Category Archives: Europe

Never Forget D-Day

The speeches have been made. The dignitaries have gotten their pictures taken as though any of them had anything to do with the June 6, 1944 landings in Normandy. Hand over heart in remembrance is now compulsory for anyone who wants to pose as a “leader.” Unfortunately, not a single one of world “leaders” who was in Normandy a few days ago has the intelligence, the mental toughness, and the desire to work with other nations to ensure peace in the world. June 6, 1944 was a different time, a different place, and it certainly had different leaders. Imagine the United States of America, the Soviet Union, England, and French exiles working together for a common purpose–the end of tyranny in the world? Heck, President Obama can’t even gain cooperation of Republicans in Congress whose only dream is more money for the wealthy. In 1944, the top tax rate was 90%! And, thousands of wealthy businessmen came to Washington to work as “Dollar a Year” men whose love of nation far surpassed their love of money.

Sorry, Congressman Boehner, but the 90% WWII tax rate never got below 70% until the 1980s and WE HAD PROSPERITY! Believe it or not, but the wealthy paid and paid, but the jobs kept on getting created. D-Day was another time and place when we were ALL AMERICANS. Just remember, those who fought received the G.I.Bill of Rights which guaranteed free education plus money to live on. And, PROSPERITY grew!

Ukraine For Ukrainians!

My father was born near the city of Kiev in a small village over a hundred years ago, so I am, by heritage, a Ukrainian. The history of Ukraine is complicated, confused, and it has changed decade to decade from being independent, part of Russia, and even being part of Poland. After the Soviet Union collapsed in the 1990s, Ukraine became an independent nation. However, eastern areas of the country retain a high percent of people who miss the old days of being part of Mother Russia while those in western Ukraine are happy never again to have anything to do with Russia, which never was a Mother to those people. Petro Poroshenko, a billionaire, just got elected president of Ukraine. As far as he is concerned, Ukraine also includes the Crimea.

“Citizens of Ukraine will never enjoy the beauty of peace unless we settle our differences with Russia. Russia occupied Crimea which was, is, and will be Ukrainian.”
Ok, great sentiment. President Poroshenko is in the same boat as is President Obama with nutty Republicans. They will not change anymore than Russia will give up the Crimea. So, get on with your life and accept reality.

D-Day Anniversary-America Once Great

It is the 70th anniversary of the day when British, Canadian, French, American troops landed on the beaches of France as part of the plan by which the Soviet Union and its allies would end the regime of Adolf Hitler. In the morning as dawn broke, German soldiers awoke to see 5,000 ships staring at them while cannons boomed and troops headed for the beaches of Normandy. It was an Allied effort, actually Americans constituted only 45% of those who landed. The British and Americans devised an incredibly complex plan which worked out, and within a day 150,000 men were on the beaches fighting for their lives. About 20,000 American and British paratroopers landed behind the lines and engaged German troops. So, what was unique about this day?

1. American leaders actually had a war plan that worked.
2. American leaders actually worked in a cooperative manner with allies.
3. The plan required pin point military decisions that actually worked.
4. American troops knew why there were landing on a distant beach, and who was the enemy.
5. There was close cooperation between the air force and ground troops.
6. The entire American nation was behind the effort.
7. Believe it or not but the top tax rate was 90% on the wealthy.
8. Wealthy people were willing to give their riches for the country’s need.
9. Believe it or not but high tax rates only led to more job creation.
10. We all were proud to be Americans.

That was then, today is now.

Horror Of Abandoned Irish Women

I am old enough to recall a time when teenage girls who became pregnant were treated as though the had come into possession of the plague. They were shunned and treated as though possessed with a virus that if allowed to emerge into the air would infect thousands. In my Bronx neighborhood, we referred to a pregnant girl as “going to Chicago” which meant, simply, going to get an abortion. In Ireland, the construction of some new houses has resulted in discovery of murder grounds. Between the 1920s and 1940s the Bon Tecours nuns ran a home for unmarried women who had become pregnant. They delivered the baby in the village of Tuam, then left the baby with the nuns. Villagers recall emaciated young children who were here today and gone tomorrow. Unfortunately, being “gone” did not mean being adopted. They were gone, forever.

House builders uncovered a huge septic tank that contains at least 800 bodies of young children. One elderly villager recalled they called these “illegitimate” children by the name of “Home Babies.” The “Home Baby” was shunned by other children and beaten by nuns. We now know, they were starved or beat to death.

The horror is how could nuns behave in this manner? I am baffled. Perhaps, Pope Francis will visit this site and pray for the souls of these unfortunate children. There are simply no words to describe such behavior to children.

A New Guerrilla War In Ukraine

I understand the frustration and fatigue of the American people who have endured over a decade of war in foreign places where people fight and die, and Americans are engaged in un-explicable events. A war is beginning in eastern Ukraine between the government and “separatists.” It would be one thing if these “separatists” actually represented the people of areas such as Luhansk, but it increasingly is clear those fighting are Russians who have been armed by the Russian government. Only a fool would believe that “separatists” could possess modern weapons and have military training that enables them to launch attacks.

It is time for the US and NATO to dispatch arms and ammunition. It is time to dispatch military advisors, not to fight, but to train and equip a Ukraine army that can put amend to separatists. There is NO need for American forces to engage in military action, but they can engage in training and offer modern equipment and helicopters for the fighting that must occur if Ukraine is to gain peace.

Erdogan Grows Dictatorial!

Turkey is a divided nation in which one part stands firmly in the 21st century while the more rural section lives in the past. This division is similar to America which contains large numbers who inhabit a world which actually never existed –God ruled, there was no Government, etc.. Last year, Prime Minister Recep Erdogan attempted to tear down a park in order to build a commercial section. The Gezi Park episode resulted in massive protests by young people and those who fit into the secular world. He ordered police to beat up people, use water cannon and send hundreds to prison. His actions also resulted in death for some protesters.

On the anniversary of the Gezi protests thousands were back in the street. CNN reporter Ivan Watson was attacked by the police. Prime Minister Erdogan blasted protesters claiming they were secret agents of Israel or organized by his opponents. Why are people upset at his ideas, “they seek to bring trouble to my country.” It is all part of a “coup” to take over the government. The prime minister is resorting to anti-semitism and hatred in order to build a MALL! He simply seeks power and the semblance of any contrary view to those he possesses represents counter revolution against his regime.

John Boehner On Climate Change

Glaciers are melting, drought hitting areas with devastation and over 200 scientists informing the world that global change is here and will increase, but to members of the Republican party we are still back in the age of our Founding Fathers. When asked to comment about climate change, this was the response of John Boehner:

“Well listen. I’m not qualified to debate the science over climate change. But I am astute enough to understand that every proposal that comes out of this administration to deal with climate change involves hurting our economy,and killing American jobs. That can’t be the prescription for dealing with changes in our climate.” Actually, the last words are accurate. We must change job structure and begin the process of ending our current approach to coal. Yes, John, we will kill jobs. But, we also will create NEW jobs that are consistent with our new 21st century economy.

Frankly, it is amazing that one who leads the House of Representatives actually claims not to have access to modern scientific knowledge. If ignorance is a virtue,then John Boehner is guaranteed a place in Heaven with the other saints!

You Have Freedom To Think As I Do

I recently encountered the ideas of a Turkish professor who is a devout Muslim and it became clear that his ideas are not only found among conservative fundamentalist Muslims, but represent the thinking of many Christians and Jews. Professor Hayrettin Karaman argues that modern secularism “does not have aspects which are in harmony with or parallel to Islam. He does agree with the concept of freedom of religion, but in his interpretation of this concept that means everyone has the right to freedom of thinking providing it directs the individual to believe in Islam. He does have ideas concerning the idea of pluralism. At the “bottom of pluralism lies the relativity of right and wrong, good and bad. “This goes against the essence of Islam.”

Ironically, the same manner of thinking is found among many Orthodox Jews or Christians. Heck, in America, we have Republicans who believe seeking to raise taxes one percent will result in the decline of America and simply punish our beloved job creators who will cease to job create. Those who posses the “truth” know there is only ONE TRUTH and that is what they believe. When it comes to this approach to thinking, one discovers such thinkers in ANY religion!

World Wide Immigration Is Issue

Lost in the great American debate about illegal or legal immigrants is the broader issue of–Migration. At this very moment there are about 200 million people who have left their homes and sought a better life elsewhere in another nation. The immigrants come from Africa, they come from Latin America, they come from Asian nations, and their destinations are those societies which offer physical labor that citizens no longer which to do, and, they certainly do not want their children using hands to make money. Yesterday, over 500 Africans stormed into the Spanish enclave in North Africa in order to obtain work permits for a European nation. Once an African sets foot in a “European territory” that individual has rights to seek work. Here is the reality:

1. Birth rates are declining in all advanced economic societies.
2. Dirty wok jobs are not desired by native born people.
3. As of this moment, dirty work must be done by a human and since native born refuse to engage in physical work, then immigrants are the only alternative.
4. It is time for a world wide system of migration that directs those from poverty areas to nations that are short of people for physical labor tasks.
5. It is time for the UN to establish such a system.

Oh, fifty or a hundred years from now the robots will handle these tasks, until that day, the world needs immigrants.

Blame It On Someone, Not Me!

Russian President Vladimir Putin is employing one of the oldest strategies in politics by waving the flags of fear in order to divert attention from real problems and issues confronting the people of Russia. He has employed control over the media and press to instill fears about Nazis and Fascists in Ukraine who threaten the very existence of true Russian nation. It worked in the Crimea and that area is now part of Russia. Putin is using his surrogate secret police in eastern regions of Ukraine to stir up the pot of anger and hate against the government in Kiev. Suddenly, that entity has become a “Nazi government” with its huge army of 150,000 ill armed men with a few tanks and no air force now threatening the very existence of the Russian nation! Dimitry Gukov, is a rare Russian creature, he is an opposition member of the Russian parliament and thus stands against the Putin campaign of fear and distrust.

Polls show that 85% of Russians do not want to engage in any form of protest against their government. President Putin now has the support of 82% of Russians because he “saved them from the modern Fascist government of Kiev.” According to Gukov, “Russia’s domestic policy is being conducted through Ukraine. The population reluctance to protest does not mean that it is necessarily happier or more satisfied. Citizens are being distracted from domestic problems by state authorities’ insistence on the presence of foreign enemies-in Ukraine and the West. There will come a time when authorities will no longer be able to distract Russians from their troubles at home.”

Every bully and dictator in the 20th Century used this ploy to get or maintain power. Shades of Mussolini and Hitler and Stalin.