New Townhall Column: Soviet Communism Was a Disaster, Not a ‘Pivotal Experiment’

Millions tuned to NBC last Friday night to watch the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Despite subpar construction, dingy hotel conditions, and athletes trapped in bathrooms, the Sochi spectacle was masterfully executed—except for the Olympic ring that didn’t budge and the glorification of Soviet symbols.

To anyone with family members that escaped the Soviet Union—including yours truly—the opening ceremony brought back terrible memories of the Old Country.

The opening montage began with, “Russia overwhelms. Russia mystifies. Russia transcends. Through every stage of its story, it’s resisted any notion of limitation. Through every re-invention, only redoubling its desire to cast a towering presence.”

The narratorGame of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage—continued by saying, “The empire that ascended to affirm a colossal footprint; the revolution that birthed one of modern history’s pivotal experiments. But if politics has long shaped our sense of who they are, it’s passion that endures…”

What’s so “pivotal” about centrally-planned government, food rationing, prison labor camps, a secret police, and millions of deaths? Much to the chagrin of NBC, the Bolshevik coup d’état and Joseph Stalin’s reign of terror comprised the so-called “pivotal experiment” in Russia.

Continue reading my column at Townhall.com.

UPDATE: Got a very nice shout-out from Stacy McCain at The Other McCain.

NBC Should Apologize to Victims of Communism for ‘Pivotal Experiment’ Comments

Wow.

Last night’s opening ceremony at the Sochi Olympics was painful to watch. Apart from familiar Russian songs, admittedly impressive visual effects, and great dancing, I wasn’t too impressed watching the Putin-orchestrated display. Gotta love the hammer and sickle motif-among many things-being front and center during last night’s proceedings! (Not.) If anything, the opening ceremony brought back memories of the pain the Soviet Union inflicted on my family, in Europe, and across the globe.

What irritates me (and should alarm you) about present-day Russia is its leaders’ aspirations to recreate a Sovietesque Union, its rampant cronyism, its disregard for free speech, and its refusal to condemn past crimes committed by their predecessors. I’m grateful my ancestral homeland was the first Baltic Republic to break away from the former Soviet Union.

Even more alarming than the ceremony was NBC’s commentary humanizing Soviet communism as a “pivotal experiment”:

Newsbusters has more on it:

NBC whitewashed Russia’s communist legacy in the lead segment of its Friday broadcast of the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage narrated the network’s lionization of the largest country by land mass: “Russia overwhelms. Russia mystifies. Russia transcends. Through every stage of its story, it’s resisted any notion of limitation. Through every re-invention, only redoubling its desire to cast a towering presence.”

However, Dinklage continued with a glorification of the Marxist-Leninist totalitarian state that slaughtered tens of millions of people between 1917 and 1991: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

(h/t Hot Air)

PETER DINKLAGE (voice-over): The empire that ascended to affirm a colossal footprint; the revolution that birthed one of modern history’s pivotal experiments. But if politics has long shaped our sense of who they are, it’s passion that endures….

[Right Scoop first brought this to my attention.]

Many people rightfully lashed out at NBC for singing praises of Russia’s “glory days.”

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) chastised NBC for ignoring Soviet crimes:

The Joint Baltic American National Committee – a group that promotes independence in countries formerly occupied by the Soviet Union – equally lambasted the Pravda wannabe for the ignoring horrors and deaths caused by Soviet communism:

Other Twitter users also took NBC to task for downplaying the horrors of the Soviet Union.

Late last night, I called on NBC to apologize for dishonoring the victims of global communism.

Who’s going to hold NBC accountable? I know I will. Will you?

The Sochi Olympics’ shortcomings shouldn’t be treated lightly. When making fun of Putin and mediocre conditions inset in modern-day Russia, remember the pain and misery the former Soviet Union wrought. Be thankful our relatively free market country is superior, cleaner, and intact.

USA! USA! USA!

23rd Anniversary of Lithuania’s Day of the Defenders of Freedom

Picture Credit: LTUWorld

Picture Credit: LTUWorld

January 13, 2014, marks 23 years since Lithuania’s Day of the Defenders of Freedom.

LTUWorld has more on the event:

On this day in 1991, unarmed Lithuania struggled for its right to be a free, independent and proud country. 14 people were killed, about 1000 were injured as the Soviet occupation army and the KGB attempted to overthrow the legitimate government of the country and to seize the Lithuanian national radio and television building, the TV tower and publishing houses. The people of Lithuania demonstrated their inner strength, they defeated the Soviet aggression and defended their freedom in the spirit of truth and love.

We will never forget that tragic day. The anniversary of January 13 is a day of history, emotion, and reflection for most Lithuanians wherever they live. Over the last twenty-plus-years, this day has also come to symbolize the resilience, kindness, and unity of the Lithuanian people.

This anniversary is always commemorated with forget-me-not flower pins. More on this custom below:

The pins represent forget-me-not flowers and they are meant to mark the Freedom Defenders Day in Lithuania.

As an American of immediate Lithuanian descent, I happily acknowledge Lithuanian holidays that celebrate freedom. Lithuania was the first Baltic Republic to leave the Soviet Union. Soviet totalitarianism brutalized the Baltics and other formerly occupied countries. This is something that needs to be told.

Growing up, I’d hear my dad tell stories about his time building the famous Vilnius TV Tower that the Soviets tried to seize in 1991. My mom also reminds me that my uncle, her brother, stood alongside other Lithuanians during this important day. Although my parents were already in America by 1991 – the year I was born – they were proud of their fellow Lithuanians for standing up to Soviet bullies.

No matter the demands for big government, freedom will always trump collectivism. Freedom is contagious; spread it around!

Happy 28th Freedomversary, Mom and Dad!

Today marks 28 years since my parents came to the U. S. from then Soviet-occupied Lithuania. Grateful to them for instilling a love of freedom in me. They are the best Americans I know. Happy Freedomversary, mama and daddy!

20140109-095111.jpg

Read more about this anniversary at Storify.

Lithuanian Independence Day: Learning to Cherish Freedom Through the Eyes of Others

February 16 marks 95 years since Lithuania gained her independence.

You might be asking yourselves, “what is Lithuania? Is it a made-up country?” Despite boasting an exotic name, Lithuania is a real country with a rich history.

From February 16, 1918, until August 23, 1939, Lithuania enjoyed freedom and prosperity until the Soviet Union grabbed hold of it through the so-called German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact (Molotov-Robbentrop Act). From 1939 until March 11, 1990 (reunification), Lithuania was subjected to endless bloodshed, tyranny, and death under Lenin, Stalin, and other brutal dictators. Religious and/or ethnic persecution of Jews, Catholics, Christians, Lithuanians, Russians, Poles, and those who didn’t agree with Soviet communism was witnessed. The horror exhibited under Soviet occupation is inexcusable and should be rightly condemned. (I would know – my family personally suffered.) Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that many Lithuanians craved freedom and were determined to depose the Soviet Union.

Regarded as the land of “beer, babes, and basketball” to tourists, Lietuva (Lithuanian for “rainy country”) is an untapped treasure in Eastern Europe. Castles, sandy beaches, forests prime for mushroom hunting, and amber jewelry are yet to be discovered by most.

Vilnius, capital of Lithuania

Lithuanian amber

Svyturys, Lithuanian beer

If you’re looking for a unique place to visit this year, make Lithuania your top 2013 destination. Just don’t plan to bring a mail-order bride back with you.

Hill of Witches  – Juodkrantė

yewtreenights.blogspot.com

Hill of Crosses – Siauliai

sacredsites.com

Palanga Amber Museum – Palanga

(pgm.lt)

Gediminas Tower – Vilnius

(lithuaniantours.com)

Ninth Fort – Kaunas

(richardbloomproductions.com)

Trakai Castle – Trakai

(hqworld.net)

Lithuanian Sea Museum – Klaipeda

(balticsea.travel)

Lithuania was the first Baltic Republic to declare its independence from the USSR on March 11, 1990. The rebelliousness that fueled this has inspired many to speak out against collectivism and tyranny.

Our fellow Americans should look to people like my parents and others who’ve escaped here to better appreciate the freedoms afforded to them here in the United States.

Happy Independence Day, Lietuva!

Professor Sympathizes With Stalin, Says “It’s Bullshit” to Say He Committed Crimes

My first post at Campus Reform is centered around Grover Furr,  a Medieval English professor at Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ , who is an apologist for brutal Soviet dictator and communist Joseph Stalin.  In this video, Furr says that Stalin is an innocent man and that he has yet to find “one crime” Stalin committed. Talk about ridiculous. As someone who has had family murdered and oppressed by Stalin, I find his remarks to be repulsive and insulting. My maternal grandfather was imprisoned in a Russian gulag at the Belomar Canal at the Finnish-Russian border for 18 months. Many of my parents’ friends or family members disappeared under Stalin’s reign of terror from 1929-1953. Professors like Furr should not be teaching at universities.

Here’s the video:

More from Campus Reform:

“I know they say he killed 20, 30, 40 million people,” continued Grover Furr, a professor in Medieval English at Montclair State University.

“It’s bullshit.”

Professor Grover Furr of Montclair State University said he has yet to find “one crime that Stalin committed.”

Furr made the comments at a campus debate featuring three individuals supposedly representing conservative, liberal, and libertarian political views.

Following the debate, a student pressed Furr on his comments reminding the professor that most historians believe “100 to 150 million people [were] killed by communist regimes.”

The professor, however, doubled down on his original comment.

“What you said is bullshit,” said Furr.  “It’s wrong. It’s a lie.”

My article has been linked on Fox Nation, The Other McCain, CollegeInsurrection, FrontPage Magazine, WND, and other places.

Another video from Grover Furr:

Former Soviet satellites, republics still pay homage to Ronald Reagan

Read my latest at WashTimesCommunities

Mention on FreeRepublic and cross-posted on RedState.

AFL-CIO Hires Useful Idiots to Attend #OccupyPortland

It is apparent that the “Occupy Wall Street” is growing increasingly dangerous with each day. Fox News Channel reported this morning about “Occupy Portland” and the dire situation there.

Here’s another video from Dear Citizen’s Justen Charters:

I met this protester on eviction day for Occupy Portland. He tried to hand me a 99% sign. Because the Union told him too.

Political correctness is perpetuating America’s demise

Read my latest from Washington Times Communities

Cross-posted on Misfit Politics and RedState.

Mentioned on GrumpyPolitics.

“Occupy Wall Street” to young people: Shirk hard work and bemoan self-reliance

Read my latest from Washington Times Communities

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 277 other followers