Weekly Update 9/9-9/15/2012

The 28th annual NEMO triathlon was held on Sunday, September 9.  I was really focusing on this race this year, and really wanting to decrease my time from 2011.  The consensus among racers was that the swim was longer than in years past. Swimming was the only area that I know I improved on from last year.  When I saw my 23:46 time this year compared to my 22:48 time last year, I knew something was wrong.  I had planned to cut at least two minutes off the swim and it didn’t happen, even though I felt great in the water.  My final verdict: the swim was longer.

I was shocked that my bike increased from 51:55 in 2011 to 54:12 in 2012 (18 miles).  Again, I felt strong out there on the bike. Perhaps it was windier than last year?  The run once again left something to be desired.  I increased my time of 44:28 in 2011 to 46:01 in 2012.  My total time was 2:03:59 compared to last year’s 1:59:11, or 4 minutes and 48 seconds slower.

This was my fourth triathlon of the year and I feel (even though the time doesn’t show it) that it was my second best.  It really is time for me to re-evaluate my life.  Why am I doing these triathlons?  I absolutely hate running.  Every time my foot hits the pavement, I think to myself, “This really sucks.  Why am I doing this?  None of this pain is worth it because everyone is passing me.  I’m passing no one.  This blows.”  And then my other foot hits the pavement, and I think all of that again.  It repeats until I’m done running.  I’m coming to terms right now with this fact that I’ve desperately tried to avoid for the last four or five years: I HATE running.

This weekend Erin and I will be heading to Lawrence, KS with friends Gerrit, Kristi, and Rachel.  Erin’s 32nd birthday is Saturday, September 15.  It turns out, that Saturday will also be my 13000th day alive.  I stumbled upon this fact messing around with Wolfram Alpha one evening.  We’ll be staying with Erin’s folks and their four huge dogs that I miss.  TCU will be playing the Kansas Jayhawks at 11am on Saturday morning, so we won’t get to sleep in at all with the loud tailgating that will be going on.

Political Thoughts of the Week

Ever since my MSNBC app on my smartphone notified me that four people died at the American Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, I’ve been paying close attention.  Most of this is taken from NBC news.

Protests crept out over a video about the prophet Muhammad that was released.  This video was a 14 minute preview to a movie that may not even exist (it hasn’t yet been confirmed to exist).  In an effort to curb violence, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt released this statement on Tuesday at 6:17am:

“The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

Read that paragraph carefully. Do you see an apology in there anywhere?  If you do, you are an agent of spin. I’ve just detected you.  I guess that makes me a spin detector.

I would like to make two things absolutely clear before moving on.  (1) This statement was made by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, and not by Obama.  (2) This statement was made almost 6 hours before a breach or a death had occurred.

After a breach had occurred in Cairo, and after a breach had occurred in Benghazi resulting in the death of Chris Stevens and three other Americans, Romney comes out with this political attack:

“I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”

Let me point out a few things about this statement by Romney.  (1) The White House had not made a response yet, but was about to make one at the same time as this statement.  (2) The response that Romney is referring to happened prior to the attacks.  So, how could they condemn something that hadn’t happened yet.  (3) Where in the statement above was there “sympathy” for those that waged the attacks?
At around the same time, the White House released a statement that said “the statement by Embassy Cairo …does not reflect the views of the United States government.”  Obama would later make his own statement about the ordeal.  His statement would not include any kind of response to the Governor Romney’s ridiculous, ill-timed, and completely spun political attack. 
A response would come from Obama campaign spokesperson Ben LaBolt. He made the statement, “We are shocked that, at a time when the United States of America is confronting the tragic death of one of our diplomatic officers in Libya, Governor Romney would choose to launch a political attack.” 
I’m shocked, too, Ben LaBolt.  Governor Romney needed a history lesson from Reagan and Bush. As they were both battling for the Republican ticket in April of 1980, when eight servicemen died trying to save U.S. diplomats on a failed mission to Iran on Carter’s watch, this is what they said. 
George H.W. Bush: “I unequivocally support the president — no ifs, ands or buts. . . . He made a difficult, courageous decision.”

Ronald Reagan: “This is a difficult day for all of us Americans. . . . It is time for us . . . to stand united. It is a day for quiet reflection . . . when words should be few and confined essentially to our prayers.”

Governor Romney is out of touch when it comes to foreign policy. He’s out of touch with reality. And, I sincerely hope that he’s out of reach of the Presidency of the United States.

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