Wednesday, December 24, 2008


I got an email from Michelle Obama yesterday. That is no big deal! I was getting one from her or her husband, or other people in their campaign on a nearly daily basis. Since the election I get one closer to once a week. Informing me of what is going on in this transition period.

This letter was a little different. It principally was to wish me a blessed holiday season. But, it went on and reminded me that there will be many in America who will find it hard to have a happy holiday. Out of a job, no food on the table, maybe no place to sleep, She urged me to consider volunteering at a soup kitchen, or donating food for a food pantry, or contributing to the Salvation Army where so much good could be done. I get the impression that this was sincere, and that it gives some clue as to the direction our new administration is headed.

I don't know how this happens, unless maybe one of my conservative friends is playing a joke on me and submitted my name, anyway I got a snail mail letter from the RNC. It wasn't suggesting helping out anyone other than the RNC. They need money for the war chest for the 2012 campaign. I sent them a little note suggesting they take my name off their mailing list. The return envelope mentioned that if I added a stamp it would save the RNC the cost of the postage. What do you think I did?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Last Sunday I enjoyed the New York, Carolina game. I was not pulling for either of the teams. I, like John Madden, was not just happy for the winning team, but sorry for the losing team.

Coming out of watching this game and many other, both professional and college, I notice something that doesn't make any sense to me. Can someone clear this up for me? Many if the players wear a narrow, what appears to be elastic band around their arm just above the elbow. These bands range from 1/2 inch to one inch wide. Some even appear to be circular bands maybe no more than a 1/4 inch in diameter. What do the players accomplish by wearing these bands? Can anyone enlighten me on this matter?

Friday, October 17, 2008


This post is occasioned by a recent exchange between a lady participant at one of John Mc Cain’s town hall meetings. The lady asked if Barack Obama was an Arab. Several pundits have suggested that she actually meant to ask whether he is a Muslim. Anyway, John assured her that Barack was a “decent, family man”. My little knowledge of logic at least does not permit me to go from. “Barack is not an Arab”, and “Barack is a decent family man” to jump to therefore, “Arabs are not decent or family people”. However, many people could easily make that inference, I am not accusing McCain for sending such a message, as usual he just blurted out his response.

So who are Arabs? I asked my daughter, who is quite knowledgeable on such subjects, and she said descendants of Ishmael. The conventional wisdom is that Arabs are descendants of Ishmael. However, Ishmael lived about 1800 years BC, or 3800 years ago. In that span of time his progeny could certainly spread throughout the world, and identifying if one is an ancestor of Ishmael, would be virtually impossible. Maybe you are an Arab! I don’t know what the science of DNA is capable of (it wasn’t too successful in the OJ case!), but not having Ishmael’s DNA makes the use of such scientific wizardry mute. It is because of this problem – tracing the ancestory - that the definition of an Arab has changed. Currently(?) an Arab is considered a descendant of nomadic tribes that lived in the northern areas of the Arabian peninsula. This places the start of a new concept for what defines an Arab at around 700 AD. But the same problem still exists. How do you determine of you are an ancestor of the tribes of northern Arabia? Therefore, an even more current test for determining if you are an Arab consists of meeting one of three criteria. (a) Genealogical, basically the test of the previously mentioned definition, again this criteria is hard to apply for the very reason mentioned above. (b) Linguistic, are you a citizen of a country that uses the Arabic language as the official language, or is Arabic the language commonly used in the country. Religion is not a criterion that determines who is an Arab, but it is generally regarded that Egyptian Copts, even though the language of Egypt is Arabic are not considered Arabs. Other Egyptians are considered Arabs. (c) Cultural, does a person identify with the culture that is associated with being an Arab. Of these three criteria the one that is most definitive is the linguistic one, and the one in making a determination in most cases.

So, is Barack Obama an Arab? His mother was born in Kansas. Kansasans don’t speak Arabic, so he doesn’t qualify on the maternal side. His father was a Kenyan. The official language of Kenya is Swahili or English. Again, he doesn’t qualify on the paternal side. Sorry madam, he ain’t.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I suppose I spend too much time following current affairs,
and particularly the presidential campaign goings on.I pretty
much know where my evaluation has lead me in the
choice of a candidate. One thing I am absolutely sure of,
however, is that Sarah has a better pair of legs than Joe, and
yes, also Hillary.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I hate to keep harping on this, but Johnny Miller just drives me nuts. Today, on the Ryder Cup Matches, one of the European players hit a poor shot that was short and to the right of the green. Johnny Miller stated without qualification that he hit the ball one groove too low. Please tell me how he could know that by watching his swing on a TV monitor.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I really have moles!!! This is right outside my patio door. Getting ready for digital TV and phone service.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


It was approximately two years ago that I first ran into the word “vett”. I more or less got a vague idea of its meaning from the context in which it was used. Nowadays you run across the word constantly, thanks to McCain’s choice for a VP running mate.

One Sunday after the service I was in the Fellowship room having a cup of coffee when I saw George Harper with his cup. Pretty much on the spur of the moment I said to George I have seen the word “vett” on the news lately and don’t know its meaning. George is a retired English professor, and for our Calvin Comment used to have a monthly essay on a particular word. If anyone should know the meaning, George would. He said, “Bob, vet is a shortened version for a word describing an animal doctor.” You can see how smart George must have thought I was!!