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MARCH  13, 2016


Hour 1 "Is This War Yet?"

with former Ambassador Francis Rooney

Hour 2 "Gun Rights vs. Gun Control"

with Shasta County, California Sheriff Tom Bosenko

"Is This War Yet?"


Ambassador Francis Rooney served as U.S. Ambassador to The Holy See from 2005 to 2008, appointed by President George W. Bush and is the author of the book The Global Vatican, which provides an inside look at the Catholic Church, world politics, and the extraordinary relationship between the U.S. and The Holy See. He is a frequent guest commentator providing analysis on national politics and foreign affairs, especially as related to Latin America and the global diplomatic influence of the Holy See. He has appeared on national broadcast and in print publications including USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, CBS This Morning, Fox News, The Washington Post, NPR’s All Things Considered, CNN, Time Magazine, National Catholic Register, National Review, MSNBC Morning Joe, The Hill, Ave Maria Radio, Newsmax, One America Network and the Huffington Post.

Rooney actively performs research and advocacy on foreign affairs, political strategy and economic issues. He is a trustee of The Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, a member of the Council of American Ambassadors, a director of The Trust for the National Mall and Crossroads GPS, all in Washington D.C. He previously served on the 20/20 Committee and Washington Advisory Council for The Center of International Studies.

He is an international business leader with interests in the banking, energy, real estate development and construction sectors. He is chairman of Rooney Holdings, Inc., a diversified investment company, and Manhattan Construction Group, which is engaged in the general building, road, bridge, pipeline and specialty construction segments. He serves on the boards of Mercantil Commercebank, Coral Gables, Florida, Helmerich & Payne, Inc., and Laredo Petroleum, Inc., Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Vetra Energy Group, Bogota, Columbia. He is also a member of the International Advisory Board of the Panama Canal Authority, Republic of Panama. He previously served on the boards of the Diplomatic Council of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), and the Young President’s Organization (YPO), where he served as the International President from 1997 to 1998. He is a founding member of the International Business Forum of Oklahoma.

Rooney currently serves on the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) Executive Finance Board, the Jeb Bush for President Florida Executive Finance Council, and is a co-chair of Catholics for Jeb Bush. He is also a member of the campaign’s Religious Liberty Advisory Committee. He previously served on the Romney for President National Finance Council (2011-2012), and as the national finance chairman for Speaker John Boehner (2010-2015). He has served on executive and finance committees for the RGA and the NRSC.

Rooney is dedicated to advancing higher education initiatives as a board member of The University of Oklahoma College of International Studies, the Rooney Center for American Democracy at the University of Notre Dame and the Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation. He previously served as a trustee at the University of Tulsa and served on several university committees including Faculty and Curriculum, Athletics, Advancement, Building and Grounds, and Student Life.

Ambassador Rooney is a graduate of Georgetown University (A.B. 1975) and Georgetown University Law Center (J.D. 1978), and has honorary degrees from the University of Notre Dame (2006) and the University of Dallas (2010). He is a member of the District of Columbia and Texas Bars and has a U.S. Coast Guard 100 Ton Masters license (Sailing Endorsement). He is married to Kathleen Collins Rooney; they have 3 children and two grandchildren.

The Hill
  Is This War Yet?
  By Ambassador Francis Rooney

Contrary to the constrained and parsed language that the Obama Administration uses to describe the terror radiating from the Middle East, we are at war. The terror attacks in France only underscore this reality. This is a struggle for the values and freedoms the Western world holds dear. The modern secular state where all religious faiths are respected, and the rights of all men and women are to be protected, is under siege. These attacks are neither sporadic “episodes,” nor are they merely criminal. We confront a locally and regionally organized movement with a unifying ideology and global ambitions.

While the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and their ilk are in some ways more complicated than traditional nation states, the underlying ideology has echoes of mid-20th Century fascism. There is tyranny in the beating heart of both movements.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton correctly noted that the enemy are “jihadists,” but shied away from conceding that it is unmistakably and by its own description Islamic. You can argue whether the wave of terror that began with the Iranian Revolution and reached new heights with the Islamic State attacks on France is truly inspired by a perverted interpretation of Islam, or rather the cynical and calculated manipulation of religion for the purpose of hegemonic conquest. Either way, the result is largely the same. The Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and the constellation of Islamic extremist groups that orbit around them have spread fear across the world. They have imposed a significant “security tax” on free societies. And they have seized significant territory across North Africa and the Middle East.


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The question confronting all free societies targeted by these extremists is whether to declare war against those who are waging war against us. If so, what is the best means to mount the kind of wartime response traditionally associated with nation state conflicts?

One possible measure would be an embargo that cuts off extremist held territory in Iraq and Syria from the rest of the world: No cross border movement, no flights in and out, no connection with the global commons. This would essentially treat extremist held territory as a belligerent nation, and it might well entail recognizing the already de facto partition of Iraq and Syria into their Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish regions. Islamic State leaders believe they occupy a Caliphate, so why should they avoid measures that traditionally constrain aggressor nations?

More punishing measures could also target any governments or non-governmental organizations that nurture or support the terrorists, including the governments of many of our Sunni allies in the Middle East. Even indirect or private support for a radical movement that has declared war on the civilized world should carry a heavy cost, one that creates an incentive for these nations to become part of the solution to a problem that is in many respects of their own making. In short, cut off the money, dry up support, and starve the extremist movement.

The plight of innocent people in areas occupied or contested by these extremists is a humanitarian tragedy on an almost incomprehensible scale. While all innocent people driven from their homes or persecuted by these extremists deserve our help and support, the plight of Christians in this regard is unconscionable. The world needs to help all of the displaced persons created from this conflict, but the ultimate answer to their suffering is to stop the wanton violence and destruction so that they can return home.

A good place to start is the “No Fly Zone” and safe corridor in Syria which Governor Jeb Bush and others have endorsed. Such a safe haven could offer a means to bring humanitarian aid to the displaced, stem the current refugee tide, and serve as a base of operations for more moderate forces opposed to the extremists.

This sad chapter in human affairs will pass, but decisions and actions are urgently needed to hasten the day when the Islamic State and its fellow travelers take their rightful place on the ash heap of history, alongside other extremist movements like fascism, imperialism, and communism. As in past wars, free peoples will ultimately prevail so long as free nations stand united against tyranny, recognizing it under whatever black flag it travels. Appeasement and parsed language, such as we have repeatedly seen from the Obama Administration, will not deter hardened jihadists.



From the centuries-long prejudices against Catholics in America, to the efforts of Fascism, Communism and modern terrorist organizations to “break the cross and spill the wine,” this book brings to life the Catholic Church’s role in world history, particularly in the realm of diplomacy. Former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See Francis Rooney provides a comprehensive guide to the remarkable path the Vatican has navigated to the present day, and a first-person account of what that path looks and feels like from an American diplomat whose experience lent him the ultimate insider’s perspective. Part memoir, part historical lesson, The Global Vatican captures the braided nature of religious and political power and the complexities, battles, and future prospects for the relationship between the Holy See and the United States as both face challenges old and new.


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Hour 2 "Gun Rights vs. Gun Control"

with Shasta County, California Sheriff Tom Bosenko





Sheriff Bosenko has over 30 years of active, progressive participation and experience with the Shasta County Sheriff's Office. Prior to his election he was the Patrol Division Captain. His duties included: planning, organizing, directing, and coordinating division activities. Division activities included: patrol operations, school resource officers (Youth Services), D.A.R.E., S.W.A.T., Shasta Anti-Gang Enforcement (SAGE), Safe Streets detail, and K-9 Unit.

As a lieutenant, he commanded the South County/Anderson Patrol Station (largest in the Sheriff's Office) with 26 employees and supervisors. He oversaw the Youth Services Unit and supervised the development of the Safe School Initiative. He also assisted in the development of the Sheriff's Office Community Safety Plan.

As a sergeant, Tom had several assignments which provided development and diversity in preparation for future positions. In addition to patrol operations, he supervised in jail operations and the Community Oriented Police Problem Solving (COPPS) Unit. As administrative sergeant working directly for the sheriff and undersheriff, he developed policies and procedures, conducted research, and investigated personnel matters. Tom has served as a S.W.A.T. member and team leader, dive team member, field training officer (FTO), and K-9 Unit coordinator and handler.

Tom received his bachelor of science degree in Criminology from California State University Fresno in 2000, graduating with high honors. He attended the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Academy in 2001. His academic emphasis at the academy was leadership and organizational management. He completed the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Law Enforcement Command College in 2004. The program focused on organizational leadership skills, knowledge needed to anticipate and prepare for the future, and strategic planning. As a sergeant, Tom completed the POST Supervisory Leadership Institute. He completed the POST Basic Law Enforcement Academy in 1979 and received his associate of arts degree in Administration of Justice from Shasta College in 1978. Tom has earned over 2,500 hours of training from POST and other providers throughout his career. A lifelong learner, he continues with his training and education.