"There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its
hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts."
'The Messiah's Handbook' in Richard Bach's "Illusions"
had lunch with my old friend, Jack Flood, who as we discussed current
events reminded me of his favorite saying, "It's only a movie."
got legislators like him and activists like me through the end of the
Dukakis governorship, when Jack was chairman of the House Taxation
Committee. He and other rebellious Democrats were on the Duke's enemies
list along with Republicans and taxpayers in general who resisted the
governor's demand for new taxes when he returned from his failed
presidential campaign in late '88.
called Flood a "gutless wonder" because he was more vocal than the
others in his resistance. I remembered this recently when the former
governor was on a short list of those who might be appointed to the
so-called "Kennedy seat" in the U.S. Senate.
talk-show host Jim Braude told his audience what a nice guy Dukakis was,
though he recalled the "one time he was rude." It was back when Jim was
also a political activist, shortly after he defeated my side of the 1990
Question 3 campaign, which attempted to repeal the new taxes that
Dukakis eventually got passed in '89 and '90.
Jim and I
were attending a Dukakis news conference, and when the governor saw me,
he said sarcastically, "Nice job on Question 3, Barbara."
that, mostly because I wanted to respond, "Nice job on your presidential
campaign, Gov, loved the tank." But I didn't because I always follow the
press conference audience rules. I still regret my good behavior.
recall that House Speaker George Keverian, another Democrat, initially
responded to Dukakis' call for new taxes with the statement that he'd
support new taxes if Dukakis would resign. Ah, those were the good old
days, when not everyone was obsessed with behaving well.
was disappointed that Dukakis didn't get the appointment; we old-timers
could have spent the next few months reminding everyone how he led us
into a major fiscal crisis, similar to what we face today. According to
a State House News Service report, the commonwealth presently has an
"eroding tax base, which state revenue officials say could carve between
$400 million and $600 million out of this year's expected collections."
Well, legislators who ignored early signs of trouble and suggestions for
reforms, don't panic: It's only a movie.
I don't know
where Flood got his mantra; I just connected it with the passage from
"Illusions" quoted above.
who has returned as an airplane mechanic, explains that life is only a
movie, which we all create for ourselves, on our way to learning the
lessons we need for future incarnations.
For those of
us who need to learn to lighten up, my favorite new film is "Obama
receives Nobel Peace Prize."
president himself quickly recognized that he had to share most people's
astonishment and express humility, which was obviously a necessary
lesson for him. This saved us from an overdose of his enemies freaking
out over this latest example of his own Messiah-hood.
learned something as I Googled the list of previous recipients of the
Peace Prize, and notwithstanding the recent choices of Yasser Arafat and
Al Gore, found many valid entries (in my opinion) like Mother Teresa,
Martin Luther King, Lech Walesa, Elie Wiesel, the Dalai Lama and the Red
my birth year, but quickly realized that of course there were no awards
given while the Nazis occupied Norway. You'd expect that the Russian
soldiers who liberated that country and the Americans who prevented the
same Russians from overstaying their welcome, would eventually get a
prize, along with Harry Truman for dropping the bomb that brought peace
to Asia — but no. Ronald Reagan didn't get an award for ending the Cold
George Marshall did get the Nobel Peace Prize, but not for being one of
the American generals who defeated the Germans; he got it for authoring
the Marshall Plan. Guess money is nicer than military might.
found it odd that the former Vikings — the Norwegians, Danes and Swedes
— became liberal peaceniks. Maybe they are atoning for all that
pillaging in the Dark Ages. Or maybe the local gene pool changed when so
many Vikings got killed in battle.
sure that more relatively peaceful Europeans needed the lessons they
were taught by the Norsemen, because eventually these wiser people
created the Renaissance.
this learning in mind, I got through Congressman Tierney's town meeting
on health insurance last Saturday, where we in the audience were told
the same impossible combination of "facts" that the president keeps
telling us: All of us can keep our present insurance if we like it; the
new government involvement won't increase the national debt; there will
be no rationing.
I can now
see clearly that President Obama's election was necessary to wake up the
American people and set them on the road to an American Political