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
Tuesday
Mar152011

TAX GOD: A BUDGET HAIL MARY PASS

 

          A “Hail Mary Pass”, as everyone knows, is a very long forward pass made in sheer desperation with only a small chance of success, usually thrown at the end of a football game. Faced with catastrophic and huge budget deficits, American politicians at the state and city level should seriously consider lobbing their own Hail Mary Pass: Tax God, Tax Religion.
          New York State is slashing payrolls and threatening to fire and furlough teachers. Connecticut is nor far behind. Wisconsin has just passed a law abrogating collective bargaining rights for state employees and mandating an 8% pay cut concession. New Jersey is closing psychiatric institutions and limiting state aid to education, the arts, cities and municipalities. California, Nevada, Rhode Island are but a few of the states considering taxing the sale of marijuana to solve the deficit. Adding insult to injury, the Town of West Hartford is considering extending parking meter hours, noting that for every extra taxable parking hour the Town will reap a benefit of $67,000 a year. 
          All of these proposals and measures seem to fall "disproportionately on the backs of the middle class, the poor, the elderly, schoolchildren, college students and inner-city residents, while leaving largely unscathed the wealthy and most businesses". OK, so why not tax dumb, fat, happy and rich tax targets, God and Religion?   

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Monday
Mar072011

YOU WANTS A "NO FLY ZONE", YOU GOTS A "NO FLY ZONE"

 

         You just can’t keep up with the news, even if you are engaged full time. After posting comments on the follies of war on what is known as the internet, the true meaning of which I must ruefully admit I do not even begin to understand, I was alerted by a “site” [again, don’t ask me what the hell this means] known as “Justwatch” to a profound statement made by the Gulf Cooperation Council, apparently a body representing six tiny nation states in the Persian Gulf.
          Now Justwatch is a pretty nifty site. It is run by the University of Buffalo, last heard an accredited institution of higher learning. It is apparently both totally apolitical and rabidly partisan. If you enjoy intellectual mud wrestling on an international scale, I urge you to log on. Hours of unmitigated fun tempered with liberal [pun intended] ministrations of valium.  
          Back to the Justwatch posting: “The Gulf Cooperation Council demands that the Un Security Council take all necessary measures to protect civilians, including enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya” calling on “the international community, especially the UN Security Council, to face their responsibilities in helping the dear people” [emphasis supplied].
          When I see Saudi jets, bought for hundreds of millions of dollars from the United State patrolling Libyan skies, Egyptian F 16’s and Jordanian F 15’s, all paid for by United States military aid assistance programs, and whatever other military hardware NATO countries have sold to the Middle East enforcing a “no-fly” zone, then, and only then, will I say “You wants a no-fly zone, you gots a no fly zone”, now you enforce it. Never happen, I bet. Contact me HERE to place your bets

 

Monday
Mar072011

THEY SHOULD HAVE THEIR HEADS EXAMINED

 

         West Point, America’s War Academy, makes you proud to be an American, yet at the same time it fills you with dread and loathing. The pride comes from Bastogne, the “Battle of the Bulge”, Ivo Jima, Corregidor, Bataan and Valley Forge. The dread comes from the Battle of Gettysburg, the firebombing of Dresden, the blood spilled at Shiloh and some 800,000 American dead in our Civil War. The loathing comes from Viet Nam’s Mai Lai Massacre, Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison and the hell hole of Andersonville’s prisoner of war camp.
That stone fortress, with its colorful flags flying high above the Hudson River, was an appropriate venue for Robert Gates, our Secretary of Defense [perhaps we should use the old moniker “Secretary of War”], to make a speech ten days ago bluntly warning:
“In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined’, as General MacArthur so delicately put it.” [emphasis supplied]
          I am a believer in conspiracy theories. Without a shred of evidence, a scintilla of proof, I believe that Gates was throwing the gauntlet, drawing a line in the sand, giving fair warning, cautioning those in power that starting a war with Iran is suicide, hara-kiri. Just don’t go there, or for that matter into any local conflict now inflaming the region.

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Saturday
Feb122011

A WASTED REVOLUTION, WHAT A BUNCH OF DUPES

Because of who I am, I am very sensitive when it comes to name calling and ethnic slurs. My hackles bristle, wrong metaphor, try “rise”, when somebody starts talking about dumb Polacks, greedy Jews, smelly Pakis, stupid Spics, Greasers and Beaners. There are a lot more, but there is no reason to list them all.
When it comes to ethnic slurs there is one that I do not condemn. That is the universal slight of “stupid” when applied to any country or people that deserve it.
          Egyptians have just earned the Olympic Gold Medal for Stupidity, all 70 million of them. They deserve whatever the future holds for them, for they have surely screwed themselves royally even though most of them do not remember or were alive when King Farouk was sacked in ‘52. They have exhibited ignorance and stupidity. I don’t care what their IQ and SAT scores are, or those other indices of intelligence and knowledge we use to judge others. They are just plain dumb.

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Tuesday
Feb012011

DEMOCRACY CAN TURN AROUND AN BITE YOU IN THE ....

          This post is going to be short, sweet and to the point, not researched, off the cuff, by the seat of my pants, shooting from the hip, blind justice, on the fly, off the top of my head, at the drop of a hat, without beating around the bush and full of clichés.
          Beware of what you wish for, especially in Cairo, North Africa, the Middle and the Far East. Better the Devil you know than the Devil you don’t. Because if you do: You will be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.
          Any change in Egypt will put the United States between a rock and a hard place. For years we have advocated the spread of democracy in the most unlikely of places. We publicly declare that “Dictatorships shelter terrorists, and feed resentment and radicalism, and seek weapons of mass destructions. Democracies replace resentment with hope, respect for the rights of their citizens and their neighbors, and join the fight against terrorism. Every step toward freedom in the world makes our country safer –so we will act boldly in freedom’s cause.” George W. Bush, State of The Union Speech, 2006. What self serving crap, and a flagrant lie to boot.

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