bowl was a super game. It wasn’t the greatest game of all time, but it was extremely entertaining.

The story of the game was big plays. A Pittsburgh 100-yard interception return, a breathtaking last-minute touchdown to win the game and a David vs. Goliath matchup were the ingredients for a great drama. Although the Arizona Cardinals were in a position to win the game outright, there was no shame in the outcome.

There is no doubt that football is the nation’s most popular sport. Perhaps it’s time to refer to football as our National Pastime as baseball diminishes in popularity and relevance.


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I can’t believe the European Union took the United States by the lapels, shook us and said, “Drop the ‘Made in the USA’provision of your stimulus package, or else.”

Lawmakers are attempting to ensure the majority of the economic stimulus plan is spent in America, specifically the exclusive purchase of American-made steel and iron for all construction projects.

However, the EU is citing the potential violation of World Trade Organization economic treaties signed by the U.S. and EU.

OK, fine. If treaties were agreed to, they also can be amended.

However, President Obama’s immediate capitulation to EU demands was inappropriate. The message presented, right or wrong, is that America has lost her resolve for sovereign priority.

I am not saying that President Obama is responsible for our contractual situation, but to abdicate our position to negotiate so quickly shut a door that may now be locked. It may be the time to exploit our collective influences with NAFTApartners to strengthen our economic base and prevent other regional organizations from flexing their considerable muscle.


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I was sad to see the passing of Brew Moon into the horizon. I enjoyed the atmosphere, menu and micro-brewed beverages.

I also have many great memories at the Moon. I hosted an appearance with nationally syndicated radio personality George Noory in an Inside the Actor’s Studio-style interview.

There were many pau hana and going-away parties held at Brew Moon, with some of the best entertainment on the island.

It’s a shame to see so many familiar haunts disappear. We have recently lost Cisco’s Cantina, Sam Choy’s Diamond Head, Shanghai Bistro, rRed Elephant Café, Shogun, A Taste of New York, Cassis, The Chef’s Table, Palomino, Carnaval Las Palmas, Jackie’s Kitchen and Compadres.

I give a great deal of credit to the risk and hard work it takes to succeed in the restaurant business. I encourage you to patronize your favorite local restaurant and treat yourself while supporting a vital industry in our community.

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