Thursday, March 14, 2013

Francis offers his second blessing as Pope to pregnant woman

Anchorage Sailors 'Tap Out' With Program Founder

Anchorage Sailors 'Tap Out' With Program Founder

By Mass Communication Specilist 1st Class Aramis X. Ramirez, Pre-Commissioning Unit Anchorage Public Affairs
PORT HUENEME, Calif. (NNS) -- Tapout XT program creator Mike Karpenko hosted a special physical training session with Sailors assigned to the Pre-Commissioning Unit Anchorage (LPD 23) on the ship's flight deck March 11.

Karpenko was joined by mixed martial arts champion Michael Chiesa, both of whom also held a question and answer session with Sailors to teach fundamentals on physical training, diet and nutrition.

More at: http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=72701

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New Pope Francis Called Abortion the "Death Penalty for the Unborn" | LifeNews.com

New Pope Francis Called Abortion the "Death Penalty for the Unborn" | LifeNews.com

New Pope greets the World Francis I

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio Becomes Pope Francis to Lead Catholics | LifeNews.com

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio Becomes Pope Francis to Lead Catholics | LifeNews.com

'Habemus Papam': Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio is the new Pope of the Catholic Church

White Smoke! Pope has been elected

Change: 59% no longer believe the American dream is possible...

Change: 59% no longer believe the American dream is possible...

Talks on with Russia for second nuclear submarine on lease - The Hindu

Talks on with Russia for second nuclear submarine on lease - The Hindu

Ayn Rand's 'Atlas' shrugs for third time - Patrick Gavin - POLITICO.com

Ayn Rand's 'Atlas' shrugs for third time - Patrick Gavin - POLITICO.com

USS Freedom Ports in Pearl Harbor

MacIver Institute: Two Years Later, Scott Walker's New Crusade is Entitlement Reform

Business Insider: Despite High-Tech Sensors, F-35 Pilots Still Need To Look Over Their Shoulder


26th MEU Embarks USS Carter Hall for Deployment

26th MEU Embarks USS Carter Hall for Deployment

Navy Identifies Three Officers Killed in EA-6B Crash in Eastern Washington

Navy Identifies Three Officers Killed in EA-6B Crash in Eastern Washington

Wisconsin Educrats Encourage Students To Wear "White Privilege" Wristbands - 620 WTMJ - Milwaukee's Source for Local News and Weather

Wisconsin Educrats Encourage Students To Wear "White Privilege" Wristbands - 620 WTMJ - Milwaukee's Source for Local News and Weather

Twinkies Will Return After Sale to Buyout Firm

Twinkies Will Return After Sale to Buyout Firm: ABC News’ Aaron Katersky reports: Buyout firms Apollo Global Management, LLC and Metropoulos & Co. have agreed to purchase the Hostess and Dolly Madison cake brands, including Twinkies.  The iconic snacks have been off the market since Hostess closed its plants in November and declared...

Founding Fathers Quote

Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm.

James Madison

Obama's Death Drone Dodge

Obama's Death Drone Dodge

Rand Paul on The Peter Schiff Show



h/t: Eduardo89rp

Round 2: Still no Pope. Black Smoke comes out of Sistine Chapel

Black smoke ushers patience, mixed feeling at St. Peter's Square

Pope's attire robed in history and tradition

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Peleliu Awarded Battle "E" for 2012

Peleliu Awarded Battle "E" for 2012

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jasmine Sheard, USS Peleliu Public Affairs
USS PELELIU, At Sea (NNS) -- The amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) received the Battle Efficiency Award, March 8.

Commander, Naval Surface Force Pacific announced via naval message the award of the Calendar Year 2012 Battle "E" and Command Excellence Awards for Pacific Fleet. Peleliu competed with amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47) and amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20), both part of the Amphibious Ready Group (ARG). Only a single ship per squadron may be nominated for this award.

A ship achieves the Battle "E" for sustained superior performance in an operational environment throughout a 12-month cycle in mission areas of maritime warfare, engineering/survivability; command, control, communications and information warfare, logistics management, and ship safety.
 
 
More at: http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=72676

San Antonio Receives Second "Battle E"

San Antonio Receives Second "Battle E"

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Lacordrick Wilson
NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The crew of the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17) received the Battle Efficiency, or Battle "E" award, March 7.

The Battle "E" award is a tribute to the ship's overall readiness and was determined by a yearlong evaluation of San Antonio's accomplishments during training exercises and various command inspections.

The San Antonio was nominated by Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) Four and has received the Battle "E" two years in a row while under the leadership of commanding officer Cmdr. Neil Koprowski.

More at: http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=72681

Navy's First Littoral Combat Ship Visits Pearl Harbor | Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet

Navy's First Littoral Combat Ship Visits Pearl Harbor | Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet

Albuquerque Visits Thailand During Western Pacific Deployment | Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet

Albuquerque Visits Thailand During Western Pacific Deployment | Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet

Action Alert: Tennessee 2nd Amendment Preservation Bill Moving to Committee Tomorrow! – Tenth Amendment Center Blog

Action Alert: Tennessee 2nd Amendment Preservation Bill Moving to Committee Tomorrow! – Tenth Amendment Center Blog

Pope not yet elected: Black Smoke comes out of Sistine Chapel

RIA Novosti: Russian Navy to Receive 24 Subs, 54 Warships by 2020

RIA NovostiBorey class submarine Russian Navy to Receive 24 Subs, 54 Warships by 2020
18:31 11/03/2013 The Russian Navy will receive 24 submarines and 54 warships of various classes by 2020, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Monday.>>

STRATFOR: North Korea's Newest Threat

ReasonTV: How To Save America's Zoos: Privatize Them

'Four trucks filled with bodies' after Reynosa firefight - The Monitor: Local News

'Four trucks filled with bodies' after Reynosa firefight - The Monitor: Local News

Less Than 3 in 10 Americans Trust Government

Less Than 3 in 10 Americans Trust Government

The Only Budget Numbers Worth Talking About are 3.5, 3.6, and 3.9

The Only Budget Numbers Worth Talking About are 3.5, 3.6, and 3.9

Conclave begins behind closed doors, as the famous 'Extra Omnes' phrase is announced

STRATFOR: Considering a Departure in North Korea's Strategy

"Considering a Departure in North Korea's Strategy is republished with permission of Stratfor."

By George Friedman
Founder and Chairman

On Jan. 29, I wrote a piece that described North Korea's strategy as a combination of ferocious, weak and crazy. In the weeks since then, three events have exemplified each facet of that strategy. Pyongyang showed its ferocity Feb. 12, when it detonated a nuclear device underground. The country's only significant ally, China, voted against Pyongyang in the U.N. Security Council on March 7, demonstrating North Korea's weakness. Finally, Pyongyang announced it would suspend the armistice that ended the Korean War in 1953, implying that that war would resume and that U.S. cities would be turned into "seas of fire." To me, that fulfills the crazy element.

My argument was that the three tenets -- ferocity, weakness and insanity -- form a coherent strategy. North Korea's primary goal is regime preservation. Demonstrating ferocity -- appearing to be close to being nuclear capable -- makes other countries cautious. Weakness, such as being completely isolated from the world generally and from China particularly, prevents other countries from taking drastic action if they believe North Korea will soon fall. The pretense of insanity -- threatening to attack the United States, for example -- makes North Korea appear completely unpredictable, forcing everyone to be cautious. The three work together to limit the actions of other nations.

Untested Assumptions


So far, North Korea is acting well within the parameters of this strategy. It has detonated nuclear devices before. It has appeared to disgust China before, and it has threatened to suspend the cease-fire. Even more severe past actions, such as sinking a South Korean ship in 2010, were not altogether inconsistent with its strategy. As provocative as that incident was, it did not change the strategic balance in any meaningful way.

Normally North Korea has a reason for instigating such a crisis. One reason for the current provocation is that it has a new leader, Kim Jong Un. The son of former leader Kim Jong Il and the grandson of North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Un is only 30 years old, and many outside North Korea doubt his ability to lead (many inside North Korea may doubt his ability, too). One way to announce his presence with authority is to orchestrate an international crisis that draws the United States, Japan, China, Russia and South Korea into negotiations with North Korea -- especially negotiations that Pyongyang can walk away from.

The North Korean regime understands the limits of its strategy and has been very sure-footed in exercising it. Moreover, despite the fact that a 30-year-old formally rules the country, the regime is a complex collection of institutions and individuals -- the ruling party and the military -- that presumably has the ability to shape and control the leader's behavior.

It follows that little will change. U.S. analysts of North Korea will emphasize the potential ferocity and the need for extreme vigilance. The Chinese will understand that the North Koreans are weak and will signal, as their foreign minister did March 9, that in spite of their vote at the United Nations, they remain committed to North Korea's survival. And most people will disregard Pyongyang's threat to resume the Korean War.

Indeed, resuming the Korean War probably is not something that anyone really wants. But because there are some analysts who think that such a resumption is plausible, I think it is worth considering the possibility that Pyongyang does want to restart the war. It is always worth examining an analysis based on the assumption that a given framework will not hold. For the record, I think the framework will hold, but I am simply examining the following hypothetical: This time, North Korea is serious.
To assess Pyongyang's sincerity, let's begin with two untested assumptions. First, assume North Korea has determined that it is unable to develop a deliverable nuclear weapon within a meaningful time frame. Either there are problems with constructing the device or its missiles are unreliable. Alternatively, assume it has decided that any further development of weapons will likely lead to attacks by the United States against its nuclear facilities. In other words, assume it expects to lose its nuclear capability because it cannot move forward or because moving forward will invite attacks against nuclear facilities.

The second assumption, more likely accurate, is that North Korea has realized that the strategy it has followed since the 1990s is no longer working. The strategy has lost its effectiveness, and North Korean ferocity, weakness and insanity no longer impress anyone. Rather than generating financial and other concessions, the strategy has simply marginalized North Korea, so that apart from sanctions, there will be no talks, no frightened neighbors, no U.S. threats. Kim Jong Un would not announce himself with authority, but with a whimper.

An Unlikely Scenario


Taken together, these assumptions constitute a threat to regime survival. Unless its neighbors bought into the three premises of its strategy, North Korea could be susceptible to covert or overt foreign involvement, which would put the regime on the defensive and reveal its weakness. For the regime, this would be a direct threat, one that would require pre-emptive action.

It would be a worst-case scenario for Pyongyang. We consider it highly unlikely. But assume North Korea deems it more likely than we do, or assume that, despite the scenario's improbability, the consequences would be so devastating that the risk could not be borne.

It is a scenario that could take form if the North Korean nuclear threat were no longer effective in establishing the country's ferocity. It would also take form if North Korea's occasional and incomprehensible attacks were no longer unpredictable and thus were no longer effective in establishing the country's insanity. In this scenario, Pyongyang would have to re-establish credibility and unpredictability by taking concrete steps.

These concrete steps would represent a dramatic departure from the framework under which North Korea has long operated. They would obviously involve demands for a cease-fire from all players. There would have to be a cease-fire before major force could be brought to bear on North Korea. Last, they would have to involve the assumption that the United States would at least take the opportunity to bomb North Korean nuclear facilities -- which is why the assumptions on its nuclear capability are critical for this to work. Airstrikes against other targets in North Korea would be likely. Therefore, the key would be an action so severe that everyone would accept a rapid cease-fire and would limit counteraction against North Korea to targets that the North Koreans were prepared to sacrifice.

The obvious move by North Korea would be the one that has been historically regarded as the likeliest scenario: massive artillery fire on Seoul, the capital of South Korea. The assumption has always been that over a longer period of time, U.S. air power would devastate North Korean artillery. But Seoul would meanwhile be damaged severely, something South Korea would not tolerate. Therefore, North Korea would bet that South Korea would demand a cease-fire, thereby bringing the United States along in its demand, before U.S. airstrikes could inflict overwhelming damage on North Korea and silence its guns. This would take a few days.

Under this scenario, North Korea would be in a position to demand compensation that South Korea would be willing to pay in order to save its capital. It could rely on South Korea to restrain further retaliations by the United States, and China would be prepared to negotiate another armistice. North Korea would have re-established its credibility, redefined the terms of the North-South relationship and, perhaps having lost its dubious nuclear deterrent, gained a significant conventional deterrent that no one thought it would ever use.

I think the risks are too great for this scenario to play out. The North would have to assume that its plans were unknown by Western intelligence agencies. It would also have to assume that South Korea would rather risk severe damage to its capital as it dealt with North Korea once and for all than continue to live under the constant North Korean threat. Moreover, North Korea's artillery could prove ineffective, and it risks entering a war it couldn't win, resulting in total isolation.

The scenario laid out is therefore a consideration of what it might mean if the North Koreans were actually wild gamblers, rather than the careful manipulators they have been since 1991. It assumes that the new leader is able to override older and more cautious heads and that he would see this as serving both a strategic and domestic purpose. It would entail North Korea risking it all, and for that to happen, Pyongyang would have to believe that everything was already at risk. Because Pyongyang doesn't believe that, I think this scenario is unlikely.

It is, however, a necessary exercise for an analyst to find fault with his analysis by identifying alternative assumptions that lead to very different outcomes. At Stratfor, we normally keep those in-house, but in this case it appeared useful to think out loud, as it were.
We'd welcome well-thought-out alternatives. With so many emails, we can't promise to answer them all, but we make it a practice to read them all.


Read more: Considering a Departure in North Korea's Strategy | Stratfor

Rand Paul: Time To Bring Troops Home, Cut Foreign Aid, And Fix Entitlements - CNN



h/t: Eduardo89rp

Quebec woman fined $144 for arranging Catholic Mass in rented building acquitted | LifeSiteNews.com

Quebec woman fined $144 for arranging Catholic Mass in rented building acquitted | LifeSiteNews.com

FIRE Press Release - Victory: Ohio College Settles First Amendment Lawsuit, Scraps Speech Code

Victory: Ohio College Settles First Amendment Lawsuit, Scraps Speech Code


After censoring a “Stand Up for Religious Freedom” rally held to oppose federal government mandates regarding abortion and contraception, Ohio’s Sinclair Community College (SCC) has settled a First Amendment lawsuit by revising an unconstitutional speech code that prohibited students and visitors from holding signs on campus. The plaintiffs’ attorneys confirmed this week that the terms of the settlement have been accepted by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

Sincerely,
Robert Shibley, Senior Vice President
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)
170 S. Independence Mall W.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Ph: 215-717-3473 Fax: 215-717-3440


Divider

Victory: Ohio College Settles First Amendment Lawsuit, Scraps Speech Code


http://cts.vresp.com/c/?FIRE/aa06cf4019/ee9ead8bc6/f59d795869

DAYTON, Ohio, March 12, 2013—Ohio’s Sinclair Community College (SCC) has settled a First Amendment lawsuit by revising an unconstitutional speech code that prohibited students and visitors from holding signs on campus. The plaintiffs’ attorneys confirmed this week that the terms of the settlement have been accepted by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

The lawsuit, filed last July on behalf of students Ruth Deddens and Ethel Borel-Donohue and invited speaker Bryan Kemper, director of youth outreach for Priests for Life, was prompted by SCC’s brazen violation of the First Amendment at a campus religious freedom rally held on June 8, 2012. At the rally, police officers forced event attendees and participants to put away their handheld signs communicating the protesters’ message, citing the college’s speech code.

Incredibly, SCC President Steven Lee Johnson told the Dayton Daily News that the ban on signs was necessary because of “safety and security” concerns. Invoking the tragic Virginia Tech shootings in 2007, Johnson said that banning signs was justified because signs could be used as weapons, telling the Daily News that the restriction “has nothing to do with what was printed on those objects, but what those objects could be used for.”

Under the revised Campus Access Policy adopted by SCC in the wake of the lawsuit, “any person or group may use, without prior notification, any publicly accessible outdoor area” (with some exceptions) for the purposes of “speaking, non-verbal expressive conduct, the distribution of literature, displaying signage, and circulating petitions.”

“This settlement should send a clear message to colleges in Ohio and across the nation that unconstitutional speech codes aren’t worth defending,” said Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which came to the students’ defense. “It’s outrageous to use the shooting at Virginia Tech to justify a blanket ban on holding signs at protests on a public campus. A ban on signs is an insult to our liberties and has no value in preventing violence on campus.”

On June 8, 2012, SCC’s Traditional Values Club (TVC) hosted a “Stand Up for Religious Freedom” rally on the SCC campus, one of more than 160 such rallies held on that day nationwide to oppose federal government mandates regarding abortion and contraception. Despite SCC’s clear obligation to uphold the First Amendment on campus, police ordered participants and attendees to put signs supporting the event on the ground, out of view. The censorship was documented with photo and video evidence.

Such censorship had apparently been taking place at SCC for more than 20 years. According to The Clarion (PDF), SCC’s campus newspaper, campus police had enforced a policy against signs at SCC since 1990, justifying this censorship through an extremely broad reading of the college’s Campus Access Policy.

FIRE wrote to President Johnson on June 15, 2012, asking SCC to disavow the censorship of TVC’s event by the SCC police and to promise never to enforce such a ban against signs in the future. SCC’s response was to ask for more time to make a decision and then to reiterate its policy.

After discussions with FIRE and the Thomas More Society, the plaintiffs filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio with the assistance of Ohio attorneys Curt C. Hartman, Christopher P. Finney, and Bradley M. Gibson. The suit alleged that SCC, its Board of Trustees, President Johnson, and SCC’s police department maintained and enforced policies that restricted expressive activity at SCC (particularly spontaneous student speech in response to recent or unfolding events), gave unfettered discretion to administrators and the police to restrict student speech, and threatened students with disciplinary or criminal charges for exercising their First Amendment rights.

“It’s hard to believe that for 20 years, Sinclair Community College had been enforcing an absurd ban on holding signs at protests,” said Robert Shibley, FIRE’s senior vice president. “We’re glad that Sinclair Community College and the State of Ohio realized that continuing to defend a ban on signs would not just fly in the face of the First Amendment, but would also be a profound waste of taxpayer money.”

FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals from across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, due process, freedom of expression, academic freedom, and rights of conscience at our nation’s colleges and universities. FIRE’s efforts to preserve liberty on campuses across America are described at thefire.org.

CONTACT:
Robert Shibley, Senior Vice President, FIRE: 215-717-3473; robert@thefire.org

Navy EA-6B Crash Kills Three in Washington State; USS Laboon Returns Home from Deployment

The Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group Deploys

Cardinal electors celebrate 'Pre Conclave' Mass

Saints of the Conclave

Idaho House Approves 2nd Amendment Preservation Act, 55-13 – Tenth Amendment Center Blog

Idaho House Approves 2nd Amendment Preservation Act, 55-13 – Tenth Amendment Center Blog

USS Underwood Decommissioned at Naval Station Mayport

Monday, March 11, 2013

A bill advances that gets New Mexico closer to year-round school

A bill advances that gets New Mexico closer to year-round school

DR:

Another bad idea that seems to be popular.  Students do not need to be stuck in government-run schools all year.  Many countries who score well above the US, like Finland, requires students to spend less time in school each day.

"...Finnish teachers work less than 600 hours a year, compared to the 1,000-plus hours U.S. teachers expend."

The problem with American schools is not the amount of time children spend in school, but the quality of the education they receive.  Our education system is too top heavy.  The federal government needs to be removed from the system, as well as the states.  Local should always have the only say.  Schools should not be used as baby sitters or indoctrination tools for a socialist, secular agenda.

I attended both public school and was home schooled and I can tell you that children can learn everything they need in a three or four hour period of time and outscore their public school counterparts who are there for six to seven hours a day.

Gary Johnson announces college speaking tour starting in April

Gary Johnson announces college speaking tour starting in April

STRATFOR: Japan's Geographic Challenge