I must say I enjoyed the two day break from technology. No computer time at all Saturday or Sunday.
The sun is out and despite the incredibly high level of humidity, I'm going with optimism today. I've read some encouraging stories over the past couple of days and I'm choosing to focus on them.
Saturday our son took the SAT exam and now that is behind him. I hope he scores well so that I won't feel the need to 'encourage' him to re-test for higher scores. Then Saturday night the guys and I went to the theatre. We saw Noel Coward's 'Blithe Spirit' and that was a nice treat. The play was the last of this year's season ticket line-up. I had not seen this play before so it was a new experience. For those playing at home, it's billed as an after-life comedy. It's a good vehicle for British comedy. A man's dead wife comes back to interrupt his current marriage, then the second wife dies and teams up with the first wife to tag team the guy.
Let's hear it for the French! That's something I don't think I've ever said. Finally, we bid adieu to slimy Jacques Chirac and deliver a hearty bonjour to President-elect Sarkozy! Further proof of the ravages of socialism, the French embraced this Romanian born, conservative, blunt spoken, America and Israel supporter, who wants the failed country of France to bounce back. The unemployment rate has skyrocketed, the 35 hour work week has failed to produce much of anything, ignoring Muslim immigrants in the name of diversity and then isolating them and not encouraging assimilation brought rioting in the streets, and Chirac allowed this country to look like a huge loser on the world stage by going back on his word on supporting other countries so that he could remain in corrupt deals sanctioned by the U.N., all the while whining that France wasn't being taken seriously as a world leader.
I'll welcome a new era. I might even plan a trip to Paris after all. My husband truly hates the city but never mind that. All I want to see there is the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, then I'd like to go to Normandy and then the Champagne region, the home of my favorite guilty pleasure!
Barbara Hillary is a 75 year old black woman who grew up in Harlem and devoted her career to nursing and community activism. She retired by age 67 and battled lung cancer. Five years out of that experience, she went dog sledding in Quebec and then she photographed polar bears in Manitoba. "What's wrong with this picture?", she said, when she learned that no black woman had ever made it to the North Pole. The first female visitor to the North Pole was Ann Bancroft, a physical education teacher from Minnesota, a member of the Steger Polar Expedition.
Barbara Hillary had never been on the ski slopes so she enrolled in cross-country ski lessons and hired a personal trainer. On April 18, she landed in Longyearben, Norway from where she then flew to the base camp on April 23. She left base camp on skis and in the company of two guides. Upon reaching the North Pole, she got a little carried away with excitement and removed her gloves. Her fingers suffered frostbite and then, standing at the top of the world, she found herself speechless.
She hopes her journey will be inspirational for other cancer survivors.
Last night, here in our fair city, the parents of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter beheaded in Pakistan five years ago accepted an award honoring him with the Holocaust Museum Houston's Lyndon Baines Johnson Moral Courage Award. Ok, never mind the name of the award. LBJ, moral courage? Ummm. No. Anyway...
His parents, Ruth and Judea Pearl, co-wrote an op-ed piece for the Houston Chronicle's Sunday paper. The well thought out and intelligent expression of hope and steadfastness expressed by these two loving parents was moving indeed. They spoke of a 'tsunami of hatred' and the threat of this hatred to all of us living today. They quoted Danny's last words to his murderers: "My name is Daniel Pearl. I am a Jewish-American from Encino, California. My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish. I am Jewish." Through diversity, we recognize our common humanity. Those murderers had no interest in common humanity.
They chastised educators and media outlets who fuel the fires of lunatics while downplaying coverage of good works of moderates and those working on the big picture of world peace. Only by supporting moderates and letting them know they have our support, will they know of "their place in the sun."
They spoke of opposite sides on the objective scale of morality. "Moral relativism died with Danny in 2002." The battle is among those who target the innocent with pride and those who are appalled by such an act. All of it boils down to apathy. Like the Holocaust in 1942, the apathy of the civilized world is the greatest danger in today's world.