A Scottish Romance

A young Scottish lad and lass were sitting on a low stone wall, holding hands, gazing out over the loch. For several minutes they sat silently.

Then finally the girl looked at the boy and said, “A penny for your thoughts, Angus.”

“Well, uh, I was thinkin’… perhaps it’s aboot time for a wee kiss.”

The girl blushed, then leaned over and kissed him lightly on the cheek. Then he blushed. The two turned once again to gaze out over the loch.

Minutes passed and the girl spoke again. “Another penny for your thoughts, Angus.”

“Well, uh, I was thinkin’ perhaps it’s aboot time for a wee cuddle.”

The girl blushed, then leaned over and cuddled him for a few seconds. Then he blushed. And the two turned once again to gaze out over the loch.

After a while, she again said, “Another penny for your thoughts, Angus.”

“Well, uh, I was thinkin’ perhaps it’s aboot time you let me put my hand on your leg.”

The girl blushed, then took his hand and put it on her knee. Then he blushed. Then the two turned once again to gaze out over the loch before the girl spoke again.

“Another penny for your thoughts, Angus.”

The young man glanced down with a furled brow. “Well, noo,” he said, “my thoughts are a wee bit more serious this time.”

“Really?” said the lass in a whisper, filled with anticipation. “Aye,” said the lad, nodding.

The girl looked away in shyness, began to blush, and bit her lip in anticipation of the ultimate request.

Then he said, “Dae ye nae think it’s aboot time ye paid me the first three pennies?”

We Are Charlie: Free Speech v. Self-Censorship

Will we keep on blaming the victims? Perhaps the media assume that it is easier to force good people to keep quiet, or keep their own media offices from being attacked, than to than to tackle the problem of Islamic extremism head-on. It is easier to blame Geert Wilders, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Lars Hedegaard, Suzanne Winters, Salman Rushdie or Charlie Hebdo — and even put some of them on trial — than to attack the attackers, who might even attack back!

The press and the media seem to prefer coerced self-censorship: It is your own fault if you get hurt: none of this would be happening to you if you had only kept your mouth shut. It is easier to denigrate the people warning us about a danger than it is to address the danger they are warning us about.

Do you think a country should change its policies because segments of one community will run into newspaper offices and gun people down if you don’t?

If those in positions of influence do not deal with this problem now, we will not like those who deal with it later.

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War Risk Rises in Middle East

Iran’s weapons industries are at the service of Hezbollah, while Hezbollah tries to acquire precision-guided rockets and missiles for future attacks on strategic Israeli sites.

The Middle East is increasingly becoming an area where it is harder for actors to exercise control over their situations or to control events.

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