Photo from a recent Pleasanton Memorial Day observance shows members of the American Legion, VFW color-guards and local Scouts posting the colors.
Photo from a recent Pleasanton Memorial Day observance shows members of the American Legion, VFW color-guards and local Scouts posting the colors.
by Rev. Austin Miles
WASHINGTON, DC—4/4/17—SUCCESS! Because readers got out of their chairs and became visible by contacting representatives by phone, email and regular mail, office visits, sending letters to the editor challenging news reports, establishing a relationship with America’s leaders and standing up to be counted, a major victory astonished the enemy.
Especially significant is that Communists do respect numbers. In this case they had the military chaplains along with 20,000 Christians to deal with demanding they uphold biblical values.
The voice of this minister-columnist has consistently echoed in the wilderness that Christians must take a stand and push back against the “progressives” who have, under Satan’s instructions, tried to silence Christianity.
These leftist (Democrat-Communist) enemies of Christ had even managed to bluff authorities into making it law that military chaplains could not address sin when counseling, cannot pray for military personnel plus they can no longer say the name, Jesus Christ or God Bless you, even at funerals!
The ‘progressives’ have not only declared war on Christianity along with its morals, but indeed, they are attacking God Himself. Not a wise thing to do.
As you know, the democrats have even mocked, ridiculed and slandered our Christian Vice President Mike Pence, and for what reason? For being faithful to his wife, respecting his marriage commitment and for taking caution to not even give the appearance of evil. 1 Thessalonians:5:22
Yet the mentally deranged democrats find that very proper stand of responsibility as a husband a cause for ridicule? This clearly defines demoncrats (oops-typo) who feel they have more power by keeping the people weak by immorality. And this is what the George Soros Democrats are at war against. A moral society is a strong society.
This is the last thing Soros wants. A Christian’s mind cannot be enslaved, making it impossible to move the U.S. into the Communist ruled One World Order.
The Christians have now firmly made their presence known, giving them power by their sheer numbers.
It is exactly like the time frame of the past election, people finally had enough and voted with strength of numbers to put a man in The Oval Office who would put a stop to this anti-American, anti Christian persecution. As the people spoke then, they are really speaking now, as 20,000 Christians stood up, stood firm and contacted everybody in Congress and the Senate. Twenty thousand people cannot be ignored.
The push-back finally manifested and Congress has now taken needed action to halt this attack on Christianity, its ministers, military chaplains, and what’s more, they have gone on record to do so.
According to Charisma, a letter to Col. James P. Ryan, commanding officer of the 157th Air Refueling Wing based at Pease Air National Guard Base in New Hampshire, the bicameral group of congressmen and senators wrote of their support for this decision to maintain the chaplain’s prayers at all military ceremonies. At last! CHEERS!
Here is the content of that letter:
We write with reference to a complaint you received from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) regarding invocations led by chaplains during Air National Guard ceremonies at Pease ANGB.
Established by George Washington in 1775, the office of military chaplaincy was designed to serve those in the armed services in a variety of ways, including offering a uniquely faith-based perspective on life and death issues. During consideration of the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Congress affirmed the spiritual leadership that chaplains provide to service members and military commanders alike as well as the role that chaplains play in facilitating the free exercise of religion.
As you know, these conscience protections have been implemented by the Department of Defense through two instructions … These instructions make clear that expressions of belief are protected within the bounds of good order and discipline. Under these instructions, no service member may discriminate or take adverse personnel action on the basis of these actions by a chaplain.
We are deeply invested in protecting the mission-critical role of chaplains in the United States military. As such, we were pleased to see the following statement from the Air Force in response to the FFRF complaint:
The Air Force places a high value on the rights of its members to observe the tenets of their respective religions or to observe no religion at all. The Air Force is dedicated to maintaining an environment in which people can realize their highest potential regardless of personal religious or other beliefs. Chaplains provide, or provide for, the free exercise of religion, and we advocate its free exercise for every member of the Air Force and the joint environments.
There are no service restrictions preventing chaplains from praying according to their faith tradition. In certain circumstances, we encourage chaplains to offer inclusive prayers. Chaplains have consistently found the means to strike a balance between the tenants of their faith and the needs of the airmen they serve.
The religious guidance and service of military chaplains fills a fundamental spiritual need for our troops, promoting their operational readiness, success and overall well-being. For that reason, chaplains have played a central role in the lives of our men and women in the Armed Services for the last 240 years.
Among the most basic rights that Americans enjoy are the free exercise of religion, free speech and the freedom of association.
The Establishment Clause exists to ensure that the government cannot affirmatively impose or elevate one religion over another. However, it does not prohibit the government from referencing religion altogether, nor does it require that government officials proactively scrub all religious references from the public square. Rather, the Establishment Clause ensures both that the government does not show preference to a certain religion and that the government does not take away an individual’s ability to exercise religion.
The Supreme Court recently stated, “It is an elemental First Amendment principle that government may not coerce its citizens to support or participate in any religion or its exercise.” … The court went on to state that “an Establishment Clause violation is not made out any time a person experiences a sense of affront from the expression of contrary views…”
The strong statement from the Air Force reinforces the policies and protections in place for service members and chaplains to freely exercise their religiously-informed beliefs, including the freedom of chaplains to adhere to the tenets of their faith as they perform and serve in all aspects of their ministry.
In today’s culture in which religious freedom is under attack, we want you to know that your positive decision has not gone unnoticed. We look forward to working with you to protect the right to religious freedom for our service members and chaplains.
The letter was the product of a joint effort by Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) and Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) and was signed by 15 of their colleagues in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Collins, a member of the Air Force Reserve, is the only military chaplain currently serving in Congress.
“The Air Force has again acted with courage and wisdom in affirming that our service men and women have the right to observe their respective religions or no religion at all,” he said. “Chaplains contribute to the holistic well-being of American troops, and to attack their role is to undermine the free exercise rights of all service members. I will continue to stand by Pease Air National Guard Base as it protects the freedom of the individuals who sacrifice to preserve the liberties of all Americans.”
We must be vigilant and stand ready without hesitation to speak up and make our voices heard. Ministers are also charged with ‘defending the faith.’
ANALYZING TODAY’S NEWS FOR TOMORROW’S HISTORY
In the summer of 1980, I volunteered to be an Army Drill Sergeant. As a Drill Sergeant candidate, I was sent to Fort McClellan, Alabama the former home of the Women’s Army Corps (WAC). Then it was the home of the Military Police One Station Unit Training (OSUT), Chemical schools Advanced Individual Training (AIT), and a Basic Combat Training (BCT) Brigade. By autumn, I had completed Drill Sergeant School and was returned to my unit, where for the next two and a half years, I moved 14 platoons through BCT.
At the time I began my tour, the Army was experimenting with integrated BCT consisting of males and females in the same company, but in all male or all female platoons. The experiment, for lack of a better term, failed. We returned to gender segregated BCT.
I trained males and females in gender integrated and gender segregated companies. Integrated companies presented unnecessary problems for training cadre. Just a simple example – when we force marched a company, the straggler vehicle would be collecting primarily female trainees. Ultimately the pace was reduced so that most females could keep up. Before that happened however, there were multiple stress fractures, mostly pelvic, caused by females lengthening stride to keep up. There were other distractions that could have been avoided also. That is the escapades of teenagers, male and female, locked away together in the same barracks for 9 weeks. There was also the problem between some unscrupulous male Drill Sergeants and female trainees. It was not an environment conducive to effective BCT. When we returned to same sex companies, males and females performed better.
Some years after there was a federal advisory commission formed that recommended against gender integrated training below platoon level and that males and females be housed separately, but the recommendations were disregarded. When my son graduated BCT in the 90’s his company was integrated at squad level. I was of the belief then and now that our basic trainees were not put into best possible training environment to learn discipline and basic combat skills. They were not integrated because it was the best training condition; they were integrated to support a social engineering agenda.
Then came Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT). Contrary to popular belief, DADT was not the law that prohibited homosexual service it was federal law passed by Congress that did that. DADT was a Clinton Administration policy to circumvent the law passed by Congress. Under Bill Clinton’s policy, a person entering the service could no longer be asked if they were homosexual (don’t ask) and they could serve as long as they did not declare their homosexuality (don’t tell). The other common myth is that it was a military policy. For the stupid among us, under the Constitution it is Congress that establishes rules for the Armed Forces. But the typical news idiot will always tell you that the “military” policy prohibiting homosexual service was repealed. Although homosexuals have always served, we are a better force now because we have open homosexuality, homosexual marriage and homosexual dependents? I suppose those now serving will have to answer that for you.
Women in Combat Arms, was a discussion even before I left the service. Most of the women I knew were not interested and most of the men did not care as long as the women could meet the standards. Combat Arms are now open to women. We were told that there would be no gender accommodations for physical standards…snicker, snicker… I saw a military times article that said there will be a unisex physical fitness standard. Male standards will be lowered. According to the Sergeant Major of the Army this will really increase troop morale. Well SMA, it looks like the participation trophy mentality has made it to the Army. Sorry brother, but maybe I am just an old dinosaur. But I do not recognize the Army you are building.
Now I suppose we have achieved social acceptance. Transgenders will now serve openly. I do not even know what that means. I suppose grooming and uniform standards just went out the window – and who knows what else. Will biological men wear women’s uniforms? Or male uniforms and make-up. Reckon that is why we are getting a unisex physical fitness standard?
Yep, let’s put another progressive administration in charge.
Forget Oregon’s Gunman. Remember the Hero Who Charged Straight at Him.
No amount of murder seems likely to result in gun control any time soon. So let’s do what we can to stop the lunacy—by reserving the limelight for the vet who rushed Thursday’s shooter.
Forget the 26-year-old zero who murdered 10 innocents at Umpqua Community College on Thursday morning.
The one to remember is 30-year-old Chris Mintz, the student and Army vet who was shot at least five times while charging straight at the gunman in an effort to save others.
Mintz did so on the sixth birthday of his son, Tyrik.
“It’s my son’s birthday, it’s my son’s birthday,” he was heard saying as he lay wounded.
When word of Mintz’s heroism reached his kin in his native North Carolina, his cousin Derek Bourgeois was hardly surprised.
“It sounds like something he would do,” Bourgeois said.
Bourgeois was somewhat amazed that a guy who survived a combat deployment without serious injury had come so close to being killed in a small Oregon town not unlike the one in North Carolina where they grew up together.
Bourgeois said he and Mintz had both joined the Army after graduating from high school. Bourgeois had been stationed in Fort Bragg, but Mintz had been sent to Fort Lewis in Washington state. They had both been deployed.
After leaving the Army, Mintz had moved to Oregon and done a bit of mixed martial arts. He had been working at the local YMCA while he enrolled at the community college with an eye toward becoming a fitness trainer.
“He’s a big guy,” the cousin noted.
Mintz did not forget his former comrades in the Army. He marked the seventh anniversary of the death of Army Capt. Richard Gordon Jr. in Afghanistan by posting a photo and a bio of the fallen officer on Facebook.
“‘To the limit.’ Sir, you are not forgotten,” Mintz wrote in the Sept. 28 post.
Think of Chris Mintz, who was shot while rushing a killer on his son’s sixth birthday. Forget the zero and remember the hero.
On Thursday, Mintz began the day with a post that marked the happiest of anniversaries.
“Happy birthday, Tyrik,” he wrote.
Mintz then headed to UCC and his first week of classes. He did just what his cousin would have expected him to do when the gunman began firing.
The other students present in those horrific moments included a woman who is a nurse. She began administering CPR in a desperate attempt to save one of the mortally wounded. She then held Mintz’s hand and prayed with him while he said again and again that it was his son’s birthday.
Ambulances marked “Douglas County Fire District No. 2” responded to the scene. The area’s biggest concern in recent days had been what just a spark can start in wildfire season. Roseburg had now been struck by a danger that can strike any part of America in any season.
For the 40th time this year, the 141st time since the Sandy Hook massacre, a gunman had opened fire in a school. A number of the firefighters had studied to become paramedics at the college. They now set to using what they had learned.
At the hospital, Mintz underwent at least one surgery. His cousin reports that he is expected to recover.
“From what I’m hearing, he’s fine,” the cousin said. “But he’s going to have to learn to walk again.”
Of course, there were other instances of great courage at UCC, just as there were at Columbine High School and Sandy Hook Elementary School and the Aurora movie theater and the Charleston church and seemingly all the other mass shootings.
Yet it is the killers whose names become part of our history.
And it is hard not to think that the desire to become more than a lonely loser motivates the gunman.
The latest killer wrote in a blog about the failed TV reporter turned killer who contrived to murder two former co-workers in the midst of a live shot.
“On an interesting note, I have noticed that so many people like him are all alone and unknown, yet when they spill a little blood, the whole world knows who they are,” the UCC killer-to-be wrote on Aug. 31.
He went on: “A man who was known by no one, is now known by everyone. His face splashed across every screen, his name across the lips of every person on the planet, all in the course of one day. Seems the more people you kill, the more you’re in the limelight.”
A month and a day later, the killer made his own murderous play to become known. He packed four guns and sought all the limelight he could, killing nine innocents before he himself was killed during an exchange with two courageous police officers.
In the evening, Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin held a press conference. Hanlin said he would leave it to the coroner’s office to identify the killer.
“I will not give him the credit he probably sought,” Hanlin said of the killer. “You will never hear me use his name.”
The coroner will be obliged to issue an official identification, and news organizations will be obliged to report it.
But if you hear it, forget that Chris in that very instant.
Think of Chris Mintz, who was shot while rushing a killer on his son’s sixth birthday.
Forget the zero and remember the hero.
Also remember those two brave cops and the others who showed uncommon courage.
And honor the memory of the murdered innocents, who leave us with an obligation to do something to stop this madness.
As no amount of murder seems likely to result in real gun control any time soon, we can begin by reserving the limelight only for those who save lives and for those whose lives are taken.
Forget the zeroes and remember the heroes.
—with reporting from Kate Briquelet
By Rick Wells for CONSTITUTION RISING.COM
In what is clearly a preemptive excuse designed to cover his backside following the murder of five service members in Chattanooga, John McCain issued a statement saying, “long before the Chattanooga attack, we had been working to clarify a post commander’s authority to allow carrying of personal firearms.” Rep Louie Gohmert (R-TX) is asked, “Why didn’t the Pentagon act on this long ago?”
He speaks to John McCain specifically, saying, “John McCain is a war hero for what he suffered during the Vietnam War, but he’s certainly no hero for what he’s been stopping. We couldn’t find a single senator that would bring the same amendment [to arm military personnel]. We got it as a part of the National Defense Authorization Act. The Senate is now negotiating with the House on that final bill. They would not, not one single Senator would bring that amendment to the Senate floor, John McCain didn’t want it.”
He adds, “So I am thrilled that John McCain is at least verbalizing that he wants to allow our military to protect themselves. That has not been his position in the past.” They also address a tweet from a viewer which addresses the fact that John McCain twice voted against body armor as well.
Gohmert points out other legislative attempts to correct vulnerabilities that have been made by the House, which have failed to pass in the Senate. He says, “We just need John McCain to match his words with his acts. He also points out that the perpetrator of the shootings in Chattanooga was the type of individual, particularly with his travel records, that the Patriot Act was supposed to protect us from. He says, “Instead, they spend so much time going after every America that they haven’t had time to watch the real suspects.”
He also has a common sense rebuttal to the argument that there are some in the military that shouldn’t be armed, saying those are the ones who should be processed out, so that we then know we can trust our men and women in uniform, all of them.
Gohmert’s comments once again point to the efforts of John McCain in opposition to the American military men and women he supposedly is an advocate for. Perhaps the shiny paper that John McCain has been wrapped in is starting to lose its luster.
Major attacks on the U.S. power grid system are “increasing,” with hackers stepping up efforts to penetrate critical systems and to implant malicious software that could compromise the power grid and result in a nationwide crisis, according to a government report.
While experts have long signaled that the U.S. power grid and related systems are vulnerable to physical attacks by terrorists and other individuals, the U.S. government is now warning that sensitive computer systems that maintain the grid are increasingly being attacked, according to a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report that was not made public until the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) disclosed it this month.
The report warns that hackers potentially affiliated with terrorist groups or rogue nations have the ability to insert harmful malware into the internal systems governing the U.S. grid, which increasingly are being hooked into the Internet.
These types of computer viruses are able to comb internal systems for private information in a clandestine manner; they can also be used to wrest control of certain computers away from their owners.
“In recent years, new threats have materialized as new vulnerabilities have come to light, and a number of major concerns have emerged about the resilience and security of the nation’s electric power system,” the report says. “In particular, the cyber security of the electricity grid has been a focus of recent efforts to protect the integrity of the electric power system.”
The threat is compounded by the revelation that many power companies are only living up to the “minimum standards” set for cyber security by the U.S. government.
“Although malware intrusions may not have resulted in a significant disruption of grid operations so far, they still have been possible even with mandatory standards in place,” the report states.
Cyber attacks on the U.S. grid and power companies are becoming more prevalent.
“Incidents of reported cyber intrusions and attacks aimed at undermining the U.S. grid appear to be increasing,” according to the report. “While parts of the electric power subsector have mandatory and enforceable cyber and physical security standards, some have argued that minimum, consensus-based standards are not enough to secure the system.”
The report continues: “Further, the electric grid is not isolated from attacks on other critical infrastructure sectors on which it depends (i.e., the natural gas subsector, water, and transportation), and mandatory and enforceable cyber security standards apply to only a few of the critical infrastructure sectors,” the report states.
Experts and government authorities remain concerned about attacks on “critical infrastructure.”
“The increasing frequency of cyber intrusions on industrial control systems of critical infrastructure is a trend of concern to the electric utility industry,” the report warns “The National Security Agency reported that it has seen intrusions into [industrial control] systems by entities with the apparent technical capability ‘to take down control systems that operate U.S. power grids, water systems and other critical infrastructure.’”
The report documents a number of recent attacks on U.S. power grid computer systems.
In October 2014, for instance, the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) revealed that “several industrial control systems has been infected” by a virus capable of gathering information about how the grid system functions.
“Hackers are reported to have used the BlackEnergy Trojan horse to deliver plug-in modules used for several purposes, including keylogging, audio recording, and grabbing screenshots,” according to the report. “Researchers looking at the BlackEnergy malware are reported to have identified a plug-in that can destroy hard disks, and believe that the attackers will activate the module once they are discovered in order to hide their presence.”
Another virus named HAVEX has been used to open so-called “back doors” into computer systems.
“The cyberattack leaves the company’s system in what appears to be a normal operating condition, but the attacker now has a backdoor to access and possibly control the company’s” control systems.
These threats, the report warns, are only growing more sophisticated as the industry struggles to combat such attacks.
“The threats facing the grid are evolving, and with each new intrusion or cyber attack, priorities to protect the system can shift,” the report explains. “But that does not mean previous attacks can be considered past issues.”
While nation-states may use such attacks to gather data, experts believe they are less likely to launch an attack due to the prospect of likely retaliation by the United States.
However, terrorists have no such concern, the report says.
“A terrorist or similar organization would likely be undeterred by such a consequence [of potential retaliation], and may use the worm for its own purposes,” according to the report. “Given the potential for damage to the nation’s economy from a major cyberattack on the grid, some might suggest a greater focus on recovery is needed and should become as much a part of a cybersecurity strategy as are efforts to secure the system