Happy Thanksgiving!

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I was proud of America in 1941!

There are people in America today that are not proud of their country.
These people don’t know history or prefer to forget it.

The post below reminds how America saved the world from the Nazi Germany.

During my lifetime America helped many countries to recover after the WW2, saved or freed many countries from Communism, helped and continues to help many countries to develop their economies, to fight diseases.

I was shocked today to find out that students of UCLA voted to ban the American flag in the student area.

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

On June 22, 1941 without declaration of war Germany invaded the Soviet Union. At that time I was 7 years old.

In 73 years I wrote about that day and the Great Patriotic War in the post MY MOTHER’S BIRTHDAY.

Odessa was occupied during the war and my mother and I were fortunate to reach Sverdlovsk in the Ural Mountains and to rent a small room there. My mother was a nurse in a military hospital and she was able to come to our room only on Sundays for several hours

All other days I stayed in the room reading everything I could find. Our landlords, two mighty sisters about 65 years old, helped me daily to do the most important thing: to get my food ration.

During winter the situation in the city was especially bad. Food rations were tiny and there was impossible to get berries or…

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Three photos of my friends (2/13/2015)

Purple Scenery with Zen Pond in Japanese Garden by Daniel Ruyle

Purple Scenery with Zen Pond in Japanese Garden by Daniel Ruyle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALASKAN SUNRISE by Aaron Corbell

ALASKAN SUNRISE                                                   by Aaron Corbell

 

LIFE IN SEMPORNA, SABAH, MALAYSIA by CK NG

LIFE IN SEMPORNA, SABAH, MALAYSIA                          by CK NG

 

America and capitalism (facts and thoughts)

On 1/3/2015 I published “HOW BAD ARE AMERICA AND CAPITALISM?

The post received many comments. Surprisingly, nobody told that capitalism is bad or that America is a bad country.

However, many comments are heartfelt and very interesting.

Today I want to respond to Carl D’ Agostino (you can find full text of his comments in the post “HOW BAD ARE AMERICA AND CAPITALISM?”). I will respond only to his most important thoughts.

He wrote: “Most of the condos you speak of are investment property from rich South Americans or French Canadians. There is great wealth here but over 50% south Florida residents at minimum wage and poverty level. This place will implode: not enough water, electricity, more people getting welfare help than paying into system to support it”.

In my post  I wrote about Hollywood in Florida. We rented apartments here in winter only from working Americans for the last 13 yearsAll of them have houses or apartments in other places. During last 10 years many our friends retired and bought apartments here. Today we know more than 500 people in the area who worked hard and now enjoy life here. I mentioned in my earlier post occupations of some of them. Today I want to add: construction workers, mechanics, office managers, nutritionists, artists.

I agree that many Florida residents are at poverty level and getting welfare. However, during 40 years of life in America I observed that people on welfare live better than we lived in the Soviet Union.

We have many people on welfare in our area in Queens. They have free apartments, free medical help, food stamps. Many of them have home attendants who cook for them, clean apartments, do laundries, go with them to stores or for walks.

These people in our area are very happy.

I have only to add three important points here:

1. None of them use drugs.

2. None of them worked in the USA (they came in the country at old age). I don’t believe that it is fair to give them benefits that Americans who worked here all their lives don’t have.

3. The system that allows more people to be on welfare than to work is not capitalism.

Carl also wrote: “The right to vote here is an illusion of democracy. The capitalist megacorps and megabanks run everything and are creating subsistence living here. Your country’s slogan “all power to the workers” sounds good to me. Of course no communist country has initiated that part of change and power switch.”

I was extremely surprised that Carl said: “Your country’s slogan “all power to the workers” sounds good to me” (Carl knows that I was born and lived in the USSR).

How long can people deny facts? Does not everyone know that promise is not a reality? Don’t you remember: “Read my lips” or “You can keep your plan”?

There was never “all power to the workers” in the Soviet Union. It would be very bad if it was because when the USSR was born majority of population were peasants.

A very small group of people seized power and for many years terrorized population of the country. Millions of innocent people were executed and died in Stalags. You can read about it HERE.

I am sure that you also know about repressions in China and Cuba.

Now about “megacorps and megabanks run everything and are creating subsistence living here.”

Are not large and small corporations creating millions of jobs? Are not many people on welfare live on money these corporations pay in taxes? Are not millions of people who invested their money in Microsoft, IBM, Google, Facebook and many other corporations became rich?

I don’t believe that capitalism is a perfect system but I don’t know a better system. I don’t believe that we have a capitalistic system in America today. I think that we have a terrible hybrid of capitalism and socialism and this system leads the country in the wrong direction.

I don’t believe that America is a perfect country. It has racists of all colors, some corrupt and incompetent leaders, gangs, drug addicts, haters of police and the country, many people who want to have everything without working hard to get it.

However, I am sure that every system can be improved and that people of each country can have better lives if they choose and support good leaders and make sure that all elected officials do what is good for the country.

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Love and care

LOVE AND CARE by JF

LOVE AND CARE                                                                                          by JF

Landscapes

LANDSCAPES

I got my first digital camera in June when I was in Pocono Manor in Pennsylvania. Then we returned to Queens and walked only in Queens and Manhattan.

The header of this post shows a wonderful example of the landscape architecture. Another example is below. I edited both pictures today to give more color and life.

LANDSCAPE by JF

LANDSCAPE                                                                                                      by JF

I also want to show you a black and white photo shot in the Flushing Meadow Park in Queens. Hope that you’ll like combination of nature with buildings of the great city.

MEADOW LAKE IN QUEENS by JF

MEADOW LAKE IN QUEENS                                                                        by JF

Life is the best motivator!

I think that majority of my followers did not read this post.
During our 40 years in America we often heard: “I want it and I want it now!” My responses are: “What did you do to get it?” and “Go for it!”

PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

There are many good motivational blogs in the WordPress blogosphere. They are well written and many of them contain beautiful uplifting photos and wise quotes of famous people.

However, I believe that life is the best motivator.

Let me share with you our experience.

My wife and I came in the USA in 1975 with two children. My wife did not know English at all. I believed that I knew English as in the USSR I translated many scientific papers and was able to communicate with foreigners in English. However, my first days in New York were terrible. I could not understand people and people could not understand me.

What did we do?

I found a job as a cutter in a tie factory. I worked 8 hours daily and spent 4 hours to go to work and back. There were 4-5 hours for sleep. All remaining hours I read books by…

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One quote about universe.

“There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

Frank Zappa

Okay, I've done that stupid trick of sticking my paw up in the air. Now where's that tasty treat you promised me?

Okay, I’ve done that stupid trick of sticking my paw up in the air. Now where’s that tasty treat you promised me?                                                    courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

 

My friend artist Vladimir Ryklin.

Both of us lived in Moscow for many years but we did not know each other there. In 1975 we emigrated with our families and then we met in the small inn on the 35th street between 5th and 6th avenues.

Vladimir did not know English at all so it was my task to find good and cheap apartments for rent in some beautiful and peaceful area of New York City. I was fortunate to find such apartments for our families on the same floor of a building in Rego Park in Queens.

We and our children became friends. I was very interested in Vladimir’s work. We discussed his projects, what were his thoughts when he worked on any painting, his thoughts about art and artists.

Vladimir’s paintings were not simple or just beautiful. They were always thoughts provoking.

In 1975 I also met a businessman Eduard Nakhamkin and I suggested to him that it could be a very good idea to open an art gallery in Manhattan and to introduce Russian artists to American public. The gallery opened in 1977 and Vladimir Ryklin’s one-man show was the first.

I remember that there were 27 paintings on the display at that time and 25 of them were sold during first two days.

Today I found an article about my friend Vladimir Ryklin with several of his paintings. You can read it HERE.

WE LIVE MANY LIVES.

It is trying time for people who lived both in Ukraine and Russia. I am one of these people. That’s why I decided to reblog this post today.

Carole Feuerman.

Many years ago with a group of friends I visited the Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum in London.

I remember that it was cold that day and I was wearing a short black leather coat.

After I examined all exhibits I stayed quietly waiting for my friends. There were three young

Japanese girls nearby who looked at the group of wax figures near me. Then they turned

to me and started to discuss something.

At that moment my friends came to me and I asked them if they were ready to go.

The Japanese girls were very surprised! They could not believe that a wax figure could talk!

Many years passed and now we have an artist/sculptor who makes even more realistic figures using new methods.

Her name is Carole Feuerman.

You can read an article in Wikipedia about her and her works HERE.

I also like an article about her art with images of her resin sculptures HERE.

 

 

Bernard Cornwell.

Several years ago I read a book written by Bernard Cornwell about a british soldier Sharpe. It was the second book in the series and I liked it very much. I always liked historical fiction and I felt like I am young again.

As usually in such cases, I went to internet and read about the author.

You can repeat this step by clicking on the line below.

BERNARD CORNWELL

Then I remembered that I read before his book “Stonehenge” and enjoyed it very much. All theories about Stonehenge fascinated me for years. Surely, we visited Stonehenge during our trip to England and this visit stays in my memory (sunny day, huge stones, modern buses, sheep, tourists from all over the world).

Next step was reading every book about Sharpe and Lord Wellington. Not all of them are equally well-written but I would recommend to read all of them.

You can find about the Sharpe books HERE.

But the Sharpe series is only one of many.

Here is more about BERNARD CORNWELL BOOKS

I read many of them with great pleasure but one of them stays separately in my memory. It is “Agincourt” (Azincourt in French). Please read the book. You’ll be glad you did.

I ask my readers who read books by Bernard Cornwell to comment on this post. Thank you.

  

Nassim Nicholas Taleb – a man hated by many experts.

In November of 2013 I wrote the post below after I read two Taleb’s books. His book “The Black Swan” is brilliant! Everyone must read it or at least to look it up HERE and choose what particular parts (chapters) of the book to read now. I am sure that everyone will find a lot of interesting in the book.

I reblogged this post because it is essential today to understand Taleb’s explanations of the last financial crisis, of the ways government policies influence our way of life and predictability of the future.

I also recommend to read an article at the end of the post about Taleb’s tweets.

PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

America has more Nobel laureates in economics than any other country. There are thousands of experts in universities, banks, brokerage companies, insurance companies, etc.

Thousands of people work for the government and tell our presidents and the Congress what to do to keep economy growing and to keep people employed.

There is also a mighty Federal Reserve System. It is the central banking system of the United States. “It was created on December 23, 1913, with the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act, largely in response to a series of financial panics, particularly a severe panic in 1907

The U.S. Congress established three key objectives for monetary policy in the Federal Reserve Act: Maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates… The first two objectives are sometimes referred to as the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate… Its duties have expanded over the years, and today, according to official Federal Reserve…

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