There comes a time when a commentator has no answers, only questions.
Would President Bush remain best friends with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the United States successfully tested an anti-missile missile and prepared to abrogate the antimissile treaty?
Did China schedule the spy trial of the American professor for July 14 - the day after the Olympic site selection - as a warning, and would the scholar have been kept in jail if the decision had gone the other way?
Will China try to prevent trouble in the Taiwan Strait for the next seven years, remembering President Carter's boycott of the 1980 Moscow Games after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan?
Whatever happened to the sky-high gas prices and rolling California blackouts that were confidently predicted for this summer? And, for that matter, what happened to the budget surplus? And the economic recovery?
Do the prospects for embryonic stem-cell research promise to change the terms of national debate about birth and life so fundamentally as to threaten the erosion of the traditional right-to-life/right-of-choice lineup?
With more multiple births from fertility drugs, will some babies in the future have to be sacrificed to save others? And who will manage that triage?
Can a Wisconsin court constitutionally order a deadbeat dad to jail for violating a ban on fathering children? And where does judicial control over the right of reproduction end?
Is campaign finance reform dead forever, or can it rise again? And would it help if the House were to vote in secret like the International Olympic Committee?
Will the case of the missing intern, Chandra Levy, add a new literary form along with the "Whodunit?" - that is, the "Whodunwhat?"
These are pressing questions, I assure you, to which I would provide the answers if only I could divine them.
Daniel Schorr is a senior news analyst for National Public Radio. He recently published his memoir, 'Staying Tuned: A Life in Journalism' (Pocket).
(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor