What could you do?

South Kansas City was aroused yesterday afternoon to the sound of sirens, police and ambulances. In an upper-middle class neighborhood, five people were shot, three fatally in the quiet of the afternoon. The shootings occurred, if I understood the reports correctly, in five different homes. The five people were victims of a single invader, so we’re told.

It is a tragedy and it leads to a number of questions.

  1. Could it happen here, where I live? Yes, it could. No neighborhood nor home is invulnerable.
  2. Can the police protect me? No. I have no doubt the police desperately wish they could but there aren’t enough to post a cop in every home. The old adage, “When seconds count, the cops are minutes away,” is still true. I live only a few hundred yards from the police station and it would STILL take minutes to reach my home.
  3. I don’t like guns, isn’t a phone call to 911 sufficient? No, see #2 above. First, you must have your phone on you, second you must dial 911…and wait for them to answer, and third, you must be calm enough to tell them what is happening. Few people, in a personal emergency, can do all that in the few seconds they have.
  4. I have a gun in the house, that should be enough. No, it isn’t. Do you know where it is? How quickly can you get it in your hands? Is it loaded? Many families with small children won’t keep loaded weapons easily on hand. Is it in a safe? Can you open the safe in a few seconds, absolutely in less than a minute?
  5. Well, what can I do? Carry a weapon and either keep it within arms reach or on your person at all time. Practice with it, get training in how to defend yourself and how to use your weapon, practice until you needn’t have to think in an emergency, you react.

I hear so many women claim, “I couldn’t shoot anyone!” Stop and think of the consequences. Could/would you shoot someone to protect your children? Your husband or family?

Some men say the same, with all the usual responses. The actual answer for both men and women is that you will do whatever is necessary to protect your family and yourself—or you and they will die.

It’s a harsh statement but that doesn’t change the reality. The world is not safe. It has never been and never will be. We can prepare ourselves for the reality. We can train, teach our family to prepare and train them how to defend themselves and others even if it is nothing more than to train your children to flee and seek protection. Know your neighbors, communicate with them, ask if your neighbor will watch out for you, your children and family, watch your home when you’re away and be a place of shelter if necessary.

I carry a weapon. It is something I put on when I dress in the morning, and it is next to me on the nightstand when I go to bed at night. If someone breaks in to my home, I have a weapon within reach in seconds. I am determined I will protect myself and my family. So can you. You needn’t be a victim waiting to be found.

If one of those five victims had a weapon close at hand and knew how to use it, perhaps one or more of the others would have remained unharmed. More and more police chiefs and sheriffs are admitting they are powerless to protect anyone. The first responder for your personal defense is you.

***

I wrote an article a week or so ago about the parallels with current events in the Ukraine and China to those just prior to WW2. Obama, like the bungling Chamberlain, is placing the United States into harm’s way and our military is woefully unprepared, undermanned, undertrained and underequipted. The democrats/liberals/socialists have been all too successful in emasculating the US armed forces.

Obama Authorizes Sending Additional Troops To Iraq

Posted: Updated:

President Barack Obama has authorized a State Department request for additional troops in Iraq.

Obama ordered approximately 350 additional military personnel be sent to Iraq “to protect our diplomatic facilities and personnel in Baghdad,” according to a Tuesday statement from the office of the White House press secretary. The statement notes that the troops will not be serving in a combat role upon arrival.

The Defense Department confirmed that 405 troops will be deployed to Iraq, allowing for 55 military personnel who have been in Iraq since June to redeploy outside of the country and resulting in a net increase of 350 troops on the ground.

“This action was taken at the recommendation of the Department of Defense after an extensive interagency review, and is part of the President’s commitment to protect our personnel and facilities in Iraq as we continue to support the Government of Iraq in its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” according to the White House statement.

The numbers being sent are too few to be effective. In reality, all they can be…are targets. There are few good troops in the Middle-east. None of them are in Iraq.

But Obama isn’t placing our troops in harm’s way only in Iraq, he’s sending them to the Ukraine as well.

U.S., allies to stage exercises in West Ukraine as battles rage in East

By Peter Apps. WASHINGTON Tue Sep 2, 2014 1:41pm EDT

(Reuters) – As fighting between the army and Russian-backed rebels rages in eastern Ukraine, preparations are under way near its western border for a joint military exercise this month with more than 1,000 troops from the United States and its allies.

The decision to go ahead with the Rapid Trident exercise Sept. 16-26 is seen as a sign of the commitment of NATO states to support non-NATO member Ukraine while stopping well short of military intervention in the conflict.

The annual exercise, to take place in the Yavoriv training center near Ukraine’s border with Poland, was initially scheduled for July, but was put back because early planning was disrupted by the crisis in the eastern part of the country.

“At the moment, we are still planning for (the exercise) to go ahead,” U.S. Navy Captain Gregory Hicks, spokesman for the U.S. Army’s European Command said on Tuesday.

NATO stepped up military activity in its eastern member states after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March, and is expected to agree at a summit in Wales this week to create a new rapid reaction force of several thousand troops.

In addition to staging air force exercises, the United States is moving tanks and 600 troops to Poland and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania for joint maneuvers in October, replacing a more lightly armed force of paratroopers.

But Rapid Trident will entail the first significant deployment of U.S. and other personnel to Ukraine since the crisis erupted.

President Barack Obama will visit Estonia on Wednesday to reassure the former Soviet Baltic states of U.S. support, and Estonia’s prime minister on Tuesday called for a more visible NATO presence in eastern Europe.

Washington has promised Ukraine $52 million in non-lethal security aid and has already provided combat rations, body armor, radios and other equipment. Pentagon leaders have met with Ukrainian counterparts to discuss a range of cooperation, but, for now, arms supplies have been ruled out.

“It is very important to understand that a military solution to this problem is not going to be forthcoming,” Obama told reporters at the White House last week.

Once again, Obama is acting, or rather reacting, too late with too little. Our troops in the Ukraine will be nothing more than targets, just as they are in Iraq.

Is history repeating itself?

A number of writers and bloggers, myself included, have noted the similarities of our current events to those just prior to World War I. If you take a step back and look at the underlying issues, our times also mirror events during the 1930s just before World War II.

Putin wants to restore Russia to its former USSR status. While the former USSR was nominally Communist, it was governed by a closed group, a political party that operated as an oligarchy. Hitler, like Putin after him, wanted to restore Germany to the status it held before World War I with its world-wide empire. Germany, like the USSR, was nominally socialist but was governed by an oligarchy masquerading as the National Socialist Workers Party, the Nazis.

Hitler took the Rhineland breaking Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Pact in 1936. The Rhineland was a demilitarized zone in western Germany, that created a buffer between isolating Germany from Belgium and France.

The Treaty of Versailles, signed in July 1919–eight months after the guns fell silent in World War I–called for stiff war reparation payments and other punishing peace terms for defeated Germany. Having been forced to sign the treaty, the German delegation to the peace conference indicated its attitude by breaking the ceremonial pen. As dictated by the Treaty of Versailles, Germany’s military forces were reduced to insignificance and the Rhineland was to be demilitarized.

In 1925, at the conclusion of a European peace conference held in Switzerland, the Locarno Pact was signed, reaffirming the national boundaries decided by the Treaty of Versailles and approving the German entry into the League of Nations. The so-called “spirit of Locarno” symbolized hopes for an era of European peace and goodwill, and by 1930 German Foreign Minister Gustav Stresemann had negotiated the removal of the last Allied troops in the demilitarized Rhineland. — History.com.

Two years later in march of 1938, Hitler annexed Austria into the growing German Empire. The Anschluss, as it was called, is exactly like the annexation of Crimea into Putin’s resurgent Russian Empire.

Before the end of 1938, Hitler, through political maneuverings, absorbed the Sudetenland and Czechoslovakia when Neville Chamberlain of Britain and Édouard Daladier of France refused to intervene.

http://gdb.voanews.com/CBBF0236-4C48-427A-8268-A80B0BECB923_cx0_cy10_cw0_mw1024_s_n.jpgI should note that Russian armored forces has entered the Ukraine and the Ukraine is left defenseless after the US and NATO have refused to honor security agreements between them and the Ukrainian government.

Ukraine says Russian forces cross border in tanks, armored vehicles

August 25 at 11:12 AM

Ukraine charged that Russian forces crossed into eastern Ukraine early Monday in military vehicles, including tanks, as Russia vowed to send a second humanitarian aid convoy into the country this week to deliver emergency supplies to areas held by pro-Moscow separatists.

Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said Russian military vehicles with the insignia of the separatists’ self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic “violated the state border of Ukraine” near Novoazovsk in the southern part of Donetsk region.

It was the latest, and one of the most forceful, accusations from Kiev that Russia has been directly supplying weapons, personnel and other assistance to the separatists fighting government troops in eastern Ukraine.

Lysenko said at least 10 tanks, two armored vehicles and two trucks from russia crossed into Ukrainian territory at 5:20 a.m. Monday, potentially bound for the key port city of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov. The highway leading to Mariupol is currently under control of the Ukrainian military, he said.

The Russian military vehicles flying rebel flags moved toward the village of Shcherbak, where they engaged in battle with soldiers of a Ukrainian border unit, Lysenko said in a briefing Monday. He said the Ukrainian forces then called for reinforcements and managed to stop the advance of the convoy just outside the villages of Shcherbak and Markyne. The villages are north of the larger town of Novoazovsk, about five miles from the Russian border.

The rest of the article can be found here, at the Washington Post website.

The first question is if Putin’s incursion into the Ukraine is like that of Hitler’s invasion of Poland in 1939. The difference is that in 1939, Britain and France actually honored their treaties with Poland. Today, after Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine, Obama couldn’t be bothered and is playing golf somewhere and the EU nations and NATO have emasculated themselves by depending on the US military to provide their defense. The similarities between today and the open scenes of World War II are astounding.

On the other side of the world, similar scenes are playing. In the 1930s, Imperial Japan invaded China in a quest for natural resources. As an island nation, Japan had few, if any, resources needed for an industrialized society. It lacked oil, iron and coal. China and the territory around the South China Sea, Indo-China, the Philippines, and Dutch East Indian Islands, had all those resources in abundance. The problem facing Japan is that the territory belonged to other European powers…until an opportunity arose when those powers became embroiled in war.

Communist China is acting Imperial Japan of the 1930s. China has arbitrarily and in violation of a number of Open Seas treaties, laid claim to much of the South China Sea—and the resources that lay underneath those shallow waters. China started drilling in territory claimed by Vietnam that sparked riots and the movement of Chinese troops to the Vietnamese border.

China has expanded their military and has recently taken to harassing US Navy maritime patrol planes. In 2001, a Chinese fighter colliding with a US Navy EP-3 patrol aircraft causing the US plane to make an emergency landing on China’s Hainan Island. China asserted its right to harass aircraft after this latest incident.

China rejects U.S. criticism over jet encounter

BEIJING Sat Aug 23, 2014 1:19pm EDT

(Reuters) – China on Saturday called US criticism of an approach by one of its jets to a US Navy patrol plane off the Chinese coast earlier this week “completely groundless” and said its pilot had maintained a safe distance from the US aircraft.

The strongly-worded statement attributed to Ministry of National Defense spokesman Yang Yujun was a response to a diplomatic complaint the Pentagon filed with Beijing on Friday.

The complaint concerned an August 19 encounter about 215 km (135 miles) east of China’s Hainan Island in which a Chinese fighter jet came within meters (yards) of a US P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine and reconnaissance plane and, the US claimed, performed acrobatic maneuvers around it.In its statement, the Chinese defense ministry said the J-11 jet was conducting routine checks and described the pilot’s actions as professional.The United States’ frequent short-range reconnaissance missions threatened the safety of both militaries, it said.

It urged the US to reduce short-range reconnaissance against China and to respect international law and conventions.

Yes, more and more the world appears to be entering a new stage for conflict, a conflict on the scale of earlier world wars. And, like those earlier wars, the United States and Europe are woefully unprepared for conflict.

Cold War II

The adages goes, “those who fail to understand History are doomed to repeat it.” That is so true for our government. Obama and the dems have emasculated our military while destroying our economy. We are seeing a scenario reminiscent of mid-1980s, when Ronald Reagan’s plan to force the USSR into economic failure succeeded. The US won the Cold War by outspending the USSR—forcing them to compete until their spending ruined them.

This time around, the roles are reversed. The former USSR, the empire Putin wants to restore, is recovering from its economic collapse and it is rebuilding its military and returning to it’s expansionist history to restore the Russian Empire. We need only to look at the Crimea and the Ukraine for proof.

In fact, Putin’s Foreign Minister has announced the beginning of the next Cold War.

Russian Prime Minister: We Are ‘Approaching a Second Cold War’

7:08 AM, May 20, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER

Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev says that “we are slowly but surely approaching a second cold war.” He also said that U.S. President Barack Obama could be “more tactful politically” and that he’s disappointed in some of the decisions Obama has made.

“Yes, I believe that President Obama could be more tactful politically when discussing these issues. Some decisions taken by the US Administration are disappointing. We have indeed done a lot for Russian-US relations. I believe doing so was right. The agreements that we reached with America were useful. And I’m very sorry that everything that has been achieved is now being eliminated by these decisions. Basically, we are slowly but surely approaching a second cold war that nobody needs.

Medvedev continues about the incompetency of Obama. Putin and Medvedev would not be making these statements, pushing, being aggressive in the Crimea, sending ‘agent provocateurs’ into the Ukraine, if the United States had the ability and the determination to counter him.

When Ronald Reagan was president, we had a 600 ship navy, twelve carrier battle-groups, troops in Europe, commitments from our NATO allies requiring a level of competency in their militaries and navies, and an equally strong US Army, Air Force and Marine Corps.

Now, the democrats and Obama have created an unsustainable welfare state, reduced out military forces, destroying their morale with repeated back-to-back deployments and, when they can no longer meet the physical requirements, the veterans are discarded into a Veterans Administration that ignores their needs.

But Putin isn’t our only enemy. China looms in the west. They’ve made extraordinary territorial claims to vast segments of the western Pacific, imperialistically seizing resource rich areas from a number of neighboring countries—countries who, by treaty, look to the United States for defense.

http://i.imgur.com/m8Vuf.gif

China’s Exclusive Economic Zone

Just this week, we watched an approaching confrontation between China and Viet Nam. We don’t have any treaty obligations with Viet Nam, but we do with the Philippine Islands, Taiwan and Japan.

How an oil rig sparked anti-China riots in Vietnam

By Hilary Whiteman, CNN, May 19, 2014 — Updated 1307 GMT

http://thediplomat.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/thediplomat_2014-05-08_15-06-31-386x231.pngHong Kong (CNN) — When China’s state-owned oil company dispatched an oil rig to a contested area of the South China Sea it flicked a match on a long-smoldering dispute with its communist neighbor Vietnam.Analysts say Beijing must have known the move would elicit some reaction, but it clearly didn’t predict having to evacuate thousands of Chinese nationals desperate to put some distance between them and violent Vietnamese protests.“The whole episode seems to reek of miscalculation, perhaps by both sides, but it demonstrates how volatile how this region can be,” said Alexander Neill, Shangri-La Dialogue Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Asia (IISS).At issue is the positioning of an oil rig in waters claimed by both China and Vietnam. Vietnam claims the rig’s presence is “illegal” while China says it has every right to drill, and has castigated the Vietnamese government for failing to ensure the safety of its nationals.To understand the issue, it’s vital to look at the exact position of the rig.Where is the rig?In early May, Beijing announced the HD-981 rig would be parked at sea for exploratory work until mid-August. Owned by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the rig is anchored in Lot 143, about 120 nautical miles east of Vietnam’s Ly Son Island and 180 nautical miles from China’s Hainan Island, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).Analysis co-authored by CSIS experts said China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs appears to be basing its right to be there on the assumption that one of the Paracel Islands, which it claims as its own, is 17 miles north, allowing it to claim its own continental shelf in the region.China calls the contested Paracel Islands the Xisha Islands, while in Vietnam they’re known as the Hoang Sa Islands.Vietnam says the rig site is clearly on its continental shelf, and moreover is in its Exclusive Economic Zone. Hanoi has demanded that China remove the offending rig, escort vessels from the region and hold talks to settle the issue.The Chinese rig was escorted to the region by naval vessels and fighter jets, drawing Vietnamese boats to the area and raising tensions at sea. The Vietnamese have accused Chinese vessels of ramming and blasting its boats with water cannon. The Chinese say any conflict was provoked by Vietnamese harassment.

The column was just updated with the following bullet points.
  • China evacuates thousands of nationals from Vietnam amid territorial dispute
  • Protests erupted after China’s state oil company sent a rig to disputed territory
  • Vietnam says the rig site is on its continental shelf and within its Exclusive Economic Zone
  • China says the rig will be there until mid-August, has sent ships to guard the site
Another report tells of Chinese troops massing on the border next to Viet Nam. The report states that “Conflict Between China And Vietnam Is Imminent.

Conflicts in the east with Putin, conflicts in the west with China and Obama and the dems, as well as our military and naval forces, are completely unprepared. I think we are entering another of those “interesting times” mentioned in the Chinese curse.

It’s Monday!

Urg!

That was my usual response before I retired. I was fortunate during my last working years to be able to work from home. I told people my morning commute was thirty steps downstairs to my home office. After I retired, I continued most of those habits…writing this blog being one.

Last Friday, I wrote a post about the apparent downward spiral to war in Eastern Europe. It is arguable whether the Ukraine is European. My definition is that all of the territory west of the Ural and the ‘stans, are European, if only by religion and heritage. The major religions are the Catholic varieties—Roman, Greek and Russ ion Orthodox. Those areas mark the furthest extent of the Turkish/Islamic advance of the 16th and 17th Century.

But Eastern Europe is not the only area where war warnings exist. WesPac is a potential point of conflict as well. Finally, someone in the Pentagon and Washington is looking westward instead of eastward.

Amid Chinese Aggression, Obama Affirms U.S. Defense of Japan’s Senkaku Islands

April 24, 2014 at 3:49 pm

During his trip to Japan, President Obama publicly affirmed long-standing U.S. policy that the bilateral security treaty applies to the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands. China claims sovereignty over the islands and, in recent years, has tried to intimidate Japan—much as Beijing has bullied the Philippines in pursuit of its extralegal territorial claims in the South China Sea.

President Obama’s statement was a welcome and proper confirmation of U.S. support for a critical Pacific ally.

During a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Obama declared, “let me reiterate that our treaty commitment to Japan’s security is absolute, and Article 5 [of the bilateral security treaty] covers all territories under Japan’s administration, including the Senkaku Islands.”

While this was the first time Obama publicly affirmed the parameters of the U.S. defense commitment to Japan, it is consistent with the long-standing policies of his predecessors. As Obama pointed out, “this isn’t a ‘red line’ that I’m drawing; it is the standard interpretation over multiple administrations of the terms of the alliance…There’s no shift in position. There’s no “red line” that’s been drawn. We’re simply applying the treaty.”

In 2004, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage stated that the U.S.-Japan Mutual Security Treaty “would require any attack on Japan, or the administrative territories under Japanese control, to be seen as an attack on the United States.”

During a 2010 flare-up of tensions between China and Japan over the Senkakus, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated, “we have made it very clear that the [Senkaku] islands are part of our mutual treaty obligations, and the obligation to defend Japan

The Obama administration’s public reassurance to Japan is meant to deter China from behaving aggressively. In recent years, Beijing has used military and economic threats, bombastic language, and enforcement through military bullying to extend its extra-legal claims of sovereignty in the East and South China Seas.

In November 2013, China declared an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea, including the Senkaku Islands. Beijing threatened to use its military to enforce the ADIZ. Washington condemned this declaration as a provocative act that exacerbated tensions in the region and increased the risks of a military clash.

Beijing is also attempting to divert attention from its own actions by mischaracterizing Japan as a threat to regional security. China’s bellicose actions have fueled regional concern and triggered a greater Japanese willingness confront Chinese expansionism and strengthen its military. This willingness to defend its territory has been mischaracterized as a resurgence of Japan’s 1930s imperial militarism.

One of Japan’s problems isn’t with Chinese aggression. Their problem is toothless assurances from the United States when a significant portion of the US Naval Fleet…is along dockside, awaiting repairs, upgrades, or lacking the funding to return to the fleet.

According to sources, there are 430 ships believed to be in active service. That includes ships under construction and in reserve. The majority of these ships were built in the late 20th Century, some dating as far back as the 1960s. The Fleet is aging.

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), USS Enterprise (CVN 65), USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) — Norfolk Naval Yard, December 2012.

During the Bush years, we had twelve carriers afloat, each carrier being the center of a battlegroup. That number has been reduced to ten. The photo to the left, taken over the Christmas and New Years holidays in 2012. Reduced those battlegroups on the high seas, from ten to five for a short period.

With those ship’s crews on leave for the holidays, how quickly could they have responded if the Chinese chose to ignore the treaty between Japan and the US? My guess would be a month to retrieve the crews, top off consumables and sail to the trouble area.

Does Obama’s, Kerry’s and Hillery’s statements affirming that US/Japanese alliance hold water? I don’t know. The question really is, does the Chinese believe it does.

***

Clive Bundy is in the news again. He stepped in it, big time. He had an interview with a reporter from the New York Times. The NYT did it’s usual hatchet-job, taking Bundy’s words out of context, changing the order, doing their usual job putting Bundy in the worse light possible. The MSM took it an ran with it.

In the end, Bundy did say those things. However his statements does not change the facts about the BLM’s aggression and overt attempts of land grabbing.

In response to the NYT interview, this column appeared in The American Thinker.

Why It’s Okay to Hate Cliven Bundy

By J.R. Dunn, April 28, 2014

It has become clear that Cliven Bundy was transgressed by the New York Times, his words taken out of context and retailed in such a way as to mean something they were not. Bundy is no racist, and the attempt to make him look like one is another step downward in the collapse of American national media.

But conservatives still have a right — in fact, a responsibility — to be annoyed with Bundy.

To wit: Bundy did not walk, not stumble, did not swerve into the trap set by the New York Times.  He was not ambushed, he was not taken by surprise. He instead ran full tilt and threw himself into that trap, exactly like the kid at the end of Million Dollar Hotel.

Bundy sat across from a reporter for the NYT, the most vicious, calculating, untrustworthy, and dishonest nest of vipers in the entire U.S. media network, and talked straight to him about matters of import and controversy, under the impression that he would understand and transmit his thoughts the way that he actually expressed them.

Nobody, a full century into the progressive era, seventy years into the epoch of big government, and fifty years after the mass media turned anti-American as a matter of course, has any right to do this. Nobody has a right to be that stupid, to be that ill-informed, or to be that self-centered.

Granted that Bundy, a lifetime Nevada rancher, is not the epitome of sophistication. He is not the typical Times reader, even for Nevada. He may well have never held a copy of the paper in his hands, much less read it. But that’s no excuse, because the status and nature of the New York Times has become a truism of American political culture. It is the bastion of left-wing thought in the media, the source from which everyone else takes their cue. In conservative circles, it’s what amounts to a punchline.

Bundy must have heard of this, at least vaguely. And yet he went out, and kindly loaded up Adam Nagourney’s pistol for him, then turned around, took his hat off, and waited for the bullet. The living portrait of middle-American conservatism in the 21st century.

How many times does this have to happen? How many Todd Akins do we need giving bizarre lectures on female biology exactly as if he knew what he was talking about? How many O’Donnells do we need providing ammunition to Bill Maher? How many Mourdocks? Even Sarah Palin, one of smartest political figures we’ve got, fell for this her first time out. (Granted, she was given plenty of help by McCain’s staff.)

I have been interviewed by newspaper reporters several dozen times in my various careers in business, writing, and conservative politics. How many times was I quoted correctly? Not once. Not a single time. Reporters typically mangle quotes, misunderstand what you’re saying, shift contexts, or deliberately rearrange statements to make them work the way they want. (And there’s nothing you can do about this. Once you speak to a reporter, what you have said is the newspaper’s property.  That’s right. Your words no longer belong to you — according to their interpretation. Your statement is theirs, to do with as they see fit, with no input from you, the schmuck who merely spoke the words. Of course, there’s no legal backing for this whatsoever. But there’s no legal backing for airline baggage handlers destroying expensive musical instruments. Yet they still get away with it.) The first time you see this it’s annoying. The second time it’s infuriating. The third time it’s expected.

Why do they do this? Not necessarily out of maliciousness or stupidity. (Though  that’s true often enough.) It’s the culture. The idea that newspapers are there to print “facts,” Who-what-where -when-and-why, is mythology gone with Jimmy Olsen and His Gal Friday. Today, reporters work with certain formats, to which they are expected to fit any related story.  One such concept is “every conservative is a hate-filled, fanatic Neanderthal.”  A corollary of this is “All Nevada ranchers are demented racists.”

Papers higher on the food chain, along with magazines and broadcast and cable networks, have agendas which these stereotypical patterns are used to support. I doubt I need to detail the nature of these agendas.

From these realities certain rules can be derived.

1) These people are not on your side.

2) Anything you say can and will be used against you.

3) Nothing you say will ever be used to support your position (or any conservative position at all.)

So what can we do in this situation? A friend of mine long experienced in public relations puts it very simply: you tell them exactly what you want them to say in the exact words that you want them to say it with. No ambiguity, no complications, no diversions. Then you stop. You don’t say any more. You add nothing. You don’t answer their questions. Their questions are not intended to shed light on your ideas or to develop detail. They are meant to trip you up and that is all. Anybody who acts as if they are truly interested in what you think about them there Negroes or legitimate rape is speaking as the enemy. You don’t feed them. You don’t hand them the weapon to strike you down with. You say “good afternoon” and turn on your heel.

The article continues at the website. It is a lesson to be learned. The media are not our friends, regardless of the medium and the reputation of the reporter. You are always on record and the media, like rapacious piranha, are waiting to feed upon you.

Politicians and candidates take note. Be careful what you say. If you are a conservative, the bottom-feeders are waiting for you to make a mistake or to misspeak.

War Warnings

The United States was involved in two major, world-spanning, wars in the 20th Century. We had warnings before the start of each war…and, for the most part, ignored them.

Newt Gingrich, in a CNN column, writes about the parallels between our current foreign situation and that prior to World War One. Gingrich, in addition to his political experience, is also a Historian. He is seeing the same parallels that I’ve written about in past posts.

The twin dangers of the Ukraine crisis

By Newt Gingrich, April 23, 2014 — Updated 2221 GMT (0621 HKT)

Ukrainian troops take position near burning tires at a pro-Russian checkpoint in Slaviansk following an attack by Ukrainian soldiers on Thursday, April 24. Ukraine has seen a sharp rise in tensions since a new pro-European government took charge of the country in February.

 

(CNN) — This year is the centennial of the First World War. One-hundred years ago this month, in April 1914, no one thought there would be a war. But war began, triggered by events in Eastern Europe, by the end of July. It came as an enormous shock, in retrospect almost like the Titanic hitting an iceberg.

In the end, it shattered Europe, cost tens of millions of lives, bankrupted countries and changed forever those who survived the horrors.

A century later, our focus is again on Eastern Europe, the site of a regional conflict that threatens to entangle the world’s leading powers.

The situation in Ukraine is a perilous one, much more so than our current debate acknowledges.

In Russia, we are dealing with the largest country in the world geographically, a country that possesses thousands of nuclear weapons, plenty of ballistic missiles and a ruthlessly determined leader motivated by nationalism and an imperial drive: a leader who also has an entrenched machine capable of keeping him in power for a long time.

In Ukraine, we are dealing with an ally that fought alongside us in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a nation now threatened with conquest by a much stronger neighbor against which it cannot defend itself.

In Europe, we are dealing with a continent that for more than half a century has relied on the United States to guarantee peace, security and freedom. We have kept that promise through NATO, the alliance that war in Eastern Europe threatens seriously to undermine.

And in the United States, we are dealing with a nation weary of war after more than a decade spent in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a public wary of more armed intervention abroad.

We need a national debate on what our policy is going to be. And then we need to engage our friends in Europe on what our policy is going to be.

As retired former NATO Commander Gen. Wesley Clark and his colleague Dr. Phillip Karber, a former Defense Department official, detail in their recent report from Ukraine, the Obama Pentagon has adopted a position of not helping that country with any offensive weapons. Offensive weapons including, for example, Kevlar vests, night vision equipment and aviation fuel.

So while the United States has sent thousands of meals ready to eat (Army rations) to a country that is an agricultural exporter, the administration has refused to send even nonlethal equipment that would help Ukraine defend itself and possibly avert war.

Instead of sending military supplies to Ukraine, we hear talk of more sanctions. And yet, as I discuss in my podcast this week, I suspect it will be apparent very quickly that sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin are going to be irrelevant. He is a very tough man. He heads a very big country with immense natural resources. He can cause pain fully as much as his neighbors can cause him pain. He can block American shipments to Afghanistan from coming through Russia by the northern route. He can cut off natural gas flow to Western Europe. He has a veto at the U.N. Security Council, and can obstruct further sanctions against Iran.

This is a very difficult situation, and we are now in two enormous dangers. First, of the Obama administration doing too little, in which case the world will become less safe as we show weakness to our allies and the Russians seek to reconstitute the Soviet empire. And second, of doing things too clumsily, in which case, as one-hundred years ago, a bad combination of miscalculations, delusions, laws and alliances could land us in a war no one intends.

If you read popular history, you would believe that the US entered World War One because of the sinking of the RMS Lusitania. What you may not remember is that the Lusitania was sunk on May 7, 1915. The US did not enter the war until April 6, 1917—nearly two years later.

The reasons for the delay were many—mostly due to the incompetence of Woodrow Wilson and his alliance with various ‘Peace’ groups. Wilson was finally convinced to sign the declaration of war after a number of events, such as the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare, the Zimmerman letters that indicated the Axis powers were attempting an alliance with Mexico (an aftermath of Pershing’s pursuit of Pancho Villa) and other indications that the Axis powers would soon ignore the neutrality of the US and attack US assets and installations at home and abroad.

American Entry into World War I, 1917

On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson went before a joint session of Congress to request a declaration of war against Germany. Wilson cited Germany’s violation of its pledge to suspend unrestricted submarine warfare in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and its attempts to entice Mexico into an alliance against the United States, as his reasons for declaring war. On April 4, 1917, the U.S. Senate voted in support of the measure to declare war on Germany. The House concurred two days later. The United States later declared war on Austria-Hungary on December 7, 1917. — Office of the Historian, US State Department.

The paragraph above is the official summary of our entry into WW1. There is a more extensive, and controversial, discussion on Wiki (accused of anti-German bias.)

What Gingrich’s article does is to compare parallels then and today. Is the Russian invasion of the Crimea similar to that of Austia-Hungary’s invasion of Serbia? Is the overthrow of Ukrainian President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, the parallel of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand?

Obama, in response to Putin’s actions in the Ukraine, is sending a few troops to Poland, a US and NATO ally. True, it’s only 600 Paratroops to participate in a joint exercise. Other Army companies will head to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Obama and others in the White House and in the Administration think these pittance of troops will block further aggression by Putin. Unfortunately, like those events leading to World War 1, those few troops could be a tripwire leading us into another war. And, like we were prior to those two world wars in the last century, we are, again, ill prepared to respond.

More Wednesday’s Words

It seems my shot at the US Postal Service the other day hit home. They’ve just announced they are ending Saturday mail pickup and delivery—other than at the Post Offices. If they weren’t authorized in the Constitution, Article I, Section 8, they would have long been bankrupt.

This announcement is just another example of the USPS’ stagger towards irrelevancy and extinction. If they truly wanted to save the Service, they’d end union domination and outsource most of the operation. But, that will never happen and UPS, FedEx and other commercial package and delivery services will continue to grow while the demand for the USPS diminishes.

***

This is an interesting item.  The unions want to become drug dealers…specifically dealing marijuana.

Together, the dispensaries are a symbol of the growing bond between the nascent medical marijuana industry and struggling labor unions.

During the last few years, unions, led by the UFCW, have played an increasingly significant role in campaigns to allow medical marijuana, now legal in California, 17 other states and Washington, D.C.

In the November elections, UFCW operatives also helped get-out-the-vote efforts in Colorado, where voters approved a measure that made possession of one ounce (28.3 grams) or less of the drug legal for anyone 21 and older. Washington state approved a similar measure and both states require regulation of marijuana growers, processors and retailers. — Reuters.

At least the unions are limiting themselves to a quasi-legal area. If they expand beyond medical marijuana, they’d find themselves in competition with the Mexican Cartels and their US allies, M13 and others. The difference between unions and the gangs is blurry enough without making the distinction worse.

***

The tensions in WesPac between China, Japan and the other western pacific nations is heating up. A ChiCom warship engaged missile radar lock on a Japanese warship. Many nations consider this an act of war. At one time, the US Navy considered such an act as an attack worthy of immediate response, i.e., an anti-radar missile fired back along that radar path.

“The incident is a dangerous conduct that could have led to an unforeseeable situation. It is extremely regrettable that China carried out such a one-sided, provocative act when signs are emerging for dialogue,” Abe told parliament.

“I ask the Chinese side to return to the spirit of mutually beneficial, strategic relations and prevent the recurrence of an incident like this. I strongly ask them for restraints so that the situation will not escalate further.”

Fire control radar is used to pinpoint the location of a target for missiles or shells. Directing the radar at a target can be considered a step away from actual firing.

The radar incident, which Japan said took place in the East China Sea on Jan. 30, came days after Chinese Communist Party chief Xi Jinping told Abe’s envoy that he was committed to developing bilateral ties. — Dawn.Com.

The territorial disputes arise from the claims of a number of nations to the oil and gas fields in the South China Sea and the Spratly Islands. China has laid claim to the entire area and has threatened to close it to shipping of other nations.  In response the US sent a carrier battlegroup through the South China Sea to show support for open navigation.

SpratlyScarboroughShoalMapThere have been unverified reports that China may seed the disputed area with mines in an attempt to deny access to other nations. In January 2013, China announced naval exercises in the South China Sea in another attempt to intimidate Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippine Islands—all parties with interests and claim to that area.

China to conduct naval drills in Pacific amid tension

updated 1/30/2013 3:20:08 AM ET

BEIJING (Reuters) – Three advanced Chinese warships left port on Wednesday for naval drills and war games in the Western Pacific, and the fleet will likely pass through disputed waters in the East and South China Sea, state media said.

The official Xinhua news agency described the maneuvers as routine, but they come as China is engaged in an increasingly bitter, high stakes dispute over maritime territory with Japan and with several Southeast Asia nations.

“The fleet will carry out more than 20 types of exercises including naval confrontation, battle drills far out at sea, the protection of maritime rights and command and control,” Xinhua cited the Defence Ministry as saying in a statement.

“These exercises on the high seas will take in the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea, the South China Sea, the Miyako Strait, the Bashi Channel and the seas to the east of Taiwan.”

In the US, everyone’s attention is on the Mideast with Iran’s announcement they are now nuclear, and by inference, have a nuke. However, if WW3 erupts, it’s more likely to occur in the Pacific.  China is a nuclear power. Taiwan is one of several nations, like Israel, South Korea, who have quietly developed nukes or could develop nukes quickly.

Note, too, that Japan has nuclear technology. They have the knowledge to make nukes whenever they want. However, they also have a cultural prohibition. I would expect that prohibition to go out the window if China ever threatened Japan with a nuke.  Japan also has missile technology that could be easily converted to ICBMs.

If large scale war erupts in the Pacific with an exchange of nukes, strategic or tactical, I expect Iran to “accidentally” go poof.