- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 19, 2019

HERE COMES THE SPACE FORCE

Those with institutional memory of a previous era may wonder: Will the new Space Force revisit SDI? For the uninitiated, that acronym stands for Strategic Defense Initiative. It was proposed by President Reagan in 1983 and included advanced space-based interceptor and sensor systems to counter incoming Soviet ballistic missiles, among other things.

Meanwhile, there is some news about the Space Force.

The beginnings of the potential sixth branch of the armed forces should be up and running in about 90 days with an initial forward staff of 200 according to Defense One, which reviewed defense documents on the start-up.

The team will include 151 folks from the Air Force, 24 from the Army, 14 from the Navy and Marine Corps, and nine from the Joint Staff. Their mission and who will drive it, however, is a work in progress.



“There’s a lot of conversation going on about the mission, the vision, on what does it do?” noted Lt. Gen. David “DT” Thompson, vice commander of Air Force Space Command. And a lot of what is being said is inaccurate, he told SpaceNews this week.

“There’s a role for the Space Force, a role for DoD, for NASA, for the commercial market, the intelligence community, the Department of Commerce,” the officer said, explaining that the Space Force over time “will have a large role to play, but to say it’s going to be the Space Force’s job to take us in this direction is well beyond what we’ve ever asked for.”

MELANCHOLY MEDIA

The news media often misbehaves — packaging opinion as news, exhibiting liberal bias, peddling outrage or forgetting their calling to inform the public in a meaningful way. Yes, yes. That we know. But wait. The job also calls for nonstop news-mongering in a news cycle that is endless, random and often unpredictable in its trajectory.

The question: Have the rigors of the job taken a toll on the nation’s journalists? New research indicates the answer is yes. Members of the American press corps appear more jittery than their peers around the planet.

According to a new global survey of 1,999 journalists working in print, broadcast and digital news organizations in 10 countries, 49% overall believe freedom of the press has deteriorated in their home countries. Among U.S. journalists, that number jumps to 57%.

Meanwhile, 36% of the global population of journalists are increasingly concerned for their personal safety and the safety of journalists in general. Among the American press, it’s 42%.

On the reliability front, 63% of the international press believe the public has lost trust in journalists. Their U.S. brethren, however, appear to feel the sting a little more.

“69% of U.S. journalists believe that the public has lost trust in the media in the last year. However that number is down from 78% in 2018, highlighting journalists’ belief that they’re regaining trust, despite constant attacks,” the analysis noted, describing the past year as “challenging for the media industry” due to misinformation, social media pressures and other factors.

The extensive research was conducted in April; the information was released Thursday by Cision, a global analytics and media software organization based in Chicago.

NEWS TIP

It was just another trip to California, but one with a little insight about the current president of the United States who is both world leader and canny businessman. A Reuters photo of President Trump entering Air Force One this week revealed an interesting detail: some $20 bills peeking out of Mr. Trumps’s back pocket. The onboard press corps was immediately curious about this phenomenon. Inquiries commenced on the flight back to the nation’s capital.

The president was candid with his response.

” I do like leaving tips to the hotel. I like to carry a little something. I like to give tips to the hotel. I’m telling you, maybe a president is not supposed to do it — but I like to leave a tip for the hotel,” Mr. Trump advised the assembled journalists.

A SAVAGE MOMENT

Air Force One was the site of another vignette this week. Veteran talk radio host Michael Savage took a ride on the magnificent aircraft with President Trump. The pair talked, they had lunch. Mr. Savage then accompanied Mr. Trump to a fundraiser in California, and here is what he said about an experience that yielded both wonder and insight to the radio man.

“Sitting in one of those cars going down the highways and on the local roads, you might expect to see people holding evil signs about Trump. But rather, you see school children cheering the president’s motorcade as it goes by. But we never see that on the evening news or any of the cable channels. But I witnessed it,” Mr. Savage explains.

“We all know we have never seen such a perversion of the truth as we have around this president. I learned things about his accomplishments that I never knew. The media created a lie and spread it each and every day. As Joseph Goebbels once said, ‘If you tell a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.’ After two-and-a-half years of relentless hatred, the false witch hunt, threatening to put this president in prison and his children in prison, lies about Russia collusion, President Trump looks stronger than ever,” Mr. Savage continues.

“He looks better than he did when I first met him. They tried to destroy him and his family, and they failed,” he says. “Something is happening in this country, and it is going in the other direction, it is going in our direction. It is going in the direction of America’s survival.”

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

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POLL DU JOUR

81% of Americans say members of Congress act unethically “all, most or some of the time”; 81% of Republicans and 82% of Democrats agree.

77% say leaders of technology companies act unethically all, most or some of the time; 78% of Republicans and 77% of Democrats agree.

69% say religious leaders act unethically all, most or some of the time; 62% of Republicans and 74% of Democrats agree.

66% say the same of journalists; 82% of Republicans and 53% of Democrats agree.

66% say the same of local elected officials; 64% of Republicans and 68% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center American Trends poll of 10,615 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 27-Dec. 10, 2018 and released Thursday.

Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin

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