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Wednesday, July 17

With apologies to Joel Osteen: Pundita breaks her New Year's resolution to be nice

My enemies are going to have a field day with this. I can hear it now. 'So that's why she was so quiet on her blog this year; the effort was killing her.'

As to what Joel Osteen has to do with this, thereby hangs a tale. A few nights ago I almost broke my resolution. I'd dashed off a vicious reply to The (U.K.) Observer's British foreign affairs editor, Peter Beaumont, who'd criticized Ed Snowden for saying (at his July 12 presser) a few polite words about Russia's record on human rights.

To give you some idea of how nasty I was, I started off by telling Beaumont: "I have four words in reply: Northern Ireland and Beslan Massacre."

As to what the British government had to do with the massacre -- well, after it happened, Vladimir Putin called a presser that lasted 2-1/2 hours, during which he accused the British and U.S. governments of being ultimately responsible for the massacre because of their support of Chechen terrorists. Okay; he was overwrought at the time yet there were grains of truth in his statements.

But I was just getting warmed up. I asked Beaumont if the treatment of many women and children under sharia law in the U.K. didn't count in his view as human rights abuses.

I actually had my finger on the "Publish" button when I grabbed the finger and literally wrestled myself away from the keyboard. So then I took a nap. (When you get to be my age wrestling with oneself is tiring work.)
I woke up not knowing whether it was day or night so I grabbed the remote. I pressed "36" to see if CNN was reporting on anything other than the George Zimmerman trial, but I guess my finger slipped and I got channel 6 instead.

There was Joel Osteen, talking about how important it was to let unfair criticism roll off your back, and to let God protect you from the carpers while you focus on your goal.

I cried out the TV screen, "Thank you, Joel Osteen" and told myself, "See? Let God deal with Snowden's critics. You keep to the high road."

Besides, once one starts in with recriminations there's no end to it. Beaumont could have returned fire by asking if I was equating the British government's treatment of the Irish with Putin's treatment of the Chechens. This is how wars can last for centuries.

However, there's also my blood pressure to consider, which has spiked several times since the New Year. Maybe if I could find a more constructive outlet for a head of steam, like meditation and prayer or Tai Chi, but until that day arrives I've decided to revert to being what I am in this lifetime, which is frankly not a very nice person.


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