Kathy Krajco is a tennis pro and writer/editor who owns OperationDoubles.com. She has lived her whole life in the Upper Midwest of the United States. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a major in biology and a minor in English, and from Vic Braden's United States Tennis Academy in California. Formerly Kathy taught high-school science for 16 years while managing a public waterfront during the summer. She blogs at At the Zoo.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Dante Alighieri really stands the test of time in my book. Though he and I no longer share the same beliefs, I still find the Divine Comedy, especially the Inferno, profound.
What are you reading at the moment? > Something from the early 1980s - Jan Sejna's We Will Bury You: The Soviet Plan for the Subversion of the West by the Highest Ranking Communist Ever to Defect.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > It's a toss-up between The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. The former really moved me.
What is your favourite movie? > Lawrence of Arabia. Partly because of the splendid dialogue - so elegantly constructed. Not one wasted word. A masterpiece. Wonderful in all other respects too.
Who is your favourite composer? > Mozart. (Also Bob Dylan and U2.)
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > Yes, the big one. Took years of wrestling with it, but this former true believer is an atheist.
Who are your political heroes? > Anwar Sadat. Also our founding fathers and Abraham Lincoln. I don't consider President Bush a hero in most regards, but the abuse he bears up under makes me really admire his fortitude.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Relieve legislators of the financial burden of raising so much money for political campaigns. The need to raise thousands of dollars a day threatens the integrity of the cleanest system in the world.
If you could choose anyone, from any walk of life, to be President, who would you choose? > I prefer no American to George W. Bush. But can we have Tony Blair, please? In a different way, Jose Maria Aznar really impresses me too.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Islamofascism, which is so unopposed by a billion Muslims that I fear it's sweeping up Arab Muslims en masse the way Hitler's fascism did.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > I suppose that civilization, like the stock market, has its ups and downs along the way, but on the whole the best is surely yet to come.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Anyone who lies to himself is his own worst enemy.
Do you think you could ever be married to, or in a long-term relationship with, someone with radically different political views from your own? > I don't see why not - so long as that person doesn't make out people on the other side are evil. I hate that.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Hamlet's - honesty. Which translates into good faith, honour/respect.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > The opposite, as with narcissists: intellectual dishonesty, hypocrisy, infidelity/disrespect.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > I would readily lie to spare somebody's feelings when telling the truth would do no good anyway. I wouldn't hesitate to lie if somebody said they'd blow up the world if I didn't profess whatever belief they wanted me to profess. I wouldn't feel a hint of guilt about lying to save my own life or anyone else's, especially if that death would be unjust or wrongful. There are times when somebody with nefarious intent pries for information that's none of their business. That's a moral dilemma, because failing to keep what's private private is ordinarily as immoral as lying. So, if you can't stop them, they have nothing coming but a lie - preferably an in-your-face one that they know is a lie. Another time when somebody has nothing but a lie coming is when that person abuses the medium of human intercourse by constantly insulting your intelligence with lies so bizarre they make you have to pinch yourself. Just as a bully needs to get hit back, these jokers need a dose of their own medicine to make them behave. I'd much sooner lie to an adversary or stranger than to someone who has every good reason to trust that what I tell them is the truth - like friends, family and children. Lying to the latter is a great breach of faith. So, not only why, but also whom you're lying to can make a huge moral difference. In short, I don't pass off moral responsibility for our actions on to any list of dos and don'ts carved in stone. These are often difficult decisions that require a good deal of thought, not just rationalizations.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > Not yet, but all the prejudice and bigotry against 'the Americans' is tempting, tempting, tempting me.
What is your favourite proverb? > Verbum sonat, exemplum tonat (Actions speak louder than words).
What, if anything, do you worry about? > Nothing in particular. But I do sometimes get an ominous feeling that Europe is dying, that World War II inflicted a mortal moral wound on its soul - that a nuclear power like France could become a failed state and descend into chaos. But I cannot really imagine it, so it's just an occasional feeling rather than something I worry about.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > Yes, I wouldn't be so naïve as I used to be.
What would you call your autobiography? > Block the Kick.
What would your ideal holiday be? > On a beach in the Caribbean.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Tennis, bicycling, fishing, hiking with my Cairn Terrier. In the winter I read and practice Yoga a lot.
What is your most treasured possession? > Me. (By that I mean that I'm my private property and I don't let anyone act as if they own me by presuming the right to determine what I should say, hear, see, eat, think, wear, or even feel.)
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > I am fortunate to be doing exactly what I like. But I must say that editing can be time-consuming and fatiguing, so I may turn away from it in favour of simple proof-reading and critiques or more Web-based work.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Mark Twain and George Burns - unfortunately both deceased.
Who are your sporting heroes? > Roger Federer, Brett Favre, Lance Armstrong, Andre Agassi. Ahh! All men. Ahhh!
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > I'd work about half as many hours and spend that time doing other things like taking a class, doing home improvement projects, and volunteering.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Joan of Arc. Anwar Sadat. The man who didn't even know her name but carried a woman in a wheelchair down 99 flights of stairs in the burning World Trade Center.
What animal would you most like to be? > A dog, of course!
[The normblog profile is a weekly Friday morning feature. A list of all the profiles to date, and the links to them, can be found here.]