header.html



 
TODAY
Thursday April 23rd, 2014
"It Is Not A Question of Who Is Right Or Wrong But What Is Right Or Wrong That Counts."
--Geoff Metcalf
 

Updated 1031 PST                                   

World & National

Putin Warns of Consequences as Ukraine Steeps Up Offensive
              
President Vladimir Putin warned Ukraine against continuing its anti-separatist offensive after government troops killed five rebels and prompted Russia’s military to begin new drills on the two nations’ border.

“If it’s true that the current regime in Kiev sent the army against citizens inside its country, then it is a very serious crime against its own nation,” Putin said today in St. Petersburg. “It will have consequences for the people who make such decisions, including relations between our countries. We’ll see how the situation develops and we’ll make conclusions based on the reality on the ground.”




Russia Begins Military Exericse Near Border AFter Deadly Clashes in Easetern Ukraine
Move Comes After Kiev Restarts Military Operation to Regain Control


Ukrainian forces killed several militants outside a pro-Russian stronghold in eastern Ukraine on Thursday as part of a renewed offensive to regain control of the restive region, prompting Russia to begin military exercises again on its side of the border.

The back-and-forth moves sharply heightened tensions, as it has become increasingly clear that an agreement on steps to cool the crisis—signed last week by Ukraine, Russia, the U.S. and the European Union—is crumbling.




Obama avoids 'red line' for China, prepared to impose tougher sanctions on Russia

President Obama pledged Thursday that the U.S. would come to Japan’s defense if China further threatens a disputed chain of islands, but said he isn’t drawing another “red line” on possible military action.

At a press conference in Tokyo, Mr. Obama said the U.S. is bound by the terms of a 1952 treaty with Japan to come to its defense if the territory is threatened.



Perry Pitches Texas to New York Businesses,  Hits Cuomo on Ads
                   http://nyoobserver.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/img_3238.jpg

Texas Gov. Rick Perry was in New York today to make his pitch to business leaders he hopes to lure to the Lone Star State, and took the opportunity to reissue his debate challenge to Gov. Andrew Cuomo–who today declined the request.

“Yes, I’m here recruiting business. I’m don’t shy away from that. I’m very upfront about that. But I’m also here to help stimulate a conversation with the people of New York state, the people in New York City, the legislators, the governor,” said Mr. Perry, speaking to reporters after a lunch with business owners at Hill Country BBQ.

Earlier this week, Mr. Perry said he wanted to sit down with Mr. Cuomo face-to-face to debate the two states’ approaches to economic policy, which Mr. Cuomo–whose office did not respond to requests for comment–today dismissed as  “unlikely,” according to reports.



A Defiant Rancher Savors the Audience That Rallied to His Side
             

Cliven Bundy stood by the Virgin River up the road from the armed checkpoint at the driveway of his ranch, signing autographs and posing for pictures. For 55 minutes, Mr. Bundy held forth to a clutch of supporters about his views on the troubled state of America — the overreaching federal government, the harassment of Western ranchers, the societal upheaval caused by abortion, even musing about whether slavery was so bad.

Most of all, Mr. Bundy, 67, who was wearing a broad-brimmed white cowboy hat against the hot afternoon sun, recounted the success of “we the people” — gesturing to the 50 supporters, some armed with handguns and rifles, standing in a semicircle before him — at chasing away Bureau of Land Management rangers who, acting on a court order, tried to confiscate 500 cattle owned by Mr. Bundy, who has been illegally grazing his herd on public land since 1993.



FBI Informant Is Tied to Cyberattacks Abroad

An informant working for the F.B.I. coordinated a 2012 campaign of hundreds of cyberattacks on foreign websites, including some operated by the governments of Iran, Syria, Brazil and Pakistan, according to documents and interviews with people involved in the attacks.

Exploiting a vulnerability in a popular web hosting software, the informant directed at least one hacker to extract vast amounts of data — from bank records to login information — from the government servers of a number of countries and upload it to a server monitored by the F.B.I., according to court statements.



53% Think Neither Politcal Party Represents the American People
    6% Rate Congress’s Performance as Good or Excellent
    72% Think It Would Be Better if Most in Congress Are Not Reelected
    55% Expect 'Noticeable' Change If Democrats Win Congress; 49% Say Same of GOP Win
    59% of GOP Voters Say Republicans in Congress Out of Touch with Party’s Base
    37% of Voters Fear the Federal Government

Voters continue to believe Democrats have more of a plan for the future than Republicans do, but most again say neither party represents the public. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 53% of Likely U.S. Voters think it is fair to say that neither party in Congress is the party of the American people. That’s up six points from 47% last October and matches the previous high found in June 2012 during the last national election cycle. Just 28% disagree, while 19% are not sure.

The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on April 19-20, 2014 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.



Israel suspends peace talks with Palesetinians

Israel broke off peace talks with the Palestinians on Thursday, a day after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced a reconciliation between his majority Fatah party and the militant Hamas faction, which does not recognize Israel as a legitimate country.

Israel’s announcement of the rupture effectively ends more than a year of U.S.-backed efforts to negotiate a deal that would establish an independent Palestine alongside Israel. Neither Israel nor the United States has declared the process dead, but they are due to expire next week unless both sides agree to an extension.



Republican senators slam Obama for ordering review of deportation program

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and 21 other Republican senators accused President Barack Obama Thursday of displaying "an astonishing disregard for the Constitution, the rule of law and the rights of American citizens" by considering administrative changes to the nation's deportations policy.

In a letter to the president, the senators said that changes under consideration would amount to "near complete abandonment of basic immigration enforcement."


 
Obamacare Provision Allows Treatment Without Payment?

Doctors and hospitals, not patients, will be on the hook for people who don’t pay their Obamacare insurance premiums, Fox News reported.

Obamacare allows for a 90-day grace period for subsidized health exchange plans, but the insurance companies are only obligated to cover the first 30 days. Patients can get two more months of medical care without paying for it.



The Other Stealthy ObamaCare Menace
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation exists to impose price controls and limit payments to providers.

The Affordable Care Act's Independent Payment Advisory Board has been so heavily criticized for being an unaccountable body with the power to effectively ration Medicare services that many congressional Democrats no longer support it. IPAB's bureaucratic cousin—the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation—deserves the same treatment.

Both institutions are in place to preserve rather than reform Medicare's traditional, and broken, fee-for-service Medicare program. They both also embrace the ObamaCare technocratic mind-set.



Obama's foreign policy 'felxibility' seen as weakness
U.S. adversaries are watching the timid response in Ukraine

The administration Kabuki dance we’re witnessing featuring U.S. refusal to provide nonlethal support equipment for Ukraine is President Obama displaying the new “flexibility” he promised Vladimir Putin he would have after his re-election. In short, it is capitulation.

The administration is trying to make the case that by showing restraint, Mr. Obma will encourage Mr. Putin, the Russian president, to be more willing to negotiate. The mind boggles. What’s taking place in Ukraine has far-reaching implications for the United States and our allies in both Europe and the Far East.

The apparent lack of support from NATO’s political leadership to help Ukraine maintain its sovereignty is clearly tied to its dependence on Russia for more than 30 percent of their energy requirements. This compromised position was accepted based on the assumption that European security after the Cold War could be guaranteed (with reduced defense budgets) by engaging Russia, not confronting it.



From the Geoff Metcalf Archives
OCTOBER 18, 1999
Echelon revisited, again
1999 WorldNetDaily.com

I learned a long time ago to notice changes. Changes indicate "something" and are in many ways a natural early warning device. We may not know at the time what that "something" is, but awareness leads to preparedness. If you sit in a forest, a swamp, or a jungle and actively "listen," you can easily identify a change. Background noise of birds and critters will get less, or increase; you can hear the difference. Something caused that change. Likewise most people can even smell a change. It might be the smell of a salt marsh at low tide, or a campfire or diesel engine. I've known guys who could smell the oil on a gun amongst assorted mountain fragrances. There is also what I believe to be a very real instinctive warning device designed I guess to spark the "fight or flee" reaction. The Godan (fifth degree black belt) test in one martial art requires the testee to kneel with his back to the teacher. The teacher "projects" a killing intention and swings a sword at the kneeling student's head. If the target head isn't there when the sword arrives, the student passes and is promoted.

April 20th of last year (1998) I wrote a WorldNetDaily column entitled "Big Brother Watching" that referred to a program called, "Echelon". Since then I have seen Echelon stories in a variety of magazines and European newspapers.

The movie, "Enemy of the State," although fiction, shed light on the real world realities of Echelon, and the unbridled assault on both the concept and essence of personal privacy.

Lawmakers in both the United States Congress and British Parliament are now asking questions I raised last year. Even the San Diego Union has written about Echelon: "Is the government listening in on your phone calls? Reading your e-mail for words like 'plutonium,' 'Clinton' or 'terrorism'?"

An eclectic and strange collection of distaff allies have joined the "What's the deal with Echelon" crowd. Congressman Bob Barr, himself a former CIA analyst, The European Parliament, and a gaggle of computer mavens calling themselves "hacktivists" are all looking into the what, where, when, why, and how of Echelon. They are not having joint board meetings, but they are pursuing similar objectives along fairly parallel lines. This Thursday the "hacktivists" are planning what may be the first mass protest using electronic mail as a weapon. It cannot be confirmed or denied that FBI Director Louis Freeh has bought out the entire D.C. stock of Imodium.

The target may sound more like something out of "The X-Files" than a real computer network operated by five countries. But it is real. Echelon is not officially acknowledged by the U.S. government despite more than ample documentation of the treaty that sparked it, and the facilities from Menwith Hill in England to Alexandria, Va. "We don't confirm or deny the existence of Echelon," said a spokeswoman for the U.S. National Security Agency, although they are the agency believed tasked with operating the system.

The European Parliament started asking questions about Echelon last year. The European press has been reporting on it longer than I have. Yet again, either as a function of malfeasance or complicity, the United States mainstream has been silent.

Then Congressman Barr actually said the word ("Echelon") out loud on the floor of the House for God and everyone to hear.

As I noted last year, Echelon is a complex, interconnected worldwide network of satellites and computerized interception stations operated by the governments of the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

According to Christopher Simpson, an American University professor who has written four books about national security technology, Echelon scans e-mail for hot-button words like "militia," "Davidian," "terrorism" and "AK-47." It can recognize individual voices in telephone calls and track who is calling whom.

I have often received e-mail with a long litany of "key words and phrases" (Death to the New World Order, Clinton, Butch Reno, Branch Davidians, TWA 800, Ruby Ridge, Oklahoma City, Abolish the Federal Reserve, None Dare Call it Treason, Cocaine, AK-47, Stinger, Vince Foster, etc.) above a routine note such as "Like your column. Keep it up." When I asked, "Why the laundry list?" I was told it was a small protest intended to overburden the snoopers.

The European Parliament published an official report last year and concluded Echelon has listening posts all over the world that can intercept any phone calls, e-mail or faxes transmitted by satellite. "Echelon is designed for primarily nonmilitary targets: governments, organizations and businesses in virtually every country," the report said.

In May a follow up report said there is evidence that the U.S. government has used Echelon to pick up the secrets of foreign corporations and pass them on to American companies. Some of you may recall talk that when the Cold War allegedly ended, intelligence assets would shift focus from military to industrial espionage.

Congressman Barr has called for congressional hearings on Echelon. "By all appearances, what we have is a massive government program that scoops up unbelievably huge numbers of private communications, indiscriminately, without any oversight or court involvement," Barr said. "There's a very important, but fine, line between legitimate foreign intelligence gathering and unconstitutional eavesdropping on American citizens, and it appears that line has been crossed."

Concerns that Echelon could and would illegally intercept Americans' private communications sparked the ACLU to write to congressional representatives back in April. They said, "The troubling aspect is that Echelon is this huge system that operates without any oversight or scrutiny from anybody." THAT was and is the whole idea.

I'm not going to re-write last year's column again, you can check out the link. However, Echelon is the bastard child of the UKUSA Treaty. The primary purpose of the treaty AND Echelon was to maintain perception, and obscure reality.

  • It is illegal (supposedly) for the United States government to spy on its citizens.
  • It is illegal for the British government to spy on its citizens.
  • Likewise in Canada and Australia.
So, these cousin countries sit down and "in the interest of national security" with a wink and a nod agree to the following:

"Here's the deal, Nigel: Let's set up an inter-connected information gathering apparatus. I'll spy on your citizens to determine if they mean us any ill, and you spy on my citizens to see if anyone is planning nastiness to your country. THEN I'll show you my data, and you show me your data. You'll know what's going on with your blokes, and I'll know what's happening with Joe-six-pack, and it's all legal ... kinda."

If you sit in the shadows of the international intelligence jungle, you can hear a change in the background noise, and the background silence. You can smell "something" different. Right about now there are Echelon managers and operatives who can feel that uncomfortable tingle? The same premonition that martial artist feels just before the sword swings for his head ... the same tingle a rat feels the heartbeat before the lurking cat springs.
 


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.

Sgt Dakota Meyer
US Marine Corps



Corporal Meyer maintained security at a patrol rally point while other members of his team moved on foot with two platoons of Afghan National Army and Border Police into the village of Ganjgal for a pre-dawn meeting with village elders. Moving into the village, the patrol was ambushed by more than 50 enemy fighters firing rocket propelled grenades, mortars, and machine guns from houses and fortified positions on the slopes above. Hearing over the radio that four U.S. team members were cut off, Corporal Meyer seized the initiative. With a fellow Marine driving, Corporal Meyer took the exposed gunner's position in a gun-truck as they drove down the steeply terraced terrain in a daring attempt to disrupt the enemy attack and locate the trapped U.S. team. Disregarding intense enemy fire now concentrated on their lone vehicle, Corporal Meyer killed a number of enemy fighters with the mounted machine guns and his rifle, some at near point blank range, as he and his driver made three solo trips into the ambush area. During the first two trips, he and his driver evacuated two dozen Afghan soldiers, many of whom were wounded. When one machine gun became inoperable, he directed a return to the rally point to switch to another gun-truck for a third trip into the ambush area where his accurate fire directly supported the remaining U.S. personnel and Afghan soldiers fighting their way out of the ambush. Despite a shrapnel wound to his arm, Corporal Meyer made two more trips into the ambush area in a third gun-truck accompanied by four other Afghan vehicles to recover more wounded Afghan soldiers and search for the missing U.S. team members. Still under heavy enemy fire, he dismounted the vehicle on the fifth trip and moved on foot to locate and recover the bodies of his team members. Corporal Meyer's daring initiative and bold fighting spirit throughout the 6-hour battle significantly disrupted the enemy's attack and inspired the members of the combined force to fight on. His unwavering courage and steadfast devotion to his U.S. and Afghan comrades in the face of almost certain death reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.


right_menu.html Resolution Group InternationalSpecial Operations SpeaksAIDING WOUNDED SERVICE MEMBERS, THEIR FAMILIES AND THE FAMILIES OF THE FATALLY WOUNDEDATLANTIC CAPTAIN'S ACADEMYGOLDEN RAM SPORTSMAN'S CLUBThe History of the Atlantic Union and World Federalist Movement"For all your VIP aircraft needs, please call Ken Lux at 916-802-5589"MILITARY.COM