Monday, May 9, 2011

Better Nate than Lever (or something like that)

Flog: May 8, 1945 2011

I’ve always been fond of Andrea Mitchell. I’m not going to hit on her because I can’t reconcile my checkbook and there’s no way I can compete with Alan Greenspan. But I will say that had I been Federal Reserve Chairman I would not have put too much faith in the free markets and triggered the most recent Depression. But when I heard Andrea say we “Celebrate” the killing of Osama bin Laden, I was a little shocked at the semantics.

The statement took me back to April 30, 1945 when Adolf Hitler saved us from putting an end to his vile life by taking a cyanide capsule and shooting himself in the head in his bunker in Berlin.

I wouldn’t have used the word celebrate in regard to Hitler’s death. Relief would have been a better word. Eight days later I went downtown in Seattle (a “military” city at the time). The day (66 years ago today) marked the Allied victory over Europe in World War II. Confetti fell from the buildings and sailors and soldiers hugged and kissed every woman in the overwhelming crowd, including my mother, grandmother and two aunts. I was a few weeks from my eighth birthday and may not have known the word “celebration,” but if I had I wouldn’t have used that word to describe that remarkable event. Maybe Jubilation. In the words of Center for Strategic and International Studies Rick “Ozzie” Nelson said it better than I can:

"It's important to remember that bin Laden's vision was always for there to be 1,000 bin Ladens, not just one Osama bin Laden." So there is an opportunity here for many individuals inside the organization to step forward and carry forth the al-Qaida narrative."

Ayman al-Zawahiri has long been bin Laden’s No. 2 man, and he remains a key target for law enforcement officials. There is a $25 million reward for information leading the FBI to al-Zawahiri, who is believed to have played a key role in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Kenya.

Don’t count your chickens before they hatch

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Day

When I got up this morning I found that Pope Benedict XVI was about to beatify  Pope John Paul, sending him one step closer to possible sainthood (Beatification is the first major milestone on the path to possible sainthood, one of the Catholic Church's highest honors. A second miracle attributed to John Paul's intercession is needed for him to be canonized).

1.5 million people showed up at the Vatican Mass.

I thought about Saints that had been significant in my life.

St. Louis (where my wife went to school).

St. Andrews (Scotland and Tennessee, the former where I hope to golf and the latter where I hope to never break down),

St. Joseph’s Hospital (where I was taken when I broke my ankle),

St. Francis (my favorite hotel in San Francisco),

St. Thomas (where I made some very good purchases when the Princess ship stopped there),

And finally, the New Orleans Saints surprising 31-17 win over the Colts in the 2010 Super Bowl that won me a dollar. 
Come to think of it, that might qualify as John Paul's second miracle.

I have determined, unfortunately, that I will never qualify for Sainthood.  Saint Thérèse of Lisieux became a saint as a contemplative in total obscurity, whereas Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta became a saint accompanied by international fame and very public works. Both attained the prerequisites for sainthood while alive, but with different works.

I am not going to say I cannot be sainted because I am Jewish. I flunked the first characteristic required: humility. That still may not disqualify me (I am after all, me). But the fact is, I have not been dead long enough.

Sorry. I’ve got to go now. I have an appointment with a dog breeder to look at a puppy. He’s a St. Bernard.