WHY AMERICA MUST REGAIN ITS MILITARY STRENGTH

AM C article on KEEPING AMERICA SAFE: by Gene Barrett

“WITHOUT A RESPECTABLE NAVY, ALAS AMERICA!” Captain John Paul Jones, 17 Oct. 1776

The Earth is covered with 196.9 square miles of water, so why would a tiny strait of water matter much to anyone? Because that little stretch of water is knows as the “Strait of Hormuz” and is one of the most strategically important waterways in the world today.

The Strait of Hormuz is extremely important geographically because it is considered one of the world’s foremost chokepoints. A chokepoint is a narrow channel (in this case a strait) that is used as a sea route for the shipment of goods. The main type of good passing through the Strait of Hormuz is oil from the Middle East and, as a result, is one of the world’s most important chokepoints. It is the only sea route where oil from Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and much of the United Arab Emirates can be transported. The majority of the world’s oil reserves today resides in the Arabian Gulf region, with few options for exporting this oil out of the region besides the straits.

Iran and Iraq’s anti-western regimes oppose the United States presence within the Persian Gulf and the security that the US provides for many of the Gulf States, 15% of the world’s commerce is routed through Hormuz. Should war break out in this region, any aggression by Iran or any other nation would disrupt a large portion of the world’s economy.

Two countries lay claim to the territorial waters in the strait, Oman and Iran. While Oman has been a relatively benign landlord, Iran has on several occasions threatened to shut the strait down with a naval blockade.

The U.S. Navy has been protecting trade and commerce as early as 1801, when U.S. leaders decided to take action against Barbary pirates who constantly kidnapped the crew of American ships and held them from ransom in the Mediterranean.

A strong U.S. Navy is just as important today as it was when Thomas Jefferson took on the Barbary Coast Pirates. SADLY, OVER THE LAST EIGHT YEARS UNDER THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, OUR NAVAL FORCES have been dramatically reduced. TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THIS PERCEIVED WEAKNESS, IRAN was emboldened to seize a U.S.Naval vessel and hold 10 American sailors captive. Meanwhile China continues to build a military base on an artificial island in the South China Sea.

THE FOLLOWING IS A BREAKDOWN OF NAVAL STRENGTHS BY COUNTRY:

NORTH KOREA: 967;  CHINA: 714; UNITED STATES: 415; IRAN: 398; RUSSIA: 352

These are the top five Navies in the world as of 2016, although sheer numbers don’t always tell the tale of the tape, as the U.S. still possesses an advantage in war technology.

Despite that, a Chinese warship recently seized an underwater drone deployed by a U.S. oceanographic vessel in the South China Sea.

U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus cited a “growing China” as one of the reasons that the Navy needed to expand its fleet to 355 ships, including 12 carriers, 104 large surface combatants, 38 amphibious ships and 66 submarines. The seizure of our underwater drone added to concerns about China’s increased military presence and aggressive posture in the disputed South China Sea, including its militarization of maritime outposts.

One of Ronald Reagan’s campaign platforms was to re-build our Navy into a 600 ship Navy. It peaked in 1987 at 594 ships before a sharp and steady decline into our 415 ships currently active today. Having a strong Navy will always be a strategic necessity of the United States. This is the only way to ensure a strong presence overseas, which provides the ability to forward deploy combat ready troops, aircraft  and armor  that can be ready to act, if needed.

IN ORDER FOR AMERICA TO REGAIN ITS MILITARY STRENGTH, PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP will have to find potentially tens of billions of dollars a year for new ships, amid falling federal revenues, something Trump and his political allies in Congress agree on.

Strategic chokepoints around the globe must be able to be kept open fy force, if needed. We conduct forward naval operations both to ensure unimpeded use of the seas and to project American influence and power into the littoral areas of the world. We must have a strong Navy to be able to continue those operations.

SEQUESTRATION IS HARMING OUR MILITARY, from the CHIFR BRIAN DUFFY, VFW, MAGAZINES.

This articles was about what the 114th Congress approved for the VA and how much they approved for the VA.  But it was also about what is happening to our Military because of the BUDGET CONTROL ACT OF 2011 WHICH calls for a $487 billion reduction in Pentagon spending over a 10 yeaar period. Sequestration doubles that amount. The Dept. of Defense, which accounts for nearly half of the federal budget’s discretionary funding, has not been so fortunate.

The nation’s military has taken the brunt of sequestration’s withering cuts. The Air Force, for example, is experiencing a pilot shortage of between 700 and 1,000. News reports last year estimated that the service also was short 4,00 airmen-along with spare parts-to maintain its fleet.

Overall, since the end of 1991’s Persian Gulf War, the Air Force has 30 percent fewer airmen, 40 percent fewer aircraft and 60 percent fewer fighter squadrons. In 1991, the force had 134 fighter squadrons; today, only 55.

IT’S NO DIFFERENT FOR THE OTHER SERVICES. “For the Army, our No. 1 readiness risk is sequestration.” Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, the Army’s vice chief of staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee last March.

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According to the VFW, Ending sequestration is a top VFW objective.

This shows exactly what Pres. Trump has been saying all along. Hopefully we will back him 100% when he does what necessary to protect this country. THIS IS THE GOVERNMENTS NO.1 JOB.  A strong military sends a message to the world:  WE ARE PREPARED, SO DON’T TREAD ON US.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRO LIFE -MARCH FOR LIFE

FROM CONCEPTION TO NATURAL DEATH IS THE CRY OF EVERY CATHOLIC AND HOPEFULLY EVERY CHRISTIAN.

THE MARCH FOR LIFE ON FRIDAY, JAN 28, 2017 WAS AGAIN VERY SUCCESSFUL AND VERY ENERGETIC. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE ENTIRE 44 YEARS OF THE MARCH, SINCE THE YEAR AFTER ROE VS WADE WAS PASSED THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE U.S. SPOKE FROM THE STAGE. I DIDN’T HEAR HOW MANY WERE THERE, IT REALLY DOESN’T MATER, THEY MADE THEIR POINT. AND THERE WERE CHILDREN, TEENS, AND ALL AGES OF ADULTS. THERE ARE MORE EVERY YEARS AND THEY COME FROM EVERYWHERE. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A LONG TIME, THE PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT ARE PRO LIFE.

A NEW SLOGAN:  ADOPTION NOT ABORTION.

IF ANYONE READING THIS NEEDS HELP OR KNOWS OF SOMEONE THAT NEEDS HELP TELL THEM TO CALL CATHOLIC CHARITIES. They are listed in the phone book. They will have names and addresses of safe places to go for help.  Most neighborhood clinics will have names and addresses.   There are places to get free mammograms. There are places to get free birth control and there are places that will help women to keep their babies, finish school, get a job, or help them put their babies up for adoption. They do not need Planned Parenthood.   I thought the meditation  and prayer below  from the  book: THE MESSAGE OF FATIMA apply.

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JESUS, HAVING CONQUERED LIFE WITH DEATH AND SIN WITH LOVE ,appears to the women and his followers at various times and in various ways to deliver a PRO LIFE MESSAGE that goes beyond what this finite existence is able to contain.  Christ’s power is over life and death in this world and in the next!  LOVE is more powerful than death;  LIFE reaches beyond the grave for those who believe. Suffering has saving power.  Penance, and remission of sins in Christ, saves souls.

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OH MARY, MOTHER OF THE LIFE WITHIN,  ALL LIFE WE ENTRUST TO YOU: THE LIFE OF EVERY EXPECTANT MOTHER, AND THE CHILD WITHING HER WOMB, THE LIFE OF EVERY HUMAN BODY, THE LIFE OF EVERY HUMAN SOUL, THE LIFE OF EVERY NEWBORN CHILD AND THE LIFE OF ALL GROWN OLD. YOU HELD THE LORD TO YOUR OWN HEART AND DREW HIM SO CLOSE IN.  SO DRAW US NOW IN ALL OUR NEEDS, OH MOTHER OF THE LIFE WITHIN.

 

DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE LEGAL PROTECTION OF UNBORN CHILDREN

This was on Jan. 23, Monday, but I thought you would all like to know, since the Pro Life March is coming up soon.

In all the dioceses of the united States of America, Jan 22 (or Jan. 23, if the 22nd is on a Sunday), shall be observed as a particular day of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion.

GOD, OUR CREATOR, WE GIVE THANKS TO YOU, who alone have the power to impart the breath of life as you form each of us in our mother’s womb; grant, we pray, that we, whom you have made stewards of creation, may remain faithful to this sacred trust and constant ion safeguarding the dignity of every human life. THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, YOUR SON.

WE VALUE LIFE THROUGH CONCEPTION TO NATURAL DEATH.

U.S.SPENDS MILLIONS ON ELECTRIC BUSES AND BIKE HIGHWAY IN MEXICO AND COLUMBIA

I am sure there is an excuse for this, but why would the Obama Admin. spend Millions on another Country’s road when they tell us our (INFRASTRUCTURE (roads and bridges) are falling apart? According to : JUDICIAL WATCH’S VERDICT, January, 2017 this is what happened:

SURPRISE, SURPRISE, THE UNITED STATES IS THE FIRST NATION TO DONATE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO YET ANOTHER GLOBAL WARMING EXPERIMENT—run by the famously corrupt UNITED NATIONS–that aims to forge “climate resilient infrastructure” in third world countries. The money will help build a bicycle highway in Columbia and bring electric buses and a “green-bus corridor” to Mexico.

It is part of an initiative called C$) Cities Finance Facility, launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, 2015. The global warming powwow in France already has cost American taxpayers a chunk of change, and Judicial Watch made the numbers public last summer after obtaining records from the U. S. Secret Service and the Department of the Air Force. The documents offer a detailed breakdown of the cost and total expenditure to have President Obama attend the Paris shindig, an eye-popping, $4,165,0681. Judicial Watch had to file a lawsuit to get the information because the administration refused to provide it under the Freedom of Information Act  which was enacted to ensure government transparency in exactly these kinds of situations.

The first two million dollars doled out in October 2015 by the United States will fund two urban pilot projects in Latin America that are predicted to bring “climate-change adaptation and mitigation benefits.” The first project is a 25 kilometer bicycle highway in Bogota, Colombia that will connect citizens from low, middle and high-income neighborhoods to work, education and recreation opportunities. An announcement published by the U.S. Government calls the project a “first-of-its-kind,” traversing the Colombian city from south to north. The rest of the money will buy a fleet of at least 100 electric buses for Mexico City and install a “green-bus corridor” along one of its major thoroughfares. It’s expected to serve and estimated 133,400 Mexicans daily, providing connections to metro lines. This is an important investment for the United States, a government official claims in the announcement, because the impacts of climate change are impeding cities from delivering reliable services. “especially to the poorest” (my thought, will this help the poor living in the dumps and trash piles?)

Years ago, the Obama administration determined that the poor will feel the brunt of climate change, and it has cost American taxpayers MONSTROUS sums. In the last few years, the U.S. Government has funded a number of programs, both domestic and international, to prepare those Communities for the impact. In 2012, in 2012, the administration asked Congress for a whopping $770 MILLION to help developing countries with climate change initiatives after it already had spent #323 MILLION on a project called Global Climate Change Initiative.

OK, THIS ARTICLE GOES ON AND ON.  I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THIS SPENDING OF MONEY  OVERSEAS BECAUSE: 1. WE ARE BORROWING IT ALL AND HAVE A DEFICIT OF OVER 18 TRILLION, and 2. we need our infrastructure repaired and our citizens need jobs.

PRESIDENT TRUMP, we need this money here, help us put and end to this ridiculous spending. No wonder other countries didn’t want Trump to win.

THE TEAM TRUMP COUNTS ON TO KEEP AMERICA SAFE

I know we are in the middle of confirmation hearings, but I wanted to print the background of these members he wants on his team.

MEMBERS OF PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP’S NATIONAL SECURITY TEAM REFLECT A COMMON  THEME: smart, tough, loyal, and not afraid to disrupt the bureaucratic status quo. His appointments strongly suggest that Trump seeks a major overhaul in the fields of defense, intelligence, and security.

NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Ret. Gen. Mike Flynn, 58

Resume: Former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, former assistant director of National Intelligence, U.S. Army lieutenant general. Flynn, a Democrat, was forced out of the Obama administration after he repeatedly warned that ISIS was for real and trying to topple Bashar al-Assad in Syria would fuel rampant chaos. LITTLE KNOW FACT: The national security adviser is a member of the president’s personal staff, which means the controversial Flynn will not need to undergo Senate confirmation.

U.S ATTORNEY GENERAL: Sen. Jeff Sessions, 70

Resume: Sessions was the U>S> attorney for Alabama for 12 years before being elected the attorney general of Alabama in 1994: he was elected to the U>S>Senate in 1996. He was the first sitting senator to endorse Trump’s presidential bid, and will be called upon to fix a Justice Department and FBI that have become embroiled in Beltway politics.  LITTLE KNOWN FACT: Like Trump, Sessions is a climate change skeptic. He once remarked in a hearing that carbon dioxide “is really not a pollutant, that’s a plant food, and it doesn’t harm anybody.”

DIRECTOR, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY: Rep. Mike Pompeo, 53

Resume: A strong pro-lifer who identifies with the tea party movement and a successful entrepreneur. Pompeo was first elected in 2010 to represent Kansas in the House of Representatives. He’s been a harsh critic of the administration’s handling of the Benghazi attacks, of the Iran nuclear deal, and of attempts to shutter the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.  LITTLE KNOWN FACT: A brilliant student, Pompeo graduated first in his class at West Point and later became editor of the Harvard Law Review.

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Ret. Marine Corps General James N. Mattis, 66

Resume: President Obama reportedly force Mattis into retirement after 41 years of service because he asked too many probing questions about Iran. MILITARY TIMES described Mattis as the most beloved Marine Corps general officer in a generation. LITTLE KNOWN FACT: Nicknamed “the warrior monk” for his single-minded dedication to military life and strategy, Mattis has never married and has no children.

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I will leave you to draw your own conclusions. However, I know military people want Mattis in that position because they trust his common sense. The fact that Obama didn’t want him, is a very good sign.

Flynn is a Democrat, and was fired by Obama because he asked too many question, and Obama didn’t want anyone to question his highness. Since he is on the President’s personal staff, the Congress can’t touch him. It would also seem to point out that Trump is willing to work with both sides to get things done.

Sessions has years of experience and won’t be dragged into Beltway politics. We need him to clean up the Justice Dept and FBI and put an end to political interference. Perhaps, laws on Immigration and other areas will now be enforced.

Pompeo, Pro-life is good, he won’t be targeting Pro life organizations. He is brilliant, graduated first in his class at West Point, editor of the Harvard Law Review. You can’t beat that time of intelligence.

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This would seem to point out that Trump is looking for the best of the best. God bless him and all who works with and for him.

 

 

 

Obama’s Presidency Sputters to an End

(THIS WAS TOO GOOD AN ARTICLE TO PASS UP FOLKS.)

By Timothy H. Lee

Barack Obama’s tumultuous presidency has now come and gone, which merits assessment of his performance and likely place in history.

Eight years ago, Obama’s raison d’être was “Hope and Change.”  So how did that all turn out?  How much hope did his presidency offer?  After nearly a decade in office, what change did he bring?

According to the American public he was elected to serve, a grim response arrived this week in the form of a comprehensive Gallup public opinion survey.

As it did eight years ago as the Bush Administration concluded, Gallup asked respondents whether the nation gained ground or lost ground on nineteen separate policy domains.  In what must surely come as a jarring corrective to any Obama loyalist, Americans believe that we lost ground under Obama on fully fourteen of those nineteen measures, held steady on one and gained ground on only five.

In descending degree of severity, the American electorate believes that we’ve regressed under Obama in terms of the federal debt, crime, income inequality, race relations, the situation in Iraq, terrorism, America’s position in the world, immigration, the situation in Afghanistan, taxes, national defense, education, the situation for blacks and trade relations.  Only in the situation for gays and lesbians, energy, climate change and by a slight margin the economy do Americans believe we’ve gained ground.  Notably, we’ve treaded water on healthcare, which was Obama’s signature focus.

“At the moment,” Gallup summarized, “Americans are more negative than positive on the progress made on the majority of issues tested.”

That’s hardly the “hope and change” that Obama promised, and quantifiable realities support Americans’ negative assessment.

Perhaps most alarmingly, Obama stands alone as the worst deficit spender in U.S. history, and it’s not even close.  The man who once labeled Bush’s comparatively tiny deficits “unpatriotic” averaged deficits of approximately $900 billion during his presidency, compared to Bush’s $250 billion average.  The largest deficit in U.S. history prior to 2009 was $450 billion, but Obama oversaw four consecutive deficits over $1 trillion.  Over his eight years, Obama added as much federal debt as every one of his predecessors combined.

On that measure alone, Obama instantly enters discussion of the worst presidents in U.S. history.

And to what end?  In terms of economic performance, for the first time in American history we’ve gone an entire decade without reaching even 3% growth.  The current cyclical expansion, our 12th since World War II, is the weakest of those 12.  During that 70-year period we’ve averaged 3.3% growth each year, but Obama never even reached that mark, let alone surpassed it.

The nation’s unemployment rate also festered above 8% for the longest stretch since recordkeeping began, and median U.S. incomes actually declined several years into the cyclical recovery, which was unprecedented.

Obama and his defenders routinely credit him with ending the last recession and preventing another Great Depression, but the facts simply don’t support that claim.  The U.S. economy actually bottomed out and began its V-shaped bounceback before Obama entered office, contracting 8.2% in the fourth quarter of 2008 before improving to 5.4% contraction in the first quarter of 2009 and 0.5% contraction in the second quarter of that year.  By June of 2009, just four months after Obama entered office and long before any of his economic policies took effect, the recession had already officially ended.

Thus, it’s simply not true that Obama ended the last recession.  What Obama did do was preside over the most sluggish cyclical recovery in U.S. history.

In terms of notable legislation, ObamaCare will stand alone as Obama’s signature act.  Years later, 27 million Americans remain uninsured, premiums continue to skyrocket and the law has remained unpopular with the American public.  Indeed, Obama’s false promise that, “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan” will go down as his most notable rhetorical moment.

In foreign policy, there is not a single significant theater of the world where America stands stronger today than it did on January 20, 2009.  In 2008, Obama labeled himself a “citizen of the world” before a Berlin audience, but today Brexit and other nationalist tendencies have spread like wildfire in rejecting the sort of globalism that Obama holds dear.  His most notable foreign policy pronouncement came when he declared a “red line” against chemical weapon use in Syria, only to abandon it a short time later while hundreds of thousands were slaughtered.  A Russia to whom Obama promised “flexibility” on an open microphone in 2012 continues to openly mock his impotence.  Appeasement of enemies like Iran and Cuba bore no fruit, but maltreatment of allies like Israel and Poland undermined our global standing.

Politically, Obama promised unity but brought record levels of polarization.  He became the first president to win reelection with fewer popular and electoral votes than his initial election.  Whereas Obama openly hoped to “make government cool again” when he entered office, trust in government proceeded to reach record lows while distrust in the federal government reached record highs.

Most humiliatingly and symbolically, Obama’s mismanagement led to record Republican success at the federal, state and local levels.  Today, the GOP holds more federal and state legislative seats than any time since the 1920s.

Indeed, no reality better summarizes Obama’s presidency than the fact that his despised antithesis will take the oath of office to succeed him.  As commentator Larry Elder observed, “Obama’s legacy is Donald Trump.”

From: Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF)article.

THE LITTLE BLUE BOOK, ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS SEASONS

Dedicated to Bishop Ken Untener who was inspired to create the Little Books. There are several short reflections on the infancy narrative of St. Luke, that I enjoyed and think you all will also, food for thought.

JOY OF THE GOSPEL, On Nov. 24, 2013 Pope Francis issued a pastoral exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel) which urged a joyful proclamation of the Gospel to the world. “I INVITE ALL Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day,” wrote Pope Francis in the exhortation, whose publication came at the conclusion of the Year of Faith

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ZECHARIAH AND ELIZABETH go home. I’m not told where this is but later, when Mary visits their home, I learn that it was “a town of Judah” (the same part of the land as Jerusalem) in the “hill country.”

Elizabeth soon learns that she is pregnant, as the angel had promised, and she expresses heer joy at what God has done for her.  PRAYERS of THANKSGIVING are the easiest to say. Every day, even on bad days, I come across all sorts of things that can remind me of God’s goodness–trees, little children, warm water in the shower, the sound of birds, a good burger, the sun, moon, stars, a kindness someone does for me. (and I will add,”the beauty around me after a wet snow storm, when the trees and every bush is covered in white). If I keep my eyes open for them, I can catch lots of things I never really noticed as “gifts” before–things that deserve a simple word of thanks to God.  If I haven’t done it often enough this week, right now might be a good time for a prayer of thanksgiving to God.

SPEND SOME QUIET TIME WITH THE LORD

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FINDING JOY AT CHRISTMAS

We often feel Christmas should be a “sugar plum” day with no touch of sadness. We feel we mustn’t let the sad parts of our lives into this special day. Suffering spois it. Let only gladness fill the air.

BUT CONSIDER ANOTHER APPROACH: Instead of avoiding all the sadness and trying to create a Hallmark Christmas, savor the richness of a savior born into a broken world, for broken hearts, to bring healing.

This is the feast of a God who so loved this world-my world-with its better and worse. Let the love of this feast touch the better and the worse, and I’ll find a deep down joy that can bring tears to my eyes. This mixture fits the feast. The event as Bethlehem wasn’t a Disney World experience. It was a time of both bliss and sorrow.

The joy of Christmas is that light overcomes darkness. It’s the good news of the angel to the shepherds: Today a savior has been born for you…for all that is happy in you, and all that is sad in you. Don’t hide the sad feelings. For some, it is the first Christmas with a newborn child or a grandchild. For others, it is the first Christmas without  their mother, father, husband, wife, child, close friend. For all of us it is Christmas celebrated in imperfect lives in an imperfect world.

WHEN WE remember who Jesus was and why he came, we can let him come into our real life, and then experience what it means to have a merry Christmas.

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SPEND SOME QUIET TIME WITH THE LORD.

More another time……………………