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Jeff Greenfield —
born on June 10, 1943,
Jeff Greenfield is an American television journalist and author... (wikipedia)
Men and women in my lifetime have died fighting for the right to vote: people like James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, who were murdered while registering black voters in Mississippi in 1964, and Viola Liuzzo, who was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan in 1965 during the Selma march for voting rights.
In early 1961 a new president, John F. Kennedy, was told by military leaders and civilian officials that the Kingdom of Laos - of no conceivable strategic importance to the U.S. - required the presence of American troops and perhaps even tactical nuclear weapons. Why? Because if Laos fell, Asia would go red from Thailand to Indonesia.
I grew up in New York City, where we played highly unorganized sports: stick ball, stoop ball, and the occasional game of baseball with no adult supervision.
There are good people who are dealt a bad hand by fate, and bad people who live long, comfortable, privileged lives. A small twist of fate can save or end a life; random chance is a permanent, powerful player in each of our lives, and in human history as well.
This is part of the involuntary bargain we make with the world just by being alive. We get to experiences the splendor of nature, the beauty of art, the balm of love and the sheer joy of existence, always with the knowledge that illness, injury, natural disaster, or pure evil can end it in an instant for ourselves or someone we love.