Santayana Was Wrong

''Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.'  — George Santanya, 1905*

At long last Jimmy Carter has discovered the answer to securing lasting world peace and has finally earned his Nobel Peace Prize. During an interview with Der Spiegel, the former President hit upon a truism so simple, so breathtakingly obvious, that a single Peace Prize is not sufficient reward.  He should be immediately awarded a second Nobel... no need to vote. Not only will his solution solve humanity's problems, but he will also earn the everlasting gratitude of school children the world over.

SPIEGEL: Should there be an international peacekeeping force along the Lebanese—Israeli border?

Carter: Yes.

SPIEGEL: And can you imagine Germans soldiers taking part?

Carter: Yes, I can imagine Germans taking part.

SPIEGEL: ... even with their history?

Carter: Yes. That would be certainly satisfactory to me personally, and I think most people believe that enough time has passed so that historical facts can be ignored.

Apparently there is a statute of limitations on historical facts and it is 60 years.

I am a little annoyed at all the now—useless knowledge that I was forced to memorize in school, but now that I can purge everything prior to 1946 from my brain. I am therefore free to focus on the important things, like returning the World Series trophy to its rightful place in New York.

I must admit this entire statute of limitations thing has bothered me for some time.  I always wondered why Arabs were allowed long historical memories, but us dim—witted Western folk were expect to forgive and forget... mostly forget.  They get to remember that we tried to take the Mid—East from them a millennium ago during the Crusades, but we are supposed to ignore the fact that just a few centuries before they took it away from us.  I have also often wondered when the Huns were going to get around to apologizing for the depredations of their rampages.

On a personal note: my family has been in a feud with the Colicchio family of Lodi, NJ ever since the day that Joey Colicchio not only singed off my father's eyebrows in a misguided attempt to recreate the Battle of Midway using a washtub, antifreeze and some matches, but then managed to blame it on my father.

Next Friday marks the 60th anniversary of this trauma, so in keeping with the newfound Carter Doctrine I hereby declare the long held Tosi—Colicchio feud officially over. I only wish my father and Joey had lived to see their respective clans enter this new phase of peace and forgetfulness. (Note to my brothers: please get rid of that thing in the garage...you know what it is...we will no longer need it.)

But, now that our most embarrassing ex—President has declared that historical memories are to be limited to a mere 60 years I will now give up my quest for reparations from the successors of the Roman Empire and I plan to cease my campaign on behalf those who suffered through the Irish potato famine. 

On the plus side, Israel was founded in 1947.  So, according to the new Carter Doctrine, next year the Palestinians must forget any presumed claims to territories under Israeli control. I am also encouraged by the fact that in January 2041 we can forget that the Carter presidency ever existed.

Admittedly, I may have missed the news of Israel dispatching suicide bombers to Germany as retaliation for the Holocaust or forbidding Germans from entering Israel, but that does not mean that President Carter has not hit on the right formula. Now if only he could convince Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Iran and Syria to do the same. A simple 'bygones' should suffice.

* Of course, since it has been over 100 years since Santanya wrote those immortal words, so does it matter?

''Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.'  — George Santanya, 1905*

At long last Jimmy Carter has discovered the answer to securing lasting world peace and has finally earned his Nobel Peace Prize. During an interview with Der Spiegel, the former President hit upon a truism so simple, so breathtakingly obvious, that a single Peace Prize is not sufficient reward.  He should be immediately awarded a second Nobel... no need to vote. Not only will his solution solve humanity's problems, but he will also earn the everlasting gratitude of school children the world over.

SPIEGEL: Should there be an international peacekeeping force along the Lebanese—Israeli border?

Carter: Yes.

SPIEGEL: And can you imagine Germans soldiers taking part?

Carter: Yes, I can imagine Germans taking part.

SPIEGEL: ... even with their history?

Carter: Yes. That would be certainly satisfactory to me personally, and I think most people believe that enough time has passed so that historical facts can be ignored.

Apparently there is a statute of limitations on historical facts and it is 60 years.

I am a little annoyed at all the now—useless knowledge that I was forced to memorize in school, but now that I can purge everything prior to 1946 from my brain. I am therefore free to focus on the important things, like returning the World Series trophy to its rightful place in New York.

I must admit this entire statute of limitations thing has bothered me for some time.  I always wondered why Arabs were allowed long historical memories, but us dim—witted Western folk were expect to forgive and forget... mostly forget.  They get to remember that we tried to take the Mid—East from them a millennium ago during the Crusades, but we are supposed to ignore the fact that just a few centuries before they took it away from us.  I have also often wondered when the Huns were going to get around to apologizing for the depredations of their rampages.

On a personal note: my family has been in a feud with the Colicchio family of Lodi, NJ ever since the day that Joey Colicchio not only singed off my father's eyebrows in a misguided attempt to recreate the Battle of Midway using a washtub, antifreeze and some matches, but then managed to blame it on my father.

Next Friday marks the 60th anniversary of this trauma, so in keeping with the newfound Carter Doctrine I hereby declare the long held Tosi—Colicchio feud officially over. I only wish my father and Joey had lived to see their respective clans enter this new phase of peace and forgetfulness. (Note to my brothers: please get rid of that thing in the garage...you know what it is...we will no longer need it.)

But, now that our most embarrassing ex—President has declared that historical memories are to be limited to a mere 60 years I will now give up my quest for reparations from the successors of the Roman Empire and I plan to cease my campaign on behalf those who suffered through the Irish potato famine. 

On the plus side, Israel was founded in 1947.  So, according to the new Carter Doctrine, next year the Palestinians must forget any presumed claims to territories under Israeli control. I am also encouraged by the fact that in January 2041 we can forget that the Carter presidency ever existed.

Admittedly, I may have missed the news of Israel dispatching suicide bombers to Germany as retaliation for the Holocaust or forbidding Germans from entering Israel, but that does not mean that President Carter has not hit on the right formula. Now if only he could convince Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Iran and Syria to do the same. A simple 'bygones' should suffice.

* Of course, since it has been over 100 years since Santanya wrote those immortal words, so does it matter?