Monday November 27th, 2023
"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

Qatar: Israel, Hamas Agree to 2-Day Truce Extension

                                      A group of Israelis celebrate as a helicopter carrying hostages released from the Gaza Strip lands at the helipad of the Schneider Children's Medical Center in Petah Tikva, Israel, Sunday Nov. 26, 2023. The cease-fire between Israel and Hamas was back on track Sunday as the militants freed 17 more hostages, including 14 Israelis and the first American, in exchange for 39 Palestinian prisoners in a third set of releases under a four-day truce. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Israel and Hamas agreed to extend their cease-fire for two more days past Monday, the Qatari government said, bringing the prospect of a longer halt to their deadliest and most destructive war and further exchanges of militant-held hostages for Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

The announcement, made by Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman Majid Al Ansary in a post on X, came on the final day of the original four-day truce between the warring sides. A fourth swap of hostages for prisoners under that deal was expected later Monday. Qatar, along with the United States and Egypt, has been the key mediator in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Israel has said it would extend the cease-fire by one day for every 10 additional hostages released. After the Qatari announcement, Hamas confirmed it had agreed to a two-day extension "under the same terms."

But Israel says it remains committed to crushing Hamas' military capabilities and ending its 16-year rule over Gaza after its Oct. 7 attack into southern Israel. That would likely mean expanding a ground offensive from devastated northern Gaza to the south, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have crammed into United Nations shelters, and where dire conditions persist despite the increased delivery of aid under the truce.

    Released Gaza Prisoner Already Investigated for Inciting Terror

War threatens to end Netanyahu power; Israelis fed up with divisiveness, defiance of accountability

                                       Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, centre, greets soldiers as he visits the Gaza Strip, where he received security briefings with commanders and soldiers and visited one of the tunnels that has been revealed, on Sunday Nov. 26, 2023. (Avi Ohayon/GPO/Handout via AP)

The bloody campaign to crush Hamas is perhaps the most ambitious undertaking of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decades of rule.

Growing evidence indicates it may also be his political swan song.

Even as the nation rallies together after Hamas’ horrific Oct. 7 terrorist assault and while a shaky cease-fire and prisoner exchange plays out, a recent survey showed Mr. Netanyahu’s approval rating among the Israeli public at a dismal 22%. Even fewer Israelis support the prime minister’s coalition government in the aftermath of the attack.

Joe Biden can ‘no longer be propped up’ President slammed ahead of 2024 elections ‘can’t be trusted’

                                                     Lauren Chen and Joe Biden

Joe Biden can “no longer be propped up” with the US President facing mutiny from sections of his own voter base, Lauren Chen has claimed.

The political commentator says there is “trouble ahead” for the Democrats as the party struggles with its stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Swathes of youngsters have taken to the streets of America demanding a ceasefire, a position at odds with the US President who is steadfast in his support for Israel.

“There’s no question that he is, whether you’re Democrat or Republican, frankly, just not physically and mentally fit to serve as president”, she said.

The Ukrainians Have Blown Up So Many Russian Vehicles Near Avdiivka That The Russians Are Now Attacking On Foot
                                      Artillery from the Ukrainian 53rd Mechanized Brigade. 53rd Mechanized Brigade photo

After losing hundreds of armored vehicles in direct assaults on Ukrainian positions in and around Avdiivka, in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region, the Russian armed forces are switching to dismounted infantry assaults.

It’s not a terrible idea, tactically speaking. Ukrainian brigades switched from mounted to dismounted assaults this summer during their counteroffensive in southern Ukraine and, as a result, advanced 10 or a dozen miles along at least two important axes.

But infantry assaults can be risky when the enemy is dug in, the weather is wet and cold and—perhaps most gravely—the footbound soldiers don’t have good air and artillery support.

Russia reshuffles assets amid heavy losses in Ukraine, say British officials

Trump says GOP cannot give up on repealing Obamacare

Democrats see a political boon for their side

Democrats are pouncing on former President Donald Trump‘s pledge to find alternatives to Obamacare, a repeal-and-replace mantra that proved costly for Republicans in past election cycles.

Mr. Trump, writing on his social media platform, said “the cost of Obamacare is out of control, plus, it’s not good Healthcare.”

Liberals responded with glee and signaled they would take a double-barreled approach to attacking Mr. Trump and the GOP on health care in the 2024 elections.

They tied Mr. Trump‘s renewed interest in scrapping the Affordable Care Act to his role in appointing three Supreme Court justices who helped to overturn the national right to abortion, opening the door to states’ limits on the procedure.

Trump hints at expanded role for the military within the US. A legacy law gives him few guardrails

Campaigning in Iowa this year, Donald Trump said he was prevented during his presidency from using the military to quell violence in primarily Democratic cities and states.

Calling New York City and Chicago “crime dens,” the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination told his audience, “The next time, I’m not waiting. One of the things I did was let them run it and we’re going to show how bad a job they do,” he said. “Well, we did that. We don’t have to wait any longer.”

Trump has not spelled out precisely how he might use the military during a second term, although he and his advisers have suggested they would have wide latitude to call up units. While deploying the military regularly within the country’s borders would be a departure from tradition, the former president already has signaled an aggressive agenda if he wins, from mass deportations to travel bans imposed on certain Muslim-majority countries.

The Insurrection Act allows presidents to call on reserve or active-duty military units to respond to unrest in the states, an authority that is not reviewable by the courts. One of its few guardrails merely requires the president to request that the participants disperse.

Supreme Court asked to upend administrative agency proceedings, civil penalties

The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on whether civil penalties imposed by a federal agency, not a judicial court, violate the Constitution in a case that legal experts say could unravel the administrative state.

In SEC v. Jarkesy, which the justices are scheduled to hear Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission seeks to overturn a lower court ruling that it violated the Seventh Amendment when an in-house administrative law judge fined a hedge fund manager $300,000 for a securities violation.

Depending on the extent of the decision, a ruling against the SEC could limit or even end federal agencies’ in-house proceedings and require federal judges to rule in administrative cases.

Iran Adds Sophisticated Warship to Caspian Fleet

Iran's navy on Monday added a destroyer capable of launching cruise missiles to its Caspian Sea fleet, state media reported.

The 1,400-ton Deilaman destroyer, named for a town in north of Iran, is 312 feet long and 36 feet wide and is able to launch torpedoes while traveling at 30 knots (35 mph), the state-owned IRNA news agency said.

Deilaman can detect more than 100 targets, including vessels, drones, helicopters, submarines and aircraft, simultaneously, the report said.

Robert Kennedy Jr. counts on youth in push to get on all 50 state ballots

A determined independent presidential hopeful has not given up on his quest to win the White House. He may get some traction this week with young voters — with the help of a 15,000-square-foot nightclub.

“Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is hitting the campaign trail to continue his bid for president of the United States of America. As an independent candidate, Kennedy has launched a huge grassroots effort to get on the ballot in all 50 states,” his campaign said in a written statement shared with Inside the Beltway.

“Normally, independent candidates pay companies millions of dollars to gather signatures. We’re taking a different route that starts with our thousands of volunteers in every state,” Mr. Kennedy said in the written statement.

The candidate is making the most of his events. At his upcoming campaign rallies, Mr. Kennedy’s fans will be offered the chance to add their signatures to the official ballot petition.

Abortion access and 2024 elections

Issue is probably not going to save Biden, nor is it likely to help Trump

The recent defeat of the pro-life cause in Ohio has been identified as the ratification of a new moment in American politics, one in which red states ultimately are turned blue over the issue of access to abortion, which is popular, even in many red states.

When voters have had a chance to vote on the issue — in isolation — since the Dobbs decision, abortion access has won all seven times. Not surprisingly, the left, increasingly divided over fundamental economic and foreign policy issues, intends to use the abortion issue to improve turnout and reverse their recent electoral fortunes in states such as Virginia and Florida. 

That certainly seems reasonable, but it is not at all clear the extent to which abortion politics affect general elections.

Post-pandemic COVID-19 vaccine distrust

Few Americans are eager for another round

An autumn chill always precedes the annual period of cold-weather maladies. It was during such a season four years ago that murmurings of a fearful coronavirus disease arose, the memories of which are still fresh.

Even though the updated COVID-19 vaccines are “safe, effective and free,” according to assurances of public-health officialdom, Americans aren’t buying it, refusing to roll up their sleeves any more.

“CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect against the potentially serious outcomes of COVID-19 illness this fall and winter,” reads a recent advisory from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The government agency reported that as of Nov. 17, a vanishingly small 5.4% of Americans had received the recently released 2023-24 COVID-19 jab. Even the vulnerable 65-plus cohort only logged a 31.7% vaccination rate. By contrast, 35.1% of the population has accepted inoculation for the seasonal flu.

Medal of Honor
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For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a pilot in Fighter Squadron 32, while attempting to rescue a squadron mate whose plane, struck by antiaircraft fire and trailing smoke, was forced down behind enemy lines. Quickly maneuvering to circle the downed pilot and protect him from enemy troops infesting the area, Lt. (j.g.) Hudner risked his life to save the injured flier who was trapped alive in the burning wreckage. Fully aware of the extreme danger in landing on the rough mountainous terrain, and the scant hope of escape or survival in subzero temperature, he put his plane down skillfully in a deliberate wheels-up landing in the presence of enemy troops. With his bare hands, he packed the fuselage with snow to keep the flames away from the pilot and struggled to pull him free. Unsuccessful in this he returned to his crashed aircraft and radioed other airborne planes, requesting that a helicopter be dispatched with an ax and fire extinguisher. He then remained on the spot despite the continuing danger from enemy action and, with the assistance of the rescue pilot, renewed a desperate but unavailing battle against time, cold, and flames. Lt. (j.g.) Hudner's exceptionally valiant action and selfless devotion to a shipmate sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

From the Archive....

                 By Geoff Metcalf
                 July 29, 2002

            Two mutually exclusive and under reported stories have been troubling me.

               *   The apparent penchant for political operatives to leak classified information that jeopardizes national security.
               *   The generational control of information dissemination by powerful controllers.

            So we have another ‘Catch-22’.

            The complicity of the mainstream media to spin, cover, and obfuscate government abuse of power under the color of authority was not unique to the Clinton administration.  It may have been more ubiquitous, and at times even clumsy, but it was not unique.

            It has been reported that in June 1991 David Rockefeller allegedly told a Bilderberg meeting in Baden Baden German, "We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years." He went on to explain: "It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supernational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries."

            Some argue that quote is apocryphal urban legend.  However, although I have never been able to find three corroborating independent sources for it, it IS consistent in content and tone with other Bilderberg quotes I HAVE been able to confirm.

            “If we had been subjected to the light of publicity….” Indicates the one world, globalist, wannabe controllers were/are successful in managing the message.

            Operation ‘Mockingbird’ was a program supposedly conceived by a brilliant Machiavellian State Department official, Frank Wisner.  Wisner selected Philip Graham, then publisher of the Washington Post to manage the program.  According to Deborah Davis, author of ‘Katharine the Great’, "By the early 1950s, Wisner 'owned' respected members of the New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and other communications vehicles, plus stringers, four to six hundred in all, according to a former CIA analyst."

            Over twenty five major newspapers and wire services became willing house organs for the CIA media manipulation.

            Investigators digging into MOCKINGBIRD have been flabbergasted to discover FOIA documents in which agents boast (in CIA office memos) of  pride in having placed "important assets" inside every major news publication in the country.

            I know, this is the stuff of Ludlum novels conspiracy wackos, but not until 1982 did the ‘Company’ finally concede that reporters on the CIA payroll have been case officers to field agents.

            I have too often observed, “Some people don’t like to be confused with facts that contradict their preconceived opinions.”  I have also noted (and struggle to maintain) “It is not WHO is right or wrong…but WHAT is right or wrong.”

            Anyone with almost ‘any’ military experience has no doubt seen the once ubiquitous posters cautioning “Loose Lips Sink Ships”.  It is a left over phrase from WWII and among “lessons learned”.

            In the complex world of intelligence loose lips can and have cost lives.

            Once upon a time, not so long ago, Senator Patrick Leahy (currently the Senate Judiciary committee’s lead obstructionist) used to be the Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in the mid 80s.  Leahy allegedly ‘inadvertently’ exposed a top-secret intercept of Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak that led to the capture of the Achille Lauro terrorists.  That supposed slip of the tongue “cost the life of at least one Egyptian operative.”

            Loose Lip Leahy was forced to resign in disgrace 14 years ago in the wake of having to acknowledge he leaked secret intelligence to the press.   However today he lords his power over the Senate Judiciary committee.  Congress’ institutional memory must be as short as some of Jennifer Flowers former paramours.

            In our contemporary environment in which whistleblowers have become in many cases heroes it is important to make the distinctions between the appropriateness of corporate and political whistleblowers and the idiot or miscreant who leaks information with genuine national security implications.

            Currently the FBI is investigating national security leaks from specifically the House and Senate Select Intelligence committees.  This is serious stuff.

            Defenders of the indefensible will argue it is a political witch-hunt by politicians in a heavy C.Y.A. mode.  That is not true but a convenient political spin job.

            Sure it is true the white house is p.o.-ed over media reports that the National Security Agency had received but not acted on two early warning messages to 9/11.  Dick Cheney reportedly went ballistic and ripped congressional leaders.  Both House and Senate Select Intelligence committees asked the Attorney General to conduct an investigation (and no doubt quietly prayed it would be botched).

            Justice said in a statement, “…the appropriate department officials will expeditiously review this matter and take any appropriate action.”  Not if congress has anything to say about it.  Don’t expect anything fast.  Remember Leahy resigned in disgrace 14 years ago and today has the chutzpah to pontificate ad nauseum to the Judiciary committee and stall any and all Bush judicial appointments.

            More on Operation Mockingbird



            2002 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved

            Geoff is a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers.  A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Metcalf has hosted his radio talk show on the ABC/Disney owned and operated KSFO and in worldwide syndication.