Pine Nuts: Taking stock of 2022 |

Pine Nuts: Taking stock of 2022


Taking stock of 2022 … from someone who lives for the most part in the 19 th century …

“Man is good, woman, even better.” Now should they disagree, he might end an argument with a definitive, “But Honey, that’s not in the Constitution!” And she might end the same argument with the last word, “But Honey, remember too, that we are endowed with certain unalienable rights, and among them just happens to be the pursuit of happiness!”

Problems arrive when women get into arguments with women, and more so when men get into arguments with men. An argument between women might end with a shouting match, and maybe the pulling of some hair. But an argument between men, might as easily end with, “You call that a knife?!”

How can we be smart enough to send the Webb Telescope so far out into the universe as to be able to see back in time, and in the very same year, 2022, we return to the killing fields of war as though it were 1944. Yet here we find ourselves, with a run-up to WWII, anew.

I suspect it comes down to how we are raised. With at least one loving parent and a sound education, we usually arrive on the world’s playing field with a healthy Esprit de Corps.

But minus that one loving parent or a sound education, well, Katy bar the door, because all hell can break loose in a New York minute.

I will go out on a limb here and guess that Vladimir Putin was raised by an elderly aunt who was rather hard on him, as was his middle school teacher and coach on the soccer field. It would follow that a young Putin would assume the personality of a schoolyard bully, and being small in stature, would need a weapon to insure his sphere of influence. Over time he would acquire 6,257 nuclear weapons to augment his sphere of influence, and he would invade a neighboring country with impunity.

This is a long way from Nikita Khrushchev taking his shoe off and pounding the United Nations podium in protest of a speech critical of Soviet policy in Eastern Europe. By the way, Nikita’s granddaughter, Nina, is currently a Professor of International Affairs at The New School in New York City, two miles from the United Nations Headquarters where her grandfather held forth on the world stage in 1960. When we detach ourselves from a deterministic vision of the future, we recognize that adversaries in the sprint often become allies in the marathon.

Today we find ourselves confronted with an exponential expansion of weaponry that portends an escalatory race to extinction, the very thought of which gives me heartache. Let us pray that cool minds prevail, and a cease fire in Ukraine will be followed by a protracted peace.

I’m putting extra postage on that prayer …


Learn more about McAvoy Layne at

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