Archive for February, 2008

Will bygones be bygones for the Democratic party?

February 27, 2008 Leave a comment

Understand that, for me, this question is merely one of curiosity since I’m not a democrat and don’t plan to vote for the Donkeys in November. Still, since it’s something I find fascinating.

As of this writing, it’s looking more and more like Barack Obama will get the Democratic nomination, I wonder if he and Hillary will be able to patch up their differences and move forward. Can the two let bygones be bygones or will they continue to quarrel? Any olive branch offered will likely show signs of wear and tear, especially when you consider how ugly things have been getting in the Texas primary.

Will Hillary ultimately endorse Obama? I suspect she will, especially if she sees that that is the most expedient path for her political future. Don’t expect too much gushing on her part, but rather the quick, curt endorsement Bill Bradley gave Al Gore in the 2000 presidential race. In that race, we remember, Bradley famously speculated in a primary debate, “Why should the American people believe Al Gore will tell the truth as president, if he doesn’t do it as a candidate?”

Second question: will Obama ask Hillary to be his running mate? With as ugly as things have gotten in the campaign, I doubt it. Besides, the Democrats have had a very anemic showing in the southern states for the past two elections, so it’s more likely that Obama will look for someone below the Mason-Dixon line.

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Extraterrestrial life

February 26, 2008 Leave a comment

“Are we alone in the universe?” is a question that’s been asked long before I was born in 1973, and it’ll be asked long after I’m dead. Millions of dollars have been spent in the private, non-profit Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program, which is designed to “listen” to sounds in deep space. The hope is that some of those sounds might come from an intelligent source, thus proving that there is, indeed, intelligent life out there. (Some say that we are desperate to find extraterrestrial intelligent life since virtually no intelligent life exists on earth).

One of my sons told me that since there are many planets outside our solar system and, doubtlessly, billions upon billions of other planets yet to be discovered, there has to be intelligent life in the universe. If you’d asked me 20 years ago, my answer would’ve been an emphatic no. Now, it’s not something I can answer with a yes or no; my answer is more likely to be somewhere between It’s possible and I don’t know. Sometimes I tell people it’s possible, while other times I simply say that only God knows for sure.

Years ago, while a student at a Christian college, I posed this question to a man who, today, is a spiritual mentor and the older brother I never had. “Do you think there’s intelligent life out there?” I asked him.

“That’s an irrelevant question,” he replied.


“Because, if God had thought it was something important enough for us to know, he would’ve mentioned it to us in the Bible. Scripture is silent on the issue.”

I suppose this is a question we’ll get answered someday. For now, we focus on life here on earth.

In a way, I find the search to be dangerous. As we’ve seen from science-fiction films like Alien, what if we do find extraterrestrial life and learn that it’s hostile and bent on destroying us?

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Barack said, Hillary said

February 26, 2008 Leave a comment

Barack Obama calls it a smear tactic while Hillary Clinton insists she had nothing to do with it. I’m talking, of course, of the photo of Obama dressed in attire from Kenya (where, coincidentally, he has ancestry). Obama, who’s pulling away from Clinton in the Democratic presidential nomination race, gave his thoughts on the photo and its recent origins on San Antonio’s News Radio 1200 WOAI: “Everybody knows that whether it’s me or Sen. Clinton or Bill Clinton, that when you travel to other countries, oftentimes they ask you to try on traditional garb that you have been given as a gift.”

Clinton denied on Channel 8 WFAA in Dallas that the photo came from her campaign, pointing out that when traveling to foreign countries, it’s a sign of respect to wear their outfits.

The real issue, Clinton added, is whether or not Obama has the experience to serve as president.

“This is one more attempt by my opponent’s campaign to change the subject,” she told the television station. She added: “You know, this is one more attempt by my opponent’s campaign to change the subject from his health care plan that won’t cover everybody, from an economic plan that won’t produce jobs and from, you know, a record that’s pretty thin when it comes to national security and standing up for our country around the world…You’ve got to ask yourself who do you want answering that phone at 3 a.m. in the White House when some crisis breaks out somewhere in the world. And if I think people ask themselves that question, I’m going to do well in Texas.”

The Texas primary is rapidly approaching, and if Senator Clinton doesn’t win Texas after having lost many states to Obama, many think her campaign will be over.

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Oscar is a dud

February 25, 2008 Leave a comment

No, I didn’t watch the 80th annual Academy Awards last night. Was too busy counting the number of fibers in our living room carpet. Three basic reasons I didn’t watch: the movies nominated this year looked like duds, it’s a glorified popularity contest and the incredibly unfunny “comedian” Jon Stewart hosted.

Last time Stewart hosted was a few years ago. He was horrible then and I didn’t want my time wasted again.

Apparently, few others watched also. One AP report says that preliminary ratings show this year’s event was watched by about 14 percent less viewers than the lowest-rated broadcast of 2003, when only 33 million tuned in.

The only thing good last night was that fake-umentarian Michael Moore didn’t win Best Documentary for his film Sicko. There is an unusual report regarding Moore apparently moving to Cuba. Check it out here.

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Hillary desperate

February 25, 2008 Leave a comment

Hillary Clinton, at one thought to be the shoo-in for the 2008 Democratic presidential nominee, now seems to be in desperation mode.

Matt Drudge reported that Clinton’s staffers have circulated a photo that shows Barack Obama dressed as a Somali Elder during his 2006 visit to Kenya. Ostensibly, the Clinton campaign wants to depict Obama as a Muslim. They must be hoping that such a photo of Obama would be as devastating as the infamous “tank photo” was to 1988 Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis.

The Drudge link also shows a picture of Hillary Clinton that, frankly, if the Obama campaign really wanted to, they could try to use to their advantage as well.

Clinton talks constantly about the “politics of personal destruction,” but it seems more often than not that she’s the chief proprietor of it.

Next week are the Texas and Ohio primaries, and Clinton can ill afford to lose either.

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Barack versus Hillary

February 23, 2008 Leave a comment

The Austin debate between Democratic presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton took a nasty turn. Obama prides himself as a candidate for “change” (I’m pretty sure he’s not talking about coins). Renewing her accusations that Obama plagiarizes some of the things he says, Clinton said this at the debate: “Lifting whole passages is not change you can believe in, it’s change you can Xerox.” The crowd booed.

And now, there are reports that Obama has lifted lines from the movie Malcolm X and is using them in his campaign. For more info, go to this Debbie Schlussel blog posting.

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The mysteries within Jupiter

February 23, 2008 Leave a comment

Ever wonder what’s inside the planet Jupiter? One astronomy book I read while in junior high back in 1986 speculated that it was a terrestrial world filled with mountain ranges. We now know this is pure fantasy as Jupiter, underneath its clouds, is an enigmatic world of two giant “oceans”—a liquid hydrogen ocean atop a liquid metallic hydrogen ocean. That is, liquid hydrogen under so much atmospheric pressure that it becomes metallic. Nothing like it exists on earth.

Jupiter is also said to have a solid core; some, such as Arthur C. Clarke in 2010: Odyssey Two, speculate that it is an earth-sized diamond.

The pictures above are artists’ conceptions of what Jupiter’s interior looks like.

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