Friday, October 14, 2005

Trapped Third Strike and Alternate Universes

How many of you, I wonder, have heard a friend or a family member in the last few years remark that it's almost as if America has entered "an alternate universe"?--Remarks by Al Gore as preparedAssociated Press / The Media Center October 5, 2005

Iraq citizens vote on a new constitution tomorrow. Insurgent attacks
leading up to this event have left hundreds dead:nearly 450 people have been killed over the past 19 days in a combination of suicide car bombs, roadside bombs and drive-by shootings. Many other Iraqis have been kidnapped and killed, their bodies abandoned in remote areas.--AP
Once again, Commander in Chief Bush takes the stage to video conference with some officers in the war zone. The only problem is that the preparation and coaching, by an Assistant Secretary of Defense, of answers to Bush’s questions, gets more publicity than the actual video conference itself.

What can we expect in a week that has seen such strange happenings in the news?

--The Angels lose a playoff game in what’s being called one of the strangest umpire calls in modern baseball post-season play. After the White Sox batter swings strike three, the Angels catcher thinks he catches the ball, but the ump signals a dropped third strike which, in typical arcane baseball rule-book legalese, allows the batter to go to first, in certain cases of that base being occupied or not, and then the Angels lose the game.

There has been a LOT of discussion since this happened two nights ago, but the most obvious and clear-cut solution comes from Angels’ catcher Jose Molina:

"There are 50,000 people out there yelling. He's got to yell either, 'Out' or 'Safe,'"—Orange County Register

If our politicians could be so clear-cut, we’d have a lot less problems than we do now. Look how messed up it gets when the baseball umpire is hedging his decision.

--The James Bond feature film producers hire a new hero, and he’s blond:

Daniel Craig was introduced Friday as the first blond James Bond and only the second Englishman to star as Agent 007 in the movie series.--My Way News

--After several hurricanes in the US and a tragic earthquake in Asia, there was more rain in the tri-state plus area than they’ve ever had:

Rain fell for an eighth straight day around the waterlogged Northeast on Friday, pushing hundreds of people from their homes, closing roadways and leaving train tracks littered with fallen trees.—MSNBC

--The Republicans aren’t happy with Bush’s personal hand-picked crony for Supreme Court Justice:

A growing number of Republican activists say Bush blundered in naming Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court, failing to anticipate the firestorm it would ignite among conservative backers and leading opinion makers who question her qualifications. Bush now may be forced to choose between an embarrassing withdrawal of the nomination or accepting a fissure among conservatives that could jeopardize the party's hold on power.--Bloomberg

--Plamegate—still has to be explained in detail in the mainstream media every time a new issue surfaces because the assumption is that the average American hasn’t got a clue why Plamegate is important.

--And finally, after two days of record dry heat here in Sunny Southern California, the temperature is expected to drop 25 degrees tomorrow and may possibly rain out Sunday night’s Angels-White Sox playoff game.

Remember, my fellow early baby-boomers, when David Frost would indicate on his seminal TV satire show, TW3, “That was the week that was?” That could be said about this past week. Oh, by the way, about Sir David:

Veteran UK broadcaster David Frost is to join Aljazeera International, the Qatar-based broadcaster's new English-language channel due to be launched next spring.—

Talk about an “alternate universe…”—Maybe it’s a universe, purging, in transition for the better. Apres l’deluge.

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