Tuesday October 10th, 2017


"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 
"The Press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of the government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people."
-- Justice Hugo L. Black
(1886-1971) US Supreme Court Justice

Two NFL teams crack down on take-a-knee protests
Owners of Cowboys, Dolphins cite public perception of disrespect for flag
                 FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, file photo, the Dallas Cowboys, led by owner Jerry Jones, center, take a knee prior to the national anthem and an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, in Glendale, Ariz. ESPN anchor Jemele Hill has been suspended by the network for two weeks for making political statements on social media.  Hill, who is African-American, received criticism from the network last month after referring to President Donald Trump as a "white supremacist."  On Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, Hill targeted Jerry Jones, after the Dallas Cowboys owner stated that players who disrespect the flag would not play for his team.  (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

Faced with a blitz of fan outrage, at least two NFL team owners have clamped down on players refusing to stand for the national anthem, saying the protests have become for many viewers a symbol of disrespect for the flag.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters Sunday that he would bench players who refuse to stand, arguing that the team cannot “give the implication that we tolerate disrespect to the flag. We cannot do that.”

Meanwhile, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, who has applauded taking a knee against racial inequality, said at a pre-game tailgate event that President Trump has flipped the script on players refusing to stand for “The
Star-Spangled Banner.”

“It’s a different dialogue today,” Ross said in the Palm Beach Post. “Whenever you’re dealing with the flag, you’re dealing with something different. [Trump] has changed that whole paradigm of what protest is. I think it’s incumbent upon the players today, because of how the public is looking at it, is to stand and salute the flag.”
NFL Owners Consider Rule Change Requiring Players To Stand...
'MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL' Ratings Fall To Season Low...
JOE NAMATH DEFENDS PROTESTS...


Lawmakers dismiss Trump's strict immigration plan
'It's the job of Congress'
                 Congressional Democrats such as Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez of Illinois say they still see willing partners among some Republicans on immigration reform. (Associated Press/File)

The White House is struggling to get Republicans to sign up to President Trump’s 70-point immigration crackdown plan, with key lawmakers saying that while they appreciate his input, they will take over from here.

Many Republicans chose not to respond at all to Mr. Trump’s plans, which include a border wall, a crackdown on sanctuary cities and a massive rewrite of immigration law to close loopholes that illegal immigrants have used to gain a foothold in the U.S. over the past two decades.

Among lawmakers who did weigh in were southwest border-state Republicans or lawmakers who have been deeply involved in trying to craft a legislative solution to protect Dreamers, the younger illegal immigrants whose fate has moved to the center of the immigration debate on Capitol Hill.



Trump says he will act on health care - with or without Congress

President Trump said Tuesday that he will act on health care with or without Congress.

“Since Congress can’t get its act together on HealthCare, I will be using the power of the pen to give great HealthCare to many people - FAST,” Mr. Trumptweeted.

The health care debate has plagued Republicans since the beginning of the year when they failed to repeal Obamacare “on day one” as promised repeatedly during the campaign.



Pentagon budget divides Republican defense and deficit hawks

Giving Democrat ‘parity’ an edge

Republicans are going to have to decide just how badly they want more defense spending.

With the House and Senate on track to finalize a budget later this month, they are facing another round in the long-running fight between defense hawks, who say the Pentagon needs more funding no matter the cost, and fiscal hawks, who say deficits must be constrained.

President Trump appears to have aligned with the defense folks, demanding a level of Pentagon spending that would breach the 2011 Budget Control Act, which created the budget caps and “sequesters” intended to get debt under control.

Democrats say any defense hike must be met with “parity” — meaning a dollar-for-dollar increase on domestic spending, further deepening deficits.



Harvey Weinstein's Accusers Tell Their Stories
Multiple women share harrowing accounts of sexual assault and harassment by the film executive.
            

Since the establishment of the first studios a century ago, there have been few movie executives as dominant, or as domineering, as Harvey Weinstein. As the co-founder of the production-and-distribution companies Miramax and the Weinstein Company, he helped to reinvent the model for independent films, with movies such as “Sex, Lies, and Videotape,” “The English Patient,” “Pulp Fiction,” “The Crying Game,” “Shakespeare in Love,” and “The King’s Speech.” Beyond Hollywood, he has exercised his influence as a prolific fund-raiser for Democratic Party candidates, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Weinstein combined a keen eye for promising scripts, directors, and actors with a bullying, even threatening, style of doing business, inspiring both fear and gratitude. His movies have earned more than three hundred Oscar nominations, and, at the annual awards ceremonies, he has been thanked more than almost anyone else in movie history, just after Steven Spielberg and right before God.



Puerto Rico huricane damage threatens medication supplies on U.S. mainland

Hurricane damage to Puerto Rico’s pharmaceutical industry could hamper the U.S. mainland’s access to critical medications, including treatments for cancer, diabetes and heart disease, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration says.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb has said the devastation in Puerto Rico could have broad challenges and implications on the medical product manufacturing base on the island. He called it a “critical health issue for Americans” that could have “significant public health consequences.”

On Friday, Dr. Gottlieb issued a statement saying the FDA is keeping a close watch on the most critical medical products and has stepped in to secure fuel to maintain production lines and logistical support.



Bannon Declares War on GOP Establishment


On Monday's edition of Hannity, Breitbart executive chairman and former Trump adviser Steve Bannon talked about his plan to challenge every Republican Senator up for re-election in 2018 in the primary, except Sen. Ted Cruz. Bannon said Republican incumbents have committed "economic hate crimes" against the "forgotten man."

Bannon said he is declaring "war" on the Republican establishment and those that don't back what President Trump ran on. He said there is a "new game in town" and promised to "cut off the oxygen" to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and stop his fundraising for establishment candidates. Bannon said any person running for the Senate in 2018 that wants his support must oppose McConnell as the Republican Leader.

The Breitbart chief gave a warning to all incumbents: "Just voting is not good enough. You have to have a sense of urgency. Nobody is safe. We are coming after all of them and we're going to win."



Trump 'to visit North Korea border next month'
Donald Trump may visit the North Korean border next month when he visits the South, according to defence sources.

The US President will potentially travel to may travel to the Demilitarized Zone on the Korean border in early November when he visits South Korea, a defence source said.

The White House has reportedly sent a team of officials to the Peninsula to check potential sites for Trump's "special activity" when he is there.



American Pravda, NYT: Slanting the News
Nick Dudich, Audience Strategy Editor for NYT Video, Says the Times Slants Anti-Trump News to the Front Page, "Oh, we always do."

Project Veritas has released a video of the New York Times video gatekeeper Nicholas Dudich, who was caught on hidden-camera boasting of his lack of journalistic ethics. Dudich, who serves as Audience Strategy Editor, displays a lack of integrity throughout the video, manages videos which go "on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram" for the Times.

While talking about being objective at the Times, Dudich replies candidly, "No I'm not, that's why I'm here."

Dudich considers himself an important player at the New York Times, telling the Project Veritas Journalist "my voice is on... my imprint is on every video we do."



Having fun with diagnosing the Donald


Witch doctors are not necessarily more skilled than psychiatrists and psychologists, but they’re sometimes harder on the pocketbook. A group of “mental-health professionals” have offered to resolve the Donald Trump “problem” for free. In the learned and precise professional language of their trade, they think he’s “nuts.”

Dr. John Gartner of Baltimore is the leader of a small group of psychiatrists and psychologists who have set out to prove that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

Dr. Gartner, working from a small office rented at the Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital in Charm City, is the leader of a Trump-is-nuts coalition of mental-health professionals they call Duty to Warn. (They’re only doing it for our own good.) They have circulated a petition to encourage whoever reads internet petitions to help remove Mr. Trump as president under the 25th Amendment, which lays out how to remove a president who is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” So far they’ve collected 62,000 signatures, which would be a lot if we were talking about removing a mayor or a state auditor or state land commissioner, but for a president, not so many.



Trump border plan puts Pelosi, Schumer where they belong

President Donald Trump just released his White House’s immigration priorities — and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi aren’t happy.

Good. They shouldn’t be. That means the White House is doing something right.
Trump’s plan calls for a border wall, reduces the anchor baby syndrome, imposes E-verify mandates, hires more (anti-amnesty) immigration officials, and other things.

But here’s what the two Dem leaders cried about the plan in their joint statement: “We told the president at our meeting that we were open to reasonable border security measures alongside the Dream Act, but this list goes so far beyond what is reasonable. This proposal fails to represent any attempt at compromise. The list includes the wall, which was explicitly ruled out of the negotiations.”



"It is discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit."
-- Noel Coward
     (1899-1973) British playwright


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. 

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.



3/14/20017

We Have Met the Enemy…

      
Geoff Metcalf
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
              
--Benjamin Franklin
“The American people must be willing to give up a degree of personal privacy in exchange for safety and security.”
              
--Louis Freeh
In the wake of the clamor over the most recent WikiLeaks data dump, ‘Vault 7’, ‘UMBRAGE’, et al, it should be noted this is not really anything new. What we are seeing here is simply the evolution of something that goes back to the late 50s (to the incomplete best knowledge I have).

It is kinda cool to finally see even the New York Times (www.nytimes.com/2017/03/09/opinion/the-truth-about-the-wikileaks-cia-cache.html?_r=0) acknowledging material I was writing about in 1998 (http://www.wnd.com/1998/04/6108/ ).

In April of 1998 I wrote “Privacy has become an anachronism.” I was commenting on “a massive system designed to intercept all your e-mail, fax traffic and more.” I was explaining ‘Echelon’, the illegitimate offspring of a UKUSA treaty (https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukusa/ ) signed by the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Its purpose was, and is, to have a vast global intelligence monster, which allegedly shares common goals. The system was so “efficient” that reportedly National Security Agency folk from Fort Meade could work from Menwith Hill in England to intercept local communications without either nation having to burden themselves with the formality of seeking approval (a court order) or disclosing the operation. And this was all pre-9/11 and pre-the anti-constitutional ‘Patriot Act’.

It is illegal (without a Judge’s signed permission) for the United States to spy on its citizens … kinda. The laws have long been circumvented by a mutual pact among five nations. Under the terms of UKUSA agreement, Britain spies on Americans and America spies on British citizens, and then the two conspirators trade data. A classic technical finesse. It is legal, but the intent to evade the spirit is inescapable.

I often fictionalized the genesis of ‘Echelon’ as an informal meeting of a group of post war American and British intelligence types drinking in some remote rustic bar. An imagined CIA type complains to his MI6 buddy about the hassles of US laws preventing US intelligence from surveillance of bad guys, and the Brit echoes the same complaint.

“Hey wait a moment mate,” says Nigel, the make-believe MI6 guy, “I can spy on your guys and you can spy on our bad players…why don’t we just come up with a mechanism whereby we spy on your villains, you spy on our villains, and we just ‘share’ the intel?”

This system was called ECHELON, and has been kicking around in some form longer than most of you. The result of the UKUSA treaty signed by the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand was, and is, to have a vast global intelligence monster which allegedly shares common goals.

The London Telegraph reported in December of 1997 that the Civil liberties Committee of the European Parliament had officially confirmed the existence and purpose of ECHELON. “A global electronic spy network that can eavesdrop on every telephone, e-mail and telex communication around the world will be officially acknowledged for the first time in a European Commission report. …”

The report noted: “Within Europe all e-mail, telephone and fax communications are routinely intercepted by the United States National Security Agency, transferring all target information from the European mainland via the strategic hub of London, then by satellite to Fort Meade in Maryland via the crucial hub at Menwith Hill, in the North York moors in the UK.

“The ECHELON system forms part of the UKUSA system but unlike many of the electronic spy systems developed during the Cold War, ECHELON was designed primarily for non-military targets: governments, organizations and businesses in virtually every country.”

An interesting sidebar appeared in the International Herald Tribune under the headline, “Big Corporate Brother: It Knows More About You Than You Think.” The story details Acxiom Corp, which was a humongous information service hidden in the Ozark foothills. Twenty-four hours a day, Acxiom electronically gathered and sorts all kinds of data about 196 million Americans. Credit card transactions and magazine subscriptions, telephone numbers, real estate records, automotive data, hunting, business and fishing licenses, consumer surveys and demographic detail that would make a marketing department’s research manager salivate. This relatively new (legal) enterprise was known as “data warehousing” or “data-mining”, and it underscores the cruel reality that the fiction of personal privacy has become obsolete. Technology’s ability to collect and analyze data has made privacy a quaint albeit interesting dinosaur.

The Tribune reported that “Axciom can often determine whether an American owns a dog or cat, enjoys camping or gourmet cooking, reads the Bible or lots of other books. It can often pinpoint an American’s occupation, car and favorite vacations. By analyzing the equivalent of billions of pages of data, it often projects for its customers who should be offered a credit card or who is likely to buy a computer.”

Most of this information is from y 1998 piece.  Echelon has developed, matured, and morphed into a much more powerful hybrid. ‘Carnivore’ was software to help triage the cacophony of data. Vault 7 and ‘Umbrage’ are logical (some would argue “insidious”) growth.

    More to follow…