AN END TO IT – What I’m Thinking About Today

1. It’s Friday, April 17, 2015. The weekend is nearly upon us.

2. Few things I read choke me up. Here’s what did today: the Boston Globe piece by the parents of the 8-year-old boy killed in the Boston Marathon bombing.

In the piece, Bill and Denise Richard say they do not want Dzhokhar Tsarnaev put to death following his conviction last week for his role in the bombing. They say they have suffered enough — that the appeals and the continued attention to Tsarnaev will just delay what they have to do: Rebuild their lives.

“We hope our two remaining children do not have to grow up with the lingering, painful reminder of what the defendant took from them, which years of appeals would undoubtedly bring,” the Richards write.

As brutal a price as all of Boston has paid for those moments of terror two years ago, the Richard family has suffered even more. Besides losing their son, their 7-year-old daughter was maimed in the blasts. They’ve had to listen to — and give — testimony in court about what happened that sad April day. They’ve had to see the focus on one of the two losers who committed the crime.

They want it to end. Who can blame them? I can’t fathom the pain those people feel every single day.

And yet they had the strength to write this piece. We all have our reasons for wanting either death or life in a cell for the pillbug who did what he did. The Richards make an eloquent case for life in a cell. It’s worth reading – and any tears that might come with it.

3. April 17 is the 54th anniversary of one of the biggest blunders of American history: the invasion by Cuban exiles attempting to overthrow Fidel Castro at the Bay of Pigs.

There’s likely to be some anti-American sentiment expressed, as usual. But this anniversary is quite a bit different than the other 53 now that President Obama has acted to normalize relations with Cuba.

As The Guardian reports, some in Cuba — where they still drive American cars from the ‘50s and miss Coca-Cola — are optimistic. Unfortunately, the ideologues in Congress are unlikely to lift the worthless embargo that has been in effect since the ‘60s.

There’s no denying the Castros’ contribution to regional instability and oppression since they took over in 1959. But despite the embargo — or maybe even because of it — they’re still around. It’s actually pretty amazing when you think about it.

Anyway, if something doesn’t work for half a century, you don’t keep doing it. We’ve moved on from Vietnam. It’s time to move on from Cuba.

4. I will be in good spirits Monday if the Mets are still in first place. If not, prepare for crankiness.

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