Category Archives: Fiction and Other Truths

EXTREME FEAR AND LOATHING IN NEW JERSEY Part II

So now the deed is done. All the pundits and the media got it wrong with their projections. The US is faced with at least four years full of potentially nasty surprises. Unless DJT is impeached for fraud and racketeering, human trafficking, sexual assualt….the list goes on, and one can only surmise what crimes he will/would perpetrate once ensconced in the Oval Office.

Of course, just under half of the popular vote (noting that only 55% of the eligible population voted) actually went to this man who thrilled his supporters by pushing all the right (emphasis here on right) buttons of angry white men, the poor souls who felt neglected by the political establishment, who resented a black man as POTUS for 8 years, who really believed T’s idiotic rhetoric, insane promises and hate tirades.

My challenge to you American readers is to go check out http://www.nationalpopularvote.com to find out about what is already happening to circumvent the rigged electoral college system. For there is a way and very few people are aware of it.

There are those voters who believe T will moderate his views now that he’s been elected. He has, in fact, deleted his promise from his website to ban Muslims from entering the country. We also have to take into account that a President is not the all-powerful dictator that T would like him to be. For example: How exactly does he expect to force Mexico to pay for that famous wall? I suppose he could hold a million illegal Latinos hostage at a secret location until our southern neighbor coughs up the dough.

And how pliant will the Congressional GOP turn out to be? Now that they are safely returned to the Senate and the House, maybe they just might recover some semblance of morality and courage. Oh dear, is that wishful thinking on my part? And I am not yet up to contemplating the field day T could have loading the Supreme court with his justices. My mind gets brain freeze from the mere thought.

I am reminded of the interview with the ghostwriter of T’s autobiography ( The Art of the Deal, 1987), Tony Schwartz, that appeared in the New Yorker (July, 25. 2016), in which Schwartz said that Trump’s attention span was no longer than ten minutes. That his brain is tuned into the short format of television sound bites, which is about all he can digest. How is this President-elect ever to deal with complicated policy issues that cannot be  reduced to  a TV sit-com format? Schwartz  stated that he deeply regrets having been involved in writing this book.

And now T is setting up his transition team. It seems no one has informed him that anti-nepotism laws and conflict of interest regulations exist. For he has chosen his three adult children and a son-in-law to be on this team. Oh, by the way, the same 4 rather close relatives will also be managing his companies while he is managing the country. Do you think there is something the man does not understand about the concept of a blind trust?

When exactly is the Justice Department going to catch up with this criminal who thinks that the laws don’t apply to him and his? Will this character make a laughing-stock of the US, similar to Berlusconi in Italy? One thing is for sure, the DOJ better get its skates on before T takes away their wheels.

Note: I have not posted any pictures of T — nor even spelled out his name — because his facial expressions are too ugly for a thinking person to bear. Say, if you like that I am in denial following Hillary Clinton only won the popular vote; however, I consider it self-preservation — something T is very adept at.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction and Other Truths, US Election 2016

“Through the awful grace of God.” #Elections2016

Thanks to Barb Taub for her blog post. I had never heard RFK’s speech before. It certainly made me wonder how history would have been changed had this Kennedy and Martin Luther King not fallen as victims of assassins’ bullets.

I haven’t blogged about my opinions on this upcoming election, yet, but anyone who knows me on Facebook or for real is  well aware of them. They boil down to this: The election of Donald J Trump would be a catastrophe for the world as we know it. Period.

 

Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God. —Aeschylus (525-426 BCE) Thi…

Source: “Through the awful grace of God.” #Elections2016

2 Comments

Filed under Fiction and Other Truths

Sybille Bedford: Resilience and Grace

Thanks to Amy Wheldon on the Bloom blog for introducing me to Sybille Bedford. I’m just disappearing off in search of a book by this fine writer who was so modern in every way and was blessed with an eye for the universal.

Bloom

by Amy Weldon

1.
In our modern global world, more of us know people who move among many cultures: citizens of one country by birth, they might work in another and go to school in a third. Some are artists, some are businesspeople, some are refugees. Although they may still think of themselves as being “from” somewhere, their real allegiance is to the whole wide world. They’re concerned with border-transcending issues of human rights and the environment, because they know firsthand what oil spills in the Gulf might do to the migratory patterns of sea turtles in Tioman. 14-hour plane flights are familiar. “People are surprisingly similar, underneath it all” is not an abstraction. They’ve learned to find portable sources of meaning: curiosity, deep delight in place, and connections with loved ones across geography and time. You’ll never hear them say, “I don’t care much about politics;” they know that…

View original post 2,977 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Europe, Fiction and Other Truths, German History, World Wars

2015 – A New Blank Page

Another year of my life – and yours has just slipped away. A year in which I did much, but not nearly enough of what was on my maybe-unrealistic annual to-do list. But being of the self-flagellating persuasion, I just re-read my motivational post written exactly a year ago. No, the year did not fail me, nor I the year. But the overflow from last year’s projects and intentions will be more than sufficient to fill 2015. In this new year the emphasis will be a different one.
It will most definitely be on the writing. In fact, I’ve just been invited to join a secret society of writers, the sole purpose of which is motivational. Nothing like encouragement from other like-minded people to get you onto your backside in front of that computer (but, no, NOT on social media!!) to work at those stories brewing inside your being, to get them flowing from brain to arms to fingers tapping on keyboard. Thank you, new friends, for including me in this venture!
To other friends who find making plans and setting goals either futile or too daunting, I wish you a year that changes your mind. And maybe, in reality, those goals and plans do exist. You just aren’t opening your eyes.

dchubbardwrites

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Happy New Year to everyone out there in the blogosphere!

Last night we were invited to a party with old friends, good food, freely flowing inebriants and a fireworks display, solely for the purpose of celebrating the advent of the New Year. No doubt a great many of you did the same. And a great many of you (I won’t include myself since I was the designated driver) woke up at midday a bit worse for wear. Never mind. Who’s counting anyway?

Backtracking to 12:30 a.m, when the hubbub of cracking explosives, kissing and hugging, and the slurping of bubbly had subsided to a virtual quietude amongst the guests, I asked the fatal question:

Has everybody made their New Year’s resolutions?

And what exactly was on their lists?

The response was a deafening cacophony of denial. No one had bothered to make – or even think about – what they…

View original post 247 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Beginnings, Endings, Fiction and Other Truths, Seasonal Reflections

100 Years Later – And Still No Wiser?

The past few months have been full of reminders of the events in the summer of 1914 that drove Europe to the most destructive war ever seen by man to that date. Echoing the title of Christopher Clark’s monumental work on the beginnings of the Great War, the empires involved – Austria-Hungary, Germany, Russia, France and Britain – sleep-walked into a conflagration that would change the continent physically, socially and politically forever. Seventeen million dead human individuals (9 m soldiers, 8 m civilians) from eight countries, that was the horrendous price paid for the hubris of emperors and politicians.

And yet that First global war has been eclipsed by the Second (with a total death toll approximated between 60 and 85 million!) in such a way as to have allowed the First to retreat into the dark black hole of memory we reserve for much of our history. This  centenary is the perfect opportunity to raise our collective – and personal – awareness of mankind’s inhumanity to its own species. Television is awash with programs to do just this and I can only recommend watching them.

And what is the point of digging up what is for some a period of history better forgotten? Besides remembering those who sacrificed their lives – on all sides and fronts – I still believe – if we really work at it – we are capable of learning from our past mistakes. Without the First World War and its ignominious Versailles Treaty (see photo below), there would have been no Second World War. Do any of us really want to experience a Third World War – with today’s nuclear potential?

Which brings me, the American ex-pat and German-by-choice, back to one of my favorite themes: The European Union…

The European Union may have many weaknesses and, Lord knows, we love to complain about its regulatory derailments and bureaucratic bloat, but it  is the child of a post-war France and a post-war Germany who were determined to end death and destruction on European ground. As a political body reacting to conflicts within as well as beyond its borders, Europe has a reputation for slow reactions. Think the Yugoslavian disintegration into war in the 90s, the recent Euro crisis and now the ever deepening Ukrainian crisis with its threat to the balance of power between the east and west. In these instances, however, I’d like to believe the slowness is deliberate. Rather than sliding –  sleep-walking – into escalating conflicts, today’s leaders must calculate their justifiable national interests and the consequences of pursuing them.

Personally, I am prepared to suffer a lot of somewhat inane and seemingly sclerotic bureauocracy from an as-yet-imperfect European political system if it prevents blood-letting on world war scales.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction and Other Truths, German History, Politics, Remembering, World Wars

The Warsaw Pact Takes on New Meaning

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When we were visiting Warsaw a week ago, I had no idea we were just missing Barak Obama’s arrival. After five days there, spent delving more deeply into the history of Poland in general and Warsaw in particular, I appreciate the President’s confirmation of the resolve of the US and NATO to defend, if necessary, Poland and the other former Soviet satellite states which are, indeed, now members of NATO. For the Ukraine crisis has certainly given the countries at our eastern outposts a mighty case of the jitters. And for good reason: Promises are one thing, carrying through can be quite another.

Warsaw is a city resurrected – by its own strength and resolve – from the ashes of World War II. Although under Soviet dictatorship, the citizens immediately started to rebuild their city, not a modern incarnation of it, but as it had been, as they had loved it before 1939.

Before / After

Before / After

After a visit to the Warsaw Rising Museum, which presented blow-by-blow the city’s last-ditch struggle to survive, I came away realizing that it wasn’t just the Germans and the Russians who raped Poland. In September 1939 when the country was invaded first from the west by the Germans and then from the east by the Russians, Poland’s allies – Great Britain and France – did not lift a finger. They were powerless; they could only let the invaders have their way.

With its low plains, Poland had always been an easy target for armies to march across. Napoleon certainly took advantage of that. And its geopolitical location between three greedy empires (Austro-Hungary, Russia and Germany) made it a tempting target. Thus in 1795 Poland became the tragic victim of its geography and topography. It was divided into pieces, like a cake, between Austria, Germany and Russia. Only at the end of the First World War did it reappear on the map as a sovereign nation.

In 1939 the German National Socialist regime was determined, once and for all, to quash Polish identity. One element of that was leveling Warsaw. In their perception, that would destroy their national identity. By 1945, 90% of Warsaw had been bombed and burned out. But they underestimated the will of the people to stay Polish, as evidenced by their final uprising in the summer of 1944. They went down but they went down fighting.

 Warsaw reborn_0002

Aerial view of a city devastated

 

During the war, the Polish government was in exile in London; Polish troops fought side-by-side with the British, French, Americans, Canadians and others. What remained of their airforce flew with the RAF. They fought bravely and believed when the war was won that they would get their country back.

At Yalta, a seaside town in then (and now once again!) Russian Crimea, in February 1945, Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin set the framework for the post-war political landscape of Europe. Poland was already occupied by Russia. The western allies, again, did not have enough strength to counter Stalin’s drive to secure his sphere of influence. Poland was left to Stalin. The rest is, obviously, history. My conclusion: Poland was f***ked, repeatedly, not only by her enemies but also by those she thought her friends.

Let’s hope and pray that the USA, within the scope of the NATO alliance, does in fact, this time, defend Poland and the other former Iron Curtain countries from Vladimir Putin’s latest version of Russian egomania and paranoia, should this become necessary. The rest of western Europe must move on from its tentative measures and show more backbone. For with one eye on 20th century history, it is easy to understand the nervous twitch from which Poland and her eastern neighbors are lately suffering.

4 Comments

Filed under Cities, Fiction and Other Truths, German History, Great Britain, Holocaust, Politics, Remembering