The Propaganda Olympics

by Walter Brasch For Vladimir Putin, the winter Olympics is not about sports or international camaraderie. It’s a carefully orchestrated propaganda opportunity to try to showcase the nation’s athletes and show the world a Russia that, even with its great culture and arts, may exist only in the imaginations of those who believe in restoring the country’s previous grandeur. Sochi itself is not typical city for a winter Olympics. It’s a sub-tropical city of about 340,000, located along the Black Sea. Its selection by Russia was to let the world believe that the country in winter is not Siberia but a resort, suitable for tourists. Under Putin’s personal direction, Russia spent more than 1.8 trillion rubles (the equivalent of about … Continue reading

Pets Are Nothing More Than Kitchen Chairs

by Walter Brasch   In Johnstown, Pa., two abandoned puppies died from starvation and freezing weather in an unoccupied house. In Lancaster County, two puppies were left in a backpack in freezing weather. In Centre County, a dog was frozen to the floor of its doghouse. In Edwardsville, a woman abandoned 19 dogs after she was evicted from her mobile home. Seven dogs had died of starvation. The others were near death. In Monroe County, police found three dogs, each in a plastic bag, abandoned along the side of roads. Each was dead. One had been shot. All the cases were reported the past two weeks in Pennsylvania. These aren’t the only cases; hundreds aren’t reported. Four years ago, the … Continue reading

Obama Shakes Hand, Conservative Heads Explode

President Obama shook the hand of Cuba’s President Raul Castro today at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service, marking the first time in a longtime since leaders of the U.S. and Cuba have had personal contact. The simple gesture of the handshake, has caused conservative heads to explode across the punditry and social media chanels. CNN notes that “President Barack Obama shook hands with dozens of other world leaders,” as he made his way across the stage. It was merely a moment of politeness, was it not. Image the uproar had Obama snubbed Castro and passed by him without an acknowledgement. Indeed, those crowing now about the handshake would crow just as loud had Obama snubbed Castro. Folks are over-analyzing the handshake Kabuki Theater … Continue reading

South Africa’s Liberator Nelson Mandela, Dies at 95

Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, died today at 95.  Mandala led the “emancipation of South Africa from white minority rule” after spending 27 years in a South African prison, and became an “international emblem of dignity and forbearance.” Mr. Mandela’s quest for freedom took him from the court of tribal royalty to the liberation underground to a prison rock quarry to the presidential suite of Africa’s richest country. And then, when his first term of office was up, unlike so many of the successful revolutionaries he regarded as kindred spirits, he declined a second term and cheerfully handed over power to an elected successor, the country still gnawed by crime, poverty, corruption and disease but a democracy, respected in the world … Continue reading

Pope Francis Calls On Rich to Share, Says Unfettered Capitalism is ‘Tyranny’

In his first major work written as Pontiff, Pope Francis has called out “unfettered capitalism as ‘a new tyranny’” and is ”urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality.” Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, an 84-page document which is tantamount to his official platform, builds on views Francis “has aired in sermons and remarks since he became the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years in March.” In it, Francis went further than previous comments criticising the global economic system, attacking the “idolatry of money” and beseeching politicians to guarantee all citizens “dignified work, education and healthcare”. He also called on rich people to share their wealth. “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of … Continue reading

Disappointed in the Website not the Policy

I like many of my fellow Americans have been very frustrated with the lack of speed and efficacy of the Healthcare.gov website. However, let me be very clear there is a big difference between a website not working properly and a federal law being unlawful and therefore unconstitutional. Based on the polls by both liberal and conservative groups there has been a knee-jerk reaction to the website having issues and people believing since this is the case we should over-haul this law.  The Affordable Care Act is a law I remind you that is presently saving people money while providing a ray of hope to millions of people that only a year ago were told they were uninsurable. America is … Continue reading