Via MT on Facebook; on the Minsk talks, see.
Friday, August 29, 2014
Thursday, August 28, 2014
In these tragic times for the people of Ukraine (not to speak of the people of Russia), I hope that Ukrainians' admirable Gogolian sense humor, as remembered by a "public diplomacy" U.S. Foreign Service officer -- who had the privilege to serve in the capital of Ukraine (93-95) ["Kiev or Kyiv (Ukrainian: Київ [ˈkɪjiw] ( listen); Russian: Киев [`kʲijɪf])"], contributing to the establishment some twenty years ago of the one and only "America House" in the former Soviet Union -- is not out of place in this blog entry.
In Ukraine, we got shock but not therapy (re Western "aid," occasionally labeled as economic "shock therapy" in the early 90s).
Here's this one about Leonid Makarovich Kravchuk (in the early 90s the first president of newly independent Ukraine):
Leonid Makarovich, an avid chess player, hears that there's now a computer chess game. Excited, he calls the Presidential Office engineer and says, "Get me a computer chess game. And I mean now!"
The engineer obliges. But Leonid Makarovich can't make heads or tails of the machine on his presidential desk. Angry, he orders his engineer at once to his Presidential Office.
"Why isn't this thing working?" Leonid Makarovich demands.
The engineer humbly replies: "Highly esteemed Leonid Makarovich, the computer works fine; it just can't figure out whether you're playing white or black."Top image from; below image (Kravchuk on the left) from
“'Nones on the Rise" (on religion in the U.S.): Note for a lecture, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United"
"Nones" on the Rise - Pew Research
OCTOBER 9, 2012