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 a Contributing Editor 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 and Britić, a magazine published in the United Kingdom. He resides in New York City and Washington, Connecticut.

 

Media
Wednesday
Jun122013

NOTHING TO HIDE

Published as Lead Opinion Article and Op Ed Article:  “OPINION: Information ‘Rape’ Under National Security Cloak Illegal; But Hey, I Have Nothing to Hide”, The Litchfield County Times, The Housatonic Times, The Connecticut Bulletin, Tuesday, June 11, 2013  

I have nothing to hide. I do not send emails to Al Qaeda sleeper cells in the United States or abroad. My charitable contributions are to the Red Cross and the United Way and not to the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee or Al-Jama’a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya. I have not visited, joined or logged on to the Ashley Madison site for wayward spouses. I have not sought comfort and companionship on EHarmony. My Google searches are benign and I have not surfed the net for graphic pornographic images or videos. Who cares if I have ordered books from Barnes and Noble or bought Broadway tickets on line? My digital electronic life is an open book.

Then why am so incensed, so pissed off by the disclosure that the National Security Agency and other yet to be named agencies of the United States Government have for years monitored internet and telephone communications? 

Well for a start, I do not like to be played for a sucker, for a chump and kept in the dark.

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Friday
May312013

THE ABUSE OF DEADLY FORCE

The murder of civilians by other civilians wielding assault rifles and hand guns captures our attention however briefly. Sandy Hook massacre is still fresh in our minds, but so are the killings in Aurora, Colorado and at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. So far these murders have had little effect on laws regulating gun ownership in the United States. 

The Boston Marathon Bombing has exposed another ugly facet of gun violence, the inordinate use of deadly force by law enforcement in the apprehension and interrogation of suspected criminals. This abuse of power is often swept under the rug, never properly addressed and the crimes never prosecuted. 

Tamerlan Tsarnev, the Boston Marathon suspect now in custody in a federal medical facility awaiting trial, had holed up in a boat in Watertown, Massachusetts subject to a city wide manhunt. Unarmed and under observation by a “forward looking infrared thermal imaging device” located in a police helicopter hovering overhead the police and the FBI nevertheless fired a fusillade of at least 20 shots critically injuring him. 

No one is proclaiming his innocence. I am just questioning the use of that firepower under the circumstances. Was it necessary and proper?

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Tuesday
May212013

TAX SCAMS AND SCANDALS: IT'S TIME FOR A CHANGE

Updated on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 by Registered CommenterDeyan Brashich

If there was ever a right time to confront the stupidity and irrationality of our tax laws and do something about it it’s now. But I’m not betting on it. Congress and lobbyists have seen to it that the tax code is skewered and unfair so that the average taxpayer will lose and pay taxes while the rich and large corporations will win and walk away from their tax obligations. Back in 2008 President Obama and Senators and Representatives who supported his agenda promised change if elected. Some five years later I am still waiting.

This month started off with the IRS scandal, the one where some GS 5’s, low ranking, ill-trained, unsupervised agents were found to have singled out Tea Party and other right leaning organizations seeking a preferred tax status for extra scrutiny. Everyone from President Obama on down expressed outrage, that this was illegal, unconstitutional, un-American they said.

What was not said and what must be said is that the sought for preferential tax treatment, that of Section 501 (c) (4) organization status, is being misused and criminally abused by political organization of all political stripes, Republican and Democrat alike.

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Wednesday
May152013

NEWTOWN, TEAR IT DOWN AND YOU'LL SOON FORGET

Published as Op Ed & Lead Opinion Article: "OPINION: Don’t Erase Pain of Sandy Hook Lest You Forget; Look to Paris for Guidance”, The Litchfield County Times, The Housatonic Times, The Connecticut Bulletin, Tuesday, May 14, 2013

 

The choices facing Newtown’s task force deciding the fate of the Sandy Hook Elementary School were daunting. They chose the one with a financial costs to the town of $57 million for a tear down and new school on the present site. That plan was approved last Friday and now awaits approval by the School Board and a town referendum, a hard choice in these austere times.

There was the choice of a tear down and a new building on a new site, requiring condemnation, eminent domain and dislocation of existing homes and businesses. All of the choices had attendant emotional issues with no easy solutions. Do you want closure or do you want to never forget? It’s damned if you do and damned if don’t propositions that face Newtown voters.

The cheapest alternative but emotionally least emotionally attractive was to repair the school, suck in your gut, and just keep on trucking, living with the memory and the pain. As insensitive as it may sound I hope the community votes for the least attractive and cheapest alternative, repair the old school building. Keep on trucking, keep on remembering.

I do not live or vote in Newtown so my comments count little. I was born in a country [ex-Yugoslavia] at a time when many children died in World War II. After that war, that country made a conscious effort to forgive and forget only to have history repeat itself some 50 years later in Srebrenica, Bosnia. I voice my comments from that vantage point alone.

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Monday
May062013

RALPH NADER, YOU ROCK, BUT NOT ENOUGH

Last month on the Editorial/Opinion page of The Litchfield County Times Ralph Nader asked America to regain control of “our runaway, unilateral presidency”, specifically the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama and others who preceded them. Who would have thought that Ralph Nader had morphed into a later day Caspar Milquetoast? I would have liked from him a more robust call to arms, a far reaching demand for change, a declaration of war, war without quarter until “constitutional accountabilities” are restored.

I have no quarrel with his views. In fact I wholeheartedly support and embrace them. But they are half measures; they do not go the distance. They address only some of the symptoms of the maladies that ail us.

In fairness, Mr. Nader’s comments were addressed to the immediacy surrounding the Boston Marathon Massacre, the “blowback” and “boomerang” results of our failed policies of “lawless wars and military [mis]adventures”, of “terror … from drones that hover … ready to fire missiles” and “special U.S. killing teams” ready to strike at any time. He concludes that it was the President’s command of “high-tech buttons … pushed by drone operators” that control foreign skies, but that “low-tech buttons can now be pushed … against gatherings of innocent people” and wreak havoc on American soil.

The policies of past Presidents, including George Bush’s drone strike assassinations, were continued and expanded by the present administration, unchecked by Congress and American voters, resulting in mayhem of civilians in Boston, with more to come unless we change course.

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