Tuesday, July 7, 2009


What a day today is! On this day:

President Obama has more meetings in Russia. He did sign an agreement in principle to cut each nuclear arsenal by one quarter.

The media, seemingly all the media, will broadcast the memorial service of pop star Michael Jackson.

I don’t deny the greatness of Michael Jackson. I don’t belittle his talent. I do wonder why we as Americans place so much adulation on an individual that his memorial service is covered start to finish by all media outlets.

To me coverage from one or two networks or cable channels would be fine and the rest of the media could be responsible and cover the hopes and dreams of an arms reduction between Russia and the United States and explain why we need over 22-thousand active nuclear warheads between us.

There is new fighting and dying in China’s Xinjiang region. China, as usual, is trying to spin and limit information. Where is the analysis and the explanation of the reasons why this is happening. Did you know there are Chinese Muslims and this is part of the ethnic violence?

There is new fighting and dying in Honduras over the ouster of elected President Manuel Zelalya. Once again an army with egocentric generals and misguided troop loyalty have overthrown a duly elected authority. When are we as human beings going to embrace the truth of Lord Acton...that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Robert McNamara’s family is planning his funeral. He died yesterday at age 93. It is mostly people my age who remember who he was. His decisions were instrumental in sending hundreds of thousands of Americans to fight in Vietnam. Over 58 thousand died in that war.

To say that he was haunted by his decisions for the rest of his life is probably an understatement.

About fifteen years ago I interviewed Mr. McNamara and one of my questions to him was, “ What do you say today to the families of those GI’s who died in Vietnam?” He started to tear up as he answered the question with the position that he made the best decision available to the times and to the situation even though in retrospect some of the salient facts were wrong.

I wonder what the response would be if someday Mr. George W. Bush and Mr. Dick Cheney are asked the same question with our war dead in Iraq?

Congress returns to work today to struggle with healthcare reform. Until Congress gives the rest of America the same kind of health care courtesies they give and grant themselves in the Federal system nothing will be fair. The elected elite often hide behind partisan bickering.

In the world today there will be approximately 353 thousand births and there will be roughly 146 thousand deaths.

Have a great Tuesday.


Anonymous said...

Let's give a shout out to all of us stuck in traffic in LA this morning as well. China is a very long way away. The fans are right here. Right now. Isn't it interesting how the world shunned the King of Pop until he died? Now, he's causing more traffic than the Olympics and everyone loves him. Honk! Honk!
Reporting live from the West Coast,

Irv said...

Perspective is important; thank you for providing it. That said, the interest in Jackson remains intense, tragic, and unremitting because of his talent and body of work.

I believe, too, that the across the board coverage will provide a window to an event that promises to be spectacular in its passion, performances, and stagecraft. And, like good music, a play, or a ballgame, it's a respite from every day drudgery, though tragic--and very real--for Jackson's family and friends.

Again, thank you, Rolland, for putting it in perspective!

Irv in San Diego

Anonymous said...

It always amazes me how someone has to die before people remember and acknowledge their achievements.

Maybe our experience in this world would be ever so much more harmonious if we all would tether our thoughts, words and deeds to the hitching posts of love, gratitude and appreciation!

Anonymous said...

Here's a shout back at you stuck in traffic in LA. Granted the coverage of Mr. Jackson's death had been over the top....but check out the depth and intensity of this man's accomplishments on earth for the short time he was with us. The Memorial Service today at the Staples Center only represented a small amount of his humanity, musical contributions and heart touch to so many hundreds of thousands over the years....over the continents.
The media will contribute its reports on Mr. Obama's visit to Russia, Sarah Palin's resignation (could CNN curb its fascination with this story?) and so much more.

But for now...let's enjoy coverage of people holding hands, hugging one another and expressing love and gratitude for another human being's passing. He cried many tears and was hurt by many when he was alive....and now the light grows stronger with his passing.

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