How Much Did It Cost?

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted a story about the MOAB (Mother Of All Bombs) recently used in Afghanistan.

The article reports:

The giant bomb U.S. forces dropped Thursday on an ISIS training camp in Afghanistan did not cost $314 million to develop, or $16 million per unit as reported by multiple news outlets.

Every news report about cost of the “Mother of All Bombs” relied on a misreading of a 2011 article or a dubious internet website that InfoWars once linked to with a “healthy bit of skepticism.”

The actual cost of the bomb is unknown. The actual cost of the program isn’t publicly available because the Mother of All Bombs, officially known as GBU-43 or the Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB), is manufactured by the military and not a private defense company.

The article goes on to explain that the cost estimates the news media is making are based on the cost of the cost of the Air Force’s biggest bunker busting bomb, the 5,300 pound Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), or GBU-57, which is built by private defense contractor Boeing Company.

The article further explains:

While the two bomb types are related, they serve different functions — the MOP is designed to destroy underground bunkers as deep as 200 feet below the surface, while the MOAP wipes out everything on the surface within a mile radius. The MOAB, like its Daisy Cutter predecessor, can only be dropped out of a C-130 built by Lockheed Martin, and the MOP is deployed from the B-2, a Boeing aircraft.

Many news organizations, including TIME and CNBC, also cited Deagel.com, a site with extensive lists of weapons assets owned by multiple countries, which claims the MOAB costs $16 million per unit, the same amount as the reported cost of the MOP.

Deagel links to no source to verify its information. The site’s IP is registered to an address in Spain, and the most press they’ve received was for a 2015 prediction that the U.S. population would drop by more than 80 percent by 2025 due to an economic and cultural collapse. “The American collapse is set to be far worse than the Soviet Union’s one [sic],” the forecast said.

Whatever the cost of the bomb, it effectively sent a strong message to those who seek to harm America or its soldiers. We will fight back.

Why We Need To Increase Military Spending

On March 23rd, The Sacramento Bee posted an article with the following headline, “Yes, Obama-era cuts left US too weak to deal with multiple global menaces.”

The article points out that there are currently multiple threats to the United States worldwide.

The article explains:

The global forces of instability are growing, especially in three parts of the world where regional peace and stability are particularly important to the U.S.

The solidity of Europe, Asia and the Middle East is threatened by Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and the transnational Islamist threat spearheaded by al-Qaida and the Islamic State.

Individually, none of these powers rise to the level of menace posed by the old Soviet Union. But when one of these threats acts up, we cannot expect the others to stand down. Indeed, we can expect them to try to exploit the situation.

For that reason, the U.S. must have the capacity to deal with all of them at once, and here we have a problem. While we need to be able to respond globally, the Pentagon no longer has a global-size force.

Because former President Obama chose to ignore the growing instability around the world, he did not prepare the United States to deal with it.

The article reports:

The Heritage Foundation‘s annual Index of U.S. Military Strength objectively measures the ability of our armed forces to protect vital national interests in a multi-conflict scenario.

And the measurement shows that, in terms of capacity, capability and readiness, the military has been in noticeable decline for years. In the 2017 index, the military’s overall ability to provide the hard power needed to prevail in a multi-conflict scenario was rated as “marginal.” Subsequent assessments suggest no change in the downward trend.

It is time for Americans to realize that we have to take a really good look at our budget priorities. The time has come to go back to the budge priorities set by our Founding Fathers. The federal government was supposed to be weak, and the state governments were supposed to be strong. The federal government has no business being involved in either health insurance or education–those are state issues if individual states choose to deal with them. There are many areas that the federal government has taken control over that they have no constitutional right to be involved in. Our Founding Fathers never planned to have generations of families who never went to work a day in their lives because other Americans were supplying all of their needs. We have turned a helping hand into a crutch. That is not healthy for either the people receiving the handout or the people giving the handout. The government does not have the right to take money from people who earned it and give it to people who did not. In any other context that would be called robbery.

We’ve Seen This Play Before

We have seen this play before–only last time it was non-fiction and this time it is fiction.

Hopefully this will be the last article I write about the Russians affecting the Presidential election.

First of all, let’s review some of the information about the information that was leaked from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) during the election. There have been a number of articles quoting reliable sources saying the leaks came from inside the DNC and had nothing to do with the Russians. There are also stories that point out that if the Democrats had not rigged their primary election, there would have been nothing to leak. You can find articles here and here.

The second article, from WSB-TV in Atlanta states the following about another recent cyber attack:

But the claim by the Democrats that the Russians interfered with an American election is interesting from a historical perspective.

The Daily Signal posted an article today reminding us of some past events. The article reminds us:

Sen. Edward “Ted” Kennedy had “selfish political and ideological motives” when he made secret overtures to the Soviet Union’s spy agency during the Cold War to thwart then-President Ronald Reagan’s re-election, a Reagan biographer said in an interview with The Daily Signal.

When they came to light years later, Kennedy’s secret contacts with the Russians through their KGB spy agency in the early 1980s didn’t cause nearly the tizzy that Russia’s alleged interference with this year’s election has for President-elect Donald Trump among liberal activists and reporters.

…As this reporter wrote in 2010, the story focused on a 1983 document from the spy agency detailing Kennedy’s overtures to top officials in the former Soviet Union. The Massachusetts Democrat had challenged President Jimmy Carter in the 1980 Democratic primaries and was considering the possibility of running again for president.

In a letter addressed to then-Soviet General Secretary Yuri Andropov, dated May 14, 1983, KGB head Viktor Chebrikov explained that Kennedy was eager to “counter the militaristic policies” of Reagan, who defeated Carter as the Republican nominee, and to undermine his prospects for re-election in 1984.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. This story makes the Democratic charges that the Russians influenced the 2016 election laughable. It is also important to remember that while the Democrats are screaming about Russian involvement, they are ignoring the damaging content of the emails. Even if the Russians leaked the emails, they didn’t write them. What was in the emails was a problem–leaking them only exposed the problem–it didn’t create it. As the saying goes, “Never put anything in an email that you wouldn’t want your mother to read in the headline of The New York Times.”

Who Does This Man Represent?

America is a Representative Republic. Americans vote for people to go to Washington, D.C., to represent them. Lately it seems as if we might not be doing a really good job of that. Generally speaking, I am not sure who most of the people in Washington represent. However, a recent speech by President Obama really makes me wonder.

Paul Mirengoff posted an article at Power Line today about President Obama’s speech in Argentina to a Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative meeting.  During the speech, President Obama explained the choice between communism and capitalism.

The article reports:

Obama instructed his young listeners that the question isn’t this system vs. that system, but rather “what works.” In Cuba, he claimed (falsely), communism is working great when it comes to health care. On the other hand, he acknowledged, the country looks like it’s stuck in the 1950s.

The lesson, said Obama, is that markets tend to generate wealth. Thus, they meet his “does it work” test, though they must be heavily regulated. Such is the wisdom imparted by this (once-thought-by many-to-be) towering intellect.

Scandalously, the only argument Obama was willing to make in favor of freedom is its tendency to generate wealth. If communism produced just as much, apparently it would be just as good or better, given the more even distribution of the wealth it purports to produce.

To argue in favor of freedom as a good in itself would, in Obama’s thinking, mean succumbing to ideology. He is much too cool for that.

I infer that during the heyday of the Soviet Union, Obama might well have been a communist. Then it was thought, based on successful propaganda of the kind some now accept when it comes to health care in Cuba, that communism was working fine.

I also infer that Obama may well be a fan of the current Chinese regime. Until recently, many thought it was working quite well.

Below is the video of the speech, as posted on YouTube:

The article at Power Line points out:

Obama’s entire speech is below. His remarks regarding capitalism vs. communism begin at around the 41:00 minute mark.

The difference between communism and capitalism is important to America. We need a President who understands that.

The Double Standard At Work

Unfortunately the mainstream media in America has become the spokesperson for the Democrat Party. Things are reported or not reported according to the impact they will have on the success of that party.

On March 8, New York Magazine posted a story about the problems at NBC that led to the dismissal of Brian Williams.

The story reports:

Others complained about Williams’s unwillingness to go after hard-hitting stories. Multiple sources told me that former NBC investigative reporters Michael Isikoff and Lisa Myers battled with Williams over stories. In February 2013, Isikoff failed to interest Williams in a piece about a confidential Justice Department memo that justified killing American citizens with drones. He instead broke the story on Rachel Maddow. That October, Myers couldn’t get Williams to air a segment about how the White House knew as far back as 2010 that some people would lose their insurance policies under Obama­care. Frustrated, Myers posted the article on NBC’s website, where it immediately went viral. Williams relented and ran it the next night. “He didn’t want to put stories on the air that would be divisive,” a senior NBC journalist told me. According to a source, Myers wrote a series of scathing memos to then–NBC senior vice-president Antoine Sanfuentes documenting how Williams suppressed her stories. ­Myers and Isikoff eventually left the network (and both declined to comment).

The actual definition of divisive is having a negative impact on a Democrat.

Today Newsbusters posted another example of how the American mainstream media works.

Newsbusters explains:

Despite the networks’ eagerness to tout Democratic opposition to the GOP letter (the letter stating that the Senate should weigh in on any agreement with Iran), on two separate occasions the “big three” completely ignored a letter penned by former Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) written to the Soviet Union in 1983 aimed at undermining President Ronald Reagan’s nuclear negotiations with the Communist regime.
…Kennedy’s message was simple. He proposed an unabashed quid pro quo. Kennedy would lend Andropov a hand in dealing with President Reagan. In return, the Soviet leader would lend the Democratic Party a hand in challenging Reagan in the 1984 presidential election. “The only real potential threats to Reagan are problems of war and peace and Soviet-American relations,” the memorandum stated. “These issues, according to the senator, will without a doubt become the most important of the election campaign.”

The Republicans who signed the letter are reminding the President of the Senate’s role in approving treaties. They are asking the President to respect the separation of powers in the U.S. Constitution. Ted Kennedy was asking the Russians to get involved in an American election. It seems to me that the latter is much more significant than a reminder of how the U.S. Constitution works.

 

Some Perspective On The Ukraine

On Thursday the U.K. Telegraph posted an article by Edward Lucas about the situation in the Ukraine. Obviously, events there are moving very quickly. The U.K. Daily Mail posted an article by Mark Almond yesterday. Both articles point to the danger of the spread of the unrest in the Ukraine. Please follow the links to the articles. There is a lot of information in both articles.

The article in the Daily Mail reminds us that the Ukraine is made up of both Russians and Ukrainians. Each group has their own concept of what the country’s relationship with Europe and Russia should be. There is a serious division among the population of the country.

The article in the Telegraph states:

Without Vladimir Putin, Ukraine would be at peace today. It was Russia which forced Ukraine to shun the economic agreement offered by the EU in October, launching a crippling trade war against Ukrainian exports. It was Russia which offered cheap gas and soft loans as the Ukrainian economy tottered. It was Russia which installed hundreds of “advisers” in key Ukrainian public bodies and ministries, including the SBU secret police, to ensure that they toe the Moscow line. Without Russia’s silent putsch, Ukrainians would have not have needed to build barricades in the streets in protest at the regime’s misrule. Even then, without the continued and escalating Russian pressure on Mr Yanukovych, the conflict could have been defused.

We have seen enough of Putin to know that he will not let the Ukraine move toward Europe politically and economically without a fight. President Putin has openly stated that his dream is to bring back the old Soviet Union.

The Telegraph reports:

But Russia’s interference in Ukraine has intensified in recent months, just as Western efforts have floundered. European policymakers still cling to the notion that talks with Russia can bring a mutually beneficial solution to Ukraine’s agony. That is a false hope. The Kremlin does not like win-win solutions. It likes outcomes in which it wins, and its detestable Western rivals lose, preferably humiliatingly – this, for Mr Putin, is a matter of personal prestige. In short, though the EU finds the whole notion of geopolitics old-fashioned and unappealing, geopolitics is happening on its doorstep. And it is losing.

America is out of the game, too. The Obama administration has neglected its European allies since the day it took office. Its senior official dealing with Ukraine, Toria Nuland, is admirably energetic – and blunt (she recently declared “F— the EU” in a phone call to her ambassador in Kiev, bugged and then leaked by Russian intelligence). But she lacks the clout to make the wheels of policy turn in Washington. Without Moscow’s interference, the EU and United States could marshal their modest resources to make a difference. Faced with Russia in all its implacable fury, both are outgunned. The fallout from Edward Snowden’s leaks of secret material from the National Security Agency has corroded and weakened the transatlantic alliance: fury with American snooping in countries such as Germany has paralysed what should be vital discussions on security.

Hopefully this will end with freedom for the people of the Ukraine, but I am not optimistic. I remember how hard Poland fought to be free of the Soviet Union. Putin does not give up easily, and he does not compromise.

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Were There Actually Two Sides Negotiating In Geneva?

Today’s Washington Free Beacon posted an article about Iran‘s announcement that it has developed ballistic missile technology.

The article reports:

Brigadier General Hossein Salami, the lieutenant commander of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), made the critical weapons announcement just days after Iran and the West signed a deal aimed at curbing the country’s nuclear activities.

Salami claimed that “Iran is among the only three world countries enjoying an indigenous ballistic missile technology,” according to the state-run Fars News Agency.

“Many countries may have access to cruise missiles technology, but when it comes to ballistic missiles, I am confident that only the U.S. and the [former] Soviet Union could master this technology, and now we can announce that we own this technology as well,” Salami told Fars.

Obviously this may or may not be true, but how much are will willing to bet on the truthfulness of his claim.

The article quotes Michael Rubin on the situation:

“Perhaps, [Secretary of State] John Kerry believes that Iran only wants ballistic missiles for peaceful purposes,” said Rubin, author of Dancing with the Devil: The Perils of Engaging Rogue Regimes.

“The fact of the matter is that Kerry and crew left both ballistic missiles and the nuclear warhead trigger experimentation at Parchin [military site] off-the-table” during talks in Geneva, Rubin said. “It’s the diplomatic equivalent of installing a burglar alarm system in your house but leaving the keys in the door.”

Most of us would like to see peace come to the Middle East. Somehow I don’t think the path we are currently traveling as a country is leading in that direction.

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American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character

Tonight I had the privilege of hearing Diana West discuss her book American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character.

As Ms. West explained in an August 9, 2013, article for Townhall.com:

One point I try to convey when speaking to audiences about my new book, “American Betrayal,” is the inspiration of the truth-tellers.

These are the men and women who refused to stay silent and thus enable the “betrayal” the book lays out — engineered by a de facto Communist “occupation” of Washington by American traitors loyal to Stalin and, even more heartbreaking, largely covered up by successive U.S. administrations and elites.

The reason I take pains to bring these truth-tellers to light is that they remain lost to our collective memory, even as much confirmation of their truth-telling has become public record.

Ms. West explained that she began the investigation that led to the writing of the book by exploring the idea of how we got to a point where we are fed a constructed narrative and then fed the facts that support that narrative. Any facts that do not support the constructed narrative are conveniently left out. Anyone who speaks out against the constructed narrative is marginalized through the use of smear tactics, scorn, and isolation.

When truth-tellers warned us of communist infiltration into our government in the 1930’s and 1940’s, they were labeled red-baiters. When truth-tellers warn of Islamists in positions of influence today, they are called Islamaphobes. Commentators very rarely mention that after the Soviet Union fell, the archives revealed that the so-called red-baiters were right.

Ms. West related a number of stories from the book where people who were later shown to be Soviet agents held very influential positions in government and were responsible for major policy decisions.

The article at Townhall reminds us:

We still snicker reflexively over references to “the Red plot against America.”

With archival confirmation, however, we now know there was abundant Red influence on policymaking, as well as abundant Red plots, and many of them were brilliantly carried out to completion.

Meanwhile, we still fail to recognize that the institutions which define our world today, from the United Nations to the International Monetary Fund, were fostered by bona fide Soviet agents (such as the State Department‘s Alger Hiss and the Treasury Department‘s Harry Dexter White). We also remain oblivious to the contributions of those who spoke the truth along the way.

In his book Reason in Common Sense, George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.” The book, American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character, reminds us of a past we cannot afford to forget.

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An Interesting Story About Margaret Thatcher

Yesterday Tablet Magazine posted an article posted an article about an event in Margaret Thatcher’s childhood that made a lasting impression on her.

The article reports:

Johnson (Charles Johnson) starts with what Thatcher often said was her greatest accomplishment, which was not her work in helping to topple the Soviet Union or being the first British woman to hold the post of prime minister, but rather, was her work as a child to save a Jewish teenager in Austria from the grasp of Hitler’s terror.

The story begins in 1938 when Edith Muhlbauer, a 17-year-old Jewish girl, wrote a letter to Muriel Roberts, Edith’s pen pal and the future prime minister’s [Margaret Thatcher] older sister. The letter expressed fear that as Hitler began rounding up Jews in Austria that her family would be included in those round-ups. The Roberts family did not have the means to take Edith in, and Margaret, then 12, and Muriel, 17, set about raising funds and persuading the local Rotary club to help. Edith stayed with a number of Rotary families for about two years until she was able to go to South America to join relatives.

The article reports:

Had the Roberts family not intervened, Edith recalled years later, “I would have stayed in Vienna and they would have killed me.” Thatcher never forgot the lesson: “Never hesitate to do whatever you can, for you may save a life,” she told audiences in 1995 after Edith had been located, alive and well, in Brazil.

Prime Minister Thatcher showed courage and determination even as a young adult. It is no wonder that she grew up to be the “Iron Lady.”

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We Have Lost A Great Lady

The U.K. Mail is reporting today that Britain’s Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, died this morning. I am citing the U.K. Mail article because it includes a lot of pictures of Prime Minister Thatcher during her time as Prime Minister and after she left office. Lady Thatcher, along with President Reagan, stood up to the Soviet Union, and eventually the Soviet Union collapsed.

Lady Thatcher was Britain’s first and only woman prime minister. She won three consecutive general elections to that post. Please follow the link above to read the article in the U.K. Mail. It is an inspiring story of a lady who broke the mold when it came to British politics.

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Comments By Cardinal Francis George

Cardinal Francis George is the archbishop of Chicago and former head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). His comments on President Obama’s recent ruling on contraception coverage at Catholic Institutions were posted at CNS News yesterday.

The bottom line on his comments:

He continued: “What will happen if the HHS regulations are not rescinded? A Catholic institution, so far as I can see right now, will have one of four choices: 1) secularize itself, breaking its connection to the church, her moral and social teachings and the oversight of its ministry by the local bishop. This is a form of theft. It means the church will not be permitted to have an institutional voice in public life. 2) Pay exorbitant annual fines to avoid paying for insurance policies that cover abortifacient drugs, artificial contraception and sterilization. This is not economically sustainable. 3) Sell the institution to a non-Catholic group or to a local government. 4) Close down.”

This is an intentional effort to take the voice of religious people out of the public square. When you consider that the basis of the American legal system is the Judeo-Christian ethic, this is a rather amazing step by our government.

The Cardinal further stated:

“Liberty of religion is more than freedom of worship,” says the cardinal. “Freedom of worship was guaranteed in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union. You could go to church, if you could find one. The church, however, could do nothing except conduct religious rites in places of worship — no schools, religious publications, health care institutions, organized charity, ministry for justice and the works of mercy that flow naturally from a living faith. All of these were co-opted by the government. We fought a long cold war to defeat that vision of society.”

It is my opinion that all Christian churches in America need to stand with the Catholic Church on this issue. The church (other than the Catholic church) stood quietly while the Catholic adoption agencies in Massachusetts were shut down due to Biblical standards upheld by the Catholic church on homosexuality. We can’t afford to stand quietly now as Catholic hospitals are denied their rights to be Catholic hospitals.

 

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