Well, there is good news to report today amid the dust storm that is clogging our nostrils from the presidential campaign. Much to the disappointment of our erudite friends who figured that Armageddon might be momentarily at hand, the $9 billion Hadron supercollider went on line in Switzerland and didn't blow up the universe, as some doomsayers had feared. The goal of the scientists gathered around this project was to smash particles at such unprecedented speeds that it would offer humanity a clue to the nature of the Big Bang's production, sub-atomically speaking. More tests will be taken, but for now, at least, we're safe. Not being a scientist myself, that's about all I can say about it. But if you walked down any street in America tomorrow I doubt that more then a handful of folks will have heard or cared about it. Such is the lot of serious scientific research, which is under constant attack by some people who believe the world can't possibly be more than 6,000 years old, the Grand Canyon's Colorado River and Sen. Robert Byrd notwithstanding.
As anybody following the presidential campaign closely knows, we are in nasty culture war, maybe a renewal of the colonial preacher Jonathan Edwards' "Great Awakening" in which alleged sinners were rounded up and severely punished by those who, it was presumed, were not sinners. The Republicans have flung Sarah Palin as the dagger to the heart of the Democratic sinners, although she got some help the other day from a Catholic cardinal and bishop who attacked Joe Biden for not being purist enough on abortion. And to think that we still have nearly two months to go, my friends. (Oops. McCain already has a copyright on the friends thing.) Meantime, I want to thank the e-mailer who sent me this quote by Arthur C. Clarke, the first-tier sci-fi writer: "The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion." And that was before Palin entered the stage!
Personally, I'm already getting hysterical from the repeated references to lipstick as a campaign something-or-other by the McCain campaign ever since Palin allowed that she was like a pit bull with lipstick. May we assume that voters will be handed tubes of lipstick to mark their ballots, or to show in some other way their fidelity to the GOP ticket? On the other hand, maybe Rick Davis, McCain's campaign manager, was serious when he said: "This election is not about issues."
Closer to home, can you imagine the disappointment within the official ranks of the Summit County Republican Party when McCain bypassed Tim Pawlenty, the popular Minnesota governor who spoke at the county party's finance dinner, and anointed Palin instead?
I'll close this one with another question that somebody should answer: "Is George Bush still being paid a salary as president?"