Category World Affairs

Are The Experts Wrong?

“If I were running oil and gas for the U.S., I would leave most of the oil we have here and pay whatever the Arabs charge for their oil and conserve my own….I think it’s going to be very precious stuff over the next 200 years.” – Charlie Munger What do you think of that […]

I’m Not A Doctor…

Back in the 1980s there was a television ad, for cough syrup, I think, featuring an actor who said “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on television.” It was as if TV conveyed authority and expertise.  We know it doesn’t. If it did, reality television star Donald Trump would have done a much […]

Hey John

The war in Ukraine has been taking up much of my thoughs these days. I have friends who have fled Kyiv for their safety, leaving some family members behind. I have several unfinished posts reflecting on the situation and the global politics involved. At one time, I worked for a Member of Parliament who was […]

It’s Not The Bad Guys…

… who worry me, but the good guys. People who are obviously evil don’t last long. Dictators like Hitler or Stalin may have a short run, but in the end they are removed from power. What I fear more are the self-righteous, those sure their cause is just, and apparently unable to understand why anyone […]

Pictures of Leadership

There’s a lot I could say about Russia’s cowardly attack on Ukraine. I’ll save that for another day. I saw this graphic last night and was struck by what it says about leadership. There might be fewer wars if those in charge had to go into battle themelves.

The Ruined Palace

A flashback for this Wednesday, from a trip I took to Iraq in 2015. Somehwere I think I still have a couple of posts written at the time that still haven’t been published. The Peshmerga guards ask if we would like some tea. I don’t drink hot drinks, but I know it would be culturally […]

Never Say Never

I spent a good chunk of the weekend feeling uneasy. I blame the novel I was reading. Never, the new book from Ken Follett is a topical modern-day thriller. Follet made his reputation with thrillers, then expanded into historical blockbusters, and it is nice to see he hasn’t lost his touch. When you think of […]

Timelines of History

You’ve heard it said: those who don’t learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it. Did you have that feeling yesterday? Here’s a timeline from the past: On March 7, 1936, the German military, at the command of Chancellor Adolf Hitler, moved into the demilitarized Rhineland. Britain and France scolded. On March 12, […]

2021 In Review: Hagia Sophia Frescoes

We start our review of 2021 today with the tenth most popular post of the year. It is an enduring favorite since it was first published here in 2015, and in 2020 was the most popular post. Sometimes I can’t figure out why a post becomes popular, but I understand the interest in the Hagia […]

Is It Jealousy?

There has been a fuss this week over the Pandora Papers, as there was over the Panama Papers a few years back. Now we know where the rich and famous are doing their banking. I’m not sure I understand why this is news. That people of means use banking havens to avoid paying taxes is […]