|Coronavirus and our Southern Wall
The coronavirus has caused countries around the globe, and especially in Europe, to rethink the open borders polices they have been allowing for years. Have you noted how many Governors want to prevent entry to their States from epicenters like NY and NJ…can’t have THOSE folks in “their” States! Things became bad enough with the migrant flows across border lines in recent years, but this virus has resulted in sweeping shutdowns of international travel – but in many countries it was too late.
All of a sudden, the pressure to close countries off from the virus has been fierce. Problem is, most borders are porous and there are no walls to prevent illegal crossings, that is except for in the USA. We only have two borders to worry about and the Northern border has not been a problem. But Trump has been working hard on the southern border to replace existing fencing that is inadequate and building new high-tech walls that work. But up until now, he has been opposed by the democrats and the media (who have been calling for open borders) – but maybe not so much over the past few weeks. As we all know, before this virus reared its ugly head, the opposition was relentless and the media kept reporting that the wall building plan was not working, that very little wall was being built and that the walls that were being put in place were inadequate. Well, that was just not the case.
The below wall-construction video was filmed by a drone that was controlled by a man sitting in a lawn chair. He would move his location to different sections along the border where wall construction was taking place. Music and titles work were then added to the film and . . . VOILA! . . . the resultant video. The filming was done in January-February 2020.
China’s Tech Totalitarianism
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to go here:
The media tell us China “beat coronavirus.”
I don’t believe it. The Chinese government lies. AEI’s Derek Scissors argues that they’ve underreported the number of COVID-19 cases by millions.
Still, it’s possible that China has the virus under control.
But at what cost?
Most of us in America now practice “social distancing.” I’ve barely left my house in a month. I do that voluntarily.
Forty-two states do have some sort of shelter-in-place orders, but most of American’s social distancing is voluntary.
Not so in China. China’s dictators are quick to take extreme measures against whatever they see as a problem. They locked down Wuhan — closed roads to the city, stopped public transit and banned private cars. Chinese police have even welded people into their homes to keep them inside. They’ve tied people to posts for not wearing face masks.
China spies on every citizen, using more than 200 million cameras and social media tracking. Electronic eavesdropping lets them analyze every person’s political leanings and social interactions. They use that to give everyone a trust score.
Your “trust” score drops if you criticize the government — or the trust score system. You lose points if you do things like play “too many” video games, watch porn or have friends with low scores.
Iranian Boats Harass US Ships
Close to a dozen vessels from the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ navy spent an hour making repeated “dangerous and harassing approaches” near American ships operating in international waters, according to Navy officials.
The 11 vessels carried out the aggressive moves in the Persian Gulf, Naval Forces Central Command said in a news release. The US ships, including four Navy vessels and two Coast Guard, were conducting joint operations with Army AH-64E Apache attack helicopters.
The Iranian vessels came within 10 yards of the Coast Guard’s Island-class cutter Maui and within 50 yards of the expeditionary mobile base Lewis B. Puller.
“The IRGCN vessels repeatedly crossed the bows and sterns of the US vessels at extremely close range and high speeds,” the Navy’s news release states, adding that the dangerous passes increase the risk of miscalculation and collision.
The provocations came about two weeks after the US moved a carrier strike group out of the region. The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group departed the Middle East earlier this month.
It had been operating in the region with the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, a rare move for the Navy which hasn’t had multiple strike groups in the region for years. The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group remains in the area.
Tensions between Iran and the US have been high. In March, two troops were killed by a rocket attack in Iraq, believed to have been carried out by Iranian-backed militia groups.
“You’re never a total failure as long as you can be used as a bad example”
Human Trafficking on our Southern Border
Human trafficking is another form of slavery, and it’s happening now in our country.
Rare Historical Photos
Some are military. All are interesting.
Coronavirus and the Future of the EU
The coronavirus pandemic, with its simultaneous health and economic crises, is deepening fault-lines within Europe in a way some leaders fear could prove to be a final reckoning.
The cohesion of the European Union had already been battered by Brexit, bruised by the political fallout from the 2015 migration surge and the 2008 financial crisis, and challenged by rising autocracy in the east that runs contrary to the professed ideals of the European project.
Now, if Europe’s leaders cannot chart a more united course, the project lies in what one of its architects described this week as “mortal danger.”
In the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, the response among European Union member states showed national interests trump more altruistic European ideals. Border restrictions were reimposed haphazardly, and Germany and France threw up export bans on medical equipment, such as masks and ventilators, even as Italy clamored for assistance.
Quick to capitalize were the propaganda machines of Russia and China. Moscow and Beijing have swept in with much trumpeted – if sometimes defective – medical aid, pushing a savior narrative and providing fodder for the region’s euroskeptics.
Where is the Money Coming From?
Economists tell us that there is no such thing as a free lunch – that you must always give up something of value to get something you value more.
But Americans may be getting something close to a free lunch in the $2 trillion economic rescue package, thanks to an accommodating Federal Reserve and a financial slight-of-hand known as “monetizing the debt.”
To get the money promised to businesses, households, hospitals and local governments, the Treasury will have to borrow it over the coming months by selling IOUs of various durations to investors in the Treasury bond market.
But at the same time that the Treasury is selling trillions of dollars of these short-term notes and longer-term bonds, the Fed will be buying up a roughly equal amount from the Treasury market (though not necessarily the exact same IOUs), making good on its recent promise to provide whatever “liquidity” the economy needs to get through the pandemic.
And where will the Fed get these trillions of dollars? That’s easy. All it has to do is print as much money as it needs by increasing the balance that banks have “on reserve” at the Fed. That power to print money is engraved at the top of every bill in your wallet, in the words “Federal Reserve Note.”
Lessons Learned from the Crisis—An Israeli Perspective
We are living through a grave crisis. And crises have a knack for clarifying fundamental truths. The coronavirus pandemic has exposed several of them.
First, our ability to control our world is limited. An unknown number of months ago, through unclear means, the coronavirus broke out in China and landed in the rest of the world shortly thereafter. Over the past month, everything that makes up our lives and our world came to a grinding halt. Schools closed. Workplaces shut down. Israel’s previously stable and promising economic outlook has disappeared. No one can tell us when or if our lives will ever go back to normal and what our economy will look like when this is over.
The Carrier USS Roosevelt and the Cornavirus
The illness caused by the novel coronavirus continues to infect crew members from a Navy aircraft carrier, but many of them showed no signs of having the disease, a fact that highlights the importance of widespread testing as military personnel likely spread the virus to their comrades without knowing it.
The number of sailors assigned to the carrier Theodore Roosevelt who have tested positive for COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, jumped to 655. Two days earlier, Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters that only about 213 of the crew members showed any symptoms.
That means only about a third of the 585 crew members who’d tested positive at the time were symptomatic.
“Think about that. There are people who have tested positive — over 300 — who are just moving around,” Esper said. “The same could apply for all of us.”
Medical experts have warned that one of the dangers in the global pandemic is that COVID-19 can unwittingly be spread by “carriers,” or people who are asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms.
The coronavirus has infected more than 2 million people globally and killed more than 26,000 Americans. That includes one sailor from the Roosevelt.
China Hiding the Truth
The Chinese regime responded to the pandemic by covering up and silencing whistleblowers, then when it was too late to ignore, it enacted brutal, draconian measures on its own citizens—all while propaganda was spread internally through state-run media.
The US response meanwhile was humane, spotlighting the contrast between a free society’s handling of a crisis versus that of a tyrannical regime. Experts told The Epoch Times that free speech and freedom itself is core to how effectively a government responds to crisis, emphasizing the values of transparency and compassion.
During the early stages of the CCP virus outbreak, which first emerged in Wuhan in December 2019, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) muzzled and arrested doctors, citizen journalists, scholars, and business people who sought to expose the truth about the virus.
Li Zehua, a former anchor for Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, was the third video blogger arrested in the outbreak epicenter of Wuhan. His story is just one of many similar stories of censorship as documented by The Epoch Times.
“I don’t want to shut my eyes and ears. … I’m doing this so that more young people like me can stand up,” Li, 25, said in a passionate speech live-streamed on YouTube before police entered a hotel he was staying in and presumably detained him.
He at first refused to let them in. He turned his camera on and began alluding to the student-led Tiananmen pro-democracy protests in 1989, which came to a bloody end after Beijing deployed tanks and guns. “I feel that it’s unlikely that I will not be taken away and quarantined,” he said, shortly before he opened the door.
Normandy, France: Honoring D-Day
At 10 years old, Henri-Jean Renaud watched U.S. paratroopers landing through the window of his Normandy home in the early hours of D-Day. Like other French who lived through the war, he’s trying to pass on to younger generations the gratitude he feels.
With fewer veterans and witnesses able to share personal memories, the French who owe their freedom to D-Day’s fighters are more determined than ever to keep alive the memory of the battle and its significance.
President Donald Trump and other world leaders gathered last June in Normandy to mark the 75th anniversary of the invasion, which still looms large throughout this region. Normandy beaches, cemeteries and World War II memorials embody what French President Macron called “our entire nation’s infinite gratitude.”
Comments by the Veteran Geezers
The typical US household headed by a person age 65 or older has a net worth 47 times greater than a household headed by someone under 35, according to an analysis of census data. 47 times!
They like to refer to us as senior citizens, old fogies, blue hairs, geezers, and in some cases dinosaurs. Some of us are “Baby Boomers” getting ready to retire, others are from the Greatest Generation already retired. We walk a little slower these days and our eyes and hearing are not what they once were. We worked hard, raised our children, worshiped our God and have grown old together.
In school we studied English, history, math, and science, which enabled us to lead America into the technological age. We still use two spaces after a period when typing. Most of us remember what outhouses were, many of us with firsthand experience. We remember the days of telephone party-lines, $.25 gasoline, and milk and ice being delivered to our homes.
We are probably considered old fashioned and outdated by many. But there are a few things you need to remember before completely writing us off. We won WWII, fought in Korea and Viet Nam. We can quote “The Pledge of Allegiance,” and know where to place our hand while doing so. We wore the uniform of our country with pride & lost many friends on the battlefield. We didn’t fight for the Socialist States of America; we fought for the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.” We wore different uniforms but carried the same flag.
We know the words to the “Star Spangled Banner,” “America,” and “America the Beautiful” by heart, and you may even see some tears running down our cheeks as we sing. We have lived what many of you should have read in history books, and we feel no obligation to apologize to anyone for America.
Yes, we are older and slower these days but rest assured, we have at least one good fight left in us. We love this country, fought and died for it, and now we are going to save it. It is our country, & nobody is going to take it away from us. We took oaths to defend America against all enemies, foreign & domestic, & that’s an oath we plan to keep. There are those who want to destroy this land we love but, like our founders, there is no way we are going to remain silent.
It was mostly the young people of this nation who elected the Congress that promised “Hope and Change”— which in reality was nothing but “Hype and Lies” from your college professors. You youngsters need to taste socialism & see evil face to face to understand you don’t like it after all
You make a lot of noise, most are all too interested in their careers or “Climbing the Social Ladder” to be involved in such mundane things as patriotism & voting. Many of those who fell for the “Great Lie” in 2008 are now having buyer’s remorse. With all the education we gave you, you didn’t have sense enough to see through the lies and instead drank the ‘Kool-Aid.’
Well, don’t worry youngsters, the Grey-Haired Brigade is here, & in 2016 we took back our nation.
We may drive a little slower than you would like, but we get where we’re going, and in 2020 we’re driving to the polls again by the millions.
So, the next time you have the chance to say the Pledge of Allegiance, stand up, put your hand over your heart, honor your country, & thank God for the old geezers of the “Gray-Haired Brigade.”
In God we STILL trust! AMEN !
Russian Aircraft Recklessness
The 25-foot buzzing of a Navy recon aircraft was more likely the result of the “unprofessional” conduct of the Russian fighter pilot acting on his own rather than a deliberate attempt by Moscow to provoke an incident, Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters said.
Wolters, who doubles as NATO Supreme Commander and head of US European Command, said he had looked at the camera footage of the incident in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea.
“My conclusion at this point is that it was probably something more along the lines of unprofessional as opposed to deliberate,” he said.
He added that the US Embassy in Moscow had lodged “our dissatisfaction” with the Russian government.
For the moment, however the dangerous flyby has “been characterized as unsafe, unprofessional, and that’s exactly what it looks to be at this point,” Wolters said in a telephone conference from Europe.
The Navy said the single-seat Russian Sukhoi Su-35 came within 25 feet of a Navy P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft while at high speed and inverted, causing wake turbulence and putting the US “pilots and crew at risk.”
The Russian fighter, designated “Flanker” by NATO, also shadowed the Poseidon for about 42 minutes before breaking contact, the Navy said in a statement.
“While the Russian aircraft was operating in international airspace, this interaction was irresponsible,” the Navy statement said.
In his comments, Wolters also warned of a growing Russian disinformation campaign aimed at sowing discord among NATO allies over the response to the coronavirus pandemic in Europe.
Marines Saving Lives
A handful of US Marine infantrymen from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, helped save coronavirus patients in danger of dying while in transit to the USNS Comfort in New York City.
Sgt. Austin Loppe and his Marines from Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, had just started a shift providing security for the Military Sealift Command hospital ship on April 7 when they received word that a local hospital was evacuating patients to the Comfort in 10 ambulances all at once, according to a recent Navy news release.
Loppe and his fellow Marines were manning a security checkpoint, responsible for screening each ambulance and managing traffic on Pier 90 to allow Navy medical staff to bring patients aboard and resume treatment.
The troops learned that the patient in the fourth ambulance in line was rapidly deteriorating because the vehicle’s oxygen tank was running dangerously low.
The Marines halted the flow of traffic so the ambulance could safely maneuver ahead of the others as fast as possible and get the patient into the hands of Navy medical staff a half-mile down the pier, saving valuable time and the patient’s life, the release states.
The infantry Marines had been trained in combat lifesaver and tactical combat casualty care, so they knew that the loss of oxygen for just a few minutes could cause permanent brain damage, Loppe said.
“That wasn’t something that myself or any of my Marines were willing to let happen to an American citizen,” he added. “So, we knew right away that we needed to get them linked up with the medical team as quickly as possible.”
That wasn’t the only life or death decision Loppe’s Marines faced that night. About 10 minutes later, another patient toward the back of the ambulance line also began running low on oxygen.
As before, the Marines hustled to get the person in most desperate need of medical care to the head of the line as fast as they could.
Other patients in ambulances also began running low on oxygen. Navy medical staff provided extra oxygen tanks to the Marines, who then ran several hundred meters down the pier to the security checkpoint to distribute them to each of the ambulances.
“To be able to help New York and Americans in general is pretty awesome,” said Loppe, a native of Mingo Junction, Ohio.
A presentation by Evangelo Morris
The Army Seattle Hospital is Moving
The Army’s chief of staff said the field hospitals sent to support the coronavirus response in Seattle, Washington are now on a 48-hour prepare-to-deploy order awaiting their next mission.
Soldiers from the 627th Hospital Center out of Fort Carson, Colorado and other medical units got the order last week to pack up the 250-bed hospital it had set up in CenturyLink Field Event Center.
“They were fully ready to go with the mission,” Gen. James McConville told defense reporters at the Pentagon, describing his recent visit to the large event center.
“We built that capacity in four to five days; it was up in record time and ready to go, and then when they realized they had flattened the curve in Washington state and they no longer needed that capability, we basically boxed that hospital back up.”
The medical facility in Seattle is made up of about 500 soldiers from the 62nd Medical Brigade and 47th Combat Support Hospital from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, and from 627th Hospital Center and 10th Field Hospital from Fort Carson, Colorado.
“They are on a prepare-to-deploy within 48 hours, and then as we get the next mission assignment, that is where we will send them,” McConville 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.
REGAINING OUR FOCUS
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
If you’re like me in any way, COVID-19 has precipitated some significant changes to the way you “do life.” Working from home, social-distancing, constant vigilance for the latest news updates, and the list goes on. Understandably, most folks want to return to “normal.”
Certainly, COVID-19 has not affected all of us in the same way. For Judy and me, the impacts really have been minimal. For some of you reading this, the challenges have been far greater. You’re facing situations that are very tough and I don’t want to minimize your personal circumstances.
If I may, let me speak something about the practical side of things. For each of us, the situation is what it is. It seems smart to accept our circumstances and make the best out of it that we possibly can. The scripture passage above talks about “making the best use of the time.”
A major step forward can happen as we regain our ability to focus. Even prior to COVID-19, the nature of our culture has posed obstacles to our ability to really rivet our attention to a certain activity. The world of information technology has changed our lives—you know all about this …smart phones, social networking sites, and the sheer volume of info that comes our way. An additional hurdle continues to be the little buzzword sentence most of us use frequently: “I can multi-task.”
To some extent, I agree. However, for many us I think we’re kidding ourselves if we think we can get things done as quickly and efficiently as we think. So, I suggest that you give some thought to how you can focus with more precision, especially for mental tasks that require serious thinking. I’ve noticed that people who can focus get work done more effectively and usually more quickly.
Let me close with a few simple suggestions:
May the Lord help you to focus. May He help you to make the best possible use of your time this day. Amen.
Civil War History
Here are some questions on the Civil War; we’ll post the answers in the next newsletter.
1.Who was the only officer to serve as a Union cavalry officer and later served as a Brigadier General in the CSA?
Frank Crawford Armstrong
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?
They lived across the street from one another. One son, William, was a southern sympathizer and had 4 sons who served in the Confederacy. The other son, Andrew, was a slave owner. His son served in the Pennsylvania Militia. Andrew remained loyal to the Union.
3.Who was the only civilian killed at Gettysburg?
Here are the new questions:
1. Were there any civilians wounded at Gettysburg?
2. What is a cascabel?
3. Who said the famous quote “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” and where?
The Battle of New Orleans
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Two quotes to consider.
I will never quit. My nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.
Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans and must be that of every free state.
Programming: You’ll want to tune into the show (live or by podcast).
25April-1 May: Gen Arnold Punaro will discuss threats to our nation. Col Allen West will then discuss the challenge of getting the US back to work. Then 2LT Liam Lynch will discuss Army flight school.
2-8 May: John Ryder will discuss the Michigan Heroes Museum. Then retired Col Frank Foster will discuss Medal of America. And we’ll hear about the Armed Forces Thanksgiving event. Ron Bogle, the national chair of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) will join us.
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1. The meaning of opaque is unclear.
2. I wasn’t going to get a brain transplant but then I changed my mind.
3. Have you ever tried to eat a clock? It’s very time consuming.
4. A man tried to assault me with milk, cream and butter. How dairy!
5. I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I can’t put it down.
6. If there was someone selling marijuana in our neighborhood, weed know about it.
7. It’s a lengthy article about ancient Japanese sword fighters but I can Sumurais it for you.
8. It’s not that the man couldn’t juggle, he just didn’t have the balls to do it.
9. So what if I don’t know the meaning of the word ‘apocalypse’? It’s not the end of the world.
10. Police were called to the daycare center. A 3-year old was resisting a rest.
11. The other day I held the door open for a clown. I thought it was a nice jester.
12.. Need an ark to save two of every animal? I Noah guy.
13. Alternative facts are aversion of the truth.
14. I used to have a fear of hurdles, but I got over it.
15. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
16. Did you know they won’t be making yardsticks any longer?
17. I used to be allergic to soap but I’m clean now.
18. The patron saint of poverty is St. Nickeless.
19. What did the man say when the bridge fell on him? The suspension is killing me.
20. Do you have weight loss mantras? Fat chants!
21. My tailor is happy to make a new pair of pants for me. Or sew it seams.
22. What is a thesaurus’s favorite dessert? Synonym buns.
23. A relief map shows where the restrooms are.
24. There was a big paddle sale at the boat store. It was quite an oar deal.
25. How do they figure out the price of hammers? Per pound.
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Lt. Col. Denny Gillem (Ret.)