The Arabs Hate the Trump Peace Treaty
Leave aside, for the moment, the deepening rows about President Trump’s “vision” for ending the Middle East conflict.
Leave aside the question whether the plan’s lead author, Jared Kushner, and the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, backtracked on an “immediate” Israeli declaration of sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the “Triangle” of disputed territory (they didn’t; the need to first map out and agree on the details was stated from the start).
Leave aside the uproar among Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, along with certain southern areas of Israel, who are appalled by the prospect of a proposed Palestinian state (it won’t happen because it’s conditional upon the Palestinians ending their war to exterminate Israel, which they won’t ever abandon).
Leave aside the way Israel’s beleaguered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be using the Trump proposal for electoral purposes (so he’s behaving like a politician; big deal).
Look instead at the reaction by Israel’s Arabs. Not the reaction by the Palestinian Authority, which was merely the latest of their many rejections of a state of their own alongside Israel.
Look at the Arabs themselves for whom that state is intended. What is their reaction to the offer of more than 80% of the land for such a state? They’re furious.
Non-Uniformity in Our Air Force
Our Air Force updated its official dress code policy this month, in observance of religious practices, to allow military personnel to wear turbans or hijabs as a part of the uniform.
The Air Force released an update to the “Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel” code on Feb. 7, now permitting airmen to request a waiver to wear religious apparel while in uniform as long as they are “neat and conservative.”
The material used for headwear must resemble the color of the assigned uniform. This includes camouflage and must be worn in a fashion that presents a “professional and well-groomed appearance.”
Airman 1st Class Harpreetinder Singh Bajwa was granted an historic religious accommodation by the Air Force allowing him to wear a turban, beard, and unshorn hair in keeping with his Sikh faith. (ACLU)
In addition to religious apparel, members also can request permission to have unshorn beards and unshorn hair. If the length of the beard exceeds 2 inches, it must be “rolled an or tied” to meet the new standards.
The code has been updated to include hijabs, beards, turban or under-turban/patka, unshorn beards, unshorn hair, and indoor/outdoor head coverings.
The Air Force will be able to deny any request if it “furthers a compelling governmental interest.”
Special requests to observe religious practices previously have been approved.
In 2018 Staff Sgt. Abdul Rahman Gaitan became the first Muslim airmen to receive a beard waiver for religious reasons, according to the Air Force Times.
Airman 1st Class Harpreetinder Singh Bajwa became the first active-duty Sikh to be permitted to wear a turban, beard and long hair the following year.
The Betrayal of SEAL Team 6?
Did the Obama administration put a target on the backs of members of Navy Seal Team 6? This is the question that parents of slain SEALs are now asking — and rightly so. Forget Benghazi, the IRS, Eric Holder Jr. and the National Security Agency spying on US citizens. Important as these scandals are, what happened to Seal Team 6 could very well dwarf them. Our government betrayed America’s finest warriors.
Navy Seal Team 6 became a household name for their role in killing Osama bin Laden. On May 1, 2011, the country rightly celebrated the death of bin Laden. The Obama administration, however, wanted to do more. It sought to claim full credit for the assassination, deciding to spike the football. On May 3, at an event in Washington, Vice President Joseph Biden did the unthinkable: He publicly revealed the identity of the special-operations unit responsible for bin Laden’s killing. His reckless action put at risk the lives of every member of Seal Team 6. The Taliban and other jihadists eager to avenge bin Laden now knew which unit to target. Stunned and shocked, SEAL members immediately realized they were going to be hunted by al Qaeda sympathizers.
Karen Vaughn, the mother of slain SEAL Aaron Vaugh, says that within hours after Mr. Biden’s comments, her son called to tell her to wipe away every piece of information regarding the family on social media, Facebook and Twitter. “I never heard Aaron that afraid in his life,” Mrs. Vaughn said in an interview. “He told me: ‘Mom, we’re picking up chatter. We’re not safe. You’re not safe. Delete everything.’”
A 1792 act by Congress required that all able-bodied male citizens purchase a gun and join their local state militia. There was no penalty for noncompliance with this act.
Johns Hopkins Study: No Evidence ‘Assault Weapon’ Bans Reduce Mass Shootings
While Johns Hopkins is well known for their anti-gun leanings, people have long theorized that it has been Michael Bloomberg’s money that has influenced the Johns Hopkins political gun control positions. Certainly, no one would have predicted that Johns Hopkins would actually release a study that concluded there is “NO EVIDENCE ‘ASSAULT WEAPON’ BANS REDUCE MASS SHOOTINGS.”
Billionaire Michael Bloomberg gave $300 Million Dollars to Johns Hopkins for the Bloomberg School of Public Health to help to reshape the national public health agenda by focusing on areas affecting public health — including the subject of “gun violence.” Bloomberg has now given over $1 Billion Dollars to Johns Hopkins.
Our Non-Ally, Saudi Arabia
he New York Times recently asked Democratic candidates for president if they “still consider Saudi Arabia an ally” after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, ongoing human rights violations and the war in Yemen.
But the question is based upon a false premise: Technically, Saudi Arabia has never been an ally of the US. The two countries have never signed a treaty or a mutual defense pact, and the relationship between them has never gone beyond a narrow partnership on select issues.
Instead, the myth that Saudi Arabia and the United States are allies was built and perpetuated by two powerful forces – the Americans who owned and ran the oil company in the kingdom and the Saudi state itself. They both exaggerated the importance of US-Saudi interactions, beginning with a brief meeting between the king of Saudi Arabia and President Franklin Roosevelt, to advance their own interests. But this myth cloaks the reality of a reluctant partnership. Recognizing this would help policymakers – current and future – reimagine US interests and relationships in the region.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was formed in 1932, after King Abdulaziz spent 30 years fighting, negotiating and marrying into alliances that unified the Arabian Peninsula. The first permanent contact from the US came a year later, when Standard Oil of California negotiated an oil concession with the king’s advisers. At the time, Washington did not have official diplomatic representation in the kingdom, which was less important to the United States than Egypt, Palestinian territories under the British Mandate, and Lebanon under the French Mandate.
Targets of Ice and Snow
US Marines with 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, test the power of snow during Mountain Training Exercise (MTX) 2-20 at Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, Bridgeport, Calif., Feb. 6, 2020. The Marines opened fire on blocks of Snowcrete, a mixture of snow and water frozen in a cardboard box, to test the effectiveness of its stopping power on a bullet. (US Marine Corps video)
West Point’s e-Sports Club
A new cadet club at the US Military Academy at West Point engages in electronic sports, also called eSports, and offers the same sense of competition and accomplishment playing a physical game does.
Air Force Close-Combat Weapon
Air Force gunsmiths recently completed delivery of a new M4-style carbine designed to break down small enough to fit under most pilot ejection seats.
The Air Force Gunsmith Shop has completed delivery of the 2,700 GAU-5A Aircrew Self Defense Weapon, a 5.56mm carbine that can be quickly assembled in emergency situations, according to a recent Air Force news release.
“We were asked to design a stand-off weapon that was capable of hitting a man-size target at 200 meters,” Richard Shelton, chief of the Gunsmith Shop, said in the release. “It disconnects at the upper receiver …… and can be put together within 30 seconds if needed.”
The $2.6 million weapon program was developed to meet an urgent operational need to increase downed aircrew survivability, the release states.
Air Force officials announced the program in June 2018 to give pilots a more capable self-defense weapon if downed in enemy territory. In the past, aviators were armed only with a pistol and maybe a knife for protection.
A Proposal from Near-Space
Capt. Stuart Shippee proposing from near space to his girlfriend Marie Lisman.
Military & Vets & This Year’s Census
Everyone, especially service members, their families and veterans, should participate in this year’s decennial census because of how the data is used to allocate infrastructure and public service funding, the Census Bureau said.
The bureau will begin sending mailers to millions of Americans next month to fulfill its constitutional duty to count every American once every ten years. This data will be used, among other things, to determine how many seats each state has in the House of Representatives and how billions of federal dollars will be distributed to state and local communities over the next decade.
“But military families may not realize just how important they are when it comes to the 2020 Census,” the release said. “State, local and federal officials will use data from the 2020 Census to determine funding for infrastructure and critical public services such as hospitals, schools, emergency response services and road maintenance and construction. All are services that military members, veterans and their families use while they live in a community.”
We’ll Have Fewer Marines
The Marine Corps’ end strength will drop by thousands for the first time since it ended a years-long post-war drawdown as the service moves forward with a plan to slash manpower costs to pay for modern equipment and weapons systems.
The Marine Corps wants $46 billion in 2021, almost identical to last year’s $45.9 billion request as the Pentagon’s topline budget ask for next year remains flat. The request includes plans to drop the force from its authorized 2020 end strength of 186,200 down to 184,100 in 2021.
The manpower reductions are “part of larger reform initiatives aimed at internally generating resources … to reinvest in modernization and increasing lethality,” budget documents state. Moving toward a smaller service is part of a plan to get the Marine Corps to where it needs to be in the next 15 years, the request states.
If approved, the reduction would mark the first time the force has faced personnel cuts since 2016, when the Marine Corps ended a drawdown that cut about 20,000 from the ranks after it bulked up during the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The enlisted force will absorb the brunt of the cut to personnel strength, falling from an authorized 164,688 Marines in 2020 to 162,430. Under the plan, the officer corps would increase by 158 people.
Veteran Candidates for President
As the field of candidates challenging President Trump in the 2020 election narrows, two military veterans are still in the race: Tulsi Gabbard, a major in the Army National Guard; and Pete Buttiegieg, a former intelligence officer in the Navy Reserve.
Both are running as Democrats in a field that includes six other Democratic contenders — Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer and Elizabeth Warren — and one Republican challenger: Bill Weld.
Coast Guard Dogs & Helicopter Training
Petty Officer 1st Class James Grant of Coast Guard Maritime Security Response Team West’s K-9 Explosive Detection Team discusses hoist training at Coast Guard Sector San Diego Jan. 31, 2020. The training provides an opportunity for both the K-9 handlers and their dogs to acclimate to operating in dynamic conditions. (US Coast Guard video)
Active Duty Military Families & Retirees Not Serviced at Military Hospitals
Pentagon officials released a list of military treatment facilities (MTFs) and clinics that will no longer provide care to military retirees and active-duty families as part of a shift in focus to supporting active-duty readiness.
“The military health system is in the midst of implementing several significant reforms aimed at building a more integrated and effective system of readiness and health,” said Tom McCaffery, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs. “We reviewed all facilities through the lens of their contributions to military readiness — that includes MTFs [being] operated to ensure service members are medically ready to train and deploy. It also means MTFs are effectively utilized as platforms that enable our military medical personnel to acquire and maintain the clinical skills and experience that prepares them for deployment in support of combat operations around the world.”
The list is included in a 61-page report to Congress. The report lays out the process through which officials selected the locations slated for changes.
Leaking Top Secret Info
A former counterterrorism analyst pleaded guilty to leaking classified information to two journalists, including one he was dating.
Henry Kyle Frese, 31, of Philadelphia, held a top-secret clearance when he worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency. He pleaded guilty in US District Court in Alexandria to illegally transmitting national defense information.
Prosecutors say Frese leaked classified details about foreign nations’ weapon systems in 2018 and 2019.
The court papers do not explicitly identify the journalists who received the information, but details in the papers make it clear that the recipients were Amanda Macias of CNBC and Courtney Kube of NBC News.
Macias wrote multiple articles in 2018 about China’s missile systems.
The Justice Department said Frese’s prosecution is one of six that have been filed in the last three years as part of a crackdown on leaks of classified information.
Frese declined comment. He faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced in June.
Retired Navy CAPT Joe John has done many things in his life; I’ve asked him to share a few words of wisdom with us:
The Year is 191 – One hundred and one years ago !!!
This will boggle your mind! What a difference a century makes!
Here are some statistics for the Year 1919:
The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.
Fuel for cars was sold in drug stores only.
Only 14% of the homes had a bathtub.
Only 8% of the homes had a telephone.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
The average US wage in 1919 was 22 cents per hour.
The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2,000 a year. A dentist earned $2,500 a year.
A veterinarian between $1,500 and 4,000 a year. A mechanical engineer about $5,000 a year.
More than 95% of all births took place at home
Ninety percent of all Doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION! Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press & the government as “substandard.”
Sugar cost four cents a pound.
Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
Most women only washed their hair once a month, And, used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering their country for any reason.
The Five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
4. Heart disease
The American flag had 45 stars …
The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30.
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn’t been invented yet.
There was neither a Mother’s Day nor a Father’s Day.
Two out of every 10 adults couldn’t read or write, & only 6% of Americans had graduated from high school.
Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at local corner drugstores.
Back then pharmacists said, “Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach, bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health!”
Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help…
There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A.
Civil War History
Here are some questions on the Civil War; we’ll post the answers in the next newsletter.
Here are the answers to the last issue’s questions:
1.What famous American literary icon served briefly in the Marion County Missouri Confederate Rangers? Samuel Clemmons (Mark Twain)
2.At the battle of Chancellorsville, along what major thoroughfare was General Jackson’s (CSA) attack made on the Union right flank? The Orange Turnpike
Here are the new questions:
1.In what major battle were two Confederate generals killed who were buried in the same cemetery?
2. Who were they?
3. In what cemetery are they buried?
Toby Keith’s American Soldier
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Two quotes to consider.
If a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.
Programming: You’ll want to tune into the show (live or by podcast).
29 Feb – 6 March: Professor Matthew Mehan from Hillsdale College will discuss socialism. Then Mideast expert Lela Gilbert will discuss Iran; then she’ll discuss the situation for Christians in the Middle East. And we’ll review the Movie of the Month with Diane Raver from the Garden State Film Festival.
7-13 March: Recent recipient of a Presidential Pardon, Lt Clint Lorance, will discuss being imprisoned for killing our enemies in combat. Then retired police officer Dave Leonard will discuss his book, Real Cop. And FoF Contributor Faye Richardson-Green will share some thoughts for this election year.
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It’s always good to occasionally review what Murphy had to say:
Murphy’s First Law: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
Murphy’s Second Law:Nothing is as easy as it looks.
Murphy’s Third Law: Everything takes longer than you think it will.
Murphy’s Fourth Law:If there is a possibility of any of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong.
Corollary to Murphy’s Fourth Law: If there is a worse time for something to go wrong, it will
Murphy’s Fifth Law: If anything simply cannot go wrong, something will anyway.
Murphy’s Sixth Law: If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which a procedure can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will promptly develop.
Murphy’s Seventh Law: Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.
Murphy’s Eighth Law: If everything seems to be going well, something has obviously been overlooked.
Murphy’s Ninth Law: Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.
Murphy’s Tenth Law: Mother Nature is a bitch.
Murphy’s Eleventh Law: It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.
Murphy’s Twelfth Law: Whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first.
Murphy’s Thirteenth Law: Every solution breeds new problems.
Murphy’s Fourteenth Law: If nothing can go wrong on its own, someone will make it go wrong.