Thursday August 18th, 2016

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

I am filling in for Sheriff John McGinnis today from 3-4p on KFBK.



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By Geoffrey M. Metcalf
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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

RANSOM CONFIRMED"
US Wouldn't Let Iran Take 400 Million Until Prisoners Released


U.S. officials wouldn’t let a plane carrying 400 million dollars take off for Iran until three U.S. prisoners departed Iran in January, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The mechanics of the exchange all but confirm accusations that the 400 million dollars in cash was a ransom payment. Saeed Abedini, a former Iranian hostage told The Wall Street Journal, Iranian intelligence officials told him his plane could not take off until the movements of a second plane were confirmed. The second plane is like the U.S. cargo plane carrying 400 million dollars in cash.

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps General Reza Naghdi further confirmed the ransom story in January, telling Iranian state media “Taking this much money back was in return for the release of the American spies.”




Brazil stops two U.S. Olympic swimmeres from leaving over robbery case
Why did Brazilian authorities detain two U.S. swimmers?


Two U.S. Olympic swimmers were prevented from leaving Brazil on Wednesday night as differences emerged in their accounts of an armed robbery they said they endured last weekend.

The U.S. Olympic Committee said Wednesday evening that swimmers Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were removed from their return flight to the United States by Brazilian authorities.

Early Thursday, the USOC released a statement indicating that Conger and Bentz were no longer being detained but were not yet free to leave the country.




Where the president race stands today

Hillary Clinton 44.0% Donald Trump 43.4% Area of uncertainty* Based on 2,500 respondents As of Aug. 18, 201
Rasmussen: It is a 2 point race
Swing States: The Big 5



Donald Trump's shakeup gamble

                     

Donald Trump's reshuffling of his staff this week portends a risky pivot: a bare-knuckled, outsider-focused effort where no tactic for taking down Hillary Clinton will be off limits.

His plummeting poll numbers suggest that he is cruising toward defeat in November unless he is able to drastically change course. But it is unclear how recent leadership changes will help Trump reverse his core problems: his murky message, his scattershot ground game, and his unwillingness to appeal to a broader group of voters.



Clinton Foundation hired cyber firm after suspected hacking

Bill and Hillary Clinton's charitable foundation hired the security firm FireEye to examine its data systems after seeing indications they might have been hacked, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

So far, no message or document hacked from the New York-based Clinton Foundation has surfaced in public, the sources said.

One of the sources and two U.S. security officials said that like hackers who targeted the Democratic National Committee, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democrats' congressional fundraising committee, the hackers appear to have used “spear phishing” techniques to gain access to the foundation's network.



Prison inmates produced defective combat helmets for soldiers
      
A U.S. soldier adjusts his colleague's helmet during a patrol mission in the town of Youssifiyah, Iraq. (Associated Press)

Federal prison inmates used makeshift hatchets and a screw shoved through a piece of wood among other rudimentary tools to manufacture thousands of faulty Kevlar combat helmets designed to protect the lives of U.S. soldiers on the battlefield, according to a highly critical watchdog report that offered new details about the government boondoggle.

More than 126,000 helmets manufactured at a Texas prison under a government contract were recalled after inspectors found major defects, including serious ballistic failures, in 2010, according to a report issued Wednesday by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General. Even though the government and taxpayers lost $19 million on the defective helmets, ArmorSource, the company responsible for the helmets, was awarded more government contracts even as the Justice IG probe was being conducted.



Turkey seizes assets as post-coup crackdown turns to business

Turkish authorities ordered the detention of nearly 200 people, including leading businessmen, and seized their assets as an investigation into suspects in last month's failed military rebellion shifted to the private sector.

President Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to choke off businesses linked to U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom he blames for the July 15 coup attempt, describing his schools, firms and charities as "nests of terrorism."

Tens of thousands of troops, civil servants, judges and officials have been detained or dismissed in a massive purge that Western allies worry Erdogan is using to crack down on broader dissent, risking stability in the NATO partner.



Five years on, Obama's push to oust Syria's Assad proves uniquely futile

Exactly five years ago, President Obama first called for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down, a demand that has proved uniquely futile in a brutal civil war that this week expanded to include Russian warplanes using a base in Iran to launch bombing runs in support of Mr. Assad’s regime.

It was on Aug. 18, 2011, that Mr. Obama first declared publicly that it was “time for the Syrian people to determine their own destiny, and we will continue to stand firmly on their side.” Administration officials argued there could be no lasting peace so long as Mr. Assad, with so much blood on his hands, remained in power.

Rather than relinquish power, however, Mr. Assad dug in. While the U.S. has mostly sat on the sidelines militarily since then, more than 450,000 Syrians have died in the civil war, and Mr. Assad increasingly has relied on Russia to help him in the fight.



Vacation or not, a hurting Lousiniana needs you now, President Obama
    Advocate editorial Published Aug 17, 2016 at 8:00 pm | Updated Aug 18, 2016 at 9:40 am
      


Now that the flood waters ravaging Louisiana are receding, it's time for President Barack Obama to visit the most anguished state in the union.

Last week, as torrential rains brought death, destruction and misery to Louisiana, the president continued his vacation at Martha’s Vineyard, a playground for the posh and well-connected.

We’ve seen this story before in Louisiana, and we don’t deserve a sequel. In 2005, a fly-over by a vacationing President George W. Bush became a symbol of official neglect for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The current president was among those making political hay out of Bush’s aloofness.



A #NeverTrumper surrenders

One by one, the #NeverTrumpers will fall, as they realize the only two people who have a shot at winning the White House are GOP nominee Donald Trump or his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Brad Thor, who has been in the #NeverTrump camp since the beginning and is a respected conservative author, came to this realization on Tuesday, throwing his support behind Mr. Trump. It wasn’t a pretty endorsement, but it was an endorsement all the same.



Trump's path to success
He must appeal to voters eager to feel better about the nation

As both fans and critics await the next Donald Trump controversy, those of us who actually want to beat Hillary Clinton find ourselves trying to channel advice to him.

We sit in front of the TV, whispering: “Stay on message. Find some discipline. Revisit the issues where you are clearly better than she is.”

That’s quite a list. And if he deploys it with skill, we can spend less time wringing our hands over his word choices, and more time enjoying a message that can resonate broadly.

This did not turn out to be a year that welcomed a traditional conservative as the Republican nominee. This annoys many conservatives who wanted a standard-bearer more consistent and more energizing than John McCain or Mitt Romney.



                 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.

VERSACE, HUMBERT R.
'Rocky'
Rank: Captain
Organization: U.S. Army
Date of Issue: 07/08/2002
VERSACE, HUMBERT R. Photo
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.

 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.”