League of Their Own Olympians

 

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Photo by Ribbie (2014) atop Forte Duque de Caxias in Rio

 

In these Rio Olympic games, some stories of domination are being written. In this segment called “In a League of their Own” from the Olympic desk of Ribbie’s weblog, Ribbie comments on the competition.   Ribbie was last in Rio during the 2014 World Cup, so the reporting is almost live.

The USA men’s basketball team is in a league of their own, and is expected to win Gold again. The league of their own, of course, is called the NBA.  And while other national teams sport NBA players, team USA’s roster is made up of ONLY NBA players.  Same is true of Team USA on the women’s side – an all WNBA roster.  The women have won 42 consecutive Olympic basketball games, or is it 43?  They are 58-3 all time winning Gold in the last 2 games.  The men have won 14 of 18 Olympic Golds since 1936.  Seems unfair that professional players play teams comprised of, well, in most cases, other professional players from far less competitive leagues, right?  In their first games, the NBA All-Stars beat China by 57 points and the WNBA stars beat Senegal, Africa’s best team, by 65 points. Don’t get me wrong, I like seeing these games; the lack of competition make the NBA/WNBA players seem even better than they really are, to be honest.  I don’t care for the lopsided scores; however, which must be somewhat of an embarrassment to the other teams, though to be fair, Olympians DO like playing against the best.  That said, the Olympics should be about fair competition, in my judgement, which is why I favor a return to a competiton of amateurs only.

Chinese Diving.  Wu Minxia has won more Gold medals in diving than any other Olympic diver in history and is the oldest diver, at 30, ever to win a Gold medal.  She’s still got the golden touch  and is the gold standard in the diving world.

Team USA in women’s gymnastics is in a league of their own.  They could be the best gymnastic’s team the world has ever seen.  In the team competition, they’ve left the other nations behind in the qualifying round, way behind. Simone Biles could win multiple Gold medals in the team competition, all-around and in some of the individual events, possibly as many as 5.  The others have a chance at Gold in their individual events when not up against Biles.

Beach Volleyball – the native California Kerri Walsh with partner Mysti May-Treanor won 3 consecutive Gold medals for the USA and is back for a fourth with a new partner, April Ross.  The towering 6’2″ Walsh is in a league of her own.

Team USA soccer, or football, if you like.  The USA women’s team has won Gold in the last three Summer Olympics and look to be on their way to successfully defending their title.  With the dominant captain Carli Lloyd scoring at will, team USA is clearly in a league of their own.

USA Swimming.  Michael Phelps, whose maiden wins date back to 2004, is STILL swimming and STILL winning in the pool. He’s won so many medals, he’s lost track.  Ask him.  I bet he won’t know how many he has, most of them Gold too. Mr. Phelps is undubitably in a league all his own.

The USA has been fortunate enough to have the great sisters Serena and Venus Williams represent, who have been playing in a league of their own winning 4 Gold Medals in Olympic competition. They could repeat as doubles champs.

Others leagues of their own include Italian Fencers, German and Slovakian  Canoeists, and Danish Rowers.  And the dominant French handballers, in a sport about as silly, but not quite as silly as Water Polo, where Hungary has traditionally dominated, look to be the team to beat.

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Some “sports” are not Olympic

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The summer Olympics have begun in Rio where it is technically winter.  And as I watch the games, I am struck for the first time by all the sporting events that shouldn’t be in the Olympics in my judgement.  If you take issue with my commentary, know that it is somewhat tongue in check…somewhat.

  • Archery – pretty cool to watch.  It might have been one of the original Greek events, so it’s in.
  • Badminton – seriously?  It’s a picnic game!  If badminton is in, croquet should be too.
  • Basketball – of course. Too bad there’s no longer a U.S. U.S.S.R rivalry. I’d like to see Brazil do well.  Whatever happened to Oscar, or is it Oskar? He was like the Oscar Robertson of team Brasil back in the day.  And while I love watching basketball in the games, it somehow doesn’t seem fair for NBA and WNBA players to play.  I thought the Olympics were supposed to be for amateur athletes.
  • Beach Volleyball – definitely, especially in a place like Rio.
  • Boxing – hell yes. Those leather helmets are classic and keep the fighters’ head on straight…literally.
  • Canoe slalom and sprint- wtf?  Sailing, fine.  Rowing, ok.  Canoeing (is that how you spell it?) That’s something you do on a vacation.  Not a sport.
  • BMX and Mountain cycling – nope.  That’s for the Red Bull drinking X Games crowd.
  • Road and Track Cycling – ok.
  • Diving –  absolutely and as long as Cynthia Potter is the analyst.
  • Equestrian –  I love horses.  Actually, I’d like to see rodeo competition in the games. Bull riding and bull running would also be fun events, but I’m not a fan of bull fighting. I’m not.
  • Fencing – intense.  I’d also like to see deep water diving with those cast iron helmets.
  • Field Hockey – nope.  Too elite prep school for my taste.
  • Golf – nope.  They already have too many tournaments – and the thing takes all day.
  • Gymnastics – yep.  Lots of flips and stuff.  It’s always hit or miss.  High drama. Made for TV. But not the rhythmic thing.
  • Handball – never heard of it.  Isn’t that a penalty in soccer?
  • Judo and Taekwondo – yep.
  • Rugby Sevens – sounds like a card game, but it’s the next best thing to American football, so I say yes to the rough and tumble sport, mate.
  • Sailing – a Christopher Cross song, not a sport.  Nope.
  • Shooting – shooting what, the breeze? Not a sport.
  • Swimming – yes.  synchronized, no.  Might be good for a Disney show but not for the Olympics.
  • Table Tennis –  you mean Ping-Pong?  Sure, why not.
  • Tennis.  No. Same reason as Golf.
  • Track and Field – yes all day long.
  • Trampoline – no, beause with diving and gymnastics it’s redundant.
  • Triatholon – ok.
  • Volleyball – only beach volleyball.
  • Water Polo – NO. It’s just silly, like handball or dodgeball in the water.  They should use a nerf ball in my opinion.
  • Weightlifting – definitely. I especially like when they drop the dumbells in disgust.
  • Wrestling – ok, but I’d like to see some tag team championship wrestling.  And why isn’t grappling an event?

Mainstream Moisturizers and Tumors

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Breaking news which I saw on my Facebook feed, which actually broke back in 2008: Moisturizers cause cancer in mice.  Yes, the moisturizers we all know and presumably trust, the mainstream brands that keep us from shriveling up like raisins and moulting, do not appear to offer mice any health benefits. Scientists slathered the rodents with copious amounts of Eucerin and Vanicream daily for 17 weeks with disastrous results.  These poor mice developed 69% more tumors than mice not “hydrated” with the moisturizers.  There are three aspects to the study, that were glossed over by the outraged anti-moisturizer activists who published a Portlandia type article in some off the grid journal devoted to convincing readers that we modern day humans are doomed.  One, unlike humans, mice don’t need moisturizers.  Though I am not a scientist and do not claim to have any knowledge of science except that climate change and evolution are real, common sense would dictate that rodents produce natural skin oils that render creams redundant.  Two, Eucerin and the like are not made for mice.  Three, the mice that developed tumors were already at risk for cancers because the researchers had been subjecting them to high amounts of ultraviolet rays, if I understood the study correctly – the mice subjects were known as UVB-pretreated high-risk mice.

I am not defending the petroleum industry, but I am suggesting that extrapolating results of tests on mice to humans is dubious. The amount of lotion those suffering rodents must have received each day would probably have been the human equivalent to 32 ounces rubbed all over our bodies daily, head to toe, over a lifetime. You’d likely drown in the stuff before you developed a tumor, and even if you were a good swimmer, you’d probably end up dying of cancer eventually anyway, as many of us unfortunately will.  The fact remains, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States and no doubt the leading cause of death among laboratory rats. A little dab of Eucerin or Neutrogena is not likely to do us in. And because I secretly read this off the grid journal and have drawn my own conclusions,  I believe that what we should be more worried about are pesticides, GMOs, bourbon because its made with GMO corn, breakfast cereal, homogenized milk, preservatives, meat of any kind, soda, flouride in toothpaste and drinking water, energy drinks, mercury from light bulbs (and all that mercury us older folks played with when the family thermometer broke), white bread, the sun, sunscreen, air pollution, climate change, bedding material, rugs, mosquitoes, ticks, rabid raccoons, asbestos, lead paint, air freshner, laminate floors, bug spray, bug propellant, pesticides, nuclear waste, bottled water and so on.  As they say in New Hampshire, “Live Free and Die anyway or something like that.

Election Prediction – Clinton Takes the Top Prize

Partriotic Cow

Despite the polls, the U.S. electorate is unlikely to vote an outsider into office.  What I mean by outsider is one with either no political experience – Fiorina, Trump, Carson- or a candidate who is not a true member of one of the two parties – Trump and Sanders.

For better or worse, the U.S. has just two functioning parties, and one, the GOP, is struggling to stay relevant as it’s been hijacked by Trump and is very close to becoming a fringe party of loud unelectable extremist voices.  In a fierce battle to rescue the party, the leadership will turn its back on Trump and its long line of clowns, which spells defeat for Cruz (the most conservative of the bunch based on rankings from GovTrack.us), Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, Kasich and Rick Perry.  Lindsay Graham and Bobby Jindal have no chance polling at less than 1%.  This leaves Bush and Rubio to duke it out and as flawed as Bush numero tres happens to be, I expect him to come out on top.

On the Democrat side, while Sanders, like Trump has attracted large crowds, most won’t vote for a self-described Socialist, much to the dismay of Republicans who praise Bernie as a serious and honest candidate. The GOP would also like nothing better than for Biden to get into the race and even apparently persuaded Quinnipiac to poll Biden’s numbers even though he is not yet running. The GOP and the Press have relentlessly attacked Hillary Clinton over the email server affair hoping to turn it all into a scandal so that Biden runs and wins the nomination.  If he does, Bush may not trounce Biden but he’d have a much easier time beating Biden than he would Hillary Clinton.  However, despite the GOPs attempts to manipulate the Democratic race, I expect Clinton to survive server “scandal” and the rehashed assaults over her role in the Benghazi attack and win the nomination fairly handily over her competitors and take the general by a hanging chad, thanks to Trump’s last minute 3rd party disruption, a la Ralph Nader and Ross Perot.

Trump and the parties pathways to victory

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I know why all the GOP candidates didn’t take on Trump in the first GOP debate – they’re afraid of him.  Afraid he’d turn the audience against them; afraid he might sue them if they crossed him; and afraid that he’ll run as a third party candidate.  And he just might if enough of the field were to attack him at some point.  Their strategy was to go easy on Trump and not goad him into slinging zingers, like the one he slang on Rand Paul who tried to call him out early on.

Almost everyone has written the Donald off as a serious candidate, and possibly even conservatives who until the debate, liked what they heard, but I wouldn’t write him off just yet.  He might continue to surprise and could even win the nomination.  And if he did, and the GOP united in support of him, which seems unlikely, but if they did, he would give Hillary Clinton a good fight, though she would win with ease.

In my opinion, Trump would be the least electable of the lot, alongside Gov. Rick Perry, Senator Lindsay Graham whose candidacy makes me think of House of Cards, Gov. Jindal who had the awkward family reveal, and Gov. Huckabee whose incendiary rhetoric is both dangerous and pitiful. The most electable candidates and the ones Democrats like me should fear the most are Gov. Jeb Bush, Senator Marco Rubio, Gov. Rick Kasich and Gov. Scott Walker.  The union busting Walker may have some appeal outside the Midwest where people tend to hate teachers and the unions who protect them. Marcus Rubio may gain the backing of several billionaires in the coming months and whip the tea party into a frenzy with his memorized talking points.  Rick Kasich, who I first thought was the lead vocalist for the band the Cars, appears to be a moderate who could draw support in others regions, not the South, and take some votes from Jeb Bush.  And of course if Jeb Bush wakes up and finds a little fire in his belly, he could emerge as the one to beat.  But none of the candidates did themselves much of a favor in the debates.  They sounded scripted, timid and uninspiring.

The question is, will the Republican base turn out to vote for Rubio? If Bush were nominated, would the base support him or throw their support to Trump, the spoiler.  Bush and Rubio are Clinton’s biggest threats.  Which is why her best pathway to victory is for Trump to run as an Independent if not nominated by the GOP.  And though he’d take some of her votes, he’d take more away from the GOP as disaffected right wingers – who don’t believe in science, regulations, the separation of church and state and who generally don’t like government and prefer it be run as a business, because we all know that corporations are people – clamor to register their angst. But this scenario could also have the effect of turning out both bases of the two parties.  The GOP’s best pathway to victory, then, will be to continue to push voter suppression laws, because if the elderly, students, Blacks and Latinos can’t vote, many of whom are registered Democrats, it’s all over for the former first lady, Senator and Secretary of State. It is.

GOP Debate Coach for Hire

If the GOP candidates need advice for the big first debate in Cleveland, I’m their guy.  Full disclosure – I’m not a Republican, but almost became one on a road trip through Europe in 1984. I remember praising President Ronald “Raygun” Reagan for doing his part to keep the exchange rate favorable to the dollar over the Lira and the French Franc, but did an about face in Switzerland where I ran out of money -dang Suisse Franc, that my spell checker advised me to call Issue.

The big debate should be a first class clown show and the spoils will go to the one who makes the most noise.  So how does one make noise?  Well, it is a debate so it’s best to expose the weaknesses of the opponents, but with charm and good humor.  American voters love to be entertained and respect a good one liner – “Senator (Quayle) you’re no Jack Kennedy.”  Here are some crib notes on some of the “big guns”.

Governors Christie and Kasich are polling at 3%.  How relevant can they be? Isn’t Christie the guy from the auction house? And wasn’t Kasich once running for President as a Democrat? Wait, that was Kucinich.  When I first saw a picture of the Governor, I thought he was ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, his doppleganger.

The known stars of the GOP – “Also Ran” Rand Paul whose father once ran for President on the Libertarian ticket, and the Canadian born Ted Cruz – are polling at 5%. If I were a candidate, I would simply say to Rand, “stop whining” and to Senator Cruz, “you sound like a Sunday morning televangelist” and look out at the crowd and say, “and soon he’ll be passing the plate around asking you for a donation.”  Now Trump was big on the birther thing so he should causally mention that Ted Cruz was born in Alberta, Canada and then say something like – “nothing against Canadians, but they do like their medicine socialized.” That would scare the bejesus out of GOP voters.

Carson, Huckabee and Rubio are running at a modest 6% in the polls.  Dr. Carson is a world renowned surgeon, but has never been elected to public office. Huckabee has made so many desperate, incendiary comments that he’s likely to flame out on stage and is best ignored.  Marco “Polo” Rubio is still exploring the issues and is not even the favorite in his home state, trailing Jeb Bush by 12 points in the latest Florida poll.  “Senator Rubio, it’s not your turn yet.”

And the big three – Trump, Bush and Walker.  Walker, Bush and all the others should just say that Trump has no experience and ignore him.  Bush should say that Walker is a divisive union buster with a mean streak and Trump, Walker and all the others should say, “please, not another Bush” and argue strongly against a monarchy. 12 years and 3 wars is already 12 and 3 too many.

Say Goodbye to Butterfinger, Baby Ruth and yes Crunch too

229 to Butterfinger, Baby Ruth and Crunch because Nestle, the Swiss chocolatier has decided to mess with the ingredients of the classics. I say mess with because according to an article in the Washington Post,  Nestle plans to use natural ingredients in its candy bars as opposed to the chemically laden synthetic dyes and flavors that so many of us have come to love and crave over the years.  Gone will be such iconic ingredients as Yellow 4 and Red Dye #40, that make the bars so attractive to the eye.  Never mind that Red #40 is actually named 6-hydroxy-5-[(2-methoxy-5-methyl-4-sulfophenyl)azo]-2-naphthalenesulfonic acid and was born in a laboratory and not in nature.  And let’s not harp on the evidence that in some studies, Red 40, as it is affectionately known, altered the DNA of mice, and is thought to have the potential to produce serious allergic reactions and even cancer in some humans.  After all, most of us will die of cancer anyway, so what’s the big deal?  

The big deal is that our candy bars are going to look natural and taste like some hipster snack food with achiote tree seeds (fairly traded from the Guatemalan rain forest no doubt) and actual vanilla. Yes, actual vanilla!  If they start using real sugar as opposed to high fructose corn syrup, which I am addicted to frankly, I may just launch a Nestle boycott.  How dare they even consider going GMO free!  This may just be a sinister ploy to regain the German market that banned the GMO laden Butterfinger.

Plot or no plot, Nestle is going after more than the big three, although I really don’t care what they do with the inedible Crunch, maybe one of the worst chocolate bars on the planet, in the same company as the foul tasting Tootsie Roll.  But get this – soon the “neutral” Swiss company will be attacking SweeTARTS.  Without all the dyes, they may soon look like communion wafers or peppermint TUMS and taste like raw agave sap.  If they go designer on us, I’m out.  I don’t want a tart made from real cherries, limes or oranges.  Kids don’t want that either, I assure you.  Real fruit is not candy.  If Nestle keeps mucking with the ingredients, they might get the Germans back, but stand to lose the entire American market.

Boring Winter Olympics Needs Some Tweaks

I’m tiring a bit of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.  It’s partly that the events are a little dated and redundant.  It’s partly because Bob Costas is missing  – he really is the best in the business in my opinion. By the way, what exactly happened to Bob’s eyes?  It all seems so suspicious, but I don’t want to start any rumors.  Other than Bob’s eye infections, Shuan White’s failing to podium, the embarrassing interview of Bodi Miller and Lindsey Jacobelis’ unfortunate repeat fall, the games have been mostly drama free, probably much to Putin’s relief.  My tiring of the games is also partly do to the fact that I have no sense of what is live, taped, or whether an event happened today or yesterday or tomorrow.  What is the time difference anyway?  Russia has what, 9 time zones?  It’s today here and tomorrow there or something weird like that.  Also, the excitement of a single broadcast is gone because you can get Olympic news coverage anywhere anytime – a tweet here, a video there, headlines all over the Internet and spoiler alerts on all the TV news broadcasts. NBC has been covering the Sochi Games nonstop on MSNBC, CNBC, NBC and the USA Network, where you can catch niche sports like team curling and snowboard cross. 

So I won’t just whine about everything, I do have four solutions to offer to keep the Olympic Games relevant for years to come. 

First, the International Olympic Committee should do away with ski jumping on two hills.  Why do they have both a long and normal hill.  I say the skiers should just go down one hill, the hill.  Same deal with the short and long skating programs.  

Second, one of everything.  The bobsled is too complicated.  It should be just 1 man or woman, not 1, 2 and 4.  I mean we might as well have coed mixes or a medley of nations – a bobsled team made up of 4 randomly selected athletes from different countries. They’d have to argue over whose boblsed to drive and who the driver would be.  But it would promote peace on earth.  And no qualifying events either.  Just one race, run or game for everything.  And 1 athlete from each country for everything except hockey and curling.  No pairs skating, no snow relays, or whatever it is they do in cross-country.  Team ski-jumping, come on – boring.  Team ice-dancing?    

Third, Tweaks.  I probably said this 2 years ago, but I think those skiers with the guns are a little spooky.  I know it’s tradition, but if the gun thing must continue, why not have them carry shotguns and instead of hitting those easy carnival type targets, have them hit clay pidgins or skeets with shotguns.  And curling, how many rounds do they go before a winner is declared.  It’s about 5 rounds too many.  And curling, really, it’s not a sport, or it’s as much a sport as say ice-fishing.   

Skeleton.  Why not have these sliders go down head first on their backs.  I imagine it has been done before on Jack Ass or some show like it.  But these athletes could pull it off in style. They would probably need to wear protective thermal thinsulate armor, though.  Maybe Pierre Cardin could design some tricked out suit of sliding armor for the American sliders.  I’m also thinking of an event where the ski jumpers go down backwards and then rotate in midair for the landing – maybe even do another trick or two like the free stylers. It can’t be that hard to do.    

And finally, all the events should be held outdoors, all of them. 

R’s Interview with Big Brother

Big Bro:  On Facebook, you posted a note entitled 17 Books in 17 Minutes.  I find it curious that you only managed to list 6 American titles.

  1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Twain
  2. Kim – Kipling
  3. Heart of Darkness – Conrad
  4. Bird of Life, Bird of Death: A Political Ornithology of Guatemala – Maslow
  5. The Magic Mountain – Mann
  6. Native Son – Wright
  7. Pather Panchali – Bandopadhyay
  8. Pedagogy of the Oppressed – Freire
  9. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Garcia Marquez
  10. The House of the Spirits – Allende
  11. Hopscotch – Cortazar
  12. Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter – Vargas Llosa
  13. To Kill a Mockingbird – Lee
  14. A Confederacy of Dunces – Kennedy Toole
  15. Germinal – Zola
  16. An American Tragedy – Dreiser
  17. Crime and Punishment – Dostoevsky

R:  Well, I was an English major.

Big Bro: How is that relevant?  There are no Englishmen on the list.

R:  English majors don’t just read books by the English…but you are wrong: Kipling was an Englishman and Conrad, a British citizen.

Big Bro:  Your choice of books makes me question your loyalty to this country?

R:  Can’t I have a world view?

Big Bro:  (Pause)….I’ll have to check the regulations, but your books are radical.

R:  I don’t know about radical, but they are books of substance to be sure and touch on topics of universal interest – the death penalty, civil rights, capitalism, racism, workers rights, class struggle, imperialism, political repression, magical realism and the like.

Big Bro:  You posted this on your twitter account : 8 Feb “reports of a flying garbage barrel had commuters terrified this morning in Boston.”
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My Take as a Bostonian on the Marathon Bombings

Boston, MAI live in Boston, but am not afraid.  Yes, I have heeded the Governor’s advice to stay inside today, but not out of fear.  I am a little annoyed, actually, that the media has proclaimed Boston is in a state of lockdown.  We are not locked down.  People are free to move around if they wish and have been doing so freely all day.  No one has been detained for venturing out.  Golfers near my house were free to play 18 holes today and let me assure you that many did.  Call the recommendation to stay inside want you want, except Marshall law; I just call it common sense.  I am not going to prowl around looking for the bomber or insert myself into the investigation.  I’m not going out to take Instagram photos of the riot tanks in Watertown.

Another annoying aspect of the media coverage is just how many things “journalists” have gotten wrong. The New York Post identified and published a photo of the wrong guy as one of the bombers.  Second, in a rush to get the breaking news scoop, media outlets reported that the suspects were dark-skinned, then White, all before the official video and still photos had been released by the FBI.  Third, reports circulated that the two were brothers of 19 and 21 years of age; the oldest suspect that authorities killed in a gunfight turned out to be 26.  Fourth, the media has repeatedly reported with certainty that the brothers are refugees from Chechnya; they are, at least, according to one of the uncles, from Kyrgyzstan, though another uncle seemed to confirm their Chechen ethnicity.  Fifth, various reports stated the two had been in the country for just 2 years, when in fact, if we can trust the facts, they came in 2001 and had been living legally as refugees in the country for 12 years; the youngest suspect even became a U.S. citizen on 9/11/2012, of all dates. Not that all the discrepancies will make a big difference in the outcome of the case, but it does raise some concerns about the integrity of the information we receive in the age of the continuous 24 hour news cycle.  And while the 19 year old suspect has yet to be tried and convicted of anything, there seems to be little doubt as to his guilt with all the eye witness surveillance video.  And I hope he is captured alive so that authorities can learn as much information as possible about motives, associations and other threats before he is prosecuted.

But mostly, I am angry that terrorists have been living among us. I am angry that they committed an act cowardice against innocent people at the Boston Marathon. There is nothing, nothing at all that can justify the calculated killing of innocent people.  These terrorists murdered three and maimed hundreds with a dirty bomb.  They carjacked a civilian at gunpoint,  wounded an MBTA official, killed an MIT police officer and got into a firefight with police officers.

What would compel one to commit such heinous crimes?  One plausible and admittedly unsubstantiated theory (and one that is not so original) is that the oldest brother, who authorities killed in the shootout, had gone abroad, received training with a terrorist group, become radicalized, made or obtained some bombs and organized the attack with his brother.  It seems doubtful that they were lone wolves who snapped.

Whatever the case turns out to be, it is clear that any War on Terror cannot be a conventional war fought by countries, as the failed Bush years proved.  The War on Terror cannot be a battle of competing religions.  No, the best way to fight terrorism is to be vigilant, but reasonable; to seek justice, not revenge; and to refuse to be terrorized.  The American ideals of democratic governance with an emphasis on individual rights, freedom of religion, tolerance, community, and the peaceful pursuit of happiness is a package that cannot be destroyed by a terrorist attack.

And one more thing:  Americans, let’s not forget that we are all immigrants.  We must denounce all acts of violence and terrorism, but be tolerant and supportive of peaceful, hard-working, newer immigrants who reside among us and cordial and welcoming to international tourists and students visiting from foreign lands no matter observed differences in dress, accent, appearance, religious or political affiliations.  I am certain that my great city of Boston and one of my favorite cities, New York City, will always be welcoming and hope that other U.S. cities will be too.

Finally, and importantly, let us never forget the 3 Boston Marathon bombing victims and the 176 wounded and their families and the slain and injured officers.  Boston will never forget and has set up The One Fund to assist impacted families.  Rest assured that the bomber will be brought to justice.

Postscript:  Authorities apprehended the surviving suspect who had been hiding in a boat.  He was taken alive and transported to a local hospital.  The mayor tweeted “we got him”.  What a relief! Cudos to the coordinated efforts of the Boston Police, the MA State Police, the FBI, The AFT, Mayor Menino, and Governor Patrick all of whom conducted themselves professionally and with extreme concern for public safety.  Thank you!