• Presidents Message – Party Invitation

    Lincoln club members,

    We are excited to invite you to our October 11 social event at 3 o’clock at the Windows of the World restaurant in Morro Bay.  The event is free for members and only $20 for nonmembers.  Please mark it on your calendar and come join us and local elected officials for some mingling with like-minded folks.

    While you have your pen out please mark your calendar for December 3 for our annual Christmas dinner.

    Our club has seen tremendous growth this year and we are in striking distance of our goal of 100 paid members by the end of 2015.  We are the force to be reckoned with on the local political scene.  We will continue to help elect conservatives here in San Luis Obispo County that will promote fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, and more individual freedom.

    As always, if you want to help the cause go to our website SLOLincolnclub.org and become a member.

    Jordan Cunningham,  SLO Lincoln Club President

  • Nine Minutes to Catastrophe

    Intelligence operations almost always make good copy and sometimes exciting movies. The reality is somewhere between with tedium, patience and determination becoming the most decisive factors. Seldom do intelligence operations resemble a “Mission Impossible” scenario, but occasionally they’re close.

    Navy nuclear attack submarine crews are unlikely James Bond characters but engage in incredibly dangerous and vital operations. During the Cold War one such crew penetrated the fleet anchorage of the Soviet Northern Fleet and tapped into an undersea cable, capturing the most closely held secrets of the Soviet High Command for several months. The operation was a spectacular success until the Soviets got wise from Washington leaks via high-ranking political types trying to score points with the media. The Glomar Explorer operation in the Pacific to recover Soviet nuclear missile warheads from a sunken sub off Hawaii was another case of “blown cover” by the press. Loss of secrecy costs money (Glomar Explorer cost millions) and could cost lives, such as an entire Sub crew when engaged in dangerous operations. One of my peers lost his life in East Germany in 1985, executed by the KGB when his operation was leaked and penetrated by Soviet counterespionage. Thus when I hear about a high-ranking politician acting in a totally irresponsible and arrogant manner in the handling of military or diplomatic classified information, I do a slow burn.

    Former Secretary of State Clinton’s use of an unsecure server and e-mail put herself and the nation at extreme risk as diplomatic communications and military operations are always the highest priorities for intelligence collection. Diplomatic communications reveal “Intent,” the “Holy Grail” of intelligence collection. We can count tanks and planes all day, but having insight into foreign intentions is the key to sound foreign policy decision-making. If they’re reading your mail they have you at their mercy, in war, diplomacy or trade. Every intelligence analyst will confirm that ALL cabinet-level officers and their aides are targeted by multiple foreign intelligence services. We can safely assume virtually all of Clinton’s conversations as Secretary of State are archived in Russian, Chinese, Iranian and North Korean intelligence databanks. She put your families at extreme risk for her own nefarious reasons.

    That brings me to the Iran nuclear agreement under review by Congress. Hopefully, they will garner the votes to override a presidential veto and kill the agreement as it’s worse than a very bad agreement.

    We were promised inspections “anywhere, anytime” by the White House, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Energy and other key negotiators as recently as April 2015. There is no such provision and the Ayatollah’s and Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander says all military installations are permanently off-limits. The agreement also ignores the four American hostages still being held by Iran and lifts the embargo on conventional weapons and ballistic missiles.

    The only use for a ballistic missile is to put a weapon of mass destruction on top of it, like a nuclear weapon. Iran’s ballistic missile program already has the ability to conduct space launches of small satellites into orbit; now they can refine their missiles, increasing range and accuracy with impunity. They are also already violating existing sanctions: They sent the commander of the Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, to Moscow, contravening a travel ban under current sanctions to negotiate arms transfers from Russia to Iran. The Quds Force clandestinely operated in Iraq to kill and wound over 1000 American troops during the last decade. Soleimani’s mission was to expedite the delivery of prohibited S-300 anti-aircraft/anti-ballistic missiles to Iran from Russia. The S-300 is a game-changer for the Israeli and American military. It’s a quantum leap in capability, greatly increasing the risk to aircrews launching strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities.

    For the Israelis, the situation is extremely grave. The Obama administration has made it abundantly clear they have no intention of ever exercising a military option against the Iranian nuclear program. The Israelis were left out in the cold as the window of opportunity for a successful airstrike against Iranian nuclear sites diminishes. The Iranian nuclear “agreement” with President Obama allows Iran to eventually become a legally armed nuclear state by the next decade without internal change to their apocalyptic foreign policy requiring the annihilation of Israel. Half the world’s Jewish population lives in Israel. The flight time of a ballistic missile from Iran to Israel is nine minutes. In nine minutes Iran can murder more Jews than Hitler murdered in nine years.

    Sunday, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States stated that Israel will have to act in its own interest, which in this case, is national survival. Facing a regime determined to destroy every Jew in the world, Israel will be forced to strike Iran first. Obama’s agreement leads not to “Peace In Our Time,” but paves the way for nuclear war.


    Written by Al Fonzi
    5th District Chairman, Republican Party, SLO County
    Past President, SLO County Lincoln Club

    First printed in Atascadero News article 21 August 2015


  • Separating Wheat from the Chaff

    The political season is upon us once again as candidates almost too innumerable to count seek the presidency. Somewhere one can only hope that a leader will emerge who understands and lives the virtue of selfless service to the nation.

    Some are born to lead at least as we understand what it means to lead. Others are formed in the crucible of severe trials, arising at a moment of crisis when others despair or are broken by extreme stress. Once we had a ready supply of heroes and heroines, those who put themselves to the most extreme tests and persevered under incredible hardship.

    Our grandparents were fortunate in that the late 19th and early 20th century provided multiple opportunities for genuine heroes to rise to public recognition. One such man was Ernest Shackleton, famed explorer of the arctic regions. He participated in three major arctic explorations during which his ability to motivate his men and most importantly, keep them alive, became his reason for notoriety in the early 20th century. His second Antarctic expedition came within 97 geographic miles of the South Pole, whereupon, faced with the prospect of almost certain death of his men from starvation if he continued, he made the decision to turn back, even though it cost him the fame of being “the first” to reach the South Pole. A remark later attributed to him was that “it was his duty to bring his men out of the cold.” Another explorer achieved the honor of being “first to the South Pole” but Shackleton continued his quest for polar exploration.

    In his last expedition attempting to cross the polar seas his ship “Endurance” became trapped in sea ice and was crushed. He kept his men alive for another year under incredible conditions, even making a 720-mile voyage in an open lifeboat to obtain rescue for his men stranded on a rocky, polar island. He succeeded and obtained brief fame, but died in debt and obscurity until his exploits were given new life by historians long after his death. Shackleton is an icon of leadership under the harshest of conditions, putting the welfare of his men above his own at every turn.

    One hopes that those seeking the highest office in the land have similar qualities. Once upon a time we expected those in high office to demonstrate a lifetime of integrity, sacrifice and personal courage, both moral and physical. Teddy Roosevelt demonstrated personal courage in his leadership of the First Volunteer Cavalry in the Spanish American War as a Regimental Commander, personally leading his unit in a charge up the hills of San Juan under murderous enemy fire. Supported by the regular Army all-black 9th and 10th U.S. Cavalry, Roosevelt’s unit carried the day and made the Spanish positions defending Santiago untenable and led to a rapid ending of the war. Roosevelt inspired the nation and the Republican Party placed him on the “ticket” as Vice-President to William McKinley. President McKinley’s assassination placed Vice-President Roosevelt into the office of President. His trial by fire prepared Teddy as no experience could, as having faced death the machinations of mere politicians were hardly intimidating. Roosevelt stormed through the Washington establishment like a tornado in a chicken farm. His eldest son, Brigadier General Teddy Roosevelt III, modeled his life after his father, landing at Utah Beach at Normandy on “D-Day” in 1944. Insisting on sharing the hardships of his troops, he landed with the first wave of soldiers. He was killed in action, earning the Medal of Honor for his actions at Normandy.

    Thousands of men and women display extraordinary courage under difficult circumstances when the moment arises; most are quite ordinary people by worldly standards, not having great wealth, fame or even incredible skill. Something needs to be done and they act; most are never recognized, especially in military service.

    One such hero is Captain John Ripley, a Marine officer serving in South Vietnam in the Spring of 1972 during the North Vietnamese “Easter Offensive.” Approaching the Dong Ha Bridge, a North Vietnamese armored column was held up by a battalion of South Vietnamese Rangers advised by Ripley, who then proceeded to mine the bridge with explosives. For over two hours, while repeatedly exposed to fierce enemy fire, Ripley hauled 50lb explosive charges underneath the superstructure of the bridge, successfully detonating the charges and halting the enemy column of tanks. Ripley was given the Navy Cross and then quietly served out another 20 years of service until his retirement. Most Americans have never heard of him or a thousand others like him.

    Hopefully, we’ll look beyond the hype of political candidates and search for a life of integrity, personal sacrifice and candidates that accept responsibility for failure as well as success. Prayerfully, we’ll seek candidates that put the country before party and the nation before ego and ambition.

    Written by Al Fonzi
    5th District Chairman, Republican Party, SLO County
    Past President, SLO County Lincoln Club

    First printed in Atascadero News article 7 August 2015