I am a published historian, conservative activist and public servant. My publications include a chapter entitled "The Aftermath," in Lepanto by G.K. Chesterton and The Centennial History of Holy Rosary Parish: 1904-2004 Reading, PA. I serve on the Board of Directors of the Italian-American Cultural Center of Pennsylvania. I was elected a Reading School Director in 2005, serving until 2009, and then was appointed to the Board of Directors to fill a vacancy in 2013. I was appointed to the Reading Planning Commission in 2014 and elected Chairman in 2017.
States today sent a Navy ship in a freedom of navigation
exercise into Communist China’s claimed 12 nautical-mile territory around one of the disputed SpratlyIslands
claimed by China. The American warship was not impeded by the
Chinese, thereby defending the freedom of the seas.
I had posted last month, Update: China’s
Expanding Claims of the Spratly Islands Inhibits Freedom of the Seas, http://williamcinfici.blogspot.com/2015/09/update-chinas-expanding-claims-of.html. In it, I had urged the Obama Administration
to conduct a freedom of navigation exercise, which would not necessarily
provoke any hostile incident. I
explained that not only has China been asserting its claims to all of the
Spratlys, against all the claims of the numerous other Asian states which each
claim some of the islands, and expanding the Chinese-occupied islands
exponentially by reclaiming thousands of acres from the sea, but also, through
its economic exclusionary zone, to all of the South China Sea. The area is rich in fish and oil. It is significant that the freedom of
navigation exercise undertaken by the U.S. was not only within the
claimed economic exclusionary zone, but even within the waters claimed by the
Chinese as sovereign territory.
The Americans have thus defended
the interests of the world for travel and commerce by defending the freedom of
the seas.Without fear of Chinese
intimidation, the U.S.
must continue to conduct such freedom of navigation operations from time to
United States President Barack
Obama’s Administration announced yesterday that it will maintain a larger force
of American troops in Afghanistan
in 2016 and even extend their mission into 2017 to help the Afghan government
to continue to fight the Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorists, together with the
decision reflects the learning of the lesson of withdrawing prematurely from Iraq at the end of 2013, which allowed
al-Qaeda’s branch in Iraq,
which split off into the “Islamic State” to seize large swathes of Iraqi
territory. The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan
continues to train Afghan troops while providing various levels of support in
this critical battleground in the War on Terrorism to prevent the Taliban from
returning to power to provide a safe haven to their al-Qaeda allies. Al-Qaeda originated the September 11, 2001
Attacks on the U.S. from Afghanistan.
President Obama declared yesterday that the U.S.
has sent a small contingent of non-combat armed military personnel to Cameroon to provide intelligence and other
support to help that ally in the fight against al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Nigeria, Boko
It is vitally important as the U.S. continues to fight the “Islamic State” in Iraq and Syria that the mortal threat from
al-Qaeda not be ignored.It is also mutually beneficial to support strong allies like Afghanistan
against our common enemies.
Kenneth (Ken) D. Taylor, the Canadian Ambassador to Iran
who secretly harbored American diplomats from capture during the Iranian
Hostage Crisis, died yesterday at the age of 81.
Taylor was born in Calgary,
Canada in 1934 and graduated
from the University of Toronto and received an MBA from BerkleyUniversity. Prime Minister Joe Clark, a conservative,
appointed Taylor Ambassador to Iran
After the Iranian Revolution in 1979,
Iranians seized the United States Embassy and Consulate and took most of the
staff hostage, with the acquiescence of the Islamist regime. A group of six American diplomats eluded
capture and were eventually taken in by Taylor. Some of them stayed with him and some at
another Canadian diplomatic residence.
For three months, the intrepid Canadian Ambassador and his staff kept
the presence of the Americans secret while tirelessly working with American
intelligence personnel to devise an escape.
After Taylor persuaded the Canadian
Parliament in an extraordinary secret session to issue fake passports to the
American diplomats, their escape from Iran was executed successfully in
January of 1980.
For his efforts, U.S. President
Jimmy Carter awarded him the Congressional Gold Medal that year. Taylor also
received numerous awards and citations from Canada.
Iran and Canada severed diplomatic relations
after the rescue. Taylor
was then named Consul-General to New York City
After the completion of his diplomatic service, he returned to his alma
mater as a Chancellor and later went into business. He settled in New York City, becoming an American citizen.
Canadian government’s assistance to the Americans, led by Taylor,
stands as a great example of the enduring friendship between Canada and the United States. May that friendship, personified by Ken
Taylor, continue to endure, and may God keep Canada
glorious and free and may God bless America!
I participated Monday in the Reading School District Board of Directors Candidate forum, sponsored by the League of Women Voters and broadcast on Berks Community Television. As always, one may visit BCTV’s website at www.bctv.org to check the schedule for rebroadcasts or even to order a video of the forum.
Despite being outnumbered five to one by the other candidates, who are running together as a ticket, I held my own, with several of the other candidates often agreeing with me. Three different times there was division among the candidates, with at least one of them backing me up with critical facts.
We fielded a wide variety of questions. I was able to hit all my major campaign themes of experience (as the only candidate for School Director with more than two years experience), making the Administration more accountable and increasing openness and transparency for more honest, effective and efficient government, including ending pay-to-play for no-bid contracts. My inclusion of special education, among my priorities of safety and security and fiscal responsibility, was the only time this critical issue was mentioned by any candidate in the forum.
I was especially glad to field a question from the only homeviewer about what we thought of allowing students to conduct course evaluations, just as they do in college. I responded that I had initiated such a program that the School District Administration had actually implemented at Reading High School for a time and would pursue restoring it. The program is not for teacher evaluation, but for self-improvement, and is part of customer feedback in regard to the course, materials and activities, as the District is there to serve its students. My other major motivation for it is to provide students another opportunity to practice writing skills.
I thank the LWV and BCTV for sponsoring and broadcasting the forum. Finally, I would be remiss not thank the late Edmund Doherty, who for many years put these candidates fora together to help make voters more informed about their candidates.
The United States House of
Representatives has passed legislation with bipartisan support that would block
the nuclear weapons deal reached between Iran
and other world powers, including the U.S.,
from taking effect until Iran
pays court judgments won against it by American victims of terrorism and other
acts of violent jihad that were sponsored by the Iranian dictatorial
The bill was sponsored by Rep. Pat
Meehan of (R-Pennsylvania), who represents part of BerksCounty,
the county in which I reside. A
companion piece of legislation is sponsored by Senator Pat Toomey, a
Republican, of Pennsylvania.
Iran owes victims $43.5 billion,
after having paid out only $2.5 in judgments won against it since the 1980s for
numerous acts of terrorism and other criminal acts that killed hundreds of Americans
and injured many more. The deal
obligates the U.S.
to unfreeze over $100 billion of Iranian assets. None of the Islamic Republic’s assets would
be seized, according to its terms.
Although the deal was about nuclear weapons, it lifts certain economic
sanctions that were imposed on Iran
for its sponsorship of terrorism. Iran is the
world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.
I have mentioned in recent posts the concern that Iran would use
its unfrozen assets to fund even more terrorism.
President Barack Obama, a liberal
Democrat who signed the nuclear deal negotiated by his Administration, has
threatened to veto the bill to require the Iranian regime to pay the judgments
it owes to the victims of terrorism.