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Tribute to Dr. David Magazine. July 26, 1943 – March 22, 2023

March 24, 2023

David Magazine with “Aunt Thelma”Magazine (Uncle Willie’s wife) Passover, April, 1956, in the basement of our home in Jamaica, Queens, New York.

My cousin David died a few days ago. I was in the hospital at the time and the news was kept from me until today. In the hospital I was thinking of calling him from my bed – not for medical advice – but simply to say hello and make him laugh in an effort to cheer him up and take my mind off of my own situation. Was thinking of trying again today or tomorrow as I regain my strength. Too late.

With his death goes the last of my older Magazine cousins. Joan Stroeber, Joel Magazine, Judy Decidue and now David. We all shared common grandparents – Julius and Sarah Magaziner – now resting in peace in a Flushing, NY mega-cemetery. Julius died in 1924. He used to take a shot of prohibition-era alcohol to brace himself for a hard days work as a Brooklyn,  New York construction worker. A swallow of one those killed him. He had also worked in steel mills in Buffalo, NY and other cities. Julius left Grodno in 1904 to escape 20 years of service in the Russian military from which he had gone AWOL. During his time in the Russian service he had been billetted in the home of a Bialystok, Poland rabbi, a Rabbi Wyzinski (spelled at least ten different ways), a maternal great-grand-father. And there Julius Magaziner fell in love – was smitten so the story goes – with the rabbi’s daughter, Sarah Wyzinski. Grand father Julius left secretly for the United States arriving at Ellis Island like so many millions before and arrived precisely on November 29, 1904 on the SS Statendam from Rotterdam. His papers mention that he was headed for the home of his sponsor, Uncle, Nacham Goldstein on East 99 St in Manhattan. Another sponsor, mentioned was a brother, Jossel.

I have detailed elsewhere (will post when I can find it) the life of Julius’ wife’s, our indomitable grandmother, Sarah Maraziner who raised the seven surviving children of her 14 births in a long one room apartment in the back of dry goods store on the corner of Avenue K and Nostrand Ave in Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish Community. David’s father, my Uncle Joe, was somewhere in the middle of the pack. my Mom, Beatrice Magaziner, was the youngest. I know little about the other side of David’s family, the line that passed down to his mother, my Aunt Rae, other than that Aunt Rae was the daughter of an important Warsaw rabbi as I recall.

I mention all this both to share earlier family history and to note the rich, vibrant and deeply caring tradition of which David and I were, at the time, a part of … and still are. Read more…

Guest Blogger: Pepe Escobar: In Moscow, Xi And Putin Bury Pax Americana.. The West is “foaming at the mouth.”

March 24, 2023
(Note: the Xi-Putin meeting in Moscow, just completed, is one of the beginnings of a historic global realignment. It has to do much more than about Ukraine and although I would be surprised if Ukraine did not come up at the meeting, that the Russian-Chinese approaches to NATO’s proxy war there did not enter into the discussions, the subject was, from all I can glean, a minor detail. The reporting on this meeting in the U.S. media wss predictably shameful, the piece below by Brazilian globetrotter and geopolitical analyst extraordinaire, Pepe, Escobar, is far more objective  than the trivia – literally detritus (look it up) – appearing in the Washington Post, New York Times and the rest of the gang. RJP)

Escobar: In Moscow, Xi And Putin Bury Pax Americana

Authored by Pepe Escobar via ZeroHedge, The Cradle,

In Moscow this week, the Chinese and Russian leaders revealed their joint commitment to redesign the global order, an undertaking that has ‘not been seen in 100 years.’

What has just taken place in Moscow is nothing less than a new Yalta, which, incidentally, is in Crimea. But unlike the momentous meeting of US President Franklin Roosevelt, Soviet Leader Joseph Stalin, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in USSR-run Crimea in 1945, this is the first time in arguably five centuries that no political leader from the west is setting the global agenda.

It’s Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin that are now running the multilateral, multipolar show. Western exceptionalists may deploy their crybaby routines as much as they want: nothing will change the spectacular optics, and the underlying substance of this developing world order, especially for the Global South.

What Xi and Putin are setting out to do was explained in detail before their summit, in two Op-Eds penned by the presidents themselves. Like a highly-synchronized Russian ballet, Putin’s vision was laid out in the People’s Daily in China, focusing on a “future-bound partnership,” while Xi’s was published in the Russian Gazette and the RIA Novosti website, focusing on a new chapter in cooperation and common development.

Right from the start of the summit, the speeches by both Xi and Putin drove the NATO crowd into a hysterical frenzy of anger and envy: Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova perfectly captured the mood when she remarked that the west was “foaming at the mouth.” Read more…

A personal note to the Canadian Foreign Minister, the Honourable Mélanie Joly in Response to her Call for Regime Change in Russia (Original note in French – Translation in English below)

March 14, 2023

Canada – U.S. great northern neighbor where healthcare is free and nature abounds. It needs a foreign policy independent of you-know-where.

Votre appel au changement de régime en Russie

Tout d’abord, je vous adresse des vœux sincères et amicaux. J’ai suivi votre carrière politique, même depuis le lointain Colorado pendant un certain temps et je respecte vos opinions sur la plupart des sujets.
En effet c’est à cause de ce respect que je vous écris
Au moment où la seule issue – et fin – plausible à la guerre en Ukraine réside dans un règlement négocié du conflit, imprudemment – sinon imprudemment – vous répétez le mantra sans issue entendu si souvent ici aux États-Unis pour un changement de régime.C’est le contraire de ce qui est nécessaire pour ramener la paix en Ukraine comme première étape pour stabiliser l’agitation générale qui affecte actuellement l’Europe.
Car aussi difficile que cela puisse paraître, la seule voie vers la paix en Ukraine passe par des négociations – auxquelles le Canada et les États-Unis doivent participer – . Appeler à un changement de régime en Russie, ce n’est pas seulement s’immiscer dans les affaires intérieures d’un autre pays de la manière la plus irrespectueuse, c’est aussi, si vous me pardonnez, tout simplement stupide.
Vous et le gouvernement canadien, avec votre longue histoire de résolution de conflits, devriez en savoir plus.

Cela dit, vous vous souhaitez, personnellement et au gouvernement canadien, le meilleur. Même si je n’y suis pas allé depuis de nombreuses années, j’ai un fort engagement émotionnel envers tout ce qui est canadien – de vos extraordinaires chanteurs folkloriques (Stan Rogers me vient à l’esprit) à votre nature splendide, en passant par la manière tolérante et réfléchie avec laquelle vous menez vos activités sociales et politiques affaires.

Meilleurs vœux,

Rob Prince / Maître de conférences retraité en études internationales
Université de Denver, Korbel School of International Relations

Translation into English

Your call for regime change in Russia

Dear Minister Joly
First of all, I send you sincere and friendly wishes. I have followed your political career, even from far away Colorado for some time, and I respect your opinions on most matters.
Indeed it is because of this respect that I write to you
At a time when the only plausible way out – and end – to the war in Ukraine lies in a negotiated settlement of the conflict, recklessly you repeat the no-way-out mantra heard so often here in the United States for regime change in Russia. This is the opposite of what is needed to bring peace to Ukraine as a first step to stabilizing the general unrest currently affecting Europe.
Because as difficult as it may seem, the only way to peace in Ukraine is through negotiations – in which Canada and the United States must participate – . Calling for regime change in Russia is not only interfering in the internal affairs of another country in the most disrespectful way, it is also, if you forgive me, just plain stupid.
You and the Canadian government, with your long history of conflict resolution, should know more.
That said, you wish yourself, personally and the Canadian government, the best. Although I haven’t been there for many years, I have a strong emotional commitment to all things Canadian – from your extraordinary folksingers (Stan Rogers comes to mind) to your splendid nature, by the tolerant and thoughtful manner in which you conduct your social and political affairs.
Best wishes,
Rob Prince / Retired Lecturer in International Studies University of Denver, Korbel School of International Relations

Guest Blog: Mike Whitney Interviews Paul Roberts: Rising Tensions With China

March 11, 2023

Rising Tensions With China

by Paul Craig Roberts and Mike Whitney

(Publisher’s Note: Paul Craig Roberts – one of the few remaining “liberal Republicans” – is interviewed below by Mike Whitney. The interview explains how Washington “shot itself in the foot” by encouraging the massive move of U.S. (and other) corporate interests to China to take advantage of Chinese cheap labor. It was published at GlobalResearch on March 9. 2023)

Mike Whitney: The Biden administration is determined to provoke China on the issue of Taiwan. The White House now believes that they must take a more aggressive approach to China in order to contain their development and preserve America’s role as regional hegemon. The irony of Washington’s approach, however, is the fact that tens of thousands of US corporations have fled the US over the last 3 decades to take advantage of China’s low-paid work force. In fact—according to Registration China—there are now more than 1 million foreign-owned companies registered on Mainland China, many of which are owned by Americans. These corporations are largely responsible for China’s meteoric economic rise over the same period of time. So my question to you is this: Why is China being blamed and targeted for the explosive growth for which US corporations are mainly responsible? Or do you disagree with my analysis?

Paul Craig Roberts: Your question is really several. Your question itself identifies the main or over-riding reason for Washington’s back-tracking on the one-China policy that has been in effect since 1972—China’s threat to US hegemony. The neoconservatives who dominate US foreign policy, the principal purpose of which, in their words, is to prevent the rise of other countries with sufficient power to constrain US unilateralism, now face both China and Russia as threats to US hegemony. Russia’s punishment is conflict in Ukraine, sanctions, missiles on their border, and blown up Nord Stream pipelines. The goal is to isolate Russia from Europe and to present the Kremlin with sufficient problems to keep Moscow out of Washington’s way.

Just as the US broke its agreement with Russia not to expand NATO and has withdrawn from the agreements made during the Cold War that served to reduce tensions, Washington is now moving toward repudiating the one-China policy as it no longer serves Washington’s interest.

Your question itself identifies the main or over-riding reason for Washington’s back-tracking on the one-China policy that has been in effect since 1972—China’s threat to US hegemony. The neoconservatives who dominate US foreign policy, the principal purpose of which, in their words, is to prevent the rise of other countries with sufficient power to constrain US unilateralism, now face both China and Russia as threats to US hegemony. Russia’s punishment is conflict in Ukraine, sanctions, missiles on their border, and blown up Nord Stream pipelines. The goal is to isolate Russia from Europe and to present the Kremlin with sufficient problems to keep Moscow out of Washington’s way.

Just as the US broke its agreement with Russia not to expand NATO and has withdrawn from the agreements made during the Cold War that served to reduce tensions, Washington is now moving toward repudiating the one-China policy as it no longer serves Washington’s interest.

Read more…

Article from the German Press on Ukraine: Russia Wants to Negotiate

March 10, 2023

Encounter at the Elbe – Soviet 1949 film about the meeting of U.S. and Soviet troops at Torgau closing the ring around Berlin in April, 1945.


(publishers note: This article first was posted by Max Blumenthal on Twitter. It appeared in the German publication “Emma” in German. For the original go to the Emma link just below. Using “Google Translate” it was translated from German to English. R.P)


In the current EMMA

March 4, 2023


Retired Major General Harald Kujat explains in an interview why the war could have ended long ago and complains about the media that want to make politics themselves. The former highest-ranking German soldier and chairman of the NATO-Russia Council says: “Perhaps one day the question will be asked who did not want to prevent this war.”

Will the Chinese proposal for ending the conflict in Ukraine result in negotiations?


A positive starting point for a negotiated solution emerged at the end of March last year, for example, when the Russians decided to turn off before Kiev and concentrate on the east and the Donbas. That made the negotiations in Istanbul possible. A similar situation arose in September, before Russia carried out the partial mobilization. The opportunities that arose at that time have not been used. Now it would be time to negotiate again, and we don’t use this opportunity either, but do the opposite: we send weapons and escalate. This is also an aspect that reveals the lack of security policy foresight and strategic judgment.



What value do you give to coverage of Ukraine in our mainstream media?

The Ukraine war is not just a military struggle; it is also an economic and information war. In this information war, one can become a participant in the war by embracing information and arguments that one cannot verify or judge on one’s own authority. In some cases, moral or ideological motives also play a role. This is particularly problematic in Germany, because it is mostly “experts” who have their say in the media who have no knowledge or experience of security policy or strategy and therefore express opinions that they obtain from the publications of other “experts” with comparable expertise. Obviously, this also puts political pressure on the federal government.

The debate about the delivery of certain weapon systems clearly shows the intention of many media to make politics themselves. It may be that my unease about this development is a result of my many years of service in NATO, including as Chairman of the NATO-Russia Council and the NATO-Ukraine Commission of Chiefs of Defense. I find it particularly annoying that so little attention is paid to German security interests and the dangers to our country as a result of the war escalating and escalating. This shows a lack of responsibility or, to use an old-fashioned term, a highly unpatriotic attitude. In the United States, one of the two main actors in this conflict, the handling of the Ukraine war is much more differentiated and controversial, but always guided by national interests.

At the beginning of 2022, when the situation on the border with Ukraine was becoming increasingly critical, you spoke to the then Inspector of the Navy, Deputy General Kai-Achim Schönbach, and in a certain sense backed him. He urgently warned against an escalation with Russia and accused the West of having humiliated Putin and that one should negotiate with him on an equal footing.

I did not comment on the matter, but to protect him from unqualified attacks. However, I have always believed that this war must be prevented and that it could have been prevented. I also made a public statement on this in December 2021. And at the beginning of January 2022, I published proposals on how negotiations could achieve a result acceptable to all sides that would still avoid war. Unfortunately, things turned out differently. Perhaps one day the question will be asked who wanted this war, who didn’t want to prevent it and who couldn’t prevent it. Read more…

Media Benjamin Talks Peace in Ukraine in Colorado – April 1-5, 2023

March 10, 2023


Medea Benjamin is coming to the Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Colorado Springs  area from April 1st– April 5th 

She has come concrete ideas about how to end the War in Ukraine—how to halt the bloodshed, the flood of money poured into death and destruction, danger of Nuclear War and further damage to the environment.

She has written a very readable short book on the topic called The War in Ukraine.  It is available locally as well as through, Medea’ s national sponsor.

Our Senators and Representatives have been invited as they are decision makers in the continuance of this war.

HOW YOU CAN HELP!!   Besides our inviting people from our Congressional Delegation to attend one of the sessions, they need lots of calls from us urging them to be there to consider these important ideas.

Senator Bennet 303-455-7600;  202-224-5852.

Senator Hickenlooper 303-244-1628;   202-224-5941.

Rep Neguse.   303-335-1045.  202-225-2161

Medea is a dynamite speaker—-Come to one of the sessions.  Bring friends, and families.

An Anti-War Demonstration in DC A Year Into the Ukraine War, Twenty Years After the U.S.-Led Iraq Invasion.

March 9, 2023

In a week and a half, on March 18, a major anti-war demonstration is planned in Washington DC sponsored by, among others, the ANSWER Coalition. A large number of peace and left organizations will be involved including Code Pink, the Black Alliance for Peace, Veterans for Peace, the U.S. Peace Council, DSA International Committee and many smaller local peace, labor, environmental movement groups. Smaller, regional demonstrations will take place in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Springfield, MO. The main slogans around which the demonstrations are organized are:

Fund People’s Needs, Not the War Machine!
Peace in Ukraine – Say NO to Endless U.S. Wars!

It is a start, the beginning of a new peace movement and it is international in nature. In the same way that the Biden Administration and the mainstream media which echoes its politics have tried to black out Seymour Hersh’s recent expose of U.S. responsibility for blowing up the Nord Stream II pipeline, one can be pretty sure that these national actions will either be completely ignored, or, if covered, will find a way to discredit the action … par for the course.

Noticeably absent from participation – any part of the country’s Democratic Party, any of the more liberal members of Congress such as AOC, Ilhan Omar, Bernie Sanders, all of whom to one degree or another have marched in lockstep support of the Biden Administration’s global war-making. I am reminded how, these same  elements – or those in the past who were considered something of a liberal vanguard – at first supported the 2003 U.S. led invasion of Iraq and only joined peace efforts some five years later, following public opinion which had turned against the war, rather than leading it, and this they did tepidly, gingerly if at all.

I am reminded how, these same elements – or those in the past who were considered something of a liberal vanguard – at first supported the 2003 U.S. led invasion of Iraq and only joined peace efforts some five years later, following public opinion which had turned against the war, rather than leading it, and this they did tepidly, gingerly if at all.

Ukraine, a year later

It is now more than a year since Russia launched its Special Military Operation with its military forces directly intervening in Ukraine. It has turned into a punishing conflict – the worst military conflict in Europe since World War II – which has caused probably hundreds of thousands of deaths, destabilized the world and created millions of refugees. All Russian attempts to settle the Ukraine crisis through negotiation to address its security concerns over NATO expansion, the nazification of the Ukrainian military and security forces, and the policy of Ukrainian ethnic cleansing of its Russian-speaking population and those elements in Ukraine working for Ukrainian-Russian conciliation were rejected outright. Those who argue that Russia should have found a peaceful resolution to short of military intervention have, universally, failed to suggest what diplomatic options were open to Russia that could have prevented this military conflict. Read more…

More on the Avian Flu Epidemic: 12000 Birds In The Wild Die of the Flu in Colorado Alone – And That – A Conservative Estimate.

March 8, 2023

Juvenile Bald Eagle. Jim Baker Reservoir. Sunday, March 5, 2023. (R. Prince photo).


The real kicker here is that the virus itself is constantly “changing.” The more accurate term for the process is mutating – a term that the mainstream media assiduously avoids. Why I wonder? Because it suggests evolution?


Last night a friend, bearing a dozen donuts, stopped by. We offered him our chicken, wild rice,salad dinner and his preferred soft drink (orange Izzy) talked about the usual wide ranging series of topics – his business, which is picking up, the state of Kaiser in Colorado (not good – losing members all the time), the troubled state of affairs in Ethiopia (also not good) and finally about the Avian Flu epidemic that is spreading through Colorado – and the world. Like most people I associate with, he knew nothing about the latter and was a bit intrigued as to what it’s all about and why I am interested. And then he had the usual epiphany ‘ That’s why the price of eggs has doubled, tripled.” –

Yes, that and the usual profit taking of agribusiness making a financial killing on the crisis.

The current strain of Avian Flu continues to ravage both wild and domestic bird population. It has gotten so bad that even the staid Denver Post ran a decent article on the epidemic in their Sunday, March 5, 2023 edition., “Avian Flu Has Killed 12,000 Wild Birds.” A quick “Google search” reveals that the article was reprinted in a number of local papers all over the state.

The 12,000 wild birds referred to are all in Colorado; they are a small portion of both domestic and wild birds dying worldwide by the new and more potent variety of the virus that mutated from earlier versions a few years ago. State wildlife officials (of the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife) list among the most recent victims of these “die offs”. Read more…

Guest Blogger – M.K. Bhadrakumar. Ukraine: Entering Uncharted Waters

March 6, 2023

Washington plays its allies

(Publisher’s note: Russia’s Special Military Operation, commonly referred to as the war in Ukraine, entered its second year a few weeks ago. Whatever illusions either side (NATO and the Zelensky government on the one hand, Russia on the other) had about a quick war have pretty much evaporated. Both sides in this U.S.-led proxy war against Russia are prepared for a longer conflict. There are many insightful commentators that have come to the fore, albeit precious few – if any – in the mainstream media. In the U.S. Congress there is bipartisan support to continue supporting Ukrainian military operations “to the last Ukrainian”. 
Among the most consistently perceptive commentators on this war – and on the tectonics shifts in international relations in general – is retired Indian diplomat, MK Bhadrakumar. I have followed his writing, thoughts for a number of years now and impressed with both their quality and  accuracy. Few are better describing the constantly moving, unstable crisis unfolding in Ukraine in its main underlying themes. 
For those of you who have recently asked “Where do you get your information from?” – You might start by reading Bhadrakumar.)

The Tribune

Entering uncharted waters

MK Bhadrakumar – March 6, 2023

Defeat in the proxy war will undermine America’s transatlantic leadership

MILITARY minds expected a massive Russian offensive in Ukraine after the mobilisation, sometime between January and February when in the freezing, windswept steppes of the Donbass, temperatures dropped to minus 30°C, the ground hardened, and it was possible to move heavy artillery. However, that didn’t materialise.

NATO is close to crossing a Russian ‘red line’, pushing the war towards a confrontation with incalculable risks.

Instead, a great deal of intense combat did occur in the Donbass front and the Russian forces scored a string of successes in what appeared to be positional battles, but which helped seize the military initiative right across the front, forcing Ukraine’s reservists into a perilous state now.

The Russian tactic has been to keep the burn rate on the front high and degrade Ukraine’s ability to form reserves, while well-fortified defence lines stretching over 800 km denied Kyiv any chance at regaining operational initiative. Unsurprisingly, Russians are in no mood to rush into ambitious operations. Besides, they are also in the long game sorting out organisational issues. A restructuring in the Russian armed forces is underway, which involves transitioning from the so-called Battalion Tactical Group formations of an expeditionary army that is heavy on firepower but exceptionally light on infantry to reverting to the Soviet army’s division structure, which, along with a massive expansion in armaments production and retooling of the military-industrial complex, would meet the requirements of a continental war, should the need arise.

Meanwhile, the operations in Donbass have reached a tipping point. With the impending fall of Bakhmut, the linchpin of the Ukrainian defence line in Donbass, the path for the Russian assault on Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, the last two cities under Kyiv’s control, is opening. Some intense fighting can also be expected in the coming weeks in the Ugledar sector in south-western Donbass, which overlooks the trunk rail line connecting Donetsk with Mariupol port on Azov Sea and the land bridge to Crimea and potentially threatens the entire Russian logistics in the south. Read more…

Old Friends in Texas, Oklahoma

March 4, 2023

Gerry Auel, Nancy at a coffee shop in Stillwater, Oklahoma


Remember old friends we’ve made along the way

The gifts they’ve given stay with us every day

Old friends – we’ve been fortunate enough to have them. Such quality people, lives filled interest, care and concern for all living things, the fate of the earth. How fortunate we’ve been. Reconnecting to old friends and the worlds in which they live was nothing short of delightful.

Traveling to Texas and Oklahoma to visit friends from Denver. By the time we returned to Colorado we’d rolled up 1800 miles in the car. Not a part of the world I know very well although although long ago and far away I had visited both Houston and Dallas for speaking engagements repeatedly – but that was 40, 50 years ago. As for Oklahoma, other than traveling through the Oklahoma Panhandle on my way to Lubbock where I spent some time in the early 1990s, I have never been to the state till this past week.

A local Denver friend asked why we’d vacation in “red states”? Why not? was my response. The nation has not formally collapsed into red and blue states yet. Besides, there is something about seeing a place with one’s one eyes, meeting people in person that I have always trusted more than tv news spots.

A local Denver friend asked why we’d vacation in “red states”? Why not? was my response.

Read more…

A little about Texas …

February 27, 2023

Eastern Bluebird, Fort Worth, TX


While the state bird is the mockingbird – several of which I have seen for the first time in our friend’s backyard – perhaps it should be instead the F-16 fighter jet, many of which were produced here.


1. White Settlement, Fort Worth suburb

It’s not really named “White Settlement”, is it?

But, yes, it is; it’s a suburb of Fort Worth where many residents who work (or worked) in the defense industry live. As a friend noted, “Almost everyone in my neighborhood has worked for Lockheed.” Defense industries are nothing short of the economic anchor of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Raytheon, Lockheed Martin  and other military contractors all flourish ere as do a number of major military bases, including Carswell Air Force Base. For most of its operational lifetime, the base’s mission was to train and support heavy strategic bombing groups and wings.

While the state bird is the mockingbird – several of which I have seen for the first time in our friend’s backyard – perhaps it should be instead the F-16 fighter jet, many of which were produced here.

We’re visiting a lifelong friend who lives just to the west of Fort Worth, Texas. Her home is a spacious ranch 1750 square foot home sitting on an acre of land which cost her $250,000 three years ago. There is a big living oak tree in the backyard with a two foot diameter at the base and almost enough space to fit a baseball park in. (Such a property in Denver, I would guess would cost between $1.5-2 million, an example of how much less expensive the cost of living is here.)

Read more…

The Avian Flu that is decimating birds in the wild, domesticated chickens, geese – now jumping to mammals –

February 16, 2023

A male Northern Pintail gliding downstream along the South Platte River, in Thornton, Colorado. February 11, 2023. (R. Prince photo)

Although many of the people who I meet and greet regularly are obviously to the fact – other than they know the price of eggs as soared – the world, including the USA is in the midst of another epidemic. I am not talking about COVID-19 this time. It – the global Avian Flu epidemic – remains serious, disturbing. as poultry are slaughtered nationwide. According to the Wall Street Journal, it is the worst avian-influenza outbreak in U.S. history.  It continues to decimate poultry flocks across the Midwest and Colorado, frustrating efforts to keep the virus from affecting the nation’s egg prices and supply. According to a January 10, 2023 NPR in Northern Colorado report, the state has euthanized some 6.4 million poultry in an effort to stem the tide of the epidemic.

And now there are indications that the virus involved, H5N1, is jumping from bird species to mammals. A recent NBC news special noted that it has spread to minks, sea lions and other mammals. “Hundreds of wild sea lions in South America, a farm of minks in Europe, and more than 58 million poultry birds have died.” That last figure is a worldwide casualty number. The sheer amount of H5N1 circulating has heightened the risk the virus could spill over into other species, develop the ability to transmit among people and become a pandemic.

So, dangerous stuff and plenty of it “out there” including here in Colorado Read more…

The Video: “The Arab Spring Reconsidered Twelve Years On” A discussion: Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince. Tuesday, February 14, 2023

February 15, 2023

Painted Door – Kerkenna, Tunisia

The Video: “The Arab Spring Reconsidered Twelve Years On” A discussion: Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince. Tuesday, February 14, 2023


The Arab Spring was hailed at the time it burst forth and a wave of democracy sweeping the Middle East and North Africa, initiating a “new dawn”, a “new Middle East” as Condoleezza Rice called it. Yet a movement of social change triggered by growing economic and social disparity, repressive, corrupt and ineffectual governments never lived up to its earlier billing. It turns out that much of that uprising had the “made in Washington DC” label all over it, with NGOs and foundations like the National Endowment for Democracy, the Open Society Foundation in tandem with the then Bush Administration, pedaling what was essentially “all the change necessary to sustain the status quo”. Some of the more promising movements for social change, those in Tunisia and Egypt which undoubtedly involved mass movements involving hundreds of thousands of people – if not more – resulted in removing dictators but their original impulse was “hijacked” by religious movements, the Moslem Brotherhoods in particular. After the dictators were swept from power, these movements for change were hijacked by religious fundamentalists, their essence stripped of all content. In other countries, Libya, Syria, the initial movements for reform and accountability were quickly taken over by even more fanatical religious elements, backed by NATO, Washington and London. The uprisings there resulted in the “successful” partition of Libya and the near successful partition, but ultimate failure of that in Syria.

With the wisdom of hindsight, Kazerooni and Prince discuss these uprisings and their results, twelve years on. Join us on Facebook or YouTube on February 14, 2023 @ 8 pm Mountain States Time.

Tunisia – Djerba ferry. Photo credit: Tom Rochon

Hans Modrow … and me. Obituary of Hans Modrow Brings Back Memories … May His Memory Endure!

February 15, 2023

East Berlin – late March, 1990 – celebrating the Berlin Wall coming down.  (R. Prince photo)


What stands out even all these years later from that trip to Germany were the contradictory insights: how well seemingly everyone I met could, with accuracy, explain Communism’s short comings on the one hand. It was as if the entire population of the GDR with only a few exceptions could detail what was “wrong” with Communism. On the other hand I was equally astounded – remain so until today about how naive, ignorant so many of these same people were about the societal brick that was about to hit them in the head … called capitalism.


Knowing it would interest me – and it did – Nancy pointed out an obituary of former East German (German Democratic Republic) head of state, Hans Modrow who died on February 11 in Berlin. The obituary appeared in the Sunday, February 12 edition of the Denver Post. It was lifted entirely from the Associated Press (AP). There is one line, even in an AP story that range particularly true: “The entire peaceful course of establishing German unity was precisely a special achievement of his; that will remain his political legacy.” Agreed. It (German reunification) could have been a violent and messy affair had Modrow not seen the writing on the wall and did what he could to ease the process of the implosion of East German communism.

The Washington Post ran Modrow’s obituary too but as the result of a paywall I could not read it. I did fine a useful – for a Western capitalist news source – piece however in the English edition of French newspaper, Le Monde by Thomas Wieder. Expect something will appear in the NY Times but I could not find it as of yet.

So, why the title “Hans Modrow and me?” Did I ever meet with him – NO. Did I know him or anyone close to him personally? No. It is only that for a few hours in late March of 1990 – I am uncertain of the exact date – I was in the same room as he. as were hundreds of other people, almost all of them (minus yours truly) members of the Socialist Unity Party. Modrow was explaining to an unruly and angry audience – angry at him – why they, the Socialist Unity Party – and the people of the GDR in general had to accept defeat, the defeat a result of the vote in which East Germans overwhelming voted for reunification with the Federal Republic of Germany. Read more…

Arnie Zaler – 1949 -2023, Former Colorado Zionist Federation head, convicted felon dies ..

February 15, 2023

Arnie Zaler in better days

Arnold “Arnie” Zaler died a few days ago. A short – very short – obituary appeared on-line saying virtually nothing about him and his life. I wondered about that. After a fifteen years hiatus a number of people have found the blog posts about Arnie, whose life included being a leader of the University of Colorado’s Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in the late 1960s to executive director of the Colorado Zionist Federation to several stinks in a federal penitentiaries.  Perhaps there will be more detailed obituaries that will appear in the local (or national) press.

In the past, I wrote a number of articles – blog pieces – of my “reminiscences” of Arnie which I will repost below. They were written at the time of his trial for fraud – his last trial that is – that resulted in his being sentenced to fifteen years in prison. I attended that trial as an observer. After that trial I lost track of him; nor have I made any effort to follow his broken life, and moved on. That said, I do think of him from time to time, mostly as a tragic, if not pathetic figure, but one all to common among post World War II Jews. And in spite of my negative feelings about him – detailed in the articles below, no need to go over them – I grew up in a similar milieu, if miles away in New York City and if not for certain accidents of my personal history, probably would have wound up not much different from him. I know that. Still …

Here are the old articles:

February 22, 2009 – Arnie’s Saga

February 23, 2009 – Arnie’s Saga – 2

March 1, 2009 – Human Rights Consequences of the Gaza Invasion; Arnie’s Saga Continues

November 7, 2009 – Arnie Zaler, Former Executive Director of the Colorado Zionist Federation Sentenced to Fifteen Years in a Federal Penitentiary for Wire and Mail Fraud 

I reprint the last two paragraphs if the November 7, 2009 piece – sums up my thinking on Zaler.

“It’s embarrassing to Denver’s Jewish Community to have produced such graceless con artist and then to have been taken by him, not once, but repeatedly. Still, Zaler was not much different from a generation of young Denver professionals of the late 1960s and 1970s who were `on the move’, bright, bold and a little too `hungry’ to make it. A friend put it aptly and succinctly: “Zaler wasn’t much different than many others; only he got caught, probably because he didn’t do it on a large enough scale and wasn’t smooth enough” and I would add, that he hadn’t manage to become wealthy enough to buy the political influence necessary to get him off the hook as some others had.

Lacking that backing, Arnie Zaler got nailed big-time for his pathetic scams. Others using more or less the same methods, have gotten away with a lot more. In a certain sense, Arnie was trying to be like his buddies; to use progressive credentials of his youth as a spring board to wealth and power. Much has been made about how he milked and betrayed Denver’s Jewish Community, abused their trust and ruined lives by destroying their assets. This is of course true. The ones he broke, left financial and emotionally broken, were not so much his more wealthy ones, but middle and working class Jews, those who lost their retirement, in some cases their homes. They don’t have another ten million to fall back on.

Many of the people at the trial yesterday seemed to know each other; they formed a bond of solidarity with each other: Zaler’s victims. One of those in attendance, in response to a question, referred to me as `oh, he’s one of them who knew Arnie when he did his SDS shit back in the 60s’. That is, even if inelegantly put, essentially correct. I did know him when he `did his SDS shit’ – possibly the only time in his life he was concerned with the world beyond Arnie Zaler. These past years, it is not only Denver and Phoenix’s Jewish communities that Zaler betrayed. He also forgot the values of the 1960s student movement he was a part of – for an economically fairer world with more social justice.. Arnie lost his way along time ago. And he never came back, did he?

Who says there is no justice?”