It seemed like a natural phrase for a new, inspirational presidential campaign: Yes, We Can. But, as it turns out, it has been the trademarked slogan for the National Center for Home Food Preservation and Canning -- the trade association folks in DC who advocate for the many ‘canning’ companies around the nation.
“It’s outrageous,” declared Homer “Deacon” Jones Jr., the president and grandson of the founder of the Intercourse Canning Company of Intercourse, Pennsylvania. “Over the years, we have suffered enough from the ‘Intercourse’ jokes. My father, Homer Sr, and his father, Malcolm before him, just took it all in stride. But when someone takes our prideful slogan, ‘Yes, We Can!’ and usurps it for political purposes, well, that makes my blood boil. That slogan is known all over the country for just one thing: Canning.” The Intercourse Canning Company is known for canning beets, pickles and tomatoes. Mr. Jones was the President of the National Center for Home Food Preservation and Canning from 1996 to 2002.
Other canning company folks around the country were similarly upset. “We have enough competition from the bottling companies, the cardboard manufacturers, and the plastic container folks. We really don’t need this right now,” added Lester Boyles, CEO of the Colusa Canning Company of Colusa County, California. “I support Obama and all, but, dang, don’t that beat all.” Mr. Boyles was one of the canning company executive presidents present at a “No, You Can’t” rally on a rainy Tuesday last week, which drew more than 35 people.
And that’s not all: The Obama campaign may be looking at a similar lawsuit on the international trademark front -- this one from France. “Yes Oui Cannes,” it seems, is the newly minted slogan for the Cannes Film Festival. “Mon Dieu, c'est scandaleux!” declared Jean-Luc Rudehomme, the spokesperson for the prestigious 62 year-old film festival set on the south of France.
In similar news, the semi-pro wrestler “Country Joe” Furst, 36, [born Joseph Furstenberger] of Calvin County, Oklahoma, upon hearing about the legal problems Obama may face, is considering a possible trademark infringement action against the McCain campaign. “It’s on my to-do list, right after my big cage match this weekend in Tulsa,” shared Mr. Furst. “That’s outrageous. Using my name like that to popularize his presidential campaign.”
The McCain campaign could not be reached for comment.
Joey Novick is an attorney, professional stand-up comedian, professional keynote speaker, and a former 12 year Councilman in Flemington, NJ. From 1996-2000, he served as the County Chair of the Hunterdon County Democratic Committee. As a stand-up comedian and improv actor, Joey has appeared on MTV, Comedy Central, Rascal's Comedy Hour and One Life to Live, and most recently, with "Laughing Liberally". He has opened in concert and at comedy club dates for such comedy notables as Jerry Seinfeld, Robert Klein, Lewis Black, Rosie O'Donnell and Ray Romano. He is currently developing a one-man show about life, laughter and local government in the Garden State, tentatively entitled, "Trentoon".
His blog, NJPoliticsUnusual.com, has been informing NJ's political insiders for almost "two-thirds of a fiftieth of a century," and has recognized by Campaigns & Elections and SNJ Business People. The New York Times, AP Newswire, Washington Post, Newark Star-Ledger, ABC News and National Public Radio have all been kind enough to mention his work in comedy and politics every now and then. Joey appears monthly on News-12's "Power & Politics", sharing his keen insights on NJ's elected officials, and has chaired a panel on political humor for the New Jersey State League of Municipalities every year since 1995. He has taken his political humor on the road across the nation, appearing at state municipal league conferences in New York, Maine, Connecticut, Nevada, West Virginia, New Mexico, Colorado, Kentucky and Rhode Island; as well as at the National League of Cities Conference. His mother, Pearl, lives in Florida, plays canasta almost every day, and is very glad Joey visits her on a regular basis.
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"During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."- Nelson Mandela
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