DEYAN RANKO BRASHICH was born in Belgrade, former Yugoslavia, and is an Op-Ed columnist for Connecticut's Litchfield County Times.  He writes the monthly Letter From America column for Romania’s Scrisul Romanesc, a literary magazine and is the Editor-at-Large for  The Country and Abroad, another literary/art magazine where he authors the Dispatch from Abroad column. He is a frequent contributor to Pecat, the Belgrade, Serbia weekly news magazine, Britić, a magazine published in the United Kingdom, Ekurd Daily, a multinational Kurdish news portal and Passport, a lifestyle quarterly. He resides in New York City and Washington, Connecticut.

 

 

Media
Wednesday
Jul202016

CHANGE BY BALLOT • REVOLUTION BY BULLET – YOUR CHOICE

ISTANBUL, TURKEY 2016 MILITARY COUP

A VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE PUBLISHED A LEAD OPINION ARTICLE EKURD DAILY [TURKEY IRAQ SYRIA] JULY 19, 2016; ALSO PUBLISHED BY PECAT, JULY 20, 2016 AND BRITIC, JULY 21, 20016

When confronted by demands for change elected politicians speak in platitudes invoking the rule of law, the will of the people, majority rule and in the United States, the Bill of Rights. That said, America’s two defining late 20th Century landmarks of change – desegregation and the end of the Vietnam War – were brought about not by peaceful means alone but by violent criminal acts of near rebellion that galvanized the nation.

In a democracy conventional wisdom has it that reform comes from the ballot box. Change by less traditional means - riot, insurrection, coup, revolution, revolt, assassination - is frowned upon and outlawed. Yet what does one do when change is denied, stymied or aborted? When forces have subverted the electoral process? When the electoral process has been hijacked? When the people, the electorate is ignored?  

America has been fortunate to avoid confrontation in its quest for change. The relatively recent abortion debates have been sparked by occasional flashpoints of violence as has been the search for sexual identity equality. The debate for change on those issues has been between a small but influential religious minority and small number of women’s rights activists and an equally small but vocal LGBT population. The dispute never affected the great majority who remained on the sidelines violence free.

Yet core issues remain unresolved. Incarceration has been substituted for segregation. Millions of blacks and Latinos have been processed through or are mired in the criminal justice system. A criminal record is as much a bar to integration as were the Jim Crow laws. A militarized police has been given license to keep the poor in check by violent means even murder if necessary.

Eric Garner on Staten Island, Tamir Rice and Von Dorrit Myers in Cleveland, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Lacquan McDonald in Chicago, Walter Scott in North Charleston, Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge are names and incidents that are immediately recognizable. The Guardian reports 1,134 killings by police in 2015, 696 in the first 6 months of 2016 with many being unarmed young black and Latino men.

The result has been a declared open season on cops. The murder of Dallas and Baton Rouge policemen is the beginning of a backlash, of revenge. I am old enough to remember the Black Liberation Army, the Black Panthers and the Symbionese Liberation Army. To underestimate the potential for retaliation would be foolhardy.   

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Thursday
Jul142016

"FINE ARTS" DINING IN NYC

Thursday
Jul142016

THE MET'S GRAND GALA


Friday
Jun172016

GUNS KILL, SO DOES RELIGION - SOMETIMES

Image from the motion picture "The Stoning of Soraya S" [2008]

Lead Opinion Article EKurd Daily [Iran Iraq Syria Turkey] June 17, 2016

Last week’s Orlando shooting had everyone saying again - “guns kill, we must do something”. Today it’s Orlando that prompts the politician’s comments. Yesterday it was Charleston, before that San Bernardino, Boston, Columbine and Sandy Hook. Need I remind you that guns do not kill? It is people that kill, some driven by mental illness and some driven by religious zeal.

I do not imply that religion is a mental illness. I state as fact that these are two separate, distinct and independent reasons that have resulted in these mass killings. Yet, they are sometimes somehow connected.   

I was driving the morning after that night’s shootings with the news of the mass killing at a LGBT nightclub on the radio. The initial reports were sketchy and contradictory. It was 20 dead, then 50. There was one shooter maybe more. The shooter was a Muslim, perhaps not; he was an American, native born, perhaps not. He was an Al Qaeda guy, a Hezbollah wannabe or an ISIS mole or none of the above. It was a terrorist attack, a gay bashing killing or who knows what demented craziness.

As the news were sifted and facts verified it was established that the sole shooter, 29 year-old Omar Mateen was a twice married native born United States citizen born of Muslim Afghani immigrant parents. He had been investigated twice by the FBI for making “inflammatory comments claiming connections to overseas terrorists … [and hoping to die in an FBI raid] so that he could become a martyr”. He had visited Pulse, a notorious gay and lesbian nightclub numerous times. According to his father “he was a homophobe” yet had made homosexual advances, a closet case and according to his wife “a deeply disturbed man”.    

My question: Was the massacre an act of a mentally deranged man or was it an act of a religious man and his political ideology?

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Thursday
Jun092016

DON'T BLAME ME - YOU VOTED FOR THEM

Full disclosure: I have not voted in a Federal, state or local election since 1970 – see “To Vote or not to Vote – That is the Question” column. I am not a member of a political party or political organization.

It’s finally done. After a year of painful, ludicrous electioneering Hilary and The Donald are the 2016 candidates for President of the United States. I hurry to write this column well in advance of the November elections, the January Inauguration, the First 100 Days and the inevitable voters’ remorse that will follow. This is my pre-emptive strike column, my premature, yet timely “I told you so column”.

It matters little who will be the next President of the United States because the status quo will remain unchanged. It will be business as usual, and the changes that have been promised this election cycle, that have been made in past elections, will remain as always broken campaign promises.

All the presidential candidates – 6 Democrats and 17 Republicans - promised to address the inequality of income and wealth distribution. The two candidates left standing will not make good on their promises. They are cut from the same bolt of cloth. Both are millionaires many times over. The Donald boasts of being worth $10 billion while Bill and Hilary earned $163 million in the years 2002-2012. For the 16 months just before Hilary’s announcement of her candidacy their reported income was at least $32 million. It doesn’t matter which one, Hilary or The Donald, will sit in the Oval Office on January 21, 2016 – twiddle dum and twiddle dee of the 1%.

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