News and Tribune

November 25, 2013

CUMMINS: Searching for an alternate Earth

By TERRY CUMMINS
Local columnist

— Each time I sit down to write an article, my mind drifts to the subject of politics. I must strive to overcome this disturbing malady, but I feel a duty to prevent our beautiful Earth from being blown to smithereens. I do not know what a smithereen is, nor do I understand how a politician’s brain becomes one. I’ve had friends who became politicians, and prior to running for office, they were normal, putting their pants on one leg at a time. They did not lie, cheat, steal or abuse their family or society. The mystery, what comes over them? We do not fully understand what happens to normal humans who are transformed into a form of life similar to that of a wild animal. It’s as if they were bees, buzzing, stinging, frantically searching for campaign-honey funds, or like fiery ants scampering about as dodgem cars on Capitol Hill. Or, maybe it’s the heat from global warming preventing the rarity — a “cool” politician. Whatever the cause, Earth 1.0 is in dire peril.

Thank God, the science community is desperately searching for Earth 2.0. Simply open your eyes and look at the surface of Earth 1.0. What do you see? You see suicide bombers, drones, slush where ice was, dark clouds churning, turning into twisters, and you see the advent of Civil War II, fought over, of all things, health care.  

We must save Earth 1.0. Think of your grandchildren who will each owe $1.43 million in back taxes. Need to buy Christmas gifts? Give a gun wrapped in Peace on Earth paper. Watch the Weather Channel. You can only take cover x number of times. What happens when cover is reduced to a smithereen?

We cannot totally blame the destruction of Earth 1.0 on politicians. The public is responsible, too. Politicians must keep an airport-type wind tunnel in their backyards to know if the wind is blowing left or right. But the public is fickle, feckless and frightful, too. Some attribute impending doom to gay marriage, others to abortion clinics. America should have outlawed immigration after our grandfathers arrived. And if God didn’t want us to burn fossil fuels, why did He put it on Earth as He put cockroaches in our closets? Currently, ObamaCare is the ticking time bomb. No, it’s the mega-federal computer preventing sign-ups. Trying to enroll in health care online might kill you. The world began with a Big Bang. It will not end with a Big Crunch, but a Big Glitch. Do our lives end with nothing more than a poof?   

There is hope amidst the political suicide bombers. It’s Earth 2.0, which probing scientists will undoubtedly find. You are not the center of the universe, nor is Earth 1.0. We’re sky high taking photographs and discovering planets like you wouldn’t believe. NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has identified 3,500 potential planets in a small section of the Milky Way. Scientists now estimate that planets are in the billions. How do we know there’s not water or microbes somewhere up there, or cockroaches for that matter?  

In his book, “Five Billion Years of Solitude: The Search for Life Among the Stars,” Lee Billings asks, did the universe have a beginning, will it ever end and are we alone here amongst the stars? First of all, it’s not been five billion years of solitude, but mostly noise, and much of it rattling from Washington. Will the universe end? Yes, any day now. Are we alone here? Yes, desperately so, except during cell phone  contacts, which connect us to humanity by the slimmest of threads.

Give humankind credit. When things get tough for us, we search for greener pastures for our goats, which we may be dependent upon again sooner than we think. While you’re watching television and various other screens attached to your person, astronomers, astrophysicists, etc. are looking for life elsewhere. If they find life on just one of the billions of outer planets, let’s hope it’s not intelligent life. If it is, we wouldn’t know how to respond to it.

First, the House Intelligence Committee will investigate this new life form, whether it’s a glob or a three-legged person trying to stick his legs into one pant leg. Then the Defense Department will prepare to attack it, while Ways and Means will study ways to go up there, and a means of soliciting votes from the live things we find there.

On Thanksgiving Day, give thanks for Earth 1.0, God’s work in progress, and a place unlike any other in the universe.

— Contact Terry Cummins at TLCTLC@AOL.com