span of 24 hours, or 1440 minutes, we were then close to the end of civilization. Today it is at 6 minutes to midnight, so the situation is supposedly worse. However, I might mention that the clock advanced to 3 minutes after the Soviet Union exploded its first atomic bomb in 1949, then to 2 minutes in 1953 when both the U.S. and S.U. tested hydrogen bombs. The time jumped to 12 minutes in 1972 when the first Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I) was
signed and to 17 minutes in 1991 when the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty was signed. The time did not change when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. One would think, anyhow, that the world is now a far, far safer place, for Pakistan, India, the Middle East and North Korea do not evoke terminal fear or threat of MAD, mutually assured destruction. Yes, there are still sufficient nuclear weapons potentially ready to be reactivated to end civilization, but the politics of the times are such that I think the clock should be reversed, to at least 15 minutes.
Herb Brooks, the Iranian crisis happened (President Carter suffering, left), with 66 Americans held hostage in Teheran, followed the next month by the Soviets occupying Afghanistan. National pride was at an all time low and we felt powerless, when a miracle came to pass.
hostage crisis. This indelible moment in all of U.S. sports history, it is said, inspired President Ronald Reagan to, two years later, confront the Evil Empire (Ronald Reagan, to the British House of Commons, June 8, 1982). Actually, the real Evil Empire Speech was given on March 8, 1983, to the Annual Convention of National Association of Evangelicals (YIKES!!!) near Disney World in Florida. Anyway, Coach Herb Brooks (left), who was the last cut on the 1960 American ice hockey team (which went on to win the gold medal in Squaw Valley that year), had this vision, delivered, and, perhaps, aided in ending the Cold War. In my mind, this was the most crucial triumph for humanity, ever.
House of Representatives for 12 terms, and was known as “Good Time Charlie” for being an alcoholic womanizer. However, as a member of the subcommittee overseeing the Central Intelligence Agency, he single-handedly influenced the diversion of largely black (covert, secret) military funds to help the local patriots fight the Russians in Afghanistan, resulting in their ignominious retreat in 1981, the year Ronald Reagan first became president. You might have seen the movie: Charlie Wilson’s War, starring Tom Hanks and directed by Mike Nichols. Houston socialite Joanne Herring played by Julia Roberts, and Gust Avrakotos, the rogue CIA agent, by Philip Seymour Hoffman, might share some of the credit.
Next, I serialize SIMPLE SOLUTION ESSAYS.