On the Road – and the Canals – in the ‘Low Countries’
Jun21

On the Road – and the Canals – in the ‘Low Countries’

What does one do when traveling and there is so much to see but so little time to write (home) about it? Take and post pictures, of course. So here are a few — the stories maybe later. The delightful northern Holland town of Giethoorn — appropriately referred to as the “Venice of the North” — where everyone and everything goes by boat …even the trash The oldest windmill in the Netherlands and Belgium, located near...

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What Happens When You Supersize The G.O.P. Presidential Nomination Process?
Jun19

What Happens When You Supersize The G.O.P. Presidential Nomination Process?

Why Chris Christie Will Be The Next POTUS A Super Tuesday Away From Double Digits The View From The U.S. Virgin Islands By JOHN McCARTHY TMV Columnist The nineteen Republicans running for president in 2016 are wise to try to make foreign policy the lead issue in the next POTUS election. Not because Hillary Clinton is especially vulnerable on Benghazi, but because what most people would consider to be her strong suit – foreign policy...

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UN tries to knock heads together as Yemen burns
Jun16

UN tries to knock heads together as Yemen burns

At least 279 children were killed and 402 injured since the Saudi led military attacks in Yemen began on 26 March 2015. That is four times those killed in 2014, when 74 children died and 244 were injured in the civil war between Houthi rebels and government forces before the Saudi intervention. So far this year, 318 children are being used to man check point or carry arms, up from 156 last year. “The violence in Yemen has not only...

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Our Fallen Heroes, Always Close to Home.
Jun11

Our Fallen Heroes, Always Close to Home.

Traveling abroad, thousands of miles away from home? Want to feel close to home — real close to home? Want to be reminded of American greatness and magnanimity? Want to honor our fallen heroes of World War II and other wars up-close and personal? Visit one of the 25 American cemeteries on foreign soil, hallowed final resting places to more than 124,000 American wars dead. We did so a few days ago. We traveled to the Netherlands...

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The Fuss Over Privacy
Jun09

The Fuss Over Privacy

Why is there such a fuss over privacy? Rand Paul’s stand in the Senate against data collection by the government made him a hero to some Americans, and an obstacle to sound policy to other citizens. But whether it’s declared or not, we’re at war now with Islamic terrorists, some of whom are presently residing in Western Europe and America. Some have traveled to Iraq, Syria or Yemen for training and indoctrination with ISIS or Al...

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Obama’s small victory at the G7 Summit
Jun08

Obama’s small victory at the G7 Summit

President Barack Obama won a small victory at the G7 Summit in the Bavarian Alps today when his reluctant European partners and Japan backed a united front warning Russia to stop interfering in Ukraine. The warning fell on deaf ears with a Kremlin spokesman claiming that the seven summiteers were far from united against Russia and produced no “new theses”. Russia and Ukraine took up nearly two thirds of the Summit’s time on foreign...

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An Orphan in Language Land
Jun01

An Orphan in Language Land

One of the first things that strikes the visitor to beautiful and historic Belgium — especially in the capital, Brussels — is the number of distinctive languages and dialects spoken there. While Dutch, French and German are the official languages of this small country, a majority speak Dutch (59 %); 40% speak French and only 1% German. In addition English is widely spoken, especially in the Dutch-speaking (“Flemish”)...

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Turkish Jews not leaving yet, but eyeing exit amid Erdogan’s hostile rhetoric
May31

Turkish Jews not leaving yet, but eyeing exit amid Erdogan’s hostile rhetoric

ISTANBUL (JTA) — In the backyard of the Etz Ahayim synagogue in Turkey’s largest city, congregant Yusuf Arslan hollers pleasantries as he mingles with other members of the small congregation. He needs to shout to be heard over the deafening sound of a sudden downpour hitting the blast-proof glass ceiling that stretches over the synagogue’s spacious… graphic via...

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ISIS Presses Its War on Two Fronts: on the ground and online
May26

ISIS Presses Its War on Two Fronts: on the ground and online

ISIS is aggressively pressing its war on two fronts — and many believe they continue to be well-situated and are steadily advancing. The fronts: on the ground and online. The Christian Science Monitor notes: For Islamic State fighters, the battle for dominance continues both on the ground and online: The extremists’ capture of the ancient Syrian site of Palmyra this week came with a Twitter-circulated photo of the group’s black...

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Feckless and Timid? Or Shrewd and Skillful? Obama’s Foreign Policy Assessed (Guest Voice)
May26

Feckless and Timid? Or Shrewd and Skillful? Obama’s Foreign Policy Assessed (Guest Voice)

By the standards he has set out for himself, President Barack Obama’s foreign policy has fallen considerably short of expectations and aspirations. By the standards of his critics, of course, the performance has been even worse—with the American commander-in-chief now accused of fecklessness and irresoluteness as global crises multiply on his watch. Even two of his… graphicgeoff /...

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A Very Special Dutch Memorial Day Observance
May25

A Very Special Dutch Memorial Day Observance

We’ll be visiting the Netherlands soon. One of the places on our must-visit list is the World War II Netherlands American Cemetery at Margraten, the Netherlands, just a few miles from the German border. It is one of the many cemeteries in Europe and one of 25 cemeteries abroad where tens of thousands of Americans killed in World Wars I and II have their final resting place. At just this one cemetery, 8,301 American heroes rest, their...

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Jeb Bush Set to Become an Instant Foreign Policy Wonk (Updated)
May22

Jeb Bush Set to Become an Instant Foreign Policy Wonk (Updated)

Update: Should Bobby Jindal be fancying another fatuous foray into far-flung foreign fiefdoms to flaunt his fledgling foreign flair, he will first have to feud with some fastidious fellows in his legislature: Louisiana legislators clipped Gov. Bobby Jindal’s wings Thursday by inserting wording into the state budget that would require the governor’s office to pay the out-of-state travel expenses of his security detail. . Jindal spent...

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Short and Sweet
May19

Short and Sweet

No matter what you think about the results of the recent British election, you have to be impressed by how short and sweet it was. And inexpensive. If you contrast the British campaigns with those of the Americans, you realize how lucky they are not to have years of political advertisements clogging the airways and mailboxes for their general elections. The elections for Parliament must take place at least every five years, though...

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Jeb and PNAC, The Neocon Connection
May14

Jeb and PNAC, The Neocon Connection

First, what is PNAC? It stands for the Project for the New American Century. It was founded in 1997 by William Kristol and Robert Kagan. The organization had 25 original signatories to its statement of principles, a who’s who of neocon thought. Signatories included the likes of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Scooter Libby. Others, including Richard Perle, R. James Woolsey and John Bolton were not original...

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Nepal: ‘Helping Hand’ Continues (Update)
May14

Nepal: ‘Helping Hand’ Continues (Update)

Update: Efforts continue to find the missing U.S. Marine Corps UH-1Y Huey helicopter, as well as to provide humanitarian aid and disaster relief for the country of Nepal. From a Joint Task Force 505 News Release: So far, two UH-1Y Hueys, two MV-22 Ospreys, one Indian Mi-17 and three Nepalese helicopters have searched for the Huey that went missing May 12 near Charikot, Nepal, while conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster...

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Meet Operation ‘Sahayogi Haat’ (Missing U.S. Helicopter Update)
May13

Meet Operation ‘Sahayogi Haat’ (Missing U.S. Helicopter Update)

Update on Missing Helicopter: The Marine Corps Times reports that the missing U.S. military helicopter has been spotted north of the capital, “But it will take time to reach the site where it has been located in the Tamakoshi region north of the capital of Kathmandu.” A U.S. military helicopter missing during an aid mission in Nepal reportedly has been spotted north of the capital, authorities said. But it will take time to reach the...

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Nepal Earthquake: Relief Efforts Continue
May06

Nepal Earthquake: Relief Efforts Continue

The web site The Humanitarian Data Exchange prominently displays the following grim figures on the human cost as a result of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal April 25. All figures are estimates as of May 6. Number of People Killed: 7,675 – Number of People Injured: 16,392 – Number of IDP (Internally displaced people) Camps: 58 It also lists the funding received as $93 million. Not known if included in that...

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Of Allies and Client States
May06

Of Allies and Client States

Americans don’t understand the difference between Allies and Client States.  The Western Europeans, the Canadians and Australia qualify as allies.  It is a give and take relationship where each country looks out for the security interests of the other although there may be some minor breakdowns from time to time.  Client States on the other hand only take.  With that in mind we have no allies in the Middle East and that includes...

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Experience Counts
May05

Experience Counts

In politics, as in every other field, experience counts, and in fact may be the most important quality a candidate for an important post possesses. This is even more true for the presidency than any other position. Certainly, there are some things one can learn on the job, but a certain level of sophistication and experience are necessary in a president for his or her administration to be successful. Wisdom only comes with age, and a...

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Updates: Iran Fires at, Boards and Seizes Marshall Islands Cargo Ship – U.S. Navy Destroyer ‘Responding’
May01

Updates: Iran Fires at, Boards and Seizes Marshall Islands Cargo Ship – U.S. Navy Destroyer ‘Responding’

UPDATE May 1: U.S. Navy ships will begin accompanying U.S. commercial ships during their transit through the Strait of Hormuz to ensure they encounter no interference from Iran, according to the Stars and Stripes. The new policy is in response to the seizure earlier this week of the Maersk Tigris. Iran claims the seizure if the cargo ship is because the Maersk shipping line owes Iran money awarded in a lawsuit. The Stripes: The...

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