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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I'm in a state

Here we are; once a year we make the effort to sit still long enough to listen to a carefully scripted presentation that acknowledges what we already know about the state of our union and gives us some uplifting statements to make us feel better about it all.

I decided to turn on CNN in the hotel room and follow the coverage with them through the evening. I always used to believe that CNN was reasonably impartial as a news source although I wasn't naive enough to think they weren't leftward-leaning.

But what was the first thing I saw? Wolf Blitzer in The Situation Room - which reminds me of Presidents making world-shaping decisions...

and also - like a train wreck - reminds me of Mike The Situation Sorrentino.

Of course, my most up close and personal memory of Wolf was him ducking and covering while covering the first Gulf War in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province. I was in Riyadh where we were receiving daily Scud attacks and there he was freaking out on global television...not his best moment.

But I digress...

So there I am tonight trying to put that image of Wolf out of my mind and take his pre-SotU coverage seriously and who is the fist guest I see? Bill Maher.

In modern parlance, I thought to myself, ''

The king of the liberals is on the air. My grandparents, parents and teachers always told me, 'If you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all.'

You have no idea of the internal struggle that is causing at the moment.

Okay, here goes...

Mr. Maher said that President Obama should pull our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan...and every other foreign country in the world.

Leaving aside what we would do with all those troops (border guards or 20% unemployment?), I suppose the money we saved on foreign deployments might pay for every man, woman and child in the USA to get a university degree.

Since I'm still struggling, I think I'll do some more ironing, call my wife, do my taxes and generally forget that Maher's satanic image (oops) ever burned the surface of my cornea.

Enjoy the speech...and feel free to come by and tell me what you thought of it.


Friday, January 14, 2011

The moon is in the 7th, er, 8th house...

Life has not been kind to us within the realm of time lately. After my last series of posts chronicling the painful, partial replacement of my wife's right knee, time has been - to paraphrase composer Richard O'Brien - fleeting.

And now, the very fabric of time, well, at least the part astrologers calculate, may be stretching.

In his article on Fox News, Jeremy Kaplan reveals how the shifting positions of the moon and stars over the last few millennia have called into question the accuracy of our current Star Signs.

I'm traumatized by the fact that a mere 3,000 years ago, Libra, my star sign, didn't even exist. So if I had been born back then, what would I be - Ophuchicus the snake handler? Thank goodness not. That honor is reserved for those born between November 29th and December 17th.

In the new age of Astrology, I will revert to Virgo, whose traits are, according to Astrology online:
  • Modest and shy
  • Meticulous and reliable
  • Practical and diligent
  • Intelligent and analytical
And on what they refer to as The Dark Side:
  • Fussy and a worrier
  • Overcritical and harsh
  • Perfectionist and conservative
They're totally wrong - I mean who would believe such clap-trap anyway? Of course, I may have to consider the ramifications of the small chance there may be some truth to their pseudo-scientific ramblings. A study! Yes! I propose a study; of course we'll need to read the library and convene committees and such but only on odd Thursdays when the temperature is above seventy degrees Fahrenheit.


I've lived my entire life as the diplomatic, peaceable, idealistic, easy going, sociable Libra. I suppose I'll have to change.


The major prophet Daniel warned against things like sorcery and astrology in his writings on the life and experiences of King Nebuchadnezzar. When asked to interpret the King's disturbing dreams in Daniel 2, "The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, 'There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king's matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.'"

Of course not. And Daniel wisely never took credit for his ability to correctly interpret  Nebuchadnezzar's dreams; he always gave God the credit - the One who is the only one able to see into our hearts and minds and know the truth of what we are about.

Astrology has always been akin to a game of Clue - only on a larger scale. People alone cannot predict the future nor can they determine the type of person you are or will be by the alignment of the planets, stars and Earth at the moment of your birth.
 So while this makes for an exciting story I think it's more along the lines of cocktail party chat fodder than anything requiring more than a curious comment.

What do you think?