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Jun 232019
 
DEXIT, Democrat Exit, The Digitalization of Presidential Politics in the Age of Trump
 
When I published on Sunday, June 10, 2012 my book, “Jumping The Aisle,” I did a Democrat Exit, what I call my ‘Dexit’! 
 
I saw Obama’s Democrat Party falling hostage to too much Globalism and too much Socialism in the name of ‘Hope & Change’ – what I wrote in my book as ‘The Strip Mining of America’!
 
So, I was delighted to see on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 in Orlando, Florida, President Trump asked 2020 Dexit voters: Are You ‘In’ or Are You ‘Out’ to ‘Keep America Great’ for Trump 2020!
 
This is the exact question I asked myself back in 2012, as I “Jumped The Aisle” and “Became a Black Republican in the Age of Obama!”
 
 
Welcome to Dexit – Democrat Exit and Digitalization of Presidential Politics in the Age of Trump!
 
Team Trump 2020 follows science and data, allowing only scientific, algorithmic, statistical (risk & uncertainty) scenario-based analyses of modern voter turnout models!
 
Voter information science & voter engagement engineering has taken over Digital Presidential Politics in the Age of Trump!
 
Brad Parscale’s management of Trump’s 2020 Campaign is using sophisticated algorithms to “micro-segment” and “micro-target” voters for Team Trump 2020.
 
Simply put, Team Trump 2020 is closely examining voter behavioral and emotional “micro-targeting” to find at real-time where the Trump voters are. While at the same time, targeting Trump messaging to what these voters want to hear, and ultimately vote for socially and psychologically speaking. This voter micro-targeting is what the digitalization of presidential politics is truly all about technologically speaking. 
 
Dexit, Democrat Exit, The Digitalization of Presidential Politics in the Age of Trump
 
Harnessing social capital of social media is Dexit in Trump presidential politics?
 
Voter micro-targeting and micro-segmentation reduces the time and length scales of presidential politics to the exactitude of moments of experiences at a Trump 2020 rallies. As we get into the general election campaign cycle, these rallies will be held regularly every 48 hours to pull voters into President Trump and his branding now inside the American psyche and the future world order of freedom and economic efficiency!
 
Dexit, Democrat Exit, The Digitalization of Presidential Politics in the Age of Trump
 
President Trump raised $24.8M in 24 hours after his #KAG2020 Kickoff on June 18, 2019, compared to $6.3M raised by Joe Biden in 24 hours after his 2020 campaign open! Moreover, his 2020 Reelection Campaign Rally tapped into 20,000 voters inside the Amway Arena, home to the NBA’s Orlando Magic, and 70,000 outside in Orlando, Florida. This beat President Obama’s 2012 Reelection Rally with 14,000 inside Schottenstein Arena, home of the 23,000-seat arena of The Ohio State University Buckeyes Basketball in Columbus, Ohio! 
 
Dexit, Democrat Exit, The Digitalization of Presidential Politics in the Age of Trump
 
Conventionally, money used to be ‘The Mother’s Milk of Presidential Politics.” Large-scale political ads based on outdated 1960s polling models now leads to old-school campaign failure. This was Hillary Clinton’s 2008 and 2016 Thinking – grab up $1 billion dollars of old-world corporate money. And then, burn it up inside the fireplace of purchased broadcast media ads on The Economy and Jobs (for voters’ heads, which has been already solved by President Trump in the last two years). And, on outmoded 1960s polls horribly flawed in forecasting voters concerns about immigration, SCOTUS, justice, freedom, independence, free trade, and security of what it means to be Americans (for voters’ hearts, which Team Trump 2020 is hammering directing to Trump voters through micro-targeting)!
 
Remarkably, first employing such micro-targeting is how Barack Obama took the White House from Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney! For it is not about America’s left-turns vs right-turns. Rather, it is about America’s old-schools vs new-schools. Digitalization of presidential politics is about anti-establishment vs millennial-establishment. Executing this is how Team Trump wins on November 3, 2020!
 
Dexit, Democrat Exit, The Digitalization of Presidential Politics in the Age of Trump
 
Voters feelings and emotions are driving a ‘Dexit’ movement lunging towards Team Trump 2020, which is micro-targeting to ‘Dexit’ voters “let’s take back control of Washington, DC and our daily lives. This voter sentiment is especially acute after watching the Democrats’ horrific ‘due-process fiasco’ at SCOTUS Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Hearings, and after observing the Democrats’ horrendous ‘justice nothing-burger’ of its “No Collusion, No Obstruction” Russian Dossier-backed Special Counsel Robert Mueller Witch-hunt!”
 
Be that as it may, voters are constantly updating and uploading data about themselves on their digital devices creating their own social capital on social media! Now the mother’s milk of presidential politics is all about this social capital data, which leads to information, then knowledge and understanding through micro-targeting of both Trump supporters and Dexit voters.
 
Dexit, Democrat Exit, The Digitalization of Presidential Politics in the Age of Trump
 
The social capital of social media keeps voters awake day and night knowing each second through adaptable “likes,” “clicks,” and “shares” of what questions we are asking in real-time about our emerging social, technological, education, economic and political (STEEP) order between us as voters.
 
Archaic social media does makes finding each other, as like-minded Trump supporters tougher nowadays. This is because of the “silence of our majority” as like-minded Trump supporters that the conventional broadcast media and left-leaning social media platforms force conservatives into. Consequently, this is what is being combated against by Team Trump’s digital systems of voter micro-targeting in their digitalization of presidential politics in 2020.
 
Essentially, Team Trump 2020 has digitally-rolled up complex data integration across social media, electorate voter rolls, polling, and canvassing that is real-time digitally updated and responding to Dexit voters questions, wants and needs.
 
Dexit, Democrat Exit, The Digitalization of Presidential Politics in the Age of Trump
 
Team Trump is currently performing “Millions of Digital Touches on Trump Voters!”
 
This is a sophisticated Empirical Voter Turnout System That Finds: Where They Are? Who They Are? and What They Want to Hear From Trump!
 
Then packs them into the biggest capacity venues of 10-20,000 voters every 48 hours and continually ask them Are you ‘In’ or Are you ‘Out’ – as we embark upon our Democrat Exit, or DEXIT on November 3, 2020!
 
Because there’s more sophisticated empirical ways to social, technological, education, economic and political (STEEP) reforms and polling than just ‘Red vs Blue’, ‘Black vs White’, ‘Men vs Women’, ‘Rich vs Poor’, or ‘Left vs Right’!
 
Dexit, Democrat Exit, The Digitalization of Presidential Politics in the Age of Trump
 
Most of all, the 1960-developed polling models are scientifically, technologically, economically & methodologically wrong for today’s complexities in American life!
 
Voters are feeling more alone inside this STEEP Dexit modernity and populist age of Trump presidential politics!
 
Dexit, Democrat Exit, The Digitalization of Presidential Politics in the Age of Trump
 
What’s at stake? Preparing the next generation and the generation after that for America’s Third Century – America’s Tercentennial – On Getting To 2076!
 
Voters are younger, more single, popularity seekers, highly ambitious, and exclusively digitally interconnected! 
 
Millennials and Generation-Xers cast 69.6 million votes in the 2016 general election, a slight majority of the 137.5 million total votes cast, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data. Meanwhile, Boomers and older voters represented fewer than half of all votes for the first time in decades,” says Wikipedia.
 
Of the 53 Nations of HM The Queen’s Commonwealth, 60% of the 2.4B people are under the age of 30! (1.2B people are citizens of India)
 
36% of America’s 2020 voting block are millennials!
 
Dexit, Democrat Exit, The Digitalization of Presidential Politics in the Age of Trump
 
This upcoming July 4th, 2019 Trump Celebration in Washington is a Patriotic Dexit Movement in America towards achieving The American Dream!
 
It’s going to make Trump’s 2020 Kickoff Celebration with 💯 thousand voters driven to Orlando look like a large garden party!
 
‘Left-turn, Right-turn, Voters are Lost to a Point of No-Return on the Washington Roundabouts.’ And, We Want to Get Off! We’ve Had Enough! We want to drain the swamp with President Trump 2020! Hence, Trump’s Inside The American Psyche Now! 
 
Team Trump’s Rallies are bringing together these old and new voters (many who’ve never voted that the Democrats don’t even know exist) into this ‘Dexit’ Movement to expand America’s popular vote. This shifts the California and New York juggernauts on electoral college algebra towards the Texas, Florida, South, Midwest and Frontier West strongholds on electoral college calculus. We saw this populist voter shift in the red counties of the U.S. map of the 2016 election!
 
Dexit, Democrat Exit, The Digitalization of Presidential Politics in the Age of Trump
 
Originally financed by billionaire Robert Mercer, who financed ‘Brexit,’ Team Trump’s digitalization of Presidential politics has now morphed into ‘Dexit’, Democrat Exit messaging of Trump 2020 in America.
 
Why? Because, the left fights to win. And, the right plays fair. But, it’s time the right fights to beat back the onslaught of socialism and globalism to save the social and cultural fabric of America. 
 
Dexit, Democrat Exit, The Digitalization of Presidential Politics in the Age of Trump
 
Essentially, the growing anti-Americanism is “over there” on the left. But, the real people are “over here” with us on the right – every day fighting to achieve The American Dream!
 
Team Trump 2020 has hacked into the presidential political system and got inside through the back door to drain the Washington swamp machine, and replace it with newly re-elected well-designed parts. Historically speaking, this is a first since Nixon’s Government Reform Commission before he was stopped by Watergate.
“The Brownlow Commission, was a committee that in 1937 recommended sweeping changes to the executive branch of the United States government. The recommendations made by the committee resulted in the creation of the Executive Office of the President.” – Wikipedia
Dexit, Democrat Exit, The Digitalization of Presidential Politics in the Age of Trump
 
We are asking Trump and Dexit voters to be apart of Changing the Course of HISTORY!
 
And, toss conventional wisdom of western thought for the true disruptors of America’s and Europe’s idealogical social order!
 
We are in the middle of the world’s largest social, technological, education, economic and political (STEEP) upheaval inside American History along the fault lines of immigration, culture, class, race, gender and abortion (and children)!
 
Dexit voters have had enough. Dexit voters trust institutions less. Dexit voters are sick of feeling like we know nothing. Dexit voters are not deplorables. Dexit voters ‘Are Out’ from Democrats’ Socialism and Globalists anti-Americanism! Dexit voters ‘Are In’ with Trump 2020 in ‘Keeping America Great!”
 
Dexit, Democrat Exit, The Digitalization of Presidential Politics in the Age of Trump
 
For the Democrats, it’s too late! Twenty Democrat Presidential candidates can’t defend themselves against the on-coming Team Trump Tide going into Election Day November 3, 2020!
 
Dexit, Democrat Exit, The Digitalization of Presidential Politics in the Age of Trump
 
For ‘Dexit’ actually began with President Clinton’s 1996 ONE AMERICA Conversation with its Democrats’ ‘all talk but no walk’ in dealing with America’s STEEP Challenges with no one really ready or willing to deal with Dexit voters like me “Jumping The Aisle” in 2012. 
 
Or, no one was ready to address Dexit voters concerned about the “Future of African American Men & Boys” or “Bridging The Black Research Gap.” 
 
Or, no academics were ready to deal with the rising costs of higher education, or the cheating, fraud and Title IX scandals, or the devastating drought of black male leaders needed in “Transforming The Ivory Tower!”
 
Dexit, Democrat Exit, The Digitalization of Presidential Politics in the Age of Trump
 
Instead Dexit was allowed to simmer in a slow bubble until it’s now reached its boiling point in the digitalization of President Trump’s 2016 election into President Trump’s 2020 electability and enviability!
 
Dexit Voters have had enough and are taking back control of our lives from the elitists and globalists that know nothing more than we ‘Dexit’ Voters do – but aim to keep us down and out of their elitists clubs of uncontrollable group-thinking of ‘witch-hunt’ nothing-burgers and ‘fear-mongering’ nothingness of what elites see as the under-classiness and deplorables!
 
Dexit, Democrat Exit, The Digitalization of Presidential Politics in the Age of Trump
 
‘Dexit’ is about the soul of America in being Americans! This is the bottom-line of the digitalization of our presidential politics of 2020 and the future of our Supreme Court after 2020!
 
Voters on the left seem stuck in the past, while Voters on the right seem to be leaning forward with Trump! Yet, Presidential politics has become more raw, more earthy, and more true to ourselves that it has become more just, more efficient, and more free, more right.
 
Why? Because Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden Democrats had 30 years to get it right with Dexit voters and blew their chances over a generation. Now Dexit voters are done. It’s over. We are through with them.
 
And, Bernie’s socialism, Kamala’s gender wars, Cory’s race-baits, and Elizabeth’s identity-ancestries just does not cut it anymore with Dexit voters.
 
Dexit, Democrat Exit, The Digitalization of Presidential Politics in the Age of Trump
“‘Brexit’ (and ‘Dexit’) is about the right of the people in this country to settle their own dynasty!” – Boris Johnson
“Dominic Cummings delivered an estimated one billion targeted ads to voters through AggregateIQ in the lead up to Brexit.” – Brexit on HBO Films
“Arron Bank admitted that Leave.EU also hired a data firm specializing in the psychographic profiling and targeting of voters.” – Cambridge Analytica “He now denies that money changed hands.”
“It has been revealed that both companies are linked to billionaire businessman Robert Mercer, who was the single biggest Republican donor in the 2016 U.S. election.” – Brexit on HBO Films
Dexit, Democrat Exit, The Digitalization of Presidential Politics in the Age of Trump
__________
 
APPENDIX
 
A record 46, 501,241 people were expected to vote in the United Kingdom’s ‘Brexit’ vote on June 23, 2016 with a 72% voter turnout of 33,577,342 ballot pages counted finally. Votes in favor of ‘Remaining’ in the European Union (EU) were 16,141,241 (48%). Votes in favor of ‘Leaving’ the EU were 17,410,742 (52%). England’s Prime Minister David Cameron resigned immediately after the vote, as President Barack Obama’s public endorsement of Cameron’s ‘Remain’ politics was a deep embarrassment to his White House.
 
On the other side of the Atlantic, “A record 137.5 million Americans voted in the November 8, 2016 presidential election, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Overall voter turnout – defined as the share of adult U.S. citizens who cast ballots – was 61.4% in 2016, a share similar to 2012 presidential election, but below the 63.6% who say they voted in 2008 presidential election,” according to Wikipedia.
 
“According to new U.S. Census Bureau data, voter turnout increased to 65.3 percent for non-Hispanic whites, but decreased to 59.6 percent for non-Hispanic blacks in the 2016 presidential election.”
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Jun 052019
 

I am, Who I am, Due to You, Charles M. Vest

On December 13, 2013, I received a cellphone call from my mentor and dear friend, former Clinton U.S. transportation secretary (1997-2001), Rodney E. Slater. He informed me that he had just read in The Washington Post that my longtime mentor and dear friend, Charles Marstiller Vest had passed the day before on December 12, 2013 in Arlington, Virginia from his brief battle with pancreatic cancer.

Tears flowed immediately.

Secretary Slater, equally sadden by the loss of a great public servant colleague, comforted me saying, "I read his story in The Post and I immediately thought of you and your close relationship with Chuck. You know he told me to hire you immediately and I did."

Because of Chuck's personal recommendation to him, Secretary Slater sent the decision memo to his boss President Bill Clinton to sign and appoint me as U.S. deputy assistant secretary of transportation for technology policy (1999-2001), from which I departed my then-current post as senior policy advisor inside The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) (1997-1999), which "Uncle Chuck" placed me thereat upon approvals by President Bill Clinton and his then-Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House OSTP, The Late and The Honorable Jack Gibbons. Chuck was serving on The President's Committee of Advisors for Science and Technology (PCAST), co-chaired by Dr. Gibbons.

About the seminal treatise, Science, The Endless Frontier, science historian Daniel Kevles later wrote, MIT electrical engineering professor, Vannevar Bush "insisted upon the principle of Federal patronage for the advancement of knowledge in the United States, a departure that came to govern Federal science policy after World War II." [Greenberg 2001, p. 52].

I am, Who I am, Due to You, Charles M. Vest

Photo Credit: G. Pascal Zachary's Book Cover, "Endless Frontier, Vannevar Bush, Engineer of the American Century."

As Chuck's predecessor, the 13th MIT president, and the great former presidential science adviser for President Eisenhower and (more formally) President Kennedy and President Johnson, Jerome Weisner further advanced Vannevar Bush's vision to President Truman that put forth the tenets of the National Science Foundation, and that laid down the constructs of national policy for science advice to the president inside the White House. In this same traditional framework. Chuck made it possible for me to provide science advice to the cabinet secretary in Rodney E. Slater (1999-2001). Secretary Slater and I have maintained our close relationship, since his cabinet post, and I continue to provide science advice to him and to the general public even to this day.

Charles M. Vest showed me who I am in his quiet truth about who he was.

A mentor.

I am, Who I am, Due to You, Charles M. Vest

In Spanish, there is an old saying:

He who speaks the truth often talks to himself."

Even so, a mentor, like Charles M. Vest, always spoke the truth about fullest access to and participation in science and technology, especially among women and underrepresented minorities like me. I so admired my mentor and dear late friend, because he "walked what he talked" about the truth of being bold in your creativity in creating knowledge, as we provide education and career opportunity for others from all walks of life.

I am, Who I am, Due to You, Charles M. Vest

Photo Credit: Chuck answering emails inside his stately office. The huge window overlooks MIT's Killian Court. a tree-lined courtyard with views of MIT's Great Dome, named after the 10th MIT President James Rhyne Killian, Jr. (1948–1959).

Access to education and equal opportunity for all is so poignant a value we cherish, as we celebrate the birthday of the Nobel Laureate, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose life was dedicated to the advancement of a great idea of equal opportunity for all, that Charles M. Vest dedicated his distinguished career, as a teacher, a researcher, an administrator, and an adviser to government, industry, and philanthropy. Chuck was a true public servant.

There is a little tendency, hidden in each of us to be only among those we are used to be among in similar groups that we feel more comfortable with, whether we like to admit it or not. It is not enough to just be against this little tendency hidden in each of us. It takes an effort by a courageous one to reach deep down inside oneself, dig it out of oneself, admit it to oneself, and face it down to overcome it within oneself for the benefit of another.

As the beneficiary of that effort by Charles M. Vest, as my dear friend and mentor, I say this truth right now. That this man always believed in me and said to himself about me, that "I am, Who I am," and that I deserve another chance to become "Who He Was" - a public servant to others. This is who this man, Charles M. Vest, became, a man with a giving heart for me, and so many others like me, throughout his distinguished career in public service.

Uncle Chuck, who I affectionately oftentimes called him, as he gave me his welcoming folksy laughter we shared, brought me to the MIT Gas Turbine Laboratory inside the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and also to MIT's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (with the warm helping hand up assistance of MIT civil engineering professor, Jerome Connor), as one of his four newly inaugurated Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Visiting Professors (1995-1997).

We had privately discussed earlier in 1995 his thoughts about innovating a visiting professorship program for black faculty to spend time at MIT, working with faculty and students inside the world-class research facilities of the Institute along the Charles River in Cambridge, Massachusetts, of which Chuck led as its 15th president from 1990 to 2004, the third-longest in MIT’s 152-year history.

Please excuse my personal bias here, but I see the Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Visiting Professors Program, as the truly distinguished and lasting legacy of Chuck's presidency at MIT.

I am, Who I am, Due to You, Charles M. Vest

My friendship with Chuck continued for two decades, upon my completion as a MLK visiting faculty at MIT (1995-1997).

Approaching the end of my tenure at MIT, I turned to Washington for a new career move to the next level. With Chuck's backing and support of my new job application, but unfortunately, upon falling just shy of being named a White House Fellow in May 1997, six months later Chuck did the most extraordinarily selfless generosity that changed my whole life and career. He reached down and gave me his warm helping hand up and a second chance, placing me inside the Clinton White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in November 1997.

To aid my second chance after a setback, Chuck called upon the assistance of his close friends and colleagues: John M. Deutch, then Clinton U.S. deputy secretary of defense (1994-95) and MIT Institute Professor of Chemistry (who then called his good friend, Bob Nash, Clinton's Presidential Personnel Director); Ernie Moniz, then-associate director of the Clinton White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (1995-1997), and then-Clinton undersecretary of energy (1997-2001), then-MIT physics department chair, and current U.S. secretary of energy since 2013; and John H. "Jack" Gibbons, former assistant to the president for science and technology, and former director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (1993-1998).

I am, Who I am, Due to You, Charles M. Vest

Photo Credit: The Late U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) (left), Becky Vest (center), 15th MIT President Chuck Vest (right)

Chuck's life-altering gift to me, which I later shared with him, began immediately on my first day inside the White House back in November 1997. In the hallway of the Eisenhower Old Executive Office Building, I ran into former special counsel and speechwriter for President John F. Kennedy, the late Ted Sorensen,

Sorensen and I shared a bus ride seat from The Blair House across from the White House to the Naval Academy in Annapolis six months earlier during my time as a Top 30 national finalist of the White House Fellows program, which Chuck made possible for me during my time in his MLK Visiting Professor program at MIT back in 1997.

During our brief ride together, Sorensen eloquently and quietly recounted his compelling story to me about the heart-wrenching moments, Sorensen and the close inner-circle of the Kennedy White House Staffers shared, consoling, grieving and supporting each other upon their return to a lonely Oval Office without the President on that late Friday afternoon of November 22, 1963, the fateful day of President Kennedy's assassination.

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As the first appointment that Kennedy made, as a new president, Sorensen became known as "Kennedy's intellectual blood bank, top policy aide, and alter ego," as "he knew Kennedy the man, the senator, the candidate, and the president as no other associate did throughout his time in public life."

I am, Who I am, Due to You, Charles M. Vest

Photo Credit: Paul Schutzer / Time Life Pictures / Getty Images. The Late U.S. President John F. Kennedy and The Late Ted Sorensen, Kennedy's special counsel and speechwriter (right).

Sorensen and I liked each other immediately, as he, like Chuck, made me feel extremely comfortable in their presence.

Inside these great men of service to others, was a "homespun" humbleness and "sense of self" with confidence, especially so in Chuck with his West Virginia Mountaineer wholesomeness, and in Ted with his Nebraska Cornhusker charm, similar to his predecessor in Clark Clifford, Truman's special counsel and Johnson's defense secretary.

"Well I see you finally did make it into the White House after all," Sorensen whispered to me with his delightfully warm smile he always gave, as we briefly stood on the steps of the fourth floor of the Eisenhower Old Executive Office Building on that fall November day in 1997.

"Yes sir, thanks to you and Chuck Vest," I said to Sorensen, spiritually somehow knowing instinctively Ted had a quiet hand in me being there in the White House with him, but also due to Chuck.

"Oh I see, this is good," Sorensen said approvingly with his Cornhusker charming smile, much like Chuck's Mountaineer welcoming smile I always will remember about him.

I am, Who I am, Due to You, Charles M. Vest

Photo Credit: A mechanical engineer conducts The Boston Symphony Orchestra!

Sometimes mentors, as invisible angels, work together to help one take that next step in life and career on your behalf, remarkably incognito and in secret.

With deepest appreciation, I am thinking about these two angels during this Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday and at the beginning of a New Year of remembering what was those exceptional opportunities created by my mentor that got me here today.

For I celebrate the life of my longtime mentor and dear friend, Charles M. Vest, an esteemed and honorable man, who has left an indelible mark on my life, as he put me into every single job of my career, since that MIT Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professorship and the Clinton White House.

Chuck not only encouraged, but also personally trained me on how to engage the public understanding of science and technology to make an indelible impact on society and the world.

I just want you to know, I am, who I am, due to you, Uncle Chuck.

When they ask me, what I like the best, I say, it was you. When they ask us, what we like the best, they say, we all want wings.

Chuck Vest is remembered for his wings he gave to so many, through his contributions to education, his tireless advocacy for research and science, and his heartfelt support of diversity and openness, including most notably serving with your passion for mentoring others, as MIT's long-serving leader, and as former President of the National Academy of Engineering, among other noteworthy distinguished accomplishments of service "to others in otherness." In 2004, a selection of Vest's speeches from his time as President of MIT was published under the title, Pursuing the Endless Frontier: Essays on MIT and the Role of Research Universities.

I appreciate the "quiet accomplishment" of Chuck's life and spirit, and for being a wonderful personal friend and nurturing mentor to me for nearly two decades of my life.

I am, Who I am, Due to You, Charles M. Vest

How I first met the 15th President of MIT?

When he was approached to succeed Paul Edward Gray as president of MIT, Dr. Vest had no plans to leave the University of Michigan. He told the Boston Globe in 2000 that the decision was simple, however.

“I remember receiving a note from an economist at Michigan that said, ‘Dear Chuck, Boy from West Virginia becomes president of MIT. The American dream.’ A lot of people would find that corny, but my entire life was devoted to engineering education, and MIT is the absolute pinnacle,” Dr. Vest said. “So when the opportunity came, there really was no choice. I felt this position would offer a bully pulpit for science and technology; it was a call to national service.”

I am privileged that our paths crossed, immediately as Chuck considered the offer to lead MIT as “a call to national service,” back in 1990.

You see Chuck, as University of Michigan provost, was our small closing banquet keynote speaker at the 10th International Invitational Symposium on the Unification of Finite Element Methods in Theory and Tests, July 19, 1990, at Wooster Polytechnic Institute in Wooster, Massachusetts.

Immediately, I was inspired by the fact that Chuck took time from his travel from Boston back to Ann Arbor to close his most extraordinary life-changing day by sharing with 25 young engineers at a small banquet dinner about his joyful delight in answering his sudden call to national service. You see that call was to serve as president of MIT, just given to him by his predecessor, the 14th MIT president, Paul Edward Gray.

With emotion in his eye, I vividly and unforgettably recall, Chuck sharing with our small group of young engineers immediately before beginning his speech that he had just left a meeting in Boston Logan Airport with Dr. Gray, who had just offered him the 15th presidency of MIT.

Fate suddenly called upon the right man at the right time with the right fit. That was Charles M. Vest.

All 25 of us young engineers rose to our feet in standing ovation. I was so struck by Chuck's sincerity in sharing his life altering moment with us in such a humble setting, well before any reports of the international news broke about his momentous moment in life and career.

I liked Chuck immediately, I recall saying to myself upon meeting him two decades ago. I wanted to be just like him for the rest of my life and career upon meeting and getting to know him that evening.

That is what a role model and mentor is truly about. Being there as Chuck was that day, and every day, ever since, for the last 20 years of my life.

What I loved most about Chuck was his humanity. I recalled all I could think about was how blessed Chuck was as a humble gentleman, the moment I met him after his most inspirational keynote speech about being bold in our questioning in engineering research and science.

Since then as friends, I followed his career and he shaped mine. I collected and read every single one of his speeches and letters as MIT's 15th president. They have formed my opinions and judgement. Moreover, they have shaped my dedication to university administration, corporate governance, and government service, as well as, fed my passion to raising the public understanding of science and technology.

I am, Who I am, Due to You, Charles M. Vest

Photo: The Late and Honorable Charles Marstiller Vest, Ph.D., My Mentor, who placed me in the Clinton White House, and every job afterwards, until his untimely death in December 12, 2013.

I am, Who I am, Due to You, Charles M. Vest

Chuck was collaboratively responsible for my duty to national service.

As a member of the President's Committee of Advisers for Science and Technology (PCAST), Chuck spearheaded along with his PCAST colleagues, Judith Rodin, Ph.D., then-President of the University of Pennsylvania, now President of the Rockefeller Foundation, and Shirley Malcolm of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Clinton Race Initiative Panel that I help pull together, alongside an extraordinary team of dedicated White House science office staff with Chuck's extraordinary assistance back in 1998.

Chuck took under his wing this Cincinnati-native searching for how to make a difference for others and taught me how to lead OSTP’s contribution to President Clinton’s Initiative on Race, which resulted in the policy document, Meeting America’s Needs for the Scientific and Technological Challenges of the Twenty-First Century – A White House Roundtable Dialogue for President Clinton’s Initiative on Race.

I am, Who I am, Due to You, Charles M. Vest

Chuck also gave me an extraordinary opportunity to served on an inter-agency working group issue, he cared deeply about, involving the future of the partnership between government, universities, and industry of the United States. This resulted in a seminal policy document of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), Renewing the Federal Government-University Research Partnership for the 21st Century.

I am, Who I am, Due to You, Charles M. Vest

Photo Credit: MIT News. MIT President Chuck Vest, Rebecca Vest, and President Bill Clinton

These calls to national service bestowed upon me by Chuck's mentoring grace still stand as fundamental stalwarts of my thinking, as I continue answering that call even today in his spirit, as my absentee teacher and mentor.

Chuck, inspired me, pushed me, and empowered me. He had the foresight to see in me skills and ability I could not sometimes see in myself.

The word “mentor” has become somewhat overused or diluted these days. My relationship with Chuck transcended the common perception of a mentor.

Chuck was more than that to me, he was like a father. He was my guardian angel. He made career and life balance for me that was life-changing. He put the wheels in motion to make this important balance happen for me, even before I knew what I had in mind for myself or he had in mind for me.

Gently asking his connections to connect with me, he used his "persuasive" power as a president, and his "gentle" influence as a gentleman in a way that created opportunities for me that otherwise would not have been possible for me. His blessings took a chance on me and convinced others to believe in me as well.

In return, I will always live up to his expectations of making a difference for others in partnerships of responsibility and accountability with integrity and trust through self-expression and generosity, because I do not want to disappoint his spiritual legacy personally to me, as my mentor and dear friend.

I am, Who I am, Due to You, Charles M. Vest

Photo Credit: MIT Graduation Day. 15th MIT President Chuck Vest and Friend.

A good friend, who is an executive recruiter, recently shared with me a conversation she had with Chuck about me. The purpose of the conversation was to conduct a reference call by the recruiter, as Chuck was called to quietly persuade with his invisible dedication to me, yet another next step in my career. I have done these similar types of quiet calls numerous of times for my own student mentees over decades.

The recruiter recounted the reference call, as she opened their conversation discussing me and noted "how he paused during the conversation and in such a loving and affectionate way" asked, “What is Ollie up to now?” Chuck said with a chuckle. What struck her most was the thoughtful way he answered her questions and the sense of pride he expressed, as he learned that I was tackling yet another career opportunity challenge.

Through our friendship I often recalled Chuck's caring nature and warmth, a gentle disposition that proved to be a source of calm, strength and reason, as I would turn to him time and time again for direction and guidance throughout these past couple of decades.

Chuck never gave up on me and I am forever grateful for his patience and persistence. He came to my rescue on many occasions, picking me up and renewing in me a sense of "self and self-worth," often at times, when I felt all hope was lost. He was my biggest cheerleader and shared in my accomplishments, when I achieved new milestones in my life, achievements that were made possible by his unwavering encouragement, job recommendations, and professional guidance.

Chuck Vest was my anchor, my rock, and I am following in his footsteps in life. He made a profound impression and impact on me that I will never forget for as long as I live.

This is a mentor in life and in spirit. This is what I am, who I aim to be better, just as you, Charles M. Vest.

I remember Chuck as a gentle and compassionate soul; someone who nourished my spirit, and who had a profound impact on my life, as well as the lives of others.

If there is anything I have learned from Chuck Vest, it is to always realize how our words and actions can shape and impact the lives of others. I have learned the importance of giving of oneself.

For it is not how much you amass that determines the full measure of a man or a woman, but it is how many lives you have touched along the way.

Chuck has profoundly touched my life, and I deeply miss him. But, I will not forget the lessons he taught me, and I will not give up the balance of a purposeful life and a fulfilling career.

Here's my pledge to my mentor and dear friend's spirit, as I remember Chuck on this anniversary of his passing.

I will uphold his honorable life as a gentleman, his spirit as a teacher and a president, and his guiding light as a mentor.

I promise to carry the beacons of discovery, inquiry, diversity and knowledge that he became as a man and so eloquently shared during his life and calling to national and international service.

I will rededicate myself to being the role model to others that Chuck instilled in me, as my enduring contribution to his legacy of selfless-generosity and service to others.

I am, Who I am, Due to You, Charles M. Vest

Chuck's Call to National Service in Cambridge, as chronicled via The Boston Globe.

Born in Morgantown, West Virginia, Charles Marstiller Vest grew up in a coal mining community that also was home to West Virginia University, where his father was a math professor. Chuck described his mother as a gifted amateur genealogist.

“I built radios, read about space as long as I can remember,” Chuck told the Boston Globe in 2000. “I gave serious thought to studying history, but my strongest passion was science and technology.”

He graduated from West Virginia University in 1963 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

In June that year he married Rebecca McCue and they soon moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan. He started graduate school at the University of Michigan, while she finished her undergraduate studies and went on to receive a master’s in remedial reading.

From the University of Michigan, Chuck received a master’s and a doctorate, both in mechanical engineering, in 1964 and 1967. Remaining at the university, he became an assistant professor in 1968, an associate professor in 1972, and a full professor in 1977, teaching in areas such as heat transfer, thermodynamics, and fluid mechanics. His research was in heat transfer and the engineering applications of laser optics and holography.

“I loved teaching,” Chuck told the Boston Globe. “I always enjoyed explaining things and had some ability to do so.”

As a favor to a colleague, he took a part-time job as associate dean in 1981 and found a new path. “One day I realized I was accomplishing more as an administrator than as a researcher and teacher,” Chuck told the Boston Globe in 2000. “I enjoyed fostering the careers of younger faculty.”

Named dean of engineering in 1986, Chuck became the university’s provost and vice president for academic affairs.

"During his years in Cambridge, MIT’s endowment grew from $1.4 billion to $5.1 billion. At the time of Dr. Vest’s departure, more than two-thirds of women on the faculty had been hired during his tenure, and MIT had hired its first female department head in the sciences. The percentage of underrepresented minority undergraduates increased from 14 to 20. Among graduate students, that number grew from 3 to 5 percent. The number of female undergraduates increased from 34 to 42 percent," chronicles the Boston Globe.

Chuck's leadership on diversity “changed my life and that of many women in science,” Nancy Hopkins, a professor who served on one of the committees that prepared the gender inequity report, told the Globe in 2003 when he announced he would retire the following year. “It made you appreciate that a truly good person can use a position of power to fix a problem, and that is what great institutions are all about.”

Still, what became one of Chuck’s most significant legacies remained for him a cause for reflection. “I’m disappointed that we’ve been unable to move more rapidly in building the diversity of our faculty and graduate student body,” Chuck told the Globe in 2003, when asked to name his greatest regret.

As former president of MIT and the National Academy of Engineering, Chuck was a national treasure of science, engineering and technology, higher education and public policy. His vision and legacy establishes that knowledge is own by no one. Rather, knowledge is open to all through MIT OpenCourseWare (shown below), initiated under his tenure of university presidential leadership in Cambridge.

I am, Who I am, Due to You, Charles M. Vest

Most of all, Chuck was a champion of diversity and he was willing to stand in the gap to right past inequalities in gender and among underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Hundreds of women and minorities in the STEM fields owe our careers to the numerous initiatives Chuck established during his call to national service.

Chuck served on the President's Committee of Advisers for Science and Technology throughout President Bill Clinton's Administration and President George W. Bush's Administration, receiving respect from both sides of the aisle, and many members of Congress.

"I grew up in Morgantown, West Virginia and attended public schools there where I learned many valuable things. I learned that every human being is important, has something to offer, and can be a friend and colleague." - Charles Marstiller Vest (2006)

I am, Who I am, Due to You, Charles M. Vest

Photo Credit: Kemper Vest Gay (daughter, front left), Mrs. Rebecca Vest (front right), John Vest (son, rear left), 15th MIT President Chuck Vest (rear right).

"We greatly appreciate the many stories Chuck's friends and colleagues have shared about the impact he had on their lives. It is heart-warming to know that so many others saw in Chuck the same wonderful qualities that his family did: his kindness, humor, humility, compassion, and wisdom. Chuck cared deeply about his work, but cared about people most of all."

- Becky Vest and Family (February 20, 2014, The National Academy of Engineering Council and the Vest Family, Celebration of Charles M. Vest's Life, National Academy of Sciences Building, Washington, DC)

__________

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Feb 092019
 

SOTU Main Photo 12 - President Donald Trump's 2019 #SOTU Address: "Choose Greatness"

White House 1024x682 - President Donald Trump's 2019 #SOTU Address: "Choose Greatness"

Below is President Trump’s 2019 State of the Union address entitled “Choose Greatness.”

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“Madam Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and my fellow Americans: We meet tonight at a moment of unlimited potential.

As we begin a new Congress, I stand here ready to work with you to achieve historic breakthroughs for all Americans.

Millions of our fellow citizens are watching us now, gathered in this great chamber, hoping that we will govern not as TWO PARTIES but as ONE NATION.

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Peace, Health and Sovereignty for America

The agenda I will lay out this evening is not a Republican Agenda or a Democrat Agenda. It is the Agenda of the American People.

Many of us campaigned on the same core promises:

  • to defend American jobs and demand FAIR TRADE for American workers;
  • to rebuild and revitalize our nation’s infrastructure;
  • to reduce the price of healthcare and prescription drugs;
  • to create an immigration system that is safe, lawful, modern and secure; and
  • to pursue a foreign policy that puts America’s interests first.

There is a new opportunity in American politics, if only we have the courage to seize it.

Victory is not winning for our party. Victory is winning for our COUNTRY.

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This year, America will recognize two important anniversaries that show us the Majesty of America’s Mission, and the Power of American Pride.

In June, we mark 75 years since the start of what General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the Great Crusade — the Allied liberation of Europe in World War II.

On D-Day, June 6th, 1944, fifteen thousand young American men jumped from the sky and sixty thousand more stormed in from the sea, to save our civilization from tyranny.

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Here with us tonight are three (3) of those heroes:

  1. Private First Class Joseph Reilly,
  2. Staff Sergeant Irving Locker, and
  3. Sergeant Herman Zeitchik.

Gentlemen, we salute you.

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In 2019, we also celebrate 50 years since brave young pilots flew a quarter of a million miles through space to plant the American flag on the face of the moon.

Half a century later, we are joined by one of the Apollo 11 astronauts who planted that flag: Buzz Aldrin.

This year American astronauts will go back to space on American rockets.

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In the 20th century, America saved freedom, transformed science, and redefined the middle class standard of living for the entire world to see.

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President Donald Trump arrives to deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Creating a New Standard of Living for America’s Sovereignty

Now, we must step boldly and bravely into the next chapter of this Great American Adventure, and we must create a new standard of living for the 21st century.

An amazing quality of life for all of our citizens is within our reach.

We can make our communities safer, our families stronger, our culture richer, our faith deeper, and our Middle Class bigger and more prosperous than ever before.

But we must reject the politics of revenge, resistance and retribution — and embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise and the common good.

Together, we can break decades of political stalemate.

We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions, and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future.

The decision is ours to make.

We must choose between greatness or gridlock, results or resistance, vision or vengeance, incredible progress or pointless destruction.

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Tonight, I ask you to Choose GREATNESS.

  • Over the last two years, my administration has moved with urgency and historic speed to confront problems neglected by leaders of BOTH parties over many decades.
  • In just over two years since the election, we have launched an unprecedented economic boom — a boom that has rarely been seen before.
  • We have created 5.3 million new jobs, and more importantly, we’ve added 600,000 new manufacturing jobs –something which almost everyone said was impossible to do, but the fact is, we are just getting started.
  • Wages are rising at the fastest pace in decades, and growing for blue collar workers, who I promised to fight for, faster than anyone else.
  • Nearly 5 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps.
  • The U.S. economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when I took office, and we are considered far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world.
  • Unemployment has reached the lowest rate in half a century.
  • African-American, Hispanic-American and Asian-American unemployment have all reached their lowest levels ever recorded.
  • Unemployment for Americans with disabilities has also reached an all-time low.
  • More people are working now than at any time in our history — 157 million.
  • We passed a massive tax cut for working families and doubled the child tax credit.
  • We virtually ended the estate, or death, tax on small businesses, ranches, and family farms.
  • We eliminated the very unpopular Obamacare individual mandate penalty — and to give critically ill patients access to life-saving cures, we passed RIGHT TO TRY.
  • My Administration has cut more regulations in a short time than any other administration during its entire tenure.
  • Companies are coming back to our country in large numbers thanks to our historic reductions in taxes and regulations.
  • We have unleashed a revolution in American Energy — the United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world.
  • And now, for the first time in 65 years, we are a net exporter of energy.
  • After 24 months of rapid progress, our economy is the envy of the world, our military is the most powerful on earth, and America is winning each and every day.

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Members of Congress: The State of our Union is Strong.

Our country is vibrant and our economy is thriving like never before.

On Friday, it was announced that we added another 304,000 jobs last month alone — almost double what was expected.

An economic miracle is taking place in the United States — and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations.

If there is going to be peace and legislation, then there can’t be war and investigation.

It just doesn’t work that way!

We must be united at home to defeat our adversaries abroad.

This new era of cooperation can start with finally confirming the more than 300 highly qualified nominees who are still stuck in the Senate — some after years of waiting.

The Senate has failed to act on these nominations, which is unfair to the nominees and to our country.

Now is the time for bipartisan action.

Believe it or not, we have already proven that it is possible.

In the last Congress, both parties came together to pass unprecedented legislation to confront the opioid crisis, a sweeping new Farm Bill, historic VA reforms, and after four decades of rejection, we passed VA Accountability so we can finally terminate those who mistreat our wonderful veterans.

And just weeks ago, both parties united for groundbreaking Criminal Justice Reform.

Alice Marie Johnson - President Donald Trump's 2019 #SOTU Address: "Choose Greatness"

Last year, I heard through friends the story of Alice Johnson.

I was deeply moved.

In 1997, Alice was sentenced to life in prison as a first-time non-violent drug offender.

Over the next two decades, she became a prison minister, inspiring others to choose a better path.

She had a big impact on that prison population — and far beyond.

Alice’s story underscores the disparities and unfairness that can exist in criminal sentencing — and the need to remedy this injustice.

She served almost 22 years and had expected to be in prison for the rest of her life.

In June, I commuted Alice’s sentence –when I saw Alice’s beautiful family greet her at the prison gates, hugging and kissing and crying and laughing, I knew I did the right thing — Alice is here with us tonight.

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Alice, thank you for reminding us that we always have the power to shape our own destiny.

Inspired by stories like Alice’s, my administration worked closely with members of both parties to sign the First Step Act into law.

This legislation reformed sentencing laws that have wrongly and disproportionately harmed the African-American community.

The First Step Act gives non-violent offenders the chance to re-enter society as productive, law-abiding citizens.

Now, states across the country are following our lead.

America is a nation that believes in redemption.

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We are also joined tonight by Matthew Charles from Tennessee.

In 1996, at age 30, Matthew was sentenced to 35 years for selling drugs and related offenses.

Over the next two decades, he completed more than 30 Bible studies, became a law clerk, and mentored fellow inmates.

Now, Matthew is the very first person to be released from prison under the First Step Act.

Matthew, on behalf of All Americans: WELCOME HOME.

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WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 05: President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol Building on February 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Trump’s second State of the Union address was postponed one week due to the partial government shutdown. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Secure Our Southern Border

Now, Republicans and Democrats must join forces again to confront an urgent national crisis.

Congress has 10 days left to pass a bill that will fund our government, protect our homeland, and secure our Southern Border.

Now is the time for Congress to show the world that America is committed to ending illegal immigration and putting the ruthless coyotes, cartels, drug dealers, and human traffickers OUT OF BUSINESS.

As we speak, large, organized caravans are on the march to the United States.

We have just heard that Mexican cities, in order to remove the illegal immigrants from their communities, are getting trucks and buses to bring them up to our country in areas where there is little border protection.

I have ordered another 3,750 troops to our Southern Border to prepare for the tremendous onslaught.

This is a MORAL issue.

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The lawless state of our Southern Border is a threat to the safety, security and financial well-being of all Americans.

We have a moral duty to create an immigration system that protects the lives and jobs of our citizens.

This includes our obligation to the millions of immigrants living here today, who followed the rules and respected our laws.

LEGAL immigrants enrich our nation and strengthen our society in countless ways.

I want people to come into our country, but they have to come in legally.

Tonight, I am asking you to defend our very dangerous southern border out of LOVE and DEVOTION to our fellow citizens and to our country.

No issue better illustrates the divide between America’s WORKING CLASS and America’s POLITICAL CLASS than illegal immigration.

Pelosi Trump SOTU Letter 2 - President Donald Trump's 2019 #SOTU Address: "Choose Greatness"

Wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders, while living their lives behind walls and gates and guards.

Meanwhile, working class Americans are left to pay the price for mass illegal migration — reduced jobs, lower wages, overburdened schools and hospitals, increased crime, and a depleted social safety net.

Tolerance for illegal immigration is not compassionate — it is cruel.

1 in 3 women is sexually assaulted on the long journey north.

Smugglers use migrant children as human pawns to exploit our laws and gain access to our country.

Human traffickers and sex traffickers take advantage of the wide open areas between our ports of entry to smuggle thousands of young girls and women into the United States and to sell them into prostitution and modern-day slavery.

Tens of thousands of innocent Americans are killed by lethal drugs that cross our border and flood into our cities — including meth, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl.

The savage gang, MS-13, now operates in at least 20 different American states, and they almost all come through our Southern Border.

Just yesterday, an MS-13 gang member was taken into custody for a fatal shooting on a subway platform in New York City.

We are removing these gang members by the thousands, but until we secure our border they’re going to keep streaming back in.

Year after year, countless Americans are murdered by criminal illegal aliens.

I’ve gotten to know many wonderful Angel Moms, Dads and families –no one should ever have to suffer the horrible heartache they have endured.

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Here tonight is Debra Bissell.

Just three weeks ago, Debra’s parents, Gerald and Sharon, were burglarized and shot to death in their Reno, Nevada home by an illegal alien.

They were in their eighties and are survived by 4 children, 11 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren.

Also here tonight are Gerald and Sharon’s granddaughter, Heather, and great-granddaughter Madison.

To Debra, Heather, Madison, please stand: few can understand your pain.

But I will never forget, and I will fight for the memory of Gerald and Sharon, that it should never happen again.

Not one more American life should be lost because our nation failed to control its very dangerous border.

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In the last two years, our brave ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of criminal aliens, including those charged or convicted of nearly 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 killings.

We are joined tonight by one of those law enforcement heroes: ICE Special Agent Elvin Hernandez.

When Elvin was a boy, he and his family legally immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic.

At the age of eight, Elvin told his dad he wanted to become a Special Agent.

Today, he leads investigations into the scourge of international sex trafficking.

Elvin says: “If I can make sure these young girls get their justice, I’ve done my job.”

Thanks to his work and that of his colleagues, more than 300 women and girls have been rescued from horror and more than 1,500 sadistic traffickers have been put behind bars.

Special Agent Hernandez please stand: We will ALWAYS support the brave men and women of Law Enforcement –and I pledge to you tonight that we will NEVER Abolish our heroes from ICE.

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My administration has sent to Congress a common-sense proposal to end the crisis on our Southern Border.

It includes humanitarian assistance, more law enforcement, drug detection at our ports, closing loopholes that enable child smuggling, and plans for a new physical barrier, or wall, to secure the vast areas between our ports of entry.

This is a smart, strategic, see-through steel barrier — not just a simple concrete wall.

It will be deployed in the areas identified by border agents as having the greatest need, and as these agents will tell you, where walls go up, illegal crossings go way down.

San Diego used to have the most illegal border crossings in the country.

In response, a strong security wall was put in place.

This powerful barrier almost completely ended illegal crossings.

The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime — one of the highest in the country,and considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities.

Now, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of our safest cities.

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Simply put, WALLS WORK and WALLS SAVE LIVES.

So let’s work together, compromise, and reach a deal that will truly make America SAFE.

As we work to defend our people’s safety, we must also ensure our economic resurgence continues at a rapid pace.

No one has benefitted more from our thriving economy than women, who have filled 58 percent of the new jobs created in the last year.

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All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before — and exactly one century after Congress passed the Constitutional Amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in Congress than ever before.

As part of our commitment to improving opportunity for women everywhere, this Thursday we are launching the first ever government-wide initiative focused on economic empowerment for women in developing countries.

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Square Deal on Fair Trade with America

To build on our incredible economic success, one priority is paramount – reversing decades of calamitous trade policies.

We are now making it clear to China that after years of targeting our industries, and stealing our intellectual property, the theft of American jobs and wealth has come to an end.

Therefore, we recently imposed tariffs on $250 billion dollars of Chinese goods — and now our Treasury is receiving billions of dollars.

But I don’t blame China for taking advantage of us — I blame our leaders and representatives for allowing this travesty to happen.

I have great respect for President Xi, and we are now working on a new trade deal with China.

But it must include real, structural change to end unfair trade practices, reduce our chronic trade deficit, and protect American jobs.

Another historic trade blunder was the catastrophe known as NAFTA.

I have met the men and women of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Hampshire, and many other states whose dreams were shattered by NAFTA.

For years, politicians promised them they would negotiate for a better deal.

But no one ever TRIED — until now.

Our new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement — or USMCA — will replace NAFTA and deliver for American workers: bringing back our manufacturing jobs, expanding American agriculture, protecting intellectual property, and ensuring that more cars are proudly stamped with the four beautiful words: MADE IN THE USA.

Tonight, I am also asking you to pass the United States Reciprocal Trade Act, so that if another country places an unfair tariff on an American product, we can charge them the exact same tariff on the same product that they sell to us.

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Rebuilding America’s Crumbling Infrastructure

Both parties should be able to unite for a great rebuilding of America’s crumbling infrastructure. I know that Congress is eager to pass an infrastructure bill –and I am eager to work with you on legislation to deliver new and important infrastructure investment, including investments in the cutting edge industries of the future.

This is not an option.

This is a necessity.

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Reforms of America’s Healthcare System

The next major priority for me, and for all of us, should be to lower the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs — and to protect patients with pre-existing conditions.

Already, as a result of my administration’s efforts, in 2018 drug prices experienced their single largest decline in 46 years.

But we must do more. It is unacceptable that Americans pay vastly more than people in other countries for the exact same drugs, often made in the exact same place.

This is wrong, unfair, and together we can stop it. I am asking Congress to pass legislation that finally takes on the problem of global freeloading and delivers fairness and price transparency for American Patients.

We should also require drug companies, insurance companies, and hospitals to disclose real prices to foster competition and bring costs down.

No force in history has done more to advance the human condition than American Freedom.

In recent years we have made remarkable progress in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

Scientific breakthroughs have brought a once-distant dream within reach.

My budget will ask Democrats and Republicans to make the needed commitment to eliminate the HIV epidemic in the United States within 10 years.

Together, we will defeat AIDS in America.

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WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 05: First lady Melania Trump with Grace Eline and Joshua Trump, special guests of President Donald Trump, attend the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives on February 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Trump’s second State of the Union address was postponed one week due to the partial government shutdown. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Tonight I am also asking you to join me in another fight that all Americans can get behind: the fight against childhood cancer.

Joining Melania in the gallery this evening is a very brave 10 year old girl, Grace Ee-line.

Every birthday since she was 4, Grace asked her friends to donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

She did not know that one day she might be a patient herself.

Last year, Grace was diagnosed with brain cancer.

Immediately, she began radiation treatment.

At the same time, she rallied her community and raised more than $40,000 dollars for the fight against cancer.

When Grace completed treatment last fall, her doctors and nurses cheered with tears in their eyes, as she hung up a poster that read: “Last day of Keemo.”

Grace — you are an inspiration to us all. [PAUSE]

Many childhood cancers have not seen new therapies in decades.

My budget will ask Congress for $500 million dollars over the next 10 years to fund this critical life-saving research.

To help support working parents, the time has come to pass SCHOOL CHOICE for America’s children.

I am also proud to be the first President to include in my budget a plan for nationwide paid family leaveso that every new parent has the chance to bond with their newborn child.

There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our nation saw in recent days.

Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth.

These are living, feeling, beautiful, babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world.

And then, we had the case of the Governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth.

To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb.

Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life.

And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.

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Sixth grade student Joshua Trump (R) attends the State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on February 5, 2019. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

America’s Sovereignty and National Security

The final part of my agenda is to protect America’s National Security.

Over the last two years, we have begun to fully rebuild the United States Military –with $700 billion dollars last year and $716 billion dollars this year.

We are also getting other nations to pay their fair share.

For years, the United States was being treated very unfairly by NATO — but now we have secured a $100 billion dollar increase in defense spending from NATO allies.

As part of our military build-up, the United States is developing a state-of-the-art Missile Defense System.

Under my Administration, we will never apologize for advancing America’s interests.

For example, decades ago the United States entered into a treaty with Russia in which we agreed to limit and reduce our missile capabilities.

While we followed the agreement to the letter, Russia repeatedly violated its terms.

That is why I announced that the United States is officially withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF Treaty.

Perhaps we can negotiate a different agreement, adding China and others, or perhaps we can’t –in which case, we will outspend and out-innovate all others by far.

As part of a bold new diplomacy, we continue our historic push for peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Our hostages have come home, nuclear testing has stopped, and there has not been a missile launch in 15 months.

If I had not been elected President of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea.

Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong Un is a good one.

Chairman Kim and I will meet again on February 27 and 28 in Vietnam.

Two weeks ago, the United States officially recognized the legitimate government of Venezuela, and its new interim President, Juan Gwydo.

We stand with the Venezuelan people in their noble quest for freedom — and we condemn the brutality of the Maduro regime, whose socialist policies have turned that nation from being the wealthiest in South America into a state of abject poverty and despair.

Trump 11 - President Donald Trump's 2019 #SOTU Address: "Choose Greatness"

Principled Realism

Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country.

America was founded on liberty and independence — not government coercion, domination and control.

We are BORN FREE, and we will STAY FREE.

Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will NEVER be a socialist country.

One of the most complex set of challenges we face is in the Middle East.

Our approach is based on “Principled Realism — not discredited theories that have failed for decades to yield progress.

For this reason, my Administration recognized the TRUE capital of Israel — and proudly opened the American Embassy in Jerusalem.

Our brave troops have now been fighting in the Middle East for almost 19 years.

In Afghanistan and Iraq, nearly 7,000 American Heroes have given their lives.

More than 52,000 Americans have been badly wounded.

We have spent more than $7 trillion dollars in the Middle East.

As a candidate for President, I pledged a new approach.

Great nations do not fight endless wars.

When I took office, ISIS controlled more than 20,000 square miles in Iraq and Syria.

Today, we have liberated virtually all of that territory from the grip of these bloodthirsty killers.

Now, as we work with our allies to destroy the remnants of ISIS, it is time to give our brave warriors in Syria a warm welcome home.

I have also accelerated our negotiations to reach a political settlement in Afghanistan.

Our troops have fought with unmatched valor — and thanks to their bravery, we are now able to pursue a political solution to this long and bloody conflict.

In Afghanistan, my Administration is holding constructive talks with a number of Afghan groups, including the Taliban.

As we make progress in these negotiations, we will be able to reduce our troop presence and focus on counter-terrorism.

We do not know whether we will achieve an agreement — but we do know that after two decades of war, the hour has come to at least try for PEACE.

Above all, friend and foe alike must never doubt this nation’s power and will to defend our people.

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18 years ago, terrorists attacked the USS Cole — and last month American Forces killed one of the leaders of the attack.

We are honored to be joined tonight by Tom Wibberley, whose son, Navy Seaman Craig Wibberley, was one of the 17 sailors we tragically lost.

Tom: we vow to always remember the heroes of the USS Cole.

My administration has acted decisively to confront the world’s leading state sponsor of terror: the radical regime

in Iran.

To ensure this corrupt dictatorship never acquires nuclear weapons, I withdrew the United States from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal.

And last fall, we put in place the toughest sanctions ever imposed on a country.

We will not avert our eyes from a regime that chants Death to America and threatens genocide against the Jewish People.

We must never ignore the vile poison of Anti-Semitism, or those who spread its venomous creed.

With one voice, we must confront this hatred anywhere and everywhere it occurs.

Just months ago, 11 Jewish-Americans were viciously murdered in an Anti-Semitic attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

SWAT Officer Timothy Matson raced into the gunfire and was shot seven times chasing down the killer.

Timothy has just had his 12th surgery — but he made the trip to be here with us tonight.

Officer Matson: we are forever grateful for your courage in the face of evil.

Judah Samet 1024x577 - President Donald Trump's 2019 #SOTU Address: "Choose Greatness"

Tonight we are also joined by Pittsburgh survivor Judah Samet.

He arrived at the synagogue as the massacre began.

But not only did Judah narrowly escape death last fall — more than 7 decades ago, he narrowly survived the Nazi concentration camps.

Today is Judah’s 81st birthday.

Judah says he can still remember the exact moment, nearly 75 years ago, after 10 months in a concentration camp, when he and his family were put on a train, and told they were going to another camp.

Suddenly the train screeched to a halt.

A soldier appeared.

Judah’s family braced for the worst.

Then, his father cried out with joy: “It’s the AMERICANS.”

Holocaust survivor Joshua Kaufman left applauds World War II D Day Veteran Herman Zeitchik joined by fellow D Day veterans Irving Locker Official White 678x381 - President Donald Trump's 2019 #SOTU Address: "Choose Greatness"

A second Holocaust survivor who is here tonight, Joshua Kaufman, was a prisoner at Dachau [Dah-kow] Concentration Camp.

He remembers watching through a hole in the wall of a cattle car as American soldiers rolled in with tanks.

“To me,” Joshua recalls, “the American soldiers were proof that God exists, and they came down from the sky.”

I began this evening by honoring three soldiers who fought on D-Day in the Second World War.

One of them was Herman Zeitchick.

But there is more to Herman’s story.

A year after he stormed the Beaches of Normandy, Herman was one of those American Soldiers who helped liberate Dachau [Dah-kow].

He was one of the Americans who helped rescue Joshua from that hell on earth.

Nazi Camp Survivors - President Donald Trump's 2019 #SOTU Address: "Choose Greatness"

Almost 75 years later, Herman and Joshua are both together in the gallery tonight –seated side-by-side, here in the home of American Freedom.

Herman and Joshua: your presence this evening honors and uplifts our entire nation, and is very much appreciated, thank you very much.

Trump 4 - President Donald Trump's 2019 #SOTU Address: "Choose Greatness"

When American soldiers set out beneath the dark skies over the English Channel in the early hours of D-Day, 1944, they were just young men of 18 and 19, hurtling on fragile landing craft toward the most momentous battle in the history of war.

They did not know if they would survive the hour.

They did not know if they would grow old.

But they knew that America had to prevail.

Their cause was this nation, and generations yet unborn.

Why did they do it?

They did it for AMERICA — they did it for us.

Everything that has come since –our triumph over communism, our giant leaps of science and discovery, our unrivaled progress toward equality and justice — ALL of it is possible thanks to the blood and tears and courage and vision of the Americans who came before.

Think of this Capitol –think of this very Chamber, where lawmakers before you voted to end slavery, to build the railroads and the highways, to defeat fascism, to secure Civil Rights, to face down an evil empire.

Here tonight we have legislators from across this magnificent Republic.

You have come from the rocky shores of Maine and the volcanic peaks of Hawaii; from the snowy woods of Wisconsin and the red deserts of Arizona; from the green farms of Kentucky and the golden beaches of California.

Together, we represent the most extraordinary nation in all of history.

SOTU Main Photo 2 - President Donald Trump's 2019 #SOTU Address: "Choose Greatness"

What will we do with this moment?

How will we be remembered?

I ask the men and women of this Congress: Look at the opportunities before us!

Our most thrilling achievements are still ahead.

Our most exciting journeys still await.

Our biggest victories are still to come.

We have not yet BEGUN TO DREAM.

FLOTUS 4 - President Donald Trump's 2019 #SOTU Address: "Choose Greatness"

We must choose whether we are defined by our differences — or whether we dare to transcend them.

We must choose whether we squander our inheritance — or whether we proudly declare that WE ARE AMERICANS:

We do the incredible.

We defy the impossible.

We conquer the unknown.

This is the time to re-ignite the American Imagination.

This is the time to search for the tallest summit, and set our sights on the brightest star.

This is the time to rekindle the bonds of love and loyalty and memory that link us together as citizens, as neighbors, as patriots.

This is our future –our fate — and our choice to make.

I am asking you to CHOOSE GREATNESS.

No matter the trials we face, no matter the challenges to come, we must go forward together.

We must keep America FIRST in our hearts.

We must keep Freedom alive in our souls.

And we must always keep FAITH in America’s Destiny –that One Nation, Under God, must be the HOPE and the PROMISE and the LIGHT and the GLORY among all the nations of the world!

Thank you. God Bless You, God Bless America, and Goodnight!”

**END**

SOTU Main Photo 4 1024x638 - President Donald Trump's 2019 #SOTU Address: "Choose Greatness"
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Jan 082019
 

Oval Pic 10 - Trump Oval Address on Immigration, Asks Congress to Pass #BorderWall Bill

Trump’s Oval Office Address on Immigration, Asks Congress to Pass #BorderWall Bill

“My fellow Americans,

Tonight, I am speaking to you because there is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border. Every day customs and border patrol agents encounter thousands of illegal immigrants trying to enter our country. We are out of space to hold them and we have no way to promptly return them back home to their country.

America proudly welcomes millions of lawful immigrants who enrich our society and contribute to our nation. But, all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migration. It strains public resources and drives down jobs and wages. Among those hardest hit are African-Americans and Hispanic Americans.

Our southern border is a pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs, including meth, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl. Every week 300 of our citizens are killed by heroin alone, 90 percent of which floods across from our southern border. More Americans will die from drugs this year than were killed in the entire Vietnam War.

Oval Pic 8 1024x683 - Trump Oval Address on Immigration, Asks Congress to Pass #BorderWall Bill

In the last two years, ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of aliens with criminal records including those charged or convicted of 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 violent killings. Over the years thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country and thousands more lives will be lost if we don’t act right now.

This is a humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul.

Last month, 20,000 migrant children were illegally brought into the united States, a dramatic increase. These children are used as human pawns by vicious coyotes and ruthless gangs. One in three women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek up through Mexico. Women and children are the biggest victims by far of our broken system.

This is the tragic reality of illegal immigration on our southern border. This is the cycle of human suffering that I am determined to end.

Oval Pic 1 1024x682 - Trump Oval Address on Immigration, Asks Congress to Pass #BorderWall Bill

My administration has presented Congress with a detailed proposal to secure the border and stop the criminal gangs, drug smugglers and human traffickers. It’s a tremendous problem.

Our proposal was developed by law enforcement professionals and border agents at the department of homeland security. These are the resources they have requested to properly perform their mission and keep America safe. In fact, safer than ever before.

The proposal from Homeland Security includes cutting-edge technology for detecting drugs, weapons, illegal contraband and many other things. We have requested more agents, immigration judges, and bed space to process the sharp rise in unlawful migration fueled by our very strong economy.

Our plan also contains an urgent request for humanitarian assistance and medical support. Furthermore, we have asked Congress to close border security loopholes so that illegal immigrant children can be safely and humanely returned back home.

Finally, as part of an overall approach to border security, law enforcement professionals have requested $5.7 billion for a physical barrier (at a cost of just one-tenth of one-percent of our Federal Budget). At the request of Democrats, it will be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall.

Oval Pic 5 - Trump Oval Address on Immigration, Asks Congress to Pass #BorderWall Bill

This barrier is absolutely critical to border security. It’s also what our professionals at the border want and need. This is just common sense.

The border wall would very quickly pay for itself. The cost of illegal drugs exceeds $500 billion a year. Vastly more than the $5.7 billion we have requested from Congress.

The wall will always be paid for indirectly by the great new trade deal we have made with Mexico.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, who you will be hearing from later tonight, has repeatedly supported a physical barrier in the past along with many other Democrats. They changed their mind only after I was elected president.

Democrats in Congress have refused to acknowledge the crisis. And they have refused to provide our brave border agents with the tools they desperately need to protect our families and our nation.

The federal government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only, because Democrats will not fund border security.

My administration is doing everything in our power to help those impacted by the situation. But the only solution is for Democrats to pass a spending bill that defends our borders and reopens the government. This situation could be solved in a 45-minute meeting. I have invited congressional leadership to the White House tomorrow to get this done. Hopefully, we can rise above partisan politics in order to support national security.

Oval Pic 11 - Trump Oval Address on Immigration, Asks Congress to Pass #BorderWall Bill

Some have suggested a barrier is immoral. Then why do wealthy politicians build walls, fences and gates around their homes? They don’t build walls because they hate the people on the outside, but because they love the people on the inside. The only thing that is immoral is for the politicians to do nothing and continue to allow more innocent people to be so horribly victimized.

Oval Pic 4 1024x683 - Trump Oval Address on Immigration, Asks Congress to Pass #BorderWall Bill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., pose for photographers after speaking on Capitol Hill in response President Donald Trump’s prime-time address on border security, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

America’s heart broke the day after Christmas when a young police officer in California was savagely murdered in cold blood by an illegal alien who just came across the border. The life of an American hero was stolen by someone who had no right to be in our country.

Day after day, precious lives are cut short by those who have violated our borders. In California, an Air Force veteran was raped, murdered and beaten to death with a hammer by an illegal alien with a long criminal history.

In Georgia, an illegal alien was recently charged with murder for killing, beheading and dismembering his neighbor.

In Maryland, MS-13 gang members who arrived in the United States as unaccompanied minors were arrested and charged last year after viciously stabbing and beating a 16-year-old girl.

Over the last several years, I have met with dozens of families whose loved ones were stolen by illegal immigration. I’ve held the hands of the weeping mothers and embraced the grief-stricken fathers. So sad. So terrible. I will never forget the pain in their eyes, the tremble in their voices and the sadness gripping their souls.

How much more American blood must we shed before Congress does its job?

Oval Pic 3 1024x566 - Trump Oval Address on Immigration, Asks Congress to Pass #BorderWall Bill

For those who refuse to compromise in the name of in the name of border security, I would ask, imagine if it was your child, your husband or your wife whose life was so cruelly shattered and totally broken.

To every member of Congress, pass a bill that ends this crisis.

To every citizen, call Congress and tell them to finally, after all of these decades, secure our border.

This is a choice between right and wrong, justice and injustice.

This is about whether we fulfill our sacred duty to the American citizens we serve.

When I took the oath of office, I swore to protect our country. And that is what I will always do so help me God. Thank you and good night.”

###

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Dec 032018
 

35 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

Since 1852, only 36 Americans, including 4 Unknown Soldiers, 4 private citizens, 12 U.S. Presidents, and 13 U.S. Senators, including now the 41st President of the United States George Herbert Walker Bush, and previously in 2018 @SenJohnMcCain, have lain in state or repose or honor at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, according to the Architect of the Capitol (listed below in reverse chronological order), via Newsweek.

William Howard Taft and Robert Taft, both of Cincinnati, Ohio, are the only father-and-son pair to have been so honored.

 

36. George Herbert Walker Bush

December 3-5, 2018

President GHW Bush 41 695x1024 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

President GHW Bush Lain in State - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

(via, VOA News) The flag-draped casket of former President George H.W. Bush lays inside the Rotunda of the Capitol in Washington, Dec. 3, 2018.

“Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda starting Monday evening as Americans honor the life of the country’s 41st president.

The Capitol will be open for dignitaries and the public to pay their respects through early Wednesday, with visitors allowed to walk past Bush’s casket. He died in Texas, his home state, late Friday at the age of 94 after several years of failing health.

President GHW Bush Pic 12 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol RotundaPresident GHW Bush Pic 11 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol RotundaPresident GHW Bush Lain in State 1 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

President GHW Bush Pic 10 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

U.S. Vice President George H. W. Bush, right, and his wife Barbara Bush pose in front of the Taj Mahal, the 17th century monument to love was built by a Mughal Emperor Sahajahan in memory of his beloved queen who bore 14 children, Saturday, May 13, 1984, Agra, India. (AP Photo/Sondeep Shankar)

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President GHW Bush Pic 7 1024x581 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

HOUSTON, TX – APRIL 20, 2018: In this handout provided by the Office of George H.W. Bush, former President George H. W. Bush looks at the casket with his daughter Dorothy “Doro” Bush Koch as they wait for the mourners during the visitation of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church Friday, April 20, 2018, in Houston, Texas. Barbara Bush died on April 17, at the age of 92. (Photo by Mark Burns – Pool/Office of George H.W. Bush via Getty Images)

President GHW Bush Pic 6 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol RotundaPresident GHW Bush Pic 5 1024x576 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol RotundaPresident GHW Bush Pic 4 1024x512 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

President GHW Bush Pic 3 1024x683 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

A military honor guard carries the casket of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, U.S., December 3, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas – RC192D96E180

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President GHW Bush Pic 13 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“The flag-draped casket of former President George H.W. Bush is carried by a joint services military honor guard into St. Martin’s Episcopal Church Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, in Houston.” (Photo Credit: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY)

President GHW Bush Pic 2 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

 

35. John S. McCain

August 26-27, 2018, and on August 31, 2018

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“My fellow Americans, whom I’ve gratefully served for 60 years, and especially my fellow Arizonans, thank you for the privilege of serving you and for the rewarding life that service in uniform and in public office has allowed me to lead.”

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

America is “the world’s greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil.”

“I‘ve tried to serve our country honorably. I’ve made mistakes, but I hope my love for America will be weighed favorably against them.”

“We all love our country, we will get through these challenging times. We will come through them stronger than before. We always do.”

“Do not despair of our present difficulties, but believe always in the promise and greatness of America,” McCain wrote before his death Saturday. Share these last words of @SenJohnMcCain as he died Saturday, August 25, 2018.

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

@SenJohnMcCain, 81, is buried Sunday, September 2, 2018, @USNavy @NavalAcademy in Annapolis, Maryland, after he lies in state at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix on Wednesday, August 29, 2018, and the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Sunday-Monday, August 26-27, and on Friday, August 31, 2018, before his final funeral service Saturday, September 1, 2018 at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC.

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

Chief of Staff John Kelly, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and National Security Advisor John Bolton along with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump will represent the @WhiteHouse at McCain’s National Cathedral funeral service in Washington, DC.

@OliverMcGee on AZ Senator #JohnMcCain #FoxNews Tribute
@OliverMcGee on @SenJohnMcCain's @FoxNews Tribute
 @FoxNews @FoxandFriends

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

(National Cathedral Funeral Procession of Senator John McCain on Saturday, September 1, 2018)

As reported in the Washington Post, ““I’ve made more mistakes than most anybody you will ever know,” McCain said in the interview, conducted for the 2017 Naval History Conference. “But one thing has guided me, is what I learned the first day I walked through the main gate at the Naval Academy. And that was do the right thing, and do it honorably, and you can never go wrong.”

It is Annapolis that McCain has returned to, again and again, in life and in death.

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

McCain’s father and grandfather are buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. 

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

But Admiral Charles “Chuck” Larson, a longtime friend and classmate, is buried at the academy in Maryland.”

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

(Pallbearers carried Mr. McCain’s coffin into the Arizona State Capitol on Wednesday. Credit Caitlin O’Hara for The New York Times)

“Larson reserved four plots before he died in 2014 — two for himself and McCain, and their wives. 

McCain’s plot is near where the two men first met, “back where it began,” he wrote in his recent book “The Restless Wave,” when he revealed Annapolis will be his final resting place.

“I will go to my grave in gratitude to my Creator for allowing me to stand witness to such courage and honor. And so will you,” McCain said. “My time is slipping by. Yours is fast approaching. You will know where your duty lies.”” 

(Below is McCain’s 1958 Class Photo at The Naval Academy in Annapolis).

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

 

34. Billy Graham

February 28–March 1, 2018; One of only 4 private American citizens to Lay in Honor

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“Minister, evangelist and adviser to presidents. Died February 21, 2018, in Montreat, North Carolina. 

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

Authority for use of the Rotunda granted by House Concurrent Resolution 107, 115th Congress, 2nd Session; agreed to February 26, 2018.”

According to TIME, “the practice of U.S. elected officials and military leaders lying in state at the Capitol began with Senator Henry Clay in 1852, and since then more than two dozen people — including 11 Presidents — have received that posthumous send-off in the Rotunda. Many of those services, including those for Supreme Court Justices Thurgood Marshall and Warren Burger, have used the same wooden framework constructed to prop up Abraham Lincoln’s coffin in 1865. But Graham is only the fourth private citizen to “lie in honor,” rather than “lie in state,” in recognition of his contributions to the nation.”

 

33. Daniel K. Inouye

December 20, 2012

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“Senator Inouye was the first congressman to represent Hawaii when it became a state in 1959. He served in the U.S. Senate from 1963 until his death, on December 17, 2012. 

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

Inouye was the second-longest-serving senator in history and served as president pro tempore of the U.S. Senate. He was a World War II hero and given a Medal of Honor for his service.”

 

32. Gerald R. Ford Jr.

December 30, 2006–January 2, 2007

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“Ford was a member of the House of Representatives from Michigan, January 3, 1949 to December 6, 1973, when he resigned to become vice president. 

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

He was vice president of the United States from December 6, 1973 to August 9, 1974, when President Richard M. Nixon resigned. Ford served as president of the United States from August 9, 1974 to January 20, 1977. 

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

President Gerald R. Ford Jr. died December 26, 2006, in Rancho Mirage, California, after adjournment of the 109th Congress, 2nd session. Authority for use of the Capitol Rotunda was granted by the speaker of the House of Representatives and the majority leader of the Senate. No resolution.”

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

 

31. Rosa Parks

October 30 and 31, 2005; One of only 4 private American citizens to Lay in Honor.

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks died October 24, 2005, in Detroit. Authority for use of the Rotunda granted by Senate Concurrent Resolution 61, 109th Congress, 1st Session; agreed to October 29, 2005.”

 

30. Ronald Wilson Reagan

June 9–11, 2004.

“Reagan was governor of California from 1967 to 1975 and president of the United States from January 20, 1981 to January 20, 1989. 

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

He died June 5, 2004, in Bel-Air, California. Authority for use of the Rotunda was granted by Senate Concurrent Resolution 115, 108th Congress, 2nd Session; agreed to June 9, 2004.”

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

 

29. Jacob Joseph Chestnut

28. John Michael Gibson

July 28, 1998; Two of Only 4 private American citizens to Lay in Honor

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“Chestnut and Gibson were United States Capitol police officers killed at the U.S. Capitol in the line of duty on July 24, 1998. Authority for use of the Rotunda was granted by House Concurrent Resolution 310, 105th Congress, 2nd Session; agreed to July 27, 1998. Officer Chestnut and Detective Gibson were the first whose remains lay in honor in the Rotunda.”

 

27. Claude Denson Pepper

June 1 and 2, 1989

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“Pepper served as U.S. Senator from Florida November 4, 1936 to January 3, 1951. He was a member of the House of Representatives from Florida from January 3, 1963, until his death, on May 30, 1989, in Washington, D.C. Authority for use of the Rotunda was granted by House Concurrent Resolution 139, 101st Congress, 1st Session; agreed to May 31, 1989.”

 

26. Unknown Soldier of the Vietnam War

May 25–28, 1984

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“Chosen to honor the unknown Americans who lost their lives while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States in Southeast Asia from 1959–1972. Authority for use of the Rotunda was granted by House Concurrent Resolution 296, 98th Congress, 2nd Session; agreed to May 17, 1984.”

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

 

25. Hubert H. Humphrey

January 14-15, 1978

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“Humphrey served as U.S. senator from Minnesota from January 3, 1949 to December 29, 1964, when he resigned to become vice president. He was vice president of the United States from January 20, 1965 to January 20, 1969. Humphrey then returned to the Senate from November 3, 1970, until his death. He died January 14, 1978, in Waverly, Minnesota, after adjournment of the 95th Congress, 1st Session. Authority for use of the Rotunda was granted by the speaker of the House of Representatives and the majority leader of the Senate. No resolution.” 

 

24. Lyndon Baines Johnson

January 24 and 25, 1973

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“Johnson was a member of the House of Representatives from Texas from April 10, 1937 to January 3, 1949. He was a U.S. Senator from Texas from January 3, 1949 to January 3, 1961, when he resigned, having been elected vice president of the United States. Johnson served as vice president from January 20, 1961, to November 22, 1963, when he assumed the presidency. He served as president until January 20, 1969. 

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

Johnson died on January 22, 1973, near Johnson City, Texas. Authority for use of the Rotunda was granted by House Concurrent Resolution 90, 93rd Congress, 1st Session; agreed to January 23, 1973.”

 

23. J. Edgar Hoover

May 3 and 4, 1972

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“Hoover was the first director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, serving from 1924 until his death. He died on May 2, 1972, in Washington, D.C. 

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

According to the New York Times, “Acting Attorney General Rich ard G. Kleindienst announced the death at 11 A.M., after F.B.I. offices around the world had been given the news and reports of it began to circulate here. Congress promptly voted its permission for his body to lie in state in the Capitol Ro tunda—an honor accorded to only 21 persons before, (23 persons before, when we now include below, 17. Unknown Soldier of World War II, and 16. Unknown Soldier of the Korean War, May 28–30, 1958) of whom eight were Presidents or former Presidents.”

Authority for use of the Rotunda was granted by House Concurrent Resolution 600, 92nd Congress, 2nd Session; agreed to May 2, 1972.”

 

22. Everett McKinley Dirksen

September 9 and 10, 1969

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“Dirksen was a member of the House of Representatives from Illinois from March 4, 1933 to January 3, 1949. He was a U.S. senator from Illinois, January 3, 1951, until his death, September 7, 1969, in Washington, D.C. (He suffered a cardiopulmonary arrest and died, at age 73. Dirksen was buried at Glendale Memorial Gardens in Pekin). Senate Resolution 254, 91st Congress, 1st Session, agreed to September 8, 1969; extended invitations to memorial service in the Rotunda, September 9, 1969.” 

(President Richard Nixon paid his last respects and tributes to Sen. Dirksen in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda below in 1969. In 1972, one of the Senate’s buildings was renamed the Dirksen Senate Office Building in his honor.)

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

 

21. Dwight D. Eisenhower

March 30 and 31, 1969

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“Eisenhower graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1915, was promoted to general of the army in 1944, and was named president of Columbia University in 1948. He served as president of the United States from January 20, 1953, to January 20, 1961. 

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

Eisenhower died March 28, 1969, in Washington, D.C., during the 91st Congress, 1st Session. No resolution. (Richard Nixon pays tribute to IKE in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda above in 1969).

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

 

20. Herbert Clark Hoover

October 23–25, 1964

“Hoover served as secretary of commerce for presidents Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge. He was food administrator under President Woodrow Wilson. Hoover also served as chairman of the Ccommission on the organization of executive branch of government  from 1947 to 1949 and from 1953 to 1955. 

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

He was president of the United States from March 4, 1929, to March 3, 1933. Hoover died October 20, 1964, in New York City, after adjournment of the 88th Congress, 2nd Session. No resolution.”

 

19. Douglas MacArthur

April 8 and 9, 1964

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“MacArthur was superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point from 1919–1922; appointed chief of staff of the Army on November 21, 1930; and appointed general of the Army on December 18, 1944. From July 26, 1941, through April 11, 1951, he served in the Pacific and Far East in various allied commands. MacArthur died April 5, 1964, in Washington, D.C. Authority for use of the Rotunda was granted by Senate Concurrent Resolution 74, 88th Congress, 2nd Session; agreed to April 6, 1964.”

 

18. John F. Kennedy

November 24 and 25, 1963

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“Kennedy was a member of the House of Representatives from Massachusetts, January 3, 1947 to January 3, 1953. U.S. Senator from Massachusetts January 3, 1953, to December 22, 1960, when he resigned to become president. 

Was president of the United States from January 20, 1961, until his death. Assassinated in Dallas on November 22, 1963, during the 88th Congress, 1st Session. No resolution.” 

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

 

17. Unknown Soldier of World War II 

16. Unknown Soldier of the Korean War

May 28–30, 1958

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“Chosen to honor and perpetuate the memory of the heroes who gave their lives while serving overseas in the Armed Forces of the United States during World War II and the Korean War, and whose identities were unknown. Authority for use of the Rotunda was granted by House Concurrent Resolution 242, 85th Congress, 2nd Session; agreed to March 6, 1958.”

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

 

15. Robert A. Taft

August 2 and 3, 1953

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“Taft served as U.S. Senator from Ohio from January 3, 1939, until his death. He died July 31, 1953, in New York City, during 83rd Congress, 1st Session, Senate Resolution 158, 83rd Congress, 1st Session; agreed to August 1, 1953, extended invitation to the memorial service in the Rotunda August 3, 1953.”

“In 1957, a committee led by Senator John F. Kennedy selected Taft as one of five of the greatest Senators, whose portraits would adorn the President’s Room off the Senate floor. Taft continues to be regarded by historians as one of the most powerful U.S. Senators of the twentieth century.

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

Robert Alphonso Taft was born on September 8, 1889. He was the oldest child of U.S. President William Howard Taft and his wife Helen Louise “Nellie” Herron and the grandson of Attorney General and Secretary of War Alphonso Taft. As a child he spent four years in the Philippines, where his father was governor. As an adolescent he was a brilliant academic. He finished first in his class at the Taft School in Cincinnati (run by his uncle), at Yale College and at Harvard Law School, graduating in 1913. He edited the Harvard Law Review. Following his graduation, Taft scored the highest mark in the state on the Ohio bar exam in 1913. He practiced law for four years with the firm of Maxwell and Ramsey (now Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP) in Cincinnati. He then worked in Washington for the Food and Drug Administration, before returning to Cincinnati to start his own law office. In 1924, he and his brother Charles helped form the law partnership Taft, Stettinius, and Hollister, with whom he continued to be associated until his death. The firm continues to carry his name today.

He was strongly criticized both by Republicans and Democrats for this. Senator John F. Kennedy in his bestselling book “Profiles in Courage,” applauded Taft’s principled stand even in the face of great bipartisan criticism.

When the Republicans took control of Congress in 1947, Taft became Chair of the Senate Labor Committee. He wrote the 1947 Taft–Hartley Act, which remains the basic labor law today. It banned “unfair” union practices, outlaws closed shops, and authorized the President to seek federal court injunctions to impose an eighty-day cooling-off period if a strike threatened the national interest. When President Harry Truman vetoed it, Taft convinced both houses of Congress to override the veto.

Taft was non-interventionist who did not see Stalin’s Soviet Union as a major threat. He saw the real dangers as big government and runaway spending. He opposed NATO and he took the lead among Republicans in condemning President Harry Truman’s handling of the Korean War. Taft questioned the constitutionality of the war itself. He said:

“In the case of Korea, where a war was already under way, we had no right to send troops to a nation, with whom we had no treaty, to defend it against attack by another nation, no matter how unprincipled that aggression might be, unless the whole matter was submitted to Congress and a declaration of war or some other direct authority obtained.” “


14. John Joseph Pershing

July 18 and 19, 1948

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“Pershing was general of the Armies of the United States. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1886 and devoted his entire life to military service. 

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

He served as chief of staff of the Army 1921–1924; commander of American expeditionary forces, World War I; distinguished service during the Philippine insurrection and Spanish-American War. 

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

Pershing died July 15, 1948, in Washington, D.C., during recess of the 80th Congress, 2nd Session. No resolution.”

 

13. William Howard Taft

March 11, 1930

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“Taft served as president of United States from March 4, 1909, to March 4, 1913. He was chief justice of the United States Supreme Court from July 11, 1921, to February 3, 1930. 

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

Taft died on March 8, 1930, in Washington, D.C., during 71st Congress, 2nd Session. No resolution.”

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

The Tafts had four sons: William Howard Taft III (1915–1991), a future Ambassador to Ireland; Robert Alphonso Taft, Jr. (1917–1993), a future U.S. Senator (shown on the right above next to U.S. President and U.S. Chief Justice William Howard Taft); Lloyd Bowers Taft (1923–1985), an investment banker in Cincinnati, and Horace Dwight Taft (1925–1983), a professor of physics and dean at Yale. Two of Robert Taft’s grandsons are Robert Alphonso “Bob” Taft III (born 1942), Governor of Ohio from 1999 to 2007, and William Howard Taft IV (born 1945), Deputy Secretary of Defense from 1984 to 1989.

 

12. Warren G. Harding

August 8, 1923

“Harding served as U.S. senator from Ohio, March 4, 1915, to January 13, 1921, when he resigned, having been elected president. He was president of United States from March 4, 1921, until his death. 

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

Harding died August 2, 1923, in San Francisco, after adjournment of the 67th Congress, 4th Session. No resolution.”

 

11. Unknown Soldier of World War I

November 9–11, 1921

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

(General John Joseph Pershing stands and salutes in front to the casket of the Unknown Soldier of World War I in 1921 inside the U.S. Capitol Rotunda)

“Chosen to honor and perpetuate the memory of the heroes who gave their lives in World War I, the body was that of an unknown American who served as a member of the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe. Congress was in session, 67th Congress, 1st Session. No resolution.”

 

10. George Dewey

January 20, 1917

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“Dewey was admiral of the Navy and was a hero of Manila Bay in the Spanish-American War. He died January 16, 1917, in Washington, D.C. Authority for use of the Rotunda was granted by House Concurrent Resolution 68, 64th Congress, 2nd Session; agreed to January 18, 1917.”

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

George Dewey (December 26, 1837 – January 16, 1917) was an admiral of the United States Navy. “He is best known for his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War. He is also the only person in the history of the United States to have (first) attained the rank of Admiral of the Navy, the most senior rank in the United States Navy.”

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“By act of Congress he was promoted to the special rank of Admiral of the Navy in 1903 with his date of rank retroactive to 1899. A special military decoration, the Battle of Manila Bay Medal (commonly called the Dewey Medal), was struck in honor of Dewey’s victory at Manila Bay. It was awarded to every American officer, Sailor and Marine present at the battle. The medals were designed by Daniel Chester French, sculptor of the Lincoln Memorial, and produced by Tiffany & Co. Each medal was engraved with the recipient’s name, rank and ship. Since his own image appeared on the obverse of the medal, out of modesty, Dewey wore his medal reversed. Dewey was one of only four Americans in history (the other three being Admiral William T. Sampson, Admiral Richard E. Byrd and General John J. Pershing) who were entitled to wear a US Government issued medal with their own image on it.”

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

 

9. Pierre Charles L’Enfant

(Re-interment) April 28, 1909

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“L’Enfant was the planner of the city of Washington, D.C. He died June 14, 1825, and was buried on Digges Farm in Prince George’s County, Maryland. His remains were brought to the U.S. Capitol on April 28, 1909, to be reinterred at Arlington National Cemetery. Senate Concurrent Resolution 2, 61st Congress, 1st Session granted use of the Rotunda; agreed to March 26, 1909.”

 

8. William McKinley, Jr.

September 17, 1901

“McKinley was a member of House of Representatives from Ohio, March 4, 1877, to May 27, 1884, and again from March 4, 1885, to March 3, 1891. He served as governor of Ohio from 1892 to 1896 and as President of United States, March 4, 1897, until his death. 

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

McKinley was assassinated September 6, 1901, in Buffalo, New York, and died there September 14, 1901, after adjournment of the 56th Congress, 2nd Session. No resolution.”

 

7. John A. Logan

December 30-31, 1886

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“Logan was a member of House of Representatives from Illinois, March 4, 1859, to April 2, 1862, when he resigned to enter the Union Army, and again from March 4, 1867, until March 3, 1871. He served as U.S. Senator from Illinois, March 4, 1871, to March 3, 1877, and again from March 4, 1879, to December 26, 1886. 

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“After the Civil war, Logan, who had always been a staunch partisan, was identified with the radical wing of the Republican Party. His forceful, passionate speaking, popular on the platform, was less effective in the halls of legislation. In 1868, he was one of the managers in the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson.”

(Below is a site of American Civil War by Illinoisans, including Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and John A. Logan).

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

Around three o’clock in the afternoon on December 26, Logan died at his home in Columbia HeightsWashington, D.C. 

“Logan died on December 26, 1886, in Washington, D.C., during the 49th Congress, 2nd Session. No resolution.”

After his death, Logan’s body lay in state in the United States Capitol

An equestrian statue stands in Logan Circle in Washington, D.C., which gives its name to the surrounding neighborhood. 

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

John A. Logan’s funeral was at Hutchinson’s vault.

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“Logan’s final resting place at the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery is a granite, Norman-style mausoleum, design by the former supervising architect of the U.S. Treasury Department, Alfred B. Mullett, which houses the remains of General John A. Logan; his wife, Mary S. Logan; daughter, Mary Logan Tucker; and grandsons, Captain Logan Tucker and George E. Tucker.”

 

6. James A. Garfield

September 21–23, 1881

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“Garfield was a member of House of Representatives from Ohio from March 4, 1863, to November 8, 1880, when he resigned, having been elected president. He served as President of the United States from March 4, 1881, until his death. 

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

Garfield was assassinated July 2, 1881, in Washington, D.C., and died September 19, 1881, in Elberon, New Jersey, after adjournment of 46th Congress, 3rd Session. No resolution.”

(White House draped in mourning for President James A. Garfield, September 1881).

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

 

5. Henry Wilson

November 25 and 26, 1875

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“Wilson served as a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts from January 31, 1855, to March 3, 1873, when he resigned to become vice president of the United States. He was vice president from March 4, 1873, until his death, on November 22, 1875. 

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

Wilson died in the vice president’s room in the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., after adjournment of the 43rd Congress, 2nd Session. No resolution.”

 

4. Charles Sumner

March 13, 1874

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“Sumner served as U.S. Senator from Massachusetts deom April 24, 1851, until his death, March 11, 1874. He died in Washington, D.C., during the 43rd Congress. No resolution.”

As reported in the Anchorage Daily News, by Steve Haycox, professor emeritus of history at the University of Alaska Anchorage, “When he died of a heart attack on March 11, 1874, 143 years ago this month (on March 23, 2017), Charles Sumner, the Massachusetts senator who had shepherded the Alaska Purchase Treaty through Senate ratification, lay in state in the Capitol rotunda, only the second senator to be so honored (the first being Henry Clay).

That was not because of his critical, but often overlooked, role in facilitating the Alaska purchase. It was rather a tribute to his long and fiery career as an uncompromising champion of abolition, and full civil and property rights for former slaves.”

 

3. Thaddeus Stevens

August 13–14, 1868

“Stevens was a member of the House of Representatives from Pennsylvania, March 4, 1849, to March 3, 1853, and again from March 4, 1859, until his death on August 11, 1868. 

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

He died in Washington, D.C., during recess of the 40th Congress, 2nd Session, and lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda. No resolution.”

 

2. Abraham Lincoln

April 19–21, 1865

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“Lincoln was a member of the House of Representatives from Illinois, March 4, 1847, to March 3, 1849. He was president of the United States from March 4, 1861, until his death. 

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

Lincoln was assassinated April 14, 1865, in Washington, D.C., and died there April 15, 1865, after adjournment of the 38th Congress, 2nd Session. 

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

The historic catafalque was constructed to support Lincoln’s casket during his lying in state. No resolution.”

 

1. Henry Clay

July 1, 1852

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

“Henry Clay was a member of the House of Representatives for five non-consecutive terms (1811–1825). He served as speaker of the House in 1811–1814, 1815–1820 and 1823–1825. He was secretary of state from 1825 to 1829. Clay also served as U.S. senator from Kentucky intermittently for 18 years between 1806 and 1852. He died June 29, 1852, in Washington, D.C., during the 32nd Congress, 1st Session, becoming the first person honored by a funeral ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda. No resolution.”

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

__________

Appendix

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda
 
Lying in State 
 
“Lying in state occurs when the casket of a member of government (or former member of government) is placed on view in the principal government building of a country or state to allow the public to pay their respects.  

Examples of this would include President Gerald Ford or Senator Daniel Inouye lying in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, or Congressman Paul Gillmor lying in state in the Ohio State Capitol.  

Lying in state in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol is authorized by Joint Resolution of Congress.

A guard of honor maintains a vigil over the remains throughout the period of time the remains lie in state. Public viewing is generally allowed during the lying in state.

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

Lying in Repose

Lying in repose occurs when the casket of a member of government (or former member of government) is placed on view in any other building to allow the public to pay their respects. 

Examples would include President Reagan at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California in 2004, President Gerald Ford at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, California in 2006, and Senator John McCain at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix, Arizona in 2018.

 
[via, Wikipedia]

Supreme Court Justices “lie in repose” in the Great Hall of the United States Supreme Court Building.

900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

 
Lying in Honor
 
The term “lying in honor” encompasses two different scenarios:
    1.  When the casket of an individual who is not a member of government is placed on view in the principal government building of a country or state to allow the public to pay their respects.  An example would be Rosa Parks in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.

    2.  When the casket of a member of government (or former member of government) is placed on view in the U.S. Capitol, but not in the Capitol Rotunda, to allow the public to pay their respects.  Examples include Senator Robert Byrd and Senator Frank Lautenberg lying in honor in the Senate Chamber.”

 
[via, Wikipedia]
 
“The United States Congress has created a similar—though not identical—privilege for distinguished Americans who do not qualify for a lying in state designation. In the process of “lying in honor,” the honor guard in the Rotunda is provided by the Capitol Police or another suitable source. 

In 1998, Chestnut and Gibson were killed while defending the Capitol against a shooter. Congress approved their remains to lie in honor in the Rotunda. Chestnut was the first African American to lie in honor. In 2005, upon the death of civil rights activist Rosa Parks, Congress authorized her remains to lie in honor at the Rotunda; Parks was the second African American and the first woman to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda. Graham was the first religious leader to be honored in this way.”

 
900 - 36 Americans Have Lain in State, Repose and Honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda
 
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Jun 082018
 

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Named “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and “Sports Personality of the Century” by BBC, Muhammad Ali (1942-2016), 3-time world heavyweight boxing champion and world statesman, passed away Friday, June 3, 2016 at 74. RIP Champ! As we humbly honor your soul of a Monarch butterfly (as you spoke about to students graduating at Harvard in 1974, wishing people could love one another as much as we loved him) and your sting of a bumble bee (as a conscientious objector) worldwide here on #beBee!

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Muhammad Ali leaves behind four wives he loved and nine children, seven daughters and two sons, he adored, who surrounded him as he passed away Friday night.

Muhammad Ali was gifted at making himself a point of interest by people around the world. He made a sensational show out of a sporting event that for the first time made it permissible for athletes after him to speak out openly on social, education, religious, economic and political issues in life. How his freedom of speech fundamentally shaped his legacy as an athlete-statesman on peace and inclusion is specifically addressed herein.

Watch and listen to the simplicity this side of the complexity of the great mind of The Greatest, Mohammad Ali that eloquently frames his phenomenal statesmanship on peace and inclusion in this remarkable answer to a young lads question on British live television in 1974.

I Float Like A BUTTERFLY and Sting Like A BEE!” For Always & Forever, He’s #TheGreatest #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Pictured above is his iconic knockdown punch in the first round against then-heavyweight champion Sonny Liston on February 25, 1964 in Miami, Florida. His ultimate victory over Liston here was widely seen as a stunning upset that earned Muhammad Ali (then just a 22 year old Light Heavyweight Boxing 1960 Rome Olympics Gold-Medalist, Cassius Clay) his first world heavyweight boxing title.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

He was the greatest boxer ever, but his greatest bouts were outside the boxing ring.

A World-Class Athlete Thrusted Into Being A World-Class Statesman on Peace and Inclusion

On March 22, 1967, Ali was stripped of all of his boxing championship titles by the New York State Athletic Commission and all other boxing commissions, and he received a suspension of his boxing license by the state of New York. 

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Three years after gaining his championship, as a social conscientious objector on April 28, 1967, Muhammad Ali in Houston, Texas three times immediately refused induction into the United States Army and the Vietnam War. Outspoken Ali was publicly tried in a court tribunal, convicted on a felony charge of draft evasion on June 20, 1967, receiving a mandatory sentenced of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He paid a bond and remained free from prison, as his felony conviction was being appealed through appellate court, and eventually to the Supreme Court of the United States. 

Afterwards, Ali was prohibited from securing a boxing license to participate in the sport in any state for the next three years, including having his passport evoked so the world champion boxer could not travel abroad and continue his boxing career and personal livelihood he had been accustomed to at that time.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

During this time also, as public opinion turned against the Vietnam War in 1967 (in the wake of the federalized 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act), Ali’s appeal to the lower appellate court was denied. A much sought after national and international advocate and spokesman, he spoke on college and university campus across the world, criticizing the Vietnam War and advocating African American pride in civil rights, and the great ideas of equality, racial justice, peace and inclusion.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

In a stunning decision on June 28, 1971, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned his June 20, 1967 felony conviction of draft evasion and upheld Ali’s conscientious objector exemption on April 28, 1967 in his refusal to enter the armed services and participate in the Vietnam War of which he was publicly protesting against, explosively exclaiming at that time, “No Vietcong ever called me (The N-word),” a constitutional freedom of speech statement that costed Ali dearly at about $40 million over his three years away from boxing, both personally and professionally. Financially broke during this period, one time riding in a car with Joe Frazier the fighter actually lent Ali a couple hundred bucks so he could just feed himself.

He was a man of principle on peace and inclusion, yet remarkably, public opinion was strongly against him. 

Be that as it may, the U.S. Supreme Court saw this by overturning his conviction in an unanimous 8-0 ruling (with Justice Thurgood Marshall electing to abstain from the case).

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Immediately thrusted into the public eye now as statesman, Muhammad Ali also inspired civil rights peace activist turned anti-war activist, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the 1964 Nobel Peace Laureate, who had been “reluctant to address the Vietnam War for fear of alienating the Johnson Administration and its support of the civil rights agenda.” After Ali’s public profile in courage, “King began to voice his own opposition to the war for the first time,” (quotes courtesy of Wikipedia). 

This subsequently ignited the most explosive period of social violence and unrest ever displayed in American history in the 1968 shooting deaths of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1968 just after 6pm ET on that second floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.

Just a couple months later that year on June 5, 1968 at Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, 1968 democratic U.S. presidential candidate, New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy was mortally wounded by gun shoots at 12:15am PT, and later died in Los Angeles Good Samaritan Hospital at 1:44am PT, June 6, 1968.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

In speaking of the cost on Ali’s career (between his most powerfully athletic ages of 25 to 28) of his refusal to be drafted, his boxing trainer Angelo Dundee said, “One thing must be taken into account when talking about Ali, he was robbed of his best years, his prime years.” (quote courtesy of Wikipedia).

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Three Epic Boxing Battles of Coronations and Comebacks

Ali is known the world over as #TheGreatest for these iconic boxing exhibitions. First, there was his greatest upset fight against Sonny Liston on February 25, 1964 in Miami, Florida, which he earned a surprising defeat over Liston for his first title as world heavyweight champion. 

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Later, there were three battles with rival Joe Frazier. The first fight, held at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Monday, March 8, 1971, was dubbed the “Fight of the Century,” mainly because it brought to the global sporting stage two undisputed world heavyweight undefeated boxing champion sports icons, each claiming their legitimate claim to be crowned the single undisputed heavyweight boxing champion. A phenomenal media sensation at the time, this Rocky-like global spectacle sporting event of Olympiad proportions was broadcast to 35 countries around the world.

Underscoring the epic battle in the boxing ring was an ongoing explosive American domestic agenda of social injustice, class warfare, and race. This revealed in particular how blacks and “black-pride” socially, educationally, economically, and politically shaped ourselves as an evolving black community at the dawn of the seventies. Such evolutionary societal change was demanded by blacks just coming off an emotionally-wrenching King-Kennedy dual assassination and its aftermath of brutally destructive riots across the American social fabric in 1968.

Symbolically, Ali portrayed Frazier as a “dumb tool of the white establishment … Frazier is too ugly to be champ,” Ali said. “Frazier is too dumb to be champ.” Ali also frequently insulted Frazier by calling him an Uncle Tom. Dave Wolf, who worked in Frazier’s camp, recalled that, “Ali was saying ‘the only people rooting for Joe Frazier are white people in suits, Alabama sheriffs, and members of the Ku Klux Klan. I’m fighting for the little man in the ghetto.’ Joe was sitting there, smashing his fist into the palm of his hand, saying, ‘What the f**k does he know about the ghetto?'”

After an epic 15-round brutal beating of both Ali and Frazier, Ali lost to Frazier by unanimous decision by the judges, his first professional defeat.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

It is in fact 45 years ago March 8, 1971 that the sports history-making #MuhammadAli vs. #JoeFrazier bout (shown above) was dubbed “The Fight of the Century” in a 15-round showdown!

Here’s whereupon the rivalry between the iconic boxers began. “Ali’s characterizations of Frazier during the lead-up to the fight cemented a personal animosity towards Ali by Frazier that lasted until Frazier’s death. Frazier and his camp always considered Ali’s words cruel and unfair, far beyond what was necessary to sell tickets. Shortly after the bout, in the studios of ABC’s Wide World of Sports during a nationally televised interview with the two boxers (with iconic Howard Cozell), Frazier rose from his chair and wrestled Ali to the floor after Ali called him ignorant,” according to Wikipedia.

Subsequently, a second Ali-Frazier rematch at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 1974, resulted in an unanimous decision for Ali recapturing his undisputed heavyweight boxing title from Joe Frazier—who had recently lost his undisputed heavyweight boxing belt to a huge younger 1968 Olympian Gold-Medalist “Big George” Foreman.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Dubbed as a “Rumble in the Jungle, Ali at 32 years old was considered extremely outmatched by the imposing figure of George Foreman, who was then a much younger opponent than Ali by ten years. After earlier in the year defeating Joe Frazier, Ali went on to defeat George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire, on October 30, 1974 in a stunning upset strategy he used in the bout called “Rope-A-Dope.” 

Ali was wildly popular in Zaire, with crowds chanting “Ali, bomaye” (“Ali, kill him”) wherever he went in the African nation, which cemented his iconic global status as a world-class athlete-statesman.

Ali worked the media, like a magician and a poet, as he waved the rhyme and rhythm of his magical prose to English interviewer David Frost, “If you think the world was surprised when Nixon resigned, wait ’til I whup Foreman’s behind!” 

He further crafted his impromptu poetry, like Miles Davis’ jazz improvisatio, across the world media, “I’ve done something new for this fight. I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale; handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail; only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick; I’m so mean I make medicine sick.”

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

The “Rope-A-Dope” strategy was simply a brilliant militarist strategic approach used by Ali inside the formidable Foreman boxing ring. 

Such a strategic approach is when your opponent is angry, irritate them, when you’re physically outmatched, evade them, and when you’re overwhelmingly outgunned, leave them, and live to fight another day.

Ali laid on the ropes, resting much of the match, and tiring the more aggressive Foreman, swinging endlessly at Ali and pounding damaging body blows, but not critical knockout punches to Ali’s “pretty face,” as he oftentimes referenced in the media about himself. Ali simply covered up and counter-punched, landing judges’ point-mounting blows on Foreman—as he also hugged him often to rest and verbally taunt Foreman, messing with his head and actually psyching him out of the bout.

“Is that all you got, George? They told me you could hit,” Ali verbally abused into Foreman’s head in the game.

By an eighth round, Ali had exhausted Foreman with a flurry of blows causing Foreman to stagger to the floor of the center ring, as he couldn’t rise to his feet again when the referee finished his countdown. Against the odds, the “Rumble in the Jungle” was over and Ali had regained his third heavyweight boxing title by knockout.

Reflecting on Ali’s brilliant strategy in the epic battle, George Foreman poignantly and humbly said: “I’ll admit it. Muhammad outthought me and outfought me.”

Ali not only had regained his third world heavyweight boxing championship, but also finally got fully recrowned his previous boxing titles that were stripped seven years before as a result of his 1967 conscientious objector and subsequently overturned felony conviction on draft evasion by the highest legal court in the land. But just as important, Ali favorably captured the global court of public opinion that now saw Ali as a world-class athlete-statesman of peace and inclusion.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

The following year, Ali agreed to a third rematch bout with rival Joe Frazier in Manila, the capital city of The Philippines. The bout, known as the “Thrilla in Manila”, was held on October 1, 1975 in temperatures approaching 100 °F (38 °C). The intense Southeast Asia heat made the pounding by each of these much older boxing rivals extremely brutal to a point of near death for each of these longstanding stellar athletes. 

Emotionally-wrenching to watch for millions of viewers around the world, the brutal fight, going down the stretch through 14 brutal rounds, as each competitor tore into each other, never succumbing to the other in the name of history, “was eventually stopped, when Frazier’s trainer, Eddie Futch, refused to allow Frazier to answer the bell for the 15th and final round, despite Frazier’s protests. Frazier’s eyes were both swollen shut. Ali, in his corner, winner by a technical knockout (TKO), slumped on his stool, morbidly exhausted,” Wikipedia summarizes.

Ali had retained his third heavyweight boxing championship, a triple-crown title held until he retired. 

Both boxing Titans later required extensive hospitalization, exhibiting the magnitude of the beating each of these rivals gave each other in the “Thrilla in Manila” on October 1, 1975. 

After this bout Ali called Frazier “the greatest fighter of all times, next to me.”

This epic boxing battle of Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier, just two years later had inspired actor Sylvester Stallone to create the groundbreaking dramatic intensity of the boxing scenes in the enormously popular Oscar-winning film, Rocky in 1977, which was not previously achieved in cinematic portrayals of boxing matches in the ring. 

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Athlete-Statesman Muhammad Ali’s Conscientious Objector Legacy of Peace and Inclusion

So, here we are today reflecting on what a world-class athlete-statesman has left us upon his passing, as we look at ourselves through his mirror – more distrusting of others, and more closeted in our views. 

For Muhammad Ali’s conscientious objector profile in courage to work today, we must allow ourselves in the age demography shift and heightened engagement on rapid-fire digital communication devices to discuss our true feelings and biases, and not be chastised for what we believe.

We must evolve as a society where we can relegate those who harbor views of what can be described as racist, to the commonly viewed and reasonable point of distaste or disdain. 

Yet, along the way on the course to this new destination of societal norms and conventions, Ali’s legacy compels us to ask ourselves what have we done to understand why we feel this way?

Has diversity divided us into divisiveness to mask us away from the real problems in social injustice, equality, racial tension, peace and inclusion we see when we face the nation inside Ali’s mirror?

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

According to Scientific American on September 16, 2014 (later edited October 1, 2014), “The first thing to acknowledge about diversity is that it can be difficult. In the U.S., where the dialogue of inclusion is relatively advanced, even the mention of the word “diversity” can lead to anxiety and conflict. Supreme Court justices disagree on the virtues of diversity and the means for achieving it. Corporations spend billions of dollars to attract and manage diversity both internally and externally, yet they still face discrimination lawsuits, and the leadership ranks of the business world remain predominantly white and male.”

What has a world-class athlete-statesman’s conscientious objector polemic on freedom, diversity and inclusion, accomplished by Muhammad Ali in the late 1960s through the 1970s, that has nowadays truly permeated across the social fabric in an age now generationally dominated by Millennials?

Ali’s magically poetic polemic today would perhaps pose that America is suffering inside its biggest bubble ready to explode. 

If we don’t focus our attention on the most immediate concerns of building roads and bridges to schools and hospitals that need rehabilitation and healing, then the country may become “technically bankrupted” for our children and grandchildren.

Muhammad Ali’s conscientious objection poignantly would ask why aren’t we still not quite truly diverse in our boardrooms, in our C-suites, in our colleges and university leadership and faculty ranks, and in our highest ranking public-sector and private-sector charitable institutions or other bastions of real power and influence.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

With all of the time, infrastructure and resources allocated to making us all more accepting of our differences, here we are reflecting upon Muhammad Ali’s legacy upon us 16 years after the start of the millennium with racial tensions, LGBT issues, women’s rights, pay equity, economic disparities, political divisiveness, voting rights and civil rights dominating our daily lives. There seems to be a rising plethora of racially-charged incidents of late coming from multiple segments of our society.

Harvard Business Review blog argues that diversity training can promote prejudice.

“Diversity training doesn’t extinguish prejudice. It promotes it,” the prestigious college periodical cites.

The blog, citing a study of 829 companies over 31 years, showed that diversity training had “no positive effects in the average workplace.” Millions of dollars a year were spent on the training resulting in, well, nothing. Attitudes — and the diversity of the organizations — remained the same.

It gets worse. The researchers — Frank Dobbin of Harvard, Alexandra Kalev of Berkeley, and Erin Kelly of the University of Minnesota — concluded that “In firms where training is mandatory or emphasizes the threat of lawsuits, training actually has negative effects on management diversity.”

The solution proposed by the Harvard Business Review for the divisiveness of diversity initiatives is rather than engaging people through the lens of race, gender, age, heritage, religion, disability, sexual orientation and parenting, we need to engage people as people.

This kind of engagement of people is what the conscientious objector Mohammad Ali pledged as an athlete-statesman in principle.

“Stop training people to be more accepting of diversity. It’s too conceptual, and it doesn’t work,” says the Harvard Business Review. “Instead, train (people) to do their work with a diverse set of individuals. Not categories of people. [Just as] People.”

Mohammed Ali actually engaged in difficult conversations with a global public during the turbulent late 1960s and seventies.

“Teach (people) how to have difficult conversations with a range of individuals. Teach (people) how to manage the variety of employees who report to them. Teach (people) how to develop the skills of their various employees,” argues the Harvard Business Review.

“Move beyond similarity and diversity to individuality.”

Athlete-statesman Muhammad Ali was definitely one of a kind. He was indeed about individuality and that was his true freedom to be just as the people who loved him around the world.

At its core, “diversity”, as it is used in relation to the workplace, is a divisive and rather weird concept, reports The Guardian (U.K.). “In claiming certain groups into its fold, it suggests that some people are “diverse” and some are “not diverse”. It suggests, in other words, a nucleus of normal and goes about classifying everyone off-centre into check-box categories that can be totted [or totaled] up and turned into tables for the annual report.”

“What’s more, definitions of diversity tend to be skin-deep, about differences you can see […],” The Guardian (U.K.) concludes.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

Photo Credit: Muhammad Ali hugs U.S. President George W. Bush (above), in a White House Ceremony in 2005, awarding Statesman #Ali, who “defined the terms of his public reputation,” as a recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, both in 2005.

It appears that whenever a high profile and potentially racially divisive incident occurs, the battle lines are drawn. Even if the incident or issue (albeit health, human services, housing, education, energy, sports, entertainment or environment) itself has nothing to do with race, it quickly turns into a racial issue, when racial stereotypes surrounding those involved come into play.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

We all tend to speak over each other and not with each other so fast nowadays in which conventional wisdom spreads with such exponential virility, like a brush fire, that no containment or quarantine of information, knowledge or understanding is possible.

We have seen countless instances that demonstrate that we are much less tolerant of others, much more outspoken in our politically incorrect views, and with very little to show for all of the dollars spent on conferences and programs aimed at making us more diverse and more racial and gender tolerant.

Take the explosive case of Paula Dean. She honestly answered a question that was asked of her. Yet, she was slaughtered in the press alongside her food empire being attacked. Blacks surprisingly came to her defense. For them, what she said and did was troubling of course. But also blacks see in her own, southern charming way, this woman, who grew up in the height of racial segregation, simply told the truth. Some could say she was too naïve to know better. However, her naivety is what endears her to us. She admitted what she said and felt. Since then, she has taken steps to face her inbred prejudices.

Contrast the case of Paula Dean’s comments, to what takes place in corporate offices, where discussions about the racial makeup of the leadership teams surely take place.

Some would say, “We have become a very diverse nation and diversity, due to its very nature, breeds disagreement. People have always had trouble getting along with each other, but in our day we find ourselves in a divided country.”

In part, “we are a nation divided because of two things which are mutually exclusive – liberty and government. While some people seek a government that passes binding laws that infringe on personal freedom, others seek a more libertarian form of government. While one group sees the government as the solution to our problems, another sees it as the cause of our problems,” some would add.

Yes, America, we have a long way to go before we truly accept each other and our differences so as “to run so as to win,” much as Muhammad Ali did (in his foggy morning training photo below). We need to learn how to fully appreciate the rainbow of colors, ideas, lifestyles and philosophies in each other. We must learn not to judge others, because they hold views and opinions quite dissimilar to ours. It is only then will we be a society that truly appreciates our differences, and values those perspectives that we all have.

Our long and winding road across our risky and uncertain world is no longer the same without the conscientious objection spirit and voice of peace and inclusion from The Greatest, Muhammad Ali, leading among us.

A Soul of a Butterfly with a Sting of a Bee, #RIPMuhammadAli (1942-2016)

__________

Oliver G. McGee III is a teacher, a researcher, an administrator, and an advisor to government, corporations and philanthropy. He is professor of mechanical engineering and former Vice President for Research and Compliance at Howard University. Dr. McGee is former Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Inc. He was Professor and former Chair (2001-2005) of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Geodetic Science at Ohio State University. He is the first African-American to hold a professorship and a departmental chair leadership in the century-and-a-quarter history of Ohio State University’s engineering college. Dr. McGee has also held several professorships and research positions at Georgia Tech and MIT.

McGee is the former United States (U.S.) Deputy Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Technology Policy (1999-2001) at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and former Senior Policy Advisor (1997-1999) in The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He is a NASDAQ certified graduate of UCLA John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management’s 2013 Director Education and Certification Program, and NYSE Governance Services Guide to Corporate Board Education’s 2003 Directors’ Consortium (on corporate board governance).

McGee is a 2012-13 American Council on Education Fellow at UCLA Office of the Chancellor Gene Block. He is a 2013 University of California Berkeley Institutes on Higher Education (BIHE) graduate. He is also an Executive Leadership Academy Fellow of the University of California, Berkeley Center of Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) and the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE), Inc. McGee is an American Association of State Colleges & Universities’ (AASCU) Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI) Fellow – educational leadership and management development programs for prospective university chancellors and presidents.

Education Background: Ohio State University, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Civil Engineering, University of Arizona, Masters of Science (M.S.) in Civil Engineering, University of Arizona, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Engineering Mechanics, Aerospace Engineering (Minor), The University of Chicago, Booth School, Masters of Business Administration (M.B.A.), The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Certificate of Professional Development (C.P.D.), Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy – Certificate of Fund Raising Management (C.F.R.M.).

Partnership Possibilities for America – Invested in STEEP Giving Forward, founded by McGee in 2010, is based in Washington, DC.

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May 252018
 

Nuclear Burst 5 - 9 Nations Are The Nuclear Weapons Club

“Nine countries possess over 15,000 nuclear weapons. The U.S. and Russia have about 1,800 on high-alert status– ready to be launched within minutes of a warning,” according to International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which accounts the number of nuclear warheads in countries worldwide, so far as of 2015.

“The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is a coalition of non-governmental organizations in one hundred countries promoting adherence to and implementation of the United Nations nuclear weapon ban treaty. This landmark global agreement was adopted in New York on 7 July 2017 … Nuclear weapons are absolutely unacceptable. They are indiscriminate, illegal, and immoral. Responsible states should urgently join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to stigmatize nuclear weapons and grandstanding.”

ICAN adds: “Most are many times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945. A single nuclear warhead, if detonated on a large city, could kill millions of people, with the effects persisting for decades.”

“The failure of the nuclear powers to disarm has heightened the risk that other countries will acquire nuclear weapons. The only guarantee against the spread and use of nuclear weapons is to eliminate them without delay. Although the leaders of some nuclear-armed nations have expressed their vision for a nuclear-weapon-free world, they have failed to develop any detailed plans to eliminate their arsenals and are modernizing them,” the global denuclearization advocacy groups says.

nuclearmissiles - 9 Nations Are The Nuclear Weapons Club

This also confirms the current status of nuclear science and technology worldwide at the dawn of a potential U.S. treaty with Iran, as a possible tenth new entrant into the world’s nuclear weapons club.

As the historic nuclear deal with Iran was approved back in 2015 inside the Obama Administration, but now scrapped by the Trump Administration in 2018, the world’s two largest aircraft manufacturers, Boeing Company and Airbus Group SE, were poised to gain $20 billion in aircraft sales from Iran to revamp its civilian aviation fleet and to rebuild its commercial passenger airline industry that has taken a beating for three decades after the Iranian Revolution during the Carter Administration.

International commercial passenger airlines demand has been primarily based out of Dubai in Emirates Airlines, which is today the largest operator of Boeing’s 777-300ER and Airbus’s A380 superjumbo airliners in the Middle East region.

Speaking about who benefits from the historic Iranian Nuclear Deal, alongside the infusing of $150 billion dollars in cash to Iran, and the lifting of three decades of economic sanctions on Iran during the Obama Administration (but now reinstated during the Trump Administration), Adam Pilarski, an economist and senior vice president with Avitas Inc., a Reston, Virginia-based aerospace consultant, told Bloomberg News, “There’s no doubt there is huge potential, especially for Airbus and Boeing, to sell a large number of planes (in the United Arab Emirates region).”

Bloomberg first broke the story on these subtle international macroeconomic developments shaping the American debate on the final approval of the Iranian Nuclear Deal back in 2015 during the Obama Administration.

So, this was just all about duopolistic aircraft manufacturing industrial organization, as well as, reducing “aging aircraft” fleets and increasing competition in the international commercial passenger airlines industry in the lucrative United Arab Emirates surrounding region.

The average age of the international civilian aircraft fleets operating in the region is approaching two and a half decades with Iran Air’s fleet, being the oldest at just over 27 years, and Emirates Airlines’s fleet, being the youngest at just over six years, according to Planespotters.com most recent aircraft fleet age comparison data for airlines surrounding the region of the United Arab Emirates.

Seven additional facts Americans should know about the Obama Administration’s now dismantled Iranian Nuclear Deal are briefly summarized at the end of this piece.

#BreakingNews On May 8, 2018:

. scraps Obama’s , calling it “the worst deal ever made,” as reinstates Iran economic sanctions. I said weeks ago walks away, as he thinks the Iran Deal “stunk of high-heaven” away from interests! Retweet!

 
Nuclear Club 8 - 9 Nations Are The Nuclear Weapons Club
 
Global Nuclear Arsenals in the 21st Century
 
Nuclear weaponry nowadays contains the total explosive power equivalent to about four tons of TNTNine nations have successfully detonated nuclear weapons, according to the Huntington Post and Wikipedia. Five are “nuclear-weapon states” (NWS) under the terms of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). These include the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, and China.
 
With 7,500 warheads, Russia has the biggest nuclear arsenal worldwide, followed closely by the US with 7,200. Between 2013-2022, the US is expected to outlay US$8.5 billion budgeted to nuclear incident management. France rounds out the top three with 300 warheads.

Nuclear Club 3 - 9 Nations Are The Nuclear Weapons Club

This is followed by China at fourth place with 250 warheads, United Kingdom at fifth place with 215 warheads, Pakistan at sixth place having about 100-120 warheads, and India at seven place, accounting for about 90-110 warheads, according to ICAN.

At eighth place, Israel is generally exclusively classified about its nuclear capabilities, maintaining a policy of deliberate ambiguity. It is not known definitively whether or not Israel has conducted a nuclear test, neither confirming nor denying it possesses such weapons. 

However, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute‘s Yearbook of 2014, and ICAN in 2015 estimate Israel has approximately 80 warheads.

North Korea is believed to have fewer than ten nuclear weapons, though it is not clear if it has developed the capability to deliver them in the last several decades, since the US-North Korean nuclear arsenal deal was ratified by Congress during the Clinton Administration.

“On May 25, 2018 (inside video above), Sky’s Asia Correspondent Tom Chesire was the only British television journalist invited to see the demolition and closure of what North Korea says is its nuclear weapons test site in Punggye-ri without the presence of weapons inspectors or nuclear experts. After a series of blasts, a general says North Korea will “join hands with all peace-loving people in building a peaceful world”.”

Nuclear weapons hosting nations and nuclear arsenals alliance nations, include Sweden, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Netherlands, Turkey, Canada and Transatlantic Oceanics, Japan, and Australia, to name just a few.

Nations formerly possessing nuclear weapons are Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and South Africa, according to Wikipedia.

Nuclear Club 4 - 9 Nations Are The Nuclear Weapons Club

Iran as Potential New Entrant into the World’s Nuclear Weapons Club

At the dawn of a potential U.S. treaty with Iran, as the tenth new entrant of the world’s nuclear weapons club, Iran’s military has successfully test-fired two new domestically made missiles (shown in photo above), Iranian defense minister said on February 11, 2014, according to state television, ahead of talks with world powers during the Obama Administration.

Following in similar trends of nuclear science and technology development as North Korea, Iran could potentially take at least several decades to develop any capabilities to deliver any nuclear arsenals the Middle East sovereign state would produce. Conventional nuclear delivery capabilities require uranium concentration levels of about 90 percent. Potential nuclear treaties impose uranium concentration limitations to about 3-4 percent, thus limiting any nuclear detonation capacity and holding delivery systems to just energy power sourcing mechanisms.

In essence the inertia of atomic energy theorem is the most important result of Einstein’s (special) theory of relativity in 1905, who said, “The mass (m) of a body is a measure of its (specific) energy content; if the energy (E) changes by (a small amount, dE), the mass (m) changes in the same direction by (that small amount, dE, divided by the square of the characteristic velocity (c) of the mass). It is not out of question that for bodies whose energy content is variable in a high degree (e.g. for radium salts or for uranium) a test of the theory may be successful. [Albert Einstein, “Does the inertia of a body depend on its energy content?” Ann. Physik, Vol. 17, 1905. Einstein here explains the specialization of his famous (specific) energy equation (E/m) of the 20th Century].

The nuclear fission of the heaviest element, uranium – more accurately speaking – the uranium isotope of atomic weight 235 – discovered by Otto Hahn in 1938 – was carried out on a huge scale of terrifying effect in the destruction caused by the uranium bomb. Considering that energy content and transfers of ordinary molecular processes fall within ranges of hundreds to thousands of calories, atomic uranium energy content and transfers supply many million times of calories.

In other words a few decades later, there is both the horrible societal disaster of a nuclear uranium bomb contrast against the lucrative economic benefit of a nuclear uranium engine or power plant system. The latter of which is a controllable, continuously operating uranium process of powerful energy to light a modern city or propel a modern transportation system. The obvious fact that the economic realization of the nuclear uranium power process differs from the military resourcefulness of a nuclear uranium bomb – that is carried out by way of a “transuranium element (called plutonium)” – is immediate, argues the great 20th Century physicists, Arnold Sommerfeld in 1952.

Such nuclear science and technology in the millennium age would most likely possess a nuclear detonation and delivery system that is much smaller in scale, achieved through advances in high-performance computing and advanced materials, via grand challenge developments in information technologies, biotechnologies, micro-technologies, even nano-technologies, compared to the conventional mega-scale nuclear detonation and delivery capabilities mastered through the birth of the nuclear age in the middle of the 20th century. These modern nuclear capabilities will be just as devastating as the 20th century weaponry of mass destruction, perhaps even more so in the millennium nuclear age, leveraging integration of the above scientific and technological fields.

Be that as it may, a potential US-Iranian nuclear weapons deal, proposed in 2015 by the Obama Administration and subsequently derailed in 2018 by the Trump Administration, is highly controversial.

As President Barack Obama and his administration officials stumped Capitol Hill back in 2015, garnering support for his controversial nuclear deal with Iran, “critics (were and still are) roundly condemning the deal as a historic and catastrophic agreement that will strengthen Iran and imperil national security for America and its allies.”

Nuclear Club 5 1024x537 - 9 Nations Are The Nuclear Weapons Club

Here are seven facts about President Obama’s proposed Iran nuclear deal Americans should know.

First and foremost, President Obama’s deal allowed Iran to block inspector access to any undeclared nuclear site. Obama National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, admitted to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 that “no Americans will be part of the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] inspection teams.”

Fox News political contributor, Charles Krauthammer, counterpointed, “The denial is then adjudicated by a committee—on which Iran sits. It then goes through several other bodies, on all of which Iran sits” and the whole process may take up to 24 days.

On an additional fact, the Washington Post reported, “Yet another worry is that the lifting of tough economic sanctions on Iran would provide it with as much as $150 billion in revenue. Some of that money would be spent on infrastructure and the Iranian people.”

Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice conceded on this fact to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: “Yes, it is real, it is possible, and, in fact, we should expect that some portion of that money would go to the Iranian military and could potentially be used for the kinds of bad behavior that we have seen in the region up until now.”

Nuclear Club 6 1024x616 - 9 Nations Are The Nuclear Weapons Club

A most critical fact is Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 that “weapons supplies will be possible” under the new deal.

As the International Business Times reports, “Russia and China will continue to make weapons deals with Iran under U.N. procedures.”

Fox News political contributor, Charles Krauthammer argued that “the net effect of this capitulation will be not only to endanger our Middle East allies now under threat from Iran and its proxies, but to endanger our own naval forces in the Persian Gulf.”

He added: “Imagine how Iran’s acquisition of the most advanced anti-ship missiles would threaten our control over the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, waterways we have kept open for international commerce for a half century.”

Nuclear Club 7 - 9 Nations Are The Nuclear Weapons Club

A final overarching fact is the support of the American people on a proposed US-Iranian nuclear arsenals deal. According to a 2015 Associated Press-GfK poll, “77 percent of Americans believe U.S. sanctions against Iran should be kept the same or increased, not lifted as Obama’s deal calls for,” reported Breitbart.com.

“Prior to the announcement of President Obama’s controversial Iran nuclear deal, 60 percent of Americans disapproved of his handling of U.S. relations with Iran.”

This public sentiment by Americans still holds true today remarkably.

Still, President Obama and administration officials continued onward with their 60-day campaign to build support for his controversial Iran nuclear deal.

#BreakingNews On May 14, 2018:

Retweet Rare 2015 US Senate & US State Memos saying wasn’t a treaty & not signed by Iran! As I said, it was just to build Iran’s Airplanes & Oil Infrastructure! Ben Rhodes, Obama’s security mouthpiece, fed on

A 2015 Washington Post/ABC News poll last week, says nearly 6 in 10 Americans, 59 percent, would support a plan to “lift economic sanctions in exchange for Iran restricting its nuclear program in a way that makes it hard for Iran to produce nuclear weapons.”

This deal which has been reached with Iran will “nuclearize the Middle East,” Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said on Monday, July 20, 2015. The Arizona Senator further speculates Congress will not approve President Obama’s deal with Iran in the first round.

“I think it’s not going to get through the first round, as you know, but the president’s already said he would veto, and then the question is, are there sufficient votes to override a veto?” the Arizona senator told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program.

McCain added: “And, frankly, I’m on the side of Bibi [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu],” stating his alliance with the Israeli leader and his fears about the future of Israel following the US-Iranian nuclear arsenals agreement for Iran to enter into the world’s nuclear weapons club.

Nuclear Club 8 - 9 Nations Are The Nuclear Weapons Club

Nuclear Club 9 - 9 Nations Are The Nuclear Weapons Club

Appendix

Birth of The Nuclear Age for The Millennium

Remarkably, Albert Einstein, the most famous Nobel Laureate nuclear physicist of his time, who wrote a letter to US President, Franklin Roosevelt, “pointed out the imminent dangers of a German atomic bomb. The result of Einstein’s efforts was to change the world history through the Manhattan Project. The project was highly secretive and expensive. Carried out in United States, it employed nearly 40000 people at thirty-seven installations and its aim was to take lead over Hitler in making an atomic bomb.”

“In America under the leadership of scientist Enrico Fermi much work had already been done on nuclear fission. In fact it was Fermi’s team, which in December 1942, produced the world’s first controlled nuclear fission chain reaction. Without this work, the development of an atomic bomb might not have been so quick, [but for] Fermi’s success in laying down the ground work for the process used these days. Scientists under the leadership of Robert Oppenheimer at Los Almos, New Mexico, turned their efforts to produce an atomic bomb. United States, thus, made an atomic bomb before Hitler did [as the Germans surrendered in May 1945]. The first test explosion took place in July 1945 at Almogordo, New Mexico.”

The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an “existing one.”  – Nobel Laureate Physicist Albert Einstein

Photo Credits: The largest nuclear explosion ever on earth was the March 26, 1954 detonation, codenamed Castle Bravo, the first test of a practical hydrogen bomb. Operation Castle, American series of high-energy nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll (in the Northwest of the Marshall Islands), March 26, 1954. (Cover Photo by Roger Viollet/Getty Images).

__________

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Feb 182018
 
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In memoriam  
 
February 15, 2018
 
“Seventeen people died on Wednesday when a former student entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and opened fire. As the community and the country grieve, names and details of the victims are gradually emerging. Here is some of what is known about the students and administrators who were killed in the tragedy.”
 
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Presidential Proclamation Honoring the Victims of the Tragedy in Parkland, Florida
 
THE WHITE HOUSE

February 15, 2018

Our Nation grieves with those who have lost loved ones in the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.  As a mark of solemn respect for the victims of the terrible act of violence perpetrated on February 14, 2018, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, February 19, 2018.  I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.”

DONALD J. TRUMP

Our Holy Bible inside the Book of Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 says:
“He Gives Life’s Order of Events:
There’s an appointed time for everything. And there’s a time for every event under heaven — 
 
A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what’s planted. 
 
A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up. 
 
A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. 
 
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing. 
 
A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away. 
 
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak. 
 
A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace.”
 
And now, Here’s our time to speak.
 
Americans have some hard choices to make about gun control and constitutional rights to bear arms in the emotional wake of “a 19-year-old man who had been expelled from his Florida high school was held on 17 counts of murder on Thursday, February 15, 2018, the morning after authorities say he opened fire at the school, unleashing one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history, recounts also Reuters. “Amid continued string of mass shootings, gun control is going nowhere in Congress,” reports CNN, as here are ten things the Parkland school shooting won’t change.”
 
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Or, in the horrific wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting, or in the stunning wake of U.S. House Majority Whip (R-La.) Steve Scalise’s recount of the harrowing moments within a minute from death after he was shot at a 7 o’clock in the morning congressional baseball game recently back in June 2017 in northern Virginia.

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America’s hard choices in the wakes of these emotional tragedies are not merely to support or oppose gun control, but to make the hard choices in the ongoing debate on who can own which guns under what conditions to protect ourselves, our families, our schools, our churches, our businesses, and our government (comprised of and representing us).

Historically speaking, total numbers of firearm-related incidents have actually fallen through the decades. Before 1993, the number of people killed or wounded by firearms skyrocketed. Thereafter, America has seen a precipitous drop in deaths due to firearms, including fatal firearms accidents reduced to approximately 40 percent in the last decade, and nowadays reduced to as high as 49 percent, according to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) conservative think-tank, with such fatal firearms accidents statistics resting now at their lowest levels ever chronicled. 

Of the 31,224 people who died from gun violence, according to recent data reports on TIME.com, 12,632 people died from murderous gun violence, and the difference of 18,592 people died from self-inflicted suicide by gun fire, mostly by white men statistically.

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Source: TIME.com

I’m at Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas, where this small, very conservative community still holds onto its constitutional second amendment rights and liberties.

“The right to bear arms” was bestowed to the American citizenry by the framers of the constitution, who guarded against an over-reaching government. And, the framers included that right in the constitution before many other bills of rights, such as “the right to trial by jury, and the prohibitions against illegal search and arrest.”

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Source: Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, “Why Own a Gun? Protection Is Now Top Reason,” www.people-press.org, Mar. 12, 2013

Be that as it may, the issue of gun ownership has remained one of the most contentious debates in this country. Given there are over 250 million guns across the American social fabric today, there are currently over 35,000 gun-control laws on the books in this nation, which attempt to control a right that the constitution says “shall not be infringed,” and many of these laws include total gun bans in many American cities (not inclusive to several states as Texas).

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Source: FactCheck.org (2013), Top 10 States with lowest gun-related death rates (in blue); Top 10 States with highest gun-related death rates (in orange)

The FBI had a clear tip on January 5, 2018 of the intent and clear capabilities of a former student, who entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and opened fire, mass killing seventeen innocent people. 

As reported on February 16, 2018 in the Washington Examiner: “Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday ordered an “immediate review” of the Department of Justice and FBI after officials failed to follow up on a tip that Nikolas Cruz, who shot up his former Florida high school on Wednesday, could be a threat.

The FBI admitted that “protocols were not followed” in this case, and Sessions said a full inquiry would be made.

“It is now clear that the warning signs were there and tips to the FBI were missed. We see the tragic consequences of those failures,” Sessions said in a statement.

Sessions said he has ordered Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to conduct an “immediate review of our process” at the Justice Department and FBI “to ensure that we reach the highest level of prompt and effective response to indications of potential violence that come to us.”

“This includes more than just an error review but also a review of how we respond. This will include possible consultation with family members, mental health officials, school officials, and local law enforcement,” the attorney general said.

Sessions called the review a “top priority.”

Remarkably, the FBI finds the top weapon of choice of criminals involved in violent crimes they’ve investigated ironically is “a baseball bat” (categorized below as #9 non-firearm homicides just above #10 firearm homicides in a December 9, 2012 bar-charted statistical data comparison of Top 10 “Killers” of citizens in the U.S.).

“Why is there NO outcry to RESPECT baseball bat ownership?” asks second amendment advocates, “maybe because so many law-abiding citizens enjoy (baseball bats) safely, for sport.”

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And so, the debate continues with the central questions being exactly what rights do Americans have with their ability to protect themselves and their property? And how far can the government go to either violate or protect these rights?

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Source: Business Insider (2016), “Where Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump stand on gun control”

Our ongoing and continuing gun ownership debate is a longstanding part of the sociopolitical process in this nation. And, it will continue to surface in public reaction to future extreme disaster events and recovery, like the history-making Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay 32nd floor and Parkland, Florida high school shooting massacres, or the nightly gun killings on the harsh streets of several American cities, like Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago, or Los Angeles.

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Just as important, all law-abiding Americans have the inalienable rights to their United States Constitutional Bill of Rights – all of them, including the 2nd Amendment “right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Our third U.S. President Thomas Jefferson said,

The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores The Constitution.”

And, our first U.S. President George Washington said:

A free people ought not only be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.”

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Parkland, Florida (and even Las Vegas) active shootings and massacres are a wake up call to protect our schools (and open arenas) on the grounds with undercover “School Marshals,” much like we now protect our airplanes in the sky with undercover “Sky Marshals” after the 9-11 Terrorists Attacks!

Are folks inside our airplanes more important assets to protect than our children inside our schools? No way! This is all about protecting people more than devices, right?

Therefore, my advice is to consider all combinations of legal frameworks and social education of domestic safety and Homeland security of our citizenry, and not just simply ‘following the herd in sociopolitical reaction after Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay 32nd floor extreme event of a suicidal madman’ randomly shooting into a crowd of 40,000 peacefully festive concertgoers. Or, most recently, perhaps as some kind of horribly warped symbolism on St. Valentine’s Day on Wednesday, February 14, 2018, a young gunman, involved in yet another extreme event of a Florida high school shooting, is being held by authorities on 17 murder counts of high school children.

Remember, we all are the future of our country and the protector of both civil and human rights of all of us as citizens!

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APPENDIX
 
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President Donald Trump’s Address to The Nation on the Florida High School Tragedy

Below is the transcript of President Donald Trump address to the nation on Thursday, February 15, 2018, as released by the White House, a day after a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, left at least 17 dead.

My fellow Americans, today I speak to a nation in grief. Yesterday, a school filled with innocent children and caring teachers became the scene of terrible violence, hatred and evil.
 
Around 2:30 yesterday afternoon, police responded to reports of gunfire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida — a great and safe community. There, a shooter, who is now in custody, opened fire on defenseless students and teachers. He murdered 17 people and badly wounded at least 14 others.
 
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Our entire nation, with one heavy heart, is praying for the victims and their families. To every parent, teacher, and child who is hurting so badly, we are here for you — whatever you need, whatever we can do, to ease your pain. We are all joined together as one American family, and your suffering is our burden also.
 
No child, no teacher, should ever be in danger in an American school. No parent should ever have to fear for their sons and daughters when they kiss them goodbye in the morning.
 
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Each person who was stolen from us yesterday had a full life ahead of them — a life filled with wondrous beauty and unlimited potential and promise. Each one had dreams to pursue, love to give, and talents to share with the world. And each one had a family to whom they meant everything in the world.
 
Today, we mourn for all of those who lost their lives. We comfort the grieving and the wounded. And we hurt for the entire community of Parkland, Florida, that is now in shock, in pain, and searching for answers.
 
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To law enforcement, first responders, and teachers who responded so bravely in the face of danger: We thank you for your courage. Soon after the shooting, I spoke with Governor (Rick) Scott to convey our deepest sympathies to the people of Florida and our determination to assist in any way that we can. I also spoke with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.
 
I’m making plans to visit Parkland to meet with families and local officials, and to continue coordinating the federal response.
 
In these moments of heartache and darkness, we hold on to God’s word in scripture: “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you.”
 
We trust in that promise, and we hold fast to our fellow Americans in their time of sorrow.
 
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I want to speak now directly to America’s children, especially those who feel lost, alone, confused or even scared: I want you to know that you are never alone and you never will be. You have people who care about you, who love you, and who will do anything at all to protect you. If you need help, turn to a teacher, a family member, a local police officer, or a faith leader. Answer hate with love; answer cruelty with kindness.
 
We must also work together to create a culture in our country that embraces the dignity of life, that creates deep and meaningful human connections and that turns classmates and colleagues into friends and neighbors.
 
Our administration is working closely with local authorities to investigate the shooting and learn everything we can. We are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools, and tackle the difficult issue of mental health.
 
Later this month, I will be meeting with the nation’s governors and attorney generals, where making our schools and our children safer will be our top priority. It is not enough to simply take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference. We must actually make that difference.
 
In times of tragedy, the bonds that sustain us are those of family, faith, community, and country. These bonds are stronger than the forces of hatred and evil, and these bonds grow even stronger in the hours of our greatest need.
 
And so always, but especially today, let us hold our loved ones close, let us pray for healing and for peace, and let us come together as one nation to wipe away the tears and strive for a much better tomorrow.
 
Thank you. And God Bless you all. Thank you very much.”
 

#Video, Full Transcript of #Trump #WhiteHouse Speech After #LasVegas Shooting Massacre

In like fashion, President Trump’s speech from the White House on October 3, 2017 in the aftermath of the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay 32nd floor active shooter massacre was Spiritual and Godly. And, his speech established the perfect tone in a masterful use of his presidential powers of persuasion and compassion in the nation’s hour of need to have our president unite us as safe and secure citizens of community, equality and liberties.

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The president praised law enforcement for their bravery in rapidly tracking down the (now deceased from suicide) active shooter, Stephen Paddock, 64, high atop Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay 32nd floor (unleashing several hundred rounds of bullets from automatic weaponry through a busted out window) over 40,000 concertgoers at the nearby Route 91 Harvest country music festival site Sunday evening, shortly after 10pm PT (1am ET), saying that “in moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one” in the wake of the largest domestic mass shooting in modern U.S. history, killing nearly 58 people and injuring and hospitalizing over 500 other concertgoers. 

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Jan 312018
 
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US President Donald Trump listens to applause before giving the State of the Union address at the Capitol in Washington. (Photo Credit: CNN)

President Donald Trump first State of the Union Message on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 is “America is Back!

“THE GREAT AMERICAN COMEBACK! America now has a President that stands with our vets, stands for our flag, has turned our economy around, and is making AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” – Donald Trump Jr.

Here’s the President’s speech as delivered and released by the White House: 

“Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and my fellow Americans:
 
Less than 1 year has passed since I first stood at this podium, in this majestic chamber, to speak on behalf of the American People — and to address their concerns, their hopes, and their dreams. That night, our new Administration had already taken swift action. A new tide of optimism was already sweeping across our land.
 
Each day since, we have gone forward with a clear vision and a righteous mission — to make America great again for all Americans.
 
Over the last year, we have made incredible progress and achieved extraordinary success. We have faced challenges we expected, and others we could never have imagined. We have shared in the heights of victory and the pains of hardship. We endured floods and fires and storms. But through it all, we have seen the beauty of America’s soul, and the steel in America’s spine.
 
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New American Heroes.
 
Each test has forged new American heroes to remind us who we are, and show us what we can be.
We saw the volunteers of the “Cajun Navy,” racing to the rescue with their fishing boats to save people in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane.
 
We saw strangers shielding strangers from a hail of gunfire on the Las Vegas strip.
 
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We heard tales of Americans, like Coast Guard Petty Officer Ashlee Leppert, who is here tonight in the gallery with Melania.
 
Ashlee was aboard one of the first helicopters on the scene in Houston during Hurricane Harvey. Through 18 hours of wind and rain, Ashlee braved live power lines and deep water, to help save more than 40 lives. Thank you, Ashlee.
 
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We heard about Americans like firefighter David Dahlberg. He is here with us too. David faced down walls of flame to rescue almost 60 children trapped at a California summer camp threatened by wildfires.
 
To everyone still recovering in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, California, and everywhere else — we are with you, we love you, and we will pull through together.
 
Some trials over the past year touched this chamber very personally. With us tonight is one of the toughest people ever to serve in this House — a guy who took a bullet, almost died, and was back to work three and a half months later: the legend from Louisiana, Congressman Steve Scalise.
 
Congressman Steve Scalise at SOTU - President Donald Trump's First #SOTU Message: "America is Back!"
 
We are incredibly grateful for the heroic efforts of the Capitol Police Officers, the Alexandria Police, and the doctors, nurses, and paramedics, who saved his life, and the lives of many others in this room.
 
In the aftermath of that terrible shooting, we came together, not as Republicans or Democrats, but as representatives of the people. But it is not enough to come together only in times of tragedy. Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve.
 
Over the last year, the world has seen what we always knew: that no people on Earth are so fearless, or daring, or determined as Americans. If there is a mountain, we climb it. If there is a frontier, we cross it. If there is a challenge, we tame it. If there is an opportunity, we seize it.
 
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A Safe, Strong, and Proud America.
 
So let us begin tonight by recognizing that the state of our Union is strong because our people are strong.
 
And together, we are building a safe, strong, and proud America.
 
Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone. After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.
 
Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low. African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.
 
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Small business confidence is at an all-time high. The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion in value. That is great news for Americans’ 401k, retirement, pension, and college savings accounts.
 
And just as I promised the American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history.
 
Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small businesses.
 
To lower tax rates for hardworking Americans, we nearly doubled the standard deduction for everyone. Now, the first $24,000 earned by a married couple is completely tax-free. We also doubled the child tax credit.
 
A typical family of four making $75,000 will see their tax bill reduced by $2,000 — slashing their tax bill in half.
 
This April will be the last time you ever file under the old broken system — and millions of Americans will have more take-home pay starting next month.
 
We eliminated an especially cruel tax that fell mostly on Americans making less than $50,000 a year — forcing them to pay tremendous penalties simply because they could not afford government-ordered health plans. We repealed the core of disastrous Obamacare — the individual mandate is now gone.
 
We slashed the business tax rate from 35 percent all the way down to 21 percent, so American companies can compete and win against anyone in the world. These changes alone are estimated to increase average family income by more than $4,000.
 
Small businesses have also received a massive tax cut, and can now deduct 20 percent of their business income.
 
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Here tonight are Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger of Staub Manufacturing — a small business in Ohio. They have just finished the best year in their 20-year history. Because of tax reform, they are handing out raises, hiring an additional 14 people, and expanding into the building next door.
 
One of Staub’s employees, Corey Adams, is also with us tonight. Corey is an all-American worker. He supported himself through high school, lost his job during the 2008 recession, and was later hired by Staub, where he trained to become a welder.
 
Like many hardworking Americans, Corey plans to invest his tax‑cut raise into his new home and his two daughters’ education. Please join me in congratulating Corey.
 
Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses — many of them thousands of dollars per worker. Apple has just announced it plans to invest a total of $350 billion in America, and hire another 20,000 workers.
 
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This is our new American moment.
 
There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream.
 
So to every citizen watching at home tonight — no matter where you have been, or where you come from, this is your time. If you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve anything.
 
Tonight, I want to talk about what kind of future we are going to have, and what kind of Nation we are going to be. All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family.
 
We all share the same home, the same heart, the same destiny, and the same great American flag.
 
Together, we are rediscovering the American way.
 
In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of the American life. Our motto is “in God we trust.”
 
And we celebrate our police, our military, and our amazing veterans as heroes who deserve our total and unwavering support.
 
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Here tonight is Preston Sharp, a 12-year-old boy from Redding, California, who noticed that veterans’ graves were not marked with flags on Veterans Day. He decided to change that, and started a movement that has now placed 40,000 flags at the graves of our great heroes. Preston: a job well done.
 
Young patriots like Preston teach all of us about our civic duty as Americans. Preston’s reverence for those who have served our Nation reminds us why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the pledge of allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the national anthem.
 
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Americans love their country. And they deserve a Government that shows them the same love and loyalty in return.
 
For the last year we have sought to restore the bonds of trust between our citizens and their Government.
 
Working with the Senate, we are appointing judges who will interpret the Constitution as written, including a great new Supreme Court Justice, and more circuit court judges than any new administration in the history of our country.
 
We are defending our Second Amendment, and have taken historic actions to protect religious liberty.
 
And we are serving our brave veterans, including giving our veterans choice in their healthcare decisions. Last year, the Congress passed, and I signed, the landmark VA Accountability Act. Since its passage, my Administration has already removed more than 1,500 VA employees who failed to give our veterans the care they deserve — and we are hiring talented people who love our vets as much as we do.
 
I will not stop until our veterans are properly taken care of, which has been my promise to them from the very beginning of this great journey.
 
All Americans deserve accountability and respect — and that is what we are giving them. So tonight, I call on the Congress to empower every Cabinet Secretary with the authority to reward good workers — and to remove Federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people.
 
In our drive to make Washington accountable, we have eliminated more regulations in our first year than any administration in history.
 
We have ended the war on American Energy — and we have ended the war on clean coal. We are now an exporter of energy to the world.
 
In Detroit, I halted Government mandates that crippled America’s autoworkers — so we can get the Motor City revving its engines once again.
 
Many car companies are now building and expanding plants in the United States — something we have not seen for decades. Chrysler is moving a major plant from Mexico to Michigan; Toyota and Mazda are opening up a plant in Alabama. Soon, plants will be opening up all over the country. This is all news Americans are unaccustomed to hearing — for many years, companies and jobs were only leaving us. But now they are coming back.
 
Exciting progress is happening every day.
 
To speed access to breakthrough cures and affordable generic drugs, last year the FDA approved more new and generic drugs and medical devices than ever before in our history.
 
We also believe that patients with terminal conditions should have access to experimental treatments that could potentially save their lives.
 
People who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek a cure — I want to give them a chance right here at home. It is time for the Congress to give these wonderful Americans the “right to try.”
 
One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs. In many other countries, these drugs cost far less than what we pay in the United States. That is why I have directed my Administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of our top priorities. Prices will come down.
 
America has also finally turned the page on decades of unfair trade deals that sacrificed our prosperity and shipped away our companies, our jobs, and our Nation’s wealth.
 
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The era of economic surrender is over.
 
From now on, we expect trading relationships to be fair and to be reciprocal.
 
We will work to fix bad trade deals and negotiate new ones.
 
And we will protect American workers and American intellectual property, through strong enforcement of our trade rules.
 
As we rebuild our industries, it is also time to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.
 
America is a nation of builders. We built the Empire State Building in just 1 year — is it not a disgrace that it can now take 10 years just to get a permit approved for a simple road?
 
I am asking both parties to come together to give us the safe, fast, reliable, and modern infrastructure our economy needs and our people deserve.
 
Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment we need.
 
Every Federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with State and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment — to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit.
 
Any bill must also streamline the permitting and approval process — getting it down to no more than two years, and perhaps even one.
 
Together, we can reclaim our building heritage. We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways across our land. And we will do it with American heart, American hands, and American grit.
 
We want every American to know the dignity of a hard day’s work. We want every child to be safe in their home at night. And we want every citizen to be proud of this land that we love.
 
We can lift our citizens from welfare to work, from dependence to independence, and from poverty to prosperity.
 
As tax cuts create new jobs, let us invest in workforce development and job training. Let us open great vocational schools so our future workers can learn a craft and realize their full potential. And let us support working families by supporting paid family leave.
 
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Law and Order and Justice.
 
As America regains its strength, this opportunity must be extended to all citizens. That is why this year we will embark on reforming our prisons to help former inmates who have served their time get a second chance.
 
Struggling communities, especially immigrant communities, will also be helped by immigration policies that focus on the best interests of American workers and American families.
 
For decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities. They have allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans. Most tragically, they have caused the loss of many innocent lives.
 
Evelyn Rodriguez Freddy Cuevas Elizabeth Alvarado Robert Mickens - President Donald Trump's First #SOTU Message: "America is Back!"
 
Here tonight are two fathers and two mothers: Evelyn Rodriguez, Freddy Cuevas, Elizabeth Alvarado, and Robert Mickens. Their two teenage daughters — Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens — were close friends on Long Island. But in September 2016, on the eve of Nisa’s 16th Birthday, neither of them came home. These two precious girls were brutally murdered while walking together in their hometown. Six members of the savage gang MS-13 have been charged with Kayla and Nisa’s murders. Many of these gang members took advantage of glaring loopholes in our laws to enter the country as unaccompanied alien minors ‑- and wound up in Kayla and Nisa’s high school.
 
Evelyn, Elizabeth, Freddy, and Robert: Tonight, everyone in this chamber is praying for you. Everyone in America is grieving for you. And, 320 million hearts are breaking for you. We cannot imagine the depth of your sorrow, but we can make sure that other families never have to endure this pain.
 
Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed MS-13, and other criminals, to break into our country. We have proposed new legislation that will fix our immigration laws, and support our ICE and Border Patrol Agents, so that this cannot ever happen again.
 
The United States is a compassionate nation. We are proud that we do more than any other country to help the needy, the struggling, and the underprivileged all over the world. But as President of the United States, my highest loyalty, my greatest compassion, and my constant concern is for America’s children, America’s struggling workers, and America’s forgotten communities. I want our youth to grow up to achieve great things. I want our poor to have their chance to rise.
 
So tonight, I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties — Democrats and Republicans — to protect our citizens of every background, color, religion, and creed. My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans — to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream. Because Americans are dreamers too.
 
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Here tonight is one leader in the effort to defend our country: Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Celestino Martinez — he goes by CJ. CJ served 15 years in the Air Force before becoming an ICE agent and spending the last 15 years fighting gang violence and getting dangerous criminals off our streets. At one point, MS-13 leaders ordered CJ’s murder. But he did not cave to threats or fear. Last May, he commanded an operation to track down gang members on Long Island. His team has arrested nearly 400, including more than 220 from MS-13.
 
CJ: Great work. Now let us get the Congress to send you some reinforcements.
 
Over the next few weeks, the House and Senate will be voting on an immigration reform package.
 
In recent months, my Administration has met extensively with both Democrats and Republicans to craft a bipartisan approach to immigration reform. Based on these discussions, we presented the Congress with a detailed proposal that should be supported by both parties as a fair compromise — one where nobody gets everything they want, but where our country gets the critical reforms it needs.
 
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Trump’s Four-Pillar Immigration Framework.
 
Here are the four pillars of our plan:
 
The first pillar of our framework generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age — that covers almost three times more people than the previous administration. Under our plan, those who meet education and work requirements, and show good moral character, will be able to become full citizens of the United States.
 
The second pillarfully secures the border. That means building a wall on the Southern border, and it means hiring more heroes like CJ to keep our communities safe. Crucially, our plan closes the terrible loopholes exploited by criminals and terrorists to enter our country — and it finally ends the dangerous practice of “catch and release.”
 
The third pillarends the visa lottery — a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of our people. It is time to begin moving towards a merit-based immigration system — one that admits people who are skilled, who want to work, who will contribute to our society, and who will love and respect our country.
 
The fourth and final pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration. Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives. Under our plan, we focus on the immediate family by limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor children. This vital reform is necessary, not just for our economy, but for our security, and our future.
 
In recent weeks, two terrorist attacks in New York were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration. In the age of terrorism, these programs present risks we can no longer afford.
 
It is time to reform these outdated immigration rules, and finally bring our immigration system into the 21st century.
 
These four pillars represent a down-the-middle compromise, and one that will create a safe, modern, and lawful immigration system.
 
For over 30 years, Washington has tried and failed to solve this problem. This Congress can be the one that finally makes it happen.
 
Most importantly, these four pillars will produce legislation that fulfills my ironclad pledge to only sign a bill that puts America first. So let us come together, set politics aside, and finally get the job done.
 

“In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else. For it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man, because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But, this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American … There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization. Just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile … We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language … And, we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.” – U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, 1907 

 
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Opioid and Drug Addiction Crisis in America.
 
These reforms will also support our response to the terrible crisis of opioid and drug addiction.
 
In 2016, we lost 64,000 Americans to drug overdoses: 174 deaths per day. Seven per hour. We must get much tougher on drug dealers and pushers if we are going to succeed in stopping this scourge.
 
My Administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic and helping get treatment for those in need. The struggle will be long and difficult — but, as Americans always do, we will prevail.
 
As we have seen tonight, the most difficult challenges bring out the best in America.
 
Ryan Holets - President Donald Trump's First #SOTU Message: "America is Back!"
 
We see a vivid expression of this truth in the story of the Holets family of New Mexico. Ryan Holets is 27 years old, and an officer with the Albuquerque Police Department. He is here tonight with his wife Rebecca. Last year, Ryan was on duty when he saw a pregnant, homeless woman preparing to inject heroin. When Ryan told her she was going to harm her unborn child, she began to weep. She told him she did not know where to turn, but badly wanted a safe home for her baby.
 
In that moment, Ryan said he felt God speak to him: “You will do it — because you can.” He took out a picture of his wife and their four kids. Then, he went home to tell his wife Rebecca. In an instant, she agreed to adopt. The Holets named their new daughter Hope.
 
Ryan and Rebecca: You embody the goodness of our Nation. Thank you, and congratulations.
 
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Restoring Our Strength and Standing Abroad.
 
As we rebuild America’s strength and confidence at home, we are also restoring our strength and standing abroad.
 
Around the world, we face rogue regimes, terrorist groups, and rivals like China and Russia that challenge our interests, our economy, and our values. In confronting these dangers, we know that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means of our defense.
 
For this reason, I am asking the Congress to end the dangerous defense sequester and fully fund our great military.
 
As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression. Perhaps someday in the future there will be a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, we are not there yet.
 
Last year, I also pledged that we would work with our allies to extinguish ISIS from the face of the Earth. One year later, I am proud to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated almost 100 percent of the territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria. But there is much more work to be done. We will continue our fight until ISIS is defeated.
 
Army Staff Sergeant Justin Peck is here tonight. Near Raqqa last November, Justin and his comrade, Chief Petty Officer Kenton Stacy, were on a mission to clear buildings that ISIS had rigged with explosives so that civilians could return to the city.
 
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WASHINGTON (Oct. 7, 2010) Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert introduces Explosive Ordnance Disposal 2nd Class Kenton Stacy as the USO Sailor of the Year at the 2010 USO Gala. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jennifer A. Villalovos/Released)
 
Clearing the second floor of a vital hospital, Kenton Stacy was severely wounded by an explosion. Immediately, Justin bounded into the booby-trapped building and found Kenton in bad shape. He applied pressure to the wound and inserted a tube to reopen an airway. He then performed CPR for 20 straight minutes during the ground transport and maintained artificial respiration through 2 hours of emergency surgery.
 
Kenton Stacy would have died if not for Justin’s selfless love for a fellow warrior. Tonight, Kenton is recovering in Texas. Raqqa is liberated. And Justin is wearing his new Bronze Star, with a “V” for “Valor.” Staff Sergeant Peck: All of America salutes you.
 
Army Staff Sergeant Justin Peck - President Donald Trump's First #SOTU Message: "America is Back!"
 
Terrorists who do things like place bombs in civilian hospitals are evil. When possible, we annihilate them. When necessary, we must be able to detain and question them. But we must be clear: Terrorists are not merely criminals. They are unlawful enemy combatants. And when captured overseas, they should be treated like the terrorists they are.
 
In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds of dangerous terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield — including the ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi.
 
So today, I am keeping another promise. I just signed an order directing Secretary Mattis to reexamine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay.
 
Cabinet Secretaries at SOTU - President Donald Trump's First #SOTU Message: "America is Back!"
 
I am also asking the Congress to ensure that, in the fight against ISIS and al-Qa’ida, we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists — wherever we chase them down.
 
Our warriors in Afghanistan also have new rules of engagement. Along with their heroic Afghan partners, our military is no longer undermined by artificial timelines, and we no longer tell our enemies our plans.
 
Last month, I also took an action endorsed unanimously by the Senate just months before: I recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
 
Shortly afterwards, dozens of countries voted in the United Nations General Assembly against America’s sovereign right to make this recognition. American taxpayers generously send those same countries billions of dollars in aid every year.
 
That is why, tonight, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to help ensure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests, and only go to America’s friends.
 
As we strengthen friendships around the world, we are also restoring clarity about our adversaries.
When the people of Iran rose up against the crimes of their corrupt dictatorship, I did not stay silent. America stands with the people of Iran in their courageous struggle for freedom.
 
I am asking the Congress to address the fundamental flaws in the terrible Iran nuclear deal.
 
My Administration has also imposed tough sanctions on the communist and socialist dictatorships in Cuba and Venezuela.
 
But no regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea.
 
North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland.
 
We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from happening.
 
Past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation. I will not repeat the mistakes of past administrations that got us into this dangerous position.
 
We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America and our allies.
 
Otto Warmbier was a hardworking student at the University of Virginia. On his way to study abroad in Asia, Otto joined a tour to North Korea. At its conclusion, this wonderful young man was arrested and charged with crimes against the state. After a shameful trial, the dictatorship sentenced Otto to 15 years of hard labor, before returning him to America last June — horribly injured and on the verge of death. He passed away just days after his return.
 
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Fred and Cindy Warmbier broke down in tears when Trump spoke about their son Otto Warmbier, who died after he was imprisoned in North Korea. (Photo Credit: ALEX WONG/GETTY IMAGES)
 
Otto’s Parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, are with us tonight — along with Otto’s brother and sister, Austin and Greta. You are powerful witnesses to a menace that threatens our world, and your strength inspires us all. Tonight, we pledge to honor Otto’s memory with American resolve.
 
Finally, we are joined by one more witness to the ominous nature of this regime. His name is Mr. Ji Seong-ho.
 
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In 1996, Seong-ho was a starving boy in North Korea. One day, he tried to steal coal from a railroad car to barter for a few scraps of food. In the process, he passed out on the train tracks, exhausted from hunger. He woke up as a train ran over his limbs. He then endured multiple amputations without anything to dull the pain. His brother and sister gave what little food they had to help him recover and ate dirt themselves — permanently stunting their own growth. Later, he was tortured by North Korean authorities after returning from a brief visit to China. His tormentors wanted to know if he had met any Christians. He had — and he resolved to be free.
 
Seong-ho traveled thousands of miles on crutches across China and Southeast Asia to freedom. Most of his family followed. His father was caught trying to escape, and was tortured to death.
 
Today he lives in Seoul, where he rescues other defectors, and broadcasts into North Korea what the regime fears the most ‑- the truth.
 
Today he has a new leg, but Seong-ho, I understand you still keep those crutches as a reminder of how far you have come. Your great sacrifice is an inspiration to us all.
 
Seong-ho’s story is a testament to the yearning of every human soul to live in freedom.
 
It was that same yearning for freedom that nearly 250 years ago gave birth to a special place called America. It was a small cluster of colonies caught between a great ocean and a vast wilderness. But it was home to an incredible people with a revolutionary idea: that they could rule themselves. That they could chart their own destiny. And that, together, they could light up the world.
 
That is what our country has always been about. That is what Americans have always stood for, always strived for, and always done.
 
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American People are ‘Making America Great Again.’
 
Atop the dome of this Capitol stands the Statue of Freedom. She stands tall and dignified among the monuments to our ancestors who fought and lived and died to protect her.
 
Monuments to Washington and Jefferson — to Lincoln and King.
 
Memorials to the heroes of Yorktown and Saratoga — to young Americans who shed their blood on the shores of Normandy, and the fields beyond. And others, who went down in the waters of the Pacific and the skies over Asia.
 
And freedom stands tall over one more monument: this one. This Capitol. This living monument to the American people.
 
A people whose heroes live not only in the past, but all around us — defending hope, pride, and the American way.
 
They work in every trade. They sacrifice to raise a family. They care for our children at home. They defend our flag abroad. They are strong moms and brave kids. They are firefighters, police officers, border agents, medics, and Marines.
 
But above all else, they are Americans. And this Capitol, this city, and this Nation, belong to them.
 
Our task is to respect them, to listen to them, to serve them, to protect them, and to always be worthy of them.
 
Americans fill the world with art and music. They push the bounds of science and discovery. And they forever remind us of what we should never forget:
‘The people dreamed this country. The people built this country. And it is the people who are making America great again.’
As long as we are proud of who we are, and what we are fighting for, there is nothing we cannot achieve.
 
As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will not fail.
 
Our families will thrive.
 
Our people will prosper.
 
And our Nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free.
 
Thank you, and God bless America.”
 
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__________
 
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Representative Joe Kennedy’s (D-Mass.) prepared remarks for the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, as delivered:

“Good evening ladies and gentlemen. It is a privilege to join you tonight.

We are here in Fall River, Massachusetts – a proud American city, built by immigrants.

From textiles to robots, this is a place that knows how to make great things.

The students with us this evening in the autoshop at Diman Regional Technical School carry on that rich legacy.

Like many American hometowns, Fall River has faced its share of storms. But people here are tough. They fight for each other. They pull for their city. 

It is a fitting place to gather as our nation reflects on the state of our union.

This is a difficult task. Many have spent the past year anxious, angry, afraid. We all feel the fault lines of a fractured country. We hear the voices of Americans who feel forgotten and forsaken.

We see an economy that makes stocks soar, investor portfolios bulge and corporate profits climb but fails to give workers their fair share of the reward.

A government that struggles to keep itself open.

Russia knee-deep in our democracy.

An all-out war on environmental protection.

A Justice Department rolling back civil rights by the day.

Hatred and supremacy proudly marching in our streets.

Bullets tearing through our classrooms, concerts, and congregations. Targeting our safest, sacred places.

And that nagging, sinking feeling, no matter your political beliefs: this is not right. This is not who we are. 
It would be easy to dismiss the past year as chaos. Partisanship. Politics.

But it’s far bigger than that. This administration isn’t just targeting the laws that protect us – they are targeting the very idea that we are all worthy of protection.

For them, dignity isn’t something you’re born with but something you measure.

By your net worth, your celebrity, your headlines, your crowd size.

Not to mention, the gender of your spouse. The country of your birth. The color of your skin. The God of your prayers.

Their record is a rebuke of our highest American ideal: the belief that we are all worthy, we are all equal and we all count. In the eyes of our law and our leaders, our God and our government.

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That is the American promise.

But today that promise is being broken. By an Administration that callously appraises our worthiness and decides who makes the cut and who can be bargained away.

They are turning American life into a zero-sum game.

Where, in order for one to win, another must lose.

Where we can guarantee America’s safety if we slash our safety net.

We can extend healthcare to Mississippi if we gut it in Massachusetts.

We can cut taxes for corporations today if we raise them for families tomorrow.

We can take care of sick kids if we sacrifice Dreamers.

We are bombarded with one false choice after another:

Coal miners or single moms. Rural communities or inner cities. The coast or the heartland.

As if the mechanic in Pittsburgh and the teacher in Tulsa and the daycare worker in Birmingham are somehow bitter rivals, rather than mutual casualties of a system forcefully rigged for those at the top.

As if the parent who lies awake terrified that their transgender son will be beaten and bullied at school is any more or less legitimate than the parent whose heart is shattered by a daughter in the grips of opioid addiction.

So here is the answer Democrats offer tonight: we choose both. We fight for both. Because the strongest, richest, greatest nation in the world shouldn’t leave any one behind.

We choose a better deal for all who call this country home.

We choose the living wage, paid leave and affordable child care your family needs to survive.

We choose pensions that are solvent, trade pacts that are fair, roads and bridges that won’t rust away, and good education you can afford.

We choose a health care system that offers mercy, whether you suffer from cancer or depression or addiction.

We choose an economy strong enough to boast record stock prices AND brave enough to admit that top CEOs making 300 times the average worker is not right.

We choose Fall River.

We choose the thousands of American communities whose roads aren’t paved with power or privilege, but with honest effort, good faith, and the resolve to build something better for their kids.

That is our story. It began the day our Founding Fathers and Mothers set sail for a New World, fleeing oppression and intolerance.

It continued with every word of our Independence – the audacity to declare that all men are created equal. An imperfect promise for a nation struggling to become a more perfect union.

It grew with every suffragette’s step, every Freedom Riders voice, every weary soul we welcomed to our shores.

And to all the Dreamers watching tonight, let me be clear: ‘Ustedes son parte de nuestra historia. Vamos a luchar por ustedes y no nos vamos alejar.’

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WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 28: U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III (D-MA) attends a joint session of the U.S. Congress with U.S. President Donald Trump on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump’s first address to Congress focused on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

You are a part of our story. We will fight for you. We will not walk away.

America, we carry that story on our shoulders.

You swarmed Washington last year to ensure no parent has to worry if they can afford to save their child’s life.

You proudly marched together last weekend – thousands deep — in the streets of Las Vegas and Philadelphia and Nashville.

You sat high atop your mom’s shoulders and held a sign that read: “Build a wall and my generation will tear it down.”

You bravely say, me too. You steadfastly say, black lives matter.

You wade through flood waters, battle hurricanes, and brave wildfires and mudslides to save a stranger.

You fight your own, quiet battles every single day.

You drag your weary bodies to that extra shift so your families won’t feel the sting of scarcity.

You leave loved ones at home to defend our country overseas, or patrol our neighborhoods overnight.

You serve. You rescue. You help. You heal.

That – more than any law or leader, any debate or disagreement – that is what drives us toward progress.

Bullies may land a punch. They might leave a mark. But they have never, not once, in the history of our United States, managed to match the strength and spirit of a people united in defense of their future.

Politicians can be cheered for the promises they make. Our country will be judged by the promises we keep.

THAT is the measure of our character. That’s who we are.

Out of many. One.

Ladies and gentlemen, have faith: The state of our union is hopeful, resilient, enduring.

Thank you, God Bless you and your families, and God Bless the United States of America.”

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Jan 182018
 

Top 10 Achievements of President Trump in His Inaugural Year Inside The White House

While the mainstream media spent 90% of their time focused on negative coverage or even fake news, President Trump, through his extraordinary Twitter account, has indeed influenced international policy. 

A year ago today January 18, 2017, former President Barack Obama welcomed incoming President-elect Donald J. Trump to the White House, a couple of days later his Inauguration on January 20, 2017 commenced at noon. The two presidents haven’t spoken to each other since.

Nonetheless, President Trump has been making historic achievements during the Inaugural Year of his presidency — a largely unanimously unexpected electoral college landslide shock by world media on Election Night November 8, 2016.

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President Trump is a “World Class Tweeter,” and that we use the President’s tweets to inform our office on the seventh floor inside the U.S. Department of State, says U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at a forum hosted by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at Stanford University on Wednesday, January 17, 2018. Secretary Tillerson praised President Trump for using his unconventional means of presidential communications in innovative ways that have positively shaped international policy in his inaugural year in office.

Presidents and monarchs have always been innovative in their uses of advancements in communication technologies to bypass conventional means of communications to extend their power of persuasion to the people. 

Specifically, examples include President Thomas Jefferson on print media, United Kingdom’s King George VI and President Calvin Coolidge on radio, President Franklin D. Roosevelt on his radio fireside chats, United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II and President Harry S. Truman on television, President Bill Clinton on the Internet, and now President Donald Trump on social media via Twitter. 

A master in staging high-ratings media events, President Trump’s much-anticipated historic 2017 Fake News Media Awards announced the top award going to the New York Times:

The New York Times’ Paul Krugman claimed on the day of President Trump’s historic, landslide victory that the economy would never recover.” – President Donald J. Trump

As I reported on Twitter: BREAKING News on Wednesday, January 17, 2018: Record High #Dow26K closes today up almost 8,000 points, since 2016 Election of @POTUS @realDonaldTrump! #MAGA Means Prosperity! RT if you’re ‘Lovin’ It Like A Big Mac’!

✅ Dow 26,115.65 Up +322.79

✅ NYSE 13,352.39 Up +105.53

✅ NASDAQ 7,298.28 Up +74.59

900 - Top 10 Achievements of President Trump in His Inaugural Year Inside The White House

CNN, falling from its ground-breaking international peak in the early 1990s under founder and cable television entertainment mogul Ted Turner, was cited four times on the President’s Top 10 Fake News Awards list for its false reporting on the ongoing “Russian collusion” investigation.

Be that as it may, here’s the Top 10 Achievements of President Trump and his administration in the Inaugural Year of his historic presidency, according to GOP.com

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1. “The economy has created nearly 2 million jobs and gained over $8 trillion in wealth since President Trump’s inauguration” a year ago on January 20, 2017.

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900 - Top 10 Achievements of President Trump in His Inaugural Year Inside The White House

900 - Top 10 Achievements of President Trump in His Inaugural Year Inside The White House

2. “African Americans and Hispanics are enjoying the lowest unemployment rate in recorded history” (showing more comparable joblessness levels among labor demographics in December 2017 with Blacks and Hispanics unemployment at around 6 percent compared to Whites unemployment at 4.1 percent).

President Trump has a long history of working with the African American community (aka, The Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton in Operation PUSH and Rainbow Coalitions’ Wall Street Project (in collaboration with former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan), and with The Late Rosa Parks and The Late Muhammad Ali in receiving a 1986 Ellis Island Medal of Honor for Diversity Excellence).

The New York Times reported on October 16, 1986:

Eighty Americans from 42 ethnic groups were named yesterday as recipients of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor by the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation.

The medals will be presented to the recipients, all either naturalized or native Americans, at a ceremony Oct. 27 on Ellis Island. That is the day before the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty, the final event of the 1986 Liberty Centennial observances. …

Those named yesterday were selected from more than 15,000 nominations. The winners, a mixture of prominent and relatively unknown citizens, were screened by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, which was selected for the work by the foundation.”

The National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations lists its reasoning behind the awards on its website:

The ELLIS ISLAND MEDALS OF HONOR are awarded annually to a group of distinguished American citizens who exemplify a life dedicated to community service. These are individuals who preserve and celebrate the history, traditions and values of their ancestry while exemplifying the values of the American way of life, and who are dedicated to creating a better world for us all.”

The Ellis Island Medal of Honor website also lists its award recipient criteria including: Integrity, Passion, Gravitas, Humanitarian, Ethnic Heritage. Congratulations President Trump!

900 - Top 10 Achievements of President Trump in His Inaugural Year Inside The White House

3. “President Trump signed historic tax cuts and relief for hardworking Americans” not seen since and beyond President Reagan’s Tax Reform Bill in 1986.

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According to a recent New York Times survey on Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 46 percent of Americans approve of President Trump’s $1.5 trillion dollar tax cuts package he signed on December 23, 2017 with 80 percent of Americans receiving a tax cut in 2018.

We will get rid of the redundancy and duplication that wastes your time and your money.” – President Donald J. Trump

4. “President Trump’s plan to cut regulations has exceeded “2 out for every 1 in” mandate, issuing 22 deregulatory actions for every one new regulatory action.”

SURPASSING (DEREGULATION) GOALS FOR FY 2017: “The Trump Administration has far exceeded its promise to eliminate regulations at a 2:1 ratio and impose no lifetime net regulatory costs.”

900 - Top 10 Achievements of President Trump in His Inaugural Year Inside The White House

5. “The President has unleashed an American energy boom by ending Obama-era regulations, approving the Keystone pipeline, auctioning off millions of new acres for energy exploration, and opening up ANWR.”

“The Keystone Pipeline brings heavy crude 1,179 miles Canada’s Alberta “tar sands” to refineries on the Gulf Coast.”

900 - Top 10 Achievements of President Trump in His Inaugural Year Inside The White House

6. “ISIS is in retreat, having been crushed in Iraq and Syria.”

900 - Top 10 Achievements of President Trump in His Inaugural Year Inside The White House

(Via Daily Mail (U.K.)@JamesDenselow) US @DeptofDefense release map showing ISIS in retreat ahead of the battle for Mosul h/t @DefenseOne (as of March 1, 2016).

900 - Top 10 Achievements of President Trump in His Inaugural Year Inside The White House

7. “President Trump followed through on his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and instructed the State Department to begin to relocate the Embassy.”

“President Trump plans to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the American Embassy there, upending nearly seven decades of American foreign policy and potentially destroying his efforts to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” The New York Times reported on December 5, 2017.

900 - Top 10 Achievements of President Trump in His Inaugural Year Inside The White House

8. “With President Trump’s encouragement, more member nations are paying their fair share for the common defense in the NATO alliance.”

900 - Top 10 Achievements of President Trump in His Inaugural Year Inside The White House

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance (via Wikipedia), “is an intergovernmental military alliance between several North American and European states based on the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949.”

900 - Top 10 Achievements of President Trump in His Inaugural Year Inside The White House

9. “Signed the Veterans Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act to allow senior officials in the VA to fire failing employees and establishes safeguards to protect whistleblowers.”

The Office Of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection (OAWP), according to the OAWP website, “is a newly created office within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs dedicated to improving the needs of Veterans across the United States.

OAWP provides investigative internal affairs services necessary to improve health, benefits and cemetery needs for each and every Veteran.”

900 - Top 10 Achievements of President Trump in His Inaugural Year Inside The White House

Photo Credit: Judge Neil Gorsuch, his wife Louise, and President Donald Trump during the announcement in the East Room of the White House on January 31, 2017.

10. “President Trump kept his promise and appointed Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Via Wikipedia: “After his nomination on January 31, 2017, Neil Gorsuch was confirmed by the Senate on April 7, 2017. Gorsuch, age 49 at confirmation, is the youngest sitting Supreme Court justice since Clarence Thomas. In February 2016, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia died, leaving a vacancy on the highest federal court in the United States.”

INTERESTING HISTORICAL TRUMP FAMILY SIDEBAR

900 - Top 10 Achievements of President Trump in His Inaugural Year Inside The White House

(Via Wikipedia) “John George Trump (August 21, 1907 – February 21, 1985) was an American electrical engineer, inventor, and physicist. He was a recipient of U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s National Medal of Science, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. John Trump was noted for developing rotational radiation therapy. Together with Robert J. Van de Graaff, he developed one of the first million-volt X-ray generators. He was the paternal uncle of the 45th President of the United States, Donald John Trump.

Trump received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the New York University Tandon School of Engineering (then Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn) in 1929, his master’s degree in physics from Columbia University, and his doctorate of electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1933. He was a professor at MIT from 1936 until 1973.“

__________

Oliver McGee, PhD, MBA, CFRM, AFWCI is former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of transportation for technology policy (1999-2001) in the Clinton Administration, and former senior policy adviser in the Clinton White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (1997-1999). He authored in 2012 the book, ‘Jumping The Aisle – How I Became a Black Republican in the Age of Obama.’

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Oct 202017
 

Kelly Trump New - General John Kelly’s Defense of .@POTUS .@realDonaldTrump Call to Fallen Soldier’s Family

White House Chief of Staff, John F. Kelly, and Gold Star Father, appeared at the White House briefing room podium on Thursday, October 19, 2017 to give an emotional speech on what used to be sacred in America – a fallen soldier and our government’s and president’s call to a grieving widow, parent and next-of-kin, while defending President Donald J. Trump’s phone call to the widow of a fallen soldier, in response to politically motivated criticism from Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson (D-FL), while American troops are facing increasing aggression out in the battlefield, as the War on Terrorism expands into Africa. 

White House Chief of Staff General Kelly’s statements at the White House press briefing room podium Thursday were very respectful and very sympathetic to the fallen soldiers, and along with White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying, “that was what President Trump intended and said during his personal calls to fallen soldiers’ next-of-kin.”

Ms. Sanders, when asked later to respond further said, “It’s appalling the congresswoman continues to make the death of an American hero about herself instead of honoring the fallen who selflessly gave their lives for all of us,” Ms. Sanders said in an emailed statement on Thursday. The White House press secretary, added that General Kelly “absolutely” stands by his Thursday remarks.

In an interview on Friday morning, October 20, 2017 with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo, President Trump said he found Florida Congresswoman Wilson’s criticism of General Kelly “sickening.” The president called his chief of staff “a very elegant man,” and added that General Kelly “is a tough, strong four-star Marine.”

General Kelly, President Trump said, was offended that Florida Congresswoman Wilson publicized what the president said was a “very nice” call to the widow of a soldier killed in action in Niger.

900 - General John Kelly’s Defense of .@POTUS .@realDonaldTrump Call to Fallen Soldier’s Family

In response to the four fallen U.S. soldiers, who were killed during an ambush in Niger on October 4, 2017 (shown above, Clockwise from top left, Army Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, Sergeant La David Johnson, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29), President Trump “called four people the other day to express his condolences in the best way that he could,” Kelly said. “And President Trump said to me, ‘What do I say?’ I said to him, ‘Sir, there is nothing you can do to lighten the burden on these families.'”

Kelly continued, recalling what he was told by General Joseph Dunford, now chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, after his own son died in battle defending our country. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly spoke further adding that he was “stunned” and “broken-hearted” by Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson’s role in conveying the details of the call to the media, CNN reports.

“In his way,” Kelly said of Trump, he “tried to express that opinion — that (Johnson) is a brave man, a fallen hero. He knew what he was getting himself into because he enlisted. There’s no reason to enlist, he enlisted. And he was where he wanted to be with exactly the people he wanted to be with when his life was taken. That was the message. That was the message that was transmitted.”

900 - General John Kelly’s Defense of .@POTUS .@realDonaldTrump Call to Fallen Soldier’s Family

On Friday, October 20, 2017, “Natasha De Alencar, the widow of Army Staff Sgt. Mark De Alencar, released video of her conversation with President Trump.” Source: CNN, “Gold Star widow’s full phone call with Trump

Below are the video and complete transcription of White House Chief of Staff General Kelly’s remarks in the White House briefing room on Thursday, as prepared by the White House.

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JOHN F. KELLY, White House chief of staff: “Well, thanks a lot. And it is a more serious note, so I just wanted to perhaps make more of a statement than an — give more of an explanation in what amounts to be a traditional press interaction.

Most Americans don’t know what happens when we lose one of soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, our Coast Guardsmen in combat. So let me tell you what happens:

Their buddies wrap them up in whatever passes as a shroud, puts them on a helicopter as a routine, and sends them home. Their first stop along the way is when they’re packed in ice, typically at the airhead. And then they’re flown to, usually, Europe where they’re then packed in ice again and flown to Dover Air Force Base, where Dover takes care of the remains, embalms them, meticulously dresses them in their uniform with the medals that they’ve earned, the emblems of their service, and then puts them on another airplane linked up with a casualty officer escort that takes them home.

900 - General John Kelly’s Defense of .@POTUS .@realDonaldTrump Call to Fallen Soldier’s Family

A very, very good movie to watch, if you haven’t ever seen it, is “Taking Chance,” where this is done in a movie — HBO setting. Chance Phelps was killed under my command right next to me, and it’s worth seeing that if you’ve never seen it.

So that’s the process. While that’s happening, a casualty officer typically goes to the home very early in the morning and waits for the first lights to come on. And then he knocks on the door; typically a mom and dad will answer, a wife. And if there is a wife, this is happening in two different places; if the parents are divorced, three different places. And the casualty officer proceeds to break the heart of a family member and stays with that family until — well, for a long, long time, even after the internment. So that’s what happens.

900 - General John Kelly’s Defense of .@POTUS .@realDonaldTrump Call to Fallen Soldier’s Family

Who are these young men and women? They are the best 1 percent this country produces. Most of you, as Americans, don’t know them. Many of you don’t know anyone who knows any one of them. But they are the very best this country produces, and they volunteer to protect our country when there’s nothing in our country anymore that seems to suggest that selfless service to the nation is not only appropriate, but required. But that’s all right.

900 - General John Kelly’s Defense of .@POTUS .@realDonaldTrump Call to Fallen Soldier’s Family

Who writes letters to the families? Typically, the company commander — in my case, as a Marine — the company commander, battalion commander, regimental commander, division commander, Secretary of Defense, typically the service chief, commandant of the Marine Corps, and the President typically writes a letter.

Typically, the only phone calls a family receives are the most important phone calls they could imagine, and that is from their buddies. In my case, hours after my son was killed, his friends were calling us from Afghanistan, telling us what a great guy he was. Those are the only phone calls that really mattered.

And yeah, the letters count, to a degree, but there’s not much that really can take the edge off what a family member is going through.

900 - General John Kelly’s Defense of .@POTUS .@realDonaldTrump Call to Fallen Soldier’s Family

So some Presidents have elected to call. All Presidents, I believe, have elected to send letters. If you elect to call a family like this, it is about the most difficult thing you could imagine. There’s no perfect way to make that phone call.

When I took this job and talked to President Trump about how to do it, my first recommendation was he not do it, because it’s not the phone call that parents, family members are looking forward to. It’s nice to do, in my opinion, in any event.

900 - General John Kelly’s Defense of .@POTUS .@realDonaldTrump Call to Fallen Soldier’s Family

He asked me about previous Presidents, and I said, I can tell you that President Obama, who was my Commander-in-Chief when I was on active duty, did not call my family. That was not a criticism. That was just to simply say, I don’t believe President Obama called. That’s not a negative thing. I don’t believe President Bush called in all cases. I don’t believe any President, particularly when the casualty rates are very, very high — that Presidents call. But I believe they all write.

So when I gave that explanation to our President three days ago, he elected to make phone calls in the cases of four young men, who we lost in Niger at the earlier part of this month. But then he said, how do you make these calls? If you’re not in the family, if you’ve never worn the uniform, if you’ve never been in combat, you can’t even imagine how to make that call. I think he very bravely does make those calls.

The call in question that he made yesterday — or day before yesterday now — were to four family members, the four fallen. And remember, there’s a next-of-kin designated by the individual. If he’s married, that’s typically the spouse. If he’s not married, that’s typically the parents unless the parents are divorced, and then he selects one of them. If he didn’t get along with his parents, he’ll select a sibling. But the point is, the phone call is made to the next-of-kin only if the next-of-kin agrees to take the phone call. Sometimes they don’t.

So a pre-call is made: The President of the United States or the commandant of the Marine Corps, or someone would like to call, will you accept the call? And typically, they all accept the call.

900 - General John Kelly’s Defense of .@POTUS .@realDonaldTrump Call to Fallen Soldier’s Family

So he called four people the other day and expressed his condolences in the best way that he could. And he said to me, what do I say? I said to him, sir, there’s nothing you can do to lighten the burden on these families.

900 - General John Kelly’s Defense of .@POTUS .@realDonaldTrump Call to Fallen Soldier’s Family

Shown above are the four fallen U.S. soldiers, who were killed during an ambush in Niger on October 4, 2017 (from left to right) Army Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, Sergeant La David Johnson, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29).

Well, let me tell you what I told him. Let me tell you what my best friend, Joe Dunford, told me — because he was my casualty officer. He said, Kel, he was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed. He knew what he was getting into by joining that 1 percent. He knew what the possibilities were because we’re at war. And when he died, in the four cases we’re talking about, Niger, and my son’s case in Afghanistan — when he died, he was surrounded by the best men on this Earth: his friends.

That’s what the President tried to say to four families the other day. I was stunned when I came to work yesterday morning, and brokenhearted at what I saw a member of Congress doing. A member of Congress who listened in on a phone call from the President of the United States to a young wife, and in his way tried to express that opinion — that he’s a brave man, a fallen hero, he knew what he was getting himself into because he enlisted. There’s no reason to enlist; he enlisted. And he was where he wanted to be, exactly where he wanted to be, with exactly the people he wanted to be with when his life was taken.

That was the message. That was the message that was transmitted.

It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation. Absolutely stuns me. And I thought at least that was sacred. You know, when I was a kid growing up, a lot of things were sacred in our country. Women were sacred, looked upon with great honor. That’s obviously not the case anymore as we see from recent cases. Life — the dignity of life — is sacred. That’s gone. Religion, that seems to be gone as well.

Gold Star families, I think that left in the convention over the summer. But I just thought — the selfless devotion that brings a man or woman to die on the battlefield, I just thought that that might be sacred.

And when I listened to this woman and what she was saying, and what she was doing on TV, the only thing I could do to collect my thoughts was to go and walk among the finest men and women on this Earth. And you can always find them because they’re in Arlington National Cemetery. I went over there for an hour-and-a-half, walked among the stones, some of whom I put there because they were doing what I told them to do when they were killed.

900 - General John Kelly’s Defense of .@POTUS .@realDonaldTrump Call to Fallen Soldier’s Family

I’ll end with this: In October — April, rather, of 2015, I was still on active duty, and I went to the dedication of the new FBI field office in Miami. And it was dedicated to two men who were killed in a firefight in Miami against drug traffickers in 1986 — a guy by the name of Grogan and Duke. Grogan almost retired, 53 years old; Duke, I think less than a year on the job. (Editor’s note: The F.B.I. agent for which the building is named was named Jerry L. Dove, not Duke.)

Anyways, they got in a gunfight and they were killed. Three other FBI agents were there, were wounded, and now retired. So we go down — Jim Comey gave an absolutely brilliant memorial speech to those fallen men and to all of the men and women of the FBI who serve our country so well, and law enforcement so well.

There were family members there. Some of the children that were there were three or four years old when their dads were killed on that street in Miami-Dade. Three of the men that survived the fight were there, and gave a rendition of how brave those men were and how they gave their lives.

And a congresswoman stood up, and in the long tradition of empty barrels making the most noise, stood up there and all of that and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building, and how she took care of her constituents, because she got the money, and she just called up President Obama, and on that phone call he gave the money — the $20 million — to build the building. And, she sat down, and we were stunned. Stunned that she had done it. Even for someone that is that empty a barrel, we were stunned.

But, you know, none of us went to the press and criticized. None of us stood up and were appalled. We just said, O.K., fine.

So, I still hope, as you write your stories, and I appeal to America, that let’s not let this maybe last thing that’s held sacred in our society — a young man, young woman going out and giving his or her life for our country — let’s try to somehow keep that sacred. But, it eroded a great deal yesterday by the selfish behavior of a member of Congress.

900 - General John Kelly’s Defense of .@POTUS .@realDonaldTrump Call to Fallen Soldier’s Family

So I’m willing to take a question or two on this topic. Let me ask you this: Is anyone here a Gold Star parent or sibling? Does anyone here know a Gold Star parent or sibling?

O.K., you get the question.

900 - General John Kelly’s Defense of .@POTUS .@realDonaldTrump Call to Fallen Soldier’s Family

Q Well, thank you, General Kelly. First of all, we have a great deal of respect — Semper Fi — for everything that you’ve ever done. But if we could take this a bit further. Why were they in Niger? We were told they weren’t in armored vehicles and there was no air cover. So what are the specifics about this particular incident? And why were we there? And why are we there?

GENERAL KELLY: Well, I would start by saying there is an investigation. Let me back up and say, the fact of the matter is, young men and women that wear our uniform are deployed around the world and there are tens of thousands, near the DMZ in North Korea [sic], in Okinawa, waiting to go — in South Korea — in Okinawa, ready to go. All over the United States, training, ready to go. They’re all over Latin America. Down there, they do mostly drug and addiction, working with our partners — our great partners — the Colombians, the Central Americans, the Mexicans.

You know, there’s thousands. My own son, right now, back in the fight for his fifth tour against ISIS. There’s thousands of them in Europe acting as a deterrent. And they’re throughout Africa. And they’re doing the nation’s work there, and not making a lot of money, by the way, doing it. They love what they do.

So why were they there? They’re there working with partners, local — all across Africa — in this case, Niger — working with partners, teaching them how to be better soldiers; teaching them how to respect human rights; teaching them how to fight ISIS so that we don’t have to send our soldiers and Marines there in their thousands. That’s what they were doing there.

Now, there is an investigation. There’s always an — unless it’s a very, very conventional death in a conventional war, there’s always an investigation. Of course, that operation is conducted by AFRICOM that, of course, works directly for the Secretary of Defense.

There is a — and I talked to Jim Mattis this morning. I think he made statements this afternoon. There’s an investigation ongoing. An investigation doesn’t mean anything was wrong. An investigation doesn’t mean people’s heads are going to roll. The fact is they need to find out what happened and why it happened.

But at the end of the day, ladies and gentlemen, you have to understand that these young people — sometimes old guys — put on the uniform, go to where we send them to protect our country. Sometimes they go in large numbers to invade Iraq and invade Afghanistan. Sometimes they’re working in small units, working with our partners in Africa, Asia, Latin America, helping them be better.

But at the end of the day, they’re helping those partners be better at fighting ISIS in North Africa to protect our country so that we don’t have to send large numbers of troops.

Any other — someone who knows a Gold Star fallen person.

John?

900 - General John Kelly’s Defense of .@POTUS .@realDonaldTrump Call to Fallen Soldier’s Family

Q General, thank you for being here today and thank you for your service and for your family’s sacrifice. There has been some talk about the timetable of the release of the statement about the — I think at that point it was three soldiers who were killed in Niger. Can you walk us through the timetable of the release of that information? And what part did the fact that a beacon was pinging during that time have to do with the release of the statement? And were you concerned that divulging information early might jeopardize the soldiers’ attempt to be (inaudible)?

GENERAL KELLY: First of all, that’s a — you know, we are at the highest level of the U.S. government. The people that will answer those questions will be the people at the other end of the military pyramid.

I’m sure the Special Forces group is conducting it. I know they’re conducting an investigation. That investigation, of course, under the auspices of AFRICOM, ultimately will go to the Pentagon. I’ve read the same stories you have. I actually know a lot more than I’m letting on, but I’m not going to tell you.

There is an investigation being done. But as I say, the men and women of our country that are serving all around the world — I mean, what the hell is my son doing back in the fight? He’s back in the fight because — working with Iraqi soldiers who are infinitely better than they were a few years ago to take ISIS on directly so that we don’t have to do it. Small numbers of Marines where he is working alongside those guys. That’s why they’re out there, whether it’s Niger, Iraq, or whatever. We don’t want to send tens of thousands of American soldiers and Marines, in particular, to go fight.

I’ll take one more, but it’s got to be from someone who knows — all right.

900 - General John Kelly’s Defense of .@POTUS .@realDonaldTrump Call to Fallen Soldier’s Family

Q General, when you talk about Niger, sir, what does your intelligence tell you about the Russian connection with them? And the stories that are coming out now, they’re —

GENERAL KELLY: I have no knowledge of any Russian connection, but I was not, in my position, to know that. That’s a question for NORTHCOM or for — not NORTHCOM — for AFRICOM or DOD.

Thanks very much, everybody.

As I walk off the stage, understand there’s tens of thousands of American kids, mostly, doing their nation’s bidding all around the world. They don’t have to be in uniform. You know, when I was a kid, every man in my life was a veteran — World War II, Korea, and there was the draft. These young people today, they don’t do it for any other reason than their selfless — sense of selfless devotion to this great nation.

We don’t look down upon those of you who that haven’t served. In fact, in a way we’re a little bit sorry because you’ll have never have experienced the wonderful joy you get in your heart when you do the kinds of things our service men and women do — not for any other reason than they love this country. So just think of that.

And I do appreciate your time. Take care.”

__________

900 - General John Kelly’s Defense of .@POTUS .@realDonaldTrump Call to Fallen Soldier’s Family

900 - General John Kelly’s Defense of .@POTUS .@realDonaldTrump Call to Fallen Soldier’s Family900 - General John Kelly’s Defense of .@POTUS .@realDonaldTrump Call to Fallen Soldier’s Family

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Dec 232016
 

#Barcelona #Charlottesville #Jerusalem, #Berlin, #Nice, #911 Terror Attacks Signal Rise in Use of Transportation Systems as Weapons of Mass Destruction

#BREAKING #BarcelonaAttack (August 17, 2017): A white van slammed into pedestrians on the famous promenade in the city center of Barcelona, Spain on Thursday, August 17, 2017. The transportation vehicle “plowed  through crowds on the renowned Las Ramblas avenue, a popular tourist section of Barcelona (shown above and below). Authorities said of the 80 people taken to hospitals, 15 were seriously hurt,” CNN reports. “The Barcelona attack was one of the most deadly in Spain, since more than 190 people were killed in a March 2004 attack against commuter trains … It was the latest in a series of attacks in Europe in which vehicles have been used to mow down pedestrians in public spaces. More than 100 people have died in similar attacks in Berlin, London and Nice.”

900 - Terror Attacks Signal Rise in Use of Transportation Systems as Weapons of Mass Destruction

According to numerous reports breaking at the moment, “at least 13 people are reported dead and more than 100 are injured after a terrorist in a van ploughed into pedestrians in a famous street packed with tourists and locals in central Barcelona. Spanish media cited unnamed police sources who said at least 13 people were killed. Local officials confirmed at least 90 people were hurt, 10 seriously.”

“I want to also express my solidarity with all of Spain to the city of Barcelona, today hit by jihadi terrorism, like other cities have been in the world,” Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said in offering his condolences to the Barcelona Attack victims’ families.

900 - Terror Attacks Signal Rise in Use of Transportation Systems as Weapons of Mass Destruction

Daily Mirror (U.K.) reports: “The van zigzagged as it slammed into victims on tree-lined Las Ramblas promenade before the armed attacker ditched the vehicle and took hostages in a Turkish restaurant nearby.”

900 - Terror Attacks Signal Rise in Use of Transportation Systems as Weapons of Mass Destruction

Police released a photograph of a man called Maghrebi Driss Oukabir, who is suspected of renting the van which was used to crashed into pedestrians in Las Ramblas.

#BREAKING (August 22, 2017): “Court official: Terror suspect reveals the Islamist cell wanted to strike Barcelona monuments, imam planned to self-immolate.” (AP)

900 - Terror Attacks Signal Rise in Use of Transportation Systems as Weapons of Mass Destruction

The #BarcelonaAttack is the latest in a wave of transportation-related truck (lorry) and automobile pedestrian plowings in #Charlottesville (Virginia, United States), #Jerusalem (Israeli), #Berlin (Germany) and #Nice (France) in recent years (including 9-11 airplane attacks on the World Trade Center (New York), Pentagon (Washington DC) and Pennsylvania (adverting an intentional 9-11 attack on the White House)). 

900 - Terror Attacks Signal Rise in Use of Transportation Systems as Weapons of Mass Destruction

This attack in Spain’s largest city on August 17, 2017 has caused panic on the streets of Barcelona, Spain. Remarkably, these attacks, which were foretold and warned by terrorists in their intended use of the international transportation system as weapons of mass destruction, has now drew widespread condemnation from world leaders.

“ISIS claims responsibility,” The Telegragh (U.K.) reports, as follows:

“Soldiers” of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant carried out the deadly van attack, the jihadist organisation’s propaganda outlet Amaq said.

“The executors of the Barcelona attack were soldiers of the Islamic State,” Amaq said on its Telegram messenger account, without naming those it claimed were behind the attack.

Amaq said they had launched the attack in response to calls to target states taking part in the United States-led coalition battling the jihadist group in Iraq and Syria.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said “the attack was “jihadist terrorism” which required a global response”

“Today the fight against terrorism is the principal priority for free and open societies like ours. It is a global threat and the response has to be global,” Rajoy told a news conference in Barcelona.

“ISIS which once controlled a self-declared “caliphate” across large parts of Iraq and Syria, has suffered major losses in recent months. Coalition-backed Iraqi forces recaptured its Iraqi stronghold Mosul in July.”

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“The Costa Brava, Costa Blanca and Costa Del Sol have been highlighted as key threat areas with fears of a Tunisia-style atrocity being repeated in Spain.”

The Daily Star Online revealed back on July 11, 2015 “how UK tourists are being labeled as “high value” targets by ISIS extremists.”

900 - Terror Attacks Signal Rise in Use of Transportation Systems as Weapons of Mass Destruction

Rising threats of domestic terrorism using our transport technology

“Europe, the United Kingdom, and Russia have witnessed terror attacks or attempted attacks every nine days in 2017 on average,” analysis of security incidents has revealed.

As the map below reveals (via Breitbart), attacks and attempted attacks have taken place in Austria, France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, Russia, Turkey, India, Sweden, Norway, and Germany.

900 - Terror Attacks Signal Rise in Use of Transportation Systems as Weapons of Mass Destruction

For instances, “Security services in Britain — population 65 million — believe there to be around 23,000 potential terror suspects or persons posing a threat,” as reported in Breitbart. “Meanwhile Belgium, with its population of just 12 million, is officially tracking around 18,000 potential jihadists, though this number has not been updated in some time. According to the British secret service MI6, there are in Germany about 7.000 terror suspects.”

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#BREAKING #Charlottesville Attack (August 12, 2017): .@OliverMcGee #VIDEO LIVE #FoxHappeningNow 11:30a ET (8-16-17) .@POTUS .@realDonaldTrump #Charlottesville Attack remarks .@WhiteHouse

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Remarkably, there is a “clear and present danger” of increasing use of our international transportation system as domestic weapons of mass destruction. #Barcelona,  #Charlottesville, #Jerusalem, #Berlin, #Nice, #911 #TerrorAttacks Signal A Rise in the Use of Transportation Systems as Weapons of Mass Destruction!

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Have you once again noticed (in a disturbing video of a horrific motorist plowing over people in a #Charlottesville protest) how the international transportation system is the common thread being threaded between the #Barcelona, #Charlottesville, #Jerusalem, #Berlin, #Nice and #911 terror attacks, first by Al-Qaeda, now morphed into #ISIS?

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Witnesses at the horrible scenes in #Barcelona, #Jerusalem (and allegedly in an analogous manner in the #Charlottesville getaway “hit and run” incident) say the attacker(s) drove his truck (car) “back and forward” over the victims as they lay on the ground underneath the lorry (car).

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Remarkably, air and surface transportation systems and vehicles are increasingly becoming employed as domestic weapons of mass destruction!

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God help us, if such ongoing and continuing terrorism weaponry rehearsals using the international transportation system expand further into incorporating devastatingly catastrophic nuclear, biological and chemical (N.B.C.) warfare on domestic and international “soft targets.”

In Charlottesville the alleged American domestic terrorism suspect is now identified as James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old Ohio man (shown in the photo below). He employed his automobile to mow down people in a public protest in #Charlottesville (shown in the photo(s) above after Fields was caught up to in a “hit and run” getaway in the panicked aftermath of people running for their lives), killing a 32-year old woman and injuring 19 others. Horrifically, Fields allegedly and theoretically used his automobile as a domestic weapon of mass destruction. 

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TMZ reports, “He’s facing a second-degree murder charge, along with three counts of malicious wounding and one count of failing to stop at an accident that resulted in death … according to the superintendent of the Albemarle Regional Jail.”

In disturbing video of the crash … “the suspect Fields appears to deliberately drive his Dodge Challenger into a group of counter-protesters walking down the street, then floors it in reverse in an attempt to flee. He was captured shortly after … as a 32-year-old woman was killed in the incident.” Charlottesville police chief said “at least 35 people were injured during the Saturday, August 12, 2017 violence between white nationalist rallygoers and counter-protesters.”

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On Sunday, January 8, 2017, another alleged act of terrorism involved a lorry (tracker-trailer truck) deliberately driven at high speed into soldiers pedestrians in an Israeli neighborhood of Armon Hannaiv outside of south Jerusalem, killing at least four victims – three young men in their twenties alongside one young woman also in her twenties – and injuring over fifteen people at the horrific crime scene.

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Have you noticed I repeat how the international transportation system is the common thread being threaded between the #Barcelona, #Charlottesville, #Jerusalem, #Berlin, #Nice and #911 terror attacks, first by Al-Qaeda, now morphed into #ISIS?

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Witnesses at the horrible scene in #Jersalem (shown above) say the attacker drove his truck “back and forward” over the victims as they lay on the ground underneath the lorry.

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“It is a terrorist attack, a ramming attack,” a police spokeswoman said on Israel Radio, which reported that bodies were “strewn on the street.”

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“A group of soldiers was standing with their bags near the bus. I had just let them off. The truck drove into the group of soldiers, ran over them and kept going. The soldiers shot at the driver. He reversed and ran over them again,” Moshe Aharon, the driver of the bus told Army Radio, the Times of Israel reports (via The Independent (U.K.)).

Police have said the truck driver was “neutralized” – when soldiers at the scene shot him dead.

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Remarkably and horrifically, I must say again, air and surface transportation systems and vehicles are increasingly becoming employed as weapons of mass destruction! 

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Remember also, when I described above on Aljazeera English, about another domestic transportation-related security breach on January 9, 2017 inside a Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (United States) baggage claim area that was morphed into a “kill-zone,” as a gunman open fired upon commercial airline passengers gathering their baggage inside the Florida airport claim area!

Are we noticing a clear and dangerous pattern taking place all around us in the last 6-12 months? Do we see a noticeable safety and security breach happening on our lives? We need to be ever so visionary and vigilant about our scientific and technological security, our transportation security, our homeland security, and our international security now more than ever in our global history.

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I must repeat, God help us, if such ongoing and continuing terrorism weaponry rehearsals using the international transportation system expand further into incorporating devastatingly catastrophic nuclear, biological and chemical (N.B.C.) warfare on domestic and international “soft targets.”

On January 8, 2017 as soldiers departed a nearby Israeli bus in Jerusalem, and on December 19, 2016 at a public Christmas market in Berlin, Germany, as well as, on July 14, 2016 at a public holiday gathering on #BastilleDay (French National Independence Day) in Nice, France, three multi-ton tractor-trailer surface transportation vehicles (instead of four multi-ton commercial passenger aircraft seized and hijacked in the “911 attacks”) were used as weapons of mass destruction on “soft-targets” in what the terrorists are now celebrating on social media as, once again, a double “#Nice attack” (given the recent #Barcelona, #Jerusalem and #Berlin attacks), which is horrendous.

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On Friday, December 23, 2016, near Milan, Italy, Anis Amri, the Tunisian man (shown in the photos above), allegedly suspected of the multi-ton tractor-trailer truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany on Monday, December 19, 2016, killing 12 people and injuring 50 others, was killed in a police shootout at Sesto San Giovanni, near Milan, on Friday, Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti said.

Anis Amri was identified by anti-terrorism Digos police by chance on the spot based on his “appearance and fingerprints,” anti-terrorism sources in Milan, Italy said.

As reported in Ansa English: The Berlin attack suspect, Anis Amri, “arrived in Italy from France, according to anti-terrorism Digos police. He went from Chambery to Turin (French Alps), and then, took a high-speed rail train arriving in a suburban station in Milan, Italy. Amri later went from Milan’s Stazione Centrale to Sesto San Giovanni. He immediately ran into two police officers by chance and was killed in a shootout, as the anti-terrorism Digos police officers attempted to conduct a routine stop-check, when suddenly Amri pulled out a .22 caliber gun and started shooting at the anti-terrorism Digos police officers, sources said. 

The Tunisian man, Anis Amri, was killed by a trainee police officer, Luca Scatà, 29, said sources at the horrific scene. The other policeman, Christian Movio, 36, was hospitalized in Monza, Italy, after being injured during the anti-terrorism Digos police shootout, confirmed those immediately at the Milan suburban train station.”

Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni said German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been informed, adding that the anti-terrorism Digos police shooting incident in Milan, Italy on December 23, 2016 “showed that the Italian State was doing its bit to protect the public from terrorism.”

“The level of attention remains maximum, the threats should not be underestimated, but what happened overnight shows the citizens that Italy is present, the State is present,” Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni said.

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What are the science and technology policy grand-challenges?

International and domestic safety and security has now been integrally united with international transportation safety and security through trains, planes, trucks and automobiles being employed as weapons of mass destruction. 

Now more than ever, we desperately need to observe 24-7 our integrated, interdependent, intermodal, international transportation system in this grand-challenge age of integrated infrastructure and cyber-communications, incorporating smarter information technologies, sophisticated biotechnologies, miniaturized wireless devices, advanced microtechologies, nanotechnology of everything, and accessible elder technologies and mobility – moving people and things safely and securely in extreme circumstances and conditions of disaster and terrorism mitigation, controls and recovery.

Above all of this, we are perhaps even talking about a whole new way of looking at “black-boxes in the cloud,” tracking integrated autonomous planes, trains and automobiles, now working amongst our crowded international urban centers in the dawn of the 21st Century.

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The United States National Academy of Engineering at the request of the United States National Science Foundation convened a diverse committee of science and technology experts (including visionary sessions involving over 50 subject-matter experts from around the world and receiving inputs across the general public) to proposed 14 grand challenges achievable and sustainable to help people and the planet thrive in the post-911 age of demography shift and heighten engagements. Since the NAE’s report’s release, these 14 grand challenges have inspired numerous events (including Global Grand Challenges in London, Beijing, and most recently in late July 2017, George Washington University in Washington, DC) and educational initiatives at all levels (such as the NAE Grand Challenges Scholars Program), which the public can learn more about at www.engineeringchallenges.org).

Of the 14 grand challenges of NAE, nine are the most relevant to mitigating circumstances of transportation-related attacks on European, Russian, and American cities and associated man-made disaster recovery: 

#5 Provide access to clean water;

#6 Restore and improve urban infrastructure;

#7 Advance health informatics;

#8 Engineer better medicines;

#9 Reverse-engineer the brain (to better understand the psychology of extreme threats on the social fabric);

#10 Prevent nuclear terror (including smaller delivery mechanism of nuclear, biological and chemical (N.B.C.) warfare devices as weapons of mass destruction);

#11 Secure cyberspace;

#12 Enhance virtual reality (for simulations of extreme urban center threats and man-made disaster recovery);

#13 Advance personalized learning (for raising the public’ understanding of science and technology and its tools for people to use when we see something, so we can know best how to say something, or so we can know better how to do something).

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Are our geopolitical leaders being blind-sided?

Remarkably, United States, French, German, and NATO intelligence briefs were blindsided by the December 19, 2016 premeditated Lorry attack in #Berlin, by the July 14, 2016 premeditated Lorry attack in #Nice, and by the recent Sunday, January 8, 2017 horrific Lorry attack on soldiers in #Jerusalem, altogether designed as transportation-related weapons of mass destruction to maximized casualties. There were no prior immediate indicators, warnings or online patterns for international intelligence to intervene, counsel and advise local public safety and security authorities on the vulnerabilities of such #Nice and/or #Berlin and #Barcelona “soft-targets.”

Many of us personally feel it is so important that free people internationally are aware of what is already upon us now, and that was remarkably right in front of our face back in October 2010 (seven years ago and nine years after the 911 attacks on the United States). 

Ironically, the Nice, France, Berlin, Germany and Barcelona, Spain attacks were remarkably spelled out online back in October 2010 inside a chilling terrorist communication provided here in the Appendix C via “The Week,” in an individual radicalism of indefensible “lone-wolf” terrorism (aka, Harvard’s Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” actualization of online social media gorilla warfare).

Detailed in the Appendix C are terrorist’s specifics of potential transportation-related terrorism attacks that can disrupt public safety and security internationally and domestically.

Akin to “Run, Hide, Fight” active-shooter online educational tools of public safety and security, this revealing piece in the Appendix serves as an analogous terrorism online educational tool of public safety and security message of “If we know it, we can see it, and then, we can report it and beat it.”

And, “if we see something, then we need to say something” or “if we see something, then we need to do something.”

What was once called “neighborhood watches” now must be called “city watches” and “boarder watches” in the post-911 age of demography shift and heightened engagement amongst terrorists across Europe, Russia, Turkey and America.

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What’s going on with Transportation and Threats of Terrorism?

As the French, Germans, Spainards and Americans are left reeling, yet again, by the needless loss of human life, while people are freely participating in holiday celebrations or even protests assemblages (as in Charlottesville, Virginia), the most compelling question and geopolitical issue raised nowadays is what’s going wrong with international intelligence on transportation-related terrorism and international border security across the western world.

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“Europe’s open borders are putting Britain’s security at risk, former police chiefs have warned after it emerged that the terrorist behind the Berlin Christmas market attack travelled unhindered through three countries before being killed in Italy,” reports The Telegragh (UK) on December 24, 2016.

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Photo Credit: The Sun (UK):“The Berlin truck killer is said to have travelled unchallenged on Europe’s (high-speed) rail network for 72 hours despite his picture being flashed to national police forces and a European Arrest Warrant being issued.”

The Telegragh (UK) adds: “Anis Amri, the most wanted man in Europe, travelled from Berlin to the French Alps and then onto Italy without being stopped at any point on his 1,000 mile journey.”

“Police believe that in the wake of the terror attack Amri travelled from Germany to Chambery in the French Alps (Turin) before taking a high-speed train to Milan.”

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Photo Credit: The Sun (UK)

Seismic Geo-political Fallouts in 2016 were shaken by domestic immigration and international border controls 

Nonetheless, the upset #Brexit vote on Thursday, June 23, 2016, and the upset United States election fallout on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, clearly said “enough is enough.” 

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An autumn American Election 2016 win for President Donald Trump, rests squarely on the issue of domestic immigration and international broader controls, following a summer shocker victory for #Brexit, stunned the public and the pollsters after most predicted these seismic geo-political forces dead wrong, as Arthur Schlesinger “Cycles of American History” took ahold of geo-political events.

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Indeed, these geo-political upsets and fallouts caught U.K. and U.S. officials wrong-footed on public concerns about immigration policies, as well as, international economic and trade policies, ironically as international transportation-related terrorism incidents heat up and death tolls rise.

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As these transportation-related terror attacks proceed, ongoing and continuing, future U.S. and International Transport Secretaries and Ministers and future U.S. and International Science and Technology Policy Makers and Ministers will be integrally united to future U.S. and International Security Advisers and future U.S. and International Homeland Security Secretaries and Ministers in ongoing terrorism policy mitigation and abatement along with future man-made disaster recovery.

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Appendix A

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Statement on #Berlin Christmas Terror Attack

German chancellor, Angela Markel, under increasing pressure of ‘exposing Germany to the risk of terrorism’ with her ‘too liberal’ approach to accepting refugees, delivered a statement at a Berlin press conference in which she said it would be “difficult for us to learn” that the attacker was a refugee welcomed into the country, following reports the Berlin attacker suspect came to Germany from Afghanistan nearly a year ago.

The German chancellor said on Tuesday, December 20, 2016:

“Twelve people that were amongst us yesterday, who were looking forward to Christmas and had plans for the festive season are no longer amongst us.

It is a terrible deed which one cannot understand. It took their lives. Many people are injured, are fighting for their lives and fighting for their health.

We don’t have any thing for certain but we must assume it was a terrorist attack. It would be very difficult for us to learn that a human being committed this deed who came to Germany to ask for refuge and asylum.

It would be terrible for all of the Germans who are very active, day by day in helping asylum seekers and refugees. It would be repugnant for them, for those that are helping people that have come to this country and asking for our help.”

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Appendix B

Transportation-related Causation Linkage Between #Barcelona, #Charlottesville, #Jerusalem, #Berlin, #Nice and 911 Terror Attacks.

We all are so stunned and sorrowful for the 13 lives lost and more than 50 people injured in Barcelona, Spain on August 17, 2017, as well as, the 12 lives lost and 50 people injured in Berlin, Germany on December 19, 2016 by a multi-ton tractor-trailer truck purposely plowed into a crowded Christmas market, as described above.

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This traumatic transportation-related event comes upon us 6-12 months after 84 lives lost and the dozens of injuries in Nice, France on July 14, 2016. 

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Shockingly thereat, like in Berlin, Germany on December 19, 2016, a multi-ton tractor-trailer truck pulling up slowly, suddenly slammed at an accelerated high-speed into a very large crowd of panicking people. Hundreds of people were suddenly caught off-guard and shocked by this transportation-related terror attack, while celebrating #BastilleDay (France’s National Independence Day), and watching spectacular fireworks at #Nice, the fifth most populated city in southeastern France on the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea at Promenade des Angelais and French Riviera.

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At about 10:40 pm (Nice, France local time), a 31-year-old man, acting as a crazed “lone-wolf” truck driver (who was a Nice, French native of Tunisian ethnicity, known to local police for petty theft and mildly violent crimes but not terrorism), deliberately shot people, as the armed “lone wolf” driver zig-zagged a rented multi-ton tractor-trailer (alledgedly carrying toy guns and inactivated grenades) as a weapon of mass destruction through thousands of people for nearly 2 kilometers (about a mile).

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Photo Credit: Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, (via, The Telegragh (U.K.), MatrixPictures.co.uk)

NBC News confirmed the #Nice attacker has been identified by Nice’s mayoral office as Mohamed Lagouaiej Bouhlel, a 31-year-old Tunisian-born French man. He rented the large tractor trailer a week ago to perform his premeditated act of sheer terror on France’s 14th of July.

Mohamed Lagouaiej Bouhlel, the perpetrator of France’s 14th of July rampage, reportedly was not on any terrorist watch list, as French terrorism investigators continue to establish his motives.

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However, most traumatizing transportation-related terror attack in United States history resulted in 2,996 (2,977 victims, 19 hijackers) lives lost and over 6,000 people injured on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 between 8:46 a.m. – 10:28 a.m. ET inside the World Trade Center in New York City (as American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 was deliberately crashed into the upper 30 floors of both 110-story twin-skyscraper towers). Moments later, the Pentagon in (Arlington County) Washington, DC was simultaneously destroyed, killing and injuring hundreds of people, as American Airlines Flight 77 was purposely crashed into the United States military complex. Remarkably at the same time, all lives were lost aboard United Airlines Flight 93 as it was heroically crash in (Stony-brook Township) near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, as brave passengers aboard thwarted terrorists attempts to crash the large commercial passenger airliner, as a weapon of mass destruction, into the White House or the United States Capitol. 

For the first time in history, this was a series of four air transportation-related coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group, al-Qaeda, on the United States, employing the national airspace and air transportation security systems on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

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“At 9:42 am, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded all civilian aircraft within the continental U.S., and civilian aircraft already in flight were told to land immediately. All international civilian aircraft were either turned back or redirected to airports in Canada or Mexico, and were banned from landing on United States territory for three days,” accounts Wikipedia.

Immediately afterwards, the United States Transportation Security Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, the Office of the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence, were the federal government’s organizational response to the transportation-related 911-attacks on the United States.

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Appendix C
 

We have been warned of the #Barcelona, #Charlottesville, #Jerusalem, #Berlin and #Nice Lorry Weapons of Mass Destruction Terror Attacks back in October 2010.

 
CAUTION: The following exerpt language is a blunt education and a steadfast warning and heightened safety and security awareness of what we all across the western world are now facing once again in Barcelona, Spain, in Charlottesville, Virgina USA, in Jerusalem, Israel, in Berlin, Germany and in Nice, France. Our collective sorrows and prayers worldwide goes out to the families, friends and loved ones of the hundreds of victims of the #Barcelona market attack on August 17, 2017,  the #Berlin Christmas market attack on December 19, 2016, the #Nice #BastilleDay attack on July 14, 2016, and the #Jerusalem attack on Sunday, January 8, 2017 (as shown in the photo below taken at the scene), and the most recent #Charlottesville attack (shown below) on American domestic soil on Saturday, August 12, 2017. 
 
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These horrific surface transportation-related terrorism acts hit us all hardest straight in our guts.
 
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“[The second issue of Inspire (2010), an English-language magazine produced by al Qaeda’s Yemen branch, has just hit virtual newsstands. Like its July (2010) predecessor, Inspire’s October (2010) edition offers “chilling tips” on how to kill Americans, though the Associated Press notes a shift from encouraging “easier-to-stop spectacular attacks” to “one-man operations, using everyday objects.”

Here’s a look at five of the most notable stories in this “how-to magazine” for jihadis:

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1. How to create “the Ultimate Mowing Machine”

In a section on “Tips for our brothers in the U.S.,” Inspire (October 2010) offers a guide to creating “the ultimate mowing machine” — “not to mow grass, but mow down the enemies of Allah.” Would-be jihadis are instructed to modify a four-wheel-drive pickup truck (“the stronger the better”) by mounting steel blades on the grill, then driving on a crowded sidewalk. “To achieve maximum carnage, you need to pick up as much speed as you can, while still retaining good control.” The magazine notes: “This method has not been used before.”

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(Until August 17,  2017 at a public square in Barcelona, Spain, until August 12, 2017 at a public protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, until January 8, 2017 at a public facility in Jerusalem, until July 14, 2016 on #BastilleDay in Nice, France, and recently until December 19, 2016 at a public Christmas market in Berlin, Germany, where two multi-ton tractor trailer trucks, several surface transportation vehicles (instead of four multi-ton aircraft used in the “911 attacks”) were used as weapons of mass destruction in what the terrorists are now celebrating on social media as a “#Nice attack”, which is horrendous. International and domestic safety and security has now been integrally united with international transportation safety and security.)

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2. Feature: “I Am Proud to be a Traitor to America”

The man, who apparently produces the magazine, 24-year-old U.S. citizen Samir Khan, tells his story of leaving North Carolina to join Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in this provocatively titled essay. Khan recounts how he “happily became a traitor to America,” mocks the FBI for letting him escape (“it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that I was al Qaeda to the core”), and says he is now “actively aware that body parts have to be torn apart, skulls have to be crushed, and blood has to be spilled” in this holy war. It’s worth noting, says Georgetown University terrorism expert, Paul Pillar, that “Inspire” is probably aimed more at Western media than would-be jihadis.

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3. Tip: Shoot up D.C. restaurants at lunchtime

A writer called Yahya Ibrahim urges insurgents who want to use conventional firearms to “choose the best location” for their attacks. “A random hit at a crowded restaurant in Washington, D.C., at lunch hour might end up knocking out a few government employees,” Ibrahim says. “Targeting such employees is paramount and the location would also give the operation additional media attention.” How the mighty have fallen, says Spencer Ackerman in Wired. “Nine years ago, al-Qaeda crashed a plane into the Pentagon and came dangerously close to taking out the White House. Now, it wants to hit places, like Cosí and Potbelly, during the lunch rush.”

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4. Advice to U.S. jihadis: Stay home, stay “clean

The “big takeaway” from the magazine, says Christopher Boucek at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is its message of encouragement to lone-wolf jihadis: “You can do it — you can participate in this.” Yahya Ibrahim, in another article, explicitly encourages “our brothers to fight jihad on U.S. soil,” rather than traveling “overseas to join the mujahideen.” He adds: “If you are clean, stay clean … Avoid contact with any jihadi-minded individuals. Do not visit jihadi websites.” So, al-Qaeda is so “desperate to pull something off inside the United States,” says Ackerman in Firedoglake, that instead of offering training, it is urging “the next-generation of terrorists to act like … criminals.”

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5. Things aren’t all rosy in al-Qaeda-land

The magazine “seems to confirm that al-Qaeda operations are being hampered by better intelligence and drone attacks on its bases in Pakistan and Yemen,” says Richard Spencer in The Daily Telegraph (UK). One article says “it is no longer possible to operate by the methods of the old model,” since after 911 and “the onset of the American campaigns … the great majority of the existing secret organizations were destroyed.” Actually, “Inspire” and other recent messaging shows AQAP “is still active, that they’re still able to function,” says Boucek. Function, yes, says Daniel Drezner in Foreign Policy. But even if it successfully foments one of its “small beer” attacks in the U.S., “al-Qaeda is now following the narrative arc of VH1’s ‘Behind the Music’ franchise.” Let’s just hope there’s no “comeback hit.”]”

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__________

Oliver G. McGee III is a teacher, a researcher, an administrator, and an advisor to government, corporations and philanthropy. He is professor and chair of the department of mechanical engineering at Texas Tech University. He was formerly professor of mechanical engineering and former Vice President for Research and Compliance at Howard University. Dr. McGee was former Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Inc. He was Professor and former Chair (2001-2005) of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Geodetic Science at Ohio State University. 

He is the first African-American to hold a professorship and a departmental chair leadership in the century-and-a-quarter history of Ohio State University’s engineering college, and in the near centennial history of Texas Tech University’s Edward Whitacre Jr. engineering college. Dr. McGee has also held several professorships and research positions at Georgia Tech and MIT.

McGee is the former United States (U.S.) Deputy Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Technology Policy (1999-2001) at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and former Senior Policy Advisor (1997-1999) in The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He is a NASDAQ certified graduate of UCLA John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management’s 2013 Director Education and Certification Program, and NYSE Governance Services Guide to Corporate Board Education’s 2003 Directors’ Consortium (on corporate board governance).

McGee is trained at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, possessing two Executive Program Certificates in Public Management (1999):

1. Program for Senior Managers in Government (SMG); 2. Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security (NISM).

McGee is a 2012-13 American Council on Education Fellow at UCLA Office of the Chancellor Gene Block. He is a 2013 University of California Berkeley Institutes on Higher Education (BIHE) graduate. He is also an Executive Leadership Academy Fellow of the University of California, Berkeley Center of Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) and the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE), Inc. McGee is an American Association of State Colleges & Universities’ (AASCU) Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI) Fellow – educational leadership and management development programs for prospective university chancellors and presidents.

Education Background: Ohio State University, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Civil Engineering, University of Arizona, Masters of Science (M.S.) in Civil Engineering, University of Arizona, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Engineering Mechanics, Aerospace Engineering (Minor), The University of Chicago, Booth School, Masters of Business Administration (M.B.A.), The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Certificate of Professional Development (C.P.D.), Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy – Certificate of Fund Raising Management (C.F.R.M.).

Partnership Possibilities for America – Invested in STEEP Giving Forward, founded by McGee in 2010, is based in Washington, DC.

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Aug 282015
 

BK

On August 26, Burger King asked rival McDonald’s to merge two iconic burgers: the Big Mac and the Whopper, as a McWhopper!

In honor of International Peace Day upcoming on September 21, 2015, Burger King wanted to serve to customers on that day a new McWhopper sandwich in a pop-up stand located at a parking lot between a McDonald’s and a Burger King stores in Atlanta, which happens to be a neutral market midway between McDonald’s Corporate headquarters outside Chicago in Oak Brook, Illinois, and Burger King’s Management Office in Miami, Florida.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAVXAAAAJDNhNGI1NzZiLTU1YmQtNDc3Yi1hMWViLTZjNjRkZTQyNzM1MA - McDonald's Isn't Lovin' It, Like A McWhopper, With Burger King

Burger King proposed in its full-page newspaper ads appearing in Wednesday’s New York Times and Chicago Tribune that all proceeds of the one-day venture would be donated to Peace One Day, a nonprofit group seeking to raise awareness of the International Day of Peace, which was established by the United Nations General Assembly annually for September 21 back in 1981, marking the opening of its annual meeting. 

Peace One Day is “devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and people,” according to the United Nations General Assembly.

“Corporate activism on this scale creates mass awareness and awareness creates action and action saves lives,” Jeremy Gilley, founder of Peace One Day, said in a video posted on the website, mcwhopper.com, in which Burger King is promoting its proposal.

Fernando Machado, Burger King’s senior vice president for global brand management, urged McDonald’s to help “make history and generate a lot of noise around Peace Day,” in a company statement.

McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook, apparently surprised by the Burger King full-page ads, graciously agreed the proposal was well-intentioned and for a good cause. But, he passed on the proposal. Because, he believes the two burger mega-brands could do “something bigger to make a difference.”

And every day, let’s acknowledge that between us there is simply a friendly business competition and certainly not the unequaled circumstances of the real pain and suffering of war. P.S. A simple phone call will do next time. — McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook

“The Burger King work was done by seven agencies including Alison Brod Public Relations, which sent the details out to reporters on Wednesday morning to spread the word. The other firms involved are WPP’s Y&R New Zealand, Code & Theory, The David Agency, Rock Orange, Turner Duckworth and Horizon,” Alison Brod Public Relations agency said, according to AdAge.

So, why didn’t the great burger merger of the McWhopper come together? Because of something far more basic underneath it all: culture matters most inside, but not necessarily across, global mega-firms.

Big business culture is the focus of this piece, as exemplified through the case of a proposed McWhopper burger merger still yet unrealized.

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Iconic Burger Synergy: Big Mac + Whopper = McWhopper?

Consumer behavior towards the saturated fast food industry has shifted in the millennial age towards healthier more wholesome foods and eating habits.

McDonald’s Corporation, now largely an international finance and global real estate holdings company, and Burger King Corporation, now a Canadian-based privately held, equity holdings firm, have been in a decade long struggle in getting consumers back in love with their iconic branded foods again. Much like consumers were either “getting away to” or “having it their way with” these two burger giants back in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, when Grammy-award winning singer, Barry Manilow wrote, “You deserve a break today, so get up and get away to McDonald’s!

Back then, when I earned my first dollar flipping burgers at my neighborhood McDonald’s, one of the first 18 franchise stores on Reading Road in Cincinnati, Ohio, we could actually smell the fresh food cooking in the McDonald’s kitchen throughout my family’s Bond Hill neighborhood at lunchtime and dinnertime.

Upon eventually rising up through the ranks from an entry crew member at age 16 to an assistant manager at age 22 (even attending Hamburger University in Oak Brook, Illinois), McDonald’s taught me their corporate values and norms of hard work, while working in their corporate culture through my junior and senior years of high school and onward to pay for my undergraduate college education at Ohio State University.

From the quality foods, such as the “Filet-O-Fish that catches people,” to the distinguished dinning lobbies of the McDonald’s stores, dedicated to the ethos ofQuality, Service, and Cleanliness (Q.S.C.), McDonald’s has stood as an icon of American life around the world for seven decades.

A personal aside, as a young teenager working the grill at McDonald’s, I used to make myself what I called back then a “Quarter Mac” — a McWhopper sort-of-speak — which was “two all beef (Quarter Pounder) patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame-seed (Big Mac) bun.” You may perhaps recall the iconic slogan of the Big Mac commercial back in the late 70s early 80s.

When I introduced this huge McWhopper into the culture of my young constitution, it is a miracle I am still alive today. My how a skinny teenager’s stomach as mine back then could absorb so much beef of such a “McWhopper of aQuarter Mac” into that youngster’s highly-metabolized culture that just chewed up the enormous amount of fat from eating what was a deliciously huge sandwich to me at the time. It would be impossible for me to consume such a McWhopper today.

Since businessman Ray Kroc purchased from Richard and Maurice McDonald their company back in 1955, and subsequently gave the company its iconic namesake, McDonald’s continues its dominance as the world’s leading fast-food service brand composed of more than 36,000 mostly franchise stores worldwide.

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Photo Credit: Bruce Marlin, The first franchised McDonald’s, now a museum, in Des Plaines, Illinois.

The corporation has a modern ethos of “good food, good people, and good neighbor.” The publicly traded company aims to promote tasty food choices created safely with real quality ingredients; to create entrepreneurial opportunity through 5,000 independent small franchise businesses collectively operating inside a globally diverse work environment motivated by rewards and incentives; and to build families through philanthropy and reducing the company’s environmental footprint across the communities in which the over 36,000 stores reside around the world.

The National Labor Relations Board announced a real McWhopper ruling on Thursday, August 25, 2015 to “effectively loosen the standards for who can be considered a worker’s boss under labor law, and its impact will be felt in any industry that relies on franchising or outsourcing work. McDonald’s and Burger King, for instance, could now find themselves forced to sit at the bargaining table with workers employed by a franchisee managing one of its restaurants,” according to The Huffington Post.

Franchising and outsourcing is a key aspect of the Big Mac and Whopper corporate culture of these two fast-food giants. This is mainly because the workplace responsibilities and accountability are shifted to the franchised and outsourced companies, and not to McDonald’s or Burger King at their corporate levels.

The new “joint employer” ruling of the National Labor Relations Board on Thursday is a McWhopper game-changer for the corporate culture of these two burger giants, as asymmetric information management increases inefficiencies, workplace controls require more corporate monitoring and oversight, and interest-based workforce cooperation reduces, while collective right-based worker bargaining costs skyrocket. These McWhopper corporate culture issues are specifically examined more closely later in this piece.

Concludes The Huffington Post: “McDonald’s and other franchisers (like Burger King) have been bracing for a ruling like this for years. The board’s general counsel, who functions as a kind of prosecutor, has already named McDonald’s as a joint employer alongside some of its franchisees in several cases involving alleged unfair labor practices. Many observers took that move as a sign that the board would soon revise its standards for what makes a company a joint employer.”

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Founded in 1954, Burger King is arguably the second largest fast food hamburger chain in the world with more than eleven million consumers enjoying the chain’s food everyday. The home of the Whopper, Burger King uses premium ingredients to produce the sandwich, including its buns made by the “Pillsbury Dough Boy,” which gives it its addicting sweet sense to the taste buds.

In 2010, 3G Capital, a global privately held investment firm, acquired the Burger King Corporation to increase its long-run value in the increasingly saturated global fast-food industry under a Canadian-based company called Restaurant Brands International, when it merged Burger King with Tim Hortons, a Canadian fast-food chain.

“Burger King even ceded its position as the world’s No. 2 burger chain to Wendy’s,” reports the New York Times. But sales have rebounded this year by 6.7 percent, according to the national paper. “Management attributed the gains in part to the success of menu additions like a pulled-pork sandwich and the return of the popular Chicken Fries.”

The New York Times adds: “In the proposed pop-up shop, employees from both companies would wear special uniforms, and the burgers they would serve might blend the Big Mac’s top bun (Burger King, not surprisingly, calls it a “crown”) and Big Mac sauce with the tomato slices and 4-ounce meat patty from the Whopper, among other things.”

“Social activism campaigns like the one proposed by Burger King are often effective in creating a favorable brand image and could go a long way to undo some of the companies’ negative press,” Yahoo! News Digest reports. “However, social awareness campaigns also have the potential to backfire, as in the case of Starbucks’ “Race Together” campaign earlier this year.” 

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Culture matters most inside, but not necessarily across, global mega-firms.

Profitability inside global mega-firms, like McDonald’s and Burger King, is partially tied to technical and agency efficiency, competitive strategy, and positioning. High performance earnings are also dependent upon the culture inside each of these burger corporate giants, as the research supports this fundamentally in Tom Peters’ and Robert Waterman’s “In Search of Excellence,” and William Ouchi’s “Theory Z.”

Products can become so much of a symbol in society that they become icons, as in the case of leader brand cultural pairings, like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, and runner-up brand cultural pairings, like Burger King and Pepsi. Perhaps, the longstanding publicly traded corporate culture of McDonald’s was the burger giant’s reasoning why it passed on Burger King’s McWhopper proposal. Especially so, given Burger King’s current primal focus on synergistic control of its ongoing post-merger value-creation, as a privately held firm.

Corporate culture comprises values, beliefs, and norms of behavior shared by customers, employees, management, and directors inside global mega-firms. Culture is also tied to products that represent the iconic symbols, artwork, and practices used to prepare McDonald’s Big Mac and Burger King’s Whopper.

Inside each of these firms are social orders held by the people of these fast-food giants that reinforce their sense of belonging to a common culture of preparing their product and of engaging their customers, which are fondly tuned to their signature Big Mac and Whopper brands.

Messing with this signature branding can sometimes be upsetting to the corporate culture, much like “New Coke” did wrongly to “Coke,” back in the 80s, when it was trying to shift its culture and product slightly towards that of its then hyper-competitive rival Pepsi.

Each of McDonald’s and Burger King’s corporate culture represent behavioral truisms in each of the mega-firms that cannot be fully spelled out in a full-page newspaper ad or contract. Because, their corporate cultures are not only highly restricted, but also they are well-ingrained by these mega-firm’s management and employees, altogether tied to their iconic products in the Big Mac and theWhopper. Such distinguishing features of corporate culture may be hard to observe and measure specifically.

So, here’s a question: Was Burger King’s corporate culture tied to itsWhopper burger brand attempting to use surprise social activism of a burger merger as a competitive strategy to induce McDonald’s into a strategic commitment contrary to its corporate culture dedicated to its Big Mac burger brand?

Clearly, yes, as this is what made McDonald’s pause at such an overt newspaper ad signaling of competitive positioning in stakeholder value creation from its rival Burger King. The runner-up burger player may be more incentivized to increase its post-merger synergistic value and to enhance its brand’s social positioning in the marketplace.

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Corporate culture simplifies asymmetric information management. McDonald’s established corporate culture at this point reduces the cost of its decision to pass on Burger King’s newspaper ad-offering on Wednesday through McDonald’s culture of entrepreneurial specialization permitted amongst its collection of 5,000 independent small franchise businesses around the world. This allows these small businesses to share their experiences about what operational innovations they have created, as well as, the growth expectations these businesses have in the future, resulting from these breakthroughs.

Just as important, this entrepreneurial corporate culture simplifies information processing about competitive moves. Such a culture also reduces business risks (e.g., advertising, marketing, operations, and product preparation). But most of all, this innovation-driven culture decreases uncertainty (amongst employees, customers, and stakeholders) to better focus small franchise entrepreneurial activities and technical efficiency.

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Corporate culture facilitates workplace controls, monitoring, and oversight. Corporate culture of McDonald’s controls the activities of its employees and its 5,000 small businesses on the basis of their attachment to the mega-firm rather than on the basis of incentives and monitoring that could perhaps characterized the post-merger culture of Burger King’s synergistic controls.

Individuals and small businesses of McDonald’s, who value belonging to the Big Mac culture, will align their independent goals and behaviors with those of McDonald’s. And not necessarily, find the need to momentarily now merge with the Whopper culture, focused on social diversification of stakeholder value-creation proposed by the Burger King brand.

Further discussions would need to be had momentarily to flesh out the cultural details of a Big Mac – Whopper merger brand valuation as a McWhopper!

Individuals inside the McDonald’s and Burger King corporate cultures would ideally and functionally control themselves, and thus, monitoring costs will be reduced.

Essentially, the corporate culture in each of the mega-firm would strongly dictate motivated self-control, informal monitoring of co-workers, and increased self-compliance of corporate values and behavioral norms tied to the Big Mac andWhopper cultures in order to technically and efficiently create a McWhopper culture for at least one-day of peace perhaps?

William Ouchi in “Markets, Bureaucracies, and Clans,” [in Administrative Science Quarterly (1980), pp.129-140] has outlined an entrepreneurial corporate culture as a control system contrary to bureaucratic or market controls. What Ouchi describes as clan control, McDonald’s collection of 5,000 entrepreneurial small franchise businesses, for instance, creates such constraints through internal systems of organizational norms and values of the Big Mac culture that do create enormous value to shareholders and stakeholders.

Clan control is defined by moderate-to-low specialization of organizational roles and tasks, long-term employment in the Big Mac and Whopper culture, individual self-motivation, accountability, and responsibility, and collective integrity and trust in decision-making. Clan control contrasts bureaucratic control, which calls for greater specialization of roles and tasks inside the Big Mac and Whopper culture, shorter-term employment, less individual motivation, responsibility, and accountability, and more distrust in decision-making. Both clan control and bureaucratic control are distinguished from market control, which is dictated by the price of the Big Mac and the Whopper, and supposedly, the combined McWhopper.

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Corporate culture induces interest-based cooperation and reduces collective rights-based bargaining costs. Finally, corporate culture facilitates cooperation through repeated games, and thus, reduces bargaining costs across mega-firms, like McDonald’s and Burger King.

Gary Miller in “The Political Economy of Hierarchy,” [in Cambridge University Press (1992), chapter 10] examines how corporate culture can mitigate the costly effects of power dynamics inside and across the two burger giants. These costs can be reduced by creating “mutually reinforcing” or “collective-interest” norms within the Big Mac or Whopper cultures that allow for mutually beneficial cooperative activities, like the McWhopper social activism, to emerge that would not be likely among self-interested actors outside the organization. Miller’s thinking rests upon that of David Kreps in “A Course on Microeconomic Theory,” [in Princeton University Press (1990), chapter 14], who addresses the question of securing cooperative outcomes through repeat McWhopper games of cooperative social activism.

This big business decision-trap between “collective-interest” and “self-interest” is known as the prisoners’ dilemma, perhaps, but not generally, is somewhat underlying somewhere underneath the Big Mac + Whopper = McWhopper social activism game. The prisoners’ dilemma (Appendix A) arises when both the Big Mac and the Whopper cultures are pursuing their own self-interests, they each in turn, impose a bargaining cost onto the other that is not taken into account.

In the McWhopper game, the Whopper culture’s added investments in social activism hurts the Big Mac culture, and vice-versa. Mainly because, such incremental investments drive down the market price. The prisoners’ dilemma is an essential corporate culture characteristic to consider in equilibrium pricing and output decisions in the McWhopper game of social activism not only on one-day of peace, but also the longer-term range of stakeholder value achieved afterwards.

A notable big business game of an analogous structure to the “battle of the sexes” dilemma (Appendix B) is “standards setting“. This occurs when two oligopolistic strategies, as in the McWhopper social activism game, aim to coordinate alongside the Big Mac or the Whopper cultural standard. But, each burger giant prefers to adopt its own sandwich preparation and ingredients as the standard. Inasmuch as, they have different Big Mac or Whopper preference standards for each of their consumers on where they want to coordinate to reach a common McWhopper standard for the consumer on the one-day of peace.

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Photo Credit: McDonald’s in Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan

Bottom-Line Takeaway

Above all else, culture plays a huge role in efficient corporate portfolio analysis in the age of demography shift and heightened shareholder engagement and stakeholder (or social) activism. This is especially so for foreign firms entering the U.S. marketplace, like Canadian-based 3G Capital private equity and Restaurant Brands International, as a result of Burger King’s merger with Canada’s Tim Horton restaurants.

As always, experience is the best teacher in addressing cultural differences inside global industries, like McDonald’s and Burger King. Here, it is so much more than accounting. As there are no set best practices in international mergers and acquisitions, and especially in burger mergers, like the Big Mac and the Whopper into a McWhopper of a joint-venture of social good for one-day of peace on September 21, 2015, commemorating the ideals of the United Nation’s General Assembly. 

Every journey of a potential burger merger starts out and ends differently. Generally speaking, this potential burger merger transaction may be restructured several times to meet integrated goals of buyers, sellers, regulators, shareholders, stakeholders, and investment communities.

This is why I brought out the earlier point that when I used to work at McDonald’s Corporation, as a young teenager, we could actually smell the food cooking inside the kitchen. As we walk into a McDonald’s or Burger King Corporation store today, can we still smell the food cooking inside the kitchen? Go see? Perhaps, this is why these burger giants are now getting back to their basics of fresh food ingredients, as a company culture, and away from the company mascots of clowns and creepers, now put back into their toy boxes under lock and key.

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Photo Credit: Budapest, capital of Burger King

Handling cultural differences inside a future of global fast-food industry consolidations calls for innovation to chart the proper course, as well as, innovators to “respect the history” and to “show the way.”

Such inventive people have the core competencies of negotiation and mediation practices.

Moreover, such practices involve not only keeping a watchful eye on the oftentimes competing integrated goals of the burger economics and decision-makers seeking joint-value.

But also, such burger merger practices involve “finding the burger that fits the fries,” heaven-forbid, if such a fuss arises before the dust settles at the global burger industrial consolidation rodeo.

And, an eventual “fist-punch” may be achieved between these two giant burger brands for a social good well-done for one-day in the name of peace.

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__________

Appendix A: Prisoners’ Dilemma

Commonly seen on the long-running NBC drama Law & Order, produced by lawyer Dick Wolf, this situation involves two criminals who are arrested for committing a serious crime. The police have no proof of their involvement, except for a minor infraction. The prosecutor offers them a deal, whereby the one who implicates the other escapes all punishment, and the other gets a heavy prison sentence. If both criminals implicate the other, both end up in prison for a long time. The dominant strategy (or Nash equilibrium) is for each criminal to implicate the other. Consequently, they both end up getting relatively heavy prison sentences.

Appendix B: The Battle of the Sexes

Perhaps nowadays a “politically incorrect” manner to describe this Nash equilibria game, a husband and a wife want to coordinate their choice for an evening out having fun on the town. The husband prefers to go to a night football game, and the wife wants to go to the theater. But, they both prefer to do together any of the two activities than to do their preferred one alone. This is coordinating to set a standard of fun for each during their evening out on the town.

__________

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“The Boss Wants to Play Pickup”

  Leadership & Management
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Jun 302014
 

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Chris, formerly trained as a NCAA swing-man guard-forward, was suddenly playing in the game of his life.

White House Photo. President Obama positions himself under the basket during a pickup game with Congressional members and Cabinet Secretaries at the White House Basketball Court.

One summer day back in 2010, a tall, lean athlete, Chris (anonymously named herein for United States Secret Service and presidential discretion), stuffed a pair of size 14 basketball shoes and a change of clothing into his gym bag. Instead of heading for hoops as usual at my Georgetown neighborhood gym, this athlete was instead escorted to Camp David by the United States Secret Service.

“President Obama wanted to play some pickup games before taking a vacation,” says Chris, who was frequenting my Georgetown gym, where a White House correspondent point-man for The President played as well. That’s how the invite came his way.

After playing a couple of pickup games with the White House point-man, “I got this text from him simply saying, ‘The Boss Wants to Play Pickup.’ ”

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White House Photo: President Obama playing pickup basketball at Camp David.

“Needless to say, I was kind of in disbelief, but I took him seriously, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity, and so the rest is well history,” Chris told me just as causal, quiet, and humble as he is.

“The secret service was on guard, but they were very relaxed, because they knew The President had some pickup ball to play,” Chris says.

And boy did Chris bring it for ‘The Boss‘.

Skillfully trained in the game of basketball, Chris says shooting hoops with President Obama ranks near the top of his NCAA college basketball career memories.

But, playing pickup with The Boss is the highest-tier.

And, Obama plays a ‘mean‘ pickup game too recalls Chris to me.

“The President can play, Chris exclaims confidently, “he threw his body up into the ball a lot, and was really being physical with us in play,” says Chris with a nodding smile.

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White House Photo Credit: President Obama takes a shot during a pickup game with Congressional members and Cabinet Secretaries at the White House Basketball Court.

Chris recalls further how he just fell into ‘the zone‘ in play with The President, as just one of the guys, much like he did, while playing on the NCAA varsity basketball floor.

“I even had to block him once,” remembers Chris with some pride.

You would be proud too, if you had the chance to block The President’s stuff, like Chris did.

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“The President’s got a crossover and he’s got some fundamentally sound basketball moves,” as Chris breaks it down, “The President uses his body positioning well, and he out-smarts his defenders, when he gets the chance. He’s even got a ‘mean‘ pump fake, hopping under the defender’s arm, and at times, driving hard straight to the hoop” Chris analyzes.

“The President regularly posted up two points, recalls Chris, “assisting his side of 5-on-5 teammates on their way to victory in the game.”

Sounds like just a normal day at the office for The President.

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Photo Credit: Obama for America Campaign 2008, Former Illinois Senator Obama takes the ball to the hole as Reggie Love, green jersey, former Duke basketball team Captain, left, and Chris Duhon, former Duke basketball standout, right, guard the Senator in quick pursuit.

In fact, a bond between The President, and his young 29-year old and outgoing former personal aid, Reggie Love, now enrolled at The Wharton School, it is generally-known has been set on a basketball court. The pair played pickup games regularly during the presidential campaign, a practice that has carried over to the South Lawn of the White House. Love, a star wide receiver on the football team and captain of the basketball team at Duke, rarely plays against The President.

“Reggie is 20 years younger than me,” Obama said during his first presidential campaign. “So there is no doubt that I have to have Reggie on my team. I can’t be guarding Reggie.”

“I know definitely I’m going to miss that,” Love said. “He’s been like a big brother to me, a mentor. I’ve learned so much about life from him. I’ve spent most of my adult life working for him, so it’s going to be a challenge….”

∆∆∆∆∆

Frankly speaking, I could never do what Chris or Reggie has done with The President. I am as tall as Chris at 6 foot and 4 inches. Many times, as I board a very tight commuter airplane completely bent over, folks on-board always ask me, if I ever played basketball.

Thankfully, Not!

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Watching me play on a basketball court is like watching Will Ferrell – ‘all-out laughs’ in some of his most classic physical comedy, if you can just imagine me on a basketball court.

In shooting the ball, my buddies repeatedly ask me, “How do you completely miss the entire back-board in sailing the basketball over it, when you take a shot.” I never make two points. We do not even think about me making any three’s, because it is hysterically funny to watch. I am such a ‘Gomer’ on the basketball court.

And watching me jump is just hilarious, especially as tall as I am at 6 foot and 4 inches, like Chris.

Dunking the ball is simply out-of-the-question hysterical. As jumping for me, looks like I have an old broken rusted-out ‘slinky toy’ attached to my heels and nailed to the floor. I jump up to nowhere near any kind of respectable heights. I usually come right back down fast with absolutely no kind of so-called ‘hang time.’ Sometimes, I even land face-first – learning quite fast that we have gravity here on earth. And, I should stay on it.

Usually my buddies are saying, “Stop! Please stop, don’t do that, stop! Our sides are splitting we’re crying laughing so hard.”

It is great comedic stuff watching me playing some pickup basketball. Let’s just say I won’t be getting a text like Chris did saying, ‘The Boss Wants to Play Pickup‘ anytime soon.

Notwithstanding, I love to watch Kobe, LeBron, and the NBA professional’s magic in the The Finals. Besides this, I love the college pageantry of March Madness, like The President and all of America in the spring.

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I personally believe basketball players are the most finely-tuned, cross-fit endurance, and physically-trained athletes. A basketball player’s strengths include a quick first-step, a long wing-span, an exceptional leaping ability, some miraculous passing like Magic, and a versatile 3-point range like MJ. Some swing-man guard-forward pickup players, like Chris and President Obama, are smart and accomplished in making sound floor judgment and providing unbeatable floor leadership.

You see it is all about the mind and the body coming together, as one team spirit and trust in each other, oftentimes in deep trusting bonds for life. I have experienced this, indeed, I am blessed to now say.

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Photo Credit: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images. President Barack Obama accepts a jersey and basketball from Lakers captains Derek Fisher (left) and Kobe Bryant (center) during a ceremony to honor the 2008-09 NBA champions.

A father’s legacy of pickup basketball.

It has been many times said, “The Road to the White House is through Cincinnati.”

My admiration of the pickup game is for good reason. In my family it has been all around me for a couple of decades.

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My stepfather is the great George Wilson, a two-time NCAA Basketball Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist. Currently living in Cincinnati with his lovely wife of 25 years – Jean Wilson, my mother – George was a member of the 1961-1962 University of Cincinnati Bearcats NCAA Basketball Championship Teams and a member of the Gold Medal winning 1964 United States of America Basketball Team – including former New Jersey Senator and 2001 presidential candidate Bill Bradley of Princeton – at the 1964 Olympics held in Tokyo, Japan.

As a 6’8” pivot man, George established ‘a mean hook-shot’ very early back in 1958, modeled after then-Northwestern great Joe Ruklick – way before the rise of Kareem’s famed ‘sky-hook’ a decade later at UCLA.

In 1958 George, a high school All-American (1956-60), led Chicago’s west side Marshall High School to a 31-0 record and the Illinois State Championship. In 1960 he was the inaugural winner of the Chicago Sun-Times Player of the Year award. George was also named All-State of Illinois in high school basketball for three years.

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Photo Credit: Longtime friends, Oscar Robertson and Jean Wilson, my mother, at a book signing of “The Big O” by Oscar Robertson.

Upon the urging of 1960 Olympic Gold Medalist in Basketball, the incomparable Oscar Robertson, who had just led the University of Cincinnati Bearcats in a buzzer-finishing heartbreaking defeat to Fred Taylor’s Ohio State Buckeyes – including sophomore basketball greats John Havilcek, Jerry Lucas, and senior Bobby Knight – in the 1960 NCAA Championship game, George later led the Bearcats back to a NCAA Championship in 1961 against that same Fred Taylor Ohio State team, then juniors at the time – excluding Bobby Knight, who had graduated.

George also became a NCAA All-American, as part of the 1962 NCAA Champion Bearcats again in the championship game victory over the same Fred Taylor Ohio State Buckeye team, then seniors at the time. After graduating from the University of Cincinnati with an education degree in 1964, George rejoined his close friend, the NBA great Oscar Robertson, and former New York Knicks great, Jerry Lucas, on the 1964 then-Cincinnati Royals of the NBA. From 1964-71 George went on to play seven seasons in the NBA for various teams, including the Chicago Bulls, the then-Seattle Supersonics, Philadelphia 76ers, the first Phoenix Suns team, and the then-Buffalo Braves, averaging 5.4 points per game and 5.2 rebounds per game in his NBA career.

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George has been induced into Chicago’s Marshall High School Hall of Fame, the Chicago Coaches Hall of Fame, the Illinois High School Hall of Fame, the University of Cincinnati Hall of Fame, the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, the Greater Cincinnati Basketball Hall of Fame, the Ohio Hall of Fame, and most recently in 2008, the Chicago-Land Sports Hall of Fame.

Our family’s pickup basketball legacy does not end here.

George’s son, Derek Wilson Sr., my stepbrother, who is currently living in Luxembourg, also was raised in Cincinnati, a 1985 graduate of Walnut Hills High School. Following graduation he earned a full basketball scholarship to Coastal Carolina College, playing for Coach Russ Bergman. At Coastal Carolina, he was named to Playboy magazine’s All-American Team (1988-89) during both his junior and senior years (also being named the Playboy magazine’s Anson Mount Scholar Athlete of the Year in 1988). Following college, Derek played professional basketball overseas in both South America (in Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil) and Europe (in Luxembourg).

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Photo Credit: Playboy Magazine’s 1988-1989 ALL AMERICA TEAM: Left to right, top to bottom: Derek Wilson, forward, Anson Mount Scholar/Athlete, Coastal Carolina; Mark Macon, guard, Temple; Glen Rice, forward, Michigan; Sean Elliot, forward, Arizona; Tom Hammonds, forward, Georgia Tech; Stacey King, center, Oklahoma; John Chaney, Coach of the Year, Temple; Sherman Douglas, guard, Syracuse; Michael Smith, forward, Brigham Young; Charles Smith, guard, Georgetown; Todd Lichti, guard, Stanford

George’s grandson and Derek’s and Daniele Wilson’s son, Derek Wilson Jr. (nicknamed “DJ”), has grown up to become a 6’5” shooting guard, including versatilities as point guard and small forward, for his Luxembourg high school, LCD Diekirch. Leading his team in scoring (at 22.7 points), rebounds (at 8.5) and assists (at 4.3) in 2009, DJ represented Luxembourg in the U20 European championship in July 2009 in Macedonia. He was the second youngest competitor in the international field of basketball players, which included more than 200 players from more than 15 European nations.

Now that’s a global pickup game for DJ.

Born in 1991 and raised in Luxembourg, Europe, DJ has both an American (by his father) and Luxemburgish (by his mother) passport. He’s an excellent student, scoring a 1550 on his SAT in May 2009, and he speaks and writes in four languages fluently (English, German, French, and Luxemburgish). He has three younger brothers Jamal, 16, Malik, 14, and Isaiah, 12.

And now our family’s pickup basketball legacy continues onto the new generation.

My lovely niece, Nailah Edwards, daughter of my delighted sister, Brenda McGee, was a center-forward and point-guard basketball star for the Mount Washington Middle School Mustangs, and she was a standout teammate for The Cincy Tigerette, an AAU-sponsored select team from Cincinnati-wide middle schools. Nailah’s most notable basketball achievement has been top rebounder and her nickname is “Dunkin,” because she regularly rebounds the ball and quickly runs back and dunks it in her team’s basket. Wow.

And remember, dunking the ball by me is simply hilarious.

So, you can see why I so admire George, Derek, DJ, Nailah, and Chris. They really can play pickup with ‘The Boss‘ and even dunk the ball with him too.

I can only watch them all play pickup. But, I do appreciate hearing about their achievements in the pickup game too.

∆∆∆∆∆

Playing a Pickup Game is as much about what is not being said than what is.

“After our game we all hung around with President Obama, who provided us with a great meal and an awesome tour around Camp David,” Chris recounts. “The President is a great mentor, as he gave me some personal moments and great advice on planning forward in my life.”

“I found The President to be very approachable and relaxed in socializing and talking with us like one of the guys,” recalls Chris fondly, “it was more than a fun day, I can’t say enough about it.”

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Listening as Chris recalled his wonderful story one cannot help but to immediately like him, as many of us cross-fitness enthusiasts at our private exclusive Georgetown gym do. I also thought as I listened to Chris’s unique perspective and take on his life-changing moment at Camp David that there is something humbling about playing ‘5-on-5 pickup’ basketball with the most powerful man in the world. This is what makes the White House such an exceptional institution respected around the world. The White House is extraordinary, because it is so ordinary for all of us.

Although I have been inside the White House, I have never been to Camp David. Yet, I find myself possessing so much pride in Chris, my friend, having been given the opportunity to be there already at his tender age so soon just beyond 22. Camp David, as Chris and I believe, is such a place of relaxation and humility for brokering any high-stakes game of pickup.

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We all can indeed be most extremely proud of The President for giving to Chris – at such a tender age beyond 22 – an experience that will transform his life. For Chris now knows what’s possible for him – the power of communication in a pickup game with ‘The Boss.’ And as his friend, I am truly rejoicing in that for him.

This is what makes such power of communication in the age of Obama, so unique and unusual to so many Americans in these times of our history. When it is as much about what is not being said than what is. Or, as much about what people are saying to each other or are not saying.

According to my in-house expert, my stepfather, George, in pickup basketball it is all about the art of the game – “where not much gets said, except where to be, who to box out, who’s shot to block” – including Obama’s humbly for Chris. Most of all, pickup basketball is all about “where the ball is,” says my stepfather. “The pickup is also about the physical squaring up, the pick and roll, the quick crossover move, the head fake and round-under, and then the “open shot” or “lay-up” or “tip-in” or even an occasional ‘dunk’ – altogether leading to just two points,” counsels George. “And then quickly you get ready, get set, launch your defense, and try to do it all over again, once you go up and back down the court.”

Sounds a lot like the risk and uncertainty of the American experience, right?

President Reagan was fondly known as “The Gipper” – who went for it all, most of the time throwing the touchdown pass for six points.

In the pickup that’s three baskets. Or, for a swingman guard-forward like Chris playing against President Obama, that’s two “sharp-shooting” three-pointers.

President George W. Bush, in contrast, was more focused on throwing the strike, but sometimes he threw a ball – and domestically that ball at times hit the dirt for no points at all.

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For President Obama it takes an individual focus – “a zone sort-of-speak,” says Chris – and a calm patience to consistently make two points at a time each trip he takes up and back down The Forum – that is, Congress – in ‘finding the votes that fits the fuss.’

Sometimes you get them. Sometimes you don’t.

And the pickup and floor leadership here is really once again, as much about what is not being said than what is, or about what people are saying to each other or are not saying.

Nonetheless, it is the eloquence of the endgame in the pickup that matters most.

The win achieved in the game is oftentimes only by a basket. Inasmuch as, the two teams logged into history, separated as winner and loser, is oftentimes determined by a slim margin of just only one or two points. On rare occasions, a margin wider than that becomes a ‘blowout’ – or a landslide.

The age of Obama understands this art of the pickup. This was the anatomy of its biggest win – The White House.

“This happens all the time throughout history,” Obama says to ABC’s Barbara Walters on November 26, 2010 in calmly responding to her questions.

No Drama Obama’ is as cool as his pickup game text message to Chris, “The Boss Wants to Play Pickup.”

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White House Photo. President Obama reaches over the shoulders of 6’9″ Bill Russell to present him with the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom during a ceremony in the White House East Room.

Basketball is an inner circle of five with no single leader in a pick-up game. Average teams have little to no leadership and no plan just everybody is attempting to score. Football is an organizing cabinet of twenty-two, and there is always a quarterback – where the process temporarily pauses, while the next strategy is planned before the next play resumes. There is a difference in the object of each game. Basketball is individual management for team leadership, whereas football is team leadership for individual management – the glory and the grief falls onto the shoulders of the quarterback and his decision-making.

This is what we recently laid claim to The “Tebowing” Effect.

Essentially, we want this in our business and government leaders. We want our executives to be team quarterbacks not just individual dunkers. The Boss Wants to Play Pickup is more about how our American experience can perhaps focus too much on picking up issues, but not enough on why or what we should be focusing on.

Likability is an art of our picks.

Chris and I, in our discussions about this, of course, can see why Obama likes to play pickup. He signals to us his passion each spring during March Madness. It also reveals a little something about the intimacy of the man outside his prominent role in the American experience.

What can be said by people in the midst of what is not being said is we should take some comfort in The President’s sense of intimacy in his presidency. This is what is underlying The President’s consistently high likability personally in all the tracking polls on his game.

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Chris, my friend, possesses a similar likability as The President, which, through a pickup basketball game, has awakened the true secret of his future promise and potential in life. And for this, The President is a good man.

I am honored and humbled to share in Chris’s life transforming pickup basketball moment with ‘The Boss.’ For Chris can now truly see what’s possible for him. And for that, this is good for this young man.

Like most college athletes I have worked with, Chris is not planning to chase the professional ‘sports star’ dream after graduation. He currently serves the federal levels, as a post-graduate intern on information and security technologies. But like The President (whose brother-in-law Craig Robinson is former basketball head coach at Oregon State, and whose Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, is an ‘old hoops buddy’ Chris also played with at Camp David), Chris expects basketball to remain a big part of his life for as long as he can drive the lane (with whoever wants to be in the lane with him, including a sitting president and a cabinet secretary).

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Chris, like The President, will go far too. I like to think The President saw this in him, like I have in mentoring him.

I wholeheartedly agree with how Chris has conveyed in our conversations, as to how he has attempted to make major social impacts through his academic experiences and professional development. His contributions to the community will always remain with him, as a guiding principle of his undergraduate education and NCAA basketball playing experiences.

This guiding principle, I can attest Chris has gained from his pickup basketball game at Camp David, is increasing the public’s understanding of intimacy and humility in leadership for the good and benefit of our American institutions of family, church, schools, government, businesses, philanthropy, and communities.

I have spoken to Chris on several occasions regarding his future plans and each time I have come away with a real sense that he is firmly grounded toward reaching his goals in service to our country now. Furthermore, he is crafting a clearer and definitive plan towards completing his training to do so, the first step in his calling towards making a real difference.

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I have often expressed to him that I believe he will make a fine Congressman. He has an individual sense of people as much as his sense of the issues important to our lives, a quality I firmly believe is an early prerequisite for one to be successful in a political career, like The President.

I think Chris’s acceptance of the opportunity of presidential pickup basketball is one transforming moment that may launch his quest along his future professional career path.

I believe young people should be more exposed to outstanding opportunities that encourage them not only to pursue careers in public service, political-economic sciences and technology. But also, encourage young people to provide a good life and a good society for us all. Chris has exhibited the future promise and innovative ability to lead in this national effort and to represent his generation in a truly outstanding and positive way. In addition, he has showed early evidence that he is able to address tough questions we all face in these times. He has a genuinely creative and unusually penetrating mind and his judgment is extremely sound.

Sounds to me like a good pickup basketball player and floor leader in a good life for a good society.

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Like young George Wilson then in the early sixties, Chris is a similarly remarkable scholar-athlete and young man now. He is among the best scholar-athletes I have had the unique pleasure to mentor during my life and that I fully expect to see that he will indeed go far like so many scholar-athletes do.

I hope that you will agree with me about the quality of this fine young man’s story at Camp David playing pickup with ‘The Boss.’ I am especially gratified by President Obama for affording him the opportunity to socialize at Camp David, and to further Chris’ commitment to not only his higher education, but also his love for pickup basketball – and “more than a fun day” with ‘The Boss‘ and ‘the secrets of his service.’

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