Category Archives: history

“Fake News” Is Nothing New. The “Surprise” Attack on Pearl Harbor May Be Fake News.

There has been a lot of media talk recently about fake news.  But this is nothing new.  In fact, fake news has been around for as long as there has been news.

Take the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, December 7, 1941, for example.  Conventional wisdom has it that this was a surprise attack by Imperial Japan on the U.S. Pacific fleet stationed at Pearl Harbor.  But a veritable cottage industry of second guessers has sprung up over the years, books and articles galore, making the argument that President Franklin Roosevelt not only knew about the coming attack ahead of time but did nothing to prevent it so as to form a basis for America to get into World War II.  Roosevelt did this, so the argument goes, to help revive a struggling American economy by putting it on a war footing,  to come to the aid of  America’s allies overseas, notably Great Britain, as well as to protect its own interests worldwide.

Needless to say, the U.S. was swept by anger and outrage over the attack, the prevailing question in effect being, “How could a great country like the United States  have been caught so flat footed?”   Several investigations were conducted into the causes of the lack of U.S. preparedness,  probably the best known being the investigation by a ten-member Congressional subcommittee, five Representatives and five Senators, six Democrats and four Republicans, which began in 1945 and concluded in July, 1946, with the issuance of a 41,000 page report.  The report, signed by eight of the ten subcommittee members, concluded that there had been no dereliction of duty by President Roosevelt,  various cabinet members, or certain members of the Army and Navy, but errors of judgement had been made.  The majority also stated that the Empire of Japan made the attack on its own and had not been tricked or coerced by the U.S. into making it.

However, there was a minority report signed by two Senators which criticized the majority opinion in a scathing, blistering  denunciation.   This dissenting opinion, some seventy-seven pages long, supported chapter, book, and verse, by detailed references to the record before the subcommittee, concluded that Roosevelt and other high officials in Washington were in fact at fault in not being prepared for the attack.  They were also very critical of President Harry Truman, who came into office after Roosevelt died in April, 1945.  They concluded that Truman had obstructed the investigation so that all the facts concerning U.S. preparedness, or lack thereof,  had not come to light.

To this day it appears that all of the facts about the attack have not been made public due to later restrictions on the release of certain government records having been imposed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979.

Will all the facts concerning U.S. lack of preparedness ever be known?  Was the attack by the Japanese on December 7, 1941 really a surprise attack?  Did President Roosevelt have advance knowledge of it?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Is all of this managed news?  Was the “surprise” attack fake news to cover up for Roosevelt?  Who knows?  But I think the American people are entitled to know the facts, all the facts.

Incidentally, for those of you interested in reading  the majority subcommittee opinion, read my book, “Prelude to Disaster:  How Imperial Japan’s Diplomatic Treachery Led to America’s Greatest Military Disaster – Pearl Harbor.”  It is essentially based on the subcommittee report.  The book is a true account of Japanese diplomatic deception which led up to the Pearl Harbor attack and provides an inside look at the diplomatic exchanges between U.S. State Department representatives and Japanese diplomats while dark clouds of war loomed in the background.  It puts the reader in a position to be an eyewitness to history.  It is available on Amazon and eBay.

©2017 Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

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TRUMP CARES – By Helping Job Creation, Helping To Feed Starving Kids, Making A Difference

Trump knows business, having enjoyed  an ultra-successful career as a business person.  He knows jobs, having created thousands of jobs during his long career.  Trump has learned how to deal with people, all kinds of people during this time.  He understands finance and economics and how to negotiate deals.  He knows business, and who can deny that being president, running the country, is like running a big, very big, business. So his experience in business has prepared him for the presidency like no political job ever could.

Trump has also endorsed a network marketing business in past years, not currently since he entered the presidential race, which in turn  supported a charity that helped feed hungry children.  By endorsing this business he helped people to improve their lives by helping them to own their own business, create more time for themselves and become independent, and in the process helped to provide food for starving kids, all as part of his effort to help people get a new start in life.  It’s what Trump is all about.  This was nothing new for him.  He had been doing it for years.  It’s what he called, rightfully so, making a difference.   I have personal knowledge of all that, being a member of that network marketing business myself.  So TRUMP CARES.  He cares about people, he cares about the country, he cares about you.

No one can take any of that away from him, not for a moment, certainly not Crooked Hillary, who knows nothing about job creation, nothing about finance or economics, nothing about making deals, or about success in anything.  She is corrupt, incompetent,  and a world-class liar.  She should hang a sign around her neck that says, “I am a fraud – don’t vote for me.”  For once in  her life, she’d be telling the truth.  Hillary has also collected money, millions of dollars from foreign powers paid into the Clinton Foundation over the years, for her services, her favors, as Secretary of State.  You know what that makes her?  They have a name for it, not used in polite company.  I don’t have to say it.  But facts are facts, they are things, as John Adams argued in the famous Boston Massacre trial of 1770.  You have to deal with them.  This entire scheme is an arrangement that just reeks of corruption and is well deserving of an FBI investigation in and of itself.

Yet Crooked Hillary still  claims she is qualified to be President.  Amazing!  Of course, she’s getting help, lot of it, from the liberal, very liberal, mainstream media.  They are crooked too, as claimed by Trump, and rightly so.   They have a duty to report news accurately, but they don’t.  They distort everything so far as Trump is concerned even falsify things, and they shouldn’t.   It’s an abuse of the constitutional guarantee of freedom of the press.  But they are scared to death that Trump will win.  They should be scared, because he will win.

Copyright©2016.  Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

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A Personal Dilemma – Was The Pearl Harbor Attack Foreseeable?

In one of my recent blogs, I mentioned that predictions of the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, came from at least two sources.  But I didn’t mention the sources.  So, here they are.  One was from a Peruvian source known to U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Joseph Grew.  This is discussed on page 118, footnote 7, of my new book, “Prelude to Disaster:  How Imperial Japan’s Diplomatic Treachery Led to America’s Greatest Military Disaster – Pearl Harbor,” available on amazon.com in both Kindle and print.

It is pointed out in that footnote that Ambassador Grew’s testimony before the Joint Congressional Committee which issued the report which forms the essential basis for my book, was that, with the single exception of  information on which his message of January 27, 1941 was based, he had no knowledge or indication from any source prior to the attack which indicated the possibility of such an attack.  The information on which that message was based is explained in footnote 7, as follows:  “My Peruvian colleague told a member of my staff that he had heard from many sources including a Japanese source that the Japanese military forces planned in the event of trouble with the United States to attempt a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor using all of their military facilities.  He added that although the project seemed fantastic the fact he had heard it from many sources prompted him to pass on the information.   Paraphrased copies were promptly sent by the State Department to Military Intelligence Division (Army) and Office of Naval Intelligence (Navy).” (Emphasis added).  Interesting stuff.

The other source came somewhat earlier but was more authoritative.  In 1937, General George Patton was the G-2, i.e., military parlance for Intelligence Officer, for the Hawaiian Islands, in charge of security for the Islands and their vulnerability to attack.  Patton had followed  Japan’s continued aggression 0ver the years, including its invasion and conquest of Manchuria in 1931 and its invasion of China in 1933, and believed that war with Japan was likely.  That year, 1937,  he wrote a paper entitled “Surprise” in which he predicted, with uncanny accuracy, a Japanese attack on Hawaii.  This bit of information comes from an excellent book about General Patton entitled “Patton – A Genius For War,” by Carlo D’Este, page 361.

So, the idea of a Japanese attack against the U.S. itself was likely scoffed at and little, if anything, was done about it.  But, nevertheless, those two straws in the wind, coming from widely disparate sources, did exist.

More disturbing to me was the apparent failure of those directly concerned with the nation’s security to foresee that elimination of the U.S. Pacific Fleet would fit nicely into Japanese plans to push south in the Pacific, towards Malaya, the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), the Philippines, and Australia, among other areas, plans which were undoubtedly anticipated by the U.S.  (See e.g.,  book, pp 41- 42).

This is where my dilemma arose.   To say the attack was therefore foreseeable would fit well into the “In Retrospect” or conclusory part of my book.   However,  on reflection, to add that comment to the book seemed a bit presumptive on my part.  It just didn’t seem right for me, coming along some 74 years later, to say that the attack was foreseeable and, therefore, should have been preventable.  So, I left it out.  There were some very skilled and highly intelligent and competent people in The White House, the State Department, and the armed forces, who arguably failed to see the attack coming so I decided not to second guess them.  Maybe, when and if I do a revised edition of the book, I’ll put it in.  In the meantime you’ll have to read the book yourselves and decide whether I made the right decision.  Please let me know what you think via a comment to this post.

Copyright©2016.  Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

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The Misguided Public Media – Part 3

There is one more thought to be added to the last two blogs about having balance in the public media’s coverage of the presidential race, i.e., there must be accountability for irresponsible journalism.   What is  considered irresponsible is more likely to exist in the reader’s eye than anywhere else.  Finding any objective criteria to use  is undoubtedly out of reach.  But the lack of media scrutiny of Hillary’s career achievements, or lack thereof to be more accurate,  is startling.  That she is being given a pass by the liberal media is too obvious to merit serious discussion.   Only her “coronation” remains according to prevailing sentiment among liberals.  This is totally unacceptable, particularly where the stakes are so high as in a presidential race.

While “Freedom of the Press” must be given full rein in a democratic society, media irresponsibility is not an isolated occurrence and should not be tolerated.   The media is not perfect by any means.  One blatant example of media irresponsibility, albeit not in a political context, comes to mind, the publication on December 5, 1941, by the Chicago Tribune,  “practically in full,” of “the most highly secret paper in the possession of the U.S. Government.”   That paper contained the U.S. plans for fighting a global war if one should eventuate.   Secretary of War Frank Knox advised reporters that day that an investigation of the Tribune would be likely.  This episode is mentioned on page 300 of my new book “Prelude to Disaster: How Imperial Japan’s Diplomatic Treachery Led to America’s Greatest Military Disaster – Pearl Harbor,” available on Amazon.com in Kindle and in print.   I am not aware that any such investigation ever took place but no doubt it was considered by many and had it taken place may have been well justified.  Why the Tribune would stoop to such a tactic as revelation of the most closely guarded Government secret at a time when the possibility of war was close at hand was definitely not in the public interest.  Freedom of the press?  This was an abuse of that freedom.  Such an abuse is beyond my understanding and clearly qualifies as irresponsible journalism.

What is going on in today’s presidential race may not be as clear cut as the foregoing example but still qualifies as irresponsible journalism.  I’m talking about the media favoritism that is being accorded Hillary Clinton.  Here is a power hungry woman who brings nothing to the table.  She does not even qualify as a light- weight, she is a no-weight.  But many, far too many, in the media continue to give her a pass so far as her questioning her qualifications is concerned.  Electing a president is serious business.  It’s not a popularity contest.  It runs deeper, much deeper, than partisan politics.  We’re talking about qualifications for running the country.  Where has it been shown that Hillary has the experience to make the difficult, the very difficult decisions that a president must make?  Why doesn’t the media jump on her total and complete lack of a track record so far as success in life is concerned and give that as much coverage as it gives to Trump?  Trump is scrutinized continually.  The imbalance  is  totally unjustified.

No partisanship is intended by singling out Hillary’s lack of performance credentials.  On the Republican side, Carly Fiorina has the same basic flaw as Hillary, i.e., no track record of proven success, nothing to show she has been weighed in the balance and found able to perform.  True she was  once CEO of Hewlett-Packard but she was also fired.  Where is her track record of performance?  There is none to speak of.

The country simply cannot afford to repeat the same mistake it made with Obama, to wit, electing someone as president with no proven experience in making difficult decisions, with no proven qualifications as a leader.  It may well be the right time for a woman president, but it has to be the right woman.  That woman is not Hillary.  Hillary is dangerous for this country, not to mention the free world.   She is incompetent, inexperienced, and totally lacking in the leadership skills, judgement,  and temperament necessary for the chief executive.  She is a world-class liar to boot, and the pending FBI investigation portends possible dishonesty.  In order to strike a fair balance in media coverage of the presidential candidates, those premises all deserve to be and must be fully vetted by the media.

Copyright© 2015.  Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

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“Prelude to Infamy” – Now on Amazon’s Kindle

“The Japanese Navy is itching for a fight with the American Navy.”  News item, ascribed to a Japanese Navy official, on or about October 24, 1941.”

To commemorate the  forthcoming 74th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, I have posted a new ebook on Amazon’s Kindle.  It describes the diplomatic exchanges between the United States and Japan in the months leading up to the attack. Here’s the complete title:  “Prelude to Infamy: How Imperial Japan’s Diplomatic Treachery Led To America’s Greatest Military Disaster – Pearl Harbor.”

This book is a true account of Japanese diplomatic deception which led to the surprise attack on the U.S. Pacific Naval Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in the early morning hours of Sunday, December 7, 1941.  It provides an inside look at the virtual day to day diplomatic negotiations, including reports, conversations, communiques, and telegrams, from August to December, 1941, between officials of the U.S. Department of State and diplomats of the Japanese Empire as dark clouds of war continued to loom in the background.  Essentially based on the report of a Congressional investigation into the attack, released in July, 1946, it effectively puts the reader in  position of becoming an eyewitness to history being made as the process of searching for peace is continued.

The book  reveals in depth how the U.S. continued to negotiate for peace but at the same time sought to build up its military and naval forces to counter Japanese aggression in the Far East.  Militaristic Japan,  bent  on expanding its sphere of influence by force and violence to assure, it asserted,  its survival as an empire, had been reaching out to acquire the raw materials and other natural resources needed for its survival.  It  had invaded and subjugated large parts of China in 1937,  occupied  French Indochina in 1940, and was threatening the Dutch East Indies and other countries and areas in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Region.  Peace negotiations faltered as it continued to resist U.S. efforts to pull back its forces.

In February, 1941, unknown to the U.S. and apparently to its own diplomatic corps, the Japanese military began planning an attack on the United States.  In October, 1941, Hideki Tojo, a General in the Japanese Imperial Army and Minister of War under former Prime Minister Prince Konoye, who resigned on October 16, 1941, was appointed Prime Minister by Emperor Hirohito.  Chances for peace dimmed when Tojo, a hard liner, resisted U.S. efforts to have Japan pull its troops out of China, a key point in U.S endeavors, and took a tough stand against continued peace negotiations with the U.S.

On December 6, 1941, Japan began delivery of a 14 point reply to the latest U.S. peace proposal of November 26, 1941.  Due to its own bungling, the 14th point, breaking off talks with the U.S. was not delivered until well after the attack on Pearl Harbor had begun on December 7.  No formal declaration of war by Japan against the United States was received in Washington until 4 p.m. (EST), long after the attack had ended.

The book concludes with  two noteworthy quotes.  One is from the lyric of an old Glenn Miller tune, “You must be vigilant, you must be vigilant, American Patrol…”, and the other is  from a 1790 speech by John Philpot Curran  in Dublin, Ireland, that  “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”  These timeless words still ring true today.

For those readers who may not be aware of the diplomatic background behind the attack, this ebook should prove to be very enlightening.

Arnold G. Regardie

 

 

 

 

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On My Way To Cleveland, Ohio

Next weekend I’ll be traveling to Cleveland, Ohio to attend one of the international conventions hosted by my network marketing partner.  I consider it  part of the business I’m involved in, part of the commitment I’ve made to succeed at this business, to attend this convention.  It will be my first trip to Cleveland, so that will be a new experience.  But, for that reason,  it will not be possible for me to post a blog here next week.

After practicing law in California for over forty years, network marketing is a new challenge for me.  I got into it at the behest of my oldest son, who is also in the business, to help him escape the financial constraints  of teaching.  One of the exciting aspects of the business is to be able to help others change their lives by becoming independent business owners.  Helping a client start a new business when I was practicing law was always a rewarding  endeavor for me.  Now I can do it all over again in my network marketing business.

Many, many years ago when I was in prep school in Pennsylvania, I took a course in English writers.  One of the writers I studied was John Keats.  Keats was not with us on this planet very long.  He died of tuberculosis at age 26.  That was back in 1821.  There was no cure for it in those days.  But while he was here he wrote some memorable poetry and one of the poems was “On First Looking Into Chapman’s Homer.”  It was Chapman’s translation  (Chapman was a writer himself who lived in the 1600s) of  the epic Greek poet Homer (who lived around 700-800 BC and is famous for the “Iliad” and the “Odyssey”) which excited Keats so much.  He described his excitement in this poem as akin to that of an astronomer watching a new planet swim into his field of vision, or that of Spanish explorer Cortez when “with eagle eyes” he stared out upon the vast expanse of the blue Pacific.  The network marketing business is likewise an exciting experience and it provides vast opportunities for personal and financial growth.  Excuse me for going a bit overboard, but you get the idea.

I’m also reminded of the Los Angeles blender salesman who one day got an  order for blenders from a small hamburger shack in San Bernardino, about 90 miles East of LA.  He drove out to San Bernardino to deliver the blenders and look at the hamburger shack’s operation himself.  He found a business that was a model of simplicity.  All the little shack  served was  hamburgers, fries, and shakes.  He also saw a business that was easily duplicated.  The blender salesman, whose name was Ray Kroc, bought the little hamburger shack, decided to keep the shack’s name, McDonald’s, and the rest is history.  I only mention this story because my business is also simple in operation and easily duplicated.  This is the key to growing the business.

It’s not just the potential financial rewards that motivate me in this business.  It’s also the personal satisfaction from the thought that I’m actually helping the economy by reducing unemployment.  I have often voiced my extreme displeasure with the current occupant of the White House for being someone who is not only unqualified for the job of being president but is incompetent to boot.  The continued stagnant economy in this country marked by high levels of unemployment attests to that unpleasant fact.  So I feel I’m doing my part by helping others to move ahead financially despite the shortcomings of the present administration.

The company I’m in partnership with now now operates in Mexico as well as other parts of the world.  This factor provides me with the opportunity to expand not just in this country but in Mexico and worldwide.  I have also taken an increased interest in Mexico in my efforts to expand my business into that country.  Mexico is a whole new universe of opportunity.

So this is why I’m going to Cleveland.  Attending the convention will enable me to keep up with developments in the network marketing business, hear firsthand from eminently successful business leaders, and to share in the excitement from being a part of a huge and ongoing industry.

Copyright 2014.  Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

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Finding and Using The Right Word is Pivotal For Clear Writing

At a recent 2-day business symposium I attended, the  written materials furnished to all attendees unfortunately contained a few typos.   One of the more glaring mistakes was where the author wrote “capitol management” instead of “capital management.”  This mistake brought to mind an article I posted back in November , 2012, dealing with word selection.   It is still very relevant today.  Here’s the article, with minor modifications.

Last week’s blog emphasized the need to have correct diction, the choice of correct, clear, and effective words, as a step towards clear writing. There are several pitfalls to avoid.  Being concise in your writing and eliminating excess language is part of this process. Having a powerful vocabulary is also necessary to achieve this goal.   But a strong vocabulary will also help to avoid another pitfall on the road to correct diction – failure to use the exact word.  Using the correct word is of singular importance in your writing.  It ranks right up there with correct spelling.  It is the mark of an accomplished writer.

Searching for, finding, and using, the right word is a process I’ve learned to focus on for many years.   Many years ago I was involved in defending Doris Day’s lawyer, Jerry Rosenthal, against legal malpractice charges.   Despite his many legal shortcomings as found by the court,  I was always impressed with Rosenthal’s writing skills, and in particular with his efforts to find and use the exact word he wanted to express his thinking, whether in writing or speaking. He had a fixation on word selection, and an extensive vocabulary to go with it.  He boasted to me one day that the clerk of the U.S. Supreme Court had advised him that his framing of the issue in a petition he had written was the most clearly worded issue the clerk had ever seen. My involvement in this case and the writing tips I picked up are discussed in more detail in my eBook, “The Art of Clear Writing,” available at amazon.com/kindlebooks and in print.

Don’t settle for approximations of your thoughts.  Imprecise words and expressions detract from clarity and may cause your reader to question all  other statements you make.  Generalities will roll off a reader like water off a duck’s back.   Accuracy of word usage is what you are after.  The U.S. Government has attempted to encourage the development of better writing in the Plain Writing Act of 2009, which inspired some of the ideas used in my eBook.  This legislation is an attempt by Congress to enhance citizen access to government information by mandating that government documents issued to the public must be written in plain English.  But as pointed out in the Acknowledgements for my eBook, the government’s use of the term “plain writing” is not as accurate as the use of “clear writing” would be, because the former is somewhat ambiguous.  What is “plain” writing?  Is it “plain” because it is not fancy, because it is not written in some esoteric script, or for some other unknown reason?   The mental discipline of searching for and finding the right word will pay huge dividends for you in developing a clear writing style.

The use of the word “cool,” greatly overused in today’s society, is a good example of a word which has no precise meaning. It has little place in formal writing.  Use of precise words to describe exactly what you see in a certain locale is one example of where specificity is greatly needed.  Generalization here will fall flat.  For example, if you were to write that Murphys, California is a “cool” place to visit, the reader would have little understanding of what you mean and would have no incentive to go there.  But if you wrote that it’s nestled in the farmland of the upper San Joaquin Valley, that you must drive through rolling pastoral countryside to get there, that it’s a living remnant of the Old West, and that it’s a shopper’s delight complete with casual dining and a nearby winery, the added specificity will make a visit sound much more inviting.

If you were writing a review of a machine and you simply wrote that it is a “bad” product, this description is far too general. “Bad” is an overworked word and not very specific in this context. But if you wrote that the machine requires far too many repairs to meet acceptable consumer standards, this is an obvious gain in specificity.

An overly general choice of words is frequently the mark of a lazy mind. Sharpen your word selection by resorting to an unabridged dictionary. A general word will usually have many definitions to choose from to make your meaning definite. When a shorter synonym for a word is available, use it. Often you will find that the use of a shorter synonym for the word you are using is the best option. Use common words such as “end” instead of terminate”, “explain” rather than “elucidate,” and “use” instead of “utilize.”

Copyright 2014.  Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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