Monday February 13th, 2017

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Values for a New Millennium: Activating the Natural Law to Reduce Violence, Revitalize Our Schools, and Promote Cross-Cultural Harmony | [Robert Humphrey]


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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
72 convicted in U.S., terror cases came from nations targeted for vetting
Despite protests against President Trump's immigration ban and the courts ruling against him, a report finds terrorist are coming from the seven "banned" countries. (Associated Press)

At least 72 convicted terrorists came from the seven countries President Trump targeted in his extreme vetting executive order, according to a new report this weekend that directly undercut part of the courts’ rulings halting the program.

Seventeen of those entered the U.S. under the refugee program that Mr. Trump has said is of special concern to him, according to the data compiled by the Senate Judiciary Committee and analyzed by the Center for Immigration Studies.

The convictions came in terrorism-related investigations since the Sept. 11 attacks, but some were for relatively minor crimes such as identity fraud. Nevertheless, more than 30 of the convicts served at least three years in prison because of their terrorism-related crimes, the CIS report said.



Think tank backs academics, Trump who say large numbers of non-citizens vote illegally
A 2014 study says noncitizens vote illegally in U.S. elections, and they vote mostly for Democrats, but the liberal media and academia have tried to crush the findings. (Associated Press)

A small research group has entered the debate on voter fraud, siding with academics who estimate that large numbers of noncitizens illegally register and vote in U.S. elections.

Just Facts, founded in New Jersey 20 years ago by a Brown-educated mechanical engineer, released its findings as President Trump was setting up a task force on voter fraud headed by Vice President Mike Pence.

“Contrary to the claims of certain major media outlets and fact checkers, a comprehensive analysis of polling data, election records and government investigations shows that many noncitizens vote illegally in U.S. elections,” Just Facts President James D. Agresti told The Washington Times.

Ever since two professors at Old Dominion University and one at George Mason University collaboratively released a 2014 study saying noncitizens vote illegally in U.S. elections, and they vote mostly for Democrats, the liberal media and academia have tried to crush the findings.



Taxes Set Record Through January; Feds Still Run a Deficit


The U.S. Treasury hauled in a record of approximately $1,084,840,000,000 in tax revenues in the first four months of fiscal 2017 (Oct. 1, 2016 through Jan. 31, 2017), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today.

That is up about $5,616,000,000 in constant 2016 dollars from the approximately $1,079,224,000,000 in constant 2016 dollars that the Treasury collected in the first four months of fiscal 2016.



In power struggle with judicial branch, Trump pursues 'all options' to extreme vetting

President Trump is “pursuing all options” in response to an appeals court decision against his extreme vetting order, according to a top White House aide who accused federal judges Sunday of snatching powers away from the executive branch.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week upheld a restraining order against Mr. Trump’s decision to temporarily halt the American refugee program and to block most travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations — Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Iran, Sudan, Libya and Yemen — until stronger vetting could be implemented.

During a round of Sunday talk show appearances, White House policy adviser Stephen Miller said the 9th Circuit has a long history of overreaching and having its rulings overturned.



Senate nears confirmation of Mmuchin, Trump's pick to head Treasury

The Senate is poised to confirm President Donald Trump’s pick for Treasury secretary despite complaints by Democrats that Steven Mnuchin failed to protect thousands of homeowners from unnecessary foreclosures when he headed OneWest Bank.

Votes on Trump’s Cabinet picks have exposed deep partisan divisions in the Republican-controlled Senate, with many of the nominees approved by mostly party-line votes.

The vote Monday evening on Mnuchin is expected to follow the same pattern. Finance Committee Republicans unanimously voted in favor of Mnuchin after committee Democrats boycotted the vote.



UN Security Council meeting sought over North Korea missile test

A man watches a TV news program showing photos published in North Korea's Rodong Sinmun newspaper of North Korea's "Pukguksong-2" missile launch and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. In an implicit challenge to President Donald Trump, North Korea fired a ballistic missile early Sunday in its first such test of the year. The letters read "Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles developed for ground use." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

The United States, Japan and South Korea have requested urgent diplomatic talks at the United Nations on Monday over North Korea’s latest ballistic missile launch, with Seoul condemning what it called “serious military and security threats” and predicting more such tests.

A spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations said Sunday night that the meeting is expected to take place Monday. The spokesman spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.
The U.N. Mission for Ukraine, which holds the rotating Security Council presidency, later confirmed that closed consultations on North Korea will take place late Monday afternoon.

The banned missile test, which was conducted early Sunday, is seen as an implicit challenge to President Donald Trump, who has vowed a tough line on Pyongyang but has yet to release a strategy for dealing with a country whose nuclear ambitions have bedeviled U.S. leaders for decades.



188,000 Evacuated Near Orville California Dam Spillway

 At least 188,000 people were asked to evacuate in the area near the Oroville Dam Sunday after authorities warned an emergency spillway in the structure was in danger of failing and unleashing uncontrolled flood waters on towns below.

The Butte County Sheriff’s Department issued the evacuation order at about 4:20 p.m. after the hazardous situation developed. Authorities are concerned the erosion could lead to the failure of the Oroville Dam’s emergency spillway.

Evacuations orders were expanded later Sunday evening for areas of Butte and Yuba counties downstream from the Oroville Dam after one of the dam’s emergency spillway was on the verge of collapse because of severe erosion, according to authorities.

The erosion at the head of the emergency spillway threatens to undermine the concrete weir and allow large, uncontrolled releases of water from Lake Oroville, the California Department of Water Resources said. Those potential flows could overwhelm the capacity of downstream channels and levees.



Anxiety Abounds for 3 in Trump's Inner Sanctum
 

The early report cards are out in President Donald Trump's new administration and there are three who better get their grades up this next marking period if they want to keep their jobs, according to several reports.

At the top of the list is national security adviser Michael Flynn, around whom the walls seem to closing in. But there's also anxiety surrounding the performances of Trump's establishment-side West Wingers  — Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus.

Flynn is getting the cold shoulder treatment after accounts rolled out that he lied to Vice President Mike Pence about the timing of his communications with Russia about sanctions prior to Trump taking office.
 


Trump could be impeached in 6 months if he defies courts?

MSNBC “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough warned Monday that President Donald Trump will face "impeachment proceedings within the next six months" if he follows White House Policy Adviser Stephen Miller's advice to defy court rulings on his immigration order.

During weekend TV appearances, Miller insisted courts in Seattle and San Francisco took "power for themselves that belong squarely" with the president in their immigration rulings.

"I'm just telling you right now, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, if that sort of thinking were enacted into policy, we would have impeachment proceedings within the next six months," the "Morning Joe" host and former Republican congressman said on his program.

"Donald Trump would be impeached if they did not adhere to what the courts were saying."


Protecting consumers from swindlers
How ‘fake facts’ make millions for class-action lawyers

Trump administration spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway recently defended false statements about inauguration crowd size as “alternative facts,” provoking a great kerfuffle. But in the class-action world, trial lawyers have been making millions on alternative facts for decades. And, astonishingly, courts disagree over whether it’s permissible for lawyers to use alternative facts to cheat their consumer clients.

But this month, the Supreme Court has a chance to protect consumers from alternative facts, as it considers a casefull of fake facts and an unfair lawyer windfall. It’s a challenge to this scheme by wunderkind law professor Josh Blackman, who stumbled into class membership and the way class-action lawyers cheat consumers when he joined a Kentucky gym during his judicial clerkship.

The too-common scam goes like this. Trial lawyers bring a class action against a business, alleging unfair charges or false advertising and seeking to recover a few dollars each for thousands or millions of its customers. It’s okay if the case is weak, because the defendant still finds it cheaper to settle the lawsuit for a small percentage of the total losses alleged than to fight on.



Dealing with North Korea
Negotiations to halt its nuclear and missile programs must be explored

Since Kim Jong-un took over from his father in December 2011 as the supreme leader, the nuclear threat from North Korea has increased exponentially. Over this five-year period, North Korea has conducted four progressively larger nuclear tests and more than 50 ballistic missile launches. In 2016 alone, North Korea conducted two nuclear tests and 25 missile launches, to include a June 2016 successful test of its Musudan Intermediate Range Ballistic missile, with a range of 4000 kilometers, and an August 2016 successful submarine-launched ballistic missile, with a range of 1000 kilometers.

Kim Jong-un’s New Year’s address this year stated that North Korea will reach the final stages to test-launch an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The two known ICBM variants, the KN-08 and KN-14, are road mobile missiles, with ranges exceeding 9000 kilometers, thus capable of reaching the U.S. In March 2016, North Korea posted a YouTube video titled “Last Chance” that simulated a nuclear missile attack on Washington. They posted a similar video of a simulated attack on the presidential residence in 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
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.


Archives: Geoff Metcalf/NewsMax January 14, 2010

Plunging Approval Shouldn't Surprise Democratic Bullies  
 By Geoff Metcalf  

Reasonable people can disagree (or should be able to) reasonably when they honestly consider facts that may contradict their preconceived opinions and prejudices.

 However, unfortunately, especially in the partisan environment of politics, reason, honest analysis, and fairness too quickly become victims of the “us-vs.-them” thing. Politics has become a blood sport in which the only golden rule is “the team with the gold makes the rules.”

 Politicians who were elected to represent the best interests, wants, and desires of their constituents morph into petty, agenda-driven competitors quick to eschew reason for partisanship. Sadly, this axiomatic reality is universal and not exclusive to any one party.

 Politics is supposed to be the art of compromise. However, it increasingly has become a blood sport personifying the absolute worse elements of abuse of power under the color of authority.

President Barack Obama, a year after promising "change" and a kumbaya tsunami of bipartisan cooperation, now reluctantly admits that he has not succeeded in bringing the country together. In a recent People magazine interview, the president begrudgingly acknowledged an atmosphere of divisiveness that has washed away the lofty national feeling surrounding his inauguration a year ago.http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jul/28/philadelphia-denies-sanctuary-city-status-but-just/

 "That's what's been lost this year. . . that whole sense of changing how Washington works," Obama said.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/dec/20/trump-must-get-tough-with-pakistan/
 "What I haven't been able to do in the midst of this crisis is bring the country together in a way that we had done in the inauguration," he said, referring to last Jan. 20, when hundreds of thousands flooded into Washington to see him sworn in as America's first black president. . . before reality and buyer's remorse.

 The simple reality is that Obama has failed because he and his party's leadership (or, critics will argue, LACK of leadership) have failed — failed to do what they said they would do, and failed to do anything the "way" they promised.

 Notwithstanding lofty eloquence, consensus, and "unity" cannot be mandated by imperial decree. Partisan acrimony is not and cannot be bridled by harangue, bullying, or bludgeon. Politics is the art of compromise, and the facts in evidence demonstrate that this administration and this Democrat-led Congress have not been disposed to engage in compromise.http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/nov/2/have-hillary-clintons-scandals-topped-richard-nixo/

 Rather, the Democrats have embraced a ham-fisted, "our-way-or-the-highway" forced imposition of their will.

Now, in the wake of spelunking poll numbers, rampant buyer's remorse, and a previously unimagined nostalgia for the Carter administration, Democrats seem shocked, amazed, and confused that more than half the country not only does not approve of what they are trying to do but also dislikes how they are doing it.

 Blaming the dark sky and coming ice age on Bush (or Reagan or Nixon or Eisenhower or Lincoln) is a worn-out dog that flat-out ain't gonna hunt.

 When Mr. Cool was promising "change," little did anyone assume that change might result in a Republican's winning Teddy Kennedy's Senate seat. (But that could happen, and soon.)

 It is a sad reality that, at the same time our military significantly has improved the quality of the U.S. troops who serve, the civilian leadership and politicians have regressed to a level reminiscent of uneducated feudal bullies.

 The military is smarter, more fit, better equipped, and as committed as any generation from Valley Forge to Iwo Jima or Pleiku to Bosnia. We have an all-volunteer military that is dedicated to protecting you. Conversely, the political arena is littered with disingenuous, duplicitous partisans who long since have abandoned their constituents for the next political victory (and/or pork-laden earmark).

 I recently re-read Robert Humphrey's "Living Values for a New Millennium" in preparation for a seminar entitled "Clarifying American Core Values" in February.

 In a 1997 speech before professor Humphrey passed away, he said that top leadership, in both our civilian or military government, is afraid even to discuss this apparent decisive need for new thinking both at home and overseas. Thirteen years ago, he observed that the news media and public opinion polls advise, "The people sense a moral bankruptcy in Washington" with a bickering inability in government to face these deeper problems.

Wherever you go, you are little bit safer because of the military and yet more at risk because of the coat-room shenanigans of Congress. Wherever the military sets a boot, everyone has a friend, a defender, and a champion. However, politicians seem more concerned about the next PAC contribution than the wants, needs, or well-being of the very people they were elected to represent.

 Ambrose Evans-Pritchard once wrote, “Moral relativism has set in so deeply that the gilded classes have become incapable of discerning right from wrong. Everything can be explained away, especially by journalists. Life is one great moral mush — sophistry washed down with Chardonnay.”