Syte Reitz

The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world…….

Browsing Posts published in May, 2014

MSNBC, the First Lady, and the Gas Engine

or
Why Progressives are Regressives and Conservatives Make the Progress

Guess WhatTrying to Get a Balanced Picture of the News

So, in my usual scanning of diverse news sources to get a balanced view of the news, I looked at the MSNBC headlines, and guess what I found?

Two headlines which begged to be linked together:

Why Would the First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS) Be Linked to a Gas Engine?

FLOTUS begs linkage to a gas engine because she promotes the school lunch programs in which students are widely known to throw away lunches and try to abandon the lunch programs altogether, while the MSNBC’s Gas Engine article below the FLOTUS headline claims the engine can be fueled by, among other things, discarded school lunches!

Feeding Sandwiches to an EngineSlide1

The scientist and the conservative in me had to kick in, and I had to investigate the possibility and the cost- effectiveness of feeding an engine with school lunches.
Long story short, and sparing you the details and calculations (contact me if you want them), it boils down to this-

Let’s acknowledge that sandwiches and gasoline, being hydrocarbon-derived, do actually have a similar energy density, or energy available per pound of each material.
So, if you could put discarded sandwiches into your gas tank and burned them efficiently, that might provide some energy.
Points for progressive ideas.

But you can’t put a sandwich directly into your gas tank and burn it efficiently.  Conservatives are needed to do the thinking!
Reality must be addressed.

What does it take to burn a sandwich in your gas tank?

In order to use school lunches in the GE engine described in the MSNBC (GE-sponsored) article (and yes, GE ads are now masquerading as top headlines at MSNBC), there are several steps involved:

  • The sandwich has to be industrially fermented by microorganisms to produce methane (a gas with 72 times higher global warming potential than CO2; oops, big progressive no-no! This would beg the question whether sandwich fermentors had to pay a flatulence tax. ).  The factory doing the fermenting also uses power and equipment which requires power to be manufactured and to run.Slide1
  • The methane then has to be burned in a GE engine, an engine that also requires power and natural resources to manufacture.

So, yes, your discarded school lunches could be used to run a gas engine.

What is the Cost of this Discarded Sandwich Fuel?

Initial cost: the average school lunch, about $3 per pound, already costs 7x higher than the cost of gasoline (43 cents per pound).
Next, we need to account for the intermediate costs involved in industrial processing to convert to methane and transport it to the power plant.  A generous estimate might be 10-15% efficient.  So, the use of discarded school lunches to fuel engines will cost at least 70 times more than using gasoline.

How would you like to pay for school lunch gasoline at $280 per gallon?  BTW, we taxpayers also had to pay for the discarded school lunch.

An Alternative Approach

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Sage Kokjohn, Rolf Reitz, Reed Hanson, inventors of RCCI

My husband Rolf Reitz  is a scientist and a conservative.
He has spent his entire career, together with other dedicated scientists, developing a process called RCCI, which is causing quite the stir in the automotive industry today.

RCCI increases the efficiency of the internal combustion engine by about 30% while reducing pollutant emissions at the same time.   The reduced emissions reduce the cost of engines dramatically, because expensive exhaust after-treatment is no longer needed.

If implemented in our entire fleet overnight, the RCCI process would eliminate United States need for import of Persian oil.  The United States would practically be self reliant in our energy needs.

Incidentally, the RCCI process is also compatible with numerous alternative fuels, which may be developed in the future.  It can even be compatible with the methane produced from Michelle Obama’s discarded school lunches.

The Difference Between a Progressive and a Conservative

Our progressive First Lady and progressive MSNBC have many good intentions and creative dreams.  Unfortunately, most of them, like this one, are completely unrealistic.  Also unfortunately, the First Lady and MSNBC pressure others to pay for their ideas, and to do the work.

The First Lady’s husband, our President, is about to use his Executive Order privileges to dictate a mandatory 20% reduction in carbon emissions from coal-fired electric plants.   This reduction is deemed totally unnecessary by thousands of scientists, who reject catastrophic global warming claims, believing them not to be supported by science.  This reduction would also represent a regression for the United States economy and for our energy supply.Slide1
Progressives falsely claim that 97% of scientists support global warming theories, when in actual fact alarmists are in the minority,and 60% of meteorologists (weather experts) see no potential threat.

So progressives dream, ignore facts and demand the impossible.  They insist on trying to achieve their goals without supporting, reasoned analysis.
Often their idealistic dreams boomerang, come back as nightmares, and implode their wishful plans.  That’s what’s been happening to President Obama recently.
His initial 2008 success, his popularity, and everything associated with him, including ObamaCare, have been failing and imploding, despite all the hopes, dreams and good intentions he had at the start.

Progressives turn out to be regressives, making no progress and dragging the entire nation with them into tragic regression instead, both economic and moral.

What Would a Conservative Do? 

A conservative also abhors waste, but instead of indulging in fruitless wishful thinking, spends the time analyzing the problem.  That is how sustainable solutions are reached.

This is what can happen when conservatives roll up their sleeves and get to work, rather than looking to the government for solutions.  They provide the government with solutions, rather than asking government for handouts.

The Tables Are Turned

Today, Progressives make no progress.  They cause regression instead, so let’s call them Regressives.
Conservatives should be called Progressive; they make progress by taking charge and by solving problems.

Time for Conservatives to Take Charge!
There are some elections coming! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Praying the Rosary- As Pertinent Today As Ever

Slide4May 13, 2014: In honor of Our Lady of Fatima, the Lady of the Rosary

A Personal Story

I don’t make a habit of baring my soul; conservative Catholics learn to hold what’s important close to the heart.

But last month, when fellow Serra Club member and friend Mary Uhler, Editor of the Madison Catholic Herald,  asked to interview me on why I make rosaries, it was time to crystallize my thoughts and to tell this particular story. It is a story illustrating how God works very quietly, yet powerfully in people’s lives today.

Most of us, if we reflect back on our lives, particularly on difficult or anxious times in our lives, will realize how God was actually walking along with us in our pain, was limiting our suffering, and was putting that suffering to good use.  He was definitely answering our prayers, provided we prayed.  This is the brilliance of God’s redemptive plan; that he transforms the evil perpetrated by Satan into good, provided we invite His help.  And what better invitation to God

Our Lady of Fatima can there be than the Rosary, the prayer which contemplates the life of Christ through His Mother Mary, whom He shared with us from His cross?

Feast of Our Lady of Fatima

Today is the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima, May 13th.  This miraculous appearance of Our Lady in 1917 in Portugal is one of the most famous appearances of Our Lady, which skeptics would be hard-pressed to refute, given the remarkable evidence.  The miracles of Fatima were witnessed by 70,000 people, and were documented in the press.  The messages of Fatima predicted World War II and the Soviet domination of Russia.  Pope John Paul the Great, now Saint John Paul, attributed his survival of a near-fatal shooting on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima in 1981 (May 13), to Our Lady of Fatima.

And what was the message of Our Lady of Fatima?
In this apparition, the Blessed Mother declared herself “I am the Lady of the Rosary.”
The central message was to pray, to devote ourselves to the Holy Trinity, and to pray the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and an end to the war.
At Fatima, Our Lady gave us the Fatima prayer, which is often incorporated into prayer of the rosary:

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.

My Story- What the Rosary Has Done for and Means to Me

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Slide1Here is the story Mary Pubished in the  May 8, 2014 issue of the Madison Catholic Herald, in the Mother’s Day section: Visit the Catholic Herald to see the article, or read an extended version below, which includes numerous photos.

Thank you so much Mary, and thank you so much Catholic Herald!

Extended Version

Why do I make rosaries, and what does the rosary mean to me?

The short answer is that I have discovered that the rosary is one of the most powerful ways that we can tap into the power of God, and I look for ways to share this discovery with others.

That might sound somewhat exaggerated and melodramatic, but those who are aware that historical battles have been won through the power of the rosary (such as Battle of Lepanto) might not be surprised that our own personal battles can be won through the power of the rosary as well.

Homeschooling Mom

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Copy of the Rosary made for me by my son

As a cradle Catholic I was taught to pray the rosary.  But my passion for the rosary, my desire to make rosaries, and my commitment to promoting prayer of the rosary began much later, while a homeschooling mother.

Our Holy Family Catholic Homeschoolers were being taught to make simple string rosaries at St. Michael’s in Dane many years ago, when my children, older than most in the group, took an interest, instead, in an old man sitting in the corner, quietly making chain rosaries for the Missions with a pair of pliers.

My 12-year-old son became so interested that he resolved to learn how to make chain rosaries, and eventually made a beautiful blue crystal chain rosary for me, a copy of which I still carry with me every day.

Experience in Hospital

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20 Decade Rosary (Olive wood from the Holy Land and St. Benedict Crucifix),made for son Chris when he was at seminary.

Soon after that, my son was struck by juvenile diabetes and was hospitalized, in very serious condition.  Since I stayed with him, the doctors asked me to wake him every hour all night long, to make sure that it was possible to wake him.

I lay on a cot next to him all night, but I doubt whether I got one minute of sleep.  I prayed the rosary in my pocket, which he had made for me, over and over again, and did not stop all night.

In the morning, the resident doctor told me that we were finally out of the woods, but that my son had come within a hair’s breadth of going in to a coma.

Back then, with less technology, the job of keeping oneself alive daily with juvenile diabetes by balancing insulin injections, food and exercise was a challenging one, and my 13-year-old son no longer had time to make rosaries.

I’m not sure why, because I don’t generally think in these terms, but it dawned on me that Satan probably wanted to stop a young man from making rosaries.

My reaction was to get mad, resolving quietly to myself that Satan was not going to stop us; if my son cannot make rosaries, I will make them instead.

Making Rosaries

So, I got my son to teach me, and I started making chain rosaries myself.

At first I made Mission rosaries to send overseas, and then I realized that Madison, Wisconsin also had a need for rosaries, so I made rosaries for anyone who was interested, free of charge.

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Rosaries made for Cathedral Parish

Today I still provide free rosaries for my parish (Cathedral parish in Madison), which welcomes new parishioners with a gift package containing among other things, a rosary.

Importance of Prayer

But there is more to the story. First of all, the anxiety and terror a parent naturally feels in the face of something like juvenile diabetes (JD) was gradually dispelled.

Our son has not had one single emergency room visit (common for most JD patients) now in 14 years, and is healthier and happier than most people are.

I now realize that when we walk with God, ordeals are not terrifying; they become easy.  What should be living hell, instead becomes a joy.

Prayer of the rosary, especially before the Blessed Sacrament at Adoration, has become an essential part of my spiritual life, and of my survival of the challenges of this life. In any crisis, prayer before the Blessed Sacrament brings resolution.

Rosary for the Bishop

Our family’s involvement with the rosary also took some other interesting turns.  Five years after I started making rosaries, I attempted to round up 31 women from the Madison Catholic Woman club to pray the rosary for our Madison Bishop Morlino, who was being attacked unfairly in the local media.

logo_blue_reflectedI wanted to organize one rosary to be prayed for Bishop Morlino each day of the month.  My son Tom, then an 18-year-old college student with an interest in computers, suggested that we put the Rosary for the Bishop program up online to facilitate membership, and he built a website for me –Rosary for the Bishop, http://rosaryforthebishop.org/.

Pretty soon, we added another great brave outspoken bishop to the website, who was in need of prayer. This was Bishop Nickless from Sioux City, Iowa.  We became aware of Bishop Nickless through our other son Chris, who was building and managing the local Catholic radio station in Sioux City.

Spreads Thoughout the World
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It was not long before Tom decided to add all the US bishops and our Pope to the Rosary for the Bishop website.  From there on, the Rosary for the Bishop website soon took on a life of it’s own.

Out of the blue, we got a request from the editor of the UK Catholic Herald to put all the UK bishops up on the website, and Rosary for the Bishop was featured in the UK Catholic Herald.

Slide1We also got requests from people in South Africa, from Australia, South America, and from various places in Europe.  Today, the Rosary for the Bishop website organizes global prayer of the rosary for bishops, with email reminders available, and with maps and statistics, for over 1580 members from 26 countries, 258 dioceses and from 1,001 parishes, who have prayed over 297,000 rosaries for 453 bishops globally since then.

Bishop Morlino now has over 500 rosaries prayed for him each month, and has had over 45,000 rosaries prayed for him through this program since it began in 2005.

It’s even become a challenge to keep the website updated with all the changes in bishop appointments, and we are currently looking for volunteer help.

My son, who was forced to quit making chain rosaries at age 12, is now a professional web developer who has facilitated global prayer of the rosary in a way I never imagined possible.

Rosary in Lithuanian

Over the years I became more and more aware of the power of the web.  With my Lithuanian roots, I had learned my prayers as a child in Lithuanian, and still pray the rosary in Lithuanian.

St. John Paul the Great Praying at Lithuania's Hill of Crosses, 1993

St. John Paul the Great Praying at Lithuania’s Hill of Crosses, 1993- his mother was of Lithuanian ancestry.

 

When I searched for Lithuanian prayers on the web, I was amazed to find that very few were available, and no audio was available at all.

The 50-year occupation of Lithuania by the Soviet Union following World War II had almost eradicated religious material from print, and this shortage was reflected online.

So I asked my son Chris, then operations manager of Catholic Relevant Radio in Madison, to record some Lithuanian rosary prayers, and I posted those on my website at www.SyteReitz.com.

Later, as this old lady became more “wired,” and as I got requests from people through the website, I recorded more Lithuanian prayers myself, and posted those as well.  Today, quite a few visitors download Lithuanian rosary prayers from my website.

(See free Lithuanian Rosary mp3s, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 2-16)

Rosary Resources

I also collected rosary resources from the web in English for my website.  I combined instructions on how to pray the rosary with sacred art and with Bible quotes for each of the mysteries, creating a detailed instruction manual.

Slide1A staff member from our parish suggested that I should turn that into a downloadable pdf for mobile devices, so guess what, my favorite web developer Tom was pressed into service again!

The free downloadable How to Pray the Rosary Mobile PDF is one of the most downloaded pages at https://sytereitz.com/2013/10/how-to-pray-the-rosary-mobile-pdf/ .

A Prayer for Children and for Popes

To me, the Rosary is one of the most powerful ways that Jesus Christ, through His Church and through His Blessed Mother, offers us to tap into the power of God through fervent prayer. The rosary invites us to prayer on many levels.  Beginning each decade with the Our Father given to us by Christ Himself, the rosary continues with other beautiful traditional Catholic prayers, which teach us many truths of the Faith. The rosary inspires us to reflect on the life of Christ, and ultimately invites us into contemplative meditation. The brilliance of the rosary is its adaptability to whatever level of spiritual maturity or frame of mind we are in, ranging from panicked repetition to collected meditation.  It is equally appropriate for children and for Popes.   With God, all things are possible, and our rosaries are always as close as our pockets.

The Beauty of the the RosaryDSCN5865sm

The realization that Jesus Christ is just as present, accessible, and willing to be involved in our lives today as He was 2,000 years ago, via something I carry in my pocket or count on my fingers, is something that I treasure and that I want to share with others.  Much as I value my own personal interaction with God, the cumulative talents of the Church and her tradition, as encompassed in the Holy Rosary, surpass any prayer I could personally compose.

Anybody who listens to Bach instead of composing their own melodies will be able to appreciate the availability of beautiful majestic prayer such as the Rosary, that comes from the Church’s 2000 year tradition and has received the stamp of approval from our Blessed Mother.

Even my husband Rolf, who is not Catholic, has encouraged our family in our devotion to the Rosary.  His support and his company at events like the Madison Capitol Rosary Rally for Religious Freedom have been most appreciated.

My favorite Rosaries

ChrisRebeccaRosary

Chris and Rebecca’s Rosary

On a personal note, some of the rosaries most precious to me include the rosary my son first made for me at the age of 12, the 20-decade Holy Land olive wood rosary I made for another son when he attended seminary, the rosary made by me which was buried with my brother 3 years ago, and the sterling silver and Swarovski pearl and crystal rosary I recently made for my son and his wife for their wedding, which they designed for use with their future children during family prayer.  I also treasure the thought that some of the other rosaries I have distributed might be instrumental in bringing others closer to Christ and to His Blessed Mother.

More Photos of My Rosaries:

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Stainless Steel Rosary

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Brown Cocoa Bean Rosary

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Rosaries for Cathedral Parish

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Large black religious habit rosary

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Fire polished glass, olive wood

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Rosary pliers and wire

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Fire Polished Glass

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Olive Wood

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Brown Cocoa Beans

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Blessed Mother Centers

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Sterling Silver, Swarivski Crystal and Pearl

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Sterling Silver, Swarovski Crystal and Pearl

 

 

How to Make a Rosary

Here are some resources that will help anyone interested in making wire rosaries:

Our Lady’s Rosary Makers HOW TO VIDEOS:

Part 1 –
Part 2 –
Part 3 –

TOOLS: Pliers and Wires
Rosary Maker’s Guide – http://www.rosarymakersguide.org/plierswires.htm

PDF instructions w/ diagrams
http://www.olrm.org/publications/pdf_files/wire_inst.pdf

How to Pray the Rosary: https://sytereitz.com/2013/10/how-to-pray-the-rosary/

How to Pray the Rosary mobile PDF :   http://www.sytereitz.com/2013/10/how-to-pray-the-rosary-mobile-pdf/

 

Our Lady of Fatima, Pray for Us!

 

 

 

 

 

What Do You Do With a Man Called Putin?

Putin’s Chilling Antics

Putin’s recent military incursions into the Ukraine, exhibiting as they do a terrifying similarity to Hitler’s invasion of Poland prior to World War II, have put the entire Western World on edge.

President Obama seems at times at a loss of what to do (despite the fact that he has more flexibility after the election), and Putin seems to be running circles around everyone with his deceptions.

5317b12ab9704.preview-620What is a nation to do?
What is the United States to do?
What is NATO and the European Union (EU) to do?
How do we avoid provoking World War III, yet help and defend the hundreds of Ukrainians who are dying for freedom right now?
How far will Putin dare to go?
What does Putin want?

When In Doubt

When in doubt, ask an expert.
Ask someone who has been there, who has done that.
In this case, ask Lithuania.

Slide1Lithuania

Lithuania might be a small nation, but it has a record of strength, determination and success that is matched by few.
Lithuania was the first nation to revolt against Soviet control in 1991, when the dissolution of the Soviet Union began.
Since then, Lithuania has grown it’s economy, prospered, joined the European Union, joined NATO, has headed the European Union, and is adopting the Euro in 2015.

Lithuania is the mouse that roared, the David that slew Goliath.  Or Mighty Mouse!

Lithuania-Russia

This amazing success was recently recognized in The Economist, and was recognized by President Obama as well.

Got Putin’s Number

Lithuania knows well the ex-Soviet giant which enslaved her for 50 years, and under whose shadow Lithuania has managed to achieve the remarkable prosperity described above.

The long-feared risk that Russia could use energy as a political weapon has encouraged20140503_gdc831 Lithuania to come up with  energy alternatives. Lithuania has long been preparing for tactics from Putin such as those being used in the Ukraine today.

Not only has Lithuania allied herself with Western nations politically and economically, but by 2015, Lithuania will also have the potential for complete energy independence from Russia, which supplies the bulk of Europe’s energy needs.

So Lithuania not only has Putin’s number, but Lithuania knows how to anticipate Putin’s thinking and how to strategize in self-defense.

Comrade Putin

Vladimir_Putin_-_2006Vladimir Putin was an intelligence officer for the KGB prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Later, he became head of the Federal Security, an arm of the former KGB.
When the Soviet Union was dismantled in 1991, it is doubtful that Vladimir Putin was instantly transformed from master of KGB espionage (political, economic, military-strategic and disinformation-based) into magnanimous defender of truth, liberty and freedom.

Lithuania knows the tactics Putin is familiar with, understands the psychology of the KGB, and has demonstrated a success record in defeating the giant out of whose shadow Lithuania has emerged.
Lithuania has not only emerged from the shadow successfully herself, but works to offer the same opportunities to other nations.  Upon joining the UN Security Council, to the dismay of Moscow, Lithuania embarked on discussing the Ukraine.
Lithuania has courage.

Lithuanian Ambassador in Madison

Lithuania’s ambassador to the United States, Žygimantas Pavilionis,  just visited Madison last week, to honor the 25th anniversary of Madison’s Sister City relationship with Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital.  Madison was the first city to form Sister City ties with Vilnius.  Madison did this during Lithuania’s struggle for independence, one year before Lithuania declared independence from Soviet domination in 1991. So Madison is a very special friend to Lithuania.

Ambassador Zygimantas Pavilionis

Ambassador Zygimantas Pavilionis

Ambassador Žygimantas Pavilionis gave a seminar at UW, and was guest of honor at a Madison-Vilnius Sister Cities banquet at the Madison Club, which we were fortunate to attend. Ambassador Pavilionis was interviewed by Mary Jo Ola at Channel 3000 News:

Ambassador Pavilionis calls Putin’s actions in the Ukraine “the convulsions of the KGB in the Kremlin” which are destined to fail because the “corrupted KGB regime is afraid of it’s own people… it is afraid the same revolution will happen in the Kremlin… Being occupied by Soviets for 50 years, we (Lithuanians) know that it doesn’t work.  If the people go to the streets, if fear is disappearing, that’s the end (for Soviets). … Putin is making a strategic mistake.”

Sanctions? – Ambassador Pavilionis does not think that sanctions will be enough.  We will have to support Ukrainians by military means, because unfortunately, Russians will go to the line we draw.  But at the same time, we  also have to be strategic, we have to say whether the EU will accept the Ukraine as a member state, whether NATO will be enlarged to the east, and if we don’t have that strategic clarity, those autocracies or corrupted powers, they will just be moving forward.  We have to stop them.

 

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Soviet tank crushing peaceful Lithuanian demonstrators, 1991

Ambassador Paviolionis has been involved in the government and development of Lithuania since the freedom-fighting days, when Soviet tanks crushed Lithuanian freedom demonstrators under their tracks.  He is a fan of Ronald Regan and of Saint John Paul the Great, who together facilitated the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Lithuanian Ambassador in Washington

Ambassador Pavilionis lives in Washington, D.C., in the second oldest embassy building in Washington, which has housed a Lithuanian ambassador and flown a Lithuanian flag  for 90 years.  The embassy was maintained and the Lithuanian flag was flown, at times without funds and without heat,  throughout the 50 year Soviet occupation of Lithuania.  The United States and the Holy See were the only two places in the world who completely recognized Lithuania during the Soviet occupation.

This Lithuanian embassy is 2.5 miles, or 9 minutes away from the White House.  So when it comes to consulting on what to do with Putin, where should President Obama go?

Lessons on Putin-Handling

Lithuania is the mouse that roared, the David that slew Goliath, even better, the Putin-whisperer.
So what do we do about Putin?
Consult Lithuania.
It takes a Lithuanian to stand up to Putin.

Syte Reitz encounters Vlad Putin in London at Madame Tussaud's

Syte Reitz encounters Vlad Putin in London at Madame Tussauds

..

Above All, Pray!

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St. John Paul the Great Praying at Lithuania’s Hill of Crosses, 1993

 Apsaugok, Aukščiausias, tą mylimą šalį,
Kur mūsų sodybos, kur bočių kapai!
Juk tėviška Tavo malonė daug gali!
Mes Tavo per amžius suvargę vaikai.
-Maironis

(See free Lithuanian Rosary mp3s, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 12-8-16)

 Small show of solidarity :600 American Troops sent to Lithuania:

We were privileged to meet and speak with Ambassador Pavilionis:

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Tom Reitz, Syte Reitz, Zygimantas Pavilionis, Rolf Reitz
Madison Club, Madison, WI

Education in Lithuania:

Business in Lithuania:

 

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