Czechoslovakia

Barack Obama: Who Is Our 44th President?

The attacks on Barack Obama, our 44th President, have reached a point of being totally ridiculous and preposterous in so many ways!

Critics say Obama is a Muslim, even though he never attended services at a mosque, and has called himself a Christian. Meanwhile, he has had America war against terrorist Muslims, and has used drones and troops to kill more Muslims than George W. Bush, including Osama Bin Laden!

Critics say Obama is a weak President, who has been unwilling to confront Vladamir Putin and defend Ukraine, while George W. Bush did not confront Putin on military action in Georgia in 2008; Lyndon B. Johnson did not confront the old Soviet Union on military action in Czechoslovakia in 1968; and Dwight D. Eisenhower did not confront the old Soviet Union on military action in Hungary in 1956.

Critics say that Obama is an “Emperor” or “King” because of action on immigration reform, but this is the same President they have said is “weak”, and when Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and all of the other Republican and Democratic Presidents since Dwight D. Eisenhower took action on immigration, none of them were called “Emperor” or “King”. So Obama is a “weak” President who is also an “Emperor” or “King”?

Critics say Obama is a Socialist, but Obama accepted the Newt Gingrich–Bob Dole–Heritage Foundation–Mitt Romney concept of health care, when he pushed for “ObamaCare”, which gives private insurance companies full control over health care when many Democrats and liberals and progressives really want “Medicare for all”.

Critics say Obama is anti capitalist, but Obama has tied himself to Wall Street much more than many Democrats and liberals and progressives wish he had, and the stock market is at an all time high, up about 250 percent from when he came in.

Critics say Obama is adding more to the national debt than anyone, forgetting he came in at the lowest point in 75 years, and that much of the new debt was an outgrowth of the disastrous George W. Bush economic policies that would have added the same to the national debt if John McCain and Mitt Romney had been elected President.

Critics say that Obama refused to work with the opposition party, but NO President EVER had such obstructionism as Barack Obama has had, and Republican Presidents, in particular, have found that opposition Democrats, while challenging them, NEVER promoted total lack of cooperation as the extremist right wing Republicans, led by the Tea Party Movement, have done over the past six years. Despite that, Obama has presided over a long list of accomplishments.

Critics blame Obama for the loss of seats in Congress in midterm elections, when ALL Presidents have faced that, except Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934. Harry Truman in 1946, Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954, Bill Clinton in 1994, George W. Bush in 2006, and now, Barack Obama in 2014, have seen the opposition party gain control of both houses of Congress. Also, FDR in 1938, Truman in 1950, Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958, John F. Kennedy in 1962, Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966, Richard Nixon in 1970, Gerald Ford in 1974, Jimmy Carter in 1978, Ronald Reagan in 1982, George H. W. Bush in 1990, and Barack Obama in 2010 lost seats, and in the case of Obama, control of the House of Representatives.

These are just eight ways in which the critics of Obama are manipulating the truth and the facts, and despite all these attacks, Barack Obama stands tall and will look much better in history than his critics wish to concede!

Nations Breaking Up: Could It Happen Among American States?

We are living in a world where nation states have broken up, and where the potential for more such breakups is increasing.

Yugoslavia broke up into multiple nations in the 1990s, as did the old Soviet Union, and Czechoslovakia.

Sudan broke up into two nations in 2011, and Iraq seems on the road to a similar breakup, sadly through religious revolution, fanaticism and loss of life.

There has been the threat in the past of Quebec breaking away from Canada, although that seems less likely now.

Scotland will decide whether to split from the United Kingdom in a referendum this September.

There are threats of the breakup of Belgium and Spain, where strong nationality groups wish for independence.

At the same time, there has been secessionist talk by right wing groups in Texas, and even outgoing Governor Rick Perry talked up the idea a few years back, and then abandoned such talk.

But seriously, without violence, not like the Civil War in the 1860s, there are ideas floating out on the political wilderness of the possible future breakup of eight states, and the theoretical creation of an additional 16 states as a result, requiring an additional 32 US Senators, making the total possibly 132, instead of the present 100, in the upper chamber, while not changing the number of members of the House of Representatives.

These possibilities are as follows:

California–six states instead of one—Jefferson (rural Northern California); North California (centered about Sacramento, the state capital); Silicon Valley (San Francisco and San Jose); Central California (Bakersfield, Fresno and Stockton); West California (Los Angeles and Santa Barbara); and South California (San Diego and Orange Counties).

Texas–five states instead of one—New Texas (Austin, the present state capital and College Station); Trinity (Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington and Tyler); Gulfland (Houston, Corpus Christi, Galveston); Plainland (Lubbock, Amarillo, Waco, Abilene); and El Norte (San Antonio, El Paso, Brownsville).

New York–three states instead of one—Suburban counties of Southeast New York (Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess and Orange Counties) and Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk); New York City (Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Bronx, Staten Island); and Upstate New York (including the rest of the state, including Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse, Binghamton).

Florida—two states instead of one—South Florida (the Keys, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach); and Northern Florida (the rest of the state).

Illinois–two states instead of one—Chicago and near suburbs; and the rest of the state.

Pennsylvania–two states instead of one—Philadelphia and near suburbs; and the rest of the state, including Pittsburgh and Harrisburg).

Virginia–two states instead of one—Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC; and the rest of the state.

Maryland–two states instead of one—Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington DC suburban counties (including Montgomery and Prince George’s County) and three rural eastern shore counties; and Western Maryland.

Is any of this likely to happen? Probably not, but great food for thought. It would require revolutionary changes in the US Senate, and would create new issues of which party would benefit, the Democrats or the Republicans, since the major metropolitan areas would be separate from the more rural counties in these eight states, and it would create a new dynamic in American politics hard to predict long term!

The Sad Reality About Ukraine: History Against Military Intervention!

The right wing is already busy at work attacking President Obama, regarding the decision of Russian leader Vladamir Putin to intervene militarily in Ukraine, putting Russian forces in Crimea, the portion of Ukraine with a majority of Russians, and the center of the Black Sea seaport crucial to the Russian navy, and an important “warm water” port for Russia during the long winters in that nation.

All of us can condemn and deplore this event, and be sad about it to the extreme. But it is not at all surprising in reality, as to expect that Russia would allow an anti Russian government, at least in that part of Ukraine, is living in a dream world!

Major nations who have the power and numbers, historically, do NOT allow their neighbors to be unfriendly or rivals of their nation. Every nation pursues a policy in foreign affairs based on its national interest, and what is possible.

This has been part of the reality of America, as well as the old Soviet Union, China, and any other nation, when they have power and influence, and bemoaned when they do not!

The United States has been fortunate enough to have “weak” direct neighbors in Canada and Mexico, and we have been willing to intervene in Mexico when we have not appreciated their governments or policies, as in the 1840s and in the 1910s.

Yes, we have had Mexico as a “problem” at times since, with undocumented immigrants and drug dealings, but at least we have had a friendly government in Mexico, willing to work with us, and on the same page generally on most issues.

The closest we have had to a national security matter is, of course, Cuba, and we went to the brink in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, and while the Castro brothers still control that island, even today, they are no direct menace to us, and if they were seen as such, we could still use our power to intervene.

So, looking at that reality, that nations with power will use it for their benefit, to have an non-antagonistic direct neighbor on their border, and with economic advantages also a consideration, along with defense and naval matters, there is, sadly, little we can do about Ukraine, except hope for a minimal involvement in that nation by the Russians, but the thought of a military or nuclear response is totally insane, and could not be utilized!

Keep in mind that President Dwight D. Eisenhower could do nothing about Soviet involvement in its neighbors, Poland, East Germany, and Hungary, and neither could Lyndon B. Johnson do anything about Soviet involvement in Czechoslovakia!

A Very Dangerous Time: The Iran Nuclear Deal

One cannot easily decide if the announcement of the Iran nuclear deal last night is a moment to celebrate or to condemn. The US, Great Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany came to an agreement which is being much questioned by many diplomatic observers.

The history of Iran’s dealings with the West makes one pause and wonder how anyone can trust the fundamentalist Islamic regime,

This is not an issue of the Iranian people, but rather the Iranian government.

With Israel and the Arab nations (including Saudi Arabia) for once in agreement, all of them alarmed at the growing influence of Iran in Syria, and their engagement with terrorist networks, the tendency would be to see any agreement with the Islamic regime as a ploy, and that we will soon face the reality that Iran is a nuclear power.

But if diplomacy does not work, then the likelihood of warfare in the Middle East beckons, and most Americans do not want our nation involved in another war.

The threat to the survival of Israel is a very worrisome aspect of all this, but it is more than that.

It is also an issue that Iran presents a threat to world peace unmatched since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 51 years ago.

The question is whether Barack Obama, John Kerry, Chuck Hagel, Joe Biden et al know what they are doing, and whether in the future, we will look back on this as another “Munich”, when Great Britain and France made an ill fated deal with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy over the future of Czechoslovakia in the fall of 1938, which did not bring peace, but instead, within a short time, the outbreak of World War II.

So the author has a very mixed feeling, and a sense of foreboding, that the future is likely to be very gloomy, and lead to a dangerous, widespread war.

History And Geography: Republican Presidential Candidates’ Shortcomings!

In 2008, Senator John McCain, the Republican Presidential nominee, spoke of Czechoslovakia, even though that nation had divided into the Czech Republic and Slovakia fifteen years earlier, in 1993.

Now, in 2012, Mitt Romney, the Republican Presidential nominee, talked last night of Syria being the Iranian route to the Mediterranean Sea, even though Iraq stands between Iran and Syria.

These mistakes on history and geography by Republican Presidential nominees should be very troubling to those who think such individuals are qualified to be Commander in Chief!

Mitt Romney And American Society: In The 1950s! Mitt Romney And Foreign Policy: In The 1980s!

Now that Mitt Romney has the GOP Presidential nomination, we are realizing that he is back in the 1950s, as far as American society is concerned, and back in the 1980s, as far as American foreign policy is concerned!

One might wonder, what does the author mean?

Well, socially, Romney’s family is a 1950s family: a dutiful wife who has never worked for pay, only as a mother and housewife; having a large family of five children; the five sons being well behaved and never getting into trouble; no question of unhappiness or conflict or divorce; very religious; and living a comfortable, suburban life! This is the image of the 1950s, when women knew their “place”; when children did not use illegal drugs or get drunk or even smoke if they came from a “good” family; and minorities were seen, but not heard, and there was very little direct contact with them.

Well, foreign policy wise, Romney is in the 1980s, with the image of the Cold War under Ronald Reagan; with the Russians called the Soviet Union, and seen as an “evil empire”; with the Soviets controlling Eastern Europe, including the nation of Czechoslovakia, and Eastern Europe enslaved by the Russian armies.

Top aides to Romney have used the term “Soviet Union” recently, as has Romney, forgetting that the Soviet Union disappeared in 1991, and while Russia is certainly a nation to watch and keep track of their activities, they are certainly nothing like the old “Soviet Union”, do not control Eastern Europe, and do not even control all of the separate provinces that are now independent nations.

Also, the references to “Czechoslovakia” are truly laughable by Romney aides on foreign policy, as that nation broke up peacefully 19 years ago, in 1993, into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. This is the same mistake made by Senator John McCain, the 2008 Republican Presidential nominee!

One would think that a candidate for President, and his top advisers, would know the true story about Czechoslovakia!

One would also think that a candidate for President would realize we are not in the 1950s regarding the family, the role of women, and the reality of minority groups in America!

So one has to say, is this what the nation wants in 2013 and beyond: a candidate socially in the 1950s, and foreign policy wise in the 1980s Cold War mentality? One would hope the answer is NO!

Chinks In Mitt Romney’s Armor

Mitt Romney, the frontrunner for the Republican Presidential nomination, has some chinks in his armor, that are starting to be noticed.

Romney is applauded as a great businessman, but most of his economic accomplishments in business came from cutting employees and saving money to make more profit.

Also, as Governor of Massachusetts, his state was dead last in employment growth coming out of the 2001-2002 recession, and the growth in his four years was only one percent, as compared to five percent nationally.

Also, Romney made a mistake in his debate remarks this past week, in referring to the people of Afghanistan as “Afghanis”, which is the name of their currency. The people of Afghanistan are known as “Afghans”!

This reminds one of John McCain constantly talking about Czechoslovakia in 2007-2008, when that nation broke up amicably in 1993 into the Czech Republic and Slovakia!

Of course, anyone can make mistakes, or have negative developments in his record, but the point is that Romney has a long list of shortcomings, all of which will certainly be exploited by his opponents for the nomination, and by Barack Obama, if Romney indeed is the nominee of his party for the White House!