Housekeeping on My Candidates List

As in 2008 I’m attempting to keep an accurate list of the men and women running for President in 2012. It’s not an easy task as I wish to go beyond the candidates who have enough money and media exposure to be household names (quick, name anyone other than President Obama running for the Democratic nomination). It’s hard sometimes to tell who is really running; many of the candidates I have listed appear to have put up a web page and don’t do anything else. From time to time I click on the pages to see if anyone has dropped out; they almost never say they do and I’m left to wonder.

Tonight I randomly clicked on the page for independent candidate Rajesh Raghavan. His page on blogspot has been removed. I looked to see if perhaps he has moved his page and I haven’t found anything. There is a page connected with the Federal Election Commission; it tracks the money to his campaign. As I write this he has raised $550 (of which $500 is from him) and has spent $347 leaving him a balance of $203. Presumably most of the $347 was the blogspot post.

From time to time a candidate googles himself and finds my page and contacts me. This has already happened with one candidate. If you are connected with Mr. Raghavan’s campaign, let me know what to do with my list. As for now I’m removing it.

Rapture Update: Looks Like the World is Going to Keep On Going

Well, I guess we can all stop hoping for a one way ticket to Heaven and the pleasure of watching the world end. I wrote posts in April, May, and June about Harold Camping and Family Radio. Harold has a program on Family Radio and last winter he proclaimed that on May 21st everyone who is right with God will be taken up to Heaven. From May 21st to October 21st the world will be populated by those left behind and on October 21st God will destroy the world and everyone on it.

This was bad news for everyone, but mostly for Harold Camping: May 21st came and went and nobody disappeared (at least nobody we noticed). Mr. Camping went into hiding for a few days and emerged to say that he was still right. His explanation of this was posted here. Frankly I have a hard time following the article, but here’s what it sounds like to me: May 21st was a “spiritual rapture” where God decides who will be saved and who will not. On October 21st (presumably at the same time) the righteous will be raptured and everyone else will be destroyed.

Unfortunately he did not give a time. On May 21st Mr. Camping claimed the rapture would be at 6PM but did not specify a time zone. He lives in Oakland, California and I took it to be 6PM local time. But here I am, in the same time zone as Mr. Camping, looking at the clock and it’s now a little after 8:30PM. That means it’s 11:30PM in New York, 5:30AM (October 22nd) in Paris, and 12:30PM (October 22nd) in Tokyo. If you’re going to specify a time for the Rapture, please be specific about your time zone.

In any case, Mr. Camping said the May 21st event would leave the world intact, but less populated. But the October 21st event would destroy the world and to the extent that any of us are still here, it appears Mr. Camping is running out of justification. There is a donations button on Family Radio’s web page. I suggest that nobody click on it.

By the way, if you’re looking for another chuckle, here’s where you can buy a rapture survival kit.

Hank Williams Jr., Monday Night Football, and the First Amendment

I’ve been watching Monday Night Football since its inception in 1970. It’s gone through lots of changes, but for since 1989 we’ve heard Hank Williams, Jr. ask: “ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?” Truth be told I thought for the first few years the singer was Eddie Rabbit but he died in 1998.

Back to Hank: he’s an unabashed Republican and does not support President Obama. We disagree on this, but I can appreciate his talent as a musician while disagreeing on his politics.

Alas, last week he went too far. He compared the golf summit between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner as akin to “Hitler playing golf with [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu.”

I’m of the belief that it will take about 200 years before any analogy with Hitler won’t inflame people and shouldn’t be used. But as an American I need to accept that any other American can disagree with me, and I have no Constitutional right to not be offended.

Mr. Williams is not of that belief.

ESPN elected to end their contract with Mr. Williams (there’s some dispute over whether he quit or was fired). Hank’s response was to say this:

“After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision. By pulling my opening Oct 3rd, You [ESPN] stepped on the Toes of The First Amendment Freedom of Speech, so therefore Me, My Song, and All My Rowdy Friends are OUT OF HERE. It’s been a great run.

OK Hank, here’s some hard truths:

The First Amendment does not support you. The text of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution says this about freedom of speech: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Hank, the Constitution states that you cannot be arrested for anything you say in a public setting. It does not mean that you can say anything you want without consequences. For example, if you tell your wife she’s ugly and stupid she can’t have you arrested but that doesn’t mean she can’t make your life a living hell.

Hank: you live in a wonderful country. You should learn more about it.