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RAPID RESPONSE (Archives)...Daily Commentary on News of the Day
This is a new section.  It will offer fresh, quick reactions by myself to news and events of the day, day by day, in this rapid-fire world of ours.  Of course, as in military campaigns, a rapid response in one direction may occasionally have to be followed by a "strategic withdrawal" in another direction.  Charge that to "the fog of war", and to the necessary flexibility any mental or military campaign must maintain to be effective.  But the mission will always be the same: common sense, based upon facts and "real politick", supported by a visceral sense of Justice and a commitment to be pro-active.  That's all I promise.
GS

Click here to return to the current Rapid Response list


SUNDAY, June 30, 2019

ONCE AGAIN WE NEED SERGEANT FRIDAY: "JUST THE FACTS, MA'AM, JUST THE FACTS".

GS

Fact Checking Kamala Harris Claim That Trump Economy Is “Not Working For Working People”

FRIDAY and SATURDAY, June 28 and 29, 2019

I'LL CALL THESE NEXT OFFERINGS "FAST AND FURIOUS".
Each will begin with a quoted title from a recent article, mainly drawn from my usual media sources:
The Wall Street Journal, The Day, ctmirror.com, The New York Times.
There will follow my reaction, honed from decades of Paying Attention. Here goes.
Enough for now.

GS

MONDAY through THURSDAY, June 24 through 27, 2019

BEAUTIFUL.
If only God's prime Creation could be like that.

GS

Those magical moments in our lives


SUNDAY, June 23, 2019

RR#1

THE CALUMNY NEVER ENDS.
We should be hearing a great deal more from and about Condoleezza Rice.

GS

Condi Rice Destroys NBC Reporter When Asked About Racism Under Trump: 'Sure Doesn't Feel Worse'

RR#2

WITH 21 DELUDED DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES, AND A THREE-PEETER TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHO HE IS, THIS WILL CRASH ALL SOCIAL MEDIA AND MAINSTREAM MEDIA ALIKE.

GS

The coming civil war in the Democratic Party won't be pretty


FRIDAY and SATURDAY, June 21 and 22, 2019

HERE'S ANOTHER EDITION OF POT POURRI.
The world is a fascinating place, if you have the intellectual interest, the stomach and a healthy desire for self-preservation.

The most important events - and a non-event - are occurring in the Middle East, as is so often true.
The near-hit by President Trump of Iran in retaliation for its recent attacks is addressed in my recent Rapid Response commentary of June 20, and by a "straw man" editorial later that day in The Day.

The Far East, including China, North Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan continue to warrant constant attention. See "America's Stake in Taiwan", by Seth Cropsey (in WSJ Wednesday, June 19, 2019, Opinion, pA21). Hong Kong is approaching a slow boil, quite possibly a miscalculation by the freedom - loving citizens of that former city-state. Remember Tiananmen Square. The supreme leaders of China and North Korea are meeting shortly. It's not a vacation. In addition, China continues to steal everything from us. The latest revelation has to do with our personal medical records!  See "What Does Beijing Want With Your Medical Records?", by Porter and Finch (in WSJ June 21, 2019, Opinion, pA15. To make America - you and me - their next Surveillance State, THAT'S WHAT!.

Meanwhile, back at the USSC ranch, the Court is going back to its legitimate Judicial roots and away from its liberal / political recent decades. See: 1) "The Court's Unpolitical Conservatives" (WSJ Editorial, June 18, 2019; 2) "A Supreme Debate On Speech" (WSJ Editorial, June 19, 2019).  But there is still work to do before we return to the conservative, "Originalist" interpretation of the Constitution in addressing Laws, Administrative actions and "cases and controversies". See "Who Makes The Law?" (WSJ Editorial, June 22, 2019.

When it comes to Public Education, Democrats - as a wholly - owned subsidiary of the Teachers Unions - can always be depended on to DO THE WRONG THING...with stupid and blind support from predominantly Black parents and their students. See "This Wolf Vetoes As A Wolf" (WSJ Editorial, June 20, 2019).

And here's another perennial favorite: the feckless and irresponsible Democratic State of Connecticut. See "A Connecticut Tax Story" (WSJ Editorial, June 19, 2019). Its State motto is rapidly becoming:
"ADIOS, AMIGOS".

GS

THURSDAY, June 20, 2019, 4:52 PM

DON'T TAKE THE BAIT, MR. PRESIDENT.
You have not yet won a second term, but you are winning - on the strength of your policies.
And that has your adversaries, your sworn enemies, and the enemies of America really worried.
They all know that they are operating from positions of weakness; and they are becoming desperate.

First on the list is Iran. The Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz must of course be kept open by any means. But beyond that, responses to obvious provocations should be proportionate and should not involve loss of life. The responses should be progressively economic...and they are working, despite the efforts of our European "allies" to sabotage those efforts out of narrow self-interest. Efforts by Russia and by China to help Iran will be Pro Forma, since they are also hurting. More on that to follow.

Secondly, the bill passed by the Senate to block the sale of weaponry to Saudi Arabia, in response to the alleged involvement of the Saudi Prince in the death and dismembering of columnist Jamal Khashoggi, is a nice touch that should go nowhere. If America insisted on all nations of the world following America's ethics and scruples, America would be part of a very small group indeed. Nations as important as the U.S. have interests and relationships, not permanent friends. Saudi Arabia is one of those interests and relationships despite its base tendencies. 

Third, the policies and approaches of President Trump to adversaries like China, North Korea, Russia and Iran - to engage them in whatever positive or negative position they take, rather than to isolate and ignore them - is bearing fruit. China meets with Russia. Each of them meet with North Korea. These are not vacation trips. These leaders are worried by the actions and inaction of this President. That's good strategy and good negotiations.

Fourth, our approach to our historic allies should always involve win-win goals and "Realpolitic" - not choruses of Kumbaya.

In brief, America has always been Great among the family of nations since shortly after its founding.
Let's Keep America Great!

GS

MONDAY through WEDNESDAY, June 17 through 19, 2019

RR#1

HERE'S A BRIEF GEOGRAPHY QUIZ.

Where is TRUMP HEIGHTS?

No, not in Florida, not in Washington, not in New York.
See: "Israel To Expand In Golan Heights", by Dov Lieber (in WSJ June 17, 2019, pA9.)
Good move, geographically and politically.

GS

RR#2

HOWEVER HALTINGLY, THE FOLLOWING OBSERVATIONS ARE ABOUT "ECONOMICS".

The memorable words of James Carville are always true: "IT'S THE ECONOMY, STUPID".
So are comments like "All politics is local", and even "Greed is good". It's human nature.
But in the last few decades, the bases of our national economics have marched onto very thin ice.
Consider the following:
  1. Beginning in the early 1990's, the securitization of debt by banks and the "subprime mortgage market" led to the crisis of 2008 and to the recession of the following decade.
  2. The Wall Street types like then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Bank Chairman Ben Bernacki addressed the problem by saddling the public with over 700 billion dollars of Federal guarantees instead of taking the irresponsible major banks and bankers to task.
  3. During the next decade, the national debt doubled from 10 trillion dollars to the over 20 trillion dollars.
  4. "Is anybody there? does anybody care? See the detailed projection by Brian Riedl, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and published by Prager University on June 14, 2019. It is aptly entitled "NATIONAL DEBT; WHO CARES?"
  5. Answer: No One - and especially the irresponsible Socialists and wanna-be Leftists who demand everything free for all, and Want It Now.
If America does not address our national economics and our national debt very soon, this nation will rot from within, with or without help from our "allies" and our adversaries.
There is nothing "new" under the sun. History tells the story of our future. Even the great Liberal President FDR recognized the problem - besides Greed.

"Continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit." (1935).

GS

SUNDAY, June 16, 2019

"MORALITY". REMEMBER THAT TERM?
When was the last time that you heard or read that concept mentioned in journalism, in the media or in the tripe flowing out of Hollywood and Washington like bilge water from a foundering vessel?
And yet, there are two areas where we should still expect Morality to be the true compass directing their actions.

One is Religion, specifically the Catholic Church for Catholics. We now know the frayed status of that expectation. For an update on that matter, see two articles recently published in the Washington Post relating to the further reports of Archbishop Carlo Mario Vigano'.

The other is the Medical Profession and allied health care professions. Whereas we can all augment or even supplant the failings of our religion with our own spirituality and morality, we cannot heal ourselves from the illnesses that our bodies and minds are subject to. But the effectiveness of those professions and of their practitioners is under great and increasing challenge.

See two articles that clearly describe the dangers to all of us.
"The Business of Health Care Depends On Exploiting Doctors And Nurses", by Danielle Ofri (in NYTimes June 8, 2019, Opinion).
"It's Not Moral Injury: It's Burnout (Or Something Else)", by Michael J. Asken, PhD (in Medical Economics June, 2019).

'CAVEAT EMPTOR'. The life you save may be your own.

GS

SATURDAY, June 15, 2019

RR#1

"HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM".

GS



RR#2

ON FATHERS DAY, WHEN FATHERHOOD IS EXTOLLED, SHOULD "GOD BLESS AMERICA?"

GS

Babies are Being Extracted From Their Mother’s Wombs Alive to Have Their Livers Harvested

RR#3

ANOTHER EDITION OF "AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 OPINIONS".

All of the opinions expressed in this Rapid Response section are based upon my conviction that America must engage with all areas of the world and with all nations...allies and adversaries alike. And it must engage at all times from a position of strength, using both "carrot and stick" as appropriate to the situation and to the opportunities presented. Any isolation of any nation, our own or of any other nation, courts controversy, adversity and eventual defeat.

President Trump understands and pursues the above approach, notably with President Putin's Russia, with China, with North Korea, with Iran and with Turkey. Hong Kong and Taiwan are special cases as related to China. Recent articles by Newt Gingrich and in the WSJ inform our understanding of the Hong Kong situation.

So-Called "Progressives", aka Leftists, will say and do anything...including using intimidation and force...to promote their Socialist goals. Recent WSJ articles on the imposition of rent controls in New York State, on distortion of the meaning of "human rights", and particularly on "Who 'Deserves' To Go To Harvard?" (by Heather MacDonald, WSJ June 14, 2019, Opinion, pA17), reflect their circus mirror view of the world. Their contagion is spreading: "Washington Puts Aside Fears And Embraces Debt" (in WSJ June 14, 2019, pA1). Beware: these are despots.

Will President Trump continue to negotiate with China, North Korea, Mexico and Iran, using economic incentives that may temporarily injure some areas of our own economy in order to achieve long-overdue goals? Or will he defer to those who place his winning in 2020 as the prime effort? See: "What Trump Can Learn From James Carville", by Jason Riley (in WSJ June 12, 2019, Opinion, pA19). I hope that he continues his current approach. Wins in some or all of those areas will win him a land-slide victory and a second term.

Can America prevent foreign meddling in our elections? Thanks to the open-source Internet, the answer is NO. Thus, we should be able at least to distinguish facts from disinformation from foreign sources, without the impediment of reflex criminalization - which would only blind us.

Pope Francis continues to meddle in secular and scientific affairs. Does he not recall how the Church for centuries was the bastion of right-wing conservatism in Latin America, working to prevent fair and humane actions like land reform? Does he remember the adamant position of the Church with regard to Liberation Theology? And does he not recall the serious scientific errors promulgated by the Church...including that "the sun revolves about the earth"? Thus, his pronouncements about the "duties" of sovereign nations with regard to "immigration", and his rejection of "gender changes" in all circumstances are unsupported and unappreciated by his Laity, The Body of the Church. This Pope could accomplish a great deal to revitalize our Church. We are waiting.

GS

RR#4

ANOTHER EPISODE WITH SERGEANT JOE FRIDAY.
"Just the facts, Ma'am. Just the facts."

GS

Anyone who is not a cynic...has not been paying attention. (PDF)

RR#5

HAPPY PARENTS DAY.
No absentee parents here.

GS

Parenting in The Wilderness (PDF)


FRIDAY, June 14, 2019

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE JOE BIDEN: "SITUATION ETHICS", OR NO ETHICS AT ALL?
Biden is proving himself to be a very artful chameleon...but not a serious candidate. Stay tuned.

GS

Uncle Joe Now Says "We Need To Get Tough With China" - After His Family Pockets $1.5 Billion From Chi-Coms


MONDAY through THURSDAY, June 10 through 13, 2019

"JUST THE FACTS, MA'AM. JUST THE FACTS."

GS

Big President Trump, Tiny Speaker Pelosi

SUNDAY, June 9, 2019

RR#1

THIS WEEK, THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF D-DAY, AND A REMINDER OF THE DISASTROUS 20TH CENTURY, SHOULD BE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR REFLECTION.
Have we learned anything that will enable us to avoid future human disasters?

Here I offer a few personal thoughts.
1) Human nature, left to its own devices, is capable of the greatest good and of the greatest evil.
2) "Survival of the Fittest" may have gotten us to the here and now. But unchecked, it will be our destruction.
3) Spirituality, Religion and belief in a Supreme Being are critical to temporizing the more base instincts of man.
4) All members of the human race are interdependent: rich or poor, free or slave, learned or ignorant. Thus, being "our brothers' keepers" is really an act of self-defense.
5) But this fact flies in the face of a basic impulse of man: The Tribe, Us vs Them. Translation: Nationalism.
6) Efforts to sublimate that impulse, including the League of Nations, the United Nations, and the European Union have not gone well. Nationalism is here to stay.
7) That fact does not doom the realistic efforts of nations, as well as individuals, to work together for a win-win result - but never a win-lose effort. Nations do not have friends; they have Interests.
8) The extended comments of President Trump at the D-Day Commemorations, emphasizing the reality of Nationalism, comments well-received by his supporters and foes alike, were echoed  by the recent WSJ Editorial entitled "Nationalism and D-Day.
9) So were does that put us in dealing with "the other"? Be realistic, with ally and with opponent. Engage both, as I believe must be done with opponents like Russia and China. Seek "win-win" outcomes...but be prepared with both carrot and stick. I believe that this is our President's approach. And I believe that it is working. It would work much better if Trump were not undercut constantly by political and economic foes. His economic foes, aka the "military - industrial complex", know what they are trying to do. The political foes are craven fools.
10) Bottom line: "Wait 'til next year", the 2020 elections, the most important in a generation or more.

GS

RR#2

SAD TO SAY, BUT POPE FRANCIS IS BECOMING A DISASTER, BY OMISSION AND BY COMMISSION, FOR THE FAITHFUL.
I still have hope, but that is becoming more and more difficult.

GS

Pope Francis just launched a disgusting attack on Trump supporters


SATURDAY, June 8, 2019

RR#1

THIS IS NOT HYPERBOLE!
For America, Americans and American-wanna-bes, the Religion of Islam cannot include the secular stated goals and the Sharia Law imbedded in that Faith.
Muslims in America have a Choice: expunge those elements of their Religion in this country, fight to prevent the fundamentalists in their midst from attacking America throughout the world...or
be considered the enemy of America - here and everywhere.
As can be recalled here, this began a long time ago. Only Muslims can determine how it will end.

GS

Thomas Jefferson

The real reason Thomas Jefferson owned a copy of the Quran~
 
A 232 Year History of our fight against Islam & why it is no longer taught
in our public schools...
When Thomas Jefferson saw there was no negotiating with Muslims, he formed
what is now the Marines (sea going soldiers). These Marines were attached to
U S. Merchant vessels. When the Muslims attacked U.S. merchant vessels they
were repulsed by armed soldiers, but there is more.
 
The Marines followed the Muslims back to their villages and killed every
man, woman, and child in the village.
 
It didn't take long for the Muslims to leave U.S. Merchant vessels alone.
 
English and French merchant vessels started running up our flag when
entering the Mediterranean to secure safe travel.
 
Why the Marine Hymn contains the verse, "To the Shores of Tripoli ".
 
This is very interesting and a must read piece of our history. It points out
where we may be heading.
 
Most Americans are unaware of the fact that over two hundred years ago the
United States had declared war on Islam, and Thomas Jefferson led the
charge!
 
At the height of the 18th century, Muslim pirates (the "Barbary Pirates")
were the terror of the Mediterranean and a large area of the North Atlantic
.
 
They attacked every ship in sight, and held the crews for exorbitant
ransoms. Those taken hostage were subjected to barbaric treatment and wrote
heart-breaking letters home, begging their governments and families to pay
whatever their Mohammedan captors demanded.
 
These extortionists of the high seas represented the North African Islamic
nations of Tripoli, Tunis , Morocco , and Algiers - collectively referred to
as the Barbary Coast - and presented a dangerous and unprovoked threat to
the new American Republic .
 
Before the Revolutionary War, U.S. merchant ships had been under the
protection of Great Britain . When the U.S. declared its independence and
entered into war, the ships of the United States were protected by France.
 
However, once the war was won, America had to protect its own fleets.
 
Thus, the birth of the U.S. Navy. Beginning in 1784, 17 years before he
would become president, Thomas Jefferson became America's Minister to
France. That same year, the U.S. Congress sought to appease its Muslim
adversaries by following in the footsteps of European nations who paid
bribes to the Barbary States rather than engaging them in war.
 
In July of 1785, Algerian pirates captured American ships, and the Dye of
Algiers demanded an unheard-of ransom of $60,000. It was a plain and simple
case of extortion, and Thomas Jefferson was vehemently opposed to any
further payments.
 
Instead, he proposed to Congress the formation of a coalition of allied
nations who together could force the Islamic states into peace. A
disinterested Congress decided to pay the ransom.
 
In 1786, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams met with Tripoli's ambassador to
Great Britain to ask by what right his nation attacked American ships and
enslaved American citizens, and why Muslims held so much hostility towards
America, a nation with which they had no previous contacts.
 
The two future presidents reported that Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman
Adja had answered that Islam "was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that
it was written in their Quran that all nations who would not acknowledge
their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war
upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could
take as prisoners, and that every Musselman (Muslim) who should be slain in
battle was sure to go to Paradise."
 
Despite this stunning admission of premeditated violence on non-Muslim
nations, as well as the objections of many notable American leaders,
including George Washington, who warned that caving in was both wrong and
would only further embolden the enemy, for the following fifteen years, the
u\American government paid the Muslims millions of dollars for the safe
passage of American ships or the return of American hostages.
 
The payments in ransom and tribute amounted to over 20 percent of the United
States government annual revenues in 1800.
 
Jefferson was disgusted. Shortly after his being sworn in as the third
President of the United States in 1801, the Pasha of Tripoli sent him a note
demanding the immediate payment of $225,000 plus $25,000 a year for every
year forthcoming.
 
That changed everything.
 
Jefferson let the Pasha know, in no uncertain terms, what he could do with
his demand. The Pasha responded by cutting down the flagpole at the American
consulate and declared war on the United States.
 
Tunis, Morocco, and Algiers immediately followed suit.
 
Jefferson, until now, had been against America raising a naval force for
anything beyond coastal defense, but, having watched his nation be cowed by
Islamic thuggery for long enough, decided that it was finally time to meet
force with force.
 
He dispatched a squadron of frigates to the Mediterranean and taught the
Muslim nations of the Barbary Coast a lesson he hoped they would never
forget. Congress authorized Jefferson to empower U.S. ships to seize all
vessels and goods of the Pasha of Tripoli and to "cause to be done all other
acts of precaution or hostility as the state of war would justify".
 
When Algiers and Tunis, who were both accustomed to American cowardice and
acquiescence, saw the newly independent United States had both the will and
the right to strike back, they quickly abandoned their allegiance to
Tripoli.
 
The war with Tripoli lasted for four more years, and raged up again in 1815.
The bravery of the U.S. Marine Corps in these wars led to the line "to the
shores of Tripoli" in the Marine Hymn, and they would forever be known as
"leathernecks" for the leather collars of their uniforms, designed to
prevent their heads from being cut off by the Muslim scimitars when boarding
enemy ships.
 
Islam, and what its Barbary followers justified doing in the name of their
prophet and their god, disturbed Jefferson quite deeply.
 
America had a tradition of religious tolerance. In fact Jefferson, himself,
had co-authored the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, but
fundamentalist Islam was like no other religion the world had ever seen.
 
A religion based on supremacy, whose holy book not only condoned but
mandated violence against unbelievers, was unacceptable to him.
 
His greatest fear was that someday this brand of Islam would return and pose
an even greater threat to the United States .
 
This should concern every American. That Muslims have brought about
women-only classes and swimming times in America at taxpayer-funded
universities and public pools; that Christians, Jews, and Hindus have been
banned from serving on juries where Muslim defendants are being judged;
Piggy banks and Porky Pig tissue dispensers have been banned from workplaces
because they offend Islamist sensibilities; ice cream has been discontinued
at certain Burger King locations because the picture on the wrapper looks
similar to the Arabic script for Allah; public schools are pulling pork from
their menus; on and on and on and on..
 
It's death by a thousand cuts, or inch-by-inch as some refer to it, and most
Americans have no idea that this battle is being waged every day across
America. By not fighting back, by allowing groups to obfuscate what is
really happening, and not insisting that the Islamists adapt to our culture,
the United States is cutting its own throat with a politically correct
knife, and helping to further the Islamists' agenda.
 
Sadly, it appears that today America's leaders would rather be politically
correct than victorious!
 
IF YOU DO NOT REMEMBER THE PAST, YOU ARE DOOMED TO REPEAT IT.

RR#2

CONCERNING THE ABOMINATION OF ABORTION.
Americans are much less divided than the mainstream media would have us believe.
And then there is Joe Biden. PITIFUL.

GS

Poll: 47 Percent Oppose Abortion Except in Extreme Cases

RR#3

BE CAREFUL WHOM YOU DISS.
I have long been convinced, from general observation and from personal experience, that God is not always an uninvolved observer of the actions of his creation. There are times when He definitely plays a defining roll in the outcome. I am sure that my readers will be able to confirm this from their own experiences. Therefore:
BE CAREFUL WHOM YOU DISS.

GS

Democrats just outright admitted they hate God with their latest sick attack on Christianity

RR#4

FINALLY...
THE SELF-SERVING BANKING INDUSTRY CRY OF "TOO BIG TO FAIL", WHICH PRODUCED A TEN YEAR RECESSION AFTER 2008,
may not be followed by "too big to be regulated" - Google, Facebook, etc.
Those behemoths are not stealing your money, but rather your personal privacy - a Right declared or inferred in several of the Amendments of the Constitution's Bill of Rights.
The WSJ of June 8, 2019 has several encouraging articles on the subject:
"Hunting for Giants", pB1;
news stories noting that both Congress and States Attorneys General are mounting investigations;
"Overthrow The Prince Of Facebook", by Peggy Noonan, Opinion, pA15.

Of course, nothing can prevent John Q. Public from giving away his or right to personal privacy.
STUPID.

GS

FRIDAY, June 7, 2019

AS IS OFTEN THE CASE WITH OUR "POT POURRI" OFFERINGS,
here is a disparate collection of topics - including my opinions, of course.
GS

THURSDAY, June 6, 2019

AMEN.

GS

These honored dead


TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY, June 4 and 5, 2019

NOW HEAR THIS!

GS

Trump Administration Sharply Curtails Fetal Tissue Medical Research

MONDAY, June 3, 2019

Six Boys and Thirteen Hands

Each year I am hired to go to Washington, DC,
with the eighth grade class from Clinton,WI where I grew up, to
videotape their trip. I greatly enjoy visiting our nation’s capital,
and each year I take some special memories back with me. This fall's
trip was especially memorable.

On the last night of our trip, we stopped at the Iwo Jima
memorial. This memorial is the largest bronze statue in the world and
depicts one of the most famous photographs in history -- that of the
six brave soldiers raising the American Flag at the top of a rocky
hill one island of Iwo Jima, Japan, during WW II

Over one hundred students and chaperones piled off the buses and
headed towards the memorial. I noticed a solitary figure at the base
of the statue, and as I got closer he asked, 'Where are you guys
from?'

I told him that we were from Wisconsin. 'Hey, I'm a cheese head, too!
Come gather around, Cheese heads, and I will tell you a story.'

(It was James Bradley who just happened to be in Washington, DC, to
speak at the memorial the following day.  He was there that night to
say good night to his dad, who had passed away. He was just about to
leave when he saw the buses pull up. I videotaped him as he spoke to
us, and received his permission to share what he said from my
videotape. It is one thing to tour the incredible monuments filled
with history in Washington, DC, but it is quite another to get the
kind of insight we received that night.)

When all had gathered around, he reverently began to speak. (Here are
his words that night.)

'My name is James Bradley and I'm from Antigo,
Wisconsin. My dad is on that statue, and I wrote a book called 'Flags
of Our Fathers'. It is the story of the six boys you see behind me.

'Six boys raised the flag. The first guy putting the pole in the
ground is Harlon Block. Harlon was an all-state football player. He
enlisted in
the Marine Corps with all the senior members of his football team.
They were off to play another type of game. A game called 'War.'  But
it didn't turn out to be a game.  Harlon, at the age of 21, died with
his intestines in his hands.  I don't say that to gross you out, I say
that because there are people who stand in front of this statue and
talk about the glory of war.  You guys need to know that most of the
boys in Iwo Jima were 17, 18, and 19 years old - and it was so hard
that the ones who did make it home never even would talk to their
families about it.

(He pointed to the statue) 'You see this next guy? That's Rene Gagnon
from New Hampshire If you took Rene's helmet off at the moment this
photo was taken and looked in the webbing of that helmet, you would
find a photograph... a photograph of his girlfriend Rene put that in
there for protection because he was scared.  He was 18 years old.  It
was just boys who won the battle of Iwo Jima.  Boys.  Not old men.

'The next guy here, the third guy in this tableau, was Sergeant Mike
Strank. Mike is my hero. He was the hero of all these guys. They
called him the 'old man' because he was so old.  He was already 24.
When Mike would motivate his boys in training camp, he didn't say,
'Let's go kill some Japanese' or 'Let's die for our country' He knew
he was talking to little boys.. Instead, he would say, 'You do what I
say, and I'll get you home to your mothers.'

'The last guy on this side of the statue is Ira Hayes, a Pima Indian
from Arizona. Ira Hayes was one of them who lived to walk off Iwo
Jima. He went into the White House with my dad. President Truman told
him, 'You're a hero' He told reporters, 'How can I feel like a hero
when 250 of my buddies hit the island with me and only 27 of us walked
off alive?'

So you take your class at school, 250 of you spending a year together
having fun, doing everything together.  Then all 250 of you hit the
beach, but only 27 of your classmates walk off alive. That was Ira
Hayes. He had images of horror in his mind.  Ira Hayes carried the
pain home with him and eventually died dead drunk, face down, drowned
in a very shallow puddle, at the age of 32 (ten years after this
picture was taken).

'The next guy, going around the statue, is Franklin Sousley from
Hilltop, Kentucky.  A fun-lovin' hillbilly boy.  His best friend, who
is now 70, told me, 'Yeah, you know, we took two cows up on the porch
of the Hilltop General Store.  Then we strung wire across the stairs
so the cows couldn't get down.  Then we fed them Epsom salts.

Those cows crapped all night.' Yes, he was a fun-lovin' hillbilly boy.

Franklin died on Iwo Jima at the age of 19.

When the telegram came to tell his mother that he was dead, it went to
the Hilltop General Store.  A barefoot boy ran that telegram up to his
mother's farm.  The neighbors could hear her scream all night and into
the morning.  Those neighbors lived a quarter of a mile away.

'The next guy, as we continue to go around the statue, is my dad, John
Bradley, from Antigo, Wisconsin, where I was raised.  My dad lived
until 1994, but he would never give interviews.

When Walter Cronkite's producers or the New York Times would call, we
were trained as little kids to say 'No, I'm sorry, sir, my dad's not
here.  He is in Canada fishing.  No, there is no phone there, sir.
No, we don't know when he is coming back.'  My dad never fished or
even went to Canada.

Usually, he was sitting there right at the table eating his Campbell's
soup.  But we had to tell the press that he was out fishing. He didn't
want to talk to the press.

'You see, like Ira Hayes, my dad didn't see himself as a hero.
Everyone thinks these guys are heroes, 'cause they are in a photo and
on a monument.  My dad knew better.  He was a medic. John Bradley from
Wisconsin was a combat caregiver.  On

Iwo Jima he probably held over 200 boys as they died.  And when
boys died on Iwo Jima, they writhed and screamed, without any
medication or help with the pain.

'When I was a little boy, my third-grade teacher told me that my dad
was a hero.  When I went home and told my dad that, he looked at me
and said, 'I want you always to remember that the heroes of Iwo Jima
are the guys who did not come back.  Did NOT come back.'

'So that's the story about six nice young boys. Three died on Iwo
Jima and three came back as national heroes. Overall, 7,000
boys died on Iwo Jima in the worst battle in the history of
the Marine Corps. My voice is giving out, so I will end here. Thank
you for your time.'

Suddenly, the monument wasn't just a big old piece of metal with a
flag sticking out of the top. It came to life before our eyes with the
heartfelt words of a son who did indeed have a father who was a hero.
Maybe not a hero for the reasons most people would believe, but a hero
nonetheless.

One thing I learned while on tour with my 8th-grade students in DC
that is not mentioned here is... that if you look at the statue very
closely and count the number of 'hands' raising the flag, there are
13. When the man who made the statue was asked why there were 13, he
simply said the 13th hand was the hand of God.

Great story - worth your time - worth every American's time.

"Freedom is not free!"


SUNDAY, June 2, 2019

RR#1

OUR MILITARY AND OUR INTELLIGENCE LEADERSHIP:
"They ain't what they used to be," thanks to the infection of Politics.
Meanwhile, our sons and daughters fight and die for us.

GS

Justice! Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher Released Amid Overwhelming Evidence Of Meddling By The Prosecution

RR#2

STILL MORE.

An opinion article in ctmirror.org by Bishop Robert Middleton (May 31, 2019) tries to make a case for legalizing recreational marijuana. "Close, but no cigar". There are abundant medical, psychological and social reasons why this is a bad idea. And legalization would send the wrong signal, broadly increasing use. It should be kept illegal, with penalties and sanctions more directed toward identification of persons at risk, information, mental health care and rehabilitation. Meanwhile, the availability and controlled use of Medical Marijuana should be increased. It helps.

"Google Reportedly Under Antitrust Scrutiny By U.S. Regulators." (in The Day June 2, 2019). IT'S ABOUT TIME! The Wild West has produced over 400 billionaires who do not share...and has destroyed the meaning of personal privacy. And the arrogant Facebook is the worst.

Three articles related to America's economic status and prospects should be read in tandem:
a) "Economic Expansion Has Been Squandered", by Paul Choiniere (Editorial, The Day, June 2, 2019).
b) "The GOP's Duty: Explain the Cost Of 'Free'", by Bobby Jindal (in WSJ May 30, 2019, Opinion, pA17).
c) "Trump - Trade Wars - U.S. Policy" (in Washington Post June 2, 2019), by Jeanne Whalen et al.).

What should be clear here is that the U.S. economy has been allowed - and has been manipulated by forces within and without the country - to become a Potemkin Village, thanks to the battle cry: "GREED IS GOOD". President Trump, himself a product of that "system", has determined in his new role to turn that all around. In this effort, he is being thwarted at every turn, predictably, by the forces that created that mess. Thus, he has few tools and weapons at his disposal. Tariffs and negotiations (with both carrot and stick) are his main and possibly only mechanisms. He should be given every opportunity by the people to re-build that Village. Certainly the perpetrators, Democratic and Republican, in office and in industry, will not be so inclined. Thus, the importance of the 2020 election.

GS

RR#3

POINT AND COUNTERPOINT.

GS

Two things on the marijuana subject:

1--Define "availability and controlled use of medical marijuana".
2--While I agree that "normal" human behavior is far too loose a cannon to assume anything but the long-term worst in the use of recreational marijuana, the same applies to legal alcohol which, by the way, poses (and actuates) far more documented threats to humanity, micro and macro, than pot ever could.

That said, to keep this drug on the same list (Schedule 1 Drugs) as the likes of heroin proves only how owned and completely manipulated the Government is by the alcohol and Big Pharma lobbies.

As for Big Tech, comparatively speaking, marijuana of any kind doesn't even show up on society's threat board. This is not good news, and that's only when one can confirm that it actually is news rather than the leftwing propaganda continuously pumped out by Silicon Valley. Also, the fact that Google was co-founded by someone who grew up in the Soviet Union (Sergei Brin), and that he still created an infrastructure over which Lenin and Stalin would have virtually died from society-dominating ecstasy proves the insidious, unbridled nature of the internet, especially relative to that loose cannon of human nature, the"Dark Web" being the best example.

As for Capitalism and "greed", that famous speech from Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in 'Wall Street' is not the premonition of devastation that its writer, Oliver Stone, wrote it to be for that film's plot. In fact, he tells the story of often meeting people who said that that movie and that speech in particular led them to pursue a career in the financial world. Again, it all comes down to balancing human nature and values. I can take a hammer and use it either to build a house or sink it into someone's skull.

The hammer itself is neither good nor bad. Greed itself is neither good nor bad, in part because its definition cannot be agreed upon. The left sees Capitalism itself as greed for money. But, when you call them on their own "greed" for anything and everything that they most often irrationally desire, they call it 'finding their muse', 'living their passion', or generally 'being free', regardless of the consequences of their expression of that "greed".

They're no different from people who screw other people over money. The only problem I have with that scenario is that the Law often protects the thief. Then again, so it does regarding the "freedom of expression" that so many use to screw other people out of their own liberty.

In the end, Humanity is more the broken clock than it is the well-oiled machine that needs regular maintenance.

-P

Gordon Gekko "Greed is Good" Full Speech *read the description*

RR#4

WHILE THE MUTTS SNAP AT HIS HEELS...A LEADER IN ACTION.
"Is that clear?"

GS

Trump Tells UK to 'Walk Away' If EU Does Not Give What it Wants in Brexit


SATURDAY, June 1, 2019

RR#1

Mueller Wants it Both Ways

RR#2

SO MUCH IDIOCY. SO LITTLE TIME.

The following are a few brief personal reflections on what passes for "News of the Day".
The reflections are necessarily negative, despite my efforts to find good news to report. That is the state of the nation and of its newsmakers today.
GS

RR#3

JAMES MATTIS, DISTINGUISHED ARMY GENERAL AND FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE:
an honorable man with a more sanguine world view than mine.
Let's see what he says, now and in his forthcoming book: Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead".

GS

James Mattis Made a Jaw Dropping Announcement About Challenging Donald Trump



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