Tuesday April 14th, 2014
"It Is Not A Question of Who Is Right Or Wrong But What Is Right Or Wrong That Counts."
--Geoff Metcalf
 

Updated 0825 PST                                   
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World & National

Sen. Reid on Cattle Battle: "It's not over"
                 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hasn't been very vocal about the cattle battle showdown in recent days, but says "it's not over."

Reid tells News4's Samantha Boatman his take on the so-called cattle battle in southern Las Vegas. "Well, it's not over. We can't have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it's not over," Reid said.
FLASHBACK: Breaks Ground for Solar Farm Near Ranch...
Standoff could leave dirt on reputation...
BUNDY: Why I Refuse to Recognize Federal Authority...
Judge Napolitano: Americans 'Drawing Line in the Sand'...
Sheriff: Feds now strategize for 'raid' on Nevada ranch...


US Postal Service Joins in Federal Ammo Purchases


Add the U.S. Postal Service to the list of federal agencies seeking to purchase what some Second Amendment activists say are alarmingly large quantities of ammunition.

Earlier this year, the USPS posted a notice on its website, under the heading "Assorted Small Arms Ammunition," that says: "The United States Postal Service intends to solicit proposals for assorted small arms ammunition. If your organization wishes to participate, you must pre-register. This message is only a notification of our intent to solicit proposals."



China urges greater military use of space
          

Chinese President Xi Jinping urged the air force to adopt an integrated air and space defence capability, in what state media on Tuesday called a response to the increasing military use of space by the United States and others.

While Beijing insists its space program is for peaceful purposes, a Pentagon report last year highlighted China's increasing space capabilities and said Beijing was pursuing a variety of activities aimed at preventing its adversaries from using space-based assets during a crisis.
From the Archives
CHINA PROBLEM
By Geoff Metcalf
March 10, 2008

http://www.newswithviews.com/metcalf/metcalf245.htm


Russia says Ukraine close to civil war as Kiev begins offensive

Russia declared Ukraine on the brink of civil war on Tuesday as Kiev said an "anti-terrorist operation" against pro-Moscow separatists was under way, with troops and armored personnel carriers seen near a flashpoint eastern town.

Twenty-four hours after an Ukrainian ultimatum expired for the rebels to lay down their arms, witnesses however saw no signs yet that Kiev forces were about to storm state buildings in the Russian-speaking east that armed militants have occupied.



Fragile Europe Weakens U.S. Push for Russia Sanctions

The U.S. readiness to impose new economic sanctions on Russia over Ukraine is offset by the European Union’s reluctance to introduce stronger measures that could threaten its already fragile economic recovery.

While the Obama administration said yesterday that it’s prepared to ramp up sanctions, possibly to target specific sectors of the Russian economy such as financial services and energy, the EU limited its decision to expanding an existing list of individuals under asset freezes and travel bans.



Blood Moon Eclipse and Mars
            

The first total lunar eclipse in more than two years turned the moon into a cosmic red ball early Tuesday —and there's still more to come.

Total lunar eclipses occur when Earth is positioned precisely between the sun and the full moon. Because of the tilt of the moon's orbit, total eclipses don't happen all that often — about twice in the course of three years, on average. When they do, it can be a spectacular sight: The darkened moon takes on a reddish glow because of the sunlight refracted by Earth's atmosphere.



Democrats Conspiring to Rig Electoral College?
Law Passed in 9 States So Far

A plan, now stealthily making its way through state legislatures with astonishing speed, would junk the Electoral College and award the presidency to the winner of the popular vote.

The plan involves an Interstate Compact where states would commit to select electors pledged to vote for the national popular vote winner regardless of how their own state voted. When enough states pass this law, sufficient to cast 270 votes which is the majority of the Electoral College, it will take effect.



Stories abbout NSA surveillance, Snowden leaks win Pulitzers for two news groups

Two news organizations' stories about National Security Agency surveillance, based upon documents leaked by Edward Snowden, have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for public service, often described as the highest prize in American journalism.

The Washington Post and United States arm of The Guardian each received the prize on Monday.

The Pulitzers are administered by Columbia University. More than a dozen prizes were announced on Monday, but the recognition of the NSA reporting was most significant because of the questions raised by Snowden's leaks and the reaction to them.



GOP Massaging Tea Party to Keep Unelectable CAndidates Home

A quiet campaign has been underway by traditional Republicans to assuage the tea party as part of the GOP’s bid to reclaim the Senate in the midterm elections, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The crusade has been mostly successful, according to the newspaper. One exception is Mississippi, where tea party state Sen. Chris McDaniel has momentum in his Republican primary campaign against U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, Breitbart reported.

In addition to filling conventional candidates’ campaign coffers, party leaders have also resorted to "diplomacy" with members of the tea party, according to the Journal.



Snowden and His Accomplices
The former NSA contractor, in league with journalist Glenn Greenwald and others, has exposed nothing illegal. He has done great harm.

Peace and security are not the natural state of affairs. It is a fact of life that many of those who live comfortable middle-class existences in affluent, liberal, pluralistic democracies in the 21st century seem to have forgotten. Those who live without a full grasp of the risks and sacrifices taken by others on their behalf will not understand the constant battle for law and freedom against disorder, anarchy and terror. Just as a gardener fights a constant war against untrammeled nature, but casual observers see only order and tranquillity, a constant struggle is being waged against the forces of disruption and destruction so that we can take the safety and security of our daily lives for granted.

For our intelligence services to operate effectively, and to protect us from these threats, they need to be able to do things in secret, secrets whose public disclosure would be damaging to our national interests. We depend on the legal and moral partnership of our governments and the employees and contractors it uses to maintain the confidentiality of these secrets. Yet all of this has been imperiled over the past 10 months by the slow public parading of intelligence secrets stolen by National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, working with Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald and others. As recently as last month secrets were still being spilled, this time about an NSA malware program.



Lingering too long in Afghanistan
The endgame for U.S. presence has become a new game

Afghanistan’s presidential election — now set to enter the runoff stage — will mark the first peaceful transition of power in the history of that unfortunate country, ravaged by endless war since 1979. Afghans, displaying courage in the face of adversity, braved Taliban attacks and threats, and voted in large numbers on April 5 to bring about a peaceful transfer of power.

After almost 35 years of bloodletting, Afghans are desperate for peace. President Hamid Karzai’s successor has his work cut out for him, including promoting national reconciliation by building bridges with the country’s disparate ethnic and political groups, strengthening the still-fledgling, multiethnic Afghan Army, and ensuring free and fair parliamentary elections next year.



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.