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TODAY
Tuesday October 21st 2014

"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     

America Air Dropped Weapons to ISIS?
In a new video, ISIS shows American-made weapons it says were intended for the Kurds but actually were air dropped into territory they control.
                

At least one bundle of U.S. weapons airdropped in Syria appears to have fallen into the hands of ISIS, a dangerous misfire in the American mission to speed aid to Kurdish forces making their stand in Kobani.

An ISIS-associated YouTube account posted a new video online Tuesday entitled, “Weapons and munitions dropped by American planes and landed in the areas controlled by the Islamic State in Kobani.” The video was also posted on the Twitter account of “a3maq news,” which acts as an unofficial media arm of ISIS. The outfit has previously posted videos of ISIS fighters firing American made Howitzer cannons and seizing marijuana fields in Syria.

ISIS had broadly advertised its acquisition of a broad range of U.S.-made weapons during its rampage across Iraq. ISIS videos have showed its fighters driving U.S. tanks, MRAPs, Humvees. There are unconfirmed reports ISIS has stolen three fighter planes from Iraqi bases it conquered.



Oscar Pistorius Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison

                

With a judge seeking to strike a balance between mercy and retribution, Oscar Pistorius, the South African track star, was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

The athlete’s defense team said the law under which he was punished calls for him to serve only one-sixth of the prison term — 10 months — before he can be placed on house arrest. He was also given a suspended three-year term on separate firearms charges.



Senate Control Could Rest On One of the Reddest Of Red States

Republican leaders have a new regular stop on their travel schedules these days.

Iowa. New Hampshire. And Kansas?

On this crisp October day, US Sen. Pat Roberts has brought in another member of the Republican Party's all-star campaign team to stand by his side and rally his base. Sens. Ted Cruz and Tom Coburn, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Kansas' own former senator Bob Dole have all shown up for an appearance with a friend in trouble.



Suspected spies arrested near Iran nuke plant

Iranian security services have arrested several suspected spies in the southern province of Bushehr where the country's first nuclear power plant is located, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Tuesday.

Iran has repeatedly cited signs of what it calls foreign plots to sabotage its nuclear program, which world powers fear could be put to developing an atomic bomb capability and are seeking to curb through high-level negotiations, with a deadline of November 24 for an accord.



Former Police Chief Speaks on Latest Michael Brown Shooting Info

Information about the Michael Brown fatal police shooting is beginning to leak out, and former St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch says it’s no accident the feds are allowing the information.

Fitch discussed a New York Times article indicating, according to federal investigators, there was a struggle that led up to the fatal police shooting of Brown, with KMOX’s Mark Reardon on Monday.

Fitch calls the information from the investigation coming out as phase two – to “coordinate leaks to the media, and to start getting some of the facts out there to kind of let people down slowly,” he says. “When I say this is phase two – phase one was really Eric Holder’s announcement how they were going to basically do a complete review and take over the Ferguson Police Department.”



North Korea releases one of three Americans held captive
 
The North Korean government has released Jeffrey Fowle, one of three Americans being held captive there, the White House confirmed Tuesday.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest praised the development, but also called on North Korea to release two other Americans, Matthew Miller and Kenneth Bae. "The United States government will continue to work actively on their cases," he said.

Fowle, a 56-year-old city worker from Miamisburg, Ohio, traveled to North Korea in April on a tourist visa and was detained by state police in May after allegedly leaving a Bible at a nightclub.



Governor signs law in response to Abu-Jamal commencement address

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has signed into law a measure he says is intended to curb the "obscene celebrity" he says is cultivated by convicts like Mumia Abu-Jamal, who is serving a life sentence for the 1981 killing of a Philadelphia police officer.

The new law would let prosecutors or victims of violent crimes go to court to seek an injunction or other relief when an offender's conduct "perpetuates the continuing effect of the crime."



U.S. existing home sales at one-year high, prices up

U.S. home resales raced to a one-year high in September, the latest indication the housing market recovery is gradually getting back on track.

A separate report on Tuesday showed service sector activity in the nation's mid-Atlantic region picked up speed this month, another signal suggesting underlying strength in the economy.

The National Association of Realtors said existing home sales increased 2.4 percent to an annual rate of 5.17 million units, the strongest reading since September of last year.



US Orders W. Africa Travelers to Enter at One of Five Airports

Everyone coming to the United States from the three West African countries at the center of the Ebola outbreak will now be screened for the deadly disease at one of five airports, the Homeland Security Department said Tuesday.

Earlier this month, Customs and Border Protection officers at New York's Kennedy, Newark Liberty, Washington's Dulles, Chicago's O'Hare and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta airports started screening people arriving from West Africa. The screening includes using no-touch thermometers to determine if travelers have a temperature, one symptom of a possible Ebola infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also working with DHS on the screening.


'Ridiculous' Mismanagement by US Government

Sen. Chuck Grassley says a report that taxpayers shelled out nearly a billion dollars to federal workers sent home on paid leave while being probed for misbehavior shows "ridiculous" mismanagement by the government and must be stopped.

Over a three-year period ending last fall, taxpayers paid 57,000 civilian employees from various agencies some $775 million in salaries, according to The Washington Post, which cited a Government Accountability Office report.



GOP Control of Senate May Open Way to Immigration Reform

In one of the races that could decide who controls the Senate, Kentucky Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is adopting an anti-immigration stance, even drawing the ire of national immigration reform groups with an ad touting the fact she has "never supported amnesty or benefits for illegal immigrants and I never will," reports the Lexington Herald-Leader.

But if Grimes loses and Republicans gain the majority in the Senate, some believe the odds of passing immigration reform will improve.



From patron saint to pariah: how Barack Obama became toxic for Democrats
With midterm elections only two weeks away, Democrat candidates are doing something they never would have dreamed of in 2008: distancing themselves from President Barack Obama

Six years after Barack Obama helped Democrats to a slew of surprising electoral victories in Republican states, pollsters and pundits alike agree that the once-charismatic US president has become an electoral liability in November’s mid-term elections.

It has been a stunning reversal of fortunes for Mr Obama, whose celebrity status helped get Democrats elected in several Republican states in 2008 – states which the party is now desperately struggling to defend.

Republicans need to take back six Democrat Senate seats in order to regain control of the 100-member upper chamber, a result that would give them control of both houses of Congress and leave Mr Obama, who is already verging on lame duck status, even further isolated.



A post-Holder Justice Department worthy of the name


Watergate-era misconduct and politicization at the Department of Justice shattered public trust in a once-venerated institution by 1975. The urgent task of restoring Justice fell to Edward H. Levi, a respected former law professor and president of the University of Chicago. Levi’s intellect, integrity and temperament returned the department to its position as America’s most respected federal law enforcement agency.

Cardozo Law professor Edward A. Zelinsky recently urged President Obama to “nominate another Ed Levi” to head the Justice Department but concluded “that nothing comparable to Watergate has transpired in recent years.” Yet, the challenges facing today’s Justice Department are unsettlingly similar to those confronted by then-Attorney General Levi, who died in 2000.



A new, unimproved Ebola czar
When technocrats fail, Obama reaches for a bureaucrat

Liberian health care workers have threatened to strike unless they receive higher pay for working with Ebola patients. Their counterparts in Spain and in this country are balking at the idea of caring for Ebola patients regardless of the pay.

Meanwhile, it’s estimated that more than 400 doctors, nurses and other caregivers have been infected in West Africa and that many of them have died. Two nurses in Dallas are infected, and others are being watched after coming into contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian now listed as our “patient zero.” They may or may not survive, but they know, as do all who risk infection, that nearly 70 percent of those who contract Ebola will die a very unpleasant death.



Peggy Noonan's Blog
Daily declarations from the Wall Street Journal columnist.

Saturday morning I was thinking of Pascal, as who was not. He had a mordant observation about the physicians of his time. Doctors in those days dressed fancy—long robes, tall hats. From memory: Why do doctors wear tall hats? Because they can’t cure you.

Why do public health officials speak in public as they do, with the plonking bureaucratic phrases and the air of windy evasion? Because they can’t cure you. Because they don’t really know what they’re doing. I think they are reassured by their voices, like children who wake up from a nightmare and say in the darkness, “That’s not true.”

In his Saturday radio address, the subject of which was Ebola, the president warned the public against “hysteria.”




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.

PETRY, LEROY A. Photo

PETRY, LEROY A.

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Organization: U.S. Army
Company: Company D
Division: 2d Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
Place / Date: 26 May 2008, Paktya Province, Afghanistan

Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty: Staff Sergeant Leroy A. Petry distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy in the vicinity of Paktya Province, Afghanistan, on May 26, 2008. As a Weapons Squad Leader with D Company, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Staff Sergeant Petry moved to clear the courtyard of a house that potentially contained high-value combatants. While crossing the courtyard, Staff Sergeant Petry and another Ranger were engaged and wounded by automatic weapons fire from enemy fighters. Still under enemy fire, and wounded in both legs, Staff Sergeant Petry led the other Ranger to cover. He then reported the situation and engaged the enemy with a hand grenade, providing suppression as another Ranger moved to his position. The enemy quickly responded by maneuvering closer and throwing grenades. The first grenade explosion knocked his two fellow Rangers to the ground and wounded both with shrapnel. A second grenade then landed only a few feet away from them. Instantly realizing the danger, Staff Sergeant Petry, unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his safety, deliberately and selflessly moved forward, picked up the grenade, and in an effort to clear the immediate threat, threw the grenade away from his fellow Rangers. As he was releasing the grenade it detonated, amputating his right hand at the wrist and further injuring him with multiple shrapnel wounds. Although picking up and throwing the live grenade grievously wounded Staff Sergeant Petry, his gallant act undeniably saved his fellow Rangers from being severely wounded or killed. Despite the severity of his wounds, Staff Sergeant Petry continued to maintain the presence of mind to place a tourniquet on his right wrist before communicating the situation by radio in order to coordinate support for himself and his fellow wounded Rangers. Staff Sergeant Petry's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service, and reflect great credit upon himself, 75th Ranger Regiment, 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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