Russia and America

August, 1968: Fifty Years On

August, 1968: Fifty Years On

  This week in August marks the Fiftieth Anniversary of two events in the tumultuous year of 1968 which had a lasting impact on my life: The Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia on August 21st, and the Democratic National Convention in Chicago on August 26th. I had just graduated from UNC and turned 21. What follows is a personal post, using mostly my own photos. The Warsaw Pact countries invaded Prague that week because the Czech leadership had dared to give their citizens a few freedoms...

Destruction by Identity

Destruction by Identity

A nation that fractures along identity politics boundaries is almost certainly doomed. When Lenin and Trotsky started their rebellion against the provisional government of Alexander Kerensky in St. Petersburg, Russia in November, 1917, they expected to be arrested and sent into exile, as had always happened before. Instead, a few days later, much to their surprise, they were in control of the capital and, soon, the nation. What happened? The Bolsheviks were prepared to use violence to get...

Hold Back The Weapons For Now

Hold Back The Weapons For Now

For a conservative who believes in Rule of Law, the Ukrainian Crisis presents a choice between several bad alternatives. What Putin is doing to destabilize and potentially annex a second part of Ukraine is clearly a violation of international law, and is unacceptable behavior.  Viewed from that static perspective, the clear answer is to arm the Ukrainians with weapons, and assist them to defend their people and their territory.  It makes sense. But, like a chess match, one has to look beyond...

Russian Away–One Man’s Impression in Late 2014

Russian Away–One Man’s Impression in Late 2014

In the summer of 1969 at age twenty-two I attended a month-long Russian language school with other British university students, first  in the center of Leningrad, and then at a “camp of organized rest” on the Finnish Gulf. We experienced the KGB-induced fear among the local students, who would only speak to us in designated areas with official approval, unless we could contrive a meeting on the relative anonymity of the beach.  Still, some of them were beaten by the local enforcers of state...

Starting 75 Years Ago Today, For The Next Six Years 27,400 People A Day Were Killed

Besides being Labor Day in the U.S., today is the 75th Anniversary of the start of World War II. Six years later, in 1945, over 60 million men, women and children had been horrifically killed by world powers, partisans, and their own governments.  That works out to 27,400 people killed every day for six years.  In a “civilized” world, and in the living memory of many today. The trigger for the start was Germany’s invasion of Poland on a trumped up border dispute.  The seeds of the war were...

Obama and Putin: The World Deserves Better

Obama and Putin: The World Deserves Better

I don’t usually engage in “what if?”, but in this case the results are so striking that I have to do so. Daniel Greenfield has written a scathing critique of Presidents Obama and Putin at frontpagemag.com.  I commend his analyis and conclusions to you.  Here is his description of these two men's arrogant approach to every opportunity. "If you can do something, you do it. If your opponents can’t stop you, then you have the right to do it. The true radical, the man of destiny, will do anything...

The Marshall Plan vs. Obama-and-Out

The Marshall Plan vs. Obama-and-Out

Last weekend I attended a Marshall Scholar event in Washington.  The Scholarship was establishd in 1954 by the British government as a thank you to the American people for the Marshall Plan after World War II. On Sunday I walked down to the World War II Memorial. Etched on one of the walls is a visionary statement by General George Marshall, who ran the U.S. Army during the entire war.  As Secretary of State he then authored the plan by which the US stayed in place and rebuilt Europe’s...

The Russians and Us

The Russians and Us

  A recent event causes me to write again about a subject which I first posted on in September, 2010: The Russians and Us.  Having lived and worked in Moscow on and off for twenty-two years, last month’s end to our Cathedrals in the Kremlincompany’s five year joint venture development of a modern office building was a bitter-sweet event.  This project was the most complicated but rewarding undertaking of my first forty years in real estate.  Primarily because our Russian partners are...

Russians and Sources

I have a different take on Russia and Russians than you might hear otherwise, and this experience leads me to a small suggestion which I often share with our children. Russians tend to be independent and entrepreneurial; they believe in faith, family, education, friends and looking out for each other. They don’t trust the government, generally don’t invest in stocks, don’t borrow, or keep their money in banks. If they want to buy something, they save for it and then pay cash. Why? My good...

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