1. It’s Thursday, July 16, 2015.
2. I was 19 and sitting in my parents’ backyard on July 16, 1973 when my Mom came outside to tell me something amazing. She had been watching the Senate Watergate hearings and some guy — his name, BTW, was Alexander Butterfield — testified that Richard Nixon taped every conversation he had in the Oval Office. That meant there were tapes of all these controversial things that John Dean, Nixon’s former aide, alleged the president had said that implicated him in a criminal conspiracy.
Some 42 years later, it’s still hard to believe that a) Nixon did that b) he didn’t destroy the tapes and c) that this country was stupid enough to elect that crooked bastard twice.
3. You can’t help but love the story about Boston’s snow farm — the pile that still consisted of snow into the early part of this month. At its peak, during the city’s horrible winter of 2015, the pile was 75 feet high and covered an area of four acres. And because it was the ultimate mix-in, infused with asphalt chips, garbage scraps and other detritus of The Hub, it was taking a long, long time to actually melt.
But as of yesterday, the city declared that the snow farm, on Tide Street near the harbor, is now just a rubbish pile. The last snow has melted.
There might be some folks who are wistful about that. They’re crazy. It finally, really, truly is summer in New England.
4. Japan’s penance for some of the terrible things it did in the middle of the 20th century lasted 70 years.
The nation’s charter, initiated after its World War II surrendered, stipulated that the country could not be involved in military action outside its islands. The idea was to show Japan’s justifiably suspicious neighbors that it could co-exist with them in east Asia.
But today, Japan’s House of Representatives approved a measure allowing the nation’s soldiers to fight in foreign conflicts. Other steps required before final approval aren’t expected to the change the outcome.
The measure is a response to increased tension with China in the western Pacific, as well as the murder of Japanese citizens held captive by ISIS. The United States, the primary force that defeated imperial Japan in the 1940s, supports the measure.
It’s impressive that such a peace stance lasted as long as it did. And a little discerning that the rest of the world couldn’t follow along.