Bachmann Turn Tail Overdrive

Today came the news that Michelle Bachmann was not going to run for another term in Congress come 2014. Incidentally, it was also announced today that Ms. Bachmann has a court date in Iowa. I tend to shy away from writing about politics. Talking about politics is another matter, but writing about it gives me no satisfaction. With this story, however, as I listened to news segment after news segment today, I thought not about conservatism, Tea Party shenanigans, Creationism vs. Evolution, Muslim Brotherhood infiltrating top echelons of our government, a veritable who’s who list of anti-American politicians in Washington (read: anyone who doesn’t fall into goosestep with Bachmann and her Tea Party types); instead, I kept thinking about statistical possibilities.

The voice of reason in my house is my fiancée. As for me, I linger somewhere between lefty liberal agenda and fair weather anarchism. So, when Michelle Bachmann announced that eight years is enough I balked at her public service announcement while my other half say it was for the best because Bachmann could never win a higher office (i.e. the Presidency). We went back and forth about how sincere the PSA by Bachmann was and we both agreed that sincerity and PSAs by politicians rarely go hand in hand. I was convinced (and I still am) that this was this oldest trick in the book that goes like this: by virtue of announcing that one is through with politics they are in essence readying themselves for a higher calling than the office they serve. Welcome to the Doublespeak Dome.

Anyway, back to statistical probabilities. I stand by my position that Michelle Bachmann and the statistical probability of her running for President (provided she gets past her date with the law in Iowa) is greater than my chance of getting hit by a bus and but less than the chance that we are living in a computer-generated holographic universe, perhaps one of many–not that we get to live in more than one, but that there may be more than one universe created not by the God Bachmann believes in but by some savvy techie nerd sitting in his room right now scratching his balls and contemplating how it may be time to reformat the old hard drive but that would mean wiping out the universe/universes he’s created and in essence obliterating life, such as it can be defined, as we know it; likewise, the chance that we will see the release of a Bachmann 2.0 is greater than my chance of winning the lottery (which reminds me I have to check the tickets in my wallet in case, you know, I am a winner) but less than my chances of being assassinated by a Syrian good squad.

My fiancée thinks I am crazy. To wit, I say nay. Crazy is Michelle Bachmann calling the gay and lesbian lifestyle as and I quote “personal enslavement.” Crazy is stating something about waving a “tar baby” in the air, whatever that means, and calling on “the media” to perform an in-depth expose about Congress and finding out who’s “pro-American” and who’s “anti-American.”

One last statistical probability: The chance that Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin will retire to the wilds of Alaska or Wyoming (don’t ask. It’s the first state that came to mind) and live out their days as a same-sex couple is equal to or greater than the probability that I will be picked for a one-way mission to Mars where I will be among the first Earthlings to be buried on alien soil when my time is up. In other words, the future is anyone’s guess.

Mars or Bust: UFOs, Space Travel and My Son

So I am watching one of these UFO shows on either History Channel or Discovery. Like so many people I am duped into viewing these programs thinking I might learn something new. Of course, if there was something that important in a UFO program’s content I like to think that it would headline news everywhere. I guess I am optimistic on that sense. My 12 year old son is little more earthy than his old man.

A few weeks ago my son and I watched a similar program. Eyewitness accounts of UFOs, cattle mutilations, abductions, the full gamut. The show lasted an hour. When it was over my son turned to me.

“Nah,” he said.

“Nah what?” I asked.

“It’s the distance, dad,” my son said. “I can’t get past the distances. It just doesn’t work.”

Then he went on to lecture me about the nearest star to the sun (Proxima Centurai: 4 light years and change away from our sun), whether or not there were habitable planets near this star, and he argued the case that just because there may be intelligent life near that star it didn’t mean they were advanced enough to leave their planet.

“Four years, dad,” he said. “At the speed of light? It can’t be done.”

“Wormholes?” I threw out for his consideration.

“Get serious,” was his reply.

My son stuck to his guns regarding UFOs and distances between our solar system and a few of the nearest stars. He reads everything he can get his hands on regarding astronomy and space science. Put a young adult novel in front of him and he will grimace. Lately, he’s been telling me he wants to study astrophysics when he gets to college. If you are going to aim high you might as well keep the stars in mind.

I still hold out hope for the discovery of intelligent life somewhere in my lifetime. Perhaps live to see the day the proverbial UFO muffler falls out of the sky, as one prominent scientist whose name escapes me once said. That night after the we argued the validity of extraterrestrials traversing space I asked my son if he would want to travel to Mars when he is an adult.

“Oh, I have already figured out how old you’d be when I came home if I went when I am thirty,” he informed me. “Don’t worry, dad. You’ll be still be alive when I get back.”

Pretty heavy stuff for a 12-yr-old. When I was his age the Bermuda Triangle was all the rage (well, the Bermuda Triangle and sharks thanks to Jaws). Back then there were a few books on the subject and that was it. These days, our children have more information at their disposal. They can question everything because they can go straight to the source via the internet and find out for themselves. Some parents think this is not a good thing. I welcome it. Even if it means I have little authority over the subjects that holds my son’s interest. One day I’ll get him to pick up a novel and finish it from beginning to end without having to hear him bellyache about how would rather be reading a science book. And if not, at least he can take a few books with him when he boards a spacecraft headed to Mars. I hear it’s a long ride.