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.

 

 

Past Entries
Media
Wednesday
Sep072011

A WINDOW ON THE WORLD IN MY REAR VIEW MIRROR

That Tuesday was just another day, a day to file legal papers that I had put off for weeks. An early start to snare a metered parking space on Leonard Street, near the courthouse on Foley Square and avoid paying $20 to the parking garage Mafia. That morning around 8:45 I was sitting in my car waiting to feed the meter when from the corner of my eye I glimpsed a low flying plane going from my left to my right. “What a fucking asshole” I thought.

          With nine o’clock fast approaching I strolled to the back entrance of the Courthouse, the one with the steps and columns made famous by Law and Order. With my errand accomplished I was confronted with a crowd of people milling on those steps as I left the Courthouse. Everyone was staring westward and no one knew what was going on. With a shrug I went back to my car.

          Making a right on Worth Street I drove to West Broadway where I was confronted by frantic policemen waiving me through red lights. By that time, around ten, the radio was reporting the attacks on the World Trade Center. Driving up Sixth Avenue was a replay of the November day when Kennedy was shot. That Friday afternoon I was driving up Third Avenue when a cab driver delivered the news. I will never forget exactly where I was on those two days.

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Tuesday
Aug232011

THE LIBYAN LEOPARD'S BLACK SPOTS

Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the Leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil                                                                   Jeremiah 1:23 King James Version 

          Libya’s self appointed National Transitional Council, based in the city of Benghazi, is the official opposition body fighting to topple Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi autocratic regime. “Official”, not because it is has legitimacy, but because NATO and a reluctant United States have embraced this gaggle of opportunists. While the name is grandiose it does not profess to represents all of society and has systematically excluded Bedouin and other factions. It is a bald usurpation of power. The name does not elicit high democratic hopes, nor does it purport to adhere to the ideals so dear to Western democracies. It is what it says it is: a transition from a one man dictatorship to an oligarchy of the chosen few, the opportunists.

          Just take a gander at the leaders of the so called Libyan Rebellion. We have Mahmoud Jibril, the “Head of Government”, who had been ensconced as Chairman of Qaddafi’s National Economic Board enjoying all the privileges and perquisites that that post afforded and oil money would buy. Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, Chairman of the Council, was Muammar’s Minister of Justice, a minister who had turned a blind eye to justice for decades. Ali Tarhouni is listed as finance minister, a man who had abandoned his country and its people since 1974, now hell bent on unfreezing Libya’s billions and managing them in a time of turmoil. Will he hew to the straight and narrow or will he succumb to money’s siren song? Time will tell.

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Friday
Aug122011

DEMOCRACY: TYRANNY BY THE MINORITY

I often complain about the undemocratic state of our government where the Electoral College elects a President with less than a majority and where each state has two Senators irrespective of population. Wyoming’s two Senators representing 500,000 constituents have as much clout as Connecticut’s representing 3,500,000. The one man one vote principle has been hijacked and now legislation by “elected representatives” is being scuttled.

          The latest affront to democracy is the recently formed Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, Harry Reid’s harebrained “Supper Committee”, tasked with finding $1.5 trillion in savings and deficit reductions. For the moment ignore the partisan, biased and self serving nature of those just nominated, about that later. Let’s just do the numbers[1], the actual raw numbers that these “super twelve” congress people represent and who will wield power over the rest of us, all 311,000,000 of us, accordingly to the latest Census figures:

          The “super twelve” represent 49,000,000 constituents, see below, and that is but a mere 15% of the population. What about 37,593,000 Californians, Texas’ 25,200,000 souls, New York’s 19,378,000 residents, or 18,800,000 Floridians? Just those four state have 100,171,000 in population, twice the number represented by the “super twelve”, but their voice or the voice of their elected representatives will not be heard.

          In the present scheme of things the legislation provides that just seven members are needed to decide on what cuts are to be made, what taxes and revenues are needed, who will wither and who will prosper. In other words the future fiscal policy of the United States is being decided by a minority, not a majority or even a plurality. If taken to the extreme seven congress people [six representatives and one senator] representing 5,031,000 constituents hold our economic future in their hands. That is less than 2%, 0.015% to be exact, of the population. That’s sheer madness.

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Tuesday
Aug092011

SINGING THE CREDIT RATING BLUES

Back in the sixties I had a job with Retail Credit, a company based in Atlanta, Georgia with offices all over the Eastern United States. It was a primitive version of our consumer credit agencies rating individuals for employment, insurance and department store credit.

          Every morning I would show up for work and get a list of some 35 prospective applicants. It was piece work and you were paid for each completed investigation, $1.50 for auto insurance, $2.00 for store credit and $10.00 for life insurance. You would drive out to the applicant’s home, eyeball the neighborhood, gossip with the neighbors and speak to the applicant or the spouse. I had no training whatsoever. It beats the hell out me how I was supposed to assess risk or credit. Sometimes, when all information sources proved dry, you fudged and made up the information. In other words you lied. Not very scientific or fair, was it?

          This prehistoric method soon evolved into “sophisticated” information and credit driven models run by Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Their credit reports now dominate and terrorize the consumer. The reporting models are based on the theory that the more facts you garner, no matter whether they are false, dated or inapplicable, when fed into a computer will generate a true and accurate consumer history and give an accurate forecast of the consumer’s future performance.

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Thursday
Jul072011

P. S. TO BAGHDAD: A THOUSAND ONE FAIRY TAILS

    When someone does a better job than you, give them credit when credit is justly due.

          Four hours after posting my latest blog I came across a Salon article that predated my thoughts by a full month. I strongly suggest that you read the clearly better written and more thoroughly researched article:

                                           "WHAT WITHDRAWAL FROM IRAQ?" 

       http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/06/07/iraq_occupation_withdrawal/index.html