Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Romania's Prime Minister, Dacian Ciolos, Visits Washington

Dacian Ciolos, Prime Minister, Romania
Photo: Ileana Johnson 2016
The Prime Minister of Romania, Dacian Ciolos, following a visit to Washington, spoke at the Romanian Embassy to specially invited members of the influential Romanian community from the Washington area.

His excellence, George Cristian Maior, Romanian Ambassador to Washington, welcomed the Prime Minister, his cabinet, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and all invited guests.
The evening signaled the improved relations between the two countries in matters of security, defense, and economic cooperation. Ambassador Maior mentioned that meetings explored new ways to expand bi-lateral relations and partnerships between the two countries.

As former European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development (2010-2014), Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos mentioned that he had visited the United States before and has met with the Romanian diaspora. His heart swelled with pride hearing Romanian spoken thousands of miles away from home.
The objective of his visit was to confirm Romania’s interest in strengthening cooperation with the United States and the strategic partnership which has already delivered results in terms of security and defense.

The Deveselu base in southern Romania inaugurated recently the operation of the anti-rocket shield SM-3. Prime Minister Ciolos described it as an important development not just for Romania and the U.S. but for the defense of NATO in the region.  “We are ahead of Poland which is just now beginning the installation of another element of this shield.”

“We can say that we have become providers of security with United States’ help. This project shows, in my opinion, that, in a process of cooperation, we can take a project to completion with great success.” Furthermore, this endeavor became a national mission based on the fact that all parties in Parliament approved of it and supported its implementation; it was a “national consensus.”

Because Romania had such success in security and defense partnerships, Ciolos stated that his visit to the United States aimed to develop economic partnerships equally successful. “The best way to keep peace and security is to stimulate prosperity, meaning, economic development and investment.” Ciolos added.

Romania’s economic growth has been consistently in the top among European nations. “But we must do more to translate this economic growth into economic development and cooperation and to better manage our national resources.”

There are American investments in Romania but the potential can be improved since United States is in 11th place as an investor. We have success stories such as the Ford venture in Craiova. Ford just announced an investment of 200 million euros. Ciolos met in Detroit with Mark Fields, the CEO of Ford.

Ciolos had promises from a group of businessmen from Detroit who will visit Romania in the fall to make investment decisions.

The Prime Minister met with Vice President Joe Biden and discussed aspect s of security and defense, energy and economic cooperation at the Black Sea.

Ciolos met with Penny Pritzker, the Secretary of Commerce, “who knows well the economic situation in Romania,” in order to facilitate the presence of American companies in Romania. “I informed her of the reforms that we are currently making in Romania in order to attract economic investments.”

“I also met with the Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The undersecretary of agriculture is going to visit Romania in a few weeks,” added Ciolos.

“I am going to meet the secretary of energy with whom I am going to discuss the potential of off-shore drilling at the Black Sea but also in land exploration. We also want to explore investment in technology and in research in energy. Romania can become an important player in the Black Sea area and the southeast of Europe.”

“I hope these meetings will begin a new trust in our partnership. We must continue to fight against corruption and improve the efficiency of public administration. My government will make some reforms that I hope will be continued by the following administrations.”

Prime Minister Ciolos concluded by explaining to those present how the Romanian diaspora can vote in Romanian elections and he urged them to do so.



Thursday, May 26, 2016

Memorial Day Respect for Freedom

Petagon 9/11 Quilt Photo: Ileana Johnson 2016
I don't know why but I choke and tear up when I hear both the Romanian and the American National Anthems.
I see in my mind's eye all the Romanian faceless heroes who died to free us from the oppression of communism and all the American soldiers who perished in their selfless attempts to free so many people they never knew around the world. I feel a deep sense of gratitude; I can never repay their sacrifice but I can honor them by preserving their legacy.
I have a deep respect for the American flag and I fly it every day with pride. If the wind, rain, and sun tear or discolor it, I retire it with proper honors and purchase a new one. I know the sacrifice of living under tyranny and I abhor the American ingrates who trample and disrespect our flag.
My husbnd served both in Iraq and Afghanistan and brought back a folded American flag which was flown over Kabul. This flag has a place of honor in my house. I understand what he had to endure to serve under our beloved flag.
But his suffering pales by comparison with thousdands and thousands of American soldiers who returned in a coffin in the cargo hold of an airplane, saluted, and buried with honors. Their sacrifice and faces were quickly forgotten.
And then there are thousands who came back with deep scars on their souls, without limbs, and deep scars on their faces and bodies, left to fend for themselves in a cruel VA medical system.
Many veterans died waiting to be seen in the shameful VA clinics. After all, what is a little wait of seven months if you consider that waiting in line is just like waiting in line for a ride at Disney, said the callous VA chief.

Water and the Climate Change Industry

The water you drink today has likely been around in one form or another since dinosaurs roamed the Earth, hundreds of millions of years ago.” – National Geographic

“Water which is too pure has no fish.” - Anonymous

Water is life and it is recyclable, covering 70 percent of our planet; 2.5 percent is fresh water and “only 1 percent is easily accessible, the rest is trapped in glaciers and snowfields.” National Geographic noted that freshwater is in crisis because levels have remained the same over millennia but the human population has exploded to seven billion and thus water use based on population size and animal use is unsustainable. http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/freshwater-crisis/

The climate change industry is growing exponentially, shaped and driven by U.N.’s Agenda 2030, relentlessly introduced, reintroduced, renamed, and first signed by 178 nations in 1992 as Agenda 21. This agenda is driven not by the “saving the planet” narrative, but by global social engineering control and redistribution of wealth to third world nations.

The lynchpin of the now globally-adopted Agenda 2030 is sustainability everything disguised as smart growth/green growth. Everything we do in the civilized world has been declared unsustainable by the global elites who control this climate change industry scam worth trillions of dollars.

To please elitist billionaires and environmentalists around the world, we must fundamentally change according to their plans of de-developing society and regressing to a more primitive lifestyle. They are now regulators of water use, electricity production and use, fossil fuel exploration and use, mining, agriculture, education, medical care, and land use, which will enable them to control the weather and the climate by taxing us into oblivion.

U.N. declared 2013 the International Year of Water Cooperation. They celebrated The World Water Day on March 22, 2014 and the world toilet day on November 19 to remind us that 2.5 billion people have no sanitation and 780 million people do not have access to clean water. http://www.unwater.org/water-cooperation-2013/en/

U.N. alleges that our civilization and standard of living pollute river basins and eating meat and dairy places undue stress on water because those industries use more water to operate.

Some African countries cannot provide clean water to their population yet they are discouraged to produce electricity with “dirty” fossil fuels. Without fossil fuels and electricity, clean water cannot be supplied in sufficient quantities thus water-borne diseases are rampant.

Desalination is frowned upon by environmentalists because it is much more expensive to produce than conventional ways of providing fresh water. Israel that is successfully and relatively inexpensively providing 40% of its water supply from desalination.

According to discovery.com, there are over 15,000 desalination plants around the world that convert ocean water into drinking water either by distillation or reverse osmosis. Environmentalists complain that both processes use too much electricity. Distillation involves boiling the sea water, capturing the steam, separating it into cooling tanks, which then condense the steam into fresh water. Reverse osmosis is filtration that removes the salt and minerals from the water. The brine left behind is usually piped back into the ocean.

Mike Mickley wrote in “US Municipal Desalination Plants: Number, Types, Location, Sizes, and Concentrate Management Practices” that 324 plants were built since 1971 in the United States, capable of producing 25,000 gallons of fresh water per day. The Carlsbad desalination plant in San Diego, California is slated for completion in 2016 and will be capable of producing 50 million gallons of fresh water per day, providing 7 percent of the San Diego region’s supply needs.

United Nations bemoans the fact that “85% of the world’s population lives in the driest half of the planet.” The eventual U.N. planned solution will be social engineering in the form of massive population movement from these arid areas to places like Europe and the United States where the rural density per capita is quite low.

IPCC “predicts with high confidence that water stress will increase in central and southern Europe and, that by the 2070s, the number of people affected will rise from 28 million to 44 million. Summer flows are likely to drop by up to 80 % in southern Europe and some part of central and Eastern Europe. Europe’s hydropower potential is expected to drop by an average of 6%, but rise by 20-50% around the Mediterranean by 2070.” (Alcamo et al., 2007)

Data from the World Bank was cited in 2010 which estimated the cost of a yet to be seen 2 degree Celsius rise in global temperatures to be $70-100 billion per year between 2020 and 2050. Of this cost, anywhere from $13.7-19.2 billion will be water-related. http://www.unwater.org/water-cooperation-2013/water-cooperation/facts-and-figures/en/

Elitists say that, if global population would be allowed to reach the current lifestyle of the average European or North American, 3.5 planets Earth would be needed for sustainability.  That is why population control by any means is considered important. Projections predict 2-3 billion people over the next 40 years. This growth will certainly not come from the senescent white Europeans and North Americans but from third world countries.

As Tom DeWeese wrote in his report, “Sustainablists work to keep these nations from developing or increasing energy use, thereby keeping them poor. Green regulations stop the building of infrastructure. They panic at the idea of increased energy use in developing nations. Instead of working to solve the real problems – the root of poverty - they exploit the excuse of over population and advocate enforcing polices to drastically reduce populations. China’s brutal one child policy of forced abortions and sterilization has become their model.”

How many people does the United Nations believe should inhabit our planet? “A reasonable estimate for an industrialized world society at the present North American material standard of living would be 1 billion. At a more frugal European standard of living, 2 to 3 billion would be possible.” United Nations Global Biodiversity Assessment. https://deweesereport.com/2016/05/17/six-issues-that-are-agenda-21/?mc_cid=040d1ca29b&mc_eid=371fc3eeb1

The fact that we have periods of drought and rainy seasons escapes the “sustainablists” narrative. But, we must still use our water resources responsibly. Do we need to have daddy government control water consumption and recreation via smart water meters and other regulations?

Even though we’ve had 21 consecutive days of non-stop rain, our water bill contained a glossy which stated the necessity to control irrigation via a recommended irrigation schedule. Odd number addresses could water on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. Even number addresses could water on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. And businesses could water on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Installing rain sensors and soil moisture detectors to avoid unnecessary irrigation and further reduce stress on the water system was recommended so that our Service Authority could maintain adequate water pressure in our neighborhood.

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) reported that 170,000 public drinking water systems in the country serve 264 million people, transporting 13 percent of the total water withdrawn from the U.S. surface and subterranean sources to residential and commercial buildings via 1 million miles of water main pipe that are deep in the ground and over 100 years old.” The cost of replacing these pipes is $1 trillion and will be passed on to the consumers. http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/30724-exclusive-dispatch-private-water-industry-says-water-bills-have-to-go-up

A USA Today survey of 100 municipalities found that “residential water bills in at least one in four places have doubled in the past 12 years.” http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2012/09/27/rising-water-rates/1595651/

Some states fine and jail homeowners who collect rainwater. Even a rain puddle is regulated in other places. In California’s San Joaquin Valley, protecting the delta smelt is more important than irrigating crops that feed millions of Americans.

The voters in Oregon tired of their government’s overt attempt to control their water and land and said no to Nestlé. They rallied and defeated Nestlé’s attempt to privatize their water.

“The issue that brought conservatives and progressives together in this way was clear-cut: keeping Nestlé Waters North America from building a water bottling plant and extracting over 118 million gallons annually from a spring in a small, rural community 45 miles east of Portland.”

Americans drink a lot of expensive bottled water, often just filtered tap water, over 10 billion gallons in 2013. With revenue of $12.3 billion in 2013 and Americans spending $18.2 billion on bottled water in 2014, there is a cash cow in that industry which the International Bottled Water Association is gladly representing. http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/36129-our-water-our-future-voters-in-oregon-defeat-nestle-s-attempt-to-privatize-their-water

Progressives and the U.N. are obsessed with water, among many other things, as a way to control what people do. Take for instance a golfing community in Texas that pumps water from the Brazos River running next to the golf course. After estimating the number of gallons of water needed to water their lawn, they paid the county for the water plus an additional amount in case they have underestimated their needs. After years of this business arrangement, the county wants to “renegotiate” the agreement because they feel that the course is not entitled to so much of “God’s water.”

Additionally, the residents cannot build cisterns to catch rainfall because “God’s water” would run on the property, seep into the ground, and run off into the river, thus polluting it.

As I described in my previous article, http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/58534 United Nations has a strong vested interest to control our water supply and our passage through the seas, oceans, our shipping, fishing, and mineral and oil exploration on the bottom of the ocean. They are controlling it through Agenda 21, chapters 17 and 18, and through the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) which has not yet been ratified by the Senate for lack of sufficient votes – for now.

Executive Order 13603 from March 16, 2012 gives the Department of Defense authority over all water resources. The order also covers all food, transportation, energy, construction materials, “health resources,” farm equipment, fertilizers, and all fuels that can be commandeered and controlled by our government both in peacetime and during national emergencies. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/03/16/executive-order-national-defense-resources-preparedness

Tombstone, Arizona, “the town too tough to die,” has been embroiled in expensive litigation with the USDA and the Forest Service over its ability to use water from the mountain springs that has provided the desert town with water since the 1880s, predating the Wilderness Act by 80 years.

A Monument Fire in 2011 destroyed the pipes in Huachuca Mountains that carried the water down from its source in the Miller Canyon Wilderness Area. Boulders the size of cars buried the pipes. The Forest Service denied residents the use of heavy machinery to unearth the pipes that were covered in some places by 12 feet of mud. Instead, they could only use wheelbarrows and hand tools because they were protecting an endangered species, a pair of nesting Mexican spotted owls. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2012/06/12/is-this-owl-forcing-historic-tombstone-az-to-fix-water-lines-with-horses-and-handtools/

The 10th Amendment protects states and their subdivisions from federal regulations that impede their ability to fulfill essential health and safety functions. “Though the water may originate on National Forest lands, Bureau of Land Management lands, and other federally managed lands, the rights to that water belong to the farms and ranches and cities.” The lawyers for the federal government disagree.

In mid-June 2012, a group of citizens armed with shovels trekked 2 miles up the mountain in 100 degree heat to restore water by hand from the Gardner Spring to the historical Tombstone, Arizona. http://netrightdaily.com/2012/06/tombstone-az-residents-forced-to-use-shovels-and-hand-tools-to-fix-water-supply/

Mr. Gosar said in his one minute speech to the House of Representatives on December 12, 2012, “Our communities shouldn’t need their Congressman or a lawsuit to make basic repairs to infrastructure. The Federal Government should work with us, not against us, to preserve western water supplies.” http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r112:H12DE2-0026:/

Progressives don’t like hydroelectric power generation because it is interfering with nature, aquatic habitats, and the natural flow of rivers. Many dams have been blown up for this very reason. The fact that nature itself causes rivers to flood, creating and destroying habitats at the same time, had been ignored by the progressive agenda.

We now have to suffer the ill-effects of low flush “enviro-friendly” toilets that don’t really save any water since people have to flush them 4-5 times in order to get rid of human waste. To make matters worse, city sewers get stopped up because of low-flush toilets, costing them millions and millions of dollars a year to fix huge clogs. The much touted flushable wipes also choke the small residential pipes and cost homeowners millions of dollars a year to dig them out and replace. Yet there is sufficient water, save for cyclical periods of drought.
Copyright: Ileana Johnson 2016


Monday, May 23, 2016

Albani's Escape from Communism and His Free Life in America (Part II)

“A year later I went back to the country and stole my wife. Nobody knew I was coming.”

Albani had no idea what happened to the unassembled submarine he had abandoned when he escaped to France and never returned. He had sent drawings to each factory to manufacture the parts. The authorities had no idea what he was going to make with all these separate sections; some of them were conical, like a piece of pipe, with flanges and bolts; they looked like something designed by an idiot who did not know how to do a flange because his flanges were inside instead of outside.

Once he escaped, Albani hatched a plan to bring his wife to Paris. “I made a trick car because I wanted to steal more people, not just my wife. But my best friend escaped too and my plan now focused solely on her. I modified the car in such a way as to fit her in.”

How did he get away with stealing her without papers and hiding her in a car across so many borders? Albani answered with pride and aplomb: “I’m an engineer.”

There is a modified Volkswagen in the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., in which people have been hidden and taken across Checkpoint Charlie between East and West Berlin. The two sides were separated by the heavily guarded Berlin Wall of Shame built by East German communists who wanted to keep their oppressed subjects inside the “socially just and egalitarian communist paradise” they built for their citizens. It was such a miserable “paradise” that people were willing to chance being shot and possibly die in order to escape it.

From August 13, 1961 until November 9, 1989 the Berlin Wall was a stark reminder of the division between the free west and the communist-enslaved east. Before the Berlin Wall was erected, 3.5 million East Germans managed to cross the border between East and West Berlin. After 1961, there were few successful attempts to cross by low flying aircraft, running through the barbed wire, hidden in cars, and other unconventional means.  But many were shot and died trying to escape. The Center for Contemporary History in Potsdam gives the official figure of those who died trying to flee to freedom at 138, from an infant to an 80-year old woman, but researchers at the Checkpoint Charlie Museum estimate the death toll to be significantly higher.

Albani hid his wife inside the modified rear bench. He created a slight space; the floor went down two inches in the Citroen DS by cutting the springs much shorter, taking the cover and reversing it. The space was far from comfortable; it was a fetal position inside the bench. He sized the space by using his friend who knew what he was going to do.

To throw off the sniffing dogs at the border, he used a spray repellant for animals. “Maybe it was Tiger Balm,” he joked.

While in Paris, Albani toyed with the idea of a phony passport for himself and his wife but it was very difficult to alter a French passport. The pictures had small rivets on which Republique française was written in very small font, and you needed a microscope to see them. Counterfeiting such a passport was impossible. A very good friend, a Moroccan Jew with a lot of dark and curly hair like him offered his passport. “But I don’t look like you. But I don’t look like myself either.” He showed Albani his passport. This man was 22 years old and Albani was 28. The saving grace was that the passport had been issued when he was 14 and he did not look like himself either. 

“You don’t have to change the picture! Look at all the countries I went through with this passport.” Indeed, there were 45 visas, from Iran, to Nepal, to France, Sweden, to Germany. “Nobody stopped me; I went all over the world.” And he did, he had lots of entry stamps.  The French passport was good for 16 years, until the age of 30. Albani took his passport.

After posting an ad on a college campus that he was going to Romania with his best friend, a really good driver, and had two seats available in the car, three guys called and asked how Romania was, they wanted to go. It was fashionable to hitchhike. “I chose my married friend who had a week old baby. He risked his life to come with me to get my wife. The other three guys had no idea what we were going to do.”

To make the trip even more dangerous, Albani foolishly bought a BB gun, a high speed, high precision target practice gun as a gift for his sister and put it in his luggage.

It was still dark when they left at 4 a.m. in a completely modified Citroen DS. Their intended route was through Germany, Austria, Hungary, and then Romania. They were driving through Paris, in a roundabout, had just entered it, when two gendarmes, very tough guys, on motorcycles with machine guns on their backs, cut them off, almost hitting a wall. The other cop drove and stopped by the driver’s side and put a gun to his head, literally touching it. They spread eagle the rest of us on the car and on the nearby wall. More gendarmes arrived for backup. They checked the luggage and I.D.

Apologizing for inconveniencing them, the gendarmes explained that four hippie looking guys had broken into a bank 20 minutes earlier and killed the guard. They were looking for those culprits who were armed with machine guns.

“They let us go, very apologetic, you can make a complaint, but someone was killed, and they were driving the same red Citroen DS like you. When they stopped us, I almost peed in my pants.  The whole time, I was thinking about my sister’s BB gun, my modified car, and I just knew we would wind up in jail. My French friend did not know I had the BB gun, I told him later, he said I was crazy. It looked like a real gun.”

Getting closer to the German border, with his friend driving like a maniac, 100 mph, rotating lights appeared in the rear view mirror and they had to stop. But the poor cop on the motorcycle did not see the blocked isle for a bus stop and he hit the concrete side and spun wildly all over the road but recovered. Visibly shaken, he asked for IDs.

The passengers were scared that he was going to arrest them for driving so fast. But he told them to slow down and let them go very graciously without a ticket.

The German border guards pored over Albani’s French passport but let him go. The stop at the Austrian border was short. But then they got to Hungary, a strict communist country. There was barbed wire everywhere, control towers, guns, lights; it was frightening, dozens and dozens of cops armed to their teeth.

In no time their luggage was spread in the grass, and everything was taken out of the car; they were looking for contraband, cassette recorders, western goods, Kent cigarettes, cosmetics, foreign currency. But they found nothing.

“We got to the Romanian border, guards were lazy, moving around very slowly, but checked the papers very carefully. We spoke only French. I was in the car, inching our way in line. A cop, military guy, with a gun from 1916, probably our age or younger, was looking at our smart car, never saw a Citroen before.  He checked the car out; I opened the hood, the trunk, etc. He tested the seats, but the springs in the rear benches were much shorter which made the bench quite stiff. Why is the back bench so hard, he asked?”

He pulled the bench; they were in such a rush to leave, Albani forgot to bolt the bench back in place. He pulled the bench and saw the cover, some dirt, glue, straw, a penny; all set up to look like a bench would look. He could have pulled the cover easily and revealed the hidden space, but, once again, they got lucky, he never did.

On the way to Cluj, they stopped in a village to eat Romanian meat balls called “mititei.” It was Sunday, everyone was out drinking, the smell of grilling meat was overpowering; a guy came by and, in his drunken stupor, called them bastard capitalists and threw a rock through the rear door window and shattered it.

The local policeman was horrified and forced him to pay for the window. The cop was very apologetic to the foreign visitors. The poor drunk looked like he could hardly afford to pay for his booze much less replace the broken window.  They declined and left in a hurry.

They replaced the window with a piece of plastic which took a really long time to find in the miserable “socialist paradise,” where it was hard to even find a piece of plastic on the black market at ten times the price.

The trio found two girls infatuated with “foreigners” and they offered them free overnight accommodations in their homes; if caught, this generous offer would have landed them all in jail. They visited the old city and churches in Cluj and then went to Feleac. They had to cross a ditch, Albani asked the driver to raise the hydraulic suspension of the Citroen in order to avoid being stuck but he declined. He was sure the Citroen could handle it. Once in the ditch, the cap of the low-hanging gas tank sheared off and the gas drained everywhere.

The girls helped push the car onto the highway, but the gas tank was now empty. “We could not fix it, what do you do, go to a garage and say, hey, I have a modified compartment with a gas tank hanging too low, would you fix our sheared gas cap? You have a gas tank under the driver’s seat? Boom.”


They went into the city, knowing that copper pipe was impossible to find. At that time, nothing could be found in Romania unless it was bought on the black market. But Albani bought two plastic tanks in a warehouse by bribing one worker willing to sell it to him.

“I had to become Romanian again because you could not wheel and deal in a warehouse as a foreigner.” To appear Romanian, he had to cut his hippie hair into a “fashionable” crew cut and ditch the western clothes because they were too easily identifiable, the quality was “too good.”

It was illegal in Romania at the time to have long hair. If the police caught you, they shaved your head. An actor was trapped once in a daily occurring raid in Bucharest; he was playing a hippie role in a movie and needed long hair for the duration of filming. Cops shaved his head and he had to finish the movie with a wig.  

Accidentally pulling out foreign money out of his pocket instead of Romanian lei, Albani explained to the barber that he had just returned from Germany and that’s why he had French francs. For owning foreign currency, Albani could have gotten a year in jail, it was the minimum punishment. Again, luck was on his side. Barbers and hairdressers were information collectors for the secret police, they were compensated informants and everyone knew that. He paid quickly and disappeared.

“I had a capped canister of 10 gallons of fuel in the car and that is how we drove all the way to Paris. I found a small tank of two quarts to put it in the engine compartment when crossing the border. It was red, so I had to find black paint. Black paint was not available but I did find some tar for roofs and made the small tank black. We left, it was raining heavily and we had a broken window in the back. Nearing Bucharest, a green secret police jeep followed us, passed us, looked inside, we had French plates, we were driving by the book, we found them two miles later stopped on the right. It happened three times. Later we realized they were picking up hitchhikers from various villages and dropping them off to make extra money and to get a bag of potatoes, onions, or a live chicken.” It was still cheaper to travel this way instead of taking the rickety state bus.

They made it to Bucharest too early in the day and could not find his wife. They drove twice around Bucharest to kill some time and then stopped in a coffee shop. Seated next to them was a former colleague from IPROMET with a good memory of faces. “Albani, I thought you defected to France a year ago.” He pretended to be the Frenchmen he impersonated while his heart was beating hard and beads of sweat were forming on his brow.

Finally, it was dark enough and drove to Marin’s apartment who was to bring his wife to him. Instead of Marin opening the door, an older acquaintance, a full bird colonel in the Secret Police invited them in. Albani froze.

“Come in, have a drink, what are you doing here, why did you come back? He knew everything. I went to college; I came back because I did not like France. I gave him a snow job. I thought momentarily, when survival instinct kicked in, about hitting him on the head with a heavy seltzer bottle nearby.”

When Marin returned, Albani found out that this colonel had been kicked out of his apartment by his estranged wife. He was a very good rugby player from a team that was sponsored by the Secret Police. The biggest rivalry at the time was between the railroad workers union, the secret police, and the military. Each sponsored a team and conferred high ranks on the best players.  “As it turned out, he was not a squealer, he was one of us. He never talked. One year later he died in a car accident. It was pretty sad.”

Marin left to pick up Albani’s wife. She was living in a building that was adjacent to the Secret Police headquarters that was guarding the president. You cannot make this stuff up. The villa had all the communication equipment and, in summer time when the windows were open, you could hear all the radio police chatter.

Fate intervened again – his wife was not home. She knew Albani was coming but was in Brasov with her sick mother.  He had sent her a note on thin paper placed inside a pen with General De Gaulle’s picture on it. He had called and emphasized the word “general” several times.  She eventually understood and read the note inside the pen. Henri, his French driver friend, and Marin went to Brasov and told her to take a few things, and, when the car stopped at the curb, to jump in. They drove back to Bucharest and left for Paris.

Choosing the Yugoslavia, Italy, and France route, they stopped at the border with Yugoslavia and had to cross a ditch filled with a chemical to prevent mad cow disease. Luckily, the ditch was only 2-3 inches deep and did not plug up the breathing hole of the compartment where his wife was hiding. But the chemical fumes were terrible. Maybe Albani’s animal spray deterrent worked or the dogs smelled the chemical in the ditch, they did not react when sniffing the Citroen’s back bench.

At border crossings, there were only two passengers in the car, Henri and Albani. The third Frenchman stayed in Romania for more sightseeing. Driving through each country, Albani’s wife would come out of her hiding.

“I went inside to have the passports stamped and some guy told me in Romanian, even though I had French documents and was dressed in western clothes, driving a Citroen DS, didn’t you pass by one year ago, which was true. I did not react. He said again, looking sideways, you passed by here a year ago. Again, I did not react. He stamped the passport and we left.”

Between Romania and Yugoslavia, there was no sign telling them how far they were from the border and at some point, the border suddenly appeared, two blocks away.  And his wife was sitting in the car, no passport, no nothing.  So they pulled into a field of corn, put her in and crossed the border.

The road eventually ended into a Yugoslavian checkpoint in the mountains, they could not even turn around. They stopped in the small parking lot to put his wife in again. They opened both back doors and acted like he was cleaning the car of trash. Henri went in to buy some candy. There was no time to be scared.  As they inched toward the border, the car started sputtering and died.

It was the crossing point down to Trieste. The guards were nice, pulled back the car and promised to fix it. “Don’t worry, you don’t have parts here. The road is going down.  It’s a spark plug. They pushed the car onto the Italian side, into the parking lot in Italy, and checked our papers. I took my wife out of the hiding spot later. Apparently, I had forgotten to reconnect the two tanks, the fake and the real one.”

She almost died in the Mont Blanc tunnel; they did not know how long it was and that they had to drive through it for 40 minutes.

“It was night time, the ventilation was not good, the border was right before the tunnel and I could not stop and take her out, so she stayed in for the entire Mont Blanc tunnel. When she came out, she was coughing and choking.”

In France they were all in the car, Henri was driving like a maniac, the car was not insured, as if it mattered at this point. They had insured the car by phone for two days only and were not sure if it was still valid. Stopped for speeding, they had to explain why his wife had a Romanian I.D. card.

Sent to the Paris prefecture to declare her, the police took them to the Secret Police and they just knew that they would be arrested and fined. Instead, the policemen laughed heartily. “We just knew our border guards were stupid, anybody can come through, and they have no idea what they are doing. They can’t catch anybody even if they import a tank.” Asked if she was persecuted in Romania, and after answering yes, the secret police issued her papers to stay in France.

So she made it to Paris and to the free world with a lot of luck and God’s providence. But, they did not live happily ever after - they were married “ten years minus three hours,” as Albani likes to say. They immigrated across the ocean to the land of the free where they both still reside today.

Copyright: ILEANA JOHNSON 2016






Thursday, May 19, 2016

Albani's Escape from Communism and His Free Life in America (Part I)

Young Americans today do not really understand politics, history, and economics. What little history they did learn in school has been sifted through the revisionist historical perspective of Howard Zinn whose textbook has been the adopted textbook for decades in most high schools in America.  With socialist teachers and professors who push and advocate Common Core, global collectivism, and Islam, it is no wonder that they yearn for invented “social justice” and “equality” that never existed in the first place and will never exist in the real world.

Stories like Albani’s sound like a fascinating movie script and fly by the ears of intolerant young Americans who have never experienced want or exploitation but were pliable drones in the hands of their teachers and college professors who indoctrinated them into socialism, bogus “white privilege” and other non-existent advantages that inadequate students who cannot make the grade in college keep inventing in order to excuse their inadequacy and lack of achievement. Similar stories told by people who escaped communism are repeated around the country but only older Americans are listening.

Have the young and misinformed ever asked why countless people from around the world have died to escape communism and third world oppression but nobody has even attempted to flee from capitalism unless they were criminals and traitors wanted by the law.

It’s true, progressive Hollywood types threaten to leave this country and move elsewhere if rational and conservative politicians are elected, but liberals never move to a communist “paradise” of their invented dreams.

Nobody in Hollywood, academia, or the rich and spoiled billionaires who praise the medical care in socialist Europe actually go seek treatment there, they look for the best American doctors and hospitals, with the exception of perhaps plastic surgery when they seek anonymity and pampering while nobody recognizes or discovers them during recovery.

I met Albani, his wife, and his 97-year old mother-in-law on the Orthodox Palm Sunday this year in a mutual friend’s home in New Jersey.  His remarkable and beautiful mother-in-law was gracious, poised, speaking perfect English in a sweet and youthful voice. She had taught herself English by going to the New York library every day for months on end in order to prepare herself for the citizenship exam.

In addition to having an American sponsor and the means for support, no welfare given,  a resident alien had to learn English; nobody gave them translators, bureaucratic forms in their own language, and education in their native tongue. And nobody was publicly “offended” by the term “resident alien,” it was written at the top of every green card.

Not long ago, even in the 1980s, legal immigration meant something wonderful, a chance to succeed, to become part of the American fabric, and an opportunity to have a good and happy life. Immigrants came to America to become Americans, to assimilate into its society and make it better.

Now all the dregs of third world society flood our borders unimpeded, not to become Americans and make it better for all, but to receive welfare and to change it into a banana republic like the one they’ve escaped, with rampant poverty, disease, illiteracy, and violence.

Albani started talking about politics and he brought up Donald Trump’s name with admiration, to the exasperation of one gentleman, an avid supporter of the Marxists candidates. He had fled communism to move to America and made a successful life here for his family but was now willing to bring communist oppression on American shores.

Albani, an engineer by trade, had worked for Donald Trump in the Trump Tower and had a lot of respect for the billionaire’s business ethic and the empire he had built with less than one million dollars he had inherited from his dad. He reminisced about specific times and stories when Trump was not afraid to fire incompetent and dishonest contractors and employees.

But the conversation switched to the story of how Albani had escaped Romania in 1969, barely five years after the installation of the tyrant Ceausescu as the second totalitarian president of the newly emerged communist dictatorship of Romania.

He grew up in Constanta, one of the large port towns in Romania where everyone wanted to escape from and very few did because people squealed on each other to the dreaded Securitate.  He was an engineer at IPROMET in Bucharest. His job allowed him to go to different locations in the field where he could issue work orders for parts from the metallurgical industry in order to fix broken industrial machinery.

He decided to design and build a submarine that would accommodate six people. To this day, Albani is a humanitarian who helps many legal immigrants assimilate into our society. Albani placed work orders in various locations of the country to manufacture the submarine in seven to eight different sections and bought an engine.

The plan was to escape from Constanta, load everything on a giant earth-moving truck used in mining, put the parts together in the 40-ton truck, back it off into the Black Sea, assemble the small submarine overnight, and then abandon the earth moving truck nearby. Once the truck was discovered, nobody could trace all the parts and why this piece of equipment was at this location, particularly since such vehicles would often carry large concrete blocks and huge rocks which were dumped into the sea in order to reduce water erosion of the shore.

Each part had several bolts, about eighty total; it was going to take at least a couple of assembly hours if everything went smoothly.  “We did not want the makeshift submarine to go down too much, so we would not get detected by radar. Our final destination was on the shores of Turkey, about 200 miles away.”  

Before the assembly was to be completed, Albani applied for passport and visas to go to various places but was turned down. At some point, he petitioned to go to a cousin’s wedding in the former Yugoslavia, Romania’s neighbor to the south-west, and, to his surprise, they approved the request, and gave him a passport. It was at this point that Albani abandoned the submarine assembly operation.

“I tried to go to Greece in my father’s car. Very few people owned a car but my father had a car. He was a doctor and made six times more money than the average person in ‘tips’ [bribes] that supplemented his meager salary set by the state.”  

Once in Yugoslavia, his plan was to go to Greece and, along the way he picked up three hitchhikers, two Brits and a German. At that time, it was safe and customary to hitchhike across Europe without any worry and mostly free of charge.  The Yugoslavs let them through even though Albani did not have a visa for Greece like the other three hitchhikers.

But, when he got to Greece, his luck ran out. The Greeks said, “The hitchhikers could pass but you, the Romanian without a visa, you go back.”  “I can’t go back; I am asking for political asylum, they will arrest me if I go back. B.S., go back to Yugoslavia then.”

Once there, dejected but undeterred, Albani managed to get a visa from the Germans with the help of a friend’s invitation and a financial guarantee even though he only had $120 in his pocket, mostly for gas. He ate bread and drank milk most of the time because that is all he could afford.

Albani slept in his car wherever he happened to arrive at night and even got arrested in Skopje because he was not supposed to sleep in a car. His luck took a turn for the better when the Italian border police let him pass through without a visa and the French did too.

He stayed in Germany a while but he hated the place so he went back to France.  He remembered, while in Stuttgart, by 8 p.m., the city was empty, everyone was home with the shades drawn, and it was like a ghost town. “Unbelievable, I was there three days.”

Once in Paris, the authorities gave him the right to work almost overnight. He requested political asylum and, in one morning he got a place to live and the right to work.  In the next two days he had a job, a kind of quality assurance engineer.

Because he spoke French fluently, his new job paid him the same amount as the French engineer who had been working there a while. He could stay in France, but he wanted something better. Soon visas arrived from the Canadians, South Africans, the Swiss, Australia, and the last one was from the United States.

“I requested political asylum and they asked why, were you persecuted?  I knew I would get the visa anyway, but I explained that I was forced to do voluntary work for the government which was not a stretch, it was actually true.”  But that was far from the reason why Albani defected. The communists had totalitarian control over the entire country, confiscated everything, and were strangling freedom and the humanity from their captive Romanian citizens.

After one year in Paris, Albani returned to Romania to get his wife. The Romanians never questioned where he was even though he was a defector. The tight security police and population control was not in full force by 1970. He went back to steal his wife out of Romania. She came all the way to Paris from Bucharest, with no papers. She was hidden when they crossed borders, then she would come out and ride in the car normally. Exactly where she was hidden is quite an ingenious way that almost got her killed twice.


Copyright:  ILEANA JOHNSON 2016