On the wings of Eagles…

A friend of mine sent me the link to this video. It is about the P-51 fighter, the men who piloted them and those remaining still today. It is a story about Jim Brooks, a Double Ace, and his Grandkids.

I know someone like Jim, who, by coincidence is also named Jim. My friend flew B-17s in Europe, completed his tour and then flew B-29s on missions over Japan. A few years later, he flew B-29s over North Korea—a time where the life expectancy of a B-29 was measured in single digit missions.

Follow this link to the video about the Gray Eagles. It a bit long but worth it. It’s in HD and if you have a broadband connection, watch it in full screen (check the little box with a rising arrow.)

The Gray Eagles. Enjoy and remember them.

Sheriff recommends students ignore college gun ban.

Now here’s a lawman to support. It has facts at his fingertips on how crime drops when Concealed Carry is available. He also notes that the actions of the college trustees are not supported by state law.

Larimer County (CO) Sheriff James Alderden has his head on straight.

From the Colorado Springs Gazette

2010-02-23 18:13:46

The Colorado State University Board of Governors voted unanimously Tuesday to place students at both of its campuses in harm’s way with a sweeping weapons ban law-abiding citizens will obey and criminals will ignore.

Larimer County Sheriff James Alderden, outraged by the ban, told The Gazette’s opinion department he will undermine it in the interest of student safety.

CSU-Fort Collins Police Chief Wendy Rich-Goldsmith, a relative newcomer to the campus, supports the ban.

“I have told the CSU police chief I will not support this in any way,” Sheriff Alderden told The Gazette. “If anyone with one of my permits gets arrested for concealed carry at CSU, I will refuse to book that person into my jail. Furthermore, I will show up at court and testify on that person’s behalf, and I will do whatever I can to discourage a conviction. I will not be a party to this very poor decision.”

Though each CSU campus has its own police department, Alderden issues all cops on the Fort Collins campus a deputy sheriff’s commission card. He also runs the county’s jail, which campus police use after making arrests.

Alderden said ban advocates have been unable to cite a single study or statistic to show that students will be safer as a result of a weapons ban. He’s convinced they will be much less safe as a result of the ban, which will leave most students defenseless. The ban establishes the campuses as “soft targets,” meaning armed criminals will have a reasonable expectation their intended victims aren’t armed.

“There are volumes of statistical and anecdotal data that show populations are safer when law-abiding citizens are permitted to carry concealed weapons,” Alderden said.

Six years after Alderden began issuing permits, he noticed the homicide rate in his jurisdiction had dropped.

At CSU-Fort Collins, the ban includes pepper spray, in quantities greater than an ounce, and Tasers.

“This ban, which is broad and encompassing, basically denies students at the Fort Collins campus any defensive capacity at all,” Alderden said. “It’s a weapons-free zone for law-abiding people, and it won’t do a single thing to keep armed criminals off of campus. It will only ensure them a lot of defenseless victims. The people who did this are lost in their own world of ideological liberalism. You would think people involved in academia would want to deal in data and experience, but this has been all about emotion.”

Alderden said he realized the sentiment against self-defense is based in emotion after speaking with a public school teacher who asked him to stop issuing concealment permits. He showed her data that prove concealed carry reduces crime. He told her concealed carry would help reduce violent crime in Fort Collins and the rest of Larimer County — a sentiment shared by El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa and a growing number of ranking law enforcement officials regarding their own jurisdictions.

“I made the whole case, based in provable facts. The teacher said, and I quote, ‘I don’t care about the facts.’ She only cared about her emotional response,” Alderden said.

(Please vote in poll to the right, in red type. Must vote to see results. Thanks!)

The student Senate of the Fort Collins campus opposed the ban by a 23-1 vote. That means CSU governors, and administrators who pushed for the ban, don’t seem to care what their customers think. The Student Senate at Pueblo approved the ban, only after administrators said “weapons” did not include Tasers or pepper spray.

“God forbid we have something like the tragedy at Virginia Tech at one of these campuses,” Alderden said, referring to a notorious shooting spree in which a lunatic wantonly killed for hours, while a gun ban ensured him no students or faculty would shoot back.

Alderden questions the legality of the ban, saying the legislature never discussed excluding college campuses when it passed a shall-issue concealed-carry law in 2003. The law requires county sheriff’s to issue concealment permits to law-abiding residents without felonies, misdemeanor domestic violence records, or other other disqualifying conditions. Furthermore, he said students who ignore the ban won’t have legal problems if they don’t get caught.

“If it’s properly concealed, so that nobody sees the weapon, it probably won’t be a problem,” Alderden said.

In the event a concealed weapon is needed for defense of self or others, it would become evident to law enforcement. In that unlikely event, Alderden said, safety trumps legal concerns.

“They say it’s better to be judged by 12 than carried by six,” Alderden said.

That’s the advice of a lawman with a record of reducing crime. The ban is the work of academic ideologues, who theorize about safety and crime. Hope and pray the academicians don’t find themselves begging forgiveness someday, in the wake of a horrible crime. — Wayne Laugesen, editorial page editor, for the editorial board

Cartoon of the Day: Chuck Asay, Michael Ramirez

Mobama wants to lead a push against childhood obesity. Knowing her, the libs and dems, this is what will happen.


Obama wants to meet with the ‘Pubs on a compromise on Obamacare. The only good solution is to drop the whole thing. So what does Obama do? He publishes a slightly modified version of the Senate bill and hopes the ‘Pubs roll over as they have done so many times before.

When that happened, Mitch McConnell should have stated that the ‘Pubs would NOT meet when there are obvious preconditions. Instead, he was trying to be a nice guy.

Mitch! It’s time to stop being a nice guy. Obama isn’t, his staff isn’t, the dems, libs and tranzi progressives aren’t. It’s WAR, Mitch! Wake up!

What do these industries have in common?

There is an article in the New York Times that says that economic recovery is lead by these three industries: the automobile industry, the home building industry, and the banking industry. These areas are where money the money flow begins. That begs the question, what do these three have in common? They have all been bailed out by the US government—with all the strings, new regulations, taxes, and additional burdens attached.

The government now owns two of the “Big Three” automobile makers, Chrysler and GM. The home building industry is now “regulated” by the actions of Fannie May and Freddie Mac. A large portion of the mortgage industry has been usurped by the federal government. Ditto for the large banks.

But for those industries to recover, they must respond to natural market forces, not those imposed on them by the FedGov. Obama and the libs are attempting to impose a command economy on the United States. Just watch their attacks on Toyota and to a lesser extent, Ford. All we need to do is study the economy of the former Soviet Union and those of the former Warsaw Pact nations under the USSR’s heel to see just how well a command economy works.

It doesn’t.

To trigger a recovery, we need to remove the restraints levied by the federal, and in some states, the state government as well. Free enterprise works best where there is the least regulation by government. Look at the recovery from the Carter years. The first thing Reagan did was to cut corporate and personal income taxes by nearly half. He slashed the capital gains tax and by the time he left office, the US economy was the best and biggest in the world.

Economists are now saying that when the “recovery” occurs, it will do so without an increase in jobs. Any growth that could have lead to more jobs will be sucked off by taxes and choked by regulation. When the democrats are cast out, we must remove those restraints, taxes, all the new “commissions” imposed by the progressives that added nothing but a burden to business and provide more corruption and graft in the Chicago style.

As much as I’d like to see Obama, Emmanual, Reid, Pelosi, Geithner, Holder and all the other Marxists in government behind bars, it would set a bad precedent. They threatened G. W. Bush and Dick Cheney with prison but dropped those ideas in face of a massive negative response from the GOP and conservatives. Instead, lets break the liberal, progressive and democrat political power completely at all levels: local, state and national. My wish is that in fifty years the entire episode of Marxism, progressivism and the democrat party will by known only in the history books of a renewed United States.

Harry Reid’s sneaky "Tea Party" candidate

It seems the dems are up to their old tricks. They helped Ross Perot defeat G. W. H. Bush in 1991 and they helped split the ‘Pub vote by voting for McCain in 2008. Reid thinks a stalking horse may help keep his senatorial seat in 2010. How? By running a dem masquerading as a Tea Partier.

Sherm Fredrick writing in the Las Vegas Review Journal spills the beans on the subterfuge.

Reid’s sneaky ‘Tea Party’ candidate … and other Monday morning musings

Harry Reid’s sneaky "Tea Party" candidate

It seems the dems are up to their old tricks. They helped Ross Perot defeat G. W. H. Bush in 1991 and they helped split the ‘Pub vote by voting for McCain in 2008. Reid thinks a stalking horse may help keep his senatorial seat in 2010. How? By running a dem masquerading as a Tea Partier.

Sherm Fredrick writing in the Las Vegas Review Journal spills the beans on the subterfuge.

Reid’s sneaky ‘Tea Party’ candidate … and other Monday morning musings

The Next Cold War?

Everyone pretty much agrees that the Cold War of the last century was over by 1991. Regan’s tactic of out spending the Soviets worked. The American capitalist economy beat the Soviet’s Marxist command economy.

Now, eighteen years later, it appears another Cold War is brewing. This time, the American economy is under fire domestically as well as from foreign sources. This article from the UK Spectator brings into focus our next national threat.

Wednesday, 17th February 2010

The growing rift between the United States and China has chilling similarities to America’s old rivalry with the Soviet Union, says Daniel W. Drezner

When Barack Obama burst into the room to disrupt China’s meeting with its fellow climate change sceptics at the Copen-hagen summit, it was clear that something was not right in the relationship between the two countries. The American president had made his way past reporters, with a face like thunder, and shouted at his Chinese counterpart, ‘Mr Premier, are you ready for me?’ Wen Jiabao was not; and according to numerous press reports, Mr Obama was berated by a mid-ranking Chinese official for his rudeness. It was obvious to all present that the relative amicability that had defined Sino-American relations for most of last year was over.

Just a few months earlier, they seemed to be getting along famously. Hillary Clinton had been sent to China to thank them for buying so much American debt and to ask them to buy some more. White House staff were working well with their Beijing counterparts, and even military-to-military contacts had been rekindled. Pundits in Washington began to debate the prospect of a new ‘G-2’ alliance with Beijing to solve matters of global import. Sino-American relations seemed to be on the mend.

It didn’t last long. The relationship has worsened — and with ominous implications. For example, after Google announced its intention to withdraw from China after cyber-attacks on its Gmail service, Mrs Clinton gave a speech on internet freedom and alluded to China’s efforts to censor the web. China reacted vehemently, accusing the US of seeking to perpetuate its ‘information hegemony’. When Washington sought an additional round of United Nations Security Council sanctions against Iran’s nuclear programme, China acted as the brake.

A fortnight ago, the Obama administration announced a $6.4 billion arms sale to China’s diplomatic nemesis, Taiwan. China responded by threatening to impose sanctions on US firms such as Boeing. Their reaction was no less strong when American officials announced that Obama would meet the Dalai Lama, another of Beijing’s enemies. To these diplomatic set-tos, one can add tariff disputes over tyres, chicken, steel and other products.

The Obama administration initially toned down its rhetoric about Chinese currency manipulation — but it has changed course in recent weeks. Returning economic fire, People’s Liberation Army officials suggested using China’s vast dollar holdings as a foreign-policy lever. Major General Luo Yuan told a Chinese magazine, ‘We could sanction them using economic means, such as dumping some US government bonds.’ This is a financial version of the nuclear button. In response to the Taiwan arms sale, the state-controlled People’s Daily newspaper accused the US of having a ‘Cold War mentality’. Soberingly, a recent poll claimed that 55 per cent of Chinese agreed that ‘a cold war will break out between the US and China’.

An alarming prediction — but how accurate is it? Is the new Sino-American frostiness really a reboot of the Cold War? There are, alas, striking similarities. During the Cold War, for instance, America persistently exaggerated the military, economic and ideological strength of the Soviet Union. With an astronomically high investment rate, the Soviets achieved impressive but misleading economic growth. In the mid-1970s, the infamous ‘Team B’ exercise by the CIA produced a vastly exaggerated analysis of Russia’s military power. From Kennedy’s ‘missile gap’ to Reagan’s ‘window of vulnerability’, American leaders overestimated the USSR’s military capabilities.

Today, the Great Recession has led many Americans to overstate China’s power. Thomas Friedman, an influential newspaper columnist, has advanced the idea that the so-called ‘Washington Consensus’ of free markets and globalisation may be supplanted by a ‘Beijing Consensus’ model — a Confucian-Communist-Capitalist hybrid under the umbrella of a one-party state. These notions are by no means confined to political theorists: the public are guilty, too. An opinion poll in December last year found that 44 per cent of Americans believe that China is the world’s leading economic power; just 27 per cent name the United States.

The Middle Kingdom is certainly growing faster than the Grand Old Republic, but by any conventional measure — economic output, military capabilities, scientific and technological capacity — the United States is the most powerful country in the world. And it’s not a close-run thing.

But during the Cold War, the Soviet Union projected great strength while masking fundamental weaknesses. It was the world’s largest country, possessed a bounty of natural resources, was armed with nuclear weapons and had great strategic depth. Compared with the United States, though, it had tremendous disadvantages: it was a much poorer country with a weaker navy, and beyond the major cities it was bedevilled by poor infrastructure. The Russian elite was ever-conscious of the simmering ethnic tensions that plagued many of the outlying Soviet republics.

The array of potential adversaries on Soviet borders — including many with territorial disputes — was impressive. External criticism of its human rights record was an attack on the communist regime’s legitimacy. The Soviet leadership sometimes compensated for these weaknesses with bravado and bluster on the global stage.

All of which seems eerily similar to the new froideur between Washington and Beijing. The fundamentals of China’s economy are stronger than those of the old Soviet Union. It has the world’s largest population, a rapidly expanding middle class and a frightening amount of US bonds — but again, in comparison with America, its weaknesses are legion. The one-child policy has created a rapidly ageing population and, in common with the old Soviet leaders, the Beijing elite is painfully aware of simmering ethnic tensions on its own border regions.

Beijing faces periodic riots in Xinjiang and Tibet, daily worker unrest, unruly provincial leaders, and mounting ecological catastrophes. It has three enduring rivals (Japan, India and Vietnam) as neighbors. Its allies — North Korea and Myanmar — are sources of international embarrassment. And for all the fuss about Chinese cyber-attacks, internet experts agree that the United States possesses more ‘online offensive capabilities’ than any other country in the world. Even more than the old Soviet Union, China is both a great power and an extremely poor country.

Similarly, exhortations for the United States to ‘get tough’ on China usually come from Congress or newspaper comment pages — not from the Obama administration. For all her grandstanding, Hillary Clinton actually tap-danced around the China-Google imbroglio in her speech on internet freedom; and the US Department of Defense’s newly released Quadrennial Defense Review paid less attention to China than the last one did in 2006.

The novelty of the current situation is a key source of the bluster. Chinese officials are justly proud of their newfound economic strength — and wary of the responsibilities that come with it. Other countries expect Beijing to act as a responsible great power — but the Chinese elite view themselves as too poor to oblige. At the same time, American officials are out of practice in dealing with independent forces of national power.

For two decades the United States has been the sole undisputed global superpower. As a result, it is used to having all decisions of consequence go through Washington, and the current generation of thinkers and policy-makers are unprepared for the idea of other countries taking the lead.

The leaders of both countries already recognize the greatest similarity between the Sino-American relationship and the Cold War: the possibility of mutually assured destruction. During the Soviet-US stand-off, it was the prospect of nuclear Armageddon that haunted statesmen and citizens alike. Today, the tension between America and China concerns what Obama’s adviser Larry Summers called the ‘balance of financial terror’. China is now the world’s largest exporter, and the United States is their second-largest export market. Beijing’s economic policies since the start of the credit crunch suggest that they are pinning their recovery hopes on more export-driven growth. Meanwhile, the Obama administration’s budget projections show that the United States will need to rely on foreign-debt servicing (i.e. huge investments from China) for some time. In a global economy still struggling to recover from the Great Recession, the world’s largest exporter and largest consumer market can’t afford a serious rupture in their relationship.

In the Cold War, moments of brinksmanship caused both countries to back away from the precipice. It is possible that, as tensions between China and America mount, nervous chauvinism — in the form of economic nationalism, bureaucratic rivalries or Congressional stupidity — might trigger a cascade of misguided actions and cause a damaging conflict. We can hope that politicians in Beijing and Washington will learn the right lessons from history. But we can expect plenty more tension as Uncle Sam and the Dragon settle down together.

Daniel W. Drezner is professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Go here for the complete column.