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TODAY
Wednesday February 10th, 2015

"It Is Not A Question of Who Is Right Or Wrong But What Is Right Or Wrong That Counts."
--Geoff Metctalf


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World & National

               



              



Anti-Hillary backlash palpable in N.H.
Independents send message, lift Sanders to victory
          

Independent voters dominate New Hampshire’s electorate, and many of them seemed intent on trying to stop Hillary Clinton from being the Democratic presidential nominee.

The backlash against Mrs. Clinton was palpable at polling stations. Independent voters were allowed to pick their party primary and said they chose the Democratic race to send a message.
 
“I just can’t live with Hillary in office. I can live with Bernie; I can’t live with Hillary,” said Steve Matloff, a 52-year-old from Londonderry. “I can live with almost all of them, to be honest with you.”



Obama celebrates presidency as it unravels

As President Obama travels to Illinois Wednesday to celebrate the beginnings of his presidency, he’s also watching his legacy erode before his very eyes.

On the eve of the president’s nostalgic trip to Springfield, the Supreme Court dealt a stunning blow to his Clean Power Plan Tuesday night, ordering a stay of the EPA’s regulation to cut carbon emissions. White House aides said they were surprised by the ruling and vowed to fight on in federal appeals court.



Chris Christie to suspend presidential campaign

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie plans to issue a statement Wednesday afternoon suspending his presidential campaign, The Washington Times has learned.

The announcement follows a disappointing sixth-place finish in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary, where Mr. Christie was hoping a strong showing would give him more breathing room in a race where the tough-talking governor competed with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida to emerge as the most viable alternative to businessman Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.



Judge orders State Dept. to speed up Hillary emails: 'Unreasonably long'

A federal judge told the State Department to speed up the final release of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails, saying the voting public has an interest in seeing them as the primaries are underway.

Judge Rudolph Contreras said the government is taking an “unreasonably long” time processing the messages and is already more than a week overdue on making them all public — and said he didn’t like being told speeding up could hurt national security.



Supreme Court halts Obama carbon emissions rule

The Supreme Court halted the EPA’s major anti-global warming initiative late Tuesday evening, dealing a major blow to President Obama’s hopes of overseeing a green energy transition in his final year in office.

The 5-4 decision by the court puts the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation on hold while a lower appeals court hears states’ challenge to the rules.



White House Slams Top GOP Lawmakers for Rejecting $4.1-T Budget
  
The White House is going on an offensive push for its hefty $4.1 trillion election-year budget by attacking congressional Republicans for getting entangled in their own budget battles, The Hill reports.

After the administration unveiled its budget wish list Tuesday, Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan fired off a news release calling out strife within the House GOP conference — and warning that top GOP lawmakers who want deeper cuts would "blow up" last fall's $1.1 trillion spending deal.




SKorea Suspends Operations at Joint Factory Park with North

South Korea suspended on Wednesday operations at a jointly run factory park just inside North Korea following the North's long-range rocket launch over the weekend, cutting off an important source of revenue for the impoverished North.

The decision to stop operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex ends the only significant daily interaction across the heavily fortified inter-Korean border.



US Judge Deports Qatar Military Officer Accused of Enslaving Servants

A U.S. judge ordered the immediate deportation on Tuesday of a Qatar military officer and his wife after they were accused of holding two female servants in slave-like conditions in their upscale San Antonio home.

Hassan al-Homoud, 46, who received military training at San Antonio's Camp Bullis, and his wife, Zainab al-Hosani, a citizen of the United Arab Emirates, pleaded guilty to federal charges in December.



Bill Maher: Political correctness could cost Democrats the election

Late-night comedian Bill Maher argued Wednesday that political correctness could cost the Democrats this presidential election, specifically their refusal to utter the phrase “Islamic terrorism.”

The “Real Time With Bill Maher” host penned a lengthy essay for The Hollywood Reporter, weighing in on the current political landscape and praising presidential candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders for their willingness to tell it like it is.

“No one thought a politician could survive, much less stay in the lead for as long as Trump has, based on a campaign of braggadocio and utter contempt for political correctness,” Mr. Maher wrote in his 3,500-word essay. “But the younger generation is leading a movement to prize authenticity above all. Trump is a petulant child, but at least that’s real, they seem to be saying. Bernie, too, is as real as real gets.




Winning an unconventional war
Disadvantage goes to the side that abides by the Geneva Conventions


War is — and always will be — hell. The Law of Armed Conflict is not meant to change that — only to make it a little less hellish. There are weapons you agree not to use. In exchange, your enemy doesn’t use those weapons against you. You treat captured combatants humanely. You expect the same when your soldiers are taken prisoner.

It’s a rational and enlightened concept and, in the global war of the 21st century, it has failed spectacularly. Those who call themselves jihadis feel bound only by their reading of Islamic law — not by the Geneva Conventions and other international obligations and restrictions.




The military's malaise
Defense policy run by the White House is faulty

There’s a cloud of malaise worthy of Jimmy Carter that has settled over the nation’s military. The man who should be able to clear away the cloud, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, won’t be able to do anything about it.

The causes of this malaise are plainly evident, lying by the side of the political road like burned-out cars. They are the accumulated wreckage of seven years of failed policies, indecision and inaction.



               Medal of Honor
 Army Medal of Honor

The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States.
GeneTrerally presented to its recipient by the President of the United States of America in the name of Congress.
The first award of the Medal of Honor was made March 25, 1863 to Private JACOB PARROTT.The last award of the Medal of Honor was made September 15, 2011 to Sergeant DAKOTA MEYER.

Since then there have been:  • 3458 recipients of the Medal of Honor.
    • Today there are 85 Living Recipients of the Medal of Honor.

VERSACE, HUMBERT R.
'Rocky'
Rank: Captain
Organization: U.S. Army
Date of Issue: 07/08/2002
VERSACE, HUMBERT R. Photo
Citation

Captain Humbert R. Versace distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism during the period of 29 October 1963 to 26 September 1965, while serving as S-2 Advisor, Military Assistance Advisory Group, Detachment 52, Ca Mau, Republic of Vietnam. While accompanying a Civilian Irregular Defense Group patrol engaged in combat operations in Thoi Binh District, An Xuyen Province, Captain Versace and the patrol came under sudden and intense mortar, automatic weapons, and small arms fire from elements of a heavily armed enemy battalion. As the battle raged, Captain Versace, although severely wounded in the knee and back by hostile fire, fought valiantly and continued to engage enemy targets. Weakened by his wounds and fatigued by the fierce firefight, Captain Versace stubbornly resisted capture by the over-powering Viet Cong force with the last full measure of his strength and ammunition. Taken prisoner by the Viet Cong, he exemplified the tenets of the Code of Conduct from the time he entered into Prisoner of War status. Captain Versace assumed command of his fellow American soldiers, scorned the enemy's exhaustive interrogation and indoctrination efforts, and made three unsuccessful attempts to escape, despite his weakened condition which was brought about by his wounds and the extreme privation and hardships he was forced to endure. During his captivity, Captain Versace was segregated in an isolated prisoner of war cage, manacled in irons for prolonged periods of time, and placed on extremely reduced ration. The enemy was unable to break his indomitable will, his faith in God, and his trust in the United States of America. Captain Versace, an American fighting man who epitomized the principles of his country and the Code of Conduct, was executed by the Viet Cong on 26 September 1965. Captain Versace's gallant actions in close contact with an enemy force and unyielding courage and bravery while a prisoner of war are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect the utmost credit upon himself and the United States Army.



From the Archives

American Fairness to a Fault — a Deadly One
Tuesday, 10 Nov 2009 02:28 PM

American’s tragic flaw is our unbridled fairness, which has been corrupted ever more by the cancer of political correctness to the point we put ourselves at risk rather than create even the perception of prejudice.

Sometime after the VOLAR (all volunteer) Army, the military veered from the “yes sir, yes sir, three bags full” blind adherence to all orders to the concept of refusing “unlawful orders” and that was ostensibly a good thing.

However, the uniformed services do not set or get to pick and choose foreign policy. The civilian leadership sets foreign policy, and the U.S. military enforces it — with a big, honking combined arms stick.

Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters has been one of the rare pundits with the courage to target the “culture of political correctness” in leadership of the military. In at least two interviews on Fox, Peters (correctly) blamed the culture of political correctness for the Army’s diffidence in taking action against Nidal Malik Hasan in the wake of knowledge of the problem.

Many mechanisms exist for dealing with matters of deep conscience — all without killing those one might think disagree with in principle.

However, it is not prejudice to discriminate based on threat facts in evidence. Refusal to act judiciously for fear of a tainted perception is just plain dumb.

Notwithstanding the articulated fears of the Army chief of staff and the secretary of Homeland Security, officials made an epic mistake in handling suspicions about Hasan. A mistake founded on political correctness and sustained by diffidence that cost the lives of innocents.

Reportedly, U.S. intelligence agencies were aware (months ago) that Hasan was attempting to make contact with people associated with al-Qaida. He spoke openly to too many people about his angst and misdirected sympathies. He was apparently a poster child for suspicion, and the Army failed bigtime to intervene.

“It is not known whether the intelligence agencies informed the Army that one of its officers was seeking to connect with suspected al-Qaida figures," the officials said.

But you damnbetcha they SHOULD have done so.

Investigators want to know whether Hasan maintained contact with a radical mosque leader from Virginia, Anwar al Awlaki, who now lives in Yemen and runs a Web site that promotes jihad around the world against the United States.

In a recent blog posting titled "Nidal Hassan Did the Right Thing," Awlaki calls Hasan a "hero" and a "man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people."

Increasingly we are told people who knew or worked with Hasan say he seemed to become gradually more radical in his condemnation of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Subordinates and superiors had a responsibility to flag the inappropriate rhetoric, and they apparently did not.

The fear to speak out is a symptom of the PC disease fueled by recriminations and implied threats of discrimination — a fear that indirectly resulted in mayhem.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman said, "If Hasan was showing signs, saying to people that he had become an Islamist extremist, the U.S. Army has to have a zero tolerance," and despite the echo of shutting the barn door after the horse got out, he is right.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey Jr. is concerned that speculation about the religious beliefs of Hasan could “cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers.” He’s right, but such a backlash would be a direct result of the failure of command — not prejudice.

When confronted about whether he thought the Army “dropped the ball” in not responding to warning signs, Casey replied that the Army needs to be careful not to jump to conclusions based on early tidbits of information.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R.-S.C., and Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., both of whom are veterans, took pains to say that Muslims have served honorably in the military and at risk to their lives.

“At the end of the day, this is not about his religion — the fact that this man was a Muslim,” Graham said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

But, hey, it is (kinda/sorta) about religion (when the FBI says 10 percent of American Mosques preach jihad) — at least from a risk analysis perspective.


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