Wednesday September 21st, 2022

"It Is Not A Question of Who Is Right Or Wrong But What Is Right Or Wrong That Counts."
--Geoff Metcalf
 Providing an on line Triage of the news since 1997
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World & Nation

All ‘available means’: Putin threatens nuclear escalation, mobilizes Russian reserves

                                   In this image made from video released by the Russian Presidential Press Service, Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the nation in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. (Russian Presidential Press Service via AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin lobbed nuclear threats Wednesday at the West as he announced the partial mobilization of his country’s military reserves, hinting that the Kremlin may be setting the stage for major escalation as its ground invasion of Ukraine falters.

In a seven-minute televised address, Mr. Putin claimed Ukraine and its Western allies want to erode Russia‘s independence. He vowed that Moscow will use all tools at its disposal to stop that effort and said his warnings are not a “bluff.”

“Those who are attempting to blackmail us with nuclear weapons must be aware that the prevailing winds may also turn towards their side,” Mr. Putin said, according to his country’s state-run TASS news agency.

Russian officials have made past references to nuclear escalation throughout the nearly seven-month conflict in Ukraine.

Anti-radiation tabs distributed in Poland...
Flights out of Russia sell out after speech...
Opposition calls for protests against 'criminal war'...
Another Vlad ally falls to death...
Biden in UN speech accuses Russia of 'extremely significant' violation of international charter

N.Y. Sues Donald Trump, Company, 3 Adult Children; Claims Business Fraud

                              New York State Attorney General Letitia James speaks during the New York State Democratic Convention on Feb. 17, 2022, in New York. New York’s attorney general sued former President Donald Trump and his company on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, alleging business fraud involving some of their most prized assets, including properties in Manhattan, Chicago and Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

New York’s attorney general sued former President Donald Trump and his company  Wednesday, alleging business fraud involving some of their most prized assets, including properties in Manhattan, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit, filed in state court in New York, is the culmination of the Democrat’s three-year civil investigation of Trump and the Trump Organization. Trump’s three eldest children, Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump, were also named as defendants, along with two longtime company executives, Allen Weisselberg and Jeffrey McConney.

The lawsuit seeks to strike at the core of what made Trump famous, taking a blacklight to the image of wealth and opulence he’s embraced throughout his career — first as a real estate developer, then as a reality TV host on “The Apprentice” and “Celebrity Apprentice,” and later as president.

Trump Warned Late Last Year of Potential Legal Peril Over Documents...
Lawyers acknowledge probe could lead to indictment...
The Don asks QAnon to stand back and stand by...
MYPILLOW Lindell ordered to face voting fraud defamation suit...

Iran’s leader blames U.S. for nuclear deal impasse; Biden vows no bomb for Tehran
President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

U.S. President Biden and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said in separate speeches to the U.N. General Assembly Wednesday that they want to reach a new nuclear deal, but their remarks underscored how difficult striking an agreement will be.

Mr. Raisi told the United Nations General Assembly that Tehran is “not seeking to build or obtain nuclear weapons,” and accused America of “trampling” the 2015 nuclear deal Mr. Biden has spent the past two years trying to revive with the Islamic republic.

Just hours later, Mr. Biden told the world body that Iran cannot be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon, while underscoring he still hopes to save the tattered multinational deal that was negotiated under President Obama and repudiated three years later by President Trump.

Longtime face of Iranian foreign policy exits stage as U.S., Iran nuclear talks stall

Dems vote down Hunter Biden probe, request for documents on Biden family ‘business schemes’

                             While President Biden has said repeatedly that he knows nothing about his son’s business activities, Republicans dismissed that claim. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

A Republican request for documents related to Joe Biden’s family’s "international business schemes," including Hunter Biden’s business deals that may be influencing U.S. foreign policy, was dismissed by House Democrats on Tuesday.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee considered a resolution of inquiry that asks President Biden to deliver all documents in his possession related to the business dealings of Hunter Biden and other Biden family members and associates as they relate to a range of companies. Resolutions of inquiry are privileged and must be considered in committee.

But the committee voted down the resolution after nearly two hours of debate in which Republicans said Hunter Biden’s business dealings at best show how he was able to leverage his father’s name to earn millions, and at worst could be having an inappropriate influence on President Biden’s foreign policy.

Others noted that information from Hunter Biden’s laptop showed he made money in Ukraine and China, which raises questions about how President Biden’s foreign policy might be shaped around those business deals. While President Biden has said repeatedly that he knows nothing about his son’s activities, Republicans dismissed that claim.

Karine Jean-Pierre calls out GOP governors, says Biden admin has 'always been ready' to act on immigration

                             White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during a briefing at the White House, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Washington. AP Photo/Evan Vucci

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday that the Biden administration has "always been ready" to act on immigration after criticizing Gov. Ron DeSantis', R-Fla., decision to send two planes with migrants to Martha's Vineyard.

Jean-Pierre sat down with MSNBC's Alex Wagner, who asked the White House press secretary if President Biden has attempted to reach out to Republican governors such as DeSantis or Greg Abbott, R-Texas, about them sending migrants to different parts of the U.S.

"I don’t know why we would reach out to a governor or governors who are clearly playing a political game. It is something they’re doing not to find a solution, but to literally put peoples' lives at risk," she said.

IRS warns pandemic fraudsters they owe taxes on ill-gotten gains

The IRS warned Wednesday that anyone who cheated the government on pandemic loans still must pay taxes on the fraud-based income or else face the wrath of the taxman.

That applies to anyone who got a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan then got the government to forgive the loan based false representations.

In some cases, they only qualified for the loan because of their lies and omissions, while in other cases they may have properly qualified for the loan but then spent the money on things that went beyond what was allowable under the law, the IRS said.

Sen. Tim Scott pushes to defund schools that hide gender transitions

Sen. Tim Scott has introduced a bill that would withhold federal funding from public elementary and middle schools that hide students’ gender transitions from their parents.

The South Carolina Republican introduced the Parental Rights Over the Education and Care of Their Kids (PROTECT) Act on Tuesday in response to a growing trend.

Policy changes at a large number of public schools allow children to use transgender or non-binary pronouns and names on campus while teachers use their birth genders in parental communications.

Washington Post, NPR, New York Times and more tear into Biden for declaring the ‘pandemic is over’

Liberal media outlets slammed President Biden after he claimed during a Sunday night television interview that the COVID-19 pandemic is "over," just weeks before the midterm elections.

"Is the pandemic over?" correspondent Scott Pelley asked Biden during an appearance on CBS’ "60 Minutes," which was the president’s first interview with a major news organization in seven months.

"The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID. We're still doing a lot of work on it," Biden replied. "If you notice, no one's wearing a mask, everybody seems to be in pretty good shape."

Dr. Anthony Fauci, whom media outlets have repeatedly given a platform to explain why the U.S. should be wary of loosening COVID restrictions too quickly, attempted to clarify the president’s words on Monday.

Kamala Harris mocked for new word salad: 'Community banks are in the community'

Vice president said billions invested in 'community banks' because 'community banks are in the community'

Vice President Kamala Harris was blasted for another repetitive word salad that went viral Tuesday.

Harris was at Claflin University in South Carolina with Education Secretary Miguel Cardona for what was billed as a roundtable discussion with student leaders. At one point she started talking about how the Biden administration has invested in community banks and got stuck on the word "community." 

Twitter users were quick to lampoon Harris for her rambling, circular sentence, a speech habit that has become known as a "word salad."

More Top News

Dems run with Biden's attacks on MAGA Republicans, call pro-life lawmakers 'threat to democracy'

Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis' team slams migrants' lawsuit over Martha's Vineyard flight

High inflation in sight, Fed to signal more rate hikes ahead

We were duly warned

Instead of music when I exercise, I listen to Ronald Reagan speeches. I find Reagan’s voice inspirational. The words stick in my mind long after the workout is over. Mr. Reagan’s observations on government, though spoken over 40 years ago, are clearly relevant to the debacle we find ourselves in today. Mr. Reagan’s insightful speeches warned us of man’s tendency toward authoritarian governments. Why haven’t we taken heed of his prediction?

From Mr. Reagan’s 1966 speech, The Myth of the Great Society, he says, “Wasn’t this the admonition of the founding fathers? That government tends to grow, to take on power until freedom eventually is lost…only government is capable of tyranny.” Mr. Reagan saw, even in the thriving post-WWII American decades, the slow creep towards tyranny of endlessly growing government.

The trappings of The Great Society and the slip-slide into an administrative welfare state, seemingly innocent at its inception in the 60’s, gave Mr. Reagan cause to admonish his countrymen, “Our limited government, with its decentralized powers, has given way to planners and they’ve laid an increasingly heavy hand in every facet of our lives….such a government would cover the face of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, and thus the will of man is not shattered, but softened and guided, until the nation is reduced to a flock of timid and industrious animals of which government is the shepherd.” The past two years have proven us to be soft, timid, guided.

Biden and the big government socialists’ cost-of-living crisis

The only solution to this crisis is a big Republican victory in November

The scale of the Joe Biden-Big Government Socialists’ disaster is becoming more obvious.

Scott Rasmussen has reported that 88% of Americans agree we are in a cost-of-living crisis. In fact, 66% – two of every three people – said it is a serious crisis.

Last week, economist Steve Moore, in his invaluable Unleash Prosperity Hotline, reported that Biden’s Big Government Socialist program had dropped real earnings by $3,000 for the average American in less than two years (with even more cuts to real income coming down the road). For 17 consecutive months under Mr. Biden, the cost of living has risen faster than wages.

" It is discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit."
-- Noel Coward
     (1899-1973) British playwright

Medal of Honor
Bill Conveys Special Honor to Last WWII Medal of Honor Recipient ...
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. 


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.

From the Archives

We Have Met the Enemy…

Geoff Metcalf
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
--Benjamin Franklin
“The American people must be willing to give up a degree of personal privacy in exchange for safety and security.”
--Louis Freeh
In the wake of the clamor over the most recent WikiLeaks data dump, ‘Vault 7’, ‘UMBRAGE’, et al, it should be noted this is not really anything new. What we are seeing here is simply the evolution of something that goes back to the late 50s (to the incomplete best knowledge I have).

It is kinda cool to finally see even The New York Times acknowledging material I was writing about in 1998.

In April of 1998 I wrote “Privacy has become an anachronism.” I was commenting on “a massive system designed to intercept all your e-mail, fax traffic and more.” I was explaining ‘Echelon’, the illegitimate offspring of a UKUSA Treaty signed by the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Its purpose was, and is, to have a vast global intelligence monster, which allegedly shares common goals. The system was so “efficient” that reportedly National Security Agency folk from Fort Meade could work from Menwith Hill in England to intercept local communications without either nation having to burden themselves with the formality of seeking approval (a court order) or disclosing the operation. And this was all pre-9/11 and pre-the anti-constitutional  'Patriot Act'.

It is illegal (without a Judge’s signed permission) for the United States to spy on its citizens … kinda. The laws have long been circumvented by a mutual pact among five nations. Under the terms of UKUSA agreement, Britain spies on Americans and America spies on British citizens, and then the two conspirators trade data. A classic technical finesse. It is legal, but the intent to evade the spirit is inescapable.

I often fictionalized the genesis of ‘Echelon’ as an informal meeting of a group of post war American and British intelligence types drinking in some remote rustic bar. An imagined CIA type complains to his MI6 buddy about the hassles of US laws preventing US intelligence from surveillance of bad guys, and the Brit echoes the same complaint.

“Hey wait a moment mate,” says Nigel, the make-believe MI6 guy, “I can spy on your guys and you can spy on our bad players…why don’t we just come up with a mechanism whereby we spy on your villains, you spy on our villains, and we just ‘share’ the intel?”

This system was called ECHELON, and has been kicking around in some form longer than most of you. The result of the UKUSA treaty signed by the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand was, and is, to have a vast global intelligence monster which allegedly shares common goals.

The report noted: “Within Europe all e-mail, telephone and fax communications are routinely intercepted by the United States National Security Agency, transferring ll target information from the Eurv opean mainland via the strategic hub of London, then by satellite to Fort Meade in Maryland via the crucial hub at Menwith Hill, in the North York moors in th UK.

“The ECHELON system forms part of the UKUSA system but unlike many of the electronic spy systems developed during the Cold War, ECHELON was designed primarily for non-military targets: governments, organizations and businesses in virtually every country.”