"I know you never liked me Mr. Secretary-General – well, I never liked you, either," said Sha Zukang as Mr Ban looked on, smiling and nodding awkwardly during the 15-minute toast attended by the UN's top brass.
Mr Sha, who was appointed the UN undersecretary general for Economic and Social Affairs in 2007, also made no secret of his fractious relationship with Mr Ban, although did say he'd grown to respect the South Korean.
"You've been trying to get rid of me," said 62-year-old Mr Sha. "You can fire me anytime, you can fire me today."
Later in his impromptu speech Mr Sha turned to an American colleague, singling out Bob Orr from the executive office of the secretary-general.
"I really don't like him: he's an American and I really don't like Americans," he said.
A second senior UN official who was at the dinner said: "It went on for about ten or fifteen minutes but it felt like an hour."
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.