Trikiri, The Pillion, Greece – June 15, 2008: Kiriaki is a small cove three hundred meters below the village of new Trikiri at the far tip of the Pillion.  It is a small fishing village with a working harbor and busy little shipyard. The village will be ruined soon by the new road just built to it with tourist bus parking at the edge of town and all thanks to EU money.  But for the moment only adventurous foreigners make it here.  The village is still fairly isolated.  I am told electricity arrived here in the 1970s and a small winding road from Trikiri opened the town up in the early 80s.

Paris — Once again the question of law and an individual’s right to privacy is taking center stage in France where the media hungry President Nicolas Sarkozy and his top model girlfriend are suing Ryanair for using their photo in a print advertisement. 

Merry Christmas to the four billion people in the world living on less than four dollars a day.  Merry Christmas to the hundreds of thousands, soon to become millions, of home owners heading to the streets in the sub-prime crisis. Merry Christmas to the forty-seven million Americans without health insurance. Merry Christmas to all the privileged people who have to work for peanuts and then die when they reach the age of retirement if they have a retirement system which will give them less than they need to eat anyway. 

And a Jolly ho-ho-ho to all those on Wall Street and the City who are collecting multi million dollar bonuses for a job well done destroying our world’s economy.  Season’s Greetings to those who send out people strapped with bombs to blow up busy markets.  And to American fighter jet pilots who never get to see the collateral damage.

Paris – France : In 1997, a very stubborn French Doctor in a State run hospital did not give up looking. When endoscopies and ultra-sounds turned up no explanation for the severe pancreatitis I suffered from, he sent me to a ‘private’ clinic specialized in invasive procedures.  There they found the tumor in my pancreas and four days later the doctor in the public hospital conducted the queen of all operations: a whipple.  It did not cost me a penny to save my life!

The worst thing Bill Clinton did was not receiving oral pleasure from Monica. It was not bombing a pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum. Perhaps not even letting al-Qaeda and the Taliban grow, nor even maintaining an embargo on Iraq, which killed some 500 thousand people through lack of medicine and food. No, the worst thing he did may well be messing with the Balkans and backing ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.