Saturday, October 10, 2009

Nobel Prize

Police seek pudgy man
who invades backyards
and dances naked.

Yes, President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. And yes, he probably deserves it. Listening to the crazies you would think it was an insult to the United States. They say he was only in office two weeks before he was nominated and so therefore he had done nothing to deserve it. He was nominated two weeks after taking office, presumably the vote must have occurred sometime later, they could certainly have changed their minds had he done something terrible in the meantime. Perhaps he has not done entirely enough to deserve it, but it has often been awarded to people for their attempts to do something desirable for the world. How, they say, can he be awarded a Peace Prize when he is involved in two “wars?” Has everyone forgotten these are not wars he started, but inherited from Bush/Cheney. He was, as you should remember, opposed to the war in Iraq. And he is trying desperately to figure out what the best course of action should be in Afghanistan. He is closing down Guantanamo although it is turning out to be somewhat more difficult than expected, and he has presumably stopped our horrible torturing. It has also been said that this was an anti-Bush award. Perhaps in part it is, but in fact, Obama has done a great many things so far, rolling back some of the more egregious rulings and practices of Bush/Cheney and, above all, starting to re-establish once more our legitimate place in the world community. His emphasis on diplomacy rather than the “shoot first, ask questions later” style of the McCain’s and others on the right is itself worthy of the prize. Others say they gave him the prize, not for what he has done, but for what they wish him to do. Perhaps so, but what is wrong with that? Rush Limbaugh, that great fat, lying, drug-addicted cauldron of pig pucky, says Obama is being laughed at by the rest of the world. Yeah, he’s so pathetic they just awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize and desperately want him to exercise leadership to help solve the crucial problems of the world. Winning this prize is a great honor, not only for Obama, but for the United States, and it symbolizes at the very least their respect for a leader who is actually trying to do something constructive about the problems of nuclear proliferation, global warming, health care, and human rights. If changing our foreign policy from one of pre-emptive war and aggression against anyone we even imagine to be enemies, to an emphasis on cooperation and diplomacy doesn’t rate a Peace Prize, what does? Obama is resisting the pressures on him to panic and simply order 40 or 60 thousand more troops into a gaping black hole, and trying against long odds to do something intelligent for the first time in a long time. But it doesn’t really matter what Obama has done or will do, the hate-Obama crazies will always oppose him. I’m sure they would bitch even if he was hung with a new rope.

What sex scandal? Everywhere you turn at the moment you are confronted with someone talking about Letterman’s “sex scandal.” Since when was adults having consensual sexual relations scandalous? So Letterman had sex with one or more of the women who work on his show, so what? Most of the time, if not the entire time, he was unmarried. No one has come forward claiming they were raped or coerced into having sex with the boss. While there may be rules, both written and unwritten, about preventing sex with superiors or underlings, it happens so commonly it can hardly be considered scandalous. And it wouldn’t matter even if Letterman had been married, sex between consenting adults per se, is not really a scandal. But of course the media want it to be a scandal because they have to fill up their air time (one of the reasons news 24/7 has turned into infotainment rather than news). I guess the fact that Letterman was being blackmailed perhaps makes it a scandal. But even this is commonplace enough that if it happened to ordinary people we would probably not even hear about it. Thus it is a scandal because it involves a celebrity and because the news says it is, a sad commentary on the state of the news industry in our time.

Now, if you haven’t heard this before, try not to collapse into hysterical laughter. Not content to ignore science, to reject the theory of evolution, to believe humans were contemporaneous with dinosaurs and the earth is only 6000 years old, some on the right are now going to rewrite the bible…. because it is too liberal! I don’t know much about the bible, having tried and failed to read it several times, but I cannot believe these religious nutcases are going to be allowed to tamper with the eternal and absolute truths found therein. I guess, after all, this is an admission that the bible is not the really the literal truth of things they always insisted it was. So I say, go ahead, write away, if, that is, you even know how to write.

Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the bible is filled, it would seem more consistent that we called it the word of a demon than the Word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind.
Thomas Paine

Modern geologists tend to accept the age of the earth to be 4.54 billion years (they don’t give the exact time of day it all began).

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