Military Veterans

TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER

tomb-of-unknown-soldier-usa-121. How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and why? They take 21 steps. This alludes to the twenty-one gun salute, which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

2. How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin  his return walk and why? It takes 21 seconds for the same reason as the answer above.

3. Why are his gloves kept wet? His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.

4. Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time and if not, why not? He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb.   After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.

5. How often are the guards changed? Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

6. What are the physical traits of the guard limited to? For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5′ 10′ and 6′ 2′ tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30.’

    Other Requirements of the Guard are:  

  1. They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform {fighting} or the tomb in any way.
  2. After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn.  The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.
  3. The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt.
  4. There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform.  Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror.
  5. The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone, nor watch Television. 
  6. Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty.
  7. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred.

Among the notables are: President Taft, Joe E. Lewis {the boxer} and Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy, {the most decorated soldier of WWII} of Hollywood fame.

     ETERNAL REST GRANT THEM O LORD, AND LET PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON THEM.

In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington , DC , our US Senate/House took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm. On the ABC evening news, it was reported that because of the dangers from the hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the  Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment.

They respectfully declined the offer, ‘No way, Sir!’ Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can  be afforded to a serviceperson.  The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.

God Bless and Keep Them

Without sounding too self-serving, I’d like to add that all Americans should be very proud of our young men and women in the service of the United States of America no matter where they serve. ~JGT

tomb_of_the_unknown_soldier_-_nw_view_detail_-_arlington_national_cemetery_-_2012Duty – Honor – Country
IN GOD WE TRUST

DEMOCRATS PUT BOTH FEET IN THEIR MOUTH!

pelosi-watters-idiots

A History of the New Year

A Move from March to January by Borgna Brunner

The celebration of the new year on January 1st is a relatively new phenomenon. The earliest recording of a new year celebration is believed to have been in Mesopotamia, c. 2000 B.C. and was celebrated around the time of the NewYearsEvevernal equinox in mid-March. A variety of other dates tied to the seasons were also used by various ancient cultures. The Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Persians began their new year with the fall equinox, and the Greeks celebrated it on the winter solstice.

Early Roman Calendar: March 1st Rings in the New Year

The early Roman calendar designated March 1 as the new year. The calendar had just ten months, beginning with March. That the new year once began with the month of March is still reflected in some of the names of the months. September through December, our ninth through twelfth months, were originally positioned as the seventh through tenth months (septem is Latin for “seven,” octo is “eight,” novem is “nine,” and decem is “ten.”

January Joins the Calendar

The first time the new year was celebrated on January 1st was in Rome in 153 B.C. (In fact, the month of January did not even exist until around 700 B.C., when the second king of Rome, Numa Pontilius, added the months of January and February.) The new year was moved from March to January because that was the beginning of the civil year, the month that the two newly elected Roman consuls—the highest officials in the Roman republic—began their one-year tenure. But this new year date was not always strictly and widely observed, and the new year was still sometimes celebrated on March 1.

Julian Calendar: January 1st Officially Instituted as the New Year

In 46 B.C. Julius Caesar introduced a new, solar-based calendar that was a vast improvement on the ancient Roman calendar, which was a lunar system that had become wildly inaccurate over the years. The Julian calendar decreed that the new year would occur with January 1, and within the Roman world, January 1 became the consistently observed start of the new year.

Middle Ages: January 1st Abolished

In medieval Europe, however, the celebrations accompanying the new year were considered pagan and unchristian like, and in 567 the Council of Tours abolished January 1 as the beginning of the year. At various times and in various places throughout medieval Christian Europe, the new year was celebrated on Dec. 25, the birth of Jesus; March 1; March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation; and Easter.

Gregorian Calendar: January 1st Restored

In 1582, the Gregorian calendar reform restored January 1 as new year’s day. Although most Catholic countries adopted the Gregorian calendar almost immediately, it was only gradually adopted among Protestant countries. The British, for example, did not adopt the reformed calendar until 1752. Until then, the British Empire —and their American colonies— still celebrated the new year in March.

Article written by: Borgna Brunner & Reprinted Courtesy of  http://www.infoplease.com/spot/newyearhistory.html

I’d like to wish a very Happy New Year to ALL of my brother & sister Military Veterans & those brave Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Army, Coast & National Guard personnel currently serving on Active Duty around the world!  God Bless You ALL & Thank You for Your Service to our Country! ~JGT

“A Day That Will Live in Infamy” (Japanese Attack Pearl Harbor, Hawaii)

Aerial_photograph_from_unknown_jap_aviator_over_Pearl_HarboOn an otherwise calm Sunday morning on December 7, 1941, the Japanese shocked the world by bombing the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

This ‘dastardly attack’ was the turning point for America and for the War.

On December 8, the nation was gathered around its radios to hear President Roosevelt deliver his “Day of Infamy” speech. That same day, Congress declared war on Japan. On December 11, Congress declared war on Germany.

The slogan ‘Remember Pearl Harbor’ mobilized a nation and helped awaken the mighty war machine and economic engine that was America.

**Seventy-five Years ago today~  just before 8 a.m. on December 7, 1941, a Japanese dive bomber bearing the red symbol of the Rising Sun of Japan on its wings appears out of the clouds above the island of Oahu. A swarm of 360 Japanese warplanes followed, descending on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in a ferocious assault. The barrage lasted just two hours, but it was devastating: The Japanese managed to destroy nearly 20 American naval vessels, including eight enormous battleships, and almost 200 airplanes. More than 2,000 Americans soldiers and sailors died in the attack, and another 1,000 were wounded. USS_California_sinking-Pearl_Harbor

The surprise attack struck a critical blow against the U.S. Pacific fleet and drew the United States irrevocably into World War II.   The day after the assault, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan; Congress approved his declaration with just one dissenting vote. Three days later, Japanese allies Germany and Italy also declared war on the United States, and again Congress reciprocated. More than two years into the conflict, America had finally joined World War II.

With diplomatic negotiations with Japan breaking down, President Franklin D. PH 1941Roosevelt and his advisers knew that an eminent Japanese attack was probable, but nothing had been done to increase security at the important naval base at Pearl Harbor. It was Sunday morning, and many military personnel had been given passes to attend religious services off base. At 7:02 a.m., two radar operators spotted large groups of aircraft in flight toward the island from the north, but, with a flight of B-17s expected from the United States at the time, they were told to sound no alarm. Thus, the Japanese air assault came as a devastating surprise to the naval base.

Uss ArizonaMuch of the Pacific fleet was rendered useless: Five of eight battleships, three destroyers, and seven other ships were sunk or severely damaged, and more than 200 aircraft were destroyed. A total of 2,400 Americans were killed and 1,200 were wounded, many while valiantly attempting to repulse the attack. Japan’s losses were some 30 planes, five midget submarines, and fewer than 100 men. Fortunately for the United States, all three Pacific fleet carriers were out at sea on training maneuvers. These giant aircraft carriers would have their revenge against Japan six months later at the Battle of Midway, reversing the tide against the previously invincible Japanese navy in a spectacular victory.

The day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, President Roosevelt appeared before a ntyphjoint session of Congress and declared, “Yesterday, December 7, 1941–a date which will live in infamy–the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” After a brief and forceful speech, he asked Congress to approve a resolution recognizing the state of war between the United States and Japan. The Senate voted for war against Japan by 82 to 0, and the House of Representatives approved the resolution by a vote of 388 to 1. The sole dissenter was Representative Jeannette Rankin of Montana, a devout pacifist who had also cast a dissenting vote against the U.S. entrance into World War I. Three days later, Germany and Italy declared war against the United States, and the U.S. government responded in kind.

The American contribution to the successful Allied war effort spanned four long years and cost more than 400,000 American lives.

Seventy Five Years ago, our parents & perhaps our grandparents learned of the atrocity perpetrated by the Japanese that was Pearl Harbor. Today our country is faced with a similar invasion with the incursion of our country by Illegal Aliens, Drug Smugglers, Criminals and significantly: Jihadi Terrorists. Some are even referred to as “home-grown” yet they are nonetheless invaders of our homeland, America! ALL Terrorists whether foreign-born or natural-born Americans are evil in my opinion and a threat to American Lives & Liberty. Call it whatever you like but today, the growing threat to America is Islamic Terrorism most believed to be instigated by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant also referred to as ISIS.  So, my brother & sister Americans & Patriots~  during this holiday season, remember to say your prayers, kiss your loved ones,  be vigilant  & arm yourselves  because America is once again under attack by Radical Ideology,  Illegal Aliens  & Islamic Jihadists! (Beware: The Barbarians are at the Gates.) Meanwhile, I wish you all a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! ~ JGT 12/7/2016

(Pictured L to R) My Father, WWII Army Air Corps (Circa 1942) & My Father-in-Law,  US Army Ranger (Circa 1943)

Thank you, Daddy & Pop~  for your devotion & service to our country. You set great examples for your children, all US Navy & Marine Corps Veterans. We miss and love you both! ~ dfh

DONALD W. FLINT USAF WWII 001Howard,_John_(website)

GETTYSBURG (July 1 – July 3, 1863)

civilwarcrossstitchBrief Reasons & Events leading up to Gettysburg:

Prior to 1861, the United States of America had always been considered as separate states wherein they created most of their own rules and regulations. A long-lasting debate argued whether to have each state, or a singular central government, decide issues such as taxation, commerce of products and, in particular; the issue of slavery. While the northern states opposed slavery, the southern states (whose economy depended on it) supported slave labor.

By 1861, after realizing that debating the issue could no longer resolve the argument between the northern and southern states, the southern states seceded from the United States and formed their own Confederacy of States. Jefferson Davis, (who graduated 28 out of 34 in his West Point class) was elected as their president. President Abraham Lincoln, who was then president of the United States, believed that, “A house divided cannot stand.” and therefore, a Civil War between the northern and southern states, (the Union vs. the Confederacy) broke out to decide once and for all, whether the United States would remain one country or split be into two individual countries.

In 1861 and 1862, Confederate armies achieved several victories over their Northern counterparts but by the summer of 1863, when General Robert E. Lee was put in command of the Army of Northern Virginia.  Lee decided upon an invasion of the north, which he thought would pull both armies out of war-torn northern Virginia, where most of the fighting had previously been. He thought that by invading the north and in particular, possibly winning a victory in the north, it might cause embittered northerners to put pressure on the Lincoln Administration in Washington, to seek a settlement toward peace and thus bring an end to the war.

Lee’s fateful decision, eventually brought the war to the doorsteps of a small, rural south central Pennsylvania town called Gettysburg!

General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was 75,000 strong & was traveling north into central Pennsylvania. He felt confident. However; on June 30, Lee learned that 95,000 soldiers of the Union Army of the Potomac, led by Major General George G. Meade, were following closely behind.

Here’s the Timeline:

WEDNESDAY, July 1, 1863

battle-of-gettysburg-oak-ridge-july-1General Lee ordered several brigades to travel east to check their location and to forage for supplies for his troops. Northwest of the town of Gettysburg they met. A skirmish ensued and as the battle heated, word was sent back to both commanders that the enemy was found and reinforcement troops proceeded to the area. Over the next 2 days Lee’s army converged onto Gettysburg from the west and north while Meade’s army arrived from the south and southeast. Thus a battle never planned, occurred simply by circumstance.

As Lee’s southern forces continued a persistent attack against the entrenched Union troops, additional arriving Confederate forces launched an all-out offensive which eventually drove the Union forces through the streets of Gettysburg and to a defensive line just south of town. By the end of the first day of battle (July 1st, 1863) a five-mile Confederate line covered the area stretching from Seminary Ridge on the west side of Gettysburg, through the town and on eastward toward the area called Culp’s Hill. As additional Northern reinforcements arrived on the field, they occupied a two-mile defensive position commonly referred to as a fishhook formation along Cemetery Ridge and Culp’s Hill. 

Commanding General Meade & his entourage arrived just after midnight.

THURSDAY,  JULY 2, 1863

gettysburg-devilsden-and Little Round TopThe second day of battle began as a series of disorganized and disjointed Confederate attacks on the Union defensive position south of the town. Though simultaneous attacks were supposed to have occurred on Culp’s Hill and Cemetery Ridge, the attacks took place at least six hours apart and ended with consistent retreats. Union forces held onto Culp’s Hill but the Confederate forces eventually drove back the Union troops in the areas referred to as Peach Orchard, Wheatfield, Valley of Death and Devils Den. Each one and each side, had a stunning amount of casualties. The Confederate troops advance of the Union right flank had initially succeeded but was finally stopped by the heroic efforts of the Union forces and most especially~ in an area known as Little Round Top.

“In this writer’s opinion, the defense of Little Round Top is a pivotal win for the Union Forces during the three-day battle at Gettysburg. Union Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Commanding Officer of the 20th Maine Regiment~ was one of the most instrumental leaders during the battle at Gettysburg.” Historic account of the battle at Little Round Top may be read here.

Feeling successful after two days of battle with the Union army, General Robert E. Lee, believing his army was invincible and undefeatable, decided to attack, what he thought to be the weakest position of the Union line the next morning. Unfortunately for Lee, Union General George Gordon Meade, had already held a council of war with his Corps commanders early that morning & had decided to remain in a defensive position for the battle anticipated the next day (July 3rd). Meade finally decided, that very evening, after listening to the advice of each of these Commanding Generals, as to which of their commanders would lead their individual armies into, which would become, one of the most famous days & battles of the American Civil War.

gettysburg-pickettsFRIDAY, JULY 3, 1863

The third day of battle of Gettysburg began with another unsuccessful attempt by the Confederates to take over and occupy Culp’s Hill. Meanwhile, a mile east of Gettysburg a Confederate Cavalry of 6,000 troops held orders to attack the Union rear but the Union cavalry with a strength of over 5,000, managed to confront them in a firefight that contained and forced the Confederates to retreat. General Jeb Stuart led the southern forces and among the Union leadership was General George Armstrong Custer. (Appointed Brigadier General in the Union Army at the age of 23.) Read about General George Armstrong’s contributions to the Battle of Gettysburg here. 

Robert E. Lee never explained Stuart’s actions that day. And Stuart, who was killed later in the war, also never wrote any explanation of what he was doing three miles from Gettysburg that day. Interesting!

At 1:00 PM, the largest cannonade that ever occurred on the North American continent thus far, assembled ahead of the planned rebel charge. Unknown to Lieutenant General James Longstreet, the cannon fire, which was to decimate the Union center overshot their target and only destroyed the farm fields far behind the Union troops. Once the cannon fire ceased, 12,000 Confederate soldiers marched in formation from Seminary Ridge to launch a famous, heroic attack upon the Union center. This would be forever after immortalized in history as the failed, Pickett’s Charge.

The Confederates hoped to reach a small clump of trees over one mile, away across an open field. Once the smoke from the cannonade had cleared the field, Union forces, though admiring the determination and desperate dedication of the men before them, began firing their own cannons once the Confederate soldiers were in range. The Union artillery hit and mowed down the columns of men like blades of grass. Only a small number of Confederate forces managed to reach the small clump of trees.  Once there, Union forces engulfed them from three sides. General George Pickett’s division and other elements in the attack were virtually destroyed.

Retreating back to Seminary Ridge, General Lee waited for General Pickett. Once he understood that a defeat had occurred, Lee ordered Pickett to reform his division in the event of a Union counterattack. Pickett’s response to Lee was, “General Lee, I have no division.”

And that was that. After three days of devastating carnage, the battle at Gettysburg has ended with the Confederates being defeated and retreating back to Virginia the next day. Unfortunately, the horrors of the Civil War would continue for another two long, bloody years.

Coincidentally, the next day happened to be July 4th. It was on July 4th, 1776 that the first 13 colony states formally broke away from Great Britain and formed a new nation called the United States of America. Indeed, also coincidentally, that the United States should be one country, this same day (July 4th 1863), the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg, MS surrendered to a Union general, who two years later, would accept the surrender of General Lee and Confederate forces at Appomattox, VA.

That General was Ulysses S. Grant.

The American Civil War lasted 4 long years and resulted in over 600,000 deaths and 3,000,000 casualties of both northern and southern young men. However; our nation was reborn as one in 1865 at the end of the war.

From that time on, the United States would always be referred to with a singular verb: The United States IS one country!

GETTYSBURG (July 1 – July 3, 1863)  by D. F. Howard @July 2016

 

gettysburg-address

Click here to view all Civil War Photos

 

IS HILLARY DISQUALIFIED FOR THE PRESIDENCY?

Hillary Clinton at senate hearingAmerican Democrat presidential candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton cannot, by U.S. law, hold any office — presidency included.

According to 18 U.S. Code § 2071: PART I- CRIMES,  Chapter  101- Records & Reports; Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally.

(A) Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

(B) Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three year’s or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. As used in this subsection, the term ‘office’ does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States.”

Clinton willfully violated this law!Hillary-Mean-Big

source: US 18 USC 2071: Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally Text contains those laws in effect on June 25, 2016  Title 18-CRIMES  & CRIMINAL PROCEDURE 

So, after reading this; what do you think?  `JGT

 

 

A PERSONAL NOTE TO MY DADDY ON FATHER’S DAY

Our fathers carry half of our genetic makeup and our relationship with our fathers play such a huge part of who we will become as adults. In many segments of society, people grow up without ever knowing their fathers. This is unfortunate because all fathers should play as important a role in raising their children as do their mothers. A father is the model of a man for his daughter~ and because of that, he is the ideal that she will model her future relationships after in her search for her future mate. She will inevitably choose a man who is very much like her father. A father is also the model for his son as well. However, since I was a “daddy’s little girl”, I’ll let my brother come up with his own opinion. This one is mine.

Despite many unforeseen circumstances and in spite of his being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease just before I was born, my father never complained about his progressing and incurable disability. Indeed, in many ways I believe it made him stronger.

As a child and young teenager, my father taught me about movies, baseball, carpentry and cars. He taught me how to fry bacon and eggs, how to throw a baseball & hit one out of the park. He watched closely while he instructed me in changing out electrical outlets, the proper use his power tools as well as how to miter wood & swing a hammer. By the mid-late 1960’s I knew how to do all the ‘male-dominated’ chores around the house including cutting the grass. And~ until this day, I can tell you the make and model year of any car built between 1930 – 1985! Through the years, the lessons I learned from my father gave me the courage to eventually serve in the military and courageously stand up for myself against life’s challenges and any adversity I faced.  Thank you, Daddy. I miss you very much. Happy Father’s Day! Love Always~ your little ‘Mooch’

He wasn’t a hero~

Known by the world.

But a hero he was~

To his little girl.

~by D. F. Howard © 2015, Revised © 2016

Poem YOU NEVER

FATHER’S DAY TRIVIA

In the year 1910 on July 19, it was said that the Governor of Washington state declared the first ‘Father’s Day’. The day of celebration for fathers did not meet the same height of enthusiasm as mother’s day because supposedly a father did not have an equal amount of sentimental value. It was not until July 5, 1908 in a West Virginia church that the very first celebrated, sponsored event for fathers took place. The sermon that very day was held and centered on the 362 fallen men that lost their lives in explosions that took place in the Fairmount Coal Company mines. This event, however, was only a one day thing and not the annual holiday that many know of today.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF FATHER’S DAY: A woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd had her place in the history of father’s day. As one of six children raised by a widow, she tried to create a day that would be an official day just like mother’s day for the counterparts to female parents. She wished to create this day in honor of her farther. It was said that Dodd went all over to places such as churches and the YMCA to gather some type of support for this thought. She was met with success as Washington then celebrated Father’s Day as a national holiday. However, despite Dodd’s effort and success of obtaining the male version of Mother’s Day, many men were seen to not partake in such a thing as they felt it somehow toned down their manliness with gift giving. In fact, most men back in that time scoffed at the very existence of the holiday.

Father’s Day took its place in history in 1966. President Lyndon Johnson made Father’s Day into the national holiday that is now as popular as Mother’s Day. Today, the holiday is met with an equal amount of love and affection, gift-giving, and bonding as seen on Mother’s Day. This day is the one of the largest card sending days of the year where about 87 million cards are given. Most of these cards come from the wives and daughters of the families. Sons are sometimes seen fishing with their fathers on this day. Other activities involve barbecues and family bonding.

The importance of Father’s Day from back in history to the present day is to help bring acknowledgement to the roles that father’s play within society and in families. The celebration, much like Mother’s Day, also gives children the opportunity to show just how much they love and respect their fathers. This is said to assist with strengthening the initial bond shared by father and child. Father’s Day is just around the corner now. The celebration and the honoring of those dads still here or that have passed away will be felt by many around the globe.

By Isis E. Stevens

Read more at http://guardianlv.com/2014/06/fathers-day-a-history/#C66vsPb4EeWSPEXv.99

 

OBAMA ADMIN BENDS OVER (AGAIN) TO IRAN & GIVES $1.7 BILLION TAXPAYER DOLLARS TO TERRORISTS!!

I don’t understand this crap! Today, the United States and Iran settled a long outstanding claim at the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in the Hague where Secretary of State John Kerry muttered, “This specific claim was in the amount of a $400 million Trust Fund used by Iran to purchase military equipment from the United States prior to a break in diplomatic ties” Blah-Blah-Blah, Mr. Kerry. You are more full of political bull crap than Mr. Obama!

BRIEF HISTORY LESSON

iranian-hostage-crisis_3In 1979, the United States allowed the then exiled, Shah of Iran entry into our country for medical treatment. Meanwhile; a group of radical Islamists in Tehran violently seized our American Embassy there, burned our flag, looted and destroyed our Embassy (American Territory) & took over 54  American Citizen hostages These Americans were held captive in that disgusting country for 444 days! Eventually; President Carter acted by Executive Order in November of that year by freezing about $12 Billion Iranian assets which included bank deposits, gold & property. But the harm was already done to his weak administration because Americans remained captive in Iran until a new President was sworn into office in January 1981. 

During the Reagan Administration, the United States increased sanctions against Iran after Iraq invaded them and in 1984 more sanctions were approved to prohibit all weapons sales and all U.S. assistance to Iran. (The Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) that is the basis of the current sanctions against Iran is a revised version of the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) that was signed on 5 August 1996, ie: H.R. 3107, P.L. 104-172. The act was renamed in 2006 when the sanctions against Libya were terminated.)

In March 1995, President Clinton issued EO# 12957 which prohibited U.S. trade in Iran’s oil industry & EO #12959 which iran-hostage-crisisprohibited all trade with Iran. Later that year, Congress passed the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) which included foreign company penalties if they engaged in over $20 Million of petroleum development in Iran.

After ILSA expired in early 2001, it was summarily renewed under President George W. Bush later in 2001. And no wonder it has remained in effect until now. However, today~ in this writer & U.S. Navy Veteran’s opinion~ is another day that just may~ live in infamy! Indeed; I truly believe that this horrible precedent set forth by America, (And yes~ the POTUS & SOS do represent ALL Americans!) may just be the beginning of the end of our once proud & strong nation!)

The original claim was filed in 1981 during which Iran had an outstanding order for military equipment under the regime, which the U.S. refused to fill after the 1979 Iranian revolution. This $400 Million payment is in addition to the $100 to $150 Billion of Iranian assets that the Obama Administration has agreed to unfreeze as part of the Iranian nuclear agreement. SOS Kerry blabbed on: “In 1981, with the reaching of the Algiers Accords and the creation of the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, Iran filed a claim for these funds, tying them up in litigation at the Tribunal.” (Has anyone ever wondered if SOS stands for Secretary of State or Sack of Shit? (Americans have had several ‘sacks’ loaded full of ‘it’ during the Obama Administration!)

The $1.7 billion payment stems from the original $400 million plus $1.3 billion in interest the State Department agreed to pay on that money. Earlier today, the US Department of State (SOS) released the following statement:

Hague Claims Tribunal Settlement~ Press Statement by John Kerry,Secretary of State, Washington, DC on January 17, 2016

Iran is an Asshole Country“The United States and Iran today have settled a long outstanding claim at the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in the Hague.

This specific claim was in the amount of a $400 million Trust Fund used by Iran to purchase military equipment from the United States prior to the break in diplomatic ties. In 1981, with the reaching of the Algiers Accords and the creation of the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, Iran filed a claim for these funds, tying them up in litigation at the Tribunal.

This is the latest of a series of important settlements reached over the past 35 years at the Hague Tribunal. In constructive bilateral discussions, we arrived at a fair settlement to this claim, which due to litigation risk, remains in the best interests of the United States.

Iran will receive the balance of $400 million in the Trust Fund, as well as a roughly $1.3 billion compromise on the interest. Iran’s recovery was fixed at a reasonable rate of interest and therefore Iran is unable to pursue a bigger Tribunal award against us, preventing U.S. taxpayers from being obligated to a larger amount of money.

All of the approximately 4,700 private U.S. claims filed against the Government of Iran at the Tribunal were resolved during the first 20 years of the Tribunal, resulting in payments of more than $2.5 billion in awards to U.S. nationals and companies through that process.

There are still outstanding Tribunal claims, mostly by Iran against the U.S. We will continue efforts to address these claims appropriately.”

In this writer’s opinion the old saying is right. “Those that do not Learn from History are Doomed to Repeat it!”

Written By: Dorian F. Howard© January 17, 2016

 

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE PETS & FOR THOSE THAT DON’T!

The Following is Posted Very Low on the Refrigerator Door.

Dear Dogs and Cats: The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Racing me to the bottom is not the object and I’ll have you know that tripping me doesn’t help because I will fall faster than you can run!

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this, however; do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch forever to ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also realize that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm on your part.

And, for the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! I have been using the bathroom for years and canine/feline attendance is not required. If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to bark, claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door. Just realize I must exit through the same door I entered~ eventually!

The proper order for kissing is: Kiss me first, then go smell the other dog or cat’s butt~ I cannot stress this enough!

Finally, in fairness, dear pets, I have posted the following message on the front door:

TO ALL NON-PET OWNERS WHO VISIT & LIKE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT OUR PETS:

(1) They live here. You don’t.

(2) If you don’t want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture! That’s why they call it ‘fur’-niture.

 (3) I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.

 (4) To you, they are animals. To me, they are adopted sons/daughters who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and don’t speak clearly.

Remember, dogs & cats are better than kids because they:

 (1) Eat less,

 (2) Don’t ask for money all the time,

 (3) Are easier to train,

 (4) Normally come when called,

 (5) Never ask to drive the car,

 (6) Don’t smoke or drink,

 (7) Don’t want to wear your clothes,

 (8) Don’t have to buy the latest fashions,

 (9) Don’t need a gazillion dollars for college,

and finally;

 (10) If they get pregnant, you can legally sell their children!

If you don’t like our rules, don’t visit us! Remember; I’ll be watching you!~Duffy

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Although the first writer of the above is unknown, I know that many “tweaks” to the original have been made over the years~ and through my own experience, I have done so as well! ~JGT

THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE OF 1914

The Christmas Truce of 1914

pic 1During World War I, in the bitter winter of 1914, on the battlefields of Flanders, one of the most unusual events in all of human history took place. The Germans had been in a fierce battle with the British and French. Both sides were dug in, safe in muddy, man-made trenches six to eight feet deep that seemed to stretch forever.

All of a sudden, German troops began to put small Christmas trees, lit with candles, outside of their trenches. Then, they began to sing songs. Across the way, in the “no man’s land” between them, came songs from the British and French troops. Incredibly, many of the Germans, who had worked in England before the war, were able to speak good enough English to propose a “Christmas” truce.

A spontaneous truce resulted. Soldiers left their trenches, meeting in the middle in fortified pic2trenches to shake hands. The first order of business was to bury the dead who had been previously unreachable because of the conflict. Then, they exchanged gifts. Chocolate cake, cognac, postcards, newspapers, tobacco. In a few places, along the trenches, soldiers exchanged rifles for soccer balls and began to play soccer in the snow.

According to Stanley Weintraub, who wrote about this event in his book, “Silent Night”, “Signboards arose up and down the trenches in a variety of shapes. They were usually in English, or – from the Germans – in fractured English. Rightly, the Germans assumed that the other side could not read traditional gothic lettering, and that few English understood pic 3spoken German. ‘YOU NO FIGHT, WE NO FIGHT’ was the most frequently employed German message. Some British units improvised ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS’ banners and waited for a response. More placards on both sides popped up.”

Rare photo shows German soldiers of the 134th Saxon Regiment and British soldiers of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment meeting in “no man’s land” on December 26, 1914.

It truce didn’t last forever. In fact, some of the generals didn’t like it at all and commanded their troops to resume shooting at each other. After all, they were in a war. Soldiers eventually did resume shooting at each other. But for a few precious moments there was peace on earth good will toward men. There’s something about Christmas that changes people. It happened over 2000 years ago in a little town called Bethlehem. It’s been happening over and over again down through the years of time.

Although the Christmas Truce of 1914 may seem like a distant myth to those now at arms in parts of the world where vast cultural differences between combatants make such an occurrence impossible, it remains a symbol of hope to those who believe that a recognition of our common humanity may someday reverse the maxim that “Peace is harder to make than war.”

Photos: From The Illustrated London News of January 9, 1915: “British and German Soldiers Arm-in-Arm Exchanging Headgear: A Christmas Truce between Opposing Trenches”
A cross, left in Saint-Yves (Saint-Yvon – Ploegsteert; Comines-Warneton in Belgium) in 1999, to commemorate the site of the Christmas Truce. The text reads: “1914 – The Khaki Chum’s Christmas Truce – 1999 – 85 Years  “Lest We Forget”
German soldiers of the 134th Saxon Regiment and British soldiers of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment meet in no man’s land, December 26th.

*Courtesy “Together We Served” Dispatches