Wednesday June 21st, 2017

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

Updated hrs
              


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

Georgia race provides a wake-up call
        

For all the money spent and the endless pre-election analysis about the meaning of it all, the special congressional election in Georgia’s 6th District produced a status quo result. Republican Karen Handel held on to a seat long held by the Republicans. For both parties, there are lessons to be learned.

Any House race that generates $50 million in spending — it was the costliest in history — is hardly a generic laboratory, and therefore the results are subject to over interpretation. In the fevered atmosphere that surrounded this contest in suburban Atlanta, it’s easy to lose sight of fundamentals. This was a district that Democrats have rarely won — in congressional races, Senate races or state races.

That meant, when stripped of all the hype, the odds always were, narrowly, in Handel’s direction. She was an almost ideal candidate for the district. Her Democratic opponent, Jon Ossoff, who did not even live in the district, was not. The late polls showed a tight race but gave Ossoff a slight edge (within the margin of error). Handel did better than the polls showed.



Planned Parenthood spent $734,000 in failed Georgia race

Jon Ossoff lost the House race in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District despite receiving nearly three-quarters of $1 million from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

With $734,000 in campaign contributions, the abortion giant was the second-biggest spender on the Democratic side of the ledger — only trailing the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which poured $4.9 million into the race.

Mr. Ossoff raised a historic $23 million to try to pick off the seat vacated by former Rep. Tom Price, who was appointed to head the Department of Health and Human Services by President Trump.

But he lost to pro-life Republican Karen Handel by nearly 4 points.



Why Ossoff Lost

Despite the opposition Trump has galvanized, the Democrats still haven’t figured out how to win in the places they’re trying to stage a comeback.

Around midnight, hours after their candidate conceded he had lost the Most Important Special Election in History, the last remaining supporters of Jon Ossoff took over the stage where he had recently stood. One of them waved a bottle of vodka in the air. Together, they took up the time-honored leftist chant: “This is what democracy looks like!”

Sometimes, this is indeed what democracy looks like: you get outvoted.

Democrats were counting on Ossoff, the boy wonder of Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District, to deliver the proof that, with Donald Trump in the White House, there was no limit to their political potential. But after a frenzied two-month runoff campaign between Ossoff and his Republican opponent, Karen Handel, the Democrat wound up with about the same proportion of the vote—48 percent—as Hillary Clinton got here in November. If this race was a referendum on Trump, the president won it.



Pelosi faces growing doubts among Dems
There's a lot of grumbling by rank-and-file members, but no leadership change is imminent.
            Nancy Pelosi is pictured. | Getty

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats put a brave face on Wednesday morning after a disappointing loss in the Georgia special election, yet there is no disguising the unhappiness in the party ranks.

There is no challenge to Pelosi’s leadership, and none is going to happen at this point, said numerous Democrats. But it's clear frustration is growing with the longtime Democratic leader following the extensive losses Democrats have suffered over the last half-decade.

And the fact that Republicans spent millions of dollars on TV ads tying Democratic hopeful Jon Ossoff to Pelosi — and the brand of progressive policies she represents — shows that she will once against be an issue for Democratic challengers in the very seats that the party needs to win to make her speaker again.



'Terrorist' knifeman 'shouting Allahu Akbar' stabs cop in neck at airport


The FBI is investigating the stabbing of a police officer at Flint, Michigan's Bishop Airport as a 'possible act of terror,' according to reports.

A Canadian man yelling 'Allahu Akbar' repeatedly stabbed the officer including in the neck at the airport on Wednesday morning, witnesses told NBC News.

The saying means 'God is great' in Arabic, and is often shouted by Islamic terrorists before attacks or suicide bombings.



Jeh Johnson: 'Putin Himslef Orchestrated Cyberattacks'?


A sinister portrait of Russia's cyberattacks on the U.S. emerged Wednesday as current and former U.S. officials told Congress Moscow stockpiled stolen information and selectively disseminated it during the 2016 presidential campaign to undermine the American political process.

The Russians "used fake news and propaganda and they also used online amplifiers to spread the information to as many people as possible," Bill Priestap, the FBI's top counterintelligence official, told the Senate Intelligence committee.

While he said the Russians had conducted covert operations targeting past American elections, the internet "has allowed Russia to do so much more" than before. But, he added, the "scale and aggressiveness" was different this time, with the primary goal being to sow discord and aid the candidacy of Republican Donald Trump, the eventual winner.



Dershowitz: Democrats' Focus on Trump 'Crimes' Will Backfire


Democrats' focus on determining what crimes can be found against President Donald Trump will eventually backfire on them, just like when Republicans "overplayed" their hand against former President Bill Clinton, Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said Wednesday.

"Democrats don't win by trying to make a criminal out of their president," Dershowitz told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program, noting that when either side overplays its hand, it causes them to forget their positive agendas.

A few weeks ago, some Democrats in Congress were starting to talk about impeaching Trump, but much of the talk has stopped, and people who do not support the president are starting to speak differently, he said.



South Korea confirms drone discovered in June was from North Korea
          Photo

South Korea's military said on Wednesday a drone found earlier this month on a mountain near the Demilitarised Zone border was confirmed to have been from North Korea and described it as a "grave provocation" that violated the Korean War truce.

The drone crashed while returning to the North and was found equipped with a camera and aerial photographs of a U.S. anti-missile defence system site in a southern region of South Korea, South Korean officials told a briefing.

The origin and flight path of the drone were confirmed in an analysis of the onboard computer and camera, South Korea's defense ministry and military officials told the briefing.



Next up: A special counsel to probe Team Obama's obstruction of justice

By using fired FBI Director James Comey to attack the new Republican administration, Democrats have opened up a legal can of worms for the Obama administration.

Under sworn questioning, Comey has veered off the topic of President Trump and Russia and revealed several damning incidents in which his predecessor’s administration politically interfered in the Hillary Clinton email investigation. And now the Senate will investigate Team Obama for obstruction of justice.

Specifically, the Senate Judiciary Committee announced last week it will hold hearings to “examine then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s involvement in the Clinton email server investigation.”



Camille Paglia Blames Dems for Destroying Journalism


Tuesday on Sean Hannity’s nationally syndicated radio show, author and University of the Arts professor of humanities and media studies Camille Paglia railed against the current state of journalism in America.

Paglia called what she said the Democratic Party had done to journalism “absolutely grotesque” and warned it would take decades to recover.

“I’m a professor of media studies, in addition to a professor of humanities, OK?” she continued. “And I think it’s absolutely grotesque the way my party has destroyed journalism. Right now, it is going to take decades to recover from this atrocity that’s going on where the news media have turned themselves over to the most childish fraternity, kind of buffoonish behavior.”



The fallacy of 'unhealthy competition'

Liberals press the idea to free young people from the reality of sometimes coming in second

Just when you thought liberals were focusing only on destroying our government, there is now ample evidence that fellow travelers have been working diligently to destroy the ideas and dreams of our young people.

With the establishment of the Department of Education, former President Jimmy Carter gave the liberal scourge of hopelessness an open door to assault not just the future, but also the free, competitive and creative minds of youth everywhere.

The latest symptom of an educational system abandoning its young charges has been met with some humor but should also be received with concern: According to a survey by Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy of 1,000 adults 18 years and older, “a full 48 percent of respondents said that they aren’t sure where chocolate milk comes from,” Food & Wine magazine reported.

"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…