Proclamation on National POW/MIA Recognition Day, 2020

Throughout our Nation’s history, America’s sons and daughters have heroically safeguarded our precious freedoms and defended the cause of liberty both at home and abroad.  On National POW/MIA Recognition Day, we remember the more than 500,000 prisoners of war who have endured incredible suffering and brutality under conditions of extraordinary privation, and the tens of thousands of our patriots who are still missing in action.  Although our Nation will never be able to fully repay our debt to those who have given so much on our behalf, we commemorate their bravery and recommit to working for their long-suffering families who deserve answers and solace for their missing loved ones.

Today, I join a grateful Nation in honoring those POWs who faithfully served through extreme hardship and unimaginable physical and emotional trauma.  Their lives and resilience reflect the best of the American Spirit, and their immeasurable sacrifices have ensured the blessings of freedom for future generations.  On this day, we also reaffirm our unceasing global efforts to obtain the fullest possible accounting of our MIA personnel.  The search, recovery, and repatriation of MIA remains help bring closure to families bearing the burden of the unresolved fate of their loved ones.  That is why in 2018, I worked to secure the historic repatriation of remains from North Korea, and why we are continually working to bring more home from around the world.  My Administration will never waver in fulfilling our country’s obligation to leave no service member behind.

This year, as we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and reflect upon both the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War and the 45th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, we pause to recognize the men and women who were held as POWs or deemed MIA in these conflicts against repressive ideologies.  These service members and civilians, many from the Greatest Generation, deserve a special place of honor in the hearts of all Americans because of their selfless devotion, unflinching courage, and unsurpassed dedication to our cherished American values.

On September 18, 2020, our Nation’s citizens will look to the iconic black and white flag as a powerful reminder of the service of America’s POWs and service members who have gone MIA.  This flag, especially when flying high above our military installations abroad, conveys the powerful message of American devotion to the cause of human liberty and our commitment to never forget the brave Americans lost defending that liberty.  On this National POW/MIA Recognition Day, our Nation takes a special moment to pay tribute to those who endured the horrors of enemy captivity and those lost in service to our country.  Our Nation will continue to be resolute in our relentless pursuit of those remains of service members who have yet to return home from war and our steadfast promise to their families that their loved ones will never be forgotten.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 18, 2020, as National POW/MIA Recognition Day.  Together with the people of the United States, I salute all American POWs who, in the presence of great dangers and uncertainties, valiantly honored their duty to this great country.  Let this day also serve as a reminder for our Nation to strengthen our resolve to account for those who are still missing and provide their families long-sought answers.  I call upon Federal, State, and local government officials and private organizations to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.

DONALD J. TRUMP

13-Year-Old Oregon Boy Dies Trying To Save Grandmother In Wildfire, Says Family.

A 13-year-old Oregon boy named Wyatt Tofte reportedly died in the wildfires engulfing pockets along the West Coast after he initially fled for safety, but returned to try and save his grandmother, according to the family.

According to The Associated Press, Chris Tofte, the boy’s father, drove to a nearby town on Monday night to pick up a trailer with the hopes of returning to take the rest of the family and their belongings to safety. (Susan Vaslev, Wyatt’s great aunt and spokesperson for the family, told CNN the father went searching for a generator in town after the power went out during the high winds, and left before the fire actually started.)

The wildfire, although 15 miles away, spread quickly. And while the rest of the family was asleep, it reached the home, forcing Angela Mosso, Tofte’s wife, to cram her son, mother, and pet dog—a 200 lb bullmastiff mix—in the family car, reports The Statesman Journal.

But then the car stopped.

Lonnie Bertallato, Angela’s brother, said Friday that he believes the wheels on the car melted, and his sister was forced to send her son and the dog out on foot. She then said goodbye to her mother, who was unable to walk far, and also set out on foot, reports AP.

“She knew the only way for her son to survive was to run,” Vaslev told CNN. “So she told Wyatt and the dog to run.”

Angela Mosso walked roughly three miles before she was saved by her husband, who was searching for his family, but didn’t recognize Angela until he explained to her that he was looking for his wife and son, and Angela managed to reply: “I am your wife.”

Chris Tofte took his wife to safety, and then returned to look for his son and mother-in-law.

Several days later, authorities found Wyatt Tofte in the driver’s seat of the family car, with the dog in his lap, and the grandmother’s remains in the back of the car.

“I don’t need to go into too much detail, but obviously…he turned around to go try and save his grandma,” Angela’s brother told AP.

“Wyatt ended up going back to the car, and tried to drive his grandmother out,” said Vaslev. “So he attempted to drive that car, and he—the roads were so hot that it burned up the tires, and so he wasn’t able to drive it to safety. Did not make it out of the fire.”

“It’s devastating. Just the way it happened, and the whole story, and who was lost,” Vaslev told CNN. “Any time a young child dies in a fire like that, and the details, it’s just something that you can’t wrap your head around. And it just hurts.”

Angela Mosso suffered burns across her whole body, but is expected to survive.

“She has a long road to go,” said Vaslev. “But to come out of that. We all know surviving full-body burns is a painful experience in itself—recovering from that—and then to come back [to] your son having died, and your mother having died.”

President Awards Medal of Honor to Army Ranger for Hostage Rescue

A man puts the medal of honor around the neck of another man.

Army Sgt. Maj. Thomas “Patrick” Payne received the Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony today for helping liberate over 70 hostages from an ISIS prison compound in Iraq five years ago.

Continue reading “”

How United Flight 93 Passengers Fought Back on 9/11

The coordinated terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 unfolded at nightmarish speed. At 8:46 a.m., the first plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Sixteen minutes later, a second jet hit the South Tower. At 9:37, an airliner hit the Pentagon. Within hours, thousands had died, including hundreds of first responders who’d rushed to the scenes to help.

But after the events quieted and the scope of the damage came into relief, it became clear that there was at least one element of the al-Qaeda terrorist plot where the damage had been mitigated—with the fatal crash of United Airlines Flight 93.

Like the three other planes hijacked on September 11, Flight 93 was overtaken by al-Qaeda operatives intent on crashing it into a center of American power—in Flight 93’s case, likely the White House or the U.S. Capitol. But instead of hitting its intended target, the United jet went down in a field in rural Pennsylvania. While all 44 people aboard the plane were killed, countless people who might’ve perished in Washington were spared because of a passenger revolt—a heroic struggle undertaken with whatever low-tech weapons they and the cabin crew members could muster.

Brendan Koerner, author of The Skies Belong to Us, a book about domestic airline hijackings in the 1960s and 1970s, says that in the hundreds of cases he studied for his book, he never came across anything like Flight 93’s passenger revolt.

“The attitude of passengers tended to be that airlines would give the hijackers what they wanted, and so there was relatively little threat to the passengers,” Koerner says. “There aren’t really that many instances of passengers getting involved.”

HISTORY looks back at a timeline of how the passengers aboard Flight 93 prevented their plane from striking in Washington.

7:39–7:48 a.m.: The terrorists board, likely one man short

On the morning of September 11, four terrorists boarded United Airlines Flight 93 at Newark International Airport: Ziad Jarrah, a trained pilot; and three others, who were trained in unarmed combat and would help storm the cockpit and control the crowd. All four sat in first class.

There was one fewer hijacker on Flight 93 than the five-man crews that commandeered the other three planes, leading the 9/11 Commission Report to speculate that the United Airlines hijacking operated with an incomplete team. That commission speculated that an intended fifth hijacker—Mohammed al-Qahtani—had been refused entry to the country in early August at Orlando International by a suspicious immigration official, who thought al-Qahtani wanted to overstay his visa and live in the United States.

8:42 a.m.: The flight departs late

UA 93 left its gate at Newark International at 8:01 am, only one minute later than scheduled. But heavy traffic on the runway delayed takeoff for approximately 42 minutes.

As a result, one of the flights (Flight 11) was hijacked nearly half an hour before UA 93 had even left the runway, and both of the World Trade Center towers would be hit before the hijackers on Flight 93 had taken over their plane.

9:24 a.m.: Airline dispatcher warns United 93 about cockpit intrusion

With multiple hijackings unfolding across the country, United Airlines dispatcher Ed Ballinger sent a text message warning to pilot Jason Dahl: “Beware any cockpit intrusion—two a/c [aircraft] hit World Trade Center.”

Dahl, seemingly confused, wrote back, “Ed, confirm latest mssg plz—Jason.”

9:28 a.m.: United 93 is hijacked

While flying 35,000 feet above eastern Ohio, United 93 suddenly lost 7,000 feet as the terrorists rushed the cockpit. In the cockpit, the captain or first officer could be heard shouting “Mayday!” and “Get out of here!” into a radio transmission.

Sometime before 9:30 a.m.: Hijackers kill a passenger in first class

Tom Burnett, a first-class passenger on the flight, called his wife from the back of the plane at 9:30 to report the hijacking. On the call, Burnett told his wife, Deena, that a passenger had been knifed in front of the other passengers. On a subsequent call a few minutes later, he told her the passenger had died.

9:32 a.m.: Hijacker Ziad Jarrah threatens the passengers via the intercom

“Ladies and Gentlemen: Here the captain, please sit down keep remaining sitting. We have a bomb on board. So, sit.”

9:35 a.m.: Jarrah redirects the jet’s autopilot toward Washington, D.C.

At approximately the same time, recordings from the cockpit capture the sound of a flight attendant pleading for her life, then falling silent.

9:35–9:55 a.m.: Passengers and crew call their loved ones

For approximately 20 minutes, passengers and crew relayed information about their hijacking…and received word of the grim news on the ground. Planes had, by this point, struck both of the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon. The passengers knew they were staring down a similar fate.

Passenger Jeremy Glick told his wife Lyz that passengers were voting on whether or not to storm the cockpit in an attempt to take back the plane.

“I have my butter knife from breakfast,” he reportedly joked.

Burnett told his wife that the passengers were going to wait until they were above a rural area before attempting their action.

Flight attendant Sandra Bradshaw boiled water, to throw on the hijackers.

Those on the flight who couldn’t get through to their loved ones left heart-wrenching voicemails instead. Flight attendant CeeCee Lyles called her husband, told him she loved him, and asked that he take care of her children.

“Are you guys ready?” one of the passengers, Todd Beamer, could be heard saying to the others while on a call with a telephone operator. “Let’s roll.”

9:57 a.m.: The passenger revolt begins.

The cockpit voice recorder captured the sound of passengers attempting to break through the door: yelling, thumping and crashing of dishes and glass. In response, Jarrah tried to cut off the oxygen and began pitching the plane left and right, to knock the passengers off balance.

9:58 a.m.: Jarrah instructed another hijacker to block the door.

9:59 a.m.: Jarrah began pitching the plane up and down, again hoping to neutralize the passenger assault.

10:00 a.m.: The hijackers discuss crashing early

Still approximately 20 minutes away from their target, the hijackers recognized that they would soon lose control of the aircraft.

“Shall we finish it off?” Jarrah asked one of the other hijackers in the cockpit.

“Not yet,” was the reply. “When they all come, we finish it off.”

In the background, a passenger screamed to another, “In the cockpit. If we don’t, we’ll die!”

10:01 a.m.: The hijackers decide to crash the plane

Jarrah again asked the other hijacker if he should crash the vehicle. This time, he was told, “Yes, put it in it, and pull it down.”

Jarrah pulled the control wheel hard to the left, causing the plane to fly upside down, and then to crash into the ground at a speed of 580 miles per hour.

It was 10:03 a.m.

Decorated Veteran Who Saved Lives at Pearl Harbor Dies at 99

Decorated World War II veteran Floyd Welch of East Lyme, Connecticut, died peacefully in his home on Monday.

Floyd Welch was born in February of 1921. Twenty years later, he was serving aboard the USS Maryland. On December 7, Welch was stepping out of the shower when he heard alarms followed by a series of deafening explosions. Welch emerged on deck to see the USS Oklahoma overturned and sinking into the Pacific Ocean.

After he and the rest of the USS Maryland crew pulled survivors from the waves, Welch and his fellow soldiers boarded the USS Oklahoma where they heard tapping coming from inside the ship. They took immediate, and intelligent, action.

“By using blueprints of the Oklahoma, so as not to burn into a fuel void, we began the long and extremely difficult process of cutting holes through the bottom steel plates,” Welch wrote of his experience. “When we could see the planes coming, we would try to find cover. We would cut near where we heard the trapped crewmen tapping. In all, I believe 33 men from the Oklahoma were rescued through these holes.”

Welch continued his service aboard the USS Maryland until World War II ended. Continue reading “”

This will be the first, living, member of 1st SFOD-D (Delta Force) to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions performed while assigned to the unit. Sergeants Shughart and Gordon received the award posthumously for actions in Somalia back in ’93. John Cavaiani was assigned to the unit years afterwards.


SERGEANT MAJOR THOMAS P. PAYNE

Sgt. Maj. Thomas “Patrick” Payne, an instructor assigned to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, grew up in Batesburg-Leesville and Lugoff, South Carolina, and graduated from high school in 2002. Part of the 9/11 generation, Payne felt a strong sense of duty to serve his country. After high school, he enlisted in the Army as an Infantryman 11B and completed the Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, in 2002 and the Ranger Indoctrination Program (now known as the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program) in early 2003.

He was then assigned as a rifleman to A Co., 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, where he also served as a sniper and sniper team leader until November 2007, the year he was selected for assignment to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Since then, he has served within USASOC as a special operations team member, assistant team sergeant, team sergeant and instructor.

 

 

President Trump Poised to Award First Medal of Honor to Black Veteran of Recent Wars: Alwyn Cashe

Alwyn Cashe

President Donald Trump is poised to award the first Medal of Honor to a black veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe.

Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) announced Friday that he, along with Reps. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) and Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), received a letter from Pentagon Secretary Mark Esper agreeing that Cashe deserves to have his Silver Star upgraded to the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest combat award for valor for his heroism in October 2005.

Cashe was deployed to Iraq in 2005 when his fighting vehicle hit an improvised explosive device and caught fire. Cashe escaped the vehicle but returned repeated times to pull soldiers out of the flames, while he himself caught on fire and was exposed to enemy gunfire. Cashe later died of his wounds. Continue reading “”

Floyd Welch, one of the last Pearl Harbor survivors, hero, dead at 99

Floyd Welch, who served as a U.S. Navy sailor during World War II and was one of the last living survivors of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, died on Monday at age 99.

Welch, died peacefully at his home in East Lyme, Connecticut on Monday, his family said in a statement provided to the Associated Press.

Welch was born on February 1921 in Burlington, Connecticut. He was 20 years-old when he was serving aboard the USS Maryland on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii took place.

On the Sunday morning of the attack, Welch said he was coming out of the shower when he heard the alarms and then the explosions of Japanese bombs and torpedoes. He reportedly saw the burning and overturned USS Oklahoma right next to the USS Maryland when he arrived to his station on the ship’s deck.

Floyd joined efforts to help those aboard the USS Oklahoma during the attack.

“By using blueprints of the Oklahoma, so as not to burn into a fuel void, we began the long and extremely difficult process of cutting holes through the bottom steel plates of the Oklahoma,” Floyd a remembrance of the battle, reported by the AP. “When we could see the planes coming, we would try to find cover. We would cut near where we heard the trapped crewmen tapping. In all, I believe 33 men from the Oklahoma were rescued through these holes.”

In total, more than 2,400 U.S. personnel were killed during the Pearl Harbor attack.

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Floyd continued to serve through World War II. He reportedly served on the USS Maryland for the entirety of the war, and earned numerous honors, including American Defense Medal, the WWII Victory Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with three stars, the Good Conduct Medal and the United States Navy Constitution Medal.

After leaving the Navy in 1946, Floyd went on to work in various jobs, including as an alarm installer, a farmer and a milkman. He would later go on to form his own construction company Welch & Son, which built road infrastructures, foundations, and drainage systems throughout the northeastern United States.

Special Tactics Airman Who Fought Off Taliban Despite Concussion Will Get Silver Star

The Taliban fighter came over the village compound wall to get a clear shot at him.

Bullets hit the wall near his head and kicked up between his legs. The enemy was firing from only about five meters away but somehow had missed Senior Airman John Grimesey, a special tactics airman.

He leaned back and returned fire, killing the Taliban fighter. Then came the rocket-propelled grenade that hit the other side of the wall directly behind him. He was knocked down by the force of the blast that also destroyed one of his radios and wounded the Army Special Forces soldier with him.

Grimesey would later learn that he had suffered a severe concussion. He couldn’t get rid of the ringing in his ears, but he forced himself to begin thinking methodically of a plan to defeat an overwhelming enemy force and save the lives of his teammates. Continue reading “”

 

In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.
To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

 

Short Film About Tiananmen Square Hero.

On June 4th and 5th, 1989, the Chinese government violently put down the pro-liberty Tiananmen Square student protest. One man stood alone against a column of tanks, and for his extraordinary heroism became known as “Tank Man,” though nothing more is known about his identity. Some say he was arrested and killed, others that he is still in prison in China, and still others that he is alive and in hiding. Regardless, he has become a symbol for resistance against tyranny.

Tank Man is a powerful short film (15 min.) dramatizing events leading up to his moment of extraordinary courage. He is little known in China, where all images of him have been erased and all mention of him banned. This film does him some small justice.

One Governor Has Risen Above The Coronavirus Hysteria And Is Defending The Constitution

Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is one of a few state governors who have not yet placed citizens under a stay-at-home order in response to the current outbreak. Not only has she not placed the order, she has been outspoken in her contention that doing so would stand against everything America is supposed to stand for. She sees her decision as empowering individuals to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their families.

She is also taking an aggressive position on the use of hydroxychloroquine in treating the virus, placing her ahead of many other state governors.

As a result, on Monday, Governor Noem received about the highest praise any good American could when she was attacked in the pages of the Washington Post. The Post used the occasion of an outbreak of the virus at South Dakota’s Smithfield Foods, a pork producer located in Sioux Falls, as an opportunity to attack the governor’s non-conformance. More than 300 workers at the facility have now tested positive for the Chinese coronavirus.

For anyone just learning of the story, that might give you pause to think that the governor should have locked down the state after all.

There are two problems with that conclusion. The first being South Dakota, a very rural state, has fewer than 1,000 reported cases of the virus (10th lowest in the nation), meaning the outbreak at Smithfield Foods accounts for nearly one-third of all statewide cases. The other problem, as was pointed out in The Federalist, is that since the pork plant is an “essential industry,” the workers would have been there even with a lockdown!

Of the 988 cases reported in South Dakota as of this wiring, nearly 800 are reported in the county where the plant is located. This makes the South Dakota experience with the virus one of the most localized and minimized in the entire country. This is despite the fact that while much of the nation has been locked down for at least three weeks, South Dakota has remained open……….

One of the principal differences between Republicans and Democrats is supposed to be that Democrats favor government intervention in nearly every aspect of our lives, while Republicans almost universally say they prefer limited government and individual rights. They say that, but these past few weeks prove that only a few of them mean it.

Governor Noem means it and she isn’t apologizing for it.

REBELLION: ‘This Is Not Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia Where You Are Asked For Your Papers!’ Says Maine Sheriff

Maine’s Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols has a strong message for the Governor of Maine, Janet Mills, who issued “stay-at-home” orders with threats of police punishment if not followed. Sheriff Nichols issued a statement on the Franklin County Facebook page saying in no uncertain terms he will not follow the unconstitutional order.

“We will not be setting up a Police State. PERIOD,” he wrote. “The Sheriff’s Office will not purposefully go out and stop vehicles because they are on the road or stop and ask why people are out and about. To do so puts our officers at risk. This is not Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia where you are asked for your papers!”

The sheriff’s announcement comes as a welcome sign to Americans who have been arrested for inane things like praying outside, surfing, or trying to drive to work. Someone has to stand up to the unconstitutional directives that are being handed down daily by government officials and it will fall on the sheriffs to uphold what they know to be their legal and lawful duties, none of which involve trampling the rights of citizens…….

Nichols made it clear that he only intends to arrest for matters of law-breaking, and nothing else. Executive orders aren’t laws. He finished his announcement with words of encouragement for his constituents: “Most of you are doing a fantastic job – we appreciate that! Please look out for one another, especially the elderly and shut-ins. Please be a good neighbor/citizen always showing compassion. Please be kind especially on social media, negativity online only adds to the stress people are currently experiencing.”

Nichols signed this brave decree with his name and followed it with “Of the People, For the People.”

Apollo 15 Astronaut Al Worden passes

Former astronaut Alfred M. Worden, command module pilot on the Apollo 15 lunar landing, passed away March 18, 2020, in Texas.

“I’m deeply saddened to hear that Apollo astronaut Al Worden has passed away,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted about Worden. “Al was an American hero whose achievements in space and on Earth will never be forgotten. My prayers are with his family and friends.”

As command module pilot, Worden stayed in orbit while commander David Scott and lunar module pilot James B. Irwin explored the Moon’s Hadley Rille and Appennine Mountains. Apollo 15’s command module, dubbed Endeavour, was the first to have its own module of scientific instruments. During the flight back from the Moon, Worden made three spacewalks to retrieve film from cameras in the module. Altogether, Worden logged more than 295 hours in space.

“The thing that was most interesting to me was taking photographs of very faint objects with a special camera that I had on board,” Worden told Smithsonian Magazine in 2011. “These objects reflect sunlight, but it’s very, very weak and you can’t see it from [Earth]. There are several places between the Earth and the moon that are stable equilibrium points. And if that’s the case, there has to be a dust cloud there. I got pictures of that.”

Like other command module pilots, Worden stayed as busy as his colleagues on the surface. But he also took some time to enjoy the view.

“Every time I came around the moon I went to a window and watched the Earth rise and that was pretty unique.”

After retirement from active duty in 1975, Worden became President of Maris Worden Aerospace, Inc., and was Vice-President of BF Goodrich Aerospace Brecksville, Ohio, in addition to other positions within the aerospace and aviation industries. Worden wrote several books: a collection of poetry, “Hello Earth: Greetings from Endeavour” in 1974; a children’s book, “I Want to Know About a Flight to the Moon”, also in 1974; and a memoir, “Falling to Earth,” in 2011. His interest in educating children about space led to an appearance on “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood”.

Worden was born Feb. 7, 1932, in Jackson, Michigan, on February 7, 1932. He was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating in 1955. He earned master of science degrees in astronautical/aeronautical engineering and instrumentation engineering from the University of Michigan in 1963. In 1971, the University of Michigan awarded him an honorary doctorate of science in astronautical engineering.

Before becoming an astronaut, Worden was an instructor at the Aerospace Research Pilots School. He had also served as a pilot and armament officer from March 1957 to May 1961 with the 95th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland.

Worden was one of 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966. He served as a member of the astronaut support crew for Apollo 9 and as backup command module pilot for Apollo 12.

After leaving the astronaut corps, Worden moved to NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. He was the Senior Aerospace Scientist there from 1972-73, and then chief of the Systems Study Division until 1975.

 

‘Death Threats For Me And My Family’: Missouri Lawmaker Trying To Ban Drag Queens From Reading To Kids Says He’s Faced ‘Vitriol’ And ‘Hate’

Tar and Feathers‘™ are too good for whoever came up with the idea of letting children be exposed to this perversion, the perverts and their agenda behind it. Flogging might be where to start from.

A Missouri lawmaker said he has never experienced so much”vitriol” and “hate” as he has faced after introducing a bill against drag queens reading to children in public libraries.

Republican Missouri state Rep. Ben Baker’s bill, which seeks to ban Drag Queen Story Hour in public libraries, has been met with opposition from local librarians, the American Library Association, Drag Queen Story Hour defenders and LGBTQ proponents. More than 100 people gathered Saturday at a rally organized by drag queens to protest the bill at the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City.

The lawmaker told the Daily Caller News Foundation that he has received thousands of emails from people roused by the American Library Association’s political action committee “Every Library” and received death threats over social media.

The Bill: Parental Oversight Of Public Libraries Act

Baker’s January “Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act” would strip government aid from libraries that allow minors to access “age-inappropriate sexual materials.” These materials include any description or representation of nudity, sexuality, sexual conduct or sadomasochistic abuse.

The bill also would require libraries to institute parental review boards elected by the community — none of whom would also be members of the public library. These parental review boards would determine whether any sexual material offered by the library is “age-inappropriate sexual material” and convene public hearings to help the community determine whether this material is suitable.

Library personnel who “willfully neglect,” willfully violate or refuse to follow these rules could be punished by a fine of up to $500 or imprisoned in the county jail for no more than a year.

What Is Drag Queen Story Hour?

Drag Queen Story Hours are “just what they sound like,” according to the Drag Queen Story Hour official website: drag queens reading to children.

The events are designed to be about 45 minutes long for children aged 3 to 8 years and intended to capture children’s imagination and help them explore gender fluidity through “glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models.”

The official Drag Queen Story Hour website boasts more than 45 independently operated chapters across the U.S., including in New York City, D.C. and Chicago, as well as two international chapters in Tokyo and in Berlin.

The American Library Association has also backed the movement and offers a plethora of resources on its website “to support libraries facing challenges.” A spokeswoman told the DCNF in a January statement that the ALA “strongly supports the rights of libraries to host whatever programming they decide fits the needs and interests of their communities.”

Backlash: ‘The Vitriol And The Hate’

Baker called the backlash that has stemmed from his bill “unprecedented,” and pointed out that media coverage of his bill has been mostly negative. Media outlets initially portrayed the legislation as a bill that seeks to ban “inappropriate books” rather than banning Drag Queen Story Hours from public libraries.

“We are deeply concerned by Missouri House Bill 2044, ‘Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act,’” Every Library wrote in a statement after Baker introduced the bill. “It sets up quasi-governmental tribunals that circumvent the normal way libraries review materials challenges and imposes fines or jail time on librarians who violate the act. It’s a bad bill and needs to be stopped.”

“When you take on some of these issues that are controversial, the push back from media and from even the American Library Association, you know, was astounding,” Baker told the DCNF. “I got thousands of emails, I’ve had death threats for me and my family.”……….

USAF Gunship Crew Awarded Medals For Nine-Hour Battle With ISIS That Saved 15 Wounded In Afghanistan.

On the night of April 3-4, 2019, on a heavily-fortified mountainside near Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, a group of joint American special operations and coalition forces found themselves taking fire as casualties mounted after an improvised explosive device attack.

In need of assistance, the Special Tactics operators on the ground called for an AC-130U “Spooky” Gunship, (Callsign Spooky 41) who arrived to suppress the enemy located in close proximity to the group.

As the gunship fired down on the enemy, at times less than 140 meters from the group, three medical-evacuation helicopters hovered more than an hour to safely rescue all 15 patients. The enemy was not able to get a single shot off at the MEDEVAC helicopters, due to the precise airpower strikes of Spooky 41’s aircrew.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jim Slife, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, presented two Distinguished Flying Crosses with “C” device and 12 Single Event Air Medals with “C” device to 4th Special Operations Squadron Airmen, March 2, 2020, here, for their actions in April.

“The most lethal part of any gunship is not the 25 mm, the 40 mm, or the 105 mm [weapons] sticking out of the side of this big beautiful airplane,” said Slife during the ceremony. “The most lethal part of the gunship is the crew.”……..

The AC-130U’s capability to track and engage several targets simultaneously with different levels of ordnance is an invaluable asset to special operations forces on the ground. It offers a 105 mm howitzer cannon, 40 mm Bofors cannon and a 25 mm GAU-12 Gatling cannon.

Iwo Jima warriors should never be forgotten

Of the 82 Medals of Honor awarded to Marines in WW2, 22 of them were awarded for this one battle. Another 4 were awarded to Navy Hospital Corpsmen (medics) attached to the Marine Corps. This was the first battle where the defending Japanese inflicted more casualties than they suffered although more Japanese died than U.S.

On Feb. 19, 1945, Iwo Jima, a small, sulfurous fumes-belching Western Pacific Island, was one of the few remaining roadblocks on the route to Japan. There the IJA (Imperial Japanese Army) troops — approximately 21,000 — quietly awaited the arrival of the U.S. Marines V Amphibious Corps. Void of vegetation and covered with countless century-old deposits of volcanic ash and sands, the island had been deliberately denuded by the IJA to give its invaders no vestige of hope or shelter.

In the Pacific theater of World War II, U.S. Marines hit the beach and charge over a dune on Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands Feb. 19, 1945, the start of one of the deadliest battles of the war against Japan.© Joe Rosenthal, AP 

In the Pacific theater of World War II, U.S. Marines hit the beach and charge over a dune on Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands Feb. 19, 1945, the start of one of the deadliest battles of the war against Japan.

Cavernous caves, some housing hundreds of combatants, and complex interconnecting tunnels in Mount Suribachi and smaller hills throughout the island were well-hidden, housing enemy emplacements of artillery, mortars and machine guns little bothered by bombardment from allied battleships and bombers.

Into this waiting, bated maelstrom, wave after wave of young Marines came ashore with hearts racing, with locked and loaded weapons at port, fearful of death or crippling wounds — but they came on, many to never walk again, many buried there and many leaving behind their shredded mortal remains scattered among the volcanic ashes. But they came on……..

The total casualties on Iwo Jima numbered 26,040 with 6,821 killed and 19,217 wounded.

We are at the end of the worst week of NASA history.
Every accident that took the lives of the crew and destroyed the vehicle took place in the space of one calendar week, of course separated by decades.

Monday, January 27th, was the 53rd anniversary of the 1967 fire in Apollo 1 that took the lives of Gus Grissom, Roger Chaffee and Ed White, during a full test on the pad.

The next day, January 28th, is the anniversary of the 1986 Challenger disaster when the main fuel tank exploded 73 seconds after launch.

And today, February 1, is the anniversary of the 2003 Columbia disaster during reentry when undetected damage to a wing during launch allowed hot plasma enter into the wing, burning through the internal structure until the wing tore off the shuttle and tore the vehicle apart.

Spaceflight is inherently a very risky undertaking, but from the records and investigations of these events a pattern emerged that NASA’s higher levels of management failed in the task of proper risk mitigation and letting Quality Assurance and Quality Control standards slide. One would think that after the first time that failure would have been permanently rectified, but bureaucraps being what they are, it wasn’t.

I was pleased to have ended my career working at a place where the standard in every section was:
“If there is a question, then there is no question. Whatever it takes do it.

Army Rangers Conducted the Most Successful Rescue Mission in U.S. History 75 Years Ago

After the end of the war when all the PW records could be correlated with the lists of the still missing in action, it was determined that a great uncle was one of those who had died on the Bataan Death March.

Seventy-five years ago a company of Army Rangers and Filipino guerrilla fighters conducted the most successful rescue mission in U.S. military history, freeing over 500 prisoners of war being held by the Japanese.

The raid took place at Cabanatuan prison camp, located about 65 miles north of Manila, in the Philippines.

Most of the POWs in the camp were survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March, which took place in the spring of 1942………

In early January 1945, U.S. forces landed on Luzon island and began the push toward Manila.

By this time, most of the American POWs had been transported back to Japan or Manchuria to work as slave laborers.

However, among those remaining were over 500 being held at Cabanatuan.

When one of MacArthur’s top generals, Sixth Army commander Gen. Walter Krueger, learned of the camp, he green-lit a mission to rescue the POWs, knowing they were in danger of being killed by the Japanese as American forces drew near……

Charlie Company of the 6th Ranger Battalion, beefed up with an extra platoon to be 120 strong, was chosen for the perilous mission to slip 30 miles behind enemy lines, undetected, liberate the camp and lead the POWs back to freedom.

They would be supported on the mission by 200 Philippine guerrilla fighters.

Opposing them would be approximately 250 Japanese guards and other troops housed at Cabanatuan, with nearly 1,000 Japanese soldiers positioned less than a mile from the camp.

Only four miles away, at Cabanatuan City, were an additional 9,000 Japanese forces……

Armed with intelligence provided by Filipino guerrillas and the 6th Army’s Alamo Scouts, Mucci and his men crossed into enemy-held territory on the morning of Jan. 28…….

The Rangers launched the raid of Cabanatuan on the evening of Jan. 30.

A P-61 Black Widow fighter plane flew low over the camp creating a diversion, so the U.S. troops could draw in close to the fence-line undetected.

Suddenly, at 7:44 p.m. local time, the night sky lit up with a fusillade of gunfire as Rangers took out the Japanese guards in their assigned sectors.

The Americans quickly broke through the front gate and fanned out into the camp.

The frenetic scene during the liberation was depicted in the 2005 film “The Great Raid.”

All the POWs were directed to go to the front gate if they could walk (or Rangers carried them). There, they were met and escorted to a nearby riverbed.

The most fragile among them were then loaded onto caraboa (ox) carts provided by the local Filipinos.

Meanwhile, less than a mile from Cabanatuan, 200 Philippine guerrillas under the leadership of Captain Juan Pajota held off nearly a thousand Japanese soldiers.

Pajota’s men managed to partially blow a bridge over the Cabu River, which ran between Cabanatuan and the Japanese forces, which prevented tanks and other heavy vehicles from crossing.

The liberated POWs, guarded by the Rangers and guerrillas, marched through the night toward the American lines, only encountering some light Japanese resistance along the way……..