Previous posts in this discussion:
PostThanksgiving Greetings; a Belated Honor for Filipino WWII Veterans (Bienvenido Macario, USA, 11/23/17 3:53 am)
Before I ask Boris Volodarsky about his post on the Centennial of the Bolshevik Revolution, first allow me to wish our tireless editor a Happy Thanksgiving!
What Am I Thankful For
This year an interesting development came on October 25, 2017. After 75 years, the US Congress awarded Filipino WWII veterans the Congressional Gold Medal. After Speaker Paul Ryan's introduction, comments by Senator Hirono, Representative Pelosi and the Celestino Almeda, a 100-year-old Filipino WWII veteran were delivered. The Filipino veteran's speech was epic. He's saying what happens if you don't lobby. In the USA you don't get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate for. (Read: Lobby! Lobby! Lobby! This is the reality of American Democracy.)
I'm not sure if this case of the "forgotten" Filipino WWII veterans is similar to that of Iraq's religious minorities, which Tamara Zúñiga-Brown brought to WAIS attention in her post HR 390 and Iraq's Religious Minorities on October 22, 2017
Excerpts from Celestino's speech: "Many have passed away waiting for 75 years for this time to come. I am Celestino Almeda, a 100-year-old Filipino WWII veteran, I have waited along with my fellow Filipino and American soldiers for this moment to come. After the war, thousands of us fell underappreciated and unrecognized for fighting for our country. Thank you all and God Bless America."
Filipino WWII Vets Awarded Congressional Medal (3:18)
This award ceremony delayed by 75 years got me wondering why the delay, and although the Congressional Gold Medal is highest honor the US Congress can bestow to a civilian, why not the military honor?
Then I remember a WAIS comment saying that Filipino WWII veterans' military benefits were rescinded in 1946 (Rescission Act signed by Pres. Truman on February 18, 1946).
Instead of giving the Congressional Gold Medal, it would have been better if the Rescission Act of 1946 that denied military benefits to Filipino WWII veterans were revoked and the US nationality of Filipinos restored. There was no such thing as a Filipino citizen before 1946. Filipinos were US nationals, not US citizens, just like the people of Guam and Puerto Rico. If you look at a passport, the holder is identified by his/her nationality, not by his/her citizenship. It is significant difference.
Of the 66 nations that fought for the US and Allied cause, only the Filipino veterans were denied military benefits and it was rescinded retroactively.
Let me pause for your reaction. Now back to Boris' post.
In his WAIS post on the Centennial of Bolshevik Revolution November 18, 2017 (link: http://waisworld.org/go.jsp?id=02a&objectType=post&o=117432&objectTypeId=86725&topicId=51 ) Boris Volodarsky wrote:
"The Black Book of Communism was, of course, translated and published in English. I am sorry to say it is a bad book. Almost everything is wrong in it. It is a product of the Cold War I and contains chapters typical to the Congress for Cultural Freedom (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congress_for_Cultural_Freedom ) mentality. Today, it must simply be ignored."
Boris wrote "Cold War I." Is this a typo error? If this is not a typo, then we are in the midst of Cold War II. Considering what's going on with US-Russia relations, to speak of a Cold War II makes more sense. We have Wikileaks being a non-state player and catering to Russia. Perhaps Boris V. could give general characteristics of the present Cold War II; old and new rules if any, because it sure feels like we have a Cold War today.
JE comments: I am thankful for the many years of WAISly support from Bienvenido Macario! He has taught WAISers so much about the Philippines and the close, complex relationship between our nations and peoples. More importantly, Bienvenido has given us the gift of friendship.
And a splendid Thanksgiving to all! US WAISers of course get the day off to practice gluttony, but regardless of your nation, please take a moment to remember the countless things we are grateful for. I get to begin each day of the year with my WAIS colleagues, and it's the best part-time job (OK, often it's full-time) anyone could hope for. Thank you!
(Not sure whether Boris Volodarsky's "I" was an editing typo, I checked the original e-mail, and he did write "Cold War I." Is there any doubt we're now experiencing the sequel? Boris?)
(Francisco Rodriguez Jimenez, Spain
11/23/17 4:48 AM)
All the best for a star-studded Thanksgiving celebration today, and a healthy and rewarding New Year to all.
JE comments: It's a pleasure to hear from one of our newest WAIS colleagues, Francisco Rodríguez Jiménez of the University of Salamanca. I celebrated Thanksgiving in another Spanish college town (Granada) many moons ago, when several of us American students managed to convince a restaurant to prepare a turkey. Nothing makes you cling to your national identity more than being abroad.
Living by the academic calendar, I haven't been outside the US on Thanksgiving since the 1980s. Several years back I renounced air travel during this busiest weekend of the year. High-quality thanks is best experienced by a quiet few days at home.
Best to you, Francisco! What have you been working on lately? We'd love an update.
- A Thanksgiving Pardon (John Heelan, UK 11/23/17 8:17 AM)
POTUS: "We are here today to continue a wonderful American tradition. Today, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I will grant a presidential pardon to a turkey."
However, will the American electorate ever pardon the other turkey in the White House?
(A happy and safe Thanksgiving to all WAISers.)
JE comments: Touché, Tocayo John! Our unpardoned turkey is about to go in the oven--although this year, in the best tradition of American convenience, we bought a pre-cooked bird. Now that is something to be thankful for.
- Red Wednesday and a Papal Lamborghini (Tamara Zuniga-Brown, USA 11/26/17 4:19 AM)
Here's an interesting event from a few days ago that unites Iraq and the Philippines in an unexpectedly beautiful way--along with the UK and Ireland. Thanks to Bienvenido Macario (November 23rd) for raising awareness with his advocacy for the "forgotten" Filipinos of WWII.
Here's to the solidarity of all "forgotten" ones...
Another innovative form of advocacy for Iraqi Christians came last week from the Pope and Lamborghini in Rome:
Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all--and a great thank you to our indefatigable WAIS editor!
JE comments: Thank you, Tamara, and a joyful Thanksgiving to you and yours. Red Wednesday (first link) is a tribute to religious martyrs worldwide. A more thrilling event for Yours Truly is the Papal Lamborghini (second link), outfitted in white-and-gold livery and signed by His Holiness. The car will be auctioned to benefit persecuted Iraqi Christians.
What will the new owner do to keep Francesco's signature from washing off?
- A Thanksgiving Pardon (John Heelan, UK 11/23/17 8:17 AM)