Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Random and Disconnected: WW, DNC, Beijing, & UNL

WW: I admit it. I'm fat. I give lip service to dieting. For weeks I have been dieting, without any noticeable gains. I would go "low carb", but that just allowed me to pork up on proteins. I've had it! WW stands for Weight Watchers, and once again I am a member. Today is my 9th day. It is the most sensible approach for me, although I have become some what of a WW Nazi. I was pleased with the results of the first week. Now you know. You can hold me accountable.

DNC: Did you know? Last night the Democratic National Convention began. Michelle Obama was a headliner, and the message was different from her February 18, 2008 statement that "for the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country." Last night she made no gaffes.

Did you know? Abortion is a core "moral" value of the DNC. Jesus was not a member of the Republican Party (nor am I), and yet of the two prominent parties on the U.S. political scene, in the years since 1973 (Roe v. Wade), it has been the Democratic Party that has championed the culture of death (they would call it pro-choice). I have written before about Obama's position (tremendously erroneous in my view) on the issue. Something that happened yesterday underscores the DNC commitment to abortion. Nancy Keenan of NARAL Pro-Choice America may not be a huge player at the DNC, but her thinking permeates the party. Did you see what she said in her short speech (taken from the DNC website)?

On behalf of NARAL Pro-Choice America and our one million member activists, I am honored to be at this historic convention where delegates will nominate Senator Barack Obama as the next pro-choice president of the United States.As a former elected official from Montana, I am proud to say that my party—the Democratic Party—is a party of many faiths and backgrounds united behind these core moral values [emphasis added]: we support and defend a woman’s right to choose safe, legal abortion.

One of the incongruities of my life is to observe so many young (college age) students, many of them OCC students and/or graduates who are championing Obama's campaign. I don't understand it.

Beijing and Child Safety: The 2008 Summer Olympics are in the books. I enjoyed what little part of it I watched. Since the days of Nadia Comaneci, my daughters enjoyed gymnastics. I enjoyed watching the women's gymnastics competition. Bob Costas' asides with Bela Karolyi made for fun television. The U.S. took gold and silver in the Women's overall competition: Nastia Liukin with the gold, and Shawn Johnson with silver. Johnson is a 16 year old girl from West Des Moines, IA, so I imagine we'll be seeing more of her in the Olympics. I watched the overall competition, and when I saw Shawn Johnson, I thought, "She is really short!" Next to her, Nastia Liukin looked so tall and slender. I had to look it up. Shawn Johnson is 4'9" short. The taller Liukin is only 5'3", which in a world on normal people makes her short.

Something that I heard on talk radio (as a public service announcement) made me smile, and I think it's a good thing that Johnson is not 4'8 1/2". To paraphrase Maxwell Smart, "She made it by that much!" I believe that law states that children under the age of 9 need to be in a booster seat (buckled in) when traveling in a car, unles they are 4'9" inches tall. The public service announcement I heard on the radio just emphasized the 4'9", much like this video from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. Now I heard the radio spot shortly after researching Shawn Johnson's height, and I had to chuckle. Could you imagine an Olympic Gold Medalist (she won silver in the overall, but gold in the balance beam) in a booster seat?

UNL: I'm on sabbatical, working on my dissertation. I have spent very little time on campus, which has been nice for a change. Writing these lines has provided some relief from that arduous labor. Once this is posted, it's back to the grind!

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