Okay, not really…but it’s the only way I could link these three stories. The big story is that President Bush has made a surprise trip to Iraq to see the troops and evaluate how the new Iraqi government is coming along. Of course, the big news yesterday was that the Iraqi branch of Al-Qaeda named a successor to Abu-Mussab Al-Zarqawi, the terrorist scum that was killed in a bombing raid last Thursday. The news there that has not been as highly reported is that US and Iraqi troops took out many of the higher-ranking Iraqi terrorists at the same time that Zarqawi was getting his little present. Thursday was a great day of success, greatly downplayed by the press. And, of course, the mainstream press continues to be totally blind to the fact that, as much as they accuse FOXNews of being a shill for the Bush administration, they themselves have become shills for the terrorists by only reporting the tragedy, and abstaining on reporting good news until they absolutely have to, such as when we get a high-profile target such as Zarqawi. But that aside, we apparently have a new #1 terrorist on our hit list…or, as President Bush put it, “I think the successor to Zarqawi is going to be on our list to bring to justice.”
The final story I want to talk about today has nothing to do with President Bush or Iraq. Frankly, why this story is out there is beyond me; not that it’s in the press, but that it’s controversial. There is a cheesesteak restaurant in Philladelphia called Geno’s Steaks that has come under fire this past week for having a sign that says, “This is America. When ordering, speak English.” Personally, I have no problem with that. The owner of Geno’s, Joseph Vento, said in an interview with Laura Ingraham yesterday that they are not refusing to serve anyone, only insisting that they order in English…and if it’s not too busy, they coach people in their ordering (if they are busy, you may not get exactly what you wanted, but you’ll still get a cheesesteak). The impression that I got from the interview was that it doesn’t take all that much to order at Geno’s anyway – after all, how hard is it to say, “cheesesteak with whiz” (that’s Cheeze Whiz for those of you who don’t know), or “cheesesteak with American” (American cheese), or “cheesesteak with provolone” (you get the idea). According to Joe Vento, Hispanics have been their main hang-up when it comes to ordering. Geno’s is in a community heavily populated with immigrants, but Joe said that they have yet to have problems with a Japanese, Chinese, German, Italian, or any other Asian or European immigrant. The problem is with immigrants from Latin nations insisting on speaking Spanish. Joe Vento said that they should not have to learn a new language just so that Hispanic customers could order in Spanish – after all, if he went to Italy (the nation his grandparents immigrated to America from) and couldn’t speak Italian, he’d have some trouble ordering, because the Italians aren’t going to go out of their way to learn English just so that American tourists have an easier time ordering food. According to Joe, the sign was up for six months before someone complained, and once that happened, it became a huge controversy. People are calling Joe Vento a racist, and the restaurant is facing the possibility of sanctions if the sign is not removed…because they want people to speak English…in America.