29, 2011, was truly a gala performance—the last evening
of the Washington National Opera Season, plunked in the
heart of the
Memorial Day Weekend so there were a few, not many,
rare empty seats—with Placido Domingo singing his last
role after 15 years
as General Director.
Christoph Gluck`s masterpiece Iphigenie en Tauride,
is based in part on the classic tragedies
of Euripides and Aeschylus. It has Placido, as
Orestes, lamenting his fate as murderer of his
treacherous mother, Clytemnestra, who had killed his
father, Agamemnon, when he returned from his heroic
participation in the
Trojan Wars. Rolling
out the red carpet for him, Mrs. A did Mr. A in,
precipitating Orestes` concomitant crime, for which he
seems doomed to perpetual agony as the Fates pursue him.
No where in
Gluck`s opera does the name of Cassandra appear.
Why Cassandra, Agamemnon`s concubine,
Her death was apparently deemed by Gluck as
insignificant—yet she, in
her leader lover strong forewarning of their impending
Cassandra was far from a nobody.
tells us [June 11, 2011]:
"Apollo`s cursed gift became a source of endless pain
and frustration. In some versions of the myth, this is
symbolized by the god spitting into her mouth; in other
Greek versions, this act was sufficient to remove the
gift so recently given by Apollo, but Cassandra`s case
varies. From Aeschylus` Agamemnon,
it appears that she has made a promise to Apollo
to become his consort, but broke it, thus incurring his
wrath: though she has retained the power of foresight,
no one will believe her predictions.
“While Cassandra foresaw the destruction of Troy (she
warned the Trojans about the Trojan Horse, the death of
Agamemnon, and her own demise), she was unable to do
anything to forestall these tragedies since no one
I wondered as I
enjoyed the impressive special award ceremony honoring
the great maestro
on stage after the performance of the opera if any
of that blue-ribbon crowd realized how ignoring the
Cassandras of history had so often led to horrible
Recall it was
crying for years in the wilderness of political exile,
who finally emerged
as the leader of a desperate England, as the
Third Reich trampled Continental Europe.
So who are the
ignored Cassandras today?
They are numerous. Even Secretary of the Treasury
Tim Geithner speaks of the national debt crisis—but
of course his party (mine)
won`t turn off the faucet of spending.
And what about
our current spending on
consumes over 50% of the
discretionary Federal Budget proposed by President
Obama in January 2010—pushing America faster to the
point where its money will no longer be the world`s
reserve currency and it will become another
Weimar Republic, where rampant inflation
paved the way for the rise of the Third Reich.
And how can our
government can allow over a
million new legal
and illegal immigrants yearly, despite the nearly 10%
unemployment rate and the fact that
eight million illegal aliens are now at work in jobs
in the US?
Or why we have added tens of millions of
many without much education since 1965 without a
national debate to secure our borders and observe our
Rule of Law?
I am not totally
A victory by any
other name is still a victory.
America`s best print paper, the
Journal, carried the story on Page One right side,
still the key print position,
in its Friday, May 26th story:
States can shut
firms that hire illegal workers, by Jess Bravin
Of course, the
Washington Post, in keeping with its usual Open Border bias, buried
the same Supreme Court story on page A7.
But both stories
were examples of less than balanced reporting. For
example, the WSJ
“The Supreme Court Thursday upheld an Arizona law
that can put employers from fast-food chains to farms
out of business for hiring illegal immigrants, sparking
fears among businesses that they will be hamstrung by a
patchwork of state regulations.
“The 5-3 ruling split the business community from
immigration hardliners who hailed it as an affirmation
of states` rights to crack down on illegal migrants."
migrants" is an improvement over
"undocumented immigrants", I guess. But "immigration hardliners" would be the 70% of American citizens who
are mindful and unhappy with the present numbers.
Dear readers, at
80 years of age, I am glad I won`t be here for the
continuing immigration deluge and the other rapidly
ripening pending follies mentioned earlier.
those many Cassandra-like warnings were not heeded, be
ready to take on increased pollution, to endure your
stifling commutes, to watch your wavering republican
governance become even more crippled with the power
blocks that imported
“diversity“ has created, and to suffer the loss of rights, privileges and
promise that my generation squandered by its rush to
growth and its appetite for excess.
ate that proverbial free lunch. Now yours will pay for
Donald A. Collins [email
him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.