, Gloucester, MA


February 16, 2013

Letter: Health benefits of the State of the Union

To the editor:

When the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin would appear infrequently at the Bolshoi Theater, the whole audience would burst into applause.

The ovation would continue for 20 or so minutes until some people would faint from exhaustion. Nobody dared to stop.

That picture flashed in my mind when I was watching the coverage of the State of the Union speech by our president Tuesday night. I grabbed a pencil and started counting. This is the tally: 76 ovations in total, 39 standing. I might have missed a few in the beginning, but just a few.

Granted, each ovation did not last very long; but in total?

Also, not everybody applauded. Evidently, some Republicans were very brave.

What did I learn from the address? Our past was horrible, our present is good, our future will be magnificent. Congress must pass some bills and the president will immediately sign them. Al-Qaida is eliminated but morphed into other terrorist groups.

Militant Islam, the Iranian atom and the Arab “spring” didn’t deserve a mention. Israel got one short sentence, Russia, not even a word.

The minimum wage must go up but the source of money was not specified. Also, the promise was made not to increase the deficit by so much as one dime. This was met by another standing ovation.

At that moment, I had a revelation. For many months, our media is telling us that the health of American people is gravely jeopardized by obesity. The mayor of New York City banned soft drinks in school, fast food is condemned, and parents are snatching sweets from the mouths of their children. Aerobic instructors are in short supply …

I would give the State of the Union address the highest mark in the battle against obesity. One State of the Union per a week and our Congress will be the healthiest in the world.

Taking into account that our representatives and senators are not subjected to term limits, we might rest assured that the members of this dysfunctional, unproductive but healthy body will continue to applaud for generations to come.


Norwood Heights, Gloucester

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