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Attempts to illuminate our brief mortal existence

Friday, June 25, 2010


I would call myself a casual observer of current events. I don't obsess about ferreting out the latest news, and I don't even have a news feed as my home page. I get an e-mail every day with some headlines from the New York Times; some days I delete the e-mail, most days I scan the headlines and read two or three articles that look interesting, every once in a while I really go through and read half a dozen or more articles that look particularly informative. Other than this I get my news through listening to NPR when I'm in the car.

So I have a decent grasp on the big stuff (there's oil in the gulf of Mexico, South Carolina is a political soap opera, General McChrystal has a big mouth, etc.), but it's not exactly up to the minute, and it's not terribly in depth. You can read all that as a disclaimer and an introduction, because this casual observer has some questions about current events (and by current I mean within the past few weeks).

1) What, exactly, did/do people expect President Obama to do about the oil spill?

This is partly a sarcastic remark, and partly an honest question. From my limited perspective, it looks like a problem that requires people with a more experience in engineering and less in politics. Are there presidential powers of which I am not aware that Obama should have been exercising? Is there something that he didn't do that he could have, or did that he should have not have? Also, isn't it a little odd that people were so angry that he didn't appear angry enough?

2) Are stupid remarks about the boss and difficult coworkers, made while not on the job or in official capacity, just cause to fire someone?

This is, of course, a reference to General Stanley McChrystal, who was removed from his post as the leader of the Afghan war following an article published in Rolling Stone containing some less than satisfied things that he had to say about diplomats and Obama administration members.

3) Is presiding over the opening of a construction project in Ohio really the best way to curry favor with the citizens of that fine state?

Last weekend I had to giggle at the story of President Obama attending the ground breaking of a road construction project in Columbus, OH. Having lived in the area, I can attest to the annoyance felt by all when summer begins and the orange barrels begin sprouting like pestiferous, poisonous blooms. Undeniably it is a good thing that a construction crews worth of Ohians have a job that they would not have otherwise had. Also, road construction is a good thing. It's just an annoying good thing. Especially in Ohio. Thus the giggling.

4) Why did I ever hate Landon Donovan?

This question should be self-explanatory. If its not, there is little hope for you. Also,

5) Where can I get hold of a vuvuzela?

I asked, you answer.


  1. i only have one thing to say, which is that you hated Landon Donovan because 8 years ago he was a really young and arrogant soccer star and a lot of lady folk were in love with him. since then you've realized that he's the savior of amerian soccer. that's all. :)

  2. 1) they expect him to be God. or at least an angel.

    2) depends how stupid the comments are. and probably how important your superiors are.

    3) um, probably not?

    4)lara answered.

    5) http://www.buy-vuvuzela.com It even compares all the prices from different sites for you. :)

  3. I'm sorry you think there's little hope for me.. who's Landon Donovan?

  4. We have a vuvuzela...and you can have it!!! I find it annoying in the extreme, but everyone else seems to think it is a wonderful thing, especially if they are the one blowing it. (That perspective does make quite a difference in the annoyance level, I find)
    Dad got it at Crew Stadium during one of the viewing parties; Patrick loves it!

  5. I too am a very casual news observer. I rarely hear enough of it while driving to "truly be informed".

    Would like to comment in my ignorance a bit about some of your questions.

    1. What did the president have to do with this?? In one of the short commentaries I heard, there were two things that he could have (and should have) , in the radio speakers mind, done differently.
    A. 13 nations offered their oil skimmers and expertise to help with the spill. They were turned down.
    B. BP requested to set the oil on fire at the point of entry into the Gulf, which would have undoubtedly made a huge amount of smoke, but would have kept the oil from ever reaching shore. The Administration refused to let this happen. one month after the well is finally stopped, the smoke would have been forgotten. Since oil has reached the shore line for so many hundreds of miles, the impact will last for years instead of months.

    These and others are political decisions, not engineering ones.

    2. Some jobs have 24/7 ramifications. I as a preacher don't have "time off", where I can cuss and swear, and then expect people to hear me preach Sunday morning as if all is well.
    McCrystal violated the "honor the king" with his public comments and should have been fired.

    Good questions.

    May the Lord bless you with an excellent day.

    Uncle Clayton

  6. Mom - I want the vuvuzela, at least temporarily. It should have an excellent effect when blown behind certain unsuspecting individuals that I live with. :)

    Uncle Clayton - thanks for your thoughts on that. Does anyone know what the rationale was behind the refusals?

    Marty - *sigh* Landon Donavon is one of the stars of the US soccer team that was making a good run in the World Cup until they tripped over a speed bump named "Ghana" and got sent home.

  7. Get a what?
    Back in the day we just called them "horns"
    I've had several back in the day; still have one in fact which came in my adult years from a hershey bears hockey game.
    ps; make sure you are beyond arms reach when you buzz someone. I don't find them as annoying as your mom apparently does, but one time in the youthful years, my sister figured she would compense your uncle dan for his rampant trickery using my horn. He spun around in time to catch her with the horn post toot still at her mouth and gave it a bop on on the other end...he got an earful first by horn, than by word; she got a bloody lip.
    uncle hans

  8. http://blog.heritage.org/2010/06/30/morning-bell-obamas-oil-spill-to-do-list/

    A link if you have a few minutes to read about things that could be done to stop the flow of the oil into the gulf. Of course Obama didn't cause and couldn't stop the oil leak from happening, but in the 2 months since we would like to believe that every expert has been consulted, every opportunity taken to bring this to an end and clean the gulf.