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
Friday
May062011

P. S. TO JUSTICE UNDONE, IT'S MURDER THEY SAID

 

from the new york times 
all the news fit to print"
benjamin b. ferencz
14 bayberry lane
new rochelle, new york 10804-3402 
914 632 3717 
May 3, 2011
To the Editor,
The New York Times
New York, New York
          Jubilation over the death of the most hunted mass murderer is understandable, but was it really justifiable self-defense, or was it premeditated illegal assassination?
          The Nurenberg trials earned worldwide respect by giving Hitler[‘s] henchmen a fair trial so that truth could be revealed under law would prevail. Secret or non judicial decisions based on political or military considerations undermine democracy. The public is entitled to know the complete truth.
 
                                                                   /s/ Benjamin B. Ferencz
 
 
the writer was a prosecutor at the nuremberg trials
 

  

 

Friday
May062011

JUSTICE UNDONE, IT'S MURDER THEY SAID

 

          “Justice was done” was Barack Obama’s take on the assassination of Osama bin Laden. It wasn’t. Justice was not done, it was undone. Obama, of all people, a graduate of Harvard Law School, a former law professor and a lawyer, should know better. Justice requires that laws be honored and not discarded for political expediency.
          Assassination is the extrajudicial intentional killing by a government of a person for a political purpose. Perhaps Attorney General Eric Holder should remind him that assassinations, or “targeted killings”, sanctioned by a sate are illegal. As early as February 18, 1976, President Ford signed Executive Order 1190, a finding and directive having the force of law, banning political assassinations [“Prohibition of Assassination. No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination.”] President Carter followed suit with Executive Order 12036 which banned even indirect U.S. involvement in assassinations. President Reagan finally signed the still in effect Executive Order 12333 on December 1, 1981 which provides:
executive order 12333-- united states intelligence activities  46 fr 59941, 3 cfr 1981 
2.11 Prohibition on Assassination. No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination.
2.12 Indirect Participation. No agency of the Intelligence Community shall participate in or request any person to undertake activities forbidden by this Order.
          Sadly Obama is following the lead of two morally deficient Presidents. Bill Clinton, a Yale Law School graduate, recently and publicly admitted to secretly approving bin Laden as target for assassination [after the U.S. Embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar as Salaam in 1998], and George Bush who publicly called for his murder, “his head on a plate”, after 9/11. Fortunately for them, and for us, his murder/assassination did not occur on their watch.    
          Justices Roberts, Thomas and Scalia, and those other dolts now sitting on the Supreme Court, can not be counted on to give the President sage advice. President Truman heeded Justice Robert Jackson’s principled call preventing the summary execution, the “assassination” “murder”, of Nazi leaders after the Second World War: “The only course [we have] is to determine the innocence or guilt of the accused [in the present case bin Laden] after a hearing [in a court of law] as dispassionate as the times will permit and upon a record that will leave our reasons and motives clear.” The result was the Nuremberg Military Tribunal, an imperfect meting out of a victor’s justice, but justice nonetheless.

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Tuesday
Apr262011

THE CURSE OF BLACK ELECTRIC SPAGHETTI

 

My kitchen counter is covered by an unsightly tangle of black electrical cords each terminating in a distinctly different charger head meant to be plugged into an electronic device: an IPhone, a Blackberry, a cell phone, an IPad, a Kindle, whatever. You grope, untangle and then blindly try one after another before finally finding the right one. Comes the weekend when your children visit, the tangle grows exponentially. What a mess, what a waste.
          Way back when, at the dawn of the electronic age, manufacturers conspired, probably in violation of present day anti trust laws, to standardize products. All radios used the same electric plug to access electrical power. You could only buy record players [remember them, those things with turntables?] that rotated at 33 1/3, 45 or 78 revolutions per minute. You could not go out get a record player that revolved at, let’s say 53 revs, no way. You had to go with the flow, the accepted universal way of doing things.
          So what is it with all these electronic geniuses, the MIT, CalTech and RPI graduates, the guys at Intel, Toshiba, Soni, Apple? Can’t they get their act together and agree that power for all of their gadgets will be accessed through a universal power plug that all devices could use interchangeably? Is simplicity, sanity and savings too much to ask?
          Some forwarding thinking electrical engineering students from, of all places, Belgrade, Serbia have just devised a “Strawberry Tree”, a free standing kiosk that harnesses solar energy and makes it available for free to passerby’s  whose electronic device are about to expire and need that an immediate jolt of electricity to keep on going like the Energizer Bunny. But in order to make it function the device has sixteen, count them, sixteen different electric chargers to accommodate the most frequently used devices.
          The “Strawberry Tree” will be installed in front of the European Parliament Building in Brussels and featured at European Commission’s “Week of Sustainable Energy Development”. But does it really take sixteen almost identical charger heads to make the idea work for most of us walking down the street? Do I really want a great big tangle of black wire spaghettini or capellini littering my kitchen counter? I think not. So to you electrical engineers out there: “Come on guys, get your act together!”
   

 

Thursday
Apr072011

REQUIEM FOR A DON

 

          The “Don”, the Mafia boss, immediately brings to mind The Godfather’s Don Vito Corleone, John “Dapper Don” Gotti, Salvatore “Sammy, The Bull” Gravano, Robert “Bobby Ha-Ha” Attanasio, Vincent “The Chin” Gigante, Sam “Momo” Giancanna and Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno. All Italian-American gangsters. But this stereotype has it wrong. Think of Otto “Abbadabba” Berman [German American who coined “Nothing personal. It’s just business”], Alex “Allie Boy” Rudaj [Albanian], Arnold “The Brain” Rothstein [Jewish American], Nick “Nicky Nails” Dedaj [Albanian], Arthur “Dutch Schultz” Flegenheimer [German American], Jack “Legs” Diamond [100% American] and Irving “Waxey Gordon” Wexler [Jewish Russian American]. In reality “Dons” come in all shapes and sizes, ethnic origins and religious and non religious persuasions.
          Which bring us to Bosko “The Yugo” Radonjich who died at age 68 in Belgrade, Serbia last month. Now as I write this piece, this Requiem in Pace plea to the Almighty to go easy on old Bosko, to grant him a pass. Oh Lord, show him compassion and mercy for surely he has sinned. But after all, he was a friend; he saved my life and kept me out of harm’s way. The very least I can do is to humbly seek intercession on his behalf.
          Now the question is how does the life path of a fancy Madison Avenue lawyer intersect with that of a rather rough brawler from New York’s Hell’s Kitchen? It’s all a matter of chance, a roll of the dice, and easy, real easy, believes you me.

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Monday
Mar282011

THE LIBYAN WAR: THE RIGHT WAY OR NO WAY

                                                       deyan ranko brashich & nikola kostich
          Our Constitution has been criticized for being vague and subject to interpretation with changing morals and times. Scholars and judges have wrestled with the meanings of “establishment of religion”, “freedom of speech”, “right of the people to keep and bear arms”, “cruel and unusual punishment”, “unreasonable search”. However, the Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 11, makes it crystal clear that Congress, and only Congress, shall have Power  
“To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;”
          The Civil War, America’s first modern war with weapons of mass destruction and casualties in the hundreds of thousands, was presided over by Abraham Lincoln. Perhaps it is apt to consider his take on the War Powers Clause when he sat in Congress and debated the beginning of the Mexican-American War in 1846:
“The provision of the Constitution giving the war-making power to Congress, was dictated, as I understand it, by the following reasons. Kings had always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending generally, if not always, that the good of the people was the object. This our Convention understood to be the most oppressive of all Kingly oppressions; and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one man should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us. But your view destroys the whole matter, and places our President where kings have always stood.”
          President Obama is not a “king”. He and his Adninistration’s  [Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder and the Generals and Admirals constituting the Joint Chiefs of Staff] violation of the War Powers Clause by unilateral military action in Lybia should be condemned and not condonned.

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