Friday, August 01, 2008

Quick Trip to Aspen

Selene Morgan, Rutledge Forney, me, Marilyn Marks, Don Morgan

How about something other than Dad's illness? A few days before his stroke and my trip to Texas for the trial, my wonderful friend, Selene Morgan, called me and asked if I could move everything on my schedule and fly out to Aspen to visit with "The Tibet Gang." Luckily, I had a couple days free and the flights were surprisingly cheap, so I did! It was a wonderful few days, and Aspen is just a magical place. We went hiking and got caught in the rain. (BTW, no, I do NOT like pina coladas.) The Aspen ideas festival was going on, so I was able to sneak into a very interesting lunchtime panel about how to deal with nuclear proliferation. Unbeknownst to me, the U.S. and Russia have been taking massive and substantial steps towards disarmament, and we are still by far the largest possessors of nukes in the world. The experts said that their main concern was not a rogue state like Iran actually using the weapon if they got it, nor was it that they would "give the bomb" to another bad actor, because in both cases the response from the U.S. would be the same: swift and devastating. Rather, they feel, the danger lies in the fact that just having more nukes out there increases the danger that some non-state actor (i.e., a terrorist group) would be more easily able to steal it and use it for its own purposes. They also sketched out an interesting little history of the numerous times that nuclear war almost happened and didn't, but easily could have due to a harmless missile launch being misconstrued as a strike, etc. We've been very lucky. The trip was all too brief, but it produced some nice memories, a calm before the storm, and the following excellent quote:

Don Morgan: Gee, Charlie, you look pretty tired.
Charlie: Yeah, I was up until 4 finishing a book Selene gave me.
Don: Ah, literary hangover.

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