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Pence.JPGAs Trump/Pence prepare to take office, their backers believe a more truthful US government will emerge — and yet their unwillingness to provide safe-haven for Syrian refugees, made homeless by American intervention in that country, is a troubling sign. Hopefully Donald Trump recognizes the evil of Obama’s call for “regime change” in Syria — and moves to halt support for the rebels there.

consulate-bonhoefferThe Consulate General of Germany in New York hosted an evening of music 10/11 to commemorate the life of German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, killed by the Nazis in the last days of WWII for his role in a plot to assassinate Hitler. The Kleine Choir of Burgdorf, Germany, led by Ilsabe Bartels-Kohl, performed music by Mattias Nagel, with a Dieter Stork libretto based on texts by Bonhoeffer.

“Has the Church merely to gather up those whom the wheel has crushed or has she to prevent the wheel from crushing them?” Bonhoeffer, Ethics (SCM Press, 1955)

“Only in action is freedom.” Bonhoeffer, Ethics

Bonhoeffer also noted in Ethics: “It is the essence of Greek tragedy that a man’s downfall is brought about by the conflict of incompatible laws.” Isn’t that the case today in the US? For Bonhoeffer, the resolution lay in “the unity of God and the reconciliation of the world with God in Jesus Christ; it is not the inescapability of guilt, but the simplicity of life which follows from the reconciliation; it is not fate, but the gospel as the ultimate reality of life; it is not the cruel triumph of the gods over falling man, but it is the election of man to be man as the child of God in the world which is reconciled through grace.”

ObamaUN.JPG“Truth exists when what is, is said to be, and when what is not is said not to be. Falsity will consist in the excess, when what is not is said to be; or in defect, when what is, is said not to be.” Thomas Aquinas

Addressing the UN this week, President Obama said “I draw strength from young Americans…who are remaking our nation once again, who are unconstrained by old habits and old conventions and unencumbered by what is, but are instead ready to seize what ought to be.”

One probably wouldn’t want to fly in an airplane with a pilot who had such a view of reality. And yet the man who sees himself as the most important person in the world, and is acting on it, has such a view — while the wreckage piles up, from the burning of Charlotte to the burning of Syria.

President Obama’s legacy will be a nation and world more divided and self-destructing than when he came into office, with his untruthfulness a key factor.

ivorycoastAlassane Ouattara (center), President of Ivory Coast, in New York for the opening session of the UN General Assembly.

Mr. Ouattare, a Sunni, came to power in 2011 after a disputed election. The Ivory Coast parliament had determined that Mr. Ouattara was not born in Ivory Coast and therefore not eligible to be its president. And yet Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, used her influence to get him in and force his predecessor out. His predecessor, Laurent Gbagbo, a Catholic, is in the Hague (ICC) on charges related to trying to remain as president.

steubenparade2016psteubenparade2016isteubenparade2016noktoberfest2016jsteubenparade2016doktoberfest2016hoktoberfest2016foktoberfest2016lThis year’s grand marshals were Ambassador Peter Witig and Olympic Gold Medal skater Katarina Witt. Baron von Steuben was an Honored Guest (top photo-right). As is custom the parade was followed by Oktoberfest in Central Park.

While watching the parade march up Fifth Avenue, past the World War I monument, one couldn’t help but recall the events of 100 years ago and how they continue to resonate.

In 1916 Germany tried to end the war, but Britain wouldn’t hear of it — wanting to destroy Germany and knowing the U.S. would enter the war on their side after the 1916 election (even though Wilson had run on the promise of keeping the U.S. out of the war). Wilson’s aid Colonel House made it known in England that he planned to get in. Wilson also made the Russian revolution a precondition for U.S. involvement, not wanting to support the Czar. So by playing interventionist, on behalf of prominent Zionists (Brandeis), who got Palestine out of the deal, the U.S. laid the groundwork for Hitler, the Holocaust and the Soviet Union.

Today U.S. intervention and support for regime change in Libya and Syria has created a new holocaust and a refugee crisis that undermines peace and stability everywhere. Good of Germany to support the refugees (even with a few bad eggs). By doing so they express a goodness that others would do well to emulate.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

 

samesky2016asamesky2016bFrancine LeFrak, Founder of Same Sky, is joined by Deshauna Barber (Miss USA) and Pia Wurtzbach (Miss Universe) at a Same Sky ethical shopping event Thursday in New York.

Same Sky is working to empower women and change lives, around the world, by employing them to make superbly crafted jewelry.

Lincoln+RussiansThe recent outcry over possible Russian involvement in the outing the e-mails, exposing DNC treachery toward Bernie Sanders, seems absurd. Americans should be thankful for whoever helps to expose the darkness of their deceiving leaders, and attempts to enlighten the people, in the hope of preventing further American destruction abroad.

It’s worth noting that if it wasn’t for Russia, under the Czar, the US probably wouldn’t exist today.

During the Civil War (1863), the Russians sent war ships to New York Harbor to prevent France and England from getting involved on the side of the South, which, had they done so, would have meant sure defeat for Lincoln and the Union.

USFranceThe perpetrators in Nice, Dallas, and Baton Rouge, far from being fringe, are manifesting their country’s sick spirit.

“Vous avez mis le doigt dessus.”

 

IsraelParade2016fIsraelParade2016IsraelParade2016bThe ‘Celebrate Israel Parade’ soldiered-on in the rain today on Fifth Avenue.

The modern state of Israel continues to undermine peace and stability in the Middle East, as well as the hearts and minds of Jews everywhere — with an unending stream of American politicians eager to support this “disgraceful page” in Jewish history.

In 1939, Martin Buber, commenting after a wave of Jewish terrorism directed at British and Arab interests, described Zionist thinking as “the foulest and most fraudulent deception of all: that it is possible to achieve redemption through sin … If the people justifies the murder, identifies with the perpetrators, and thus accepts responsibility for the sin as its own, we will bequeath to our children not a free and pure land but a thieves’ den to live in and raise their children in.”

KeysOfTheKingdom“As you know from the congressional inquiry, two years before the attack, bin Laden threatened the kingdom with revolution unless al-Qaeda’s operatives were given access to and support from the Saudi’s agents in the U.S. The old king capitulated.” Senator Bob Graham, Keys to the Kingdom, (Vanguard Press, 2011)

The ‘principles’ underlying the U.S./Saudi relationship are not only unsound but evil, with decades of slaughter to show for it. The latest being the destruction of Yemen and Syria. Those who have sought for Assad to “go” have brought hell to Syria and likely to themselves.

On a day that saw President Obama received coldly in Saudi Arabia and 500 refugees drown while fleeing murderous wars initiated by Saudi Arabia and supported by the U.S., one can only hope that the next U.S. president will freeze Saudi assets, halt weapon sales, and establish a no-fly zone over that country. But that would be unlikely if Hillary Clinton is the next president, given the enormous sums gifted to the Clinton Foundation by the House of Saud.

EasterMonday2016Remembering the Easter Monday Irish Rebellion (April 23, 1916).

“On his return, Mr. Asquith approached me with the suggestion that I should take up the task of trying to negotiate a settlement with the Irish revolutionary leaders. My sympathy with their cause was known.” D. LLoyd George, War Memoirs, 1938

 

HappinessDayguantanamo1The leaders of the world, thinking they are the creators of the world, are spreading misery — and calling it happiness.

President Obama, custodian of Gitmo and destroyer of Libya and Syria, has some nerve lecturing Raul Castro on human rights. Instead, he would do well to do everything in his power to close Guantanamo, returning it to Cuba unconditionally, and lifting the blockade.

Rather than kowtowing to AIPAC, Trump — the so-called anti-establishment candidate, ought to be saying: “Get ’em outa here!” Herzl would likely agree. Twenty-First century Zionism is toxic for Jews, America and the world.

 

ColumbiaUniversityHavel80Havel80bWhile Columbia University students basked in 77 degree temperatures today, several notable scholars and colleagues of Vaclav Havel (1936-2011) gathered at an event on campus to remember the life and impact of the renowned playwright, dissident, and president of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic. The discussion included Havel’s involvement in the Charter 77 movement, which led to the 1989 Velvet revolution and the end of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia.

Commenting in March 1986, on Charter 77, Havel wrote: “Charter 77 is neither left-wing nor right wing…as a civic initiative that is politically undefined and does not seek to implement a political program of its own, it is—if I may say so—‘above’ it all, or, to put it more modestly, outside it all. It is concerned with truth, with a truthful description of conditions, and with a free and objective criticism of those conditions. Which means that it is and must be concerned with truth no matter whom the truth favors.”

Havel adds, in his 3/86 letter, that Charter 77 is “not a secret branch of the Husak regime” and “not a secret Czechoslovak branch of the Reagan administration,” but rather “the Charter recognizes only a single authority, and that is the authority of truth and the authority of the conscience that demands that it speak the truth.”

One of the guest speakers, Jacques Rupnik, referred to the situation in Central Europe today as one of “identity and sovereignty” with the “hardening of identity politics,” and not what Havel had in mind 25 years ago. Michael Krauss said that Havel was skeptical of modern democracy’s ability to deliver (a healthy society), with political parties acting not as vehicles of the common good but as dividers of citizens.

In 1989 Vaclev Havel was awarded the German Peace Prize of the German Booksellers Association. It was presented to him in absentia, at the Frankfurt Book Fair on October 15, 1989. His remarks, read by Maximilian Schell, titled: A Word About Words included:

“It is not hard to demonstrate that all the main threats confronting the world today, from atomic war and ecological disaster to a catastrophic collapse of society and civilization—by which I mean the widening gulf between rich and poor individuals and nations—have hidden deep within them a single root cause: the imperceptible transformation of what was originally a humble message into an arrogant one.”

For happiness and peace to be realized in society, a culture of freedom is needed, and for that truthfulness is essential. The hardest truth to live is humility, which doesn’t mean being humiliated. In Havel’s 1990 New Year’s Address, his first major public address as president of Czechoslovakia, he suggested: “Our main enemy today is our own bad traits: indifference to the common good; vanity; personal ambition; selfishness; and rivalry. The main struggle will have to be fought on this field.”

Photographs: Stephen Wise

ZionismThe German Consulate in New York is presenting an exhibit exploring the “German Roots of Zionism” (through Feb. 26) — this amid reports that the conservative movement’s new siddur (prayer book) removes God as ‘King’. In both cases today’s Jews (secular and religious) are turning away from God — making themselves King (Superman), a far cry from the contrite heart that produced this prayer:

“Heal us, O Lord, and we shall be healed; save us and we shall be saved; for thou art our praise. Vouchsafe a perfect healing to all our wounds; for thou, almighty King, art a faithful and merciful Physician. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who healest the sick of thy people Israel.” The Standard Machsor, 1925

The remnant of Israel (Isaiah 10:22) is not the Modern State of Israel, but rather the Church — People of God — house of the Lord.

“Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.” John 4:21

Photograph: Stephen Wise

GrandCruDeBordeaux2016aGrandCrusDeBordeaux2016Just hours after a record setting blizzard pummeled the East coast of the U.S., some of the world’s leading, and most intrepid, wine producers made their way to Mid-town Manhattan, from Bordeaux, via Montreal to present their 2013 wines.

In Bordeaux, 2013 was a challenging year for reds, better for whites. Many of the producers in the room made excellent wines in a difficult year. We especially liked the Chateau Beychevelle, Rouge; Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, Blanc; Chateau Bastor-Lamontagne, Sauternes.

NewYear2016

TELTEL2“Arabs could be swung on an idea as on a cord; for the unpledged allegiance of their minds made them obedient servants. None of them would escape the bond till success had come, and with it responsibility and duty and engagements. Then the idea was gone and the work ended in ruins.” T.E. Lawrence, Revolt in the Desert (Doran, 1927)

A trove of T.E. Lawrence materials will be part of the Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts sale at Christie’s NY, 12/8.

KoreanProtestSouth Korean protesters, for and against the Park Chung-hee government, squared-off Friday evening outside the Korean Consul General’s office in NYC.

RBSS2The CPJ 2015 International Press Freedom Awards included Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS) a collective of citizen journalists reporting on IS and Syrian government activities in Raqqa, the Islamic State capital in Syria.

On the day that saw a Russian aircraft shot down over Syria, for a minor Turkish airspace violation, President Obama said “every country has a right to defend its territory and airspace” — which leads one to wonder why Syria should be denied the same right, with only two countries supporting her (Russia & Iran), according to Obama. The humanitarian crisis in Syria was created by plunderers posing as moderates, humanitarian interventionists and even journalists.

In his remarks, one of the RBSS members said “the evil which began in Syria will not stop there.” Actually the evil that is slaughtering Syria today began in Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US (via Turkey)—and contrary to RBSS dreams won’t be producing “a free, democratic and united country.” One-half of Syria is already dominated by Islamic State.

It should be remembered that the Syrian uprising was fueled, in early 2011, by “Gay Girl in Damascus” — the deceit of a male American grad-student. Healthy change can’t be built on lies.

NYU-France2015Washington Square Park in NYC — November 14, 2015

The problem for the French and American people is their leaders, on the left and right, who support malevolent interventions (“Assad must go”) — that predictably produce spoils for some and humanitarian disaster for all.

DaughtersOfMotherIndiaDaughtersOfModernIndia3Asia Society and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women presented a discussion, 11/10, on women’s empowerment followed by a documentary on violence against women and girls in India.

Filmaker Vibha Bakshi was on hand, along with Rachel Vogelstein, senior fellow and director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in Washington, DC; Noa Meyer, global head of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women program; and Leigh Gallagher, Assistant Managing Editor at Fortune magazine.

Ms. Bakshi’s film was made in the aftermath of the rape and murder of a 23-year-old medical student in Delhi in December 2012, and the nationwide demonstrations that followed. She hopes to raise consciousness about gender violence, and affect change, especially among law enforcement in India.

At the heart of the matter is the collision of pre-modern and post-modern Indian culture — lacking a shared view (old or new) for how to be healthy persons in society. American feminist interventions will likely make the situation worse, because their mindsets and programs tend to divide women from men.

The men are not the only ones committing violence against women and girls in India. Ms. Bakshi said Indian mothers typically abort their pregnancies when they learn that the fetus is a girl.

MaybellineNYCIn recent years feminists, like Hillary Clinton, have advocated for empowering women (with preferential treatment—scholarships, loans, etc.) for the sake of lifting/bettering society.

However, when said women are not rooted in truth and goodness the opposite happens, as we see today in American society and foreign policy. It was the U.S. State Department, under Secretary of State Clinton in 2011 (with help from Susan Rice and Samantha Power) that incited the uprising and criminal rebel action against the Assad government—leading to the hell that exists there today.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

SakeSaltTsukinoiSakeTsukinoiHandCreamThe recent Japanese Food and Beverage Expo in NYC featured plenty of excellent Sakes, but also products made with Sake, including salt and hand cream.

Tsukinoi hand cream is a new hand treatment — in the same league as Estee Lauder’s La Mer, perhaps even better.

Poland-PresidentDuda1The new president of Poland, Andrzej Duda, arriving at the Polish Consulate in NYC on Tuesday.

SteubenParade2015eSteubenParade2015nSteubenParade2015Oktoberfest2015The 58th iteration of the German-American Steuben Parade, normally a fun-filled occasion of friendship, showed signs of strain — with no major corporate sponsors and fewer groups from Germany — perhaps a response to American foreign policy, particularly in Syria (“Assad must go”), and the Justice Department’s actions towards Volkswagen.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

BrasilDay2015BrasilDay2015aWith significant economic challenges facing their country, these Brazilians find reasons to smile on Brazil’s Independence Day in NYC.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

Ireland-LinenIreland-Pots3The Irish are back to making stuff these days, really excellent hand-made stuff. From fine linens and crystal, to soap and pottery, here are some of our favorites from this year’s NY NOW: Irish Linen House, 31 Chapel Lane, Foxford, Arran Street East, J. Hills Standard LTD, and The Handmade Soap Company.

US-TheStrainThe machinations around the P5+1 nuclear agreement with Iran offer a glimpse into the toxic U.S. efforts to control the World, made worse by the extent to which Israel has bought control of the U.S. Congress and the presidential candidates.

A commonly heard refrain today, directed at American Jews by Isaeli officials, is: “Give us your money and your Congress…” But to what end? The hysteria and fanaticism of the Zionist movement continues to plague the world, the U.S., and Jews themselves. Even after delivering money and Congress, American Jews are often told by Israelis that they aren’t really Jews. Writing in Forward (July 24, 2015), Gal Beckerman characterized the state of being an American Jew today as: “gut-churning, fraught, panicked and uncomfortable.” This is not because of anti-Semitism, but rather, he says: “the fear of losing Jewish identity… and the struggle to construct Jewish identity.”

History has shown the best hope for finding peace (of mind) and being fulfilled, authentic Jews, is through assimilation — not with Xanax or Zionism, but with the New Covenant.

GermanyIsrael2015aMay 12, 2015 marked 50 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and the Federal Republic of Germany.

The German Consulate in New York hosted an event this evening commemorating the anniversary with a panel discussion that included representatives of ARSP (Action Reconciliation Service for Peace), a German non-profit that sends volunteers to work with Holocaust survivors.

In remarks before the panel discussion, an Israeli official said that Germany and Israel together were “repairing the world” and “making the world a better place.”

Among the 10 milestones noted by the panel, in the German/Israeli reconciliation, was #3 Germany providing Israel with nuclear capable submarines in 1957, which was against German law.

In activities such as this, that focus on “remembrance and lessons” from the Holocaust, a blind spot often exists, as the Germans are presented (even by themselves) as the sole perpetrators, and the Jews as the sole victims — who maintain they have nothing to be “ashamed” of. And yet an honest reading of history reveals plenty of Jewish culpability (Marxist and Zionist) for both World Wars, and reasons to be ashamed, up to the present day, with the wiping of Palestine off the map.

One panelist said: “Forgiveness is not a concept for Israelis.”

We would suggest that people who cannot forgive others, or seek forgiveness for themselves (especially with nukes in their hands), are in no position to “repair the world.”

Bonhams-Maritime4Bonhams-Maritime2Bonhams-MaritimeBonhams in New York is auctioning Fine Maritime Paintings and Decorative Arts on June 25, 2015.

FilipinoIndependenceDayFilipinos in Queens commemorated Philippine Independence Day (June 12, 1898) with a protest against Chinese and American intervention in their country.

After ‘liberating’ the Philippines from Spain in 1898, the U.S. stayed and fought a war against the Filipinos and hasn’t really left the area since. The 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) along with corrupt politicians, has kept the Philippines from dealing organically with its neighbors, while the U.S. uses it as a pawn against China.

U.S. involvement in the Pacific Rim (including American banker Jacob Schiff’s funding of Japan’s war against Russia in 1904-05) led to two World Wars, the Communist takeover of China in 1949, and some would say a Third World War — already underway.

FATCA-Vatican2015On a day that saw the Vatican sign on to the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, Russia’s Vladimir Putin met with Pope Francis in the hope of finding peaceful solutions in Ukraine and Syria.

Americanized Catholics have time and again opted for the darkness of American Foreign Policy over the light of the Gospel.

An honest person following events in Syria and Ukraine knows the U.S. is the black hand in both situations, and the greatest threat to peace and stability in the world today. Most troubling are Catholics (going back to U.S. Cardinal Gibbons snubbing Pope Benedict XV’s attempt to end WWI) who have appeased and even supported America’s treachery.

IsraelParade2015i“It is hard to grow up without faith.” Paul Goodman, Growing Up Absurd, (Vintage Books, 1960)

At the Celebrate Israel Parade in NYC today, one is reminded that the followers of the religion of the Old Testament, who after rejecting their Redeemer, have tried to make themselves new and into the redeemers of the world.

The Modern State of Israel is not leading the Jewish people to maturity in the Lord (commensurate with the gifts they’ve been given), but rather to infantilism and absurdity, that ultimately undermines their fulfillment and that of the World.

The best hope for Jews to progress, to be new and have peace in their hearts, is to unite themselves with their Redeemer and the New Covenant — so the Heavenly Father may be all in all.

Israel25aOn this the 67th anniversary of the proclamation of the Modern State of Israel, we note that history has shown the ‘seekers of justice’ to have been unjust before God and man. The Modern State of Israel is far from the House of Israel (People of God).

The best hope for Jews and the world is to remember true freedom and fulfillment come from being united with the Lord — and His New Covenant, which has been in effect for 2000 years.

“This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which shall be shed for you. But behold the hand of him who betrays me is with me at table. For the Son of Man indeed goes his way, as it has been determined; yet woe to that man by whom he will be betrayed.” Luke 22: 20-22

“Behold the days are coming, saith the Lord, when I shall make a new covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah, unlike the covenant I made with their fathers on the day I held them by the hand to bring them out of the Land of Egypt, which covenant of mine they broke, although I was their husband. But this is the covenant I shall make with them after those days, saith the Lord: I shall put my Law within them, in their hearts will I write it, and I shall be their God, and they shall be my people.” Jeremiah 31:31-33 (2500 years ago)

The new household of Israel calls its members to a transformation of heart — recognizing that the just way to treat one’s neighbor is to respect and serve them — not exploit and dominate them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACould it be that CGI donors, including the House of Saud, influenced American foreign policy with respect to regime change efforts in Syria, Egypt and Libya?

In 2013 LE asked a CGI rep what commitments they had for Syrian refugees — the ones that Hillary helped to create as Secretary of State, by calling for regime change in 2011. He never got back to us.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

PatternOfLife2015

HailTheQueensIn a March 8, 2015 Wall Street Journal Op-ed, A Better World Ruled by Women, Dr. Melvin Konner writes: “There is every reason to think that a future national hierarchy staffed and led by women who no longer have to imitate men, dealing with other nations similarly transformed, would be less likely to go to war. But that’s not all. Sex scandals, financial corruption and violence are all overwhelmingly male.”

Many people are taking such infantile thinking seriously and further impoverishing men and women through egoism, rather than seeking to be healthy together. Ironically, healthy well-adjusted women would not seek or even tolerate national hierarchies, staffed and led exclusively by women. Such silliness is the province of misguided persons, with identity issues, who should not be teaching at universities or leading nations.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

RomanHolidayTheUnitedStatesIsraelThat 90% of Congress showed up for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech, seeking to multiply the discord in the region, is testimony to the level of corruption and darkness that pervades Washington.

The methods and practices of the ‘Jewish’ State, a state built on terror (see Stern Gang), are finding new expression in IS (Islamic State), with the U.S. providing support in both cases.

Artwork: James N. Rosenberg

LincolnRussiansOn this President’s Day in the US, as President Obama threatens to arm the gangster leaders of Ukraine (that he installed), and further divide Ukraine and Russia, its worth recalling that Russia under Czar Alexander II “contributed materially toward preventing British and French recognition of and aid to the Confederacy,” thereby enabling the preservation of the Union and nation under Lincoln. Albert A. Woldman, Lincoln and the Russians (World Publishing, 1952)

 

SavonD'Alep2 This soap, from Aleppo, Syria (Savon d’Alep), was made before that city was destroyed by American intervention in Syria beginning in 2011.

The murder of three Muslim students in North Carolina sparked outrage in the U.S. this week. What about the three hundred Syrian refugees, forced from their homes because of U.S. actions against their government, who drown in the Mediterranean also this week?

In 1852 Abraham Lincoln, referring to the revolutions taking place in Europe, said “that it is the duty of our government to neither foment, nor assist, such revolutions in other governments.” Lincoln empathized with the aspirations of the people to be free but also believed that change had to come from within.

U.S. efforts at regime change, throughout the world over many years, are not the fruits of a successful free state but rather the machinations of a failed state.

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