Monday, May 9, 2011

Back from Vacation Blogging. . .

Wow, its been almost a month since my last blog post.  I almost can't believe it.  On the other hand, that's the joy of vacation - you get out of your head for awhile.  For the record, I went to Miami and St. Petersburg, helped catch a 400+lb. Goliath Grouper (my contributions were minimal, but existent), and generally had a good time.  I even did stuff, which I had no intention of doing.  So, this has been the first chance, and inclination to blog at all. So without further ado. . .

Birthers, Birthers:  Hmm. . .do they really exist after Obama produced his long-form birth certificate?  Birtherism always struck me as being a proxy for the obvious - that Obama is a black guy with a Muslim-sounding name.  It is a direct attack on his legitimacy as President.  Obvious racism is generally despised, so to hide the racism, people would couch their language as doubting Obama's place of birth.  Still, it should be no surprise that the long form birth certificate confirmed what we knew.  I knew the whole thing was much ado about nothing when it was discovered that there were two birth announcements in Hawaiian papers published shortly after Obama's birth.  Of course, producing a long-form birth certificate won't make Obama any whiter, or give him a less Muslim-sounding name, but it does expose birthers as kooks and racists.

Popping a Cap in Osama bin Laden's Ass: Or rather, a double tap to the head.  In college, I had the privilege of meeting a SEAL Team 6 member (totally legit too - the guy's picture was in "Black Belt" Magazine).  We were in "The Matchmaker" together and while we rehearsed, the guy told all of us 18-22 year old kids how to take a human being apart like a cheap watch.  My best description in two words: AWWWWEEESOMMEE!!!!!* Anyway, offing Osama was a huge, huge coup for the President, and shows that there's some hope we can get out of Iraq and Afghanistan sometime soon.  Oh, and was the killing legal? Probably, and we'll never know for sure.

Weird Things in Iran: President Ahmadinejad's staff, including his Chief of Staff, have been charged with sorcery. . .yes, like Harry Potter.  Now, granted, sorcery would help explain how Ahmadinejad was elected by such a large margin in the last election (bud-dum), but the arrests also indicate a fracture between the President and Supreme Leader, and that's very interesting.  There's no question, Khamenei put his ass on the line for Ahmadinejad during the presidential election, and in face of obvious voter fraud.  And if the conservative elites fight amongst themselves. . .well, interesting things will happen. 

Pakistani and American Relations: Of anything out there that scares me, the deterioration of US-Pakistani relations does the most.  Its looking pretty clear that Pakistan, or some elements of its military and/or intelligence network were helping Al Qaeda.  There's no way, Osama bin Laden could've lived within the same town as Pakistan's chief military academy for six years without someone figuring it out.  And to now prevent access to bin Laden's wives. . .wow.  Of course, the problem with Pakistan is that it has nukes, and so pressing the issue is problematic, at best.  And by problematic, I mean, "potentially starting a war between the U.S., Pakistan, India and China, all of whom have nukes."  Let's tread very, very carefully, please.

On a personal note:

David L. Holmes, one of my religion professors at William & Mary is retiring.  While Prof. Holmes certainly would not appreciate some of the language used on this blog (for instance, I just wrote "blog" instead of "online journal"), I loved the classes I took with him. In part, Professor Holmes looked like a college professor should look - glasses, balding hair, jacket with suede patches, and sounded like Garrison Keeler, but more than his looks or how he sounded, Professor Holmes had the caring and the humanity that meant the world to me. 

I know that the human mind leads us to remember the good times, and forget the bad, but I remember thinking while in his classes that this is what a college class should be.  In the antique and wonderful halls of the Wren Building, smelling of old wood, the sun shining through the windows, hearing Professor Holmes lead a discussion on Ordinary People, or teaching us about the Reformation was a pure joy.  I worked hard in his classes, not just because the curriculum was difficult, but also because I wanted to impress him.  While I strongly disagree with his taste in whiskey - gleaned from my friend Ben, who was his boarder during my Senior year (rye, ick) - I will remember him, and the lessons he taught me, always.**

*Yes, I am aware that AWWWWEEESOMMEE is one, poorly spelled, word.

**Well, most of his lessons.  I have a feeling Professor Holmes would read this blog and gasp at the poor grammar.  I probably need to reread Shrunk & White, but slowly, as it is a rich as pecan pie.

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