A Bill to Disarm Americans—Starting with Vets
Democrat House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and her comrades are trying to sneak a gun confiscation scheme onto a giant piece of legislation. Section §542 of H.R. 6395, would authorize an unannounced middle-of-the-night raid of the home of any individual subject to the Uniform Code of Military Conduct (§542(a)) based on a middle of the night ex parte “court” proceeding (§542(i)) initiated by an aggrieved friend or relation, raising unsubstantiated allegations that the serviceman or servicewoman was “abusive.”
Per Pelosi, the gun owner is not entitled to receive notice or give his or her side of the story. The proposed emergency Military Court Gun Confiscation Orders (GCOs) are explicitly exempted from the “Protection of Due Process” provided for in 542(g)(1).
As written, any local, state, or federal law enforcement office could come crashing down the door of unaware firearm owners, and seize all guns, and, if the target resists, kill the servicemember.
My comment: We can’t let this happen; discuss this with all candidates for Congress.
Words of Advice
This is a message by a young Yugoslavian woman who clearly knows more of our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights, that probably 95% of our country. She’s been down our road and knows what she is talking about. It’s 15 minutes long and worth every second.
Why Do We Stand – 5 Reasons
Why do Americans stand for the US flag and the national anthem? In the midst of the NFL controversy over players who take a knee instead of standing for the national anthem, let us remember the many reasons why many of us stand for the flag and how it all began.
Americans have stood for the US flag since June 14, 1777, the day the Continental Congress declared “that the flag of the (thirteen) United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”
Thirty-seven years later in Aug. 1814, the White House and U.S. Capitol lay in ashes after the British military burned the public buildings in Washington D.C. In the immediate aftermath, many Americans understandably feared that the Union Jack, the British flag, would soon fly over all of America again.
Hence, three weeks after the sacking of Washington, Francis Scott Key, a Maryland attorney who politically oppose the current president, was so moved at seeing the U.S. flag flying victoriously at the end of the battle for Baltimore’s Fort McHenry, that he wrote lyrics for The Star-Spangled Banner, the song we now call the national anthem.
VJ Day is 15 August 1945
That is the day Japan surrendered and WWII ended (VJ=Victory over Japan). Here’s an interesting piece of history about the actual surrender that took place in Tokyo Bay on the battleship USS Missouri.
Why did the US choose a US Navy Iowa-class battleship as the location for Japan’s surrender in World War 2 even though they were in Tokyo Bay and could have used a building on land? Pure symbolism. Nothing says “you’re utterly defeated” than having to board the enemy’s massive battleship in the waters of your own capital city. A naval vessel is considered sovereign territory for the purposes of accepting a surrender. You just don’t get that if you borrow a ceremonial space from the host country. In addition, the Navy originally wanted the USS South Dakota to be the surrender site. It was President Truman who changed it to USS Missouri, Missouri being Truman’s home state. The Japanese delegation had to travel across water to the Missouri, which sat at the center of a huge US fleet. It’s a bit like those movie scenes where someone enters a big-wig’s office, and the big-wig sits silhouetted at the end of a long room, behind a massive desk. The appellant has to walk all the way to that desk along a featureless space, feeling small, exposed, vulnerable and comparatively worthless before the mogul enthroned in dramatic lighting before him. By the time he gets there the great speech he had prepared is reduced to a muttered sentence or two. In addition, the USS Missouri flew the flag of Commodore Perry’s 19th century gun-boat diplomacy mission that opened the closeted Edo-era Japan to the world and forced upon them the Meiji restoration which ended the rule of the samurai class. The symbolism here is pretty clear – “this is how we want you to be, and remember what happens to countries that defy us.” It was particularly humiliating for a proud country like Japan, and that was entirely the point. The symbolism of the ceremony was even greater than that. The ship was anchored at the precise latitude/longitude recorded in Perry’s log during his 1845 visit, symbolizing the purpose of both visits to open Japan to the West. Perry’s original flag was also present, having been flown all the way from the Naval Academy for the ceremony. When the Japanese delegation came aboard, they were forced to use an accommodation way (stairs) situated just forward of turret #1. The freeboard (distance between the ship’s deck and the water line) there makes the climb about twice as long as if it had been set up farther aft, where the freeboard of the ship is less.
NOTE: This was even more of an issue for the Japanese surrender party as the senior member, Foreign Affairs Minister Shigemitsu, was crippled by an assassination attempt in 1932, losing his right leg in the process. The #1 and #2 turrets had been traversed about 20 degrees to starboard. The ostensible reason for this was to get the turret overhangs out of the way to create more room for the ceremony on the starboard veranda deck, but in fact this would have only required traversing turret #2 had it been the real reason. In reality, the turret position also put the gun barrels directly over the heads of the Japanese. They were literally standing “under the gun.” The honor guard of US sailors (side boys) were all hand-picked to be over six feet tall, a further intimidation of the short-statured Japanese. The surrender documents themselves, one copy for the Allies and one for the Japanese contained identical English-language texts, but the Allied copy was bound in good quality leather, while the Japanese copy was bound with light canvas whose stitching looked like it had been done by a drunken tailor using kite string. After the signing ceremony, the Japanese delegation was not invited for tea and cookies; they were shuffled off the ship as an Allied air armada of over 400 aircraft flew overhead as a final reminder that American forces still had the ability to continue fighting should the Japanese have second thoughts on surrender.
And now you know the rest of the story …
Ethics: “What you do for others who can do absolutely nothing for you.”
New Air Force Chief
The Air Force must accelerate change to take on future challenges, the service’s new chief of staff said during a historic ceremony in which he became the first African American to lead a military branch. Gen. Charles “CQ” Brown became the 22nd Air Force chief of staff at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, replacing Gen. David Goldfein, who’s retiring after 37 years. Members of Congress and Pentagon leaders, including Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett, were in attendance. Brown’s wife, Sharene, and their two sons looked on.
The event was done on a much smaller scale than normal due to the coronavirus pandemic. Guests and some Air Force musicians wore masks, and chairs for the smaller-than-normal crowd were spaced apart.
Brown not only credited his family’s support for contributing to his success, but other Black military leaders such as the Tuskegee Airmen, who broke barriers and paved the way for officers like him.
“This is a very historic day for our nation, and I do not take this moment lightly,” he said.
Brown took the helm after most recently leading Pacific Air Forces, where he oversaw more than 46,000 airmen operating out of Japan, Korea, Hawaii, Alaska and Guam. He also led the air campaign against the Islamic State as head of Air Forces Central Command. The general is an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot with nearly 3,000 flight hours, of which 130 were in combat.
China’s Advanced Weapons
China is strong and getting stronger in many ways. They are a true enemy of our nation. We need to do all we can to get their businesses and other interests out of our nation.
Never To Be Seen Again
Super Bowl XXXIX 2005…
This video was shot 15 + years ago in Jacksonville, Florida.
This is the last time you’ll ever see something like this at an NFL game.
This Year’s Army-Navy Game
If all else fails, every effort must be made to save the Army-Navy Game. College football needs it and America needs it.
Buffalo soldiers were African American soldiers who mainly served on the Western frontier following the American Civil War. In 1866, six all-black cavalry and infantry regiments were created after Congress passed the Army Organization Act. Their main tasks were to help control the Native Americans of the Plains, capture cattle rustlers and thieves and protect settlers, stagecoaches, wagon trains and railroad crews along the Western front.
No one knows for certain why, but the soldiers of the all-black 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments were dubbed “buffalo soldiers” by the Native Americans they encountered.
One theory claims the nickname arose because the soldiers’ dark, curly hair resembled the fur of a buffalo. Another assumption is the soldiers fought so valiantly and fiercely that the Indians revered them as they did the mighty buffalo.
Whatever the reason, the name stuck, and African American regiments formed in 1866, including the 24th and 25th Infantry (which were consolidated from four regiments) became known as buffalo soldiers.
Army Robot Vehicles
Army modernization officials are about to finish the service’s first experiment to see whether the Robotic Combat Vehicle effort can make units more deadly on the future battlefield.
For the past five weeks, a platoon of soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division has been conducting cavalry-style combat missions using two-person crews in specially modified Bradley fighting vehicles to control robotic surrogate vehicles fashioned from M113 armored personnel vehicles in the Robotic Combat Vehicle Soldier Operational Experiment. The platoon has operated in the rugged terrain of Fort Carson, Colorado, testing different technologies to control the robotic vehicles, sending them out hundreds of meters ahead to scout for enemy positions.
“This experiment was 100% successful … because we learned; the whole purpose was to learn where the technology is now and how we think we want to fight with it in the future,” Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, director of the Army’s Next Generation Combat Vehicle-Cross Functional Team, told defense reporters during a virtual roundtable discussion.
Our Youth Don’t Know about the US Government—it’s not being taught
Given the frayed state of our civil society and these dispiriting numbers, one might expect the nation’s civics educators to be up in arms. But a new survey published this week by the RAND Corporation suggests otherwise. The survey, a follow-up to a 2010 survey published by the American Enterprise Institute, asked 223 high school civics teachers in fall 2019 which aspects of the subject they deem essential to know and how confident they are that students are learning these things.
Civics teachers appear less convinced that most of what they teach actually matters. Particularly disconcerting, just 32% think it’s essential for their graduates to “know facts (e.g., the location of the 50 states) and dates (e.g., Pearl Harbor).” Knowledge about “periods such as the American Founding, the Civil War and the Cold War” fared little better, with 43% of teachers viewing such knowledge as essential—down sharply from 63% in 2010. At a time when historical revisionism is rampant, with discussion of key figures and developments frequently unmoored from the historical record, it’s bizarre to see those charged with preparing citizens doubting that knowledge is an important part of that preparation.
Indeed, not only are civics teachers mostly blasé about historical knowledge, but they’re also less concerned than one would expect with whether students understand how the American system works. Just 53% think it’s essential that students understand concepts like federalism, separation of powers and checks and balances (down from 64% in 2010), and just 43% believe it’s important that students understand economic principles such as “supply and demand and the role of market incentives.” Sixty-five percent say it’s essential that students are able to identify the protections guaranteed by the Bill of Rights (down markedly from 83% in 2010), while two-thirds feel that way about students embracing the responsibilities of citizenship, such as voting and jury duty. That’s right: Fully one-third of civics teachers are okay if their students graduate without knowing what’s in the Bill of Rights.
If You Own a Gun in Virginia
Culpeper County, Virginia Sheriff Scott Jenkins has vowed to name thousands of of Virginia residents “reserve deputies” in order to ensure that a potential gun, magazine, and suppressor ban from Gov. Ralph Northam won’t turn them into criminals for keeping their lawfully possessed arms. Now the sheriff is taking the first steps towards implementing that plan by asking for current and retired law enforcement officers to serve as “voluntary background investigators” to help process what Jenkins believes will be thousands of applications from gun owners.
VMI isn’t; now the question is, will West Point cave into the barbarians?
US Polar Strategy
On June 9, 2020, the Trump administration unveiled a new national security and defense strategy for the polar regions. Titled “Memorandum on Safeguarding US National Interests in the Arctic and Antarctic Regions,” the presidential memorandum is the latest sign of the administration’s growing interest in polar affairs.
The recognition that the US needs to define and implement a comprehensive polar strategy is long overdue. The Arctic and Antarctic regions, however, are subject to very different geopolitical constraints and represent very different operating environments. Much of the administration’s polar strategy appears to be shaped by Arctic concerns and will likely prove less than ideal in Antarctica.
This is part one of a two-part series on US strategic policy in the polar regions. In Part I, we will look at US threats and strategy in the Arctic region. In Part 2, we will do the same for the Antarctic region.
USS Indianapolis Crew Honored
Congress has awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, its highest honor, to surviving crew members of the USS Indianapolis, the ship that delivered key components of the first nuclear bomb and was later sunk by Japan during World War II.
The ship, with 1,195 personnel aboard, delivered enriched uranium and other parts of the atomic bomb ‘‘Little Boy” that was later dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in August 1945.
Four days after delivering its top-secret cargo, the ship was sunk by Japanese torpedoes on July 30, 1945. Of nearly 900 men who went into the Philippine Sea, just 316 survived before being rescued nearly five days later. The death toll of 879 was the largest single disaster at sea in U.S. Navy history.
Survivors were stranded in the open ocean with few lifeboats and almost no food or water, enduring severe burns, dehydration and shark attacks.
“In an instant, her crew went from fighting the battles without to fighting the battles within,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, one of a host of congressional and Navy leaders who spoke at Thursday’s virtual ceremony honoring the eight surviving crew members on the 75th anniversary of the sinking.
The Gold Medal was awarded to the ship’s entire crew, living and dead, and will be displayed at the Indiana War Memorial Museum in Indianapolis.
Federal Agents and Military-type Uniforms
Agents assigned to protect federal buildings in Portland, Ore., during ongoing protests will stop wearing camouflage uniforms in response to criticism that the officers look too much like troops, a top official for the Department of Homeland Security told senators.
“We are moving rapidly to replace those uniforms for those personnel,” Acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Some Words of Wisdom by Ret navy Capt Joe John:
The governments first job is to protect the people; not run their lives.
Civil War History
Here are some questions on the Civil War; we’ll post the answers in the next newsletter.
Last issue’s questions:
1. Besides the fall and burning of Columbia, SC, on 17 February 1865, what other major event happened to the state on that day? Ans: Charleston fell (abandoned) on the same day
2. There were many special and general orders out of General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia headquarters. What was special about General Order No, 9?
Ans: It was General Lee’s Farewell Message to the soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia. It was General Order No. 9 because it was the ninth general order issued from the headquarters of the Army of Northern Virginia in 1865.
About a dozen orders were had written and sent to corps headquarters and other major headquarters. Other copies were made at those headquarters and went down to the next level. As a result, there were some inaccuracies the further down the chain the process was followed.
Here are the new questions:
1.What was significant about the Battle of Milliken’s Bend, LA, on June 7, 1863?
2.What was the duration of the “March to the Sea.?”
“Didn’t I” by Montgomery Gentry
The 2002 movie We Were Soldiers featured this moving country song on its soundtrack. The song describes a Vietnam era veteran who returns home from war only to face judgment and criticism instead of appreciation for his service.
Rhetorically, the veteran asks whether he burned and bled enough and endured enough physical and emotional pain to warrant a better homecoming. About 9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the Vietnam era (1964 to 1975). Many faced protests, indifference, and a dearth of resource assistance with reintegrating into American society after the war.
Frontlines of Freedom Gear
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Two quotes to consider.
I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any treat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within. -Douglas MacArthur
In each succeeding war there is a tendency to proclaim as something new the principles under which it is conducted. Not only those who have never studied or experienced the realities of war, but also professional soldiers frequently fall into the error. But the principles of warfare as I learned them at West Point remain unchanged. – John J. Pershing
Programming: You’ll want to tune into the show (live or by podcast).
15-21 Aug: Marine veteran Conrad Washington is the acting Director of the VA Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiative. We’ll discuss that initiative. Then Middle East expert Lila Gilbert will join us to help us understand what is going on in that very confusing part of the world. And veteran Devon Jackson will discuss the Convention of States.
22-28 Aug: Katie Bertrie will discuss Good Patriot—they’re pro gun. And Tara Consolinio from the Detroit VA will discuss dealing with veteran suicides. And Cedar Coryell, the son of co-host Skip Coryell, will discuss how he’s getting ready to go to West Point.
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Lessons learned during a long life:
I’ve learned that I like my teacher because she cries when we sing “Silent Night”. Age 5
I’ve learned that our dog doesn’t want to eat my broccoli either. Age 7
I’ve learned that when I wave to people in the country, they stop what they are doing and wave back. Age 9
I’ve learned that just when I get my room that way I like it, Mom makes me clean it up again. Age 12
I’ve learned that if you want to cheer yourself up, you should try cheering someone else up. Age 14
I’ve learned that although it’s hard to admit it, I’m secretly glad my parents are strict with me. Age 15
I’ve learned that silent company is often more healing that words of advice. Age 24
I’ve learned that brushing my child’s hair is one of life’s great pleasures. Age 26
I’ve learned that wherever I go, the world’s worst drivers have followed me there. Age 29
I’ve learned that if someone says something unkind about me, I must live so that no one will believe it. Age 30
I’ve learned that there are people who love you dearly but just don’t know how to show it. Age 42
I’ve learned that you can make someone’s day be simply sending them a little note. Age 44
I’ve learned that the greater a person’s sense of guilt, the greater his or her need to cast blame on others. Age 46
I’ve learned that children and grandparents are natural allies. Age 47
I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on and it will be better tomorrow. Age 48
I’ve learned that singing “Amazing Grace” can lift my spirits for hours. Age 49
I’ve learned that motel mattresses are better on the side away from the phone. Age 50
I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a man by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. Age 51
I’ve learned that keeping a vegetable garden is worth a medicine cabinet full of pills. Age 52
I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you miss them terribly after they die. Age 53
I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life. Age 58
I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. Age 62
I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back. Age 64
I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on your family, the needs of others, your work, meeting new people … and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you. Age 65
I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with kindness, I usually make the right decision. Age 66
I’ve learned that everyone can use a prayer. Age 72
I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. Age 74
I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch, holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. Age 76
I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. Age 78
If Things Get Better With Age Then I’m Approaching Excellent.
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