Here’s what’s been happening this side of the cliff.
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The Vissers, my super-fabulous guests, not only helped me wash the dishes, but dried them, and then Nancy Visser, the super-beautiful mom, swept up the whole house with a broom. Then Mike and his daughters put every single loose CD into its jewel box. I hadn’t even suggested it or mentioned it.
These people are amazing. I have never met anyone like them. They are Dutch. The Dutch are an astonishing people: smart, great-looking, hard-working, good-natured. Small wonder the British had so much trouble with them in the Transvaal.
Then, a long drive back under the full moon. I talked to the Visser kids about what life was like when I grew up in segregated Maryland. No blacks in our schools. No Jews going to St. Albans. No Jews in Spring Valley. No Jews at the Chevy Chase Club. I wonder if that has changed.… Does the Chevy Chase Club have Jews? I wonder. Probably not many.
The Vissers were just gobsmacked about life in white America during my childhood. They couldn’t believe it had happened.
“I can’t believe it changed,” I said. “We grew up thinking we Jews would always be second-class citizens, always looking up at the White Gentiles. We grew up thinking the blacks, whom we called ‘colored,’ would always be treated terribly.
“I used to think that if I awakened one morning and were ‘colored’ I might as well be dead. That was how badly blacks were kept down. Now, it is a bright day for hard-working, well-disciplined, bright blacks. The world is their oyster. So, some great things have happened in my lifetime. They get wildly preferred treatment in schools, jobs, anywhere they look. Big change.”
Of course, the whole social fabric of the country has fallen apart, too. No, that’s not right. Just a large part of the social fabric has fallen apart. I wonder what part integration had in that, if any. I keep thinking there is some connection, but it’s hard to see what integrating a school district in Neshoba County, Mississippi, has to do with a 25-year old in Beverly Hills who spends all day in a Barcalounger watching sports instead of working. Did the white upper-middle-class child learn from the welfare dependent blacks? No, that’s not it. There have been ne’er-do-well well-to-do kids forever. There is just a breakdown of discipline everywhere. That’s how I see it, anyway. I certainly see it in myself.
Where did it come from? The natural decline of great societies? The fraud of deficit spending? Anyway, more on this at another time. It is too big to go into all at once.
I also told the Vissers about how we avoided nuclear war during the Cold War, and that was a miracle. The only world leader who ever actually wanted a nuclear war was Castro — and he never had the Bomb. What a wacky guy he was. He actually tried to goad Khrushchev into bombing the USA from Cuba even if it brought nuclear disaster to Cuba. What a psycho. I read that he’s calmed down now. I wouldn’t trust him as far as I can throw him.
Speaking of worries…Ahmadinejad wants nuclear war and he will have a bomb and he hates Jews as much as Hitler did. Well, maybe not that much, but a lot. Terrifying that Mr. Obama does so little about it. None so blind as those who will not see.
I am now about to go to sleep. I am ruminating about what a friend told me about how prisoners in American prisons ask for Bibles and Bible study and they get it and it helps them. I believe the late Chuck Colson told me that some time ago. He was a good friend.
But kids in public schools cannot come near the Bible in school, also a taxpayer-funded entity. What dopes the Supreme Court were to take God out of schools. Why did they have to do that? What was the point? RN never liked Earl Warren. Great insight on RN’s part.
What a dismal history the Court has on so many vital issues. Still, God save this honorable court! as they say in court.
I am going down to Rancho Mirage tomorrow and I will write more from there. The moon is amazingly bright tonight.
Lunch with an amazingly smart man I often work with. His wife, a Puerto Rican woman, recently had a heart transplant of the heart of a 20-year-old Jewish woman who died in a car crash. “Isn’t it something,” the brilliant colleague asked. “The races fight and argue, but that Jewish woman’s heart works perfectly fine in my wife’s Puerto Rican body and keeps her alive. Why don’t we pay more attention to that ? We really are all the same if we allow ourselves to be.”