When I was 13 years old, I visited Washington, D.C., with my grandparents as guests in my great-aunt's home in Arlington, Va.
In the 1960s, I attended a conference for academics in the State Department building in Washington, D.C. The main address was by Vice President Hubert Humphrey, who outlined a number of expensive foreign aid programs being studied for possible implementation. After his talk, he opened the floor to questions from the audience.
The dispute between Israel and its Muslim neighbors is very complex and dates back about 4,000 years. According to the Bible (and parts of the Quran), Abram (later renamed Abraham) was a successful family man living around 2,000 B.C. in what is now Iraq.
When the 10 or more terrorists stormed into Mumbai, India, their three-day rampage was yet another outrage in a stream of wars between India and Pakistan. It follows clashes in 1947, 1965 and 1999, plus individual border incidents in the state of Kashmir, which is divided between Pakistan in the northwest and India to the southwest.
fThe question of the demise of capitalism in our country has at least three answers: Yes, maybe or no.
In early November, I joined three friends undertaking a week's tour by bus and train to visit the Copper Canyon in Mexico.
The election of Barack Obama has changed race relations in our country and maybe for other countries as well.
The presidential campaign has lasted more than a year and a half. To me, it seems much longer. And like many Americans I am glad it ends on Nov. 4. Looking at the process, I can make some observations.
The current economic crisis has demonstrated that we have a major disconnect between the people and our president, senators and representatives. We desperately need some leader to break out of the sound bites and spin control of statements that makes them mostly empty.
In the period right after World War II ended, I was a student at the University of Virginia. One of my most challenging teachers was a professor of economics, David McCord Wright, before he moved to teach here in Georgia. His basic lectures on the nature of the economic system of our country and the other countries of the world stayed with me.
Perhaps the most confusing part of the presidential nomination and election process is the way the actual conventions are run. The process starts in Iowa and New Hampshire. In Iowa, party members meet in homes or offices to cast their vote for their choice by moving to join like-minded members in one corner of the room. This vote is not secret, and other people in the room might try to argue that a member should change and join them to support their candidate.
The problems facing our government are not just leadership, although our political leaders do influence the way we seek answers to our problems. I think the most important sources of current problems are institutional rather than personal.
My two visits to Georgia with students during the Cold War days do not make me an expert on that country. But I do have very fond memories of what I learned from the Georgian people I met.
The sudden death of Tim Russert has caused many people to think about the reality of death. Recently, I have been to several funerals and the one common thread in all of them was that everyone is terminal. It is ultimate equality that everybody dies, rich or poor, black or white. After death, there is no chance to listen to a person for any comment that should have been expressed before the person left us behind.
When I announced to my friends, associates and relatives that I was going to spend two weeks in Mongolia to be present when my grandson, Mark, marries a beautiful Mongolian named Miigaa, about half of them asked where Mongolia was.