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North Korea continues down the same path – successfully tests hydrogen bomb

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There is a difference between restraint and complacency. We will soon find out where this line is, that is if one exists at all.

Sunday morning, North Korea conducted a hydrogen bomb test. China reported seismic activity from North Korea. Japan and South Korea began to send sniffers to check for radiation and surveil known compounds. North Korea went on to broadcast that they tested a hydrogen bomb within about an hour.

Initial estimates put it at around one hundred kilotons. For reference, the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima was 15 kilotons.

All I can think is what has our country become? What do we stand for? After World War II, world leaders got together and declared never again. Never again would we stand by and watch genocide.

A common statement made by the United States is that our allies in hostile regions need to take the lead, and I agree that we shouldn’t get involved in every foreign conflict. But at what point do we look around, realize that there is no one willing to lead, and take the lead? Who is leading the free world? Who is taking responsibility? Who is standing by our words, never again?

We must remember that a lot of these allies we expect to take the lead are relatively unarmed. We realized the power of nuclear weapons decades ago. We saw the devastation they had in Japan. We recognized the threat they pose during the Cold War. As a people aspiring for peace, we didn’t want nuclear weapons to be spread around the globe. We told our allies not to seek the nuclear bomb. We do not want more of these things on our planet. Now our allies are unarmed and nearing a real nuclear threat. Whether we want to or not, we must accept a certain level of responsibility in this.

Now, our allies in Japan and North Korea are within striking distance of a nation who has declared their intent to destroy. We, as Americans, have a responsibility as a world super power, whether we like it or not. And we have been remarkably restrained compared to powerful nations throughout history.

There is a difference between restraint and complacency. We will soon find out where this line is, that is if one exists at all.

No American wants to see perpetual war, nor do we want to get involved in conflicts unless absolutely necessary and in the interests of our nation or our allies.

I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know what concerns me. I’m concerned that the world will only take action once a nuclear bomb has been dropped. This is unacceptable. At that point, it is too late. And all of those in the world who had the power to do something to prevent this and knowing that this is their goal and what they were working towards will share the blame. It’s easy to see North Korea’s recent expansion of their bomb testing point at Trump and go well he’s provoking them. It is hard for me to blame the person sending Tweets as the cause for someone else dropping a nuclear bomb on a peaceful people.

I’m concerned that the world will only take action once a nuclear bomb has been dropped. This is unacceptable. We have the power to do something, we know North Korea’s intentions, and yet we continue to slap them on the wrists.

There is a call for an emergency UN meeting regarding this morning’s test. All we can do is wait to see what they decide. To be frank, I’m not all that confident in the UN and other world leaders.

North Korea has shown no signs that it seeks to be anything but a destructive force and a military state.

When the founders of our country wrote the Declaration of Independence, they wrote,

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security

This is not a call for destroying the North Korean government. It is highlighting that We the people once declared that there is a duty to take action when a power is marching in one direction, towards despotism. Prudence keeps us rightly restrained. But at what point does Prudence turn to surrender?

Are we the kind of people that turn a blind eye to a military dictatorship testing bombs with the repeatedly declared intent to harm us and our allies?

I certainly hope not.

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Entertainment and Sports

Fred Savage owns Deadpool in Once Upon a Deadpool trailer

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Fred Savage owns Deadpool in Once Upon a Deadpool trailer

I’ll admit, I didn’t even know this was a thing. When I heard about it, I assumed it was a spoof, probably put out by Ryan Reynolds to catch a few Christmas laughs. I was wrong.

Once Upon a Deadpool is a new edit of Deadpool 2 made with a PG-13 rating. Fox has been pushing for Reynolds to do a PG-13 version for over a decade, but the star has refused until now. He had two requirements. First, he Fox to donate money from the movie to a charity of Reynold’s choice. Which did he choose? A charity Fox is referring to as “Fudge Cancer,” though the charity’s real name would be better served in the R-rated version of Deadpool.

The second requirement is that Reynolds needed permission to kidnap Fred Savage.

Reynolds got both of his wishes and Once Upon a Deadpool was born. It’s due for a limited engagement next month.

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Guns and Crime

Legislators tell Allen West: Next version of First Step Act will cut loopholes

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Legislators tell Allen West Next version of First Step Act will cut loopholes

Last week, a handful of conservatives, including Lt. Col. Allen West and Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz, went after the bipartisan First Step Act, a criminal justice reform bill that has the backing of the President and many conservative lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Our complaint: why would the GOP support a bill that releases violent criminals and illegal immigrants?

According to legislative proponents of the bill, protections and benefits for both of these groups of felons have been eliminated in the next version of the bill that will reach the Senate floor. They reached out to West over the weekend to let them know they heard the concerns and are addressing them.

First Step Act: Response and Reassurances

https://i0.wp.com/theoldschoolpatriot.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/prison-553836_640.jpg?w=200&ssl=1The First Step Act is supported by many conservatives and law enforcement groups, including the Fraternal Order of Police, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the National District Attorneys Association. There are other proposals offered by those on the far left under the same banner of “criminal justice reform” that would release people from prison without regard to the danger they pose, including illegal immigrants and serious violent offenders. We must remember that there are some folks who are, well, as the ol’ folks would say, “just bad.” Additionally, some left-wing professors even propose abolishing all prisons partly based on their notion that the system is racist in nature. Hmm, I tend to believe that skin color or race has nothing to do with a person deciding to break the law. I just do not want us to go down the path of having criminals believe that there are no consequences, ramifications, for their actions and behaviors.

The legislators echoed our concerns and said the version that is currently available doesn’t reflect the changes that cut the loopholes. They say it will be impossible for these two groups – serious violent offenders and criminal illegal immigrants – to get the benefits of the bill. Many felons will be released early. Future felons will be given lighter sentences. That makes sense for many, but by no means should anyone in either of the two most dangerous groups receive sentence reductions, according to the letter to West.

My Take

Call me cynical, but lately I’ve changed my general rules regarding promises of politicians. It used to echo President Reagan’s stance on nuclear disarmament: “Trust but verify.” I now have to go with a more adversarial stance on political promises: “Show me proof, then we’ll talk.”

When the legislation is made available to the public, many will take a close look at it. I’ll personally be checking to see if there are any loopholes that would put violent offenders or criminal illegal immigrants back on the street sooner. If so, it’s a no-go for me.

 

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News

Hundreds search rubble in California for human remains

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Hundreds search rubble in California for human remains

PARADISE, Calif. (AP) — The search for remains of victims of the devastating Northern California wildfire took on a new urgency Monday as rain in the forecast threatened to complicate those efforts while also bringing relief to firefighters.

Hundreds of crews and volunteers were searching the ash and rubble where homes stood before flames engulfed the Sierra foothills town of Paradise and surrounding communities, killing at least 77 people in the deadliest U.S. wildfire in a century.

The fire has destroyed more than 10,500 homes while burning 234 square miles (606 sq. kilometers). It was 65 percent contained.

The rain expected to arrive Wednesday could cause wet ash to flow down steep inclines in the mountainous region, forecasters said.

Rescue workers wore white coveralls, hard hats and masks as they poked through debris, searching for bone fragments before rain could wash them away or turn loose, dry ash into thick paste.

A team of 10 volunteers accompanied by a cadaver dog went from house to house in the charred landscape. Some went to homes where they had received tips that someone might have died.

They used sticks to move aside debris and focused on vehicles, bathtubs and what was left of mattresses for possible signs of victims.

When no remains were found, they spray-painted a large, orange “0″ near the house and moved on.

Robert Panak, a volunteer on a team from Napa County, said he was trying to picture each house before it burned and imagine where people might have taken shelter.

“I just think about the positives, bringing relief to the families, closure,” Panak said.

The search area is huge and the fire burned many places to the ground, creating a landscape unique to many search-and- rescue personnel, said Joe Moses, a commander with the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, who is helping oversee the effort.

“Here we’re looking for very small parts and pieces, and so we have to be very diligent and systematic,” he said Friday.

Sheriff Kory Honea said it was possible that the exact death toll from the blaze would never be known. He also questioned whether the search for remains could be completed by midweek when the rain is forecast.

“As much as I wish that we could get through all of this before the rains come, I don’t know if that’s possible,” he said.

About 1,000 names remain on a list of people unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began in Butte County about 140 miles (225 kilometers) north of San Francisco.

Authorities don’t believe all those on the list are missing and the number dropped by 300 on Sunday as more people were located or got in touch to say they weren’t missing.

On Sunday afternoon, more than 50 people gathered at a memorial for the victims at First Christian Church in Chico, where a banner on the altar read, “We will rise from the ashes.”

People hugged and shed tears as Pastor Jesse Kearns recited a prayer for firefighters, rescuers and search teams: “We ask for continued strength as they are growing weary right now,” Kearns said.

Paul Stavish, who retired three months ago from a Silicon Valley tech job and moved to Paradise, placed a battery-powered votive candle on the altar as a woman played piano and sang “Amazing Grace.”

Stavish, his wife and three dogs escaped the fire, but their house is gone. He said he was thinking of the dead and mourning for the warm, tight-knit community.

“This is not just a few houses getting burned,” he said. “The whole town is gone.”

___

Associated Press journalists Christopher Weber and Brian Melley in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

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