President Trump told the Army’s newest officers on Saturday that they will not have to serve in “endless wars” being waged in “far away lands,” but made no mention of his thwarted effort in recent days to deploy the active-duty military to the streets of American cities over the objections of Pentagon leaders.
In a commencement ceremony at the United States Military Academy at West Point that had been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic before the president insisted on moving forward with it, Mr. Trump presented himself as a staunch supporter of the armed forces who has increased spending on tanks, aircraft and other weapons even as he said they should not be used in fruitless foreign conflicts.
“We are ending the era of endless wars,” Mr. Trump said. “In its place is a renewed cleareyed focus on defending America’s vital interests. It is not the duty of U.S. troops to solve ancient conflicts in far away lands that many people have never even heard of. We are not the policeman of the world. But let our enemies be on notice: If our people are threatened, we will never, ever hesitate to act. And when we fight from now on, we will only fight to win.”
The president’s address skirted the more acute issue of the last few days as he threatened to order active-duty troops to put down demonstrations against racial injustice that have been predominantly peaceful but marred at times by looting and rioting. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, successfully resisted the president, leaving a deep schism between the commander in chief and the military.
Mr. Trump alluded to the national reckoning over race following the killing of George Floyd only elliptically by noting that West Point graduates were among those who “fought and won a bloody war to extinguish the evil of slavery” during the Civil War and were “at the forefront of ending the terrible injustice of segregation” during the civil rights era.
“What has historically made America unique is the durability of its institutions against the passions and prejudices of the moment,” Mr. Trump told the cadets. “When times are turbulent, when the road is rough, what matters most is that which is permanent, timeless, enduring and eternal.”
The president’s critics have condemned him for exploiting the military and for forcing West Point to hold commencement in person when other schools canceled theirs. Hundreds of protesters gathered outside West Point on Saturday, holding signs like “Cadets Aren’t Props” and “Welcome Cadet Bone Spurs.” Others showed support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Laura Vetter, an instructor for 18 years at West Point before retiring last fall, was among those who said she was protesting on behalf of West Point graduates who are not allowed to make political statements in uniform. “The day I retired my muzzle came off,” she said.
Tsui Pappas and her son Armand Pappas said they were protesting partly in honor of two graduating cadets they declined to name. “I’m here to protest for Black Lives Matter but also to honor their graduation,” Armand Pappas said. “That can’t be here to protest even though I know they’d like to.”
Inside the gates, it was a commencement ceremony like none other in the 218-year history of West Point. Graduating cadets who had been isolated for 14 days in advance of the event marched onto the field in their dress gray-and-white uniforms and face masks. They sat in white folding chairs spaced six feet apart, at which point they were allowed to take their masks off. The West Point band played with plexiglass shields to protect against the virus.
Rather than march onto stage to shake the president’s hand as is customary, the cadets instead saluted the commander in chief from below the stage as their names were called. Mr. Trump saluted back. No family or friends were allowed to attend, but the cadets were permitted to throw their caps into the air as is traditional.
Neither Mr. Esper nor General Milley were on hand, although officials said their decisions not to attend were made before the latest conflict with the president. Mr. Esper, a West Point graduate, sent a video congratulations played on jumbo video screens on the field.
Mr. Trump included in his speech some of his favorite claims from the campaign trail, including taking credit for rebuilding a military that he characterized as “totally depleted” when he took over and investing “over two trillion — trillion, that’s with a T — dollars” in the armed forces. As he often does, he exaggerated. Military spending has increased substantially since he took office, from $607 billion a year to $738 billion, but in using the $2 trillion claim Mr. Trump gave himself credit for the entire military budgets over three years rather than just the increases.
Likewise, he hailed himself for victory in the battle against the Islamic State in the Middle East. “The savage ISIS caliphate has been 100 percent destroyed under the Trump administration and its barbaric leader al Baghdadi is gone, killed, over,” he said. While it is true that American forces killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and recaptured territory it once held, the terrorist organization has carried out a series of attacks in Syria and Iraq over the last two months.
Credit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times
The president’s appearance at West Point came at a fraught moment in the history of civilian-military relations in the United States. Mr. Esper and General Milley, both appointed to their positions by Mr. Trump, resisted the president’s demands to send active-duty troops into the streets, first in an Oval Office meeting that turned into a heated argument and later in public comments.
The tension was accentuated by the president’s walk through Lafayette Square to St. John’s Church after peaceful protesters were forcibly pushed out by riot police, a photo op that both Mr. Esper and General Milley joined to their later regret amid vociferous criticism from retired military officers like Jim Mattis, the Marine general who served as Mr. Trump’s first defense secretary.
Mr. Trump wanted to fire Mr. Esper after he spoke out publicly against invoking the Insurrection Act of 1807 to send active-duty troops into the streets but was advised against it by aides who feared it would be a political debacle. General Milley, for his part, considered resigning before opting against it for now but made a point of publicly apologizing for participating in the president’s church photo op because it inserted the military leadership into a partisan event.
The friction grew over the last few days as Mr. Esper, General Milley and other military leaders signaled that they were open to renaming Army installations named after Confederate generals, including Fort Bragg, Fort Hood and Fort Benning, as part of a broader effort to address the legacy of racism in the armed forces.
But Mr. Trump, who never served in the military and avoided the Vietnam War citing bone spurs in his foot, slapped down the Pentagon by rejecting the idea, suggesting it would be insulting to the troops who trained at those bases and then went off to fight in overseas wars.
The issue has resonance at West Point, where Gen. Robert E. Lee was both a cadet and later superintendent. The Confederate icon remains honored on campus, with a gate, a road and a barracks named after him and his portrait on display. Some critics, including veterans, have called for his name to be removed from the campus.
Mr. Trump made no mention of the issue during his speech, but did single out Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, the Union commander, for praise, although mispronounced his first name as “Ulysseus.”
The president’s desire to deliver a commencement address at West Point in person was already a contentious decision. Cadets were sent home in March because of the coronavirus but after Mr. Trump announced that he would go through with plans for a speech they were ordered back to campus and quarantined in their dorms for the past 14 days to safely stage the ceremony.
As they awaited Mr. Trump on Saturday, the graduating cadets, who over the past two weeks had been divided into four pods of around 250 each, dining in separate shifts, were assembled into a full crowd in a quad away from the ceremony site. Reunited as a class, few if any appeared at that moment to be trying to maintain social distance as recommended by public health officials.
The ceremony was the first since 1977 that was not held in Michie Stadium, the West Point football venue, because it did not have enough room on the field to keep all 1,107 cadets six feet apart. Instead, it was held on the main parade ground called the Plain with no audience in attendance.
Mr. Trump marched to the bandstand and cannons fired a 21-gun salute that echoed across the mostly empty field. The unusual seating arrangement put some graduates facing two large screens instead of the stage, even though it was only about 100 feet from their chairs. But it was a visual that a president campaigning for re-election would surely cherish.
Lauren Hard contributed reporting.
ALYI Highlights Next Steps
Dallas, TX – October 20, 2020 – OTC PR WIRE – Alternet Systems, Inc. (OTC PINK: ALYI) today announced plans to publish a comprehensive progress update next week targeting a Wednesday, October 28th release date.
Management indicates a number of major endeavors underway in important stages of development to include RevoltTOKEN financing partner’s efforts to finalize ICO details, next steps after finalizing the multiparty milestone agreement announced last week, and a new design path development for the company’s long-term plans for future electric vehicles in Africa.
Management anticipates wrapping up details on the above-mentioned endeavors by next Wednesday and being ready to release a comprehensive update.
For more information and to stay up to date on ALYI’s latest developments, please visit www.alternetsystemsinc.com.
Disclaimer/Safe Harbor: This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Litigation Reform Act. The statements reflect the Company’s current views with respect to future events that involve risks and uncertainties. Among others, these risks include the expectation that any of the companies mentioned herein will achieve significant sales, the failure to meet schedule or performance requirements of the companies’ contracts, the companies’ liquidity position, the companies’ ability to obtain new contracts, the emergence of competitors with greater financial resources and the impact of competitive pricing. In the light of these uncertainties, the forward-looking events referred to in this release might not occur.
Alternet Systems, Inc. Contact:
If You’re Not Using a CRM System for Your Small Business, You’re Wasting Time and Money
4 min read
Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.
If you run a business that sells anything—whether it’s home appliances, web design, hand-knit sweaters, pool cleaning, books, dance lessons, you name it—one of the most important things you have to do is generate leads, convert them into actual customers, and then keep them coming back for more. However, when you’re busy with all the other things your business requires, the last thing you need to be doing is manually entering customer information into a database, manually sending followup emails to leads and clients, manually recording customers sales and interactions, manually creating invoices, or manually booking appointments.
Luckily, we have technology to make all that easier. With a robust all-in-one CRM platform like Keap, you can automate all sorts of essential data management, sales, and marketing tasks, so you can grow your business without having to waste precious time on tedious data entry.
What is CRM?
Customer relationship management, or CRM, is a system that businesses use to manage contacts, foster relationships with customers or potential customers, engage in successful marketing, and track leads through the sales pipeline.
The idea behind CRM has its origins in the 1970s and 1980s, when companies first started conducting surveys, collecting customer data, and analyzing it to help improve sales. By the early 1990s, software companies began developing dedicated CRM applications that automated the collection and sorting of customer data, as well as a number of other tasks. These applications became more advanced as technology improved. But because they required a lot of in-house computing power, they were only available to larger, more established businesses .
Luckily, today those technological limitations no longer exist. Instead of buying copies of a program and installing it on an office full of computers, we buy subscriptions to powerful cloud-based apps that can run on a single laptop, tablet, or smartphone from anywhere. As a result, now even small businesses and startups can afford cutting edge CRM tools that can kickstart exponential growth.
Today’s CRM platforms can do more than anyone had ever dreamed. And that brings us to Keap.
Keap CRM, sales, and marketing automation.
The Keap platform was designed to automate customer relationship management, sales, and marketing, so you can get more done in less time.
With Keap, you can automatically add and update contacts, and automatically record every communication and interaction so you know exactly where customers or potential customers are in the sales pipeline. You can also see customer details and easily call up a history of all meetings, payment, quotes, conversations, and emails. Plus contact segmentation lets you apply tags to contacts so you can sort customers and create custom demographics.
Keap also lets you automate sales and marketing communications so nothing slips through the cracks. By using Keap’s simple “when/then” templates, you can generate automatic responses when someone sends an email, fills out a form, or schedules an appointment. You can also create more complicated sequences of automatic email messages that get sent based on time triggers or client interactions.
Need an easy way to create web forms or landing pages and generate automatic quotes and invoices? Looking for online appointment scheduling? Want to create an email marketing campaign to nurture new leads or drive clients to specific promotions, products, or services? Keap can do it all. They send over a billion marketing emails a month with a 20-percent open rate and 13-percent click rate, both of which surpass industry standards. Keap also integrates with other business tools, like social media marketing apps, so everything stays connected. And it comes with a phone line and SMS messaging, so you can connect with clients via text, too.
Go ahead, take a test drive.
Keap offers three different plans at three different price points. And right now, all three are 50-percent off for the first three months. And if you want, you can even try before you buy, because Keap offers a free 14-day trial.
If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner, your time is extremely valuable. Don’t spend it doing things that algorithms can do faster and more efficiently. So take a look at Keap today, and see how their CRM, sales, and marketing automation tools can help grow your business. Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/357920
It’s Time for You to Rise Up!
The founder of the Wake Up Warrior movement discusses the obstacles men are facing and what they can do to overcome them.
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
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1 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Garrett J. White is the founder of Wake Up Warrior, a series of self-help programs for men, including the Warrior Week boot camps. He is also the author of Warrior Book and the host of the podcasts Warrior on Fire, Warrior Wealth and Date Your Wife. These related projects aim to help men achieve success, balance and happiness physically, spiritually, in family and business. In this episode of Leaders Create Leaders, White discusses with host Gerard Adams how he has scaled his business to transform thousands of men’s lives and create a global movement.
White talks about the current state of culture, the importance of certainty compared to information and generational leadership tools. He explains how to face facts, flip the script and play the “Impossible Game.” He also gives tips for becoming a successful speaker and teacher.
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