Wednesday, September 29, 2010

United Nations May Appoint Malaysian Astrophysicist as Alien Ambassador

I recently got an email from an old classmate of mine who lives on the other side of the world who asked me what my thoughts were on the U.N.'s recent decision to possibly expand their current Office for Outer Space Affairs director's role. The director, Mazlan Othman, presently is responsible for "promoting international co-operation and peace in dealing with outer space," according to Wired's U.K. outlet. She is poised to become the planet's go-to person should we ever make contact with aliens - if they exist.

Some people, for whatever reason, take exception to this. I find the possible appointment of an alien ambassador interesting, to say the least, but I cannot imagine anyone taking a particularly strong position either way. If the U.N. wants to expand Othman's role, I say, "Why not?" Assuming that humans could possibly be the only intelligent life in the entire universe is a little naive.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Are the Democrats Trying to Lose in November?

I wrote last week on the Huffington Post about how the Tea Party has the potential to energize both the Republican base and the Democratic base this November. The movement is scary, not only from a xenophobic standpoint but also a policy one (or lack of policy), and the prospect of someone like Christine O'Donnell walking the halls of Congress just might be enough to get Democrats out to vote Democratic in an election cycle when, in all honesty, Democrats have not proven themselves worthy of our votes.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Waiting for "Superman": A Must See

I'm not really a cinephile, no matter how much I convince myself that the classic movies I put in my Netflix queue are expanding my cinematic horizons. I prefer documentary movies and if I'm particularly touched by one, I'll tweet about it or put something on Facebook. This being said, what I saw last night was truly something that everyone in this country must see.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New York Governor Race Already Ridiculously Negative

I shouldn't be surprised; this is, after all, a coveted position in Albany. I should have expected the candidates to turn to low-brow tactics that assume the voter is an idiot and will only pay attention to photoshopped images of their opponent, be him in the shower or with a pig body eating at the "public trough." Maybe I did expect it, just not at this early stage in the general election campaigning.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

November Election Prospects Forecast Grim Future for Climate

There's no question that Democrats will lose seats in both the Senate and the House of Representatives in November. The question is how many. Current projections show the Republicans taking control of the House as well as the possibility of their capture of the Senate. Americans are upset that the economy has not improved under two years of Democratic leadership in both the Legislative and Executive branches, and primary elections are indicating a widespread movement to oust incumbents. Even incumbent Republican Senators like Bob Bennett (R-UT) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) have been unseated by Tea Party contenders in their primary elections.

Monday, September 13, 2010

United States Set to Sell Billions in Weaponry to Radical Muslims

We can all agree that radical extremists of any religion should not be sold high-tech weaponry on a large scale. Yet this is exactly what the Obama administration is going to do in the next couple of weeks. A remnant of the Bush era (so that we don't get red vs. blue hysteria going), the deal breaks down like this: Saudi Arabia floods our coffers with $60 billion ($90 if a side-deal on KSA's naval upgrades goes through) and we sell the radical Islamist state a bunch of U.S.-made fighter jets and military helicopters. The justification for this? America's weakened economy. It seems that our government was right, except for the wrong reasons.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Who Is Terry Jones?

Terry Jones is a genius. He has been able to combine his two passions in life - attention whoring and Islam hating - into one centrifugal media hurricane. The cable stations and tabloids cannot get enough of Jones and his hateful ways. He has gone from a following of 50 Floridians to worldwide fame, all for free. He did not have to pay a cent to have his face plastered all over the television.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

An Open Letter to J.P. Licks

Dear J.P. Licks:

Let's get a few things out of the way before getting to my complaint. To begin with, I love your ice cream and I love the fact that your company originated in Boston. To be able to sate my appetite for great ice cream while supporting a local business is, in my opinion, a beautiful thing. When Coldstone Creamery opened up across the street from your store in Newton Centre I made it a point to go to your store and told my friends to do the same in order to support your business. In other words, I am a loyal J.P. Licks customer.

Fundamentalist Florida Preacher Declares 9/11 "International Burn a Qur'an Day"

I don't have much to say about this story, except that it makes me really ashamed as an American. Our country was founded on the premises of religious tolerance, freedom, and moral authority. The controversy in Florida contradicts everything we are supposed to be as a country. The first amendment gives any fundamentalist Christian the right to burn a Qur'an, and any fundamentalist Muslim the right to burn a bible. But the level of ignorance, thoughtlessness, and pure hatred required to carry out such an act is startling, and abhorrent.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Beck Belies Founders, Tries to Reintegrate Church with State

Last Saturday, thousands of conservative, self-professed members of the "Tea Party" converged on the National Mall to attend a rally organized by Fox News pundit Glenn Beck. It was dubbed the Restoring Honor rally, and was allegedly an apolitical gathering--a tribute to our men and women in the armed forces and, perhaps unexpectedly to some, a call for religious revival in the United States.

I must admit, I didn't attend the rally at all (though I did get to hang out with scores of Tea Partiers who were checking out the human evolution exhibit at the taxpayer-funded American Museum of Natural History later that day). Many Beck supporters reportedly camped out along the reflecting pool to secure a good spot for the event, and I just didn't have the heart to show that kind of commitment. But in hearing and reading about the rally in the days after, I'm left feeling very perplexed about the whole thing.

Ground Zero Mosque Debate Rolls On; People Cannot Separate Islam from Terrorism

Reading today's New York Times article on New Yorkers' take on the Cordoba House really disappointed me. A key aspect of this entire project that people are completely failing to grasp is the connection (or lack thereof) of everyday Islam to terrorism. The article quotes people delusional enough to start naming how many blocks away from Ground Zero would be appropriate for a mosque to be located.