Tag Archives: Time

They have become the face of persecuted journalists

Talk about an inspired choice.

Time magazine has unveiled its “Persons of the Year.” The lead “person of the year” is none other than Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the U.S. resident who was tortured and killed by his countrymen in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Because he gave his life reporting on and commenting on the issue of free political expression, Khashoggi has joined a group of other journalists to earn the honor bestowed by Time on those who had the most impact on the world — for better or worse.

Khashoggi, who’s been in the news quite a bit of late, has become the face and the voice of persecuted journalists around the world.

They are “The Guardians” saluted by Time. Oh, there are others worth recognizing, too.

Such as the five employees of The Capital in Annapolis, Md., who were gunned down by a madman. Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters also are the faces of persecuted journalists. The editor of the Capital made it clear that “We’re going to publish a newspaper” the next day. So they did. They carried on in memory of their slain colleagues.

Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quyhn, a Vietnamese blogger, has been calling out her government’s repression of human rights. She goes by the pen name of Mother Mushroom. She was taken captive and sentenced to 10 years in prison. However, this brave woman of letters was released. She, too, is the face and the voice of persecuted journalists.

Time magazine has held up the cudgel for journalists who seek to report on the affairs of the world, their communities and to tell the truth. They aren’t enemies of any people, although it is clear that Jamal Khashoggi was the enemy of the autocratic government that had him tortured and murdered. The CIA has put the finger on Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, who denies it. Donald Trump has sided with the prince and has disrespected the work of the CIA.

I am going to stand with Time magazine and with the men and women who have fought for — and died for — the cause of reporting the truth to their audience.

Anyone can be Person of the Year, correct?

It occurs to me that if Donald John Trump can say anything he wants, then so can the rest of us .

The president of the United States tweeted something this weekend about Time magazine considering him to be Person of the Year for 2017. Trump got the award in 2016 by virtue of his being elected president. I get why Time would bestow Person of the Year honors.

But the president didn’t really get a call from Time, the magazine’s editors apparently said. That doesn’t matter, though. Trump isn’t taking it back. He doesn’t do that kind of thing. I’m getting the idea that the nation the man was elected to lead is beginning to accept his lies. Pfft! What’s the point of calling him out?

Is he the only American who can get away with this kind of thing? Gosh, I think I’ll give this a try.

Time wanted to name me as its Person of the Year. Why little ol’ me? I guess it’s because I’m just a regular guy. I’ve been married to one woman for more than 46 years. We produced two sons. They both are successful in their respective careers. We have a lovely granddaughter. We’re getting prepared to move — hopefully soon — to relocate closer to where she lives with her parents and her two older brothers.

I think that earns me Person of the Year honors. Don’t you think? Maybe my wife and I could share it, given that our accomplishments are a joint effort. How does that sound?

Did the magazine editors actually call me? What if I say they did? They won’t dispute it. Therefore, could I get away with making it up, just like the president did?

I think I could. I just have.

Narcissist in chief is at it again

Donald John Trump Sr.’s narcissism knows no boundaries. No limits. It is beyond belief.

The narcissist in chief has tweeted out a patently ridiculous message, alleging that Time magazine offered to considering him as its 2017 Person of the Year, but that Trump declined.

He didn’t want to sit down for an interview, he said. “No thanks,” he concluded. Time declined to comment specifically on this idiocy, except to say that it doesn’t reveal its selection until it’s announced.

The then president-elect won the honor in 2016, calling it a “tremendous honor” at the time. This year, according to the World’s Most Notable Narcissist, he doesn’t have time for it.

I almost let this matter go without making any comment. Indeed, there’s really little I feel compelled to say about it, except that the president of the United States has yet again embarked on another idiotic — and quite possibly fabricated — journey of self-aggrandizement.

I believe this is what one might call “fake news.”

Time’s ‘Person of the Year’ is a no-brainer


Here it comes: a good word about Donald J. Trump.

Time magazine’s Person of the Year is the 45th president of the United States. When the magazine’s editor in chief, Nancy Gibbs, was asked this morning whether this was a difficult choice, she said that it wasn’t. It was an easy choice, given how Trump managed to win the presidency by breaking virtually every known rule of conventional political wisdom.

I happen to agree with this choice.


I’m not going to get into the discussion about how the magazine has named some pretty despicable characters as its Person of the Year. They include, say, the Ayatollah Khomeini, Adolph Hitler and Josef Stalin (twice).

It’s fairly customary for the magazine to honor newly elected presidents for this honor. So it’s no surprise that the newest elected president would get the nod as Person of the Year.

Look long and hard at virtually every aspect of Trump’s winning campaign: his lack of “ground game,” his insults, his bizarre behavior, his apparent complete ignorance of the principles of governance, the fact that the presidency is the first office he’s ever sought.

It’s good to examine what so many so-called “experts” said about his chances of being nominated, let alone being elected. He was dismissed as a joke, a circus act, a carnival barker, a huckster.

Here he now stands, ready to assume the role of commander in chief and head of state of the greatest nation on Earth.

All of that, by itself, qualifies this guy as Person of the Year.

Gibbs was right to say this was an easy call.

Now we’ll await this man’s ascension to the highest office in the land and we’ll see whether he has learned anything about the job he is about to do.

Passage of time brings more loss


When I was a good bit younger I used to chuckle at old folks who would look at newspaper obituary pages in search of their friends’ names.

Many of those old folks would joke about whether their own names were in there. “Good, not there yet,” they might say.

It’s a rite of passage. It becomes something that everyone goes through, I guess.

I’m now getting up in age myself. I don’t see the newspaper regularly, but when I do I find myself gravitating to the obit page to find names and faces I know. Sadly, those names and faces show up with increasing regularity.

Yes, time does bring about the loss of friends. And family.


I received a call this morning from my sister informing me that my wonderful Aunt Libby had died.

Elizabeth Kanelis is the fourth of my father’s generation to pass. Dad was the first, followed by his brother Tom and his sister Eileen. Libby has joined them, leaving only three of the seven siblings still with us.

Libby was one of a kind. She worked for many years for Ma Bell, aka the “Phone Company.” She left there and went back to college in her late 30s. She earned her degree — which gave her and all of us a great deal of pride — and then taught English to high school students in Portland, Ore., before retiring from that job.

She was married once — briefly — to a guy named Chuck.

I have a lot of memories of Libby while growing up. I feel compelled to share a couple of them here.

Libby was a great athlete. She played in a women’s semi-pro softball league; I’m guessing it was when she was in her 20s.

I used to play catch with her. If she came to our house, of if we gathered at my grandparents’ house, we usually found time to toss a ball around.

Whether throwing a baseball or football, Libby did not throw it “like a girl.” I’m telling you, she had an arm. She could throw a baseball as hard as any guy I ever saw and the spiral on a football she threw was tight enough to make any college or pro football player proud. She maintained her athletic prowess even as I became a teenager.

We played golf on occasion. And, oh by the way, she was no duffer.

Libby could be outspoken and blunt. That was part of her charm. She also was self-deprecating and had no trouble making fun of herself.

I didn’t hear this directly, but I got it from my other sister, who related a story Libby told about herself to my sis and her then-quite young daughter. She was talking about a cruise she had taken with one of her sisters, who — Libby said — had met this “special friend” aboard ship. My other aunt and this gentleman spent time on the ship enjoying the sights and, oh, you know …

As my sister told me the story, she remembered her daughter asking Libby, “Aunt Libby, did you meet anyone special on the ship, too?” Oh sure, Libby said. “I managed to bag a bellhop in the boiler room.”

My sister and I cannot tell that story to this day without busting out in hysterical laughter.

I took some time a few weeks ago to see Libby. I flew to Portland for the purpose of seeing her. She had suffered a stroke not long ago. Her memory wasn’t good. She had trouble constructing sentences and then uttering them. But when I walked into her room, I was heartened that she recognized me right away.

We had a wonderful visit. I just sat there and looked at her, recalling a long-ago time.

Yes, it happens to everyone. Our time on Earth comes to an end eventually.

I just wanted to introduce you to a member of my family who I loved very much and who has left me with many cherished memories.

The passage of time has this way of triggering those thoughts, too.


Person of the Year: an outstanding choice

The year 2013 could have produced a number of stunners for Time’s Person of the Year honor.

You had Edward Snowden, the former NSA leaker who’s now in Russia and hiding from U.S. prosecutors for leaking highly classified information. Snowden’s mischief changed the course of national security debate in America this year.

You also had Ted Cruz, the fiery freshman Republican senator from Texas who went to Washington promising, in effect, to shut down the process of governing. Has he sponsored any key legislation? No. But in keeping with my vow of Christmas kindness, I’ll refrain from any direct criticism until after the holiday.

Those are just two examples of individuals who changed the trajectory “for better or worse.” Hey, the magazine has named Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler and the Ayatollah Khomeini as its people of the year, for crying out loud.

Instead, the magazine went with Pope Francis I.

Great choice, given the context of his ascendancy.

Francis is the first pontiff to succeed a living predecessor in more than four centuries. He not only succeeded Benedict XVI, he has supplanted Benedict’s strict enforcement of Vatican policy with a much kinder, gentler approach to pastoring to the masses.

He’s taken the church to task for not doing enough to care for the poor; he has criticized capitalism as being too beneficial to rich people while continuing to ignore the plight of others; Francis has spoken out aggressively about how the church must cope with the child abuse scandal among Catholic clergy.

Francis lives in humble quarters, rides around in a humble car and has eschewed many of the trapping used by the earthly leader of the Catholic Church.

Francis has done all this while washing the feet of the poor, embracing — quite literally — the disfigured and the maimed among his flock.

He has brought humanity back into style as the leader of one of the world’s great Christian denominations.

Pope Francis I is the Person of the Year … without a doubt.