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ENCHANTÉ – D-DAY 75 YEARS LATER

Me, then and now

Many people watch D-Day ceremonies. Some of the brave, who were lucky to survive, share these ceremonies with us, aged, in wheelchairs, or supported by their siblings, children or relatives. I always wondered why the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. was erected before the World War II Memorial. Perhaps because of the collective guilt to erase the public perception that those who came back from Vietnam wounded but alive were considered less worthy, as that war had been made so unpopular, not in the least by the repulsive Hanoi Jane. But that Vietnam Memorial represents exactly the same spirit as the World War II memorial: it’s for those who died in the fight for liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the freedom of the human spirit and initiative as opposed to totalitarian might and communism.

I am not American, but I considered fighting communism in Asia as worthwhile as fighting Nazidom and Japanese imperialism during World War II. And what would have happened if the Allies had been unable to defeat the Nazis in Europe? Or if they had been unable to stop the Russians at the Berlin Wall? Would communism not have been all over Europe keeping it in a much broader grip of impoverished and mowed-down nations? Would the Jewish population still exist?

I was 8, playing some feeble notes on the piano at my piano teacher’s house when a man came in with an orange pamphlet (the color of the Dutch royalty) stating that the Allied Forces had invaded France at Normandy. I still feel her embrace, screaming, “Johnny, we are going to be free.” Well, that was June 6, 1944. It took a bitter year of bombs falling, Nazi cruelty, executions, razzias, the pursuit of Jews, a horrific hunger winter with deep-freezing temperatures and heavy snowfalls before the Allied forces finally reached us and chased the Nazis out the door on May 5, 1945.

German soldiers going home, defeated.

Today we commemorate the young and the brave who that last year fought their way through the foothills of the Ardennes, the battle of the Bulge, who died in the “Bridge too Far,” the failed attempt by General Montgomery to break through the Nazi lines in Arnhem at the Rhine, who struggled from Belgium to The Netherlands to lift us from five years of tyranny, fear, misery and murder. 

 

This time, my piano teacher could embrace me for real. Her street hung out the red, white and blue flags and orange banners; stalls rose on the sidewalks with food dropped by allied bombers in the nearby tulip fields and meadows; people danced in the streets and embraced the dapper allied soldiers, Americans, Brits, and Canadians. Bands with trumpets and drums marched, making loud music, a festivity I will never forget. Our Royal family returned home from exile in Canada. No more fears of bombs dropping on or near our house, windows shattered, fighter planes soaring through the sky and downed in the nearby wood, eating tulip bread, nettles, or turnips. No more sirens in the night and friends being rounded up and taken away.

“Bombers” dropping food bags

You have to have lived through the opposite to feel what “liberty and the pursuit of happiness” really means. Personally, I find that a good deal of today’s politicians on the left in the West have forgotten what tyranny, communism and socialism, and lack of freedom represents. D-Day is a day to remember that freedom and the pursuit of happiness is a precious gift the brave and the young who fell for it handed us and we should treasure this gift to the fullest. Any doctrine of socialism, communism and totalitarian government runs counter that human right. Such doctrines are creeping back into our world and endanger our freedom-loving society and would destroy it again if not contained. 

Marine Corps War Memorial (also called the Iwo Jima Memorial)D-Day is also to remember the Asian war and the terrible loss of American lives fighting for freedom over there.

Celebrations in Holland in May 1945, almost a year after D-Day.

I hope that today’s schools in the West teach the value of D-Day. But what one sees and hears in the media and on the streets, I’m not sure if our “millennials” and future leaders, and a good deal of today’s “loudspeakers,” acquire the wisdom of D-Day, or exude it to prevent that this awful history repeats itself. I want to be optimistic but I can’t say I am.

 

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ENCHANTÉ – CHINA’S DEMOCRACY

Mars Man on Planet Earth and on Mars with Kathryn of Omaha TV

Mars Man is visiting Lu again for an interview on behalf of Mars TV at the Chinese America Office, formerly the Empire State Building, now called The Mao Xi Jinping Tower.

“Morning, Lu, how’s everything?”

“Province America is doing great, thanks to Bernie Sanders, now Chief Comrade of Province America, and Miss Cortez, Vice Chief Comrade. All schools are public now with free education, learning Mandarin as the first language. Healthcare is free. University is free and student loans are forgiven. Everyone has a fixed salary and nobody pays taxes as these are automatically withheld. All commerce and manufacturing is ‘Made in China’ and all revenues are paid into the Chinese Treasury.”

“My wife Kathryn says that her government salary is totally insufficient. I have to support her with Mars gold. The Yen does not have enough purchasing power she says.”

“Everyone’s salary is the same because everybody is equal. It’s about the same level as the old Social Security was. People have to learn how to live in a socialistic society. No jealousy, no keeping up with the Joneses. Bernie wanted that households with a maximum of two children up to eighteen years old get an extra allowance. We agreed to that, but that meant that the average salary had to be lower. All money is government money. Kathryn should be happy to receive money from China.”

“What happened to the money of the rich?”

“Chief Comrade Sanders said to confiscate their money because it was all stolen. So we did. Everybody has the same amount of money. Only the Leader determines who may have more.”

“Do citizens here still have freedom as embedded in the US Constitution?”

“You’re misinformed, Mars. The US Constitution is no more. The Founding Fathers are gone. Province America is ruled by the new Founding Fathers, Mao and Xi Jinping, with Bernie Sanders and Miss Cortez as their valets. Everyone is free within the confines of socialism.”

“What happened to President Trump and his military establishment?”

“President Trump made the mistake of visiting China with his top generals and political entourage to meet President Xi Jinping. They were incarcerated for unfriendly behavior about our legit American market share and shipped to Guantanamo Bay. China took over America with our superior Cyberwarfare equipment without firing one shot.”

“So you helped the American political left to achieve their goal of removing their rightfully elected President. Was there any collusion between you, Biden and Sanders?”

“Don’t ask impertinent questions, Mars. You know the rule. One more and you are out the door.”

“Sorry, Lu, but the former President was accused of collusion. Since you removed him from office in the interest of the left, the question arises. Back on the salary matter, if everyone has the same state salary, do people still have jobs?”

“In a planned economy, everyone has a job. The new State Districts of Province America assign jobs to them. The former states have been abolished. People living in each State District must register at the Xi Jinping Party Office. Those who do not will be imprisoned and they and their relatives forfeit their state salary.”

“But my wife says that her state salary cannot pay for needed groceries in the state commissaries.”

“In China, people have no problem buying in and living on state commissaries, so if we Chinese can, Chinese Americans can too. Most Americans are overweight anyway. Slimming down by living on a state salary is cheaper than paying exorbitant fees for Nutrisystem.”

“That’s tough on what used to be a freedom-loving society. Have there not been any protests?”

“No protests. Do you remember Tiananmen square?  President Xi dictated that everyone must closely adhere to the Communist Party line, or else. There are serious consequences if they don’t, such as life-long labor camps. So far, the inhabitants of Province America got the message.”

“Are people allowed to stay in their multimillion-dollar homes?” 

“Only true Chinese and true Chinese American collaborators can if they contribute to the Leader. Others must move out to make room for them. Chief Comrade Sanders and his pupil Miss Cortez are assigned McMansions of their liking. Miss Pelosi is holed up for free in an assistant-living residence managed by a state commissary.”

“Do South Americans still cross the border?”

“No, for two reasons. The Trump Wall now serves to prevent people from moving out. Second, Central American states are dominated by socialist regimes that closely collaborate with China. China does not tolerate migration.”

“Am I correct that China has destroyed Western democracy?”

“Your premise is wrong. Chinese democracy existed many centuries before Western nations were born. Who is to say that Western Democracy is better than Chinese Democracy? It’s all in the eyes of the beholder. China’s democracy has ruled a population grown to close 1.5 billion. How could you govern a population that large with Western Democracy? American democracy grew decadent with its sexual aberrations and political and religious infighting. Their politicians turned into a class of clowns. They dug their own grave. In a way, China has saved the Americans from themselves. Soon, we will save Mars from the Marsians.”

“I don’t think so, Lu. Our Cyber Power is still a multiple of China’s. I have no problem flying to and from Planet Earth in a jiffy. Mars Democracy is much older than China’s. Be careful, do not touch Mars or we focus our beams on Bejing and obliterate your system. Goodbye, Lu, it was a pleasure meeting you again.”

After kissing off Kathryn in Omaha, Mars Man scooted back to Mars. On the way, cybermalfare rattled the shield of Space Scooter One. Mars Man took his cell phone and dialed Lu. “Lu, stop that rattling right now or I pulverize your Xi Tower with my afterburner.” The rattling died right away.

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ENCHANTÉ – CHINA’S DEMOCRACY

Mars Man on Planet Earth and on Mars with Kathryn of Omaha TV

Mars Man is visiting Lu again for an interview on behalf of Mars TV at the Chinese America Office, formerly the Empire State Building, now called The Mao Xi Jinping Tower.

“Morning, Lu, how’s everything?”

“Province America is doing great, thanks to Bernie Sanders, now Chief Comrade of Province America, and Miss Cortez, Vice Chief Comrade. All schools are public now with free education, learning Mandarin as the first language. Healthcare is free. University is free and student loans are forgiven. Everyone has a fixed salary and nobody pays taxes as these are automatically withheld. All commerce and manufacturing is ‘Made in China’ and all revenues are paid into the Chinese Treasury.”

“My wife Kathryn says that her government salary is totally insufficient. I have to support her with Mars gold. The Yen does not have enough purchasing power she says.”

“Everyone’s salary is the same because everybody is equal. It’s about the same level as the old Social Security was. People have to learn how to live in a socialistic society. No jealousy, no keeping up with the Joneses. Bernie wanted that households with a maximum of two children up to eighteen years old get an extra allowance. We agreed to that, but that meant that the average salary had to be lower. All money is government money. Kathryn should be happy to receive money from China.”

“What happened to the money of the rich?”

“Chief Comrade Sanders said to confiscate their money because it was all stolen. So we did. Everybody has the same amount of money. Only the Leader determines who may have more.”

“Do citizens here still have freedom as embedded in the US Constitution?”

“You’re misinformed, Mars. The US Constitution is no more. The Founding Fathers are gone. Province America is ruled by the new Founding Fathers, Mao and Xi Jinping, with Bernie Sanders and Miss Cortez as their valets. Everyone is free within the confines of socialism.”

“What happened to President Trump and his military establishment?”

“President Trump made the mistake of visiting China with his top generals and political entourage to meet President Xi Jinping. They were incarcerated for unfriendly behavior about our legit American market share and shipped to Guantanamo Bay. China took over America with our superior Cyberwarfare equipment without firing one shot.”

“So you helped the American political left to achieve their goal of removing their rightfully elected President. Was there any collusion between you, Biden and Sanders?”

“Don’t ask impertinent questions, Mars. You know the rule. One more and you are out the door.”

“Sorry, Lu, but the former President was accused of collusion. Since you removed him from office in the interest of the left, the question arises. Back on the salary matter, if everyone has the same state salary, do people still have jobs?”

“In a planned economy, everyone has a job. The new State Districts of Province America assign jobs to them. The former states have been abolished. People living in each State District must register at the Xi Jinping Party Office. Those who do not will be imprisoned and they and their relatives forfeit their state salary.”

“But my wife says that her state salary cannot pay for needed groceries in the state commissaries.”

“In China, people have no problem buying in and living on state commissaries, so if we Chinese can, Chinese Americans can too. Most Americans are overweight anyway. Slimming down by living on a state salary is cheaper than paying exorbitant fees for Nutrisystem.”

“That’s tough on what used to be a freedom-loving society. Have there not been any protests?”

“No protests. Do you remember Tiananmen square?  President Xi dictated that everyone must closely adhere to the Communist Party line, or else. There are serious consequences if they don’t, such as life-long labor camps. So far, the inhabitants of Province America got the message.”

“Are people allowed to stay in their multimillion-dollar homes?” 

“Only true Chinese and true Chinese American collaborators can if they contribute to the Leader. Others must move out to make room for them. Chief Comrade Sanders and his pupil Miss Cortez are assigned McMansions of their liking. Miss Pelosi is holed up for free in an assistant-living residence managed by a state commissary.”

“Do South Americans still cross the border?”

“No, for two reasons. The Trump Wall now serves to prevent people from moving out. Second, Central American states are dominated by socialist regimes that closely collaborate with China. China does not tolerate migration.”

“Am I correct that China has destroyed Western democracy?”

“Your premise is wrong. Chinese democracy existed many centuries before Western nations were born. Who is to say that Western Democracy is better than Chinese Democracy? It’s all in the eyes of the beholder. China’s democracy has ruled a population grown to close 1.5 billion. How could you govern a population that large with Western Democracy? American democracy grew decadent with its sexual aberrations and political and religious infighting. Their politicians turned into a class of clowns. They dug their own grave. In a way, China has saved the Americans from themselves. Soon, we will save Mars from the Marsians.”

“I don’t think so, Lu. Our Cyber Power is still a multiple of China’s. I have no problem flying to and from Planet Earth in a jiffy. Mars Democracy is much older than China’s. Be careful, do not touch Mars or we focus our beams on Bejing and obliterate your system. Goodbye, Lu, it was a pleasure meeting you again.”

After kissing off Kathryn in Omaha, Mars Man scooted back to Mars. On the way, cybermalfare rattled the shield of Space Scooter One. Mars Man took his cell phone and dialed Lu. “Lu, stop that rattling right now or I pulverize your Xi Tower with my afterburner.” The rattling died right away.

 

 

 

 

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ENCHANTÉ- MAY 4 : AUDREY HEPBURN’S 90th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

On May 4, we celebrate Audrey’s birthday. Born in Ixelles near Brussels in 1929, from a British father, Joseph Ruston and a Dutch mother, Ella Baroness van Heemstra, she would have been 90 had she lived. Although she died tragically from an intestinal disease in 1993, only 63 years old, she still has many fans. Turner Classic Movies repeats her movies regularly. My favorites are Roman Holiday, My Fair Lady, Wait Until Dark, The Nun’s Story, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Charade. If I am pushed to the wall, I would rate The Nun’s Story her best because I know that world and loved the scenes in Africa’s Congo which I visited later while working for the World Bank. But Roman Holiday was the movie that rocked us in the family as Audrey had suddenly turned into a film star. At school, everybody was jealous that I knew her.

The above pictures are ‘pre-fame’ Audrey when she was modeling in London in the early fifties. The first is a copyrighted picture of the Audrey Hepburn family archive given to me by her second son Luca Dotti.  The second is a rare photograph by Noel Mayne, a London photographer of Baron Studios, which Audrey’s mother left me.

Audrey (then 13) and I (then 7) played together in Holland in 1943 during World War II. I wrote about it in my paperback, entitled ‘Audrey – a Cherished Memory,’ which also includes some ‘pre-fame’ pictures, some given to me by her mother, and others by Audrey’s second son, Luca Dotti, from the family archive. The paperback contains two short stories, the first on how Audrey (then still Audrey Ruston) and I met at the house of my grandparents, not far from where Audrey lived with her mother and grandfather, and the second how we met again later in life in Geneva, Switzerland. You can read it in one sitting, with a cup of coffee or tea, a scotch or a glass of wine. For Audrey lovers, it is a nice souvenir. I am sending the sales proceeds to the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund. I have lowered the price to US$5.25 or equivalent, to encourage more sales, which yields $1 in royalty. So, the more booklets sold, the merrier for the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund (www.audreyhepburn.org). The paperback is featured below:

 

 

The booklet is sold by Amazon.com with the following links, in the various locations of the USA, Canada, UK (Europe), France, Italy and elsewhere. as listed below:

USA and Canada:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0999154400

http://www.amazon.ca/dp/0999154400

Europe:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0999154400

http://www.amazon.de/dp/0999154400

http://www.amazon.es/dp/0999154400

http://www.amazon.fr/dp/0999154400

http://www.amazon.it/dp/0999154400

For the cookerers among you, Luca Dotti produced a wonderful cookbook with Audrey’s recipes, including Dutch recipes, entitled Audrey at Home: Memories of My Mother’s Kitchen – http://amzn.to/2AqVPF1

Those who already purchased my Audrey booklet or want to donate directly to the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund, please do so by clicking on http://www.audreyhepburn.org

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ENCHANTÉ – THE FRIENDS ON MUELLER

The Friends, having drinks at the Hullahoo Bar, talk about what all Americans are talking about: the fall out of the Mueller Report. A lot of yelling and screaming.

“You know,” Frank says, “it’s weird but the major players going after Trump are all Jewish. In the House, you’ve got Adam Schiff and Jerrold Nadler. In the Senate, it’s Chuck Schumer, Richard Blumenthal, and Diane Feinstein.”

“And on the campaign trail, we have Bernie Sanders,” Cindy says. “What’s the connection?”

“Most Jewish representatives are Democrats,” Melissa says. “Same for the Senate. That’s the connection.”

“Why aren’t there more Republican Jews?” pondered Ted. “Many of them have money, are well educated and are high up on the social scale.”

“So are Democrats,” Fred says, flicking his hand. “That’s no rationale for being a Republican.”

“It’s cultural,” Mary says. “Republicans say the US is basically Christian, and they have a large Evangelical base. Democrats hammer on the separation of Church and State. Jews say they aren’t Christians so they feel more comfortable with the liberal position.”

“If that’s so, you make my point,” Frank retorts. “Those Jewish Dems go after Trump because he’s Christian and woos the Evangelical vote.”

“Not all Jews are Democrats,” Celine argues. “Democrats have shown their antisemitic streak by circling the wagons around Omar. That may turn Jews away from the Democrat party. Republicans are committed to Israel. Obama was not. Omar is not.”

“How can Jews support the Dems’ leftist agenda?” asks Ted. “High taxes, abortion, anti-religion, climate war, free speech for socialists only, is that in their DNA?”

“Some Jewish voters may be independent like me and more may become like me,” Celine says. “They don’t like the Democrat position on marriage, sexuality, abortion, let alone the new left socialist slogans.”

“What do you think will happen to that Mueller Report?” asks Fred.

“The Democrats in the House will milk it ad nauseum,” Melissa responds. “The White House does well to fight their subpoenas. I bet it goes away by the next election when the Republicans win the house back.”

“How sure are you about that?” Tom asks.

“Because all independents like Celine, you and I are sick of that Mueller fishing expedition, and the Democrat party won’t have anything to show for,” Melissa says.

“I wonder how much these guys earned on this mud job out of the thirty-five million they spent,” Frank says.

“A lot more than you and me,” Cindy says. “When Mueller didn’t get Comey’s job, he whispered to his buddy Comey and then Rosenstein gave him his money worth writing that insufferable Report. An inside conjob.”

“And he took two and a half years doing it in revenge, leaving everybody twisting in the wind,” Ted says. “Trying to accuse Trump of something he didn’t do, which he knew all the way along.”

“So-called about Russian meddling, but using it for political purposes only to down the President,” scoffs Frank.

“Bankrupting many people with attorney fees, while striking up tons of public money for themselves,” added Melissa. “It looks like we are in a socialist country already.”

“Bankrupted for what they call process crimes, in quotes,” Fred says, making signs with his fingers. “Dragging them out of their homes at dawn with guns drawn. Ridiculous.”

“The Special Counsel system is out of control,” Tom says. “The FBI acts like the Russian KGB, tipping off the left media for show. Melissa nails it, we are socialist already.”

“Right,” Cindy says. “These prosecutors get rich on someone else’s money while sending their innocent victims to the poor house.”

“And we pay,” Frank complains. “My taxes went up this year, not down.”

“My taxes went up too,” Mary affirms. “The cuts went somewhere else. Somebody in the IRS is botching mine.”

“Anybody wants to hear more of that Mueller stuff, raise your hand,” Fred shouts.

No hands.

“I only hope they find out who started this hoax and how high that went up in the Obama White House,” Mary says. “More heads must roll and the rude FBI must be reigned in.”

“I think we can all drink to that,” Frank says and raises his glass.

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Enrich yourself with a copy of “Audrey-A Cherished Memory.” http://www.amazon.com/dp/0999154400 Only $5.25! On coming May 4, it’s Audrey’s birthday (1929) and she would have been 90 had she lived!

Many charities are claiming your generosity these days but by getting a copy of this memoir story on how I knew Audrey when we were kids and then met her later again, you contribute to the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund – www.audreyhepburn.org! All royalties go there, so the more copies sold the merrier. So give it your best, and click on where you are buying from:

The booklet is sold by Amazon.com with the following links, in the various locations of the USA, Canada, UK (Europe), France, Italy and elsewhere. as listed below:

USA and Canada:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0999105440

http://www.amazon.ca/dp/0999154400

Europe:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0999154400

http://www.amazon.de/dp/0999154400

http://www.amazon.es/dp/0999154400

http://www.amazon.fr/dp/0999154400

http://www.amazon.it/dp/0999154400

“Like” this blog! You clicked to read it free! Why not click a second time on “like”?

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