Thursday December 1st, 2016

"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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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
Trump to name Gen. Mattis as Defense Secretary
           President-elect Donald Trump calls out to media as he stands with retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse in Bedminster, N.J., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President-elect Donald Trump is expected to name U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis as secretary of defense, according to reports.

For the general to assume the post, he would need Congress to change a federal law that bars anyone who has been on active duty in the past seven years from taking becoming Defense secretary.

The announcement likely will come early next week, according to The Washington Post, which first reported the pick citing sources familiar with the decision.



Mexico: Carrie Will Suffer By Not Moving Plant
 
A Mexican senator is warning Carrier's business will suffer by not moving its Indiana plant to her state of Nuevo Leon, The Hill reported.

"The implications are very serious, not only for Nuevo Leon, but for Carrier," Sen. Marcella Guerra told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

"The one who is going to suffer from this is the company . . . because their products are going to be more expensive," she said. "I understand the fight, because it is same fight all we politicians carry out."



Secretary of State Options Down to Final 4

                   Image: Team Trump: Secretary of State
      Options Down to Final 4

Donald Trump's transition team said Wednesday that the president-elect has narrowed his choice for secretary of state down to four, Politico reported.

Transition senior communications adviser Sean Spicer wouldn't say which four, but Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani are believed to be the front-runners.
Spicer also said there's no timetable for when Trump will announce his pick, only to say that it wouldn't be this week.
 
"At this time, the secretary of state position has been narrowed down to four potential candidates," Spicer said on a conference call, according to Politico. "But to that point, we do not anticipate any further Cabinet appointments the rest of this week."

In addition to Romney and Giuliani, Trump has met with or reportedly considered four others for the cabinet position:



Trump createing commerce-friendly White House

             President-elect Donald Trump, keeping with his pro-business
      campaign, nominated billionaire Wilbur Ross for commerce secretary
      and wealthy Wall Street insider Steve Mnuchin to head the
      Treasury. The selections of such wealthy barons of the financial
      sector were seen by some as breaking Mr. Trump's pledge to
      "drain the swamp" as president. (Associated
      Press)

President-elect Donald Trump was already closing a deal to keep U.S. workers employed at the Carrier air conditioner plant in Indiana as he stacked his Cabinet with Wall Street titans Wednesday, creating the most business-friendly White House that America has seen in a long time.

Trump transition officials boasted that the Carrier deal was an early down payment on his campaign promises to restore manufacturing jobs and that his team — namely Treasury secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin and commerce secretary nominee Wilbur Ross — had the business savvy necessary to help kick the U.S. economy into overdrive.

Mr. Trump was assembling a “Cabinet of winners,” said Trump transition spokesman Jason Miller.



Obama has nearly ruled out UN action on Israel
Sources say Trump’s victory put kibosh on internal discussions about last-ditch peace attempt

President Barack Obama has nearly ruled out any major last-ditch effort to put pressure on Israel over stalled peace negotiations with the Palestinians, US officials said, indicating Obama will likely avoid one last row with Israel’s government as he leaves office.

Frustrated by the lack of progress, Obama for more than a year had considered giving a major speech describing his vision for a future peace deal or, in a more aggressive step, supporting a United Nations resolution laying out parameters for such a deal. Although the goal would be to impart fresh urgency to the moribund peace process, either step would have been perceived as constraining Israel’s negotiating hand while strengthening the Palestinians’ argument on the world stage.



Putin sends warship to Crimea as Ukraine begins missile tests
Putin's warships have been dispatched to Crimea's western coastline in response to the start of Ukrainian missile tests nearby, as tensions in the region reach fever pitch.

Vessels from Russia's Black Sea Fleet have taken up position near the disputed Crimean peninsula - which was illegally annexed from Ukraine in 2014 - to help strengthen the air defences.

The aggressive land grab plunged Ukraine-Russia and east-west relations to their lowest point in years and threatened a new Cold War.

Kiev began two days of missile tests today, angering Russia, which has put its air defence forces on high alert.

Moscow has warned that the war games will not disrupt international flights.



Vladimir Putin says Russia hopes to 'normalise' relations with U.S.
              
Mr Putin has said he hopes for an improvement in relations
      with the United States under Donald Trump, right

Vladimir Putin has called for a new era of cooperation with the United States under Donald Trump’s presidency, in an annual state of the nation speech that struck a conciliatory but uncompromising tone on foreign policy. 

In an address to government ministers, MPs, and top Kremlin officials,  Mr Putin said Russia and the United States are “jointly responsible for international stability and security” and that a good relationship was in the interests of the “whole world.”

"We are ready for cooperation with the new American administration,"Mr Putin said in the Kremlin on Thursday.



Janet Napolitano vows to protect undocumented California college students

The University of California system announced Wednesday that campus police will not undertake joint efforts with any law enforcement agencies to investigate students suspected of breaking federal immigration laws.

Police officers at the UC’s 10 campuses will not contact, detain, question or arrest any individual solely on the basis of immigration status, except as required by law, the school system said in a statement.

The move comes in response to the election of Donald Trump, who has promised a widespread crackdown on illegal immigration.



Russia, USA and China are reppping for all-out Space War
SUPERPOWERS are preparing to dominate in a devastating space war, which could destroy life on Earth as we know it, experts have warned.
       
As countries seek to maintain control in outer-space, competition between nations will give rise to apocalyptic cosmic attacks, according to security officials.

Nightmare scenarios might leave vast swathes of the planet in the dark as intergalactic weapons knock out satellites and launch cyber attacks.

General John Hyten, head of US Strategic Command, told CNN: "As humans go out there, there has always been conflict. Conflict in the Wild West as we move in the West ... conflict twice in Europe for its horrible world wars.
I warned of this Ten Years ago
And again in 2009


GOP may delay Obamacare replacement for years
Republicans are setting up a high-stakes deadline to replace the healthcare law.

Prepare for the Obamacare cliff.

Congressional Republicans are setting up their own, self-imposed deadline to make good on their vow to replace the Affordable Care Act. With buy-in from Donald Trump’s transition team, GOP leaders on both sides of the Capitol are coalescing around a plan to vote to repeal the law in early 2017 — but delay the effective date for that repeal for as long as three years.

They’re crossing their fingers that the delay will help them get their own house in order, as well as pressure a handful of Senate Democrats — who would likely be needed to pass replacement legislation — to come onboard before the clock runs out and 20 million Americans lose their health insurance. The idea is to satisfy conservative critics who want President Barack Obama’s signature initiative gone now, but reassure Americans that Republicans won’t upend the entire health care system without a viable alternative that preserves the law’s popular provisions.



Senate Democrats want extra scrutiny of Trump Cabiet picks, demand tax returns

Senate Democrats pushed Thursday to force all of President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees to turn over their tax returns before confirmation, signaling fierce fights ahead over his picks.

The new rule, which would require agreement from Senate Republicans, was described as a transparency measure and a means to force Mr. Trump to keep his campaign promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington.

“Americans deserve to know whether or not President-elect Trump’s team of millionaires and billionaires will actually work for all the American people or only the wealthy and well-connected,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, who is taking over as chairwoman of the Senate Democrats’ policy and communications operation.



House Democrats change caucus rules

Attempt to quell disgruntled lawmakers

House Democrats on Thursday changed the rules governing their caucus in an attempt to assuage rank-and-file members that tried — and failed — to remove Nancy Pelosi this week as their leader in the lower chamber.

Mrs. Pelosi announced the caucus has carved out a new positions on the leadership team for a newly elected member of Congress and for a lawmaker that has less than five terms under their belt.

The caucus also created three new elected co-chair positions on the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee that will be elected and announced the leader of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, who had been tapped by the leader in previous years, would be selected by the entire caucus.



The dangers of a hasty Congo election

A peaceful presidential transition requires more preparation

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been the target of criticism in recent weeks with editorials in major newspapers calling on our president to step down. A resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives is demanding the same thing and congressional hearings are scheduled soon. A cursory reading of the DRC Constitution would suggest that the president should step aside, but that’s too simple and, in fact, dangerous.

Congo does not have a history of smooth transitions of power. In fact, quite the opposite. That’s why a national dialogue that included opposition parties recently agreed that presidential elections will be held, but not this year. Time is needed to create circumstances that would allow a new president to take charge peacefully, for a change.

While the president’s second elected term ends Jan. 19, the constitution states and a court interpretation has affirmed that a successor should be elected before the incumbent steps down. That is why the DRC has created a bridge mechanism, including an interim government, which is being formed now from a range of political parties with the interim prime minister coming from the opposition.


"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.

 "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.”