Saturday, November 28, 2009

I refuse to worry.

The market lost almost 1.5% on Friday, Dubai is failing and our own economy, though improving, is still struggling mightily. The Secret Service unwittingly allowed an un-authorized couple not only to enter the White House but to mingle with our nation's VIPs and shake the president's hand (this alone sends chills along my spine) yet the administration continues to iterate that it has every confidence in the elite body whose sole purpose is to protect the life of the U. S. President.

Uh, oh yes, there's the Middle East problem and the tiresome game of "chicken" between Israel led by the bellicose Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestinians.

We're told to prepare ourselves for a major speech on Tuesday by President Obama regarding our nation's future commitment to what has become known as AF-PAK, the political stew of intransigence involving, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Taliban, Al Queida and India, not to mention the poor disenfranchised tribes who know little and care less about the central government in Kabul headed by an increasingly corrupt Karsai government grudgingly supported by the U. S.

Then we have Iran, whose current regime has become so insecure by the continued resistance to the elections in June, they are holding and executing (it is said) some of the detainees who voiced opposition. One recently released Mazia Bahari, a Newsweek journalist, has said in recent interviews that the Revolutionary Guard is becoming more and more powerful. This is bad.

Oh, and one of our most respected and upstanding athletes has just rammed his car into a fire hydrant and went on to claim a neighbor's tree early Friday morning and now rumors of an affair with an Australian madam are beginning to seep out. I just don't know. . .

Still, I refuse to worry.

Jodie Picoult is described as "faulknerian" -- why I don't know, except that she wrote a book about a brother and sister who loved each other. I've done that and nobody called ME "faulknerian."

The reality shows are taking over the air waves and there is nothing worth watching on TV anymore except Charlie Rose. Where is Lawrence O'Donnell when I'm desperate for another "West Wing?" He's become a pundit on the cable talk shows, of course.

Still I don't worry.

This morning I read that the Republican Party could as likely run Dick Cheney as their presidential candidate in 2012 as Sarah Palin. This fills me with such warm and fuzzy confidence that I can cheerfully hug my teddy bear at night and sleep the blissful sleep of a child because compared to this dazzling single piece of information, everything else fades away and becomes part of the bogeyman gumbo of childhood like waiting for the appearance of ogres under the bed.

I don't have to worry about the hidden monsters anymore. I've already met them.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Remembering JFK

Each year during the past forty six, there has been less and less said about JFK's assasination. It appalls me, but I understand that most of us living today weren't even born in 1963. I was kind of in love with the Kennedy administration even though I was still too young to have voted for him. His legacy today, however, is laced with a kind of blandness as though aside from his youth, his wit and charisma, his attractive young family, he really accomplished very little.

This is blatently wrong. Kennedy's greatness grows with each year even though the tributes wane. True, he allowed Khruschev to get the upper hand (at first). Also true, that the Berlin Wall went up during his tenure. Indeed, he resided over the Bay of Pigs fiasco and we're all aware of his "indiscretions."

But I believe today, that had that young president lived, he might have been one of our greatest leaders. Remember, he had only a thousand days in which to accomplish his agenda.

The thing I remember about the Kennedy administration was the sense of idealism and public service it inspired in our youth, more than I have seen since, even though President Obama came close in 2008. We wanted to serve; patriotism was not just a word being being thrown back in our faces when we disagreed with government's policies, it was a conviction. We believed passionately and reacted fervently.

As for his accomplisments, take note: the Peace Corps, the Alliance for Progress, Civil Rights legislation, the Space Program and the introduction of the Green Berets. His major accomplisment, however, was a tight and tense little psychological drama between the USA and the USSR known as The Cuban Missile Crisis, which, without the successful maneuvering of the Kennedys, might have left the world in a state of nuclear disaster.

I guess his potential greatness will never be known which is what happens when someone takes you out before your time. But I think when all is said and done, his star will ultimately shine as one of the brightest.

And though there seem to be few tributes today, JFK, this forty-sixth anniversary of your assasination, I remember. And I am grateful to have learned my political abcs under your leadership. You never blamed others for your mistakes -- you took your lumps with calm and grace. How refreshing it would be if our leaders today would learn to do the same.