Sunday, November 22, 2020

Troops Loyal to Rutskoy Attempt to Seize Ostankino Tower - October 3, 1993

 Editor's Note:  It has been a few years since I, for the most part, stopped writing.  Due to the state of our democracy and at the encouragement of my wife, I will more regularly participate in the public discussion.  For some reason, she thinks that my point of view is unique and understandable.  So as I begin this venture again, I think that it is very appropriate and timely to discuss my time in Moscow in 1993 in continuation of a series from years ago.  Such story is timely in that power hungry leaders use crisis in order to attain or solidify power.  We must always beware of such people and, by looking beyond their words, analyze carefully their motivations.  In any event, I believe that we left off on October 1, 1993

While we (my roommate Paul and I) were enjoying a beautiful weekend in Nizhni Novgorod, Moscow remained in a constitutional crisis and slipped into chaos.  By way of background, I have reprinted below a brief explanation from Wikipedia in connection with the 1993 Constitutional Crisis in Russia.

"The constitutional crisis of 1993 was a political stand-off between the Russian president and the Russian parliament that was resolved by using military force. The relations between the president and the parliament had been deteriorating for some time. The constitutional crisis reached a tipping point on September 21, 1993, when President Boris Yeltsin purported to dissolve the country's legislature (the Congress of People's Deputies and its Supreme Soviet), although the president did not have the power to dissolve the parliament according to the then-current constitution. Yeltsin used the results of the referendum of April 1993 to justify his actions. In response, the parliament declared that the president's decision was null and void, impeached Yeltsin and proclaimed vice president Aleksandr Rutskoy to be acting president."

"The situation deteriorated at the beginning of October. On October 3rd, demonstrators removed police cordons around the parliament and, urged by their leaders, took over the Mayor's offices and tried to storm the Ostankino television centre. The army, which had initially declared its neutrality, by Yeltsin's orders stormed the Supreme Soviet building in the early morning hours of October 4th, and arrested the leaders of the resistance."

"The ten-day conflict became the deadliest single event of street fighting in Moscow's history since the October Revolution of 1917. According to government estimates, 187 people were killed and 437 wounded, while sources close to Russian communists put the death toll at as high as 2,000."

In the morning of Sunday, October 3, 1993, Paul and I left Nizhni Novgorod by train headed back to Moscow.  Prior to Nizhni Novgorod and despite arriving in Russia in July of 1993, I had been so busy working that I had not been able to leave Moscow.  Our trip to Nizhni Novgorod was my first trip out of the city.  Unlike our travels a few days prior to Nizhni Novgorod which was the night train, we were taking the day train today.  Again and similar to the previous Sunday when Paul and I listened to speeches at the Moscow mayor's office, it was a beautiful autumn day.  The yellow leaves of the aspen trees littered the forest between the small, drab, Soviet-looking towns where we occasionally stopped to transfer passengers and at which we would buy a couple of Twix bars and some soda. 

To me, this autumn day is noteworthy.  You must remember that I grew up on the south-side of Chicago, the son of a steelworker, and grandson to West Virginia hillbillies.  Prior to this time in my life when I was 23 years old, I had never traveled abroad.  As a matter of fact, I had barely traveled at all.  I was 21 years old when I flew on my first commercial flight so hopping on a plane and traveling and working in the former Soviet Union a short two years later was an extreme culture shock to me.  Not only was Russia a foreign country, it was the former Soviet Union - our Cold War adversary.  We were always nervous that we would encounter some Russian citizens that did not take too kindly to Americans, so we usually attempted to blend in as much as possible.  And there was always the fear that things in Russia could go sideways and we'd be stuck.  Yet, here we are jumping out of the train in Vladimir to buy some Twix.  As with most of my time in Russia, it was surreal.

In any event, we arrived in the evening at Kursky Train Station in Moscow's center.  We lived on the Garden Ring between Kursky Train Station and the Taganskaya metro station but closer to Kursky.  We walked out of the train station and literally onto the Garden Ring.  In order to understand that the Garden Ring is a very large road, please see the picture below.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Illegal Immigration Creates Pain and Suffering for both American Citizens and Citizens of Nations to Our South

A friend of mine asked yesterday why our government does not prosecute some crimes with the same ferocity as illegal drugs and illegal immigration.  I suppose, while most white collar crimes definitely hurt others financially, illegal drugs and illegal immigration cause human pain and suffering.  As far as illegal drugs, we see that in our local community daily.  Meth and opioid abuse are rampant in our local community and in California overall.  Whether it is the user or the collateral damage the user causes to those close to them, meth and opioid abuse create human pain and suffering.  The question got me thinking about illegal immigration.

Illegal immigration creates pain and suffering as well but not in the way progressives will have us believe.  Along with decent folks that are attempting to illegally cross our border to obtain a better life for their families, there is also illegally coming into our country MS-13 and illicit drugs which perpetuate our local drug problems.  These illegal drugs and gang members likely end up in communities filled with legal residents and with legal immigrants thereby bring the violence which these legal immigrants were trying to escape to their front door.

Because of our antiquated immigration laws, decent folks pay smugglers to get them into the country.  As a result of the smuggling, occasionally these decent people die in hot trucks, girls are encouraged to take birth control during the journey as the likelihood of being raped is high, and human trafficking becomes a greater risk.

We need a two-step process to solve this issue and reduce human pain and suffering.  First, we need to modernize and streamline our antiquated immigration laws in order to create an efficient path for folks who want to become legal residents or American citizens.  Our country is that beautiful melting pot of ethnic diversity and is a great country in part because of immigration.  Personally, I love watching the citizenship ceremony during which foreign nationals embrace our culture and our Constitution and become one of us - an American.  Legal immigration is beautiful and should be encouraged, but at the same time, it should be regulated for the benefit of our citizens.  In the end, our citizens, both natural-born and naturalized, should be our first priority.

Second, we need a strong border.  A strong border decreases human pain and suffering by lessening the illegal entry into our country of gang members and illicit drugs thus benefiting our citizens and residents.  A strong border combined with a modernized immigration policy decreases human pain and suffering by providing a better entry process as opposed to human trafficking and smuggling.  Women should not have to risk rape to become an American citizen.  The combination of a strong border and modernized immigration laws is compassionate to all parties.

Those people that support a border wall with no modernized and streamlined immigration law and those people that support open borders and granting citizenship to illegal immigrants don't really care about the people to our south.  The former group of people fails to understand the positive effects that immigration has had on our country and fails to be compassionate to the plight of our fellow man.  Dare I say, racist.  The latter group of people is more insidious in that they simply don't want to really solve any problems and desire to perpetuate the pain and suffering for political gain at the expense of our citizens, our legal residents, those seeking to become Americans, and foreign nationals to our south.  Granting citizenship without securing our border incentivizes illegal entry into our country.  An open border allows gang members and illicit drugs to freely flow into our country thereby causing pain and suffering in our communities.  This pain and suffering created by unfettered illegal immigration are experienced by our citizens and residents who actually came here to get away from such things.

This free flow of illegal drugs and gang members also generates revenue for the drug cartels to our south thereby perpetuating the pain and suffering experienced by those citizens and increasing the likelihood of their desire to immigrate so that they can make a better life for their families.  I would think that most people would rather live and raise their family in a safe home surrounded by their kinfolk as opposed to risking life and limb to illegally enter the USA to escape violence in part caused by our border policy.  An open border actually hurts these local communities to our south by allowing and perpetuating a market for drug cartels and gang members.

In my opinion, those who don't support both a strong border wall with modernized and streamlined immigration law are the ones who lack compassion. They don't really care about the plight of these people, and the expressions of compassion are political.  They are using these people as pawns in a political game, and it's disgusting. People are dying both in the USA and in the countries to our south as a direct result of progressives failing to support a border wall under any circumstances.  Their hatred of President Donald J. Trump outweighs their desire to really decrease human pain and suffering.

It is time to compassionately deal with this issue once and for all and decrease human pain and suffering.  We must modernize and streamline our immigration laws.  It should not take years to immigrate.  Further, we need to secure the border for the benefit of our citizens as well as for the benefit of the citizens of nations to our south.  It is the compassionate thing to do.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The "Diaz Experience" - Screwing Up Elections for a Decade

Our little, sleepy Nevada County has been plagued with horrible elections officials for over 10 years.  The Union is reporting today that our current election official Gregory Diaz screwed up the voter guides again.

The article is here.

When are we going to get someone that actually knows what they are doing and can manage an election...


Monday, March 2, 2015

Log Cabin Republicans Win Formal Recognition from California’s Republican Party

"In a historic vote Sunday, a gay rights group won formal recognition from California’s Republican Party. "'This vote is not about orientation,' said Nathan Miller, a delegate with the Young Republican Federation. 'This vote is about participation. They deserve our support,' Miller announced to more than 1,000 delegates assembled at the Sacramento Convention Center."

"'I’ve known many of the Log Cabin members for years,' said Shawn Steel, a Republican National committeeman. 'They’ve supported Republican Party candidates in good years and in bad years.'"

"Republican Party Secretary Patricia Welch, a conservative from Humboldt County said, 'I’m a firm believer in the Second Amendment. And I believe in the sanctity of life and I believe it begins at conception. I also have an abiding belief in my savior Jesus Christ. I also believe it is time for hard-working Log Cabin Republicans to be chartered into this organization.'"

"The vote means for the first time ever, gay Republicans are officially welcome to organize and recruit new members to the party."

"'Seventy-five percent of the delegates of the California Republican Party, which is the official Republican Party, affirmed that inclusion is the way we win elections in California,' said Charles Moran, chairman of the California Log Cabin Republicans. "And I think the Republican Party has moved away from fighting those ideological battles and is now focused on winning elections.'"

"'It shows that we welcome all groups whose stated goal is to elect Republicans,' said Assembly Republican leader Kristin Olsen, of Modesto."

"The Log Cabin Republicans are inspired by Abraham Lincoln, the Republican president who grew up in a log cabin and fought for equal rights – something the California Log Cabin Republicans believe they are fighting for as well."

The entire article can be found here.

The website for the California Log Cabin Republicans is here.