Tuesday April 22nd, 2014
"It Is Not A Question of Who Is Right Or Wrong But What Is Right Or Wrong That Counts."
--Geoff Metcalf
 

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World & National

 US_Immigration weighs curbing deportations?

 Tens of thousands of immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally but don't have serious criminal records could be shielded from deportation under a policy change being weighed by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

The change, if adopted following a review ordered by President Barack Obama, could limit removals of people who have little or no criminal record but have committed repeat immigration violations such as re-entering the country illegally after having been deported, or failing to comply with a deportation order.

               

Bush Pushes Amnesty at AZ Conference...
Computer meltdown crippling immigration courts...
How big a political risk?



The Ameriecan Middle Class Is No Longer the World's Richest

The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction.

While the wealthiest Americans are outpacing many of their global peers, a New York Times analysis shows that across the lower- and middle-income tiers, citizens of other advanced countries have received considerably larger raises over the last three decades.



Joe Biden Warns Russia to Pull Back Forces From Ukraine Border
Pro-Russian Forces Must Release Occupied Government Buildings, Says Vice President
               

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden warned Russia to pull back its forces along the Ukrainian border and publicly demand pro-Russian forces release occupied government buildings in the east, or he said Moscow will face additional economic sanctions in the coming days.

Mr. Biden, in remarks Tuesday after meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, said the U.S. won't allow the agreement reached Thursday in Geneva to reduce tensions in eastern Ukraine to become "an open-ended process."



Under Russia, Life in Crimea Grows Chaotic

After Russia annexed Crimea practically overnight, the Russian bureaucrats handling passports and residence permits inhabited the building of their Ukrainian predecessors, where Roman Nikolayev now waits daily with a seemingly mundane question.

His daughter and granddaughter were newly arrived from Ukraine when they suddenly found themselves in a different country, so he wonders if they can become legal residents. But he cannot get inside to ask because he is No. 4,475 on the waiting list for passports. At most, 200 people are admitted each day from the crowd churning around the tall, rusty iron gate.



IRS revokes conservative group's tax-exempt status over anti-Clinton statements

The Internal Revenue Servicehas revoked the tax-exempt status of a conservative charity for making statements critical of Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Kerry, according to a USA Today report.

The Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty, based in Manassas, Va., “has shown a pattern of deliberate and consistent intervention in political campaigns” and made “repeated statements supporting or opposing various candidates by expressing its opinion of the respective candidate’s character and qualifications,” according to a written determination released Friday by the IRS.



Supreme Court upholds Michigan affirmative action ban

The Supreme Court has upheld Michigan's affirmative action ban, ruling that the state has the right to determine whether racial preferences can be considered in college admissions.

In a 6-2 ruling on Tuesday, the justices said that a lower federal court was wrong to set aside the change as discriminatory. The Supreme Court ruled that Michigan voters had the right to change their state constitution to bar public colleges and universities from using race as a factor in admissions.



North Korea steps up activity at its nuclear site?

North Korea has stepped up activity at its main nuclear test site, possibly preparing to carry out a fourth underground blast, South Korea said Tuesday.

The report comes just days before U.S. President Barack Obama is due to arrive in South Korea as part of a visit to several Asian countries.

"We confirm that we have spotted several activities related to the nuclear test in Punggye-ri in North Korea," the South Korean Defense Ministry said in a statement. It declined to specify what the activities were, saying the information was classified.



Support for Jeb Bush's 'Act Of Love' Immigration Comment

Jeff Flake Immigration Immigration Jeb Bush Arizona Jeff Flake Jeb Bush Immigration Jeff Flake Jeb Bush Republican Party Immigration Reform Video Republicans

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) on Monday agreed with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush that illegal immigration can be considered an "act of love."

Flake, in a Facebook post, praised Bush for speaking "so humanely and unapologetically about the motivations" of undocumented immigrants in a Fox News appearance that aired earlier this month.



Krauthammer: Obama's Plan is to Semi-Naationalize Healthcare

Obamacare’s endgame is the semi-nationalization of American healthcare, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said on Fox News’ "Special Report with Bret Baier."

"What the real objective of Obamacare is is to sever the relationship that people have now with employer-provided insurance and with their private insurance and also with the small group insurance so everybody ends up in the market, which is essentially controlled by the federal government," Krauthammer opined. "It is a semi-nationalization using the insurers as the middle man. But that’s what it’s about, and that was the objective in the first place, and that’s why all the numbers are obscure, all the numbers are hidden, and why you’ll only get them after we kick and scream and demand them."

Evidence of Obama’s objective can be found in a Congressional Budget Office report projecting that half of the 25 million people who have signed up for healthcare insurance will lose their existing coverage after 10 years of Obamacare. The CBO states that by 2024 there will be a net gain of 13 million who become insured, but 31 million who will be uninsured, according to Fox News.



McSally Shatters 'War on Women' Image in Hariz. House Race

Martha McSally, a Republican challenging Democratic Rep. Ron Barber for his Arizona House seat, is shattering the Democrats’ national narrative that the GOP is anti-woman, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Retired Air Force Col. McSally, 48, is the United States’ first female fighter pilot to fly in combat. She has described herself as “a woman warrior.”

“I’ve been fighting for women’s rights and women’s equality my whole life,” she said during her 2012 run to unseat Barber, who beat McSally by less than 1 percentage point. “You want to talk about a war on women? Walk in my shoes down the streets of Kabul. Walk in my shoes down the streets of Riyadh, where women have to be covered up, where they’re stoned, where they’re honor-killed if they’ve been raped, where they can’t drive and they can’t travel without the permission of a male relative. That’s a war on women.”



Over a barrel on Earth Day
There’s more to a better planet than penance at the gas pump

If only Al Gore had won the presidency, he wouldn’t have to take out his frustrations on those of us who just want to enjoy the bounty God bequeathed to us. Instead, the former vice president is making Tuesday’s 44th observance of Earth Day about shaming folks who live life to the full. Like Mr. Gore does.

Mr. Gore took off to the tropical paradise of Hawaii last week, his jet fattening his “carbon footprint,” to urge participants at a “sustainability” seminar to shrink theirs. He told the audience that people skeptical of man-made global warming are “immoral, unethical and despicable.” Worst of all, he said, are businesses burning affordable fossil fuels, which provide the “dirty energy that causes dirty weather.”



The global-warming apocalyopses that didn't happen
The defining moment for climate change has come and gone, again

“The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer, and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable.” — from an Associated Press report published in The Washington Post on Nov. 2, 1922.

You may have noticed that the predicted disaster 92 years ago did not happen, nor have other predicted catastrophes from the global-warming crowd.

On July 5, 1989, Noel Brown, then the director of the New York office of the United Nations Environment Program, warned of a “10-year window of opportunity to solve” global warming — “entire nations could be wiped off the face of Earth by rising sea levels if the global-warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000. Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of ‘eco-refugees,’ threatening political chaos.”



Back to the future for NATO
A bold defense alliance has never been more needed

The Russian military incursion into Ukraine has focused renewed attention upon the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Sixty-five years after NATO’s founding to counter Soviet expansionism and 26 years after the collapse of the Soviet empire, it is back to the future for NATO. The organization must now take the steps necessary to deter and counter Moscow’s objective of regional domination.

Critics have contended that NATO, a security alliance founded in 1949 that binds the United States with 26 European nations and Canada, is irrelevant to 21st-century international politics. For example, Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass in June 2011 contended that “If NATO didn’t exist today, would anyone feel compelled to create it? The honest, if awkward, answer is no.” This assertion was wrong at the time and, given recent Russian actions, is even more wrong today.



From the Geoff Metcalf Archives
OCTOBER 18, 1999
Echelon revisited, again
1999 WorldNetDaily.com

I learned a long time ago to notice changes. Changes indicate "something" and are in many ways a natural early warning device. We may not know at the time what that "something" is, but awareness leads to preparedness. If you sit in a forest, a swamp, or a jungle and actively "listen," you can easily identify a change. Background noise of birds and critters will get less, or increase; you can hear the difference. Something caused that change. Likewise most people can even smell a change. It might be the smell of a salt marsh at low tide, or a campfire or diesel engine. I've known guys who could smell the oil on a gun amongst assorted mountain fragrances. There is also what I believe to be a very real instinctive warning device designed I guess to spark the "fight or flee" reaction. The Godan (fifth degree black belt) test in one martial art requires the testee to kneel with his back to the teacher. The teacher "projects" a killing intention and swings a sword at the kneeling student's head. If the target head isn't there when the sword arrives, the student passes and is promoted.

April 20th of last year (1998) I wrote a WorldNetDaily column entitled "Big Brother Watching" that referred to a program called, "Echelon". Since then I have seen Echelon stories in a variety of magazines and European newspapers.

The movie, "Enemy of the State," although fiction, shed light on the real world realities of Echelon, and the unbridled assault on both the concept and essence of personal privacy.

Lawmakers in both the United States Congress and British Parliament are now asking questions I raised last year. Even the San Diego Union has written about Echelon: "Is the government listening in on your phone calls? Reading your e-mail for words like 'plutonium,' 'Clinton' or 'terrorism'?"

An eclectic and strange collection of distaff allies have joined the "What's the deal with Echelon" crowd. Congressman Bob Barr, himself a former CIA analyst, The European Parliament, and a gaggle of computer mavens calling themselves "hacktivists" are all looking into the what, where, when, why, and how of Echelon. They are not having joint board meetings, but they are pursuing similar objectives along fairly parallel lines. This Thursday the "hacktivists" are planning what may be the first mass protest using electronic mail as a weapon. It cannot be confirmed or denied that FBI Director Louis Freeh has bought out the entire D.C. stock of Imodium.

The target may sound more like something out of "The X-Files" than a real computer network operated by five countries. But it is real. Echelon is not officially acknowledged by the U.S. government despite more than ample documentation of the treaty that sparked it, and the facilities from Menwith Hill in England to Alexandria, Va. "We don't confirm or deny the existence of Echelon," said a spokeswoman for the U.S. National Security Agency, although they are the agency believed tasked with operating the system.

The European Parliament started asking questions about Echelon last year. The European press has been reporting on it longer than I have. Yet again, either as a function of malfeasance or complicity, the United States mainstream has been silent.

Then Congressman Barr actually said the word ("Echelon") out loud on the floor of the House for God and everyone to hear.

As I noted last year, Echelon is a complex, interconnected worldwide network of satellites and computerized interception stations operated by the governments of the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

According to Christopher Simpson, an American University professor who has written four books about national security technology, Echelon scans e-mail for hot-button words like "militia," "Davidian," "terrorism" and "AK-47." It can recognize individual voices in telephone calls and track who is calling whom.

I have often received e-mail with a long litany of "key words and phrases" (Death to the New World Order, Clinton, Butch Reno, Branch Davidians, TWA 800, Ruby Ridge, Oklahoma City, Abolish the Federal Reserve, None Dare Call it Treason, Cocaine, AK-47, Stinger, Vince Foster, etc.) above a routine note such as "Like your column. Keep it up." When I asked, "Why the laundry list?" I was told it was a small protest intended to overburden the snoopers.

The European Parliament published an official report last year and concluded Echelon has listening posts all over the world that can intercept any phone calls, e-mail or faxes transmitted by satellite. "Echelon is designed for primarily nonmilitary targets: governments, organizations and businesses in virtually every country," the report said.

In May a follow up report said there is evidence that the U.S. government has used Echelon to pick up the secrets of foreign corporations and pass them on to American companies. Some of you may recall talk that when the Cold War allegedly ended, intelligence assets would shift focus from military to industrial espionage.

Congressman Barr has called for congressional hearings on Echelon. "By all appearances, what we have is a massive government program that scoops up unbelievably huge numbers of private communications, indiscriminately, without any oversight or court involvement," Barr said. "There's a very important, but fine, line between legitimate foreign intelligence gathering and unconstitutional eavesdropping on American citizens, and it appears that line has been crossed."

Concerns that Echelon could and would illegally intercept Americans' private communications sparked the ACLU to write to congressional representatives back in April. They said, "The troubling aspect is that Echelon is this huge system that operates without any oversight or scrutiny from anybody." THAT was and is the whole idea.

I'm not going to re-write last year's column again, you can check out the link. However, Echelon is the bastard child of the UKUSA Treaty. The primary purpose of the treaty AND Echelon was to maintain perception, and obscure reality.

So, these cousin countries sit down and "in the interest of national security" with a wink and a nod agree to the following:

"Here's the deal, Nigel: Let's set up an inter-connected information gathering apparatus. I'll spy on your citizens to determine if they mean us any ill, and you spy on my citizens to see if anyone is planning nastiness to your country. THEN I'll show you my data, and you show me your data. You'll know what's going on with your blokes, and I'll know what's happening with Joe-six-pack, and it's all legal ... kinda."

If you sit in the shadows of the international intelligence jungle, you can hear a change in the background noise, and the background silence. You can smell "something" different. Right about now there are Echelon managers and operatives who can feel that uncomfortable tingle? The same premonition that martial artist feels just before the sword swings for his head ... the same tingle a rat feels the heartbeat before the lurking cat springs.
 


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.

Sgt Dakota Meyer
US Marine Corps



Corporal Meyer maintained security at a patrol rally point while other members of his team moved on foot with two platoons of Afghan National Army and Border Police into the village of Ganjgal for a pre-dawn meeting with village elders. Moving into the village, the patrol was ambushed by more than 50 enemy fighters firing rocket propelled grenades, mortars, and machine guns from houses and fortified positions on the slopes above. Hearing over the radio that four U.S. team members were cut off, Corporal Meyer seized the initiative. With a fellow Marine driving, Corporal Meyer took the exposed gunner's position in a gun-truck as they drove down the steeply terraced terrain in a daring attempt to disrupt the enemy attack and locate the trapped U.S. team. Disregarding intense enemy fire now concentrated on their lone vehicle, Corporal Meyer killed a number of enemy fighters with the mounted machine guns and his rifle, some at near point blank range, as he and his driver made three solo trips into the ambush area. During the first two trips, he and his driver evacuated two dozen Afghan soldiers, many of whom were wounded. When one machine gun became inoperable, he directed a return to the rally point to switch to another gun-truck for a third trip into the ambush area where his accurate fire directly supported the remaining U.S. personnel and Afghan soldiers fighting their way out of the ambush. Despite a shrapnel wound to his arm, Corporal Meyer made two more trips into the ambush area in a third gun-truck accompanied by four other Afghan vehicles to recover more wounded Afghan soldiers and search for the missing U.S. team members. Still under heavy enemy fire, he dismounted the vehicle on the fifth trip and moved on foot to locate and recover the bodies of his team members. Corporal Meyer's daring initiative and bold fighting spirit throughout the 6-hour battle significantly disrupted the enemy's attack and inspired the members of the combined force to fight on. His unwavering courage and steadfast devotion to his U.S. and Afghan comrades in the face of almost certain death reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.