EIGHINGER: More things change, more they stay the same

Posted: Feb. 26, 2013 8:30 pm Updated: Mar. 26, 2013 10:15 pm


I've always been a firm believer in the universally accepted truth -- well, in my universe, anyway -- that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

And so every so often I like to present proof.

Let's take five hot topics of the day, and then I'll show you that 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 years ago we were dealing with the very same kind of problems or instances.

10 years ago: The United States and Iraq were butting heads over alleged weapons of mass destruction. We said they had them, Iraq said it did not. We all know what eventually happened.

Today: The United States and Iran are butting heads over the same thing. There's no argument this time over whether or not the weapons exist, only what they are there for. Iran says the weapons are not designed to be used for mass destruction, but we disagree. Care to wager on what this end game will be?

20 years ago: Most of the country east of the Mississippi River was dealing with the "Great Blizzard of 1993. This storm complex was massive, affecting at least 26 U.S. states and much of eastern Canada. Bringing cold air along with heavy precipitation and hurricane force winds, it caused a blizzard over much of the area it affected, including thundersnow from Texas to Pennsylvania and widespread whiteout conditions. Snow fell as far south and east as Jacksonville, Fla.

Today: I think anyone reading this can probably fill in the blank.

30 years ago: Some guy named Giovanni Vigliotto was sentenced to a combined 34 years in prison by a court in Arizona on assorted charges for marrying 105 women in 14 countries.

Today: We have "Sister Wives," a reality television series broadcast on TLC that documents the life of a polygamist family, which includes patriarch Kody Brown, his four wives and their 17 children. The family began the series living in Utah, but has since moved to Las Vegas, Nevada. Brown and his wives have said they participated with the show "to make the public more aware of polygamist families and to combat societal prejudices."

Brown believes his polygamist arrangement is legal because he is legally married only to one woman, and the other marriages are "spiritual unions." The bottom line is the series led the Brown family to become investigated for possible prosecution.

40 years ago: President Richard Nixon made huge news by visiting mainland China in an effort to establish "liaison offices" between the two countries. China was not much more than a blip at the time on the global economic radar.

Today: China is now a major player on just about every world financial stage, owns more than 20 percent of U.S. debt, is killing us in areas such as trade deficit and its economy is predicted to surpass that of the United States by 2030. Maybe we would have been served better if Nixon had stayed home. (A bright side? We can still beat them in baseball.)

50 years ago: Iron Man debuted in Marvel Comics' Tales of Suspense No. 39.

Today: The Iron Man movies starring Robert Downey Jr. are one of the most popular superhero film franchises.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.