Category Archives: Current Events

Loose Lips Sink Ships

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Grassley questions whether Clinton attorney had clearance for thumb drives

Official: More than 300 Clinton emails flagged for potentially classified info

Just how potentially serious is such a security breach?

The invasion of France at Normandy was the largest such landing in history and cost the lives of many thousands of allied soldiers. The landing was shrouded in much secrecy including deception to make the German defenders think that the landing would be elsewhere.

Had the landing plans been compromised,  it is likely the landing would have failed with many more lives lost and the course of the war would have changed dramatically, including the likelihood that all of German occupied Europe would have been lost to a Communist Soviet Union victory.

And the brave Seal Team 6 who went after Osama bin Laden – had this operation been compromised by loose lips, in all likelihood the entire team would have been wiped out and a significant victory handed to an Islamic enemy.


The Hillary Clinton security case needs to be aggressively investigated  and prosecuted. The full force of the law needs to be applied, including indictment, trial and  imprisonment, including life without parole.

The fact that she is a former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State, and now the leading Democratic candidate for President should not in any way diminish an aggressive prosecution of this case —  on the contrary, because of her extensive resume, all diligence should be applied to prevent such an individual from attaining the highest office in the land, and leader of the free world.

The Democratic Party should immediately disavow her as a candidate and the press should aggressively press for an aggressive prosecution of this case.

This is NOT a political issue – lives are potentially at risk because of such behavior.

Don Johnson – August 2015

Irresponsible Choices: Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell

Irresponsible Choices – Thomas Sowell – Page full

The latest Gallup poll indicates that 14 percent of the people “moderately disapprove” of Barack Obama’s performance as president and 39 percent “strongly disapprove.”

Since Obama won two presidential elections, chances are that some of those who now “strongly disapprove” of what he has done voted to put him in office. We all make mistakes, but the real question is whether we learn from them.

With many people now acting as if it is time for “a woman” to become president, apparently they have learned absolutely nothing from the disastrous results of the irresponsible self-indulgence of choosing a President of the United States on the basis of demographic characteristics, instead of individual qualifications.

It would not matter to me if the next five presidents in a row were all women, if these happened to be the best individuals available at the time. But to say that we should now elect “a woman” president in 2016 is to say that we are willfully blind to the dangers of putting life and death decisions in the hands of someone chosen for symbolic reasons.

If we were to choose just “a woman” as our next president, would that mean that any criticism of that president would be considered to be a sign of being against women?

No public official should be considered to be above criticism — and the higher up that official is, the more important it is to hold his or her feet to the fire when it comes to carrying out duties involving the life and death of individuals and the fate of the nation.

We have not yet had a Jewish president. If and when we do, does that mean that any criticism of that individual should be stigmatized and dismissed as anti-Semitism? What of our first Italian American president, our first Asian American president?

Human beings of every background are imperfect creatures. When they are in a position high enough for their imperfections to bring disasters to more than 300 million Americans, the last thing we need is to stifle criticism of what they do.

It is by no means guaranteed that this country will survive the long-run consequences of the disastrous decisions already made by Barack Obama, especially his pretense of stopping Iran’s becoming a nuclear power. Obama may no longer be in office when those chickens come home to roost.

If we wake up some morning and find some American city in radioactive ruins, will we connect the dots and see this as a consequence of voting to elect an unknown and untried man, for the sake of racial symbolism?

Among those who look around for someone to blame, how many will look in the mirror?

Presidents already have too much insulation from criticism — and from reality.

When President Calvin Coolidge caught everyone by surprise in 1928, by announcing that he would not run for reelection, despite a prosperous economy and his own personal popularity, he simply said, “I do not choose to run.” Coolidge was a man of very few words, despite his knowledge of multiple languages. Someone once said that Coolidge could be silent in five different languages.

But, when he later wrote a small autobiography, Coolidge explained the inherent dangers in the office of President of the United States, especially when one person remains in the White House too long.

“It is difficult for men in high office to avoid the malady of self-delusion. They are always surrounded by worshippers. They are constantly, and for the most part sincerely, assured of their greatness.

“They live in an artificial atmosphere of adulation and exaltation which sooner or later impairs their judgment. They are in grave danger of becoming careless and arrogant.”

Of presidents who served eight years in office, he said, “in almost every instance” the last years of their terms show little “constructive accomplishments” and those years are often “clouded with grave disappointments.”

Another president chosen for demographic representation (whether by race, sex or whatever), and further insulated from criticism and from reality, is the last thing we need.

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I am currently reading The Coldest Winter by David Halberstam. The book devotes a great deal of space to General Douglas MacArthur, and very little of it complimentary, and much seems to align with what Calvin Coolidge had to say in the above quoted segment:

“It is difficult for men in high office to avoid the malady of self-delusion. They are always surrounded by worshippers. They are constantly, and for the most part sincerely, assured of their greatness.

“They live in an artificial atmosphere of adulation and exaltation which sooner or later impairs their judgment. They are in grave danger of becoming careless and arrogant.”

There may be another side to the MacArthur story, a side more favorable to the general. But the picture Halbertson paints is of a man out of control and in dangerously independent charge of a very powerful American military in Asia. That Truman eventually fired him seems in retrospect, and again through the lens of Halbertson, fully justified and indeed long overdo. If this picture of the general is accurate, then what we had was a very dangerous and a very bad man.

The advice of Calvin Coolidge as relayed through Thomas Sowell is advise that the American people would be wise to heed. We don’t need to elect yet another president  based on a persons outward characteristics. We need to elect a leader, to paraphrase Martin Luther King Jr., based on the content of his/her character and not on his/her race or gender.

Don Johnson – Sept 2014

Adm. McRaven Urges Graduates to Find Courage to Change the World

I’ve been making our bed every morning ever since this Seal Team Admiral told UT graduates they should do this.

The strange thing is that I actually started making our bed every morning … several weeks before the Admiral’s speech  … strange, but I like it.

Was Iraq Worth It? A Marine’s Answer

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The Marine’s (a combat veteran from Iraq) answer was  … “It was worth it.”

I wish I could reproduce his full Opinion piece from the Wall Street Journal, but it’s behind a pay wall if you want to read it in full, or alternatively purchase a copy of  the paper or read it at a local library. In any case, here is the on line link: 
Brian M. Welke: Was Iraq Worth It? It Was for Me – WSJ

Mr. Welke’s story resonates with me and is why I still have the picture of the young lady seen above as the background picture on my computer.  I don’t remember if she is Iraqi or Afghani, but she is the reason I tell veterans and active duty Marines, soldiers, sailors and airman, whenever I get the chance, that they have the best job in the world.    Why?

Because they have had the unique opportunity to bring liberty and opportunity, or at least the hope of same,  to the lives of many  because of their sacrifice and service on behalf of others.

I will try to bring some of Mr. Welke’s thoughts here, and then try to tie his experience to some of what I have written previously, but I would encourage you to read Welke’s account in full as from one who was there … in the arena.

“A sacrifice’s worth is not determined by outcomes.”

Speaking to the question of was it worth it …
”A far more painful question, asked of one’s self, is: What if I hadn’t tried?”

“It was in the sands of Ramadi that I learned most people want to be masters of their own fate.”

“How many nations in the course of human events have sacrificed so much to give an unfree people a shot at self-determination?  … Did Caesar conquer Gaul and then say, “Now its your turn to govern yourself.” No other country in history has defeated its enemies only to hand over the reins of government to its native population.”

I see Welke’s missive as yet another example of American Exceptionalism as I have written about here, and here, and here.

As I was reading Mr. Welke’s piece my mind immediately traveled to 1975 and the Navy Destroyer USS Kirk. I have highlighted this episode in my book I Didn’t Want to Worry You Mom … but a much fuller rendering of that great episode of American Exceptionalism is captured  at:

 The Lucky Few, The Story of the USS Kirk

and

The USS Kirk: Valor At The Vietnam War’s End : NPR

I conclude by adding to Mr. Welke’s oh-so-true statement “No other country in history has defeated its enemies only to hand over the reins of government to its native population”   … the  nations of Western Europe, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, South Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan   … and the southern states of the Confederacy following the Civil war.

 

Don Johnson – August 2014

Mosul’s Christians recount flight from historic home under ISIS threat

A sad but predictable fate is swallowing up small minorities in  Iraq.

Mosul’s Christians recount flight from historic home under ISIS threat

“We heard the gunshots outside our door, and knew the terrorists were killing Christians,” Aziz said in a raspy whisper. “But we hoped someone might rescue us. We cowered inside for two days, then knew we had to leave. We gathered some clothes and left at night.”

“There were Christians everywhere we went. In every garden, and in every door way, there are just so many with nothing and with nowhere to go.”  – Munira Aziz, 74

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I wrote about this in February 2011 and revisited the topic  last year in August 2013.

History Shows That a Power Vacuum Will Always be Filled

And before that:  the vacuum left in South Vietnam in 1975  after the withdrawal of American forces and the cut off of self defense funds for South Vietnam … and the human carnage left behind by the Communist North,  filling that vacuum and spilling over into the Pol Pot carnage imposed on Cambodia:

  The Real Heroes of Vietnam

Can we expect repeats in  Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt and Israel?

Iraq and Vietnam … and Afghanistan … and Pakistan … and … and …

So what to do about it?

That’s both an individual and national question … perhaps the answer at the individual level is to stay engaged and try to help these people as individuals in ways that you can … that may be through various organizations such as The Voice of the Martyrs or Samaritan’s Purse or others.

At the national level it’s a difficult matter of somehow making our national leaders accountable and responsible to living up to our commitments and not abandoning those who have put their trust in America.

Don Johnson – August 2014

Are Google and NSA Becoming Just a Bit too Personal?

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This is what shows up when we enter our home address into Google Maps and then look at Street View.

Yes, that’s Diana & I sitting on our front porch minding our own business.

I know I’m paranoid, but this just adds to it. I think I’ll switch over to schizophrenia and let the other guy depress and fret over this.

Don Johnson – August 2014

Left To Tell: A Book

Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza is an amazing story of a young woman who survived the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Believe it or not, this woman was hidden for three months along with 7 other starving women and girls in the bathroom of a Christian pastor while gangs of killers constantly lurked around searching for new victims. A difficult and often  gruesome story, but one that shows the power of the human spirit in the face of incredible suffering. A story of a woman’s faith in God, and the power of God’s grace and and a woman willing to forgive those who had murdered her family.

So how does such madness happen? Why do people, and large numbers of them, succumb to such brutal savagery and mass murder? And are we exempt from such behavior?

I choose to examine these questions in the context of our own nation’s current political climate.  Perhaps the Rwanda story can offer some telling truths:

  • The  Rwandan genocide killed an estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 Rwandan Tutsis at the hands of Rwandan Hutus.
  • The genocide was caused by hatred of one group for another.
  • The genocide was caused by bigotry.
  • The genocide was caused by a stirring up of hatred and fear at the highest levels.
  •  The genocide was caused by ignorance.
  • The genocide was caused by tribal intolerance.
  • The genocide was caused by the lack of respect for the dignity and rights of others.
  • The genocide was caused by the will to power.
  • The genocide was one of a series (and by far the worst) of wars between Hutus and Tutsis.
  • The genocide was supported and coordinated by the national government as well as by local military and civil officials and mass media.
  • The genocide was implemented for the most part with spears, knives and machetes, not guns.

In short the genocide was the result of the depravity of man, a Biblical truth about human nature and the nature of government that our founding fathers understood, and that we would do well to recall and understand. 

Can such a thing happen here in America?

Perhaps that’s the wrong question given the 600,000+ deaths this nation suffered during our own Civil War for reasons not unlike what is described above. The question is …  can it happen again?

Our nation is divided more than I have ever seen it in my lifetime, and this includes the Vietnam War era. The divisions during the 1960s and early 1970s, though often violent, were the reactions against the war, and the governments policies towards that war. In the mix were extreme left wing radicals exploiting the war with many actually seeking an overthrow of the government. In any case, the divisions at that time were for the most part bi-polar, and came from forces outside the government.

Our current divisions are multi-polar, and to a large extent are created by our national government, namely President Barack Obama. Since his election campaign of 2008 he has proceeded to create or intensify a series series of enemies, beginning with George W. Bush and including: banks, insurance companies, doctors, private jet owners, Tea Party members, Republicans in the House of Representatives,  Republicans in the Senate, Republicans in general, Gun owners, the NRA, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, conservatives, Catholic and other Christians holding to pro-life and pro traditional family beliefs … and I’m sure I must have left some out. In addition, the President has intensified racial divisions, and I believe has betrayed to a large extent the dream of Martin Luther King of a society where “ … people are judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.”I realize that some on this list are naturally in opposition, but I would argue that this opposition has been intensified under Obama to a much greater degree, and more dangerous, than in past years and eras.

Many if not most of these enemy tensions don’t lend themselves to the type of violence seen in Rwanda, or our own Civil War; the bankers and insurance companies are unlikely to go to war with anyone. At this point I don’t worry so much about mass insurrection and violence as I do about an insidious government take over and “fundamental transformation” of our republic turning it into a Soviet style collectivist nation with few freedoms or creative economic opportunities, or leaving us with a massively dysfunctional society.  Top down, command driven, socialistic governments of whatever flavor, when followed to their natural completion, always fail; the concern I have over the trajectory of our current socialist leaning experiment is the destruction that it will invariably leave in its wake.

Don’t you hope I’m wrong?

I do!  … But in the mean time shouldn’t we be vigilant concerning our Republic and our liberties?

“It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”
Benjamin Franklin

Don Johnson – February 2013