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DORRIS MILLER sm

The US Navy is to name its new aircraft carrier after a black sailor who fought in World War II.

Doris Miller earned the Navy Cross for his actions during the Japanese attack on Hawaii's Pearl Harbor in 1941.

At the time, the US military was strictly segregated on racial grounds. Miller became an icon for black Americans in the
conflict.

Naming the ship after the heroic sailor comes more than 78 years after the events that made his name.

It will be the first time an aircraft carrier has been named after an African American. Until now, they have been named after famous battles, military leaders and US presidents.

The official announcement was scheduled for last Monday - Martin Luther King Jr's birthday - at Pearl Harbor. The bay is the site of a massive US naval station and the base of the country's Pacific Fleet.

Who was Doris Miller?

Miller was born in 1919 in Texas, the third of four sons. He was named Doris, as his mother had thought she was having a girl, but often went by the nickname "Dorie".

Jim Crow laws - a system of policies that denied black Americans their rights and segregated them from their white neighbours - dominated in the south at the time. After dropping out of high school and struggling to find work, Miller joined the Navy in 1939 at the age of 20.

"Navy policy at that time limited blacks to those duties that were manual, that they thought didn't require a whole lot of intellect,"
historian Regina Akers told CBS News.

After training, Miller was made a mess attendant - someone who took care of the white officers - and in 1940 was assigned to the battleship West Virginia.

He was sorting laundry on the ship one morning when a Japanese torpedo slammed into the vessel.

It was the first of nine torpedoes which would hit and sink the West Virginia on 7 December 1941.

The Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor killed more than 2,300 people and brought the US into World War II.

Miller ran to help his fellow sailors. He first moved his mortally wounded captain to shelter, before manning an anti-aircraft gun - strictly against regulations, as a black sailor - and firing back at the hundreds of Japanese aircraft .

"It wasn't hard. I just pulled the trigger and she worked fine," he said afterwards, "I think I got one of those [Japanese] planes. They were diving pretty close to us."

He fired until he ran out of ammunition, before helping his wounded shipmates. He abandoned ship with the survivors as the West Virginia sank to the bottom of the harbor.

In January 1942, the US Navy announced a list of commendations for US servicemen on Pearl Harbor - including one for an unnamed black man.

Two months later, the Pittsburgh Courier revealed the sailor to be Doris Miller. "No longer is his name unknown," the report read.

Soon after, a senator and a congressman launched separate bills in both houses of Congress calling for Miller to receive the Medal of Honor - the highest military honour in the US. African

American rights groups also campaigned for Miller to get an award for his actions, while the media hailed him as one of the "first US heroes" of the war.

Other groups however campaigned against any recognition for Miller on the grounds of his race.

In May that year, President Franklin Roosevelt ignored the controversy and awarded him the Navy Cross - at the time the third highest honour awarded by the US Navy.

Miller went on a speaking tour and became a nationwide celebrity, but returned to sea aboard the aircraft carrier Liscombe Bay. He was killed when the ship was sunk by a Japanese submarine in the Battle of Makin in November 1943.

But his legacy has lived on as one of the first African American heroes of World War II. Cuba Gooding Jr played the role of Doris Miller in the 2001 film Pearl Harbor, while Waco unveiled a statue of Miller in 2017.

Now a new aircraft carrier will be built and eventually launched in 2028 bearing Miller's name.

"It is tremendous," historian Regina Akers told CBS, saying the decision showed "that heroism is in no way limited by race, by gender, by background, by rank or rating."

bbc.com

On 31 December 2019, WHO (Workd Health Org.)was alerted to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. The virus did not match any other known virus. This raised concern because when a virus is new, we do not know how it affects people.

One week later, on 7 January, Chinese authorities confirmed that they had identified a new virus. The new virus is a coronavirus, which is a family of viruses that include the common cold, and viruses such as SARS and MERS. This new virus was temporarily named “2019-nCoV.”

WHO has been working with Chinese authorities and global experts from the day we were informed, to learn more about the virus, how it affects the people who are sick with it, how they can be treated, and what countries can do to respond.   

Because this is a coronavirus, which usually causes respiratory illness, WHO has advice to people on how to protect themselves and those around them from getting the disease.

https://www.who.int/

........................................................................

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) is also closely monitoring the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (named “2019-nCoV”) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and which continues to expand. Chinese health officials have reported thousands of infections with 2019-nCoV in China, with the virus reportedly spreading from person-to-person in many parts of that country. Infections with 2019-nCoV, most of them associated with travel from Wuhan, also are being reported in a growing number of international locations, including the United States.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS and SARS.

Source and Spread of the Virus

Chinese health authorities were the first to post the full genome of the 2019-nCoV in GenBankexternal icon, the NIH genetic sequence database, and in the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAIDexternal icon) portal, an action which has facilitated detection of this virus. CDC posted the full genome of the 2019-nCoV virus detected in the first and second U.S. patients to GenBank.

2019-nCoV is a betacoronavirus, like MERS and SARs, all of which have their origins in bats. The sequences from U.S. patients are similar to the one that China initially posted, suggesting a likely single, recent emergence of this virus from an animal reservoir.

Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by 2019-nCov in Wuhan, China had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. Later, a growing number of patients reportedly did not have exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread. Chinese officials report that sustained person-to-person spread in the community is occurring in China. Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses.

Situation in U.S.

Imported cases of 2019-nCoV infection in people have been detected in the U.S. No person-to-person spread has been detected with this virus at the time, and this virus is NOT currently spreading in the community in the United States.

Illness Severity

Both MERS and SARS have been known to cause severe illness in people. The complete clinical picture with regard to 2019-nCoV is still not fully clear. Reported illnesses have ranged from infected people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying. Learn more about the symptoms associated with 2019-nCoV.

There are ongoing investigations to learn more. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.

Risk Assessment

Outbreaks of novel virus infections among people are always of public health concern. The risk from these outbreaks depends on characteristics of the virus, including whether and how well it spreads between people, the severity of resulting illness, and the medical or other measures available to control the impact of the virus (for example, vaccine or treatment medications).

This is a serious public health threat. The fact that this virus has caused severe illness and sustained person-to-person spread in China is concerning, but it’s unclear how the situation in the United States will unfold at this time.

The risk to individuals is dependent on exposure. At this time, some people will have an increased risk of infection, for example healthcare workers caring for 2019-nCoV patients and other close contacts. For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV is considered low.

What to Expect

More cases are likely to be identified in the coming days, including more cases in the United States. Given what has occurred previously with MERS and SARS, it’s likely that person-to-person spread will occur, including in the United States.

CDC Response

  • CDC is closely monitoring this situation and is working with WHO and state and local public health partners to respond to this emerging public health threat.
  • The goal of the ongoing U.S. public health response is to contain this outbreak and prevent sustained spread of 2019-nCov in this country.
  • CDC established a 2019-nCoV Incident Management Structure on January 7, 2020. On January 21, 2020, CDC activated its Emergency Response System to better provide ongoing support to the 2019-nCoV response.
  • On January 27, 2020 CDC issued updated travel guidance for China, recommending that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to all of the country (Level 3 Travel Health Notice).
  • CDC and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are continuing to conduct enhanced entry screening of passengers who have been in Wuhan within the past 14 days at 5 designated U.S. airports. Given travel out of Wuhan has been shut down, the number of passengers who meet this criteria are dwindling.
  • Going forward, CBP officials will monitor for travelers with symptoms compatible with 2019-nCoV infection and a travel connection with China and will refer them to CDC staff for evaluation at all 20 U.S. quarantine stations.
  • At the same time, ALL travelers from China will be given CDC’s Travel Health Alert Notice, educating those travelers about what to do if they get sick with certain symptoms within 14 days after arriving in the United States.
  • CDC issued an updated interim Health Alert Notice (HAN) Advisory to inform state and local health departments and health care providers about this outbreak on January 17, 2020.
  • CDC has deployed multidisciplinary teams to Washington, Illinois, California, and Arizona to assist health departments with clinical management, contact tracing, and communications.
  • CDC has developed a real time Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (rRT-PCR) test that can diagnose 2019-nCoV in respiratory and serum samples from clinical specimens. On January 24, 2020, CDC publicly posted the assay protocol for this test. Currently, testing for this virus must take place at CDC, but in the coming days and weeks, CDC will share these tests with domestic and international partners through the agency’s International Reagent Resourceexternal icon.
  • CDC uploaded the entire genome of the virus from all five reported cases in the United States to GenBank.
  • CDC also is growing the virus in cell culture, which is necessary for further studies, including for additional genetic characterization.

CDC Recommends

While the immediate risk of this new virus to the American public is believed to be low at this time, everyone can do their part to help us respond to this emerging public health threat:

Other Available Resources

The following resources are available with information on 2019-nCoV

 

https://www.cdc.gov/

 

"Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done. He was a career politician." So says Hillary Clinton of her former Senate colleague and 2016 rival for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders.

Her assessment of Sanders' populist-socialist agenda?

"It's all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it."

Does that assessment still hold with Sanders now running strong in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, and having emerged, according to The New York Times, as "the dominant liberal force in the 2020 race"?

"Yes, it does," said Clinton, who left open the possibility she might not support Sanders if he became the nominee.

In her interview with The Hollywood Reporter to promote a documentary that premieres Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival, Clinton also tore into Bernie's backers.

"It is not only him. It's the culture around him. It's his leadership team. It's his prominent supporters. It's his online Bernie Bros and their relentless attacks on lots of his competitors, particularly the women," said Clinton. "It should be worrisome that he has permitted this culture -- not only permitted (he) seems to be very much supporting it."

From her own words, Clinton regards Sanders as a nasty man running a misogynistic campaign and a political phony whose achievements are nonexistent and who lacks the temperament to be president.

As Clinton describes Sanders, he seems to fit nicely into her Trumpian "basket of deplorables." Reflecting the significance of Clinton's attack, The New York Times put it on Page 1.

This comes one week after Elizabeth Warren, at the end of the last debate, confronted Sanders, who had denied ever telling her a woman could not win the presidency.

"I think you just called me a liar on national TV," said Warren, twice. Sanders assuredly had. He then accused Warren of lying.

This is "a part of a pattern," says Clinton, noting that Sanders said in 2016 that she was not qualified to be president.

What is Hillary up to? She is "hellbent on stopping Sanders," says Obama strategist David Axelrod.

The bad blood between Bernie and two leading women in the Democratic Party calls to mind the battle between Nelson Rockefeller and Barry Goldwater, which did not end well for the Republican Party in 1964.

While the eventual GOP nominee, Goldwater, lost in a 44-state landslide to Lyndon Johnson, the liberal Republican establishment that Rockefeller led would never again be able to nominate one of its own.

It is difficult to see how this acrimony inside the Democratic Party -- over the character, record, ideology and alleged sexism of Sen. Bernie Sanders -- ends well for the Democrats.

Already, Bernie's backers believe the DNC "rigged" the nomination in 2016 by feigning neutrality while secretly aiding Clinton. If Sanders now fails in the first primaries and loses his last chance for the Democratic nomination because of the Clinton-Warren's attacks, it is difficult to see how Bernie's backers enthusiastically support Warren.

As for Bernie backing Biden, the raison d'etre of the liberal-radical wing of the party to whom Sanders is a hero is that the Democratic establishment consistently sells out progressive values.
Sanders' crowd consists of true believers, a trademark of whom is militancy. Such folks often prefer defeat behind a principled leader to victory for a corporatist Democrat they regard as the enemy within.

Assume Bernie defeats Warren in Iowa, bests Biden in New Hampshire, and then goes on to win the nomination. Would women, a majority of whom vote Democratic, and who are indispensable to party victory, surge to the polls to install a president whom Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren describe as a sexist who ruined their own presidential hopes?

Would Democratic women come out to vote for a candidate who was responsible, in two successive presidential elections, for keeping the glass ceiling firmly intact over the heads of the

Democratic Party's leading female candidates? Bernie has made some bad enemies.

Ten days before the Iowa caucuses, the great unifier of the Democratic Party remains Donald Trump. But now, with Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina dead ahead, the

Democrats' focus is becoming: Who should replace Trump?

The rival claims of the constituent elements inside the party are rising to the fore. And what they reveal is a Democratic Party that is a coalition of groups that seem to be dividing along the lines of ideology, politics, race, class and culture.

Consider the most loyal of Democratic constituents in presidential elections: African Americans. They are 13% of the electorate but a fourth of the national Democratic vote.

Yet, of the six candidates for the nomination on stage in the last debate, not one was African American. Not one was Hispanic or Asian. Four were white men, and two were white women.

The lone outsider rising in the polls is another white man, a multibillionaire who is willing to spend a billion dollars to buy the presidential nomination of the party of the common man.

patrick buchanan smallPatrick J. Buchanan

Sunday, 19 January 2020 08:05

Crimes and Misdemeanors

While heads turn away and don't see Democratic corruption and "Crimes and Misdemeanors"

Trump must be punished .... for What?

What crime did he commit.

I still have yet to see any crime committed.

small smiley face with sunglasses1

Saturday, 18 January 2020 08:45

Trump's Kind Contribution to Bernie

The directed killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Iran's blood-soaked field marshal in the "forever war" of the Middle East, has begun to roil the politics of both the region and the USA.

A stunned and shaken Iran retaliated by firing a dozen missiles at two U.S. bases in Iraq. Yet, before launching the attack, Iran leaked that its retaliation would be strictly
proportionate, to avoid an escalation.

U.S. forces were able to be warned where the missiles would hit. Result: zero U.S. casualties in the two strikes.

Hours after the Iranian missiles hit the U.S. bases, however, an apparently panicked Iranian officer at an air defense missile battery launched and shot down a Ukrainian airliner leaving Tehran airport with 176 people aboard.

For days, the ayatollah indicated he did not know the cause of the disaster had been one of Iran's own surface-to-air missiles.

Thus, while hundreds of thousands had been marching last week in nationalist solidarity to honor the dead general, today, thousands of Iranians are marching against the ayatollah, accusing his regime of having known the truth but lied to the nation.

In Iraq, a nonbinding vote has been taken in parliament to demand a full U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq for the execution of Soleimani. President Donald Trump is threatening the Iraqis with sanctions if Baghdad follows through and expels the 5,200 U.S. troops still there.

NATO allies with units in Iraq are silently seething, as they received no warning we were about to take down the general.

Here, the political fallout from the execution of Soleimani has only just begun.

Democrats, after denouncing Soleimani as a war criminal and serial killer of American soldiers, are accusing Trump of carrying out, without the consent of Congress, a premeditated act of war on a nation on which Congress hasn't authorized war.

Trump's claim that the general had to be taken down to abort an "imminent" attack on Americans, including attacks on not one but four U.S. embassies, is being derided. The justice of killing the general seems less the issue now than the wisdom of the act, and a storm is brewing over whether Trump and his aides have been dissembling.

Nancy Pelosi has already pushed through the House a nonbinding resolution asserting that Trump has no authority to carry out acts of war against Iran without Congress' consent. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Trump supporter from Florida, stunned the president by voting for the Pelosi resolution.

Sen. Mike Lee broke with Trump to denounce the briefing that Congress received, about attacks on Americans being imminent, as both contemptuous and the worst briefing he ever had.

The general may have gotten the justice he deserved in that SUV departing Baghdad airport, but the unintended consequences of his execution are now coming in.

Trump has elevated the Middle East wars as a major issue in 2020, not his strong suit. For, as the military says, "The enemy gets a vote!" as to how much blood, including American blood, will be shed in 2020.

Also, by sending the 82nd Airborne to Kuwait and Iraq, Trump underscored the truth: We are still mired in the "endless wars" of the Middle East despite his promise to extricate us.

Fractures have appeared in the conservative-populist coalition that put Trump in office. War Party interventionists, who have long sought to have the United States do to Iran what Bush 43 did to Iraq, are exhilarated by what they believe the Soleimani killing portends -- an inevitable war with Iran.

Trump has also energized the anti-war majority in the Democratic Party, specifically the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, whose anti-war and anti-interventionist credentials are as long-standing and solid as is his fidelity to socialism.

Sanders voted against both the Bush II Iraq War that Sen. Joe Biden voted to support, and George H.W. Bush's Desert Storm expulsion of the Iraqi army from Kuwait.
With the killing of the general and the possibility of a U.S.-Iran war rising, Bernie is the Democratic candidate whose anti-war credentials are the longest and strongest and whose position of avoiding war with Iran is most in sync with the majority of the party he seeks to lead.

Sanders could ride anti-war sentiment to victory in Iowa and New Hampshire and have the wind behind him going into South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

His socialism may be a bridge too far for most Americans, and an insuperable obstacle to his ever becoming president, but should he win the nomination, he could occupy in 2020 the space Trump occupied in 2016, as the anti-interventionist, anti-war candidate.

And if Bernie ran a "Come Home, America" campaign, half a century after the slogan's author, George McGovern, lost in history's largest landslide, Sanders could change the face and future of American politics.

Patrick J. Buchanan

 

Ed. Note: Now with the impeachment trial in the Senate, Bernie will need all the help he can get now as a juror to that trial Senators Sanders, Warren and Klobuchar will have to find alternate ways to campaign as they will be stuck in D.C.

Saturday, 18 January 2020 08:40

To Those On The Fence...............

Here are some interesting points to think about prior to 2020,

especially to my friends on the fence, like moderate Democrats, Libertarians and Independents

and the never Trump Republicans and those thinking of "walking away" from the Democratic party.

Women are upset at Trump’s naughty words -- they also bought 100 million copies of 50 Shades of Gray. (125 million in sales ...80% sales were to women)

Not one feminist has defended Sarah Sanders. It seems women’s rights only matter if those women are liberal.

No Border Walls. No voter ID laws. Did you figure it out yet? But wait... there's more.

Chelsea Clinton got out of college and got a job at NBC that paid $900,000.00 per year. Her mom flies around the country speaking out against white privilege.

And just like that, they went from being against foreign interference in our elections to allowing non-citizens to vote in our elections.

President Trump’s wall costs less than the Obamacare website. Let that sink in, America .

We are one election away from open borders, socialism, gun confiscation, and full-term abortion nationally. We are fighting evil.

They sent more troops and armament to arrest Roger Stone than they sent to 
defend Benghazi .

Russia donated $0.00 to the Trump campaign. Russia donated $145,600,000.00 to the Clinton Foundation. But Trump was the one investigated!

60 years ago, Venezuela was 4th on the world economic freedom index. Today, they are 179th and their citizens are dying of starvation. In only 10 years, Venezuela was destroyed by democratic socialism.

Nancy Pelosi invited illegal aliens to the State of the Union . President Trump Invited victims of illegal aliens to the State of the Union . Let that sink in.

A socialist is basically a communist who doesn’t have the power to take everything from their citizens at gunpoint ... Yet!

How do you walk 3,000 miles across Mexico without food or support and show up at our border 100 pounds overweight and with a cellphone?

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez wants to ban cars, ban planes, give out universal income and thinks socialism works. She calls Donald Trump crazy.

Bill Clinton paid $850,000 to Paula Jones To get her to go away. I don’t remember the FBI raiding his lawyer’s office.

I wake up every day, and I am grateful that Hillary Clinton is not President of the United States of America

The same media that told me Hillary Clinton had a 95% chance of winning now tells me Trump’s approval ratings are low.

“The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.”— M argaret Thatcher

Maxine Waters opposes voter ID laws; She thinks that they are racist. You need to have a photo ID to attend her town hall meetings.

President Trump said — "They’re not after me. They’re after you. I’m just in their way."

Now, go Back & Read this Again like you Future Depends upon it.......

Because it Does.

small smiley face with sunglasses1

A 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck Puerto Rico last week, killing at least one person and leaving several others injured in the southern part of the Caribbean island, according to official reports.

Over the past several weeks, hundreds of small earthquakes have occurred in this same region. At least 300 homes were destroyed in the M 6.4 quake and 6.0 aftershock, the strongest to hit the island in 102 years. The only confirmed death is a 73-year-old man in the southern city of Ponce.

As of last Friday, two-thirds of Puerto Rico is still without power, and a quarter of the island is without running water. The earthquakes destroyed Puerto Rico’s main generating facility, the Costa Sur plant, which, until Tuesday, supplied about a quarter of the island’s power.

Officials have said that power will not be restored to the island’s three million people until this weekend, and it will take a year to fix the Costa Sur plant.

Puerto Rico’s Governor Wanda Vázquez declared a state of emergency after the series of earthquakes struck the U.S. commonwealth. Vázquez, who also activated the National Guard, said at a news conference Tuesday that the earthquakes sparked power outages and cut off drinking water to 300,000 people across the island.

Early Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed a federal disaster declaration request.

PuertoRicoNationalGuard 300x200

Nearly 200 Puerto Rico National Guard members are assisting in the recovery efforts, many helping military police secure shelters, where some 2,000 people are staying. Maj. Gen. José J.

Reyes, adjutant general of the Puerto Rico National Guard, said his engineers will be inspecting bridges for damage and deploying emergency teams and tactical vehicles.

Puerto Rico is still recovering from the disastrous effects of Hurricane Maria, a deadly Category 5 hurricane that devastated Dominica, St Croix, and Puerto Rico in September 2017. It killed at least 3,057 people and ripped out power lines and water supplies across the island.

The location of Tuesday’s 6.4 magnitude quake is within 12 kilometers (7.4 miles) of a M 5.8 earthquake on January 6. Over the past several weeks, hundreds of small earthquakes have occurred in this same region, beginning with a M 4.7 earthquake late on December 28 and a M 5.0 event a few hours later.

Since the M 4.7 event, over 400 M 2+ earthquakes have occurred in this region, 11 of which were M 4+, including Tuesday’s M 6.4 event and the January 6th M 5.8. The proximity of these events to the island of Puerto Rico, and their shallow depth, mean that dozens of these events were felt on land.

A famous tourist landmark and one of Puerto Rico’s most beloved natural wonders collapsed Monday after the M 5.8 quake shook the island, Guaynilla Mayor Nelson Torres Yordan told reporters.

Punta Ventana, which translates as Window Point, was a stone arch shaped like a round window located in Guayanilla along the island’s southern coast. Monday’s M 5.8 earthquake destroyed the natural formation.

The UPRM Meteorological Laboratory shared a photo on Twitter of Punta Ventana before and after the earthquake, showing where the soaring arch once stood before its tragic collapse.
A colonial church constructed in 1841 also “totally collapsed,” during the earthquake, according to Yordan.

The strongest quake, the M 6.4 event which struck nine miles from Guayanilla, Puerto Rico on January 7 at 12:24 am, also shook other Caribbean islands: the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Saint Martin, Sint Maarten, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Caribbean Netherlands, Saint Barthélemy, Antigua and Barbuda, and Anguilla.

© Environment News Service (ENS) 2019. All rights reserved.
www.ens-newswire.com

Marine Corps Sgt. Ashtyn Hammer says she grew up on the back of a horse.

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Now she spends her days riding and caring for them, as a member of the Marine Corps Mounted Color Guard — the only remaining mounted color guard in the Corps.
How does it feel to be a member of the last mounted color guard in the Marine Corps?

It's such an incredible opportunity, and I'm so grateful to be able to represent the Marine Corps in a way that's incredibly special to me. I grew up on the back of a horse, so being able to ride horses while in the signature dress blue uniform is like a dream come true. I'm honored to be one of the few Marines that get the prestigious honor to be a part of the team and present the colors while on horseback.

What's it like going from working on attack helicopters to working with horses?

Working on attack helicopters was a challenging, yet rewarding field. ... Working with horses has its own unique challenges. It's just as rewarding and is very dear to my heart. It's super cool to me that I went from working on some of the best warfighting technology and equipment we have today to working with what was considered the peak of maneuver warfare [horses] from over a hundred years ago.

How do people react when people see the mounted color guard?

Well, as someone who has seen them in action as a civilian — from before my time in the Marine Corps — it is a mesmerizing experience. I was competing at the [Colorado Professional Rodeo Association] finals in Grand Junction, Colorado, when I saw them. Everyone was transfixed on their every move as they entered the arena. Before the announcer could even ask people to stand for the national anthem, everyone was already standing, hats removed and hands over their hearts. You could hear each step the four palomino mustangs took ... as they headed to the center of the arena. After the national anthem played, the mounted color guard started to exit the arena with every eye still on them, showing every ounce of respect with hats still removed until they were completely out of the arena. It is still one of my
favorite memories, and I believe that those people who get to witness the Marine Corps' last remaining mounted color guard have experienced similar moments.

What do you hope to accomplish with the mounted color guard?

Coming from a unit that not many people had heard of, I want to help broaden the public's knowledge. ... The mounted color guard is an incredible recruiting tool that has limitless potential, which I look forward to expanding. I believe the mounted color guard is one of the best ways to interact with the public and create phenomenal relationships and connections with prominent members of the community throughout the United States. I just hope that I can have a small part in getting the word out that such a special unit exists.

pat2 sm

I can't wait to come to a town near you!

Shannon Collins
Defense.gov

Friday, 17 January 2020 07:55

THE UNITED STATES VS. IRAN MERRY-GO-ROUND

The saga of U.S. Iran relations in its current context roughly spans my lifetime. After coming to power during the 1940s, the pro-western Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, gained status as an absolute monarch in 1953 with the help of British and American spy agencies. He continued to rule with U.S. support until overthrown in 1979 during the Iran Revolution.

On November 4, 1979, a government supported student seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran led to the 444-day hostage crisis. Ultimately, a financial settlement was reached with the release of frozen Iranian funds. The Shah first fled to the U.S. and ultimately died in Egypt in 1980.

 

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Some of the more prominent Iranian leaders during recent decades. Can you name them?

 

 

Now, in 2020, democrats are accusing President Trump of reckless behavior dealing with Iran? Let’s take a closer look.

First consider Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear “agreement.” This was Obama’s intended legacy for creating peace in the Mideast. A closer look helps us understand how the agreement was full of wishful thinking.

The U.S. wasn’t even involved in direct monitoring of compliance. And because of lengthy dispute resolution procedures, “anytime monitoring” didn’t really exist. Also, Iran was permitted to continue developing missile technology, the nuclear warhead delivery system, and uranium enrichment could continue at agreed levels. And, believe it or not, Iran had the right to declare some military sites “off limits” to inspection. What could go wrong there? I could go on and on.

Iran received cash in the agreement, possibly up to $150 billion. Democrats have claimed that some of this should be considered separate from the agreement because it was their own frozen funds. Also, former Secretary of State Kerry says these billions went into their economy, not to further international terrorism. If you gain reassurance from that, I’ve got a bridge……
Perhaps the most damning piece of information about that deal is that while Obama signed it, he never submitted it to the Senate for approval because of bipartisan opposition. Leading democrat senators Schumer and Mendendez joined republicans in opposing the probably ineffective agreement. And finally, Iran wasn’t required to sign the agreement. Can you believe it?

This was never an official treaty or agreement, perhaps no more binding than a blank piece of paper. No, Trump didn’t open the gates to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, they were open all along.

Let’s connect that nuclear agreement to something happening in recent weeks. While writing this article, I recalled reading about the late General Suleimani being mentioned in the Iran nuclear deal. I quickly found an interesting article by Con Coughlin in the July 2015 UK Telegraph.

Coughlin wrote that he had found, in an annex to the agreement, that Qassem Suleimani, the head of the elite Quds Force in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, “has been granted an amnesty and taken off the list of proscribed Iranians – together with a number of senior members of the Revolutionary Guards. Thanks to Mr. Obama’s scandalous capitulation to Tehran, Mr. Suleimani has overnight gone from being one of the world’s most wanted terrorists to the White House’s newest best friend.”

I probably don’t need to explain that General Suleimani organized many terrorist activities, including the recent attempt to break into and burn the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. How can democrats keep straight faces while claiming Trump endangered national security by withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal or in his decisions relative to recent aggressive military and terrorist actions by Iran?

The President showed patience and restraint following the Iran attack on Saudi oil facilities. He refrained from retaliating after Iran shot down our drone. Only when American lives were lost did he take measured retaliation. And only after our embassy was attacked and partially burned did he order the fatal attack on General Soleimani, the terrorist leader of the attempted embassy burning.

Bottom line, Trump didn’t back down. Our president is now publicly backing an Iran citizens’ uprising, and warned Iran leaders not to harm these freedom seekers. I believe if other more reticent presidents had been in charge, there would have been dancing in the streets in opposition to the U.S., “the great satan.” These demonstrators are praising the U.S. while condemning the mullah regime. What’s wrong with that?

myslantonthings.com

steve bakke small

Steve Bakke,
Fort Myers

Gov. Ron DeSantis Wednesday announced the state will purchase 20,000 acres spanning a 150-mile swath of Everglades between Fort Myers and Miami to ensure it is never used for oil drilling.

“This will permanently save the land from oil production,” DeSantis said during a news conference at Everglades Holiday Park near Fort Lauderdale.

Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Noah Valenstein said the acquisition would be the state’s largest land purchase “in more than a decade.”

Valenstein said the state has 75 days to complete the acquisition, which will cost $16.56 million “if we’re able to secure it in a short period of time, reaching up to an option price of $18 million through the year.”

The money will come from several sources, including DEP’s Florida Forever funds, other state agencies and local governments, such as the South Florida Water Management District (SoftMud).

All 20,000 acres are held by Kanter Real Estate LLC, owned by Miami real estate developer Joseph Kanter, who originally proposed a “new town development” for the consolidated parcel, mostly in southwest Broward County.

In 2016, however, Kanter applied for a permit to drill an exploratory well 11,800 feet deep on the land to ascertain if oil could be extracted there. The DEP rejected the application.

If February 2019, a three-judge panel of the First District Court of Appeal ruled the DEP “improperly recast factual findings to reach a desired outcome” in upholding its rejection of Kanter’s permit – essentially opening the door for drilling.

DeSantis said the ruling forced the state to consider purchasing the land.

“This is guaranteeing the heart of the Everglades is under public ownership and secure for future generations,” he said, noting the land sustains more than 60 endangered species.

DeSantis said with the state funneling $2.5 billion into Everglades restoration and water quality as part of his four-year environmental plan, and the federal government committing billions more under the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, the money is well spent.

“My thing is, we’re putting all this effort in there. I don’t want some type of accident causing all these problems and then putting us backwards,” he said.

SoftMud Board Chair Chauncey Goss, who also attended Wednesday’s conference, praised the acquisition.

“This is a great day for Florida’s Everglades,” he said. “This is a really bold action to stop oil and gas drilling in one of the most pristine ecosystems in the world. This is an announcement that is going to be recognized nationally and internationally as an important step in restoring our Everglades.”

Environmental groups quickly endorsed the acquistion in statements.

“We applaud Gov. DeSantis for his swift action in protecting these lands,” Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg said. “This is yet another demonstration of his commitment to restoring

America’s Everglades and ensuring we achieve more now for Florida’s environment.”

Kanter’s project is among at least five pending oil drilling permit applications in the Everglades or nearby, including Trend Exploration’s request to drill in the Caracara Prairie Preserve in Collier County.

John Haughey
The Center Square