Hi, guys. Shaping up to be a pretty busy day. Last night I had dinner with Team Steans at Hao Hao. As usual, it was pretty good.
I also watched part of a PBS miniseries called Carrier about life aboard the aircraft carrier the USS Nimitz. The Nimitz is deployed in the Persian Gulf, and this documentary was pretty interesting. Mostly life aboard the ship looked pretty hot and pretty monotonous. The monotony was occasionally broken up by things like rescuing sinking fishing boats, inspecting freight ships for weapons and contraband, and, sadly, searching for a man overboard who disappeared off of one of the Nimitz's support ships. It was interesting to hear even the fighter pilots openly questioning the value of the role that they're playing over there. By their own admission, a lot of the sailors and pilots didn't seem to think that a giant aircraft carrier (and all of its accompanying support group) had much of a role in a house to house, guerrilla-style conflict like the Iraq War, and they certainly didn't seem to think that the good that they were doing (or the benefit that they were managing to bestow upon U.S. ground troops) outweighed the tremendous cost of operating a carrier battle group in the region.
Anyhoo, the miniseries has ten different parts to it, but it's pretty interesting. It's a whole different kind of life aboard a big ship, I guess, and you have to feel bad for these guys when they start talking about how much they miss their families back home. I recommend checking out an episode or two if you get a chance.
Obama continues to suffer from some negative press after his former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, defended his controversial comments about the treamtent of blacks in America. Obama has gone out of his way to denounce Wright's and his comments and to clearly state that Wright has absolutely no role, advisory or otherwise, on his campaign, but critics charge that Obama should have been more forceful in separating himself from Wright earlier on, and some question whether Obama can separate himself from Wright without simultaneously seprating himself from the black community.
I think it's all a bunch of crap, drummed up because the press doesn't have enough to chew on. The man was Obama's pastor, and that's it. They weren't business partners or drinking buddies or even fraternity brothers. Obama shouldn't have to answer for Wright's opinions at all, but even after he's done so- completely distancing himself from the man and stating that he doesn't agree with Wright's rhetoric- the press refuse to just let the matter drop.
Now I've sat through a number of sermons that I didn't particularly agree with in my time, both in our family church while growing up and at my parents' church as an adult. Church isn't exactly an interactive experience when it comes time for the sermon. You don't get to raise your hand to say, "I like what you said about this, but I disagree with you on this other point," and I don't ever remember anyone ever standing up to just object to the point of a sermon. Point is, there are lots of reasons to attend a church other than a simple love of the sermons on Sunday morning (maybe your family or friends attend there, maybe there are other pastors at the church that you find more agreeable, maybe you enjoy programs offered by the church, etc.), and I find it ridiculous to try to hold someone accountable for the actions of their pastor. In fact, I find this whole thing sort of disingenuous and a little bit suspect. It's as if a large segment of the white population is saying, "See! I knew that there were black people out there who really don't like white people, and sure enough, it turns out that Barack Obama is friends with someone who feels that way. We can't support a man who has friends who have negative attitudes toward whites!"
How hypocritical is this? C'mon white folks. How many of you have a family member, friend, neighbor, or co-worker who has made you uncomfortable by saying some racially insensitive things? Should we all be judged by the statements of our friends or acquaintances? Sure, we ought not stand by while prejudice runs rampant, but the reality of life is that you have to pick your battles (and Obama says that he doesn't even ever remember being in the audience when Wright gave some of his more controversial speeches).
Anyway, let's judge Obama on the words and actions of Obama, and get back to the issues he'll be dealing with as president.
I gotta run, but I hope you guys are having a good day. Maybe more later.