Thought for Today

The important thing is that you have lots of ideas and that you learn most are going to be wrong. The trick is to figure out which are the most promising and work on those. A man who is right every time is not likely to do very much. It's the person with just one idea who is a menace because he won't give his idea up.
--Francis Crick, who, with James Watson, discovered the structure of DNA

Jerry Falwell's Convention Prayer: A Contest

It's mid-summer. Easy for the brain to turn off. So Swami's decided to encourage you to be Smart and Funny with a contest.

The question: Let's say it's true--that Jerry Falwell will give a prayer at the Republican Convention. In l50 words or less, write that prayer.

Deadline: August 15.

How to enter: Message board. Or mail to

Judge: Swami. And as you know, Swami's decisions are final (sort of).

Entry to beat:

Lord, we beseech you to turn our plowshares into swords that we might smite the heathens, gays, atheists, and all those who would stand against the righteousness of your will. We pray that you will guide President Bush to suppress the evil in our midst, to deafen him to pleas for tolerance and fairness that the enemy uses to confuse and weaken our nation's resolve. For surely his cause is your cause and it is just. And so Lord, lay your hand upon him, guide him, and bless him as he lets loose your righteous wrath against all who would deign to question the wisdom of his calling.
Hint for future entrants: Sincerity is not exactly the point here. And don't forget The Environment. Consider this BBC report:

In 2001 NASA scientists published a major study based on observations by satellite and aircraft.

It concluded that the margins of the Greenland ice-sheet were dropping in height at a rate of roughly one metre a year.

Now, amid some of the most hostile conditions anywhere on the planet, Carl Boggild and his team have recorded falls as dramatic as 10 metres a year --- in places the ice is dropping at a rate of one metre a month.

The glacier we visited--the Sermilik glacier in southern Greenland --- is so volatile that one automatic monitoring station was lost into a yawning crevasse.Swami's thought: More proof the End Times are coming. Falwell might want to give a cheer for faster global warming. But don't limit your imagination--extremism in the defense of [Christian] liberty is no sin.

News of the Week in Review

John Kerry got nominated last night. Swami gave the speech a B. That is, considered as a speech. Considered as a speech by the often-wooden Kerry, an A. But not the same kind of A that Sharpton got from Swami. Or Max Cleland.

This morning's full-page headline in the New York Post, a Rupert Murdoch rag that's become so vile Swami and Mrs. Uptown are canceling our subscription (and, hypocrites that we are, reading online for free): "'I don't need Michael Moore to tell me about Sept. 11,' Rudy blasts ranting director." Which only raises the question: What was Rudy Giuliani doing in Boston? Think he just "happened" to be there on business. Think he was sent there by the Republican leadership, just so he could toss off this front-page-worthy sound bite.

Jon Stewart ripped Chris Matthews and Brian Williams and David ("Listening to Barack Is Like Watching Tiger Woods") Brooks a new one last night for their inability to make sense of Al Sharpton's unscripted remarks. Here's what Sharpton said:

"Mr. President, the reason we are fighting so hard, the reason we took Florida so seriously, is our right to vote wasn't gained because of our age. Our vote was soaked in the blood of martyrs, soaked in the blood of Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner, soaked in the blood of four little girls in Birmingham. This vote is sacred to us. This vote can't be bargained away. This vote can't be given away."
Not too hard for you? Well, maybe that's why you're not TV-worthy--you gotta be stupid-on-demand these days.