Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

Vicki, the Tattooed Armenian Motorcycle Chick…Needs a Break…by Robert M. Katzman

by Robert M. Katzman © June 3, 2018

A year after my wife died in 2017, I decided to get “back on the horse,” a mysterious phrase some older people say and see if I could find a new relationship online. Like I had a clue what I was doing. But after a few weeks of zero responses, late one night I got this letter from an Armenian woman Vicky with a picture of her petite self astride a very large motorcycle, saying she’d like to meet me, and against all the rules I read online that are supposed to protect women from dangerous men, she included her phone number. I waited until morning and decided to call her.

We talked for a while and it was clear very quickly from her story that while we weren’t a good match in many ways beside the motorcycle. Vicki’s life was in shambles and I got this idea that perhaps I could possibly help her by writing about her life. I’ve been so absorbed by my own loneliness and misery that it never occurred to me that I might be helpful to another person worse off than I am. In Jewish culture, this is called a “mitzvah” or a good deed. It is up to each person to decide whether to choose to help, or not. I decided to call and meet with her and see what Vicki thought about this idea, if she was comfortable meeting with me.

(Read on …)

Amazing New Development: My 10/23/07 Armenia/Turkey Story……..by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Armenia stories,Armenia-Turkey-Israel & Justice,Jewish Themes,Politics,Social Policy and Justice — Bob at 8:43 pm on Saturday, December 20, 2008

Significant Follow-up Developments Since The original Story Was written:

My story, (click on the high-lighted link below to read my original story)

The 1915 Armenian Genocide, The Turks, The Jews, America, Israel and the Only Way Out

about trying to resolve the nearly century old unresolved anger and emnity between the Armenians and the Turks, was first published fourteen months ago in October 2007.  I wrote an even-handed proposal suggesting what I felt was fair and possible to make a difference in that part of the world, but I had no real belief that anything would change.

The forces and attitudes on both sides of the historical dispute were so frozen in their positions, concerning the truth about the history of those times early in 1900, that any effort to soften all the rigidity seemed impossible for anyone to make a difference.  Then this happened:

This  difficult-to-believe story was published in The New York Times on Tuesday, December16, 2008:

Turkey: Apology for Armenian Killings

A group of about 200 prominent Turkish intellectuals issued an apology on the Internet on Monday for the World War I-era massacres of Armenians in Turkey.

The group of academics, journalists, writers and artists avoided using the contentious term “genocide,” referring to the killings of more than a million Armenians by the Ottoman Turk government from 1915 to 1918 as a “great catastrophe.”

While Turkey does not deny that many died, it has rejected the word genocide and has prosecuted people who have publicly acknowledged Turkish culpability for it.  The statement said in part:

I reject this injustice, share in the feelings and pain of my Armenian brothers, and apologize for them.”

There were no threats of legal action from the government on Monday. (Read on …)

My Thoughts About The 1915 Armenian Genocide, The Turks, The Jews, America, Israel and Perhaps a Way Out…by Robert M. Katzman

THE PROBLEM: (My perspective on this intense topic was first written on 10/23/07 and briefly updated on 12/16/08. In 2/20/12, I added significant and unexpected thoughts about where things are going and ought to go. I was originally totally neutral. Now, less so.The entire article remains intact, including critical commentary toward me, etc. I don’t matter, but I do care about increasing political insanity. Written 14 years ago, i just wanted to help.

As Theodore Roosevelt once said (at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on April 23, 1910) in effect,”If a person wants to express an opinion, get into the arena and be willing to expect the blows that follow.” Not an exact quote. Ok, I’m in the arena. Where are you?

(Original Article:)

I was wondering about the complex issue of where American Jews should stand in regards to the 1915 genocide of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Turks; Israel’s very good current military and economic relationship with Turkey; America’s military vulnerability if the Turk’s withdraw their use of Turkey as a staging area for resupplying our troops in Iraq and how can we demand the world must remember our slaughtered families and not acknowledge the Armenians frustration, anger and pain with little international recognition of their people’s losses?

Personally, I find it to be a conundrum because of the vastly evolved current circumstances from what they were 92 years ago. All positions are effectively, correct.

If we antagonize the Turks, everybody loses and the benefit to the Armenians is something that can’t be measured. If we ignore the Armenians, it undermines the Jews’ moral foundation that the World should recognize and deplore all national, religious, racial, etc. slaughter. The debate is dividing Jews from Jews and all sorts of other combinations in this country.


Not that anyone asked me, or anything like that, but after deliberating about the Turkey / Armenia nexus, I decided that the only viable way out (if I was in a position to mediate) that would leave the US –Turkey relationship intact and all that that entails and not risk American Jews causing a rift between Israel and Turkey by their support of a congressional resolution condemning Turkey for genocide in 1915, known as Nahadagas Or (Genocide Day, in Armenian) would be to drop the House resolution as a sop to Turkey, disengage the US Government from any further criticism of our current and strategic ally and have top US leaders meet in a bi-partisan effort to assuage the politically powerful and wealthy Armenian/American community.

Then what? (Read on …)