The Breakfast Table

Cranky Europeans and Cyber Geeks


Do nice people make good editorialists? I thought we were supposed to be rough, tough, and impossible to do business with. You slipped up and let your humanity show through.

Those cracks in the NATO alliance were to be expected. Italy and Germany are getting cranky, but let’s be clear about the workload and division of labor. How long can the United States pay the bills, load the bombers, and fly the bulk of the missions? To paraphrase Lyndon Johnson, it’s time for the European boys to do some fighting. Besides, NATO could use some practice in marshalling a multinational force.

This is, after all, in Europe’s backyard. NATO bickering seems less a threat than the calendar. Winter will come early.

Also to be expected, the will of the Americans to continue in Kosovo is softening. Yet NPR today cited a University of Maryland study showing Americans understand a ground war may be the only way to succeed. Results-oriented Americans will hang tough only if there is an end in sight. Why would it have to be American troops in the vanguard to oust the Serbs?

You sound jittery about the German Green Party’s push for a law requiring men to do 50 percent of the housework. I’d go grab a quote from Martha Stewart but I’m sure she would snap at me, then state the obvious: Men should do 100 percent of the housework.

There you have it: This is what happens when women get into politics and politics gets into women.

My newspaper is running a series on the Y2K phenomenon. Are you one of those head-for-the-hills types, or are you, like me, sure everything will be fine as long as you skip the flight to Uganda New Year’s Day?

We covered a lot of ground this week but missed one. We should have had a contest to figure out whose Star Wars fans are goofier. We had people renting parking spaces for a week to camp out near the theater door. We had a wedding timed to coincide with the first public showing. Passersby imploring this mob of cyber geeks to get a life never dulled the party.

Humming the soundtrack to ThePhantom Menace, I bid you fond adieu.