Category Archives: Communism

Immigration & Assimilation – A Hungarian Model

(Click on the image above for more)

[Note: Since this original post I’ve added another Hungarian refugee — Thomas Peterffy]

Immigration is much in the news these days, both here in the U.S. and in Europe, and a huge political football in both places with many violent crimes and sexual assaults being committed in countries such as Sweden and Germany (click on the links).

The United States from its inception is an immigrant nation, and as many of us can attest, our roots are in the forefathers who immigrated here whether in the present or in the distant past. For example, in my own home town of Butte Montana, a mining town that attracted people from all over the world, NO SMOKING signs in the mines were posted in 14 different languages.

The success or failure of a society such as ours tracks closely to the assimilation of those disparate immigrant people into the culture of the nation, and for the most part, this assimilation has been quite successful – often after much struggle as in the case of the Irish and the Italians. But through assimilation, each new immigrant population has entered into the fabric of America, and often with significant contributions.

The stories of refugees from the 1956 Hungarian Revolution provide inspiring stories of struggle, survival, perseverance and success. Some I have knowledge of provide a model of what immigration and assimilation should be:


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Adam von Dioszeghy  (Mr. von D – as he was known by his US Navy shipmates) is a survivor of the World War II battle of Budapest – a battle pitting the air forces of Great Britain and the United States, the German occupying army and the Soviet Red Army – all converging around the basement bomb shelter where seven year old Adam and his mother survive against this harrowing onslaught.

Surviving the war they suffered in the following years under the brutal oppression of Communist rule.

In 1956 young Adam became involved in the revolution and was twice wounded. The revolution was brutally squashed by the Red Army and Adam and his mother were marked for death and escaped in the dead of night to Austria with nothing but the clothes they were wearing and little usable cash.

Adam and his mother eventually made their way to Menlo Park California where Adam earned a degree from Stanford University. Mind you, that when the two of them first arrived in America they spoke no English.

Adam was then called up in the draft in the early years of the Vietnam War and joined the Navy and was commissioned an officer in the US Navy and assigned to the World War II Fletcher Class destroyer USS Porterfield where we served side by side at General Quarters and on the bridge during normal underway operations.

Following Navy service with three tours to Vietnam, Adam returned to Stanford where he earned a law degree and practiced as a trial lawyer for many years in Northern California.

I hooked up with Mr. von D again in recent months (Spring 2016) when I discovered him via the internet. Adam and his wife retired a few years back, and at his wife’s suggestion, have returned to live in and around Budapest once more – his wife was born and raised in Northern California.

Click on the book image above to read my review of his memoir as well as a link to the book – a wonderful and fascinating book.




Charlie —

Note: Out of respect of privacy concerns expressed by Charlie’s wife, and by Charlie as expressed by his wife, I have written this in an anonymous fashion using my own paraphrase for events described in Charlie’s written memoir.


Like Mr. von D — Charlie was a Hungarian refugee and experienced many of the same things in surviving WW-II as a young child … living under a brutal Communist regime … escaping a crushed revolution … and finally resettling and assimilating into the American culture. We met the widow of Charlie, a year ago, but never knew Charlie. She told a spellbinding story of how she and her husband met and married. I later asked if any of this had been written down. She responded by sending unpublished stories of their life together, including an extensive account of Charlie‘s life growing up in Hungary through WW-II, the oppression of the Communist years and his involvement in the revolution and subsequent escape to the West and the US.

Several episodes highlight the heritage of Charlie and the type of man that came to America in 1956:

First are his descriptions of his mother hiding Polish Jews from the Germans who were bent on the extermination of all Jews. His mother did this at the risk of her own life as well as the lives of her family.

Second is Charlie learning English in America by spending many hours in movie theaters, often watching the same movies over and over and with a dictionary and a pad and pencil at hand.

Another came about somewhat casually as we were visiting with Charlie’s wife at her home. I commented on the flag flying at the property entrance and visible from the front window. Yes, she said, Charlie always liked to have the American flag flying where he could see it. This to me was a great testimony of how this refugee from war and tyranny viewed his new home country.


I’ve read Charlie’s story, and it is indeed captivating and inspiring. I hope his wife has success in the future and publishes their story and shares it with many. The story is very well written – and from one who knew no English when he entered the US as a refugee — rest assured that Charlie assimilated into the American culture and became a productive citizen in his new country. It is an inspiring story of overcoming war, an oppressive government, revolution and crafting a new and successful life in a free society.


I knew Gabriel Harkay and worked with him at Cubic Corp back in the 1980s. He was quite a good civil engineer and worked many projects around the world building communications towers and facilities for our Tactical Aircrew Training System . I wish I had paid more attention to Gabe back then, but I do know that he was a refugee from the 1956 Hungarian revolution, and likely had experiences similar to others I have written about.

One project we worked together was a system for the Iranian Air Force in the late 1970s. We were scheduled to deploy to Iran to install the system in early 1980, and Gabe was in Tehran doing some preparatory work. The revolutionaries stormed the hotel where Gabe was staying, broke all of the liquor bottles in the first floor bar and set it all on fire, cutting off escape of guests in the rooms above.  Fortunately there was a construction tower adjacent to the hotel and guests were lifted from the roof of the burning hotel to the tower and to safety. So inadvertently Gabe Harkay was involved in his second revolution and survived both. Needless to say, we did not deploy the system to Iran.

I regret not having details of my friend Gabe’s life, and I’ve since found that Gabe has passed.


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Andrew Grove was a Hungarian-born American businessman, engineer, author and a science pioneer in the semiconductor industry. He escaped from Communist-controlled Hungary at the age of 20 and moved to the United States where he finished his education. He was one of the founders and the CEO of Intel Corporation, helping transform the company into the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductors.

When he was eight, the Nazis occupied Hungary and deported nearly 500,000 Jews to concentration camps, including Auschwitz. Its commandant, Rudolf Höss, said at his trial that he killed 400,000 Hungarian Jews in three months. To avoid being arrested, Grove and his mother took on false identities and were sheltered by friends. His father, however, was arrested and taken to an Eastern Labor Camp to do forced labor, and was reunited with his family after the war.

During the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, when he was 20, he left his home and family and escaped across the border into Austria. Penniless and barely able to speak English, in 1957 he eventually made his way to the United States. He later changed his name to the anglicized, Andrew S. Grove. Grove summarized his first twenty years of life in Hungary in his memoirs:

“By the time I was twenty, I had lived through a Hungarian Fascist dictatorship, German military occupation, the Nazis’ “Final Solution,” the siege of Budapest by the Soviet Red Army, a period of chaotic democracy in the years immediately after the war, a variety of repressive Communist regimes, and a popular uprising that was put down at gunpoint where many young people were killed and countless others were interned. Some two hundred thousand Hungarians escaped to the West. I was one of them.”


I’ve just finished reading Mr. Grove’s story “Swimming Across” and like the others it is compelling and repeats the common experiences of these young boys and men through World War II, the Nazi occupation and holocaust remembrances (Grove was a Jew), the brutal Communist years culminating in the 1956 revolution and Russian occupation.

A part of Andy Grove’s story that stands out is the reception he received upon arrival in the United States. At every turn, it seems, Grove was kindly treated and helped in many small and large ways. Like finding a relative and housing in New York City. He was outfitted with new clothing replacing the clothes he wore for over a month during his escape from Hungary to a brief settlement in Vienna Austria, to a long train ride to Germany followed by a two week long ocean voyage to Brooklyn New York.

Grove had completed a fair amount of university education in chemistry while in Hungary, and in seeking to complete his goal of becoming a chemist, he was helped along the way to becoming a chemical engineer with interviews and scholarship aid at several New York schools.

And of course it is widely known that Andrew Grove was one of the small group of founders of Intel Corpo0ration, and was its CEO for many years.  (Source –Wikipedia)

Read now what Andy Grove says about his life in America:

“I have loved my life in the United States. The doors that the International Rescue Committee and Professor Schmidt opened for me were just the first of many. I went through graduate school on scholarships, got a fantastic job at Fairchild Semiconductor, the high flying company of its day, then participated in the founding of Intel, which in time has become the largest maker of semiconductors in the world. I rose to be its chief executive officer, a position I held for eleven years, until I stepped down from it in 1998; I continue as chairman today. I’ve continued to be amazed by the fact that as I progressed through school and my career, no one has ever resented my success on account of my being an immigrant.”


Here is another fascinating story I stumbled on:

Chance encounter in war-torn Hungary renewed 64 years later (click on he link)


Gabriel Pall   is yet another interesting and inspiring refugee from Hungary. An American B-24 bomber was forced to crash land in Hungary after a bombing mission. Bob Holcomb was the bombardier on that mission, and after the unplanned landing a group of young and curious Hungarian boys gathered around the aircraft and its crew. Among the boys was Gabriel Pall who spoke a little English, and the two struck up a very brief friendship.

Like other local children, young Gabriel was drawn to the U.S. airmen like a magnet.

Holcomb had some candy in his pockets and gave some to the young boy, told him his name and said ‘If you ever get to America … look me up’

Mr. Pall did come to the States — in 1957 following the 1956 revolution, and like the others I’ve found, assimilated into the American culture and led a productive and quite remarkable professional life.

And Mr. Pall was tenacious in finding his American of years past and he and Mr. Holcomb met again after a long 64 years. For Pall, their meeting left a lasting impression as evidenced by the tenacity in which he searched those many decades for his American flyboy friend.

“I remember two things,” Pall said. “One, he gave me Wrigley’s chewing gum. And two, he said, ‘Hey, kid – if you ever get to America, look me up.’”

Holcomb and the rest of his bomber crew made their way to Budapest and then back to Italy … and finally back home to America.

Pall escaped from Soviet-dominated Hungary in 1956 to start a new life in America.

Gabriel Pall with his wife, Christine Rose, left, and their daughter, Laura Rose, at Laura’s graduation from the University of Virginia.

Pall grew up under the Soviet-backed communist regime in Hungary. His family moved to Budapest, where he attended high school and enrolled in college to study civil engineering. In 1956, he graduated from the Technical University of Budapest. He went to work for the government, designing state rail and highway projects, and began training as a reserve officer with the Hungarian army corps of engineers.

Then came Oct. 23 that year, and the Hungarian Revolution. After a brief, heady taste of independence, the Soviet armored divisions rolled across the border and crushed the rebellion.

Hungary’s Stalinist government had been repressive before the uprising, Pall said, but now, he knew, it would be even worse. He and his fiancée, Agnes Szabo, decided they would try to get out.

On Nov. 23, the couple left Budapest by train for Szombathely, only 20 miles from Austria and freedom. But the railroad station was surrounded by Soviet troops and local militias, checking identity papers and arresting anyone without a residency permit.

They were trapped.

A local resident warned them of armed Soviet patrols and showed them where to hide, promising to send a guide after nightfall. The man showed up as promised and took them to a house at the edge of town, where a small group of refugees was waiting to cross into Austria.

They walked several miles across open fields, not speaking, wrapped in bed sheets to blend into the snow-covered countryside. When they arrived at the frontier, they found it guarded by barbed wire and landmines.

Using knitting needles to probe the ground, Pall and the guide painstakingly marked a safe path through the minefield. As the group began to cross, flares lit up the night and machinegun fire shredded the silence. The guide ordered everyone to drop to the ground.

They were lucky. The border guards hadn’t seen them – they were shooting at someone else. After the gunfire stopped, they completed their journey into Austria, where they found safe haven at a place called Lutzmannsburg.

Later, they learned that another group of refugees had been gunned down by a patrol a mile or two from their crossing point.

‘If you ever get to America …’

Gabriel Pall and Agnes Szabo found a warm welcome in Austria, and the couple got married in Vienna on Dec. 27, 1956. But Pall never intended to stay there forever.

I had this destination, which was to come to America,” he said.

He had an uncle in the States and, he thought, a friend in Oregon – that dashing young flyboy he had met during the war.

The next year, under an Eisenhower-era program designed to recruit engineering talent fleeing Soviet-bloc countries, the couple secured a visa and crossed the pond.

They settled in Philadelphia, where Pall began a long and successful career with IBM. He rose through the corporate ranks, taking ever more challenging assignments with the company. In 1983, Agnes died of cancer. Pall remarried, and his new wife gave birth to a daughter. He retired from IBM, did some consulting, then accepted a faculty position at the College of William & Mary.

Gabriel Pall:  Some Background Information

·  Member American Society of Civil Engineers

·  Member Association for Computing Machinery.

·  Member American Society for Quality

·  Member American Society for Training and Development


· BS degree
Structural Engineering
Technical University of Budapest

· MS degree
Engineering Mechanics
University of Pennsylvania

A fitting conclusion to this story of Gabriel Pall is the following news article:

WILLIAMSBURG, Va., March 11, 2014 – A Citizenship Ceremony for children of recently naturalized United States citizens will be held on Saturday, March 22, at Jamestown Settlement, a museum of 17th-century Virginia. The event is hosted by the Williamsburg Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) and the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation in partnership with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the Department of Homeland Security.


Fifty young people ages 11 to 25 from 26 countries – Belarus, Benin, Canada, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Lithuania, Mauritius, Mexico, Panama, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Sudan, United Kingdom, Ukraine and Vietnam – will take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States and receive formal acknowledgement of their citizenship. The ceremony begins at 2 p.m. and is open to the public on a space-available basis.

“We are proud to join with the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation and USCIS to sponsor this truly special ceremony for a third year,” said Jane M. Stewart, regent for the Williamsburg Chapter NSDAR, which co-sponsors two adult naturalization ceremonies annually in June and December with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. “It’s appropriate to hold it at Jamestown Settlement, near where some of the very first immigrants to our country came ashore.”

Featured speaker for the event is Williamsburg resident Gabriel A. Pall, an internationally recognized author and management consultant. A native of Hungary, he escaped to Austria during the Hungarian Revolution in 1956, immigrated to the United States the following year and became a naturalized citizen in 1962. After a 30-year career with IBM, he retired as an executive and later became president of Juran International Inc., a global consulting firm specializing in quality management. More recently, Mr. Pall has consulted on project and process management with the College of William and Mary.


Finally, read this snippet from an article from a Hungarian organization in Cleveland where many of the refugees, including Charlie, lived for a time before moving on.

“ … These refugees were markedly different from any previous wave of Hungarian immigrants. First of all, they were the youngest group; many were single. The majority had some kind of technical training and their skills were readily employed by American industry. Psychologically, immigration made lasting impressions on these refugees. For eleven years they experienced life under economic depravity and political terror. As a direct consequence, their interests in America were more materialistic and self-centered; cultural or group attachments were much weaker when compared to those of previous waves of immigrants. They adjusted with greater ease, learned English in a short while, with many of them marrying English-speaking mates. Their contributions to their adopted homeland were numerous. … “

I am inspired by these stories, and hope you are as well.  I also hope you will agree that these Hungarians represent the best possible model of immigration and assimilation.

And note that these Hungarian refugees were gathered together at an Army base in New Jersey and vetted prior to release into the general American populace – for several reasons:

· Among the refugees were plants from the Soviet Union, plants whose missions included espionage against the United States, and assassinations against fellow refugees. Charlie, in his memoir, tells of the many years he spent in looking over his shoulder for that would be assassin.

· 1956 being at the height of the Cold War, the US was interested in conditions behind the Iron Curtain. These Hungarian refugees were interrogated in order to extract as much useful information as possible. Some such as Andrew Grove were educated in the sciences and engineering, and could provide insight into the scientific and engineering maturity and capabilities of the Soviet Union. The average age of refugees was 23, including many children, well educated (from one university 500 students, 32 professors, and their families fled), and talented (including musicians, athletes, writers, engineers and other professionals) people come through swamps and guards to reach non-communist Austria. The Austrian people were exemplary in their welcome of the Hungarian refugees.


But let’s not leave this story just yet – there’s more.

The nation that welcomed these refugees is a big part of the story. A story that begins with the words  from our Declaration of Independence “ We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.“ and from our Constitution beginning with the words “We the People …

It is these ideals enshrined from the very beginning in the very fabric of America that afforded these refugees the liberty and opportunity to begin new lives – lives to be lived not under the yoke of kings, queens, emperors, dictators, bishops, czars or other autocrats. No, these new American citizens would rise or fall primarily on their own merits … and also with the benevolent help of other free citizens and the governments freely elected by free men and women. Was it easy? No. But there were no machineguns, tanks or minefields set up to dictate their every thought or movement.

These 35,000 or more freedom seeking Hungarians sought out and made new lives in that “Exceptional Nation” the United States of America.



(The following bio information is taken from Wikipedia with {Publius edits in this font})

Thomas Peterffy was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1944, in a hospital basement during a Russian air raid.[1][6] He left his engineering studies and emigrated to the United States as a refugee in 1965.[1][6][7] When he moved to New York City, he did not speak English. He eventually earned a bachelor’s degree from Clark University.[8]  

{Note that Peterffy came out of Hungary much later than the others I’ve highlighted. However, he did live under the oppression of Communism in Hungary and escaped from it.}

Peterffy began his career in the US as an architectural draftsman working on highway projects for an engineering firm. It was at this firm that he volunteered to program a newly-purchased computer, ultimately shaping the course of his future. Of his background in programming Peterffy said, “I think the way a CEO runs his company is a reflection of his background. Business is a collection of processes, and my job is to automate those processes so that they can be done with the greatest amount of efficiency.”[1][6]

Peterffy left his career designing financial modelling software and bought a seat on the American Stock Exchange to trade equity options. During his career in finance, he has consistently pushed to replace manual processes with more efficient automated ones. He would write code in his head during the trading day and then apply his ideas to computerized trading models after hours. Peterffy created a major stir among traders by introducing handheld computers onto the trading floor in the early 1980s.[1][6] His business related to his AMEX seat eventually developed into Interactive Brokers.[1][6]

Regulatory influence and political views

In 1999, Peterffy was influential in persuading the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that US options markets could be linked electronically, which would ensure that investors receive the best possible options prices.[9] He has also testified before the United States Senate Banking Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment about adding banking regulations.[1]

During the 2012 United States presidential campaign, Peterffy created political ads in support of the Republican Party. Peterffy bought millions of dollars of air time on networks such as CNN, CNBC, and Bloomberg. The ads consisted of a minute-long spot narrated by Peterffy that warned against creeping socialism in the United States. The ads were considered remarkable in part because Peterffy is not a candidate and did not buy the ads through a “527 group” but instead paid for them directly.[10]

In the spot Peterffy said, “America’s wealth comes from the efforts of people striving for success. Take away their incentive with badmouthing success and you take away the wealth that helps us take care of the needy. Yes, in socialism the rich will be poorer — but the poor will also be poorer. People will lose interest in really working hard and creating jobs.” Peterffy did not directly mention Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, but clearly favored the former.[11]

Peterffy’s ad received mixed responses. Joshua Green, writing for Bloomberg Businessweek, said “The ad, while slightly ridiculous, is deeply sincere and also quite affecting”. Green also asked Peterffy whether the comparison between the United States and Hungary made in the ad was a fair one: “[Peterffy] couldn’t really think that the U.S. was turning into socialist Hungary, could he? The government isn’t suppressing speech and throwing political opponents in jail. No, he conceded, it wasn’t. But it sure feels like that’s the path we’re on”.[12] Politico reported that the ad was “being hailed as one of the best spots this election cycle”, and said that it could have been influential in Ohio due to its large Hungarian population.[13]

Voter registration records in Connecticut show that Peterffy is registered as an independent voter.[10] Campaign contribution records show that he donated at least $60,000 to the Republican National Committee in 2011 and that over the past few years has mostly donated to Republican candidates.[11]

During the 2016 presidential election, Peterffy donated $100,000 to the campaign of Republican nominee Donald Trump.[14]


Hungarians know things that others in the West have only read about. They know oppression and tyranny.

Many, though certainly not all, within todays new refugees from the Middle East are merely transplanting their tyranny to new locations – but it doesn’t take many to wreak havoc as seen recently in many European nations and in the United States as well.

Read “The Bridge at Andau” by James Michener, a work of non-fiction. Yes, the Hungarians were refugees themselves and others in Europe welcomed them and many came to America. The Hungarians did not bring with them a murderous attitude to all who were not Hungarians. They did not bring with them a hatred of those who gave them shelter. They did not attack women, priests, nightclubs or newspapers. They did not fly large airplanes into large buildings nor drive trucks down the streets mowing people down. They did not behead others in the land that gave them sanctuary. They did not set off bombs at large sporting events or in shopping malls.

The Hungarian refugees of 1956-57 sought to escape oppression and avail themselves of the opportunities offered by free societies. And many have contributed in positive ways as shown by the handful I have highlighted above.

Many of the un-vetted new refugees in Europe and the US want to spread oppression and destabilize rather than contribute to their host nations in positive ways.

If we are to remain a culture valuing liberty and opportunity, and a culture gleaning the best that foreign immigrants have to offer, while providing sanctuary to those fleeing oppression,  let us return to the Hungarian model. The high bar set by the Hungarians in the mid 1950s has been dramatically and deliberately lowered in recent years in the name of political expediency. We lower the bar at our own peril and risk a fundamental transformation of our nation.

Immigration – yes, but with great care in culling out those who mean harm.

Don Johnson – July 2016

The Irony of Bernie and Seattle


I find great irony, contrasts, contradictions and not a little troubling concern when I see that Bernie Sanders was victorious in the state of Washington (read Seattle).

Seattle can rightly be viewed as the apex of Free Market Capitalism, with the likes of Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, Costco, Starbucks and others creating much employment, economic opportunity and great wealth for many, not only in Seattle but around the nation – indeed the world. How many years was Bill Gates the richest man in the world? How many millionaires did he create?   The last ten years or so of my working career was centered around developing software using Microsoft Windows and Microsoft software development tools.

Then we have Bernie Sanders, the self professed Socialist, which puts him in the camp of the central planners of history – the central planners of those glorious reaches for utopia via those many failed 5 year plans. Those central planners who seek to level the playing field and eliminate that dastardly “income inequality” and make us all economically equal (except for those exempt central planners with the mansions and lavish dachas in the countryside).

Swinging back to Seattle, we see that grand golden goose that has laid so many golden eggs for so many.


And we see that very rich man along with his wife who are in the process of giving their wealth away. Giving it away in ways that benefit many of the sick and poor around the world. And they are doing this in the grand tradition of the free market enterprise system – they give this wealth away voluntarily and without the coercion of those Bernie style central planners.

So we have the irony of a Bernie Sanders seeking to confiscate the wealth of a Bill Gates – wealth created from that golden goose called Seattle and redistribute according to needs as determined by those central planners in their dachas.

Is the Golden Goose an endangered species?  


Don Johnson – March 2016

Richard Dawkins: No moralist like an atheist moralist

File:A small cup of coffee.JPG

Something to think about over morning coffee —

Excerpt from a commenter:

“ … The unmitigated horror visited upon man, by state sponsored atheism, would be hard to exaggerate,,, Here’s what happens when Atheists/evolutionists/non-Christians take control of Government:

“169,202,000 Murdered: Summary and Conclusions [20th Century Democide]
2. The New Concept of Democide [Definition of Democide]
3. Over 133,147,000 Murdered: Pre-Twentieth Century Democide
4. 61,911,000 Murdered: The Soviet Gulag State
5. 35,236,000 Murdered: The Communist Chinese Ant Hill
6. 20,946,000 Murdered: The Nazi Genocide State
7. 10,214,000 Murdered: The Depraved Nationalist Regime
8. 5,964,000 Murdered: Japan’s Savage Military
9. 2,035,000 Murdered: The Khmer Rouge Hell State
10. 1,883,000 Murdered: Turkey’s Genocidal Purges
11. 1,670,000 Murdered: The Vietnamese War State
12. 1,585,000 Murdered: Poland’s Ethnic Cleansing
13. 1,503,000 Murdered: The Pakistani Cutthroat State
14. 1,072,000 Murdered: Tito’s Slaughterhouse
15. 1,663,000 Murdered? Orwellian North Korea
16. 1,417,000 Murdered? Barbarous Mexico
17. 1,066,000 Murdered? Feudal Russia”

This is, in reality, probably just a drop in the bucket. Who knows how many undocumented murders there were. It also doesn’t count all the millions of abortions from around the world. … “

There’s more …


Don Johnson – August 2015

Iraq and Vietnam … and Afghanistan … and Pakistan … and … and …

I am greatly disturbed and angered about what I see happening in Iraq.

What is happening in Iraq is, in most significant ways, a replay of Vietnam … let’s take a look.

We entered Vietnam in the early 1960s under Democrat President John F. Kennedy and saw a massive expansion of American military forces under Democrat President Lyndon Johnson and then Republican President Richard Nixon.

The Vietnam war was actually only one campaign, a very hot campaign, in something much bigger … the Cold War. The Cold War was a strategy of containment of the post WW-II expansion of the Communist empires of the Soviet Union and China. Vietnam was a war against Communist aggression against an independent nation, South Vietnam, in much the same way the Korean War was a war against Communist aggression against an independent South Korea. It should be remembered in hind-sight that atheistic Communism in the personification of the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, Cambodia is credited with the deaths of some 100,000,000 souls in the period roughly from 1930 – 1991.

I view both of these wars, Korea and Vietnam, as legitimate and morally justifiable, especially in light of the clear lessons of post war history and hindsight. That history and hindsight being the very sad and tragic country of North Korea as compared with virtually the rest of the world – especially South Korea. We see daily reminders of the success of the free and independent nation of South Korea in the form of the Kia and Hyundai automobiles on the roads of American and around the world. Many of us use Samsung products to talk with friends and family over the wireless networks round the world. Many wash and dry clothes in Samsung washers and dryers. In South Korea we see a vibrant and free Christian church, free from the deadly persecutions seen just across the border.

North Korea seems hard pressed to grow a single ear of corn … and Christians are killed wherever and whenever they are found.

The Korean War ended in stalemate, with the two nations separated at the 38’th parallel.

At the conclusion of the Korean War, the US made a long term military and economic commitment to the nation of South Korea and to its people. That commitment gave South Korea an umbrella of protection … an umbrella providing room for reconstruction and rehabilitation from decades of tyranny. That commitment also prevented a unified Korea, a unified Communist Korea, from seeking revenge against Japan, a nation also living under the American military umbrella of protection. Such revenge was probable considering the brutal invasion and treatment of Korea by the Japanese in the pre-war years of the 1930s.

Communist expansion was stopped at the 38’th parallel.

Wise American leadership in the late 1940’s and 1950s saw the future and saw the grim future lying just ahead, and so close to the world wide destruction that was World War II. American commitment to Korea continues today!

Wise American leadership in the late 1940’s and 1950s saw the future … and acted!

Vietnam and Korea … similar in so many ways … and yet tragically so different.

* * * * *

Vietnam and Iraq … similar in so many ways … and yet tragically so much the same.

US forces and their South Vietnamese allies finally achieved military victory in Vietnam in 1973; not a complete and total victory, but rather a stalemate as in Korea. The Paris Peace treaty of 1973 codified the stalemate leaving the two Vietnamese nations separated North and South.

American forces were withdrawn for the most part, but an agreement was left behind whereby South Vietnam would receive financial and military aid for its own self-defense.

Unfortunately, in 1975, the Democrat controlled US Congress voted to severely reduce aid to South Vietnam to the point where it became defenseless against a renewed attack from the North. Saigon fell to the Communist North 55 days later.

Unwise American Congressional leadership in 1975 failed to see the future … and acted to ensure the tragic future and its grim realities!

* * * * *

Unwise and even malevolent and sinister American leadership from President Barack Obama in 2011 orchestrates a near repeat of Vietnam … again with very predictable results.

One of the big ironies in these two episodes is seen in the person of a Mr. John Kerry.
Kerry was instrumental in fomenting anti-American/anti-war sentiment which precipitated the Congressional actions of Congress in 1975. Mr. Kerry, a former Senator and now Secretary of State, is, and has been, in a much more powerful position to further the demise of American influence in the world, and precipitate the atrocities we read about now in Iraq … decapitations and crucifixions.

This is how Mr. Kerry characterized the US military in 1971:

“They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.”

Contrast that with the following characterization of the US military in 1975 following the conquering onslaught of the Communist North:

The Lucky Few, The Story of the USS Kirk

And here:

The USS Kirk: valor at the Vietnam war’s end

* * * * *

The future and fate of Afghanistan and nuclear Pakistan and others … ? can be reasonably predicted given the lessons described above.


Don Johnson – June 2014



Guest Commentary: Current state of the Union


America, Love it or Leave it

That means you too Mr. Obama!!!

By: Dean Elliot


Remember that statement made 5 days before Obama took office in 2009? That statement raised a few eyebrows then but most didn’t understand at that time the full meaning of what he intended to do to our country. The press gave him a pass and the uninformed voted for him not because of his experience, education, leadership techniques, or the content of his character (most of these were unknown) but simply because of the color of his skin and the fact that he could read a teleprompter.

If you look at how he has acted since he has been in office, he has never gotten out of campaign mode. Well, maybe a little; he does play golf a lot, but depending on who he plays with, that could be campaigning as well. Case in point: The strike on Benghazi in the evening. Where was he? After he was informed, he went to bed to rest up for his trip to Las Vegas for a fundraiser and a round of golf the next day. Baghdad is about to be overrun. Where is he? Jumps on AirForce One and goes to Palm Springs for a fundraiser and more golf. Where are the priorities here?? Fundamentally Changing America, “playing” president, and lavish vacations (at taxpayer expense) are the obvious priorities.

Why does he want to change America? He grew up outside of our country, went to Muslim schools, befriended communist radicals and absorbed their teachings, styles and goals, and sat under the religious teaching of Rev Wright, who hates America and is a radical racist. What do you expect form a man with such background. There is still “hushed” controversy over his place of birth and thus his eligibility to be president. He and his wife (who stated ‘I am finally proud to be an American’) have spent large amounts of money hiding their school records and anything else that would provide insight into their background. If you want to hide these things, then there must be something to hide. Based on the color of his skin, the press gives him a pass.

To accomplish the goal of changing America he surrounded himself with radicals, communists, marxists and gave them the authority to accomplish his goals.

Some of his first actions were to tour the World apologizing for how bad America has been, patting our enemies on the back, alienating our friends and bowing to Muslim leaders. He does nothing to stand up to those threatening us. The result is that no one is afraid of what we might do if they attack. ie; Benghazi: no one has even been indicted 2 years later. Israel, our only friend in the region, can’t trust or depend on us any more. European leaders have absolutely no respect for him.

By the way, based on his actions with Muslims, he is at best a Muslim sympathizer and at worst an undercover outright Muslim.

Then there are the scandals and cover-ups. Does any one in this administration care. I think not. Obama does not care as long as he can get away with ignoring the adverse situations or making some ovations to appease the critics. If these situations do not directly affect his ultimate goal of “Change” or his vacations, then he really doesn’t care what happens.

What is the result for America? We are weak in the world. World leaders who are our friends don’t trust our president; they view us as floundering on the world scene. We have pulled back as a world power to keep evil in check and evil is filling the gap. Soon this evil will be not only at our doorstep but will have caused more and worse damage than that which 9-11 did to our country.

I haven’t said anything about the debt crises. By the time Obama leaves office, he will have increased the national debt by $10 trillion, more debt than all the other presidents combined. This in itself will bring the country to it’s knees.

Who is going to stop this monster that we have for a president. Congress seems powerless and the Supreme Court won’t stand up and say enough is enough. It seems that some of the country is waking up. Maybe they will show some resolve in the voting booths in November. Hopefully there will be some credible people counting the votes this time. The problems discussed here will only get worse, I’m afraid, until Obama is out of office. Since impeachment is probably not in the cards, we will have to endure for another 2 years. If conservatives can hold the house and take over the Senate maybe they can at lease slow Obama down and stand up and say enough is enough!

We need to remember that God knows what is going on and is ultimately in control. There is a sign as you come into Mojave, Ca that has been there for years. It reads as follows:

“2 Chronicles 7:14 – If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Our Christian Nation needs to heed that verse from the Bible and get on our knees and maybe we can see the kind of change that is needed.


Dean Elliot – June 2014

Amid Foreign and Domestic Crises, Obama Plans to Fundraise and Golf This Weekend

Leah Barkoukis | Jun 13, 2014 The Iraqi government is pleading for help from the U.S. as ISIS militants close in on Baghdad; Syria is still in the grips of war; veterans are dying from long wait times at the VA; and we’ve got a humanitarian crisis going on at the Southwest border.


* * * * *


September 1, 1939 Germany invades Poland. President Roosevelt urges Poland to ‘solve their problems,’ as he prepares for an extensive vacation.

October 6, 1939 Germany and the Soviet Union divide and annex the whole of Poland. President Roosevelt calls a hasty press conference and expresses the “outrage of the International Community”, and promises “stern warnings”. He then departed for a fundraiser and a week of fishing in upstate New York.

May 10, 1940 Germany begins invasions of Belgium, the Netherlands, and France. President Roosevelt, via the assistant to the Deputy Press Secretary of the Commerce Department, issued a statement that he is “gravely concerned” about the situation in Europe and will address the issue after returning from an extensive vacation, again in upstate New York.

June 22.23 1940 France signs armistice with Germany and Hitler visits Paris. President Roosevelt assures besieged France that he is “very concerned” about the situation there and plans to issue a stern warning to the German leadership. This statement again issued from the office of the assistant to the Deputy Press Secretary of the Commerce Department in the Presidents extended absence.

August 13, 1940 Eagle Day; more than 1,400 German planes attack southern England. President Roosevelt urges Great Britain to ‘solve their problems,’ as he prepares for another round of fundraising.

September 7, 1940 Beginning of “London Blitz” President Roosevelt urges Great Britain to ‘solve their problems,’ as he again apologizes to the Germans for an ally of the United States shooting at German aircraft over London.

June 6, 1944 D-Day invasion of France begins

June 14, 1944 Invasion of France called off – troops to return home. President Roosevelt reminds us that he promised to invade France and then return the troops. Denies any claim of having promised to win the war in Europe. President urges Europeans to solve their problems. Having successfully invaded France, the President set of on a well-deserved 6 week vacation in Wyoming.

June 24, 1948 Soviets and East Germans blockade Berlin, causing massive food shortages. Humanitarian crises averted when President Truman successfully negotiates a turnover of the whole of Berlin as well as what had previously been known as West Germany.

June 25, 1950: North Korea crosses the 38th Parallel, invading South Korea.

September 30, 1950 North Korean forces rout last of UN and South Korean forces at Pusan. From his vacation retreat deep in the Rocky Mountains, President Truman issues a statement of “grave concern” and promises “unspecified” support for the South Korean nation.

November 20, 1962 Soviets place nuclear missiles in Cuba, a scant 90 miles from US territory. Crisis is resolved when President Kennedy turns over Florida to Cuba in exchange for no further action on Cuba’s part.

January 27, 1973 Paris Peace Treaty establishes peace in Vietnam and the end of the Vietnam war.

August 11, 1975 US Congress cuts off aide to South Vietnam.

January 30, 1973
North Vietnamese army overran Saigon on 30 April 1975.


* * * * *

January 2009 – mid 2011 Many occasions. Fox News TV host Glen Beck predicts a coming, reconstituted and large scale Islamic Caliphate.

December 2011 The last US troops leave IRAQ.

September 10, 2011 President Obama said: “There should be no doubt— today, America is stronger, and al Qaeda is on the path to defeat.” “We’ve decimated al Qaeda’s leadership.”

June 13, 2014 The first thing you hear is the music.
It lilts and sways. Then you see the Islamist militants. They’re knocking at a policeman’s door. It’s the middle of the night, but the cop soon answers. He’s blindfolded and cuffed. They take him to the bedroom. And then, they decapitate him with a knife.  The President is golfing.


June 16, 2014 ??

Afghanistan? Does Hillary golf?

Pakistan? Does Hillary play basketball?

Syria? Does Hillary give speeches?

Israel? Does Israel survive? Yes – her only ally is Jehovah God!

* * * * * *

Some of the above is true … some is not!


Don Johnson – June 2014

JFK, Conservative: A book review

JFK, Conservative.

image A Conservative? A Tea Party Conservative? A Ronald Reagan precursor? A Liberal?

I’ve always resisted the urge to rank John F. Kennedy among the presidents, either among the best or worst, and always placed him somewhere in the muddled middle. My rationale was that he didn’t serve long enough to accumulate the gravitas needed to place him. I’ve been wrong, and this book by Ira Stoll now allows me to fill in much of what I had been missing all these years about the life and times of a man I am now willing to place in the upper ranks of American presidential greatness.

Let me begin by summarizing the world of the early 1960s, and the world in which John Kennedy became President of the United States – and the world in which I was becoming of age as an adult:

The freedom of West Berlin had been threatened by a Soviet ultimatum, backed by boasts of medium-range ballistic missiles targeted on Western Europe. The existence of South Vietnam had been menaced by a campaign of guerrilla tactics and terror planned and supported by the Communist regime in Hanoi. The independence of Laos had been endangered by pro-Communist insurgent forces … The Russian and Chinese Communists had competed for a central African base in Ghana, in Guinea, in Mali and particularly in the chaotic Congo. The Russians had obtained a base in the Western Hemisphere through Fidel Castro’s takeover in Cuba and his campaign to subvert Latin America. Red China was busy building it’s own Afro-Asian collection of client states and its own atomic bomb.  (Theodore Sorensen’s book  Kennedy – 1965)

Pretty scary times.

In reading Stoll’s account, I found myself walking down a path of surprising reactions and revelations:

  • The man was indeed a legitimate war hero as the account of his PT-109 exploits show – not in his valor and bravery in battle, but in how he reacted to save lives among his crew following the collision with a Japanese destroyer.
  • The man was a indeed a conservative as Stoll documents so well.
  • The man seems much like a modern Tea Party kind of guy.
  • The man truly believed in the rights of the individual man over the tyranny of the state.
  • The man was a deeply religious man, and held a high opinion as to America’s place in the world – quoting John Winthrop, he said in 1974: “We will be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us, so that if we deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword throughout the world.”
  • Kennedy projected a posture of: economic growth, limited government and peace through strength.
  • The man was strongly anti-Communist in both his speech and actions – witness Berlin and the Cuban missile crisis. But it wasn’t an anti-Communism as just opposing a differing political and economic system. No – Kennedy was genuinely repulsed by the staggering abuses of humanity this atheistic world view  was imposing on the world – especially its own citizens, and the threat it represented to free and independent people around the world.
  • The man seems a pre-cursor to Ronald Reagan.
  • Kennedy, politically and economically, was well to the right of most of his successors, including: Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and most certainly Barack Obama.
  • The man, at his core, comes across as a genuine American patriot.

I first became acquainted with JFK while taking an economics course my first year of college at the Montana School of Mines in the 1962-63 school year.  The Kennedy economic policies and ideas matched very nicely time-wise, with the course, and we studied them. Somewhere in my archives, I believe I still have my notes from those studies – I’ll have to find them some day and review what I was learning then. But I do remember the impact his economic policies had in the 1960s, and I match those policies and successes with the similar policies of Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

But then life happened.

I left school … married … was drafted but joined the Navy; LBJ became president and I was off to the war in Vietnam – started and strongly advocated by Kennedy and escalated sharply by Johnson and Nixon. So my thoughts of Kennedy went dormant for many years, and I guess I mildly bought into the notion he was just another “Liberal.”

In the past dozen or so years I have been playing catch-up in my knowledge of American Presidents and founders. I’ve read and learned a great deal about Hamilton, Madison, Lincoln, Reagan, Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Truman – and yes, even filled in a dearth of knowledge of the greatest of all … George Washington.

Now I am pleased to report a rekindled interest in and knowledge of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. And I hope you will join me in that interest.

Don Johnson – December 2013