Wednesday October 15th 2014

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



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




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


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World & National     

Airline Nightmare: Ebola Patient Flew Day Before...
               


The second health-care worker diagnosed with Ebola in Texas flew between Cleveland and Dallas hours before she reported symptoms to state health workers, U.S. health officials said today.

The caregiver caught the deadly virus while treating patient Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas this month. She flew to Dallas on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 the night of Oct. 13, according to a e-mailed statement by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She then reported symptoms the next morning.
Panic Hits TV News Divisions...

CDC says it missed opportunities to contain...
Nurses outraged: 'There was no protocol, there was no system'...
Hospital's workers learned how to control Ebola as they went along...
Blood, vomit and diarrhea-soaked materials piled to ceiling...



Dems Lowest in 30 Years...
            

Barack Obama and his political party are heading into the midterm elections in trouble. The president’s 40 percent job approval rating in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll is the lowest of his career – and the Democratic Party’s popularity is its weakest in polling back 30 years, with more than half of Americans seeing the party unfavorably for the first time.

The Republican Party is even more unpopular. But benefitting from their supporters’ greater likelihood of voting, GOP candidates nonetheless hold a 50-43 percent lead among likely voters for U.S. House seats in the Nov. 4 election.



Bergdahl 'deserter' invesetigaetion is done--but will be withheld until after elections?
                      Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was freed from captivity in May after Obama traded him for five Taliban commanders. Platoon mates of Bergdahl say he deserted but the Army is yet to release its formal report

The Army completed its investigation last week into Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's disappearance from a base in Afghanistan five years ago, but the Pentagon said Tuesday that it doesn't know when the report will be released.

'The investigating officer has done his work, but now that work is moving through the Army system, and at each stop ... there will ... be questions, requirements for clarification,' Army Colonel Steve Warren told reporters.

'So it's working its way through the system as would any other investigation.' 

The results of the Army's probe into whether Bergdahl deserted his post will most certainly be withheld from the public until after November's elections, if it discloses its findings at all.



Secret Casualities of Iraq's Chemical Weapons

From 2004 to 2011, American and Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and at times were wounded by, chemical weapons that were hidden or abandoned years earlier.

In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, according to interviews with dozens of participants, Iraqi and American officials, and heavily redacted intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.



Serious disagreements remain in U.S.-led coalition battling Islamic State

Turkish Lt. Gen. Erdal Ozturk, second from left, and others listen as President Obama speaks during a meeting with more than 20 foreign defense ministers Tuesday at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. (Evan Vucci/AP)
By Craig Whitlock and Karen DeYoung October 14 at 6:31 PM

Two months after the start of its campaign against the Islamic State, the U.S.-led coalition conducting operations in Iraq and Syria has expanded significantly but remains beset by lingering strategic differences that threaten to undermine the fight.

The Obama administration has emphasized the breadth of the coalition it has assembled to combat the militant group, including the participation of five Arab countries that have played a supporting role in the campaign of airstrikes in Syria. But serious disagreements remain, particularly over the coalition’s plan for Syria and whether the fight against Islamic State militants there will strengthen or weaken Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad in the long run.



Saudi billionaire warns over impact of falling pil price

A Saudi billionaire investor has sounded the alarm over the potential impact of falling oil prices on the Gulf kingdom’s economy.

In an open letter to Saudi ministers posted via Twitter, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud expressed his “astonishment” at comments made by Ali al-Naimi, the oil minister, who reportedly played down the impact of oil prices falling below $100 a barrel. Prices have since fallen below $88 a barrel, or a quarter since June.

Prince Alwaleed, noting the kingdom’s 2014 budget was 90 per cent dependent on oil revenues, said belittling the impact of lower prices was a “catastrophe that cannot go unmentioned”.



Obama Cancels Trip To Hold Cabinet Meeting On Ebola

President Barack Obama is cancelling political travel to meet with his Cabinet on the Ebola outbreak.

The White House says Obama is calling off a planned trip to New Jersey and Connecticut and instead will convene Cabinet officials coordinating the government's Ebola response at the White House.

The change comes as a second health worker in Dallas who provided care for the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S. has tested positive for the disease.



Hillary Hypocrisy Talks About Student Debt, For $225K Speaking Fee?
The UNLV student body protested the large fee especially at a time when the school's tuition was increasing by almost 20%


Despite objections from a student body which faces the burden of 17% tuition hikes during the next four years, probable Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton spoke to the UNLV foundation Monday night, drawing a speaking fee of $225,000. Ironically, in her speech, she opined that more needs to be done to assure young people can achieve their dreams and free students from debt.

Ms Clinton delivered her remarks to a crowd of about 900 people gathered in a Bellagio resort ballroom for the annual UNLV Foundation dinner benefiting the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Local reporter Venise Toussaint pointed out the Clinton hypocrisy during a Tuesday morning report about the event:



ISIS May Have Chemcial Weapons

The Islamic State militant group may possess chemical weapons that it has already used to extend its self-proclaimed caliphate, according to photos taken by Kurdish activists and examined by Israeli researchers.

The group, making gains in Iraq and Syria, may have captured chemical agents in Iraq in June and used them in July to kill three Kurdish fighters in the strategically important region of Kobani in northwest Syria, suggests a report released Sunday by the Global Research in International Affairs Center, a branch of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel.


 
Democratic Ads Off the Air in Kentucky Senate Race

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has stopped running TV ads in Kentucky's U.S. Senate race, a severe blow to Alison Lundergan Grimes in her challenge to Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

In a statement issued three weeks before the Nov. 4 election and a day after the candidates' sole debate, the committee said Tuesday that it had spent more than $2 million in Kentucky and continued to fund get-out-the-vote operations. However, the committee made no commitment to go back on the air in support of Grimes, who has been pummeled by tens of millions of dollars in attack ads by McConnell and his allies.



Forcusing on the next, better health care reform law

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was supposed to cure our nation’s healthcare ills. Yet today, we still see symptoms of dysfunction.

We can — we must — do more to create a better healthcare system for all Americans. That’s why this week, across the country, healthcare reformers are joining together for Healthcare Solutions Week. Together, we can finally find the right solutions to our nation’s persistent problems in healthcare policy.



When the policy is the punch line
The widening gap between expectation and reality is no joke for Obama backers

Former governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney tells a Barack Obama joke that is drawing roars of laughter from GOP audiences.

Mr. Romney’s story, which nails the president’s weakness, involves golf champion Phil Mickelson and the Grand Slam tennis great Andre Agassi. As he tells it, Mr. Obama goes to a bank to cash a check, but without any ID on him.



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.

PETRY, LEROY A. Photo

PETRY, LEROY A.

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Organization: U.S. Army
Company: Company D
Division: 2d Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
Place / Date: 26 May 2008, Paktya Province, Afghanistan

Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty: Staff Sergeant Leroy A. Petry distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy in the vicinity of Paktya Province, Afghanistan, on May 26, 2008. As a Weapons Squad Leader with D Company, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Staff Sergeant Petry moved to clear the courtyard of a house that potentially contained high-value combatants. While crossing the courtyard, Staff Sergeant Petry and another Ranger were engaged and wounded by automatic weapons fire from enemy fighters. Still under enemy fire, and wounded in both legs, Staff Sergeant Petry led the other Ranger to cover. He then reported the situation and engaged the enemy with a hand grenade, providing suppression as another Ranger moved to his position. The enemy quickly responded by maneuvering closer and throwing grenades. The first grenade explosion knocked his two fellow Rangers to the ground and wounded both with shrapnel. A second grenade then landed only a few feet away from them. Instantly realizing the danger, Staff Sergeant Petry, unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his safety, deliberately and selflessly moved forward, picked up the grenade, and in an effort to clear the immediate threat, threw the grenade away from his fellow Rangers. As he was releasing the grenade it detonated, amputating his right hand at the wrist and further injuring him with multiple shrapnel wounds. Although picking up and throwing the live grenade grievously wounded Staff Sergeant Petry, his gallant act undeniably saved his fellow Rangers from being severely wounded or killed. Despite the severity of his wounds, Staff Sergeant Petry continued to maintain the presence of mind to place a tourniquet on his right wrist before communicating the situation by radio in order to coordinate support for himself and his fellow wounded Rangers. Staff Sergeant Petry's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service, and reflect great credit upon himself, 75th Ranger Regiment, 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.