Monday, July 29, 2002

The miners have been rescued. This is great news, of course, but like so many events, the story about the rescue became more important than the rescue. The governor of Pennsylvania apparently forgot that the operation was about the miners and not about him. "This is how I see my role," he announced to assembled news reporters. Then he went on to describe how he had climbed into a capsule so he could get a feel for the conditions the miners had to face. Who could possibly care what kind of feel the governor had?

Geraldo cared. Calling him "the Guiliani of the mine disaster," he gushed about the governor's leadership, and news televison quickly turned into all-mining accident-all-the-time.

Of course, some of us don't consider a comparison with Rudy Guiliani to be a compliment.

Saturday, July 27, 2002

The news media is bombarding us with reports of missing, kidnapped and murdered children. A man invited a supposed stranger into his home and left him alone with his child. The houseguest murdered her. The suspect, described by one anchorman as "just a transient," has been arrested. There is still no word that the father has been charged with anything.

Who, you may ask, would invite a stranger into his house when a child was there, and then leave the child alone with him?

While you're answering that, consider my recent trip to Home Depot. Standing in the checkout line, I was shocked at what I saw right in front of me: a couple with a shopping cart containing two items--a baby, and a 6-foot long sharp-cornered metal pole. Neither parent was paying any attention to the little girl, whose face was bobbing dangerously close to the pole. Several times, the tip of it brushed near her eye. I leaned forward, prepared to grab the baby if I had to. Finally, her mother, seemingly unaware that the child had been in any danger, turned around and picked her up.

Then a terrible lightning storm commenced. Those of us with sense stayed indoors. Some of the lights went out, and the air conditioning shut down. Another couple with a toddler decided to go out to the parking lot. The father lifted the toddler up and placed her on his shoulders, then they took her out into the lightning storm.

"Wait!" I wanted to shout. "If you put a metal pole in her hand, she might get struck sooner. Or you could just go ahead and stick it in her eye."

How is it that so many children have survived?