Caught Up In A Bad Cosmic Joke

 Crab Nebula - photo: NASA (photo: NASA)

Listen.  You can hear the laughter.  It’s the cosmos, and it’s laughing.  At us.  Laughing so hard that tears are falling from its spectral eyes.


North Korea, it’s being reported, has secretly, and with “great speed” built a plant for enriching uranium.   (Like we had no idea Kim Jong il wants nukes and this wasn’t likely to happen.)  The Taliban says the plan to pull NATO troops out of Afghanistan by 2014 is “irrational.”  They are vowing to force the U.S. and its allies out sooner.   (Doesn’t this imply that they had at some point, decided to back off?)  The TSA with its new body scans and groping pat-downs,  has joined the IRS as being counted among the most unpopular of all government agencies.  While that makes flying all the more fun, it’s equally comforting to know that Al Qaeda, is promising to continue its attacks, particularly against U.S. interests.  (This implies that at some point they decided to stop?)  Peace talks between Israel and Palestine, look like they’ll probably fall apart again.   (Never would have guessed it.) Global warming is increasing the release of methane gas in Siberia, further contributing to… warming.  (Remember, this isn’t really happening.)  Ireland, on the verge of bankruptcy, needs an international bailout.  (Which we’ve been hearing about for months.)  Our friends in Japan are sending troops to their westernmost island in response to maneuvers by our friends the Communist Chinese. (I believe we decided to defend Japan against attack following World War II, which leads to some interesting questions about what we’ll do if they get into it with Red China.)

Here in sunny California, after being granted tax breaks by the Governor, the Legislature and the people (by initiative), Comcast and Genentec, are both laying people off and sending jobs out of state.   Comcast, is laying off as many as 212 Californians and moving 150 jobs to Utah.  Genentech, a subsidiary of Roche Pharmaceuticals, is instituting its “Operational Excellence Program” and laying off 4,800 people worldwide with 840 jobs being targeted in the Bay Area and Vacaville.

So much for trying to be nice to big business.  What a hoot.

And now the good news.  An old man who has lived his life under a vow of celibacy (while surrounded by other men who are also celibate, or say they are) and who makes public appearances wearing a costume of gold encrusted robes and a high-peaked pharonoic chapeau, has made the pronouncement that it might sometimes be okay for people to use condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS while continuing to insist that his followers are banned from practicing contraception.

Welcome to the Planet Earth.   Check your sanity at the door.

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