Category Archives: Europe

Obvious Is Obvious!

The German secret police, the BND, have concluded their investigation into the shooting down of the Malaysian plane, MH17 which was flying over Ukraine when a missile blasted it to pieces. According to our beloved leader, the Great Vladimir Putin, the reason for this disaster was evident–some Nazis emerged from their graves in Ukraine, grabbed a missile system and shot down the plane. If the Great One explains any event, it is always the truth. For some strange reason, these Germans,and please remember, they are Germans, simply will not accept the truth. The BND told a parliamentary committee that Ukraine separatists had captured a BUK air defense missile system at a Ukraine military base, and used it to shoot down the plane. Although over 100 Dutch citizens died in the crash, the Netherlands has not been actively pursuing any investigations of the disaster.

This report will be filed. German newspapers are filled with stories of anger. Vladimir Putin will pontificate once again about Nazis. And, in the end, this story will disappear into the black hole of never doing anything about evil men in our time. Frankly, the stakes are too high. Russia has nuclear weapons, and when a nation is in possession of such weapons of mass destruction, we simply gaze in another direction. Such is modern life.

On Columbus Day

It is October and the fight over whether to have a holiday for Columbus has already begun. Some regard the Italian who sailed for the Spanish as among the worst conquerers in history. I have spent years studying this man and read just about everything he wrote. So, let me offer some reasons why his voyages are important in world history.

1. He did NOT prove the world was round, every scholar knew it was. He did prove there was land across the Atlantic Ocean.

2. His voyage sparked an outbreak of scholarly thinking among Europeans about the world.

3. His voyage provided Europe with incredible wealth which helped spark an economic boom.

4. His voyage led to sharing of foods which soon impacted the lives of people in Europe, and eventually, the world.

6. He transformed Spain into a powerful nation.

7. His voyage sparked other nations to venture into the Western Hemisphere.

8. His voyage led tho the destruction of the Aztec empire, and the Inca empire. I am not arguing whether these events were good or bad, simply, that they happened.

9. His voyage made Christianity a world religion.

IN other words, this man was important in world history, for the good and the bad.

Ban The Veil, Save France!

The economic systems of many European nations have collapsed. France is suffering from a sputtering economy and there is widespread anger at its government. So, what is the solution to these problems, not only in France, but throughout the European Union– BAN THE VEIL! A French Muslim woman, known only as SAS, petitioned the European Court of Human Rights for the right to wear her veil. The nation of France made illegal the wearing of a veil in public due to reasons of national “safety.” The Court agreed with the view that if a woman wears a veil then safety of others is somehow under threat. Of course, people can own guns, but those weapons are required for “safety” of individuals. Heck, in America, a woman wearing a niqab receives ugly looks, but if a man with guns appears, people now feel safe.

The lawyer of SAS made clear, “her faith is an essential element of her existence, she is a devout believer and the wearing of the veil is fundamental to her life.” For SAS the wearing of a veil is HER decision. I was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family and when we went to shul, women sat behind a curtain, separated from men. Somehow, we managed to live and no one felt frightened.

Some day it will be explained to me why wearing a veil is a greater threat to life than wearing guns!

France Shifting Right

Throughout Europe there is a continuing shift in attitudes of people due to economic malaise and fear of people who are Muslims or who are from Africa. Thousands of Africans are seeking refuge in European nations, and this has led to fears that only encourage forces of hate to gain increasing influence and power. French President Francois Hollande was elected to represent a new Socialist program of economic success, and this inept leader has only caused anger and fear. As he turned toward conservative ideas of fiscal restraint and austerity as an economic solution, the result has been disastrous. Ironically, a Socialist has been implementing programs that here in America are championed by the Tea Party and Republicans. France needed a good dose of economic stimulation, and preferred Republican ideas of cutting and cutting which has resulted in economic stagnation.

Sunday was a day for elections in France. The far right National Front finally was able to elect members to the upper house of the French Parliament. Hollande lost his majority in the French Senate. European leaders have failed to make clear a policy of handling immigrants which has resulted in conservatives stoking fears into votes. In many ways, this is similar to America refusing to confront issues of illegal immigrants. Fear usually wins out over common sense.

Putin Pouts His Anger

There is one problem when ann individual creates a society in which HE is the decider. Over time, he grows unaccustomed to anyone contradicting his words of foolishness. Vladimir Putin has become the semi-dictator of Russia. He has crushed any and all opposing forces so when he speaks, there is silence from anyone who disagrees with his words of wisdom. Yes, he has succeeded in compelling the Ukraine government to accede to his demands in eastern Ukraine. He has empowered a group of local toughs to become a “government.” Of course, now they have power, but do any of these bums have the slightest idea how to govern a “nation?” Putin has accomplished this goal with use of Russian troops in Ukraine.

The Russian government is upset because a NATO officer issued a statement which describes how Russian troops imposed their power upon Ukraine. Colonel Janzen made clear that Russian troops were deployed in Ukraine while thousands of others were gathered on the border. The Russian government is angry because a “clerk” dared to make such outrageous comments! The “truth” today is an unknown word in Mother Russia!

Say, What About Climate Change?

As I recall, President Obama has promised to work on the problem of climate change. Of course, Republicans have been consulting such eminent scientists as Rick Perry, Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz. I must point out that Ted is a graduate of Harvard College which means he obtained a first class education while at that institution of higher learning. Based upon his learning, there is no such thing as “climate change,” it is simply a liberal attempt to take money from those who create jobs in order to stuff the pockets of a bunch of people in Asia or Africa. UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon is rather pessimistic about chances of persuading those with money to give some to the UN fund that works with climate change. Germany did offer 1 Billion, WoW! As of this moment, the US is not going to waste our money on such wasteful projects as climate change since half the American population does not believe such a thing is occurring.

Yes, Congress appropriated a few billion to fight terrorism in the Middle East, but not a single penny for climate change. Thank God America has Fox News to report the truth about climate change!

Vladimir Is Upset!

Vladimir Putin is upset, and when the wise leader of Russia becomes agitated then we all should take another look at what we just did. After all, he is the guardian of Mother Russia, in fact, he is now Mother Russia. The European Union just reached a trade agreement with Ukraine which endeavored to stimulate trade and assist the nation in its efforts to become economically stable. For some strange reason, the European Union had this interesting idea that it could negotiate with Ukraine without consulting the man in the Kremlin! After all, He is The Man. So, his trade officials made clear to the European Union and Ukraine that further discussions between these two parties would have to be placed on hold until the legitimate desires of Mother Russia are met!

The Russian government insists the Russian”input” in this negotiation is vital in order to attain success. It wants “formulas to remove the concern of the Russian side.” I thought Ukraine was negotiating with the EU, so how come there is now a “Russian side?” Essentially, the Russian side demands that Ukraine trade with Russia based on conditions established by Russia.

By the way, what ever happened to the United States protecting the rights of free fade? Just asking.

So,What About Ukraine??

The dilemma of Ukraine remains a dilemma. Russian convoys are crossing over into Ukraine, carrying something that is termed, “humanitarian aid.” The Ukraine government believes they are still at the stage of war with their friendly neighbor. So, what do the Nations of the European Union intend to do about this? Actually, Nothing is probably what they will wind up doing. What can they do?

1. Implement a total ban on travel to and from Russia.

2. Institute a total ban on shipment of goods to and from Russia.

3. Freeze bank accounts of Russian businessmen who have huge assets outside of Russia.

4. Refuse to allow Russian officials to attend international meetings.

5. Seek a vote in the United Nations Assembly that censures Russia.

Whatever Happened To?

These days I wonder about, Whatever Happened TO:

The end of the Cold War in Europe?

The balanced budget that President Clinton left newly elected President Bush?

The promise of Barack Obama to end secrecy in government?

Our failure to pay attention to the words of wisdom of Sarah Palin?

The agreement that in view of John Kennedy’s assassination something had to be done to control access to guns?

The concept that a business was just that, a business, not a person?

Michelle Bachmann who daily offered her thoughts which led to another column about nonsense?

Firing those in government who lied to the President and Americans?

When we called people, people, not folks?

The end of violence in the Middle East now that Saddam Hussein was dead?

The end of violence in the Middle East now that Muammar Gaddafi was dead?

Creation of the independent state of Palestine?

When people at lunch talked with one another rather than with a machine?

IF RUSSIA INVADES UKRAINE?

There are reports of Russian soldiers on the border of Ukraine who might be sent into that country in order to prevent the government of Ukraine from gaining control over its own territory. Such an invasion would create new issues for the people of Europe and the world. American foreign policy leaders must develop a plan of action if this eventuality became a reality. What can be done if Russia invades Ukraine?

1. An embargo of shipment of any goods from or to Russia by the European Union and the United States of America.

2. An embargo of any plane flights into or from Russia.

3. Immediate and total imposition of sanctions on the Russian financial sector.

4. Introduction of a Resolution in the UN General Assembly condemning the Russian invasion.

5. Attempt to remove Russia from important world economic groups.

6. American corporations will be forbidden to loan money to Russia or to establish business sites in that nation.

7. The US and Canada should announce they will export oil and gas to European nations that were getting such supplies from Russia. This means Obama must accept the new pipeline.

8. Any sporting event scheduled to be held in Russia will be canceled.

The United States must avoid sending military supplies to Ukraine. The country will be over-run by Russian forces. If Putin so desires, he can accomplish this goal. However, he is then stuck with what he ordered and the unintended consequences of his actions.

Reality for Russia. It is a nation that is not exporting high tech materials other than weapons. It depends upon gas and oil for revenues. Accelerate the long term program to end reliance on oil, and Russia will confront a huge economic collapse.