This extraordinary photo is of the two Finance Coordinators of the 2003 meeting of the governing boards for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, held this week in Dubai. Geetha Ezhuvath is on the left. She is not a Moslem. Sara Al Kaabi on the right, most obviously is.
It is impossible for the ordinary human mind to fully grasp the evil of Joseph Stalin. He purposefully engineered the starving to death of over ten million people in Ukraine. In terms of mass murder, Stalin's Ukrainian Holocaust was an even greater crime than Hitler's Jewish Holocaust. Millions more were hauled off to be enslaved and die in the Gulag, or tortured and shot for the slightest suspicion of anything Stalin was suspicious of. Many of his closest deputies were ordered to put their parents, wives, or children to death to prove their loyalty. Yet this tyranny, this monstrous evil, is not a mystery. Evil exists, deeply embedded in certain human souls. That isn't mysterious; it is a basic fact of human society. The true mystery is why and how such is evil is tolerated. Stalin tyrannized the Soviet Union for thirty years. In all those years, there is not one single known attempt on his life. Not one. Which then, is the greater depravity: Stalin killing people, or no one killing him? The former, of course. Evil itself is the greater evil -- but toleration of it is the greater mystery.
I recently received a very kind letter from ToThePointer Hagan Hetz, of the famous Fairview Evergreen Nurseries in Pennsylvania (www.fairviewevergreen.com). He wanted to know what I thought of President Bush's September 7 address to the nation on Iraq. OK, Hagan, here it goes. While listening to GW, I was thinking about Alberto Fujimori.
I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer. The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance…
Earlier this week I had lunch with one of the most extraordinary human beings gracing our planet -- His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Our gracious hosts were Lalit Mansingh, Indian Ambassador to the US, and his wife Indira at their Residence in Washington. I congratulated Ambassador Mansingh on his country being a sanctuary where Tibetan culture and religion still freely flourishes, such as in the regions of Ladakh and Zanskar.
[Editor's Note: Last Tuesday night, September 9, a Palestinian suicide-terrorrist set off a bomb at Cafe Hillel in Jerusalem. The following was written by Jan Medved, an Israeli businessman whose son was one of the first upon the scene.] Last night's terror struck close to home. The boom of the blast at Cafe Hillel on Emek Refaim Street shook the windows of our house and left no doubt that we were hit again -- this time in our own neighborhood.
When Albert Einstein wrote and offered his initial papers on the Special Theory of Relativity in 1905, he was an unknown clerk in the Swiss Patent Office with no academic credentials. Needless to say, for established professional physicists, the overthrow of the principles upon which their lives' work was based by a 26 year-old kid nobody every heard of did not go over too well.So almost 100 years later, here comes another kid, a high school dropout no less, who may impact 21st Century science the way Einstein did the 20th. Peter Lynds, a 27 year-old broadcasting school tutor from Wellington, New Zealand, may change the way that we think about time and its relationship to classical and quantum mechanics and cosmology.
Last month, in the August 18/25 issue, The New Republic (TNR) magazine ran a cover story which focused on my role in creating the Reagan Doctrine, which contributed to the downfall of the Soviet Union. While not critical of me directly, the article criticizes the leaders of the anti-Soviet freedom fighter movements the Reagan Doctrine supported. This is supposed to serve as a warning to the Bush White House regarding putative support for anti-radical movements within the Moslem world. Here is my response. We'll see what TNR does with it.
You know I'm not Jewish. And I'm not a supporter of Israel for Millennial Christian reasons (e.g., Jews have to get the Holy Land back before there can be a Second Coming). I support Israel because I support Western Civilization, of which Israel is a part and because of which she is under attack. And also because I think proto-hominids who slaughter women and babies on purpose have no right to exist.
As we come to the end of summer, it is time to take our minds off Middle East maelstroms, California circuses, and world craziness in general, and spend time instead on a summer soliloquy.
For some time now, my youngest son Jackson and I have been embarked on a project we call his “Nifty Fifty.” That is, for him to travel to and learn something really interesting about each of all fifty American states.
Jackson is now 11 years old. He has been with me twice around the world and to the North Pole three times. He has been 2,000