Jewish World Review Nov. 30, 2001 /15 Kislev, 5762

Greg Crosby

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Consumer Reports

Some good news for a change -- THEY say every cloud has a silver lining. Don't you believe it. There are some clouds that are just black through and through -- no silver lining, not even silver-plated, nothing. However, I have read some upbeat items lately which are a welcome relief from the usual depressing news of the past 2-3 months. Like for instance, the official count of the dead and missing in the attack on the World Trade Center has fallen dramatically in the past few weeks to below 3,900, a total that is about 3,000 fewer than the number city officials originally had estimated in the first weeks following the disaster. And New York City officials say that tally might drop even more as duplication and errors on their list are resolved. The final number may go down to 3,000 or less.

That's still way too many innocent lives lost, but at least it's not as bad as initially thought. I remember hearing numbers close to 10,000 during those first horrible days. So, this news really is a silver lining to an incredibly dark cloud. Not that it'll make much difference for Osama bin Laden, though -- we're still going to find him and kill him, along with killing everyone associated with him that we can get our hands on. And, oh yeah, here's more good news -- it won't be long now. .

Also on the bright side is the fact that we're starting to hear first mutterings coming out of the administration that Iraq may be next on the hit list. I can't wait for that one. Long overdue. .

I've read that people are getting back to old-fashioned American values, including -- are you ready? -- a renewed appreciation of family. I guess when one begins to realize just how fragile and fleeting human life can be, it's not so corny to cherish one's family. People want the comfort of being with their loved ones. Families are spending time together again -- a very good thing. .

People are also rediscovering their faith and that too is a very good thing. Church and synagogue attendance is up. And in case you've been living in a cave these past two months, blatant patriotism has never been higher. Now if they can bring back "Father Knows Best" we'll have it made. Oh, one other last bit of good news: F. Lee Bailey was found guilty of seven counts of misconduct and disbarred from the Florida Supreme court a couple of weeks ago. He's now joined the Bill Clinton 3-D club -- Dishonor, Disgrace, and Disbarment. What goes around, comes around, F. Lee. .

Speaking of our former president, according to reports, he's been down in the dumps lately. Clinton's been telling people (like Paul McCartney's girlfriend) that he could have done a better job prosecuting this war then the current administration. Sounds like a bit of sour grapes to me. It must aggravate him to no end that George W. Bush seems to be getting the legacy that Clinton coveted so much and failed to achieve. Also, Bush's presidential job rating (Which Clinton put such a high value on when he was in office) has been much higher than his ever was. .

So, with no power, no national forum, and no one to care, Bill Clinton is depressed. In these tense, ever changing times of ours, its comforting to know that sometimes, just sometimes if you're very lucky, you get a cloud with a silver lining.

JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. You may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2001 Greg Crosby