Friday, January 18, 2008

Observations on a Friday morning

Blogger announced yesterday that it is now available in Hebrew, Arabic and Persian. Now you can blog in Hebrew or Arabic or Persian and run your text from right to left. I wonder if anyone is blogging in Hebrew and Arabic at the same time. Now that might be something to brag about.

Speaking of insoluble political problems, let's talk about the American presidential primaries for a minute.

Much has been made, of late, of Senator Barack Obama's experience, or lack thereof, as he seeks the presidency. Recently columnists such as Fr. Andrew Greeley and Eric Zorn have questioned the extent to which prior experience helps one become a great American President. Both note another candidate from Illinois, with limited experience in Congress before coming to the White House, did just fine. And Obama would be the last to dismiss parallels between himself and Abraham Lincoln. Zorn notes that "Obama all but donned a stovepipe hat when announcing his candidacy in Springfield."

Greeley writes about Presidents who should have been amply prepared, judging by their résumés, before assuming office: James Madison (who despite his wealth of pre-Presidential experience had to flee Washington one step ahead of invading British troops) or Herbert Hoover (prior Cabinet experience, the man who kept Belgium and Russia from starving) or a certain two-term Governor of the State of Texas whom Fr. Greeley loathes so thoroughly that he must bore his confessor to tears recounting ad nauseum his un-Christian thoughts about the man.

I wonder if anyone -- ever -- is prepared to be the President of the United States. I wonder if it is possible. I suspect that it is not.

I think that the times and circumstances and inevitable trials may bring out any hidden greatness in the character of the occupant of the office. Or not.

Which is a sobering thought less than three weeks from Super Tuesday, isn't it?

It's cold in Chicago this morning. Temperatures were in the single digits when I got up this morning, but they've climbed into double digits and are approaching the teens. It's crisp and clear. Cold and flu viruses (virii?) are dying by the gazillions, unable to survive the journey from one person's wheezing to the nasal passages of the fellow walking past on the sidewalk. Tonight, allegedly, temperatures will drop below zero.

Welcome to January in Chicago.

But to watch the TV news last night -- the grave intonations of the studio anchors -- the grim warnings of the reporters doing stand-ups outside (some with hats, some without), you'd think there was a meteor heading straight for Millennium Park.

We get this also anytime a snow accumulation of more than an inch is predicted.

I can understand and appreciate that this tone is entirely appropriate when a meteor or hurricane or invading horde is in fact approaching -- but not to hype a perfectly ordinary weather forecast.

What triggers this kind of phony 'this-is-the-voice-of-doom' tone on your local newscasts?


Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

interesting history lesson curmy... but i still don't think he can win. the clinton team will crush him before it's said and done. just my opinion... i could be wrong (for the first time ever)... ha ha ha

smiles, bee

Linda said...

I think you're right, I don't think that anyone is ever prepared to become President and maybe it's about time we put someone fresh into office as the old ones with experience certainly haven't worked out very well at all.

I sincerely hope that Bee is wrong and that the Clinton wagon hits a ditch in the road that they can't get out of. I'm all for seeing a woman in the White House but not that woman as I don't trust her and her husband as far as I could throw the two of them.

Having had nothing but Clintons and Bushes in the White House for way too long now it's time for a change. Time for some new blood and a new outlook. It's going to be hard keeping my fingers crossed until November but I'm really hoping the American people do the right thing this time.

As for winter, every time it's supposed to snow out here in New England, of all places, the weather people all run around crying "the sky is falling, the sky is falling" and then nothing comes of it. It gets a bit annoying by this time of the year!

Shelby said...

O Bah Ma
O Bah Ma
O Bah Ma

He's ready. :)

Jean-Luc Picard said...

We had a voice of doom when the Millennium bug was going to destroy all computers.

Ellee Seymour said...

Let's just hope our new international bloggers do not get censored or jailed for writing their blog.

Lahdeedah said...

Our voice of doom occurs with snowfall, west nile virus is doomish, and of late, some tree killing beetles.

msb said...

U give good soapbox.