Happy New Year

A great scholar of Yale’s history department writes to a friend this morning of the failure of the current generation of Washington political leaders to fully apprehend “how awful” America’s longer-term fiscal situation is. America would, he notes, be in an even worse mess if it weren’t for the problems we see in China, India and Europe, but that’s like saying, “Spain remains strong because Bourbon France is split, and the Holy Roman Empire is bankrupt.” Little comfort in that. But there is in this. The scholar “gained a great amount of comfort these past few days” when a friend sent this. “I’ve watched it now about six times, because I believe in the power of music to raise the human spirit in the way nothing else can. I am sort of reminded of the famous free lunchtime concerts given by Dame Myra Hess in St. Martin-in-the-Fields while German bombs rained on London.” What moved the scholar moved the blogger. Pass it on.