Columnist: A vacation from the news |

Columnist: A vacation from the news

A lot can happen when you metaphorically drop off the face of the planet for 10 days or so.

I’m never really sure if I am more saddened or shocked by the world’s events during my absence. Of course it’s not as if I personally have any affect either way on what does or does not occur, but when I do have the opportunity for a quick catch up via a TV or brief Internet connection, I inevitably end up in a shoulder-slumped funk for an hour or two.

Rum seems to help, though.

We make a point of leaving the country the first week of July each year, usually to an island. It’s not that we desire to stay away from our motherland’s Independence Day celebrations; in fact it is quite the opposite.

Being a U.S. flag-waver in a foreign country on July 4t provides my family with an extra patriotic shot in the arm, allowing the kids to hopefully gain a better understanding of what it means to be an American.

There’s that, and then there’s Dad needing to stick his feet in a warm ocean and hopefully gain a better understanding of what it means to be on vacation.

So as I write this on an airplane Sunday afternoon (my column is due Sunday night, but why wait till the last minute?), I was able to catch up on a few missed items of note.

You folks making the world go round were busy.

It is odd being thousands of miles away from home and having religious yahoos drive an American car into a Scottish airport.

The world’s civilized governments go into immediate “Code Red,” changing tactics, color-coded alert systems and media propaganda angles thus effectively ceasing any attempt by the airline industry as a whole to stay anywhere within, oh, let’s say, a four- to five-hour average delay time for take-offs and landings.

I could not help but wonder what would happen if a bomb went off in some American airport today, while we’re traveling.

Would we make it home? Would we be stranded? Could my family be a statistic?

How much cash do I have left? What if my credit card maxes out? We have clean clothes for how many days? Who will take care of the dog?

Where’s the damn airport bar?

I realize each of those sounds amazingly selfish, but the truth is that all I would really care about at the beginning of yet another international tragedy would be my own family.

I’d be surprised if any of you felt differently.

I see the “normal” number of American troops have died in Iraq, averaging about three or four each day.

Sadly, no surprise there.

Al Gore’s son was arrested again? I guess that pretty much guarantees a media vote of “no confidence” for daddy to run for anything other than President of Global Warming Inc.

I obviously missed his Live Aid or Live Earth or Live Whatever last week.

Maybe it will be on pay-per-view.

I saw snippets of a speech President Bush made on July 4 talking about how “we” believe in “an Almighty who loves us.”

What’s this “we” business? Where in the U.S. Constitution does it provide our elected leader the right to juxtapose his (or her) superstitious beliefs on the rest of us?

Does the man not realize the hypocrisy of his own words? The whole “my god can beat up your god” nonsense is what causes all of these problems in the first place. Our world will never be peaceful until people stop believing in these fairy tales and have the courage to trust in their own individual rational thoughts.

Anyway, I see Texas keeps flooding while Edwards and Eagle are busy putting out fires, and it’s 119 degrees in Vegas.

Half of Utah is apparently burning. I wonder if it’s the yucky half.

Recall Menconi? What a waste of time. By the time anything came of it, he’d only be a few months from finishing his term.

We have much more to fear from those sticking around.

Now that I think about it, I could have gone a few more weeks without knowing any of this stuff. I mean, it’s good to be home and all, but I think I just might leave again for awhile.

I’d certainly sleep better.

Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a biweekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at

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