I was sitting in my car outside the school waiting for Dason, my greatgrandson, and listening to NPR. They were talking about the number of young Russian males who were fleeing the country following President Putin‚s order for the conscription of men to fight in the Ukraine. I got the feeling that NPR‚s reporters were making a genuine effort to maintain journalistic objectivity. However, they could not totally suppress the tad of pleasure they found in Putin‚s dilemma.
I have no objection to any set of circumstances that might create embarrassment for Vladimir Putin. So, I listened. On occasion, I smiled.
The next day a friend observed, “Back in the Viet Nam era, seems we had a bunch of guys take off to Canada.”
I said, “This is different.” “How?” he asked. “Volume,” I said without a single supporting fact. “Are you sure?” “No, but I don‚t remember my television showing lines of young guys at the Canadian border.” Oops. I briefly considered telling him the truth. I decided not to prolong an argument I could not win. My friend had raised doubt and I couldn‚t convincingly argue the point until my misgivings were resolved.
I did some research. It seems in 10 years around the Viet Nam, 90,000 of our young men left for Canada. Last week 300,000 young Russians left their homeland. I‚m not sure what that means. Perhaps it is akin to that relationship be the sale of chocolate ice cream and death by drowning.
I seek fact and logic. I am influenced by what I listen to on radio and television and what I read in the newspapers. I listen to my family and my friends. I listen to myself.
Changing the subject, are you following baseball and Albert and Judge? I enjoy watching rare talents chasing a lofty goal. Aaron Judge. He has hit 60 homeruns in fewer games than Babe Ruth. Albert Pujols. What a career. He hit homerun 699 and 700 this week.
In 2001, my eldest son, David and I went to Kansas City to watch the Royals play the Cardinals and visit with Curt Nelson, a young front office man with the Royals. Curt is now Director the Royals Hall of Fame. We went early to watch batting practice. Mark McGuire pumped the most incredible shots over the left field fence onto the interstate. The Cardinals had this 21-year-old rookie that did the same, just not as many. Albert Pujols. This season, 21 years later, he is retiring.
I can‚t describe the pleasure I have gotten as my family and I have communicated back and forth about these players as they pursued of these landmark goals.
I‚m not worried about the accuracy of the information when it comes to baseball. Baseball gets it right. Military drafts are another story. It is as the great military observer, Groucho Marx, observed, “Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms.”
I‚m going to grab a cold coke, a few peanuts and go think on it.
Ten soldiers wisely led will beat a hundred without a head. — Euripides
Hal McBride writes a column, Just Thinkin‚, published each week.
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