Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tonight's Debate - Finally Some Foreign Policy?

I've been waiting for this to happen for weeks. So far it's been all social issues and political rhetoric. Clinton and Obama talk about heath care, education and the middle class. McCain and Huckabee talk about the war on terror, who is more conservative and occasionally border control. Ugggh. A fine collection of calculated, safe pandering to the voters. The reality, at this point in the process, is that the candidates all sound like the teacher in a Charlie Brown TV special, wa, wa, wah, wah. Most people already have there opinions fixed in their minds.

So what have I been waiting for? Do any of the candidates have any grasp of foreign policy? Musharraf's loss in Pakistan elections. Castro passing a token torch to his brother. Kosovo declared independence and now there is a riotous backlash in Serbia. In previous election years, the Russians or China would have used this as a prime opportunity to invade some small country, conduct questionable weapons test, or implement a new "crackdown". Especially if the U.S. was already up to its necks in another war. A lame duck president and a bunch of candidates afraid to take a stance in unfamiliar territory usually have many questionable foreign leaders licking their chops at the opportunities. Perhaps they are waiting until the race is down to two, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or North Korea's Kim Jong-il see how far they can push the envelope at some point.

Either way, I would really like to see the moderator put the "screws" to Clinton and Obama with some serious foreign policy quesitons. In any case, we may still get catch phrases like "create an open dialogue" and "consult with our allies." Solutions that are a bit late when it's already hit the fan.

My Zimbio

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Ultimate Polical Ad

(30 second ad. candidate comes on the screen)

I'm (candidate says name) and I approve this message...

(for 23 seconds we see a Still Shot of the candidate accmopanied by total silence)

(candidate comes back on the screen)

I'm (candidate says name) and I stand by this message.

My Zimbio

Art with Nails

This is very inspiring! I wonder what da Vinci would have done if there had been a hardware store down the street. Click on an image to view the full size version.

My Zimbio

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Race for the Least Annoying Candidate

Well, it's started. The presidential candidates have come to Wisconsin and it's amazing how fast The Race for the Least Annoying Candidate has hit full stride. The he said/she and he said/he holier than though local TV news interviews, the political ads, and the constant changing of the “message” to always be focused on the opponents strongest support issues is, at best, tiresome. Only on this topic, would I ever be able to , or even consider to, slide down the speech writer’s drool into the literary abyss and paraphrase the immortal words of Mr. T, "I pity the fool that is actually swayed by this dog and pony show of smoke and mirrors.” Whatever, since I am stating the obvious, I will shut up, lest I start annoying the reader. Oh, that the candidates would be so wise.
Ponder that.

My Zimbio

Monday, February 11, 2008

Art Predicting Life

I had to laugh at one of the headlines in the news today, "Artificial Sweeteners Could Make You Gain Weight". I had to laugh. A study by scientists at Purdue University on laboratory rats showed that those eating food sweetened with artificial sweeteners ate more calories than their counterparts whose food was sweetened with normal sugar (read the story).

Now when I think about some the great writers that were very adept in predicting the future in their stories and essays, a couple of my favorite authors come to mind - Aurthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein. But, when I read the headline above it reminded me of some lines from one of my favorite movies, Woody Allen's 1973 classic, Sleeper. If you have not, well, that's your loss. Anyway, the basic premise of the movie is that Woody Allen's character, Miles Monroe, was frozen in liquid nitrogen in 1973 after a ulcer operation goes bad and he is revived in 2173 to find a very absurd society.

Now you might not think of Woody Allen as one of the great prognasticators of our time, but when I read today's headline, it was the 2173 diet that got me thinking. Here's a piece of the dialogue from the movie.

Dr. Melik: (listing items Miles had requested for breakfast) "... wheat germ, organic honey, and... Tiger's Milk."
Dr. Aragon: "Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties."
Dr. Melik: "You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or... hot fudge?"
Dr. Aragon: "Those were thought to be unhealthy... precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true."
Dr. Melik: "Incredible!"

dialogue source Wikipedia

So going on the theory that things - good or bad - tend to come in threes, first Dr. Atkins dies and now, sweeteners are fattening. So what comes next? Perhaps they will find that in clinical studies with primates, a vegetarian diet, especially one made up of broccoli and cauliflower, causes clogging of the arteries. Or, maybe they will find that adding large amounts of butter to the diets of elephants, causes a significant reversal in memory loss. Incredible!

So I'll have six eggs, sunny side up, with rye toast, bacon, hash browns and a side of pancakes. And, for desert I'll have creme brulee and piece - no make it two pieces - of baklava. Pass the syrup and butter, will ya?

My Zimbio