header.html



 
TODAY
Wednesday September 20th, 2017


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

Updated hrs
Selling our Sacramento Home. CHECK IT OUT


clickclick

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


Maria Slams St. Croix, Rips Across Puerto Rico
             

 
Ferocious Hurricane Maria made landfall around 6:15 am EDT Wednesday near Yabucoa in far southeast Puerto Rico as a top-end Category 4 storm, with peak sustained winds estimated at 155 mph.

Maria was the second strongest hurricane ever recorded to hit Puerto Rico, behind only the 1928 San Felipe Segundo hurricane, which killed 328 people on the island and caused catastrophic damage. Puerto Rico’s main island has also been hit by two other Category 4 hurricanes, the 1932 San Ciprian Hurricane, and the 1899 San Ciriaco Hurricane.
Hurricane Maria batters Puerto Rico with force 'not seen in modern history'...
Million without power...
'Winds like horror movie'...
Rivers burst banks...
Latest...
SATELLITE...
CONE...


Trump defines 'America First to wary world leaders at U.N.
Warns North Korea and Iran
                In his first speech to the U.N. General Assembly, President Trump challenged other nations to take a stand against "a small group of rogue regimes," and he singled out North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as the most urgent danger. (Associated Press)

President Trump took aim at the twin threats of North Korea and Iran on Tuesday at the United Nations, warning that the U.S. is prepared to “totally destroy” North Korea over its reckless nuclear weapons programs and calling on the world body to confront more forcefully Tehran’s support of Islamist terrorism.

In his first speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Mr. Trump challenged other nations to take a stand against “a small group of rogue regimes,” and he singled out North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as the most urgent danger.

“Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime,” Mr. Trump said, using the mocking nickname for Mr. Kim that he first deployed on Twitter. “The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”

To gasps from the assembled diplomats, Mr. Trump quickly added, “The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary. It is time for all nations to work together to isolate the Kim regime until it ceases its hostile behavior.”


In U.N. address, Trump replaces Obama's soft talk with big stick

President Obama ended his first speech to the United Nations with a call to respect universal rights and the U.N. itself, saying all nations owed an obligation to the international body.

Eight years later, President Trump took a sledgehammer to that framework, saying Tuesday that it is the United Nations that needs to be reformed and declaring that sovereignty of individual nations must be a guiding principle.

The approaches of the two presidents, analysts and lawmakers said after Mr. Trump’s address, could not be more different. Mr. Trump’s remarks broke with his predecessor on style and substance, and he effectively ended an eight-year policy of apology for American actions — torture, Guantanamo Bay and general arrogance — and offer olive branches to bitter U.S. enemies.



Trump Urges Support for Graham-Cassidy
Slams Rand Paul


President Donald Trump praised the healthcare bill proposed by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., in a Wednesday morning tweet.
 
Trump’s criticism of Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., comes after Paul wrote Monday that he opposed the Graham-Cassidy bill, describing it as "ObamaCare Lite."
In a follow-up tweet, Trump called on Republican senators to vote for the bill.


Sanctuary Cities Undermine Law's Moral Authority
             Image: Sessions: Sanctuary Cities Undermine Law's Moral Authority

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday criticized sanctuary cities that try to protect immigrants in the country illegally as places that "undermine the moral authority of the law."

He made the comments a day after the Trump administration appealed a judge's ruling blocking its efforts to withhold money from the cities.

Sessions, speaking to law enforcement officers in a sanctuary city in the sanctuary state of Oregon, urged officials who have decided that local police should not cooperate with federal immigration agents to reconsider those policies.



Obama EPA chief who used fake email complains about Trump transparency

Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, who used a secret email alias during her time at the agency, lashed out Tuesday at the Trump administration for destroying the agency’s credibility by being “non-transparent.”

Ms. Jackson, who is now a senior executive at computer giant Apple, said new Administrator Scott Pruitt and the rest of the new leadership have betrayed what she said was a decades-long bipartisan commitment.

“EPA’s been run by Democrats and by Republicans, but it’s never, in its history, 40-plus years old, been run by someone who seems to be determined to do the one thing that could destroy its credibility, which is to make it non-transparent,” she said. “Every EPA administrator has committed to trying to regulate transparently, and we don’t have that commitment anymore.”



Pelosi: Dreamers' paretns 'did a great thing' in sneaking them into U.S.


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that illegal immigrant parents who brought their children to the U.S. in defiance of the law “did a great thing,” giving the country an infusion of successful young people.

Mrs. Pelosi’s comments strike a dissonant note from many analysts, who while saying the Dreamers are sympathetic since they had no say in the decision, say the parents do deserve blame for creating the problem.

He comments came after she was shouted down by protesters earlier this week who interrupted her at an event, and demanded she do more to protect all illegal immigrants. Mrs. Pelosi, at her weekly press conference in Washington on Wednesday, said she does want to protect a broader swath of illegal immigrants, but that’s not the debate at this point.

“We don’t have that opportunity now,” she said.



Ousted Trump aide to the faithful: 'Relax'

Former White House deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka has a simple message for President Trump’s supporters who are troubled by the president’s early performance in office: “Relax.”

In one of his first speeches since being eased out of the White House last month, the feisty, outspoken Mr. Gorka said it will take time to undo the work done by Mr. Trump’s predecessors, including reining in what he called a “permanent state” of more than 2 million federal employees hostile to the president’s every move.

“I must make a plea to all those people who came up to me last night and have done so since I left three weeks ago: relax,” Mr. Gorka said Tuesday at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Washington. “Take a deep breath and count to 10. The fat lady isn’t singing, OK? I know that’s not politically correct, but who cares? We are in this for the long game.”



Super-rich ex-presidents and the law that supports them

Sen. Joni Ernst is taking a swing at the money we pay ex-presidents. She’s written a bill that caps what we pay them, but it doesn’t go far enough.

With ex-presidents making tens of millions of dollars upon leaving office, why are we still paying multimillionaire ex-presidents obscene amounts of money every year?

We have politicians who have grown monumentally rich on the perks that come after our having hired them. Speaking engagements, book deals, board memberships, you name it, they do it and the millions roll in.



The real danger to U.S. national security

Why President Trump must not apply ‘prophylactic offense’ to North Korea

President Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) was usually more interested in delivering tirades than seeking advice, but in February 1968 LBJ needed answers. According to Gen. William Westmoreland, the commander of U.S. Forces in Vietnam, the unanticipated Tet Offensive had transformed the Vietnam War. If LBJ wanted to win the war in Vietnam, Westmoreland and the Joint Chiefs insisted they needed 200,000 more troops.

Former Secretary of State Dean Acheson was a key adviser to the president, a thoughtful man who saw himself as a public servant, not as a public figure. After listening for years to general officers who promised success in Vietnam was just around the corner, Acheson was disgusted, but not surprised. “With all due respect, Mr. President,” Acheson advised LBJ, “The Joint Chiefs of Staff don’t know what they are talking about.”

President Trump would do well to heed Dean Acheson’s advice today. The assertions made by Mr. Trump’s generals that “time is running out” for North Korea sound a lot like a national military strategy of “prophylactic offense.” In other words, attack the opponent before the opponent has the chance to strike.

"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…




right_menu.html Resolution Group International ATLANTIC CAPTAIN'S ACADEMY GOLDEN RAM SPORTSMAN'S CLUB