Bernard Goetz — Remember Him?

Bernard Goetz shot a number of men who had cornered him on a train.  Race, class, education; all of the zeitgeist hot buttons were at play.  We’ve spent nearly forty years hearing A) nothing or B) condemnation of Goetz.  Those who lived through the coverage at the time (me), who were old enough to really consider the arguments at play (me, not so much), and who at any rate were paying attention (definitely not me) will probably have a different memory of the thing than those who have learned of it more recently, or less directly.

Bernard Goetz insisted on testifying/confessing because he wanted to make his argument.... [Read More]


Ali at the P.O.

Ali is a damn good engineer. He is a Turkish immigrant. While he was raising a family he could only afford to go home every other year for a visit. He would send the wife and kids over for three or four weeks during summer vacation. He would go join them for the second half of the time, so he could fly back together with them. A few days after he returned from one of those trips, I got a chance to ask him about the trip. He told me a few interesting things. Then, about a month later, we had one of our delightful political discussions, and it prompted him to tell me a story.

I had asked if he would want to retire back to Turkey some day. He snorted. “No.”... [Read More]