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  1. On Germany and Russia, one century apart

    I wrote this piece in 2014 and posted it here. Somehow, it has disappeared. It has not aged poorly.

    As we approach the centenary of the beginning of WWI, it perhaps may be a good time to check if the lessons of the past have been learned by many of its protagonists. Specially those that lost.
    To recap. On November 11, 1918, after 4 years of conflict, the Central Powers of Germany and the Austro-Hungarian empire conceded defeat to the Allies, ending a war of 9 ...
  2. Equal Treatment

    During the men’s semifinals at Wimbledon, an incident took place on this forum when one member expressed his disagreement with the idea of equal pay. While perhaps he could have been more elegant on his selection of how to phrase his idea that women do not deserve the same financial rewards as men, his opinion is not only personal and valid, it is one shared by many (although not openly in this forum).
    However, this piece is not expected to settle such a complex issue. What brings me forth ...
  3. The loneliest drive. II

    The man I reached was un-doubtfully my brother. In mind. His body now betraying him was growing hollow, just what remained of a life. I reached his bed and sat next to him. I took his hand, not a handshake but a wrestling grip, and warned him I would ask him the stupidest question in his life.
    “How do you feel?”
    He smiled and said “I feel like dying”. And then he added “and that is not the stupidest thing you have asked me”.
    His brain, plagued by little tumors, was still able ...

    Updated 02-11-2018 at 05:16 PM by ponchi101

  4. The loneliest drive. I

    The message was too blunt and direct to mean anything that would be good. “Call A. Urgent”. I had received messages like that before but always with a disclaimer or a little smiling emoji. There was nothing to soften this one.
    I called my niece A and got the news. My brother G had been taken to the hospital early in the morning and the initial exams were dire. Cancer. And it had spread considerably.
    The initial prognosis sound terrible, which was confirmed a few hours later. Stage ...
  5. Nightmare

    The nightmare is in layers.
    I am sleeping, easily. Next to me, M sleeps also. She is, like I am, prone to nightmares. I can feel in the darkness that she is stirring, a sign that a bad dream is going on. I can feel her moving, wrestling with her bad dream. It has happened before, so I do what I always do: I put my hands around her and try to hush her. What I always do, in these cases, is to hold her, caress her forehead with my hand and tell her “Now, now, it’s over”. I do that.
    But ...
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