They only served the law – “Justice” as a political weapon.

When Stalin wanted to get rid of his political rivals or just of people he feared or disliked, he often sent agents of the secret state police, the Наро́дный комиссариа́т вну́тренних дел (NKVD), a euphemism, meaning People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs. Mostly, the person he disapproved of would just be arrested, whisked away, and executed in a dark cell of the Lubyanka prison or disappeared in a Siberian GULAG.

But eventually, Stalin wanted something more spectacular. A procedure that would crush and destroy his adversary and mark him in the eyes of the Soviet population and the global public (the world press) as a common criminal, whose destruction is well deserved by his unlawful actions. This was typically accomplished by a political show trial.

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Motorcycle Riding – a Moving Addiction

I have been riding motorcycles since I was 16. Since then, there have not been two consecutive years in my life when I did not own and ride a motorcycle. I had them all. BMW, Zündapp, NSU, Horex, Münch, Laverda, Benelli, Moto Guzzi, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki, you name them, and of course, Harley-Davidson. I went through rigorous training in Germany, where my Yugoslav riding teacher even taught me how to act in the event the bike slips on slick autumn leaves or on wet cobble stones. I am now 83. I never had a serious accident, and I am still riding my Harley-Davidson Softail Heritage Custom 200th Anniversary Edition.

I ask myself often: why am I still doing this? It is clearly dangerous, and I know I should quit and yet I would rather sacrifice a few years of my life than give up motorcycle riding. Stupidity? Old-age blockheadedness? Lack of responsibility? Give me liberty or give me death?

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Christian Non-Violence and the Sermon of the Mount

During the Sermon of the Mount Jesus is reported to have said this:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.”

This passage has been interpreted in many different ways.

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What is Hamas?

Hamas is an Islamist militant movement and one of the Palestinian territories’ two major political parties. It governs more than two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, but the group is best known for its armed terrorist actions against Israel.

Hamas has fired rockets and mortars into Israel since the group took over the Gaza Strip in the mid-2000s. Iranian security officials have said that Iran provided some of these weapons, but that Hamas gained the ability to build its own missiles after training with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and proxies.

In recent years, Israel estimated that Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups in Gaza had about thirty thousand rockets and mortars in their arsenal. Hamas militants have flown balloons carrying incendiary devices toward Israel, which have sometimes caused fires. The group has also carried out incursions into Israeli territory, killing and kidnapping soldiers and civilians.

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