After Boston venture capitalist Mitt Romney decided last year to run for the Senate against Ted Kennedy, some members of the Romney clan suggested he read “The Senator,” a kiss–and–tell account of life with Kennedy by his former chief of staff.
Romney seemed almost embarrassed to admit that such a hardball suggestion had come from one of his own. “I don’t want personal perspective to cloud my vision of the race,” he said.
Of course, his campaign would like it known that if voters want a senator who represents the antithesis of the wild sex, drugs and other debauchery attributed to Kennedy in the book by Richard E. Burke, Romney is their man.
On the eve of his civil trial on wrongful death charges in the slaying of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, O. J. Simpson says he feels “as good about myself as I have ever felt.”
In a two–hour interview with The Boston Globe at his home in Brentwood last week, Simpson said he was at peace. And while he lamented the passing of his image as a hero and acknowledged that his days as a broadcaster and pitchman were over, he said he had received other business and acting offers.
He said he had retained no public relations consultants to try to burnish his image, nor does he intend to. Since his acquittal last October on charges he murdered his former wife and Goldman, Simpson insisted he has been almost universally well–received wherever he has gone.
On the first floor of the dank, dark and frayed Ministry of Foreign Affairs here is a huge poster of a group of Afghan tribesmen playing buzkashi, the country’s wild national game in which horsemen skirmish for possession of a headless goat carcass.
Today, after 17 years of war in which more than a million people have been killed, six million have fled and the country has been reduced to shambles, Afghanistan faces its own "buzkashi scenario." Many observers fear that the country’s militia factions, riven by seemingly intractable tribal and religious differences, will fight on indefinitely toward an uncertain finish – with the hapless nation itself becoming the goat’s carcass.
Once the fulcrum on which the final great battle of the Cold War was fought, Afghanistan and its vaunted mujahideen, the holy warriors who forced the former Soviet Union to quit the country ignominiously in 1989 after ten years, never paused to savor their triumph.
CAPE TOWN – Peter stole a bicycle from John.
Time passed. Peter said, “Let’s talk about reconciliation.”
But John replied: “I need the bike back first.”
The Rev. Mxolisi Mpambani, pastor of St. Michael’s church in the nearby township of Guguletu, told that “short story” earlier this year at a symposium here on the prospects for reconciliation in South Africa.
It remains a parable for the times, as the country digests the seminal 3,500–page report released 10 days ago by the government–appointed Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Most blacks are demanding restoration of their dignity and compensation for their suffering before they agree to reconcile with whites.
HANOI – At certain times and in certain places, Vietnam’s capital still feels like a Cold War bunker. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin himself looms over a small park in the center of Hanoi. Street–corner loudspeakers play tinny music and blare out official pronouncements. Posters and banners exhort apple–cheeked workers to give their all for the national communist good.
But walk a block or two and you will pass such emblems of capitalism as a branch of the Bank of America, a store selling TV satellite dishes, and a travel agency advertising a 12–day Las Vegas getaway for $2,199. There are even Internet Cafes. Lenin and Las Vegas – communism and capitalism – live side by side in modern Vietnam. It is not always an easy coexistence, but even diehard Marxists here believe there is no other choice. The challenge for the regime a quarter–century after its army drove out the most powerful capitalist country on earth is to change, to embrace market reforms, but in doing so, not to lose control.