Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

July 14, 2013

ED VASICEK: News briefs

News swap interrupts time in easy chair


Kokomo Tribune

---- — “Time to my-self at last!” I sighed as I parked in the easy chair. My peaceful moment was shattered by the door chime. Through the peephole I spied Elmer’s gold teeth glistening.

“Bet you forgot, Ed, didn’t you? Emil was supposed to come by today, but he took sick and sent me in his stead.”

“Well, Elmer, to tell you the truth, with church camp and all, I forgot about tonight,” I apologized.

“Not to worry, Ed. I haven’t read these yet, so we can talk about them.” Before I could interject my alternate suggestion, Elmer began reading an article about babies growing up with a flat spot on their heads; the article was from Reuters:

“‘Pediatricians in the early 1990s began telling parents to put their babies to sleep on their backs, in an effort to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), also known as crib death.

“‘That campaign was “enormously successful,”... and the new findings do not mean parents should stop following that advice.

“‘But there are steps they can take — such as holding their baby as often as possible and having “tummy time” when the baby is awake and supervised — to limit skull deformations.’”

“Never heard that before,” I admitted, “You’ll have to tell your daughter about this.”

“Yep,” Elmer replied. My granddaughter is only 3 weeks old.”

“I’ll read the next one,” I offered. It, too, was from Reuters.

“‘Lee Harvey Oswald had closer ties to Cuba’s intelligence agency in the months before his fatal shooting of John F. Kennedy than previously known, according to a new book by a former CIA analyst.

“‘Furthermore, the CIA lied about its knowledge of those ties to the Warren Commission that was tasked with investigating the crime, according to Brian Latell, the CIA’s national intelligence officer for Latin America from 1990 to 1994 and author of the book “Castro’s Secrets: Cuban Intelligence, the CIA, & the Assassination of John F. Kennedy,” due out on July 9.

“‘Cuba also hid what it knew about Oswald, writes Latell, citing a CIA wiretap of a conversation between two Cuban secret service agents he uncovered in declassified archives.

“‘“I am now convinced that Oswald was engaged with the Cubans,”’ Latell told Reuters.”

“Now that sounds mighty interesting,” Elmer opined. “How much longer will we have to wait to find out what really happened with John Kennedy’s assassination? All this stuff is complicated. Eisenhower used the Mafia to fight communism, and Kennedy went after the Mafia. Cuba, the Bay of Pigs, and a disenchanted CIA. Now this. Bunch of goofs in Washington.”

I have learned to ignore Elmer’s cynicism.

“What else you got?’ I inquired. He read an article from the Atlantic Wire:

“‘In a shocking poll by “60 Minutes” and Vanity Fair, a television news magazine and an actual magazine both run by men who are beyond middle age, apparently six out of 10 Americans believe that when a man claims to be the victim of a mid-life crisis, he’s just [making an excuse] for all the bad behavior he’s about to engage in.’”

“Probably something to that,” Elmer commented. “Of course, nowadays it seems to me that more women are doing the mid-life thing than men.”

“Yep, does seem to be the case,” I agreed.

“Time for one more. I’ll read,” I offered. I picked up the hard copy of the BBC article:

“‘Brazil has unveiled plans to hire 10,000 doctors to work in poorly served areas as part of wider reforms.

“‘The shake-up will include employing foreign doctors for the first time from September, as well as changes to the university medicine curriculum. Students graduating from 2015 must serve two years in the public sector.’”

“Sounds like a good plan — if all them doctors would do that here, we could fix our health care crisis” whined Elmer.

“Well, if we paid for their education, they might. I’m not sure that blaming the doctors is realistic.”

Elmer was about to reply with a snide remark when his cellphone calendar chime reminded him of another obligation. Saved me from making a token pot of coffee.

Ed Vasicek is pastor of Highland Park Church and a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at edvasicek@att.net.