The last victims of the world wars

H/T Beyond The Band Of Brothers.

  An American was the last to fall in both wars.          

Our previous newsletter was about the last soldier to be killed in the Civil War. Today we are going to take a look at the last men to be killed in the line of duty in the world wars. Despite the international nature of these conflicts, both times it was an American.

The last man to be killed in the First World War was Henry Nicholas John Gunther of Baltimore. Gunther was a bank bookkeeper and the grandson of German immigrants. When the war broke out, he didn’t volunteer to serve due to the relatively close family ties to Germany. Instead, he was drafted into the 79th Infantry Division in 1917 and he became a supply sergeant in charge of clothing for his unit. He arrived in France in July 1918 with the American Expeditionary Forces.

Private John Jefferson Williams (1843-1865) of Indiana is usually cited as the last soldier to die in the line of duty during the American Civil War. His death is particularly poignant in its pointlessness. Serving in the 34th Indiana Infantry Regiment, “the Morton Rifles,” fate brought him to the shores of the Rio Grande River separating Texas and Mexico in early 1865.

unnamed
Henry Gunther’s portrait on his gravestone

Gunther hated being in the war and wrote a letter home in which he talked about the miserable conditions on the front and advised a friend to avoid the draft any way he can. The letter was read by the Army postal censor and Gunther was demoted to private as punishment. During the last month of the war, his comrades noticed that Gunther was often in a brooding mood after his demotion and was obsessed with regaining face in the eyes of his comrades.

At 5 a.m. on November 11, 1918, the Armistice was signed in a railway wagon in the Compiègne Forest, ending the war – almost. The German delegation asked for the immediate declaration of a ceasefire to end the bloodshed, but Marshal Foch, the French commander-in-chief, insisted it should only come into effect at 11 a.m., the famous “11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.”

unnamed (1)
Marshal Foch (second from the right) with his officers after signing the Armistice

Shortly before 11 a.m., Gunther’s squad approached a German roadblock guarded by two machine guns. Overcome with a strange mood and his obsession, Gunther violated the orders of his sergeant by getting up, firing off a few shots and charging the roadblock with his bayonet. The Germans knew the armistice was going to come into effect in a few moments and tried to wave Gunther off, but he continued charging. When he got close, the Germans fired off a short machine gun burst in self-defense, killing him instantly sometime between 10:59 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., in the last minute of the war. Gunther’s death was wholly avoidable, along with the 11,000 other deaths and wounds that occurred between the signing of the armistice in the morning and its coming into force six hours later.

unnamed
A minute too late for Henry Gunther: troops celebrating the armistice

The identity of the last soldier to be killed in action in World War II is harder to establish, but it was very likely aerial gunner Anthony Marchione. On August 15, 1945, Emperor Hirohito announced Japan’s surrender on the radio. Between the surrender and V-J Day on September 2, the USAAF sent several bomber flights above Japan. The mission of these bombers was ostensibly to verify Japanese surrender with recon photos. In actual fact, some U.S. commanders didn’t trust the Japanese and were concerned they might set up an ambush for the landing American troops and the peace delegation. The flights were a test to see if the Japanese were sincere in giving up the fight.

unnamed (1)
Theodore H. Barrett, the commander who initiated the battle, as a captain.

Unknown to the Americans, Japan was a powder keg. Army die-hards attempted a coup against the Emperor after the surrender and several airfields were in de facto rebellion: some pilots decided that allowing American planes over Japan before the signing of the peace treaty was unacceptable.

unnamed (2)
Marchione (crouching, second from the right) with a previous air crew he flew with

On August 15, two B-32 Dominator heavy bombers, an obscure plane designed as a fallback should the B-29 fall short of expectations, flew into Japanese airspace on a photo mission. They were intercepted by fighters from a rebellious airfield, one of them flown by Japanese ace Saburō Sakai. One of the Dominators was at a safe altitude but the other was flying much lower and came under fire from several directions.

unnamed
Saburō Sakai, one of the Japanese attackers

During the attack, Marchione’s plane, the one flying low, sent a radio message to the other asking it to slow down and wait for them. The next moment, one of the Japanese pilots came on the radio and added “Yes, please slow down so I can shoot you down, too” in English. It very well might have been Sakai, who spoke the language fluently.

unnamed (1)
B-32 Dominators like the one Marchione flew on, notice the distinctively tall vertical stabilizer on the tail

One attack punched through the plane’s skin and wounded photographer Joseph Lacharite. Standing next to him, Marchione picked him up and placed him in a cot but he himself was shot the next moment. Other crewmembers rushed to his aid but he succumbed to the large chest or groin wound he suffered within half an hour, passing away while cradled in the arms of a comrade.

unnamed (2)
Hobo Queen II, the other Dominator that flew on the mission

 

As far as we can tell, this was the last documented case of a soldier getting killed in the line of duty before the surrender documents were signed. Several deaths occurred afterwards but those were technically after the end of the war. In December, three Marines were killed by Japanese stragglers on Guam and a war-related death occurred as late as 1972, when hold-out Private Kinshichi Kozuka was killed by Philippine police in a shootout. Ignoring such outliers, however, the last drop of blood shed in both world wars was American.

You can learn more about the sacrifice it took to bring the world wars to a close on our historical tours scheduled for 2019.

 

 

 

 

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Here We Go: Kavanaugh Accuser’s Legal Team Rejects ‘Artificial’ FBI Investigation Deadline

H/T Town Hall.

Like Rush Limbaugh said this additional time for the FBI to investigate will never be enough the DemocRats want to drag the nomination out until after the midterms in hopes they will retake the House and Senate.

Today was supposed to be simple. The Senate Judiciary Committee was set to vote on advancing the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Senate floor. Then, 60 hours of debate, followed by a final vote on Tuesday. It was going to be a party-line vote. It was going to be dotted with Democrats once again whining about the process. They also want an FBI investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations lobbed against Kavanaugh. One of the women, Christine Blasey Ford, testified before Congress yesterday. Judge Kavanaugh addressed the committee later that afternoon. In a fiery speech, he defended his name, reputation, and career, which has been tarnished by what appears to be a coordinated political hit job. He stringently denies the allegations; Ford alleges Kavanaugh tried to rape her at a high school party. None of the three allegations hurled against him have any evidence or witnesses. It’s devolved into a circus. On top of that, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) decided to stab his party in the back.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Just started, tonight, our 7th FBI investigation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. He will someday be recognized as a truly great Justice of The United States Supreme Court!

Yes, the committee voted to advance the nomination, but not before Flake decided to take the role of Benedict Arnold, suggesting a delay in the final confirmation vote in order to have the FBI investigate the claims. It’s on a weeklong timetable. Sens. Murkowski (R-AK), Collins (R-ME), and Manchin (R-WV) all jumped onboard supporting this measure. The White House, now forced into a corner, has formally ordered the FBI to conduct an investigation. It’s the wrong move. Flake decided to give this left wing smear campaign another week of oxygen, allowing more time for last minute shenanigans to possibly occur. We know that when the FBI submits their preliminary report, the Democrats will demand more time. There is nothing that will ever make them change their minds about this man. It’s delay, delay, and delay some more. That’s the playbook Democrats are reading to derail Kavanaugh. And to no one’s surprise, Ford’s legal team rejects the “artificial limits” of the investigation (via Fox News):

Shannon Pettypiece

@spettypi

A note on what the FBI can and can’t do: This isn’t a criminal investigation, no grand jury, so they can’t subpoena records or force anyone to testify.

Katie Pavlich

@KatiePavlich

So basically, they can do less than Senate investigators who have already done much investigating

Shannon Pettypiece

@spettypi

A note on what the FBI can and can’t do: This isn’t a criminal investigation, no grand jury, so they can’t subpoena records or force anyone to testify.

Charles C. W. Cooke

@charlescwcooke

Gosh, nobody could see that coming. https://twitter.com/samstein/status/1045783043905146880?s=21 

Sam Stein

@samstein

Dr. Ford’s lawyer, Debra S. Katz, on FBI probe: “No artificial limits as to time or scope should be imposed on this investigation.”

President Trump on Friday ordered the FBI to conduct a limited “supplemental” background investigation into the allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delayed plans for votes but said Republicans are still moving “forward.”

“I’ve ordered the FBI to conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh’s file,” Trump said in a statement. “As the Senate has requested, this update must be limited in scope and completed in less than one week.”

Trump’s order came after after several undecided senators whose votes are needed to confirm Kavanaugh called for a weeklong FBI probe before a floor vote.

[…]

An attorney for Kavanaugh accuser Christine Ford, Debra S. Katz, said in a statement Friday that Ford “welcomes this step in the process.” But Katz took issue with the one-week limit, saying no “artificial limits as to time or scope should be imposed on this investigation.”

When asked if they could get the investigation done in a week, a senior FBI official told Fox News, “That depends on the schedules of everyone we’d have to interview, including the accuser, accused and witnesses.”

Ford has named three other people she said attended the 1982 party where she claims she was assaulted. All three named people have said they have no memory of the event, though two said Friday they’re willing to cooperate with the FBI.

“I will cooperate with any law enforcement agency that is assigned to confidentially investigate these allegations,” Kavanaugh friend Mark Judge said.

“My client, Patrick J. Smyth, is happy to cooperate fully with this FBI investigation,” said attorney Eric B. Bruce.

Leader McConnell

@senatemajldr

Brett Kavanaugh is one of the most qualified and most impressive Supreme Court nominees in memory. This is a nomination that deserves to move forward — and that is precisely what is happening.

In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the nomination is moving forward—and all 51 Republicans have agreed to that end. Also, this FBI investigation is not a criminal one, meaning they can’t force people to testify or subpoena records. In other words, it’s all part of the delay tactic deployed against this Supreme Court nomination. It’s now a street fight. It’s open warfare—and it seems clear that the GOP was not ready to get this deep into the muck when it came to fighting Democrats. It’s going to be another intense and nasty seven-to-ten days. Brace yourselves.

Fox News

@FoxNews

.@senatemajldr McConnell makes remarks about the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. https://fxn.ws/2IrGB7a  https://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1MnGnZlMoqyGO 

Sen. McConnell on Kavanaugh

Fox News @FoxNews

Fox News

@FoxNews

.@senatemajldr on Kavanaugh nomination: “I’m pleased to announce that all 51 Republican members of the Senate support the motion to proceed to the nomination.” https://fxn.ws/2DFsZpR 

Fox News

@FoxNews

.@senatemajldr on Kavanaugh hearing: “The picture that diverged from all of this is clear: Judge Kavanaugh is one of the most qualified and most impressive Supreme Court nominees in the history of our country.” https://fxn.ws/2DFsZpR 

Here are Leader McConnell’s remarks [emphasis mine]:

“For the information of all our colleagues, there were two very significant developments today. This morning, the Judiciary Committee reported out Judge Kavanaugh favorably. All eleven Republican members of the Judiciary Committee voted in favor of reporting him out with a favorable recommendation. Number two, we will shortly move to proceed to the Kavanaugh nomination. And I’m pleased to announce that all 51 republican members of the Senate support the motion to proceed to the nomination. One hundred percent of the Republican conference supports proceeding to the Kavanaugh nomination.

“Now in Committee, they reviewed the most pages of documents ever produced pertaining to any Supreme Court nomination. Literally hundreds of judicial opinions from his tenure on the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. And five days of hearings, during which Judge Kavanaugh testified for nearly 40 hours. Judge Kavanaugh testified on every topic from complicated legal subjects to sensitive personal matters. And there were testimony and statements from countless personal friends, classmates, coworkers, former clerks, and other associates.

“So the picture that emerged from all this is clear: Judge Kavanaugh is one of the most qualified and most impressive Supreme Court nominees in the history of our country. He has excelled at the highest levels of legal scholarship. He holds two degrees from Yale, and for years has lectured at Harvard Law School. He has issued more than 300 legal opinions from what is widely considered the second highest court in the nation. Several have subsequently been cited in the Supreme Court’s own majority opinions. Along the way, he has built an outstanding reputation within the legal community for his clear, thoughtful writing and his exemplary, fair-minded judicial temperament.

“Judge Kavanaugh’s qualifications have been affirmed by his peers and by renowned legal scholars from across the ideological spectrum. One self-described liberal Democrat who advised him at Yale said that Judge Kavanaugh, quote, ‘commands wide and deep respect among scholars, lawyers, and jurists.’ And this praise has been echoed by hundreds of character witnesses who have testified before the Senate or written us letters to praise Judge Kavanaugh’s personal character and his integrity in the strongest terms.

“The Committee has also thoroughly investigated the last-minute allegations that have been brought forward. The evidence that has been produced either fails — fails — to corroborate these accusations, or in fact supports Judge Kavanaugh’s unequivocal denial. And in some cases, the accusers have even recanted their baseless allegations. All in all, this is a nominee who has received what many consider the ‘gold standard’ of judicial qualification — a rating of ‘unanimously well qualified’ from the American Bar Association.

“So, this is a nomination that deserves to move forward — and that is precisely what is happening. I commend our colleagues on the Committee for sending this impressive nominee here to the floor with a favorable recommendation. Now we will keep the process moving: The full Senate will begin considering Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination today.”

Tracking Santa and Nuclear Missiles – 5 Interesting Facts About NORAD

H/T War History OnLine.

The Santa tracking by NORAD came by do to children misdialing a phone number

CF-18A Hornet Canadian Air Force 188703 C/N 104/A073 Wearing special colours about NORAD’S 50th anniversary. By Carlos Menendez San Juan CC BY-SA 2.0

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is an organization run by the governments of Canada and the United States. Its function is to constantly monitor all activities within and around Northern America’s airspace, as well as provide effective reactions to any cases that may arise.

Within the control of room of its headquarters, a simple banner hangs above the computers with an inscription: We Have the Watch.

NORAD started out as the North American Air Defense Command. Following a recommendation from the Joint Canadian-American Military Group in 1956 and subsequent approval by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in early 1957, NORAD was declared on the 1st of August 1957. It was formally established on the 12th day of May 1958.

NORAD/USNORTHCOM Alternate Command Center prior to the Cheyenne Mountain Realignment.

NORAD arose when the Cold War was well underway and the world was facing of the growing possibility of Soviet long-range bombings. The establishment of NORAD sought to serve three main purposes revealed through its motto of 3 Ds: “Deter, Detect, and Defend.”

Deterrence was achieved by the public news of NORAD’s existence and purpose. Enemy nations, especially the Soviets, would know that any object they might project across the North American skies would inevitably be detected. They could be sure that retaliatory measures would be enforced immediately and so it was hoped they would not readily consider any airstrikes or missile launches.

1967 NORAD CMAFS

Detection is achieved with the use of several radar systems mounted across the U.S. and Canada. These systems would act as a “radar fence” which would promptly alert the facility when any aerial activity approached or hit North America’s Airspa

Defense is handled by the Strategic Air Command (SAC) comprising special air force squadrons which would meet and engage trespassing enemy aircraft. In situations where a missile gets launched into North America, a retaliatory strike on the enemy’s territory will be carried out using intercontinental ballistic missiles. This would ensure mutual destruction.

Cheyenne Mountain NORAD entrance 1968

NORAD’s headquarters are located in Colorado, at the Peterson Air Force Base, not far from the Cheyenne Mountain Complex which houses the Alternate Command Center. The Cheyenne Mountain Complex was accepted as NORAD’s Combat Operations Center on 8th February 1966.

NORAD’s administration effectively divides Northern America into three NORAD regions namely: The Canada NORAD Region, Alaska NORAD Region, and the Continental U.S. Region.

Map of USAF Eastern Air Defense Sector

The Canada NORAD Region operates under 1 Canadian Air Division. Alaska NORAD Region operates under the 11th Air Force while the Continental U.S Region operates under the U.S. 1st Air Force division.

Over the years, NORAD has become increasingly essential as its operations have extended to encompass anti-drug trafficking and interior airspace observations against potential attacks.

Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta walks with Commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command Adm. James Winnefeld Jr. during a visit to Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., on July 29, 2011.

Below are some interesting facts you might want to know about NORAD.

1. The Cheyenne Mountain

The Cheyenne mountain was excavated into a nuclear bunker with NORAD equipment and well over 100 personnel operating within it 24/7. The massive space within this mountain served as NORAD’s headquarters until 2006. Now, it serves as NORAD’s Alternate Command Center.

Cheyenne Mountain tunnel construction, Apr 1962

There are 15 free-standing two and three-story buildings within this mountain, about one mile away from the entrance. These buildings rest above more than nine hundred 1000 pound springs. In the event of a nuclear attack, the buildings would bounce but remain unscathed.

Also, there are four lakes within this mountain. One is maintained for drinking, another one was converted into a diesel fuel reservoir, and the rest are used for industrial purposes. The Alternate Command Center supports activities in the headquarters, aiming to ensure there would be no disruption of operations even during nuclear attacks.

Cheyenne Mountain cutaway mock-up

2. America was once on the verge of opening a nuclear war, due to an error from NORAD

NORAD’s facility has, on several occasions, issued false alarms which have spread terror briefly across America. In late 1979, a technician had loaded a test tape into the warning system. The tape contained a recording of a realistic training. He had forgotten to set the system to test mode and, as a result, the system dispersed streams of warnings to Continuity of Government (COG) posts and to several military command posts across the world.

Continental defense warning systems of North America. Continental Air Defense Command areas of responsibility

A year later, a false alarm came about due to a fault in the system. A device failure had triggered a flash of warnings indicating the coming of a nuclear strike towards U.S. Air Force command posts. In response, the Pacific Military Command took their aircraft into the air loaded with nuclear bombs. Nuclear missile silos were prepared to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles, and panic ruled for a moment. However, relief came when it was confirmed by the Strategic Air Command that the alarm had been erroneously triggered.

These and other false alarms prompted NORAD to upgrade its communications systems.

3. NORAD Tracks Santa

NORAD Tracks Santa 50th Anniversary Logo

This is a rather light side to NORAD’s serious tasks. It is a program held on Christmas Eve during which thousands of children can receive updates about Santa Claus’s location from the military-grade facilities of NORAD.

This tradition began as a result of a typographical error. A newspaper ad had announced that kids could contact Santa on a phone number. The number listed turned out to be one of NORAD’s lines. On Christmas Eve 1955, Col. Harry Shoup would be made to answer several calls from children asking about Santa.

Volunteers monitor phones and computers while tracking Santa Claus at the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Dec. 24.

Keeping his cool, he asked his operators to ‘locate’ Santa on the radar and would inform his young callers of Santa’s position. From then on, the tracking of Santa’s Sleigh became a tradition for NORAD. With several volunteers helping to make it work, NORAD Tracks Santa reports receiving more than a hundred thousand calls each year from children across the world.

4. Post-9/11

Following the 9/11 attack which saw over 8,000 casualties, NORAD began Operation Noble Eagle to prevent the recurrence of such an event within the borders of North America. By 2006, NORAD had flown 42,000 sorties and responded to over 2,000 potential threats.

The renewal of the NORAD contract between the two pioneering nations in May 2006 saw the incorporation of a maritime monitoring function into the system. The maritime monitoring function carries out constant observation of the countries’ maritime spaces alongside the original aerospace functions.

Since 9/11, NORAD has monitored the NASA space shuttle during launches, as well providing cover for the Vancouver Winter Olympics of 2010 and G8 summit meetings.

5. The Eberhart-Findley Building

Although many people continue to refer to the NORAD’s headquarters as the Peterson Air Force Base, that isn’t, in fact, its name anymore. In 2012, the base was renamed after retired American General Ralph E. Eberhart and Canadian Lt. Gen. Eric A. Findley.

NORAD has continued to adapt to technological changes over the years in a bid to keep up with every form of activity in the internal and external air spaces of the U.S. and Canada, as well as their allies. As their banner proclaims, they keep watching out for us all, day and night.

CA Dems Slam Kavanaugh While Remaining Silent on Ellison, Cardenas, and Cisneros

H/T The Washington Free Beacon.

Not only are the DemocRat silent on Ellison, Cardenas, and Cisneros but also Slick Willie Clinton.

Porter, Levin, Hill, Rouda have campaigned and attended fundraisers alongside Cisneros, who has been accused of sexual harassment.

Several California Democrats running for Congress have lambasted Republicans for their handling of a 36-year-old sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh this week while remaining silent about #MeToo charges women have leveled against three Democrats.

Gil Cisneros, a fellow Congressional candidate who in May, during the Democratic primary, was accused by a fellow Democrat of a sexual pay-for-play earlier that year.

Since the accusation was leveled, four Democratic candidates in California—Katie Porter, Mike Levin, Katie Hill, and Harley Rouda—and several Democratic members of Congress have openly campaigned and attended fundraisers with Cisneros while remaining silent about the accusation against him.

The four all attended a major Labor Day weekend campaign event in California earlier this month headlined by former President Barack Obama.

Rep. Ted Lieu (D., Calif.) who was widely criticized for blasting Kavanaugh for his anger during his Thursday testimony and asking what he would be like inebriated, also attended the same July fundraiser the four California Democratic candidates attended, which was hosted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Equality California.

Levin and Hill accepted endorsements and political donations from the political action campaign Cardenas runs, according to election filings compiled by opensecrets.org.

Despite the numerous calls from the candidates and Lieu for Republicans to stand up for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of attempted rape when he was 17, and for all women accusers, Lieu and the Democratic candidates have remained silent on whether the allegations Cisneros’ accuser has made warrant further investigation.

The group has also remained silent about domestic violence accusations against Rep. Keith Ellison and a lawsuit accusing Rep. Tony Cardenas (R., Calif.) of drugging and molested a 16-year-old girl in 2007.

Cisneros, Ellison, and Cardenas have all firmly denied the charges. Ellison, who is running for Minnesota attorney general, called for a House Ethics Committee investigation this week in an effort to clear his name.

Porter is running against Rep. Mimi Walters (R., Calif.) in the 45th district; Levin is running against Diane Harkey for the open seat in the 49th district, which Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) is vacating; Hill is running against Rep. Steve Knight (R., Calif.) in the 25th district; and Rouda is running in the 48thdistrict against Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R., Calif.). 

None of the Democratic candidates responded to questions from the Washington Free Beacon about whether they support further investigation of the #MeToo charges against Ellison, Cardenas, or Cisneros.

After blasting Republicans over Twitter all week for their handling of the Kavanaugh controversy, while saying nothing about those accusing Democrats and pointedly declining to respond to direct questions about it, Porter on Friday began to change the tone of her tweets to signal that all claims of sexual assault should be taken seriously “regardless of party and political connections.”

“By confirming Kavanaugh without a thorough FBI investigation tells survivors nationwide that you don’t matter,” she tweeted on Friday, along with the well-circulated video of a woman confronting Sen. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.) in a U.S. Capitol elevator. “Your stories don’t make a difference. That is wrong. We must take *all* claims of sexual assault seriously regardless of party or political connections.”

Porter in May disclosed her own #MeToo experience, that she was forced to obtain a protective order against her now-ex-husband in 2013 after enduring physical and verbal abuse that caused her to call law enforcement multiple times.

Her campaign did not follow up to a request for comment on whether that means she will be calling for an investigation of the allegations against Cisneros, Ellison, and Cardenas.

Levin, who took $10,000 from the Cardenas-run PAC, has yet to say anything about the need to believe all accusers regardless of party or stand up for those accusing Cisneros, Ellison or Cardenas of misconduct against women.

Instead, he has trained his Twitter criticism on Republicans and the Kavanaugh controversy.

“Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee won’t consult the FBI, or hear testimony from key witnesses, and won’t listen to any shreds of conscience they might have,” Levin tweeted Friday.

“We won’t forget,” he added.

Rouda also took to Twitter to blast Rohrabacher for not taking the Blasey Ford allegations seriously because they alleged assault occurred in high school.

“My opponent has downplayed the serious allegations that have been brought forth against Judge Kavanaugh, equating it to high school behavior,” he tweeted. “The American people deserve real leadership on this issue not a Representative who dismisses Professor Ford’s experience as trivial.”

Hill stood up for Julie Swetnick, the third woman to come forward against Kavanaugh who accused Kavanaugh of participating in high school parties in the early 1980s in which she suggested that woman were “gang raped” and “verbally abused” and made “disoriented” with alcohol. Swetnick is represented by attorney Michael Avenatti.

“Julie Swetnick risked everything to come forward with her story and she is not alone. This is not about the Supreme Court, this is about believing women and protecting survivors,” she tweeted. “I’ve lived this reality and I know why so many of us never report.”

Hill previously tweeted out two videos of her explaining why she did not report #MeToo experiences and calling on people to stand up for women accusers and believe them.

“Duck and Cover” – Futile Measures, or a Life-Saving Plan?

H/T War History OnLine.

I remember doing this in school.

Looking back now I know it was a wasted effort.

Every American who went to school in the 1950s or 60s will remember air raid drills, the “Duck and Cover” slogan, and talk of fallout shelters. Images of elementary school children huddled under their desks with their hands over their heads are burned into American cultural history.

However, these measures stopped being used in most schools in the 60s, and fallout shelters began being repurposed in the 70s. Why would that be the case? Would these drills have saved thousands of lives in the event of a nuclear attack, or did they merely serve to terrify young children?

One of the most ubiquitous symbols of United States government civil defense efforts was Bert the Turtle. Bert was an anthropomorphic turtle who explained to kids, through pamphlets and television, that they should “Duck and Cover” under their desks to “avoid the things flying in the air” if nuclear bombs were to explode nearby.

Carroll & Smith Sts. Bklyn. hold a “take cover” drill practice Here youngsters crawl under their desks

This strategy may have been well and good to avoid flying glass from broken windows, but this raised a simple question: If the goal was to protect students from flying shards of glass, why not just move the students to a place no windows? After all, if the explosion were far enough away to not immediately damage the room before kids could hide under their desks, there would probably be enough time to get into the hallway.

The more informed of the populace also pointed out that if students were close enough to an explosion for windows to shatter, they were easily within range of radiation, and probably in range of a blast radius that could destroy entire buildings.

Nuclear detonations lead to significant changes in air pressure, which in turn leads to shockwaves that are powerful enough to destroy cement buildings that are close to the detonation. The meaning of “close” is of course relative to the size of the bomb.

Executive Office of the President, NSRB, Civil Defense Office, 1950. Government Printing Office, Washington. Issued from the Cleveland Office of CIVIL DEFENSE, Room 121, City Hal

Among the most dangerous aspects of a nuclear detonation is the resulting heat blast, which can lead to fatal burns. If buildings were being blown away, and a fireball was incinerating the area, hiding under a desk would not save anyone. Even if one was far enough away to survive, there would still be the risk of radiation and fallout, which duck and cover would do little to prevent.

On top of that, the odds were that if a bomb fell, it would be the start of a massive nuclear war in which thousands of bombs would be dropped, leading to multiple fireballs, remarkable amounts of radiation, and many shockwaves that would destroy buildings.

Obviously a desk would be a useless defense against such an attack. In response to the above points, schools and other public buildings soon began incorporating fallout shelters to address some of these concerns.

1950s fallout shelter

Even today, signs still indicate the presence of fallout shelters in some major cities, but would these shelters be enough to protect the modern day populations of those cities? The answer is “not even close.” Jeff Schlegelmilch, deputy director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, explains:

“They’re a relic of the Cold War. They largely just don’t exist anymore.” In many instances old fallout shelters have been converted into storage space, and the emergency supplies that were once there were removed decades ago when federal funding ran out in the 70s. Imagine sprinting to the local shelter only to run into a room full of filing cabinets!

Fall out shelter at Live Oak, Post Office,Suwannee County, Florida. By Michael Rivera CC BY-SA 4.0

Experts also note that nuclear fallout takes about 10-15 minutes to reach the ground, so going to existing shelters could be counterproductive if they take longer than 15 minutes to reach. Ironically, an attempt to reach the safety of the shelters could result in more people being caught outside and exposed to more fallout than if they stay inside their own homes.

Some might think that the backyard shelters several companies sold to consumers in the 50s, 60s, and 70s are a plausible option for safety, as they could be reached in only a few minutes. Although these might have offered some protection from the weapons of the early Cold War, they were made obsolete very quickly by the increased power of rapidly advancing nuclear weapons technology. They did not have the structural integrity to withstand any nearby attacks, let alone multiple attacks.

U.S. nuclear test, 1954.

The civilian defense measures taken during the Cold War overlooked some very fundamental aspects of a nuclear war. As the Cold War dragged on, both sides developed more sophisticated weapons. A fallout shelter could never stand up to a hydrogen bomb, for example. Shelters in the middle of major cities would likely suffer almost a direct hit and thus be completely destroyed. In fact, two-thirds of shelters were built in high risk areas that would have likely taken a direct hit from a bomb(s).

The advent of fusion bombs was the final nail in the coffin for both the duck and cover and fallout shelter ideas. Kate Kelly of the Huffington Post explains that “Ivy Mike, the code name given to the first nuclear test of a fusion device, made it clear that children huddled under coats in hallways…was not adequate against a weapon that created a crater 6,240 feet (1.9 km) wide and 164 feet (50 meters) deep.” Essentially, fallout shelters had already been rendered useless in 1955, when the Soviets made their first thermonuclear bomb. What is the point of worrying about fallout if almost everybody dies when the bomb goes off?

Screenshot from “Duck and Cover” film, a 1952 movie. The ‘Duck and Cover’ propaganda movie was probably one of the most famous of all the pieces of propaganda during the early stages of the cold war

So why did the government bother with all of these drills and fallout shelters into the 70s, when they were clearly obsolete by the mid-50s? In fact, public fallout shelters only began being built in the 60s in major cities! The best bet is that the government was hoping to alleviate panic and avoid the perception, however accurate, that it could do little to protect citizens in the event of a nuclear attack.

Essentially, it was a way to give people hope. However, educators at the time reported that the drills ironically frequently made students, especially young students, significantly more anxious and unable to focus on their studies. Of course, adults were not entirely reassured by the constant presence of black and yellow fallout shelter signs all over their cities,

Photograph of Survival Supplies for the Well-Stocked Fallout Shelter

especially since it occurred to the general public that multiple bombs would be dropped and that the weapons were strong enough to destroy the shelters anyway. In 1962 Lifemagazine quoted a bank teller as remarking, “An attack wouldn’t be one bomb, it would be many…We’d die in those shelters.”

However, this leads to a great irony: nuclear threats today are much more diverse, and in many ways resemble the attacks that the Cold War shelters were originally designed to protect against, making them relevant once again. For example, Glenn Reynolds explains in USA Today that “the attacks we fear look more like 1950 than 1965. If the United States is nuked, it will likely be a single device from a terrorist state, probably no bigger, and possibly smaller, than the Hiroshima bomb.”

Temporary Basement Fallout Shelter, (artist’s rendition.)

The obsolete defense measures of the 50s and 60s could possibly be used in the event of a dirty bomb attack on American soil, since a rogue state or terrorist organization would be unlikely to be able to hit a specific area with more than one small bomb. Fallout shelters not too far from the bomb would be able to survive such a blast, and even simple measures to protect from fallout might be useful.

Despite the flaws of obsolete means of preparation for nuclear attacks, some basic elements have stood the test of time. For example, the general principal of finding hard cover and avoiding any place that allows exposure to the outside environment still applies. Even though fallout shelters might not be reliable, the government still suggests that people find cement or brick buildings to take cover in, and to go underground if possible.

(Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization exhibit at a local civil defense fair.)

At the very least it is crucial to find an indoor location and avoid areas with windows. Experts also recommend stockpiling enough food, water, and first-aid to last several days. Lastly, if there is any chance that exposure to fallout could have occurred, it is best to remove outer layers of clothing and take a shower to wash off any fallout particles.

These measures, however, really only stand a chance of saving anyone if they are a specific distance away from a single explosion in which they may suffer fallout, but not significant burns or a strong shockwave. Although some of these plans can be useful, they are limited to very specific circumstances.

If Accusation Equals Guilt, the Bill of Rights Is Dead

H/T BarbWire.

If we set on our asses and let this happen to Brett Kavanaugh there will not be one man jack in this country that will be safe.

I Damned close to going to jail and losing my Second Amendment Rights due to lie and accusations.

I was lucky that the judge was able to see through the smoke, my ex-wife was blowing.

Call email tweet your Congress Critter and tell them to confirm Brett Kavanaugh.

And if your Congress Critter does not vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh then make them pay at the ballot box by voting them out of office.

shutterstock_bill-of-rights-1200x630

Someone recently posted this comment on the Ford-Kavanaugh controversy in mediaite.com(9/20/18): “PLAYING WITH FIRE. Do we really want to live in a world were ALL THAT IS NEEDED TO CONVICT IS AN ACCUSATION!” [emphasis in the original]

Of course, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, nominated to be a justice on the Supreme Court, has been accused by Dr. Christine Blasey Fordof a drunken sexual assault that allegedly occurred when they were both of high school age.

The hearings in the Clarence Thomas confirmation have still left a cloud over his reputation. The accusations against him by Anita Hill did not hold water. She followed him around from job to job, although he was supposedly guilty of “a prolonged campaign of sexual harassment,” to quote the TIME magazine cover story (10/1/18).

Tragically, TIME implies that Anita Hill was right—even though her testimony did not hold up under scrutiny—and, by implication, one should perhaps infer that Kavanaugh’s accuser is right too.

Christian author Charlie Rodriguez recently paired these two quotes:

  • “This is a circus. It’s a national disgrace. And from my standpoint, as a black American, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U.S. Senate rather than hung from a tree.” –Justice Clarence Thomas, October 11, 1991.
  • “This is a completely false allegation. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes—to her or to anyone. Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday. I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the Committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity.” –Judge Brett Michael Kavanaugh, United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, September 17, 2018.

If accusation equals guilt, then the Bill of Rights is dead. The Sixth Amendment says, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall…be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.” [emphasis added] Yet initially Ford demanded that Kavanaugh not even be in the room when she testifies.

Gary Bauer noted (9/21/18) how unfair Ford’s demands were: “Kavanaugh must testify first; Ford insists on speaking second. But how can Judge Kavanaugh defend himself if he doesn’t even know what Dr. Ford is going to say? Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz blasted this demand as ‘the most absurd, anti-due process, anti-American concept.’” He also remarked that that’s what they did during the Inquisition.

I saw Dershowitz on Fox News quote Stalin’s right-hand man Beria, who was practiced in the art of drumming up false charges and once said, “You show me the man, I’ll show you the crime.”

A new poll shows support from the American people for Kavanaugh slipping. Well, how could it not when the media keeps picking up on any alleged accusation, even without corroboration? The media has been half the problem in this whole saga. All they do is report the negative stuff, but the ultimate question is: Is it true?

Somebody might say, “Well, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” The same thing happened to Jesus. (Every other human falls short of Him, but it’s instructive to see how He was treated.) When He was on trial, the Roman prefect asked of His guilt or innocence, and His accusers said, “If He were not guilty, we would not have brought Him to you.” The only perfect human being who ever lived was being described as guilty. We know how that turned out.

The Bible also says, “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him” (Proverbs 18:17). When put into practice, wisdom like this can prevent many injustices.

Meanwhile, Hollywood liberals who celebrate immorality in their films and in their private lives are declaring Dr. Ford is right and Judge Kavanaugh is guilty. LifeNews.com reports: “Hollywood celebrities came out with a video saying they believe her. Of course, they believe her not because of any fact, but because they don’t want a conservative on the Supreme Court.”

The Left spent decades comparing everything to the McCarthy era, and lamenting the Salem Witch Trials reenacted in our own day. And yet here they stand, “convicting” Judge Kavanaugh on uncorroborated charges.

Do you really want to live in an America where an accusation alone is enough to convict you?

 

Kavanaugh Accuser Sued Former Employer, Used Law Firm Of Other Accuser

H/T The Daily Wire.

The stench of this whole matter is getting worse by the minute.

Filed sexual harassment complaint.

Julie Swetnick, the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of participating in a gang-rape ring during his high school years, sued her former employer for sexual misconduct claims using a law firm run by the lawyer representing one of the other women accusing Kavanaugh.

“Roughly a decade ago, Ms. Swetnick was involved in a dispute with her former employer, New York Life Insurance Co., over a sexual-harassment complaint she filed, according to people familiar with the matter,” The Wall Street Journalreported late Wednesday. “Representing her in the complaint was the firm run by Debra Katz, the lawyer currently representing Dr. Ford. The company ultimately reached a financial settlement with Ms. Swetnick, the people said.”

A spokesperson for New York Life told The Wall Street Journal that Swetnick worked for the organization for less than two years. The Journal notes that Swetnick did not list her employment at New York Life Insurance on a resume of hers that they reviewed. The Journal adds that a spokeswoman for Katz refused to comment.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reports that Swetnick appears to have had her share of major financial struggles in recent years:

Swetnick also claims to have a security clearance with the IRS despite having recently had a $40,000 judgement against her for unpaid taxes. She settled a $40,303 IRS judgement on March 23 of this year, according to a public records search. Maryland court records show a $62,821 tax lien filed against her on Oct. 2, 2015.

On Wednesday, Politico reported that a Miami Dade County court docket shows that an ex-boyfriend of Swetnick, Richard Vinneccy, filed a restraining order against Swetnick in 2001 for threatening him. “She’s not credible at all. Not at all,” Vinneccy, a 63-year-old registered Democrat, told Politico. “I have a lot of facts, evidence, that what she’s saying is not true at all,” he said, telling the outlet that he was speaking to an attorney before making any more public statements.

Correction: This article has been corrected to specify that the Wall Street Journal and Politico reports were published Wednesday, not Tuesday.

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