Jeff Brown Contributing Columnist
November 19, 2013
During the early years of WW II more than 800 of our merchant ships were sunk by Nazi subs along our Gulf and Atlantic coasts with 7,183 Navy, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines killed in those attacks! My conclusion is our government was inept in preventing this as it has been inept at reducing poverty despite spending trillions since President Johnson launched the War on Poverty. Further, the US government is ill equipped to handle Obamacare as is being dramatically proven with its disastrous rollout.
Over the past four months, I experienced an interesting confluence in regard to the above statistics. It began in late July when we were with fivve couples — friends from our time in Lancaster, Penn. — as we got together in Bethany Beach, Delaware. One of the places we visited was Fort Miles on the Delaware coast which has a largely underground battery with massive 16 inch artillery that through triangulation were to sink German subs. The only problem was the Nazis sank more than 800 of our ships along the Atlantic and Gulf but the artillery at batteries like Fort Miles and others along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts only sank a few Nazi subs.
As I write this my wife and I are at our condo in Perdido Key, Fla., which is between Pensacola Beach and Orange Beach, Ala. A local store owner who sells signed copies of Andy Andrews many book titles, some of which have become New York Times best sellers, told me that he felt that “The Heart Mender” was Andrews’ best book. Given this, the story was set in this area and that Andrews lives only a few miles from us I decided to buy it. In the book, Andrews tells the true story, except for the names and locations, of a Nazi submarine officer who accidentally arrived here during WWII and, until recently, lived the rest of his life within 20 miles. The above statistics come from this book and were verified elsewhere.
So in the short space of four months, I came to realize the little publicized sinking of more than 800 of our ships and loss of 7,183 lives between 1942 and 1943 on our Gulf and Atlantic coasts despite massive fortifications. However as evidenced by the sinking/capture of only a few Nazi subs in American waters, we had a very ineffective defense of our ships and personnel. Our government was so ineffective during much of the sub attacks on our ships in American waters that they didn’t even require homes along the coast to black out their windows. Quoting Andrews, “even when the merchant ships turned out their own lights, the U-boats had only to surface and use the background of the U.S. coastline-whose lights could be seen for more than twenty-five miles-to target the huge vessels.”
Now to the other two parts of my title. Since President Johnson started his war on poverty we have spent trillions on the 142 federal programs that have grown from the initial programs he launched in 1964. By just about any measure most of these programs have been failures. Since President Obama took office the number receiving food stamps, one of the 142 programs, has doubled and those getting disability from Social Security has dramatically increased. Many disability recipients have no work history so they get their monthly checks from the SSI program which is paid from the funds your employer must withhold from your earnings. Any wonder why there are trillions of dollars of unfunded liabilities in our Social Security “Trust Fund?”
Never before has the incompetence of the U.S. government been so evident; so quickly; and with the distinct possibility of seriously disrupting our health insurance, which is one of our most important possessions, than with the roll out of Obamacare. I’m not going to use up the limited space this newspaper gives me to prove this. If you are not already aware of this, you are oblivious to what is happening or you are a liberal who refuses to admit your “principles” are bankrupt.
Andrews quotes from Alexander Tyler (some dispute his authorship), a Scottish history professor, who in 1787 observed the continuing pattern of the advance and decline of the world’s democracies. He supposedly said, “a democracy would continue to exist until the voters discover that they can literally vote themselves gifts from the public treasury. From the moment that revelation is made, the majority proceeds to vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits…..The final result is that every democracy finally collapses due to loose fiscal policy.” Awake America and “throw the bums out!!”
Rep Jeff Brown (Ret)