Guido and I accompany friends to see Cheech and Chong last night at the theater formerly known as Jackie Gleason, in Miami Beach. More about that some other time, except to say that this is the first time I ever see those two (a) live and in person, and (b) not stoned. Me, that is.
So today’s post is abbreviated. In fact, all I want to do is share two recent quotes that appeal to me for entirely different reasons.
“If you want to make peace with the Palestinians, they are tired of bombs, drones and planes,” said Mohammad Abu Muhaisin, a 35-year-old resident of the southern city of Rafah who is affiliated with Fatah, the rival to Hamas that rules in the West Bank and was ejected from Gaza in June 2007. “But a guy whose child has just been killed doesn’t want peace. He wants war.” — NYTimes
When I recite this quote to people, I get quite different reactions, all seemingly dependent on their view of the Middle East situation. I see their point, and while that’s not what I’m getting at, it rather shows in its all small way (again) how intractable this situation was, is, and will be.
Closer to home:
“The system is built for stalemate,” said Michael J. Sandel, the Harvard University political theorist. “In ordinary times, the energy and dynamism of American life reside in the economy and society, and people view government with suspicion or indifference. But in times of national crisis, Americans look to government to solve fundamental problems that affect them directly. These are the times when presidents can do big things. These moments are rare. But they offer the occasion for the kind of leadership that can recast the political landscape, and redefine the terms of political argument for a generation.” — NY Times
I think he’s dead-on about this, especially the language about stalemate and indifference. But I also think he’s right about the up-side of what government can (and should) do, which once more illustrates just how shallow, even stupid, are the views of former President Alzheimer whose inaugural address included the statement, “Government is the problem, not the solution.”
Hell, even Cheech and Chong — stoned — make more sense than that.