It’s hard not to be excited about the performance of the Russian Police choir at the Olympic opening ceremony of the winter games at Sochi. They sang Daft Punk’s pop hit (We stay up all night to)”Get Lucky.” Russian military choral singing is distinctive and invokes imagery of the revolution, and the Great Patriotic War against the Nazis. And there is something totally amiable and winning in their sharing of our Western culture and putting their own Russian stamp on it. It was so surprising, it made many of us laugh.And if you haven’t seen it yet, check it out. You will probably laugh. But it’snot derisive laughter. It’s more like surprise and “I can’t believe what I am hearing and seeing.” But it’s wonderful. It’s a little incongruous, but somehow, a complete success.
Well, our military bands do the same and it is a little bit surprising to see military band members rocking out, and they do. We have some wonderful performers in our military service bands, even in our local National Guard and Reserve units. So I laughed ,but warmly. And, now when I play Axis and Allies with my son, and it’s the Russian turn, and I am rolling the dice to smash the Nazi invaders, and I am singing in my best Russian military chorus voice, I have the perfect set of lyrics forl the thloh of thedice yeys? I say “Cheers.”Maybe in Russian they would toast, phonetically, Zaschaste’-ye! To happiness! That is what the Russian Police Choir’s rendition of Get Lucky sounded like, happiness. And that is definitely part of the Olympics, the universal joy we take in human performance.
Speaking of happiness, Ken Block supporters have to be happy that in a facebook posting, 2010 GOP gubernatorial candidate John Robitaille has not endorsed Mayor Allen Fung. Instead, JR left the issue “Block or Fung” open. Now the bad news, Ken Block and attorney and Allen Fung are going to have to and prove themselves before the anointing thumb is lifted skyward and presses approval into their forehead.
"I am only interested in determining who has the best plan, the most courage and the personal authenticity to be the type of governor this state needs. It's about governance – not politics.
Each candidate would probably say, well, I announced my candidacy; I have a website that says what I want to do. I’ve been interviewed. Ask me a question, I’ll answer it."
Mayor Fung might say,he had to lay it out on the line about a car accident when he was 19. He has had to come to an agreement with a municipal union that feels it made concessions years ago and is now relatively underpaid. He might argue he has gotten two unions into 401k’s, easing further pension obligations
Ken Block might say,he started a party from scratch. Then, he wasn’t too proud to admit my Moderate party was an ineffective vehicle and then he register as a Republican in a state with a dominant Democratic General Assembly for 70 odd years(for what greater gift can a man give…..) and he had to write a check for $500,000 to jumps start his campaign, He has used his time and effort to identify some doable fixes to help our business climate. Both candidates might, having been “at it” politically for years now. May be they wondered as they read the post,“just what the hell do I have to do to get JR’s blessing?” What do I have to do to meet the tests of courage and “personal authenticity?”
Haven’t they shown some guts already?Neither Block or Fung have come out of nowhere and parachuted in on this race.
I am particularly interested in the proof of“courage.” Will there be games? What unique Rhode Island challenges and tests of courage do you think would demonstrate who possesses the most courage?. I hope, some of our “Society” readers have some suggestions.If it’s all about governing, the games will be terribly dull.
Getting back to winter games, Michelle Kwan, I hear is at the games in Sochi and passing out campaign stuff and pitching for her husband Herbert “Clay” Pell. She’s working for Fox Sports and covering the games, so she is uniquely positioned to leverage her Olympian stature to create international buzz for her husband’s candidacy for RI Governor. I can’t claim a reliable source, but the pitch might be going something like this, "My husband presided over a 60 million dollar budget while passing through the Department of Education during 5 or 6 months in 2013. He lead many enlisted personnel to accept administrative punishment in lieu of court martial as a JAG for a couple of years or so, " " And, even as he courted me in a most wonderful way, he occupied a really, really important post at the White House for about a year and a half while managing to keep secret any particular accomplishments." And .finally, who from Rhode Island has traveled and not had this explained, "No, Rhode Island. Yes it's a state. No, Long Island is part of New York..."
Okay, I suspect Michelle Kwan is making a more flattering pitch, and presenting a welcoming friendly face to Rhode Islanders and potential donors. She is helping. A supportive spouse is a wonderful thing for those who hope for a career in politics.
Still promoting your husband, who has not yet had a career, and certainly not as a chief executive, or even as a prior officeholder, as the man to be Rhode Island’s next governor, in a place where most people have never heard of Rhode Island, that takes some guts. And Pell, has thrown a million into his campaign. Again, it’s the kind of courage that gets real results in politics. But with his lack of a record, Pell is lucky to have a courageous supporter.
Both Block and Fung each need the kind of support that Linc Chafee had from his wife and supporters and that Michelle Kwan is giving to her husband. Maybe it’s really not about the candidate’s guts. Maybe it’s really about the guts of their supporters, their supporters who make a choice and proclaim it without reservation..And for those of us, who must choose, maybe, it’s about the guts to make a choice and let others know why. Let the courage games begin.
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