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Thursday May 26th, 2016

"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

Trump Clinches Republican Nomination for President

Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign.

Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention. Among them is Oklahoma GOP chairwoman Pam Pollard.




Trump suggests Democrats will dump 'crooked' Hillary for Joe Biden
Bernie Sanders holds fire after damning IG report on former Secretary of State’s emails
       Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said things are getting so bad for Hillary Clinton politically that Democrats may use their convention to try to dump her and recruit Vice President Joseph R. Biden as their nominee. (Associated Press)

Donald Trump said Wednesday that an inspector general’s finding that Hillary Clinton’s email broke State Department rules was “not good,” and he renewed his attack on the former Cabinet official as “crooked.”

But Sen. Bernard Sanders, Mrs. Clinton’s first hurdle on her path to the White House, took a different path, signaling he would not use the devastating report to impugn the front-runner in the Democratic primary race.

The inspector general concluded that Mrs. Clinton broke department rules by not storing the records, by not reporting attempted hacks of her server and by sending sensitive information over her own devices and through her server.

















Air Force Special Ops Command: AC-130s with laser weapons in 2020
        ** FILE ** AC-130H Spectre. (U.S. Air Force)

Air Force Special Operations Command will be outfitting AC-130 gunships with laser weapons by the end of the decade.

A two-part study launched by the Air Force and Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren in Virginia demonstrated the viability of using commercially available technology to give special operations forces upgraded AC-130J “Ghostrider” aircraft.



Hillary broke rules with secret server
            

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did break her department’s rules by setting up her own secret email server, the inspector general concluded in a report sent to Congress on Wednesday that says she failed to report hacking attempts and waved off warnings that she should switch to a more official email account.

Inspector General Steve Linick, appointed by President Obama, said he couldn’t find any evidence that Mrs. Clinton received approval for her odd email arrangement, and when lower-level staffers pressed the issue, saying she was skirting open-records laws, they were ordered “never to speak of the secretary’s personal email system again.”



Airport screening made 70,000 miss American Airlines flights this year

Airport screening delays have caused more than 70,000 American Airlines (AAL.O) customers and 40,000 checked bags to miss their flights this year, an executive for the airline told a U.S. congressional subcommittee on Thursday.

A shortage of staff and a surge in air travelers have created a nightmare scenario for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA), with airport wait times in places like Chicago stretching beyond two hours.

While TSA is taking steps to shorten lines such as hiring more full-time officers, it lacks the staffing to handle peak travel times this summer, Administrator Peter Neffenger said on Wednesday.



Gawker Media exploring options...including potential sale

Gawker Media is exploring strategic options, including a potential sale, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Gawker, a media brand known for its edgy online content, has also hired investment banker Mark Patricof of Houlihan Lokey to review its options, a source told the Journal, as a high-profile legal fight with wrestler and entertainer Hulk Hogan continues.

"We've always said we expect to prevail on appeal, and we've always said we're exploring contingency plans of various sorts, so that's not new," Gawker told CNBC.
Nick Denton, Gawker Media



Elderly Christian woman stripped naked and paraded through streets by mob
The 300-strong mob of Muslim men in rural Egypt also burned down seven homes belonging to Orthodox Coptic families, over rumours of an affair between a local Christian man and a Muslim woman

In this file photo, a Coptic Christian grieves during prayers for the departed after the EgyptAir crash, at Al-Boutrossiya Church, the main Coptic Cathedral complex, in Cairo, Egypt AP
A 70-year-old Christian woman has been stripped naked, beaten and paraded through the streets by a mob of around 300 Muslim men in a village in southern Egypt.

The mob also burned down seven homes belonging to Christian families, according to an unusually outspoken statement issued by the local Orthodox Coptic church, after rumours circulated in the village that a Christian man was having a relationship with a Muslim woman.

The violence started at around 8pm on 20 May, and the local diocese said it was two hours before police responded, by which point the mob had already dispersed.



Obama races to cement the big Pacific Rim trade deal that all his optential successors oppose

President Obama is racing against the clock to cement a massive Pacific Rim trade deal that all of his potential successors oppose, with his administration eyeing a looming fight on Capitol Hill while starting to implement as much of the complicated pact as it can.

The effort begins in Vietnam, where Obama spent the last three days touting the merits of the 12-nation Trans Pacific Partnership, which would link 40% of the global economy, and reassuring Vietnamese leaders key to the deal that Congress will ultimately overcome the thorny politics of trade and ratify the agreement.



China to send nuclear-armed submarines into Pacific amid tensions iwth US
Beijing risks stoking new arms race with move although military says expansion of the US missile defence has left it with no choice

The Chinese military is poised to send submarines armed with nuclear missiles into the Pacific Ocean for the first time, arguing that new US weapons systems have so undermined Beijing’s existing deterrent force that it has been left with no alternative.

Chinese military officials are not commenting on the timing of a maiden patrol, but insist the move is inevitable.

They point to plans unveiled in March to station the US Thaad anti-ballistic system in South Korea, and the development of hypersonic glide missiles potentially capable of hitting China less than an hour after launch, as huge threats to the effectiveness of its land-based deterrent force.



Virginia Governor Invited Chinese Donor to Hillary Home

The Chinese businessman whose donations to Terry McAuliffe are being probed by the Justice Department was once invited by the Virginia governor to Hillary Clinton's home, Time reports.

The magazine says Chinese national Wang Wenliang attended the 2013 event for a McAuliffe fundraiser at the Washington, D.C., residence of the future 2016 Democratic presidential candidate and "briefly shook [her] hand."

Wang — whose business interests include a construction firm and a soybean export business — made a $60,000 contribution to McAuliffe's gubernatorial campaign three weeks before the event, according to Time.



Brexit Puts Britain at a Crossroads

Sixty-five years ago, what has become the European Union was an embryo conceived in fear. It has been stealthily advanced from an economic to a political project, and it remains enveloped in a watery utopianism even as it becomes more dystopian.

The EU's economic stagnation — in some of the 28 member nations, youth unemployment approaches 50 percent — is exacerbated by its regulatory itch and the self-inflicted wound of the euro, a common currency for radically dissimilar nations.

The EU is floundering amid mass migration, the greatest threat to Europe's domestic tranquility since 1945.



Make trade, not war
Nations that do business together generally don’t fight each other

In this most unusual of election cycles, American voters appear to be sorting out into two rival camps that are more complicated than the usual left-right divide. A large number of Democratic voters are threatening to go Republican. Many Republicans are threatening to do the same for the Democrats.

One of these political camps, sometimes called “globalists” or name-called the “neocons,” is in favor of both more war and more trade. The other camp, who prefer to be called “populists” and are derided as “isolationists,” are generally against war but also extremely skeptical of free trade.

It seems to me that both camps of voters are wrong in a ways that are bad for America and also toxic to the peace of nations. Let me explain.



Hillary's inexcusable, willful disregard for the rules: Washington Post

HILLARY CLINTON’S use of a private email server while secretary of state from 2009 to 2013 has been justifiably criticized as an error of judgment. What the new report from the State Department inspector general makes clear is that it also was not a casual oversight. Ms. Clinton had plenty of warnings to use official government communications methods, so as to make sure that her records were properly preserved and to minimize cybersecurity risks. She ignored them.

The 83-page report declares that “beginning in late 2005 and continuing through 2011,” the department revised its Foreign Affairs Manual and “issued various memoranda specifically discussing the obligation to use Department systems in most circumstances and identifying the risks of not doing so.” Ms. Clinton didn’t.


   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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