Thursday October 30th 2014

"It Is Not A Question of Who Is Right Or Wrong But What Is Right Or Wrong That Counts."
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World & National     

Quarantined Ebola nurse takes cops for a Ride
She defies orders to stay home
              Nurse Kaci Hickox went for an hour-long bike ride on Thursday morning because, she said, 'there was nothing to stop her'

Nurse Kaci Hickox defied Maine's mandatory Ebola quarantine on Thursday and headed out for a bike ride with her boyfriend.

The 33-year-old nurse left her home in Fort Kent, Maine with partner Ted Wilbur this morning, wearing gloves, a safety helmet and couple of layers of fleece to combat the bitter cold.

Miss Hickox broke her quarantine at 9am and took an ATV trail behind her home for the hour-long ride. A state trooper who had been stationed outside the house followed her in a police cruiser.
CDC: EBOLA SNEEZE WARNING...
Feds Scramble for HAZMAT Suits...


Talks With Ebola Nurse Fail
Governor to Use 'Full Authority'


Negotiations with nurse Kaci Hickox, who refuses to be quarantined after treating Ebola patients in West Africa, have "failed" and the governor of Maine will now "exercise the full extent of his authority," according to a statement from the governor's office.

Gov. Paul LePage didn't say whether that meant getting a court order to enforce Hickox's quarantine or forcing her to take an Ebola blood test. Earlier today, LePage indicated to ABC News that he would abandon his demand that Hickox remain under quarantine if she would agree to take a blood test for the lethal virus.

"I was ready and willing -- and remain ready and willing -- to reasonably address the needs of healthcare workers meeting guidelines to assure the public health is protected," LePage said.



Bigger Qarantines to Come in US


The United States will face a greater threat from Ebola this winter as the epidemic in West Africa slowly turns into a potential worldwide pandemic and leads to outbreaks in cities across the country, according to a noted medical analyst.

In an opinion column for Forbes, Dr. Scott Gottlieb says that during January and February, public health officials will have a tough time tracking the "contacts" of Ebola patients as dozens of possible cases pop up nationwide, especially with the spread of the flu adding to the confusion.




Former Gitmo detainees suspected of joining ISIS

As many as 20 to 30 former Guantanamo Bay detainees -- some of whom were released within the last three years -- are suspected by intelligence and Defense officials of having joined forces with the Islamic State and other militant groups inside Syria, Fox News has learned.

The development has cemented fears that the U.S. military would once again encounter militants taken off the battlefield.

The intelligence offers a mixed picture, and officials say the figures are not exact. But they are certain at least some of the released detainees are fighting with the Islamic State, or ISIS, on the ground inside Syria. Others are believed to be supporting Al Qaeda or the affiliated al-Nusra Front in Syria.

A number of former detainees also have chosen to help these groups from outside the country, financing operations and supporting their propaganda campaigns.



Dems Didn't Run Far or Fast Enough From Obama
              Image: National Journal: Dems Didn't Run Far or Fast Enough From Obama

In anticipation of Democrats losing control of the Senate, White House officials are implying that candidates should have tied themselves more closely to President Barack Obama, but according to the National Journal, "this is pure delusion."

"Obama is the main reason Republicans are well-positioned to win control of the upper chamber next Tuesday. And Democrats' biggest strategic mistake in this election is that most candidates didn't run away far and fast enough," wrote Josh Kraushaar, political editor of the National Journal.

"Given the president's rock-bottom approval numbers in the many Republican-friendly Senate states that Democrats needed to win — as well as the reality of a worsening political environment for the party as early as last winter — that distance was a downright necessity. But a host of Senate candidates failed to create it, and the party is likely to pay the price in Senate seats."



Obama Could Replace Aides Bruised by a Cascade of Crises

One day this month, as the nation shuddered with fears of an Ebola outbreak and American warplanes pounded Sunni militants in Syria, President Obama’s national security adviser, Susan E. Rice, invited a group of foreign policy experts to the White House to hear their views of how the administration was performing.

She was peppered with critiques of the president’s Syria and China policies, as well as the White House’s delays in releasing a national security strategy, a congressionally mandated document that sets out foreign policy goals. On that last point, Ms. Rice had a sardonic reply.

“If we had put it out in February or April or July,” she said, according to two people who were in the room, “it would have been overtaken by events two weeks later, in any one of those months.”



UN Watchdog Urgues Israeel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

Israel should investigate all alleged violations committed by its forces during three recent wars in Gaza and ensure military commanders are brought to justice for any crimes, a U.N. human rights watchdog said on Thursday.

A panel of independent experts urged Israel to halt construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, stop confiscating land for their expansion, prevent violence against Palestinians and take measures to withdraw all settlers.



Democrats in Panic Mode, Fear Over Incumbent Losses in Blue States

Desperate Democrats are rushing to save suddenly vulnerable House incumbents, even in states where President Barack Obama cruised to double-digit victories, amid fresh signs of Republican momentum less than a week before the midterm elections.

The once friendly terrain of New York, California, Obama's native state of Hawaii and adopted state of Illinois all now pose stiff challenges to Democrats who are determined to limit their losses next Tuesday. Both parties agree the GOP will hold its House majority; the question is whether Republicans can gain enough seats to rival their post-World War II high water mark of 246.

The current breakdown is 233-199 in favor of the Republicans with three vacancies.



Netanyahu Remarks Showcase Obama's 'Incompetence'

The flap over derogatory statements made about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by an unnamed White House official shows President Barack Obama's real views, and exhibits his foreign policy "incompetence" that has been reflected in strained relations with countries around the world, Charles Krauthammer told "Fox & Friends" on Thursday.

"There is no doubt that what we saw is an accurate reflection of what they think. That's the reason they won't offer an apology. Everybody knows it's how the president thinks about the Israeli leadership under (Israeli Finance Minister Yair) Lapid, under Bibi," said Krauthammer, a syndicated columnist, referencing the prime minister's nickname.

The Atlantic reported on Tuesday that a senior White House official called Netanyahu a "chickens..t" who was "scared to launch wars," adding he was only interested in "protecting himself from political defeat."



Ebola public relations has trumped American public safety


Maybe we need hazmat suits to protect us from our leaders.

The president has two primary jobs: to protect and defend the Constitution, and to protect and defend the American people from all enemies foreign and domestic. At the state level, governors have the same two fundamental obligations.

The Ebola virus is a unique threat: It’s highly contagious, doesn’t discriminate in choosing its victims, kills about 70 percent of those it infects, and currently there is no vaccine.



A fact-free, postmodern make-it-up world
Rejection of facts could prove lethal

Do bothersome facts matter anymore?

Not really. This is an age when Americans were assured that the “Affordable Care Act” lowered our premiums. It cut deductibles. Obamacare allowed us to keep our doctors and health plans, and lowered the deficit. Those fantasies were both demonstrably untrue and did not matter, given the supposedly noble aims of health care reform.

The Islamic State is at times dubbed “jayvee,” a manageable problem and a dangerous enemy — or anything the administration wishes it to be, depending on the political climate of any given week.

Some days Americans are told there is no reason to restrict connecting flights from Ebola-ravaged countries. Then, suddenly, entry from those countries is curtailed to five designated U.S. airports. Quarantines are both necessary and not so critical, as the administration weighs public concern versus politically correct worries over isolating Third World African countries.

Ebola is so hard to catch that there is no reason to worry about casual exposures to those without clear symptoms. However, then why do health authorities still try to hunt down anyone who had even a brief encounter with supposedly asymptomatic carriers?



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.


BENAVIDEZ, ROY P.
Rank: Master Sergeant
Organization: U.S. Army
Company: Detachment B-56
Division: 5th Special Forces Group


 
BENAVIDEZ, ROY P.
 
Citation

Master Sergeant (then Staff Sergeant) Roy P. Benavidez United States Army, who distinguished himself by a series of daring and extremely valorous actions on 2 May 1968 while assigned to Detachment B56, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Republic of Vietnam. On the morning of 2 May 1968, a 12-man Special Forces Reconnaissance Team was inserted by helicopters in a dense jungle area west of Loc Ninh, Vietnam to gather intelligence information about confirmed large-scale enemy activity. This area was controlled and routinely patrolled by the North Vietnamese Army. After a short period of time on the ground, the team met heavy enemy resistance, and requested emergency extraction. Three helicopters attempted extraction, but were unable to land due to intense enemy small arms and anti-aircraft fire. Sergeant Benavidez was at the Forward Operating Base in Loc Ninh monitoring the operation by radio when these helicopters returned to off-load wounded crewmembers and to assess aircraft damage. Sergeant Benavidez voluntarily boarded a returning aircraft to assist in another extraction attempt. Realizing that all the team members were either dead or wounded and unable to move to the pickup zone, he directed the aircraft to a nearby clearing where he jumped from the hovering helicopter, and ran approximately 75 meters under withering small arms fire to the crippled team. Prior to reaching the team's position he was wounded in his right leg, face, and head. Despite these painful injuries, he took charge, repositioning the team members and directing their fire to facilitate the landing of an extraction aircraft, and the loading of wounded and dead team members. He then threw smoke canisters to direct the aircraft to the team's position. Despite his severe wounds and under intense enemy fire, he carried and dragged half of the wounded team members to the awaiting aircraft. He then provided protective fire by running alongside the aircraft as it moved to pick up the remaining team members. As the enemy's fire intensified, he hurried to recover the body and classified documents on the dead team leader. When he reached the leader's body, Sergeant Benavidez was severely wounded by small arms fire in the abdomen and grenade fragments in his back. At nearly the same moment, the aircraft pilot was mortally wounded, and his helicopter crashed. Although in extremely critical condition due to his multiple wounds, Sergeant Benavidez secured the classified documents and made his way back to the wreckage, where he aided the wounded out of the overturned aircraft, and gathered the stunned survivors into a defensive perimeter. Under increasing enemy automatic weapons and grenade fire, he moved around the perimeter distributing water and ammunition to his weary men, reinstilling in them a will to live and fight. Facing a buildup of enemy opposition with a beleaguered team, Sergeant Benavidez mustered his strength, began calling in tactical air strikes and directed the fire from supporting gunships to suppress the enemy's fire and so permit another extraction attempt. He was wounded again in his thigh by small arms fire while administering first aid to a wounded team member just before another extraction helicopter was able to land. His indomitable spirit kept him going as he began to ferry his comrades to the craft. On his second trip with the wounded, he was clubbed from additional wounds to his head and arms before killing his adversary. He then continued under devastating fire to carry the wounded to the helicopter. Upon reaching the aircraft, he spotted and killed two enemy soldiers who were rushing the craft from an angle that prevented the aircraft door gunner from firing upon them. With little strength remaining, he made one last trip to the perimeter to ensure that all classified material had been collected or destroyed, and to bring in the remaining wounded. Only then, in extremely serious condition from numerous wounds and loss of blood, did he allow himself to be pulled into the extraction aircraft. Sergeant Benavidez' gallant choice to join voluntarily his comrades who were in critical straits, to expose himself constantly to withering enemy fire, and his refusal to be stopped despite numerous severe wounds, saved the lives of at least eight men. His fearless personal leadership, tenacious devotion to duty, and extremely valorous actions in the face of overwhelming odds were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflect the utmost credit on him 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.