Friday April 11th, 2014
"It Is Not A Question of Who Is Right Or Wrong But What Is Right Or Wrong That Counts."
--Geoff Metcalf
 

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World & National
Sebelius Resigns After Troubles Over Health Site
             

Kathleen Sebelius, the health and human services secretary, is resigning, ending a stormy five-year tenure marred by the disastrous rollout of President Obama’s signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act.

Mr. Obama accepted Ms. Sebelius’s resignation this week, and on Friday morning, he will nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, to replace her, officials said.

The departure comes as the Obama administration tries to move beyond its early stumbles in carrying out the law, convince a still-skeptical public of its lasting benefits, and help Democratic incumbents, who face blistering attack ads after supporting the legislation, survive the midterm elections this fall.




Burwell: Low-key manager takes on health care

              

President Obama picked Sylvia Mathews Burwell to be the new face of health care because she has dealt with the complexities of the federal budget and has managed large organizations.

One other thing: Burwell is a good bet for Senate confirmation.

Just a year ago, the Senate voted by a 96-0 margin to confirm Burwell to her current job, director of the Office of Management and Budget.



Security scare for Hillary Clinton after woman 'throws a shoe at her'

A woman was taken into custody after throwing what she described as a shoe at Hillary Clinton during a Las Vegas speech.

The incident happened moments after Clinton took the stage Thursday at an Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries meeting at the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino.

Clinton ducked but did not appear to be hit by the object, and then joked about the incident.



Sharyl Attkisson: When I'd Begin Getting Under Surface of an Obama Scandal, CBS Would Pull Me Off
"There is unprecedented, I believe, influence on the media, not just the news, but the images you see everywhere. By well-orchestrated and financed campaign of special interests, political interests and corporations. I think all of that comes

One month ago. long-time investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson left CBS amid rumors that she had grown frustrated with the network stifling her investigations. Thursday night on Bill O' Reilly's Fox News program she confirmed those rumors. "There is unprecedented, I believe, influence on the media, not just the news, but the images you see everywhere. By well-orchestrated and financed campaign of special interests, political interests and corporations. I think all of that comes into play."

After introducing his guest, O'Reilly asked Attkisson about her investigation into the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal.

The former CBS reporter asserted that she began to make inroads into the story but had to drop it:




Hillary Cancels Appearance Where Benghazi Victim's Mom Await

Hillary Clinton was the planned keynote speaker at the 17th Annual Western Healthcare Leadership Academy in San Diego on April 11 - but she's cancelled her visit in the midst of planned protests from San Diego locals and military families.

Protestors organized by "The Difference Matters" do not want the former U.S. Secretary of State to come because of Clinton's role in the Benghazi scandal.



Showdown on the range: Nevada rancher, feds face off over cattle grazing rights

A 20-year dispute between a Nevada rancher and federal rangers over illegal cattle grazing erupted into an Old West-style showdown on the open range this week, even prompting self-proclaimed members of militia groups from across the country to join the rancher in fighting what they say is U.S. "tyranny."

What began as a legal fight between longtime rancher Cliven Bundy and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has escalated as Bundy kept his cattle on the federal land, and the government has responded by beginning roundups of the livestock.




Up to 5,000 Armed Militia Members to arrive in Nevada today

It is apparent that the Federal government was under the impression that they could simply move into the ranch land surrounding Bunkerville, NV and have their way with the property and livelihood of the Bundy family. What they didn’t count on was the outcry from Americans across the country. And now things may be headed to the next level. As Kim Paxton of The Daily Sheeple notes, citizen militias in several states have been called up. Many members of those organizations are taking up arms and are making their way to Nevada.

And it’s not just the citizen militias that are preparing to take action. The governor of Nevada has officially condemned the federal government’s actions, though he has yet to take any steps afforded to him under State law. Sheriff Richard Mack of Gilbert, Arizona has weighed in and calls the actions “terrorism.”

At last count there were some 200 federal agents from various agencies on the ground in Nevada and it appears that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of armed militia members will soon arrive to confront them.



House Conservatives Want to Oust Boehner

Conservative lawmakers are plotting to dump House Speaker John Boehner as soon as November, the National Journal reported Thursday.

The National Journal said 40 to 50 House conservatives are behind a scheme to infiltrate the GOP leadership in 2015, and pushing the Ohio Republican aside would be the first step.

The conservative disapproval with Boehner has been widely reported.



Putin Threeatens to Cut Off Gas Supplies as Troops Gather at Ukraine Border

Russia is using its energy supplies "as a tool of coercion" against Ukraine, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, as fears mounted that tensions between the countries could trigger natural gas shortages throughout Europe.

Also, NATO released satellite images showing Russian troops and heavy equipment near the Ukranian border.

Psaki said Thursday that Moscow is charging Ukraine prices for natural gas that are not set by the market, BBC News reported, and the United States is working to help the country find enough gas and providing financing.



NATO Commander USD Troops May Be Sent to Eastern Europe


NATO's top military commander in Europe, drafting countermoves to the Russian military threat against Ukraine, said Wednesday they could include deployment of American troops to alliance nations in Eastern Europe also feeling at risk.

U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove told The Associated Press he wouldn't "write off involvement by any nation, to include the United States."

Foreign ministers of the 28-nation alliance have given Breedlove until Tuesday to propose steps to reassure NATO members nearest Russia that other alliance countries have their back.



'Deliberate Plan by President' to Collapse U.S. Law Enforcement System

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said today that Americans need to stand up to "a deliberate plan by the president of the United States" to collapse the nation's law enforcement system regarding illegal immigration.

In a Senate speech, Sessions said:

"Our law enforcement system is in a state of collapse, and it's a deliberate plan by the president of the United States, and it's wrong. And, people need to be aware of it and need to stand up to it and I believe the American people are beginning to do so."




US May Test Influence at UN by Denying Visa to Iran Envoy

The United States may soon deny a visa to Iran's proposed U.N. ambassador, two U.S. officials said on Wednesday, a rare and potentially precedent-setting step that would test U.S. influence over the world body.

The U.S. government objects to Hamid Abutalebi entering the United States because of his suspected participation in a Muslim student group that held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days starting in 1979, when the group seized control of the U.S. embassy in the Iranian capital Tehran.



When capital punishment gets no sanction

This has been a big week in the death house in Texas. The state executioner was assigned to dispatch not one, but two, evildoers. He could put away his needle with the satisfaction of a job well done. Five more executions are scheduled before summer.

Texas is No. 1 in the business, having dispatched 513 men and women (nearly all men) since the states were freed by the U.S. Supreme Court to resume state-sanctioned killing in 1976. Virginia and Oklahoma are second, each with 110 executions (so far), but measured by executions per capita, Oklahoma, which competes with Texas to be No. 1 in so many things, is No. 1.



Obamacare exit strategy brings endless waits on hold
If you thought signing up for his health insurance was hard, try canceling

I never wanted to be a pawn in President Obama’s absurd and irresponsible attempt to mandate, regulate and complicate the American health care system. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much of a choice.

I was a casualty of Mr. Obama’s Big Lie. You know the one: “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” By the time my plan vanished, the only individual health insurance plans available had been captured by the tentacles of Obamacare.



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.

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.