Cold Enough for You?Free Access

Cold Enough for You?

And how many of you woke up Monday morning to a car encased in ice, the product of hours of freezing rain on Sunday? I confess I am no longer am as adventurous as I once was. Once, I would have found this scene terribly novel.

Now, not so much. We should be be grateful for those who plow the roads, investigate the accidents, and generally keep things running when the wind chill dips to way below zero.

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Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, the Cold Spring Democrat, has been named to the House Intelligence Committee. Whether you like Maloney or don’t, this is a big deal. With all of the things tied to Russia swirling around these days, the committee is at a critical junction point. He will be the only Democratic New Yorker on the panel.

In a conference call after the election, when he was discussing plans for the new Congress and before he’d secured this appointment, Maloney clearly relished the prospect of being in the majority, and noted the additional ability it would give him to get things done on issues from infrastructure to transit to agriculture.

Which, when you think about it, is part of the whole problem with Washington: We need more things getting done, and less talk. I wonder what Harry Truman would think of the climate now, plain spoken as he was, and given to playing poker and sipping bourbon. The Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe, NATO, the integration of the U.S. military, the recognition of Israel, and the Berlin Airlift – all came about under Truman. That’s a hell of a record, and it came under one president.

And the Korean War. My father was in U.S. Army training when the armistice was signed; he believed until he died that Truman had “stumbled into” the war, and said voting for him had been the worst mistake he’d ever made. Think of it: To have such choices, that he could regard voting for Truman as one of his great regrets. He was a farm boy, and assigned to one of the last Army units that still used mules. The mountains of Korea, ideal territory for using the animals, would have been brutal, as my father surely knew.

Monday was the holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. A few quotes from him that seem especially notable in these fraught times:

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

“The time is always right to do what is right.”

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

King. Truman. They did big things without regard to the costs, without listening to the caviling of naysayers who wanted to slow-walk progress. Simply, what is the right thing to do?

Until next week.

Douglas Cunningham is editor and publisher of the Putnam County Courier and the Putnam County News & Recorder in Cold Spring. Reach him at 845-265-2468 or by email at editor@pcnr.com.

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