Police manned checkpoints in quarantined towns, governments issued
travel warnings and more flights were suspended Tuesday as officials
desperately sought to stop the seemingly inevitable spread of a new
Clusters of the illness continued to balloon outside mainland China,
fueling apprehension across the globe that was reflected in sagging
The crisis pushed into areas seen as among the worst-equipped to deal
with an outbreak as well as some of the world’s richest nations,
including South Korea and Italy. As it proliferates, the virus is
bringing a sense of urgency for local officials determined to contain
it but often unsure how.
Harvey Weinstein’s victims, and those who believe them, finally got
their Hollywood ending: The dethroned Hollywood mogul led out of a
courtroom in handcuffs.
On Monday, after nearly a week of deliberations, the jury returned
their verdict: Guilty on two counts, rape and a criminal sex act.
Weinstein, who spent his evenings and weekends throughout the trial
partying, his days bantering with press and ignoring admonitions by his
trial judge, was immediately remanded to jail.
President Donald Trump said Tuesday that Supreme Court Justices Sonia
Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg should recuse themelves from any
cases related to his administration because of comments they have made.
Speaking during a press conference in New Delhi with Indian Prime
Minister Narendra Modi, Trump said, "I just don't know how they cannot
recuse themselves for anything Trump or Trump related."
Trump claimed Ginsburg "went wild" during the 2016 campaign with
criticism of him. Ginsburg told CNN at the time that Trump had "no
consistency about him." She said Trump "says whatever comes to his head
at the moment" and called him a "faker." She later apologized for the
The unexpected death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on the day
of the 2016 Republican debate in South Carolina made the high court a
top issue in the race and ultimately rallied conservative voters to
help put Donald Trump in the White House.
This time, as 2020 Democratic hopefuls prepare to take the debate stage
in Charleston, South Carolina, the tilt of the Supreme Court is barely
a blip on the radar.
Some primary candidates have suggested the idea of court-packing, but
the issue of potential Supreme Court vacancies hasn’t been raised much
— if at all — in the nine debates the Democratic Party has held.
Republican senators slipped out of the Oregon State Capitol on Monday,
preventing the state Senate from convening in an attempt to doom a bill
aimed at stemming global warming. The walkout was a repeat of action
the GOP took last year to kill similar climate change legislation, a
maneuver that prompted threats of having state police forcibly return
lawmakers to the Statehouse.
The walkout threatens to derail the main legislation that Democrats had
hoped to pass during a 35-day session: A bill to limit greenhouse gas
emissions that threaten the planet.
Democratic Gov. Kate Brown accused the Republican lawmakers of “being
against the Democratic process.” The minority Republicans staged two
walkouts last year, leading Senate President Peter Courtney to request
Brown to order the state police to bring the missing lawmakers back.
This time, though, Courtney said he won’t involve the state police.
The black mayor of Columbia, South Carolina, is offering Democrats a
dire warning: If Sen. Bernard Sanders wins the party’s presidential
nomination, they can kiss beating President Trump and controlling
either chamber of Congress goodbye.
Despite Michael Bloomberg’s poor debate performance last week, Columbia
Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin said the best way to prevent Mr. Sanders from
claiming the nomination is for the party to rally behind the former New
York City mayor, which will become the clear path forward if South
Carolina delivers a death blow to former Vice President Joseph R.
Biden’s stumbling bid.
“If the vice president doesn’t overperform the way that he has
promised, then I think it is time to clear the field and let Mike
Bloomberg take Bernie Sanders head on, on Super Tuesday,” Mr. Benjamin
said in an interview with The Washington Times.
In a dramatic decision that could significantly impact Silicon Valley’s
water supply, federal dam regulators have ordered Anderson Reservoir,
the largest reservoir in Santa Clara County, to be completely drained
starting Oct. 1.
The 240-foot earthen dam, built in 1950 and located east of Highway 101
between Morgan Hill and San Jose, poses too great of a risk of collapse
during a major earthquake, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission,
which regulates dams, has concluded.
“It is unacceptable to maintain the reservoir at an elevation higher
than necessary when it can be reduced, thereby decreasing the risk to
public safety and the large population downstream of Anderson Dam,”
wrote David Capka, director of FERC’s Division of Dam Safety and
Inspections, in a letter to the Santa Clara Valley Water District on
Baseball games played to empty stands — and not just at Marlins Park.
Airlines largely grounded. Restaurants empty — though Grubhub
deliveries are booming as hungry people fear leaving their homes.
This is the summer that possibly awaits the U.S. should the coronavirus
continue its seemingly inexorable march across the globe.
The novel coronavirus, known for pneumonialike symptoms, has quickly
spread far beyond the wet market in the Chinese city of Wuhan whence it
sprung just a couple of months ago. Outbreaks have occurred everywhere
from Italy to Iran to South Korea.
" 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
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.
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.
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
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
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).
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 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'.
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.
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
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 ll target information from the Eurv opean
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
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.