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Caution. Handle with Care

The Nobel Peace Prize is filled with all sorts of ironies. Alfred Nobel invented dynamite as a way of stabilizing the explosive properties of nitroglycerin. Safer to transport, yet still, extremely dangerous. Both in peacetime and wartime it has claimed the lives and limbs of many. Jay J. Arms, a famous private investigator, lost both of his arms as a little child in an accident that involved dynamite. Yet he became a very accomplished martial artist, and private investigator.

Barack Obama is the most recent recipient of the Prize, yet in a very divisive move as he first took office he provided over 300 million dollars to 3d world countries to fund abortions during a time of economic duress for the United States, a move that rubbed his victory in the face of the pro-life conservatives after he had vowed to be a uniter, to end partisanship, and to heal the divide. It was a move that took the most explosive issue between Americans and set a match to it. Though it was termed as a political football tossed back and forth between liberal and conservatives in power, it was done in a time immediately following a severe economic downturn, a time when the flamboyant spending on a partisan political message could have been avoided.

Strangely revealing {in a sort of chemical irony} are the two main ingredients of dynamite: potassium nitrate and sulfur. Potasium nitrate, also known as salt peter, was used to render G.I.’s impotent, or incapable of sustaining fuerza, for the purpose of… maintaining order, during World War II. Sulfur burns and it stinks. Not unlike our Congress, we have one side, rendered slightly impotent, or at least limp after the election, and the other side stinks, yet, together, they are highly explosive.

The peaceful intentions, the flammable properties all combine to remind me of an old saying, “just when they are saying peace, peace … ”

-Juan Zapatero

copyright 2009 by Juan Zapatero


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