Before the Chinese holiday break I wanted to get out a rant, and seeing the world is still here its as good a time as any. Its election year politics. Even my Chinese friends are coming up to me and asking really good questions and sharing outstanding insights into the candidates and their platforms, more so then most Americans I know, shamefully so. Remember folks, political ads and pamphlets are all slanted as are a vast majority of news stories. Get facts! Look at political records, responsibilities in office, and other public information. Find the candidates platforms and dig down past the rhetoric and spin to see what they really stand for. If you can’t name 8 basic points of a platform of BOTH candidates then you are not well informed, if you can name the priority in which they believe in them, you are well ahead of the game and I solute you.
Pigs in lipstick? Who is writing Obama’s speeches?!? I hear his campaign strategist is an old guard Democrat who has run the last 6 failed Democrat attempts at the white house, he did not run Clintons. I hope it was written, if not then add this to Obama’s comments on rural Pennsylvanians being bitter remark and it seems he is out of touch with main stream middle of the road America, lets hope not. The GOP is testing the copyright issues by continuing to use Heart’s Barracuda song without permission and I smell a lawsuit. Funny how neither of these headline making political stories highlight any politics. Where are the outlining of issues and positions we were promised? What is funny is that the DNC and RNC had the highest TV ratings of the summer! 10% of the American public tuned in and watched all the conventions for the nights they were on, 10%, that is 30 million people! Oddly enough the largest audience was to watch John McCain’s acceptance speech, huh?!? Sara Palin’s was second followed by Barack Obama’s acceptance speech. The only one that did bad with Joe Biden’s but that is because he is about as exciting as, well, a painted rock. It seems people are interested, or just bored with summer re-runs, bad movies, and not much to do. I hope the interest can be maintained so that the candidates have to work harder to get their messages out, it can only be good for the nation.
I told you so, sort of… Russia just landed 2 long range strategic nuclear capable bombers in Venezuela as a show of defiance over the Georgia support and Poland missile shield treaty signed last month. Things are starting to look an awful lot like the ‘60’s again there and that isn’t good. Bush promised to bring back 8,000 troops and double up efforts in Afghanistan and still gets slammed for it, oh well, he is a lame duck and despite authorizing not so covert ops in Pakistan it seems he could care less then he did 4 years ago. Kim Jong Il is sick, no he is dead, no he is alive and in hiding, no he had a stroke, no he is joining his son trying to run for the border to get to Disney with a Portuguese passport. It appears he did have a stroke, French and Chinese doctors did a little brain surgery and he is going to make a partial recovery. We did find a missile base and can see they are rebuilding their nuclear efforts, again. Of course even if he dies it isn’t a big deal, his father ruled the country from the grave for some time before Kim took over anyway. Hopefully the doctors told him to cut back on the cigars and wine.
Sports wise, Detroit sucks. The Tigers fell apart with bad pitching proving yet again that money can not buy a championship. With the 3rd highest payroll in baseball and all that talent they went nowhere and are struggling to finish the season at .500. The Lions, well when you let the youngest and one of the worst teams in the NFL have a record setting running day at your expense and offer flat offense it looks like a really long and troublesome season. How does Matt Millen keep his job? I can see the Ford influence in the team, Ford has been losing money and market shares in the auto industry for a decade now and is carrying on that tradition into sports. Speaking of football, I joined a public league with Fox Sports this year for fantasy football. My team stinks. The only good thing in being last is you get the #1 waiver pick the following week. My running backs were either released, placed on IR, or just did not play. Time will tell if I can salvage the season. Running backs are the key for a good fantasy team, remember this and it will serve you well. The Olympics concluded with Beijing impressing the world with more then just massive human capital and theatrics but by bringing home a solid 51 gold medals and coming in second in total medals with 100, second only to the US with a total of 110 medals but a measly 36. This Olympics, sports wise, was one that had little controversy relatively speaking and many records falling. China was a good host and the world saw a first rate spectacle of show and sport. First Brett Farve and now Lance Armstrong, guys please give it a rest. Now a 42 year old is going to play for the Red Wings!
On to science, The LHC, or Large Hadron Collider was turned on, ran a test, and we are still here. No black holes, rips in time and space, or resets in the fabric of the universe, yet. We just have to poke and prod anything we can to see how it ticks, one of these days it will bite us in the butt, hopefully not by opening up a massive black hole under the Alps. The space program is trying to get a few more years out of the shuttles. It turns out the ISS is pretty darned expensive, but not when compared to the school breakfast program, condoms in schools programs, the war, or most other things we don’t think about every day. The ISS has not even been completed yet and there are people calling for its retirement! Our short attention spans and instant gratification mindset is getting too out of hand. Hurricanes are popping up left and right in the Atlantic and poor Haiti and Cuba are getting hammered. One bright spot in all this that is not being mentioned enough is how it is erasing a decades worth of drought on the US Gulf Coast. Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and many other states of the region were getting baked and one thing the autumn hurricane season does is replenish the water tables before the winter. While not good to have they do serve a vital role in our environment and need to be demonized less and shown that they are just like anything else in nature, totally neutral in their dealing with us and our desire to put things in their paths. Speaking of weather I noticed how each storm is now a killer or catastrophic or violent or destructive. Is it me or has the weather reporters decided to turn all weather events into a gang of murderous malicious marauders hell bent on causing cataclysmic calamities everywhere they go?
Finally, it is a solemn day for us Americans. 2,998 people are gone, some not confirmed. They were from many different nations, religions, ages, and backgrounds. They had different goals, views, and motivations. None of them thought for a second that their fate would be sealed as it was 7 years ago today. The hatred and commitment for revenge that spawned those attacks still lives on today and has to be checked, but we can not let the fear of this shape our lives or restrict our freedoms to such a degree that we are permanently changed for the worst by it. Seven is a lucky number in our culture so let us all pray that we can turn the corner and rebound stronger and smarter from the events of this day. We, as a species, tend to only grow when we face adversity. Let the events of 7 years ago force us all to grow a bit and become stronger.