Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Cinfici Appears in a Voters Guide for Reading School Director for the General Election

           The Reading Eagle has published its Voters Guide for Reading School Director for General Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, which includes me.

           Here is the link to the guide: http://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/voters-guide-reading-school-board.  A Spanish version will also be available.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The United States Successfully Defends the Freedom of the Seas against China’s Claims in the Spratlys

The United 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 Spratly Islands 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 time.

Friday, October 16, 2015

American Troop Commitments to Allies, Afghanistan and Cameroon

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 U.S.-led coalition. 

            This strategic 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.

            Also, 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 Haram. 

           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 and Cameroon against our common enemies.  

Kenneth D. Taylor, In Memoriam

           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 Berkley University.  Prime Minister Joe Clark, a conservative, appointed Taylor Ambassador to Iran in 1977. 

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 by Clark.  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.  

           The 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!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Cinfici Wins another Reading School Director Candidate Forum

           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 BCTVs website at www.bctv.org to check the schedule for rebroadcasts or even to order a video of the forum. 

           See also the Reading Eagle story about it here: http://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/reading-school-board-candidates-make-their-case-at-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.       

Friday, October 2, 2015

The United States House Votes to Require Iran to Pay Judgments for Victims of Terrorism as a Condition for the Nuclear Deal to Take Effect

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 regime. 

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Pat Meehan of (R-Pennsylvania), who represents part of Berks County, 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.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

William Cinfici for Reading School Director News

           I recently participated in a candidates forum for Reading School Director.  Here is the link to the Reading Eagle article about it: http://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/7-candidates-make-pitch-for-seats-on-reading-school-board.  One correction is that I did not say the current Board is doing well, but that they are doing some things well, such as continuing reforms the previous Board, on which I served, had started, but others not.

           Several social media links about my candidacy were set up today: