Dr. King at Emanuel AME ( Screen shot )

Dr. King at Emanuel AME (Screen shot )


There are a couple of things that need to be said about the Charleston church shooting.

 As we hear the voices of the politicians attempting to score political points about guns, ‘widespread’ racism, the need for more program money; the hand wringers who claim we need to talk more about race; and those who wish to make money off the deaths of these people; there are a few things that need pointing out. Call it a ‘duh’ factor, if you will.

 A predominantly black church welcomed a white, young millennial into their Wednesday night Bible study. He heard the preaching and give and take with the nine people, four of whom were pastors, for about an hour. He heard the hearts of these people, heard their struggles and triumphs. He heard the truth. 

 The parishioners at the Emanuel AME Church Bible study Wednesday night were much older than the shooter. Only one, Tywanza Sanders, was 26. 

 These strangers welcomed a young man into the fold because that’s ‘how we do’ at church. We’re all part of God’s family and we welcome our sisters and brothers regardless of race, age, ethnicity and social stratum.

 The shooter, clearly suffering from mental problems and dark thoughts, some of which church folk might refer to as ‘demon possession’, knew when and where to go to find his victims because it was advertised on the Emanuel AME website:


Is something missing from your life? Are you doing all you can to have a closer relationship with God? If you have a desire to learn more about God, then join us on Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m. in the lower level of the church. We look forward to seeing you!

 I don’t know the Bible text at the center of the study, but there’s no question this study attempted to fill the void of those who ‘have something missing’ from their lives. 

 There was a call to accountability to those coming to the study. ‘Are you doing all you can to have a closer relationship with God?’ 

 While that may be off-putting to some, there was no doubt this Bible study would have addressed how each individual could ‘walk the talk’ and be held accountable by their group in a loving way. 

The elders were showing the younger members, including this killer, how to have a relationship with God because that’s what’s important. Because that’s just ‘how we do’ at church. 

 In short, Cynthia Hurd, a 54 year old library manager; Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, a professional speech therapist, coach and mother; the Reverend Dr. Depayne Middleton Doctor, 49; church sexton, Ethel Lance, 70; the Reverend Daniel Simmons, a 74 year old staff minister; 59 year old Myra Thompson, the wife of a vicar at a near by church; Susie Jackson, 87 year old church stalwart; Tywanza, a young man of God; and their leader, the Reverend Clementa Pinckney were doing that which people claim we need more of. 

 Having a Bible study and learning about the word of God on Wednesdays is what millions of people do every week. It’s one way we live out our faith. It just doesn’t make the news. 

 The people at this Bible study Wednesday night were living out racial harmony. To Christians at Emanuel AME, there was something much bigger than what divides us. They arrayed themselves around the word of God every Wednesday night at 6pm and concentrated on what unites His people. 

They didn’t need to talk about racial harmony because they knew that spiritual harmony, united under the God of the Bible, is what’s important and the only thing that unites people, be they Samaritans, Jews, Gentiles, Greeks or Israelites. 

This great church, called Mother Emanuel, has known great injustice. Members organized a slave rebellion in the 1800’s and some were executed for it. The church served as a stop in the underground railroad for runaway slaves. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior preached there. 


 In the public square, the facile answer to this horrific shooting at the hands of a racist monster, is to assume government programs can do something to change people’s hearts. 

 There’s a role, to be sure, from the bully pulpit to help guide people, but I’m not hopeful the President can pivot to becoming a unifying voice. He’s shown too often he can only offer airy words of blame in his role as bystander-in-chief. 

 Al Sharpton, the President’s racial consigliere, has demonstrated he cares only what he can plunder and who gets the credit for garnering headlines while fomenting violent clashes.

 The organized left, led by paid protesters, has shown in city after city its aim is to create chaos, not unity. 

 These people who purport to show us the way to racial unity are some of the same who have conspired to take God out of the public square. Their aim is to replace a Gothic cathedral filled with God with a federal-style building somewhere in a capital city.

 The thing that many people on social media and in legacy media won’t say is that we don’t need more government programs to force people into compliance with proscribed viewpoints, however meritorious. 

 They don’t need more Gov. They need more God. 

 The people at Emanuel AME showed the way. It’s up to the rest of us to follow their lead.

 Godspeed. God Bless these people who knew where they were going and are now in peace. 

 And never forget: Joy comes in the morning.





The White House is "The People's House".  But it appearing more like scenes from "Animal House" - Mark Larson

The White House is “The People’s House”

In business it’s all about projections.  How are sales tomorrow, next week, next month, this quarter?  What’s the plan for next fiscal year? It’s the same thing in politics as candidates scramble to convey momentum through regularly projected financial support.

But I’m not referring to those kinds of projections.

After the talking about how the Supreme Court inspired a more “unified nation”, the President of the United States demonstrated his version of a “big tent” approach by flipping the switch on rainbow lights, projecting the colors onto the White House.  It was a big, divisive in-your-face version of spiking the ball after a victory.

As we celebrate America this weekend, I’m not holding my breath to see if red, white and blue will be projected on the Executive Mansion anytime soon. In fact, there’s probably a greater chance to see the graphic images of Fidel and Raoul Castro on the building to hype the new (outrageous) Cuba policy. (To be fair, imagine what a President Trump might do with the place. More reason to stop this editorial illumination now.)

It must be good to be King.  You can start each day by asking yourself, “What ‘truth’ can I use today…. and discard tomorrow, if necessary?”   Just say anything, and keep pivoting to something else before the people realize what’s really going on.

In the wake of the creative White House lighting caper, there have been reports and photos of some of the partiers at the Presidential celebration enjoying having photos taken in front of the official portrait of Ronald Reagan… while flipping him “The Bird”.  It’s a free country (as far as I recall at this writing), but how about a little respect for the place?

Not to be outdone, the First Lady of the United States made a big policy move this week.  No it wasn’t a new hashtag campaign ala #SaveOurGirls. It was all about changing a “no photos” rule for White House tourists. Selfies are encouraged now, and social media will be available to make government and traditions even more trivial, so much for decorum.

What’s better when ignoring the Constitution than to distract people with the latest Tweet and photo?

Yes, the White House is “The People’s House”.  But it doesn’t need to appear more like scenes from “Animal House”.

As we contemplate America, and re-read the Declaration of Independence this weekend (please do), what are your projections… and where are we headed now as a Nation?


Unelected California Fish & Game Commission Ignores Legislative Plea

From Don Giottonini – president of the non-profit Sacramento Safari Club:

When Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) addressed the California Fish & Game Commission regarding a bipartisan piece of legislation dealing with Bobcat trappings, Commission Chairman Jack Baylis let Assemblyman Gray know that the legislature and their legislative intent didn’t matter.

See video here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cllhz4zBnXY

Baylis was very clear in communicating that this unelected commission had the power to do whatever they wanted and no legislator would have a say in commission matters; and certainly not an elected official from the majority party representing the interest of their community.



Asm. Gray pleaded his case by saying that the legislature voted for the bobcat trapping bill with the intent that any decisions would be scientific and fact based.



Chairman Baylis responded by saying that in his view, they have the power do what they want; including regulating a complete ban on Bobcat trappings regardless of the opinions of the legislature. Chairman Baylis effectively ignored Asm. Gray’s request to follow the wishes and intent of the elected Assembly, State Senators and the Governor.


Given Assemblyman Gray, Chair of Governmental Organization, treatment by the Fish and Game Commission, it begs the question, who oversees these unelected commissioners?

See video here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cllhz4zBnXY

Don Giottonini is president of the non-profit Sacramento Safari Club, whose organization has invested millions of dollars to improve natural habitat and preserve wildlife. This includes the funding of deer and wild pig studies, restoring populations of native bighorn sheep in Yosemite and herds of Tule elk throughout the Central Valley.  


CEQA exemptions for sports arenas, but not water



No one needs to be reminded that California is in the midst of one of the worst droughts in decades, if not centuries. Out of this crisis comes Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Yuba City, with an excellent idea.

Mr. Gallagher introduced AB 311, intended to expedite vitally needed water storage projects in our state — in short, give these projects the same legal framework protections that were granted to a number of public projects in California, including football stadiums and basketball arenas.

During the committee hearing on AB 311, according to press reports, Santa Barbara Assemblyman Das Williams, chair of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee, displayed his arrogance when he said that if people want to push such proposals they should identify a “specific project” and bring both sides together to identify mitigation measures impacting the project.

Mr. Williams knows, given his own voting record, that the process by which projects are granted final environmental approval in California was hijacked by the environmental community long ago. In fact, things have gotten so litigious in our state that the Legislature has moved to give a broad array of projects (public and private) exemptions from this burdensome and often exceedingly costly process.

Examples of total exemptions from the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act include a wine train in Napa; state prisons; right-of-way acquisitions for low-speed commuter trains between San Francisco and San Jose; conversion of rental mobile home parks to “resident-initiated” subdivisions or condominiums for mobile homes; local coastal programs or long-range land-use development plans by the California Coastal Commission; the repair of critical levees of the State Plan for Flood Control as specified; certain railroad grade separation projects; certain seismic retrofit projects for existing local bridges; and even projects for restriping of streets or highways to relieve traffic congestion.

But wait, there’s more.

During the 2013-2014 legislative session, the wizards under the dome granted another exemption — for projects so badly needed, given our current state of crisis, that one must wonder what took so long to be enacted.

AB 417 by Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Oakley, granted a statutory exemption from the requirements of CEQA for “bicycle transportation plans.” It should be noted that Mr. Williams wholeheartedly supported this exemption by voting three times in support of the Frazier measure — twice on the Assembly floor and once while simply a member of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee, which he now chairs.

Mr. Williams knows the reason Mr. Gallagher shouldn’t name a specific project. The state water bond that Mr. Williams voted in favor of in the closing days of the 2014 session specifically gives the California Water Commission the responsibility to identify projects that meet the requirements for bond funding.

The streamlining process of Mr. Gallagher’s bill could only be applied once a project is selected by the commission. But if the chairman is incapable of remembering which exemptions or streamlining measures he supported for the betterment of our state, then maybe he should step down and let someone more competent sit at the head of the class.

The author is executive director of the Sacramento County Republican Party.

Leading From Behind


Mr. Obama's address to Coast Guard Cadets this week included a warning that “climate change” is the biggest threat they will face in the future. I think these brave men and women know otherwise.

Mr. Obama’s address to Coast Guard Cadets this week included a warning that “climate change” is the biggest threat they will face in the future. I think these brave men and women know otherwise.

President Barack H. Obama has managed to cause Americans on the left and right to agree on one thing: He is usually consistent.

 So called “Progressives” think he’s often not far left enough, but he has plenty of time left in his seemingly endless second term to do their bidding. (This is a good time to remind ourselves to pray that no one bails from the US Supreme Court anytime soon… and for the Constitutionalists on the Court: Stay healthy my friends.)

Conservatives agree that the man known as The Leader of the Free World is consistent in retreat. Anything requiring courage and exceptional behavior is either ignored or given lip service, as the not-so-lethal and sporadic bombing of ISIS demonstrates.   A few hits from UAV’s in a given day doesn’t compare to shock-and-awe justice from the sky, often five times greater than current random targeting.

Meanwhile ISIS (or ISIL, as the White House prefers to call it even though ISIS calls themselves ISIS) takes what they want, now controlling half of Syria… including all those “red lines” drawn by Mr. Obama and friends over the last couple of years. This weekend, ISIS will be busy with a new de-construction project trashing architectural treasures in Palmyra.

Boko Haram is open for expanded business in Africa, and the #SaveOurGirls tweets seem like they happened decades ago.

This week, the President began by talking tough not about terrorists but about the Police in the USA, moving to “de-militarize” cops. This is necessary because, he says, “Sometimes it sends the wrong message” in communities. When he does such puzzling things, Mr. O. will usually add, “Because it’s the right thing to do”. In other words, we’re doing this just because he says so. Now local law enforcement departments across the nation are a step closer to more Federal meddling and control.

The message suggests that Police can’t be trusted with too much firepower, as if all men and women in uniform are going to go rogue.

Gangs and terrorists and ISIS-wanna-be’s got a clear message, too: It’s time to step up our game.

All while the Good Guys are pressed to retreat.

Meantime, Ramadi fell, after similar ISIS/ISIL triumphs in Mosul, Takrit and other Iraq cities.  Apparently the Americans who fought tyranny and died for liberty there don’t matter. No big deal. Even the White House Press Secretary said we can’t “set our hair on fire” every time there’s a defeat.

But this is all consistent. When America elects a faculty lounge theorist…a community organizer-in-chief, this is not a surprise.

As punctuation to this Retreat Week, Mr. Obama decided to pile on the rhetoric with his address to Coast Guard Cadets, warning that “climate change” is the biggest threat they will face in the future.

All of this is disturbing, sometimes humorous in its hubris and audacity and often dangerous. But during “Military Appreciation Month”, heading into Memorial Day, it’s tone-deaf, outrageous and reprehensible.








Poverty and President Obama: It’s All Fox’s Fault

At the Poverty Summit at Georgetown University, President Obama seems to admit he knows no actual poor people, knows no one who has trouble paying their bills, but knows they got there because rich people took their money away.

Photo: Ustream

Photo: Ustream

Or he assumes no rich people like him do.

The Summit, which was moderated, by E.J. Dionne, the far left Washington Post columnist, also featured American Enterprise Institute economist Arthur Brooks who’s written several books on the subject of poverty, wealth and ethics. See his response to the President below.

In this illuminating discourse by President Obama in the first video, he appears to believe there’s never before been ‘segregation’ by class and poverty level–except for black people. He seems to believe this is a new thing in the last “40 years”, though it appears he forgets about Jewish and Irish ghettos in America’s past or even old timey songs about living “on the wrong side of town” or “on the wrong side of the tracks.” 

The President, ascribing the differences between the wealthy and poor to policies of the past “40 years”, also seems to forget that roughly corresponds to America beginning to wage a  ‘War on Poverty’ by LBJ. 

In fact, according to the Heritage Foundation there have more than $22 trillion dollars in income transfers spent to “solve” the problem of poverty since that war began. As Jesus told us in Mark 14:7 (and other places), “The poor will always be among you” so the likelihood of spending our way out of it is slim. 

After you watch the President blame conservatives and rich people for impoverishing people, and Fox News for demonizing them, then watch as Arthur Brooks, economist and scholar at the American Enterprise Institute; gently puncture every one of the President’s talking points. 

Arthur Brooks explains how the President has a few things wrong. 

Watch the video on Victoria Taft


Sometimes you watch the news or hear ‘man on the street’ interviews on the radio and later, when the truth comes out, wonder to yourself, ‘Where did that cockamamie story come from?’

In the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Missouri, interviews contained in both the Grand Jury testimony and the federal investigation revealed Brown’s friend, Dorian Johnson, conceived of the ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ narrative and began to spread it around.

Investigators later deemed doubtful Johnson’s ability to see the last seconds of his friend’s life  because of where he claimed to be hiding.

But, by the time he was finished, Johnson was on TV blatantly spouting the ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ narrative, and people, later ruled not credible by the authorities,  picked up the story and lied under oath.

It was untrue but it was everywhere. And even after it was disproved, protesters still used it. They used the ‘hands up’ meme in Baltimore, well after the world learned it was bogus.

And Monday in Baltimore, ‘the big lie’ almost happened again.

A man was stopped by cops and subdued after he pulled out a revolver at Pennsylvania and North — the flashpoint of the recent riots.

MSNBC host Joy Reid, was on the ground and spoke to the “victim’s” relative, who revealed the name of the man “shot” and the fact he was only reaching at his waist band.

Fox News was on live and reported the “shooting”, but walked back the story within minutes. Shepherd Smith apologized and said they’d “screwed up”.

MSNBC never recanted, and instead blamed Twitter for their story — which, of course, they never bothered to verify and parroted on live TV.

MSNBC went on the air, with a person actually on the ground, and reported a falsehood for which they never apologized. They also talked to the “victim’s” family member who lied about the incident and never apologized.

But MSNBC was right about one thing: They saw the story on Twitter. I know that because I did too.

The Tweet talked of a shooting and contained a link leading to a live-stream of the “shooting” scene.

And here’s what I saw:


As you can see from the video things looked pretty bad.

After hearing a gun shot, people came upon the scene only to see a man lying on the ground. Police surrounded him. Within seconds, a few people on scene began pronouncing the man on the ground had ‘been shot’. Though there was no blood and angry people were close enough to see, the story caught fire.

Soon, a bigger group of angry people converged at the site and, within seconds, a couple of angry men began confronting cops within inches of their faces and accusing them of shooting the black man on the ground. You can hear their voice saying:

The police shot him!

They done shot him, bro!

They shot him?

They shot in him the back, man!

Another voice rang out urging people to go after one of the cops:

He’s the cop! He’s the cop!

That prompted a man to confront an officer –picking a school yard fight — getting within inches of the officer’s face and saying:

You shot my man, yo? You shot my man, yo? You shot my man, yo?

The man recording the event and putting it out over the internet announced:

Hey, police just shot someone, police just shot SOMEONE IN THE BACK. Tweet it out, please? POLICE JUST SHOT SOMEONE. They just shot             someone and they maced someone. They shot that man in the back. Tweet it out. BALTIMORE POLICE JUST SHOT A MAN IN THE BACK.

Now they’re macing people for no reason. Come to Penn and North now.

Soon, a woman caught on tape and who was used in several TV news stories came along to declare:

I watched that man shoot him! I watched it with my own eyes!

Guy taking video:

File a report on the M******F****r! Come down to Penn & North NOW! Those M*****F*****r cops. They maced someone. Tweet it out!

And someone did. And that’s when I saw it and MSNBC News did, too.

But just when you think things could spin out of control, they got worse. Someone’s voice in the crowd authoritatively pronounced:

They just shot that man in the back.

The person recording the event embellished:

Baltimore police just shot a man in the back. Baltimore police just shot that man in the back. THEY HAD HIM IN CUFFS AND THEY F*****G SHOT IN  HIM THE BACK!

Almost none of what they said was true.

Police did pepper spray some of the people who were getting out of control and pushed them down the street and out of the way of the take down.

A Baltimore police officer told anyone who asked him that the man was seen with the gun. WBAL radio reported he’d been spotted via the ‘City Crime Watch’ camera. When he saw cops, he dropped his gun, it discharged and cops seized upon him.

“A fleeing suspect pulled out a revolver, which went off, and no officers fired their weapons, police said, denying conflicting reports from people at the scene.’

If that guy had been shot by officers another big lie would have gathered even more momentum. As it was, this was bad enough.

Later, the professional protesters, among whom Deray McKesson is one, launched an assault on the media for dropping the developing narrative, the smear. It reads:

It is scary that CNN, the AP and Fox are reporting definitively that he wasn’t shot merely on the statement of police. Baltimore

I’d show you Deray McKesson’s original tweet, but he blocked me after I outed him as a peripatetic protester.

Deray was on the ground in Ferguson and won some fame for his activism there.  Then he packed his bags and showed up in Baltimore. He was identified by Wolf Blitzer of CNN as a Baltimore community organizer. Deray is not.

But he, like others — the guy taking video for instance — seeks to wrest control of the narrative. I think you can figure out why.















Stealth Iranian Hostage Crisis? Iran Seizes U.S. Sovereign Merchant Ship

M/V Maersk Tigris. American sovereign under siege.

M/V Maersk Tigris. American sovereign illegally sieged well outside the boundaries of maritime law.

Today, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) seized a Marshall Islands Flagged cargo ship, the Motor Vessel (M/V) Maersk Tigris as it was transiting to the east in the Persian Gulf approaches to the Strait of Hormuz, en route to the United Arab Emirates from a Saudi Arabian port. The Marshall Islands are U.S. protectorate under The Compact of Free Association and, therefore, a Marshall Islands flagged vessel is a sovereign of the United States of America, due the latter’s full protection. Bottom line up front, is that there is now a U.S. sovereign vessel under siege in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, the location of Iran’s Naval Headquarters. The Maersk Tigris was hailed, fired upon, then sieged by the IRGCN (the bane of the actual Iranian Navy, by the way) for an unspecified financial dispute between the shipping company (Maersk Lines) and the Iranian Ports and Maritime Organization (IPMO).

“The ship confiscation order was issued by a court and is linked to the Maersk company,” stated Hadi Haghshenas of IPMO earlier today to the Iranian News Agency, Tasnim. “Generally speaking,” Haghshenas continued, “if a shipping company has debts and does not pay, the owners of the goods turn to the competent authorities” (a statement that means absolutely nothing and would not be true if it did).

In the fleet that gave birth to and raised the author of this article, we’ve got a term for this that specifically defines the final digestive product of a bull. The laws of international commerce and shipping do not have a clause that specifies that the legal remedy for a shipping company or agent failing to pay contracted fees, is immediate confiscation, by military force, of the shipping company’s property. This is specifically odd, at best, when the sieged vessel is the sovereign of the nation that the aggressor at hand colloquially describes as The Great Satan.

This situation, as a whole, is as significant as it is bizarre. It presents multiple problems to a U.S. Government that suffers from a severe case of regional and strategic dyslexia in the Middle East that is approaching foreign policy dementia. As serious, deep and layered as this quandary is, it is also the proud parent of some amazing opportunities for the United States to rightfully assert strength in the exact time and place when and where it is most sorely needed. Precisely, now in Iran.

It is no coincidence that the Maersk Tigris just happens to be a sovereign of the United States. Maersk, according to their own website, operates a fleet of 610 vessels, 51 of which are U.S.-flagged outright and a smaller number flagged under U.S. Protectorates The Maersk Tigris is time-leased from Rickmers Shipping in Germany. No one in the subculture of merchant shipping is confused as to the ultimate sovereign of the flag of the Marshall Islands and neither is Iran. Should there exist an actual financial conflict between IPMO and Rickmers or Maersk, the answer is never found in today’s actions by Iran. That is, unless the Iranians are trying to press a larger point, which they almost always are.

 United States Central Command, via its Navy component, United States Fifth Fleet, has dispatched the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, USS Farragut (DDG-99), to the scene. Well, sort of. The Maersk Tigris is now detained in the Naval Port of Bandar Abbas, Iran’s largest and most secure and strategically important naval station. So, the good ship Farragut is likely at a stand-off distance outside international waters, but within able striking distance of Iran’s impressive, but not invincible, coastal defense missile batteries, swarm-capable high-speed suicide boats, and Russian built Kilo Class diesel-electric submarines, which are deadly silent while running on batteries and carry a particularly nasty and feared weapon, known as the 53cm wake-homing torpedo. Still a good choice, the Farragut, which could single-handedly relieve Iran of functioning port at Bandar Abbas all by its lonesome, if ordered to light up the night sky and launch its store of somewhere between 50-60 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles. Farragut is a mighty presence, but not if the intent is to do anything it must to resolve the Maersk Tigris situation, except ruin a nuclear weapons deal between the U.S. and Iran, or otherwise “provoke” the latter.

As it stands, our operational policy toward Iran, since the latter years of the Bush-43 Presidency, has been one of “non-provocation” toward the Islamic Republic. Since Barack Obama took office in 2008, our policy has remained largely unchanged, but has been layered with unnecessary sympathy and understanding for our regional arch enemy, for reasons I explain further along. So, despite many warnings from regional leaders to the Iranians that they’re picking the wrong fight should they decide to provoke a conventional conflict with the Americans, Tehran continues to push the envelope. Hopefully, the Iranians will not push it to the point that my former Commander at U.S. Central Command, General John Abizaid, said was the one problem that made him lose sleep at night; a “Pearl Harbor” in the Persian Gulf, in which the Iranians unleash all they’ve got to inflict as much possible damage as possible on the United States Fifth Fleet and other U.S. bases in and around the Gulf, in a surprise and limited-warning fashion.

While I was the Chief of the Analytical Red Team at Special Operations Command, Central (CENTCOM did not, at the time, have their own Red Team; I would help an amazing team of analysts build that a year later), I was asked by our Commander, Major General Gary Harrell, to write “the paper” on what such an attack might look like. I cannot repeat it here due to classification levels, but it was stark and sobering. It was not conflated, but painted a fairly precise operational and strategic picture of the Iranian Pearl Harbor. The premise being, if the Iranians view war between themselves and the U.S. as inevitable and they know they cannot sustain a long term conventional conflict with us, it is conceivable (if even unlikely) that they could (“coulds” being the point of edgier Red Team analysis) seek a tactical and strategic advantage, if even temporary, by striking us first and hard.

Couple Iran’s potential conventional operations and strategy with an ever ascending Shi’a Twelver (different article) apocalyptic that necessitates a precursor stage of chaos and endangerment to Shi’a Islam, whereby the only salvation is the return of Shi’a Islam’s salvific figure, the Twelfth Imam (or, The Mahdi), and the Iranians have crafted for themselves the ultimate Win-Win deal. If they cripple the U.S. Fleet and other U.S. and Coalition military capabilities in and around the Gulf (however unlikely) and they gain a strategic and operational advantage, giving The Great Satan a black eye in the process, then they win. If they invite upon themselves the final ire of the United States and, hence, the ultimate destruction of the Islamic Republic and irrecoverable endangerment of the (Shi’a) Umma, then they really win.

 In the latter scenario, where chaos reigns and all seems lost for Shi’a Islam, the Mahdi is quickened from his occultation (supernatural hiding, of sorts) from deep in the underground aquifer beneath city of Qom (which Shi’a Muslims declare is sacred) and, together with the highest prophet of Islam after Muhammad (that’d be Jesus), the Mahdi’s armies, to include previously deceased martyrs (in some versions) arise to fight the Final Jihad against the agents of Satan (that’d be EVERYONE who does not confess Shi’a Islam). Upon their victory, which is assured in their Apocalyptic, all in their numbers, both living and arisen from the dead, will unite the material and spiritual worlds for all eternity and they will, they really believe, as much as practicing Catholics believe that wafer of bread, once consecrated, is the true presence and body of Christ, live happily ever after.

 For six years, the Islamic Republic has been feasting on an unprecedented level of sympathy and understanding from an American administration that, for now anyway, appears committed to a hackneyed view of Iran that is only defined by an academically cooked notion that Iran was all sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns until the mean and nasty CIA engineered the overthrow of the Mossadeq regime in 1953. Mossadeq, to the likes of Ben Affleck and students at the American University in Washington, DC, was a near Christ-like servant of the people who wanted nothing more than to wrest control of British and American owned (AND FINANCED AND BUILT AND MAINTAINED!) oil production facilities away from the mean and evil people who made it possible for the Iranians to even enjoy such an “insignificant” benefit as “oil revenue” and the vibrant and modern industrial nation it built. One need only watch the perfectly lame cartoon prologue to the otherwise decent movie, Argo, to see the prevailing contemporary academic assumption of “historic” Iran, which apparently did not exist before U.S. and British “meddling” in 1953. Now, forget that Mossadeq (who I understand always smelled of lilacs and butterfly-wing powder) was preparing to turn Iran’s economic fortunes (built by the hands of American and British engineers and oilies) over to the “protection” of the Soviet Union, via a secret compact that was well underway. Forget, too, that our “meddling” prevented an Islamic Revolution in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s, with Mossadeq being the original target of a then-young Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomenei. All of these pesky historical facts and events must be forgotten in order to preserve the “Argo prologue” narrative and restore to the Islamic Republic the mighty nation’s full due, which was so rudely interrupted by mean-spirited post-World War II U.S. foreign policy in 1953.

On the present course, much unlike the course of the Maersk Tigris, the Islamic Republic is headed for a Win-Win-Win, particularly if the present Administration (still apologizing to the Mossadeq family) makes safe the ultimate dream of the architects of Twelver Shi’ism, which is presently under the impressive (I must admit) custody of the Ayatollahs and Mullahs of Iran.

 One may only hope that a dose of sense for the meaning of maritime sovereign under the flag of a U.S. Protectorate under the Compact of Free Association. What that all means is quite something; an American sovereign vessel and its crew is being placed in the middle of one of the most severely mishandled foreign policy undertakings in recent U.S. history and this is just the beginning.

Frank Wuco is a regular contributor to Political Vanguard. Frank is a retired U.S. Naval Intelligence Officer. He has made numerous at-sea, and land, deployments to the Middle East since the early 1980’s. He was the former Chief of Intelligence Operations for Special Operations Command Central (2001-2004) and was a founder, Senior Analyst and former Chief of the U.S. Central Command Red Team (2005-2010). The author, in fairness, also believes that the handling of the Iraq War between both the Bush and the Obama Administrations, ranks prominently among contemporary U.S. foreign policy blunders.



No... I'm actually a citizen of the United States of America... by Mark Larson

No… I’m actually a citizen of the United States of America… by Mark Larson


ATTENTION CITIZENS OF THE WORLD: Unite or else!  Recycle! Reduce your carbon footprint!  Try to avoid exhaling as much, and flush minimally. And use one square of toilet paper. Compost. And you better embrace” flubber and pixie dust” as alternative energy sources (that’s what my friend Chris Horner calls it). The beat goes on.

Listen, I’m all for being a good steward of God’s creation, but let’s not lose our minds. Of course in California it appears there’s already not that much gray matter left between the state’s political ears. (Case in point: In the midst of a natural drought and man made water crisis, many still want to drain the Hetch Hetchy reservoir to dump even more of the water we do have.)

I was in Washington, DC last weekend. It was another whirlwind trip, like usual. I never stay more than about three nights in fear that I could “grow” into thinking like Ruth Bader Ginsberg and company.  It’s a good idea to keep getting out of DC and re-connecting with the real world.

An unexpected  bonus was seeing the aftermath of last Saturday’s pre-Earth Day rally on the National Mall. Wandering around the monuments the day after the celebration, the residue from all of the climate-hype-true-believers was everywhere, from a sea of porta potties waiting to be hauled off to a mystery location, to truckloads of trash, all neatly recycled.  Hospitality tents, left over rally props; you name it, all stacked and ready to be stored until next time.

One banner stood out, with its bold letters and message: “GLOBAL CITIZEN 2015”.  It sent a bit of a chill down my spine, as that sounded a bit Orwellian. Yet I was encouraged by the fact that I still could see the Washington Monument and numerous American flags proudly flying in the distance.  A reminder that sanity was still around us. I took a photo, posted on Facebook and added the caption, “No, actually I’m a CITIZEN of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA”.

We are in a smaller world, more interconnected and all that, but I don’t want to have the United Nations start telling me how to take a shower or floss, what to dump and when. I’ll be careful, try not to waste and pollute, but please don’t try to shame me into global doublespeak and command/control behavior dictated by bureaucrats…

There was one beautiful benefit in my visit to the “remnants of Earth Day” however. My delay there, taking photos and using social media, created a surprise connection.   Realizing I was about out of time for my visit before needing to head to the airport, I decided to walk across the street to the World War II Memorial.

Just then, sirens and a mini motorcade… cops in front and back of a big bus. Inside were several World War II Veterans, most in their late 80s and into the 90s, many seeing the Memorial for the first and last time.   It was an HONOR FLIGHT group from New England. I stood, silently, watching them slowly get into wheelchairs, ready to pay tribute to the Greatest Generation.  I thanked as many I could before feeling emotionally overwhelmed.  A few other passersby did the same thing, though most people had no clue and paid them no respect. 

Thank God for those men, and their fellow soldiers. They laid it on the line for liberty, and our freedom to be Americans… including the right to free speech… or ignorance and disdain… or the ability to put on loopy displays of political correctness.