Life Explained

I have some free time this afternoon. Just enough to put this issue behind me.

So, I get this question all the time. Actually, I’ve gotten it maybe once in the past five years. It could be somebody once asked me this question, and if they did not they should have. Here’s the question:

If there is no life after death, then life has no meaning. What’s the purpose of striving year after year only to end up dead?

In this exchange I typically get the argument:

Life only has meaning if there is life after death, and this confirms the existence of a loving God who cares for us and monitors our every action.

OK, I have to say that argument is just overwhelming and should be accepted out of hand, because it explains everything so well, and its logic is inescapable. Except…

Except it violates any number of well established facts and because it is rife with logical flaws:

1. Nobody, and I mean no body, has ever observed life after death. If life after death were real, then it’s amazing that after thousands of years of human history during which life after death was expected to occur every day, no dead person has subsequently ever shown any signs of life.

2. Belief in life after death is part of belief in the existence of God, so it’s a logical fallacy to use one to support the other.

So, since I reject the conjecture of life after death I am challenged to explain human initiative and longing if everybody knows that at the end it will be just lights out and nothing more. That explanation I expect to provide without introducing needless logical failures and without violating any known facts.

In short, the answer is Darwinian evolution—descent with modification facilitated by natural selection. Our mental instinct to strive is essential to successful reproduction. Individuals possessing this mental attribute obtained it through their genome, and their genes come to predominate in the population. Conversely, individuals without the instinct to strive are less likely to pass their genes into subsequent generations. That explains the instinct to strive independent of the expectation of some distant reward.

This decouples the existence of the “human spirit” from the inevitability of extinction, death. A person cares for his well-being and that of his family, because the need for immediate reward is built into his person, sourced from his genome. The future advent of death is disregarded until it cannot be avoided.

I had supposed there was a Douglas Adams quote to the effect: “Your mission in life is to have a good time.” However, I can’t find it, so anybody who wants credit for it can claim it, but you might have to deal with Douglas Adams, but only after you are dead.

So, if the goal is to live for the present, then what is the motivation for morality? The short answer is that in modern society morality usually increases the time you spend having a good time. Some crooks live a life of luxury while leeching off society, but life for the average miscreant is “lonely, brutal and short.” Bernard Madoff may be an exception.

However, it’s difficult to convince most people of this simple principle, so we have invented God and life after death and priests and popes and nuns and visions of 72 virgins to ensure we keep daily to the purpose at hand. I know many people who live exemplary lives without the breath of eternal damnation at their ear. These people are the real moral exemplars.


Palin Palin

I’m sure I covered this matter previously. Whenever former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin says or does something that’s classic Palin, my liberal friends get all over the topic. They go on and on, posting graphics with cute captions, pointing out contradictions between what Palin says and what the real world thinks is true and trying to remind us of how ridiculous this all is. When they do this, then I jump in and get on their case, and warn them that what they are really doing is wasting their time. Because this is my job.

By all appearances Palin is a successful woman, great family, governor of the largest state (not the most populous), former candidate for vice president of the United States. So, what’s the problem with Palin? Let me count the ways.

Palin is a member of that large part of the population who think that saying something (and saying it often) makes it true. Back over 40 years ago comedian Henry Gibson was famous for saying, “A lie is as good as the truth if you can get somebody to believe it.” The sad truth seems to be that Palin believes a lot of the stuff she says, which makes her sort of a cut-rate liar. That may be the very worst kind.

Somebody posted this on Facebook, and I lifted it to illustrate a point. Palin would do well to take a hint from this small message.

In a way I have been in the same position as Palin. On many topics I am absolutely clueless, and with this in mind I find what works best for me is to keep my mouth shut. Like Palin, sometimes my little scheme does not work, and my stupidity peeks out. Palin seems to have taken this failing to a high art. There are some examples.

Prior to the 2008 election Katie Couric interviewed Palin on CBS

Katie Couric: And when it comes to establishing your worldview, I was curious: what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?
Sarah Palin: I’ve read most of them, again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media.
KC: But, like, what ones specifically? I’m curious.
SP: All of ’em, any of ’em that have been in front of me over all these years.
KC: Can you name a few?
SP: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news too. Alaska isn’t a foreign country, where, it’s kind of suggested and it seems like, ‘Wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington, D.C. may be thinking and doing when you live up there in Alaska?’ Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America.

This appears to show that Palin initially lied about keeping up with worldly events by reading a number of newspapers, but when the lie was challenged she was unable to name her sources because she didn’t read any newspapers and magazines of note. Another possibility is that she actually had been reading various publications, but in the blitz of questions and answers none of them came to her mind (brain freeze). The most likely case is that in the interview Couric was pressing for a memorable sound bite and saw an opening in asking the question. At this point Palin could have cut her losses by saying something like, “Actually I get a lot of stuff from Fox News, but I sometimes pick up the New York Times and Newsweek.” She could also have said that she reads the local paper, which reprints the same wire service feeds used by the big city papers. Anyhow, apparently she felt she was in a trap and needed to keep up the image of somebody in the know and wise to the world, which she obviously was not, at least at the time.

Instead, she said, “All of ’em,” and the trap was sprung. From that point there was no turning back. She could have lied and named the Los Angeles Times, The Dallas Morning News, the New York Times, the Kansas City Star, the Chicago Sun Times, the Arizona Daily Star, the Salt Lake City Tribune, the Seattle Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Houston Post, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, San Antonio Express-News, San Jose Mercury News, Sacramento Bee, Times of London, Pravda, Izvestia, Le Monde, La Republica, La Prensa, some of which I have read, some of which I have not. Anyhow, she could have named any of those, but she did not, because it likely would have been a lie, and besides she likely had never heard of these publications. Anyhow, it was classic Palin, and I love it.

Palin really needs a note stuck on her toothbrush that reads, “If Katie Couric phones, you are out.” Again Couric interviewed Palin. Couric asked what Supreme Court decisions she disagreed with, besides Roe v. Wade. Palin was clueless, and it showed.

“Well, let’s see. There’s ― of course in the great history of America there have been rulings that there’s never going to be absolute consensus by every American, and there are those issues, again, like Roe v. Wade, where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So, you know, going through the history of America, there would be others but ―” –Sarah Palin, unable to name a Supreme Court decision she disagreed with other than Roe vs. Wade, interview with Katie Couric, CBS News, Oct. 1, 2008.

This clip shows more of the interview. At the beginning Couric asks vice presidential candidate Joe Biden the same question she asks Palin later in the clip. She asks about the Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade. Biden explains the decision and says he agrees with it. Palin does not explain the decision, but she expresses disagreement. Couric asks both candidates what Supreme Court decisions they disagree with, and Biden mentions a decision that struck down a law he had sponsored. The law would have made violence against women a federal crime to be prosecuted in federal court, but The Court said no. Violence against women was a matter involving individuals and did not rise to the federal level. Biden was wrong in his interpretation of the law, but at least he could explain the case.

What we see in the case of Palin is somebody completely unfamiliar with national law and politics and unaware of any Court decisions she disagrees with. What Palin should have said in response to Couric’s question was, “No, I can’t name a decision I disagree with. I have not previously worked in national government and have not been involved in matters that went before the Supreme Court.” Palin was at the time aware that her previous political experience as governor of a back-water state left her completely unprepared for national politics, and she was evidently defensive. She felt the need to project initiative, but she had nothing to put forward, and her response fell abysmally flat. This is the Palin we all know and love.

Like most of us, Palin sometimes has problems with the English language. How she handles language gaffs is what is so telling.

The blogosphere erupted with laughter and ridicule this week when Sarah Palin sent out a tweet using a nonexistent word and then proudly mistook her illiteracy for literary genius.

Here’s the tweet that started it, which Palin sent out in response to the controversy over building a mosque in New York City near where the Twin Towers once stood:
“Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate.”
Palin quickly found herself the butt of many tweets after it was pointed out that “refudiate” is not a word. So she deleted the tweet and replaced it with another:
“Peaceful New Yorkers, pls refute the Ground Zero mosque plan if you believe catastrophic pain caused @ Twin Towers site is too raw, too real.”
After being ribbed for misusing the word “refute,” Palin quickly took down that tweet too. She then claimed common ground with no less than one of the greatest writers of all time:
“‘Refudiate,’ ‘misunderestimate,’ ‘wee-wee’d up.’ English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!”

God, I hate Twitter. Attempts to insert an amount of intelligent thought into 140 characters can often fracture the English language. “pls refudiate?” Forget about “refudiate.” What is “pls?” Is it “plus?” “Pupils?” Wait, I know. It’s “please.” God, the ghost of Shakespeare will be rapping at your door tonight.

Again, for a middle-aged woman who has held and was seeking to hold an even higher level of public responsibility, this shows a distressing lack of maturity. What you are supposed to do in a case like this is re-tweet something like, “God, that was awful. What I meant was ‘repudiate.'” Wait, she attempted that, but not in a mature way. She deleted the tweet and then compounded the crime by layering on another language gaff.

OK, forget about Palin’s problems with the language. We all have those. Here real problem, which got buried in all the language mess, was her stand on the issue. A Muslim mosque near the previous site of the Twin Towers? There is supposed to be something wrong with that? The Muslim world attacked us? Not 19 religious fundamentalists with a severely broken world view? It would have been OK to build a Christian church there (already is one) or a Jewish temple? Or a Buddhist temple, but not a Muslim mosque? Have we declared war on a particular religion above all others?

Readers, I am not religious, so I do not have a dog in this fight, but it seems that allowing a mosque (or Muslim cultural center) in lower Manhattan would be like sticking a finger in the eye of all those religious fanatics who claim this country is at war with Islam. And Palin opposes this? And Palin wants to hold power at the national level?

At this point I observe I have reached the endurance of some readers, so I’m cutting this off for now. Those interested can read more in subsequent posts.

The answer, my friend

Is blowin’ in the wind.

From the Bob Dylan Web site

It was 50 years ago today.

The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released in May 1963 by Columbia Records. Whereas his debut album Bob Dylan had contained only two original songs, Freewheelin’ represented the beginning of Dylan’s writing contemporary words to traditional melodies. Eleven of the thirteen songs on the album are original compositions by him. The album opens with “Blowin’ in the Wind”, which became one of the anthems of the 1960s, and an international hit for folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary soon after the release of Freewheelin’. The album featured several other songs which came to be regarded as amongst Dylan’s best compositions and classics of the 1960s folk scene: “Girl from the North Country”, “Masters of War”, “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” and “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”.

Dale Blount and John Horn had this album in the Campus Guild, where I was living, and they were playing it. That voice, that awful Midwest twang. It was grating to the ears. Corn does not adequately describe some of the lyrics. Did I mention the harmonica? Some lines were written in absolute defiance of irony.

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks.

Really, Bob? Quit beating about the bush. Tell us how you really feel about these guys.

And I hope that you die
And your death’ll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I’ll watch while you’re lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I’ll stand over your grave
‘Til I’m sure that you’re dead.

A few years later another American poet would burst on the scene with a more subtle message:

I am just a poor boy
Though my story’s seldom told
I have squandered my resistance
For a pocket full of mumbles such are promises
All lies and jests
Still a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest

It was not the time for this, however. This was early 1963. John Kennedy was still alive, and this country’s involvement in the Vietnam conflict was, as yet, only ankle deep. Grim reality was to come. This was a time for direct talk.

Some time ago a crazy dream came to me
I dreamt I was walkin’ into World War Three
I went to the doctor the very next day
To see what kinda words he could say
He said it was a bad dream
I wouldn’t worry ’bout it none, though
They were my own dreams and they’re only in my head

At this early stage some poetry was beginning to creep in to Dylan’s writing. And irony, as well.

Well, now time passed and now it seems
Everybody’s having them dreams
Everybody sees themselves
Walkin’ around with no one else
Half of the people can be part right all of the time
Some of the people can be all right part of the time
But all of the people can’t be all right all of the time
I think Abraham Lincoln said that
“I’ll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours”
I said that.

Some of the lyrics brought back to mind recent and tragic headlines.

He went down to Oxford Town
Guns and clubs followed him down
All because his face was brown
Better get away from Oxford Town

There was humor in the days before Dallas.

Well, my telephone rang it would not stop
It’s President Kennedy callin’ me up
He said, “My friend, Bob, what do we need to make the country grow?”
I said, “My friend, John, Brigitte Bardot
Anita Ekberg
Sophia Loren”
Country will grow.

But there were poetic images, and some I thought I understood, but I could never be sure.

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, ’n’ how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?

The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. The answer is blowing in the wind.

None of us have ever been the same since.

Bad Joke of the Week

It was bound to happen. President Obama is promising to close the prison for terrorists at the Guantanamo Naval Base. Secretly he has a plan to get the remaining terrorists off the streets.

First, any al Qaeda militant who turns himself in voluntarily will get a date with Jody Arias.

Some won’t fall for that, so any militant who doesn’t turn himself in but gets caught anyhow will share a cell with Jody Arias.

Pray or Pay

This is new. People who know me will tell you I am always the last to pick up on the neatest and the hottest trends and the coolest people. So it’s no surprise that I never even heard of comedian Ricky Gervais until this week. Can you imagine that? He must be a very funny guy and way cool, which is why I was so clueless. Anyhow, the way he spells his last name indicates to me he may be French, which explains a lot.

Ricky Gervais Provokes Twitter Flap Over Sending Prayers to Oklahoma

While many Americans have taken to Twitter to send out thoughts and prayers to the victims of the Oklahoma tornado, comedian Ricky Gervais urged users of the social media site to actually do something for them.

In response to trending hashtags #PrayForOklahoma and #PrayersForOklahoma, the proud atheist popularized hashtag #ActuallyDoSomethingForOklahoma, suggesting his 4.6 million followers give $10 to the American Red Cross’ disaster relief efforts.

No no no no, people. Don’t listen to Ricky Gervais. He’s going to lead you astray. He’s an atheist. He’s going to give you only practical solutions. There’s nothing in his message that’s going to get you right with The Big Guy.

Here are the top ten reasons you should pray for Oklahoma.

10. Praying takes less time. Take it from me, you can be in and out of a prayer in less than two seconds.

9. Praying is not tax-deductible. If you send money you’re going to have to fill out a bunch of government forms to adjust your tax payment for this year.

8. You can pray for Oklahoma, and your wife will never find out.

7. One prayer will heal every one of the many injured and will restore all the houses damaged and destroyed by God’s most recent gift. Your check to the Red Cross or the Salvation Army will likely go into somebody’s pocket and never to see the light of day.

6.  Praying saves MONEY. Try it. You’ll see.

5. If you like, you can only claim that you prayed for Oklahoma without actually praying, whereas sending money leaves a permanent record that you may not later be able to repudiate.

4. Referring to reason 7 above, if you send money to the Red Cross you are helping to support a mercenary organization heavy with bureaucracy, and if you send to the Salvation Army you might possibly be supporting a group whose religious views are different from your own.

3.  If you send money and later change your mind you can never get it back, whereas if you pray and later change your mind you can tell the Lord to forget about it, and you can rest assured the Lord will heed your wishes.

2. Sending money will only encourage people to keep doing what they did to get themselves into the situation they are in now.

1. You should pray for Oklahoma because, because it’s Oklahoma.

High Test

Yesterday I posted a small bit on how to save money purchasing fuel for your car. Here is another bit that is somewhat related. This relates to spending wisely on fuel and getting what you want.

Somewhere back in my e-mail logs is a note from somebody about engine power. His idea was to purchase high octane gasoline for his car so he could have more power when he needed it. I am guessing he drove fast lots of the time, and everybody knows you need more power to drive fast. I had to laugh.

The truth is, while you can get more power from some engines using high test gasoline, this tends to be a special case. Here is a short discussion on the basis for the high octane, high power myth.

When I was in college my buddies and I raced motorcycles and built racing engines. Obviously a racing engine needs more power than a street engine, so if you set out to build a racing engine from a street engine one of the first things you need to do is to raise the engine compression ratio. It works like this, illustrated with the example of a four-stroke engine. Two-stroke engines have a similar situation, even though their operation is radically different:

National championship at Dallas International Speedway in Lewisville

Ideally the power cycle of a four-stroke engine starts with the intake valve open, the exhaust valve closed, and the piston on the down stroke. As the piston evacuates the cylinder a fuel and air mixture enters the combustion chamber through the intake valve. Again ideally, the intake valve closes, and the piston begins its upstroke, compressing the fuel-air mixture within the now closed combustion chamber. This continues until the piston has reached the top of the compression stroke, and the fuel-air mixture is as compressed as it is going to get. Then the spark plug fires, and the expanding gases drive the piston down.

Remember, this is only an idealization. In an actual engine valve and spark timing are nowhere near as described above, but the principles still apply.

If you can start with a smaller space above the piston when it is at the top of its stroke, then you will have a higher compression ratio. The compression ratio is the top volume divided by the total volume of the cylinder when the piston is down. The higher the compression ratio, the more energy you can extract from a given fuel-air mixture. So, all you need to do to get more power from a street engine is to increase the compression ratio—almost.

There is a problem, however. Certain fuel blends will pre-ignite at the high pressures produced in a high-compression engine. See the link to octane ratings on Wikipedia above. If you try to run gasoline rated at 87 octane in an engine with a 12:1 compression ratio you will get destructive engine knock, pre-ignition. With high-compression ratios you need high-octane fuel.

So the deal is, if you have a car designed to run on regular gasoline, you are wasting your money purchasing premium fuel. As the Wikipedia article notes, there is not necessarily more energy per fuel-air charge with high-octane fuel.

Here is another note. Engine operating conditions greatly affect an engine’s reaction to low-octane gasoline. About 50 years ago the Honda Motor Company began fielding some high-performance racing motorcycles, and they ran extensive tests. They built an engine with a 12:1 compression ratio and ran it on 70 octane gasoline without engine knocking. To do this they ran the engine at 20,000 rpm. Remember that your standard Toyota Camry seldom gets above 4,000 rpm.

Piston engines for aviation typically use high-octane fuel, presumably because they run high compression ratios, although I have not found any numbers on such engines. Anyhow, everybody seems to know that aviation gasoline is high-test. This has brought me more laughs.

I’m watching the news, and a jet plane has crashed, and the reporter is telling about all that high-test gasoline catching on fire. Where have these people been? Jet engines do not burn gasoline. The best description of jet fuel is kerosene, but there is other stuff mixed in. For example JP-5 is typically used in naval aircraft flying from carriers. In no way can these fuels be likened to high-test gasoline.

You have diesel? Forget about octane. Diesel engines typically run high compression ratios and extract more energy from each charge of fuel and air. Large diesel trucks get greater fuel efficiency than would a comparable gasoline engine, so truck lines can afford to pay a premium price for their fuel. I don’t know if this translates to lower operating cost for a diesel passenger car. Maybe some more research on my part is due.

Gas Buddy

The season is upon us. Drivers are facing the yearly triple whammy when increased driving brings on increased demand and increasing prices, refiners switch over to the more pricey summer blend, and refiners take some capacity off line for maintenance and repair, thereby decreasing supply. Get ready to pay higher prices until Labor Day.

In the mean time there is GasBuddy. If you have been reading these posts for the past year you have noticed several references to My (then) congressional representative, Francisco Canseco, favored making an issue of gasoline prices so voters would get the idea he could and would do something about them and also that the current Obama Administration was the direct cause of high prices. Of course, the history is that Congressman Canseco was defeated in the election last November, and President Obama was overwhelmingly re-elected. Gasoline prices were falling at the time. You can read all my posts about Congressman Canseco by entering his name in the search window at the top of this page.

Anyhow, GasBuddy will provide you a great and money-saving service, if you will take advantage of it. First of all, enter your ZIP code of interest or your city to get the lowest prices around. If you live in a large city, as I do, then entering the city can get you cheap prices that are miles from your house. You might want to use a ZIP code to narrow the search. During the time I was writing the aforementioned posts I was making regular trips between San Antonio and Round Rock, and I drove through New Braunfels. It turned out the cheapest prices were at Buc-ee’s at exit 191 and Pilot at exit 184 on Interstate 35.

GasBuddy will also serve up statistics on prices, and there is even a write-up on what contributes to prices. Here is a price history chart I posted previously:

If you have a smart phone or a pad of some variety, you can get the GasBuddy app for it. I have one on my Android tablet, and I find the map feature helpful. If your device is mobile you can drive along with one hand and check gas prices on the road ahead of you with the other hand. Just kidding. For this it’s best to be married and to have your spouse check prices from the passenger seat while you keep on the lookout for the exit. When we drove out to Florida in February GasBuddy proved to be a real money saver. We could hold off stopping for fuel at the pricey stores and head on down the road where the price was as much as 20 cents per gallon cheaper.

You may wonder where GasBuddy gets all these prices and station locations. It’s from you, dear reader. You can sign up to be a Gas Buddy and report prices. You get points for posting current prices. GasBuddy prices expire after 48 hours, so your help is needed on a daily basis. Of course, it is most likely that every station owner in the country already has a GasBuddy member on staff so they can keep their prices up to date—especially the stations with the cheap prices. If a station manager doesn’t have good prices it’s likely he will not go to a lot of trouble to post them on GasBuddy.

As far as stations go, there is additional information available. What blends does the station carry? Also diesel. An ATM and so on. What credit cards. Other items for sale (food). Some prices are for cash. Some (e.g., Costco) require a membership. It’s all available on GasBuddy.

So, check it out, readers. Let me know if this has been informative.

Sarah Palin Live!

I know what you must be thinking. But you’re wrong. Others get this idea, as well. They think I don’t like Sarah Palin. That could not be further from the truth. I do like Sarah Palin. I just love her so very very much. You might ask why.

I could list a bunch of reasons, but one that pops readily to my mind is I have her to thank in the two previous presidential elections. You see, it was Sarah Palin that got Barack Obama elected in the first place. While I am not one of those vanishingly few who think Obama is the most wonderful and righteous leader this country has ever had, I did vote for him. Twice. And you all know that I hate stepping into a voting both and pulling the lever for a candidate only to have him watch the inauguration ceremonies on television. Sarah Palin saved my day. Thank you, Mrs. Palin. Thank you, thank you.

You see, I had this moment back in the summer of 2008, and Obama already had the Democratic nomination sewed up, and John McCain, a certified war hero and respected senator from Arizona, was scheduled to run against him. So, how is a young (not yet 50) man from Chicago, first term senator, middle name is Hussein, name reminds you of Osama, father was a foreigner, a Muslim, born in Kenya, how is this man going to defeat John McCain. Thank you Sarah Palin. That’s the nicest thing that anyone’s ever done for me.

And if I had a drum I’d have to bang it!
To add a sort of rumty-tumty touch
But since I left my drum at home
I’ll simply have to say
Thank you very, very, very much!
Thank you very, very, very much!

Also with thanks to Leslie Bricusse.

Anyhow, the magic moment came when the Republican Party announced that Sarah Palin was going to be the vice presidential candidate. Sadly, all of this meant that Senator McCain must have signed off on this debacle, illustrating reason number 34 why John McCain should not be President of the United States. On occasions, when it is most critical, he suffers these devastating lapses of judgment.

Anyhow, what does all of this have to do with umbrellas. You thought I would never get to the point of this post. Here it goes. In the current political dust-up that going on in Washington these days, Palin had a few words to say. This is apparently from her Facebook post:

Scandalous Hat Trick
Mr. President, when it rains it pours, but most Americans hold their own umbrellas. Today in the Rose Garden you dismissed the idea of a Special Counsel to investigate the IRS scandal. With that, your galling political hubris shined bright in the midst of today’s dark clouds.

And, finishing up:

Speaking of coverage, glad you finally called in the Marines… shame it was just to hold your umbrella.

– Sarah Palin

Did she really write that? Others besides me seem to think so, and it’s making the rounds on the news with no apparent push back from Palin. So, what’s the big deal? This is from the Washington Post.

Rain mars Obama’s press conference (Video)
By Aaron Blake, Published: May 16, 2013 at 2:23 pm

A drizzle began before Obama and his guest, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, arrived. As Obama began answering questions, the rain began to fall harder, prompting Obama to call in a couple Marines with umbrellas.
“I’ve got a change of suits, but I don’t know about our prime minister,” Obama said, gesturing to Erdogan.
The Marines held the umbrellas over the heads up Obama and Erdogan and were later dismissed when the rain let up.
Needless to say, the rain prompted all kinds of chatter on Twitter…

Is this what Palin was talking about?

Must be. But then what’s this:

What this is, they are, is a bunch of those cute photos that try to make a point with an appropriate caption. Finally, there’s this:

Now I have to laugh at this one. Somebody asked if this means that Sarah Palin is not a real American. I’m going to have to see a birth certificate before I will answer that question.

But here’s the point (finally). These were posted on Facebook by some of my liberal friends to poke fun at Palin. Really? People, get a life. This is Sara Palin. This is not Theodore Roosevelt. This is not Dwight Eisenhower. This is not Everett Dirksen. This is not Gerald Ford. This is not George H. W. Bush. This not even John McCain. This is not a real Republican. This is Sarah Palin. Allow me to emphasize:

Sarah Palin. SARAH PALIN. You let Sarah Palin drive your conversation? You have got to be joking. People, this like the tail wagging the dog. It’s time we considered issues and people that really matter.