From the many news stories my eyes have seen in the past few days, these items come to mind for brief comment.


From the many news stories my eyes have seen in the past few days, these items come to mind for brief comment:

In The New York Times, a front page, top-of-the fold article reports that an “Unlikely Tutor” is giving military advice to U.S. forces in Afghanistan. That tutor is Greg Mortenson, author of the book “Three Cups of Tea,” which tells how he gained the confidence of people in Pakistan and Afghanistan by building relationships with village leaders based on trust and respect.

Mortenson has a follow-up book published last year and now being read widely, “Stones into Schools — Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

Mortenson believes that the war in Afghanistan ultimately will not be won with guns and air strikes, but with books, notebooks and pencils. He stresses in particular the education of girls, something that by custom has not been a practice in Afghanistan.

But following this idea of learning the local culture and re-acting accordingly is something that takes time and new thinking. This is not a conventional war.

*****

It’s tempting to say something about the land deal in Milford involving former Gov. Ruth Ann Minner and Christopher Tigani of the N.K.S. liquor distributing company. But with the investigation about the whole affair still in progress I think it is better to hold off.

Something is amiss, that’s clear. The question is: How much? And also: Are there any other questionable deals in the state not yet uncovered?

*****

An underdog winning a major golf tournament — perhaps the world’s most distinguished such tourney  — is a big story, one which gets the attention of non-golfers as well as those who play the game.

But when the winner trounces a big batch of the best golfers in the world, and you have never heard this guy’s name before, much less are able to pronounce it, that’s a major story indeed.

Louis Oosthuizen, 27, performed the remarkable feat. From now on, his name will be immediately recognizable although still unpronounceable.

*****

One of the unusual facts about the oil well disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is that the well head is a mile deep. Just imagining water that deep is difficult.

But another valuable resource — platinum — is sought in mines that are also a mile deep, and in hard rock besides. Miners in South Africa go to that depth to get the mineral valued for use in jewelry and catalytic converters.

That’s an even tougher assignment.