Veteran Candidates Put Service Ahead of Politics
Retired Army Capt. Sean Parnell, a decorated war veteran who served in combat in Afghanistan, found himself doing what he always does when he feels the need to serve.
“My community is struggling right now,” he said. “It is sort of not in my nature to stand by and do nothing. One of the things I learned in the Army is that when you are a leader, you need to go where the contact is heaviest.”
Parnell, the Republican candidate for Congress running against Democratic Rep. Conor Lamb, said he decided to look around and see where the biggest need is in the communities surrounding him. “I saw that the Salvation Army had started to distribute bag lunches to schoolchildren in nearby Beaver County, so I checked with the CDC protocols on doing something like that, then called the local Salvation Army to see what they needed and how I could help provide it safely,” he said.
Last week, all schools in Pennsylvania were ordered to close to minimize spread of the new coronavirus, leaving a gap in service for children, and their parents or caregivers who depend on their school’s free lunch programs.
Parnell, the father of three, said he could not just stand by and not get involved. He used the Salvation Army’s list of food the children need and then went to grocery stores, stocked up on supplies and delivered food to volunteers staffing the lunch locations.
He paid for the food out of his own pocket.
“As public schools are closed, there are lots of kids that are lower-income kids that go to those schools and eat two meals a day there,” Parnell said. “And now kids don’t have school, and so it’s incumbent upon all of us at the local level to try to feed those kids and make sure that they have nutrition throughout this crisis.”
Other veterans across the county who are running for local, state and federal offices found their daily routines and schedules upended by the precautions put in place to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
In nearby O’Hara township, Marco Attisano, a Navy veteran and Democrat running for the state House, said he took himself and his entire campaign team to the local blood bank to donate much-needed blood.
Attisano, 35, said the campaign has suspended normal electioneering such as door-knocking and was searching for places in need. “I was looking for a way to serve in this moment,” he said.
In a few short weeks, Seattle-based biologist Trevor Bedford, 38, has emerged as one of the most famous epidemiologists in the world. His frequent tweets are seized upon by many of the globe’s top scientists and health policy makers. So far, he has more than 170,000 Twitter followers, with thousands more joining every day.
But, unlike traditional epidemiologists, this disease detective working from his lab at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, doesn’t do field work to track down covid-19 patients’ contacts. Instead, Bedford and a handful of colleagues – spanning the globe from Seattle to Basel, Switzerland, and Wanaka, New Zealand – analyse hundreds of virus genomes from patient samples to trace where outbreaks came from, how they spread from one corner of the Earth to the next and, most important, detecting early signs of infection clusters.
The team’s analytic approach relies on tracking how viruses mutate over time as they spread from person to person. In the case of the coronavirus, whose RNA consists of about 30,000 genetic bases or letters, it mutates about twice a month. These minor mutations tend not to change the potency of the virus. But they provide clues for genetic detectives to chart how they shift subtly over time, allowing them to create sprawling “family” trees, or phylogenies, that show how the coronavirus has spread from one part of the world or country to the next.
US Oil Reserves Replenished
Last month in a Rose Garden address, President Trump quietly made an end-run around a move by Saudi Arabia to put US oil production out of business.
You see, Saudi Arabia flooded the market with ultra-low-price oil to crash the market and take out major competitors.
So Saudi Arabia just ‘so happened’ to flood the market with ultra-low cost oil at the same time that our stock markets were crashing due to Corona Virus in an attempt to crash the US markets as well as to put US oil companies out of business.
US Oil producers need about $30 per barrel of oil and conveniently Saudi Arabia dumped oil at around $20 per barrel to hurt Iran, Russia and America.
Well… Just so happens that Obama had lowered our strategic oil reserves for his major spending plans. So, there’s plenty of room in our storage facilities for lots more oil.
So… instead of what would have been an economic disaster, taking the USA from being a top Oil producer down to going out of business…
President Trump saw the move as a great deal on oil, at ultra-low prices…
So, he declared a national emergency, freeing up US Federal Funds which allowed him to suck up all the oil that Saudi Arabia dumped on the market, at a super low price for the USA Strategic Reserves!
That move basically sucked all the wind out of Saudi Arabia’s attempt to crash the oil market and got us millions of gallons of oil for our oil reserves.
Of course, the media never mentioned any of this.
“You’re never a total failure as long as you can be used as a bad example”
The National Museum of the Air Force
Here’s the museum—seen from the air. 300 aircraft under one roof.
Coronavirus is China Chernobyl
Last year, the popular HBO miniseries “Chernobyl,” which recounted the eponymous 1986 nuclear disaster in Soviet Ukraine, enthralled audiences across America.
The docudrama unsparingly portrayed the obfuscation and dissembling that characterized the Soviet Communist Party’s response in the aftermath of the meltdown. In a deceitful attempt to save face before domestic and international audiences, the Soviet politburo risked untold lives.
Fast-forward to 2020. As the coronavirus pandemic grips the world, we are all paying the price for the Communist Party of China’s own Chernobyl. The only difference is that the ChiComs’ Chernobyl is on a global scale.
Start with the fact that the Chinese Communist Party was clearly warned of the dangers of continually operating its “wet markets,” believed to be the virus’s zoonotic provenance. In these wet markets, exotic animals, to which some in China ascribe superstitious belief, are bartered like routine commodities.
But these wet markets also previously brought onto the world SARS, bird flu, Asian flu and swine fever. Chinese scientists had warned the Beijing politburo that continuing to operate the wet markets could easily lead to another epidemiological outbreak — quite possibly a novel strain of coronavirus. Beijing paid no heed.
Navy Skipper Relieved
Twenty-four hours after the Navy’s top leaders said they need commanding officers to be candid about problems, the captain of a coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier who pleaded for help has been relieved of command.
Capt. Brett Crozier, who commanded the carrier Theodore Roosevelt, was removed from his job after a letter he wrote about the situation on his ship was sent to people outside his chain of command, Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said.
“The responsibility for this decision rests with me,” Modly said. “I expect no congratulations for it and it gives me no pleasure in making it. Captain Crozier is an honorable man who, despite this uncharacteristic lapse of judgment, has dedicated himself throughout a lifetime of incredible service to our nation, and he should be proud of that.”
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday said he supported Modly’s decision.
The pair discussed Crozier’s letter at length with reporters and said, while disappointed it leaked to the press, that it was not inappropriate for the captain to raise concerns about the situation on his ship with his chain of command.
“I don’t know who leaked the letter to the media — that would be something that would violate the principles of good order if he were responsible for that, but I don’t know that,” Modly said.
The Skipper’s Crew Cheered Him
A cheering and applauding crowd of sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt said goodbye to their captain, who was relieved of command after he raised concerns about a coronavirus outbreak on his ship in a letter that was leaked to the news media, videos show.
Marines Littoral Regiment
The first of three new units the Marine Corps will design to fight in hotly contested maritime spaces will operate in the Asia-Pacific region, the service’s top leader said.
Leaders are working through plans this year to stand up a new Marine littoral regiment, Commandant Gen. David Berger told reporters. The MLR, as Berger calls it, will be a new naval expeditionary force formation based in Hawaii and will fall under the Japan-based III Marine Expeditionary Force.
“We are already convinced, based on war games and modeling so far, that we have a fairly good idea of what an MLR with [III Marine Expeditionary Force] … could look like,” Berger said.
The commandant’s plan for the new regiment is part of a months-long force design, which was unveiled last month. The Marine Corps will not only stand up the new units, which will be organized, trained and equipped to accomplish sea denial and control, according to planning documents, but will also pivot away from longstanding missions.
By 2030, the Marine Corps will get rid of its tank battalions, scale back the number of infantry units it has, and cut tiltrotor, rotary and fixed-wing squadrons. The number of Marines on active duty will also fall by about 16,000 in the next decade.
The goal: To reinvest that money in areas that will help the Marine Corps take on China or other sophisticated adversaries in a naval environment.
The Vietnam Medley is a musical compilation performed by the West Point Alumni Glee Club at the Johnny Vet: Freedom Isn’t Free concert first performed in November 2017 and again November 2019 in conjunction with Rick Ridge High School. The sound-track is from the November 2017 performance and the visuals were used to accompany the live performance. The Glee Club is sharing this with all veterans in honor of Vietnam Veterans Day, Sunday, March 29, 2020. We hope you enjoy this tribute to our Vietnam Veterans.
China’s Numbers on Coronavirus Untrue
The Chinese Communist Party has deliberately masked the total number of COVID-19 cases in China in a bid to safeguard its image both nationally and internationally, according to China experts as well as evidence documented by The Epoch Times.
There is considerable debate in America about what citizenship should mean practically. Is ‘citizenship’ just another word for ‘nationality’? Should citizens and non-citizens receive equal access to government services? Should it matter if non-citizens are here legally or not? Should the census even consider whether people living here are citizens at all? In another debate, should citizens be allowed to possess dangerous weapons that might enable individuals or groups to do serious damage, or should such weapons be kept in the possession of officers of the state who can be kept under closer control by the government?
PX-BX Offering Curbside Pickup
The Army and Air Force Exchange Service is testing curbside order pick-ups at six of its stores as managers seek to find ways to keep shoppers buying while also reducing foot traffic.
The system last year expanded its in-store online order pick-up program to 135 locations. But users had to enter the store to get their items from a designated counter. The new program instead will allow purchases to be delivered to the shoppers’ vehicles.
Six String Soldiers
The most followed military music group in the world, Six-String Soldiers is a five-member country music group performing Americana and patriotic music in order to connect America to its Army. The group was formed in 2015 by active-duty Soldiers who were looking for ways to fulfill the Army’s commitment to its Soldiers and veterans.
The Worst Time for Congressional Partisanship
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s attempted partisan sabotage of the coronavirus relief bill might mark a new low for her. That the bill finally passed doesn’t excuse her reckless gamesmanship.
Republican and Democratic Senate leaders were close to an agreement when Pelosi parked her partisan broomstick and poured poison into the congressional punchbowl.
“Talking to some Senate GOP sources,” Townhall political editor Guy Benson tweeted. “They seem stunned and angry. I’m told there was lots of bipartisan input into the legislative outline & emerging specifics — including an agreement in principle on broad strokes. Then Pelosi showed up and threw a partisan grenade.” Sources said the Democratic leadership moved to exploit the crisis by attaching its socialist wish list to the bill.
Manhattan Institute senior fellow Brian Riedl, a conservative known more for his scholarship than partisanship, had strong words. “The Senate Democrats just engaged in one of the most cynical displays of partisanship I have ever seen in the U.S. Senate,” said Riedl. “They let Pelosi blow up a bipartisan agreement.”
Keep in mind that Republicans and Democrats had already hammered out an imperfect deal before Pelosi’s last-minute shenanigans. Republicans had already reluctantly agreed to certain repulsive provisions to ensure prompt relief for suffering people and the free-falling economy.
Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt also expressed uncharacteristic disgust. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “jammed his own caucus to pass @SpeakerPelosi bill because he knows we are in a catastrophe and action needed,” Hewitt tweeted. “If businesses founder, they cannot be resurrected from ashes. Vote by @SenateDems most outrageous obstructionism I’ve ever seen and @senatemajldr anger is righteous.”
Following Pelosi’s and Sen. Chuck Schumer’s lead, congressional Democrats degenerated to class warfare to justify their obstruction, calling the bill a corporate bailout and slush fund that would not protect workers. But that was just cover for loading the bill with partisan perks that wouldn’t alleviate problems caused by the virus.
A Little Gun History
(Please Don’t Think that this couldn’t happen in the US—there are people working hard to do this to us now.)
In 1911, Turkey established gun control:
· From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
· From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
. From 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.
. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
. From 1975 to 1977, one million educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
· From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
· From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
*Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws adversely affect ONLY the law-abiding citizens.
*With guns, we are ‘citizens’; without them, we are ‘subjects’.
*During WW II, the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew most Americans were ARMED!
*Gun owners in the USA are the largest armed forces in the World!
*Switzerland issues a gun to every household. Every adult is issued a rifle and trained in its use. Switzerland has the lowest gun-related crime rate in the world.
Use of Military Field Hospitals
Makeshift military hospitals built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Navy in New York, New Orleans and Dallas will treat patients with the novel coronavirus, the Defense Department announced Friday.
The medical centers — at the Javits Convention Center in New York, the New Orleans Morial Convention Center and the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas — were originally expected to take patients with non-COVID-19 conditions to relieve pressure from hospitals overwhelmed by the pandemic.
But the DoD, responding to a Federal Emergency Management Agency request, agreed to accept COVID-19 patients, officials said.
God Loves Us
Scott McChrystal is a retired Army Colonel, Chaplain. Here are some of his insights that I think you’ll find appropriate.
From Where Does My Help Come?
The COVID-19 pandemic has raised theological questions—understandably so. People are asking, “Are we now seeing signs that the world as we know it is about to end? Is this horrible virus punishment by the Almighty? Is there anything we can do?”
No doubt—we are facing a very serious situation. Many people have lost their lives. There are hopeful signs that in some places that the number of cases of coronavirus is leveling out, but we’re definitely not out of the woods yet.
I don’t know how COVID-19 has impacted you, your family, or other other important people in your life. For most of us, we’re anxious and fearful as we wonder how long this pandemic will last and what will be the ultimate impact on lives and on the economy. For many, present circumstances represent a giant inconvenience. We hate losing our freedom to move around as we please. We want “normal” back.
The situation gets more serious for others, and it’s far more than inconvenience. It’s the loss of a job or business along with the myriad of consequences that follow. I could list many more negative impacts, but you get the point.
Tragically, death has struck a blow across our nation, and we yet don’t know what the full extent of the loss of life will be. Just recently, my daughter who works in the medical field related sad news about her medical assistant, Susan (name changed). Susan’s husband contracted coronavirus and was placed in intensive care on a ventilator. She was subsequently tested for coronavirus and came up positive and ordered to quarantine herself at home. A couple of days later she was notified that her husband was near death. Try as she did, she was not permitted to visit her husband of over 50 years before he died. She remains isolated in her home. I don’t yet know how funeral arrangements will be handled.
Susan’s situation is not the only one. I’m certain there are other stories like it.
Leaders across our nation, starting with our President, have been working 24/7. The governmental sector now seems to be teaming with the private sector to combat this situation. Personally, I’ve been encouraged by evidences of unity—we’re working together. We’re learning a lot.
This doesn’t dismiss the numerous questions for which we don’t have the answers. In the theological realm, I’ve been amused by some of the articles written by so-called “theological experts.” Using a football metaphor, a few of them are “outrunning their coverage”, meaning that they’re speaking about things which they really don’t know. Admittedly, though, everyone is entitled to an opinion.
A number of years ago, I called a fellow military chaplain who had recently lost his 30-year-old daughter to brain cancer. We spoke for a few minutes and I tried to be careful not to “outrun my coverage” in speculating why his daughter had died at such an early age. After a few minutes I asked him if he was struggling with the “why” of his situation. His answer was profound: “Scott, at times like this I’ve found it most helpful not to focus on things I don’t know. Instead, I focus on what I do know.” Our conversation immediately shifted to some things about God that we do know.
Why? Why did my chaplain friend’s daughter die so young? Why did Susan’s husband contract coronavirus and die before she had the chance to see him while he was still alive. I don’t know.
But I do know some things—about God, His love, his mercy, and his care for us. I’ve printed out Psalm 121 in its entirety. Please read it carefully. Meditate on what it is saying to you—personally.
Psalm 121:1-8 (ESV)
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
Here are a few thoughts:
How do I know this is true? Because Jesus gave His life for you and for me. His invitation to spend eternity is extended to every person.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (ESV)
My prayer is that you have accepted Jesus’s invitation to spend eternity with Him. If not, I urge you to give this your most serious consideration. Eternity is a very long time.
Accepting Jesus into your heart has many advantages in this life as well—far more than this article can possibly cover. But there is one blessing I can’t resist mentioning. It’s about peace, something I think we’re all looking for at this time.
Admittedly, keeping eternal perspective is difficult, particularly with COVID-19 occupying most of thoughts, our time, and our efforts. We’re focused on the now, tomorrow, and the near future.
Once again, the words of Jesus:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27 (ESV)
May you rest in the peace that only Jesus can provide. God has your back.
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 battle had the most casualties in the morning before noon? And, coincidently, had the most casualties on any Sunday in the history of the Unites States? Chancellorsville
2. What was the rank of General Jackson’s famous cartographer, Hotchkiss?
Jedidiah Hotchkiss was never commissioned, although he was often referred to as “Major.”
3. What are the cylindrical protrusions which permitted a cannon or mortar to be elevated or lowered quickly called? Trunnions
Here are the new questions:
1.Who was the only officer to serve as a Union cavalry officer and later served as a Brigadier General in the CSA?
2. In his famous Gettysburg Ride, CSA General Jeb Stuart rode through Union Mills, Maryland. What was unique about the sons of Andrew Shriver, one of the founders of Union Mills, with respect to the Civil War?
3.Who was the only civilian killed at Gettysburg?
Frontlines of Freedom Gear
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Two quotes to consider.
The best morale exists when you never hear the word mentioned. When you hear it it’s usually lousy.
Live for something rather than die for nothing.
George S. Patton Jr.
Programming: You’ll want to tune into the show (live or by podcast).
11-17 April: Ret Gen Paul Mock will discuss our nation’s need for respect for authority. Then ret Army Chaplain Scott McCrystal will discuss another resource in time of trouble. American Legion National Commander Bill Oxford will discuss the Legion’s response to the virus.
18-24 April: Ret Gen and US Congressman Jack Bergman will discuss China and Iran. Then author Ed Perdue will discuss his great book on leadership.
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My Jewish heritage makes this especially enjoyable to me.
Cheer Up! You could be without water. The Jewish salesman.
A fleeing ISIS terrorist, desperate for water, was plodding through the Afghan desert when he saw something far off in the distance. Hoping to find water, he hurried toward the mirage, only to find a very frail little old Jewish man standing at a small makeshift display rack – selling ties.
The ISIS terrorist asked, “Do you have water?”
The Jewish man replied, “I have no water. Would you like to buy a tie? They are only $5.”
The ISIS man shouted hysterically, “Idiot Infidel! I do not need such an over-priced western adornment. I spit on your ties. I need water!”
“Sorry, I have none – just ties – pure silk – and only $5.”
“Pahh! A curse on your ties!! I should wrap one around your scrawny little neck and choke the life out of you, but I must conserve my energy and find water!”
“Okay,” said the little old Jewish man. “It does not matter that you do not want to buy a tie from me or that you hate me, threaten my life, and call me infidel. I will show you that I am bigger than any of that. If you continue over that hill to the east for about two miles, you will find a restaurant. It is run by my brother. It has the finest food and all the ice-cold water you need. Go in peace!”
Cursing him again, the desperate ISIS terrorist staggered away over the hill.
Several hours later, he crawled back, almost dead, and gasped, “They won’t let me in without a tie!”
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Lt. Col. Denny Gillem (Ret.)