Jim Taylor's Columns - 'Soft Edges' and 'Sharp Edges'

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3

May

2022

Easter isn’t about eggs and bunnies

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday April 17, 2022

 

The sun has not yet risen.  It’s Sunday morning. A small group of Jewish women straggle along a path towards a cliffside cemetery outside the city walls. Gravel crunches under their sandals. Their breath makes little clouds in the chilly morning air. 


 ***************

The sun has not yet risen.  It’s Sunday morning. A small group of Ukrainian women creep from the underground bunker where they have been imprisoned for the last few days. Even underground, they could feel the earth tremble aa bombs showered on the city above them. 

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Categories: Sharp Edges

Tags: Easter, Ukraine, women

29

Mar

2022

Two men, two statues, a taste of history

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday March 13, 2022

 

I love coincidences. Today’s coincidence is the name Volodymyr. Or Vladimir, if you prefer the anglicized Russian spelling. As a person who intuitively roots for underdogs, I’ll use the Ukrainian spelling. But it’s the same thing, either way. 

            There are four Volodymyrs involved in this coincidence. 

            There’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the comedian with no political experience who came out of nowhere to become Ukraine’s president, and has since shown himself to have leadership qualities many other nations might envy.

            There’s Volodymyr Putin – yes, same name, but usually with a  different spelling – who sees the burgeoning democracy led by Zelenskyy as a threat and wants to take Ukraine back into Mother Russia.

 

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12

Mar

2022

Two men, two statues, a taste of history

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday March 6, 2022

 

I love coincidences. Coincidences are like bits of information floating on an ocean of meaninglessness until they drift up onto a beach and a passer-by – me – fits them into some kind of pattern. 

            Today’s coincidence is the name Volodymyr. Or Vladimir, if you prefer the anglicized Russian spelling. As a person who intuitively roots for underdogs, I’ll use the Ukrainian spelling. But it’s the same thing, either way. 

            There are four Volodymyrs involved in this coincidence. 

            There’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the comedian with no political experience who came out of nowhere to become Ukraine’s president, and has since shown himself to have leadership qualities many other nations might envy.

            There’s Volodymyr Putin....


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6

Mar

2022

If shunning doesn’t work, why do we keep doing it?

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday March 6, 2022

 

The last two weeks, I’ve tried to keep up with the changing scene in Ukraine, and our reactions to it. First, Russian forces were merely threatening to invade Ukraine. Then they invaded, but ostensibly to enable two eastern regions to breakaway from the rest of Ukraine. Then they clearly invaded all of Ukraine, from the north, east and south. 

            I’m shocked. Appalled. Disgusted with Vladimir Putin. 

            Let me be clear -- I am 100% opposed to the Russian invasion. 

            I’m less confident about the effectiveness of the western deterrents. 


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26

Feb

2022

Personal stories trump international news

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday February 27, 2022

 

Two important things happened on Tuesday February 22. 

            On the international scene, Vladimir Putin thumbed his nose at world opinion and declared two sections of eastern Ukraine “independent states.” The next day, he sent “peacekeeping” troops across the border to invade Ukraine. 

            The second event? I had to have my dog euthanized. 

            Guess which event I will remember for the rest of my life. You’re right. The personal always trumps the universal.


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6

Feb

2022

Ukraine crisis: the prequels

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday January 22, 2022

 

Let’s set the scene, first. 

            A country long considered a satellite state, almost a colony, of a nuclear superpower changes its government. The new government rejects its former connections with the superpower, and tries to build an alliance with an opposing superpower. 

            The first superpower feels threatened. It masses its armed forces close to the offending nation. It threatens to restore the previous status quo by force.

            Meanwhile, the other nuclear superpower ships heavy weapons to its new ally. 

            Nuclear war seems imminent.

            You probably think I’m writing about the current situation in Ukraine. I'm not. I’m describing the Cuban Missile Crisis. 


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