Gas Mileage, Gay Marriage, Other Things

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Gas Mileage, Gay Marriage, Other Things
By RAY HANANIA • Friday, May 18, 2012
Southwest News-Herald, Chicago
For all the talk that we hear from people who want to kick out all those “illegal aliens,” the same people are not talking about why American cars get less miles per gallon than European-made vehicles.

A recent survey by shows the average MPG for an American car is 21.2 while it is 27.6 for South Korean drivers. It’s still better in Europe — 23.4 MPG, and in Japan it’s 25 MPG.

That’s six more miles to the gallon. Most cars take 17 gallons to fill up so that’s an extra 102 miles on a tank of gas for foreign drivers, and 102 less for us Americans.

You remember “Americans,” right? They’re the people who led the world in terms of defending free speech, freedoms and even ingenuity.

Well, all that hatred from Sept. 11, 2001 has sure changed a lot of that. We spend more time blaming our rising unemployment rate not on the greed of our American businesses but rather on those “illegal immigrants” who are taking our jobs.

Really? Whose jobs are they taking? Chances are an “illegal immigrant” didn’t ace someone out for a job as a doctor at one of our local hospitals or beat an American for that promotion at some Fortune 500 corporation.

But it sure makes it easy for us to blame everything on everyone else, when maybe a lot of it is our own laziness and growing sense of entitlement.

Everyday I read another story about how some big shot politicians are ripping off the public. Like Mayor Daley, who doubled his pension benefits two decades ago by giving himself a little known benefit that only the insiders could get.

It’s all the same folks. We get lousy American-made cars but the Europeans and the Asians are getting better mileage. We’re the richest country in the world, supposedly, and yet so many Americans are out of work, starving and unable to pay their bills.

When are we going to stop blaming foreigners and take responsibility for ourselves?

Well, that might happen when votes and campaign contributions won’t matter any more.

Maybe instead of complaining about all those foreigners coming into “our” country, we might want to invite more of them in and figure out why their cars are doing better than our cars when it comes to gas mileage?


With all the problems we have in the world, the big national debate isn’t about the economy. It’s about whether two human beings who are in love can hold up a piece of paper and claim to be married.

President Obama stumbled onto the position the other day saying he supported “Gay Marriage,” after Vice President Biden said he was planning to announce it soon.

Then Mitt Romney, the Great White Hope, declared in his most stable tenor, “I believe marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman.”

I bet there are some members of Congress who might secretly dispute that definition.

Personally, if two men or two women love each other, so what? That’s their business. As long as it doesn’t impact me, I could care less.

But of course, this issue is all about politics, not “morality.” And Romney didn’t add the footnote: “Of course, I’m not factoring in how many men and how many women a marriage might keep.”

The divorce rate among the Baby Boomers is more than 50 percent. Although there is evidence that the divorce is dipping slightly because, well, the economy is so bad people can’t afford to break up their marriages.

Well, some might try to describe that as a silver lining in a dark cloud.

(Join Ray Hanania on radio to debate these topics every Sunday at 8 a.m. on WSBC AM 1240 and WCFJ AM 1470 or go to — City & Suburban News-Herald

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites and (Illinois News Network at

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post,, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

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