Wednesday Muse, It’s Another Spring Day In SE Texas

I see from my weather report that we are having another anomalous day where the temperature here matches my favorite ares of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Of course in order for this to have happened the mountains had to warm up 20° while we cooled down a like amount.

Yesterday at this time it was 74° and 94% humidity here. That was after going up into the mid 80’s over the weekend. The winds of March have been living up to their name…Air travel was being affected at both Houston airports with 2 hour delays cause by high winds. The nice thing about the wind was it lowered the effects of the higher than normal temperatures…

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Arthur C. Clarke; Sci-Fi Writer Foresaw Mankind’s Possibilities – washingtonpost.com

Arthur C. Clarke, 90, the world-famous science-fiction writer, futurist and unofficial poet laureate of the space age, died of a respiratory ailment March 18 at his home in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Mr. Clarke co-wrote, with director Stanley Kubrick, the screenplay for “2001: A Space Odyssey,” which is regarded by many as one of the most important science fiction films made. A prolific writer, with more than 100 published books, he was praised for his ability to foresee the possibilities of human innovation and explain them to non-scientific readers.

And so another of the inspirations of my childhood passes from this world. May he rest with peace.

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Eugene Robinson – Obama’s Road Map on Race – washingtonpost.com

Yesterday morning, in what may be remembered as a landmark speech regardless of who becomes the next president, Obama established new parameters for a dialogue on race in America that might actually lead somewhere — that might break out of the sour stasis of grievance and countergrievance, of insensitivity and hypersensitivity, of mutual mistrust.

“My goal was to try to lift up some truth that people talk about privately but don’t always talk about publicly between the races,” Obama told me in a telephone interview later in the day. He delivered his speech, titled “A More Perfect Union,” in Philadelphia just yards from Independence Hall.

I read the speech last evening. I heard snatches on the drive home yesterday. I caught bits on YouTube. Some say “they are just words”, but they are words that could change the dialog in this country.

Race in this country is an issue we try to ignore. We all like to think we have grown beyond the racial strife of our youth…The evidence suggests we haven’t. As a “Southerner” I have always been a bit ashamed of the way race was handled in my state and my region. But in looking back, it wasn’t much different in the north. Even I fill deeply troubled in the deep south where the generational class structures are so strong that neither side of the racial divide notices the slights that make me feel uncomfortable.

More and more Senator Obama empresses me when he rises above the normal political rhetoric and makes a speech like this.

“It’s that he spoke as if our society was static; as if no progress had been made; as if this country . . . is still irrevocably bound to a tragic past.”

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Time to go play on the freeway…

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Later…I just saw this from John Scalzi… It fits with the above and I like the way he can turn a phrase.

Whatever » Obama and Presidential Smarts

…If McCain or Clinton has a pretty turn of phrase, you wonder which speechwriter wrote it. When Obama has one, you suspect its from him (the going line on the speech is that Obama wrote the first draft, had a speechwriter fiddle with it, and then handled the revisions). Being smart and eloquent is his thing, and it might be the thing that ultimately propels him to the White House.

Will it be enough to make him a good president? I don’t think so. But I know that I’ve had two terms of a president not being particularly smart or eloquent, and it doesn’t seem to be working out particularly well. I wouldn’t be adverse to trying the other way for a while, and see where that takes us.

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