Thanx to a tip from Andrew R, here is a lovely story about baseball, the Amish, and a part of America many of us don’t really know.
The Boys of Lancaster, by Kent Russell, New Republic, March 22, 2013
After watching and listening to President Obama’s speech in Israel several days ago, I have now spent a good deal of time reading and listening to reactions to this speech from a wide variety of individuals, officials, and media, both within and beyond Israel.
First, nothing comes close to what I think can be gained simply by watching and listening to the speech. Reading the transcript is good too, but in so doing, you miss much about Pres. Obama’s presentation, and you also miss the reaction(s) of the audience, 2,000 young people chosen by lottery.
Second, as is so often the case with Pres. Obama, it is possible to see what you want to see in what he has to say, to pick pieces of his presentation, to ignore the parts with which you don’t agree.
Of all the reactions I have followed, two sets of responses stand out for me: the reactions of nine young people who were in the audience and interviews with some young, Palestinian activists.
You can see these reactions for yourself:
I don’t often urge readers to spend 50:33 minutes of their time on something I found valuable. This time, however, is different.
President Obama yesterday spoke to 2,000 young people (and to Israel, Palestine, and the world beyond) at the Jerusalem International Convention Center.
I believe it is worth your time, 50:33 minutes, to see and hear his speech in its entirety, particularly the second half. (if the link to the video does not appear below this paragraph, you can get to it at Video: US-Israel Relations, CSpan.)
It is also possible to read the speech, although in so doing, you miss two important parts of the presentation, the manner in which President Obama presented his words and appeals and the reaction of the 2,000 young people in the audience (chosen by lottery).
So what does this Sox obsessed fan say about the 2013 season?
First, I’m almost never correct; so you can stop reading now if you’re interested in accuracy.
Second, even when I try to be a bit objective, I have trouble tamping down my enthusiasm and hopes for the Sox.
Third, my two days at Spring Training this year mean nothing and has given me no real insight, tho it has gotten my juices flowing for the regular season. Plus, as everyone knows (and often overlooks), Spring Training bears no resemblance whatsoever to what happens in the regular season. Won-Lost records in March are useless, tho the last two weeks when most of the starters play most of the games might be indicative of something (perhaps the first couple of weeks of the regular season, at best). Spring hitting and pitching statistics are unreliable. And finally, a teams’ lineup for most of the year often differs significantly from that of Opening Day (re, injuries, etc.).
However, I can’t resist making a few predictions about the coming Sox season and a few other observations as well.
Here are a few games I know are available if you want to join me.
Update: Sunday evening, Mar. 17: These games have now all been ‘claimed’. But I promise there are more to come.
There’s no cost to you for the ticket, tho you may have to buy me a beer.
First to email me gets the game.
There will be more games available after I choose my last set of tickets and once I know more about my spring and summer schedule.
So if there is not one here that works for you, be sure to check back every so often to see what else will come available.
Also, if you live outside of DC but know you will be here sometime between now and the end of September and want to see a game (together), let me know the date. I can always exchange my tickets if I don’t already have tickets for that day. To see when the Nats are home, go to their website.
The Admirable Tuosist Life Style
By David P Stang
For foreigners and urban blow-ins the way of the men and women of Tuosist, an important parish in County Kerry, Ireland, may take a long time to comprehend. At least for me it took many years. Some of the facets of the Tuosist life style in contrast to big city life are fairly obvious while others are far more subtle and difficult to detect.
Recently I came across an article about and an Interactive Map of where there are baseball statues around the US and Canada. If you are interested (i.e., hopelessly obsessed by all things baseball), you might want to take a look.
It might not be as exciting as say a project of going to all 30 baseball stadiums, something I know a few of you have thought about or started (and a possible further way for me to enjoy the freedom not working a day job has brought).
But you might enjoy clicking around the Interactive Map, seeing what’s in your area, or where you might be visiting. Most of them are of specific players, but there are also a few (see above) about baseball in general.
Let me know if you find particularly good statues.
Paul Farmer, one of the giants of our day, will speak at the Sixth & I Synagogue in Washington, DC, Tuesday, May 7 at 7 PM in conjunction with the upcoming publication of his book, To Repair the World.
If you want to join Ellen and me, we have two free tickets for his talk. Let me know by email, Samesty84@gmail.com or leave a note in the Comment section below. First two people to contact, get the tickets.
(If you miss these tickets, go to the Sixth & I website to get your own. Tickets range from $12-$45. Student prices are $12, single tickets are $25, or you can get a copy of To Repair the World and one ticket for $35, or the book and two tickets for $45.)
Francis Miller/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
It is like watching two very powerful railroad trains racing at top speed toward each other along a single set of tracks.
Readers of this blog know that I have long been fascinated by Robert Caro’s seemingly endless biography of Lyndon Johnson. I’ve posted about this previously.
One of the many fascinating parts of the most recent volume, The Passage of Power, had to do with the relationship, the hatred, between LBJ and RFK. But, there were so many spellbinding events in this volume of the LBJ narrative, I think this aspect of Caro’s latest did not get much focus.
In his May 2101 NY Review of Books article, Gary Wills, author of the quote above, chose to emphasize this feud, how it came about, how it played out, and the effect it had on both men.
Even if you’ve read The Passage of Power, I suspect you will find new information in this article, America’s Nastiest Blood Feud. It makes the Obama/Boehner struggle look like a preschool tiff by comparison.
Apparently grandparents are becoming obsolete.
According to this survey, we’re being replaced by technology.
No longer are we the ‘go to place’ for answering our grandkids’ questions, a traditional role played by grandparents. Instead, Google, Wikipedia, and YouTube are replacing us, at least in the role of passing on knowledge.
It seems that if a question can be answered on the Internet, 90% of the children will look it up there rather than come to us.
Hmm. Sounds bad.
But then there’s this Oxford University study that found that those grandchildren “with a high level of grandparental involvement displayed fewer emotional and behavior problems.”
So, bottom line:
The little kiddies may not be coming to us to learn things they can find out on line.
But if their parents are smart — as most of them are — they’ll be sure to keep us in their kids’ lives.
(Plus, we need those little wonders to help us with our computer and Internet problems. And without us, who will teach them why the 2-1 count is so important in baseball or what are the three toughest outs?)
As some of you may know, I was ‘shamed’ into watching the first season of each of these TV shows by my wife, two daughters, and a son-in-law.
‘Shamed’ may not be the best word nor the most precise reason why I succumbed, but after being cut out of numerous conversations with the above mentioned family members, and with a bit of free time available, I decided to see what all the fuss was (about).
Know that I am not a TV watcher, except for an occasional baseball game (mostly I watch that exquisite form of entertainment and beauty in person or on my iPad), the presidential election results every four years, and the occasional glance at whatever the most recent news crisis.
In fact, I think Full House is the last TV series I watched regularly, tho I did see a few 90210 episodes, a couple of The West Wing ones , and have tried to keep up with Bill Moyers for years with his interviews.
First, I had to learn how to access the ‘On Demand’ feature of our TV/cable set up and also understand how to use Netflix. Once I conquered those hurdles, I decided to start with Homeland, then go to Downton Abbey, and end with Mad Men. My theory was I would move from the least serious (most escapist) to the more serious and thoughtful shows.