Tuesday August 26th, 2014

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

Updated 1341 PDT                               
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World & National

Gov. Jerrry Brown Welcomes Illegals to California
              

On Monday evening, California Governor Jerry Brown said all Mexicans, including illegal immigrants, are welcome in California.

According to the Los Angeles Times, while introducing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who said America is "the other Mexico," Brown "spoke about the interwoven histories of Mexico and California." He "nodded to the immigrants in the room, saying it didn't matter if they had permission to be in the United States."

"You're all welcome in California," Brown reportedly said.



Cannabis-infused fizzy drinks on sale in US
The 'ridiculously relaxing' drinks come with 10mg of marijuana in cherry, lemon or pomegranate flavour
                     Cannabis-infused fizzy drinks on sale in US
A cannabis-infused fizzy drink is now on sale in the state of Washington as part of the ever-expanding US market for legal pot products.

Less than two months after recreational cannabis became legal in the west coast state, Washingtonians can now get their highs out of a soda bottle.

The drinks, called Legal, come in cherry, lemon and pomegranate flavours but are all infused with 10mg of liquid cannabis. The drinks cost around $10 (£6).



American fighting for Islamic State killed in Syria

A 33-year-old San Diego man was killed over the weekend fighting for the Islamic State, NBC Newsand CNN are reporting.

NBC said it has seen photos of Douglas McAuthur McCain’s passport and body — which features a distinctive neck tattoo. NBC, citing an activist linked to the Free Syrian Army who also saw the photos, said McCain was among three foreigners fighting with ISIS who died in Syria.

The State Department is “aware of these reports” but could not confirm the death, spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, adding that officials are in contact with McCain’s family.



Tepid Response to Obama's VA speech at American Legion

President Barack Obama faced a tough crowd on Tuesday – American military veterans – and fell flat on his applause lines as he failed to win over the American Legion's convention-goers.

His 35-minute speech seemed to have reminded the audience of the stark divide between the White House's policy choices and the feelings of the men and women often called on to carry them out.

A Virginia legionnaire who served in the U.S. Marine Corps told MailOnline that 'a small group of Obama's admirers – and there are some here – sat near the front and tried to generate applause for him about 10 times.'



Cease Fire to end seven weeks of Gaza fighting?

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, said on Tuesday from the occupied West Bank that a formula had been accepted by all parties and that a ceasefire had gone into effect at 16.00 GMT.

He hailed the agreement as a chance to "build a new nation and end the occupation", before thanking Egypt, Qatar and the US for their roles in brokering the agreement made during indirect talks in Cairo.



Putin, Poroshenko end bilateral talks over Ukraine


Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko held one-on-one talks Tuesday in Minsk against a backdrop of rising tension over the Ukrainian capture of 10 Russian paratroopers on Ukrainian territory.

The leaders spent two hours discussing bilateral concerns for the first time since June following a regional economic summit in MInsk in which Putin said there is no military solution to the crisis in Ukraine.



Lawmakers demand vote on US military action against ISIS

President Obama and military leaders are weighing a host of factors as they consider expanding airstrikes into Syria, including the Assad regime’s demand to seek permission first and warnings that the strikes could trigger ISIS retaliation.

But they soon could face another complication: Congress.



U.S. appeals court challenges state on gay marriage bans

A U.S. appeals court in Chicago appeared ready to strike down gay marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin after vigorously challenging the two states' attorneys at a hearing on Tuesday.

The oral arguments before a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals come at a crucial stage in the legal fight over same-sex marriage as the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to take up the issue in its next term.



Poll: African Americans Think Race Relations Have Gotten Worse Since Obama

Fewer African Americans say blacks and whites get along well today than felt that way in 2009, according to a new Pew Research Center/USA Today poll. From 2007 to 2009, the number of black respondents who said blacks and whites get along “very well” or “pretty well” increased seven percentage points, to 76 percent. But since 2009, the share of black respondents who had a positive view of race relations has dropped twelve points, to 64 percent. Similarly, white respondents who thought blacks and whites got along well increased three percentage points from 2007 to 2009, but decreased five percentage points from 2009 to 2014.

The poll also found that 70 percent of black respondents thought police did a poor job of treating racial and ethnic groups equally, while just 25 percent of whites say they do a bad job. Democrats were more critical of police performance than Republicans, and but Pew found that much of the discrepancy could be attributed to the views of African-American Democrats.



Michelle's Secret Service prevents filming of walk?
Why did the Secret Service try to keep Vocativ from filming the first lady out for a morning walk on a busy road?

Vocativ was on Martha’s Vineyard over the weekend to film a piece about the African-American community on the island. While we were shooting on Beach Road, one of the busiest thoroughfares on the Vineyard, the Secret Service approached and asked us to switch off our camera for 15 minutes.

A moment later, first lady Michelle Obama power walked by our crew. She was out for some exercise with a small group—and a serious security detail. It was 9:30 in the morning.

Our producer and cameraman were surrounded by Secret Service agents and very strongly advised to stop filming. At one point, Mrs. Obama looked in their direction and said, “Don’t do that.” It’s unclear if she was telling the agents to leave us alone, or scolding us for filming on public property.



Will there be a GOP wave in the Seante?

So where’s the wave? This is President Obama’s sixth-year-itch election. The map of states with contested Senate seats could hardly be better from the Republicans’ vantage point. And the breaks this year—strong candidates, avoidance of damaging gaffes, issues such as Obamacare and immigration that stir the party base—have mainly gone the GOP’s way, very unlike 2012.

Nonetheless, the midterms are far from over. In every single one of the Crystal Ball’s toss-up states, (Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana and North Carolina), the Republican Senate candidate has not yet opened up a real polling lead in any of them. Democratic nominees have been running hard and staying slightly ahead, or close to, their Republican foes. (See Politico's interactive Senate ratings.)



Seth Meyers Opening Monologue Skewers Industry
         Seth Meyers Emmys Opening Video

Seth Meyers opened the Emmy Awards with a monologue skewering everything from the TV industry to the fact that the ceremony was being held on a Monday.

The host was not shy about taking shots at network television — and even his own employer, NBC — as competitors like HBO and Netflix rack up hits.

It’s definitely worth watching.




Ferguson facts versus visions
The idea that heavily armed police cause riots is false

The political left has been campaigning against the use of force since at least the 18th century. So it is not surprising that they are now arguing that heavily armed or aggressive police forces only inflame protesters and thus provoke violence.

Statisticians have long warned that correlation is not causation, but they have apparently warned in vain.

There is no reason to doubt that heavily armed police in riot gear may be more likely to show up where outbreaks of violence are expected. But when violence then breaks out, does that prove that it was the appearance of the police that caused it?



The devious designs of Operation Choke Point

President Obama wasn’t kidding about acting on his own if Congress won’t go along with his plans to “fundamentally transform” the country that elected him president. Sometimes he tries his phone, then if Congress blocks his agenda, his pen, but more and more often he’s simply acted without consulting or even informing Congress. In some cases, he’s even actively sought to keep Congress in the dark about new programs he’s started without even submitting them to Congress for approval.

This year, Congress has even learned about administration initiatives not from the White House, or the agencies implementing them, but from the press or their own constituents.



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

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.