Even though it’s been almost two months since the passing of the great astronaut Neil Armstrong, I am inspired to write a little bit about him here, this after being reminded almost daily of his passing by an issue of the Wall Street Journal lying on my kitchen counter. I decided this August 27th 2012 issue was a keeper because there were three good pieces in it celebrating the life and example of Mr. Armstrong.

As almost everyone knows that on July 21, 1969 Neil Armstrong became the first human being to walk on the Earth’s Moon. The success of the Apollo 11 Mission was a marvel of human ingenuity and science.

Astronauts are a rare breed. To be successful they must all possess qualities of extreme bravery, intelligence, learning, clear thinking, logic, soundness of mind and body and an ability use reason over emotion even under great stress. Neil Armstrong by all accounts possessed all of these qualities and more. Its guys like Neil Armstrong that have made this country great.

Somewhere, I’m not sure where, maybe in my garage or at the bottom of a closet, is my childhood scrapbook. I haven’t seen it for quite some time, but I think it’s time to dig it out. It contains pages of newspaper clippings from that early age of space travel. It will be fun to look at it again. I have probably lost some of my fascination with space travel since I was a kid, but my fascination with those early astronauts has only grown with time. They still have a lot to teach us. Click here to link to a great Wall Street Journal piece on Neil Armstrong. Unless you are a subscriber to the online Journal you will not be able to access the entire article.



Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it. –Edmund Burke

200 years ago today, on October 19, 1812, Napoleon began evacuating his starving army of nearly half a million men from Moscow. His failed invasion of Russia was one of the greatest military blunders of all time and proved that the Grand Armée was not invincible. It’s estimated that the French army lost about 400,000 men in the campaign.  Another failed attempt to take Moscow began 129 years later, when Hitler’s army of 4 million men began entering Russian territory on June 22, 1941. Code-named operation “Barbarossa,” Germany’s invasion of Russia is ranked as the deadliest military operation of all time. After things turned out badly for the German army in Russia during the winter of 1941-42, Winston Churchill mocked Hitler in a speech by pointing out that had the Führer studied history he might not have made the foolish attempt to invade Russia. “Even Herr Hitler makes mistakes sometimes…he forgot about the winter, there is a winter you know in Russia … he must have been very loosely educated.” Hitler’s ill-fated decision to attack Russia was a turning point in the war, what Winston Churchill termed “the fourth climacteric.”

Winston Spencer Churchill was one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century. As Prime Minister of Great Britain he refused to capitulate to the Nazi onslaught even while others thought the German army was unstoppable. Churchill was a source of unwavering strength. He inspired the English people to fight on through one of the darkest periods of world history until victory could be achieved. Many of Churchill’s speeches can be read here or better yet you can actually listen to the speeches by signing up for free here

See how one thing leads to another!



Many Americans who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 with the hope that he would patch things up around the world and usher in a new era of peace may be pleased with his performance so far. But pulling our troops out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014 as the President has promised will not be the end of it. The Obama administration has been misleading the American people about the resurgence of al Qaeda in Afghanistan and is downplaying the threat of Islamic fanaticism to our national security. Some may think this is simply right-wing propaganda. They would do well to listen to Lara Logan, the chief foreign affairs correspondent for CBS News. Logan has been covering the war in Afghanistan as an investigative journalist since the war began in 2001, some of it behind enemy lines and so she is probably worth listening to.

Ms. Logan recently put together a disturbing story that ran on 60 Minutes about the resurgence of al Qaeda and their Taliban allies. Not long after, she gave a speech in Chicago to the Better Government Association to explain why.

“I knew that we were being lied to and I knew that the American people were being misled.”

“…officials in the administration love to tell us today that there are only fifty al Qaeda left in Afghanistan. And the impression that we’re given is that they are one drone strike away from obliteration. And that’s just simply not true. They know it’s not true.”

Why would the Obama administration mislead us about the state of al Qaeda and the threat still posed by Islamic terrorism? My guess: electoral politics. Logan hinted at this when she explained the resistance she experienced during her investigation.

“…we kept hearing the same thing time and time again is that you know there is no political reason for anybody to be talking to you about this right now because if we talk about al Qaeda in Afghanistan doesn’t that undermine the argument for leaving?”

Team Obama keeps leading us to believe that al Qaeda is on its knees and near extinction. They obviously feel the need to convince enough voters of this in order for the President to get reelected to a second term. But the killing of Bin Laden does not translate into victory over al Qaeda as this administration would have us believe. Ms. Logan made herself very clear when she said, “there’s a major lie being propagated about the real situation.”

Why is this so important? It’s because of the life and death nature of the problem and the consequences for the future of our country.

“To think there is any similarity between this and Viet Nam is ridiculous. The Viet Cong didn’t care what you did when you went back to America. The Viet Cong weren’t fighting for an Islamic caliphate….this is terrorism – it’s a completely and utterly different fight from anything we have faced in our history and that’s why we chose to do this story.”

Logan warned of the danger of not facing up to the reality of who our enemies are and what they want.

“Our way of life is under attack and if you think that’s government propaganda, if you think that’s nonsense, if you think that’s warmongering, you’re not listening to what the people who are fighting you say about this fight. In your arrogance, you think you write the script, but you don’t. There’s two sides and we don’t dictate the terms. In fact after eleven years of war in Afghanistan, where we’re surrendering, where we’re rushing for the exits as fast as we can, not only do we not dictate the terms, but we have less power to dictate anything on the world stage.”

Obama’s policies, the policies of the left have made us weaker. Their willingness to perpetuate a false sense of security for political calculation needlessly makes us more vulnerable. This choice has caused us to let our guard down. Proof of this may be found in the recent murder of Chris Stevens, our ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. We now know despite the Obama administration’s initial explanation that in reality the act was a pre-planned, well-armed terrorist attack on our embassy on the anniversary of 9/11. The Obama administration was simply caught with its hands down. Logan made the point that

“For me, if you fail to identify the ideological component to this fight, if you fail to identify what your enemy is really fighting for, if you lie about who they really are, I don’t see how you can possibly have the right strategy.”

So Lara Logan decided to speak out, not as a journalist, but as a patriotic American sounding the warning bells against an enemy that is often forgotten, but still determined, still waiting to strike. She made it clear that in her opinion the Obama administration has not been forthcoming with the American people about the danger that Islamic terrorism still poses to our national security. Back in 2008 did President Obama think he could solve our problems with the Muslim world by extending a false hand of friendship to our enemies and by making an apology tour? – All signs of weakness. Why yes, he did and so did some others. But if you listen to Lara Logan, a courageous reporter who knows her subject well, the enemy that killed nearly 3000 Americans on 9/11 has not been defeated. They are very patient and they will not easily surrender.

Logan summed it up well when she warned of the consequences of the current policy to withdraw from the war on terror,

What we wanted to do was to leave people with a sense of something… something that I honestly believe will come back to haunt us as it did before. It’s almost like ground hog day in Afghanistan. Just as Charlie Wilson’s War – Charlie Wilson said, if you turn your back on Afghanistan now you are going to pay a price. And we didn’t believe him. And then it was 9/11.”

Readers can hear Ms. Logan’s speech at