Tuesday November 11, 2014

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

Veterans Day


Updated 1205 PDT                               
                                                                                                                                                            
Call anytime(888) 283-5051




   Old Blood: The Beginning, Book 1 | [Charles Thornton]          Product Details  

Old Blood: The Beginning, Book One 
Old Blood Book Two




Lost Scrolls of the Holy Beclay: Lost Scrolls, Book 1 | J. K. Haugen 


Please Listen to Geoff's Audio Books
(and tell ten people to tell ten people to tell ten people?)

World & National     

History of Veterans Day
       


World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"



Obama and Putin are odd couple at Beijing summit
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, passes by US President Barack Obama at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014 in Beijing. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Presidential Press Service)

A few brief encounters between Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin during an Asia-Pacific summit in China on Tuesday spoke volumes about the chilly state of relations between the United States and Russia.

With the two men crossing paths twice this week, first in Beijing and later at a G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, there was little chance they could avoid interacting on the international stage – and with the eyes of the world press and fellow leaders upon them.

Obama and Putin have never had anything close to personal chemistry, and with tensions high especially over Russia’s role in the conflict in Ukraine, there was little warmth on display in their contacts at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.



Putin aims to cement China links as ties with west fray


When Vladimir Putin met China’s president Xi Jinping on Sunday, a memorandum of understanding for a second massive gas supply deal caught most of the attention.

For the Russian president, the deal may be less appealing for its commercial benefits than its ability to advance a larger strategic goal of cementing ties with its eastern neighbour.

According to Russian officials and security analysts, Moscow’s worst stand-off with the west since the end of the cold war has convinced Mr Putin’s government that it must moor its security interests to China because the Euro-Atlantic security architecture is broken beyond repair.



Valerie Jarrett Keeps White House 'Enemies List'
 

Calls are growing for the dismissal of Valerie Jarrett, one of President Barack Obama's most trusted and longest serving advisers, while a new report claims she has been keeping a secret enemies list of those who may have questioned the president.

"Valerie Jarrett is not above keeping a s** list — or as hers was titled, a 'least constructive' list," said a profile in the New Republic by Noam Scheiber.

"One progressive activist recalls Jarrett holding the document during a meeting and noticing her own name on it, along with the names of others in the room. 'It was kind of an honor,' the activist told me.

"This was not out of character for Jarrett. The woman who once resisted [Rahm] Emanuel's commandment against rewarding bad behavior has often gone out of her way to suppress dissent among ideological allies and others who question the president."

The revelation will likely add fuel to the fire among those calling for Jarrett's departure, particularly in the aftermath of a disastrous election which often prompts the shake-up of top brass in an administration.



Valerie Jarrett is now scapegoat-in-chief
         

The media have identified the problem with the Obama presidency and want her tarred and feathered.

Or just fired. Or sidelined. Or made an ambassador to some faraway land.

Her name is Valerie Jarrett. White House aide and longtime Chicago pal of Barack and Michelle Obama has been a target roughly from the day she stepped foot in Washington.

But now, in the wake of the Democrats’ midterm wipeout, the press is really unloading on her. She has become the scapegoat-in-chief.



Doctor, Cured of Ebola, Released With Cheers, Hugs

Dr. Craig Spencer, the last remaining U.S. patient with Ebola, was released from Bellevue Hospital in New York City Tuesday with plenty of hugs and congratulations.

Spencer, 33, was infected with Ebola while working with Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF or Doctors Without Borders) in Guinea.

“Today I am healthy and no longer infectious,” Spencer told a cheering crowd gathered in the lobby of the landmark hospital where he was treated for 19 days.



Democrats Won't Ram Through Obama AG Pick?


President Obama is now expected to wait for Republicans to take control of the Senate instead of trying to push through his attorney general nominee in a Democrat-dominated lame-duck session, The Hill reported Tuesday.

Senate aides from both sides of the aisle cited a crowded agenda that includes many issues Democrats want to pass before the end of this session of Congress in December. One key issue is an overhaul of the National Security Agency.

That goal is a priority for Vermont Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Judiciary Committee who said the committee would have no time to consider the nomination of Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch if it took up a bill to limit the NSA’s domestic spying activities.



Palestinian leader accuses Israel of religious war

The Palestinian president on Tuesday accused Israel of provoking a "religious war" as new violence between the sides broke out in the West Bank, leaving a Palestinian man dead, amid mounting concerns that the long-running conflict is entering a new and dangerous phase.

Mahmoud Abbas blamed the latest tensions on a series of visits by Jewish worshippers to Jerusalem's most sensitive holy site. The visits to the contested site have helped fan strife in a region already on edge following last summer's bloody war in the Gaza Strip and the earlier failure of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's Mideast peace efforts.



IRS Didn't Even Look for Lerner's Missing Emails



Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton has accused the IRS of stonewalling after the agency admitted it has failed to search for Lois Lerner’s missing emails related to the targeting of President Barack Obama’s "enemies list."

The IRS revealed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., last week that it had not searched in its standard computer systems for the emails linked to IRS scrutinizing of tea party groups seeking tax exempt status, according to Judicial Watch

The admission came in an IRS legal brief opposing Judicial Watch’s request under the Freedom of Information Act that a federal court judge allow discovery into how "lost and/or destroyed" departmental records could be retrieved, the watchdog group reported.



Russia to Build Two More Nuclear Reactors for Iran


Russia signed Tuesday a contract to build two nuclear reactors in Iran and announced plans for a total of nine, less than two weeks before a deadline on for deal on the country's disputed atomic program.

A series of agreements signed during a visit to Moscow by Iran's nuclear program chief Ali Akbar Salehi includes a contract for two new reactors at the existing Russian-built Bushehr plant.

The agreements foresee increasing the total number of Russian-built reactors in the country to nine as well as possibly transferring some sensitive technology relating to the production of fuel rod components.



Obama so aloof, Dems forced to talk to media for updates?

President Obama and his White House are evidently so dedicated to their go-it-alone approach to governing that some Democratic senators have been forced to call up MSNBC talking heads to get the inside scoop on White House strategy.

On the network’s “Morning Joe,” both show host Joe Scarborough and “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd said they had received calls from Democratic senators to get updates on Mr. Obama’s plans, The Washington Free Beacon reported.

“I actually had a senator, and it happens quite a few times where senators will call us saying, what are you hearing over at the White House?” said Mr. Scarborough, a former Republican congressman. “What are they thinking on this bill? I’ll go, are you kidding me?”

Mr. Todd, promoting his new book on the Obama presidency — aptly titled “The Stranger” — added, “I’ve had those conversations.”



The greater sacrifices that underlie Veterans Day

A weakened military invites the deaths of more Amerian troops in future wars

If Americans who, on some previous Veterans Day, ever thanked me or my brothers and sisters in uniform for our service, then please accept this thank you in return for voting last Tuesday. That stunning turnaround vexed President Obama, but provided new hope to those who worried that the damage done to the nation’s security was becoming irreparable.

So, is Mr. Obama really serious about working with the new Republican leadership in Congress? Or might this president have something else up his sleeve, a grand strategic bargain to help secure his badly tattered “legacy” in foreign policy? 



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.