Unsigning the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
A US senator is calling on the Trump administration to withdraw from an international pact banning nuclear weapons tests in response to a report that the Chinese regime may be secretly conducting small nuclear tests.
A State Department report stated concerns that China may have secretly set off low-level underground nuclear test blasts at its Lop Nur site throughout 2019, The Wall Street Journal reported on April 15.
While the report didn’t provide direct evidence of such tests, it cited a range of activities at the site that “raise concerns” that Beijing may be in breach of the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which sets a “zero-yield” standard for test blasts. Zero yield refers to a nuclear test in which there is no explosive chain reaction of the type ignited by the detonation of a nuclear warhead.
“It’s foolish to trust anything the Chinese Communist Party says, especially when it comes to grave matters like nuclear testing,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said in a statement.
“Beijing is modernizing its nuclear arsenal while the United States handcuffs itself with one-sided arms-control restrictions. China has proven it can’t work with us honestly and transparently. We ought to unsign the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.”
Read More HERE
Last week, a powerful Iranian general went on state-run television to make an extraordinary claim: His elite military unit, the Revolutionary Guard Corps, possessed a machine that could detect the coronavirus from 100 meters away.
Gen. Hossein Salami displayed the “Mustaan,” a handheld gizmo resembling a small satellite dish, and said its 80% success rate would help end the country’s coronavirus ordeal. He called it “an astonishing scientific phenomenon.”
Iranian public health officials downplayed the claim, which was widely ridiculed on social media. Yet Salami’s TV pitch was merely a more theatrical rendering of a message that Iran’s hard-line rulers have been seeking to deliver in recent weeks. The country’s elite security force is aggressively promoting itself as Iran’s true guardian during the pandemic, a provider of medical treatment, clinics, relief aid and – occasionally – even dubious “cures” and fixes.
Iran has been among the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus, with an official death toll of more than 5,000, a figure that many outside experts think vastly understates the virus’s true impact. But while the outbreak continues to ravage the country and its economy, the Revolutionary Guard and its allies are seizing opportunities amid the crisis to expand their already powerful base while also cracking down on public displays of discontent, Western intelligence officials and Iran analysts said.
Remember, this month’s film review; I assign a film to watch each month—and give you a link to it; you’re invited to email in your comments—and we’ll review it on the last show of the month. Share the link with your friends or tell them that they can find the link on the Blog section of FrontlinesOfFreedom.com.
The movie for this month is: Air Show
Here’s the link: https://vimeo.com/267180154
It will require the password: newcomer
Please send me your thoughts about the movie: Denny@FrontlinesofFreedom.com
“Compromise: The art of dividing a cake in such a way that everybody believes he got the biggest piece.”
The President Speaking at West Point
President Trump said he intends to deliver the commencement address this year at the US Military Academy.
The graduation ceremony is scheduled for May 23 at the academy in West Point, NY, though whether that date will hold was uncertain because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Nevertheless, the president said social distancing practices will be in place when the event is held.
“They’ll have some big distance, so it will be very different than it ever looked,” the president said, according to The Hill. “Do I like the look? No, I don’t. And eventually, next year, they’ll have a commencement like it’s been.”
The address at West Point will be the first commencement speech for the president at that service academy. In previous years since taking office, the president has delivered commencement addresses at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., the US Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs, Colo., and the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.
Vice President Mike Pence spoke to graduates of the Air Force Academy on April 18th, amid social distancing.
General Flynn and Justice – It Worked!! His Honor is Restored!!!
Previously undisclosed documents in the case of former national security adviser Michael Flynn offer us a chilling blueprint on how top FBI officials not only sought to entrap the former White House aide but sought to do so on such blatantly unconstitutional and manufactured grounds.
These new documents further undermine the view of both the legitimacy and motivations of those investigations under former FBI director James Comey. For all of those who have long seen a concerted effort within the Justice Department to target the Trump administration, the fragments will read like a Dead Sea Scrolls version of a “deep state” conspiracy.
One note reflects discussions within the FBI shortly after the 2016 election on how to entrap Flynn in an interview concerning his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. According to Fox News, the note was written by the former FBI head of counterintelligence, Bill Priestap, after a meeting with Comey and his deputy director, Andrew McCabe.
The note states, “What is our goal? Truth and admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?” This may have expressed an honest question over the motivation behind this targeting of Flynn, a decision for which Comey later publicly took credit when he had told an audience that he decided he could “get away” with sending “a couple guys over” to the White House to set up Flynn and make the case.
The new documents also explore how the Justice Department could get Flynn to admit breaking the Logan Act, a law that dates back to from 1799 which makes it a crime for a citizen to intervene in disputes between the United States and foreign governments. It has never been used to convict a citizen and is widely viewed as flagrantly unconstitutional.
In his role as the national security adviser to the president elect, there was nothing illegal in Flynn meeting with Kislyak. To use this abusive law here was utterly absurd, although other figures such as former acting Attorney General Sally Yates also raised it. Nevertheless, the FBI had latched onto this abusive law to target the retired Army lieutenant general.
America’s Only Seagoing Icebreaker
The 159 crewmembers onboard US Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star (WAGB 10) completed the escort of three refuel and resupply vessels and assisted with a five-day inspection of foreign research stations, installations and equipment in Antarctica.
How China Sees the World
Since the heady days of Deng Xiaoping, in the late 1970s, the assumptions that had governed the American approach to our relationship with China were these: After being welcomed into the international political and economic order, China would play by the rules, open its markets, and privatize its economy. As the country became more prosperous, the Chinese government would respect the rights of its people and liberalize politically. But those assumptions were proving to be wrong.
Good Thinking, Navy
The Navy destroyer USS Kidd was heading east across the Pacific from Pearl Harbor when it added an unusual twist to its transit — a quarantine-and-isolation drill. The practice was part of a new protocol built on lessons from a coronavirus outbreak aboard an aircraft carrier soon to be sidelined with sickness.
“That … actually helped us quite a bit to prepare for what was to come,” the Kidd’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Nathan Wemett, said in a telephone interview from aboard the ship.
What was coming a few weeks later for Wemett and his crew of about 330 was a COVID-19 outbreak that is just the second aboard a Navy ship at sea. Nearly one-quarter of the Kidd’s crew has the virus. Still, lessons learned from the outbreak aboard the aircraft carrier, the USS Roosevelt, has allowed the Kidd to avoid a similar spectacle of crisis.
The Kidd’s circumstance is not completely comparable to that of the nuclear-powered Roosevelt, whose crew of 4,900 is far larger and whose presence in the Pacific is a bigger symbol of American power. But Wemett says his ship benefited from information and guidance derived from the unfolding and unforeseen disaster aboard the aircraft carrier.
For example, on April 20, the Kidd received new medical guidance on additional symptoms to be watching for as indicators of possible coronavirus.
“That drove us to report our first case” that same day, Wemett said. The ill sailor was medically evacuated to a medical facility in San Antonio two days later for testing, and the following day a positive result was reported. By this time the ship was putting its at-sea drills to use by placing some crew members in isolation.
Even before the first test result was known, the Navy assembled a medical team in the United States and dispatched it to the Kidd. The team leader, Cmdr. Michael Kaplan, the director of medical services at Naval Hospital Jacksonville in Florida, said he was not standing by in anticipation of such a mission.
Army Ranger School Is a Laboratory of Human Endurance
The military’s toughest training challenges have a lot in common with outdoor sufferfests like the Barkley Marathons and the Leadville Trail 100: you have to be fit and motivated to make the starting line, but your mind and spirit are what carry you to the end. A Ranger graduate breaks down an ordeal that shapes some of the nation’s finest soldiers.
Want a Private Submarine?
There are a number available; I bet you’ll love the one that goes for only $2 billion. Make all your navy friends jealous.
Chinese Broadcasts into the US
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) plans to introduce a measure that would plug a loophole exploited by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to beam propaganda into the United States from a radio station in Mexico.
Cruz proposed the bill in response to the granting of a broadcast license to a radio station in Mexico that broadcasts content from the CCP-owned Phoenix Satellite Television. He had unsuccessfully urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to block the license in 2018.
The proposed legislation would amend the Brinkley Act to prohibit the FCC from granting broadcast licenses to companies purchasing radio stations with the intent to change the language of the programming, “unless the FCC can certify that the programming of the station will never be influenced by a foreign government or governing party.”
“China should not be able to set up shop in Mexico and blanket America with propaganda,” Cruz said in a statement. “Every year, the CCP spends billions of dollars purchasing news outlets and waging information warfare to extend the reach of its propaganda and whitewash the unflattering and politically inconvenient truths about its totalitarian regime.
What COVID-19 Testing Will Tricare Cover?
You may know that eligible Tricare beneficiaries can get the COVID-19 test, which determines if they have the virus which causes the illness. You may have also heard about a COVID-19 antibody test which can determine if you have had the disease, or if your immune system has developed antibodies to the virus as a result of being exposed to it.
You may also know that unlike many other countries, there is an extreme shortage of both tests in the US. What do you do if you think you are infected? And which tests does Tricare cover? Here are the rules.
Tricare, like other insurance providers and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), only authorizes tests when they are “medically necessary” as recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Tricare covers both a test that determines if you are currently sick with COVID-19 and a test that screens for COVID-19 antibodies. Tests are currently only available for those who suspect they have the disease or may have had it already.
However, if you think you are infected you can’t just show up at the emergency room or urgent care clinic and request testing. Instead, testing must be authorized by your medical provider, and the authorization will likely be based on a variety of factors, including your exposure, travel history and symptoms. To receive authorization you must have an in-person or virtual visit with your medical provider who will, if necessary, arrange testing in a military treatment facility or with a private doctor, depending on your situation and which Tricare plan you have. There is no out-of-pocket cost for the test or appointment where it is authorized.
Burial at Sea – WWII Avenger Aircraft
This is a very touching video, actually a piece of film that has been made into a video, this is one that is NOT Photo-shopped, it’s real.
Notice in the opening shot of the plane landing on the carrier deck the gunner’s position is all shot to hell while the pilot’s cockpit ahead of it is undamaged. Later on notice the corpsman taking a fingerprint of the deceased gunner, before the film continues, then shows the chaplain saying final prayers, followed by taps, then the sailors push the aircraft and this patriotic airman over the side and watch it sink into the sea.
Foreign Countries (China) and our Defense Industry
Without naming China, the Pentagon’s acquisitions chief warned of foreign adversaries using shell companies to buy into struggling small defense firms during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We see a lot of shell companies coming in where the beneficial owner ends up being one of our adversaries,” Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, said in a Pentagon teleconference. “I’m particularly concerned about that.”
Some of the targeted firms manufacture critical components for the Air Force and Navy, but face financial stress during the COVID-19 crisis that makes them susceptible to unscrupulous foreign investors seeking access to company secrets.
The major problems with so-called “adversary capital” are in “some of the smaller manufacturers who, maybe from a dollar volume don’t do huge numbers, but they are providing critical components across aircraft and naval sort of applications,” Lord said.
“That’s where my biggest concern is: sort of the weakest link” in the defense industrial base.
Read More HERE
The world was a dangerous place before — and will be after — the coronavirus pandemic.
While Americans debate the proper ongoing response to the virus and argue over the infection’s origins, nature and trajectory, they may have tuned out other, often just as scary, news.
Many Americans are irate at China for its dishonest and lethal suppression of knowledge about the viral outbreak. But they may forget that China has other huge problems, too.
Its overseas brand is tarnished. Importers can never again be sure of the safety or reliability of Chinese exports. They will know only that their producer is a serial falsifier that is capable of anything to ensure power and profits.
Even China’s vaunted propaganda machine that slanders its critics as racists and xenophobes no longer works. The sheer number of countries that have suffered huge human and financial losses from Chinese lying won’t believe another word from Beijing.
How will China collect its Silk Road debts from now-bankrupt Asian and African countries? Most of them are accusing China of being racist and responsible for the global epidemic that wrecked the very economies from which China planned to harvest profits.
Dealing with Boredom
The Belgica, a Norwegian-built ship commissioned by the Belgian government, was forced to overwinter in Antarctica in 1898, the first ship to ever do so: bound by ice, with nowhere to go and very little to do. The ship’s doctor, an American named Frederick Cook, captured just how oppressive it felt to be cooped up in that way. “We have told all the tales, real and imaginative, to which we are equal,” he wrote in his memoir in 1900. “Time weighs heavily upon us.” One of the sailors was so bored he jumped ship, telling the others he was walking back to Belgium.
Many of us find ourselves similarly isolated and constrained. Not surrounded by ice but, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, confined to our own four walls and bored out of our skulls – unable to be the masters of our own lives, to freely make our own choices. Such limits on our autonomy lead to boredom. “I can’t keep watching Stranger Things over and over,” one discontented poster wrote this past week on a subreddit devoted to boredom.
Online publications have compiled videos in the past few weeks of stir-crazy people trying to shake up their routines any way they can, from playing tic-tac-toe with their cats to performing show tunes like “One Day More” with fresh quarantine-inspired (and boredom-themed) lyrics.
Those are anecdotal manifestations of a real problem. A survey that sampled almost 3,500 Italians last month asked respondents to list the most negative things they felt as a consequence of isolation. No. 1 was a lack of freedom. No. 2 was boredom. A similar survey of 1,057 Canadians asked what emotions they felt most intensely during the 2003 SARS outbreak (which acutely affected Toronto). It was boredom that had affected them the most, considerably more than worry or fear; 62% reported suffering from it.
Boredom makes us feel trapped, unable to find something to satisfy our desire to be engaged. Tolstoy saw this as the defining feature of boredom – “a desire for desires.”
Read More HERE
Here are some questions on the Civil War; we’ll post the answers in the next newsletter.
Last issue’s questions:
1, Were there any civilians wounded at Gettysburg?
There were 4 civilians wounded or injured. Two other civilians were wounded who joined the Union forces. In addition, there were 2 black men who were wounded. One was with the union Army and one was with the confederate Army.
2. What is a cascabel?
It is the round knob at the breach end of a cannon where ropes were attached to arrest the recoil when cannon is fired.
3. Who said the famous quote “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” and where?
Admiral Farragut in the battle of Mobile Bay.
Here are the new questions:
1. What was the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River to fall and when?
2. What is significant about the Blair House with respect to the Civil War and where is it?
For You, by Keith Urban
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-General George Patton
Who dares, wins. Who sweats, wins. Who plans, wins.
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Programming: You’ll want to tune into the show (live or by podcast).
9-15 May: General Martin Dempsey will discuss his new book on leadership, No Time for Spectators. Then Vietnam Vet and evangelist Dave Roever will discuss helping veterans. And Ron Bogle, the national chair of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) will discuss the role of the ESGR.
15-21 May: A speaker from the Action Institute will discuss socialism. Then the team from Berry Law will discuss how their firm helps veterans and will discuss a current case where a veteran was wrongfully forced out of the service. And we’ll discuss the great patriotism promoting program, Armed Forces Thanksgiving.
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