Sunday, June 21, 2009


[T]he race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Ecclesiastes, 9:11

Everyone has seen evidence of this unfairness. My own brother (the genius, 1600 SATs) has proved conclusively that just being brainy does not earn you much bread. He's probably smarter than Bill Gates, but Gates is undoubtedly more fortunate. And so it goes.

Barack Obama is better than smart--he's lucky. He gained the presidency by a series of fortuitous circumstances, the most important of which was the crash of the economy.

So far he has done nothing that is not either wrong or totally pointless. But his luck has come to his aid. Having been totally ineffectual in dealing with the Iranians, he has been rescued by a lucky chance: the fact that the Iranian people are totally fed up. And brave.

I hope his good fortune is transferable to us. But his luck may run out when it comes to health care; and wouldn't that be lucky for us?

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