Nowadays it seems rare to read a news story with a happy ending, between tales of economic disaster across the world and violent outbursts from jihadists, protestors, and criminals. Fortunately, today (October 13) we celebrate the ongoing rescue of the 33 trapped miners in Chile, of which 14 have already been saved and the 15th rescue is underway. At the rate the miners are being brought up, it seems likely they should all be on safe ground by tomorrow.
Pakistani authorities on October 10 reopened the Torkham border crossing into Afghanistan for NATO forces, ending an 11-day blockade. The Pakistani government imposed the blockade in response to a September 30 NATO airstrike at the border post, which resulted in the killing of three Pakistani troops. On October 5, the United States took responsibility for the helicopter attack and issued an apology, explaining that the pilots mistook the soldiers for insurgents. “We deeply regret this tragic loss of life and will continue to work with the Pakistan military and government to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” said General David H. Petraeus.
The U.S. CIA engaged in torture in its secret prison in Poland with a “criminal standard of proof,” the British Broadcasting Corporation reported October 6. The remarks represent the view of former jurist and Swiss Senator Dick Marty, a the former Council of Europe Rapporteur on Torture who has investigated the case.
Few other human beings were eye witnesses to, and participants in, events of the 20th Century as was Vilius Brazenas. A survivor of wars, revolution, plague, famine, foreign military occupations and forced deportations, he became a tireless champion of freedom and unyielding foe of totalitarianism in all its forms. Mr. Brazenas passed away at the age of 97, in a hospital in Vilnius, Lithuania, on October 3 following complications from a recent fall.
This article, originally published on September 6, 2004, was written by noted Lithuanina-American journalist and author Vilius Brazenas for The New American. A recipient of Lithuania's highest civilian honor, The Order of the Vytis Cross, Mr. Brazenas was well known as a political analyst, writer, and speaker not only in Lithuania, but also in the United States, Europe, and many other parts of the world. Mr. Brazenas passed away in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, on October 3rd. He was 97 years old. This article, which is as relevant today as when it was published, is being republished here in his honor.
Totalitarian nations have always viewed procreation as an activity that is state business, not the hopes and dreams of ordinary people. Nazi Germany encouraged the right sort of people (in the eyes of the State) to have as many children as they could, and then made sure that the wrong sort of people could not procreate at all. The Fascists, less obsessed with race than the Nazis, also encouraged Italian families to have as many children as possible.
Voters in Brazil this weekend had a choice between three leftist candidates for president, two of whom will now be facing each other in a runoff election after no contender reached the necessary 50 percent to win automatically in the first round. And in São Paulo, voters sent Tiririca (Grumpy) the clown to Congress with an astounding 1.3 million votes — almost twice the amount of his nearest competitor anywhere in the nation.
On the British Broadcasting Channel's Sunday Morning Live for October 3, British television pundit Virginia Ironside provoked outrage from the audience as she indicated that the act of abortion was a “kindness” and that [taking the life of a child] should continue even to fully grown “suffering” children by way of suffocation.
In a story published yesterday by Reuters, a group of agencies of the United Nations and other global organizations was quoted as saying that the governments of the world must respect the rights of all migrants. The statement was undoubtedly a reaction to the recent banishment of the Roma population (also known as gypsies) by the government of France. Of equal force, perhaps, is the enforcement of the anti-illegal immigration law that was passed recently in Arizona, a law known colloquially as S.B. 1070.