Thursday, February 28, 2008

Barrack Obama, Love God

Today, by an accident of geography, I found myself at a Barrack Obama rally. He was addressing a crowd directly across the street from where I work, and when most of my coworkers went I tagged along. I'm not a Democrat and have no intention of voting for him, but it did get me away from my desk for a while.

Beaumont is only a medium-sized city, and politicians on the campaign trail rarely stop here. Presidential candidates (particularly those with a decent shot at winning a nomination) don't visit Beaumont. They send their spouses instead. In the week preceding Barrack Obama's visit they were both here - Mrs. Obama and Bill Clinton. I drove by a Clinton event on my way to lunch one day. The contrast between the modest attendence at the Clinton rally and the overflow crowd that I stood in today couldn't be more striking. When Obama approached us it caused such a surge of onlookers that someone could have been trampled in the rush. Afterwards my coworkers (all women) were absolutely gushing over Obama, and it was Obamamania for the rest of the day. It was like the second coming of Christ. From some of the comments I heard it wasn't clear whether they wanted to vote for him or date him. Tonight Obama was the lead story on all our local news stations. Hillary might still be in the race, but you wouldn't have known it from the coverage I saw.

Last Saturday I did some birding on the Bolivar Peninsula. Lots of birds on the beaches. Also a lot of plastic crap. It's a real shame. "Don't Mess With Texas" they say. Why the hell not? Looks like everybody does. The maximum fine for littering in California is $1000. It's posted on signs along the highways. No $1000 penalty here - just a stupid slogan (which serves only one purpose - to make Texans feel like they are tough when in actuality they are soft as butter on this problem). For all the bluster and "Texas pride" people claim to have you would think they wouldn't treat their state like a big junkyard. In Texas the maximum fine is only $500 for a first offense...and that's in the very unlikely event that an officer catches you at it. I see people throwing garbage out of their cars all the time. Don't mess with Texas? Don't make me laugh. This state is covered in trash. Makes California look pristine by comparison, and California is the state you don't want to mess with.


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