Senate Dems Press Biden Admin To Shrink Nuclear Weapons Arsenal

H/T The Washington Free Beacon.

With the Chi-Coms and the Ruskies building up their arsenals cutting our nuclear arsenal is the last thing we should be doing.

With Bathhouse Barry Obama using Joe Pee Pads Biden as his puppet the arsenal will most likely get cut back.

Lawmakers propose funding cuts, keeping Vietnam-era missile program.

Senate Democrats are pressuring the Biden administration to cut construction of a critical missile program even as China and Russia drastically increase their firepower, according to a letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Sens. Jeff Merkley (D., Ore.) and Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), the authors of the letter, are urging national security adviser Jake Sullivan to alter the administration’s stance on nuclear weapons in the 2022 defense budget. The letter comes as Democrats strive to shutter the advanced nuclear program in favor of technology that was first tested by the Lyndon B. Johnson administration. The senators’ campaign puts them at odds with the Biden administration’s senior Pentagon officials, who have expressed support for nuclear modernization. The lawmakers’ direct appeal to the National Security Council presents a litmus test for where the White House stands on the vital issue.

“We write to express concern regarding [the] President’s FY22 budget requests for nuclear weapon modernization,” Merkley and Warren wrote. “The high funding levels suggest that the Biden administration embraces its predecessor’s reckless mission to build new nuclear weapons. … We believe that the Trump-era nuclear buildup must be halted.”

Even as the senators take aim at efforts to overhaul the aging Minuteman III program, which is the United States’ only ground-based nuclear missile, President Joe Biden’s Pentagon brass have voiced support for nuclear modernization efforts. Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, who oversees the nuclear portfolio, told lawmakers in February that modernization plans must be driven by strategy, not ideology or budgets, and that ground-based nuclear missiles are part of the “bedrock” of America’s missile defense. Internal budget memos from the Biden Pentagon show nuclear modernization programs are a “number one priority” for the Department of Defense.

Military officials say cuts to the modernization program would prove financially disastrous and risky to U.S. national security. Air Force Global Strike Command chief Timothy Ray said in May an extension of the older Minuteman program would cost taxpayers $38 billion more than the planned upgrade. An aging nuclear arsenal also endangers U.S. national defense as China covertly builds more than 100 missile silos in its desert and Russia develops exotic nuclear missiles.

Sen. Jon Tester (D., Mont.), the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, told the Free Beacon he will push on with efforts to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal, even as his Democratic colleagues do otherwise.

“America’s ICBM fleet remains a critical cornerstone of our nuclear triad, providing a widely dispersed target set that complicates any plans by our adversaries—like China and Russia—to threaten the United States,” Tester said. “I will continue to prioritize ongoing nuclear modernization efforts, including the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, that are essential to our national security.”

Merkley and Warren are recruiting other liberal Democrats to create a groundswell of opposition. They sent the letter to Sens. Ed Markey (Mass.), Chris Van Hollen (Md.), and more than 10 House Democrats in a bid to push back on the Biden administration.

Merkley, Warren, Markey, and Van Hollen did not return requests for comment.

Merkley and Warren’s campaign could run into a bipartisan roadblock. The chairmen of the Armed Services Committees in both chambers—Sen. Jack Reed (D., R.I.) and Rep. Adam Smith (D., Wash.)—have Both Committed to funding modernization in the 2022 budget. Sen. John Hoeven (R., N.D.) hammered any attempt to cut funding for upgrading land-based nuclear weapons in a statement to the Free Beacon.

“I am working to ensure that nuclear modernization stays on schedule,” Hoeven said. “I would be concerned about any attempt to pre-judge the outcome of that review because it is vital that nuclear modernization, including the development of a new ICBM, stays on schedule.”

U.S. adversaries are building up their own nuclear arsenals at an alarming pace. Satellite images released in June show the construction of more than 100 nuclear silos in the Chinese desert. Strategic Command chief Charles Richard said in October 2020 that Russian and Chinese nuclear buildup should force a rethinking of America’s plans to upgrade its weapons. A Pentagon memo released in July warned of an increased risk of nuclear conflict due to the buildup of arms by U.S. adversaries.

For Patty-Jane Geller, a missile defense policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, the campaign to cut U.S. missiles is “playing a dangerous game with national security.”

“Extending Minuteman III would leave the U.S. with a less capable weapon at a time when threats from Russia and China are advancing,” Geller said. “The Minuteman III is over 50 years old and will become less credible in the eyes of adversaries as it continues to age. Attempts to further study Minuteman III are attempts to unilaterally disarm, a move that would feed right into the hands of China and Russia and weaken any U.S. negotiating stance.”

The Pentagon will begin a review of its nuclear posture next week.

Biden’s Cuba Crisis

Jim Campbell's

Comment by Jim Campbell

July 13th, 2021

Has the reader noticed that whenever the U.S. government is involved in a mess of their own creating it has to be a crisis?

As a taxpayer I vote no, as a humanitarian for the people of Cuba send them the food.

We would be far better off with our missiles there than those of our future or current stealth enemies.

This newspaper map from the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis shows the distances from Cuba of various cities on the North American Continent.

Axios

Alayna TreeneSarah Mucha

July 13th, 2021

President Biden is seen speaking about Cuba during a meeting focused on gun violence.

President Biden discusses Cuba before a meeting Monday focused on gun violence. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

White House efforts to avoid dealing with the Cuba issue have blown up [Would we have expected anything less?] amid protests on the island, congressional backlash and political pressure from the South Florida…

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Letter VIII G.I. Labor

Pacific Paratrooper

Smitty near Lae, New Guinea in front of his tent

You may notice in Smitty’s letters that he does not mention his rigorous training or even combat in his later ones.   As a child I asked if I would ever catch him in one of the old news reels and he said that he surely doubted it.  He made a point to avoid any photographers in the event his mother caught sight of the pictures of him in combat.  No matter how hard things had become, he found something else to talk about, but he did have a tongue-in-cheek humor that could amuse someone even while he was complaining.

the Pyramidal tent

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Letter VIII                                G.I. Labor                                         6/17/44

Dear Mom,

Work!  Work!  And more work.  After a week here, we still can’t figure when it is all going to end.  We put tents up, then take them down.  That…

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Letter VII Land

Pacific Paratrooper

native hut in New Guinea

For a period of five months the 11th Airborne Division would receive jungle warfare and intensified combat unit ground training in the primitive land of jungles and mountains and thatched huts and the native population fondly called, Fuzzy Wuzzies.  The Papua brigades and Allied forces, that fought in what constituted the Cartwheel Operations before the troopers arrived, made this landing possible.

The Dobodura area that the 11th A/B would make their home was inherited from the 5th Air Force.  The first order of business was for the 408th Quartermaster trucks to deliver the pyramidal tents.

Smitty near Lae, New Guinea

 

 

Letter VII                                                          Land               6/8/44

 

  Dear Mom,    

Well, here we are on the island of New Guinea.  From what we can see if it so far, I know we’ll never go hungry as the coconut trees are as thick as a swarm of bees.

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Letter VI – Land Ho! On the Port Side

Pacific Paratrooper

Dobodura, New Guinea

Just as Smitty expected, their destination was quickly coming up over the horizon. The fleeting glimpse of solid land, Milne Bay, New Guinea was only a short stopover for water (such a disappointment) and they continued their cruisenorth. The 11th Airborne Divisioncame upon the humming waterfront of ships manipulating to unload troops, supplies and equipment in OroBay. They witnessed a paradoxalview of organized chaos.

Down the rope ladders they went to the beach taxis, DUKWs (2 ton amphibious vehicles commonly called “ducks”) and onward to the awaiting shoreline. At latitude 8*52’60S and longitude 148*30’0E, thiswould become the first step for many a G.I. on foreign soil. Once they actually hitthe beach, the heat seemed to slam into the troopers and their uniforms became soaked within minutes, but they proceeded on to the Buna-Dobodura area to make their new base camp.

July 1944. Sherfy, Johnson, Madam Queen, Roberts…

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4th of July 2021

Pacific Paratrooper

SEEMS WE DON’T SAY IT ENOUGH – SO, I’M TRYING TO FIX THAT RIGHT HERE – GOD BLESS THE USA!!!

We can rant and we can complain, but we should thank the troops for giving us the right to do so!  Today we celebrate our country’s birthday.  Traditional BBQ’s, fireworks, family and friends, we have a day off and have a ball!  – and to whom do we owe it all?  You guessed it_____

THE SOLDIER’S POEM

When this is over

And we come home again,

Forget the band

And cheers from the stand;

Just have the things

Well in hand –

The things we fought for.

UNDERSTAND?

_____Pfc C.G. Tiggas

ONLY A SAILOR

He’s only a sailor on the boundless deep,

Under foreign skies and tropical heat.

Only a sailor on the rolling deep,

In summer rain and winter sleet.

Fireworks and cookouts
And time…

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Did A Pair Of Connecticut Mayors Just Admit Gun Control Isn’t The Answer?

q

H/T Bearing Arms.

Did gun control stop Omar Reyes and Edwin Roman from getting the guns used in the murder of Sylvia Cordova?

No the gun control laws failed to stop these two punks from getting guns.

I’d argue yes, but the mayors of Connecticut’s biggest cities may believe otherwise. On Monday, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont met with local officials, including Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin and New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker, to talk about the rising violent crime rate in the state.

 

In New Haven, there were 20 homicides last year, but the city has already reached the same number of murders in the first six months of 2021. According to Elicker, however, more policing isn’t the answer.

Elicker said police have been working to respond to the uptick for months by expanding their shooting task force to collaborate with partnering towns and federal law enforcement. They also increased walking and bicycle beats and provided more support for those as they reenter society from prison.

“We are not going to solve these challenges through law enforcement,” Elicker noted. “We are going to solve it by confronting poverty head on. Investment in schools in education and reforming the criminal justice system.”

In Hartford, Mayor Luke Bronin said they are committing money from the American Rescue Plan to violence intervention strategies.

He said police have had a lot of success solving crimes and being proactive.

“They have taken well over 100 guns off the street this year, they have made arrests in homicides and nonfatal shootings at a rate this city has never seen before, and most cities around the country don’t see,” Bronin said. “And I really am grateful for that work.

Police may be clearing more homicides, but there appears to be a common theme among those arrested, including 21-year old Omar Reyes, who was recently tracked down in Puerto Rico and charged with the murder of 56-year old Sylvia Cordova, who was recently shot and killed in her home during a drive-by. Police are still looking for 24-year old Edwin Roman, who they also believe had a role in the shooting.

Police say during the drive-by shooting Reyes and Roman missed their target and shot up the house of 56-year-old Cordova, killing her while she was preparing dinner. Cordova‘s family is asking for the community’s help.

Taisuee Hernandez, Cordova’s daughter, said, “If he did this to our mom, out of desperation, he’s going to kill you. He’s going to kill you, he is going to kill anybody. He is desperate, so please turn him in.”

They are also asking lawmakers for tougher gun laws that carry more than just a slap on the wrist. The family says both were convicted felons.

Geovanny Hernandez, Cordova’s son, explained, “Those criminals get to bond out after having felonies. They are even caught with a gun and they get a $50,000 or $100,000 bond, they come right back out here and do the same thing – same with a guy there looking for now; he has previous gun convictions.”

Keep in mind that Connecticut lawmakers have repeatedly touted their work to impose new restrictions on legal gun owners, particularly since the Sandy Hook murders in December of 2012. In 2013, when then-Gov. Dannel Malloy signed a host of new gun control bills into law, including a ban on “high capacity” magazines and more than 100 models of so-called assault weapons along with universal background checks, he declared that the laws would make the state a far safer place.

Instead, the homicide rate has bounced up and down since then, but in 2020 Hartford, New Haven, and several other cities saw a huge increase in homicides and shootings. Hartford, for instance, had two more murders in 2020 compared to 2019, but the number of shootings in the city increased from 142 to 222.

New Haven and Waterbury also saw an increase in homicides year to year. The latest statistics are from November and showed that New Haven had 19, up from 9 the year before while Waterbury had 12 in 2020, up from 4 in 2019.

Homicides are up again this year, with Hartford showing a 53% increase compared to 2020. Mayor Luke Bronin says it’s because of an “unprecedented flow of firearms” into the city, but if that’s the case, then doesn’t that mean that Connecticut’s gun and magazine bans along with its universal background check laws aren’t working? And when New Haven’s mayor says that law enforcement “can’t solve” these challenges, isn’t that too an admission that putting more non-violent, possessory offenses on the books isn’t going to address the real issues?

I’d argue yes, but I’m sure Bronin and Elicker would come up with some argument about needing even more gun control laws, since the ones already on the books clearly aren’t enough.

Personally, I happen to agree with Geovanny Hernandez. The real issue, or at least one of them, is the way the criminal justice system treats repeat, violent offenders. That’s where the focus should be going forward, and frankly Democrats should be working to repeal their ineffective and unconstitutional restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms while they’re at it.

Sadly, that’s about as likely to happen as the NHL returning to Hartford. And as long as lawmakers keep trying to fight violent crime by waging a legal war on law-abiding gun owners, I suspect the growing homicide rates are going to become the new normal

Letter V / Army Birthday & Flag Day 2021

Pacific Paratrooper

Passing the time aboard ship

Dear Letter V                                                                                             Yep!  Still at sea

Mom,  I was seriously thinking of tearing this letter up, as I couldn’t for the life of me locate an airmail stamp aboard ship.  I kept at it though until finally fortune smiled down on me and success was mine.  I have been pretty lucky so far at my card playing activities and should it hold out until we reach some civilized port, why I’ll be ahead and you will be pleasantly surprised when you receive my check for like amount.  We can cable home money from abroad so might just as well…

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10 Rejected American Flag Designs

H/T History.com.

These are some interesting designs.

America’s national color palette has been set since 1818, when a law was passed requiring the American flag to sport 13 alternating red and white horizontal stripes—one for each of the original colonies—and a white star for each state on a blue field. Every time the United States admitted another state, a new star was added to the flag and a new pattern was needed.

Shortly after President Dwight D. Eisenhower took office in 1953, his administration began to plan for the eventual admission of Alaska and Hawaii as the 49th and 50th states. One of the smaller details requiring attention was how adding two new white stars might alter the design of the existing United States flag. This challenge evidently captured the public’s imagination.

During the 1950s, more than 3,000 Americans mailed unsolicited designs for a 50-state flag to the White House, Congress and federal agencies. The submissions ranged from crayon sketches by schoolchildren to hand-sewn mock-ups. While they were certainly creative, many of these proposed flags did not follow the rules set by the 1818 law. A commission of military and civilian personnel appointed by Eisenhower reviewed the crowdsourced proposals along with government-developed ideas to find the winning candidate: a flag with five rows of six stars staggered with four rows of five stars.

The current American flag, which is the longest-tenured banner in American history, was officially raised for the first time on the Fourth of July in 1960 at Baltimore’s Fort McHenry, where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the “Star-Spangled Banner” during the War of 1812. While the 50-star flag looks very similar to its predecessors, had any of these 10 proposals in the archives of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum been selected, Old Glory would have looked far different.

1.alternate flag design
alternate flag design
Credit: Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library

This submission would have not only radically altered the flag, it would have run afoul of the law by sporting two extra white stripes and blue stars on a white background. The design featured four stars in the corners representing President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms as well as a piece of poetry along the top and bottom: “From the state that is large, to the one that is small/All fifty offer peace and goodwill to one and to all.” Two stars in the middle represent the largest and smallest states in the country.

2.Alternate flag design
Alternate flag design
Credit: Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library

While the flag was required to have white stars on a blue field, there were no stipulations that the stars should be arranged in rows or in any particular pattern. Some early military flags featured the individual stars in a larger star pattern or encompassing a bald eagle. This proposed design incorporated both those ideas.

3.alternate flag design
alternate flag design
Credit: Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library

More branding logo than flag proposal, this submission by Gertrude Brofman was designed by her brother. It featured the letters “USA” inside a star, and whichever way the design is turned it always reads “USA.”

4.alternate flag design
alternate flag design
Credit: Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library

Philip C. Brown of Fallbrook, California, submitted these six different patterns for the 50 white stars that included rows and circles. The Veterans of Foreign Wars endorsed a circle of stars, which represented unbroken unity, ringing a large star, which stood for “the polar star of Divine Guidance in the affairs of our nation.”

5.alternate flag designs
alternate flag designs
Credit: Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library

This colored drawing from Estell Arthur Owens arranged the flag’s stars to spell out 1776, which was not only the year of the Declaration of Independence but the year in which Betsy Ross supposedly sewed the first “stars and stripes” version of the American flag at the request of Continental Army General George Washington.

6.Alternate flag design
Alternate flag design
Credit: Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library

This version of the American flag would have appealed to geography junkies with 48 stars located inside a map of the continental United States in the approximate locations of each state capital. Since Alaska and Hawaii were not depicted, two stars representing Juneau and Honolulu were placed atop the map.

7.alternate flag desig
alternate flag design
Credit: Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library

This painted submission depicts the white stars spelling out the country’s initials: “USA.”

8.alternate flag design
alternate flag design
Credit: Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library

Although drawn with inverse colors for better visibility, this proposal from 17-year-old Julie Herting of Teaneck, New Jersey, featured a ring of white stars on a blue field surrounding a hand holding a white torch and red flame aloft.

9.alternate flag design
alternate flag design
Credit: Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library

This straightforward design places eight stars in six rows with the two remaining stars flanking the official motto of the United States: “In God We Trust.”

10.alternate flag designs
alternate flag designs
Credit: Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library

This submission features the 50 white stars arranged in three concentric circles.

The Neptune Society – Letter IV “Still At Sea In A Quandary” – GP Interview

Pacific Paratrooper

Pacific Ocean, rough seas off New Zealand

When Smitty and the other troopers passed the equator, as per naval tradition, the ship’s crew donned their apparel of King Neptune and his court in preparation of handing the “Pollywogs” (the soldiers) their certificates of crossing.  The Royal Barber tried to cut the hair of the crew-cut troopers and the Royal Executioner paddled a backside with an oar if the receiving line moved too closely to a snail’s pace. (which one can imagine was every G.I. derriere that went by!) Smitty was one to really enjoy this sort of tomfoolery — even if it was with the navy!  The water damage you see to Smitty’s certificate (pictured below) is one of the reasons I began to make a facsimile of his scrapbook onto the computer.  I have re-typed the contents of the certificate to show the humor involved — despite a war.

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