Monday September 19th, 2022

"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 & Nation
Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral
                          Queen Elizabeth II's funeral cortege borne on the State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy travels along The Mall  in London, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. (Chip Somodevilla/Pool Photo via AP)

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II has competed a procession at walking pace through central London and is bound in a hearse for her final resting place at Windsor Castle.


After being pulled more than a mile (1.6 kilometers) from Westminster Abbey on a gun carriage by 142 Royal Navy sailors, the coffin was transferred to a hearse at Wellington Arch, near Buckingham Palace.

Dozens of Buckingham Place staff stood in a neat line in the palace courtyard, and many bowed or curtseyed as the procession passed by.

The monarch’s coffin will go by car the 20 miles (32 kilometers) to Windsor Castle, where she will be interred later Monday alongside her husband Prince Philip, who died last year.

Dense crowds packed the route through the heart of ceremonial London – and thousands more people are lining the more workaday suburban roads the hearse will take on its journey to Windsor.

Queen Elizabeth's Coffin Starts Journey to Final Resting Place




Republicans demand DOJ give special counsel powers to prosecutor probing Hunter Biden

                                Hunter Biden leaves after President Joe Biden awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to 17 people during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) ** FILE **

Senate Republicans are urging Attorney General Merrick Garland to confer the powers of a special counsel to the Delaware prosecutor investigating Hunter Biden for potential tax crimes and influence peddling.

In a letter sent Monday, more than 30 Senate Republicans said David Weiss, the Delaware U.S. attorney overseeing the investigation of President Biden’s oldest son, must be made a special counsel to prevent undue political interference.

“Given that the investigation involves the president’s son, we believe it is important to provide U.S. Attorney Weiss with special counsel authorities and protections to allow him to investigate an appropriate scope of potentially criminal conduct, avoid the appearance of impropriety and provide additional assurance to the American people that the Hunter Biden investigation is free from political influence,” they wrote.

GOP senators who signed the letter include John Cornyn of Texas; Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the highest-ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee; and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

A Justice Department spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.



President Biden says he hasn't decided on 2024 reelection run

                          
President Biden told 60 Minutes last Thursday that while he intends to run for reelection in 2024, the decision is still up in the air.

"Sir, are you committed to running again, or are there certain conditions that have to be right?" Pelley asked.

"Look, if I were to say to you, I'm running again, all of a sudden, a whole range of things come into play that I have-- requirements I have to change and move and do," Mr. Biden said. "In terms of election laws. and it's much too early to make that kind of decision. I'm a great respecter of fate. And so, what I'm doing is I'm doing my job. I'm gonna do that job. And within the timeframe that makes sense after this next election cycle here, going into next year, make a judgment on what to do."

"You say that it's much too early to make that decision," Pelley said. "I take it the decision has not been made in your own head?"

"Look, my intention as I said to begin with is that I would run again," the president said. "But it's just an intention. But is it a firm decision that I run again? That remains to be seen."

Biden: ‘The pandemic is over’
Biden says U.S. forces would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion



China lodges complaint after Biden says U.S. would defend Taiwan in a Chinese invasion


The Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday that China has lodged "stern representations" with the United States, after U.S. President Joe Biden said U.S. forces would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion.

China reserves the right to take all necessary measures in response to activities that split the nation apart, said Mao Ning, spokesperson at the foreign ministry, at a regular media briefing.

"We are willing to do our best to strive for peaceful reunification. At the same time, we will not tolerate any activities aimed at secession," Mao said.



U.S. aircraft carrier to visit South Korea amid North Korean threats
                            The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) is escorted into Busan port, South Korea, after completing a joint drill with the South Korean military on Oct. 21, 2017. A U.S. aircraft carrier is to visit South Korea this week for its first joint training with South Korean warships in five years, officials said Monday, Sept. 19, 2022, in an apparent show of force against increasing North Korean nuclear threats. (Jo Jung-ho/Yonhap via AP, File)

A U.S. aircraft carrier is to visit South Korea this week for its first joint training with South Korean warships in five years, officials said Monday, in an apparent show of force against increasing North Korean nuclear threats.

The USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier and its battle group will arrive at a southeastern South Korean naval base on Friday for a combined training meant to boost the allies’ military readiness and to show “the firm resolve by the Korea-U.S. alliance for the sake of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula,” the South Korean navy said in a statement.

It would be the first such joint drills involving a U.S. aircraft carrier near the peninsula since 2017, when the U.S. sent three aircraft carriers including the Reagan for naval drills with South Korea in response to North Korean nuclear and missile tests, according to the South Korean Defense Ministry.



Lawmakers Frustrated With Talks Over Manchin Permitting Reform Deal


Tension in Congress is building as Democrat leaders try to satisfy Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., in a continuing resolution (CR) to avoid a government shutdown.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer made a deal with Manchin to include permitting reform in the CR to get his support for President Joe Biden's since-signed climate and healthcare bill.

Now, Schumer and other Democrat leaders are working behind closed doors to finalize an agreement before the month's end.



Trump facing rough poll numbers as he hits the road for GOP candidates, mulls 2024 bid


Former President Donald Trump’s favorability rating is gradually sliding downward even as the ex-president hits the road on behalf of Republican midterm candidates and hints he is ready to launch a 2024 bid for another four-year term in the White House.

An NBC News poll released Sunday reported that just 34% of registered voters have a positive view of Mr. Trump, compared to 54% who have a negative view.

Only 32% had a positive view of Mr. Trump in April 2021, a few months after he left office. His rating bounced up to 38% by August, as President Biden stumbled over Afghanistan and COVID-19, but positive feelings about Mr. Trump have slid downward since then.

By comparison, 42% of voters have a positive view of Mr. Biden and 47% have a negative view.



Abbott sends more migrants to Harris' residence


A second busload of migrants sent from Texas showed up outside Vice President Kamala Harris' Washington, D.C. home on Saturday, as southern Gov. Greg Abbott (R) continued his controversial protest of Biden administration immigration policies, the Texas Tribune reports.

The Texas leader has been busing migrants to D.C. (and other more northern, liberal cities) since the spring, but has this week been targeting Harris specifically after she described the southern border as secure during an appearance on Meet the Press. On Thursday, for instance, he sent two buses full of 100 some migrants to her home at the Naval Observatory.

"The Biden-Harris Administration continues ignoring and denying the historic crisis at our southern border, which has endangered and overwhelmed Texas communities for almost two years," the governor said this week, per the Tribune. "Our supposed Border Czar, Vice President Kamala Harris, has yet to even visit the border to see firsthand the impact of the open border policies she has helped implement, even going so far as to claim the border is 'secure.'"

The group of approximately 50, mostly Venezuelan migrants that arrived Saturday also included a one-month old baby, The Guardian notes.



Migrant busing campaign exposes extreme rift over America’s borders

                   An immigrant family makes their way to the bus transporting from St. Andrews in Edgartown, Mass., to Vineyard Haven and the ferry to Woods Hole, Friday, Sept. 16, 2022. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took the playbook of a fellow Republican, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, to a new level by catching officials flat-footed in Martha's Vineyard, Mass., with two planeloads of Venezuelan migrants. On Friday, the migrants were being moved voluntarily to a military base on nearby Cape Cod, Mass. (Ron Schloerb/Cape Cod Times via AP)

There may be no other issue on which the red-blue divide runs as deep as immigration right now, and you have to look no further than the spat between Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Mr. Abbott is running for reelection in November on a get-tough immigration platform, battling the Biden border surge with state police, his own border wall and a busing campaign that is sending migrants to Democratic-led cities of Washington, New York and Chicago.

Ms. Lightfoot, who faces voters in February, has responded by blasting the Republican governor as un-Christian and “racist” but said she would happily take the new arrivals he was sending her.

She has even used the fight to raise money for her campaign.


Gavin Newsom Is ‘Unequivocally’ Running for President in 2024 if Biden Doesn’t (Exclusive)


California Governor Gavin Newsom is “undeniably, unequivocally” planning to run for president in 2024 if President Biden chooses not to seek a second term, two individuals with knowledge of Newsom’s plans told TheWrap.

“After this midterm election is over, he absolutely is going to announce that he is running for the presidency once Biden announces that he is not running,” a leading California fundraiser with close ties to the Newsom family told TheWrap. “No ifs, ands or buts. He will run if Biden does not.”

A second individual close to the governor, a Los Angeles philanthropist with deep connections in the Democratic Party and a long history of fundraising for its candidates, confirmed Newsom’s intention to run.

But is Biden running again? In a “60 Minutes” interview that aired on Sunday, Biden told CBS’ Scott Pelley that it’s “much too early” to make a decision on that. “Look, my intention, as I said to begin with, is that I would run again,” Biden said. “But it’s just an intention. But is it a firm decision that I run again? That remains to be seen.”



Prospect of far-right female premier divides Italian women


If Italy elects the nation’s first female premier, will its women be delighted or dismayed?

Should opinion polls prove on the mark, Giorgia Meloni and the far-right Brothers of Italy party she co-founded less than a decade ago will triumph in the Sept. 25 election. Meloni might then be asked by Italy’s president to try to form a viable coalition government with right-wing allies.

For many female voters, it’s a question of gender versus agenda.

Some worry that Meloni, who exalts motherhood, might seek to erode women’s rights, including abortion access.


More Top News

U.S. commanders wary of growing nuclear alliance between China and Russia

A world where emotions trump reality and scientism replaces science

Conservatives bristle at impact of SCOTUS rulings on guns, abortion and religious liberty

Marines won't dismiss troops rejecting COVID-19 shot on religious grounds



What Republicans must do to win in November


Republicans are still painting in pastels instead of bold colors.

Even the profoundly dangerous and oxymoronically named “Respect for Marriage Act” has failed to draw concerted GOP opposition. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been playing coy, saying he needs to see the final draft. Really? Haven’t the Democrats, including Sen. Joe Manchin III, already rolled him enough?

The Elephant Party seems to be counting on President Biden’s awful performance and a reeling economy to generate a congressional reset.

Maybe. But experience has taught us that you can’t beat something with nothing, even if that something is flat-out horrific, like Mr. Biden’s “Mein Kampf” moment in Philadelphia.



Biden’s fuzzy math fuels racial division

The FBI's numbers show hate crimes account for .06% of all arrests

The Biden administration’s race war continued this week with the president’s deceptively named “United We Stand” summit to expose the supposed widespread threat of violent extremism and White supremacy in America. The government website stokes fear and division in stark terms. “Americans cannot participate in the basic activities of everyday life—like shopping at the grocery store or praying at their house of worship—without the fear of being targeted and killed for who they are, our democracy… is at risk.”

In an effort to convince Americans that we don’t have a crime wave, a mental health crisis or rampant societal rot due to welfare’s broken promises, President Joe Biden is again manipulating and demonizing the population. As we saw with pandemic reporting, there’s fuzzy math and deliberate information management being utilized to drive the narrative that White supremacists are somehow a significant threat to society. The contrived hysteria will be used to target the administration’s opponents like the dictators of some third-world Banana Republic or fascist regime.

Like the left’s anti-cop narrative about indiscriminate killings of Black men, the facts about extremism decisively expose the left’s subterfuge.


" 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
Bill Conveys Special Honor to Last WWII Medal of Honor Recipient ...
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.


From the Archives

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 acknowledging material I was writing about in 1998.

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 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 report noted: “Within Europe all e-mail, telephone and fax communications are routinely intercepted by the United States National Security Agency, transferring ll target information from the Eurv opean 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 th 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.”