Support Igor Birman’s Bid for Congress

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Last night, my sister and I attended Liberty Karaoke here in Arlington, VA to support Igor Birman’s Congressional bid in California’s 7th District.

Normally I don’t go out of my way to support every Republican candidate because many fail to uphold conservative principles. However, Igor Birman is not your usual candidate. He escaped the Soviet Union at age 12 alongside his family and came here in 1994. He’s both fiscally and socially conservative. He’s anti-establishment.

Igor is a candidate who can help pivot California in the right direction.

As a child of Soviet immigrants myself, I can greatly relate to Igor. He understands the problems inset in big government policies. He gets the importance of never taking our freedoms for granted. He holds no punches and is a fighter. And of course I would be partial to a fellow California conservative. Who wouldn’t be?

If you need any more reason to vote for or support Igor, check out his campaign video:

Like what you see? Donate to his campaign: http://www.igorbirman.com. He faces two Republicans and incumbent Democrat Ami Berra in the jungle primary on June 3rd, 2014.

I’ve donated to his campaign, and I hope you join me in doing so. Ultimately all members of Congress represent ALL of us, not solely their constituents. There’s no better person to represent us in Congress than a man who saw firsthand how destructive big government policies were in the former Soviet Union.

Follow Igor on Twitter, LIKE his Facebook page, and check out his campaign website.

 

 

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!

Bolsheviks and Tea Partiers Have NOTHING in Common

Julia Ioffe of the New Republic wrote an article suggesting that President Obama dissolve Congress like Boris Yeltsin “did” in October 1993 . (I plan to expound on Russian presidents and their tyrannical predecessors down the road.)

She writes:

Well, Boris Yeltsin, Russia’s first democratically elected president, was once faced with a similar situation exactly 20 years ago, in October 1993. The parliament, then called the Supreme Soviet, was increasingly against Yeltsin’s neoliberal economic reforms (suggested to him by young Western advisors like Jeffrey Sachs). On one hand, these reforms freed up the old Soviet command economy. On the other, they drove the country into chaos and violence, and left tens of millions impoverished, their savings nullified by skyrocketing inflation. The parliament, dominated by old Soviet conservatives, was increasingly against these reforms and refused to confirm Yeltsin’s key economic advisor. Yeltsin held a national referendum, a sort of national vote of confidence, which he won, and used it as a justification for what he did next.

Ioffe then tweeted the following:

bolshe

Ioffe, who oddly enough was born in Russia and later immigrated here to the U.S. in 1990, should be ashamed for comparing Bolshevism to the Tea Party movement inset in American conservatism. Sadly, her post and tweet suggest that she’s ignorant of the Soviet history that befell her homeland.

Let me offer a few corrections to her claim.

1) The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 was a bloody, undemocratic coup d’etat that lead to the rise of brutal dictators, or rather terrorists, Vladimir Lenin and later Joseph Stalin.
2) Bolsheviks (bolshoi, bolshe = ‘big’ in Russian) had a majority and succeeded in carrying out their bloody reign by eliminating the countless other parties in the Duma (Russian parliament)
3) The so-called Tea Party faction in the GOP (thankful it exists) is by no means a “majority” nor does it achieve its goal through murder or seizing full control of people’s lives via the government. It seeks to DEMOCRATICALLY elect people into office and frame a discussion on the value of American free enterprise.
4) Bolsheviks were proponents of Marxist-Leninism, which espouses full government control. Tea Partiers believe in constitutionally limited government.

As a Tea Partier and as someone whose family escaped the USSR, I always stress the importance of teaching the truth about the Soviet Union – not the revisionist wet dream glorifying Lenin and Uncle Joe. Millions of people died under the Bolshevik Revolution and later under Stalin’s reign of terror.

Simply put, Ioffe’s comments are asinine.

My goal is to bring light to the horrors and errors inset in Soviet communism and other Marxist revolutions. This will come with further reading and examination into the subject. Thanks to my family history and natural curiosity to counter the Left’s lies about this subject, I plan to fulfill this goal.

Too many young people have been lied to and deceived about the brutal reality of Soviet communism. We can’t allow revisionist history to deceive any longer.

[Note: Twitchy highlighted some tweets, including two of mine, in response to Ioffe's tweet.]

On Syria and American Exceptionialism: Don’t Trust Megalomaniacs Obama and Putin

I stumbled upon Russian President Vladimir Putin’s article in the New York Times. Not surprisingly, I took issue with Putin’s charge that America isn’t exceptional.

Putin writes:

And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.”

Perhaps it’s the anti-communist in me or perhaps it’s the very fact that my family escaped the former Soviet Union that I find Putin’s comments disconcerting.

Here are my thoughts about the Obama-Putin rivalry over who is the “better” world leader: I say neither! 
 
An ex-KGB officer (Russian President Vladimir Putin) who has been quoted lamenting the collapse of the USSR and has expressed interest in creating a Eurasian Union is seen as an adult when matched to President Barack Obama…
 
Unfortunately for Putin and Obama, both fail to understand how exceptional and unique America is. The USSR deprived all people of basic rights, and Russia today is no beacon of freedom. Why did many people, including my parents and family, flee the Soviet Union for the U.S.? America was exceptional and inviting to them because they could live in a free society, own property, freely express their views, and enjoy life without fear. The USSR was not exceptional; the U.S. was. America under Obama, who was mentored by communist Frank Marshall Davis and surrounded by anti-American mentors throughout his life, is departing from its founding and becoming mediocre. If you own a business, you didn’t build it unless the government subsidized it. If you are religious, you are seen as a bigot if you care about values and morals. If you are skeptical of big government, you are placed on a watch list. The list goes on and on. America has been subverted to political correctness (Cultural Marxism) for many decades, but its wrath has escalated under this president.
 
When it comes to Syria – a place where we have no business or vital interest in- don’t confide in Putin nor Obama. Putin wants to undermine America aboard and Obama wants to undermine her from within. Discern carefully and don’t place trust in these two megalomaniacs.
 
Agree? Disagree? Weigh in below!

FreedomWorks International Youth Panel – College Fly-In – March 10, 2013

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On Sunday, I had the pleasure of speaking at FreedomWorks’ College Fly-In Summit at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Washington, D.C.

I participated alongside FreedomWorks’ Anang Mittal (India), Adam Brandon (U.S./England) , and Ana Puig (Brazil). We shared our respective stories about being first-generation Americans and/or immigrants who came to this country.

Below is the video of the panel discussion. Enjoy!

Blogging Update: Townhall.com Column

As a young conservative activist and blogger, I’m often enlisted with the task of communicating my thoughts over social media and in print.  I’ve been blogging for nearly four years, and with each year I enjoy seeing my articles improve and reach thousands of people. I sincerely hope my words and thoughts inspire others to find their voice and speak out in favor of conservatism.

I had my first column at Townhall.com published today titled, “Surging Support for Joseph Stalin in Post-Soviet Russia is Troubling.”  I wrote about the 60th anniversary of Joseph Stalin’s death and the significance it carries today with respect to condemning the Soviet butcher.

I plan to contribute regularly, so stay tuned!

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!

Smart Girls Are Armed, Conservative, and Fabulous: My “Youth in Action” Interview

smart girl

Teen conservative and Smart Girl Politics activist Bethany Bowra (@bethanybowra) interviewed me for the latest installment of Smart Girl Politics’ “Youth in Action” series profiling young conservative female activists. Those of you who know me are familiar with my hold-no-prisoners approach to conservative politics, anti-Communist tendencies, and desire to lure in more young people to our movement.

I hope my thoughts and sentiments in this interview inspire other freedom-loving youngsters to speak out and reject collectivism. Without a doubt, we must encourage more young conservatives…especially young conservative females.

Enjoy!

While Planned Parenthood and Democrat women in Congress claim to speak for all women, these young women have something to say about that. Contrary to popular belief, those groups do not speak for all young women— many young women my age have views that are quite the opposite. Below is my interview with conservative activist, Gabriella Hoffman!

Why did you get involved in politics?

I got involved in conservative politics because of my parents. My mother and my father are Lithuanian immigrants who escaped from Soviet communism 27 years ago. The Left’s policies remind them too much of the Old Country, so conservatism came naturally to them. Their stories and perspective on life really brought me to conservatism. Both sides of my family suffered immensely in the former Soviet Union. I’m in this fight to honor their memories and remind people that freedom must be safeguarded for future generations to come.

How did you get involved?

In 2006 when I was 15, I started writing a column in a local Orange County, CA community paper, The Coto Voice, called “Teen Beat.” I maintained this column for three years. I primarily focused on topics ranging from volunteering in high school to upholding traditional values. After I graduated from high school and moved onto college, I began to write about politics for The California Review, the conservative paper at UC-San Diego. From there, I went onto running a YAF chapter and hosting David Horowitz on campus- an event which landed on national news. After the event garnered a lot of attention, I started working for The Rick Amato Show as an Executive Assistant and landed a coveted role at Eagle Forum of San Diego as the Director of Youth Outreach.  I also started blogging for various websites and publications.

What issues have you been focused on since you became active?

I’m a firm believer in sound conservatism (social and fiscal conservatism), and I also believe in strong national defense. During my time at UC-San Diego, I heavily focused on support for Israel (I have family there and support a healthy U.S.-Israel relationship) and exposing militant leftists on campus. I also exposed radical feminism and openly condemned the Vagina Monologues. Now, I concentrate on a plethora of issues ranging from traditional values to Israel advocacy to media/leftist/campus bias to free enterprise.

Continue reading at Smart Girl Politics Action.

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:

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