Home » Archive

LEN SIVE JR.

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

Great Britain and Germany both refuse to isolate Russia or to boycott her exports: Germany needs her gas and oil, and German companies have invested 22 billion in Russia; and England wants her cash for its financial markets. Putin sees this economic opening and, utilizing it, is now pushing for a referendum in Crimea in 10 days’ time with which to cement his grip on power there and, with Russian troops still in Crimea, to continue pressuring the Ukrainians to abandon their drive for closer ties with the EU and …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

The NRA (The National Rifle Association), after close council with Mephistophiles, and after rejecting out of hand Gabriel’s prudential warnings on behalf of the Lord, has lobbied the House to pass legislation allowing guns on college campuses. A more sinister, godless, diabolical bill could hardly be imagined. To allow 18 year olds the right to carry weapons, let alone on college campuses, is beyond all sane imaginings and is further proof, if ever one needed it, that the NRA is the devil’s own progeny and seeks to work his will …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

If  there had been any doubt—and I for one had never bought the idea that the Cold War was over—that doubt has been brutally confirmed. A tiger does not give up its stripes just on its (cunning) say so. Russia has never in its history been different from what it is today (save for that brief period in the early ‘90’s when Communism lay in tatters) :  a cold, anti-democratic, anti-free speech, anti-human rights dictatorship. (Putin’s symbolic democracy is just that. There is only one authority allowed in Russia, and …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

Yet another Republican presidential hopeful, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, has a staff (we are asked to believe) that without his knowledge or consent was engaged in criminal political activity, including his deputy chief of staff and a chief of staff. A criminal investigation has shown how personal laptops, private email accounts, other computer networks, etc., were utilized in an elaborate scheme to conceal illegal campaign work done on county time. Like his political comrade, Republican Governor Chris Christie, Walker denies having any knowledge of his staff’s criminal activities. (Is there …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

Jennifer Rubin, a conservative columnist for the Washington Post, has decried the “liberal media bias” in its reporting of the Christie scandals swirling, like a deadly hurricane, around the New Jersey Republican governor. Tellingly, she doesn’t even address the scandals themselves—the likelihood of their having happened, or what these scandals say about Christie’s character—he, a presidential hopeful—no, she has not a single word of condemnation of Christie, only criticism of the “liberal” media for “hyping” (my word) the scandals.
It’s a combination of “hate and vilify the messenger” approach to unwelcome …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

It was a day of mourning, and a day of shame. Using the sword of fear, Boeing’s CEO Jim McNerney, threatening to move Boeing if the machinist’s union didn’t ratify their new contract, successfully won the union vote, barely—51% to 49%. Clearly, the fear factor was the decisive edge: No one wanted to see Boeing leave Seattle—that was the sword of Damocles hanging over their collective necks. But for their (understandable) capitulation, they now lose their pensions. They are also forbidden to strike for ten years. It is a bitter …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

“This is what separated us from you; we made demands. You were satisfied to serve the power of your nation and we dreamed of giving ours her truth.”  
Albert Camus
Today, Rep. Michael Grimm (R., NY), a former Marine and FBI agent, threatened to kill Michael Scotto, a news reporter for NY1, for his choice of questions during an on-camera interview. Scotto brought up the on-going federal investigation into the financial contributions of Grimm’s 2010 political campaign. This so angered Rep. Grimm that he threatened to break Scotto in two and …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

Gov. Christie of New Jersey is under suspicion of ordering a “political payback” to the mayor of a N.J. city for not supporting him in his bid for governor. Christie’s deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly, along with Christie’s man at the Port Authority, David Wildstein, set in motion a diabolical plot to close down The George Washington Bridge by closing several access roads, thereby causing a monumental, and dangerous, shutdown of the bridge for several days. The big question is, How could that have happened without Christie’s prior knowledge …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

“Our ideal of America is a nation in which justice is done; and therefore the continued existence of injustice, of unnecessary inexcusable poverty in this most favored of nations—this knowledge erodes our ideal of America, our basic sense of who and what we are. It is, in the deepest sense of the word, demoralizing—to all of us.” Robert F. Kennedy
Republicans in Congress are, most of them, skilled not in statecraft, or the subtleties of governing a pluralistic country (Republicans on the whole care nothing about pluralism). They are skilled only …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

HOW ABOUT BUSINESSES AND ADVERTISERS? WHO IS MONITORING THEM MONITORING US?
It would be comical if it weren’t so frightening how eight key Internet providers (Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, et. al.) have petitioned the White House to do something about the NSA’s spying while failing to mention that they themselves are either spying on Internet users or else allowing others to do so—companies like Doubleclick, an advertising company, or QuestionMarket, a company that collects  data for example on your purchases, which may include your name and phone number, etc. Yet do …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

We have a problem no one wants to talk about—a BIG problem! Everywhere we turn, Internet companies, or companies using the Internet, are tracking us: our stops, our viewings, our buys; you-name-it, they’re collecting it. But who is angry? Who is even talking about it?
I subscribe to the New York Times: They informed me in December that I visited the Opinion pages 28 times, the World 24 times, the US 13 times, and so on. They know my most viewed and my most recently viewed…And this is the very same …

Corral »

Just as there are only a small number of the very greatest symphonies, or paintings, or novels, so there are only a small number of truly great films. It’s A Wonderful Life is one of them, however—perhaps even the greatest film ever made. It has everything: good versus evil; liberal versus conservative (read: Tea Party) politics and economics; romance; idealism versus cynical selfishness; living and dying for ideals; love for the common man and contempt for the hard-bitten man of wealth and power; sacrificial love; the struggle to lead a …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

There is nothing in our history quite as bizarre as the continuing influence of the NRA (National Rifle Association) despite one  gun-related tragedy after another, at home, at school, in shopping malls, bars, sporting events, political rallies, churches, airports—everywhere people gather together.  More Americans die each year from gun-related incidents than were killed during our entire involvement in Vietnam! If there is one group that we can single out for its depraved influence on American life: in expertly leading gullible folk away from facts to emotional, spurious constitutional gun arguments: …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

China in the 18th and 19th centuries was largely a victim of various colonial powers and the US, which pent-up resentment finally resulted in the nationalistic Boxer Rebellion—which China lost handily and suffered greatly for as a result. In those days China was a rural nation, economically undeveloped, and, militarily speaking, of no significance as compared with the US and other colonial powers.
But that was then.  China has gone from victim to victimizer: continuing to suppress human rights in its own nation (a legacy going back to Chairman Mao and …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

When I was a boy, many a holiday season ago, there was a palpable sense of “holiday cheer” from Thanksgiving to Christmas through to the New Year: people smiled and laughed;  opened doors for one another and helped people cross the street; greeted strangers with a warm smile and a wave; kept the elevator door open for that slow moving senior citizen; always tipped lavishly; and made church services an integral part of the  holiday season—joyously and gratefully, as people counted their several  blessings throughout the holiday season.
Thanksgiving was, uniquely, …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

Not even Sophocles could have dreamed up the degree of hubris shown by Boeing CEO Jim McNerney in his company’s negotiations with the Machinists Union for a new contract. McNerney, who last year pulled in 22 million dollars!, told the union that if they wanted to keep their jobs, they must give up their pension and accept higher healthcare costs!
This is the epitome of how Corporate America works: The lowly worker (who, be it noted, really makes the company) is threatened with losing his job unless he agrees to such …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

There are many important issues in history—or even everyday life—that do not resolve themselves into (so to speak) “easy round numbers,” but involve “messy arithmetical calculations.” So it is with Snowden: Any way you take him, the calculations to be done are messy indeed.
Let’s look at him, first, from a positive standpoint. What has he done that we ought to be thankful for? Clearly it’s revealing the inner workings of the NSA’s massive, indeed historically unprecedented, ability to monitor our calls, our emails, and our Internet activity—and to millions of …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

In Korea where I live and work as a teacher, education is entirely test-oriented. One is tested only too frequently throughout one’s education. The reason is to pass that all-important test to go to one of Korea’s top high schools: and this in order to have a very good chance of going to one of Korea’s three top universities, and then land a well-paying job upon graduation. Obtaining that well-paying job is the payoff; Korean education, and Korean society, cannot be understood apart from this fact. If you wish to …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

Oswald Spengler in his book Decline of the West famously—or infamously—asserts that all civilizations go through cycles and eventually die, and that the West is now in such a downward cycle, with its final decline and death certain.
I have not yet read Spengler myself (a desideratum), though as someone once said, after the publication of Spengler’s book and in the context of the horrific mutual bloodletting of European nations in World War I, “we are all Spenglerians now”, meaning that life after WWI changed how everyone saw western civilization, excepting …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

The character of a man is shown by how he handles crises, especially those of his own making and which involve questions of ethics. Senator Paul Rand, Tea Party stalwart and aspiring presidential candidate, has been found guilty of cheating—plagiarizing other people’s work for his own speeches. This Tea Party bully who likes to pick on people weaker than he—the poor, the uninsured, the elderly, the sick, the unemployed, the under-paid—was caught red-handed with his hands in other people’s writings. And what does Mr. Virtue have to say for himself? …

Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

Perhaps it’s appropriate that Edward’s last name has “snow” in it, since he has caused a world-wide avalanche of reactions to his carefully released documents revealing how almost omnipotent the NSA has become in snooping, monitoring, and data gathering from seemingly every corner of the globe, whether friendly or hostile to the US.
Perhaps never before in history has electronic snooping been so ubiquitous  as to present at least the pre-figurement of Big Brother, if not Big Brother himself. The reassurances, for example, of the NSA’s director, Gen. Keith Alexander, that …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

I wrote this several years ago. It still stands. But the figure about whom I wrote, instead of being criticized, is still lionized.  Today, October 27, 2013, Jack Welch is on his own show on CNBC’s “One-On-One With Jack Welch”, when, given his notorious record at GE, he should, at the very least, be shunned. Oh. I forgot to mention: GE owns NBC.
Corporations are today the dominant institution in life, both at home and abroad. Their reach and influence and power are unexcelled, and perhaps unexampled in history. They enjoy …

Articles In English, Idee/Fatti del Mondo »

“To speak with forked tongue” appropriately, on one account of its origins, goes back to 1699, to the French army in America, which invited the Iroquois Indians to attend a peace conference, only to have the French end up treacherously butchering all the attending Iroquois. Thenceforth, for Indians, to speak with “forked tongue” meant to lie—specifically, the idea that the white man lies and so cannot be trusted.
This unspeakable act of treachery by the French, in dealing with the Indian, has been all too common throughout our history. In the …