Monday October 9th, 2017


"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 
"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

Trump unveils new strict 70-point immigration enforcement plan
Calls for comprehensive rewrite of laws to stiffen border and interior, cut chain migration
              

Determined to finally solve illegal immigration, the White House submitted a 70-point enforcement plan to Congress Sunday proposing the stiffest reforms ever offered by an administration — including a massive rewrite of the law in order to eliminate loopholes illegal immigrants have exploited to gain a foothold in the U.S.

The plans, seen by The Washington Times, include President Trump’s calls for a border wall, more deportation agents, a crackdown on sanctuary cities and stricter limits to chain migration — all issues the White House says need to be part of any bill Congress passes to legalize illegal immigrant “Dreamers” currently protected by the Obama-era deportation amnesty known as DACA.

But the plans break serious new ground on the legal front, giving federal agents more leeway to deny illegal immigrants at the border, to arrest and hold them when they’re spotted in the interior, and to deport them more speedily. The goal, the White House said, is to ensure major changes to border security, interior enforcement and the legal immigration system.



EPA announces end of Clean Power Plan

             

Scott Pruitt announced Monday that the Trump administration would roll back Obama era regulation on coal-fired power plants.

“I’m here to make an announcement that’s very, very important for you. Tomorrow, in Washington, D.C., I’ll be signing a proposed rule to withdraw the so-called Clean Power Plan of the past administration and thus begin the effort to withdraw that rule,” Mr. Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said at an event in Kentucky.

The Clean Power Plan aimed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, especially coal-burning plants, and increase renewable energy resources. States had to submit plans to the EPA on how they planned to reduce those emissions late last year. The regulation has been challenged in court on the constitutionality of the plan. In August, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia gave the EPA an additional 60 days to review the plan and submit their position to the court before settling on the legality of the rule.



Sen. Bob Corker: Trump's actions could put U.S. 'on a path to World War III'

Sen. Bob Corker accused President Trump of treating the presidency like “a reality show” and said his actions could put the U.S. “on the path to World War III,” according to an interview in Sunday’s New York Times.
“He concerns me,” Mr. Corker, Tennessee Republican, said in a lengthy interview Sunday night. “He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation.”

Mr. Corker, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the president’s actions in international affairs has “hurt” the country in negotiations with other nations.

“I know for a fact that every single day at the White House, it’s a situation of trying to contain him,” Mr. Corker said to the newspaper.



Harvey Weinstein Forced Out of His Own Company

Harvey Weinstein has been forced out of the independent film company he co-founded and catapulted to Oscar glory, felled by a mushrooming sexual harassment scandal that has hobbled his status as a media mogul and left his future in Hollywood in jeopardy. The Weinstein Company's board of directors has voted to remove Weinstein from the studio, leaving control of the company in the hands of Weinstein's brother, Bob Weinstein, and chief operating officer David Glasser, it was announced in a statement from the company Sunday.

"In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Company - Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar - have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately."



Pence's walkout over take-a-knee protest comes as NFL struggles with ratings, fan outrage

Vice president departs after 23 San Francisco 49ers refuse to stand for national anthem
                Vice President Mike Pence, front center, stands during the playing of the national anthem before an NFL football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

The last thing the NFL needed as it struggles with declining ratings, falling ticket prices and fan outrage was a major take-a-knee dust-up Sunday involving Vice President Mike Pence, but that’s what the league got.

Mr. Pence walked out of the Indianapolis Colts game after 23 players for the visiting San Francisco 49ers knelt in protest on the sideline during the national anthem at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The vice president later came under fire from 49ers safety Eric Reid, who called the early exit a “PR stunt” and example of “systemic oppression.”
49ER: What 'Systemic Oppression' Looks Like...
Jerry Jones says those who 'disrespect flag' won't play...
DOLPHINS required to stand...
Coach resigns after damning snorting video surfaces...


Concensus on gun control stops with regulation of bump stocks

As investigators search for a motive behind last week’s Las Vegas massacre, there is growing consensus in Washington about the need for at least one modest gun control measure — but the agreement ends there, as Democratic lawmakers push for new laws while firearms advocates simply want to tighten existing regulations.

Lawmakers in both parties, the White House and the National Rifle Association have found common ground on outlawing so-called bump stocks, devices that increase rates of fire and can essentially create fully automatic weapons.
Stephen Paddock, the gunman who killed 58 people and wounded hundreds more when he opened fire on a Las Vegas country music festival from inside his hotel room a week ago, used guns equipped with bump stocks.



Raging Wine Country Wildfires Burn Homes; Force Evacuations

Wind-whipped wildfires roared to life Sunday night and early Monday across Wine Country, burning building, forcing evacuations and injuring several people.

The Atlas Peak fire was the largest of several wildfires, quickly growing to more than 200 acres near Napa. Meanwhile, the fire near Calistoga had burned several building and sent several people to the hospital to be treated for burns.

Cal Fire said firefighters were battling several blazes in Sonoma County. The largest was in the area of Porter Creek Road and Petrified Forest Road near Calistoga where mandatory evacuations were ordered for residents along Porter Creek, Petrified Forest, Franz Valley and Mountain Home Ranch Rd.



Iran promises 'crushing' response if U.S. designates Guards a terrorist group


Iran promised on Monday to give a “crushing” response if the United States designated its elite Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist group.

The pledge came a week before President Donald Trump announces a final decision on how he wants to contain the Islamic Republic.

He is expected on Oct. 15 to “decertify” a landmark 2015 international deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program, a step that by itself stops short of pulling out of the agreement but gives Congress 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions.

Trump is also expected to designate Iran’s most powerful security force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) as a terrorist organization, as he rolls out a broader, more hawkish U.S. strategy on Iran.



Old divisions, renewed violence
How the Sixties created the fault lines that still bedevil the nation

Virginia Tech, Newtown, San Bernardino, Orlando, Las Vegas … a roll call of carnage so familiar that we can almost repeat it in our sleep. We read the number of dead and wounded. But these are really tragedies beyond reckoning, as the tears of loved ones wash upon the shores of illimitable grief.

If the chaos of contemporary life sometimes seems overwhelming, those of us who lived through the 1960s at least understand its origins. The threat to the rule of law began in earnest that decade and, after a period of remission, has now reemerged in full force. Understanding that threat, and the divisions the 1960s created, is essential to restoring respect for law today.

Derangement then, as now, seemed on the march: two Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King assassinated. Riots flaring in Watts, Detroit, Rochester, and Newark.



Why sports and politics do not mix

Left-leaning journalists are ruining sports by weighing in on political protests instead of sticking to the game

There’s a famous old Woody Allen joke that: “those who can’t do, teach. And those that can’t teach, teach gym.”

Well here’s a modernized version of this old saw. Those who can’t do, write. And those who can’t write, write about sports.

One of the most amazing revelations about the shameful and unpatriotic antics by NFL players who are taking the knee or even lying on the ground stretching during the national anthem, has been the near-universal approval by sports journalists. The left has infiltrated the locker room, and sports commentators now all think they are social reformers and muckrakers. Fake news is now endemic on the sports pages too.



"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.



3/14/20017

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 (www.nytimes.com/2017/03/09/opinion/the-truth-about-the-wikileaks-cia-cache.html?_r=0) acknowledging material I was writing about in 1998 (http://www.wnd.com/1998/04/6108/ ).

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 (https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukusa/ ) 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 London Telegraph reported in December of 1997 that the Civil liberties Committee of the European Parliament had officially confirmed the existence and purpose of ECHELON. “A global electronic spy network that can eavesdrop on every telephone, e-mail and telex communication around the world will be officially acknowledged for the first time in a European Commission report. …”

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

An interesting sidebar appeared in the International Herald Tribune under the headline, “Big Corporate Brother: It Knows More About You Than You Think.” The story details Acxiom Corp, which was a humongous information service hidden in the Ozark foothills. Twenty-four hours a day, Acxiom electronically gathered and sorts all kinds of data about 196 million Americans. Credit card transactions and magazine subscriptions, telephone numbers, real estate records, automotive data, hunting, business and fishing licenses, consumer surveys and demographic detail that would make a marketing department’s research manager salivate. This relatively new (legal) enterprise was known as “data warehousing” or “data-mining”, and it underscores the cruel reality that the fiction of personal privacy has become obsolete. Technology’s ability to collect and analyze data has made privacy a quaint albeit interesting dinosaur.

The Tribune reported that “Axciom can often determine whether an American owns a dog or cat, enjoys camping or gourmet cooking, reads the Bible or lots of other books. It can often pinpoint an American’s occupation, car and favorite vacations. By analyzing the equivalent of billions of pages of data, it often projects for its customers who should be offered a credit card or who is likely to buy a computer.”

Most of this information is from y 1998 piece.  Echelon has developed, matured, and morphed into a much more powerful hybrid. ‘Carnivore’ was software to help triage the cacophony of data. Vault 7 and ‘Umbrage’ are logical (some would argue “insidious”) growth.

    More to follow…