Saturday, 31 May 2008


Barack Obama has excommunicated himself. See here for the New York Times story. Key paragraph:

“Our relations with Trinity have been strained by the divisive statements of Reverend Wright, which sharply conflict with our own views,” they [the Obamas] wrote. “These controversies have served as an unfortunate distraction for other Trinity members who seek to worship in peace, and have placed you in an untenable position.”

Translation: Wright is starting to hurt my electoral prospects.

A Year Ago



Here is a scene from today’s stage of the Giro d’Italia, which ends tomorrow in Milan. Spaniard Alberto Contador, who won the 2007 Tour de France by 23 seconds, is four seconds ahead of Italian Riccardo Riccò. Here is tomorrow’s stage: an individual time trial of 17.7 miles. May the strongest man win.

Addendum: There has been no nonItalian winner of the Giro since 1996, and no Spanish winner since 1993.

Addendum 2: If you want to watch tomorrow’s exciting stage, tune in Versus (formerly the Outdoor Life Network) at two o’clock Central Time. The time trial will be shown on tape delay.

Mineral Wells

There was no bike rally today, unfortunately, but that doesn’t mean I had to stay off the bike. I ran 17.5 miles during the week (6.6 Monday, 6.6 Wednesday, and 4.3 yesterday) and needed to work my cycling legs for a change. Two of my home boys (Randy and Bryce) met me at a small restaurant on the west side of Mineral Wells, where we rode a familiar course. The countryside in the Mineral Wells area is beautiful, and there’s little traffic on most of the roads we use. It was a bright, sunny day, with a stiff southerly wind. Randy and I disagreed about how humid it was, with him saying it wasn’t as humid as a week ago and me denying it (for the sake of argument). Bryce must think we’re crazy, the way we tease, taunt, and torment each other. But think about it: What would life be like without good-natured ribbing?

We stopped twice, once in the middle of nowhere (near an historical marker about an early settler who moved from Michigan to Texas) and once at a rustic country store with a wooden porch and a cow across the road. Everyone was nice to us, including the motorcyclists who pulled in for refreshments. Afterward, we ate lunch at the restaurant whose parking lot we used. Our average speed for 47.1 miles of riding was only 16.13 miles per hour, but our goal wasn’t to hammer. It was to have fun, and fun we had. Even climbing Cherry Pie Hill (a five-percent grade for 1.3 miles) wasn’t bad. I got my heart rate to 160 on the climb. Tomorrow I take a well-deserved break.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

Thrilled as I am, as a gay woman, that Gov. David A. Paterson wants us to have the same rights as straight couples, I am heartsick that his proposal (and California’s recognition of gay marriage) comes just before the November elections, giving the Republicans, once again, the distraction they need to get a conservative Republican elected as president.

What would happen if the Democrats waited until mid-November to raise the gay rights issue? I’ve waited so long, six more months won’t matter to me.

Linda Stein
New York, May 30, 2008

To the Editor:

Re “New York Backs Same-Sex Unions From Elsewhere” (front page, May 29): This is a slippery slope on the way to a big mistake. The very same arguments that have been put forth in favor of the notion of same-sex marriage (consenting adults should be able to do as they wish with their private lives) can easily be adopted by those who might favor incestuous marriage and polygamy.

Civil unions make a lot more sense than tampering with a societal norm that has been in existence from the beginning of time in just about every culture.

Michael Goldman
East Rockaway, N.Y., May 29, 2008

Note from KBJ: I have a question for the first letter writer. Why does the issue of homosexual “marriage” help Republicans and hurt Democrats?