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Gaza and the Danzig Corridor ... In January 1920, per the Versailles Treaty, Eastern Prussia was separated from the rest of Germany with the creation of the Danzig (or Polish) Corridor, a piece of land that gave re-established Poland access to the sea. It didn't last long; the separation of East Prussia from the rest of Germany, and the German population in Danzig and Pomerania, were both issues used by Hitler to start WWII. (See Page 8, Mar 26, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
The Real March Madness ... The NCAA college basketball tournament is appropriately named March Madness. The craziest people associated with the sport are the University of Kentucky basketball fans. UK Coach John Calipari said so after the SEC tournament final game in Nashville, Tennessee. He stated to the 17,000 to 18,000 University of Kentucky fans, "You people are crazy." (See Page 8, Mar 26, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Mahan, Obama and Strategic Vision ... In 1904, English geographer H.J. MacKinder published "the Geographical Pivot of History," (the "Heartland Theory") labeling the central plateau of Asia the "pivot of Asia." His thesis was that control over the "heartland" would mean control over the world; it wasn't necessary to occupy the heartland, just to control it. This was why so many countries had fought for control of central Asia, from the Russian steppes down through Persia (Iran) and Afghanistan. (See Page 8, Mar 19, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Marijuana, Scenarios Change, Try Commonsense ... I've never smoked pot. Not once, I guess I must be missing out on something but I'm not sure what. My wife and I were in Seattle a year or so ago. We were there to visit my son. The city was having their first hemp festival. We saw a number of people walking the streets of Seattle who seemed like they were in a coma. They were in a happy coma but nevertheless they were in some kind of daze. (See Page 8, Mar 19, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Muscat Love ... Prime Minister Netanyahu stated his case to Congress and the world for further containment of Iran, and for the west taking an unconditional position of no nuclear weapons - ever - for Iran. Netanyahu raised the image of Esther, Queen of Persia, saving the Jewish people from the plot of Prince Haman, favorite of King Xerxes (Ahasuerus). Esther outmaneuvered Haman, and saved the Jewish people. The Prime Minister suggested that once again an Iranian (Persian) viceroy wants to destroy the Jewish people. And once again steps must be taken to stop him. (See Page 8, Mar 12, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
America Needs Help and It's Time To Start Some Place ... Enact a flat tax immediately. Make Americans' lives simpler. Throw out the tax code. Let poor families pay zero. Middle class families could pay 10% to 15% and highincome people could pay about 20%. Obviously the dollar amounts and percentages can be changed in either direction, the concept is what is important. Why have we made filing and paying our taxes such a nightmare? If we simplified the tax structure in this nation we could easily eliminate more than half of the Internal Revenue Service. (See Page 8, Mar 12, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Muscat Love ... I recently came upon some of my notes from late 2009; they had to do with growing unrest in Yemen. A brief recap: Yemen (occupying the south-west corner of the Arabian Peninsula) is country of 23 million, and 203,000 square miles (about 4/5th the size of Texas). People have lived there for at least 3,200 years (the Sabaens - Sheba - flourished there), and in local mythology Aden is the site of Eden. (See Page 8, Mar 5, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Finally The Smoking Gun ... I was astounded last week when I heard President Obama say on national television thatglobal warming was just as dangerous to each of us as terrorism. For him to say such a thing in the face of overwhelming evidence that there has been no atmospheric warming in over eighteen years is unconscionable. Could it Oe tnat he shares the opinion of his architect of Obamacare, MIT Professor Johnathan Gauber, that Americans are too stupid to understand. Let me advise him that we are not stupid on either of these objectives and we will not stand by in passive indifference and let him and the United Nation. (See Page 8, Mar 5, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Mr. President I Want That Job ... In the movie "A Man For All Seasons" Sir Thomas More, on trial for high treason, comments to his accuser, Sir Richard Rich, solicitor for Wales: "What profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his soul? But Wales?" It's a question that many in Washington would have difficulty answering. In fact, there's a similar spiritual and intellectual gap in the leadership of the West that arguably leaves them incapable of dealing substantively with ISIS; that leaves them unable to understand what motivates many people. (See Page 8, Feb 26, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
We Hold These Truths ... The world's a mess: Russia's Ukrainian adventures continue; the fight continues against ISIS; Yemen is coming apart; fighting continues in Afghanistan; Boko Haram is expanding fighting in and around Nigeria. Elsewhere, despite Washington's rose colored glasses the economy shows signs of strain; total US employment is mixed; government spending is up; Greece seems headed towards default; China's economy is developing major cracks, and on and on. (See Page 8, Feb 19, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Guns Are Not for Crazy People ... Crazy people should never have guns, knives or anything that could potentially harm another. A crazy person will find a way to inflict injury or cause death. Eddie Ray Routh who murdered American hero Chris Kyle and Kyle's friend Chad Littlefield at a firing range proves my point again. This is one of the tragedies of the year. Two intelligent, knowledgeable men, one who had survived horrific Middle East combat situations, were snuffed out of this life by a crazy man like Routh. (See Page 8, Feb 19, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Slow Motion War and the Fight Against ISIS ... The 1991 US led coalition against Saddam Hussein fought, strictly speaking, a limited war. But for Saddam it was unlimited, a war of survival. And from Saddam's perspective, he won. Dozens of nations faced him, he was attacked by the most powerful air forces in the world, his country was invaded and his army badly mauled. Then the invaders left. By 1993 President Bush was out of power, Prime Minster Thatcher was long gone, the entire Soviet Union was gone - and Saddam was still in power. Was it clear and complete? No. He had to endure embargoes and UN inspections. But he was still in power. He'd faced this huge coalition; and in not losing he'd won. And remained in power another 12 years. (See Page 5, Feb 12, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Boots On The Ground ... The war against ISIS may require boots on the ground. These boots should not be the soldiers of the United States of America. I have been as incensed as any other American over the barbaric beheadings of our own Americans, and burning of a recent Jordanian prisoner. Isis is truly the scum of the earth. They are worse than scum. My Christian upbringing will not allow me to use words to express my feelings about Isis. They are evil and need to be eliminated from the planet. Our world cannot tolerate this cancer that is filled with such vicious hate for the rest of the planet. (See Page 5, Feb 12, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Boehner, Netanyahu and US Interests ... There are things happening on the international scene, things of great importance. And, there's a bit of a stink about Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu being invited to speak to Congress by Speaker of the House Boehner. The White House is upset: Mr. Boehner made the arrangements without consulting them, and upset that Mr. Netanyahu accepted without notifying the White House. This may be a breach of protocol. But it isn't crystal clear. You see, there is that pesky Constitution. While giving the Executive Branch responsibility to carry out foreign policy, the limits aren't defined. (See Page 8, Feb 5, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)


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