Tuesday August 2nd, 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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World & National

ISIS hit list targets 700 U.S. Army soldiers
Names possibly culled by hacking government websites
      Demonstrators chant pro-Islamic State slogans as they wave the group's flags in front of the provincial government headquarters in Mosul, Iraq, on June 16, 2014. (Associated Press) **FILE**
The Islamic State is specifically targeting the U.S. Army, putting out a list of 700 soldiers the terror army wants it followers to kill.”

United Cyber Caliphate (UCC), the Islamic State’s 3-month-old hacking consortium, has posted a number of such lists. Analysts say most names appear to be publicly available and randomly chosen as opposed to UCC actually hacking into a website and stealing the information.

But in the July 25 posting by the Islamic State — also known as ISIL, ISIS or Daesh — a Pentagon official told The Washington Times analysts have not yet found an open source for the Army “kill list.” The possibility is that one or more government sites were hacked, the source said.

The Islamic State’s U.S. Army list begins with the headline, “We want them #dead. #Revenge for Muslims. kill the dogs.”

The Times reviewed the list. The soldiers are stationed at a number of different bases, including Fort Riley, Kansas, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and Fort Belvoir outside Washington, D.C. The list includes their names, addresses, phone numbers and official email addresses.

Trump warns about 'rigged' general election
‘I hope the Republicans are watching closely or it’s going to be taken away’
      Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Cumberland Valley High School, Monday, Aug. 1, 2016, in Mechanicsburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is warning about the possibility that the November election will be “rigged” and “taken away” from Republicans.

“It was rigged, I thought, a little bit for me and we won in landslides,” Mr. Trump said on Fox News’ “Hannity” program Monday evening. “I think it was rigged against Bernie Sanders with his superdelegates nonsense. The guy never had a chance.”

“And I’m telling you, November 8 we better be careful because that election’s going to be rigged, and I hope the Republicans are watching closely or it’s going to be taken away from us,” he said.

Trump Calls Hillary a 'Pathological Liar'

Donald Trump on Tuesday tweeted a video about Hillary Clinton calling her "pathological liar."

The video references The Washington Post report that called Clinton's statements during a Fox News interview "untruthful."

The video presents clips of Clinton making claims about never receiving classified emails, then counters them with statements made by FBI Director James Comey.

At the bottom of the screen, a Clinton cartoon's nose grows throughout the video, referencing the fictional character Pinocchio, whose nose grew when he told a lie.

Turkey claims Gulenists controlled intel service, says overhaul coming

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he’s restructuring Turkey’s intelligence apparatus, claiming the spy services were under the control of a U.S.-based Muslim cleric he blames for staging last month’s coup attempt against him.

The assertions came as Turkey’s justice minister sent a second document to Washington on Tuesday demanding the arrest of cleric Fethullah Gulen, a former Erdogan ally who has been living in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since the late-1990s.

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported that Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag sent the document explaining why there was an urgent need for Mr. Gulen’s arrest, according to The Associated Press.

Pentagon Poised to Approve Work on New Nuclear-Armed Missile
          Image: Pentagon Poised to Approve Work on New Nuclear-Armed Missile

The Pentagon is preparing to approve development and production of a new intercontinental ballistic missile, opening competition between three top defense contractors and rekindling debate over whether the U.S. can afford to modernize its triad of nuclear weapons.

Frank Kendall, the Defense Department's top weapons buyer, has convened a closed session of the Defense Acquisition Board for Wednesday to review the Air Force's acquisition strategy and updated cost estimates for replacing Minuteman III nuclear-armed missiles that have sat in silos for almost 50 years.

The Air Force last year estimated the program would cost $62.3 billion for research and development and production of as many as 400 missiles as well as command and control systems and infrastructure. Lockheed Martin Corp., Boeing Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp. are all competing to build the new ICBMs.

FBI Employee Pleads Guilty to Being Illegal Chinese Agent

An FBI electronics tech has pleaded guilty to funneling sensitive information to China.

Kun Shan Chun entered the plea on Monday in federal court in Manhattan.

The 46-year-old Chun was accused of giving a Chinese official photos of documents displayed in a restricted area of the FBI's New York office. Prosecutors say he also provided an FBI organizational chart and revealed the identity and travel plans of an FBI agent.

Secrets, Denials, and, Decades Later, a medal of Honor for a Vietnam Medic

Unofficially, in the jungles of Laos in 1970, hundreds of North Vietnamese troops closed in on a small team of United States Army commandos. Unofficially, as men were shot down, a medic sprinted through a hail of bullets to help, hefting a man over his shoulder as he fired back with one hand. Unofficially, even when bloodied by a rocket, the medic kept going, not sleeping for days as he cared for 51 wounded soldiers.

Officially, though, American troops were not in Laos. So officially, nothing happened.

The medic, Sgt. Gary Rose, was part of the secret Studies and Observations Group, an elite division of Special Forces. After the assault, the group recommended him for the military’s highest award, the Medal of Honor. But at the time, President Richard M. Nixon was denying that American troops were even in Laos. The nomination was shelved, an example of what veterans of the group say was a pattern of medals being denied or downgraded to hide their classified exploits.

This summer that decision is poised to be reversed.

Spread of Zika, and cloud of fear, threatens Florida's tourism way of life
Larry Smart, a Miami-Dade County mosquito control inspector, uses a fogger to spray pesticide to kill mosquitoes. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Mike Rigelsky, a lawyer in Ohio, last fall planned the Disney World vacation of a lifetime: A week of theme parks in the Orlando sun, including a planned family photo shoot during which his sister would announce her pregnancy.

Yet as concerns mounted over Zika, the crippling virus that health officials say is now spreading by mosquitoes in southern Florida, Rigelsky and his sister did what scores of bridesmaids, parents and other vacationers did before them: They canceled, unwilling to risk an infection of Zika, which can have devastating effects on an unborn child.

Chinese Navy holds live-fire drills in East China Sea
The Chinese Navy held live-fire drills in the East China Sea on Monday, the Defense Ministry said in a short statement posted to its website.

The drills, the statement said, involved firing dozens of missiles and torpedoes and was aimed at bolstering “the assault intensity, precision, stability and speed of troops amid heavy electromagnetic influences,” an apparent reference to electronic warfare.

“An information technology-based war at sea is sudden, cruel and short, which requires fast transition to combat status, quick preparation and high assault efficiency,” the statement said.

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton Stepping Down

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton will be stepping down as New York City’s top cop next month.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Bratton’s resignation at City Hall on Tuesday. James O’Neill, currently the Chief of Department, will be taking over as the new commissioner.

“We will never forget or fail to honor the achievements of Bill Bratton,” de Blasio said. “He and I have developed an intense bond over these last 31 months and I am happy for the future.”

Media hypocrisy at all-time high on Beghazi mother, Khans

I believe we should honor every family whose son or daughter gave the ultimate sacrifice serving in our law-enforcement or military.

That’s why I was so appalled at the way Patricia Smith was treated by the mainstream media after she gave a heartfelt speech at the Republican National Convention. Mrs. Smith is the Gold Star Mother of Sean Smith, a U.S. foreign service officer who was slain in Benghazi. She’s also charged that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lied to her about her son’s death — blaming the incident on a viral anti-Islam video.

MSNBC host Chris Matthews claimed — immediately after her speech — that she “ruined” the evening with her criticism of Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Matthews called it a “gross accusation” that Mrs. Clinton had anything to do with the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi.

Neither wit nor humor, but a lot of lyin' goin' on

Wit and humor have been drained from our politics, and this year it’s just as well. There’s not much to laugh about. Either candidate would be something of joke enough in any other year.

Donald Trump sometimes tries to make a funny, but Bob Hope himself never tried to make anyone laugh with a blunderbuss. A true wit uses a rapier, and the Donald doesn’t appreciate the difference between a rapier and a toothpick. The idea of Hillary trying to tell a joke beggars anyone’s belief. She tried it once on the stump in Arkansas and when nobody laughed she spent the next 10 minutes explaining why it was supposed to be funny.

But you’ve got to have the audience for humor. A lot of voters, and nearly all the media, can’t recognize a line for a laugh. Everything is taken as dead serious.

                 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.

Rank: Captain
Organization: U.S. Army
Date of Issue: 07/08/2002
VERSACE, HUMBERT R. Photohttp://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jul/28/philadelphia-denies-sanctuary-city-status-but-just/

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.”