Wednesday AM ~ thefrontpagecover

~ Featuring ~
In Old Maine Cemeteries
Tom McLaughlin
Israeli Embassies on Alert, Air Defenses 
Adjusted in Face of Iran Threat
{ } ~ Israel’s Air Force has adjusted its air defenses, and several Israeli embassies around the world have raised their alert level in light of increased tensions from Iran... According to reports in Hebrew-language media, a series of adjustments were made to IAF air defense systems in light of the fear that Iran might try to carry out an attack using cruise missiles or suicide drones similar to the October attack against Saudi Arabia. IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have warned in recent days of the increased threat posed by the Islamic Republic, which they say is getting bolder and more willing to respond to Israeli attacks on Iranian and Iranian-backed militias and infrastructure. "Iran wants to develop precision-guided missiles that can hit any target in Israel within 5-10 meters: It's doing it," Netanyahu said Monday evening during an event at the Jewish Agency. "Iran wants to use Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen as bases to attack Israel with statistical missiles and precision-guided missiles. That is a great, great danger." At the event, United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin added that the US is planning more sanctions to place on Iran in its "maximum pressure campaign." While Iran has several rockets which could reach Israeli territory, including the Khoramshahr 2 with a range of up to 2,000 kilometers, it is unclear if they transferred such missiles to Yemen.  According to a report in the online magazine Breaking Defense, Israel has recently upgraded the Barak-8ER system with an extended range to protect against cruise missiles, a land-based configuration of the long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) or the Barak-8 naval air defense system. Boaz Levy, Israel Aerospace Industries VP and general manager, was quoted in the report as saying that the upgraded version of the Barak-8ER system has enhanced anti-tactical ballistic missile capabilities and will be capable of protecting Israeli cities from cruise missiles. Able to shoot down enemy aircraft at a range of 90 kilometers, the Barak-8ER is designed to defend against a myriad of short- to long-range airborne threats such as incoming missiles, planes and drones at both low or high altitudes. In July, the Israeli military successfully tested the Barak 8, intercepting a small drone simulating an enemy aircraft.  The system integrates several advanced state-of-the-art systems including a digital radar, a command and control system, tracking radar launchers, interceptors with advanced homing radio frequency (RF) seekers for targets with low radar cross sections and high maneuverability, data link and system-wide connectivity. It is also able to engage multiple targets simultaneously in severe saturation scenarios and can be operated in all types of weather... 
White House Official Who Listened To Trump
Call Set To Back Up Many Of
Whistleblower’s Claims
{ } ~ An official on the National Security Council will tell lawmakers Tuesday he reported concerns about President Donald Trump’s position toward Ukraine to a top White House lawyer... according to a draft of his statement. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, will be the first White House official appearing for a Democrat-led impeachment inquiry of Trump who listened in on the president’s July 25 phone call with Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president.  Vindman will say he was “worried” about the pressure Trump put on Zelensky to open investigations into Burisma Holdings, an energy company linked to Hunter Biden, according to his opening statement, which The NYT first reported. Vindman, an Army officer who served in the Iraq War, will also tell lawmakers that he raised concerns twice with John Eisenberg, the top lawyer on the National Security Council. “I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine,” Vindman will say. “I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the loose lips liar-Bidens and Burisma it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained.” Vindman’s statement lends support to a CIA analyst’s whistleblower complaint against Trump over the phone call and other White House positions toward Ukraine...
Trump on Baghdadi raid silence
‘scumbag-Adam Schiff is the biggest
leakier in Washington’
by Carlin Becker
{ } ~ President Trump pointed his finger at House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. scumbag-Adam Schiff when explaining why he didn't inform the committee ahead of the U.S. raid that led to the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi... Speaking with reporters Monday morning, the president blamed scumbag-Schiff, whose committee is currently spearheading impeachment inquiry proceedings against him. "Well I guess the only thing is, they were talking about why didn't I give the information to scumbag-Adam Schiff and his committee. And the answer is because I think Adam Schiff is the biggest leaker in Washington," he said when asked if he is concerned about whether House Speaker liar-Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats in the chamber can be trusted. Trump announced on Sunday that a raid by U.S. special operations forces in Syria resulted in the death of Baghdadi. At the time, he admitted that the White House did not inform much of Congress before pulling the trigger on the raid. “We notified some," the president said. "Others are being notified now as I speak. We were going to notify them last night, but we decided not to do that because Washington leaks like I've never seen before. There's nothing — there's no country in the world that leaks like we do, and Washington is a leaking machine." liar-Pelosi later slammed his decision to leave her in the dark, accusing him of telling Russian President Vladimir Putin before congressional leaders. "The House must be briefed on this raid, which the Russians but not top Congressional Leadership were notified of in advance, and on the Administration’s overall strategy in the region," she said. "Our military and allies deserve strong, smart and strategic leadership from Washington." Vice President Mike Pence backed the president's move during a Sunday morning interview with Fox News, dismissing the notion that Trump doesn't trust liar-Pelosi with sensitive national security information. "I think from the time we got actionable intelligence, the president’s total focus here was on a successful mission and the safety of American troops," he said after being grilled by host Chris Wallace, claiming the White House wanted to maintain the “tightest possible security."  
‘Medicare for All’ Actually Isn’t Medicare at All
by Kevin Pham
{ } ~ Sen. commie-Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., was recently on comedian Jimmy Kimmel’s late night show to discuss, among other items on his agenda, his vision for health care in America... In one interesting statement, commie-Sanders described the rollout of his plan: “I want to expand Medicare to include dental care, hearing aids, and eyeglasses, and then what I want to do is lower the eligibility age the first year from 65 down to 55, then to 45, then to 35, then we cover everybody.” There is a sleight of hand here. What commie-Sanders seems to be describing is the gradual expansion of the existing Medicare program, which currently covers Americans 65 and over, to include everyone eventually. In reality, commie-Sanders’ signature bill, “Medicare for All,” is anything but Medicare. Medicare comes in several forms, including Parts A and B, which pay for inpatient and outpatient visits along a fee schedule with premiums and deductibles, and Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage. This is the system that covers 60 million Americans and enjoys high satisfaction ratings. Medicare for All would scrap all of this. One of the most misleading aspects of Medicare for All is that it is not Medicare at all. Medicare offers several choices between traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage, which itself offers a whole marketplace of health plans. In addition, supplemental insurance is available that helps pay for additional costs and services, so beneficiaries are able to tailor coverage to fit their needs...  
Netanyahu: Iran Seeking to Attack Israel 
From Yemen With Precision-Guided Missiles
by Benjamin Kerstein
{ } ~ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that Iran was attempting to deploy advanced weaponry in Yemen to threaten Israel and other countries in the region... During a press conference in Jerusalem with visiting US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Netanyahu said, “Iran is seeking to develop now precision-guided munitions, missiles that can hit any target in the Middle East with a circumference of five to ten meters.” “They want to place them in Iraq and in Syria, and to convert Lebanon’s arsenal of 130,000 statistical rockets to precision-guided munitions,” Netanyahu continued. “They seek also to develop that, and have already begun to put that in Yemen, with the goal of reaching Israel from there too.” Netanyahu emphasized the global threat posed by the Tehran regime, saying, “We view Iran as the greatest threat to peace, stability, and our security, and the security of many others. They fired into Saudi Arabia. They’ve interfered with international shipping lanes. They’ve attacked Americans and they’ve killed Americans throughout the last ten years in Afghanistan and elsewhere.” “Iran is the single greatest threat to stability and peace in the Middle East,” he added. “That doesn’t mean that there are no others. There are. We are, the Middle East is rich with several things, and one of them is terrorist-exporting nations and groups.” Referring to the death this weekend of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a US special forces operation, Netanyahu emphasized, “While there’s a tremendous achievement yesterday in the action against the leader of Islamic State, there still remains a massive effort against the other forces of terror, and the nation, the terror-state of Iran.”   
Bristling at Trump’s Plans for Syrian Oilfields, 
Russia Accuses US of ‘State Banditry’
By Dimitri Simes
{ } ~ Russia has positioned itself to be the number one foreign player in Syria’s modest energy industry once the civil war is over... and is troubled by President Trump’s plans to secure – and possibly have U.S. companies exploit – the oilfields in the east of the country. Early last year, Moscow and Damascus signed a deal that provided Russia with exclusive rights to oil and gas production in Syria. On Saturday, a convoy of about a dozen U.S. armored vehicles and trucks was spotted leaving northern Iraqi and heading into Syria. A U.S. official told CNN they were headed for oilfields in the Deir ez-Zor area. Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman denounced the Trump administration’s decision to maintain troops near the oilfields, accusing the United States of “international state banditry” and of aiding oil smuggling in the region. In a statement posted on Facebook, Major General Igor Konashenkov said only the Assad regime has a legitimate claim to the oilfields, and that the U.S. therefore has no right to deploy troops there. Oil and other mineral resources on Syrian territory “do not belong to the ISIS terrorists, and definitely not to the ‘American defenders from ISIS terrorists,’ but exclusively to the Syrian Arab Republic,” he wrote. “Neither in international law, nor in American law itself – there has never been and there will never be a single legitimate task for the American troops – to protect and defend the hydrocarbon accumulations of Syria from Syria itself and its people,” Konsashenkov added. “Therefore, what Washington is doing now, the seizure and armed control of oil fields in Eastern Syria, is, put it simply, an international state banditry.”...
In Old Maine Cemeteries
Tom McLaughlin
{} ~ It was mostly in old, family cemeteries that we found graves of Revolutionary War soldiers. Last week my wife accompanied me on an exploration of rural Maine, one of my favorite activities. Since I’ve been up every road within a 25-mile radius of my home town of Lovell, Maine, It’s become necessary to range farther afield if I’m to survey new territory. Heading east, we found ourselves in the Hebron/Buckfield area with my dog-eared Maine Gazetteer. As a retired history teacher, I felt compelled to stop at every cemetery along the way because they provide a quick, thumbnail sketch of local history.
Well, I shouldn’t claim we stopped at every cemetery. From the road, I could tell if each set of plots was old or new. If I only saw modern, granite stones from the 20th century, I’d pass on by, but if I spotted weathering marble headstones, I knew they were from the 19th century. The oldest stones were dark slate and most of those were from the 18th century. Well-tended cemeteries displayed small American flags on graves containing veterans of America’s wars. Each flag was held up by an iron medallion stuck in the ground next to the headstone with an embossed insignia designating the war in which the soldier buried there fought.  
Civil War veterans are so designated by an embossed circle with “GAR” in the middle for “Grand Army of the Republic.” Revolutionary War soldiers’ graves show a circle with a period soldier carrying a musket and wearing a tricorne hat. Some of those gravestones were of weathered marble if they survived into the eighteen hundreds, which many did. Acid rain has taken a toll on those stones, but the older, slate stones have held up well and the lettering remains easy to read.  
Most roads lead into the center of town in Hebron which is dominated by the well-tended grounds and buildings of Hebron Academy. It was founded in 1804 by Revolutionary War veterans who were given land grants in town in payment for their service by Commonwealth of Massachusetts, of which Maine was a part — until 1820 when it became its own state along with Missouri. Notable Hebron Academy graduates include Leon Leonwood Bean, or L. L. Bean as he is better known, as well as Hannibal Hamlin who was Lincoln’s first Vice President. Other alumni include Freelan Oscar Stanley, inventor of the Stanley Steamer and Maine comedian Tim Sample.  
Finding the grave of a Revolutionary War soldier in an untended cemetery off in the woods brought a certain sadness. While all veterans deserve respect, it seems the men who went out from their farms and shops and fought the most powerful military on earth deserve a bit more of it. They risked the most because even if they weren’t killed or wounded, should their side lose they would lose everything. The British weren’t kind to defeated rebels — as they’d shown over and over in Ireland. Those with the most property had the most to lose, and most who signed their names to the Declaration of Independence were men of means.  
Those old, untended cemeteries were symbolic of something else that saddened me. They made me reflect on recent trends in public education, especially that study of the subject I taught. American History has been watered down by progressive educators both during my career and after. Fewer young people are learning what those first American rebels risked in the late 18th century when they demanded rights from England and staked everything they had on those demands. Few students today are taught what is unique about the United States of America — that no other country in history was founded on an idea.  
That idea is that government exists to preserve our God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. How much happiness one obtains in that pursuit is usually gauged according to individual initiative and perseverance. That’s what those Revolutionary veterans fought for and that’s what has been preserved by veterans of America’s subsequent wars — those buried under the rest of the little flags in those old cemeteries.  
Today’s students instead learn a history emphasizing America’s carbuncles as if the United States were the only country to countenance slavery. Ignored are historical facts showing that virtually all nations practiced it, including American Indian tribes living here before Europeans arrived. All that is ignored now as students learn about “white privilege” and old white guys who owned slaves. De-emphasized or ignored altogether are old white guys who led movements to abolish slavery and who died by the thousands in that pursuit.  
Men buried in those old cemeteries were not perfect and neither was their country. Such a thing is impossible this side of heaven, but ours is the country likely to get closest — if we stick to the ideas upon which it was founded. Keep that in mind on Veteran’s Day, November 11th.  
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