Thursday, February 14, 2008

Many Bothans Died to Bring Us This Information

In yet another instance of life imitating art imitating Star Wars, I just read today that the United States is planning to shoot down a runaway spy satellite, before it enters the earth's atmosphere. Word on the street is that this is a pre-emptive strike, hoping to stop the leak of a deadly toxic gas from its fuel tank.

Wait, what???

Let me see... I guess we're fighting the satellite there, so we don't have to fight it here? Because, as everyone knows, if you don't eradicate a satellite while you have the chance, it will follow you home. Question: can we use waterboarding on a satellite?

In all honesty, why do I have the sneaking suspicion that perhaps it's not a Michael Bay-worthy film premise that is causing us to blow this thing up, but perhaps something else? An idea that wasn't cooked up by the mind of a 13 year old?

Oh wait - incoming message:

... the decision to shoot it down was taken by the President, George W Bush, after being told its re-entry could cause deaths.

However, some experts believe the risk is minimal and that the US wants to test out its missile-defence system.

The satellite is also carrying militarily-sensitive imaging sensors which the US would not want to fall into the wrong hands. It is impossible to predict where the satellite will land until it enters the atmosphere.

I rest my case. The quote above is unedited - it appeared exactly in that sequence in the article in the UK Telegraph. The simple combination of W wanting to blow it up, paired with the possibility of testing our blow-stuff-up capabilities and the very simple concept of it potentially having technology and information on it that we wouldn't want to share... well, as Tony Soprano once said, "You don't need a gynecologist to know which way the wind blows." Indeed, Tony.

We sure cracked that case, didn't we Encyclopedia Brown?!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

"We Are The Ones We've Been Waiting For"

So we made it through Supercalafrajalistic-expialadocious Tuesday. And truthfully, for all my usual huffing and puffing on this site, I still haven't made up my mind as to who the hell I'm going to vote for this year.

For the first time in years, there really is a lot to consider and the candidates are actually interesting and complex. And the possibility that a woman or a person of color could take the job is enough to get me giddy. What a huge moment in time this is!

Obama is obviously the easiest to like. Sure, his experience isn't as extensive as his competitors, but in all fairness, that's probably to his credit! He hasn't been around long enough to get chewed up and repackaged in the political process. He's really bringing hope to people this year, like I've never seen before. What he lacks in history, he more than compensates for in energy and passion. He is the personfiication of a breath of fresh air, after the septic stench we've been breathing for almost eight years. I think he could do the job, with aplomb. But as an African-American, can he really get elected in this country? The skeptic in me wonders. But at his best moments, Obama makes my skepticism evaporate.

Hillary, we all know her. I think everyone has a good idea of what to expect from Hillary, and I don't think there's any mystery as to why some folks hate that and others love it. With Hillary, you don't get the same squeaky clean reputation as Obama, but you do get experience. She's been a senator for several years now and she was no slouch as a First Lady either. The question people need to ask is whether or not they want another Clinton in the White House again. That's a black and white issue almost (no pun intended, seriously). She also faces a similar problem to Obama, although not quite: is America ready to elect a woman to office? I'd like to think we are.

Hell, even John McCain isn't so bad. There are a few things I like about him. First of all, his experience is exemplary. He's been serving this country so long, both in the military and politically. And his military record and story is amazing - in fact it's unassailable, and as such, there's really no need to discuss it. Second, he stands as a reminder that a Republican doesn't have to be a crazy right wing bible hugger! Yes, it's true. He's certainly more conservative than a Democrat, but he's not nearly as conservative as the Bushies. Praise Allah. Even if McCain won the final election, it would still be a marked improvement on the kind of Republican we've come to know in recent years.

Mike Huckabee? Well, he is a more positive persona than Bush, but that's hardly a soaring accomplishment. Truth is, he's still a right wing bible hugger. I just can't get behind a leader whose priorities are oriented that way - he doesn't even believe in evolution! I think we've had enough of that "intelligent" thinking, thanks very much.

Romney, well, all I can say about him is he's no Mike Huckabee.

To be perfectly honest, I don't really care who anyone out there is planning to vote for, but there are two undeniable truths on the campaign trail this year:

1. I know everyone from Puff Daddy to your grandma is telling yout his, but it's true: Your vote counts. There are choices this year, there are gray areas, pros and cons for each candidate. And consequences - CONSEQUENCES! Now more than I can ever recall, it's important to get the vote out. I would like to believe that history would not repeat itself and we wouldn't get stuck with another person like the moron we've had for the last seven years, but... if W has taught me anything, it's that mediocrity always stands a chance in this country. So please vote. Please register to vote. Please help to ensure something better comes along.

2. All issues, politics, etc. aside - this guy is one hell of a public speaker! Can you blame people for getting excited about him???

I can't.