(Sydney) Ranking sixth among the world’s geographical behemoths—behind Russia, Canada, China, United States, and Brazil—Australia at 2.9 million square miles is almost identical in size and similar in shape to America’s original forty-eight states.
Very sparsely populated like neighboring New Zealand Australia’s population of twenty–two million is smaller than Texas. By reason of limited access to scarce water resources 90% of Australians are concentrated on just 2.6% of the country’s real estate. Continue reading
(Boston) Beyond the extravagantly and justly praised Lincoln the best of the holiday movies is the riveting Ben Affleck vehicle Argo based on the true story of the daring rescue of six American Embassy employees hiding in the Canadian Embassy during the 1979 Teheran Hostage Crisis.
When questioned by Secretary of State Cyrus Vance about alternatives to the bizarre scheme of creating a fake Hollywood movie as a cover for the escape the CIA agent who would lead the rescue (Affleck) replies: “There are no good ideas, sir. Only bad ones but this is the least bad one” while making clear that doing nothing would be worse still. Continue reading
(Centennial Fellow)In the aftermath of every Republican Presidential defeat in the last half century the Democrats aided and abetted by the “mainstream” media have declared the GOP to be dead, on the “wrong side of history’’ and about to disappear like the Whigs.
The template for this tactic was set following Lyndon Johnson’s thrashing of Barry Goldwater in 1964. Continue reading
(San Francisco) In America in general and this Magical City in particular some things haven’t changed at all since November 6th. The porterhouse down at John’s Grille on Ellis, and the salmon at the Tadich Grille over on California is as good as ever. Biking from Fishermans’s Wharf through the Presidio up onto and across the Golden Gate Bridge still offers one of the world’s most spectacular panoramas of land and sea. A solitary Kayak excursion out on the Bay watched by the occasional curious seal still confers a special serenity. An early morning walk through the cool ground fog enshrouded Muir Woods amidst towering thousand year old Giant Redwoods remains an almost spiritual perspective on the meaning of Time. A reunion with children long absent in faraway places is a reminder that the fundamental things in life still apply. Continue reading
(New York City) This city was diverse before diversity was cool. It embodies the Melting Pot. It was what Emma Lazarus was seeing when she penned those immortal words that adorn the Lady with the Lamp in the city’s harbor. It is all about those “teeming masses yearning to be free”.
Today I followed what has been an unvarying ritual through all of the decades I have loved this city. Continue reading
(Boston) If a traveler would discern in a single place in a single day the origin and meaning of these United States of America, no better setting could be found than this city’s justly famed Freedom Trail. Along the winding cobblestone streets and adjacent harbor that George III decried as a ”hotbed of sedition and treason” one can trace the footsteps of Paul Revere, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Paine, Samuel Adams, and many others who prepared the way for Revolution and Independence. Continue reading
(Nantucket) For years the Fog Island Diner has been a rendezvous for early risers who enjoy sitting around drinking coffee, maybe trying one of Bessie’s famous omelets, and discussing the “Great Questions of the Day” while waiting for the morning papers to arrive from the Airport.
A fascinating topic of late has been the discovery by a local salvage firm of a long lost German submarine – the U-550 Continue reading
(Salem, Massachusetts) Weather allowing, Salem is a fairly short and pleasant sailing trip from Boston to the Bay State’s rocky North Shore. If a visitor has history on his mind, there is virtue in perusing Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables or Jonathan Edwards fiery sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”. Continue reading
(Boston) If one can tear oneself away from the alternately hilarious and shameful struggles of Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren to substantiate her elusive Cherokee heritage, there is a related but much more important story regarding race, and that is the obsessive quest of the American Left to persuade their countrymen that they are soon to be part of a “minority dominant” nation with wonderful political consequences flowing therefrom (i.e. a permanent Democratic majority). Continue reading
(St. Petersburg, Russia) The French and Greek elections of May 6, 2012 signify the beginning of the end for the “Europe Project”. The competing visions of two remarkable Frenchmen – Jean Monnet and Charles De Gaulle – have been decisively resolved in favor of the latter.
Nearly seventy years ago in the wake of two catastrophic world wars, Monnet became known as the “Father of Europe” by advocating a unified destiny for his battered continent. Continue reading