UPDATE: Tomorrow the World Will Be Listening to the Voices of Auschwitz
Jan27

UPDATE: Tomorrow the World Will Be Listening to the Voices of Auschwitz

UPDATE: It is now “Today” in Auschwitz, and indeed many survivors’ voices — sometimes breaking, sometimes hardly audible through the sobs and tears — spoke there. Let us hope the world will indeed listen to those voices. Read them, listen with your heart to them, here, here and here. This is the statement by Secretary of State John Kerry: Today, Teresa and I join all Americans in marking the 70th anniversary of the...

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Letters of Sacrifice
Jan23

Letters of Sacrifice

As I watched Jenn stretch her arm to insert yet one more letter at the top of her eight-foot tall work of honor, respect and compassion, I could not help but to ask myself: How many more “I regret to inform you” letters will have to be opened by the trembling hands of a father, mother, husband, wife, son or daughter… For each tightly rolled letter Jennifer Hassin, a beautiful, talented young artist from Austin,...

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Freedom of the Press Is Not Free
Jan20

Freedom of the Press Is Not Free

In the wake of the hideous attack on Charlie Hebdo editors, cartoonists and staff in Paris there has been a vigorous and spirited debate on freedom of speech and, of course, freedom of the press. Today, Secretary of State John Kerry in remarks delivered at the Journalists Security Conference, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., left no doubt as to which side of this debate he stands on. After thanking Doug Frantz,...

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UPDATE – Romney 3.0: ‘My Rising Tide Will Lift All Our Yachts’
Jan19

UPDATE – Romney 3.0: ‘My Rising Tide Will Lift All Our Yachts’

Update: Warning: This update and the original post are political satire.* Not to be outdone by his likely 2016 rival, Senator Ted Cruz also used nautical language to convince an adoring tea party crowd in South Carolina over the weekend that he, not Mitt Romney, would navigate our ship of state safely through the treacherous Liberal waters ahead. “We just saw an historic tidal wave of an election, and all my good Republican...

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In Memoriam: Remembering  the Heroes of ‘Old Shaky’
Jan15

In Memoriam: Remembering the Heroes of ‘Old Shaky’

Four years ago, on the 50th anniversary of a tragedy that struck close to home, I wrote about “‘Old Shaky,’ a “Texas Tower” 85 miles southeast of New York City — no, not one of those — that went down in a violent storm with 28 souls on board. Last year, on the 53rd anniversary and with the help of an Air Force veteran who served on one of those Towers, I followed up on the story in a more personal, reminiscent way....

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Psst…Want to Watch a Video?
Jan14

Psst…Want to Watch a Video?

This will probably be one of the shortest pieces ever posted by yours truly. (I can already visualize the sighs of relief) But, hopefully, it will also be one of the most powerful and enlightening ones. No, not because it is written by me. In fact, it is not even an article and, except for this short intro, I had nothing to do with it. And, no, it has nothing to do with free speech, or with “Je Suis Charlie,” or with any of the...

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‘Je Suis Charlie,’ the Last Word
Jan12

‘Je Suis Charlie,’ the Last Word

Courtesy of Free Speech, my last word on this issue and my dollar. ©Copyright 2015 Marian Kemensky – All Rights...

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You’re Either With Free Speech, or Against It?
Jan11

You’re Either With Free Speech, or Against It?

Four years ago I riled against a group that routinely exercised — grossly abused, I felt — their, our, sacred First Amendment rights. They regularly appeared at funerals of our troops and vilely — through their shameful signs and tactics — desecrated the funerals and the memories of our fallen heroes. They also staged protests at Jewish temples, at the World War II memorial and at Washington-area schools,...

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Obama’s Free Community College Proposal
Jan09

Obama’s Free Community College Proposal

After a couple of tragic days involving the satirical Charlie Hebdo magazine, it is perhaps ironic, but certainly fortunate, that satire may take our minds off the horrific events in Paris at least for a few minutes. Yesterday, the Obama Administration announced plans to make two years of community college free for “responsible students” across America, a proposal that could benefit as many as 9 million students, according to the...

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Aux Etats-Unis Spécialement, ‘Nous Sommes Charlie’
Jan08

Aux Etats-Unis Spécialement, ‘Nous Sommes Charlie’

The cry that is being heard around the world after the cowardly massacre of at least 12 innocent people at the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo is “Nous sommes tous Charlie.” And, yes, people all over the world are Charlie Hebdo. But in the United States that cry carries special sentiment and significance. For not only will Americans never forget that most dastardly and cowardly attack on our own soil one bright...

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McConnell: Look at What We Have Accomplished in Less Than 24 Hours
Jan07

McConnell: Look at What We Have Accomplished in Less Than 24 Hours

Dana Milbank at the Washington Post wrote today: In a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday morning outlining his priorities for the new Congress, the Kentucky Republican suggested that the Republican takeover of Congress — not yet 24 hours old — had already boosted the American economy. I am confident that inimitable New Yorker satirist Andy Borowitz will have some comments on this and will hit it out of the ballpark. But, before he...

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AirAsia Flight 8501: Tail Section Found in Java Sea
Jan07

AirAsia Flight 8501: Tail Section Found in Java Sea

As with Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and as with so many other international disasters and tragedies, the U.S. military is there. “There” this time is the Java Sea between Surabaya, Indonesia and Singapore, where AirAsia Flight 8501, an Airbus A320 carrying 162 souls, went down 11 days ago. Two U.S. Navy ships are in the area assisting the search and recovery efforts: The USS Fort Worth, a littoral combat ship based in San Diego and...

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A Vast Number of  New Jobs to Be  Created in and by  New Congress  (Updated)
Jan06

A Vast Number of New Jobs to Be Created in and by New Congress (Updated)

Update: And this is no satire: As the New Republican Congress gets ready to vote on a bill to approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, the White House is sending signals that President Obama would veto such legislation. While the bill is all but guaranteed to pass the Senate, it is not clear whether there will be enough votes to override a presidential veto. In the meantime, an article in The Hill states most clearly, in my...

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The ‘Ebola Fighters’ TIME Forgot
Jan03

The ‘Ebola Fighters’ TIME Forgot

TIME Magazine selected the “Ebola Fighters” as their 2014 “Person of the Year.” In explaining the choice, TIME Editor Nancy Gibbs evokes the proverb that says, “Not the glittering weapon fights the fight, but rather the hero’s heart.” And, indeed, “the people in the field, the special forces of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the Christian medical-relief workers of Samaritan’s Purse and many others...

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Jeb Bush Severing All ‘Incriminating’ Connections
Jan01

Jeb Bush Severing All ‘Incriminating’ Connections

A sure sign that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is planning to do more than just “explore” a run for the White House in 2016 is the fact that he is severing ties, erasing connections and alliances that could “complicate” a presidential campaign. About a week ago Bush resigned from the board of Tenet Healthcare Corp., “the health care giant [that] supported and promoted President Barack Obama’s health care law,” — a...

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Many in Our Navy Already Standing Watch in 2015
Dec31

Many in Our Navy Already Standing Watch in 2015

As we get ready to ring in the New Year, many of our troops overseas are already standing watch in the New Year. One Navy blog has this story: At the time this blog is posted, most people in the United States are busy readying themselves for a well-deserved evening of revelry ringing in the New Year. They are free to do so, in large part, because at the same time more than 100 #USNavy ships and more than 50,000 U.S. Navy Sailors are...

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A White House Year in Photos (Updated)
Dec31

A White House Year in Photos (Updated)

Update: The Washington Post has just featured several of the 2014 White House photos — some published below, some not. While readers can see all the superb photographs here, it is worthwhile viewing them at the Post just for the “superlative” captions awarded by the Post. == Original post: “2014 In Review’ stories and images are all over the place. We just posted a “Military Year In Review” montage here. The White House has just...

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Scalise: Help on the Way to Gauge One’s Audience
Dec31

Scalise: Help on the Way to Gauge One’s Audience

As House Republicans are “poised for a celebratory takeover of Congress next week,” others are trying very hard to spoil the party. Instead of getting ready for the festivities, Republicans find themselves trying to fight some very unfair accusations centered on allegations that Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana — now the third-ranking House Republican — knew that he was speaking to a white supremacist group a...

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Military Year In Review
Dec29

Military Year In Review

Now that Christmas is over (hope everyone had a joyous one) and the New Year is suddenly upon us (wishing you a great one), many of us are reflecting on “el Año Viejo” from a personal perspective (here’s hoping it was a good one for you). Many others are capturing the old year with an eye on world events, politics, the economy, sports, entertainment, etc. There will be many more of these “look-backs” but — with the...

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The Afghanistan War Is Over!  Or Is it?
Dec28

The Afghanistan War Is Over! Or Is it?

After more than 13 years of bloody fighting that has cost the lives of more than 2,200 U.S. troops and over $1 trillion, the longest war in America’s history has finally come to an end — or has it? In a low-key flag lowering ceremony today at the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan — an event that had to be arranged in secret due to the continuing threat of Taliban attacks...

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