A Longer Border. MLB. Quotes. The Food.

Finland Puts A Line In The Sand. New Rules. Well Said. Passover Via The Italians.

  • Finland and other countries in the geographic region surrounding Russia have long maintained a military nonalignment. Finland had kept their distance from NATO since the end of WWII, but last week their application and entry into the thirty-one-country alliance was ceremoniously accepted at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. The Nordic country became the alliance’s latest member, spurred by the war in Ukraine, in what becomes a strategic setback for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

Putin is fuming with Finland’s inclusion in NATO, as the move doubles the alliance’s border with Russia, adding to NATO’s expansion to the east. Putin’s main concern is NATO having the largest artillery capability in Western Europe, with a reported 1,500 pieces in operation. Sweden may be next to join NATO, though their application is caught up in a political quandary with Turkey and Hungary. Does anyone want to provide their take on Putin’s next moves to counter NATO’s inclusion of Finland?

Thoughts for an Easter Sunday

  • Has Tiger played his last Masters?
  • Will mortgage rates continue to drop and spur home-buying?
  • The understatement of the week: “Ukraine says the coveted F-16 fighter jets are four to five times better than its Soviet jets.”
  • The Sunnis and Shias of Saudi Arabia and Iran, after seven years of cutting off ties, have re-established diplomatic relations. Blend this with Middle East tension bubbling up, and who knows if escalating conflicts flare up in the next few weeks?
  • CNN’s morning ratings must be favorable as I cannot think of any other reason they would keep Don Lemon on air.
  • Tomorrow marks the 25th Anniversary of the ‘Good Friday Agreement’, a historic deal that ended the Troubles in Northern Ireland. The Troubles is the term used to describe sectarian violence that took place in Northern Ireland, which led to more than 3,500 deaths and even more casualties. Horrific terrorist attacks were conducted by members of paramilitary organizations, as were acts of brutality by police and army officers. I was in Belfast a few years ago and along with my daughter and son-in-law, took a Black Cab tour, which unexpectedly included a visit to IRA headquarters and their “munitions museum.” A great eye-opening and learning experience for the three of us.
  • An Easter egg hunt. Great stuff for children (and adults) of all ages.

  • Last week’s post went into detail about the changes Major League Baseball has made to speed up the game. These changes include a pitch clock, a limit to the number of times a pitcher can throw to pickoff a baserunner, and the number of times a batter can step out of the batter’s box. There is some great news after the first week of the season as baseball’s new rules have made a difference. Game times for the first week of the season were down by an average of twenty-five minutes, with one game between the Twins and Marlins ending in under two hours. There is not much wasted time with these new rules. Kudos to Major League Baseball!

Six quotes I really like:

  • “There is no such thing as a grouchy old person. The truth is once you get old, you stop being polite and start being honest.”
  • “Do what is right, not what you think the high headquarters wants or what you think will make you look good.”
  • “Your level of grit and resilience will define you more than your wins and losses do.”
  • “Chance favors the prepared mind.”
  • My dad once told me: “You are a product of your environment.” Derek Jeter said: “Surround yourself with good people. People who are going to be honest with you and look out for your best interests.”
  • “It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.”
  • “A mother’s job is to teach her children not to need her anymore. The hardest part of that job is accepting success.”

With Passover and Easter overlapping this year, I thought I would give you Sebastian Maniscalco’s take on the traditional Passover dinner celebration, the Seder. I shy away from religion, but Maniscalco’s take is one to watch. Happy Passover and Happy Easter to All!!

The one and only Sebastian Maniscalco.

Adios, pay it forward, be safe, and Enjoy Easter Sunday!

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