Thursday July 17th, 2014

"It Is Not A Question of Who Is Right Or Wrong But What Is Right Or Wrong That Counts."
--Geoff Metcalf

Updated 0919 PST                                   
Kindle Version of 'In The Arena" only $3.99

World & National

Malaysian Plan 'Shot Down With 295 On Board'
A Boeing 777 traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur reportedly comes down in Ukraine, close to the Russian border.

                


A Malaysian passenger plane with 295 people on board has been shot down as it flew above eastern Ukraine, according to aviation sources.

The plane, which is believed to have been flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was travelling at an altitude of 10km (6.2 miles) when it was shot down, Russia's Inferfax reported.

The aircraft, reportedly a Boeing 777, was brought down by a ground-to-air missile, an adviser to the Ukrainian interior ministry quoted by the news agency said.



Feds Struggling to Cope With Medical 'Breakdown' at the Border
                     

The federal government is so overwhelmed by the current tide of migrants crossing the border it can’t provide basic medical screening to all of the children before transporting them – often by air – to longer-term holding facilities across the country, ABC News has learned.

The director of refugee health in the federal Health and Human Services Department “has identified a breakdown of the medical screening processes at the Nogales, Arizona, facility,” according to an internal Department of Defense memo reviewed by ABC News. The “breakdown” a systemic failure of the handoff of these children between CBP and HHS.

Inside the government, officials are sounding alarms, fearing that they and their teams who come in contact with the sick children face potential exposure to infectious diseases from chicken pox to influenza, including rare cases of H1N1, more commonly called swine flu.
GALLUP: BORDER FLOOD TOP PROBLEM...
REPORT: Obama vows to reduce deportations...
Feds releasing children into unsafe homes...
RELEASED ILLEGAL ALIEN ARRESTED FOR MURDER...
UPDATE: Plans for $50 million 'resort' canceled...


Oklahoma Governor: 'Right to Know' What's Happening With Illegals
                  
Preview

Gov. Mary Fallin said she owes it to Oklahoma citizens to know what was happening in her state with the housing of illegal immigrants.

"I have the right to know. And, I need to be able to tell the citizens of our state what's going on," Fallin, a Republican, told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" on Wednesday.

Yet, when she went to the military facility at Fort Sill, where over 1,000 children are now being held, Fallin said she was told to "be silent and have a quick tour and be out of there."

She said she encountered "an outside organization that had been contracted by the federal government that had set up what they wanted me to see."




Obamacare Navigators, 'Assisters' Helped Less Than Two People Per Day
Nine in ten heard from clients again with post-enrollment problems.

During the open enrollment period for the state and federal health care exchanges, each staff member and volunteer worked with an average of 1.8 people per day, according to a survey of assister programs released by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser calculated the number of people receiving aid between October 1, 2013 and the end of April, 2014:

More than 4,400 Assister Programs, employing more than 28,000 full-time-equivalent staff and volunteers, helped an estimated 10.6 million people during the first Open Enrollment period.

If you do the math, 28,000 individuals assisting 10.6 million people over 210 days breaks down to 1.8 people per day per service representative. While the individualized guidance was time consuming, the study revealed that the assister programs should have been able to help more people in the span of a full workday. The questionnaire answers indicated that 64 percent of the programs spent an average of 1-2 hours with each person, 18 percent took 2-3 hours, and just five percent exceeded three hours.



Al Qaeda Magazine Suggesting Attack On US Open?
Cops Say Inspire Magazine Instructing Would-Be Terrorists On Where To Set Bombs Off    July 16, 2014 2:26 PM

The US Open Tennis Championship appears on a wish list of terror targets in an al Qaeda magazine, an NYPD official said Wednesday.

In a briefing for New York City’s private security community, Rebecca Weiner, the NYPD’s director of intelligence analysis, warned that Inspire magazine is instructing would-be terrorists on how to make bombs and where to set them off, WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond reported.



Israel Denies Cease-fire Reached

Israel's foreign minister says Israel has not yet reached a comprehensive cease-fire agreement with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip despite earlier reports they had an accord.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman dismissed the reports while speaking to a group of diplomats Thursday.

Earlier, an Israeli official was quoted as saying a comprehensive cease-fire would start Friday at 6:00 am local time (0300 GMT).



New sanctions hit Russian assets, spook world shares

A tightening of Western sanctions on Russia rattled world markets on Thursday, sending Moscow stocks and the rouble tumbling and lifting traditional safe-haven currencies and bonds.

The new U.S. sanctions announced late on Wednesday effectively shut off longer-term dollar funding for companies close to President Vladimir Putin. European Union leaders agreed to target Russian firms that help destabilise Ukraine, and to block new loans to Russia through two development banks.
 


Fed kicks off global dollar squeeze as Janet Yellen turns hawkish
A vast wash of dollars flooded the global financial system when the Fed cut rates near zero and then bought $3.5 trillion of bonds. This may now go into reverse

The US Federal Reserve has begun to pivot. Monetary tightening is coming sooner than the world expected, with sober implications for overheated bourses, and for those in Asia, eastern Europe and Latin America that drank deepest from the draught of dollar liquidity.

We can expect a blistering dollar rally, perhaps akin to the early 1980s or the mid-1990s. It is fortuitous that the BRICS quintet of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa have just launched their $100bn monetary fund to defend each other's currencies. Some of them may need it.

America's unemployment rate has fallen from 7.5pc to 6.1pc in 12 months. The country has been adding 230,000 jobs a month in the first half of this year.



Negotiators likely to miss deadline for Iran deal

A photographer stands in front of a poster about the closed-door talks on Iran's nuclear programme, at the International Centerin in Vienna, Austria. File picture: Ronald Zak

Vienna - Iran and six world powers are working to finalise the terms of a likely extension in negotiations over Tehran's nuclear programme beyond a July 20 deadline and an announcement may come as early as Friday, Western diplomats said.

Officials from both sides have said it appears the talks will not yield a breakthrough by the self-imposed target date after two weeks of efforts failed to bridge gaps in positions over a deal intended to end a decade-long dispute.



US Judge Rules Against California Death Penalty


A federal judge ruled California's death penalty unconstitutional Wednesday, writing that lengthy and unpredictable delays have resulted in an arbitrary and unfair capital punishment system.

The decision by U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney represents a legal victory for those who want to abolish the death penalty in California and follows a similar ruling that has suspended executions in the state for years.

Ruling in a case brought against the warden of San Quentin state prison by Ernest Dewayne Jones, who was condemned in 1994, Carney called the death penalty an empty promise.



Tea Party Democrats?
They would lift costly and intrusive regulations — but only on abortion

Few Democrats say things like, “the government is too big and intrusive, and we must cut red tape.” But several Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee sounded like speakers at a Tea Party rally this week in defense of a bill to lift burdensome regulations from the abortion industry.

The committee is considering legislation titled the Women’s Health Protection Act, which sets out to invalidate any and all abortion restrictions at both the state and federal level.



An action plan for VA reform

Uncovering the scandal is one thing; solving it is another

The latest report describing the breakdown of performance and service at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was unsparing. The department suffers from a “corrosive culture,” “little transparency and accountability,” a “lack of responsiveness,” and is “resistant to reforms and change.” These conditions have led to “significant and chronic systemic failures.”

Those must be the criticisms of a staunchly conservative critic of government health care, right? Wrong. In fact, the tough assessment comes from a report on VA care compiled by President Obama’s deputy chief of staff, Rob Nabors.

Released on June 27 as a diagnosis of the patient-care scandal that has consumed the VA, the report offers a scathing look at the department’s dysfunction. As such, it reflects a candid, forthright assessment of what’s gone wrong at the VA.



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.
CARPENTER, WILLIAM KYLE Photo

CARPENTER, WILLIAM KYLE
Rank: Lance Corporal
U.S. Marine Corps
Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an Automatic Rifleman with Company F, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, 1st Marine Division (Forward), 1 Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on 21 November 2010. Lance Corporal Carpenter was a member of a platoon-sized coalition force, comprised of two reinforced Marine squads partnered with an Afghan National Army squad. The platoon had established Patrol Base Dakota two days earlier in a small village in the Marjah District in order to disrupt enemy activity and provide security for the local Afghan population. Lance Corporal Carpenter and a fellow Marine were manning a rooftop security position on the perimeter of Patrol Base Dakota when the enemy initiated a daylight attack with hand grenades, one of which landed inside their sandbagged position. Without hesitation, and with complete disregard for his own safety, Lance Corporal Carpenter moved toward the grenade in an attempt to shield his fellow Marine from the deadly blast. When the grenade detonated, his body absorbed the brunt of the blast, severely wounding him, but saving the life of his fellow Marine. By his undaunted courage, bold fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of almost certain death, Lance Corporal Carpenter reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.



From the Archives

Let Slip the Dogs of War.

On a Short Leash?
By Geoff Metcalf
November 5, 2003


"Vivacity, leadership, must be had, and we are not allowed to be nice in choosing.
We must fetch the pump with dirty water, if clean cannot be had."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love the Army. Metcalfs have served in the Army since before we officially had one. However, I am apoplectic over the chairborne- politically correct cancer-brain flatulence, which reportedly intends to excoriate Lt. Col. Allen B. West for doing his job and saving lives.

The Army has myopically filed a criminal assault charge against an American officer who coerced an Iraqi into providing information that foiled a planned attack on U.S. soldiers. http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20031028-113335-6042r.htm.

Col. West did not torture or physically harm the Iraqi detainee. He did used psychological pressure to scare the snot out of the bad guy. And it worked! After twice firing his service weapon away from the wannabe terrorist (who was an Iraqi police officer) the detainee talked and gave up the information on a planned attack.

Lives were saved and now some uniformed bureaucrats back in the rear with the gear want to destroy the life of a combat leader. It is enough to gag maggots.

When Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan interrogates a bad guy working with terrorists by shooting him in the arms and legs we cheered. When an Army officer scares an enemy in a combat zone with a loud noise they want to nail him to a wall?

The same kind of politically correct desk jockey types who are Jonesing to put women in combat, neuter fighter jocks, and impose rules of engagement for a cricket club instead of barbaric 13th century guerrillas, now seek to destroy an exceptionally effective combat leader. What is wrong with this picture?

    Col. West was with the 4th Infantry occupying areas around Tikrit (Saddam's hometown)…a real bad neighborhood infested with bad guys intent on killing him and his troops.
    An informant reported that there was an assassination plot against Col. West.
    The informant told the soldiers that one person involved in the attack was a town policeman.
    Col West had the policeman detained but interrogators couldn't get anything of substance out of him.

FM22-100 (the Army leadership manual) notes that, "Leaders are responsible for the welfare, discipline and tactical deployment of their troops."

Col. West wrote in an email, "I asked for soldiers to accompany me and told them we had to gather information and that it could get ugly…"

    He said his soldiers "physically aggress[ed]" the prisoner. Apparently they pushed him around.
    After the pushing around failed, Col. West says he brandished his pistol.
    "I did use my 9 mm weapon to threaten him and fired it twice. Once I fired into the weapons clearing barrel…and the next time I did it while having his head close to the barrel. I fired away from him. I stood in between the firing and his person.
    He said, "I admit that what I did was not right but it was done with the concern of the safety of my soldiers and myself." I disagree. Given the results…that saved lives, his actions were both appropriate and effective.

Unlike many politicians and corporate types with less honor and character he did not try to cover up or hide what he did. He informed his superior of his actions.

The incident resulted in the bad guy providing the location of the planned sniper attack and the names of three guerrillas.

If Col West had waited for the ambush and shot and killed the Iraqi cop, no harm/no foul. However, because he 'scared' him with an implied threat of force 'preemptively', the Army wants to destroy his life and blow off over 19 years of superior dedicated service? For what…implementing 'The Bush Doctrine' down to Battalion level?

His wife, said, "My husband is a top-of-the-line officer. My husband is an African-American. He has had to overcome a number of things to get where he is."

Col. West is prepared to "…accept being retired at the grade of major and paying whatever fine required, but resignation and prison seems an attempt to destroy me,"…BULLFEATHERS! Now, more than ever, we NEED officers like this man.

The Army's division of political correctness doesn't like West's interrogation tactic. An Article 32 hearing has been scheduled lead to the court-martial and a potential prison term of eight years. They should have given him a medal and promotion.

Some soldiers are hinky about the Army's drive to punish the officer for an interrogation technique that probably is used regularly to get information from terrorists.

There ARE consequences to what we do and don't do. For a military struggling with morale, recruiting and retention issues to do what they are to Col. West WILL exact a cost. It is a cost we cannot and should not be forced to endure.

Woodrow Wilson observed," Leadership does not always wear the harness of compromise…Men of strenuous minds and high ideals come forward.... The attacks they sustain are more cruel than the collision of arms.... Friends desert and despise them.... They stand alone and oftentimes are made bitter by their isolation...."

Please don't allow Col. West to "stand alone." Spread the word. There IS an election around the corner.