Sunday, September 16, 2018

Unbroken - Path To Redemption

We went to see Unbroken - Path To Redemption today. I enjoyed this movie much better than the first movie Unbroken directed by Angelina Jolie. My son Rob turned me on to the book Unbroken by Laura Hildebrand about ten years ago. She also wrote the book Sea Biscuit. The book was incredible and I didn't want to put it down. I was disappointed by Jolie's movie because it stopped short of the most important part of the story. Zamperini's lifesaving transformation by Jesus Christ. He had survived air combat, a plane crash into the pacific ocean, 47 days adrift at sea in an an open life raft without food and water and capture by the Japanese. He spent two years in Japanese prison camps being used as a human guinea pig and brutally beaten by a sadistic guard named Matsuhiro Watanabe or "The Bird".  The first movie covered all of this but Zamparini's fight for survival was not over at the end of the movie. The book and movie was called Unbroken but if Zamparini's life had not been transformed the story could have easily been called Broken. Unbroken - Path  to Redemption tells the story of a broken man who was suffering from a severe case of PTSD and self medicating with alcohol. His marriage was in shambles. Without Jesus he could have easily committed suicide or ended up dying a hopeless alcoholic like Ira Hayes. I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. Sometimes the acting is not the best in movies directed by Christian directors but this movie was very well acted, inspiring, and kept my interest throughout. I recommend that everyone take the time to see this movie.     

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Tyranny Of Social Media

  My friends and relatives are constantly asking me why I am still on Facebook. I have asked myself that question many times. Zuckerburg is a left winger and most social media is controlled by the left. For a long time I refused to open a Facebook account because every time that I looked at someone elses FB all I saw was recipes, what kind of coffee someone was drinking at the time or pictures of pets. After starting my blog I got the idea that maybe I could elevate FB a little and try to share my knowledge of history. It has also been a platform for my political and social commentary. What social media is doing right now has a deeper meaning than whether or not they are worried if someone is offended. It is a concerted effort to silence conservatives. We are constantly hearing about Russian collusion. The real collusion here is to silence conservatives before the midterm elections. The left paid a price because they didn't do it before the 2016 election of Trump and they are bound and determined that it doesn't happen again. Yes, like the Russian's they are attempting to alter the outcome of our elections.This is exactly what Obama did when he set his IRS dogs on conservative groups before the 2012 presidential election. They were too busy fending off audits to worry about getting Mitt Romney elected. No, I will not get off of FB. That is exactly what they want conservatives to do. They can censor me all that they want to but they will not silence me. When I was a kid I would play on the roadbed that became I-40 west. It was under construction at the time. I would find natural springs flowing out of the bluffs and I enjoyed building little dams in an attempt to trap the water. For a while I would be successful until the water eventually found a way around my dam. The truth is much like that water. FB and social media can censor all they want to but the truth like that water will eventually work it's way around the obstruction.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Donald Trumps Vision - The United States Space Force

  I was stationed at North American Air Defense Command inside of Cheyenne mountain during the height of the Cold War. Not long after reporting for duty in June 1971 I was promoted to SSgt. Without a doubt N.O.R.A.D. was the most interesting place that I have ever worked. Upon arrival I would check out my weapon and ammunition from the armory. Then I would stand Guardmount where our Sergeant would pass on any relevant orders for the upcoming shift and our post assignments. Half of us would be assigned to posts outside of the mountain and the rest inside the mountain. We had permanent day shifts, swing shifts, and midnight shifts that ran in nine day cycles. Our shift was the relief shift. We started the cycle working 3 swings, 3 midnight shifts and finishing up with 3 day shifts. After a 72 hour break we would start the cycle all over again. I was in charge of those men posted inside the mountain. We would walk through a turnstile and exchange one restricted area badge for another. From there we would board a bus that would take us deep inside of the mountain. The bus would park across from two outer and inner 25 ton blast doors. At the outer blast door I would post a man at the gate shack just to the right of it. The rest of my men and the passengers on the bus would walk through the outer blast door. That blast door would slowly began closing when the all clear was given to Security Policeman operating the doors inside. A loud buzzer would sound and a red light would flash warning everyone to stand clear. Once the door was closed we would watch as large round metal pins slid into holes that would secure it. Within seconds the pins securing the inner door would retract and the door would slowly swing open revealing a large man made cavern. I would then relieve the SP operating the doors. His post consisted of a booth that had two black and white television monitors. One to monitor the area outside of the exterior door and the other to monitor the area between the doors. There was a cavern that led to a three story steel building mounted on springs. This building was one of eleven steel buildings that made up the NORAD complex. The springs served as shock absorbers in the event of shock waves caused by an earthquake or a near miss from a nuclear weapon. We were told that the only way that the complex could be destroyed was if the Soviets scored a direct hit on Cheyenne Mountain. That technology was not available to them in 1971 and 72. I would then walk my remaining men to CSC or Central Security Control. There I would post a man to relieve the Comm Plotter or desk sergeant. Myself and two other officers were designated as the SAT or Security Alert Team as it was called then. On most Air Force bases the SAT was a vehicle post. At NORAD we were on foot. Inside the complex there was Command Post, Space Defense Center, a mess hall, billets, a surgical suite, a Base Exchange, a barber shop and a water reservoir. In the event of an emergency we had enough provisions to last 30 days and an unlimited water supply. Every branch of the US military served in some capacity inside the mountain along with the Canadian armed forces and civilian workers. Many of these civillians were Mountain Bell technicians that maintained our phone system.   

 I was chosen to be the security escort for CINC NORAD. General Seth McKee was a WW2 pilot and hero. Recently I learned that he died at the age of 100 in December 2016. He was the highest ranking survivor of D-Day. My job was to escort him and the Vice CINC who was a Canadian three star Air Force general. I was also tasked to escort foreign dignitaries, governors, congressmen, celebrities and members of the public who came through the complex on regular tours. This was in addition to my regular duties. My time at N.O.R.A.D. was an education because I was able to listen to national security briefings on a regular basis. I learned that America was defended by the TRIAD system. A system which the Soviets also possessed. This system consisted of long range bombers, ICBM's or Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. and SLBM's or Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles. If attacked by bombers we would have a much longer warning period. At that time we had the capability of shooting down a third of the Russian bombers but the remaining two thirds would be able to destroy the United States. With ICBM's we had about a thirty minutes warning since the missiles would be coming from the direction of the Eurasion land mass. They would be detected by the DEW line or Distant Early Warning system. This was a string of remote radar sites that stretched from the Aleution Islands through the Arctic regions of northern Canada to Greenland. We had no defense at all against missiles. Last but not least were the SLBM's. We might or might not have had a warning if attacked by submarines. Russian subs were permanently posted off of both coasts, including the Gulf of Mexico. Our radar coverage along our coasts were not as reliable as the DEW line. We had no way to defend against an attack from Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles. If an attack was detected anywhere in our radar network they would alert NORAD. We in turn would alert the president. The president would order SAC or Strategic Air Command to launch our bombers and ICBM's and our Navy would be ordered to launch their SLBM's. This plan was called MAD or Mutual Assured Destruction. MAD was a concept that began in the Kennedy Administration. By the end of the Eisenhower administration America had a 16 to 1 nuclear superiority over the Soviet Union. Eisenhower built our nuclear forces during the 1950's. He believed in massive retaliation and placed the bulk of our defense spending into nuclear weapons. Building a nuclear force was cheaper than building a conventional force. They called this the New Look. Kennedy campaigned in 1960 accusing the Eisenhower administration of creating a "Missile Gap". When Kennedy took office he discovered that there was a missile gap between the Soviet Union and the United States but it was in our favor. This was a big reason that the Soviets backed down over Cuba. The liberals in the Kennedy administration preferred MAD over an anti-ballistic missile system because they believed that if we could defend our cities it would encourage a first strike increasing the chances for a nuclear war. The Soviet Union was so shamed by their weakness during the Cuban missile crisis that they were determined to catch up and surpass the United States. By the time I arrived at NORAD the Soviets had achieved parity. Our technology was always a step ahead, however. They had more missiles but we were able to keep up by MIRV technology. Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicle. We had multiple warheads on each missile that could destroy multiple cities. The MAD approach to nuclear war has proven to be successful but it lives up to it's name. In my view it is not only mad but immoral that America cannot protect its people from a nuclear attack. The Democrats and many Republicans still believe that the ability to protect our population is destabilizing to world peace. Reagan took the NORAD tour in the late 1970's and realized as I did that we had no defense against a full scale nuclear attack. This planted the seed in Reagan's head for SDI or Strategic Defense Initiative. Derisively called "Star Wars" by the Democrats and their media. SDI was vital in bringing down the Soviet Union because they knew that it would work and ultimately they could not compete militarily with the United States. They could compete but only by sacrificing the welfare of their people. We forced them to choose between guns or butter. The problem for them was that they waited too late to choose butter. Reagan was a visionary when it came to SDI. Nobody else was even thinking in that direction. We have made great strides in SDI technology but the Democrats have done everything that they can to keep it from becoming a reality. With rogue regimes like North Korea and Iran out there a missile shield such as SDI is needed more than ever. 
I am operating the blast doors

  At NORAD we also had Space Defense Command. SDC primarily kept up with space debris. Space is a vast junk yard filled with Soviet and American satellites and rocket boosters that are in earth orbit. Eventually this debris or junk works it's way back into the earths atmosphere where most of it is burned up and destroyed as it falls back to earth. Occasionally the pieces are large enough to be dangerous to human life if they fall into a populated area. Most of the larger pieces fall harmlessly into the sea. Space Defense Center issues warnings when they could possibly be dangerous to humans. They also look for asteroids that might be on a collision course with earth. One thing that I learned from the Space Defense Center briefings was about the existence of the Soviet FOBS. Fractional Orbital Bombardment System. The purpose of FOBS was to briefly place nuclear warheads into orbit and then to drop the bombs on the United States from space. The bombs would fall from the direction of the South Pole. A direction from which the United States virtually had no radar protection. This made me realize that space will one day be a battlefield. I was thrilled recently when President Trump announced his intention to create a new branch of the military called the US Space Force. I reluctantly voted for Trump in 2016 but like Reagan his accomplishments continue to amaze me. For years now politicians have avoided talk of space being used for military purposes. Trump is a visionary in the same way that Kennedy was when he announced that America would land a man on the moon and Reagan announced his plans for SDI. For our own national security it is essential that we establish a strong military presence in space. We neglect space at our peril. If we don't somebody like the Russians or Chinese will establish a military presence there. I choose the United States of America.    

Saturday, September 8, 2018

The Movie First Man

  I will never forget that great speech by Dag Hammarskj√∂ld, the Secretary General of the UN, on May 25, 1961 that the United Nations would place a man on the moon by the end of the decade. I say, I say, thats a joke son. There is a new movie about Neil Armstrong that refuses to show the American flag being planted on the moon. It is called First Man. Ryan Gosling, the actor playing Neil Armstrong stated "I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement [and] that's how we chose to view it". No Ryan this was an American achievement that the world benefited from and was inspired by. They benefited from the technological and medical advancements that were the direct result of our attempt to get into space and to go to the moon. I was seven years old when I stood in my front yard on Brookside Court and watched as the Russian Sputnik flew across the night sky. Sputnik scared and shamed Americans because we realized that if the Russians could put a satellite into orbit they also had the capability of hitting us with nuclear weapons. The Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man to orbit the earth on April 12th 1961. America had also been embarrassed by the Bay of Pigs fiasco that had also occurred on April 17th. Kennedy was under great pressure to catch up. It was a matter of national pride and of national security. Yes, imagine that, a Democrat that loved America. This was the background for Kennedy's great speech on May 25th in which he boldly predicted that America would put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. It was with great pride in my country that I watched Neil Armstrong salute the first American flag planted on the moon. I was there to watch the moon landing on TV but I will not be there to watch a movie that is so insulting to this country and it's history.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Daddy's Fireworks Stand

In the Fall of 1960 we hopped in our 1960 model Ford Falcon station wagon and drove down to South Pittsburg Tennessee. This was before interstate 24 was built and South Pittsburg had warehouses that sold fireworks at wholesale prices. Daddy wanted to set up a fireworks stand and bought about 300.00 dollars worth of fireworks of all kinds. Today 300.00 dollars might buy you a couple of hours of entertainment but in 1960 that was enough fireworks to lasta mighty long time. It was rainy and we were on the road much of the day. Our car was packed and we filled up our den to the ceiling with fireworks. Daddy's goal was to set up a stand for the New Year but he procrastinated and never got it done. One day he came home and told us that the fireworks were ours to use up. I was ecstatic. We told all of our friends in Charlotte Park subdivision. Soon we were dividing up in teams and having wars where we fired rockets at each other and placing firecrackers in mud balls. The woods looked like they were on fire from all of the smoke. Daddy did try to bootleg some of the fireworks from under the counter at his store downtown but we ended up shooting off most of them. I remember one night at the store I found a sky rocket with a broken stick. We couldn't fire it off the regular way so I laid it down on the sidewalk next to the store and lit the fuse. It shot off and to my horror chased a woman down the street. She was carrying groceries and dropped them all over the ground. The woman saw us and came into the store and cussed out my mom. Another thing that I liked to do at the store was throw Cracker Balls out on to Charlotte Avenue by the hand full. Today they make a less powerful version called Snaps I believe. Cracker Balls were round and came in various colors. For this reason the Federal government banned them in 1966 because children were mistaking them for candy and they were blowing up in their mouths. Anyway we would throw them out into the street and laugh at motorists reactions when they ran over them with their tires. They were pretty loud..Altogether it took about three years to use up the fireworks that daddy bought.. The brand name of these fireworks were Dixie Boy. The label had a Black child sitting in a watermelon patch eating a piece of watermelon. This logo would definitely be politically incorrect today.