Tomas Masaryk and Czechoslovakian Independence 100 Years Ago

Few people are aware that, implausibly, Czechoslovak independence was declared from Philadelphia 100 years ago.  That’s because Tomas Masaryk, the father of the new state, was in the U.S. seeking support from President Woodrow Wilson as world war one was winding down Masaryk was born in 1850 to a Czech mother and a Slovak father who was a coachman on a Hapsburg estate in Moravia. … Continue reading Tomas Masaryk and Czechoslovakian Independence 100 Years Ago

Latvia: Success at a Price

RIGA: On this 10thanniversary of the U.S. triggered global crisis, spare a thought for lightly populated Latvia, the Baltic nation in Europe’s far northeast. Over-confident from a get rich quick, multi-year property boom, the global crisis struck Latvia with unanticipated force. Citizens and government were ill prepared for the disaster. Economic activity slowed at once. Swedish banks that dominated local credit markets closed the lending … Continue reading Latvia: Success at a Price

Please, Mr. Bezos, Don’t Bring Amazon HQ 2 to the DC Area

WASHINGTON, DC/SEPTEMBER 10, 2018:  Rumors persists that when Amazon chief Jeff Bezos visits Washington this week he is likely to announce that northern Virginia will be the site of Amazon’s second headquarters. Let’s hope this is NOT the case. Other cities among the 20 finalists for Amazon’s HQ 2 need the promised economic stimulus of 50,000 new jobs and $5 billion of investment. Metropolitan Washington … Continue reading Please, Mr. Bezos, Don’t Bring Amazon HQ 2 to the DC Area

Wisdom from Buffett and Munger in Omaha

OMAHA, NEBRASKA: The U.S. and China will pull back from having a trade war predicts Warren Buffett, the sage of Omaha. Speaking at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting, Buffett said “the U.S. and China are going to be the two super-powers of the world, economically… we will have disagreements but the benefits (of the trade relationship) are huge and the world is dependent on it in … Continue reading Wisdom from Buffett and Munger in Omaha

Crossing the USA by Amtrak

Start with this simple truth: crossing the country by train is an adventure. Whether you’re out to see the country in a relaxed manner or avoid the hassles of flying or driving, a train journey will be an adventure. As soon as train wheels begin to turn you’re in a different environment. There are revelations for first timers. Whether in coach or sleeper, you’re close … Continue reading Crossing the USA by Amtrak

Despite Flaws, Russia’s Election is Important

  In August 1991 reporter David Remnick stood in the crowd outside the Russian parliament when Boris Yeltsin mounted a tank to denounce an attempted coup that would have brought back communism. On that day, Remnick writes in Lenin’s Tomb, “Muscovites were prepared to die for democratic principles.” Twenty-seven years later democratic principles are in short supply. Russians vote for president on March 18th in … Continue reading Despite Flaws, Russia’s Election is Important