The Naked Emperor

10 June 2008

Pretty, but What Do They Mean?

While the drugs left my system this morning, a few apparently disconnected thoughts and quotes somehow fused in my mind, and gave me several ideas for essays. So with enforced stillness for the next few days, we may have some rich, if strange, fodder for the blog.

Somehow, the film "The Dirty Dozen" combined with Obama's speech claiming the nomination, and fused with Robert Heinlein. Either I'm really bloody strange, or it's the drugs.

Obama gave a very moving speech to claim the nomination. He had a great line near the end:

"This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal".

My brain said, "Very pretty words."

That brought me to "The Dirty Dozen". In there, Donald Sutherland's character was faking being a general, inspecting some troops. His comment to their officer was "Very pretty. But can they fight?"

My brain went back to Obama's words. "Very pretty", I thought, "but what do they mean?".

When facing situations like this, I tend to rely on an old saying of Robert Heinlein:

"What are the facts? Again and again and again — what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what "the stars foretell," avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable "verdict of history" — what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!"

So let's look at the pretty statement in detail.

"the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow"

OK right off, this sounds somewhat messianic. Last guy rumored to have power over ocean levels was Moses. Does Sen. Obama really equate himself with biblical saviors?

And now the facts.

Fact:There are castles in Britain that were built on the coast. Many of these are now high and dry, hundreds of yards to miles inland. Why? The sea levels fell for hundreds of years. And these are not Iron Age timber forts, but Medieval stone castles. Less than 1000 years old.

Fact: Also some of the receding glaciers have revealed lost human settlements from hundreds to a thousand years ago.

Fact: There were no IC engines, no coal plants, no nuke plants and no industrialization back then.

Therefore sea levels were much higher hundreds of years ago, and have fallen and risen, with other evidence showing many, many times without human intervention.

Therefore, climate change is not human based, and human intervention will be ineffective, let alone unwise.

Let's move on to the second clause:

"our planet began to heal"

Heal? Webster's defines heal as "to restore to health".

If health needs to be restored then the body in question is either injured or not at ease, AKA diseased.

An injured body has been assailed by another body or force. And disease is caused by poisons if the cause be chemical, or a pathogen it the cause is biologic.

So just what is he talking about?

Has the planet been assailed by an asteroid or comet that I missed? Don't think so. We have had a few severe natural occurrences, but we have always had those. And they are, by definition, NATURAL. Part of the planet.

Has there been a chemical attack on the planet from outside? Must have missed that one too.

So we are left with a pathogen causing a disease on the planet. Nothing has come from space when I last looked so it must be native to the planet. Now what could he mean?

Cockroaches? Mosquitoes? Elephants? Probably not.

The best I can figure, he means US. People. Humans. You and me.

Some believe that Humans are inherently good, with just a few that go astray.

Some believe that Humans are inherently evil.

But I never truly believed that anybody thought of us as pathogens. Freaky. And damn scary.

Heinlein said the way to spot those believers was that they lovingly praised dams built by beavers, for a beaver's own purpose and benefit, while deploring dams built by humans for human benefit.

As a medical man, I know that to heal a diseased patient with pathogens, one should eliminate the pathogen. And that's us, in this case.

This one line, and the speech in general, cause me concern.

This line is,at best, we hope, a meaningless political platitude. At worst, it is both suicidal and genocidal.

And this is the speech he chose to give. There are three possibilities:

1) He didn't read it beforehand. Is that the behavior we want in a President?

2) He read it, but didn't think about it. Again, not too desirable.

3) He read it, thought about it, and truly means it. Enter Rod Serling.

Oh, there is a fourth possibility.

"This isn't the (speech/person/statement/community) I know" See Rezko, Wright, Dorn, Ayers, etc, ad. nauseum.

I found this speech very disparaging of my species. Think I ought to report him to the Canadians?

The Naked Emperor

2 Comments:

At June 22, 2008 at 3:36 PM, Blogger Brian H said...

Us Canadians don't want no part of Oblabla! That's one scary dude, man. If there's such a thing as political mental illness, he's the walking Avatar.

 
At June 22, 2008 at 9:59 PM, Blogger Naked Emperor said...

Brian, I was thinking of sending him to see your HRC. You know, the ones who have 100% guilty findings, and may make MacLeans publish something a government behest?

 

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