Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

Letters from Europe – Covid-19 Response

Filed under: Politics — Rick at 12:13 am on Wednesday, August 12, 2020

You may not remember me since I have not posted here since December 2013. My name is Rick Munden. My wife Mary and I left the US in June 2010 to buy a sail boat in the Netherlands and explore Europe. We have been doing that for the past ten years during which time we have visited 25 countries spending six or more consecutive months in six of them.

We had already been in Lisbon, Portugal for eight months when the covid-19 pandemic broke out. I think it would be instructive for American readers to learn what that looked like from the perspective of someone in Portugal and to compare and contrast the American and Portuguese approaches to the crisis and their results. It should be noted that Portugal is a very small country with a population of about 10.5 million.

(Read on …)

The Washington Post, The Pentagon Papers & Chicago’s Bob’s Newsstand…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bob at 1:42 pm on Tuesday, July 28, 2020

The Washington Post, The Pentagon Papers, & Chicago’s Bob’s Newsstand

July 29, 2020 © by Robert M. Katzman

History matters. But this history has been unwritten, until now.

Forty-nine years ago in 1971, The Washington Post chose to publish The Pentagon Papers revealing the hidden political truth about the Vietnam War and its long-before assumed failure by successive administrations, after a lower court’s injunction against the internationally known and respected New York Times discouraged them from going beyond their first dramatic and exclusive front page story. The Post, a far smaller local newspaper barely known beyond the DC area and with much less in resources, took a big risk in deciding to continue publishing that story. That risk might have caused its extinction as a newspaper.

Thirty-five years ago today, on July 29, 1985, a certain enterprise called Bob’s Newsstand in Hyde Park near the University of Chicago–which was linked to The Washington Post in 1971 under unusual circumstances, and which also took considerable risks–closed its doors to the public 23 days short of its 20thanniversary, having been founded August 21, 1965. 

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When Being Lithuanian Wasn’t Enough…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bob at 3:32 pm on Sunday, July 12, 2020

On the eve on my 40th surgery, on my foot this time in August, I was reminded of a truly remarkable incident which occurred in mid-December, 1992. The date of the operation is significant as you will see. I was 42 at that time.

For about six months, there was at first a slight occurrence of burning in my left ankle, then that gradually increased, and since I was self-employed at that time, there was no possibility in asking for time off to find out what the problem was. After a while, by late Fall, the burning was constant and elevating my leg at work did no good. This was a mystery. I had never been injured on my ankle and was never involved with sports.

(Read on …)

Chaos: Battle Cry of the Anguished American Immigrant…by Robert M Katzman

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bob at 10:27 am on Monday, June 1, 2020

Battle Cry of an Anguished American Immigrant

By Robert M. Katzman 

(Originally written in 2008, it fits the terrible times of today. I hope people will read these thoughts and share them, if they in someway represent your own passions, frustrations and aspirations for this incredible country)


To me, being an American is an idea.

A concept.

An agreement of equals.

A willingness to tolerate the differences in others

A celebration of the beauty of cultural diversity.

While maybe originally, ours was a government,

            “Of the Protestants, By the Protestants and For the Protestants”

We’re bigger than that today.  A numerically insignificant People like my own family, Jews, now represent less than 2% of the total American population, but I believe that our Constitution includes me when I read it.  I don’t live in fear, here. 

(Read on …)

Remembrances of a Mother I Didn’t Know…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bob at 5:12 am on Sunday, May 10, 2020

By Robert M. Katzman © September 11, 2010

Originally written a decade ago to comfort a good friend on the loss of her mother who lived in another country. But the meaning is so universal, I decided that others may take comfort from it as well. If you happen to know someone who will appreciate these carefully chosen words, please tell them to come read my poem.  


Mothers can be 

Far away


Deep within you


The same time

They are

Like the Sun


You rotate

Around them

(Read on …)

Irving Katzman’s 70th Birthday, the Dead Man Who “Spoke” to Him and the Son Who Could Not…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bob at 12:11 pm on Friday, May 8, 2020

Irving Katzman’s 70th Birthday, the Dead Man Who “Spoke” to Him an the Son Who Could Not

by Robert M. Katzman © May 8, 2020

Now that I’m 70 years old myself, I think it’s time to tell this unusual story, because at this point, 38 years after my father Israel’s 70thbirthday on September 21, 1982, there is virtually no one else left to tell it. Not every family story is worth remembering, but this one is. First, a brief chronology: 

My Father’s Father, Jacob Katzman, a carpenter born in 1882 in Megilev-on-the-Dnieper River in Byelorussia (who was 70 himself in 1952), was one of only four boys born into my family since that date, until 1978. Israel-1912; his brother Milton 1916; myself-1950 and my son David (now Konee)-1978. It was rare for all four of us to be together in one room, but we were in 1982 at my Father’s 70th birthday party. My Grandfather Jacob, was dead since 1961, Milton was 66, I was 32 and Konee was 4.

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