Monday, August 31, 2015

The Trials Of Florence Harding

Florence Harding

  For a short time Florence Harding was a student at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music--until her rich father pulled her out because he didn't like the company that she kept. At 19, she was pregnant after eloping with a man that her father did not approve of. Two years later she would be abandoned by the man she said was her husband. At 31, she was married to future president Warren G. Harding, newspaper magnate and unrepentant philanderer. She was 5 years older than Harding and her father believed that he only married her in order to gain social prominence. Harding would later be threatened with blackmail by one of his girlfriends, Carrie Phillips, who had been a close friend of Florence. She considered divorce but never pursued it. Back then this would have been a death sentence for Harding's chances at election and Carrie never revealed the affair to the public. Like future presidents Kennedy and Clinton he supposedly had sex in the White House with his mistress Nan Britton. She claimed to have had sex with him in a White House closet similar to the Monica Lewinsky affair. Recent DNA tests have supposedly proven that Nan had a daughter by Harding as a result of their relationship. 

  Mrs. Harding ended up running much of her husband's paper, with one newspaperman saying that success of the paper depended on Mrs. Harding. Because of her skill as a newspaper woman she was able to deflect inquiries into her previous relationship. She claimed to have been a widow. A fortune teller correctly predicted that Harding would be elected President but would die in office. In spite of this she was instrumental in encouraging his campaign for president. Harding won election in 1920 but in 1923 they took a vacation to Canada although both were seriously ill at the time. Harding's doctor who appeared to be a quack, gave him stimulants that caused a fatal heart attack while they were in San Francisco. A rumor developed that Florence had poisoned him which was never substantiated. She would die herself the following year of kidney failure. Harding's administration was plagued with scandal. The worst being the Tea Pot Dome scandal. Grant and Harding are generally considered to be the worst presidents in American History. I would throw in the Obama administration as the worst and Carter being in the top five of the worst. Harding's Vice President, Calvin Coolidge, who in my mind would become one of our best presidents would finish out Harding's term and be elected as president in 1924. Coolidge would choose not to run for re-election in 1928.
Nan Britton with alleged child of Warren Harding

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Modern Day Race Baiters

  A Birmingham police detective was pistol whipped by a black man, with his own weapon while bystanders stood around taking pictures and mocking him. The following is what the officer told CNN. “A lot of officers are being too cautious because of what’s going on in the media,” said the officer, who asked to remain anonymous for the safety of his family. “I hesitated because I didn’t want to be in the media like I am right now.” When I saw that the officer was a Birmingham police officer I thought about how much that we have changed as a country in the last 52 years. I was a 13 year old boy when I saw the pictures of the Birmingham police dogs ripping into black protesters and innocent bystanders and the pictures of fireman using high pressure hoses that were powerful enough to rip bricks off of buildings. I am a native born Southerner but I have always hated injustice. No matter who is on the receiving end of it. Being a 13 year old I was not as up on current events and American history as I am now. I have come to realize that racist white people, especially in the South, have always had an unnatural fear that black people would seek retaliation for the wrongs of the past. In certain areas of the deep South where blacks equal or outnumber the white population this fear has been particularly pronounced in an area that has historically been called the Black Belt.


  The term is still used to describe a crescent-shaped region about 300 miles long and up to 25 miles wide, extending from southwest Tennessee to east-central Mississippi and then east through Alabama to the border with Georgia. The demographics of our own area was such that during the Civil War there was a 50% black population in Rutherford County, a 51% black population in Maury County and a 34% population in Davidson County. This is one reason that whites have fought so hard to deny blacks their civil rights, especially the right to vote. Whites knew that with the vote there would be black mayors, sheriffs, councilman, congressmen, and maybe even governors. The white fear was that blacks would use this power to take revenge on the white population. White politicians such as Theodore Bilbo, "Pitchfork" Ben Tillman, "Cotton" Ed Smith, Orval Faubus, George Wallace and a multitude of others have race baited in order to capitalize on unfounded white fears.

  Because of the 1964 and 65 Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act blacks have attained the political power that they have deserved all along and for the most part they have not abused this power. No one could foresee however a black president that would one day fulfill the fears of racist whites. We have an angry black man in office who grew up in a comfortable middle class environment that was very remote from the injustices suffered on a daily basis by the black people of Birmingham, such as Condoleeza Rice and so many other black people in 1961, the year of Obama's birth. Personally I suspect that Obama's radicalism extends more from his dysfunctional upbringing than from any racial injustice that he might have experienced.

  We live in a country that for the most part has achieved Martin Luther Kings dream. but the big lie is drummed into our head that we are still living in our racist past. Obama race baits and encourages the hatred of people like Al Sharpton. The lie is told that the police are at war with black people. Like the white racists of old he race baits by playing on black fears that are as unfounded as white fears. Many people then sided with the white perpetrators of injustice. Obama sides with every black perpetrator of today from Trayvon Martin to Michael Brown and beyond. The real war on blacks has been waged by Democratic policies that have kept far too many blacks ignorant and poor. Policies that have spawned gang violence and black on black crime that takes a huge toll in lives.

  The big lie of Obama's rhetoric and the Black Lives Matter movement is causing police officers across the country to fear doing their job. In places like Baltimore murder rates are skyrocketing. In Ferguson Missouri a good police officer lost his career and now fears for his life. It nearly cost the life of a police officer in Birmingham. Fair minded whites and blacks want to see justice done in every situation. Whenever there is a police shooting I don't rush to judgement until I view the circumstances of the case. In the North Charleston shooting, where the cop shot a man down in cold blood, that was an open and shut case for me. The cop needs to suffer the full consequences of the law. Yes we have changed from the days of police dogs, fire hoses and Bull Connor. In one sense we haven't changed. Race baiting is alive and well in the White House.
Janard Cunningham

Injured Birmingham Police Officer

Thursday, August 13, 2015

War Is A Terrible Thing

  Before the Civil War William Tecumseh Sherman was the president of a small military academy in Louisiana. That school would eventually become Louisiana State University or LSU. His goal was to model it after West Point and the Virginia Military Institute or VMI. The name Sherman would become hated in the South and in some circles today it is still met with loathing. Ironically Sherman loved the South and the Southern people, before, during and after the Civil War. He would donate two captured Confederate cannon to the school after the war that are still at LSU today. Understandably there are no buildings or landmarks named after him on campus. His philosophy of war reflected the realism of a great military leader. Once the war began he intended to prosecute it in a manner that would bring about the quickest resolution. He once said "War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over". It was said that Grant broke the backbone of the South but Sherman broke it's heart. He said the following words to a Southern friend with tears streaming down his cheeks upon his resignation as superintendent of the Louisiana Military Academy. You people of the South don’t know what you are doing. This country will be drenched in blood, and God only knows how it will end. It is all folly, madness, a crime against civilization! You people speak so lightly of war; you don’t know what you’re talking about. War is a terrible thing!

The Origins Of The March To The Sea

  William Tecumseh Sherman's famous March to the Sea didn't develop overnight. The idea for it began with Ulysses S. Grant's failed first attempt at capturing Vicksburg. On December 26, 1862 Grant launched a two pronged attack. Sherman via the Yazoo River would attack from the northeast. Grant would follow the railroad line of the Mississippi Central. Sherman would be defeated with heavy losses at Chickasaw Bayou on December 29th. In the meantime Confederate General Earl Van Dorn destroyed Grant's supply base at Holly Springs and General Nathan Bedford Forrest destroyed rail lines in West Tennessee stopping the transfer of supplies to Grants army. Without a line of supply Grant abandoned his part of the attack. He discovered however that his army could live off of the land. Grant simply confiscated and foraged for enough food to get his army safely back to base.

  By February 1864 Vicksburg was in Union hands. Sherman decided to destroy the city of Meridian Mississippi. It was a collection point for war supplies. Three railroads intersected at Meridian and it lay halfway between the capital at Jackson and the manufacturing center of Selma Alabama which produced cannon and munitions. Meridian was deep in enemy territory and Sherman would be operating as an independent command. This was a trial run for the March to the Sea. The area was a fertile food producing area and Sherman would benefit from the earlier lesson learned in the failed Vicksburg campaign. He could live off of the land. Of course if the Confederates had been as ruthless as the Russians, after Germany invaded in 1941, and used a scorched earth policy, the history of the Civil War might have been different. As a tactic, scorched earth was unthinkable by the Confederates in 1864. By the time of the March to the Sea Sherman's army was a well oiled machine. The Union Army was replacing destroyed bridges, tunnels, roads and crossing rivers with ease. His march damaged the psyche and ruined the spirit of the South. It convinced the North that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. For the South that light was an oncoming train. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Atomic Bombing Of Nagasaki - August 9th 1945

Hiroshima on the left and Nagasaki on the right
  On August 9th 1945 the United States dropped the second atomic bomb on Nagasaki Japan. The death toll estimates have ranged from as low as 20,000 to as high as 87,000. The death toll was not as bad as Hiroshima because hills shielded part of the city from the maximum effects of the blast. The bomb dropped on Hiroshima was code named (Little Boy) and the bomb dropped on Nagasaki was code named (Fat Man).  Little Boy was a uranium bomb built at Oak Ridge Tennessee and Fat Man was a plutonium bomb built at Hanford Washington.

Fat Man

  The bombing of Hiroshima has always overshadowed the bombing of Nagasaki. It is kind of like the first moon landing. Everyone was glued to their television sets for Apollo 11 but interest for the subsequent moon landings waned. With the exception of Apollo 13, and that was because of the drama of the astronauts near death experience. In many ways the story behind the Nagasaki bombing was much more interesting than the Hiroshima mission. It could almost be compared to the drama of Apollo 13. The only difference was that the world wasn't aware of the drama involved. Colonel Paul Tibbet's, who commanded the Hiroshima mission, had been handpicked. He was one of the best pilots in the Army Air Corps. Tibbit's however had  been the one to handpick the commander of the Nagasaki mission and he would later regret his choice. He picked Major Charles Sweeney. The mission was plagued with problems from the get go. Sweeney's B-29 was named the Great Artiste. It had been used as an observation plane for the Hiroshima mission. There was not enough time to convert it back to a bomber. So Sweeney and his crew was assigned to a plane called Bockscar. Sweeney and his crew were not familiar with Bockscar. Then it was discovered that a fuel pump was not working in one of the fuel tanks. It was decided to go on with the mission although the plane would be carrying 800 gallons of aviation fuel as dead weight and there was no way to use it. If Sweeney followed orders he would not need the extra fuel. He was to take off from Tinian Island and rendezvous with two other B-29's. The Great Artiste, still being used as an observation plane, and the Big Stink. Tibbit's warned him that no matter what happened he was not to spend more than fifteen minutes at the rendezvous point. The Great Artiste arrived at the rendezvous point but the Big Stink failed to appear. Sweeney remained at the rendezvous point far too long burning precious fuel.
Bockscar and crew

  The primary target for Bockscar and Fat Man was the city of Kokura. Nagasaki was the secondary target. When Sweeney finally decided to head for the target thirty minutes away Kokura was obscured by clouds and smoke from a fire bomb raid of a nearby city from the day before. Over the next fifty minutes Bockscar made three bomb runs but they couldn't find a break in the clouds and smoke. Japanese anti aircraft fire was getting close and enemy fighters were preparing to intercept. The increasing fuel shortage convinced Sweeney to switch to the nearby secondary target of Nagasaki. After a three minute bomb run the bombardier was able to visually drop the bomb through a small opening in the clouds. Unlike Hiroshima in which Little Boy was virtually on target, Fat Man was dropped 1.5 miles off the mark. This bomb was more powerful than Little Boy but because of the hills shielding the blast only 44% of the city was destroyed. The bomb destroyed most of Nagasaki's munitions factories and the lions share of the casualties were factory workers and soldiers. Because of the delays and the bad fuel pump Bockscar was unable to reach the emergency airfield at Iwo Jima and was forced to land on the recently captured island of Okinawa. The crew was breathing a huge sigh of relief because upon landing they realized that there was only five minutes of fuel remaining.

  Our schools and history books teach us that the two Atomic bombs ended World War II. That is not completely true.  Emperor Hirohito had more to do with ending the war than anything else. A solid case can be built that Hirohito should have been executed as a war criminal. However he was too valuable to the allies as a way to end the war without massive casualties and a means to governing a post war Japan. The Japanese military was perfectly willing to sacrifice every man, woman and child in defense of the homeland. Hirohito realized several grim facts. As a war criminal he would be placed on trial. He would suffer the pain and humiliation of imprisonment or even worse being hanged. This would be a bitter pill to swallow for a man that was viewed by his people as a God. He was so revered by them that they had never even heard his voice before. The Soviet Union had recently declared war on Japan and the Red Army was bowling over Japanese forces in the North. They had clashed with the Russians before the war and were soundly defeated. In the end this was ultimately instrumental in the Allies winning the war . If Japan and Germany had coordinated their military strategy they could have put Russia in a vice. With Germany invading from the west and Japan from the east. This possibility inspired Hitler to make the bad mistake of declaring war on the United States four days after Pearl Harbor. He had invaded Russia on June 22, 1941 and had nearly captured Moscow but the Russian winter and stiffening resistance had momentarily stopped the German invasion. Hitler was looking to the Japanese for opening a second front. Japan however had been spooked by the rough handling that they had received from the Red Army prior to the war. After Pearl Harbor they decided to focus on taking the oil, rubber and mineral rich islands of the pacific and countries of Asia like Korea, and Indochina instead.  They had invaded Manchuria and China prior to the war. Japan considered this to be more in their interest since they were a have not nation with few natural resources of their own. After the United States imposed an oil embargo on Japan just prior to the war Japan only had an 18 month supply of oil to power their Navy.

Emperor Hirohito

  Hirohito knew that Japan would eventually lose and cease to exist. More than likely it would be divided up into sectors of occupation just like Germany. So Hirohito made a prudent decision to surrender before this grim scenario came to pass. If the Soviets had not intervened it is not out of the realm of possibility that Japan could have made the American and British sacrifice so costly that they might have settled for some kind of armistice. In my view the atomic bombs did not intimidate the Japanese military as much as we like to think. The fire bombings had devastated Japan but the military was not ready to quit. There were huge areas in Asia such as Korea and Indochina where Japanese forces were still intact. The combination though of the Soviet invasion and the vastness of American military power convinced Hirohito that the jig was up.    


Tuesday, August 4, 2015



  I posted this picture of Obama as a college student smoking weed in his dorm room. My wife's cousin asked me who the guy in the picture hanging on the wall was. Until she asked that question I hadn't really thought about it. One look and I realized that it was Idi Amin. He was a brutal dictator of Uganda from 1971 until 1979 and it is estimated that he was responsible for the deaths of at least 300,000 people. Amin was also in power during the famous Entebbe raid. The following is from Wikipedia. Someone has suggested to me that this photo has been photo shopped. Even if it is Obama has admitted to the fact that he was a heavy smoker of marijuana. Based on his support of modern day radical Islam I have no doubt that he was probably a supporter of Idi Amin.

  In June 1976, Amin allowed an Air France airliner from Tel Aviv to Paris hijacked by two members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – External Operations (PFLP-EO) and two members of the German Revolution√§re Zellen to land at Entebbe Airport. There the hijackers were joined by three more. Soon after, 156 non-Jewish hostages who did not hold Israeli passports were released and flown to safety, while 83 Jews and Israeli citizens, as well as 20 others who refused to abandon them (among whom were the captain and crew of the hijacked Air France jet), continued to be held hostage. In the subsequent Israeli rescue operation, codenamed Operation Thunderbolt (popularly known as Operation Entebbe), on the night of 3–4 July 1976, a group of Israeli commandos were flown in from Israel and seized control of Entebbe Airport, freeing nearly all the hostages. Three hostages died during the operation and 10 were wounded; 7 hijackers, about 45 Ugandan soldiers, and 1 Israeli soldier, Yoni Netanyahu, were killed. A fourth hostage, 75-year-old Dora Bloch, an elderly Jewish Englishwoman who had been taken to Mulago Hospital in Kampala before the rescue operation, was subsequently murdered in reprisal.

  Netanyahu was the brother of the present Israeli prime minister and the movie Last King of Scotland was about Amin. This picture sheds even more light on Obama's anti- Israel attitude and his sympathy with radical Islam. Along with his own radicalism. I continue to be amazed at the apathy, and ignorance of so many of the American people that elected this deviant and miscreant to office. Not once, but twice. On top of that we have the Democratic state run media that absolutely failed to vet him and did everything that they could to get him elected. If there was picture after picture of a Republican presidential candidate, sitting around getting high, and in one of them a picture of Adolph Hitler was hanging on the wall, how long do you think it would take for the press to expose them? The press would be on them like a duck on a June bug. Yes people, elections have consequences, and I am not sure we can survive a mistake of this magnitude.