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October 3, 2023

All Engines Stop, Rudder Amidships

Our country today is in a storm and very close to in extremis.

By Tom Klocek

One of my colleagues quoted Fleet Admiral King as saying, “The mark of a great shiphandler is never getting into situations that require great shiphandling.”

During my years as a destroyer sailor, I was considered a better-than-average shiphandler. One of the important things I learned was that there is a time in any shiphandling situation when the best command to give is, “All engines stop, rudder amidships.” This can sometimes prevent a bad situation from getting worse, allowing one time to better assess the situation before getting in extremis.

The importance of good shiphandling is manifest especially when in close proximity to other ships; when attempting to recover a boat or man overboard; when close to land or restricted maneuvering situations (such as mooring, narrow channels, etc.); or in heavy weather.

Our country today is in a storm and very close to in extremis. The woke and progressive policies pursued with gusto over the last two and a half years have not only diminished our economic strength but now threaten to destroy our military as well. This administration is so intent on virtue signaling its diversity credentials that it almost appears as if it has looked to hire or appoint the least meritorious personnel that check the right diversity blocks in the job application.

The current press secretary (female, black, lesbian) has a great knack for exacerbating the situation with her inability to give straight answers, speak clearly, show understanding of critical issues, or even correctly refer to members of her own party.

The vice president, who was specifically chosen for being a black woman, has acquired a reputation as a cackling fool enamored with yellow school buses, with zero accomplishments to her name.

Another diversity choice for the Supreme Court, again chosen for being a black woman, could not define a woman because she did not have a biology degree. I hope she recuses herself from any cases which involves that science (including abortion cases).

And consider this: An overtly extreme-left organization that specializes in hate (a hate group in itself) by calling conservative groups “hate groups” and considers parental rights groups as hate organizations is advising the FBI. Families, which by definition include parents who teach and raise their children, are the basis of society and should be supported rather than excoriated.

In San Francisco, the federal government has advised its workers to work from home to avoid the rampant crime in the streets. Democrat-run Chicago (since 1931) has gotten so bad even Democrats are complaining about the failure.

Several on-line dictionaries define “in extremis” as “near death.” Our country is in extremis. At sea, in extremis means a situation requiring urgent and extraordinary effort and action to avert disaster, sometimes accompanied by “Sound the collision alarm!” and “Brace for impact!”

This appears to be the goal of climate alarmists who claim that climate change is putting the world in existential danger. However, finally, some real scientists are getting traction to make us aware that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant and, in fact, is necessary for life on the planet. The “green” policies are contributing to the destruction of the economy and even the planet it professes to be trying to save.

Green energy policies destroy the planet with the mining operations required to support them (including supporting child labor), the wildlife they are destroying (birds and whales, for example), and the non-recyclable nature of the equipment (windmills and solar panels). At the same time, they produce less power than originally estimated. Some of these impacts are disputed, but that only means we should be more cautious about implementation rather than running headlong into an unsure future.

How is it that pro-life demonstrators can be charged for confronting women heading into an abortion clinic, yet climate activists, Black Lives Matter “demonstrators” (rioters), and Antifa can block roads, cause riots, and kill people with impunity?

The rule of law is critical to maintaining peace and tranquility. As Thomas Sowell has noted: “It doesn’t matter what rights you have under the Constitution of the United States if the government can punish you for exercising those rights. And it doesn’t matter what limits the Constitution puts on government officials’ power, if they can exceed those limits without any consequences.” Case in point is the New Mexico governor essentially suspending the Second Amendment. Without consistency in the law, both in its implementation and enforcement, we will have anarchy.

Our current national debt has surpassed the $33 trillion mark. Or in other words, every American citizen is carrying a $100,000 weight on their shoulders – every man, woman, and child. And Congress is still spending, not saving, driving us further down the road to perdition. Politicians on both sides of the aisle cannot seem to agree that real spending cuts, not just cuts in growth, are necessary.

On top of that, we are experiencing an “invasion by invitation” on our southern border. And while claiming that the border is secure and that they are doing all they can, this administration is letting thousands enter the country daily, enabling human trafficking and basically giving the drug cartels free access to harm our citizens.

This is surely the path down which we are headed. For the time being, we are still a republic. It’s time for our citizens to say “All engines stop, rudder amidships” and carefully assess our situation, keeping in mind that we get the government we elect.

If you are satisfied with the current anarchy, bad economics, international weakness, international and national failures, and invasion through our virtually nonexistent border, then vote for the status quo. If not, then do all you can to effect a fundamental change in the way our country is headed.

Put America and Americans first. Stop listening to the clattering voices of the “elite” who think they know better than the rest of us — they don’t. Vote for the nation. Vote for America.

“When the party becomes more important than principle, we are in dire straits." ―Ben Carson, America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great

"Every American should memorize the preamble and keep its principles in mind while voting. If we elect only officials who understand the Constitution and its goals, America’s future will be safe." ―Ben Carson, A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties

"The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” —Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

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