Friday April 22nd, 2015

"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

Boris Johnson suggests 'part-Kenyan' Obama may have 'ancestral dislike' of UK
The Mayor of London attacked the president for endorsing the UK's position in the EU
         pp-boris-johnson-getty.jpg

Boris Johnson has criticised the US president Barack Obama and suggested his attitude to Britain might be based on his “part-Kenyan” heritage and “ancestral dislike of the British empire”.

Writing a column for The Sun newspaper the outgoing Mayor of London recounted a story about a bust of Winston Churchill purportedly being removed from White House.

“Some said it was a snub to Britain. Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan President’s ancestral dislike of the British empire – of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender,” he wrote.



Obama gets red carpet welcome in UK as storm over Brexit claims rages
President sparks EU referendum row by telling Brits to vote Remain - and claims US has stake in vote because of American WW2 dead
        n

BARACK OBAMA has been given a red carpet reception as he arrived in Downing Street just hours after he infuriated Out campaigners by urging Brits to stay in the EU.

As he arrived at Number10 in his armoured car, nicknamed The Beast, he was met by the Prime Minister and they posed on the steps for photos before going inside.

Both men are now discussing issues including world security and trade deals before holding a press conference later this afternoon.



Illegal immigrant families crossing border at record pace in 2016

Illegal immigrant families are streaming across the border at record pace, according to new Border Patrol statistics released Friday morning that show more than 32,000 have been caught trying to sneak into the U.S.

That’s nearly 40 percent higher than the previous record of 2014, and it’s well more than double last year’s pace, suggesting that the government’s relaxed enforcement policies have backfired and invited a new wave of illegal crossers.



Top U.S. commander says it's time to give Russia a taste of its own tactics

President Obama’s pick to command all U.S. forces in Europe said Thursday that all options — including military force — should be considered as Washington weighs its response to recent Russian aggression against American forces operating in eastern Europe.

Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti’s testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee came barely a week after Russian fighter jets and attack helicopters repeatedly buzzed the USS Donald Cook, a Navy destroyer on patrol in the Baltic Sea. For two days, Russian pilots “made numerous, close-range and low-altitude passes” above the vessel, Navy officials said, a move condemned by the Pentagon and NATO as “unsafe and unprofessional.”

If U.S. forces in Europe are put in harm’s way owing to Russia’s recent behavior, they will not hesitate to respond in kind, Gen. Scaparrotti told lawmakers at his confirmation hearing. He added that recent Russian moves, from the flybys and increased submarine patrols to support for Ukrainian separatists, suggest Russian President Vladimir Putin “is deliberately trying to break up NATO.”



Pro-life group blasts Trump for suggesting change to GOP platform on abortion

One of the largest pro-life groups in the nation on Thursday blasted Republican primary front-runner Donald Trump for saying he would work to change the GOP platform on abortion to include exceptions for rape, incest and threat to the life of the mother.

Live Action President Lila Rose said abortion is wrong regardless of how the child is conceived.

“If you are pro-life, you can’t say certain lives are less worthy or don’t deserve protection because of how they are conceived,” Ms. Rose said in a statement. “To say children conceived in rape are somehow less human and shouldn’t be allowed to live is a grave injustice.”



Trump backtracks on transgender bathroom issue

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Thursday said which bathrooms transgender people use is a matter best decided by the states, less than 24 hours after indicating that transgender people should be free to use the facilities of their choice.

“I love North Carolina, and they have a law, and it’s a law that, you know, unfortunately is causing them some problems,” Mr. Trump said on Fox News’ “Hannity.” “And I fully understand that they want to go through, but they are losing business, and they are having people come out against.”

“I think that local communities and states should make the decision,” he said. “And I feel very strongly about that. The federal government should not be involved.”



RNC rules panel rejects proposal to simplify convention procedures
Chief lawyer says current rules prevent underhanded nomination-theft scenario

A Republican National Convention panel shot down an effort Thursday to simplify the rules for the presidential nomination, but anti-establishment forces claimed victory after the party’s top attorney said existing rules make it difficult to substitute candidates.

General counsel John Ryder told the Republican National Committee’s 56-member panel that changing the rules at the Cleveland convention in July would require a two-thirds vote by the delegates who attend.




Hollywood Conservatives Shelve Secretive 'Friends of Abe'

The secretive group of Hollywood conservatives known as “Friends of Abe” is winding down because its members like Clint Eastwood and Jon Voight accomplished what they set out to do.

Some, though, think the Republican civil war over Donald Trump has roiled the group. Others think it's over the clandestine group's nonprofit status.

“Friends of Abe” reportedly had 1,500 members, including Eastwood, Voight, Jerry Bruckheimer, Kelsey Grammer, Gary Sinise, and Patricia Heaton and hosted events featuring such conservative speakers as Antonin Scalia, Dick Cheney, John Boehner, and Rush Limbaugh, The Guardian reported.



Virginia Governor Restores Voting Rights to Felons

Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia used his executive power on Friday to restore voting rights to more than 200,000 convicted felons, circumventing his Republican-run Legislature. The action overturns a Civil War-era provision in the state’s Constitution aimed, he said, at disenfranchising African-Americans.

The sweeping order, in a swing state that could play a role in deciding the November presidential election, will enable all felons who have served their prison time and finished parole to register to vote. Most are African-Americans, a core constituency of Democrats, Mr. McAuliffe’s political party.



Historic Paris climate pact signed at U.N.
US Secretary of State John Kerry says the signing of the climate agreement by a record number of countries is a moment for world leaders to recommit to actually win the "war" against carbon emissions.

World leaders converged at United Nations headquarters in New York on Friday — Earth Day — to sign the historic Paris climate accord.

Approved by 195 countries in December, the non-binding treaty seeks to slow the rise of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, that are blamed for putting Earth on a dangerous warming path. The agreement sets a target of limiting global warming by 2100 to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees F), as compared to pre-industrial levels.



A true heroine, right on the money

A lady with a gun deserves better than this. No sooner had Jacob Lew, the secretary of the Treasury, announced that Harriet Tubman, a fearless gunfighter against slavery, would soon replace Andrew Jackson on the face of the $20 bill than snipers on left and right turned out in force.

Miss Tubman, who will become the first feminine face on the nation’s currency since Martha Washington graced a coin in a previous century, will join Andrew Jackson on the bill — the lady on the front, the seventh president on the back. The irony seems lost on the Treasury committee that came up with how to shove Old Hickory down the nation’s memory hole.



How Obama will celebrate 'Earth Day'
He sidesteps Senate approval of the Paris Agreement on climate change

This Friday is “Earth Day” and by all indications the Obama administration intends to celebrate it by traveling to the United Nations in New York and signing the Paris Agreement on climate change. Despite the pomp and circumstance of a U.N. Headquarters signing ceremony, President Obama claims that the Paris Agreement is not a treaty. Since he claims it is not a treaty, he does not plan to submit the Agreement to the Senate for approval.

The problem is that the Paris Agreement is certainly a treaty. I reviewed enough treaties during my time in the Senate where I served on the Foreign Relations Committee to know. But don’t take my word for it. The State Department’s internal guidelines make clear that the Paris Agreement is a treaty.
 

                 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.

VERSACE, HUMBERT R.
'Rocky'
Rank: Captain
Organization: U.S. Army
Date of Issue: 07/08/2002
VERSACE, HUMBERT R. Photo
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.



From the Archives

American Fairness to a Fault — a Deadly One
Tuesday, 10 Nov 2009 02:28 PM

American’s tragic flaw is our unbridled fairness, which has been corrupted ever more by the cancer of political correctness to the point we put ourselves at risk rather than create even the perception of prejudice.

Sometime after the VOLAR (all volunteer) Army, the military veered from the “yes sir, yes sir, three bags full” blind adherence to all orders to the concept of refusing “unlawful orders” and that was ostensibly a good thing.

However, the uniformed services do not set or get to pick and choose foreign policy. The civilian leadership sets foreign policy, and the U.S. military enforces it — with a big, honking combined arms stick.

Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters has been one of the rare pundits with the courage to target the “culture of political correctness” in leadership of the military. In at least two interviews on Fox, Peters (correctly) blamed the culture of political correctness for the Army’s diffidence in taking action against Nidal Malik Hasan in the wake of knowledge of the problem.

Many mechanisms exist for dealing with matters of deep conscience — all without killing those one might think disagree with in principle.

However, it is not prejudice to discriminate based on threat facts in evidence. Refusal to act judiciously for fear of a tainted perception is just plain dumb.

Notwithstanding the articulated fears of the Army chief of staff and the secretary of Homeland Security, officials made an epic mistake in handling suspicions about Hasan. A mistake founded on political correctness and sustained by diffidence that cost the lives of innocents.

Reportedly, U.S. intelligence agencies were aware (months ago) that Hasan was attempting to make contact with people associated with al-Qaida. He spoke openly to too many people about his angst and misdirected sympathies. He was apparently a poster child for suspicion, and the Army failed bigtime to intervene.

“It is not known whether the intelligence agencies informed the Army that one of its officers was seeking to connect with suspected al-Qaida figures," the officials said.

But you damnbetcha they SHOULD have done so.

Investigators want to know whether Hasan maintained contact with a radical mosque leader from Virginia, Anwar al Awlaki, who now lives in Yemen and runs a Web site that promotes jihad around the world against the United States.

In a recent blog posting titled "Nidal Hassan Did the Right Thing," Awlaki calls Hasan a "hero" and a "man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people."

Increasingly we are told people who knew or worked with Hasan say he seemed to become gradually more radical in his condemnation of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Subordinates and superiors had a responsibility to flag the inappropriate rhetoric, and they apparently did not.

The fear to speak out is a symptom of the PC disease fueled by recriminations and implied threats of discrimination — a fear that indirectly resulted in mayhem.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman said, "If Hasan was showing signs, saying to people that he had become an Islamist extremist, the U.S. Army has to have a zero tolerance," and despite the echo of shutting the barn door after the horse got out, he is right.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey Jr. is concerned that speculation about the religious beliefs of Hasan could “cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers.” He’s right, but such a backlash would be a direct result of the failure of command — not prejudice.

When confronted about whether he thought the Army “dropped the ball” in not responding to warning signs, Casey replied that the Army needs to be careful not to jump to conclusions based on early tidbits of information.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R.-S.C., and Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., both of whom are veterans, took pains to say that Muslims have served honorably in the military and at risk to their lives.

“At the end of the day, this is not about his religion — the fact that this man was a Muslim,” Graham said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

But, hey, it is (kinda/sorta) about religion (when the FBI says 10 percent of American Mosques preach jihad) — at least from a risk analysis perspective.