Does anyone even remember Syria anymore?

I am wondering if folks in Damascus might be wondering what the hell just happened. Wasn’t a superpower nation just pointing its guns and ready to fight?

It is like getting pulled over and about to get a ticket when the police officer gets another call and you realize you just caught a break. Or something like that.

This last week or so has been filled with major, society-changing events that will have a dramatic effect on this country as we move forward. It started with an epic storm and, of course, the series finale of “Breaking Bad.”

I never failed to stop liking Walter White or at least his ability to realize his full potential. Like many faithful watchers of this show, I have invested years of my life seeing how it would unfold. Not surprisingly, Walt’s super-sized ego eventually gets the best of him, but he somehow finds a way out to resolve the show in a way that is satisfying both to Walt’s character and the viewers.

As a crime reporter, I do not often get to look inside the criminal’s mind and see what he is thinking. Like the greatest Shakespearean drama, we are drawn into the character’s arc, his heroic rise and his tragic fall.

But the real hero in this show, surprisingly, turned out to be his son, Walt Jr., who never wavered, who stood his ground, despite his life being turned upside down in the last few episodes.

As a nation, we were witness to some pretty unsavory activities in Washington D.C. last week. I am beyond caring about politics, and the problem with that is that politics do actually matter.

They matter in Washington and they matter in Salem, where state leaders got together to hash out a Grand Bargain.

In contrast to what was happening in D.C., the appearance of bipartisanship prevailed in Salem. While in the end, many of the state’s problems could not so easily be swept away, it looked like legislative leaders were at least looking for substantive ways to deal with real issues.

The problem is that it is no longer clear what politicians in Washington are fighting about. I am not even sure what will make either side happy at this point.

At least in Salem the issues are clear.

So what else happened last week?

There was the rollout of Cover Oregon’s new health exchange, which is part of what they are fighting about back in Washington.

There was the new roof atop the Woodburn Independent’s building, which tested our resiliency to put out a paper no matter what the conditions.

No wonder we lost sight of Syria at a time when so much was going on back home. So much was going on here in Woodburn, in the state and across the nation.

Don’t worry Assad. We will think of you again. Perhaps before the holidays.

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