Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Obama and Wright

Apparently, the Reverend Wright controversy is still dogging Barack Obama. It seems to be the number 1 topic on many talk shows. However, none of the panelists or interviewers that I have seen came to grips with the issue better than Jon Stewart when he asked Obama: "Should you become president, is it your intention to enslave the white race?" Obama's reply was: "No, it is not." But, then, what else could he have said?

Political campaigns are like religious proselytization. In the final analysis, voters are expected to make a leap of faith in the choice of a savior. Pardon me, but I neither get nor expect to get rapture from any of the main candidates.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Good Week for Supporters of the Pope and Conspiracy Theories

I would have titled it differently, but the terms, "papist" and "conspiracy theorist", are typically used in a disparaging fashion. Despite my personal skepticism in both directions, that is not my intent here.

From a distance, it seems that the Pope's visit to the USA has been successful. His well-planned - presumably well-scripted - diplomacy has gone smoothly, without a single gaffe that I have heard about. He has reached out to just about every segment of North American society, speaking compassionately about local issues, perhaps most notably pedophilia by priests. A Pope who before was largely unknown has now, to some extent at least, touched the hearts of the people.

Of particular interest to me is the somewhat socialist theme that threads its way through many of the Pope's pronouncements. That lends insight into the current strategy of the Vatican - a strategy that was necessarily revised after the fall of the Soviet Union, leaving Russia bereft of its superpower status.

Another development this week is a rekindling of interest in the RFK assassination. I cannot say much about the credibility of the arguments being made. I wait to hear a rebuttal from experts. But the main thrust of the argument seems to be that there must have been a second shooter - someone other than Sirhan Sirhan.

I wonder how much this really matters today, thirty years after the event. Of course, if Sirhan is innocent, it would matter to him. But another smoking gun would not prove Sirhan's innocence. On the contrary, it only makes it possible for Sirhan to remain legally guilty for the shooting of RFK in the back, even though Sirhan might never have been behind RFK (as has been alleged). Perhaps more important, proving that there must have been a second gun is still a long way from establishing who fired that gun.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

109 Million

"Clintons Earned More Than $109 Million Since 2000"

And they call it "public service". Seems more like big business to me.