Police Chief Pledges Officers Won’t Enforce Washington State Gun Control Law

H/T The Washington Free Beacon.

Bravo Chief Loren Culp of the Republic Washington Police Department for standing up for the Second Amendment.

The police chief for the Washington town of Republic promised residents that his force would respect their right to bear arms, no matter the state’s restrictive gun laws.

In a Facebook post last week, Chief Loren Culp argued the U.S. Constitution ensured the private right of individuals to their firearms. “As long as I am Chief of Police,” Culp wrote, “no Republic Police Officer will infringe on a citizens right to keep and Bear Arms, PERIOD!”

The post had been shared over two thousand times by Friday morning. Republic is a town of just over a thousand residents.

Culp’s post followed a statewide vote on Washington State Initiative No. 1639 (I-1639). The Seattle Times described the initiative as making “Washington’s firearms laws among the strictest in the country.” The initiative passed with 60 recent of voters in support.

In comments to KXLY, Culp said disregarding the initiative’s result was the lawful thing to do. “We took an oath to uphold and defend the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the State of Washington,” he said, and the initiative “completely flies in the face of both the U.S. and state constitution.”

Pro-gun and Bill of Rights groups have taken measures in response to last week’s vote. The Second Amendment Foundation and the National Rifle Association filed suit in court Thursday, challenging the bans as unconstitutional. “Initiative 1639 classifies ordinary, recreational firearms in common use as ‘assault’ weapons, denies young adults the right to self-protection, and bans the sale of firearms to out-of-state residents,” according to the NRA.

“A handful of billionaires put in millions of dollars to buy votes and we were outspent,” said Alan Gottlieb of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. “But while they were able to buy votes, our hope is they won’t be able to buy judges.”

Chief Culp is a veteran of the U.S. Army.

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The Wrong Time to Cut Defense

H/T The Washington Free Beacon.

Please, Mr.President do not cut any money from the Defense Budget.

Bathhouse Barry Obama gutted had our military it needs to be rebuilt.

Column: A new bipartisan report exposes the dangers facing America.

Last month, when the Treasury Department reported that the fiscal year 2018 deficit was a staggering $779 billion, President Trump made an announcement. Before meeting with his cabinet, the president said he would be asking every secretary to trim five percent, “if not more,” from his or her budget. Nor would he exempt the department of Defense.

Here’s hoping Trump changes his mind. Cutting the resources available to the Pentagon is a bad idea. A new report from the bipartisan National Defense Strategy Commission underscores just how bad.

Providing for the Common Defense” is the consensus of a dozen national security experts, including Jack Keane, Senator Jon Kyl, Eric Edelman, Gary Roughead, Michael Morell, Anne Patterson, and Roger Zakheim. These are sober people. Experienced people. They are not given to exaggeration. Yet their conclusions are alarming. “The security and wellbeing of the United States are at greater risk than at any time in decades,” they write. “America’s military superiority—the hard-power backbone of its global influence and national security—has eroded to a dangerous degree.”

Great-power competition returned as our military advantage dissipated. “America’s ability to defend its allies, its partners, and its own vital interests is increasingly in doubt.”

That’s more than a wakeup call. It’s an air horn inches from your ear.

Not only has the range of threats expanded. So has the battle space. In addition to China and Russia, there are the smaller weapon-states the autocracies use to probe, divide, and entrap America and her allies: North Korea, Iran, and Syria. Nor has the Salafi-jihadist movement left the field. Reduced to its last bastions in Syria, ISIS and its comrades await the moment the United States exits Afghanistan.

Once America had to assert supremacy over global sea-lanes and air traffic. Now it must also claim the high ground in the commons of space and cyber. “U.S. military superiority is no longer assured,” says the commission, “and the implications for American interests and American security are severe.”

This crisis was a long time in the making. For decades, America has short-changed defense, especially our navy, ground forces, nuclear weapons, ballistic missile defenses, and the research and development necessary to maintain a qualitative strategic edge. Yet the commission points to the Budget Control Act of 2011—the so-called sequester—as the essential instrument of our debilitation. “In percentage terms,” the authors write, the sequester was responsible for “the fastest drawdown since the years following the Korean War.”

The withering of resources occurred as American soldiers fought in Afghanistan, returned to Iraq and entered Syria, and found themselves deployed in places like Niger. “By 2017, all of the military services were at or near post-World War II lows in terms of end-strength, and all were confronting severe readiness crises and enormous deferred modernization costs.” The military budget was increased in FY2013, FY2015, and again most significantly in FY2018 thanks to President Trump and the Republican 115th Congress. It is not enough. “As the world has become more threatening, America has weakened its own defense.”

The commission supports the National Defense Strategy released earlier this year by Secretary of Defense James Mattis and lauds “its candid assessment of the strategic environment, the priority it places on preparing for major-power competition and conflict, its emphasis on the enduring value of U.S. alliances and partnerships, and its attention to issues of readiness and lethality.” The Pentagon document complemented the National Security Strategy and its doctrine of “principled realism” issued by the White House last December. What troubles the commission, however, is a lack of specificity. “Absent a more integrated, whole-of-government strategy than has been evident to date, the United States is unlikely to reverse its rivals’ momentum across an evolving, complex spectrum of competition.”

China, Russia, and Iran seek hegemony over spheres of influence. Aware of their weakness against the superpower, they advance strategic goals through unconventional means: hybrid warfare, gray-zone aggression, threats of nuclear escalation, cyber-attacks, industrial espionage, and the reflexive control that limits an adversary’s options before a conflict begins. Meanwhile, American strategic thinking is adrift. “Unfortunately, the innovative operational concepts we need do not currently appear to exist.”

Reducing defense spending in this environment would be more than foolish. It would be a non sequitur. The Pentagon budget is not the reason for America’s indebtedness. Consider last month’s deficit: revenues were $253 billion and receipts $353 billion for a deficit of $100 billion. Where did the spending go? Sixty-nine billion dollars were spent on defense, and $137 billion spent on Social Security and Medicare. That’s close to twice as much on entitlements than on the military. Defense spending is three percent of our economy. Interest on the debt—for which we get nothing but a solid credit rating—has averaged 2 percent. It may rise to 3 percent by 2027.

The debt won’t be fixed until entitlements are. And entitlements won’t be fixed until they absolutely have to be. An irony is that defense spending not only underwrites international security. It also backstops American profligacy. America hasn’t had to reckon with its debt because the dollar is the world’s reserve currency. This exorbitant privilege is as likely to be revoked by a national-security crisis as a financial one. That was the case when the dollar replaced the pound sterling, and America supplanted the United Kingdom as the guarantor of international security, at the end of World War II. Not only is defense spending a more effective economic stimulus than transfer payments. By deterring threats and promoting stability, it delays the day of reckoning when America’s accounts will have to be balanced.

The Trump administration has identified the enemy: resurgent great powers, most significantly China, whose ultimate objective is disestablishing American preeminence. The administration has also taken the first steps to counter revisionist autocrats by boosting the Pentagon, resuming freedom of navigation missions in the South China Sea, sanctioning Russia, opposing Nord Stream 2, and withdrawing from the INF treaty. The beginnings of a long-term strategy of American nationalism can be found in the administration motto that “economic security is national security,” and in its focus on the defense industrial base as the seedbed of American primacy. The National Defense Strategy Commission has 32 policy recommendations of its own. These include cancelling the remaining sequester and continuing increases in the defense budget. That is the very opposite of an across-the-board five-percent cut.

America spent years digging the strategic hole in which it finds itself. We stopped with last year’s defense appropriation bill. Why start again? Put the shovel away, Mr. President.

Making the Lame Duck Session Count

H/T AmmoLand.

The Lame Duck Session is critical for the GOP but look for Flakey Jeff to toss a monkey wrench in the works.

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- Now that the midterms are over, Republicans have a short amount of time to accomplish a great deal. This is their last stretch of having full control of the Congress, and they should work with President Trump to take full advantage.

First, Republicans must pass the remaining appropriation bills, including spending bills for Homeland Security and agriculture. There will doubtlessly be Democrat attempts to stall or block conservative measures in these remaining spending bills, but leadership must insist on including them. It is very unlikely that Senator Chuck Schumer will want to start the 2020 presidential cycle by shutting the government down.

Second, Republicans have an opportunity this year to block a job-killing, innovation-halting, health care cost-increasing tax hike. If Congress doesn’t do something to stop it, the tax increase on medical devices, which was born out of Obamacare and has been temporarily halted by Congress twice due to its destructive consequences, will go into effect.

From 2013 to 2015, the years this tax increase was in effect, the medical device industry in America lost 28,800 jobs, while in the first year alone, investment in industry research and development fell by $34 million. (This is largely because of the way the tax is structured and the complex, competitive nature of the health care market. Companies can’t directly pass the tax on to consumers, so they must carve the cost out of salaries, innovation, and investment.) Further, it taxes 2.3 percent of revenue (rather than profit or quantity) made from selling a variety of different medical devices. This means that if a small company selling these devices doesn’t even make a profit for the year, they still must pay the tax increase. Weakening or killing small, innovative entrepreneurial startups hurts the economy and slows needed improvements in health care.

This tax increase is overwhelmingly opposed by members of Congress. In July, the House passed a measure to repeal the tax 283-132 – with 57 Democrats joining Republicans to kill this horrible tax. However, parliamentary maneuverings seem to have bottled up efforts to stop the tax increase in the Senate.

Since Democrats tend to like higher taxes, it is unlikely Nancy Pelosi will allow another vote on this in the House when she reclaims the speaker’s gavel next session. The time to act is now.

Third, Republicans have an opportunity to prove the media and the Left wrong, by passing the FIRST STEP Act – a bipartisan bill to reform our broken federal prison system. This bill follows the examples of states like, Georgia and Texas, which have all passed important reforms to reduce both crime and prison populations.

Among many other things, the FIRST STEP act would create a system by which every incoming federal prisoner would be assessed for their needs and risks and given the opportunity to participate in job training, faith-based activities, or other educational programs tailored to reducing the likelihood the inmate will return to crime upon release.

For those who enter the prison system addicted to drugs, the bill would instruct the Bureau of Prisons to develop a plan to actually help them get healthy – this importantly includes medication-assisted treatment for inmates addicted to opioids.

The prison system we have now is indisputably broken. There are more than 2 million Americans in state or federal prison right now. Further, 2.7 million children in the United States have parents who are locked up. Seventy-seven percent of those prisoners who are released are re-arrested within five years. No one can claim a system with a 77 percent failure rate is working. And the fact that we are spending $80 billion a year to support this failing system is an absurdity.

The FIRST STEP Act has passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 360-59, with 134 Democrats signed on to it. This is largely because the American people want these reforms. They instinctively know that people who are addicted to drugs or simply born into a violent life with limited options, will be less likely to commit crimes if they can do something better.

Republicans must pass this bill before the end of the year.

These achievements would guarantee a very successful lame-duck session.

Your Friend,
Newt


Flake to halt judicial nominees until Mueller protection bill passed

H/T The Washington Times.

There is nothing that can protect Witchhunt Mueller as he is an employee of the DOJ and can be fired at any time.

Sadly Flakey Jeff’s replacement in the Senate will not be any better.

Sen. Jeff Flake announced Wednesday that he will not vote to advance any new judicial nominees through the Judiciary Committee, nor will he vote to confirm picks on the Senate floor, until he gets his way on unrelated legislation to prevent the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller.

Mr. Flake made the announcement on the Senate floor minutes after his bid to pass the bill failed.

His threat could block the committee from approving any more judges this year, since the GOP only holds a one-seat majority on the panel.

It’s less catastrophic to approving judges on the Senate floor, where the GOP holds 51 seats. Even losing Mr. Flake, Republicans could still approve judges on a 50-50 vote with Vice President Mike Pence breaking the tie.

Still, the senator’s move was a major escalation in the battle over Mr. Mueller, who is investigating the 2016 election, Russian interference and Trump campaign figures’ behavior.

Mr. Flake and Sen. Chris Coons tried to get the Senate to pass a bill that would have prevented Mr. Mueller from being fired without good cause.

They said their bill is of critical importance now that Mr. Trump has ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions and named an acting attorney general who some fear is looking to curtail the probe.

“The president now has this investigation in his sights, and we all know it,” Mr. Flake said.

He tried to speed the protection bill through the Senate, but fellow Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, blocked that.

“I don’t think any legislation’s necessary,” Mr. McConnell had told reporters hours earlier.

He said he agrees the Mueller probe should be allowed to finish, but said he has not seen any evidence that Mr. Trump will sink the investigation.

Still, Mr. Flake’s threat to action on judicial nominees strikes at Mr. McConnell’s heart. He has said his top priority as the GOP’s Senate leader is confirming the president’s judicial picks.

In Band of Brothers GIs Could Retun Home if They Had 85 Points, Was This True?

H/T War History OnLine.

I learned something new about wartime service.

The TV miniseries Band of Brothers provided information about WWII to many people. While some of the facts in the show were exaggerated, was the points system used for returning home accurate? If the points system was part of the demobilization of American troops, what was it based on?

 

US troops returning home aboard the USS General Harry Taylor in August 1945

The points system in Band of Brothers is one of the historically accurate aspects of the show. At the end of the war, the American public demanded the rapid demobilization of overseas troops. This resulted in Operation Magic Carpet.

As part of the operation, American troops were classified into four categories.

Category I was units which would remain in Europe.

Category II was the troops that would be re-deployed to the Pacific arena.

The hangar bay of the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) during a “Magic Carpet” voyage to bring U.S. servicemen back to the U.S. from Europe in late 1945.

Category III was troops to be reorganized and retrained before being placed in Categories I and II.

Category IV was troops that were to return to the US to be deactivated and discharged. This category consisted of soldiers who qualified for a discharge from the armed forces based on the points system.

In Band of Brothers, a soldier needed 85 points to be able to return home. This is accurate, as this was the number of points required to be placed in Category IV.

There were some soldiers at the end of the war who had accumulated over 140 points. In these cases, the number was rounded down to 85.

A total of 29,204 servicemen returned aboard USS Saratoga, more than on any other individual ship.

To earn points, certain activities would need to be carried out by the soldiers. No points were given for age or marital status.

Men who had three or more dependent children under the age of eighteen were eligible for Category IV placement. This was done regardless of the number of points they had earned during their service.

A single point was given for each month of military service. One point was also earned for each month of overseas military service. These points accumulated together with overseas soldiers earning two points per month.

U.S. Soldiers march in a victory parade in Dusseldorf, Germany, on V-E Day, May 8, 1945.

Five points were given for combat awards. The awards included the Distinguished Service Cross, the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, and the Soldier’s Medal. It did not include the Combat Infantryman Badge which caused contention among the soldiers.

Five points were also provided for each campaign participation star. Campaigns and battles were only accepted from a predetermined list and did not include all campaigns.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower awarding the Distinguished Service Cross.

The highest number of points awarded was 12 and this was for dependent children under the age of 18. No points were provided for dependent children over the age of 18.

An example of these points in action would be a soldier who served three years in the army including one year overseas, had a dependent child, and fought in Central Europe campaigns.

For his years in service, he would be awarded 36 points and 12 points for his time overseas. He would get 12 points for his dependent child and five for the Central Europe campaign. This would result in him having 65 points which is not enough to be sent back home.

April 16, 1945: US Soldiers of 3rd Division.

The points needed to be placed in Category IV varied depending on rank and troop class. For most of the forces, 85 points were needed. Officers also required 85 points, but this was revised down to 80 points just after VJ Day.

U.S. servicemen returning to San Francisco, California (USA), aboard the U.S. Navy attack transport USS Randall (APA-224), in 1946.

The points required for medical personnel also varied depending on department.

MAC troops required 88 points while MC troops needed 85. The Nurses Corps required 71 points, physical therapists needed 65 points while dietitians and hygienists required 62 points.

The discharge program for medical personnel ended in July 1945 as there was a demand for these troops in the Pacific.

U.S. troops heading back to the United States as part of Operation Magic Carpet.

The points system was controversial with the troops, particularly the infantrymen. They believed that the system unfairly favored rear-echelon troops as the Combat Infantryman Badge was not part of the awards.

These men felt the threat they faced as front-line troops was not considered in the points system.

In the months following the end of the war, the points system was adjusted. The point threshold for demobilization was lowered and the categories were redesignated. The categories were changed to Occupation Forces, Redeployment Forces, and Liquidation Forces.

A Victory ship troop transport conversion, arriving in Boston with 1,958 troops from Europe, July 26, 1945.

To be eligible for Liquidation Forces categorization, the troops were required to have between 60 to 79 points. This adjusted system led to problems in post-war occupied Germany as many experienced officers and NCOs were discharged.

In December 1945, a new policy was started and was based on the points system and length of service.

Under the new policy, officers would need 70 points and four years of military service to be discharged. Women’s Army Corps officers would require 37 points and medical officers 55 points. All enlisted men would require 45 points and four years of service while enlisted women required 32 points.

WWI Centenary

Pacific Paratrooper

This is a site for the Pacific War, but we must not overlook the 100th Centennial of WWI.

On Nov. 11, 1918, after more than four years of horrific fighting and the loss of millions of lives, the guns on the Western Front fell silent. Although fighting continued elsewhere, the armistice between Germany and the Allies was the first step to ending World War I. The global reaction was one of mixed emotions: relief, celebration, disbelief and a profound sense of loss. The armistice centennial offers the chance to look back and assess its continued significance today.

This video was contributed by:

https://gregoryno6.wordpress.com/

When World War I began in August 1914, few expected the conflict to last beyond Christmas. Over the course of the next few months, however, it was clear this would not come to pass. The conflict, already expanded beyond Europe, included great movements of imperial colonies in…

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Gen. Kenney’s report – Reorganization – July 1945

Pacific Paratrooper

18 July 1945, Okinawa, 90mm AAA-gun emplacement

During the night of 1 July, I found out that the was on Okinawa was not quite over.  Around midnight a party of Japs blundered into a fight with the guards about 50 yards from my tent. I put my pistol on a chair beside the bed.  The shooting died down a little later and I went to sleep.  The next morning, as I was taking off for Manila, Col. ‘ Photo’ Hutchison told me that he had had another battle going on during the night near his HQ.

On July 10th it was announced from Washington that the B-29s in the Marianas would form the 20th Air Force, under Gen. Twining and that those operating from Okinawa would form the 8th Air Force, under Jimmy Doolittle.  The 8th & 20th would together be called the United States Strategic Air Force, with Gen…

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