Posts Tagged ‘ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL’

Fellow WordPress blogger Ahuelon wrote an excellent report about ‘Freedom of Speech’ as it relates to Facebook groups such as Captain Rick Atridim’s ‘World Think Tank’ and ‘Chandler-Gilbert Think Tank’.

Ahuelon, an awarded member of both tanks says “One of the reasons I wrote this blog is because I belief that people in the world are in dire need of learning how to communicate without shouting. When shouting begins fruitful sharing of ideas goes down the drain. The world needs to hear about this brilliant model you have devised. Maybe other groups will read about it and give it a try. Thank you for thinking my story is worth sharing with your audience, and I thank you in advance for this honor.”

Captain Rick Atridim proudly presents this reblog of a masterpiece of journalism by Ahuelon …

There was an error during reblog which created huge text. 
CLICK THIS LINK to VIEW ORIGINAL POST

AHUELON NEWS JOURNAL

I belong to two Think Tanks that work in tandem. I think they are both great models for how free speech can and should work. The tanks were created by a man who had a brilliant vision that is spelled out in headers in both tanks. The one featured here is called Chandler-Gilbert Think Tank, or CGTT for short. The second can be found by searching World Think Tank. Both are on Facebook. I will touch on a recent member’s complaint, that his free speech was being stomped on, and my response to this member and the group.


HERE IS A DESCRIPTION AND GUIDELINES FOR THE TANK
The Chandler-Gilbert Think Tank celebrates 2 Years of Thinking Excellence

IMPORTANT: Current and prospective members should read this notice in its entirety …

The Chandler-Gilbert Think Tank was created by Captain Rick on 9/13/15 to become a quality public group of concerned citizens…

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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

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 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!

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held more than two hours of frank conversation Wednesday in the Kremlin amid tensions over a U.S. airstrike against a Syria air base blamed for last week’s deadly chemical attack. The unscheduled talks between Putin and the secretary came as Moscow warned against the U.S. repeating its missile strike on a Syrian air base.

Putin   Tillerson

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at left … Russian President Vladimir Putin right

In an interview broadcast Wednesday before the meeting with Tillerson, Putin said relations with the U.S. have worsened in the first few months of Trump’s presidency.

“It can be said that the level of trust at the working level, especially at the military level, has not become better but most likely has degraded,” he told state broadcaster Mir TV.

Putin also charged that the U.S. broke international law by striking the air base without providing evidence that the Syrian government used chemical weapons.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met

The meeting lasted for almost two hours to see if they could rescue relations between the world’s mightiest military powers. Russia’s alleged meddling in the U.S. presidential election also hovered over the first face-to-face encounter between Putin and a Trump administration Cabinet member.

It was not the first meeting between the two men. Tillerson, as CEO of ExxonMobil, forged a close relationship with the Russian leader over business dealings in the past. In 2013, Putin personally awarded Tillerson the Russian Order of Friendship when the two met to negotiate ExxonMobil’s $50 billion deal for Russian oil and gas rights.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov  and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met and spoke to the press after the Putin-Tillerson meeting

Tillerson and Lavrov spoke to the press after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in an extended display of US-Russian disagreements over the chemical attack that left more than 80 dead; the role of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country’s future; US actions in the Middle East; and Russian involvement in the US election.

Still, the two diplomats hinted that they could find common ground on this issue. Tillerson said that the US wouldn’t dictate how Assad’s departure takes place, saying, "We leave that to the process going forward," and added that it’s important his departure "is done in an orderly way" and that it will "take a pace of its own."

Lavrov, meanwhile, said that Russia is "not staking everything on a personality … we are simply insisting that everybody sits around the table and talks about it."

Lavrov also announced that Putin has agreed to reinstate a military "deconfliction" channel to ensure there are no unintended clashes in the skies above Syria. And Tillerson said that the two sides had agreed to establish a working group that would address smaller frictions and aim to make progress on larger differences.

The news conference came after Lavrov issued a warning to Tillerson Wednesday against any further US strikes on the Syrian regime. Russia is Syria’s most powerful ally.

Russia has rejected the US conclusion that Damascus was responsible for last week’s chemical attack, which killed 89 people and prompted the US to carry out its first strike against the Syrian regime in the six-year conflict, taking out aircraft and infrastructure at a Syrian military air base.

"The facts we have are conclusive" that the attack was planned and carried by Syrian government forces, Tillerson said, adding that the US was "quite confident of that" and describing it as "just the latest in a series of uses of chemical weapons by the Assad regime."

Lavrov countered, "It is perfectly obvious the subject is one we diverge on." He floated an alternate theory that "some of these stockpiles are being controlled by extremists," and added, "Russia is insisting on an objective investigation" and will protest if it does not take place.

Tillerson said he told the Russian leader that current relations between the two countries are at a "low point" … "There is a low level of trust between our two countries" … "The world’s two foremost nuclear owners cannot have this kind of relationship."

Lavrov said that the U.S. and Russia have agreed on the need for a United Nations probe of the Syrian chemical attack … an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the chemical attack and the U.S. response to "try and identify the culprits" … a step that could dial down the rhetoric between the two nations for now.

The two sides expressed their agreement over the need to defeat the Islamic State in the region. Lavrov said defeating the terrorist group is a more important priority than Assad remaining in power. Lavrov also that Putin could restore a military hotline with the U.S. if Washington focuses on fighting the Islamic State and other extremist groups.

Both officials addressed the question of allegations of Russian interference in the U.S. elections. Tillerson said there was no talk of additional sanctions in the wake of U.S. charges over the issue, but noted that it was an issue raised by Congress. "We are mindful of the seriousness of that particular interference in our elections and I am sure that Russia is mindful of it as well." Lavrov, echoing past denials of any Russian hacking or other interference in the electoral process, said Moscow hasn’t seen “a single fact, or even a hint at facts” proving the U.S. allegations of Russian interference.