Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I'm off to the Midwest for the rest of the month. So there's only time for a brief holiday seasons greeting.

May your bowl teams win.
May your family get along.

May you keep whatever resolutions you make.

May you return to work after the New Year less internally conflicted than your Congress.

See you in January.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Strange, but it really doesn’t seem appropriate to give awards for 2009. I think we can all agree that a year that started with such incredible promise has turned into a severe disappointment. To put it differently, and at the risk of disagreeing with the President who I worked so hard to elect, I would hardly give this year – or his performance -- a B+.

This year has been particularly disappointing for progressives. You know, the folks who are affectionately known as the President’s “base.” To relieve some of the pain, I offer my first two awards to members of their fraternity.

MAN OF THE YEAR: Anthony Weiner.

The Congressman representing much of Queens and Brooklyn isn’t yet a household name, but he’s rapidly becoming one. Political junkies sure know him, for he’s just about the only congressman these days who is getting any play on the left. Weiner has been one of the most passionate advocates of health care reform. He started out as a strong single payer advocate. Then, when that idea lost its traction, he became a champion of the “public option,” and I do mean a champion. Weiner didn’t come across as someone who just wanted a bill to be passed for political reasons – he fought for the public option like he actually cared.

Once the Administration decided to strike a compromise aimed to please Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson, you’d expect Weiner to join many other progressives in the “kill the bill” chorus. But that’s not Weiner. He’s now arguing, pragmatically, that even this sell-out bill is better than none at all. And do you know what? I suspect he’s right. So does Paul Krugman.

Weiner is definitely a politician worth watching in the years to come. He’s still only in his mid-40s. He’s a known workaholic. He’s articulate. He’s diplomatic when he needs to be. And most importantly, he comes across as one of the few statesmen in Washington who might actually put principle above politics.

Of course, I have to say that for a “Man of the Year” winner, Weiner hasn’t exactly pitched a perfect game. His statements on war have been lukewarm at best. Weiner voted against the funding of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars in May, only to vote for it in June. And while he appears to oppose the surge in Afghanistan, I don’t detect the same degree of passion from him on that issue as I do on health care. After all, we’re talking about the same knucklehead that supported the Iraq War in 2002. We could have paid for a whole lot of health care with the money tossed away in that debacle.

WOMAN OF THE YEAR: Arianna Huffington.

It’s an old saw that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. And I guess that makes a one-eyed woman queen. Fitting then, that in a genuinely wretched year, I should give this award to the proprietor of a website that, in some respects, has become genuinely wretched.

The Huffington Post is part news, part National Enquirer. If you want a little T & A, you can always find it on the Huffington Post. Tiger’s babes? You got ‘em. Lindsay, Britney or Madonna strutting their stuff? No problem. For some reason, what started as a blog for political progressives has turned into a tabloid, with a little progressive punditry mixed in between the legs and the breasts. Perhaps those at the Huffington Post would argue that the readers come for the sex, and once they’re at the site, then they can read the articles. I’m not buying it, though. I just think Arianna and her minions are getting greedy.

So why give her this award? Once again, it’s a statement that says more about the alternatives than it does about the winner. Arianna is just about the only progressive voice on television – or at least the only effective one. Joy Behar is also a progressive who speaks out, but she’s less a pundit than a comedienne. Rachel Maddow has a lot of talent, but she inexplicably has decided to waste it. The Rachel Maddow show is now devoted largely, if not primarily, to petty, hatchet jobs on Republicans who act stupidly. At a time when the real problem with this Government is the DEMOCRATS, not the Republicans, Maddow has made herself largely irrelevant.

Arianna is a serious observer of the domestic and international policy arenas who, like Weiner, presents the progressive point of view palatably to a moderate audience. She has no trouble taking positions that are politically unpopular. And she comes across as sincere and not full of herself.

I enjoy listening to Arianna whenever I see her on a cable news telecast, and I take what she says seriously. I only wish our elected officials would do the same.


At the end of last season, Kobe was cutting down the nets as he led the Lakers to their 15th Championship, and their 30th appearance in the NBA finals, in the last 60 years. Those are amazing numbers – particularly being one of the top two teams in the league for half of the last 60 seasons. And now, as I type this, Kobe is leading the 2009-2010 Lakers to the best record in the NBA so far. What’s more, he’s accomplishing this despite having a broken finger and needing to make two game winning jumpers in the last week alone. That’s what I call a banner year.

Frankly, though, Kobe Bryant gets the nod here for two other reasons. First, at a time when the country is just now giving up its obsession with Tiger Woods’ sex life, Kobe is a reminder that athletes can indeed survive their sex scandals and get back to their legitimate business, which is sports, not endorsements. (The only products Tiger and Kobe should be endorsing is condoms.)

Second, I remember watching the NBA playoffs last season and thinking about just how much punier Kobe was than such competitors as Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, and Dwight Howard. I’m not suggesting that those latter three guys are on steroids, but when I see a guy without their musculature out-performing them, it at least reassures me somewhat that Kobe ISN’T on the juice. These days, when I see a sculpted body on an athlete, it doesn’t make me admire the athlete so much as wonder (a) if he’s taking something, (b) if he’ll get caught, and (c) whether anyone else will care if he does. I hope I never grow so jaded as to become apathetic about steroids in sports. This is a scourge that must be stopped.

EVENT OF THE YEAR: Obama’s Presidential Inauguration.

Remember how amazing that was? How many adoring people came together in freezing weather to the National Mall? How beautiful and graceful the First Family looked? How many cynics had to eat their words and admit that a black man was actually elected President? How much it appeared that we were about to enter an era of profoundly progressive changes – for the first time in several decades?

I realize that things haven’t quite worked out the way we planned. But that doesn’t prevent us from looking back and remembering that, at least for one day, we were a people of hope.

Let’s not lose that. No matter how disillusioned we get with our President, or with the Congress, let’s please not lose that hope. We owe it to folks like Washington, Adams and Jefferson to continue to believe in this American experiment. But they would be the first ones to remind us that to make our republic work, “we the people” can’t just get involved once every four years. We need to make our presence felt whenever things aren’t working in the nation’s capital. And right now, I think we all can agree that things are very much NOT working.

QUESTION OF THE YEAR: Why were W and Reagan so successful in ramming through their right-wing legislative proposals even though they didn’t have 60 Republican Senators behind them, whereas Obama has been unable to ram his proposals through even though he DID have 60 Democratic Senators?

Lots of answers can be given, including that the Democrats are more fractured than the Republicans. But I really believe that the most important answer is that the Democratic leadership in the White House and the Congress lacks balls. Sometimes, the truth is just that simple.

WIFE OF THE YEAR: Kathy Spiro.

For putting up with me and all my neuroses, she deserves more than I can possibly give. But alas, all I can offer her right now is this award … and about 17 inches of snow, with more to come. When I pointed out that this sure doesn’t look like “global warming,” she responded that part of our climate change problem is that our storms get worse. To be sure, this is one of the worst snowstorms in my 4+ decades as a Washingtonian. Cabin fever, here we come!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I must say that this is a difficult blogpost to write. I originally had great plans for it; in the humor department, that is. We’ve all heard the jokes. The movie they’re going to make about his life (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Hydrant”). The time-honored principle Tiger violated (“One Man, One Wife, One Mistress”). The best part about his game (“His putter, of course.”). The racism this has all revealed (“If he was going to play 18 holes, couldn’t at least one of them have been black or Asian?”).

It is tempting to compare this latest scandal to some of the others that have captivated popular culture in recent years. Before Obama, America had another political genius who rose to the Presidency with the gift of gab and the ability to feel our pain. Hollywood loved Slick Willie almost as much as it does Barack. He was supposed to transcend partisan politics, ushering in a “third way” that combined lessons learned from that “little town called Hope” Arkansas, from being married to a progressive disciple of Eleanor Roosevelt, and from policy-wonking in such bastions of brilliance as Georgetown and Oxford. Well before Obama, he was the personable President who was always the brightest one in the room. Remember? Unfortunately, he ultimately became just another sperm donor who forgot where that sperm belongs – certainly not on the blue dress of an intern. His greatest legacy was to spur a national debate on the meaning of the term “sexual relations.” And whether or not you agree that Bill Clinton committed impeachable offenses, you have to admit that he was in fact impeached, and that while later “acquitted” by the Senate, his honor … and his Presidency .. effectively ended in the mouth of Monica Lewinsky.

Speaking of acquittals, before Monica-Gate, there was a certain speedy athlete, a hero of the track and the gridiron, who took us all on the slowest of rides in his white Ford Bronco. He entertained us in the Naked Gun trilogy; he amazed us as a Buffalo Bill. And then, after he went postal on us, he introduced us to a cast of characters that not even a sit-com fan would find realistic. Find me a sillier judge than Ito. Or a funnier lawyer than Cochran. Or a more ridiculous houseguest than Kato “What Exactly Is My Purpose Here on Earth?” Kaelin. “If the glove don’t fit, you must acquit,” said Cochran, ever dramatically. “Your waiter will be with you shortly,” said OJ to his wife just before she died, according to the popular joke. Frankly, by the time it was all over, you couldn’t tell dark humor from even darker reality, just as Ito made sure that when the trial was over, the jurors didn’t know their own names beyond a reasonable doubt, let alone the identity of Ron and Nicole’s killer.

Yes, America, when it comes to scandals, we’ve had some doozies. But I’m not sure any of them rises to the craziness of our present scandal de jour. This one has it all. Sex? My God, yes. Lies? Are you kidding? It’s all about lies. Videotape? Not much of that, but it does have plenty of voice mails, 911 messages, and “sexting.” Besides, if we ever get bored reading about Tiger’s exploits as a swordsman, we can always ogle the pictures of his babes – their faces, their legs … and the rest will soon be coming to a magazine stand near you. Personally, I’m offended that whenever they show that video of “Porn Star #1” talking about having sex with Tiger, you can tell she’s topless, but the powers-that-be won’t let you see her top. This is the star of “Diary of a Horny Housewife” we’re talking about. Would she really mind if we all got just a glimpse of what Tiger saw in its Full Monty? Sheesh. It’s tough living in a Puritan society.

Obviously, the Tiger scandal IS a laughing matter. Candidly, though, I’ve sometimes failed to see the humor. Despite the fact that we are talking about Tiger Woods, I’d rather not beat around the bush any longer. Truth be told, prior to Thanksgiving, I was a HUGE Tiger Woods fan. I slept with a Tiger Woods bobble head doll about 10 inches from my bed. [OK. I’ll stop – but it really was roughly 10 inches away.] It was the doll they created during the Tiger Slam year to commemorate each of the Grand Slam titles; my bobble head celebrated the victory at the PGA tournament. I always tried hard to watch him play, whether it was a major tournament, a minor tournament, or one of those B.S. exhibitions that don’t even officially count as PGA events.

I enjoyed the fact that my favorite AFC football team is the Raiders, just like Tiger. That my favorite basketball team is the Lakers, just like Tiger. That my college is Stanford, just like Tiger, and that we both closely follow Stanford sports. And yes, I’ve always liked blondes … just like Tiger.

One of my best friends comes from Cypress, California, a small town in Orange County, and I frequently stayed with my friend’s family when taking trips to LA-LA land during college. Wouldn’t you know it? Tiger grew up in Cypress, California.

In short, while it now appears that Tiger and I have nothing in common, I didn’t feel that way the day before Thanksgiving.

I know the politically correct attitude to take when reflecting on this scandal. At first, I tried to take it myself. According to the modern sensibility, we’re supposed to ignore indiscretions of a sexual nature. We’re supposed to point out that the infidelity rolls include such luminaries as Einstein, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. We’re supposed to remind ourselves that it’s not against the law to screw around on our wives, and that when people do have affairs, it’s really none of anyone’s business except for them and their families. And we’re supposed to quote philosophers such as Chris Rock who famously said “A man is only as faithful as his options.”

End of discussion, right?

Perhaps it should be, but it isn’t for me. You see, I am the product of an extremely close, Jewish, three-person family. There was my dad – a kind, intellectual man who was 48 when I was born. My mom – nine years his junior, she loved to boss him around, but she still loved him. And me. When I was 30, I moved back to their neighborhood, and have lived 600 or so feet from their house ever since. My father passed away seven years ago, but I have never forgotten the lessons he taught me. Among them was that next to murder, there is probably no more heinous offense than cheating on your spouse. Even theft doesn’t compare, because adultery is a kind of theft, only the person from whom you’re stealing (specifically, her honor, self-respect, and dreams of being in a lifelong, exclusive romance) is the one to whom you’ve pledged your greatest trust.

I realize how antiquated this attitude sounds here in modern America. But is our uber-tolerance on these issues really so enlightened? I suspect much of this tolerance comes from the fact that American culture is dominated not by Jews but rather by Christians. In Christianity, sex is not treated with reverence. It is associated with the baser, “physical” side of human existence. Consequently, it was the subject of much repression over the centuries, and there now exists a passion to react against that repression and just let her rip! In the traditional Jewish culture, by contrast, sex was sanctified. Married Jews aren’t merely permitted to have sex, they are DIRECTED to have sex every Shabbat unless the woman is at a certain point in her menstrual cycle. Sex in Judaism is much like alcohol – something that is viewed as subject to abuse or to sanctification, depending upon whether it is appropriately regulated. We celebrate the fact that we can get drunk on Purim, or have sex with our spouses on a Friday night. What we don’t do is take this as a license to become alcoholics or polygamists.

Historically, the rate of Jewish alcoholism has been very low. And while I do not know whether the same can be said for Jewish infidelity, it is unquestionably deeply contrary to the lessons of the culture. My dad, the former professor who was as straight-laced as it comes, took his reverence for sex to an extreme. He refused as a matter of principle to neuter our dog, as he thought that this was an “inhuman” way to treat an animal. Consequently, our dog became a wild, suburban beast, who was impossible to control – particularly when a neighbor’s bitch was in heat. We ultimately had to give the dog away to a family in the country, though not until a fair number of the neighbors had signed a petition to protest the dog’s running loose. All those problems stemmed from the refusal to neuter the dog, but my dad never regretted it. He honored the sex drive – to remove it would seem almost like a lobotomy.

The willingness to sanctify those aspects of life that the Christians term as “sinful” is one of the things I love most about being Jewish. But there are some nasty side-effects of this attitude, and one of them is that I really do lack tolerance for infidelity. I have friends who I know cheat on their spouses, and they remain my friends, so I don’t take this attitude to its ultimate extreme. Still, when it comes to the behavior itself, I truly loathe it – it reflects dishonesty, disloyalty and weakness of will. And to call it disrespectful is an understatement. When a man cheats on his wife, he disrespects her in particular, women generally, romantic love, his word, his society’s moral code, and the Ten Commandments. You name it; if it’s sacred, he’s disrespected it.

And spare me all the B.S. about “A man is only as faithful as his options.” I don’t buy it for a second. To be sure, if any of us grew up in an environment where from age 15 on, beautiful women were constantly throwing their bodies at us, perhaps we’d all be promiscuous. But it’s probably also true that if we grew up in an environment where from a young age we worked as hit-men in the mob, we’d end up with a callous attitude toward murder. What does that prove? That it would be pathetic to grow up in the mob, and it would be similarly pathetic to grow up without a visceral appreciation for sexual fidelity. Feel sorry, then, for the slutty athlete, but don’t assume that if you had his options tomorrow, you’d descend to his level.

Look at it this way: sex and drugs have a lot in common. Most of us can appreciate sex, and most of can appreciate drugs (tell me coffee and liquor aren’t drugs). But all of us understand that drug addiction can ruin even the best of people. And what I hope Americans are seeing for themselves is the same can be said for an addiction to sex.

With respect to Tiger, I must admit to being in a state of confusion. On the one hand, it seems irrational to allow myself to get angry at him if I haven’t gotten angry at those of my friends who I know to be adulterers. (Disappointed, yes, but not angry). On the other hand, Tiger is in a truly unique situation. He created an image of someone who in many respects is the pinnacle of virtue, and I bought off on it like an idiot. According to the Legend of Tiger, he was (a) among the wealthiest entertainers who has ever lived, earning more than $100 million per year in endorsements; (b) a superb athlete with a finely tuned, almost picture-perfect build; (c) as mentally tough on the golf course as he was physically strong; (d) the product of an Eastern spirituality, which he absorbed from his Thai mother, and which enabled him to center his mind when others might lose their nerves; (e) an extremely intelligent person, reflected by his accomplishments in the classroom, (f) a true student of his game who is respectful of and knowledgeable about its history, (g) a gentleman, as is befitting the “gentleman’s game” that he has mastered, (h) a man of passion, which is reflected in his occasional, and frankly humanizing, outbursts on the golf course when he cursed or threw his club, (i) a man of piety, who loves his parents dearly, and through his love for his father, the Green Beret, came to have deep reverence for the men and women of the military, and (i) a man of charity, who founded his own educational foundation and who was expected by his father to perform great feats for humankind.

In short, this guy didn’t seem to be the typical semi-educated, amoral, narcissistic, and hedonistic American athlete. Particularly given his reputation for mental control, and the fact that he clearly served as the role model for all the young beneficiaries of the Tiger Woods Foundation, I would never have imagined him capable of the acts that have been revealed. Infidelity? Sure. Screwing all sorts of wild women, leaving them physical evidence of his lusts, and even trying to romance a number of them? No, I would have found that inconceivable.

What put me over the edge as a Tiger defender was reading about his alleged tryst with a girl-next-door type who earned $8 an hour as a waitress at Perkins. I won’t go through all the sordid allegations of what they did together – at his house, and in a church parking lot – but my jaw dropped when I read about how she had fallen in love with Tiger and that she really thought that the “One Man, One Wife, One Mistress” principle justified that love. Is she not entitled to our sympathy just as much as Tiger, the “recovering” sex-aholic?

Will I root for Tiger Woods when he returns to the golf course, whenever that is? Will I come ultimately to at least like the guy, even if I never again can admire him? Who knows. What I do know is that once again, we have learned a lesson about our celebrities. As much as we’d like to look up to them, that is probably the last direction where we ought to be looking. Perhaps we shouldn’t criticize them until we’ve walked a mile in their moccasins. But if anyone asks you whether you’d like to take that walk, run as quickly as you can in the opposite direction. The big house, the exotic trips, the trophy wife, the garage full of trophies don’t mean a damn thing if you don’t even know the meaning of love. Personally, I doubt that after 33 years of life, Tiger will find that meaning during a couple of months of rehab.

Saturday, December 05, 2009


There are always lessons from war. The only question is whether a society can agree on what they are.

Vietnam surely had its lessons. The pity is that those lessons differed depending on whether you’re a hawk or a dove. For the hawks, the only real lesson was that when we fight, we had better bring overwhelming force. In other words, no country, even America, can wage war with halfway measures. Like General Sherman might have said, if you’re in, you’d better be ALL in.

For the doves, of course, the problem in Vietnam wasn’t how we waged that war, but why. From the dovish perspective, Vietnam wasn’t a war of necessity, and thus shouldn’t have been waged. If ever war is justifiable, it must be because American interests are gravely and indisputably threatened, not because someone can make an argument that bad people halfway across the world may possibly, conceivably, threaten us if we don’t kill them first. With a few exceptions – does anyone remember “Hanoi Jane?” – the doves didn’t so much praise the Viet Cong as question why we felt they were such a danger to us. According to the dovish argument, the third-world is littered with militaristic, undemocratic, uncivilized groups – some that are in power, and others that would like to be. Is it our place to wage war against each of them? Half of them? Or only those who are placing us in a clear and present danger? The Viet Cong clearly did not fall into that last category. And neither did the Iraqis in 2002. Nevertheless, it was in that year when a Republican President sold this nation a bill of goods about the dangers of Iraq to American security.

To the average American, the risk posed by Saddam Hussein couldn’t possibly have been obvious. We understood that al Qaeda threatened us, not Iraq. Yet we also were admonished by our President and his Defense Department that Saddam was a butcher who had demonstrated that he couldn’t be trusted and was once again preparing to make mischief. When it came time for a vote, not only did the President’s party support the war, but the majority of Democratic Senators did so as well. After all, the leaders of the Executive Branch wee intimately familiar with the intelligence reports, and those reports (we were told) suggested that war was appropriate. So shouldn’t we place our trust in our democratically elected leader and his team of dedicated professionals to tell us if we are legitimately in danger from another regime?

Apparently not. That, at least, was what I thought the lesson was from Iraq. As it turned out, the so-called “weapons of mass destruction” never existed. Saddam was much less of a threat than advertised. As a result of our little adventure, we’ve lost thousands of lives and ungodly sums of money in a war that has lasted nearly seven years and could conceivably last many more, for there’s no telling what will happen to that country once the U.S. starts pulling out its troops en masse. Presumably, only the fringe right-wingers would defend that war now, and for the rest of us, the insanity of waging a major war based on a “Just Trust Us” rationale should be readily apparent.

That all makes sense, except for one thing. This is America – or as it is also known by fans of NASCAR, Pro Wrestling and Rambo movies, “Amurica.” And here in Amurica, we love our wars, thank you very much. We love ‘em, because we win ‘em, or at least we used to. We’re men, not pussies. Nobody kicks us around – certainly no gang of third-world thugs. Amuricans don’t just send a few shots across the bow. We kick ass and take numbers. That means that when we go into Afghanistan in 2001 looking for a little regime change, we don’t leave until we’ve secured that territory from the Bad Guys. No matter that it has been eight years, and the country is still a Balkanized assemblage of tribal regions, loosely controlled by a corrupt stooge that we helped put in power. No matter that historically, one empire after another has tried to take over that mountainous land, and all have failed. We’re different. We’re Amuricans. And we’re not leaving until we finish the God damned job. And that job starts with mobilizing more men, more firepower and more will. Let’s roll!

So say our millions upon millions of war hawks. Theirs is the mentality that rules the GOP at present. They will make sure that the 40% or so of Republicans in the Congress will support President Obama in his desire to “win” the war in Afghanistan against the Taliban. But where will the other votes come from? Surely not from the Democrats, right? Surely they can’t be fooled into supporting another “war of choice.” After all, it has been said that there are only about 100 al Qaeda members in Afghanistan, a tiny fraction of the number who are in Pakistan, and the Taliban in Afghanistan don’t appear to pose any more of a threat to us than Saddam did. To be sure, the Taliban once was guilty of harboring al Qaeda, but we hardly need to escalate the war to guard against that from recurring. Besides, we’ve been fighting and killing Taliban in Afghanistan for eight years – and we even replaced them with our own puppet regime, corrupt though it might be. Isn’t that punishment enough for the war-crime known as “harboring terrorists”?

By any sane measure, the Democrats in Congress and in the nation at large should be opposed to the escalation in Afghanistan, just as they opposed the surge in Iraq. By any sane measure, the Democrats should be telling their President that while he might have all sorts of good reasons for escalating the war in Afghanistan, it is incumbent on him to enunciate those reasons so we can decide for ourselves if they are truly compelling. “Just trust us -- we’ve received the intelligence briefings and you haven’t” worked for W, but it can’t work for Barack. Just because we respect his intelligence and his thoughtfulness and he doesn’t come across as a war monger, doesn’t mean that we can give him carte blanche to escalate wars for speculative reasons. Let’s face it: “our enemies are in Pakistan so let’s fight their former harborers in Afghanistan” isn’t exactly compelling logic. Nor is “nobody else in history has tamed Afghanistan but I say we can do it in 18 months.”

Perhaps the biggest tragedy of 21st century America is that if it isn’t clear whether this country should wage a war, all a President has to do is sound the war trumpets, and the Congress will fall in line. When a Congressman doesn’t understand the rationale, he says “I’m not sure about this war,” which is code for “I don’t get why we’re doing this, but I guess I better vote for it, because otherwise I’ll come across as weak and unpatriotic.” It explains why each of the Democratic presidential candidates in ’08 who had served in the Senate when we invaded Iraq backed the war when the crucial vote was cast.

In police work, this kind of mentality is known as “shoot first, and ask questions later.” It has become our nation’s default option every time a President is bracing for a fight. I’m well into my 50th year as an American, and I can’t remember a single time when the President called for war and the Congress stopped him from waging it. It won’t happen now either.

But let us not end this blogpost on such a sobering note. Please remember that this Sunday from 2:00-6:00 p.m. at the 6th and I Street Synagogue in Northwest Washington D.C., Yes We Can – Middle East Peace is sponsoring a major event to support a two-state solution to end the dispute between the Israelis and Palestinians. See for more details. As one of the organizers of this event, I can tell you that we’ve been planning this for months, and everyone who attends is guaranteed to leave inspired. So if you live anywhere near Washington, D.C., come! And if for whatever reason, you can’t come, spread the word. This is no time to ignore such an important event. Remember: peace isn’t something that just happens. If we want it, we must pursue it as strenuously as the warmongers pursue war.