this is as close to the truth as i can come.
this is as close to the truth as i can come.
A Narrow View of Things
by Theodore Dalrymple
June 16, 2018
In North Korea I saw no one on the street, in the mass parades, or at the stadium seating 150,000 people wearing them and thought this strange, as Koreans are genetically predisposed to myopia. When I asked my personal spy who accompanied me everywhere where the people who wore glasses were, he replied, “That is a problem we have solved.” It was not by laser surgery, either, though the precise method of the solution went unsolved. The three successive heads of the Kim dynasty have all worn glasses, evidence of their superior, indeed unprecedented, intelligence…. If you kill all the people of above-average intelligence, your chances of having above-average intelligence yourself rise.
Japan lowers the age of adulthood from 20 to 18, with the changes coming into effect in 2022. The revision to Japan’s civil code means that 18-year-olds will be able to marry without their parents’ consent, apply for credit cards and loans, and transgender people will be able to have their new gender officially recognised. The change causes confusion and concern regarding the kimono industry and Coming of Age Day. (The Guardian)
A missing Indonesian woman’s body is found inside a python, being one of only two fully documented cases of a human being consumed by a snake. (The Hindu)
Audi CEO arrested in widening VW diesel scandal Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was arrested in Germany on Monday in the latest fallout from the diesel-emissions cheating scandal at the automaker’s parent company, Volkswagen. “We confirm that Mr. Stadler was arrested this morning,” a VW spokesman said Monday, noting that Stadler was presumed innocent like any suspect. Audi made no immediate comment. The arrest came as Munich prosecutors expand their investigation into the scandal to look at possible fraud and false advertising at Audi, VW’s luxury brand. VW shares were down about 1.6 percent from Friday’s closing price. Source: Reuters
Sunday, Jun 17, 2018
Wynn Resorts Ltd. says that two board members, including one investigating sexual misconduct allegations against former Chief Executive Steve Wynn, will leave their posts after Elaine Wynn, the company’s largest shareholder, presses for additional board changes. (The Wall Street Journal)
In an upset victory, Mexico beats Germany 1–0, handing them their first opening loss in a World Cup since 1982. (TSN)
Twin suicide bombings in Damboa, Nigeria, leave at least 31 people dead. The explosions are reportedly followed by rockets fired from outside the town. (BBC)
A magnitude 5.9 earthquake strikes Osaka, Japan, at 7:58 a.m. local time (22:58 UTC). At least two people have been killed and several are transported to hospitals with injuries. Electrical services are disrupted citywide, affecting 170,000 buildings. (NHK)
Iván Duque wins the second round presidential election to become the new President of Colombia. (BBC)
Saturday, Jun 16, 2018
Boris Becker, who was once the highest ranked men’s singles tennis player in the world, has claimed diplomatic immunity from a bankruptcy claim by private bankers Arbuthnot Latham, based on his role as a sports attaché to the European Union from the Central African Republic. (Reuters)
Saudi Arabian-led coalition troops seize control of Hodeida International Airport in Al Hudaydah after driving out Houthi forces. Around 280 people have been reportedly killed in the last four days inside the Yemeni port city. (Sky News)
The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency states that the eruption of lower Puna has destroyed 467 homes in total. (Upi)
The coalition government of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras survives a vote of no-confidence brought by the opposition party over a deal to end the dispute. (AP)
First time qualifier Iceland holds off a late charge from two-time champion Argentina and comes away with a 1-1 draw in the opening World Cup matches for both countries. (ESPN)
Friday, Jun 15, 2018
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has his bail revoked for allegedly tampering with witnesses, and is sent to jail to await his trial for foreign lobbying charges. (CNN)
The Afghan Ministry of Defense reports that Mullah Fazlullah, the emir of the Pakistani Taliban, was killed in Kunar province by an U.S. drone strike two days prior on June 13. (NBC News)
The United States imposes a 25% tariff on goods imported from China worth $50 billion, set to come into effect on July 6, and accuses Beijing of “intellectual copyright theft”. (BBC)
Cristiano Ronaldo scores a hat-trick achieving Portugal’s 3–3 draw against Spain. (Reuters)
Thursday, Jun 14, 2018
The U.S. Department of Justice publishes a 568-page report by Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz on the FBI’s handling of its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email practices. The report is critical of former FBI Director James Comey, accusing him of being “insubordinate”, but finding that his actions were not politically biased. (BBC)
The Message is the first Arabic film commercially screened in Saudi Arabia. (Quartz)
EU countries approve tariffs worth €2.8 billion in retaliation against U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium. (AFP via Yahoo! News)
The Senate of France approves a bill to reform the SNCF railway company. The French state writes off €35 billion of SNCF’s €47 billion debt, but remains the sole owner of the joint-stock company with two subsidiaries: operator SNCF Mobility and infrastructure manager SNCF Network. (International Railway Journal)
Hosts Russia beat Saudi Arabia 5–0 in the opening match, with two goals by Denis Cheryshev. (BBC Sport)
Thursday, Jun 14, 2018
by Steve Sailer
June 13, 2018
Some other lessons from the Theranos debacle involve the plausibility of conspiracy theorizing. After all, the cast of famous operators who played supporting roles in the Elizabeth Holmes saga makes it sound like this, if anything, ought to be a conspiracy of some sort, right?
And yet the tale turned out to be one couple hoodwinking the Bohemian Grove members.
Now, we are often told that conspiracy theories couldn’t possibly be true because no organization could keep a secret for very long (although Britain’s vast Bletchley Park code-breaking project during WWII was kept confidential until the 1970s.)
And yet Theranos had been in business for twelve years and had fired hundreds of disillusioned employees before anybody published a debunking article.
No, the real weakness in most conspiracy theories is the sheer quantity of elite ineptitude. It turns out that, unlike in 1984 or Brave New World, there is no Inner Party of Machiavellian but informed insiders who actually know what’s going on. Hence, even the guys who won the Cold War were made fools of by a megalomaniacal young lady with the winds of the zeitgeist at her back.
Justice Department watchdog expected to slam FBI over Clinton email probe On Thursday afternoon, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will release his anticipated report on the FBI and Justice Department’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. The report is expected to criticize former FBI Director James Comey for violating longstanding DOJ policies by criticizing Clinton’s email use while announcing the FBI found no wrongdoing and then publicly reopening the investigation a week before the 2016 election. Horowitz may also criticize former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe — the report already contributed to his firing — and others. When he launched the investigation in January 2017, however, Horowitz made clear he would not second-guess the decision to not press charges against Clinton. Clinton and others have said Comey’s actions cost her the election. Source: NPR
2018 World Cup begins with match between Russia, Saudi Arabia The world’s most widely-viewed sporting event, the soccer World Cup, begins Thursday in Russia, where the national team will face off against Saudi Arabia at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Russia is the lowest-ranked team in the 2018 World Cup, having failed to win their last seven friendly matches since last October, while Saudi Arabia last reached the global finals in 1994. “Never mind that it’s the least appealing World Cup opener ever,” writes Henry Bushnell for Yahoo Sports. “If you’re a soccer fan, you watch the World Cup opener.” Games can be watched on Fox or Fox Sports 1, or in Spanish on Telemundo or NBC Universo. Russia vs. Saudi Arabia kicks off at 11 a.m. ET. Source: Sporting News
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili resigns following anti-government protests. (RFE/RL)
Saudi-led coalition forces begin an operation to take control of the Yemeni port city of Al Hudaydah, which has been held by the Houthis since 2015. (BBC News)
Volkswagen is fined €1 billion by German prosecutors after cheating on diesel particulate emissions testing. (BBC News)
The FIFA Congress votes to hold the 2026 World Cup in Canada, Mexico, and the United States, with Morocco’s World Cup bid coming in second. (BBC Sport)
Julen Lopetegui is ousted as coach of Spanish national football team, one day before the 2018 FIFA World Cup. (The Guardian)
Tuesday, Jun 12, 2018
Tesla announces that it intends to cut 3000 jobs in an attempt to improve profitability. Many of those workers will be offered alternative jobs under the same employer. (BBC)
A U.S. federal judge approves AT&T’s $85 billion merger with Time Warner. (NPR)
Seattle’s city council votes 7–2 to repeal a controversial employer head tax, which was approved a month earlier. (The Guardian)
Hurricane Bud grows into a category four hurricane with winds of 130 miles per hour (210 km/h) off of the Pacific Coast of Mexico. (CBS News)
Germany issues a recall of 73,000 eggs from the Netherlands suspected to be contaminated with fipronil. (BBC)
The United States unveils a new 6.5-hectare (16-acre) complex in Taipei for the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto U.S. embassy. (Reuters)
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un meet for a historic summit on Sentosa Island in Singapore. This marks the first time that the leaders of both countries have met. (BBC)
The Latest BP Statistical Review of World Energy for 2018 is out. It covers everything through 2017.
Why Is Suicide Becoming So Trendy?
by Jim Goad
June 11, 2018
Tuesday, Jun 12, 2018
Trump and Kim end summit with signing of denuclearization document President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wrapped up their historic five-hour summit in Singapore on Tuesday by signing a document in which Trump “committed to provide security guarantees” to North Korea and Kim “reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” Both leaders also pledged to “join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.” There were no specific details on how these goals would be reached. Trump told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that they hadn’t discussed withdrawing U.S. troops from South Korea, but said “we’re not going to play the war games” anymore, because they’re “very provocative.” Trump said at a news conference later that he wants to “bring our soldiers home.” Source: The Associated Press, ABC News
Monday, Jun 11, 2018
NASA’s Opportunity rover is temporarily shut down due to a dust storm. (BGR)
Deontay Wilder accepts the terms to fight Anthony Joshua. (ESPN)
Sunday, Jun 10, 2018
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump arrive in Singapore ahead of the upcoming summit. (BBC)
A warehouse holding ballot boxes from elections last month burns down in Baghdad. Several politicians say the fire was a criminal act aimed at destabilising the state following a disputed election result. (BBC)
Authorities in Afghanistan announce the seizure of 156 sacks of ammonium nitrate being imported on a truck from Pakistan. This is one of the largest seizures of the compound, most commonly used as a fertilizer, but also used to manufacture explosives. (Reuters)
Tens of thousands of Basque nationalists form a 202-kilometre (126 mi) human chain asking for greater autonomy. (BBC)
In the men’s singles final, Rafael Nadal defeats Dominic Thiem and wins his 11th title at Roland Garros. (BBC)
U.S. President Donald Trump calls for “fair and reciprocal” trades between the United States and other countries, claiming that the United States is a “piggy bank that everyone keeps robbing”. (VOA) (BBC)
Donald Trump again calls for Russia to be reinstated into the group. Russia was suspended after the annexation of Crimea in 2014. (CNN)
Trump retracts his endorsement of the summit’s final communiqué. (CBS News)
The Taliban announce a three-day Eid ceasefire with the Afghan authorities, according to Pajhwok Afghan News. On Thursday, President Ashraf Ghaniannounced a ceasefire with the Taliban from June 12–19. (TASS)
The 18th Council of Heads of State meets in Qingdao, China. (The Nation)
Over 100,000 people participate in a large protest in Bucharest, Romania, against apparent judicial abuses and “illegitimate interference” of the secret services in the political and judicial systems. The protest was organised by the governing Social Democratic Party and supported by other political parties. (The Washington Post)
Justify wins the Belmont Stakes and becomes the second horse in four years to win the U.S. Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. (The New York Times)
The 10-megawatt IBM Summit supercomputer is unveiled at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, East Tennessee. With a reported 200 petaflops of processing power, it is expected to top the list of the world’s most powerful computers after this June’s update is presented at the International Supercomputing Conference. (Wired)
U.S. President Donald Trump calls for Russia, which was suspended from the group after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, to be reinstated in the group; a call supported by the Prime Minister of Italy Giuseppe Conte, and rejected by most other G7 leaders. (Deutsche Welle)
The military chiefs of both countries, Joseph Dunford and Valery Gerasimov, meet in Finland. (AP via ABC News)
On Quds Day – the last Friday of Ramadan – thousands of Palestinians protest near the Gaza border fence. Israeli troops fire live rounds and tear gas, killing four people and injuring over 600. (AP via CBS News)
A U.S. special forces soldier is killed and four others are wounded in an ambush by suspected al-Shabaab militants near the town of Jamame, Lower Juba, Somalia. (BBC)
The Walt Disney Company announces that its animation chief, John Lasseter, will leave the company after December 31, after he was accused of misconduct late last year. (Deadline)
The military chiefs of both countries, Joseph Dunford and Valery Gerasimov, meet in Finland. (AP via ABC News)
In basketball, the Golden State Warriors defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in four games to win the National Basketball Association Championship. (New York Times)
I haven’t paid any attention to Global Warming in a very long time. I have a very small carbon footprint and I am efficient and conserve and all that, but I just don’t think there is anything I can do as an individual to change anything. I was challenged recently to give a shit. Help. I’m wondering if anybody has any thoughts ( I know you do).
Paris climate conference: 10 reasons why we shouldn’t worry about ‘man-made’ global warming
The UN Climate Change Conference in Paris would have us all terrified about the future of the environment. Here’s why I’m not
by Christopher Booker
Friday, Jun 8, 2018
Author, chef, TV host Anthony Bourdain dies at 61 Celebrated author and chef Anthony Bourdain, host of CNN’s award-winning series Parts Unknown, has died in an apparent suicide, CNN reported Friday. He was 61. “His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink, and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller,” the network said in a statement. Bourdain was in France working on an episode for his show, which explored food and culture around the world, when a friend, French chef Eric Ripert, found him unresponsive in his hotel room. Bourdain was a chef before his 2000 best-selling book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly catapulted him to stardom. He hosted shows on the Food Network and the Travel Channel before joining CNN. Source: CNN
In a 2017 interview with The Guardian, Bourdain reflected on his life in kitchens and said he’d been able to find peace out of a chaotic upbringing, saying he had “put aside my psychotic rage, after many years being awful to line cooks, abusive to waiters, bullying to dishwashers.”
“Nowadays I still have a rather withering ability to be sarcastic and displeased but I’m not screaming at anyone,” he told The Guardian.
Bourdain was born in New York City and grew up in New Jersey. He would have been 62 on June 25. Despite his success, Bourdain was known to struggle with drug addiction and had a history of heroin use.
“I was an unhappy soul, with a huge heroin and then crack problem,” Bourdain said in The Guardian interview. “I hurt, disappointed and offended many, many, many people and I regret a lot. It’s a shame I have to live with.”
Former Senate staffer indicted in Justice Department leak probe On Thursday, James A. Wolfe, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s former director of security, was indicted by a federal grand jury for lying to the FBI about repeated contact with three reporters. The Department of Justice said in a statement that Wolfe lied to agents in December 2017 about the contacts he made with reporters, including through encrypted messaging programs. As director of security, Wolfe “was entrusted with access to classified secret and top secret information provided by the executive branch, including the U.S. intelligence community” and was “responsible for safeguarding” this information. The New York Times reported that the Department of Justice notified reporter Ali Watkins in February that it had seized her phone and email records, going back several years, in connection with a probe into leaks of classified information. Watkins and Wolfe were once in a romantic relationship. Source: The New York Times
Thursday, Jun 7, 2018
Donald Trump and Shinzō Abe discuss improving trade relations between the two countries. (The Straits Times)
Donald Trump says that he might invite North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to the United States if the planned summit meeting in Singapore goes well. (BBC)
IKEA announces that it plans to phase out single-use plastic items by 2020, and intends to move toward sustainability in its product design. (BBC)
NASA announces the discovery of preserved organic matter in an ancient lake bed on Mars by its Curiosity rover. It has not been determined if the matter was potentially related to past life on Mars or not. (The Guardian)
Argentina agrees with IMF negotiators on a US$50 billion loan. (AP via The Kansas City Star)
Facebook reports a error in privacy settings that has affected 14 million users. (BBC)
Wednesday, Jun 6, 2018
A lava flow destroys at least 130 homes in the Vacationland Hawaii and Kapoho Beach Lots neighborhoods. Officials reported Vacationland Hawaii to be completely destroyed, while nearby Kapoho Bay has been filled with lava.(West Hawaii Today) (West Hawaii Today2)
The Cabinet of the United Kingdom approves a controversial third runway at London’s Heathrow Airport. (Sky News)
At least 18 people are killed by twin explosions in a weapons depot in a mosque in Sadr City, Baghdad. (Belga via Het Laatste Nieuws)
The Syrian government re-opens the Homs–Hama highway after it was closed for seven years. (Reuters)
A woman in Australia is reported dead from hepatitis after consuming frozen pomegranate. Health authorities have stated that 24 such cases were related to products by Entyce Food Ingredients. (BBC)
The European Commission proposes to implement two measures by August, designed to counter the US exit from the agreement with Iran. These would extend the EU blocking statute and allow an extension of the European Investment Bank mandate. (Belga via HBVL)
Alexander Nix, the head of Cambridge Analytica, faces questions from British MPs regarding the company’s use of data. (BBC)
This is a re-post of what has been the most popular post on this site.
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The Bridge at La Fiere
June 6th, 2010
JR has reminded me that the anniversary of D-Day is Sunday. It’s been quiet around here of late and I thought I might drop in this little story; something I wrote and posted on another blog about four years ago. It contains some photos I took at La Fiere bridge in Normandy, France. I was unfamiliar with the place until my visit, where I received a guided tour and was told the story of what happened here on June 6, 1944. The remarkable thing about this area, like much of rural coastal Normandy is that it hasn’t changed much at all. Same buildings, farms and churches. Same fields and hedgerows. It is possible to view the landscape and little villages largely as they were seen in 1944, however the secondary roads are now paved. Below is a brief story of what happened at the bridge.
(Note: Click on maps and photos for larger and better resolution images)
La Fiere Bridge
In the pre-dawn hours of June 6, 1944, elements of the 82nd Airborne Division parachuted into the vicinity of Ste. Mere Eglise with the objective of seizing certain key crossroads and other objectives that would block an inevitable counterattack by the Germans toward Utah Beach. If successful these tactics would help facilitate a rapid drive inland by the American infantry divisions that would hopefully cut through and isolate the Cotentin Peninsula.
Ste. Mere Eglise is about six miles west of Utah Beach:
The road out of Ste. Mere Eglise continues further west and crosses the Merderet River:
There is a small bridge over the river adjacent to a picturesque estate compound called La Fiere Manor. A narrow causeway extends this crossing over the Merderet floodplain for a distance of about 600 yards. These features can be seen on this reconnaissance photo from the period:
Back then there were few bridges over the river and this one was very close to the Ste. Mere Eglise crossroad, so it was critical that the 82nd Airborne seize this bridge quickly on D-Day, as well as a small village at the opposite end of the causeway, named Cauquigny.
Company A of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) was assigned the objective of taking the La Fiere bridge. Early on the morning of June 6 this group of paratroopers assembled west of Ste Mere Eglise and proceeded toward the bridge. They met fierce resistance by a German unit dug in near the bridge and occupying the buildings of La Fiere Manor but were able to overcome this opposition and take many prisoners. Not knowing if the 507th PIR had captured Cauquigny on the opposite end of the causeway, they immediately began preparations to defend the bridge from the possibility of a counterattack coming from the other side. A 57mm cannon (brought in by glider) was placed in the road above the manor in a position where it could cover the bridge approach. Two bazooka teams were placed on the far side of the bridge in foxholes on either side of the road. Rifle teams were positioned around the bridge, along the river banks, and in and around the Fiere manor house and its large stone barn. A shot up German truck was rolled over the bridge and placed in front of it as a roadblock.
Tuesday, Jun 5, 2018
Prostitutes at the Brussels-North red-light district strike today after one of their colleagues is found murdered this morning, says their professional association. (Het Laatste Nieuws)
Miss America pageant eliminates swimsuit competition The Miss America organization has eliminated the swimsuit portion of its competition for the first time in its 96-year history. “We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance,” said Miss America chairwoman Gretchen Carlson. “It’s going to be what comes out of their mouth that we’re interested in, when they talk about their social impact initiatives.” Carlson said the competition would focus on the talent and interview phases to determine scholarship awards, rather than operate as a beauty pageant. “We’re moving forward,” she said, “and evolving in this cultural revolution.” Source: Good Morning America
A 2–5-metre (6 ft 7 in–16 ft 5 in) wide asteroid named 2018 LA was estimated (before impact) to have an 82% chance of having impacted Earth today, with several corroborating reports from Botswana. An OFM media report from near Klerksdorp, North West province, South Africa, describes “‘a light’ falling from the sky” at 18:49 (UTC+02:00) Saturday night. (NASA) (Minor Planet Mailing List) (Project Pluto)
Penka, a pregnant cow from Bulgaria, faces death because, according to European Union rules, she lacks the required paperwork to re-enter her country after having strayed into Serbia. (Deccan Chronicle)
Google reports that they will not renew a contract with the U.S. military to develop machine learning algorithms for drones. (BBC)
In an effort to quell unrest caused by IMF-driven reforms, King Abdullah II of Jordan appoints Omar Razzaz as Prime Minister. (Reuters)
Trump disinvites Eagles from White House Super Bowl ceremony The White House announced Monday that President Trump has canceled a visit by the Philadelphia Eagles set for Tuesday because some players are taking a knee during the national anthem, in protest of police brutality in the United States. The Eagles were supposed to visit the White House in celebration of their Super Bowl win earlier this year. In a statement, Trump said some members of the team “disagree with their president because he insists that they proudly stand for the national anthem, hand on heart.” In response, the mayor of Philadelphia, Jim Kenney, called Trump a “fragile egomaniac.” Source: The Associated Press
Billionaire David Koch to retire from Koch Industries, political network Citing health issues, billionaire David Koch, 78, will step down from his roles at Koch Industries and the political activism network he runs with his brother, Charles Koch. “Unfortunately, these issues have not been resolved, and his health has continued to deteriorate,” Charles wrote in a letter sent to Koch Industries employees Tuesday. This news comes just one day after the Kochs’ political network announced a major new campaign against President Trump’s tariffs. Long reviled on the left for their economic policy, in recent years the Kochs have made allies on both sides of the aisle on issues like immigration and criminal justice reform. Koch Industries is the second-largest private company in the United States. Source: CNBC
Chinese state media say that an explosion at an iron ore mine in Benxi, Liaoning, kills 11 people while 25 others remain trapped after the blast. (Reuters via DNA)
Monday, Jun 4, 2018
The Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States announces the arrest of an employee of the Defense Intelligence Agency whom they have charged with spying on the behalf of China. (BBC)
In a new filing, special counsel Robert Mueller accuses Paul Manafort of witness tampering. (Vox)
Microsoft announces that it is acquiring code repository GitHub for US$7.5 billion in stock, pending regulatory review. (The Verge)
Starbucks executive chairman and former CEO Howard Schultz retires from the company. (The New York Times)
Russian President Vladimir Putin signs a law – voted by the State Duma on 22 May and approved by the State Council on 30 May – with countermeasures against actions of the United States and other “unfriendly” countries. (TASS)
According to multiple sources, North Korea has fired the top three military officials and replaced them with younger loyalists. One of the three new appointees, general Ri Yong-gil, was inaccurately “reported” in 2016 as having been executed. (BBC)
Hani Al-Mulki resigns as Prime Minister of Jordan following protests against economic reforms. (Al Jazeera)
Sunday, Jun 3, 2018
Volcán de Fuego in Guatemala erupts, leaving at least 62 people dead, 300 others injured, and forces the closure of La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City. (The Guardian)
Wildfires in the American states of California, Colorado and New Mexico now burn 31,000 acres (13,000 ha) of land, causing thousands to evacuate their homes. (CNN)
India announces it successfully tested a Agni-V ICBM missile at a base near Odisha coast. (Defence Aviation Post)
TV Slovenia exit polls show that Janez Janša’s anti-immigration Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) would win a plurality of 24.4% of the votes. List of Marjan Šarec (LMS), the party of the mayor of Kamnik, would follow with 12.6%. (Reuters)
Saturday, Jun 2, 2018
More than 80 homes have now been destroyed by the Kilauea eruption. (KTLA)
Thousands protest in Amman and other Jordanian cities, despite King Abdullah II ordering a freeze on controversial fuel and electricity price increases. (The Guardian)
Friday, Jun 1, 2018
Pedro Parente, the head of Brazil Petrobras, resigns among protests related to diesel fuel prices. (BBC)
The CDC reports that five people have died and 197 have been hospitalized in the United States, in the largest incidence of E. coli since the 2006 North American E. coli outbreak. (BBC)
Visa card payments are disrupted throughout Europe due to a network failure. The disruption results in large queues at supermarkets and petrol stations. Mastercard and American Express say they were not affected. (BBC)
According to civil sources reported by SANA, the US-led coalition kills 8 people in an airstrike near al-Shaddadi, southern Hasaka. (Eurasia Review)
U.S. President Donald Trump officially announces that the summit will resume as scheduled following a White House meeting with North Korean general Kim Yong-chol. (BBC)
A Department of Defense report presented to the United States Congress estimates at 499 the number of civilian deaths in US military actions during the year 2017, with more than 450 reports remaining to be assessed. The casualties occurred in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen. (CNN)
An Uber driver in Denver, Colorado, United States, fatally shoots a passenger after a conflict on the Interstate 25 highway. A portion of the highway is placed on lockdown following the incident. (NBC News via MSN)
lest we forget, the brain is a bodily organ, like a kidney. it takes input from it’s surroundings (the body) and produces thoughts. in humans, primarily in the neocortex, it coordinates these thoughts with its’ surroundings and produces an “i”. that’s what a brain does.
the kidneys take input from the blood, and produce piss.
not all that different, in my mind. humans due to various inherent biases like to think otherwise. this is just brain piss.
still in rooster killing mode. my basic steps are:
2. i put them in a box in the garage. this allows for several important occurrences:
it provides a time and space for them to contemplate their misdeeds.
it allows time for them to void their bowels. one less thing for me to deal with in the morning.
i know just where they are when it’s time for their retrieval.
3. my preferred killing method is a two step process. first, i grab the chicken at the base of the skull, firmly, and apply a a violent, jerking, an up and down motion (choking the chicken). this, most often, does not kill them outright. but it does take the fight right out them. trust me when i tell you, this is best thing for both of us. a struggle makes everything worse. anyhoo, while they’re stunned, praying to god, wondering how this could possibly be happening, i lay them on a cedar stump and cut their heads off with a hatchet.
none of this is fun for anyone.
4. this is the hard part, for me. the chickens can relax, they’re just along for the ride from here on out. the next thing i do is scald them. i’m not sure if this does any good. some say it makes plucking easier. plucking a chicken is never easy. in more enlightened times this job was reserved for women and slaves and such. we live in a benighted era.
waiting the scale pot.
5. after scalding, evisceration. i’m still working on various techniques for this. basically, what i do at the moment is cut around the anus, separate it from the body. then, i open the abdomen, from anus to sternum. then, i just kind of grab onto anything i can and pull it all from the body cavity. the chickens don’t mind at this point.
i think, however, next time i do this, i will split the sternum.
and that’s about it. the heads and feathers go into the compost. feet, blood, and most of the offal gets mixed into the pig food.
Thursday, May 31, 2018
The Federal Reserve wants to soften the Volcker Rule on big banks The three members of the Federal Reserve Board voted unanimously on Wednesday to advance a proposal that would roll back the Volcker Rule, which prevents banks from making risky bets with depositors’ money. The Volcker Rule, part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, has been in effect since April 2014 and is meant to keep banks in check in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Wall Street has complained about the rule ever since, and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday that regulators are trying to “replace overly complex and inefficient requirements with a more streamlined set of requirements.” The proposal is now open to 60 days of public comment. The Federal Reserve is supposed to have seven governors. Source: The Hill
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Harvey Weinstein is indicted for rape charges by a New York City grand jury. (CBS)
Arkady Babchenko, who was reported dead after being shot yesterday in Kiev, appears on live television in Ukraine, stating that the assassination was staged. (BBC)
Top North Korean official Gen Kim Yong-chol meets with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York City to discuss the summit set to be held in June. (BBC)
A consortium led by the Institute of Cetacean Research, which is linked to Japan’s Ministry of Fisheries, reports that 333 Antarctic minke whales were killed in last year’s “scientific survey”. 122 of the whales were pregnant, and 114 immature. (Smithsonian)
According to Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, talks with Greece on Macedonia’s name are in a final phase. Zaev says that if a compromise name for the country is agreed upon, it will be put to a referendum. (RFE/RL)
Report: Trump asked Sessions to rescind his recusal from Russia probe President Trump asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reverse his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation during a dinner in Florida in March 2017, The New York Times reported Tuesday. Sessions refused. He had flown to see Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach because he needed to discuss Trump’s travel ban days after his Russia recusal, and the president wasn’t taking his calls. Trump reportedly berated Sessions and demanded his loyalty. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is now investigating this incident as part of his probe into whether Trump tried to obstruct justice, the Times reported. Mueller’s team has interviewed several current and former White House officials about how Sessions was treated by Trump. Sessions was interviewed in January. Source: The New York Times
Trump: ‘I wish’ I didn’t pick Jeff Sessions for attorney general President Trump publicly bashed his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, on Twitter Wednesday after The New York Times reported he had pressured Sessions in March 2017 to reverse his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. Trump quoted Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who had appeared on Fox News to defend the president, writing: “[If] I picked somebody to be the country’s chief law enforcement officer and they told me later ‘oh by the way, I’m not going to be able to participate in the most important case in the office,’ I would be frustrated too … There are lots of really good lawyers in the country, he could have picked somebody else!” Trump added his own comment after Gowdy’s quote: “And I wish I did!” Source: Donald J. Trump, The Week
Kim Kardashian West talks prison reform with Trump Reality star Kim Kardashian West went to the White House Wednesday to discuss prison reform with President Trump. Already the socialite has been in contact with Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, to advocate for the pardon and release of 62-year-old Alice Marie Johnson, who is more than two decades into a life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to offer advance details of the Wednesday visit, only confirming it would happen. “Happy Birthday Alice Marie Johnson,” Kardashian West tweeted earlier Wednesday. “Today is for you.” Source: Politico
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
U.S. television network ABC cancels its recently revived sitcom Roseanne following a controversial tweet from Roseanne Barr about former U.S. President Barack Obama aide Valerie Jarrett. (BBC)
The U.S. Government announces a 25% import tariff on US$50 billion of Chinese goods with “industrially significant technology”. A full list of affected products will be published on June 15. Investment restrictions and enhanced export controls are to be announced on June 30. (NPR)
Four Libyan leaders (Fayez al-Sarraj, Khalifa Haftar, Aguila Saleh and head of the Council of State Khaled al-Mishri) endorse a statement calling to hold “credible, peaceful” elections on 10 December. (The Guardian)