Friday, April 25, 2014

APRIL 24, 2014

      Reading the news stories from Kiev these days reminds me of history--small insult followed by small insult until most of Europe blundered into World War I, the war to end all wars."  Or Adolf Hitler pouncing on countries too weak to resist him--Holland, Belgium, it's a long list--until he finally ran into one that wasn't--the Soviet Union.  That was World War II, of course.

     Since then, we've managed to avoid a third World War because of a frightening truth--that if we all go to nuclear war could we blow up the planet.  And even if everyone started the war non-nuclear, wouldn't the losers at some point likely change the rules?  And then wouldn't we all?  We are not at the end of the road.



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

APRIL 22, 2014

      They've been playing baseball over a week now, surely time enough for some unprovable generalizations about the season to come.

     First, the Yankees are in first place in the American League East.  Once upon a time you could have written that this early about any year with confidence.  Only that time is now gone.  Its great names--Ruth, DiMaggio, Mantle--are history.  Only Derek Jeter remains a star, and he's said this is his final year.

    The Mets, New York's "other" team since the wonderful Brooklyn Dodgers slid into history, is in the middle of the pack.  In truth, of course, it's too early to know anything.  Well, except for one thing. 

     The Chicago Cubs--hopelss, hapless, helpless as I like to call them--were at the bottom of their division last year.   I just know they'll hold on to that, don't you?  Some things you can just count on year after year.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

APRIL 12, 2014

       I'm not sure how travelers judge world capitals.  London would win grandest, I expect;  Paris, most romantic.  But there's a very pretty tree just in front of my building which might win most charmimg, prettiest, ethereal, something like that, for my city.

    The tree is a flowering cherry, one of hundreds exploding all over the city in flowers of every dazzling shade of pink.  They came from Japan oringinally but they now say Washington as authentically as any of those duller symbols like the Capitol.
   The flowers teach of the sweetness of life.  Come share it if you can.  It won't last long.  The blooms vanish in a trice, petals carried on a breeze.  Pay a visit if you can. Your lasting souvenir will be memories of genuine magic.  How many cities can offer that?


Saturday, April 5, 2014

APRIL 5, 2014

    As a reporter I have covered half a dozen foreign wars and one American one, Vietnam.   I know that if you go to them, you see awful things.  Some people react very badly to them which is why the headline in the paper—"gunman wasn't seen as a threat," did not surprise me.  I refer, of course, to the shooting at Fort Hood this week.

     He was a veteran of Iraq.  The morning paper says he was getting help, psychiatric help.  But it obviously didn't help enough.

     I don't know how much all that care costs,   But we all know guns and planes cost miillions and we surely know that the young people who fight our wars are the most precious things we have,

    Until we stop sending our children to wars, let's spend all we can--all, if we're lucky, they will need.





Friday, April 4, 2014

Fwd: APRIL 3, 2014

       Something unusual seems to be happening--a major government program has been introduced and seems to be working well.  I refer, of course, to President Obama's health care plan...ACA or Obamacare.

        I guess they blew the introduction in a pretty big way;  the newspapers were full of stories about blunders.  But have you noticed how the tone has changed lately?  Stories now are about enrollment beyond predictions – seven, eight million or nine or whatever.  I’m guessing it's the kind of publicity for the kind of program that a president concerned about the government's social role would have liked from day one.

     And while it's true that the US is very up to date in lots of things, we are the only major industrial power whose people do not have some kind of national health insurance…until now

     Maybe, just maybe, the times they are a'changin'.