The Cost of Freedom – Letter to the Editor Pittsburgh Post Gazette 2

The Cost of Freedom

To the Editor

Pittsburgh has long been a source of the materials and equipment necessary for our national defense.

The propulsion equipment for submarines and aircraft carriers comes from manufacturers in the Steel Valley as it has for generations. A strong fleet ensures freedom of the seas and guarantees the level of commerce needed to ensure a robust economy.

In critical global areas, freedom is being challenged. China’s influence in the Southwester Pacific is already being felt by our trading partners. A resurgent Russian naval influence is the result of their leaders trying to regain what they lost at the end of the Cold War. The re-appearance of Russian surveillance ships near America’s submarine bases is definitely a concern for a Navy that is already resource strapped with existing obligations in the prolonged conflicts in the Middle East.

As Congress prepares its budgets, sensible but strong support for the re-building of our fleet must be supported by all citizens. Our submarine forces need new boats to answer the gap left by an aging fleet. Boats that were built in the 1980’s are being retired faster than our ability to build replacements. Even some of the mighty Ohio class submarines are older than thirty five years old. A replacement must be built as soon as possible to ensure our strategic abilities.

It is time for congress to act. I urge all Pittsburghers (and Americans ) to contact your Senators and Representatives and support the rebuilding of America’s sea services.

This is a critical time in our history and your support is needed now. This is the Cost of Freedom.

Robert “Bob” MacPherson

USNL Pittsburgh Council President (2017-2019)

Mister Mac

Summer 2017 USNL Pittsburgh President’s Letter – The Home Front Reply

The Home Front

Greetings to all of the Navy League Members and those who have yet to join. I am always grateful for the membership we have and a bit curious why there aren’t more of us. The Pittsburgh Council of the Navy League of the United States is an active group that supports the sea services in many ways. More about that in a bit.

The Battle of Midway at 75

This year marks the Diamond Anniversary of some of the pivotal events in the life of the nation as well as the sea services. In the Pacific, the combined forces of the Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard stopped the Japanese expansion during the Battle of Midway. Against very large odds, this combined force stopped a previously unbeaten Japanese Naval force and turned the tide of the conflict. In the Atlantic, precious few resources were called upon to defend vital shipping in the face of a ferocious submarine onslaught that would be called the Battle for the Atlantic. U- boats were challenging our ability to supply our surviving allies and the Navy scarcely had enough ships to stem the loss of ships to their attacks.

Pittsburgh and the Home Front

None of the services were prepared for the Global Conflicts that they would be called upon to fight. The courage of the men who filled the gap until America’s war machine could be fully engaged saved countless millions from death and destruction. On the Home Front here in Pittsburgh, the mills and mines were mobilized as never before and businesses of every kind were converted into suppliers of the materials and equipment that would be needed to fight the enemy on every front. Their contributions led to ultimate victory but there were many sacrifices along the way.

The current situation the nation finds itself in is similar in many ways. All around the globe, nations and terror groups are challenging the notion that people should be able to live in freedom. Freedom from oppression and freedom to live their lives in a way they chose has always been both a goal and a target. The goal is shared by most thinking people and the target is shared by all tyrants and oppressive groups based on flawed ideologies. Technology and the ability to easily cross state lines has radically increased the ability of the evil doers to impact people who may have previously felt safe and secure in their homes.

Global War on Terror

Once again, the men and women of the sea services are on the front lines of this battle. Whether it’s in one of the three Battle Groups in the Sea of Japan or the Black Sea, we have people in harm’s way every single day. Our allies are learning that the enemy can reach them in the streets of London and Paris and we have lost citizens in the crossfire. The need for a smart, mobile and flexible defense has never been stronger. Just as planners at the beginning of World War 2 found themselves challenged to meet the existing and new threats, we are finding some of the same challenges.

For many years, the sea services have been increasingly challenged to meet the growing missions because of budget restrictions. Training, new equipment and other costs have all suffered at exactly the same time that new threats emerge. Competing social programs and agendas have made it more and more difficult to keep our people fully prepared and supplied for this new conflict.

That is exactly where the Navy League and groups like ours comes in. We are the independent voice that Theodore Roosevelt envisioned over a century ago when he encouraged the nation’s civilian and business leadership to join together and support the sea services. I love reading his speeches and writings from a historical perspective but many of them ring so true today. Preparedness is the key word for the survival of any democracy in the face of tyranny. Preparedness is not an option if we wish to survive.

All of the activities we do in the Pittsburgh Council are geared towards supporting those who continue protecting us. Whether it’s one of our fundraisers that support scholarship programs or our direct support of the Coast Guard and Navy, we are focused in making sure the people on the front lines know that we on the Home Front have not forgotten them. Our efforts through our National organization in identifying budget needs is critical. Being a part of the Navy League makes sure your voice can be heard and we can truly help the sea services to meet their daily challenges.

The call to action is this:

Support your Pittsburgh Council (or your local Council) by participating in the various events listed in our newsletter and on our Web Page http://www.navyleaguepittsburgh.org/. (If you don’t have a newsletter and would like one, please contact me and I will make sure you get one.)

Encourage others to join with us and help us to show a strong unified Home Front in this new conflict. Stay informed and encourage your representatives in government to see the value and need for strong and vital sea services on all fronts.

Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz once wrote: “It is the function of the Navy to carry the war to the enemy so that it will not be fought on U.S. soil.”

I would only add that the Navy and all of the sea services do their job best when we at the Home Front have done ours just as well.

Mister Mac

President, United States Navy League – Pittsburgh Council

“These are the times that try men’s souls” 2

“In time of crisis when the future is in the balance, we come to understand, with full recognition and devotion, what this Nation is, and what we owe to it.”

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75 Years ago the nation found itself in a very bad state.

This is a copy of President Roosevelt’s Address over the radio in celebration of Washington’s Birthday, February 23,1942. America was being beaten back in the South Pacific and the Philippines and the country had not yet been mobilized to fight in a way that was equal to the task.  

This speech was important in outlining the way the country would go to war. It highlighted our continued support of our struggling allies, a rejection of the isolationist calls within the country and even a broad based appeal to labor not to strike against the companies building the ships, planes and materials needed to fight this war.

These are his words appealing to the nation:

“Washington’s Birthday is a most appropriate occasion for us to talk with each other about things as they are today and things as we know-they shall be in the future.

For eight years General Washington and his Continental Army were faced continually with formidable odds and recurring defeats. Supplies and equipment were lacking. In a sense, every winter was a Valley Forge.

Throughout the Thirteen States there existed fifth columnists-selfish men, jealous men, fearful men, who proclaimed that Washington’s cause was hopeless, that he should ask for a negotiated peace.

Washington’s conduct in those hard times has provided the model for all Americans ever since-a model of moral stamina. He held to his course, as it had been charted in the Declaration of Independence. He and the brave men who served with him knew that no man’s life or fortune was secure without freedom and free institutions.

The present great struggle has taught us increasingly that freedom of person and security of property anywhere in the world depend upon the security of the rights and obligations of liberty and justice everywhere in the world

This war is a new kind of war. It is different from all other wars of the past, not only in its methods and weapons but also in its geography. It is warfare in terms of every continent, every island, every sea, every air lane in the world.

That is the reason why I have asked you to take out and spread before you the map of the whole earth, and to follow with me the references which I shall make to the world-encircling battle lines of this war.

Many questions will, I fear, remain unanswered; but I know you will realize I cannot cover everything in any one report to the people.

The broad oceans which have been heralded in the past as our protection from attack have become endless battlefields on which we are constantly being challenged by our enemies.

We must all understand and face the hard fact that our job now is to fight at distances which extend all the way around the globe.

We fight at these vast distances because that is where our enemies are. Until our flow of supplies gives us clear superiority we must keep on striking our enemies wherever and whenever we can meet them, even if, for a while, we have to yield ground. Actually we are taking a heavy toll of the enemy every day that goes by.

We must fight at these vast distances to protect our supply lines and our lines of communication with our Allies-protect these lines from the enemies who are bending every ounce of their strength, striving against time, to cut them. The object of the Nazis and the Japanese is to separate the United States, Britain, China, and Russia, and to isolate them one from another, so that each will be surrounded and cut off from sources of supplies and reinforcements. It is the old familiar Axis policy of “divide and conquer”.

There are those who still think in terms of the days of sailing ships. They advise us to pull our warships and our planes and our merchant ships into our own home waters and concentrate solely on last-ditch defense. But let me illustrate what would happen if we followed such foolish advice.

Look at your map. Look at the vast area of China, with its millions of fighting men. Look at the vast area of Russia, with its powerful armies and proven military might. Look at the British Isles, Australia, New Zealand, the Dutch Indies, India, the Near East, and the continent of Africa, with their resources of raw materials and of peoples determined to resist Axis domination. Look at North America, Central America, and South America.

It is obvious what would happen if all these great reservoirs of power were cut off from each other either by enemy action or by self-imposed isolation:

  1. We could no longer send aid of any kind to China-to the brave people who, for nearly five years, have withstood Japanese assault, destroyed hundreds of thousands of Japanese soldiers and vast quantities of Japanese war munitions. It is essential that we help China in her magnificent defense and in her inevitable counteroffensive-for that is one important element in the ultimate defeat of Japan.
  2. If we lost communication with the southwest Pacific, all of that area, including Australia and New Zealand, would fall under Japanese domination. Japan could then release great numbers of ships and men to launch attacks on a large scale against the coasts of the Western Hemisphere, including Alaska. At the same time she could immediately extend her conquests to India and through the Indian Ocean to Africa and the Near East.
  3. If we were to stop sending munitions to the British and the Russians in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf areas, we would help the Nazis to overrun Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Persia, Egypt, and the Suez Canal, the whole coast of north Africa, and the whole coast of west Africa-putting Germany within easy striking distance of South America.
  4. If, by such a fatuous policy, we ceased to protect the North Atlantic supply line to Britain and to Russia, we would help to cripple the splendid counteroffensive by Russia against the Nazis, and we would help to deprive Britain of essential food supplies and munitions.

Those Americans who believed that we could live under the illusion of isolationism wanted the American eagle to imitate the tactics of the ostrich. Now, many of those same people, afraid that we may be sticking our necks out, want our national bird to be turned into a turtle. But we prefer to retain the eagle as it is-flying high and striking hard.

I know that I speak for the mass of the American people when I say that we reject the turtle policy and will continue increasingly the policy of carrying the war to the enemy in distant lands and distant waters-as far as possible from our own home grounds.

There are four main lines of communication now being traveled by our ships-the North Atlantic, the South Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, and the South Pacific. These routes are not one-way streets, for the ships which carry our troops and munitions out-bound bring back essential raw materials which we require for our own use.

The maintenance of these vital lines is a very tough job. It is a job which requires tremendous daring, tremendous resourcefulness, and, above all, tremendous production of planes and tanks and guns and of the ships to carry them. And I speak again for the American people when I say that we can and will do that job.

The defense of the world-wide lines of communication demands relatively safe use by us of the sea and of the air along the various routes; and this, in turn, depends upon control by the United Nations of the strategic bases along those routes.

Control of the air involves the simultaneous use of two types of planes-first, the long-range, heavy bomber; and, second, light bombers, dive bombers, torpedo planes, and short-range pursuit planes which are essential to the protection of the bases and of the bombers themselves.

Heavy bombers can fly under their own power from here to the southwest Pacific, but the smaller planes cannot. Therefore these lighter planes have to be packed in crates and sent on board cargo ships. Look at your map again and you will see that the route is long-and at many places perilous-either across the South Atlantic, around South Africa, or from California to the East Indies direct. A vessel can make a round trip by either route in about four months, or only three round trips in a whole year.

In spite of the length and difficulties of this transportation, I can tell you that we already have a large number of bombers and pursuit planes, manned by American pilots, which are now in daily contact with the enemy in the southwest Pacific. And thousands of American troops are today in that area engaged in operations not only in the air but on the ground as well.

In this battle area Japan has had an obvious initial advantage. For she could fly even her short-range planes to the points of attack by using many stepping stones open to her-bases in a multitude of Pacific islands and also bases on the China, Indo-China, Thailand, and Malay coasts.

Japanese troop transports could go south from Japan and China through the narrow China Sea, which can be protected by Japanese planes throughout its whole length.

I ask you to look at your maps again, particularly at that portion of the Pacific Ocean lying west of Hawaii. Before this war even started the Philippine Islands were already surrounded on three sides by Japanese power. On the west the Japanese were in possession of the coast of China and the coast of Indo-China, which had been yielded to them by the Vichy French. On the north are the islands of Japan themselves, reaching down almost to northern Luzon. On the east are the mandated islands, which

Japan had occupied exclusively and had fortified in absolute violation of her written word. These islands, hundreds of them, appear only as small dots on most maps. But they cover a large strategic area. Guam lies in the middle of them-a lone outpost, which we never fortified.

Under the Washington Treaty of 1921 we had solemnly agreed not to add to the fortification of the Philippine Islands. We had no safe naval base there, so we could not use the islands for extensive naval operations.

Immediately after this war started the Japanese forces moved down on either side of the Philippines to numerous points south of them-thereby completely encircling the islands from north, south, east, and west.

It is that complete encirclement, with control of the air by Japanese land-based aircraft, which has prevented us from sending substantial reinforcements of men and material to the gallant defenders of the Philippines. For 40 years it has always been our strategy-a strategy born of necessity-that in the event of a full-scale attack on the islands by Japan we should fight a delaying action-attempting to retire slowly into Bataan Peninsula and Corregidor.

We knew that the war as a whole would have to be fought and won by a process of attrition against Japan itself. We knew all along that, with our greater resources, we could out-build Japan and ultimately overwhelm her on sea, on land, and in the air. We knew that, to obtain our objective, many varieties of operations would be necessary in areas other than the Philippines.

Nothing that has occurred in the past two months has caused us to revise this basic strategy-except that the defense put up by General MacArthur has magnificently exceeded the previous estimates, and he and his men are gaining eternal glory therefor.

MacArthur’s army of Filipinos and Americans, and the forces of the United Nations in China, in Burma, and the Netherland East Indies, are all together fulfilling the same essential task. They are making Japan pay an increasingly terrible price for her ambitious attempts to seize control of the whole Asiatic world. Every Japanese transport sunk off Java is one less transport that they can use to carry reinforcements to their army opposing General MacArthur in Luzon.

It has been said that Japanese gains in the Philippines were made possible only by the success of their surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. I tell you that this is not so.

Even if the attack had not been made, your map will show that it would have been a hopeless operation for us to send the fleet to the Philippines through thousands of miles of ocean, while all those island bases were under the sole control of the Japanese.

The consequences of the attack on Pearl Harbor-serious as they were-have been wildly exaggerated in other ways. These exaggerations come originally from Axis propagandists; but they have been repeated, I regret to say, by Americans in and out of public life.

You and I have the utmost contempt for Americans, who, since Pearl Harbor, have whispered or announced “off the record” that there was no longer any Pacific Fleet-that the fleet was all sunk or destroyed on December 7-that more than 1,000 of our planes were destroyed on the ground. They have suggested slyly that the Government has withheld the truth about casualties-that eleven or twelve thousand men were killed at Pearl Harbor instead of the figures as officially announced. They have been served the enemy propagandists by spreading the incredible story that shiploads of bodies of our honored American dead were about to arrive in New York Harbor to be put in a common grave.

Almost every Axis broadcast directly quotes Americans who, by speech or in the press, make damnable misstatements such as these.

The American people realize that in many cases details of military operations cannot be disclosed until we are absolutely certain that the announcement will not give to the enemy military information which he does not already possess.

Your Government has unmistakable confidence in your ability to hear the worst, without flinching or losing heart. You must, in turn, have complete confidence that your Government is keeping nothing from you except information that will help the enemy in his attempt to destroy us. In a democracy there is always a solemn pact of truth between government and the people; but there must also always be a full use of discretion-and that word “discretion” applies to the critics of government as well.

This is war. The American people want to know, and will be told, the general trend of how the war is going. But they do not wish to help the enemy any more than our fighting forces do; and they will pay little attention to the rumor mongers and poison peddlers in our midst.

To pass from the realm of rumor and poison to the field of facts: The number of our officers and men killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7 was 2,340, and the number wounded was 946. Of all the combatant ships based on Pearl Harbor-battleships, heavy cruisers, light cruisers, aircraft carriers, destroyers, and submarines-only 3 were permanently put out of commission.

Very many of the ships of the Pacific Fleet were not even in Pearl Harbor. Some of those that were there were hit very slightly; and others that were damaged have either rejoined the fleet by now or are still undergoing repairs. When those repairs are completed the ships will be more efficient fighting machines than they were before.

The report that we lost more than a thousand airplanes at Pearl Harbor is as baseless as the other weird rumors. The Japanese do not know just how many planes they destroyed that day, and I am not going to tell them. But I can say that to date-and including Pearl Harbor-we have destroyed considerably more Japanese planes than they have destroyed of ours.

We have most certainly suffered losses-from Hitler’s U-boats in the Atlantic as well as from the Japanese in the Pacific-and we shall suffer more of them before the turn of the tide. But, speaking for the United States of America, let me say once and for all to the people of the world: We Americans have been compelled to yield ground, but we will regain it. We and the other United Nations are committed to the destruction of the militarism of Japan and Germany. We are daily increasing our strength. Soon we, and not our enemies, will have the offensive; we, not they, will win the final battles; and, we, not they, will make the final peace.

Conquered nations in Europe know what the yoke of the Nazis is like. And the people of Korea and of Manchuria know in their flesh the harsh despotism of Japan. All of the people of Asia know that if there is to be an honorable and decent future for any of them or for us that future depends on victory by the United Nations over the forces of Axis enslavement.

If a just and durable peace is to be attained, or even if all of us are merely to save our own skins, there is one thought for us here at home to keep uppermost-the fulfillment of our special task of production.

Germany, Italy, and Japan are very close to their maximum output of planes, guns, tanks, and ships. The United Nations are not-especially the United States of America.

Our first job then is to build up production so that the United Nations can maintain control of the seas and attain control of the air-not merely a slight superiority, but an overwhelming superiority.

On January 6 of this year I set certain definite goals of production for airplanes, tanks, guns, and ships. The Axis propagandists called them fantastic. Tonight, nearly two months later, and after a careful survey of progress by Donald Nelson and others charged with responsibility for our production, I can tell you that those goals will be attained.

In every part of the country, experts in production and the men and women at work in the plants are giving loyal service. With few exceptions, labor, capital, and farming realize that this is no time either to make undue profits or to gain special advantages, one over the other.

We are calling for new plants and additions to old plants and for plant conversion to war needs. We are seeking more men and more women to run them. We are working longer hours. We are coming to realize that one extra plane or extra tank or extra gun or extra ship completed tomorrow may, in a few months, turn the tide on some distant battlefield; it may make the difference between life and death for some of our fighting men.

We know now that if we lose this war it will be generations or even centuries before our concept on of democracy can live again. And we can lose this war only if we slow up our effort or if we waste our ammunition sniping at each other. Here are three high purposes for every American:

First. We shall not stop work for a single day. If any dispute arises we shall keep on working while the dispute is solved by mediation, conciliation or arbitration-until the war is won.

Second. We shall not demand special gains or special privileges or advantages for any one group or occupation.

Third. We shall give up conveniences and modify the routine of our lives if our country asks us to do so. We will do it cheerfully, remembering that the common enemy seeks to destroy every home and every freedom in every part of our land.

This generation of Americans has come to realize, with a present and personal realization, that there is something larger and more important than the life of any individual or of any individual group-something for which a man will sacrifice, and gladly sacrifice, not only his pleasures, not only his goods, not only his associations with those he loves, but his life itself. In time of crisis when the future is in the balance, we come to understand, with full recognition and devotion, what this Nation is, and what we owe to it.

The Axis propagandists have tried in various evil ways to destroy our determination and our morale. Failing in that, they are now trying to destroy our confidence in our own allies. They say that the British are finished-that the Russians and Chinese are about to quit. Patriotic and sensible Americans will reject these absurdities. And instead of listening to any of this crude propaganda, they will recall some of the things that Nazis and Japanese have said and are still saying about us.

Ever since this Nation became the arsenal of democracy-ever since enactment of lend-lease-there has been one persistent theme through all Axis propaganda.

This theme has been that Americans are admittedly rich, and that Americans have considerable industrial power-but that Americans are soft and decadent, that they cannot and will not unite and work and fight.

From Berlin, Rome, and Tokyo we have been described as a nation of weaklings-“playboys”-who would hire British soldiers, or Russian soldiers, or Chinese soldiers to do our fighting for us.

Let them repeat that now.

Let them tell that to General MacArthur and his men.

Let them tell that to the sailors who today are hitting hard in the far waters of the Pacific.

Let them tell that to the boys in the flying fortresses.

Let them tell that to the marines.

The United Nations constitute an association of independent peoples of equal dignity and importance. The United Nations are dedicated to a common cause. We share equally and with equal zeal the anguish and awful sacrifices of war. In the partnership of our common enterprise we must share in a unified plan in which all of us must play our several parts, each of us being equally indispensable and dependent one on the other.

We have unified command and cooperation and comradeship. We Americans will contribute unified production and unified acceptance of sacrifice and of effort. That means a national unity that can know no limitations of race or creed or selfish politics. The American people expect that much from themselves. And the American people will find ways and means of expressing their determination to their enemies, including the Japanese admiral who has said that he will dictate the terms of peace here in the White House.

We of the United Nations are agreed on certain broad principles in the kind of peace we seek. The Atlantic charter applies not only to the parts of the world that border the Atlantic but to the whole world; disarmament of aggressors, self-determination of nations and peoples, and the “four freedoms”-freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.

The British and the Russian people have known the full fury of Nazi onslaught. There have been times when the fate of London and Moscow was in serious doubt. But there was never the slightest question that either the British or the Russians would yield. And today all the United Nations salute the superb Russian Army as it celebrates the twenty-fourth anniversary of its first assembly.

Though their homeland was overrun, the Dutch people are still fighting stubbornly and powerfully overseas.

The great Chinese people have suffered grievous losses; Chungking has been almost wiped out of existence, yet it remains the capital of an unbeatable China.

That is the conquering spirit which prevails throughout the United Nations in this war.

The task that we Americans now face will test us to the uttermost.

Never before have we been called upon for such a prodigious effort.

Never before have we had so little time in which to do so much

“These are the times that try men’s souls.”

Tom Paine wrote those words on a drumhead, by the light of a campfire. That was when Washington’s little army of ragged, rugged men was retreating across New Jersey, having tasted nothing bat defeat.

And General Washington ordered that these great words written by Tom Paine be read to the men of every regiment in the Continental Army, and this was the assurance given to the first American armed forces:

“The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will in this crisis shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us: That the harder the sacrifice, the more glorious the triumph.”

So spoke Americans in the year 1776. So speak Americans today!”

Mister Mac

Should I stay or should I go? 1

One of the questions asked so much in the recent lead up to the storm is “Should I stay or should I go”.

The obvious answer is to follow the directions of the emergency management officials. Much of the loss of life and deprivation after Katrina was too many people in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some of that can be blamed on the local and regional government of course. Before they took it down, I had a copy of the Emergency Management Plan for New Orleans. The section that talked about evacuation plans simply stated: To be developed.  The results were catastrophic and the affects can still be felt today.

I honestly believe however that many people stayed out of a lack of basic understanding of disaster management. For whatever reason, there was a belief that it wasn’t going to be that bad and if it was, the government was going to bail them out. If you read the BOLD WARNINGS on the Ready.gov web site however, even the most casual understanding would show you that the government will probably not be there right away. The proof is in their own words:

“You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days.”   Or maybe longer if you want to be really honest. A big enough storm may cover a much wider area which will certainly tax the government’s ability to respond.

Whether you chose to stay or to go, you should still build a kit that fits either contingency. Things that might be valuable in a shelter in place might be cumbersome if you have to bug out. The time for deciding what is needed is well before the actual need to decide. Precious minutes might be wasted getting just the right things into place. This is where planning is of the utmost importance.

Bugging Out

I started building our bug out bag when we lived in Tornado Alley. The logic at the time was that if we had to evacuate in a hurry, I didn’t want to be gathering needed items. Using a workout gear bag (made of water resistant nylon) I assembled some basic food items, cooking gear used in camping, water containers for drinking, and tools.

 

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Mountain House freeze dried food is the most reliable and enjoyable of all the food I have tried. While I still have some MRE’s in rotation for my Shelter in Place plan, the freeze dried stays fresher longer, is lighter and has a a far superior taste. Add to that how easy it is to reconstitute. You can either boil the water or you can use the convenient heater packs (purchased separately) which require nothing but water. This kit includes a rain poncho which doubles as a makeshift tent. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to light a stove in the rain.

img_1056A fishing tackle box contains a large number of useful items for either Bug Out or Staying. The box is sealed which keeps the contents nice and dry. Most of the items are from camping or boating stores. A folding shovel, sturdy survival knife, axes and multiple butchering tools are ready to help address any number of emergencies. I have at least five different methods to light a fire including flint if need be.   A basic medical bag can address most first aid issues and don’t forget the extra seal canteens of water. Waterproof matches are a must and I keep them sealed in plastic bags just to be safe.

Leaving is not always an option

We are blessed to have a house with a walk out basement. In that basement is a finished room with three pretty solid walls and no direct exposure to the outside on any of the walls. The previous owners equipped it with a steel door so this was a natural choice for me to establish our Zombie Room. In one of the corners, I have a storage cabinet that holds the Bug Out Kid and the Shelter in Place materials. While I keep some of the more flammable items in a safer storage nearby, this cabinet has enough supplies to make sure we can go well beyond the 72 hours the government typically suggests. We live in the country and those extra supplies may be our lifeline until the crisis passes.

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Along with a rotating stock of MRE’s we recently shifted over to Mountain House’s “Just in Case” buckets. These sealed buckets have a 25 year shelf life. I imagine that they will out last either of us at this point in time. They are lightweight, rodent resistant, waterproof and easy to store. The buckets are also useable for other purposes once they are empty of their food.

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The cabinet is a great place for additional tools you might need and more medical supplies. We have a gas grill, a Coleman Stove, portable camping stoves and as a last resort prepackaged one time use grills. More sophisticated cookware for Shelter in Place is also kept here.

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The orange bucket is filled with a number of things including toilet paper, duct tape, plastic tarps, extra dusk masks, and some protective coveralls. Elsewhere in the case are gas masks with filters suitable for ruse in the case of a chemical or nuclear fallout event. I pray that we will never have to use them but with Putin and his ministers rattling the nuclear saber once more, you just never know. (By the way, the orange bucket also doubles as a toilet… have a few close by just in case).

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Finally, what’s a good Zombie Room without a way to take out zombies? My hobby is shooting so I probably would have had most of these anyway. But we live in an area where law enforcement is limited and crime is just around the corner. My suggestion for most people is to have at least a shotgun. But it is not always practical to hunt with a shotgun and you may require something with a little more flexibility should the zombies rise.

A logical question is “what gun and caliber should I purchase?” My common answer is “one that you will actually use if you need it.” I prefer 9MM for my handguns and at least one rifle. My AR shoots 5.56 or .223. If you decide on an AR, make sure you get one chambered for the 5.56. It will handle both. These popular rounds will be worth their weight in gold if an actual catastrophe occurs.

The Plan

All of these things are quite useless if you don’t have a plan. Ready.gov has some good basic building blocks. The time to plan is not as the winds are passing 55 MPH or the water is rising above your front stoop. The time to plan is NOW.

Mister Mac

https://www.ready.gov/

http://www.cdc.gov/

https://www.fema.gov/

http://survivalcache.com/

 

December 10 – The Loss of the First Sealion 17

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The attack at Pearl Harbor was barely finished when the predicted attacks in the Philippines began. In order for the Japanese empire to complete their planned establishment of a Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere, the Philippines would have to be “liberated” from the American’s influence. A casual study of that part of the world shows that the oil and food that would be needed to satisfy the growing Japanese empire could easily be obtained form the vast resources in the southern Pacific. The small Japanese islands were hardly capable of supplying the basic needs of her own people at home no less the far flung forces of its marauding armies. Like a giant hungry tiger, she was consuming as much as her army and navy could take in a furious march across the hemisphere.

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The Philippines were the key to her ability to anchor her gains. These beautiful islands lay across the jugular of the Japanese lifeline and could provide food, slave labor and a launching point to repel the return of the Americans when they came to life. For now, in December 1941, the islands lay like glistening diamonds on a beach, only slightly out of reach by the American presence. The Japanese air forces would soon make short shrift of those forces. Despite warnings form the War Department, much of her air forces had been caught on the ground. This loss laid the ground and naval forces open and vulnerable to the fierce attacks to follow.

American submarines had operated in and around the Philippines for decades prior to the war, The smaller “S” boats (Sugar Boats) had deployed to the Asiatic fleet in 1924 for a two year rotation and never left. These boats had many limitations for a broader role in a full scale war but had proven their ability to operate successfully in the Asiatic theater. Year after year until 1940, squadrons of them cycled between Subic Bay through the Indonesian islands and into China. Boats of Sub Ron Five were the schools for a generation of American submariners and produced many of the men who would ultimately help to win the war.

But on December 10th, the USS Sea Lion, a Sargo class  became the first American Submarine to be lost in combat. Her story is told by Paul W. Wittmer and Charles R. Hinman, originally from:U.S. Submarine Losses World War II, NAVPERS 15,784, 1949 ISSUE

http://www.oneternalpatrol.com/uss-sealion-195-loss.htm

http://www.oneternalpatrol.com/uss-sealion-195.htm

An in depth reading of the loss can also be found here: http://www.usssealion.com/sealion/Saga_of_the_Sealion.htm

The original Sealion would be replaced in 1943 by a submarine of the same name.

USS Sealion (SS/SSP/ASSP/APSS/LPSS-315), a Balao-class submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the sea lion, any of several large, eared seals native to the Pacific. She is sometimes referred to as Sealion II, because her first skipper, Lieutenant Commander Eli Thomas Reich, was a veteran of the first Sealion, serving on her when she was lost at the beginning of World War II.

The second Sealion more than lived up to her name participating in many of the major events of the rest of the Pacific campaign. http://www.usssealion.com/

Earlier this year I got a chance to visit another Balao class boat that came after her: USS Lionfish in Battleship Cove near Boston Massachusetts. It is a fitting tribute to all the men who sailed on those submersible ships in a time of great concern for freedom in the world.  From the dark days of December 1941, submarines would play a pivotal role in the liberation of entire nations as well as the protection of the United States.

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The lesson for the ages is the need for any nation that wishes to remain a significant force in the world to have a submarine force that is capable of projecting a world wide influence when it is needed. That force must be maintained in times of peace as well as war.

Mister Mac

By the way, some really great pictures and stories of the first Sealion SS 195 can be found over at our favorite submarine web site Pigboats.com

http://pigboats.com/subs/195.html

While America dismantles its forces, others prepare to fill the gap 3

I am relatively sure that the Chinese are not wasting any resources on sensitivity training as they view the world’s oceans and resources. I wonder if we are maintaining our vision for the last war as they prepare for the next one.

 

China’s Growing Military Might: Top 4 Concerns For The Pentagon

Christian Science Monitor, May 9

China continues to increase spending to grow its already considerable military, and top Pentagon officials continue to watch the developments carefully.

In a report issued this week, the Department of Defense for the first time directly accused China’s military of using cyberattacks to spy on US networks.

In this arena and others, “China’s military buildup shows no signs of slowing,” said David Helvey, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for East Asia, who presented the congressionally mandated report on the state of China’s military activities.

Here are Pentagon officials’ top four concerns as they carefully monitor the growth of China’s military.

1. Frequent cyberwarfare attacks, other espionage efforts

China has long been accused of engaging in cyber attacks and espionage on US networks, but for the first time the US military directly attributed some of those attacks to its counterparts in China, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

“In 2012, numerous computer systems around the world, including those owned by the United States government, continued to be targeted for intrusions, some of which appear to be attributable directly to the [Chinese] government and military organizations,” Mr. Helvey said during a Pentagon briefing this week.

The report points to cyberespionage, along with other activities – with the aim of bolstering China’s military advantages:

“China continues to leverage foreign investments, commercial joint ventures, academic exchanges, the experience of repatriated Chinese students and researchers, and state-sponsored industrial and technical espionage to increase the level of technologies and expertise available to support military research, development, and acquisition.”

2. Use of space to thwart the US military

In 2012, China conducted 18 space launches to expand its intelligence and surveillance satellites.

At the same time, China is working quickly to “improve its capabilities to limit or prevent the use of space-based assets by adversaries during times of crisis or conflict,” according to the report.

Indeed, “PLA writings emphasize the necessity of ‘destroying, damaging, and interfering with the enemy’s reconnaissance … and communications satellites,’ ” the DOD report notes, adding that such attacks would serve to “blind and deafen the enemy.”

The same PLA analysis also points out that “destroying or capturing satellites and other sensors … will deprive an opponent of initiative on the battlefield and [make it difficult] for them to bring their precision-guided weapons into full play.”

3. Development of ‘carrier killer’ missiles

China is developing specialized, precision anti-ship ballistic missiles that are capable of hitting US aircraft carriers from a range of about 600 to 1,800 miles, according to the report.

“This is something that China has invested in, and we’re watching very carefully as it’s developing that program,” Helvey said.

These weapons could potentially affect the US aircraft-carrier presence in the region. “We’re concerned about the ability of China to develop missiles that can project its military power with precision at great distances from China,” he added. “Obviously, something that can hold at risk large surface ships, including aircraft carriers, is something we pay attention to.”

4. Development of sophisticated ships, planes, and drones

The Chinese military is working quickly to improve its array of increasingly sophisticated fighter jets and attack helicopters.

Indeed, China is developing fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft that incorporate stealth technology, some of which, the report says, use technology captured by Chinese spies.

China has also launched its first aircraft carrier, which senior US military officials say they are watching carefully and which is “the most significant development in the [Chinese] Navy over the past year,” according to the report.

“The formation of carrier battle groups will enable the PLA Navy to conduct comprehensive operations and enhance its long-range operational capabilities,” it says.

The PLA is also “investing heavily in a robust program for undersea warfare,” developing nuclear-powered attack submarines, Helvey said.

Like the US, China is also interested in expanding its fleet of drones – as well as selling its technology. “We have seen some reports of China marketing unmanned air systems in air shows around the world,” Helvey added, “so that’s something we’ll have to continue monitoring very carefully.”

There were many books written in the aftermath of the surprise attacks that began America’s active involvement in World War 2.

I wonder if the next generation’s books will be written in Chinese?

Mister Mac

The Terrible Twos 2

We were never blessed with children but one thing we learned very early in life from others that did: There really is a lot to be said for the phenomenon called “The Terrible Twos”. This is that time when a sweet little creature born just a short 24 months before turns into Satan’s spawn. The passive little lump that used to love playing the airplane game with the feeding spoon, now becomes more discriminatory than Wolfgang Puck being forced to go through a McDonald’s Drive Through.

Sometimes the behaviors become lifelong patterns. I can’t possibly imagine any other reason for the recent outbreak of “Occupy” other people’s property. The cultural contributors to this mass outbreak of Terrible Twos should be studied to see if there are any links to whatever happened to these folks when they collectively hit two. (Just a passing thought… I wonder when Joe Biden will graduate from his own personal Terrible Twos.)

There are other terrible twos, too.

Because I am so attracted to historical events, there seems to be an eerie pattern of bad things that happen in years ending in “two”. Events with great significance always seem to crop up in years like that.

1912:

Titanic Sinks

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1922:

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is founded. In Germany, the year ends with hyperinflation showing no sign of slowing down, with 7,000 marks now needed to buy a single American dollar. The Washington Naval Treaty Limiting the size and growth of warships is signed. (That one took a while to kick in but the lives lost from that stupidity were an unwanted gift that kept giving most of the way through World War 2)

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1932:

The Great Depression. FDR blamed the Great Depression on Hoover, and his protectionist policies. FDR lashed out at Hoover: “I accuse the present Administration of being the greatest spending Administration in peacetime in all our history.”

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1942:

The darkest days in the history of the world as the forces of Germany, Italy and Japan were still on the offensive. The first concentration camp in Poland is built to eliminate the Jewish problem (part of Hitler’s final solution)

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1952:

While Korea remains the main United Nations focus, martial law is declared in Kenya after a rebellion of a group called the Mau Mau erupts. Hussein Onyango Obama worked as a cook in a British camp but secretly joined in the rebellion before being caught and tortured.

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1962:

Cuban Missile Crisis. Marylyn Monroe died too, but that is too tragic to talk about.

1972:

The world is wracked by terrorism. Watergate destroys any trust Americans once had for their leadership and Nixon bombs North Viet Nam for Christmas. America is condemned by the Swedes  for being Nazis. (The same Swedes who by the way aided and abetted the actual Nazi’s while the Nazi’s were killing millions of Jews RIGHT NEXT DOOR – have another meatball baby.)

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fast forward:   2012

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Barrack Hussein Obama is reelected for a second time as President of the United States. The justice department rules that widespread voter fraud and voter intimidation is just silly and UN observers report that they didn’t see a thing. Vice Premier Joe Biden says that anyone who thinks such a thing could have happened is a racist, poor people hating #$%^& as he cuts the ribbon on the first FEMA Camp neat Scranton.

January 1st 2013 is the launch date of Operation Protect the Middle Class. All present holders of individual fire arms are directed to bring the locked firearms and any ammunition to FEMA collection sites by January 15th to avoid incarceration. This is being done to protect middle class people from the elite rich who could afford to stock up on firearms. Federal Firearms records are consolidated in the new Universal Federal Firearms Protection Agency in Cicero Illinois. UN Inspectors have been deployed to assist.

Banks will be closed until January twentieth when the new currency can be distributed. All previous currency will be collected at authorized Department of Homeland Security Offices and exchanged for rations. Hoarding will not be tolerated and those caught will be sent to reeducation camps.

Gadsden flags are hereby outlawed and anyone caught flying one will be made an example of. The Department of Community Leadership local representatives are authorized to act without warrants where the despicable flags are displayed.

The Office of the First Lady will officially be renamed “Prime Minister of Internal Affairs and Dietary Issues”. This permanent position will match the new “President for Life” position authorized by the Emergency Response Tribunal. This recommendation  by Security Minister Vann Jones was part of the 2012 Declaration of Emergency in America act issued after the dissolution of Congress. The suspended Constitution will be revised to reflect the new dual Oath of Office once the emergency is lifted.

Fox News Corporation trials will begin in February. All AM talk shows have now been replaced by Prime Minister Michelle’s diet and fashion tips. Anyone caught listening to Radio Free America will be subject to instant relocation to FEMA camp. Note: Sean Hannity has still not been located. A reward has been authorized.

Only you can help to end the Terrible Twos.

Pair a ducks

Thanks for letting me have a little Friday fun.

Hopefully, that’s all it is.

Mister Mac

Presidents, Politics and Policies: How Thomas Jefferson almost killed the Republic 1

Without a doubt, Thomas Jefferson was one of the most influential Presidents of our countries history. He was a thoughtful man who placed much value education and knowledge. As any person is capable of having a blind spot or two, Jefferson and his contemporaries made decisions that almost cost us a country 200 years ago.

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For those of you not too busy following the hockey and basketball playoffs, you may have missed that this year is the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. Subtract a few more sub-groups of people paying attention since we are rapidly finishing this season’s thrilling competitions on Dancing With the Stars, something called “The Voice” and of course…. “This is your American Idol.” (Cue Ryan Seacrest)

Top all of this off with the beginning of the baseball season and its no wonder no one has time to remember a War that we almost lost.

A quick recap of the lead up to that obscure little war follows:

The British Navy (the single most powerful fleet in the world) was running amuck on the high seas capturing both military and non-military vessels with the intent of retrieving “their” deserters.

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Over ten thousand US sailors were thought to have been taken into chains by the British to support its global fleet.  The incursion of rights on a sovereign did not escape the ears of those who lead the US.

By 1812, the war drums were beating and President Monroe was forced into action. What soon became apparent however was that a political decision which became a Presidential policy under Jefferson was about to put the nation in greater peril than at any time before and any time since.

Jefferson was what would be describes as a “Liberal” in the truest since of the word. He was an honest and sincere man who prided himself on seeing things in a very retrospective way. One of those things was that standing armies and navies were a drag on the country and invited attack from potential adversaries.

"I am for relying for internal defense on our militia solely till actual invasion, and for such a naval force only as may protect our coasts and harbors from such depredations as we have experienced; and not for a standing army in time of peace which may overawe the public sentiment; nor for a navy which, by its own expenses and the eternal wars in which it will implicate us, will grind us with public burthens and sink us under them." –1799

President Jefferson took care of sinking the Navy by issuing directions to Congress to scrap or not maintain the Navy that had beaten the enemy in the Barbary Coast and replace it with “gunboats”

http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/writings/jefferson/gunboats.htm

The Mariners Museum in Newport News tells the story much better than I can about the consequences:

http://www.marinersmuseum.org/sites/micro/usnavy/07.htm

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It is but by the Grace of God and the spirit of the American people who refused to surrender  that the entire country did not go up in flames with the White House when the British fleet and invading army pushed Jefferson’s toy boats to the side of the playing field.

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As congress and whoever will be President next year face a budget that will be both crippling and necessarily cruel, all bets are off. Promises made for generations will fall faster than a driving rain and there will be real suffering. We are greater in debt than we have ever been in both real and imagined dollars. Instead of tackling those debts head on, our leaders are more divided than ever before. This comes at a time when other countries such as China are growing in both financial strength and in military might.

The choice we will be faced with will be one of two courses. Will we follow the Jeffersonian model of retrenchment in hopes that the enemy will simply restrain himself in the future? Or will we continue to support the development and growth of new ships and technologies for future generations? The choice should be pretty clear.

Baltimore 2011 009

My fear is that it will be expedient to push the decisions to the next generations. With the speed of technology however, will they have the chance to make up for our mistakes before the enemy is entering Chicago, Kansas City, Salt Lake City, Omaha or Denver? (I have already given up on the coasts and anything on the Southern border has already been invaded by now.)

Mister Mac

This blog is dedicated to the people who understand the direct impact of Presidents, Policies and Politics on our freedom as represented by the US Navy. Freedom is ours to keep or ours to give away.

I’m sorry, so sorry, please accept my apology 3

brenda-lee

Ah, Brenda Lee. That song about being “Sorry” goes back to the days of my childhood. From her Bio:

“On March 28, 1960 Brenda recorded “I’m Sorry.” The song was released on May 30, 1960. The song hit # 1 during the summer of 1960 and stayed on the Top 100 for over 6 months. “I’m Sorry” was also Brenda’s first gold record selling over one million records and is her biggest selling record. The song became a huge international hit, and by the end of 1960 Brenda was an international recording artist.”

What does sorry mean?

Most often it is an expression of regret. Its normally felt when someone feels shame, embarrassment, annoyance or guilt after committing some kind of action that you later wish you hadn’t done. In today’s world, I am beginning to believe more and more that sorry is just an expedient way to say “Oops, I didn’t mean for that to happen…”

Its almost like an entire generation listened too closely to Emily Litella from Saturday Night Live:

“Litella’s sketches were, in part, a parody of the Fairness Doctrine, which at the time required broadcasters in the United States to present opposing viewpoints on public issues. Litella became increasingly agitated as her statement progressed. Midway in her commentary, it became apparent that she had misheard and/or misunderstood the subject of the editorial to which she was responding. A typical example:

What is all this fuss I hear about the Supreme Court decision on a “deaf” penalty? It’s terrible! Deaf people have enough problems as it is!

The news anchor interrupted Litella to point out her error, along the lines, “That’s death, Ms. Litella, not deafdeath.” Litella would wrinkle her nose, say something like, “Oh, that’s very different….” then meekly turn to the camera and say, “Never mind.” When Litella played against news anchor Chevy Chase (whom she always called “Cheddar Cheese”), he was somewhat sympathetic to her. But when Jane Curtin took over the anchor role, she would scold Litella on the air, to which Litella would reply, “I’m sorry. It won’t happen again….Bitch!””

This week was just chock full of Litella wanna bees.

One of my favorites was that cheeky woman over on CNN that wanted to slap around Mitt’s wife because she “never worked a day in her life”. Nope fighting cancer and MS while supporting your husbands career by raising five sons, how could anyone confuse that for work?

As the bullet bounced around inside the hull (submarine terminology) even the progressives were “shocked, shocked I tell ya” at the apparent attack on Mom, Apple Pie, and the American Way. Within a short time, the apologies flowed like honey down from the sky on a biscuit at the Columbia Gorge Hotel (if you have never been there for one of their incredible breakfasts, you have to add it to your bucket list http://columbiagorgehotel.com/

In some ways, watching Hilary Rosen dance around her faux apology was like watching an episode of River Dance on the VCR in fast motion.

She will recover eventually (she is a special case person after all) but she should probably not count on being asked to the West Wing for pizza for a while.

Spike Lee finally apologized to that poor elderly couple for giving their address out…

(incorrectly it seems) to all of his little twitty friends. Not a hint of actual compensation or relief for their situation that he created. No real hint of compassion for the trouble he started for them either. I pray they have a good lawyer. Just some hollow tweets about “Oops, my bad… sort of”

Red Sea

Speaking of apologies, one of my other favorites this past week was from the New Black Panther Party spokesperson after her screed was played on “Bubba the Love Sponge’s” radio show one morning. I have only heard his show one time when I rented a car with satellite radio installed and it was already on the spot. But apparently, he really hit the whole mark with the recorded phone call between the progressive NBPP team members.

NBPP March    Shamizz Baby Nice to See You Bro

Crossing the Red Sea

“Time to get booted up and suited up for this race war we’re in, the things that are about to happen to these crackers, these honkeys. […]

We gotta go do it, we have to cross the red sea, not some sea in Middle East part of the world, we’re talking about some blood, go through some blood, some battles. There are those who wish they could stand in this hour to see the destruction of the devil’s world, not some dude under the ground with a pitchfork, I’m talking about blond haired, blue eyed sometimes brown eyed Caucasian.”

NBPP Convention

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2012/04/09/great_news_new_black_panthers_calls_to_create_red_sea_of_bloodshed

“We Have To Spill The Blood of White Devils…”

“You feel me?”

Yes. Yes I do feel you ma’am.
In your heart of hearts, you see people like me as the Devil. As a previously blond haired Caucasian (more brown and grey now so maybe I will be spared), I am your enemy. My blue eyed blonde wife and our nephews and nieces are all in your sites.
You want to see some blood. 

Here is the “apology” we knew

would eventually show up…

Michelle Williams, the Tampa Chief of Staff for the New Black Panther Party, has issued an apology for violent, hate-filled comments she made in an interview while discussing her feelings on the death of Trayvon Martin.

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Williams, now aware her words could discredit her anti-racist convictions, said her words were due to emotion, not genuine racist feelings. In an interview with Tampa Channel 10 News reporter Melanie Michael, Williams said

“My words were out of anger. I did not incite, I did not promote, nor did I encourage anyone to go and pick up a gun.” She went on to say “I don’t want violence, I don’t promote violence. That’s why I told you, my words were out of anger.”

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Continue reading on Examiner.com New Black Panther Party Chief of Staff apologizes for hate-filled tirade – Atlanta Political Buzz | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/political-buzz-in-atlanta/new-black-panther-party-chief-of-staff-apologizes-for-hate-filled-tirade#ixzz1rvYs88sl

Well okay then, that makes it all better now doesn’t it!!!

Do you know which apology you won’t be seeing today or anytime in the future?
The only one that could quell this rise to violence.
The only one that would not be wasted on the ears of foreign potentates and dictators.
The only one offered to the enemies who would see us blown to hell if they only had the means (which they will due to ineptness)
Yeah, you know which one I am waiting for that will never come.

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But its not what might seem the most obvious:

The apology I want but will never hear is from anyone who had anything to do with putting this narcissistic bozo in office in the first place.

(I would also like to hear one from AG Holder but I know he’s been busy down on the border with Mexico)

I’m sorry. It was only my emotions speaking…

The Duke's answer

War is the remedy that our enemies have chosen, and I say let us give them all they want. ~ William Tecumseh Sherman

Mister Mac

Daddy, why is it so quiet? 4

It’s early Wednesday morning and something inside of you wakes you up before the sun rises. The house is completely silent and as you start to focus, you sense something is different. At first, the darkness seems natural until you realize the red LED display of the alarm clock is dark too. Out of habit, you turn the knob on the light and remember that if the clock is off, so is the power to the light.

Outside, the street lights are dark and as far as you can see there is no light at all. Strangely enough,  even the radio tower lights are not illuminated. Somebody is going to pay hell for that. You don’t think about it right away, but the sky is empty too. Not one single jet is making its way into the airport for the early morning traveller flights. You wonder if the factory will be affected by the outage. Turning on the cell phone, you get a full battery indicator but no signal bars. Now that really is odd. There was no storm last night so it can’t be lightning.

In the distance, you hear sirens from either a police car or an ambulance. It quickly speeds off into the early morning dawn and quiet returns. As the sun slowly breaks the horizon, others in your neighborhood start to emerge from their houses. Does anybody know when it happened? Have you tried tuning into the radio? All the stations have nothing but static. Most people go back to their houses to wait out the outage. They will have a long wait.

Instinct kicks in at some point. As the day goes on with no change in the situation, you start to look around your kitchen. Food. How long will the outage last? You, your wife and two kids may have to subsist on what you have for a while. So what do you have? Then you remember that the oven is electric and of course so is the microwave. Fortunately you have some soup and beans. Tuna and some spaghetti sauce will be able to be consumed but you don’t have a way to heat the water for the noodles.

The refrigerator has a weeks worth of perishables. What temperature will they go bad at? You remember to warn the kids not to open the door unless its an emergency. The day drags on. You realize how much your life depends on the internet and the TV that sit blankly staring back at you. No information, no games, no sports, no anything.

Thoughts of security come creeping in around the edges of your mind. You see cars moving out on the street and wonder where they are going to or where they are coming from. Without communication, how would you tell the firemen or police that there is a problem. You live in a quiet college town but fifteen minutes away by car are neighborhoods where people are used to the sounds of screaming and gunfire every night. How long will it be before they come to places like yours to seek food and supplies.

By late afternoon, your curiosity overcomes your fear. You need to see what else is going on around you so you pop the emergency lever on your electric garage door. As you start the car, you remember that you were going to fill the gas tank this morning on the way to work. Leaving your driveway, you can see neighbors peeking out from behind closed curtains.

Driving into the center of town, you see few vehicles but lots of people in the close rows of houses sitting outside. There are no lights on at the bank and you remember that you have about 27 dollars in your wallet. ATM’s need power too. The gas stations are closed and outside of the supermarket there is a long line of people waiting to get in. Some emerge on the other end with gallons of milk and bread but its obvious that whatever is in the store will be gone soon enough. At both the entry and the exit stand men with shotguns.

At the edge of town sits one of the three police cars the borough has. The cop is outside talking to some folks that are driving down from the town just north of here. You pull over to listen. Their power is all gone too. Stores closed. No food. No gas. The cop tells them to turn around and go home. In his patrol car radio, you can hear similar reports from the south and east side of town. No power anywhere.

You turn the car around and head home. Some neighbors have gathered at the top of the street and several are openly wearing firearms now. Dave, the big bellied factory worker you say hi to at the mini mart is sporting what looks to be an M-16. He is the one who seems to be leading the discussion. They talk about a night patrol if the power doesn’t come back on. Suddenly batteries and weapons seem to be a pretty hot topic.

Inside the house, the wife and kids are sitting in the semi-dark. Empty cans of food are sitting on the counter and she tells you that the water stopped working about an hour ago. No washing water, no toilets, nothing. You have an electric hot water heater anyway so all you would have gotten was lukewarm.

The kids start to cry and you can see that your wife is not too far behind. Maybe, truth be told, you would like to shed a few tears too. But you won’t. Not now anyway. As darkness falls, you put the kids to bed. You won’t sleep much tonight. Hopefully the neighborhood patrol won’t shoot anybody tonight.

At about three AM, you hear the first sound of the helicopters. Lots of them from the incoming sound. They have large spotlights on the bottoms and are moving slowly. One comes to a standing stop over your neighborhood and you can see the spotlight move around. A loudspeaker breaks through the whirring of the blades:

“This is the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Stay in your houses until you receive further instructions. Pack one suitcase per person and leave all arms and ammunition on the front porch of your house. No exceptions. Tune your radio to AM Radio 800 at 6 AM tomorrow morning for complete instructions. The President has declared a national emergency and protocol 1 is now in effect. Anyone outside of their homes before they are instructed will be considered hostile and dealt with severely”

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With that, the helicopter moved to the next neighbor hood and repeated the message.

At 0600 the next morning, your family huddles around the small radio in the living room. The announcer comes on.

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“This is an emergency broadcast from the regional Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Department of Homeland Security has determined that the following areas are in danger of insurrection against the lawfully elected government of the United States.”

Your area is only one of many revealed.

“In the interest of public safety, you are to be temporarily relocated to one of six FEMA relocation facilities where you will be fed, cared for by medical personnel, and secure from any threats. No firearms will be allowed to enter the facilities for everyone’s safety.”

FEMA Camps

“This relocation will be temporary and will only last as long as the crisis exists. Vehicles will enter your area at 0900 to begin evacuations. The evacuating troops will be easily identified by their blue helmets. Because of the imminent nature of the threat, anyone found resisting will be removed from their groups and placed in a holding facility for disposition”

“This is for your own safety. Further instructions will be given at the facility you are assigned to.”

FEMA Camp flag

It couldn’t happen here, could it?

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/19/obama-signs-executive-order-revising-authority-to-nationalize-resources-for/

 

Mister Mac