The Monthly Editorial Blog By Schlafly Beer Co-Founder Tom Schlafly
As far as I know, Missouri is the only state whose government offices close on Harry Truman’s birthday. For the benefit of those alert readers (ARs) whose alertness does not extend to knowing this date off the tops of their heads, the 33rd president of the United States was born on May 8, 1884. He succeeded to the presidency upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt 70 years ago, on April 12, 1945. It wasn’t until 13 days later, on April 25th, that the new commander-in-chief of the United States was told about the Manhattan Project, which his predecessor had authorized three years earlier. Three and half months later, Truman issued the fateful, historic and controversial orders to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th and 9th respectively.
This was by no means the only historic and controversial decision that Truman made as president. During one four-month period in 1948 he signed the legislation implementing the Marshall Plan; recognized the newly established state of Israel; launched the Berlin Airlift; and signed the order to integrate the American armed services. This last action prompted the bigoted prohibitionist Strom Thurmond to run against him in November and almost cost Truman the election. Thurmond carried four states in the Deep South and siphoned off enough Democratic votes to prevent Truman from winning a majority of the popular vote. The election was so close that The Chicago Tribune called it wrong and ran the infamous headline “Dewey Defeats Truman.” After surviving the election, Truman continued to make controversial decisions, the most unpopular of which was probably firing General Douglas MacArthur as commander of the U.S. Forces in Korea in April of 1951.
Harry Truman has the distinction of being the last U.S. president not to have graduated from college. He was nevertheless very well educated, having read all of the books in the Independence, Missouri public library by the age of 14. Despite being a lot smarter and far better read than most college graduates, Truman missed out on one of the greatest benefits of a college education: the ability to bask in the reflected glory of the accomplishments of fellow alumni. Lots of ARs, like yours truly, may never come close to winning a Rhodes Scholarship, Olympic Gold Medal, Academy Award, Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, MacArthur Fellowship etc. We can, however, read about such achievements in alumni publications and take vicarious credit.
In that spirit, I’m asking ARs to indulge me as I boast about a remarkable achievement by an alumna of Georgetown University, my alma mater…an achievement that truly does make my two diplomas retroactively appreciate in value. Kelly Rohrbach, class of 2012, was recently featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Not only that. She was awarded the highly coveted honor of “Rookie of the Year.” According to an authoritative report at www.casualhoya.com, “Georgetown alums have been in Congress, on the Supreme Court and even in the White House, but until now none has ever appeared in the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.” So there. It’s nice to know that an education with an annual cost of nearly $70,000 is paying off.
That said, I’m not sure all of the students at Georgetown are taking full advantage of their costly educations. As some ARs may recall, two months ago I wrote about incidents of academic dishonesty at colleges I didn’t attend, namely North Carolina, Harvard and Dartmouth. In fairness, therefore, I have to report a sign that I recently saw prominently displayed in a residence hall window at my alma mater: Respect EXISTANCE or Expect RESISTANCE. Unfortunately, I am not making this up. This sign was actually made by someone who is presumably on track to receive a diploma from the same university that graduated Kelly Rohrbach and me. I wonder if the Philosophy Department now offers a course in Existantialism.
While Ms. Rohrbach’s profession is undoubtedly lucrative, it is not without controversy. One of the most common criticisms is that models are underweight to an extent that’s unhealthy. In order to correct this situation the French parliament is currently considering legislation that would ban models with a body-mass index (BMI) below 18, which is still significantly lower than the average BMI for all French women of 23.2. Agencies that employ models who are too skinny could face massive fines and even criminal penalties, including jail time for staff. By way of comparison, a BMI over 30 is considered “obese;” a BMI over 40 is considered “morbidly obese;” and the average Sumo wrestler in Japan has a BMI over 45. I wonder if the Japanese legislature (ironically called “The National Diet”) will ever consider banning Sumo wrestlers for being too fat.
To any models who might be despondent over being out of work because they’re too skinny, I’m pleased to offer a solution. Start drinking beer. There’s no more effective or pleasurable way to put on weight. In addition, if you’re going to drink beer, you might as well drink good beer. Now, some ARs may have seen TV commercials mocking craft beer (e.g. Schlafly) while touting the virtues of “Macro Beer” that’s purportedly “Brewed the Hard Way.” For the sake of ARs and aspiring models who may wonder what these phrases really mean, I’m pleased to offer the following definitions. A “Macro Brewery” is a brewery controlled by a multi-billion dollar Brazilian hedge fund. “Brewing Beer the Hard Way” means cutting costs by giving pink slips to thousands of employees and spending less on hops and malts than craft breweries do.
While there are lots of good craft beers out in the market, I’m proud to report that Schlafly Kölsch was just voted the “Best Brew in America” by readers of The Washington Post. We prevailed in a field of 32 beers, including some produced by the “Macro Brewery” that claims to eschew craft beer. In the final round we defeated a brewery that recently renounced its American citizenship and is now part of a Belgian conglomerate. We received over 57% of the vote, a much higher percentage than Harry Truman had in 1948.