What Just Happened at Middlebury College?

Student Protesters at Middlebury College (Rathke-AP)

Dr. Charles Murray, a noted professor (B.A. History, Harvard University, Ph.D. Political Science, MIT) and author of several books, The Bell Curve and Coming Apart, was invited to speak March 2 at Middlebury College in Vermont.  Dr. Murray and his work are widely known and have always been controversial, because he treads in areas that deal with race and gender, and voices opinions and findings that go against the present day, politically correct norm of social justice a.k.a. as ‘equal outcomes for all no matter how hard you worked vs. your neighbor.’ Dr. Murray’s work focuses on human intelligence, IQ, and that intelligence rather than socio-economic status or education is a better predictor of how you’ll fare in life, including income, job performance, etc.

As Dr. Murray was preparing to give his remarks at this college, (whose annual cost is $63,917 for tuition/room and board, FYI mom and dad) he was interrupted and shouted down by student protestors, who believe that their university is no place for differing views, critical thinking, such as Dr. Murray espouses.  Check out the video below, the protestors really get going around 22:35 into the session.  The pathetic part comes at the end as you watch some of the university faculty attempting to talk to the crowd.

Dr. Murray never gave his lecture in the original location afforded him. Instead he gave his speech elsewhere on campus, but not before he and another professor, Allison Stanger were attacked upon trying to leave the hall.

“As Stanger, Murray and a college administrator left McCullough Student Center last evening following the event, they were “physically and violently confronted by a group of protestors,” according to Bill Burger, the college’s vice president for communications and marketing.

Burger said college public safety officers managed to get Stanger and Murray into the administrator’s car.

“The protestors then violently set upon the car, rocking it, pounding on it, jumping on and try to prevent it from leaving campus,” he said. “At one point a large traffic sign was thrown in front of the car. Public Safety officers were able, finally, to clear the way to allow the vehicle to leave campus.”

There are a number of people I know with whom I have differing political views.  Some of them have equated our current President with Fascism and refer to him as another Hitler.  Can’t say that I’ve read anything, anywhere lately where the President or current administration has violently prohibited freedom of speech.

To a certain extent, the university is responsible for this debacle.  In this present day climate, the university should have had campus security present. and after the protests were duly recorded, asked that the room be cleared or quiet for Dr. Murray to speak.  But that didn’t happen, other than faculty members trying to rationalize with snowflakes, rather than ask them if they were familiar with Voltaire, and his phrase, “I do not agree with a word that you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Were I an alumni and/or a significant donor to the college, I would be on the phone or email with the Board Members, as well as the university president.  My message, simple:  checkbook closed until further notice.  If it worked at Oxford, you can be darn sure it would work in the land that gave us Wall Street.

America’s universities are approaching a tipping point.  Many of them have ceased to become centers of learning, where they open minds and encourage debate and the science of learning.  Instead, they’re becoming incubators of intolerance and forms of bigotry that they accuse others of.

Middlebury and Berkeley but two who found their way into the news, but they are by no means the exception.  Professional agitators and college activists are watching all of this play out, learning and taking notes.  While Republicans may hold the Presidency, Congress and majority of State legislatures and governorships, the “Left” holds our schools.

Ask yourself which is the greater concern.

 

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To Puppy or Not to Puppy

There is a weekly television show, Puppy Days, on Nat Geo WILD that I happened to catch while flipping channels one evening.  The show follows six families from across the US who have adopted puppies, either purebred or rescue, and follows them through a “Diarycam” feature documenting their reasoning for adopting and experiences with raising, their individual puppies.

Watching that show over a period of weeks is what’s prompting this post.  It is not a critique of the puppy owners, but meant for people who are considering getting one.

Olympia at 2.5 mos

Baby Olympia, 2-1/2 months, those ears!

As a little background, I own four dogs presently, all raised from puppy-hood.  I’ve also had four previous pups who are now departed, also raised from puppy-hood for a total of eight dogs in 16 years. The pups are/were comprised of Doberman Pinschers, Boston Terriers, German Shepherds and a mix, whom at the time I adopted him, was told by the rescue group, he was Lab/Retriever mix.  Couldn’t be farther from the truth.  After a DNA test, he’s a mix of American Bulldog, English Bulldog, Saluki, and Husky.  And trust me, when I tell you, he looks like, and follows those traits.

In my years of owning my pups, I have been through almost every ailment, behavior challenge, and joy you can experience when owning a dog.  Nothing phases me.  I am not a breeder, but I’ve shown one of my Shepherds, who had a debut and swan song all on the same day.  I am a dog owner whose pups are my family.

But I digress.  If you think you’re ready for a puppy, thinking about a puppy, then continue reading before you make the final decision.  Read the following eight questions, and if you answer yes to most of them, you’re ready for a puppy, who before you know it, will grow into adulthood

  1. Are you ready for a baby?  I am not kidding.  A puppy is a four-legged baby, who will keep you up at night, at least in the beginning, need almost constant attention, and require special surroundings, as in crate/kennel to keep them safe at night along with daily time-outs.  They’ll need a special puppy-food diet, toys for their size and teeth, and trips to the vet for their initial shots.

    Puppies also need special handling because of their size, be they Yorkies or Great Danes. The same care that you would take with a baby you have to take with a puppy because they too, are small, their bones are developing, as are their sight, smell, and memories.  They should not be given the run of the house, because that’s what usually causes most of the problems.  Puppies should be in a limited enclosure when you can’t be with them 24/7, so they’re not overwhelmed, and there’s easy clean-up when they make a mess.

  2. Does everyone want a puppy?  Unless you’re single and/or live alone, everyone, and I mean everyone, has to be on board.  No reservations.  If there are some, talk them out thoroughly.  The puppy is going going to be interacting not only with YOU, but with other family members, pets, neighbors, friends, etc. All it takes is one person, be it family member, boyfriend/girlfriend  to start complaining, become frustrated, cry, etc. and then it goes downhill from there.  And the once happy family becomes torn and unhappy.  And the puppy will pay the price.
  3. Have you done your homework as to what breed of dog is right for you (and your family?) Even if you decide not to go purebred, but rather adopt from either a shelter or rescue, the people who run the the latter can usually tell you what they think is the dog’s mix.  But beware here, because what the dog looks like as a puppy, can be entirely different as they grow older.  My Noel, the “lab/mix” mentioned above, is a bonafide example.

    I can’t stress enough the amount of time that you should put into researching the kind of dog that would be a good fit for you, in terms of size, temperament, and health.  It’s the difference between a lifetime of love and happiness or putting up with the dog, until it dies or is surrendered to a shelter.

    From AKC.org to Dogster, et al., there are a number of sites that can help you determine what’s the right pup for you. Visit these sites, because they’re pretty spot-on with what to expect from each of the breeds.  Don’t be overwhelmed by cuteness, or the kinds of pups your neighbors have, or what other friends and family recommend.  They’re not going to be living with the pup, you are.  You know your lifestyle and habits.  Get a dog that will fit with them.  If you’re a couch potato, or by the computer all day, then an Irish Setter or Border Collie is not for you.

    Also, consider the size.  So many times people forget about this when taking home a puppy.  Whether you live in 900 sq. ft. or 4000 sq. ft., think of the future puppy as volume.  Three of my pups are in the 80-100 lb. range, and that little Shepherd pictured above is a thigh-high road block when trying to get out the door or come home, or at times move anywhere in the house.

  4. Have you done your homework as to how to train your puppy and who will train it?  If this is your first puppy, or even your second, do “not try this at home,” to use a phrase.  Spend the money and find a trainer and/or training class. You send a child to school; you need to send a puppy to training class and PRACTICE what you learn in training class at home.  It will make your puppy days and later dog years much happier. The first few months, about three, are your pup’s most formative.  And what the pup learns and how it is treated, will be carried with it throughout its life. Dogs have memories just as people do.

    A major point with training, if the trainer doesn’t seem to know what he/she is doing (like general pet store trainers, sorry), or something just feels “off” to you, find another trainer.  Trust me when I tell you, your instincts will know.  And then watch your dog; they’ll signal you as well with their eyes, ears, tail and behavior.  The right trainer and training is an investment that will pay you dividends throughout your life and the dog’s.

  5. Is your home puppy-proof?  Just as with babies and small children, wires, plugs and cords, must be hidden or secured.  Items such as Legos, stockings, anything small that can be put in a child’s mouth, will also go into a puppy’s.  Doors and drawers can be nudged open with a nose, so if anything is contained within them that the puppy reach, move them to a safer place, OR, be ready for a vet visit.  As the puppy grows, so will his/her ability to chew, therefore, if you don’t want shoes or anything else eaten, either gate off the room enclosure, or put away the item behind closed doors or atop a shelf, or keep it off the floor.
  6. Are you ready for the time and emotional commitment?  Puppies/dogs are not like the TV, but rather like a teen and mobile phone, as in always on it.  Puppies, when they’re not sleeping or being cute, can drive you crazy.  In fact, most dogs can when they’re bonded to you, like mine are.  They’ll nudge you when you’re on the computer, they’re with you in the bathroom, they’re underfoot (unless trained) when you’re making dinner, they’re into things across the room when you’re not paying attention, they’ll want to go for walks and play at the oddest hours, you get the picture.

    One of the main reasons pups end up at the shelter is that people do not realize the time commitment that a pup takes.  Hence, I refer you back to pt. 1, are you ready for a baby, and as it grows, a child.

    I’ve always viewed my dogs as family members.  When they hurt, I hurt. And when the time came for euthanasia, to put them out of pain, they died in my arms.  Are you ready for the emotional commitment a pup takes.

  7. Are you ready for the clean-up and maintenance?  Puppies have accidents.  Hopefully, that’s obvious to everyone.  But ask yourself, are you really ready for the clean-up, and the different kinds, not only in the house (including furniture), but the yard, sidewalk, and everywhere else.  Are you ready not only for the usual waste materials, but also for the diarrhea and the vomit.  Are you ready for the mud tracks in the spring and fall, the shedding, and for those in the suburbs and rural, the skunking.  Beside bathing the pup, you’ll also need to wash the dog bedding, the leashes, the winter coats and sweaters.
  8. And the best for last — are you ready for the expense?   It always amazes me when I read the estimates of what it will cost annually to own a specific dog breed, when I visit these dogster-type websites.  I look at the estimated cost and then say, “triple it.”  At least.Food costs are subjective, but puppy food has to be done right, because you’re building the dog’s health and physical foundation.  If you have to skimp somewhere, skimp on the bedding or toys, but not food or training.  Invest in a good quality food puppy food because pups need the extra nutrition, and it will pay dividends in a pup’s health and its adult health.  I don’t necessarily mean the $80/bag dog food, either.

    Puppy ailments?  Olympia, shown above, met a bee the first day she was home in the backyard.  Face puffed up like a balloon and into the vet we went.  Chipper, my Boston, found a knee-high stocking on the floor, and needed surgery.  (see Pt. #5 before it happens to you.)  Otherwise, it can be anything from gastro upsets, torn nails, to something more serious, like panosteitis, with large breed dogs, (also been there.)

    Vet costs can be the equivalent of an annual car payment if you run into surgeries or a major ailment.  Consider investing in pet insurance.  I did, and when it came to surgeries and testing procedures for multiple ailments, I was more than reimbursed for the insurance premiums I paid and then some.  Not all pet insurance is created equally, so do your homework.

    Toys, bedding, leashes, harnesses, bathing/grooming products (if D-I-Y), over-the-counter meds like Benadryl or hydrogen peroxide, coats/sweaters for short-hair pups, although in freezing cold, my Shepherds have coats as well, dog-walkers, kennel costs, extra hotel costs if you travel with your pup, and all the aforementioned food and training costs.

So that’s about it.  Remember what begins as a puppy by the end of year one, depending upon breed, is pretty close to adult size.  That puppy crate long ago outlived its usefulness and the 1/2 cup of food has now become three cups or more.

If you decide a puppy is right for you (and your family), then congratulations.  You won’t regret it.  There will be mistakes along the way, but don’t beat yourself up.

Hopefully, I’ve helped some in your decision process with the questions above.  If you have any questions for me that I haven’t covered, feel free to drop me a line and I’ll answer best I can.

Good luck.

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Nancy Reagan, R.I.P.

First Lady Nancy Reagan (Diana Walker, Time-Life)

First Lady Nancy Reagan (Diana Walker, Time-Life)

Nancy Reagan, 94, died earlier today from congestive heart failure at her home in BelAir, California.  She served as First Lady from January 20, 1981 through January 20, 1989.

The Reagans were in the White House during the time of “Dynasty” and “ladies who lunch.”  America had come back from some of the worst double-digit interest rates and inflation the country had seen in decades, and was on its way to winning the cold war.

But what I remember most about Mrs. Reagan was not only her style, graciousness and class that she brought back to the White House after the Carter years, but her devotion to, and love for, her husband.  A behind-the-scenes power in the White House, she had no problem being called Mrs. Ronald Reagan.  He was first in her life, and she dedicated her years during her term as First Lady of California and then later in the White House to ensuring her husband had the love and support a man in his position, as leader of the free world, was certain to need.  She was the embodiment of a woman who embodied the phrase, “behind every successful man is a woman.”  Sorry, friends, but you don’t see a too much of that these days, in our self-absorbed, “it’s all about me” culture.

During her years in the White House, she also firmly believed that the White House was the “people’s house.”  She got, what I call a bum wrap during her first two years, as there was the big brouhaha over the White House china episode.  However, the china was purchased through private donations, not taxpayer money.  She also redecorated the private living quarters of the White House, much of which still remains today.

With all this said, the passing of Nancy Reagan during this time in the campaign cycle during the run for the nomination for the Presidency in both parties, is quite poignant.  Ronald Reagan was viciously attacked from all sides as being a right-wing extremist, not very good ex-movie actor, with no chance of getting elected to the highest office in the land.  Yet Reagan did not respond in kind, instead he used humor combined with wit.

Ronald and Nancy Reagan remain as icons of an era they ushered in, believing that America’s best days were yet to come, believing in the power of the people to decide their fate and determine their aspirations.  Small government that stood out of the way of businesses and entrepreneurs.  An America that was respected on the international stage, and led from the front and not from behind.

Ronald Reagan would not recognize the America we have today.  And yet, if he were here, I’ll wager he’d roll up his sleeves, and tell us Americans, “we have work to do.  Now let’s get this done, turn this country around, and ensure that we give our children and grandchildren a better life.”

A truly great couple.  A truly great love story.  Together again.  R.I.P.

First Lady Nancy Reagan and President Ronald Reagan dance at the White House (CNN)

First Lady Nancy Reagan and President Ronald Reagan dance at the White House (CNN)

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Liar, Liar, Pantsuit on Fire

I don’t normally post politics on this site, saving that for “political-woman.com”, however, Hillary’s recent email tranche merits an opinion.  Hillary’s prominent in the news again, but not the kind of prominence she was expecting.

Our gal Hillary

Our gal Hillary

The fact that this woman is seriously running for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President shows how thin the bench is on the Democrat side.  If her name were anything other than Hillary Clinton, she’d be living in Martha’s old room at Camp Fed Prison in Alderson, West Virginia.

With Friday’s release of another tranche of Hillary’s emails, the State Department, no less, issued a statement censoring some 22 emails from being released, because they deemed them to contain material requiring one of the highest levels of classification.

“The Associated Press learned ahead of the release that seven email chains would be withheld in full for containing “top secret” information. The 37 pages include messages a key intelligence official recently said concerned “special access programs” —highly restricted, classified material that could point to confidential sources or clandestine programs like drone strikes.

 “The documents are being upgraded at the request of the intelligence community because they contain a category of top secret information,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told the AP, calling the withholding of documents in full “not unusual.” That means they won’t be published online with others being released, even with blacked-out boxes.”

And with this latest revelation coming just two days before the Iowa Caucuses, Hillary and her campaign have gone  on offense, demanding the release of these emails.

“We firmly oppose the complete blocking of the release of these emails,” Clinton campaign spokesman Brain Fallon said. “Since first providing her emails to the State Department more than one year ago, Hillary Clinton has urged that they be made available to the public. We feel no differently today.”

The statement is followed by Fallon calling this latest brouhaha, “over-classification run amok.”  The Clinton campaign can afford to issue such a vacuous statement because it already knows full well the emails will not be released by the Feds, so therefore it can proffer the ‘he said, she said’ argument.

However, given Clinton’s poll numbers and the attendance at her campaign events, the public doesn’t appear to be buying the pablum.   Take a gander at her recent campaign appearance in Dubuque, Iowa.  I’d sure call that a half-empty room.

Hillary Clinton campaign appearance in Dubuque, Iowa, January 29, courtesy of Periscope TV

Hillary Clinton campaign appearance in Dubuque, Iowa, January 29, courtesy of Periscope TV

And the FBI continues its investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server for official government business, and whether she knowingly mishandled classified materials thus compromising US national security.  The keyword here is “knowingly” for many Clinton supporters and allies.  However, that in my opinion doesn’t wash.

Hillary Clinton is an attorney, former First Lady, and former Senator from New York, who served on the Senate Armed Services Committee.  No one is going to convince me that she didn’t/couldn’t recognize classified, Top Secret, material when she read it.

We’ve already heard Mrs. Clinton change the wording of her statements several times from when she made her first statement on the issue back on March 10 following an appearance at the United Nations, “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email; there is no classified material” to her July 25 statement while in Iowa, “I am confident that I never sent nor received any information that was classified at the time it was sent and received” to a still later statement August 4, released by her campaign that Mrs. Clinton, “did not send nor receive any emails that were marked classified at the time.”  Even the vaunted New York Times, no friend of Republicans and/or Conservatives has been keeping track of Clinton’s changing story.

It has always struck me from the very beginning of the breaking of this story, why Clinton would knowingly send 55,000 pages of her emails rather than the digital electronic versions.  If one employs common sense, it’s to increase the difficulty exponentially of anyone trying to ascertain or discover any potential wrongdoing.  As people who are in the digital forensics business know, or even the little folk who type daily emails, digital leaves a trail.  And for those of us who have followed both Clintons through the years, from Arkansas to the White House, the Clintons don’t like trails.

Finally, prediction time.  With the extensive investigation being conducted by the FBI, starting with Clinton’s use of a home-brew server instead of a specially encrypted State Department model, to her handling of classified/Top Secret/Special Access information on this server, to the role of the Clinton Foundation in State Department business while Hillary was Secretary of State, my predictions:

  1. The FBI will have a strong enough, bullet-proof case to recommend to the DOJ that a grand jury be convened and an indictment.
  2. The Clintons will get wind of the above, a.k.a., advance notice, and Hillary will bow out of the race, due to …
  3. Health reasons.  More and more stories are floating around that Clinton is not well, from her late arrival back on stage during the Democratic debate, to her almost fainting on her way to the limo after her Benghazi Committee testimony, to her recent coughing fit, to her physician travelling with her everywhere on the campaign trail.
  4. Joe Biden will enter the race and end up the Democratic nominee, possibly running with Elizabeth Warren as VP.
  5. Biden/Warren will win?  lose? the general election.  I won’t write what I’m thinking because I don’t want it to come to fruition.

However, one thing I am certain of, Hillary Clinton is a congenital liar, who has had her eye on the Presidency since she left Yale Law School with Bubba.  After all the years of Whitewater, Travelgate, Vince Foster, the commodity futures dealings, Monica and all of Bill’s women trashed in the press, the Benghazi and Libya debacles, along with the Clinton Foundation’s questionable dealings, for Hillary to finally see the brass ring within her grasp and be denied … I believe it’s called Karma.

 

 

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The Little Things that Matter

With all the disquiet happening in the US and and throughout the world, whether from fears of another stock market bubble imploding or national security woes, or personal whys and wherefores related to various forms of angst,  we sometimes find ourselves hankering back to memories of a simpler time where structure in our lives equated to stability and safety.

It was the little things like daily routines and how you behaved or spoke a certain way because of societal proprieties and etiquette codes.  While you could behave like a ruffian at home, when you were in polite society, you remembered the manners and politeness taught you by your parents and other senior relatives, as well as schooling.  How you behaved toward colleagues, friends and strangers, both verbally and in deportment, was a considered an indicator of your background and that you were “civilized,” as mother used to say, as opposed to “wild-child” or other boorish behavior.

Earlier this week, I was invited to a business lunch by a client representative of a company that provides the digital platform for my employer’s email communications.  A pleasant young man, millennial, who resides in the ‘hip’ Lincoln Park area of Chicago.

The lunch began nicely enough until I noticed that the little things such as table manners, were either not taught to, or were subsequently disregarded by, subject representative as unnecessary and/or too staid as part of the Old World order.

Merely observing while continuing to speak pleasantries or business, I found myself trying to decide if I was having lunch with a Neanderthal or a three year old.  Verdict:  three year old in millennial clothing.  And, biting my tongue from saying:

“Sir, a bread and butter plate is exactly that. For bread AND butter.  You do not use your knife to continually hack off pieces of butter from the serving plate and spread them directly onto your roll.”

“Sir, you do not hold a fork and spoon as though you are holding a trowel.”

“Sir, when ordering a bowl of soup, you utilize a spoon with which to eat your soup.  You do not place your spoon down and then proceed to lift the bowl to your mouth and drink from it.”

“Sir, do not order carpaccio, if you do not know how to eat it.  It is not chop suey.”

“Sir, please do not apply your “Chapstick” at the table.  Apply it while you are sitting in the privacy of your car, or remove yourself to the men’s room.”

What was the most problematic of the entire luncheon, was that this young man was completely oblivious to his table manners; he probably drinks directly from the milk carton at home.  I think of the poor girl who is going to get stuck with him, unless she has manners just like his.

Yes, it’s times like these that I’m glad I’m a product of the ancient times when when all else failed, you had your resolve and standards to see you through.

 

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ISIS vs. McKinley – At least we know the President’s priorities

Mt.McKinleyAnd with the sweep of a single pen stroke, our POTUS, once again through Executive Action, renames the highest peak in North America, Mt. McKinley as Mt. Denali.  Since 1896, when a gold prospector named the mountain in honor of then presidential candidate, Wm. McKinley, and later ratified by Congress in 1913, Mt. McKinley has well, been Mt. McKinley.  After all, what did McKinley do.  Just put the US on the gold standard resulting in the first of many economic booms in our history.

Earlier this year, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-AK, introduced legislation that would rename the mountain, and once again, the legislation went nowhere.  Yet the President once again finds another reason to thwart Congress in his “if they won’t act, I will” building of his legacy.  So rule by executive fiat continues. The latest reasoning for the switch is that Alaskans have wanted to rename the mountain for decades, since they internally refer to it as Denali.  Perhaps there is an equal number of people living in New York who would like to reinstate the name Idlewild for the JFK airport.  Quite frankly, the only mountain that has Obama’s name on it is our mountain of debt, $18 trillion and counting.

September marks the one-year anniversary of America’s war on ISIS as declared by our President.  How’s that war coming.  Well, what do you know.  What a difference a year makes.  The US finally got some support from the government of Turkey, who agreed to let us conduct strikes against ISIS from the airbase Incirlik.  However, there’s only so much F-16’s and drones can do without additional ground intelligence.  We pretty much took care of that part of the program when we left Iraq.

ISIS Control Zone, July 2014 (Institute for the Study of War)

ISIS Control Zone, July 2014 (Institute for the Study of War)

ISIS Control Zone_0715

ISIS Control Zone, July 2015 (Institute for the Study or War)

Meanwhile, the Pentagon is conducting its own investigation about the rosy assessments of our success against ISIS.  First reported by The New York Times,

“The paper reported that it began after at least one civilian Defense Intelligence Agency analyst told authorities that he had evidence that officials at US Central Command were improperly reworking conclusions of assessments prepared for policymakers, including President Barack Obama.”

Bottom line is that we’re finding out that for every ISIS leader we take out, he’s replaced quickly by others; the Iraqi troops’ training is not going well and falling behind schedule, with the Iraqis calling the shots, and all those rebel troops we’re training in Syria is another dismal turn of events, with some of the troops kidnapped or missing.

Within Europe, we have a humanitarian diaspora going on as hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees, soon to swell into what European Union governments fear will be millions are fleeing non-stop from North and sub-Sahara Africa, Syria, Afghanistan Iraq and other war zones.  European countries, long known for their generous welfare benefits, are now seeing the possibility of a complete demographic change within their own countries within one or two generations.  Germany and Sweden are two of the countries bearing the brunt of this massive migration.

Immigration route to Germany (BBC)

Immigration route to Germany (BBC)

Migrants by the numbers (Frontex/BBC)

Migrants by the numbers (Frontex/BBC)

But why is this important? Why should we care?

Because the spread of ISIS and the European immigration crisis is a direct result of the vacuum of American leadership in the Middle East.  Over 250,000 Syrians dead, millions displaced as the chemical weapons “red line” was crossed with no recrimination of any kind.

Americans murdered in Benghazi, Ghaddafi overthrown in Libya, and apparently no plan in place by the Administration for what could possibly come next.  A present day debacle.

We leave Iraq with no Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), and retiring US General Ray Odierno, one of the architects of “The Surge,” states unequivocally, the US could have prevented the rise of ISIS.

And as a result of this vacuum, we now witness the real war on women” the continuing medieval barbarism of ISIS, and the erasing of millenniums of history and historical artifacts.

Our politically correct American and European leaders play appeasement, while their countries, their citizens, and millions of displaced populations unseen since the Second World War, bear the brunt, with no end in sight.  Those who have not left their homes, out of choice or because they have none, are suffering unspeakable horrors.

Perhaps the President will perform another executive action — the Washington Redskins are ready and waiting.

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“One Giant Leap for Mankind” ….. July 20, 1969

Neil Armstrong  - US Moon Landing 1969

Neil Armstrong – US Moon Landing 1969

There are times in American history when this country and its people accomplish the truly unbelievable.  Looking at the moon landing in the video below, and for this author, watching the people in Space Center Control, the ones whose brains made this event happen, just boggles the mind.  1969, the defining moment when John F. Kennedy’s dream and challenge were achieved:

“I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth.”

Those were the good ‘ol days, when our children dreamed of becoming astronauts and exploring space rather than the make-believe world of video games.

And now, in 2015, we experience the poignancy.  Our space shuttles, the great orbiters that followed our moon landings, have long been mothballed to various science centers around the country.  The once proud and mighty space exploration program that fueled the dreams of children, for whom their  heroes were astronauts exploring far-off galaxies, is a shell of its greatness, a victim of federal budget cuts and ho-hum.  As we see in the following, the final voyage of space shuttle Enterprise on its way to, at that time, the Smithsonian Institution.  Now, when Americans go into space, we pay the Russians to take us in their spacecraft.  So who has had the last laugh in the “space race.”

Space shuttle Enterprise atop a 747 in New York (Michael Heiman-Getty Images)

Space shuttle Enterprise atop a 747 in New York (Michael Heiman-Getty Images)

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