The Israeli commando team’s deadly raid on a flotilla delivering aid
to Gaza happened, coincidentally, just a couple of days after I started
reading a book which influenced my reaction to the tragedy.
The title of the book, by Neal Bascomb, is “Hunting Eichmann.”
In case the name Eichmann is not familiar, the subtitle explains the
context: “How a band of survivors and a young spy agency chased down
the world’s most notorious Nazi.”
That being Adolf Eichmann.
Although Eichmann did not conceive the Holocaust — that infamy
belongs, of course, to a different Adolf — he was beyond question the
most prolific practitioner of the Final Solution.
Eichmann was to genocide what Henry Ford was to the manufacture of automobiles.
I’d like to believe that Chris Dudley can help to etch a couple more wrinkles on John Kitzhaber’s rugged face before Nov. 2.
It’s not that I’m rooting for Dudley.
I am in fact registered as an independent. My vote likely will remain in play until the cottonwoods have started to tinge yellow.
And anyway blowouts, whether in football or gubernatorial races, bore me.
Yet as much as I pine for a healthy tussle, I just can’t silence the interior voice which insists that Dudley, who couldn’t poll a majority from among his own party in the primary, has little chance to pull the monumental upset over Kitzhaber.
Maybe I could believe otherwise if the Democrats had gone for Bill Bradbury.
Or for anybody, come to that, except the denim-clad doctor who has a deft touch with a fly rod and who leaps to the aid of seizure-suffering debate watchers.
(Neither Karl Rove nor Rahm Emanuel has ever arranged a scene so serendipitous as the one that played out during a Kitzhaber-Bradbury debate in Eugene last month. Although I remain skeptical that somebody actually hollered, verbatim, “Is there a doctor in the house?” after a man in the audience fell ill.)
From 1981 to 1991 I served as Chief of Police in Coronado,
California. The southern limits of that city were just one mile from
the international border with Mexico. The problem of illegal
immigration existed then, though it pales by comparison to what exists
Because my city was impacted by the downsides of illegal immigration
we met regularly with Mexican officials, including the Tijuana, Mexico,
police chief and Mexican federal officials to discuss the issue.
In the mid 1980s, Tijuana was blessed with a very well-educated,
ethical and professional police chief who was quite knowledgeable
concerning crime problems in his country, demographics, and what the
future might hold in terms of the illegal alien problem. In our
conversations he made a number of predictions, many of them dire, and
most of which have come to pass over the years.
My futility as an elk hunter has finally attracted the attention of Oregon’s wildlife managers.
And if I may be so bold, belated attention it is.
Although I suppose they have wolves with a taste for mutton and veal
to worry about, and those sea lions munching salmon, and the occasional
coyote snatching suburban cats.
Still, the scale of my ineptitude in the pursuit of elk had some
years back attained the status of legend, at least in my view, and so I
can’t help but feel that the biologists have failed to give my constant
failure the recognition it deserves.
I’m not talking about buck fever, either. Or bull fever, as the case may be.
Any hunter can miss an elk at 500 yards.
(And many have.)
I rated myself as a pretty fair singer right up to the indelible
instant when I heard my naked voice, the protective filter of
accompaniment by actual musicians stripped away.
For some years previous I had often amused myself, as I suspect most
people do, by crooning along with the stereo while I was driving alone.
Which is about as realistic as playing Tiger Woods golf on a Wii.
Harmonizing with Lennon and McCartney, suffice it to say, ranks on
the difficulty scale right beside bisecting the fairway with a 300-yard
(Although Tiger isn’t staying on the short grass all that often these days, either.)
One day, for some reason I’ve forgotten (although a reason no doubt
spawned by the same hormone that leads high school students to use
Bunson burners for unorthodox purposes), I decided to try what you
might call an experiment in a cappella.
What resulted was a sort of auditory shock treatment that cured my
naivete, as regards my lyrical ability, instantly and irrevocably.
While I was belting out the chorus to some ’80s anthem — I think it
was Night Ranger’s “Sister Christian,” although possibly it was “The
Final Countdown” by Europe — I punched the radio’s “off” button.
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