Stand By Me: loyalty versus all kinds of other things

Does anyone doubt that a real friend is someone who will stand by you, no matter what? Does anyone doubt that there are times to walk away from a friend? We hold both statements as self-evident truths and seldom trouble our souls with the contradiction that is implied. Yet in personal and public life weContinue reading “Stand By Me: loyalty versus all kinds of other things”

Is it an honor to be person of the year?

Watching a “year in review” news program, I was surprised to hear the comment that both Stalin and Hitler had once been named Time Magazine’s Man of the Year. No, I thought, they are making that up. It turns out that they weren’t. What’s more, Stalin actually got the title twice (in 1939 and 1942).Continue reading “Is it an honor to be person of the year?”

A Lot of Pissed-off People ………. (thoughts from Belgrade)

The city of Belgrade Serbia has been conquered 100 times since its founding in 100 BC, our guide tells us, then laughs as he offers to give us a sixty second history lesson. He begins reciting. “Romans, Byzantines…….. Turks, Hungarians, Turks, Austrians, Turks, Germans, Russians …”  Turks are clearly a big part of this recitation.Continue reading “A Lot of Pissed-off People ………. (thoughts from Belgrade)”