Thursday October 23rd 2014

"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     

U.S. misinformed Congress, public on immigrant release
Some of the immigrants freed last year as a cost-saving move had criminal records far more serious than the Obama administration has previously disclosed.
              

New records contradict the Obama administration's assurances to Congress and the public that the 2,200 people it freed from immigration jails last year to save money had only minor criminal records.

The records, obtained by USA TODAY, show immigration officials released some undocumented immigrants who had faced far more serious criminal charges, including people charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, drug trafficking and homicide.

The release sparked a furor in Congress. Republican lawmakers accused the Obama administration of setting dangerous criminals free. In response, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it had released "low-risk offenders who do not have serious criminal records," a claim the administration repeated to the public and to members of Congress.
Aliens charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, drug trafficking and homicide...
'Low-risk offenders who do not have serious criminal records'...


Democrats return to Kentucky with Lundergan Grimes Ads

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee plans to go back on the air in Kentucky after the party has been encouraged by new polls suggesting the race against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is within reach.
                 Alison Lundergan Grimes is shown. | M. Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO

The party committee is reserving $650,000 in airtime to boost Alison Lundergan Grimes after reviewing recent internal and public polling, a DSCC official told POLITICO. The polling, the source says, suggested that undecided voters are moving in the Democrat’s direction.

The decision comes after the big-spending party committee said last week it had no plans to up its buy on the air in Kentucky until Election Day, a sign many interpreted as meaning that Washington Democrats had given up on the race. But with the new ad buy and ongoing DSCC investment in the Grimes voter turnout effort, Democrats are signaling they believe they can still pull off an upset in one of their few pickup chances.



Interpol facial recognition experts meet to develop global guidelines

Biometric experts recently gathered at the first meeting of the Interpol Facial Expert Working Group to begin development on international facial recognition standards, according to a report by Eurasia Review.

Held October 14-15, the meeting saw the participation of 24 technical and biometrics experts along with examiners from 16 nations, including identity and biometrics pioneer Dr Joseph Atick.

Over the course of the two days, these experts successfully created a ‘best practice guide’ for the quality, format and distribution of images to be used in facial recognition.



Canadian Parliament gunman recent Muslim convert

A Muslim convert shot dead a Canadian soldier at the National War Memorial in Ottawa on Wednesday before exchanging dozens of shots with guards inside Parliament in a terrifying attack that left the nation's capital on lockdown.

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau fatally shot Corporal Nathan Cirillo, a 24-year-old father, as he stood guard at the War Memorial on Wednesday morning.

Zehaf-Bibeau then ran inside the Parliament, where he opened fire before he was shot dead by the House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms.



Party Preparations: Senate Maneuvering Begins
With GOP Likely to Take Control of Chamber, Lawmakers on Both Sides Jockey for Position

With Republicans looking increasingly likely to take control of the Senate, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are already considering how they will operate in the chamber if the levers of power are reversed.

For Republicans, the prospect of controlling the Senate is sparking an early debate over whether to change the rules of the road, particularly those guiding nominations and the budget. Such rule changes are arcane but could have a big impact on legislation and who is confirmed to judicial- and executive-branch posts.



Climate change PROVED to be 'nothing but a lie', claims top meteorologist
THE debate about climate change is finished - because it has been categorically proved NOT to exist, one of the world's leading meteorologists has claimed.

John Coleman, who co-founded the Weather Channel, shocked academics by insisting the theory of man-made climate change was no longer scientifically credible.

Instead, what 'little evidence' there is for rising global temperatures points to a 'natural phenomenon' within a developing eco-system.

In an open letter attacking the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, he wrote: "The ocean is not rising significantly.

"The polar ice is increasing, not melting away. Polar Bears are increasing in number.

"Heat waves have actually diminished, not increased. There is not an uptick in the number or strength of storms (in fact storms are diminishing).



Top Lawyer at ICE Resigns

The top lawyer at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has resigned weeks before President Obama is expected to issue a major executive amnesty.

Peter S. Vincent, ICE's principal legal advisor, resigned, telling colleagues in an email Tuesday afternoon “I have decided that the time is right for me to make a change and to move on to other opportunities and challenges.”

There is no evidence Vincent's departure is related to potential executive actions by the president, although the timing is conspicuous.



White House Claims Order for Surge of Immigration IDs For 'Ongoing Operations'?

Grilled by reporters, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest addressed an order for a “surge” of immigration IDs of up to 9 million in one year, but said the move is no confirmation President Obama will issue a major executive amnesty after the election.

“I think those who are trying to read into those specific orders about what the president may decide are a little too cleverly trying to divine what the president’s ultimate conclusion might be,” he said.

As reported by Breitbart News, USCIS is soliciting the materials to required to print green cards and employment permits of the type used to implement Obama's "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" program. The draft solicitation says that in addition to a minimum order necessary to print 4 million such IDs per year, vendors must have the capacity to produce materials for a "surge" of 9 million IDs in 2016.



Midterms Aren't Kind to the Party in the White House


The president is a drag on his party in the upcoming midterms. Candidates are distancing themselves from the Oval Office occupant. And the president has lost the magic that propelled him into the White House. Are we talking again about President Obama? Actually, we’re talking about almost every president since World War II, especially those in their sixth year in office -- the so-called “Six-Year Itch.” Consider these headlines over the past three decades:

This isn’t to dismiss the political problems surrounding Obama and his party heading into next month’s contests. But it is a reminder that the party controlling the White House almost always loses seats in a midterm election. There are two exceptions since World War II -- 1998 (when impeachment backfired against Republicans) and 2002 (after the 9/11 terrorist attacks). And the Senate losses are even bigger in a Six-Year Itch election. Here are the numbers:



Official Autopsy Suppports Officer in Ferguson Shooting

Slain Ferguson teen Michael Brown was shot in the hand at close range, an official county autopsy report obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch shows, bolstering police officer Darren Wilson's claims that the 18-year-old had attacked him.

The Washington Post also reported early Tuesday that at least six African-American witnesses back Wilson's account of the shooting -- that he was attacked by Brown. This challenges earlier accounts that suggested that most black witnesses to the shooting said that Brown was shot for seemingly no reason at all while he had his hands raised.



Kim Jong-Un Freed US Detainee on Obama Request?


North Korea said Wednesday that "criminal" US detainee Jeffrey Fowle was freed on the orders of leader Kim Jong-Un following "repeated requests" from US President Barack Obama.

In a brief despatch, the North's official KCNA news agency said Fowle, 56, had been handed over to the US authorities in accordance with relevant legal procedures.

"Kim Jong-Un, first chairman of the National Defence Commission ... took such a special measure as setting free Jeffrey Edward Fowle, US criminal, taking into consideration the repeated requests of US President Obama," the despatch said.



Taking Back America
Leadership that compromises national security violates the Constitution

Never in my lifetime did I believe this great nation would be taken down and withdrawn from its world leadership position by its own leadership. While some try to explain away the Obama administration’s damaging policies by making excuses, they fail to face reality. This is a planned agenda.

When then-Sen. Barack Obama announced in 2008 that he was going to fundamentally transform America, few Americans comprehended what that declaration actually meant. However, with his radical background and his leftist mentors and associates, his agenda became very clear early on in his presidency.



The new missiles of October

Unlike Kennedy, Obama has brought the current threats upon Americans

In October 1962, America worried whether an untried young president, John F. Kennedy, could keep us safe from nuclear-tipped missiles from nearby communist Cuba.

Today’s October worries are more insidious: the Ebola virus, the macabre Islamic State, a tottering stock market, a bellicose Russia, and a crisis of confidence in our government.
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Much of what the Obama administration and the Centers for Disease Control initially swore about the Ebola virus proved false. The virus really did infect Americans at home, despite assurances that there was “no significant risk.” There always was a danger of infected West Africans entering the United States. The CDC protocols did not protect nurses from infection by Ebola patients.



An Affair to Remember
As Hillary gears up to run, look for attempts to rewrite 1990s history.

As Hillary and Bill Clinton prepare for another White House ramble, the country is fated to endure more than a few 1990s flashbacks, often including attempts to whitewash the real history. The latest character to re-emerge is Monica Lewinsky, the former intern who is doffing her beret to reinvent herself as an anti-cyberbullying activist.

In a speech this week at a Forbes magazine conference that went viral on the Web, Ms. Lewinsky describes herself as a “survivor” of online abuse—she became “the creature from the media lagoon.” As the worst abusers, she cited Matt Drudge and the New York Post, which gave Ms. Lewinsky a term of tabloid endearment as “the portly pepperpot.” Another culprit was “a politically motivated independent prosecutor,” or Ken Starr.

The problem is that Ms. Lewinsky was actually the victim of the Clinton lagoon, as White House operatives tried to destroy her reputation when the scandal broke. The real bullies weren’t online but in the West Wing.

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.

PETRY, LEROY A. Photo

PETRY, LEROY A.

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Organization: U.S. Army
Company: Company D
Division: 2d Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
Place / Date: 26 May 2008, Paktya Province, Afghanistan

Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty: Staff Sergeant Leroy A. Petry distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy in the vicinity of Paktya Province, Afghanistan, on May 26, 2008. As a Weapons Squad Leader with D Company, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Staff Sergeant Petry moved to clear the courtyard of a house that potentially contained high-value combatants. While crossing the courtyard, Staff Sergeant Petry and another Ranger were engaged and wounded by automatic weapons fire from enemy fighters. Still under enemy fire, and wounded in both legs, Staff Sergeant Petry led the other Ranger to cover. He then reported the situation and engaged the enemy with a hand grenade, providing suppression as another Ranger moved to his position. The enemy quickly responded by maneuvering closer and throwing grenades. The first grenade explosion knocked his two fellow Rangers to the ground and wounded both with shrapnel. A second grenade then landed only a few feet away from them. Instantly realizing the danger, Staff Sergeant Petry, unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his safety, deliberately and selflessly moved forward, picked up the grenade, and in an effort to clear the immediate threat, threw the grenade away from his fellow Rangers. As he was releasing the grenade it detonated, amputating his right hand at the wrist and further injuring him with multiple shrapnel wounds. Although picking up and throwing the live grenade grievously wounded Staff Sergeant Petry, his gallant act undeniably saved his fellow Rangers from being severely wounded or killed. Despite the severity of his wounds, Staff Sergeant Petry continued to maintain the presence of mind to place a tourniquet on his right wrist before communicating the situation by radio in order to coordinate support for himself and his fellow wounded Rangers. Staff Sergeant Petry's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service, and reflect great credit upon himself, 75th Ranger Regiment, and the United States Army.




From the Archives

American Fairness to a Fault — a Deadly One
Tuesday, 10 Nov 2009 02:28 PM

American’s tragic flaw is our unbridled fairness, which has been corrupted ever more by the cancer of political correctness to the point we put ourselves at risk rather than create even the perception of prejudice.

Sometime after the VOLAR (all volunteer) Army, the military veered from the “yes sir, yes sir, three bags full” blind adherence to all orders to the concept of refusing “unlawful orders” and that was ostensibly a good thing.

However, the uniformed services do not set or get to pick and choose foreign policy. The civilian leadership sets foreign policy, and the U.S. military enforces it — with a big, honking combined arms stick.

Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters has been one of the rare pundits with the courage to target the “culture of political correctness” in leadership of the military. In at least two interviews on Fox, Peters (correctly) blamed the culture of political correctness for the Army’s diffidence in taking action against Nidal Malik Hasan in the wake of knowledge of the problem.

Many mechanisms exist for dealing with matters of deep conscience — all without killing those one might think disagree with in principle.

However, it is not prejudice to discriminate based on threat facts in evidence. Refusal to act judiciously for fear of a tainted perception is just plain dumb.

Notwithstanding the articulated fears of the Army chief of staff and the secretary of Homeland Security, officials made an epic mistake in handling suspicions about Hasan. A mistake founded on political correctness and sustained by diffidence that cost the lives of innocents.

Reportedly, U.S. intelligence agencies were aware (months ago) that Hasan was attempting to make contact with people associated with al-Qaida. He spoke openly to too many people about his angst and misdirected sympathies. He was apparently a poster child for suspicion, and the Army failed bigtime to intervene.

“It is not known whether the intelligence agencies informed the Army that one of its officers was seeking to connect with suspected al-Qaida figures," the officials said.

But you damnbetcha they SHOULD have done so.

Investigators want to know whether Hasan maintained contact with a radical mosque leader from Virginia, Anwar al Awlaki, who now lives in Yemen and runs a Web site that promotes jihad around the world against the United States.

In a recent blog posting titled "Nidal Hassan Did the Right Thing," Awlaki calls Hasan a "hero" and a "man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people."

Increasingly we are told people who knew or worked with Hasan say he seemed to become gradually more radical in his condemnation of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Subordinates and superiors had a responsibility to flag the inappropriate rhetoric, and they apparently did not.

The fear to speak out is a symptom of the PC disease fueled by recriminations and implied threats of discrimination — a fear that indirectly resulted in mayhem.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman said, "If Hasan was showing signs, saying to people that he had become an Islamist extremist, the U.S. Army has to have a zero tolerance," and despite the echo of shutting the barn door after the horse got out, he is right.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey Jr. is concerned that speculation about the religious beliefs of Hasan could “cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers.” He’s right, but such a backlash would be a direct result of the failure of command — not prejudice.

When confronted about whether he thought the Army “dropped the ball” in not responding to warning signs, Casey replied that the Army needs to be careful not to jump to conclusions based on early tidbits of information.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R.-S.C., and Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., both of whom are veterans, took pains to say that Muslims have served honorably in the military and at risk to their lives.

“At the end of the day, this is not about his religion — the fact that this man was a Muslim,” Graham said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

But, hey, it is (kinda/sorta) about religion (when the FBI says 10 percent of American Mosques preach jihad) — at least from a risk analysis perspective.