Thursday, December 10, 2009

Welcoming the ETs

Jeff Peckman of Denver, CO wants the city to throw out a welcome mat for visitors--from outer space. He has successfully led a petition drive to get an initiative on the ballot in August 2010 that would require the city to create an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission. The commission will be charged with the task developing protocols for welcoming space aliens should they decide to visit the Mile High City. (No matter how hard I might have tried, I could not have made up something like this.)

I am certainly one who believes in planning ahead, so from that perspective I guess Peckman has a good idea. Imagine how embarrassing it would be if a ship full of extraterrestrials landed in your fair city and you didn't have a welcoming committee. I suspect that the aliens would hop back aboard their space ship and find a more friendly locale. Kind of like what the Mexicans and El Salvadorans do now.

For those of us who don't live in Denver, we may have an opportunity to obtain a seat on the commission. According to Peckman's proposed ordinance:
The commission shall consist of seven (7) regular volunteer members approved by the mayor who shall give preference to four (4) residents of Denver, Colorado who satisfy the selection criteria.... Members who are not Denver residents may participate from anywhere in the universe by any means available.
Since three members of the commission can reside outside of Denver, I would propose that the mayor approve Mork (who lives in nearby Boulder), Spock, and Alf. Mork may be able to add some comedy to what will surely be very serious discussions. Spock will be able to add some logic, which will certainly be missing. I am uncertain what Alf will add, but I doubt the mayor would want to appear to be biased in favor of sentient creatures. Maybe a Chia Pet will suffice in place of Alf.

If you are among the skeptics who do not believe in UFOs, you should consider this little tidbit from Peckman's web site:
Even Matt Lauer and Al Roeker stated on Good Morning America this year that they believe in the presence of UFOs and other intelligent life in our universe. If Matt & Al tell us it’s OK to think this way maybe some Americans can finally start accepting it.
According to Peckman, if two television personalities believe something, then that is proof of its truth. This is nothing more than an appeal to authority--that we are to suspend our own independent judgment because Matt and Al say that they believe something. (If I remember correctly, Al once said that he makes the best ribs in the country, but until he sends me about 10 pounds to try I ain't gonna believe him.) And whether we believe it or not, Peckman thinks that it is perfectly acceptable to force us--through our tax dollars--to support his pet project.

I suspect that most people who hear about this would dismiss Peckman as a loony. And they will go merrily about their day making their own plans for a visit from an "extraterrestrial"--the second coming of Jesus.

I am not a Biblical scholar, nor do I play one on the Internet. However, I seem to hear an increasing number of references to the Book of Revelation these days. According to my limited knowledge of things pertaining to the Bible, the Book of Revelation portends to tell of the final days of Earth, when the righteous will be swept away by Hale-Bopp to eat prime rib and sip a fine Cabernet. And depending on your particular interpretation, I hear that you may also get to frolic with 72 nubile virgins.

If Peckman wants his initiative to be successful, he really needs to take some lessons from the masters of asserting the arbitrary. He needs to make promises of eternal life, or incredible sex, or even a condo on the coast of Oahu as an enticement. Simply asking voters to be nice to a bunch of aliens isn't going to cut it. Just ask the Mexicans.

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