Experiencing Death

There was more wailing than at a Arab funeral. The Unnamed Children lost their first pet. Then they lost another. Then another. And another. All in one day.

It all started when the Unnamed Woman decided that Bubbles the goldfish needed friends. Bubbles belongs to the Older Child, who had become a bit selfish with him/her (Bubble’s gender is unknown). He didn’t even like the Younger Child participating in feeding Bubbles. Bubbles was moved downstairs and the Woman and Children bought another goldfish, Mr Mustachio, and some minnows and danios. Mr Mustachio was originally going to be call Monsieur Poisson, but that never caught on. His little black mustache was just too distinctive.

All seemed well until yesterday, when we bought a loach to clean the tank. Within hours, four of our little fish were dead. Then the loach died. Fortunately, the pet store that sold the little fish has a five-day guarrantee. The loach people weren’t so accommodating, which was especially irritating given that the available circumstantial evidence seems to focus on their fish as someone responsible for the death of the others.

The shock of death seemed to have worn off by this morning. When the Children got up, another little fish (I couldn’t tell you which kind, as I can’t really tell the minnows from the danios) was dead on the gravel. They took it matter of factly and the Younger Child declared, “Everyone dies eventually.”

The Unnamed Woman didn’t get any more little fish for now. Instead, she got another goldfish. The person at the pet shop said it was better to keep goldfish with goldfish. So now we have Goldie Lookin Fish.

Instead of the joys of watching the fish swim around in their tank, it is more like deathwatch. Will the last two little fish survive? Will the goldfish prove stronger than whatever killed the others?  The suspense continues.

Albert Mohler on Trig Palin and the Value of Life

Back in May of this year, Sarah Palin was the subject of a blog post by Dr Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mohler mentions then that she is often mentioned as a potential running mate for John McCain, so perhaps he was less surprised than I was when this came to pass.

However, this is not the subject or focus of his post. Rather it is about the Palin’s youngest child, Trig. It is worth a few moments of your time.

Where’s Al Franken When They Need Him?

I’m sure many of you have seen this from the Republican National Committee.

While someone on the Left with a lot of time and little imagination is doing the fake blog thing to make fun of Sarah Palin, the RNC has a Facebook spoof on Obama.

You’d think with Big Fat Idiots like Al Franken running for the US Senate, the Democrats could come up with something more entertaining. After all, his sole credential for sitting in the upper house of most powerful legislative body in the world is that he is a satirical comedian. Why aren’t they fully tapping into their resources?

God-tard

I just gotta share this one.

I was out surfing WordPress for the reaction to the Sarah Palin presumptive nomination. I couldn’t resist leaving a few intelligent comments on liberal blogs. In response, I learned a new word. It was the first time I’ve ever been called a “God-tard“. That has got to be the epitome of a juvenile insult. I don’t think this guy is going to make the debate team when he gets to high school.

I thought I wouldn’t have to deal with pubescent brains until school starts next week. I was enjoying the break.

Facebook and MySpace block under-13s. It’s a shame WordPress doesn’t do the same.

The Republicans Now Have the Hottest Ticket

I’m sure I’m not the only one who wasn’t expecting Sarah Palin to get the nod for the VP spot on the GOP ticket. The Democrats may have had the first woman to run for Vice President, but the Republicans have the hottest woman to ever be a VP nominee. Yep, we just won the photogenic stakes.

I think this actually matters. Let’s face it, Joe Biden – as nice a guy as he is, and yes, I cried during his son’s introduction at the Demo Convention – does not bring anything to the ticket. None one is going to vote for Obama because of Biden’s got more experience in foreign policy. The VP is not the President’s chief foreign policy advisor. That’s why he hires a Secretary of State. Then he’s got a Deputy Secretary, Under Secretaries, Assistant Secretaries, National Security Advisor, and a host of other hopefully really smart people.

No one is going to vote for Obama because he’s got an old guy on his ticket as well. No one is going to think, sure, Obama’s young, but there’s an older man who will go from being one of the most powerful men in the Senate to being the tie-breaking vote, in case there ends up being a 50-50 party split.

On the other hand, people will vote for McCain because he has a younger pretty woman on the ticket. She will attract Hillary supporters who wanted their woman on the Demo ticket. It’s the politics of gender. There are those for whom having a woman on the ticket is as important as it is for others to have a black man. And youth balances out McCain’s years in a way that age does not work for Obama. When people are looking for heroes they want Batman and Robin (or Batgirl, in this case), not Batman and Alfred. It doesn’t look good for the side-kick to appear more qualified that the principle.

But Sarah Palin doesn’t just bring women on board. The irony is that not only will she attract Hillary supporters, she will also attract some of the most virulent Hillary haters. She is rock solid conservative. She’s a member of the Assemblies of God. She is a poster-mother for the pro-life movement.  She is the answer to everything Republican voters questioned about John McCain’s conservatism.

And she is a lot better looking than Hillary. She doesn’t look strident. She doesn’t look aggressive. She’s feminine and unlike Hillary, she doesn’t have to work hard to look that way.

Oh, and she has held elective office for longer than Hillary. After all, Hillary claimed to be the candidate with experience. And she could claim this, having served in the Senate four years longer than Obama. Of course, Obama had those eight years in the Illinois Senate and Clinton had never held any other elected office. But I digress. . . Palin has held elective office since 1992 – five years before Obama – though she was out of office between 2002 and 2006. However, during 2003-04, she was Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Unique amongst all the names on the two major tickets, she is the only one to have held office in the executive branch of government.

As a brief aside, I should mention that despite the whim of a group of editors on Wikipedia, the First Lady is never “in office“. Despite her delusions of grandeur, or her ability to henpeck her husband, she is never a member of the executive branch of goverment.

Last night, I thought Tom Pawlenty was both the best and most likely choice. I’m glad I was wrong. Palin has all the advantages of Pawlenty and more. Put another way, she is Mike Huckabee without any of the baggage acquired during the primary season. Sarah Palin makes me want to come back to the States and start canvassing voters.

Nothing New With Nothing to Offer

I just watched Obama’s acceptance speech, available here because the UK news networks wanted to share in the glory of the new world messiah.

Now I can’t say I watched it all that closely after a while, because I got bored with more of the same old thing. However, as the speech reached its crescendo, I listened just to marvel at how many sentences Obama and his speech writers could string together without actually saying anything.  The crowd was getting so excited at what he was saying and he wasn’t saying anything.

As he was being invested as a demi-god in the faux Greek temple, cheered in a football stadium by throngs of supporters, I marvelled once again at his rise. After a bit more than half a term in the US Senate and the equivalent of two terms in the Illinois Senate, he is the answer to all that troubles the world.

I thought it was particularly interesting that the news coverage talked to people who quoted Martin Luther King’s line from the “I Have a Dream” speech, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” But that’s exact what has happened. Barak Obama’s candidacy is not the fulfilment of King’s dream – or if he’s the fulfilment of King’s own dream, he’s not the fulfilment of King’s words. Obama is being judged by the colour of his skin.

After all, he is neither the descendant of the black American experience nor was did he grow up in his own experience of racial discrimination. But he’s black. He may be the first actual African-American every elected to any federal office. After all, his father was African and his mother is American. All of the other black elected officials I’ve known of were born to an American father and an American mother which makes them American-Americans, as best I can tell. So if people are wanting to elect an African-American, he’s about as authentic as they can get and about the only chance they are ever going to get.

If people are wanting to vindicate the slave heritage and the triumph of civil rights, then there is nothing remarkable or groundbreaking about his nomination. Denver was not, in the words of the Sky News, “The scene of an unprecedented night American history.” He has nothing in common with Martin Luther King, W.E.B. DuBois, Thurgood Marshall, James Meredith, or the Little Rock Nine, other than the amount of melanin in his skin.

Home Again

Welcome to jet lag. It’s almost 3:00 am here in Merry Ol’ and my body thinks that it is 9:00 pm. So you are thinking, well, it’s not too long til bedtime. That would be true, except that I had two big naps since I got back, due, at least in part, to being awake almost all of 28 hours.

So now’s as good a time as any to describe the journey back.

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