LETTER: So much for the dawn of a new era

Saturday, July 20 marked 50 years since the first man walked on the Moon…

To the Editor,

Saturday, July 20 marked 50 years since the first man walked on the Moon. I can vividly remember listening to the event on a crackling transistor radio on the bridge of a bulk-carrier, keeping watch as a young Chief Mate sailing along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard.

Just the day before, while steaming past Martha’s Vineyard, the same little radio had relayed the minute-by-minute drama surrounding Senator Ted Kennedy driving his Oldsmobile off Chappaquiddick Bridge, with all the gory details of American politics laid bare. The clarion call on July 20, 1969 was that it was the “Dawn Of A New Era” and there certainly have been countless technological advances in just about every aspect of our lives since the Moon landing. Yet there was turmoil back then with bad news coming from Vietnam every day, and the world in the grip of the Cold War.

Scanning last Saturday’s headlines exactly a half-century later makes one wonder just how much humanity has learned and changed in the intervening years. The lead story on the international news channels was about a British tanker seized by Iranian authorities while traversing the Strait of Hormuz. Video clips show Revolutionary Guards rappelling down ropes from a helicopter onto the vessel’s deck, in the exact fashion that their British Commando counterparts seized an Iranian tanker as it traversed the Strait of Gibraltar two weeks before.

The next news item showed many thousands of British protesters filling the streets of London, demanding that they remain in the European Union. Immediately afterwards, reports showed maybe 100,000 in Hong Kong protesting that China honour all the democratic terms agreed upon when the territory ceased to be a British colony 20 years ago. More huge protests followed in a news report from Puerto Rico, with many thousands of citizens demanding their Governor and other elected officials resign after exchanging disparaging remarks about women and members of the LGBTQ community.

Meanwhile, in Washington, DC, a firestorm was erupting over the crowd at a presidential campaign event chanting, “Send her back.” The partisan crowd were referring to a US politician born in Somalia, and a legal immigrant many years ago, who was among a group of Democratic Congresswomen engaged in a toxic war of words with the US President on social media.

The Persian Gulf is a powder-keg ready to explode, adding to wars already raging in Yemen, Syria and other countries in the volatile region. There’s political unrest on several continents, and all the gory details of American politics are laid bare once again.

So much for the Dawn Of A New Era, eh?

Bernie Smith,


Just Posted

Drag racers ask for three-year lease at Alberni Valley Municipal Airport to race

AVDRA is pursuing a location for a permanent drag racing facility in Port Alberni

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs acquire veteran forward from QMJHL

Matthew Grouchy set to join the Bulldogs on Friday, Dec. 13

BUDGET 2020: WVIHS rolls out five-year plan for Port Alberni heritage train

Port Alberni council considers options in budget preparation

Alberni high school students fill Salvation Army van full of food

ADSS Athletic Dept.’s eighth annual food drive fills van, bellies with food donations

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

One man dead after car crash in Nanaimo

One person died, another was injured in the accident which happened Wednesday on Nanaimo Lakes Road

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by pellet gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Feds urge Air Canada to fix booking problems as travel season approaches

The airline introduced the new reservation system more than three weeks ago

Most Read