Friday, September 26, 2008

As I watch tonight's debate ...

... and as I listen to Obama and McCain go back and forth about which foreign leaders it's OK to meet with and which ones aren't, I think about a quote from John Kennedy's Inaugural Address:

"So let us begin anew - remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate. "

Everyone knows that address for, "Ask not what your country can do for you ..." but it's filled with passages that sound as relevant today as they did more than 40 years ago.

"Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce."

'The trumpet summons us again - not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are - but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, 'rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation' - a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself."

He inspired us first to dream and then to act, and reminded us what makes America the greatest nation on earth. Reading voraciously about JFK has informed my politics and world view, and I'm proud to be his acolyte. Naturally this has led me to Barack Obama today.

P.S. My prayers are with the youngest Kennedy brother tonight. As I post this, Ted Kennedy is back home and resting comfortably.

Maybe love IS all you need

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Paul McCartney gave his first concert in Israel on Thursday before tens of thousands of cheering fans, 43 years after the Beatles were barred from singing there because of fears they could corrupt youngsters.

Security was tight at Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv and media reports in Britain said an Islamist militant had threatened the ex-Beatle, while some Palestinians urged him to cancel his trip over Israel's occupation of the West Bank since 1967.

The 66-year-old ignored the demands, but delighted Palestinian fans during his visit to the region when he went to the West Bank city of Bethlehem, lit candles at the Church of the Nativity there and wished for peace for Palestinians.

McCartney opened the Tel Aviv gig with Beatles song "Hello Goodbye," and addressed the 40,000 fans in Hebrew and Arabic as well as English throughout the evening.

"Shalom Tel Aviv!" he said, using the Hebrew word for "peace" and "hello." The ex-Beatle also wished the crowd a happy new year in Hebrew ahead of Jewish celebrations next week and wished Muslims a good Ramadan, the month of fasting, in Arabic.

McCartney, who wore a dark suit over a pink shirt, dedicated Wings track "My Love" to Linda, his wife who died of cancer in 1998, and also paid tribute to late Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison.

Teenaged girls were reduced to tears and the crowd waved its arms in the air as the star performed some of his biggest hits during two hours of almost non-stop music.

Among the favorites were "Give Peace a Chance" and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," the closing number.

Top 5 on Friday

Top 5 songs that this image reminds you of:

1) It Had to Be You (Diane Keaton from Annie Hall -- if her audience ever really paid attention to her)

2) As Time Goes By

3) More Than You Know (Streisand, because early in her career she had a similar haircut)

4) Takin' a Chance on Love (Streisand again, see above)

5) Don't Know Why (Norah Jones)

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