Captain Rick: I am pleased to announce that Thomas C. Patterson, past Arizona state legislator and guest journalist on Atridim News Journal since 2013, will present a series of reports on subjects of great importance to America and our world. The first in the series is about the Strategic Defense Initiative and the explosive situation in North Korea.  

I asked Tom why he is presenting his voice on ANJ. His reply: “I write it because I don’t want to be part of the generation that let liberty die out on our watch or at least I want to know that I did what I could to prevent it. I would like some of the good things about America to be there for my grand-children. I always love it when you carry my stuff. Let me know if I can be of further help in your efforts to promote the good and the true.”

ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL

Guest Commentary

by

Thomas C. Patterson

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ABOUT: Thomas C. Patterson is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Nebraska. He was elected to the Arizona State Senate in 1989, serving as minority leader from 1991 to 1992 and majority leader from 1993 to 1996. Patterson was the author of legislation creating Arizona’s charter school system and welfare reform program. Until 1998, he was a practicing physician and president of Emergency Physicians, Inc.. Patterson also served as president of the Arizona chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians. In 2000 he became chairman of the Goldwater Institute. In 2013 he became a guest journalist on Atridim News Journal. Thomas is a resident of Chandler, Arizona.

SDI: Defense against a Lunatic in N. Korea ? …
Does Trump have it backwards ?


Americans are finally finding out what it takes for the Left to support antimissile defense in a nuclearized world. The answer: an immediate existential danger from a crazed dictator with nothing to lose from terrorizing us.

Now we’re faced with a lunatic who has the capability of obliterating parts of our mainland, an achievement which has made him a player on the world stage. The current crisis has been predictable for a long time. As nuclear capability gradually became within the technical reach of rogue states and terrorists everywhere, our leaders studiously ignored the signs of danger.

The first antimissile defense was the Strategic Defense Initiative, conceptualized by President Reagan and ridiculed as "Star Wars" by his political adversaries. Even when it proved effective in halting the end of the Cold War, opponents still followed a strategy of repeatedly under funding and undermining the technology, then complaining about the lack of progress achieved.

Barack Obama was a prominent opposition leader, helping to stall the program and then as president pronouncing it “unproven”. He canceled previously negotiated antimissile installations in Poland and Czech Republic. Later he was caught on a hot mic telling a Soviet official that he would later be "flexible with Vladimir" with respect to missile defense.

We are now in a dangerously vulnerable situation. Experts say it would take up to three years to implement a system that would fully protect us from North Korea and eliminate China’s first-strike capability.

Still, our inability to protect ourselves wouldn’t be such a big deal now if not for the weak diplomatic efforts that failed to contain the North Korean menace. After North Korea first begin developing nuclear capability, President Clinton in 1994 struck a deal in which North Korea agreed to come clean and pursue only nonmilitary uses of nuclear power.

But the Commies negotiated harder and smarter than we did, preserving multiple loopholes and avoiding effective compliance checks. The treaty probably did more to facilitate North Korea’s missile program than to hobble it.

Unfortunately, George W. Bush did nothing to end the dithering and confront reality. Obama, for his part, raised appeasement to an art form around the world. He complained about wasting money "making some version of this Cold War daydream into reality" as one pundit put it. In the end, Obama finally had a change of heart when his truculence had put our country in obvious danger and only then authorized anti-missile bases in the West.

The lessons of history are clear. Diplomacy only succeeds when practiced from a position of strength. Appeasement doesn’t stop aggressors. When tyrants show you who they are, believe them. Unfortunately, our leaders have kicked the can down the road until there’s no more road, as Charles Krauthammer said.

Now that our mortal enemies have well-developed nuclear capabilities, our options are limited. Israeli forces in 1981 attacked the Iranian nuclear base Dosirak and were able to inflict telling damage but most observers agree that approach today would produce unacceptable consequences.

Russia and especially China, North Korea’s main patron and trading partner, should both be urged in the strongest terms to help convince North Korea to stand down. The hard truth is that a nuclear North Korea, hostile to the US, is in the strategic interests of both, so it’s unlikely we can win them over.

Teddy Roosevelt’s foreign-policy advice was to "speak softly and carry a big stick". President Trump seems to have it backwards, issuing bellicose threats, like he has so often, without seeming to realize that he must be willing and able to carry out the threats for them to have effect.

That leaves missile defense, the best of the bad options out there. We need to bear down and pour all the resources we can into this national emergency. Fortunately, missile-defense doesn’t have to be perfect to be effective as we found in the Cold War. Just the credible prospect of an anti-missile strike degrades the value of the enemy’s nuclear arsenal and greatly reduces the possibility of a first strike.

But we never would have come to this perilous point if our leaders had put America’s security interests above politics.

Tom’s previous reports in ANJ Guest Commentary

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Why did the U.S. Congress allow America to reach a point where America needs to be made great again?
An excellent report by a fellow WordPress blogger …

AHUELON NEWS JOURNAL

There have been many changes in Trump’s world. Some make sense to me and some do not. He has been fighting an uphill battle from the beginning. I think he thought his party would stand behind him after he won, but they have not. Here is a partial overview of what has happened and my reasons why I am still in Trump’s corner.

The first head to roll was Mike Flynn over reports that he may have had improper  Russian meetings. Derek Harvey, a middle east adviser, who was appointed by Flynn, made it for more than six months. Tera Daha, Deputy chief of staff and former writer for Breitbart, who was appointed by Flynn, left before serving six months. Ezra Chon-Walnick, Director for Intelligence, part of the National Security Council and appointed by Flynn, left after serving over six months. K. T. McFarland, Deputy National Adviser, and appointed by…

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Captain Rick: Harvey made landfall on Friday as a Category 4 hurricane and stalled out as a tropical storm over the coastal areas of Texas, just southwest of Houston.
It unleashed dangerously high winds and dumped catastrophic amounts of rain with a total of up to 50″ projected before it moves out of Texas on Wednesday.
Tropical Storm Harvey sent massive floods through the Houston area Sunday, chasing thousands to rooftops or higher ground and overwhelming rescuers. FEMA estimates 30,000 will seek safe haven in shelters.
Federal disaster declarations indicate the storm has so far affected about 6.8 million people.
About 50 Texas counties and parts of Louisiana will face serious repercussions from the “landmark event.”

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A look at Harvey by the numbers so far:

Track _____
Harvey, now spinning near Port O’Connor, Texas, was forecast to move back into the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, the National Hurricane Center said.
As it spins offshore, the storm is expected to dump an additional 15 to 25 inches of rain through Friday over the upper Texas coast and into southwestern Louisiana, exacerbating the life-threatening, catastrophic flooding in the Houston area.
It will meander over the Gulf for a couple of day, accumulating more moisture, before making a second landfall somewhere near the Texas/Louisiana border, likely on Wednesday, dumping record amounts of rain on the region during the almost week long catastrophic visit.

Rainfall _____
This month has officially been deemed the wettest on record for Houston, Texas. On Sunday, Houston established a new daily rainfall record with just over 16 inches. That’s twice the rainfall that Phoenix Arizona receives in a year.
Between Friday and Sunday, some areas along the Texas gulf coast received as much as 30 inches of rain. But the dangers are not over just yet. Weather services warn that before the storm clears out, some areas could cumulatively receive as many as 50 inches of rain. Continuing rainfall will worsen already grave flooding conditions.

Fatalities _____
At least 5 people have died as a result of Harvey. Rescue efforts are still ongoing and that number could increase over the coming days.

Rescue efforts _____
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said officers had rescued more than 2,000 people trapped by the overwhelming waters; another 185 rescue requests were still pending. The city also has grappled with 75,000 911 calls, and the system has backed up but never went down.
Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday activated the entire state National Guard, raising to 12,000 the number of guardsmen deployed to assist the search and rescue effort.
The Coast Guard, which said it already had conducted 300 air and 1,200 boat rescues, had 20 helicopters and more than 20 boat teams in the Houston area.
Rising water levels have made rescue efforts challenging. As many as 346 roads are closed due to high water.
More than 5,500 weary refugees of Tropical Storm Harvey’s fury sought refuge in the city’s George R. Brown Convention Center. More than a dozen smaller shelters have been opened across Harris County.
Local, state and federal officials warned that the human crisis in southeast Texas was just beginning. Harvey will drive 30,000 to shelters in Texas, FEMA says.

Rescue effort costs _____
While wind damage insurance claims alone could reach as high as $6 billion, flooding costs could be even larger.
FEMA already owes the U.S. Treasury more than $24 billion, which was provided for previous disaster relief efforts.

Disaster assistance _____
On Monday morning, FEMA Administrator Brock Long said more than 450,000 Texans will need disaster assistance relief in the wake of the storm.
President Donald Trump has approved a federal emergency disaster declaration, directing government aid toward the relief and recovery efforts. Under this declaration, the U.S. government will cover about 75% of some of the relief costs.
At least 15 states are sending first response teams to Texas.

Small business fate _____
The longer the recovery effort takes, the less likely it is the area’s small businesses will survive the economic damage. About 40% of small businesses won’t survive this type of natural disaster.

Gas prices _____
Because many of the United States’ oil refineries are located in Texas, outages have already caused gas prices to hit a 2-year high. Texas boasts a refining capacity of more than 5.6 million barrels per day, according to the EIA.
About 16% of that capacity has been taken out due to the storm. Some experts predict gas prices could rise by as much as 25 cents.

BREAKING UPDATES _____
For breaking updates on Harvey, view the comments for this post. Your comments are welcome.

 

Captain Rick: U.S. economic growth fell to a snail’s pace during Trump’s first quarter as president. GDP grew at an annualized rate of 0.7% in the first quarter of 2017, down from 2.1% growth in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The deceleration in real GDP in the first quarter was mostly a result of weak personal consumption due to lower auto sales and home-heating bills and a downturn in private inventory investment and in state and local government spending. An upturn in oil drilling and exports and accelerations in both nonresidential and residential fixed investment helped limit the overall GDP deceleration.

GDP Growth Rate in the United States averaged 3.21 percent from 1947 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 16.90 percent in the first quarter of 1950 and a record low of -10 percent in the first quarter of 1958.

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GDP…What is it?

‘GDP’ represents ‘Gross Domestic Product’…a market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a year. GDP performance (increases and decreases) present a broad-based picture of the health of a country’s economy. High GDP growth is typical of a healthy economy. Low GDP growth (below 3%) is typical of an unhealthy economy. Negative growth is typical of an economy in recession.

GDP Details for Q1 of 2017:

Personal consumption expenditure (PCE) contributed 0.23 percentage points to growth (2.40 percent in the previous quarter) and rose 0.3 percent (3.5 percent in the previous quarter). Spending fell for durable goods (-2.5 percent from 11.4 percent in Q4 2016) and slowed for both nondurable goods (1.5 percent from 3.3 percent) and services (0.4 percent from 2.4 percent).

Fixed investment added 0.69 percentage points to growth (1.47 percentage points in the previous quarter) and increased 4.3 percent, compared to a 9.4 percent expansion in the previous period. By contrast, private inventories subtracted 0.93 percentage points to growth, after contributing 1.01 percentage points in the previous period. Government spending and investment subtracted 0.30 percentage points to growth (0.03 percent in the previous period) and contracted 1.7 percent (0.2 percent in Q4).

Meanwhile, exports jumped 5.8 percent, reversing a 4.5 percent drop in the previous quarter and imports increased at a slower 4.1 percent (9 percent in Q4), bringing the impact from trade to 0.07 percent (-1.82 percent in the previous quarter).

Economy Update for second quarter of 2017: The US economy grew at an upgraded annual rate of 3.1 percent in the second quarter of 2017, the fastest pace in more than two years.

 

Captain Rick: President Trump made an ignorant choice when he recently attacked Shayrat air base in Syria with 59 Tomahawk E Cruise Missiles. He was obviously buckling to FAKE NEWS, the corrupted US Intelligence Machine and the warmongering minds of the U.S. Military. I am reblogging this outstanding journalism by fellow WordPresser Josep Goded. It presents a realistic view of the U.S. Strike on Syria that refutes the tons of FAKE NEWS that has been spread by Mainstream Media.

Josep Goded

On Thursday night, Donald Trump directed a strike against a Syrian military airbase, which targeted fighter planes, ammunition bunkers, radars, and petroleum storage. The Syrian regime said that the attack killed 7 soldiers and wounded 3.

In a brief press conference, Trump assured the American public that the strike was in retaliation for the last chemical attack against innocent civilians in Khan Sheikhoun in north-western Syria, which caused as many as 80 casualties, including many children.

Despite the fact that the UN could not reliably determine the accountability of the Syrian regime over the chemical attack, the U.S. government and the mainstream media launched a campaign to accuse them.

Ignoring the resolution of the UN, the NATO and other allies expressed their support for the strike and said that it was proportional. On the other hand, the Russian government condemned the attack and said that the U.S. is helping terrorists…

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Captain Rick: As I began to read this post from Marty, a fellow WordPress blogger, I wondered who is the ‘friend’ being written about? … but it did not take long before I knew Marty was talking about me. This story captivated me … gave me ‘goose bumps’ and even made me shed several tears of joy. Marty’s ‘words of kindness’ will forever be engraved in my heart as some of the best I have ever received. One never knows what will grow from the seeds that one plants along the road of life. A seed I planted for Marty has grown into a mighty tree. That tree will always be remembered as one of my best accomplishments in life. I am very humbled and grateful. Your friend, Captain Rick Atridim.

AHUELON NEWS JOURNAL

A friend’s guidance showed me my current purpose.  Purposes change over a lifetime. God sees the big picture of why we are here on earth, but we only see a chapter at a time as we amble through life.  I am going to tell a story about the past few years  that I faced, wondering what my new purpose would be and how my purpose was right under my nose.  It took a special friend to point me to it.friendship day

Over my seven plus decades I have faced many different chapters with many responsibilities. I grew up, married, had children, took care of a parent until her death, and became a widow.  Each chapter has its own story.  Becoming a widow had a surprising result.  I found I had no idea how to put myself on the front burner.  l felt lost.  I realized I needed to find a meaningful reason…

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Captain Rick: As the sun sets on my Arizona Oasis, it lights up with amazement. Red and blue rope lights surround the pool along with white pathway lights. Spot lights illuminate the fountain and numerous shrubs. Some of them reflect in the pool. At front is a desert spoon with yellow lantana to its right. Beyond it are mirrors on the block wall that reflect a glimpse into my house, which is also lit with vibrancy. There is no place in the world that is more serene to me.

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Click the photo to view full screen in 4K via Captain Rick’s Flickr site. Enjoy!