- Publicēts Ceturtdiena, 27 Aprīlis 2017 12:21
- Publicēts Sestdiena, 15 Aprīlis 2017 09:53
This article dated August 2nd, 1919 is interesting. Bolshevik forces crossed into Latvia from Russia in December, 1918 and quickly controlled all of Latvia except for small sliver in the southwest. These quick gains were reversed in relative short order. The article conveniently explains these military setbacks by blaming commanders, the command structure and undisciplined troops.
The explanation for this reversal is political not military. The Lettish sharpshooters, also known as the Red Riflemen (sarkanie Strēlnieki) noted in the article had demonstrated a high level of effectiveness during the Communist take-over and following civil war in Russia. The Latvian troops were legendary for their discipline and skilled officer corps. So what happened? Soviet Communism happened.
Instead of consolidating their military gains and tacticly introducing the new order they chose a different path. This period became known as the Red Terror: summary executions, property confiscation, confiscatory taxes and concentartion camps were quickly introduced. Support for the nascent Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic evaporated both within the civilian population and armed forces. What is described as lack of discipline, were in fact mass desertions and extremely low morale as the troops began to realize what they had wrought. Many of the Red Riflemen were attracted to Lenin’s promises to end WWI and a guarantee of ethnic autonomy. Evolving events were in stark contrast to their aspirations and in many cases they crossed over and fought against Soviet control.
- Publicēts Sestdiena, 01 Aprīlis 2017 00:00
Trump to Visit Garezers
April 1, 2017 --- Pres. Donald Trump announced in the early hours via Twitter, that he will be visiting the Latvian Center Garezers in Michigan this summer. The President will be accompanied by various cabinet members and senior staff. This promises to be a historic visit. Garezers’ last presidential visit was in 1996 when Latvia’s Guntis Ulmanis stopped by; this will almost certainly be a bigger event. The Trump team is scrambling to prepare for the visit and reactions are mixed.
This visit is a follow-on to the President’s popular campaign pledge to: “drain the swamp”. Trump plans on constructing a large hotel adjacent to Lone Tree Rd. This would require draining and filling in the swamp, known in Latvian as the purvs. To insure an unobstructed view of the lake several trailers would have to be relocated, which could prove controversial. “That’s nothing compared to what I had to do when developing the Upper West Side and Fifth Avenue”, Trump acerbically responded. After an extended period of contemplation Trump has decided on a name for the building: Trump Tower Garezers.
The Sec. of Education Elisabeth Dee "Betsy" DeVos is excited. Sec. DeVos married into the Grand Rapids based Amway network-marketing mega corporation. DeVos said: “ Grand Rapids has a large Latvian community. They seem like nice folks, but can’t direct-sell to save their lives”. Sec. DeVos will visit the Latvian Summer High School during the visit. She is a proponent of school vouchers to improve education. The summer high school has a well-established voucher program: if parents can pay, they get a voucher.
Retired Marine Corps general and current Sec. of Homeland Security John F. Kelly will be bolstering the presidential contingent. He has two areas of interest: border security and firearms. The cabin-on-wheels that is staffed by volunteers who check cars entering Dzintari will receive an inspection. He hopes to gain insight that can be utilized on the US southern border. He also will take part in a ceremony renaming Garezers’ target range. It now will be called “Second Amendment Acres”. Garezers’ powerful gun lobby is excited by the change.
Stephen K. Bannon, Donald Trump’s controversial and enigmatic senior advisor was originally part of the delegation. He had expressed an interest in meeting practitioners of the ancient Latvian religion Dievturība. “I’ve had a lifelong interest in pagan worship”, said Bannon. When informed that the central tenet of the practice is to live in harmony with nature and other members of society, he scratched his attendance. “What does harmony and virtue have to do with eviscerating the ‘Deep State’”, said an obviously annoyed Bannon.
Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President has expressed misgivings about the visit. She is not sure that Pres. Trump’s anti-Nato and pro-Putin message will have resonance. It will fall on Sean Spicer the embattled White House press secretary to square this circle. “I’ve been asked worse”, said a weary and rapidly aging Spicer.
The president’s daughter Ivanka will also be joining the visiting delegation. She has proudly announced that the camp store or kantīne will now be carrying her line of shoes, clothing, and accessories. Market analysts are perplexed; the camp store’s direct competitors Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus have dropped her fashion line in recent months.
There is a concern that the presidential visit will overwhelm the communications capabilities of the Latvian Center. A mysterious and previously unknown group, Friends of the Kremlin (FOK) has offered to provide additional Wi-Fi and telephone capability.
The culmination of the president’s visit will be a rally at the adjacent Latvian retirement community, known as Ciems. The president’s Twitter message referred to the residents as “my people”. He has announced that 100,000 people attended the rally. Cikaga.com delicately pointed out that you can’t release attendance figures until after an event has occurred. We were accused of being purveyors of fake news and lumped together with the New York Times. The later was particularly painful.
DISCLAIMER AND STATEMENT OF THE OBVIOUS. This is our contribution to April Fools’ Day. The above article is intended to be parody, satire, and humor and is for entertainment purposes only. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental, except for all references to celebrities, in which case it is based on real people, but still entirely fiction.