*McClatchy News*: *What really happened to the U.S. train-and-equip program in Syria?* * Participants’ descriptions suggest trainees and trainers never agreed on mission * Inserted back into Syria, trainees’ first act was to take two weeks off * There were arguments and walkouts over goals, escorts, food supplies, expenses When the first group of Syrians from a U.S.-trained force intended to combat the Islamic State crossed into their country from Turkey in mid-July, they arrived in uniform carrying M16 rifles, mortars and flak vests. But they had no expense money, little food and...more »
[image: Donald Trump drawing as Hitler] Last week, Fareed Zakaria, the host of CNN's program GPS, wanted to trash Donald Trump for his proposal to put a hold on Muslim immigration out of concern over terrorist threats. Instead of making constitutional, policy, or even moral arguments...more »
[image: Merry Christmas, Winter] The nearly universal change from wishing fellow Americans “Merry Christmas” to wishing them “Happy Holidays” is a very significant development in American life. Proponents of “Happy Holidays” argue that it’s no big deal at all, and that proponents of “Merry...more »
*Wyoming Weather * A snow plow removes snow in front of a Wyoming Air National Guard C-130H Hercules aircraft in Cheyenne, Wyo., Dec. 16, 2015. The National Weather Service reported more than inches of snow at Cheyenne Regional Airport Dec. 15, which broke the old record of 3.3 inches set in 1892. The aircraft is assigned to the 153rd Airlift Wing. Wyoming National Guard photo by Air Force Master Sgt. Charles Delano
It's not quite the new year yet but I'm committed to making an effort to expand my horizons and take in some more live music. It's been over six years since I've actually attended a symphony of any sort and while I tend to listen to smaller ensembles rather than full-fledged orchestral works, I decided to take the plunge and not let a concert season pass by without seeing anything, especially when we have two fine orchestras in the form of the Edmonton Symphony and the Calgary Philharmonic. Once I got digging around looking at concert schedules I was amazed at just how many great ...more »
AP /Susan Walsh *Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post*: *The turbulent story of 2015, as told by 15 world leaders* *Here's a guide to a year of conflict and discord, through the words of some of the world's leaders.* *Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras:* "We have a great opportunity for a new beginning." The leftist Greek politician's Syriza party won landmark elections in January. Tsipras preached a new way forward for Greece after years of crippling austerity and compounding debt. But a failure to reach an accord with European Union authorities in Brussels has led to a return to th...more »
[image: Washington D.C., Capitol Hill, Congress, Storm Clouds] Since nearly everyone else seems to be employing Star Wars metaphors these days, permit me to use some of my own. To conservatives, the Republican congressional majority was supposed to be the good side of “The Force,” as opposed to what...more »
*In what world is Herr Trumpf vulgar but Ted Cruz is not?* I don't know which Republican presidential hopeful is the most homophobic, although it certainly isn't Herr Trumpf. Cruz is a notorious homophobe and his second biggest donors, the Wilks brothers ($15,000,000), are almost exclusively motivated in their political giving with their bizarre and unbalanced obsession with homosexuality. Cruz, though, is also supported by self-loathing Fire Island predators, Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass. Then there's Marco Rubio-- with a family in Miami another stashed away in New York City and ...more »
*Part of a continuing series looking at the pagan origins of the Christmas Myths,* one day at a time. Today, the story about all those gifts…* *The Nativity story you hear today is a regular old mash-up. So the Magi arrive at the house (if you’re reading Matthew’s story of the Nativity) – or the shepherds arrive at the stable (if it’s Luke’s story of the Nativity you’re following) – or no one arrives anywhere at all (if you’re reading Mark or John’s story of the Nativity, because they don’t think any of this stuff is important enough to write down, which is weird) . . . so the...more »
[image: Executive Business Man American Flag Cape - 900] “We have people across this country who are scared to death,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie declared loudly at this week’s Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas. Virtually the entire debate was based upon this premise. Which is understandable. Since...more »
[image: Rand Paul] Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Sunday said he voted against the $1.1 trillion government spending bill that passed Congress last week because nobody had a chance to read the behemoth legislation. "It was over a trillion dollars, it was all... Continue reading *“Rand Paul: Nobody Read the $1.1 Trillion Omnibus Bill”* at *thehill.com*.
[image: Sarah Palin - 400] Tina Fey forever left her stamp on the 2008 presidential race with her skewering impression of Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live, but now the former Alaska governor is trying to have the last laugh. In a parody trailer for... Continue reading *“Sarah Palin Turns the Tables With Tina Fey Impression”* at *msnbc.com*.
A surface-to-surface Agni V missile is launched from the Wheeler Island off the eastern Indian state of Odisha April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation/Handout *Peter Apps. Reuters:* *Is the risk of nuclear war rising?* On Sunday, November 28, Californians watched with bemusement and in some cases alarm as a bright light moved across the sky. It wasn’t a UFO. It was a U.S. Navy Trident ballistic missile. It was, of course, just a test — the first of two in three days. They coincided with tough talk from U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, wh...more »
[image: Male lions at Kavita Lion Lodge, Namibia] WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. will protect lions in Africa under the Endangered Species Act, the Obama administration announced Monday, a move that would make it harder for American big-game hunters to bring a lion head or hide into the...more »
(Click on Image to Enlarge) Located: The U.S. has military bases around the world, as depicted in this graphic. Daily Mail *Rachelle Marshall, Foreign Policy In Focus*: *Ashton Carter’s Plan to Expand U.S. Military Presence Across the Globe Even Further* As if the current 662 U.S.military bases around the world from which air strikes can be launched aren’t enough. How many Americans are aware that the U.S. is currently engaged in five wars — in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen, and that our forces are involved in lesser conflicts in Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast ...more »
[image: Lindsey Graham - 400] Make sure you're sitting down before you read this, but: Lindsey Graham is not going to be president. The South Carolina senator announced during an interview with CNN Monday morning that he will drop out of the race, eschewing the... Continue reading *“The 2016 U.S. Presidential Race: A Cheat Sheet”* at *theatlantic.com*.
[image: St. Nicholas with kneeling children] In 325, Emperor Constantine summoned church leaders from across the empire to the city of Nicaea for a council that would attempt to resolve theological questions that were dividing the church and thus threatening the peace of the empire. While...more »
[image: traffic - 900] Texas is infested with more speed traps than any other state, according to a new study by the National Motorists Association. The NMA compiled five years' worth of data from a website it maintains, The National Speed Trap Exchange, and...more »
[image: Trump] In 1999, Donald Trump identified as "very pro-choice" and stated that he would not ban even partial-birth abortions. He now identifies as pro-life. However, when pressed to clarify his views, Trump articulated a position indistinguishable from current abortion law as... Continue reading *“Trump’s Abortion Views Highly Confusing”* at *liveactionnews.org*.
[image: Karachi - 900] A ring of female Islamic State supporters has been caught raising money for ISIS in Pakistan's coastal city of Karachi. The operation is fairly simple: local women collect the money under the guise of charity which they then hand over to...more »
[image: pro-choice feminist] While I cannot speak for every woman who's done an about-face on the issue of abortion, I think my experience can be helpful in understanding how it can be that so many women who were once solidly in favor of... Continue reading *“Why This Pro-Choice Feminist Is Now a Pro-Life Activist”* at *lifenews.com*.
[image: Indiana court] A nativity display at an Indiana county courthouse has survived a second lawsuit brought against it by secularist groups after a settlement was reached. Lawyers representing Franklin County settled earlier this month with the state chapter of the American Civil... Continue reading *“Satanists Lose 2nd Nativity Scene Battle in Indiana Court”* at *christianpost.com*.
[image: spending bill] GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson has ripped Republican leadership for agreeing to a new $1.1 trillion spending bill, claiming that America’s grandchildren will look at it as the week “America failed.” “You need no further proof than what the GOP... Continue reading *“Ben Carson Rips Republicans for Funding Planned Parenthood, Supporting Refugees in Spending Bill”* at *christianpost.com*.
*The Confederacy of Racists-by Noah* There’s been a lot said in the media about the Confederate flag this year. The topic boiled to the surface as soon as Dylann Roof went into Charleston, South Carolina’s historic Emanuel A.M.E. church and sat down to pray with the parishioners before killing 9 of them and wounding others on June 17th. A picture of Roof, a white supremacist, waving his confederate flag, was worth millions of words. Republican Party National Chairman Reince Preibus has a problem and he knows it. In the case of the Charleston massacre, he was smart enough to kno...more »
Once Rahm Emanuel got the power to fire Howard Dean as DNC chair-- the first catastrophic decision of the Obama presidency-- replacing him with 2 consecutive talentless sieves-- first Tim Kaine and then, much worse, Debbie Wasserman Schultz-- and scrapping Dean's 50-state strategy, it was apparent the Republican Party would have a free-hand in scores of districts where they could be challenged over the long term and that Washington would no longer back sensible strategies for winning back congressional seats or state legislatures. It was an identical realignment from one I saw tak...more »
*Nancy Youssef, Daily Beast:* *Worst Attack in 18 Months Shocks U.S. Military* The Taliban weren't supposed to able to get to American forces like this. But somehow, a suicide bomber, riding a motorcycle, just took out a half-dozen U.S. troops. Six U.S. troops were killed while on patrol in Afghanistan. It marked the deadliest day for American forces in nearly 18 months, and signaled that a resurgent Taliban was on the move in what was supposed to be the waning year of the war. Another three Afghan troops who were on patrol with their American counterparts were injured. The Tal...more »
National Review/Kevin WilliamsonatThe Stream - 5 hours ago
[image: totalitarianism] At the beginning of December, Rolling Stone writer Jeff Goodell asked Secretary of State John Kerry whether Charles and David Koch, two libertarian political activists, should be considered -- his remarkable words -- "an enemy of the state." He posed the... Continue reading *“The Democrats’ Theme for 2016 is Totalitarianism”* at *nationalreview.com*.
David Lammy early this month made waves in the *Question Time* obsessives' community by pointing out how limited the panel composition is. He wrote: Within the meagre 9.2% of Question Time slots filled by a BAME panellist, there is a staggering lack of diversity. Black women have appeared just 16 times in five years, and 12 of those appearances have been made by Diane Abbott. Another two appearances were by South African black female politicians during the Question Time South Africa special in 2013. Bonnie Greer has appeared twice. There are about 1 million black women in Britain. ...more »
Russia has warned that a secret U.S. law has just been signed by President Obama that has essentially enslaved the American people to Saudi Arabia forever. A $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill was passed by the US Congress last week without anybody actually reading it. As Senator Rand Paul pointed out, “It was over a trillion dollars, it was all lumped together, 2,242 pages, nobody read it”. The bill repeals the 1980 Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) that requires all foreign persons to pay tax on dispositions on U.S. real estate. This bill used to protect U.S. ...more »
At Winter Solstice we will be looking forward to much new energy pouring into us. By Kate Braun | The Rag Blog | December 20, 2015 Monday, December 21, 2015 is Yule, which you may also call Winter Solstice or … finish reading Kate Braun : Here’s how to have a cool Yule!
Sure the goverment of Ontario has made a bundle. But the bottom line is that the cost of energy is not going up due to green. Its going up due to sweetheart deals with the Nuclear CLub. In a perfect world when the Harris disaster left town we would have signed a massive deal with Quebec, but that would not have been politically correct. A global signal the Nukes were dead. But like the Monty Python Parrot they are. Nuclear energy is a fine triumph of engineering but not a bauhaus house for power. Green Energy is the only way we can live on this planet, so put a cost to that you NA...more »
*Kevin Sullivan, Real Clear World*: *Five Mideast Stories to Watch in 2016* It would be difficult to overstate just how deadly and destabilizing a year it was in the Middle East. From the civil wars raging in Syria and Yemen, to the ongoing military campaign against the Islamic State group and its self-styled caliphate across Iraq and Syria, 2015 undoubtedly marked a year of violence, displacement, and heartbreak for much of the region. We try to avoid making predictions here at the Mideast Memo, preferring instead to leave that to the analysts and experts who study and report on t...more »
Protests have erupted in Turkey on Monday as President Erdogan continues his military offensive against Kurdish people, promising to “cleanse” Turkey of Kurds. The death toll stands at 110 Kurds killed in the last six days, and electricity in many neighborhood’s in Silopi has been cut, as well as food and drinking water running scarce. Irishtimes.com reports: The war against the Kurdish PKK has brought a growing amount of Turkish military force against towns in the southeast, with some of the towns under full curfew, cut off from electricity, and with locals reporting less and less...more »
Another banker in Iceland has been sentenced to prison, as Iceland continue to hold to account those responsible for the financial crash of 2008, and not punish its citizens. The former head of Glitnir bank, Lárus Welding (left, above), was sentenced to five years for breach of trust in the Stim case. Icelandmonitor.mbl.is reports: The verdict was announced at the Reykjavik District Court this morning. Head of Capital Markets at Glitnir, Jóhannes Baldursson, was sentenced to 2 years in prison in the same case, also for breach of trust, and former director of the Saga Capital bank, ...more »
The vast majority of people have no idea of the true origins and meaning behind Christmas and that its roots actually pre-date Christianity. Christmas has its roots in the ancient traditions of magic mushrooms, Saturn worship and sun worship and has very little to do with Jesus Christ. Wakingtimes.com reports: Today’s Christmas is truly a hodgepodge of ancient rituals and celebrations, with roots as far back as 4000 years to the Mesopotamians. This is not surprising, for Christianity itself is a borrowed religion, built on top of previous Coptic (Egyptian), Mesopotamian and Babylon...more »
A recently declassified top secret CIA report from 1952 reveals that America planned on creating a fake muslim invasion of Russia in order to prompt the creation of a jihadist army in Afghanistan. This would later become what we know today to be the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and ISIS. The CIA worked on a program designed to foment nationalism among the Uzbek tribes in Afghanistan, hoping that it would spill across the border into the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic. Blacklistednews.com reports: This revelation means that the current attempt by such anti-Russian U.S. official and quasi-offi...more »
Russia have agreed to escort Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to Iran amid an upcoming visit to Tehran. Four Russian fighter jets will accompany Assad’s plane, and U.S. military aircraft have been ordered to stand down as Russia have warned that they will fire at any incoming aircraft that get in their way. Farsnews.com reports: “Four strategic Russian fighter jets will accompany the plane carrying the Syrian president during the visit to and from Iran,” the Lebanese al-Diyar daily reported on Sunday. The newspaper also added that the Syrian president is due to travel to Tehran via...more »
Spain looks like it is set to go the same way as Greece in 2016 following the Spanish governments failure to secure a majority vote over the weekend. Investors say they fear a major eurozone rupture in 2016 which will echo the Greek debt crisis that caused markets to crash earlier in 2015. Express.co.uk reports: Spain’s far-left anti-austerity party Podemos – similar to Greece’s Syriza party – enjoyed unprecedented support, showed election results. Prime minister Mariano Rajoy’ People’s Party must now form a tricky coalition government, although it is unlikely to be with Podemos, w...more »
*In this guest post, B.K. Marcus tells some of the little-known tale of how capitalism created the modern Christmas, and the market innovation of Peace on Earth.* Rowdy men in colourful rags gather outside the city’s nicer homes, demanding to be let in. Some have disguised themselves with mock-fancy outfits that ridicule their less-than-willing hosts, while others have blackened their faces or dressed up as animals. If you try to keep them out, they will shatter your windows, break down your door, and help themselves to food and drink. If instead you grant the rabble access, your...more »
*Riding in Pingtung.* The Nelson Report replies to Rupert Hammond-Chambers (original post here). This debate is going to take on new life with the new administrations in both the US and Taiwan, and the rapidly changing strategic picture in East and SE Asia. *++++++++++++++* THE TAIWAN ARMS DISCUSSION... Friday's Report contained a long note from Loyal Reader Rupert Hammond-Chambers, chief of the US-Taiwan Business Council here, which we were happy to run as "equal time" to our own comments earlier in the week. Because he made so many important points, we discussed it with informe...more »
The UK currently have 6 million CCTV cameras installed across the country, amounting to about one for every ten people who live in Britain, making it one of the most surveilled countries in the world. A new system is being proposed which will allow real-time face recognition to be integrated with existing CCTV cameras which will be linked to a central database populated with ‘undesirables’. If the system matches a person in this database, they are immediately flagged for a potential pre-crime violation. Arstechnica.com reports: Facewatch has been updated so that it can be integrate...more »
*Daily Mail:* *'I have bodies lying around me, we've been surrounded for two days': Afghan police chief begs for help fighting the Taliban amid fears Helmand province could soon fall* * Commander and his men are trapped inside police HQ by Taliban fighters * He said: 'If we don't get support in an hour, our fighters will be captured' * Deputy governor took to Facebook to warn Helmand province could fall * The official said 'unless the government acts now we will lose the province' An Afghan police chief has made a desperate plea for help fighting the Taliban, saying he is trapped...more »
“Spiral galaxy NGC 3169 appears to be unraveling in this cosmic scene, played out some 70 million light-years away just below bright star Regulus toward the faint constellation Sextans. Its beautiful spiral arms are distorted into sweeping tidal tails as NGC 3169 (top) and neighboring NGC 3166 interact gravitationally, a common fate even for bright galaxies in the local universe. In fact, drawn out stellar arcs and plumes, indications of gravitational interactions, seem rampant in the deep and colorful galaxy group photo. *Click image for larger size.* The picture spans 20 arc minut...more »
Local court sent these envelopes around to report vote buying. _______________________ [Taiwan] Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!
In the absence of Donald Trump a confused host at the Miss Universe 2015 pageant accidentally crowned Miss Colombia instead of Miss Philippines at the end of the competition in Las Vegas. Host Steve Harvey, could not see straight and blamed the cue card for calling the names of the winner and the runner up of the 2015 Miss Universe competition in the wrong order. Republican Presidential candidate and businessman Donald Trump owned the Miss Universe Organization until a few months ago and was forced to relinquish his pageants after his numerous political gaffes. Miss Philippines wait...more »
*"Wild Geese"* "You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagi...more »
*"The Sociopath Next Door"* by Martha Stout "Imagine - if you can - not having a conscience, none at all, no feelings of guilt or remorse no matter what you do, no limiting sense of concern for the well-being of strangers, friends, or even family members. Imagine no struggles with shame, not a single one in your whole life, no matter what kind of selfish, lazy, harmful, or immoral action you had taken. And pretend that the concept of responsibility is unknown to you, except as a burden others seem to accept without question, like gullible fools. Now add to this strange fantasy the...more »
*CNN*: *Inside Kremlin's creeping military campaign in Syria* Hmeymim airbase, Latakia, Syria (CNN)Russians are renowned for their endless patience -- and I sometimes feel they like to test us foreigners whenever they can. Certainly our journey into Syria with the Russian defense ministry was testing: Seven hours on a bus to a military airport outside Moscow, three hours going through security, then six hours on a Soviet-era Tupolev passenger jet to Syria. It was 4 a.m. when we finally touched down, bleary-eyed, at the Hmeymin Air Base in Latakia on northwest Syria's Mediterranea...more »
A Canadian Armed Forces CF-18 Fighter jet from 409 Squadron taxis after landing in Kuwait on Oct. 30. (Handout/DND-MND/Canadian Press) *Sputnik*: *Canadian Pilot Conducted Airstrike That Killed 9 Iraqi Soldiers* A Canadian pilot has been named responsible for the accidental deaths of nine Iraqi soldiers near the city of Fallujah, a military source told Iraqi television channel Al-Sumar. Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi on Friday confirmed the death of nine Iraqi soldiers after an unintentional air strike during an offensive on rebel positions near the city of Fallujah in Anb...more »
YouTube *Long War Journal:* *Islamic State supporters show training camp in the Philippines* Fighters alleging to be the “Soldiers of the Caliphate in the Philippines” have released a short video showing a training camp somewhere in the Southeast Asian country. It is unclear which group the fighters belong to, but several Philippines-based jihadist groups have pledged allegiance or support to the Islamic State. The video begins with a masked figure speaking to the camera about making “hajj [pilgrimage] to the Caliphate” before switching to showing the rudimentary training camp. F...more »
U.S. Navy *David Axe, Daily Beast*: *Navy’s Ships of the Future, Sunk* The Littoral Combat Ship was supposed to represent the future of small, fast, and flexible warships. Instead it was beset by significant flaws and questions of reliability. After years of work costing billions of dollars, the U.S. Navy is scaling back its controversial effort to build a fleet of small, speedy, flexible warships for near-shore patrols—a fleet plagued by design flaws, mismanagement and technical malfunctions. But the Navy’s not cutting the fleet by choice—and not everyone is happy with the chang...more »
[image: border security - 400] The Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform bill passed the Senate after a series of votes in June 2013. Democrats, who controlled the Senate at the time, unanimously supported the bill, while most Republicans opposed it. The four Republicans on... Continue reading *“Byron York: The Facts on Rubio, Cruz, and Immigration”* at *washingtonexaminer.com*.
*“Bloody Rags And Cruel Delight”* by Chet Raymo “Many years ago, for my birthday, my wife gave me the splendid two-volume boxed edition of “The Original Water-color Paintings” by John James Audubon for “The Birds of America,” published by American Heritage in 1966. Back then, when we were living pretty much from hand to mouth, it was an extravagant gift. Then, in 1993, I had the opportunity to see the original paintings at an exhibit in Washington's National Gallery of Art. It was Audubon's genius that he was able to combine lively storytelling with accurate scientific description....more »
“The human life is made up of choices. Yes or no. In or out. Up or down. And then there are the choices that matter. Love or hate. To be a hero or to be a coward. To fight or to give in. To live. Or die. Live or die. That's the important choice. And it's not always in our hands.” - “Derek”, “Grey’s Anatomy”
*“The Ripple Effect: A Virtuous Cycle”* by Madisyn Taylor, The DailyOM “The impact you have on the world is greater than you could ever imagine, and the choices you make affect the whole. In a world of seven billion people, it’s easy to believe that the only way to initiate profound transformation is to take extreme action. Each of us, however, carries within us the capacity to change the world in small ways for better or worse. Everything we do and think affects the people in our lives, and their reactions in turn affect others. As the effect of a seemingly insignificant word pass...more »
A group of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) veterans who are trying to expose the truth about IDF actions in the occupied territories, have been accused of posing a threat to Israel by the country’s top politicians. Politicians accuse the group called ‘Breaking The Silence’ of slander and defamation not only of the Israeli Defense forces, but the State of Israel itself. The group say that their mission is essential to stopping violence in the region by helping to end the military occupation of the Palestinian territories and that they are trying to bring awareness to issues that are not ...more »
Kim Jong-un has made explosive claims to the Korean Central News Agency on Sunday that he believes that Britain and America allowed Adolph Hitler to escape Germany after World War II alive, due to the fact that he was actually a British spy. The North Korean leader said on Sunday that the purpose of Hitler’s brutal Nazi regime in Germany was to allow for the creation of the United Nations (UN) and to give legitimacy to Israel after the horrific Nazi crimes against humanity were disclosed after the war had ended. READ: FBI Hitler Didn’t Die, Fled To Argentina – Stunning Admission He ...more »
[image: Kenyan Muslims] A group of Kenyan Muslims travelling on a bus ambushed by Islamist gunmen protected Christian passengers by refusing to be split into groups, according to eyewitnesses. They told the militants “to kill them together or leave them alone”, a local... Continue reading *“Kenyan Muslims Shield Christians in Mandera Bus Attack”* at *bbc.com*.
[image: minimum wage - 400] Recently enacted state minimum wage laws may have cost the economy 100,000 to 200,000 new jobs, according to an analysis published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco on Monday. In the analysis posted to the San Francisco Fed’s... Continue reading *“Fed: State Minimum Wage Hikes May Have Killed 200,000 Jobs”* at *washingtonexaminer.com*.
According to a senior Iranian official, Washington plans to disintegrate Iraq and Syria into eight, new smaller countries in order to make them weaker. Iran’s top adviser for international affairs, Ali Akbar Velayatisaid said this would guarantee Israel’s security: “The US is after implementing its plot to create a Greater Middle-East whose aim is disintegrating Iraq into three countries and dividing Syria into five states in a bid to downsize countries to provide security to the Zionist regime“ Fars News Agency reports: He also referred to the regional developments, and said, “What...more »
"It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas. If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you. On the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skeptical sense in you, then you cannot distinguish the useful ideas from the worthless ones. The truth may be puzzling. It may take some work to grapple with. It may be counterintuitive. It may contradict deeply held ...more »
*"What Was Fake On The Internet This Week: * *Why This Is The Final Column"* By Caitlin Dewey "There is nothing — NOTHING — too crazy for the Internet hoax beat. Pregnancy by flu shot? Six days of total darkness? In the past 82 weeks, I’m prettyyyy sure I’ve seen just about everything. We launched “What was Fake” in May 2014 in response to what seemed, at the time, like an epidemic of urban legends and Internet pranks: light-hearted, silly things, for the most part, like new flavors of Oreos and babies with absurd names. Since then, those sorts of rumors and pranks haven’t slowed do...more »
*“2016 Will Be One Disaster After Another- Egon von Greyerz”* By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com “Financial expert Egon von Greyerz says the recent Fed rate hike will not help the financial markets. Greyerz predicts, “I think we will have one disaster after another, first in the junk bond market, then in emerging markets and, after that, the subprime markets. Subprime car loans and student loans I see as another massive problem area. It is going to be one thing after another that will unravel. Since 2008, when the world almost went under, we have printed or increased credit by 50% or ...more »
One person is dead and 37 others are reported injured after a female driver drove her vehicle into a crowd of pedestrians on Las Vegas Boulevard, near the Miss Universe Pageant. Daily Record reports: Police spokesman Lieutenant Peter Boffelli said the car was travelling north on Las Vegas Boulevard, near Bellagio Way, when it went on to the pavement in front of the Paris Hotel & Casino and struck pedestrians. Eyewitnesses said the car mounted the pavement several times. Las Vegas authorities said between 26 to 36 people were injured and said six who were in critical condition had be...more »
*MONDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2015Those precious bodily fluids:* Try not to be shocked, but Candidate Trump was Chuck Todd's first guest on yesterday's Meet the Press. Candidate Trump appeared by phone, the highly unusual format the candidate seems to prefer. In the past, candidates haven't been afforded this luxury, which makes it easier for volk like Trump to filibuster folk like Todd. Why was Candidate Trump invited onto the program? Presumably, to boost the ratings for Meet the Press. We say that because it was abundantly clear that Todd had little or nothing to ask his famous guest. ...more »
*Let's mark this one up to be just one more success that we have Identity Politics to thank for...* *"Gay Rights are Human Rights, and Human Rights are Gay Rights."* *[If this were actually true, then just enforce and demand Human Rights. You don't do that.]* *"It is violation of human rights when people are beaten or killed because of their sexual orientation, or because they do not conform to cultural norms about how men and women should look or behave." * Hillary Clinton *"I don't like her tone, at all.* *I'm amazed she's not looking to her own country and lecturing them first,...more »
*Allen L Roland with still much to do at 82 years old.* *As I draw closer to 82 years old, I realize I'm living on borrowed time and since I've already published my Living Will ~ I think I'm ready to publish my living Narrative complete with my many triumphs and failures but still in the same spirit of good humor and gratitude. I wouldn't have missed this lifetime for anything ~ for I most definitely surrendered to love and found my part in a loving plan: Allen L Roland, PhD* *“We are travelers on a cosmic journey, stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies a...more »
The New York Times/Mustafa AkyolatThe Stream - 9 hours ago
[image: irja] ISTANBUL -- THE recent massacres in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., demonstrated, once again, the so-called Islamic State's ability to win over disaffected Muslims. Using a mixture of textual literalism and self-righteous certainty, the extremist group is able to persuade... Continue reading *“Muslim Writer: A Medieval Antidote to ISIS”* at *nytimes.com*.
*Radio Free Europe:* *Azerbaijanis Reel As Currency Tanks* A massive tumble in Azerbaijan's currency has shuttered shops and sent people scrambling to convert their manats into foreign currency or durable goods. "This is such a miserable situation for the whole nation," a Baku man told RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service. "Everyone wants to buy dollars and only a few [banks and exchange officies will] sell.... There are almost no dollars left at exchange points." The Azerbaijani Central Bank's decision to float the country's currency on December 21 led to the loss of some 48 percent of ...more »
Vladimir Putin has criticized Western powers for trying to impose their values and version of “democracy” on the rest of the world. In a documentary aired on Russian state television on Sunday, the Russian president said that the leaders of certain Western countries had no right to force their ways on African and Middle Eastern nations. Press TV reports: “You can’t just impose your version of democracy, of good and evil, onto people of other cultures, with other religions and traditions in this mechanic, automatic way,” the Russian leader said in the documentary, titled World Order...more »
By Paul Homewood Warmest year or not, it appears that 2015 has been another bumper one for harvests. http://faostat3.fao.org/compare/E In particular, cereal production in Africa has jumped by 12%. http://faostat3.fao.org/compare/E There are of course many factors behind the steady rise in harvests. What we can say, […]
*Dr. Matthew Buckley* - The only way to avoid the worsening of the catastrophe of chronic illness is through education and action. The post Inflammatory Disease Epidemic: The Convergence Point of EMF, GMOs, and Vaccines appeared first on Waking Times.
[image: migrant children] As a wave of Central American children are crossing the US border alone fleeing violence and poverty in their countries, new facilities to house these children are popping up with just a few days' notice in southern border towns. In... Continue reading *“Wave of Migrant Children Has Texas Towns Scrambling to Set Up Housing”* at *theguardian.com*.
*CawRANT Events #16* This is *my last CawRANT of the year 2015. *It will be an overview of *some* of the topics I've commented frequently on during the previous 11 months. I will also try to determine what, if any, progress humanity has made towards peace and harmony in all its forms on this planet. [*NOTE*: in 300 words or less...lol] *The Middle East* The topic that has probably occupied more RANT space than any other is the Middle East and all the shenanigans going on there by the West--in its desperate effort to maintain global hegemony for its handler...the Ziofascist enti...more »
*NPR*: *WATCH: Obama Says Trump 'Exploiting' Anger, Fear Among 'Blue-Collar Men'* Donald Trump has gained traction in the Republican primary, according to President Obama, because the boisterous billionaire has found a way to play off American anxieties, especially among "blue-collar men." The president told NPR's Steve Inskeep in an interview late last week that economic and demographic changes in the country, including his own "unique demographic," have left a void that Trump is "exploiting." *Update:* Obama Accuses Trump of Exploiting Working-Class Fears (NYT). *WNU Editor:* S...more »
An Indian Agni-II intermediate range ballistic missile on a road-mobile launcher, displayed at the Republic Day Parade on New Delhi's Rajpath, January 26, 2004. Wikipedia *RYOT:** India’s New Secret Nuclear Facility Risks Military Build-Up in Asia* A *recent report in Foreign Policy magazine* claims that India is building a massive new nuclear research facility. The facility would also help produce fuel for the country’s nuclear submarines and reactors. More troubling, the report claims that India will use the space to create an extra stockpile of enriched uranium fuel for use in ...more »
Russian warplanes began bombarding opposition targets in Syria on September 30 [Reuters] *Al Jazeera:* *Russian jets could escort Assad on Iran trip: reports* Paper says Moscow proposed sending jets to protect Syrian president and warned coalition against "getting close". Russia has proposed sending four fighter jets to escort the plane carrying Syrian President Bashar al-Assad when he makes a visit to the Iranian capital, regional media outlets have reported. Al-Diyar, a Lebanese newspaper close to the regime of Assad, said on Monday that Moscow had alerted the US-led coalition n...more »
[image: Blood donation, Blood donors, Plasma donation, Hospital, Nurse, Drug test] WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal health officials are lifting the nation’s 32-year-old lifetime ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, but major restrictions will continue to limit who can donate. The Food and Drug Administration announced Monday it will replace...more »
Iraq’s parliament just passed the 2016 budget. It was based upon export figures and petroleum prices that few think are achievable. There were also questions on how many lawmakers actually voted on it as well. All together it was a procedural move to get the bill passed even though no one believes the budget will work out how it was written. On December 16, 2015 Iraq’s legislature votedon the 2016 draft budget. It was for $89.75 billionwith $67.9 billion for operational costs like salaries and pensions, and $21.8 billion for investments. Most of that money will come from oil expor...more »
There's a new *grassroots effort* to defend democracy with a CPC MP-sponsored petition campaign to back it up. "Defend Democracy is a grassroots effort to put pressure on Justin Trudeau’s Liberals to commit to holding a national referendum on the issue of electoral reform prior to enacting any changes. We believe firmly that no one government has the moral authority to fundamentally alter the nature of our democratic system without direct approval from Canadians." Defend Democracy was created by Harrison Ruess and Stephen Taylor. House of Commons petition E-48 was launched by Michae...more »
The Iraqi Defense Ministry said on Monday that ISIS are preventing civilians from fleeing Ramadi as a major Iraqi military offensive to liberate the city approaches. They are planning to to use the residents as human shields. Iraqi military are preparing to conduct a major operation in the ISIS controlled city and had dropped leaflets to the residents telling them to evacuate within 72 hours. RT reports: State TV have reported that the attack will start in the coming hours. “There is intelligence information from inside the city that they [Islamic State] are preventing families fro...more »
[image: Baby Jesus, Nativity, Christianity, Manger, Shepherds, Christmas] The holiday season has many traditions, some ancient, some modern. Among the most recent is a paradoxical one: complaints, yearly renewed, about the public recognition of Christmas as a religious celebration. As these observances get underway (see here and here), we might do... Continue reading *“Christmas and Western Civilization”* at *thepublicdiscourse.com*.
*Source: Diario Nuevo Día (newspaper)http://www.eldiarionuevodia.com.ar/regional/info-general/2015/12/18/trabajadores-petroleros-aseguran-vieron-ovni-18640.htmlDate: 12.21.2015* *Argentina: Patagonian Oil Workers Claim Seeing a UFO* In this incident, an oil worker took several photographs of the landscape at the El Tordillo field. His initial aim was to take a photograph of the afternoon, but he came across a circular green light. While it could easily be a flaw of the digital camera, his co-workers claim that they took other photos of the landscape and no green circle was visib...more »
There has been cross border fire between Lebanese militants and the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) following the news that Hezbollah commander Samir Quntar was killed in an Israeli airstrike in Damascus. Three rockets fired from Lebanon struck northern Israel, causing no damage or injuries, hours after the militant leader was reported killed on Sunday. Israel then fired artillery into southern Lebanon. Prior to the latest events the Israel-Lebanon border had been relatively quiet ever since the war between Hezbollah and Israel in 2006. RT reports: The IDF “responded with targeted artil...more »
Science has retracted an August paper on an interesting electric current researchers observed in a kind of material called a topological insulator. Well, a current the researchers — based at Stanford and MIT — thought they had observed. A magnetic field with particular attributes reported in the paper seemed to provide evidence of the current. But the researchers soon discovered that […] The post Science retracts physics paper after magnetic field wasn’t what it seemed appeared first on Retraction Watch.
I highly recommend watching this German TV channel ZDF video. They speak the truth about US-NATO endless wars for oil. In the hot seat is pitiful US Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, the Commanding General, of United States Army Europe. He hails from Quincy, Florida which speaks for itself. In my view the US is totally exposed for its greedy-sick-hypocrisy and the audience applause helps reveal that the people, all over the world, see the truth that the US is a 'global force for evil' and corporate interests. The only people falling for the Pentagon's propaganda any more are the majority...more »
*by the news today.* I'll just leave you with this opinion of Trump by 89 year old Jerry Lewis during a recent interview with Raymond Arroyo of EWTN. Irondale, AL (EWTN) – The reviews are in! "Inspirational!" "Best interview ever!" Viewers loved Raymond Arroyo's interview on EWTN's “The World Over” with Jerry Lewis. If you missed it or want to see it again, tune in to EWTN for encores at 7 p.m. ET, Sunday, Dec. 20 and 10 p.m. ET, Monday, Dec. 21. (Find EWTN at www.ewtn.com/channelfinder.)
[image: U.S. troops raise the American flag. Image courtesy: Staff Sgt. Joseph Swafford.] KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- A suicide attacker rammed an explosives-laden motorcycle into a joint NATO-Afghan patrol Monday, killing six American troops in the deadliest attack on international forces since August. Two U.S. troops and an Afghan were wounded. The attack...more »
[image: Chuck Hagel - 400] Jet-lagged from a long overseas trip, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had just sat down with his wife for a quiet dinner at an upscale Italian restaurant in northern Virginia when his phone rang. It was the White House on the... Continue reading *“Hagel: The White House Tried to ‘Destroy’ Me”* at *foreignpolicy.com*.
[image: Sanders and Clinton - 400 (2)] It's like giving somebody the death penalty for speeding: The Democratic National Committee is denying the Bernie Sanders campaign access to its own data after at least one staffer improperly looked at some Clinton campaign data. The DNC computers store... Continue reading *“The DNC Sucker-Punched Sanders to Protect Hillary”* at *nypost.com*.
*Sydney Morning Herald*: *Afghanistan's Helmand province 'on the brink' of falling to Taliban* Kabul: Afghanistan's Helmand province could fall to the Taliban after months of heavy fighting, with 90 members of the security forces killed over the past two days, the deputy governor of the volatile southern province warned.Mohammad Jan Rasulyar said unless President Ashraf Ghani took urgent action, the province, a centre of opium production and a Taliban heartland that British and American troops struggled to control for years, would be lost. "Your Excellency, Helmand is standing on...more »
Here is a nice 40-minute-long animated video. The music is The Czech Christmas Mass (people are much more likely to call it "Hey Master" rather than by the author's original name "Missa solemnis Festis Nativitatis D. J. Ch. accommodata in linguam bohemicum musicam") composed by Jakub Jan Ryba [James John Fish] in 1796. I think that for a high school teacher who was born in the small town of Přeštice, 10 miles South of Pilsen (that's where your humble correspondent did his communist potato picking brigades), this composition is rather impressive. You don't need to know Czech much. ...more »
Birds use a sophisticated way to change the color structure of their feathers using tunable nano-structures to create a multi-colored effect. Scientists have found that the Blue Jay uses advanced techniques found in nanotechnology and the science of light to tune in its feather to the right light frequency and color. Birds don’t rely on their diet or dyes and pigments to achieve their desired plumage, that is why we don’t see any go gray in their old age. Science 2.0 reports: Using X-ray scattering at the ESRF facility in France to examine the blue and white feathers of the Blue Jay...more »
By Paul Homewood http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/04/11/climate-change-colder-winter-met-office-chief-scientist-_n_3059116.html HUFFPUFF – APRIL 2013 The chief scientist at the Met Office has called an urgent meeting to discuss the effects of climate change, saying the melting of the arctic may be causing the UK’s recent spate of perishing weather. After a winter in which temperatures dropped as low as […]
*"Killer Mike" interviews Bernie Sanders. Could this dynamic be a game-changer in southern Democratic primaries?* *by Gaius Publius* In the most recent underwatched Democratic debate, there was a lot of ISIS-this and terror-that thrown around — and not one climate word, as near as I could tell. It was therefore presumed, by those who know their job is to tell us what to know, that Clinton "won" (example here). And yet, and yet, when when people who are paid to tell you what to know are removed from the equation, stuff like this happens (go ahead; take the poll yourself to see the ...more »
[image: Hillary Clinton - 400] Coverage of the Saturday night Democratic debate has focused on Bernie Sanders' apology to Hillary Clinton for his staff's poor judgment in viewing her campaign's proprietary data. But Clinton issued a "sorry'' of her own -- although for a far less... Continue reading *“Hillary Clinton Missed Part of Debate Because She Wouldn’t Share a Restroom”* at *bostonglobe.com*.
*L.A. Times*: *6 NATO soldiers killed in Afghanistan suicide attack* Six foreign troops were killed and three wounded Monday in a suicide car bombing near the largest U.S. military base in Afghanistan, NATO officials said. The U.S.-led military coalition did not immediately confirm the victims’ nationalities, but an Afghan official said that at least three U.S. service members were among the dead in the attack near Bagram Airfield in northern Afghanistan. Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for the bombing in a statement, saying their target was a joint Afghan-NATO security...more »
*Daniel Arsenault* - The options might not be obvious, but they're out there, and you can find them. The post The Off-Grid Rebellion the Media Doesn’t Want You to Know About appeared first on Waking Times.
*Newsbusters*: *ExxonMobil, the Koch Brothers 'Enemies of the State'? Kerry Won't Disagree with Rolling Stone Tribunal* James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal wrote his last column of 2015 on a John Kerry profile by New Yorker editor David Remnick, and a Rolling Stone interview with Kerry. He found this exchange with Jeff Goodell in the aging-hippie magazine “unhinged” in tone: *Q: Given your characterization of climate change as a national-security threat, when you look at what the Koch brothers and Exxon Mobil are doing—as you know, Exxon Mobil is being investigated by t...more »
*Today's Zaman Oped* *Interesting title.* Particularly t*he use of the word of reluctant*. Reluctant tells us that *Turkey is not so eager to go along with the West. Aka US/Israel*. Reluctant informs us that rather then being willing to return to the west, *Turkey is being forced or coerced back into the Western fold.* *To the detriment of Turkey’s well being. Cohesion. Territorial Integrity.* *Reluctant defined* *: feeling or showing doubt about doing something : not willing or eager to do something* While this oped is aimed at the Turkish audience, including a warning for the T...more »
[image: Pope Francis9 - 400] Recently, Pope Francis once again stressed the urgency of the "COP-21" climate conference in Paris, saying it would be "catastrophic" not to achieve a treaty (akin to the 1997 Kyoto treaty) to limit emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). As reported... Continue reading *“Why is the Pope Mad at Me?”* at *americanthinker.com*.
[image: transgender student - 900] Speaking out, they knew, could make them the public face of a very private issue. It could lead their classmates to call them "bigots," "insensitive," and "homophobes." But after seeing their high school back down to threats that the U.S....more »
[image: From the USAID website, zoom on map of aid initiatives in central Africa.] The New York Times buried the lede in a story on the problem of U.S. support for the gay agenda in Africa, where the Obama administration's priority of exporting “American values” has led to a backlash. This cultural colonization is funded...more »
JOHN-THOR DAHLBURG & Angela CharltonatThe Stream - 13 hours ago
[image: Commemoration against terrorist attacks, on November 18, 2015 at Republique place in Paris, France.] BRUSSELS (AP) -- Belgian authorities announced Monday that they have detained five people, including two brothers, after two days of raids related to the Paris attacks. The federal prosecutor’s office said two people were detained following a house search Monday...more »
*MONDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2015Part 1—Our own role in this debacle:* Could Candidate Donald J. Trump get elected next November? Actually, yes, he could. We're not saying he *will* get elected. We're not even saying that the general election will be close. But yes—Candidate Trump actually *could* reach the White House. We'd say it's a clear possibility. We'd also say that we, the liberals and the progressives, have played a leading role in creating this debacle. In this morning's New York Times, Paul Krugman reviews the history which has led to this state of affairs. Krugman concedes o...more »
[image: GOP Presidential Candidates Drop Out List - 900] WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham announced Monday he was ending his 2016 presidential campaign. The South Carolina senator posted a video saying he was proud of his campaign, which he said was focused on the nation’s security. “You...more »
PLOS ONE has quickly corrected an October analysis of what children in Malaysia eat for breakfast, after the study neglected to note it benefited from mistakenly noted an unrestricted research grant from cereal companies supported author salaries. The grant supported the salaries of research assistants, according to the correction note. Per the authors’ request, the journal has noted […] The post Breakfast study mischaracterized funding by cereal group appeared first on Retraction Watch.
[image: F-16 takes off from Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.] KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Six foreign soldiers were killed in a suicide attack near the U.S.-run Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan on Monday, NATO said. Another three NATO troops were wounded in the attack, according to U.S. Army Brig. Gen William...more »
The Wall Street JournalatThe Stream - 14 hours ago
[image: Obama] President Obama seems to aspire to join Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan as one of the three most transformative presidents of the past hundred years, and by all outward signs he has achieved that goal. But while Roosevelt and Reagan... Continue reading *“Cheer Up, Obama’s Legacy Can Be Erased”* at *google.com*.
*Daily Sabah* I can’t even recall the number of posts here at the blog noting the absolute lack of cohesion among the varying peoples labelled “Kurds”? Alongside the reports of abuse dished out by the NATO affiliated alphabet Kurd militias against the non participatory Kurds. Don’t discount what Barzani is saying here. His description of PYD/YPG/PKK abuses against non affiliated Kurds is accurate and correlates with other news items I’ve posted. Pay particular attention to the report by the Peshmerga commander- He describes how the Peshmerga had planned to take back Sinjar* but th...more »
When a 2008 paper proposed that athletes be kept out of play for four weeks following a concussion, three doctors wrote in to say that the recommendations were “irrelevant and ill advised.” One thing the trio failed to disclose, however, was their own financial ties to the National Football League. With the release of the […] The post Critics of 2008 concussion study failed to note NFL ties appeared first on Retraction Watch.
[image: Muslim forum] CBS's Frank Luntz sought to gauge the attitudes of an ostensibly ordinary panel of Muslims in America towards Donald Trump. Undeclared to the audience, however, is a professional left-wing agitator seated in the front row who is an alumnus of the Obama... Continue reading *“Did CBS Panel of ‘Ordinary Muslim Americans’ Accidentally Include Professional Leftist Obama Operative?”* at *dailywire.com*.
[image: A person dressed as the Darth Vader character sits inside the Zion Church in Berlin, on December 20, 2015 during a Star Wars'-themed church service three days after the world wide premiere of the film Star Wars: The Force Awakens.] BERLIN (AP) -- The force is strong in Berlin. A church in the German capital invited Star Wars fans to attend a special service Sunday themed on the sci-fi blockbuster in an attempt to attract more young people into the pews....more »
Cruz has replaced Herr Trumpf as the Iowa front runner now. He's ahead of Trumpf among likely GOP caucus goers 40 to 31%, with Rubio way down at 12% for third place and no one else even close. Dr. Ben (6%) has got to be wondering when he drops out and poor Jeb is tied at 2% with Huckabee and Rand Paul. So.... guess what happened on yesterday's gasbag shows. Actually, Jake Tapper had a worthwhile discussion on CNN's *State of the Union* with Rand Paul. Paul passed on an opportunity to attack Hillary but went right after Herr Trumpf, comparing "inaccurate" polling with *American Id...more »
Need to go for blood tests and other medical tests this morning. Nothing serious .... this is part of my medical check-up. Blogging will return in a few hours. Military And Intelligence News Briefs and World News Briefs will be posted at 17:00 EST and 18:00 EST today.
http://lebuzz.eurosport.co.uk/ It's a sure bet that two men will be in the news a lot next year -- Donald Trump and Pope Francis. No two men could be more unalike. Michael Harris writes: The Donald holds the view that too much is never enough — a fact nicely captured in his cover-shot in the September 7, 2015 issue of Bloomberg Business Magazine. There, he is surrounded by a pile of cold, hard cash — the patron saint of the uber-wealthy. Had Trump been there when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments, he probably ...more »
[image: protester for gay rights] The anti-Christian Human Rights Campaign is asking the federal government to harass Christian schools that have asked for or been granted waivers that would allow them to live out their Christian faith. The 1972 Title IX amendments prohibiting sex discrimination... Continue reading *“Powerful Homosexual Group Threatens Christian Colleges and Universities”* at *breitbart.com*.
[image: Marco Rubio] Las Vegas -- Marco Rubio is going all in to win Nevada. Though the Florida senator has eschewed the idea that he needs to hunker down in any particular state, his campaign has quietly and steadily poured resources into the... Continue reading *“Nevada Is Rubio’s Firewall, But Cruz Could Tear It Down”* at *nationalreview.com*.
National Catholic ReporteratThe Stream - 16 hours ago
[image: Pope Francis] Pope Francis has strongly urged the bishops and cardinals who head the various Vatican offices to act with more respect, honesty and maturity — and has told them that reform of the church’s central bureaucracy will go forward “with determination,... Continue reading *“Pope Francis: Twelve Pairs of “Necessary Virtues” for the Year of Mercy”* at *ncronline.org*.
[image: JK Rowling] “White skin was never specified” JK Rowling has endorsed the casting of black actress Noma Dumezweni as Hermione Granger in the London theater production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. When asked on Twitter what she thought of the... Continue reading *“JK Rowling Endorses Black Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”* at *time.com*.
U.S. neocons’ plans for world domination is bearing fruit, as Europe is flooded with non-Christian immigrants escaping imposed wars and terror in their own countries. Western societies will eventually buckle under the weight of the refugee burden placed on them by their neocon patsy leaders, leading to strife and division, which would then be manipulated by the elites. The neo-conservative goal for world domination was outlined a long time ago by the group known as The Project for a New American Century (PNAC). Russia Insider reports: US Elites Are Trying to Destroy Europe with Immi...more »
[image: Zaevion Dobson] HONOLULU (AP) -- President Barack Obama says a Tennessee high school football player who was killed shielding three female friends from gunfire died a hero. In a Twitter post on Sunday, Obama said: “Zaevion Dobson died saving three friends from...more »
[image: Las Vegas car accident__1450698639_126.96.36.199] LAS VEGAS (AP) -- A woman intentionally swerved her car onto a busy sidewalk two or three times Sunday and mowed down people outside a Las Vegas casino, killing one person and injuring at least 30 others, police said. The...more »
[image: prayer] A Wyoming school that told students they couldn't pray in the cafeteria has lifted the ban after a Christian legal group threatened legal action on constitutional grounds. A small group of students at Platte County School District #1 created a prayer...more »
[image: Taliban Afghanistan] KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) -- Taliban gunmen have overrun a strategic district in the southern province of Helmand, delivering a serious blow to government forces, Afghan officials said on Monday. Fierce fighting in the Sangin district was continuing after the insurgents...more »
*December 21, 2015* (Ulson Gunnar - NEO) - Ukraine was not exactly clamoring to get into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the antiquated military alliance created in the wake of World War II to prevent a Soviet invasion of Western Europe. In order to even raise the prospect of Ukraine's inclusion, first NATO itself would have to overthrow the elected government via an armed coup. Then it would have to ensure its new client regime remained in power. To do that, it organized, trained, funded, armed and militarily backed a patchwork of military units, including "voluntee...more »
*Yahoo News:* *Hillary Clinton criticized over ISIS comments, Trump recruitment video claim* Republican presidential candidates are blasting Hillary Clinton over the Democratic frontrunner’s assertion that the United States is “finally where we need to be” in the fight against the ISIS — and her unsubstantiated claim that the terror group is using a video of Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric as a recruiting tool. “We now finally are where we need to be,” Clinton said during Saturday’s Democratic debate in New Hampshire. “We have a strategy and a commitment to go after ISIS. … A...more »
*Schools in Virginia are Indoctrinating Students in Sharia Law* If you hadn't heard, religious instruction is banned in public schools, unless that religion is Islam, then it's just fine: "A Virginia school district is defending a classroom assignment that required students to practice calligraphy by writing the Muslim statement of faith, “There is no god but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” Female students at Riverheads High School in Staunton, Virginia, were also invited to wear Muslim clothing -- a story first reported by The Schilling Show. The school d...more »
Witness the conclusion of a brawl to end all brawls inside a Behavioral and Emotional Support (BES) classroom, which resulted in a student colliding into and breaking a reinforced window. Two schools reside in the same building, one charter and one public. One school has a BES classroom, the other does not. In one case, […]
It's time to see how I did on my predictions for 2015. I have to say, I did pretty well. See for yourself. Here's what I predicted, and what really happened: 1. *Intern sexual harassment*: I predicted that Miami-Dade County would follow Broward County's lead and pass an ordinance banning sexual harassment of interns. Boy, was I wrong. Broward's proposed ordinance stalled indefinitely. Miami-Dade did nothing to protect interns. I predicted a bill would be introduced in the Florida legislature, but that Republicans in charge of both houses and the governorship would block it. I was r...more »
*Batteries And Bulldust: Why ‘Living Off The Grid’ Is Not As Green As You Think* *The arrival in Australia of the Tesla "Powerwall" storage battery has produced lots of erections among Australian Greenies. They see it as the longed-for solution to the intermittent nature of wind and solar power. The article below however points out that such systems do not add up as a replacement for reticulated electricity. The author offers nuclear power as the best replacement for hydrocarbon energy sources.* As you could probably guess from the angry tone of it, the article appeared in a fa...more »
*Food in Taiwan is manufactured under the most stringent sanitary conditions.* Solidarity translated this piece from Wealth Magazine on the KMT's problem with its Deep Blue supporters. The heart of it notes its trouble with the Huang Fu-hsiung (the old soldiers)... The cold reception of the Huang Fu-hsing was no surprise. *A knowledgeable source says that it all started when the Ma administration sharply cut year-end pension bonuses for military and civil servants and reformed away the 18%-interest system.* After the Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘) case it abolished military courts. Then ca...more »
[image: Stack of Books] Sometimes the truth is too painful or offensive to speak directly, so we tell it by means of a story. An old joke goes that while a sensitive eight-year-old boy was away for his first summer at camp, his beloved...more »
GARANCE BURKE & JONATHAN FAHEYatThe Stream - 18 hours ago
[image: cybersecurity] SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Security researcher Brian Wallace was on the trail of hackers who had snatched a California university’s housing files when he stumbled into a larger nightmare: Cyberattackers had opened a pathway into the networks running the...more »
By Paul Homewood http://en.sxcoal.com/165/136630/DataShow.html News from the specialist China Coal Resource website: Less than a week since signing the global climate deal in Paris, Japan and South Korea are pressing ahead with plans to open scores of new coal-fired power plants, casting doubt on the strength of their commitment to cutting CO2 […]
President Obama meeting in the Oval Office in late August with his national security advisers to discuss strategy on Syria, in a photo released by the White House. Credit Pete Souza/White House *Seymour M. Hersh, London Review Of Books*: *Military to Military* *Seymour M. Hersh on US intelligence sharing in the Syrian war* Barack Obama’s repeated insistence that Bashar al-Assad must leave office – and that there are ‘moderate’ rebel groups in Syria capable of defeating him – has in recent years provoked quiet dissent, and even overt opposition, among some of the most senior officer...more »
The MAARS is one of three robotic, unmanned vehicles demonstrated to Soldiers from the 519th Military Police Battalion, 1st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Aug. 5, 2015. It is equipped with non-lethal and lethal armament. (US Army photo) *Military.com*: *United Nations Seeks to Head off Rise of Killer Robots* Pentagon plans envisioning smart, autonomous weapons able to instantly react and respond to combat situations may run up against a proposed United Nations ban on lethal autonomous weapons systems. The UN is hoping to head off autonomous killing systems before countries begin ma...more »
*Sbinos and the NMSSM officially run* In the fourth dose of preprints, at least seven new hep-ph papers with possible explanations of the \(750\GeV\) resonance have been published, bringing the total number of theory papers on the bump to 43 unless the Dutch blog has missed some papers. The model builders have created 43 parallel universes in which the (uncertain to exist) resonance has an explanation. One paper discusses an obvious proposal, perhaps the "first one" that many of us would say, that the new particle is a new Higgs boson. It should be a singlet, they say. Another pa...more »
A new Iranian precision-guided ballistic missile is launched as it is tested at an undisclosed location October 11, 2015. REUTERS/FARSNEWS.COM/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS *Washington Post editorial*: *Iran provokes the world as Obama does nothing* IRAN IS following through on the nuclear deal it struck with a U.S.-led coalition in an utterly predictable way: It is racing to fulfill those parts of the accord that will allow it to collect $100 billion in frozen funds and end sanctions on its oil exports and banking system, while expanding its belligerent and illegal activities in other areas...more »
The man who fell from space. Vladimir Komarov's remains in an open casket. RIA Novosti/Photo Researchers Inc. *WNU Editor*: Came across this story over the weekend. It brought back old memories. The story on how he died is here .... *Cosmonaut Crashed Into Earth 'Crying In Rage' *(NPR).
Pope Francis told crowds in St. Peter’s Square that this Christmas might be the last one for humanity. In a grim speech, the Pope said that the current chaotic state of the world marks the beginning of the “end times”, and that this time next year the world is likely to be unrecognisable. Francis, who previously announced the beginning of World War 3, had labelled this year’s Christmas as a “charade” during a Mass at the Casa Santa Maria earlier in the month. “We are close to Christmas. There will be lights, there will be parties, bright trees, even Nativity scenes – all decked out...more »
Nashua Schools in Boston are to remain closed on Monday after state and federal officials have said they are investigating a threat of violence made against the schools. Nashua Police and the School District Administration are working together to determine whether the threat is credible. Myfoxboston.com reports: “Because the threat is specific and extends to several schools,” Superintendent Mark Conrad. “We will be cautious and close all of our public schools in Nashua tomorrow, Monday, Dec. 21.” The threat was emailed in and officials are still working to identify who sent the ema...more »
Residents in the California town of Porter Ranch have been exposed to potentially lethal doses of contaminants from a huge natural gas leak since October. With a population of almost 34,000 people, residents in Porter Ranch have complained of headaches, nausea and congestion, and environmental activist and lawyer Erin Brockovich says it is one of the most significant environmental disasters in recent history. Msnbc.com reports: Southern California Gas Co., or SoCalGas, has essentially ignored the impact to victims and its actions have instead added to their suffering. The company h...more »
[image: US Air Force Veteran-900] U.S. Air Force veteran Roy Mullinax returns a salute to an active duty airman after being presented with a veteran's pin during a recognition ceremony on Dec. 8, 2015, in Newton, Kan. Thank you to Roy Mullinax and all of...more »
In eight years we have gone from nary a word to a developing portfolio. I have no doubt that this data was suppressed and that has just become futile with the internet at work were any scrap of support find a home. Best of all, we are getting cultural descriptions that match our expectations of the Atlantean world circa 2500 BC to 1159 BC. The tall giants are obviously noted but these were not typical at all. However they surely discouraged opponents. The bulk of the population were mostly European and the cultural reports make this emphatic. Yet the heavy ...more »
Something missed in the headlines is that the percentages have been in steady decline for about two generations and that is likely due to population aging as well. Less kids always means less adventurism. The evolving end of drug prohibition will also sharply reduce criminal activity as well. In time it is possible to engineer a society in which criminality simply disappears and becomes a rarity. That is still a long ways off as we still cannot even begin to identify those susceptible.. . *We’ve had a massive decline in gun violence in the United States. Here’s why.*...more »
This story sounds way too good to be true. Most likely it is a creative writing exercise and nothing new arises. Oh well, entertain yourself. The event was horrifying in its own right and i know of no loss of politicians at all. It is a sharp reminder that we are unable to handle massively hot nuclear material at all and that the industry itself must be closed out. Accident costs are now surely rising ahead of all benefits and profits. *Safety officer at Chernobyl tells tale of alien creature in reactor* *Posted on December 3, 2015 in Paranormal | 1392 Views | Leave a respon...more »
First off do read the original post. Now let us talk about tunnels. Tunnels are always militarily useful. Better they can be built cheaply in a continuing program using only a handful of men. Electrified rails have also been with us for over a century. And military tunnels are always secret. Since they are been built to transport, there is no reason to drive tunnels through difficult rock such as mountains unless absolutely necessary. Thus an East Texas tunnel of seventy five miles is plausible. Figure that the crew can advance through sandstone at the rate of twenty to f...more »
Spain's Voters Rejected Austerity Today You bought spurious wars from her father (and grandfather), won't you buy some fuel from her? Come on . . . she (also) has a nifty job at NBC now! (Brought to you by that lighthouse of liberalism: MSNBC.) You can certainly make a case that propane for school buses is both cheaper and better for the environment than diesel. A study sponsored by the
By Vincent Emanuele *Information Clearinghouse* After 14 years of War on Terror the West is great at fomenting barbarism and creating failed states. For the last several years, people around the world have asked, "Where did ISIS come from?" Explanations vary, but largely focus on geopolitical (U.S. hegemony), religious (Sunni-Shia), ideological (Wahhabism) or ecological (climate refugees) origins. Many commentators and even former military officials correctly suggest that the war in Iraq is primarily responsible for unleashing the forces we now know as ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, etc. He...more »
Military personnel in Iraq have dropped leaflets to residents in Ramadi telling them that they must evacuate within 72 hours. Iraqi military are preparing to conduct a major military operation in the ISIS controlled city, an anonymous soldier told Reuters. “It is an indication that a major military operation to retake the city center will start soon,” the source said. Lbcamerica.com reports: Last week Iraqi security forces said they had made advances on two fronts in Ramadi, clearing Islamic State militants from a key military command base and the sprawling neighborhood of al-Taami...more »
President Barack Obama listens during a meeting with aides on Air Force One en route to Beijing, China, Nov. 16, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) *David J. Karl, The Diplomat:* *Connecting the Dots in Obama's Intelligence Scandal* An emerging scandal exemplifies a long-running critique of Obama’s foreign policy. According to the Daily Beast (here and here) and the New York Times, some 50 intelligence analysts posted with U.S. Central Command, which oversees U.S. military operations in the Middle East, have formally complained that their superiors altered assessmen...more »
U.S. President Barack Obama greets former U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during a farewell ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Virginia. Yuri Gripas / Reuters *Dan Lamothe, Washington Post*: *Why former Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel’s coming out against the White House matters* When Chuck Hagel resigned as defense secretary last year, the narrative was clear: President Obama and he did not see eye-to-eye on how to prosecute the war against the Islamic State, so Hagel needed to go. White House officials, speaking anonymously, said at the time that the president had lost ...more »
U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Godson Bagnabana puts up an inflatable snowman on the flight deck of the USS Ronald Reagan in Yokosuka, Japan, Dec. 17, 2015. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Burke
*CNN*: *Navy investigating damage to guided-missile submarine that struck buoy* Washington (CNN)Navy officials are evaluating the damage to a guided-missile submarine that struck a buoy. The USS Georgia is in dry dock after it hit a buoy in the channel near Fernandina Beach, Florida, in late November, according to Military.com. The submarine was returning to its home port at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Georgia. No leadership has been removed from the sub following the collision, said Lt. Lily Hinz, a public relations officer with Submarine Group 10. CNN has submitted a req...more »
Spain elected a new Parliament today and turnout was high-- something like 73%. But because no party won a majority, it's not clear which parties will form the new government. It does look like the left will control more seats in the lower house of the Cortes. The election was fought over Austerity and the right-wing incumbent government of Mariano Rajoy and his party-- Partido Popular (PP)-- won 123 seats out of 350 (and 29% of the popular vote) but that's a third fewer seats than the 186 they won in 2011, and far from the 176 they need for a majority in the Congress of Deputies....more »
Long before the creation of ISIS in 2006, this C-Span TV interview from 1990 shows that the terrorist organisation was actually created by Israel. According to the video’s description: ‘ISIS’ was not created by Iraq in 2006 or even Syria which they now call ‘ISIL’, which is only what the mainstream MEDIA will report and want you to believe in. Obama calls ISIS a terrorist group is because it is really “Israel”, and Obama actually considers them a terrorist regime. Here’s a C-Span TV interview video from August 5, 1990 admitting that Israel (Mossad) is “ISIS”.
Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. NBC *Reuters*:* Trump, Sanders say U.S. should not try to topple dictators* U.S. presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump said separately on Sunday that the United States should not try to topple dictators such as Syria's Bashar al-Assad, highlighting a skepticism over foreign wars that transcends party lines. Both candidates said the Middle East would be less tumultuous today if Libya's Muammar Gaddafi and Iraq's Saddam Hussein were still in charge, arguing that the United States faces a greater threat from Islamic State and other e...more »
This morning when I woke up, 49,216 people had voted in *Time* Magazine's online poll about the debate. I'm surprised that many people even watched the debate... around 10 million fewer than watch weekday night debates. A little update: As Wasserman Schultz had planned, the debate had the fewest viewers of any so far. Only 6.71 million viewers, compared to between 18 and 25 million for the GOP weekday night debates. At what point do Democrats ask why Obama is allowing her to stay on as DNC chair? She's an utter catastrophe for the party and an embarrassment for his candidate. Stil...more »
[image: Obama - 900] President Barack Obama has vetoed legislation to repeal Environmental Protection Agency regulations on power plants that are a key part of the administration's global warming agenda. Obama announced Sunday morning he would not be considering bills to repeal the EPA's...more »
[image: front-runner] Sunday on CBS's Face the Nation, Republican presidential candidate former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) said he "hated" being his party's presidential nomination front-runner. Host John Dickerson said, "Six months ago, people thought you were the front-runner --" Continue reading *“Jeb: I Hated Being the Front-Runner — ‘I Feel Much Better Back Here’”* at *breitbart.com*.
[image: Bakersfield California map - 900] BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) -- Rescuers pulled five bodies from the wreckage of a small plane that crashed into an orchard in central California after vanishing from radar, local and federal authorities said Sunday. The Federal Aviation Administration was looking for...more »
[image: Barsik - 900] BARNAUL, Russia (AP) -- Tired of the dog-eat-dog politics in their Russian city, the residents of Barnaul say they want a cat to be their next mayor. The Siberian city of 650,000 people, which lies 2,900 kilometers (1,800 miles) east...more »
The right to bare arms to defend one’s self and possessions against a deadly force has been entrenched in American culture and protected by the U.S. Constitution since it’s creation in 1791. However, the U.S. government seem determined to take that right away from its citizens, amid Russia doing the exact opposite. President Putin wants to give Russian citizens the freedom to chose whether or not they arm themselves. Politicalvelcraft.org reports: This will probably come as a total shock to most of my Western readers, but at one point, Russia was one of the most heavily armed societ...more »
False flag events are becoming so commonplace in America that certain patterns and signs have emerged that enable you to identify whether what you are seeing is a false flag event, or real. With a staggering 353 mass shootings in 2015 alone, a high percentage of these have been proven to be false flag staged terror events. Wakingtimes.com reports: Some have real victims, some do not, but either way, the most criminal of all institutions – the Government – is the orchestrating force behind them. They are scripted, pre-planned operations which are definitely not the result of random ...more »
Russian intelligence officials have said that they believe Michael Jackson was assassinated by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) after examining data transmitted by a Russian Military’s Kosmos 2450 satellite that shows that immediately prior to the pop stars death an electromagnetic pulse consistent in pattern to EMR weapons was employed at the “exact coordinates” of the rock stars home. The reason behind the CIA needing to assassinate Michael Jackson was an out of court settlement the pop icon signed with son of the king of Bahrain, Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad al-Khalifa, this...more »
Presidential candidate Donald Trump has defended longstanding accusations against Russian leader Vladimir Putin that his regime has carried out murders of journalists who oppose him. Trump told ABC News that there was absolutely no evidence for these accusations. “In all fairness to Putin, you’re saying he killed people — I haven’t seen that,” Trump told the “This Week” news program. “I don’t know that he has. Have you been able to prove that? Do you know the names of the reporters that he’s killed?” Huffingtonpost.com reports: Trump added that it would be “despicable” if Putin ind...more »
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia will continue leading the way in producing nuclear weapons, but insisted that the country had no intent to use them. His comments were made in a documentary called “World Order” which aired on Sunday night. Putin told defense officials that by developing defenses against ballistic missiles Washington aims to “neutralize” Russia’s strategic nuclear deterrent and gain a “decisive military superiority.” He said that Russia will respond by developing “strike systems capable of penetrating any missile defenses.” Militarytimes.com rep...more »
A new leaked report from Norway shows that the majority of illegal oil sales by ISIS militants were destined for Turkey and sold at bargain low prices. Norwegian newspaper Klassekampen leaked the report, which revealed that “Large amounts of oil have been smuggled across the border to Turkey from IS-controlled areas in Syria and Iraq … by tankers via smuggling routes across the border [and] is sold at greatly reduced prices, from $25 to $45 a barrel“. Rt.com reports: The crude is reportedly sold on the black market at greatly reduced prices, while the Brent benchmark is currently t...more »
The UK are planning on installing armed US border guards who will have the powers to search holidaymakers at British airports. The controversial scheme is part of a move to introduce a global security force at all airports around the world to reduce the risk of ISIS militants entering the United States. Presstv.com reports: Guards from Customs and Border Protection would carry out immigration and customs checks before passengers board. They would be given diplomatic immunity so they could not be prosecuted for any crime committed on British soil, the report added. Other reports on S...more »
*Part of a continuing series* looking at the pagan origins of the Christmas Myths, one day at a time. Today, the cunning tale and the pagan origins of where Jesus was said to be born…* [image: image] Jesus was born in a manger (a trough or a box) and visited by shepherds, say the authors of *Luke*.** No, say the authors of *Matthew*, he was born in a house in which he and Mary were visited by an unconfirmed number of wandering vagrants from the East (*three* being a later gloss). There were no little drummer boys. (Although Grace Jones almost manages to make you wish there were...more »
[image: Nebraska State Capitol] A nativity that stood in the Omaha, Nebraska Capitol building was removed Friday so an atheist display celebrating the separation of church and state could take its place on Monday. The atheist display will remain up through the week of Christmas. The...more »
Center for Preventive Action / Council on Foreign Relations *Uri Friedman, The Atlantic*: *The Global Conflicts to Watch in 2016* *Concerns about the Middle East, and especially Syria, have displaced other threats.* In the summer of 2012—around the time that the Islamic State’s inchoate plans for a caliphate merited a mere footnote in a U.S. congressional report on the year-old Syrian conflict—Robert Satloff argued that a civil war was taking shape in Syria, and that its terrible consequences would extend far beyond Syrians; Americans, too, would soon be acquainted with the horro...more »
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C) attends a conference at the main operation centre of the Russian armed forces, with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (L) and armed forces Chief-of-Staff Valery Gerasimov (R) in Moscow, June 6, 2013. Credit: Reuters/Michael Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin *Shane Harris, Nancy A. Youssef, & Michael Weiss, Daily Beast*: *Putin ‘Seducing’ Iraq’s Tribes* *“Russia is serious in fighting terrorism,” one sheikh tells The Daily Beast, ”unlike the U.S.”* BAGHDAD, Iraq — In the last Iraq war, the U.S. military helped beat ISIS’ predecessors with the help of...more »
*All Military Weapons*: *The List of Modern Assault Rifles in the World* Assault rifles are known worldwide with the various understanding or definitions. Amongst all of those definitions, there is one definition that said that assault rifles are standard military rifles those capable to control fully-automatic fire from shoulder and have effective range for at least 300 meters. From here, it is known that assault rifles are primary offensive weapons those are stable and produce enough muzzle energy. These are powerful weapons but not the traditional full power weapons. These are t...more »
Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com *L.A. Times: **Pentagon weighs cybercampaign against Islamic State* The Pentagon is considering increasing the pace and scope of cyberattacks against Islamic State, arguing that more aggressive efforts to disable the extremist group's computers, servers and cellphones could help curtail its appeal and disrupt potential terrorist attacks. Military hackers and coders at Cyber Command, based at Fort Meade, Md., have developed an array of malware that could be used to sabotage the militants' propaganda and recruitment capabilities, said U.S. o...more »
*BBC*: *Syria conflict: Dozens killed in suspected Russian strikes* At least 43 people have been killed in a series of air strikes believed to have been carried out by Russian planes in the Syrian city of Idlib, according to activists and residents. A marketplace, homes and official buildings were all hit, reports say. Bodies were still being pulled from the rubble, a civil defence worker said. Russia has not confirmed whether it carried out strikes in the area. Russia began an air campaign to bolster President Bashar al-Assad in September. *WNU Editor:* Russia is also now being ...more »
[image: Han Solo and Chewbacca in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.] LOS ANGELES (AP) -- To say that the force is strong with this one is an understatement. Star Wars: The Force Awakens brought in a galactic $238 million over the weekend, making it the biggest North American debut of all time according...more »
U.N. Secretary-General Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed speaks to the media after the Yemen peace talks in Switzerland in Bern December 20, 2015. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich *VOA*: *No Major Breakthroughs in Yemen Peace Talk* United Nations-brokered peace talks on Yemen ended Sunday with a broad agreement that the war has to end, but no major breakthroughs. U.N. envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said after the Geneva talks that officials from Yemen's recognized government and the Houthi rebels will meet again next month. Ahmed told reporters that fighting and shelling continued even a...more »
*Reuters:* *Left-wing parties take the lead in Spanish elections* Left-wing parties are close to winning an absolute majority of parliamentary seats in Spain's general election Sunday, preliminary results showed, likely scuppering Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's chances of winning a second term for the People's Party (PP). Despite garnering the most votes, the center-right PP had its worst result ever in a general election as Spaniards hurt by a grinding recession and yet to feel an economic recovery turned away from the party in droves. Anti-austerity Podemos roared into third pla...more »
Al-Nusra Front fighters. The report warned about leaving the group unchallenged. Photograph: Reuters *BBC*:* Syria war: Third of rebels share IS aims, report claims* About a third of rebel groups in Syria - some 100,000 fighters - share the ideology of so-called Islamic State (IS), new research suggests. The Centre on Religion and Geopolitics, linked to former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, said defeating IS militarily "would not end global jihadism". That would require an "intellectual and theological defeat" of its ideology. The Syrian conflict has killed more than 250,000 people....more »
[image: Hillary 'goes to sleep'] Donald Trump says Democratic primary front-runner Hillary Clinton's regular absences from the campaign trail are a sign that she doesn't have the "stamina" to be president. "She goes out and she sees you guys for about 10 minutes, she sees... Continue reading *“Trump: Hillary ‘Goes to Sleep’ During Days-Long Absences from Campaign”* at *thehill.com*.
[image: Queen's Christmas Speech] The Queen‘s Christmas speech is set to deliver her most Christian message yet, after a year of Isil jihadist attacks. Sources say the monarch will use her traditional annual speech to reflect on her personal faith as well as her belief... Continue reading *“The Queen’s Speech Is Set to Be the Most Overtly Christian Yet”* at *telegraph.co.uk*.
Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura was personally thanked by President Vladimir Putin on a visit to Moscow. Ventura is a former Navy SEAL and played the part of Sergeant Blain Cooper in John McTiernan’s 1987 film ‘Predator’ alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger. Jesse Ventura contacted Alex Jones on Friday with some informative news on Russia and his experiences there during a recent visit. INFOWars reports: Ventura had recently traveled to Russia to take part in several panels that consisted of former CIA officials and other prominent figures. During his visit, Ventura also attended...more »
In the morning of Dec. 21, my building will lose electric power for 12 hours. So it may not be possible to get a blog out on that day. I'll begin today with a note especially for Canadian readers. That's a big piggy, I know, because three-quarters of the audience for this blog is not Canadian. But bear with me. Yesterday, Dickie Moore died. He was a kid who grew up in my very depressed district of Montreal. In our end of town, we played hockey in the streets. (And, of course, with no skates.) Nor could we afford hockey pucks. Instead, we used the frozen droppings of horses that were...more »
I haven't seen the new *Star Wars* film yet (no spoilers, please), but back in the dim and distant, during the early 1990s in fact, there was a mini-*Star Wars* revival well before the prequels and special editions were thought of. Spurring this flurry of interest was the release of several *Star Wars* games across several formats, including this one that hit European shores on the NES and Game Boy in 1992 and the Game Gear and Master System a year later. It spawned sequels for Nintendo's machines, and totally different 'super' games for the brand spanking new Super Nintendo. To be ...more »
[image: CBS Poll] Ted Cruz maintains a strong lead over Donald Trump in Iowa, according to the results of a poll released Sunday. The Texas senator, in the CBS poll, grabbed the support of 40 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers in Iowa. Trump... Continue reading *“CBS Poll: Cruz Still Ahead in Iowa”* at *politico.com*.
And at 23.01, here's the BBC's latest update. The percentages have gone. We're into seats now: You need 176 seats to win a majority. The centre-right and centre, if these figures are correct, have 162 seats; the centre-left/far-left have 160 seats - though I believe there's another far-left party in Spain that might tip the balance a little bit (I saw that somewhere else on social media). No two parties can form a majority on their own. Hung parliaments R them. At which point, I'll bid you buenas noches.
Jeb Bush says the United States its losing influence around the world because of the Russian President Vladimir Putin. On CBS’s “Face the Nation” program on Sunday, Bush said “Putin is organized to challenge the United States across the world now. He views his success by pushing us back. We’re losing influence around the world and Putin is gaining influence” The Republican presidential hopeful called the Russian president a bully and a dictator while slamming Donald Trump for praising Putin as a strong leader. Press TV reports: “He’s not an ally. He’s a dictator. He’s a bully,” de...more »
[image: Not for reuse] NEW YORK (AP) -- Is it a dime? Or is it a nail? In probably one of the oddest items to come to the world of coin collecting, Dallas-based Heritage Auctions has announced the sale of a Roosevelt dime that...more »
[image: gay marriage] Slovenians on Sunday voted against legalizing gay marriage, with more than 60 percent of those who cast their vote in a referendum saying No. According to Slovenian news agency STA, with 90 percent of the votes counted, 63 percent had voted against and... Continue reading *“Slovenia Says No to Same-Sex Marriage”* at *politico.eu*.
[image: Putin and Trump] Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump defended Russian President Vladimir Putin against accusations that he has assassinated political adversaries and journalists, responding to criticism from his rivals over his embrace of praise from the Russian leader. “Nobody has proven that he’s... Continue reading *“Donald Trump on Putin: ‘Nobody Has Proven That He’s Killed Anyone’”* at *washingtonpost.com*.
"NGC 4631 is a spiral galaxy found only 25 million light-years away, toward the well-trained northern constellation Canes Venatici. Seen edge-on, the galaxy is similar in size to the Milky Way. Its distorted wedge shape suggests to some a cosmic herring and to others its popular moniker, The Whale Galaxy. *Click image for larger size.* The large galaxy's small, remarkably bright elliptical companion NGC 4627 lies just above its dusty yellowish core, but also identifiable are recently discovered, faint dwarf galaxies within the halo of NGC 4631. In fact, the faint extended features b...more »
*“Stretching The Imagination”* by Chet Raymo “Professor, that stuff you spoke of in class this morning- about the beginning of the universe..." *Yes?* "Well, you know how you said that the universe began 14 billion years ago as an infinitely small point...?" *Yes, that appears to be the case. An explosion from a point of infinite energy. Space and time expanding from nothing. Matter coalescing from cooling radiation. Stars, galaxies...* "To tell the truth, I'm having a hard time believing it. I mean, the idea that everything that exists today, the billions and billions of galaxie...more »
A huge asteroid capable of worldwide devastation will visit earth this Christmas, giving the planet a wide berth. According to astronomers a massive piece of rock will safely whizz past during the holiday season. They announced on Thursday that we will be safely visited by a celestial body capable of inflicting global environmental change. Scientists assume that the ‘Christmas Eve’ asteroid is not an ‘Earth-grazer’ due to its relative distance from someone standing on the earth. AFP reports: The massive space rock, about two kilometres (1.2 miles) in length, will cruise by our plane...more »
OK, 22.02... The BBC News website has updated the results and it looks as if Twitter had it right after all and that the BBC has been firmly behind the curve. Look at the Podemos percentage and compare it with the previous screenshots: It's starting to look like social media 1: BBC 0 here. *P.S. *Damn it! I was hoping the BBC had it right here! Bloody BBC!!! *P.P.S. (22.29) *Oddly, Fraser Nelson at the* Spectator* had been trumpeting a Podemos-provoked earthquake two hours ago, going off an exit poll. That poll suggested 27% for the Popular Party, Podemos on 22%, the Socialist...more »
*-By Noah* What if Republicans had their own version of Craigslist; a place where Republicans could sell goods and services to other Republicans? Knowing what we do of the Republican world and the minds of those who live in it, it might look very much like this. Let’s call it Buchanan’s List after hate-mongering culture warrior Pat Buchanan. It just seems to fit. *Buchanan’s List:* 1. Selling a can of vintage Campbell Chunky Chicken Soup that I had in the abandoned missile silo I moved into 7 years ago when the internet and FOX told me the president was going to take away my guns...more »
[image: higher income groups] Scott Shackford wrote on the Reason blog recently that "The Middle Class Is Shrinking! Because They're Getting Rich!" and referred to the bottom chart above that was featured in the Pew Research Center's recent report titled "The American Middle Class... Continue reading *“Yes, America’s Middle Class Has Been Disappearing … Into Higher Income Groups”* at *aei.org*.
[image: Carly Fiorina2 - 400] Republican Donald Trump is "a big Christmas gift wrapped up under the tree" for Hillary Clinton because he couldn't beat the 2016 Democratic presidential front-runner in a general election, Carly Fiorina said on Sunday. "I am the lump of coal... Continue reading *“Fiorina Says Clinton Dying for Beatable Trump as Republican Pick”* at *bloomberg.com*.
[image: 1fracking] The Texas Barnett Shale formation, where modern hydraulic fracturing began, has twice as much natural gas as expected, according to a study by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) released Thursday. The Barnett Shale contains an estimated 53 trillion cubic feet of shale natural gas, while a...more »
Saudi Arabia is set to execute a teenage boy who was arrested when he was 15 for attending a protest against the ruling Al Saud monarchy. Campaigners say Abdullah al-Zaher, who is a member of Saudi Arabia’s Shia religious community, was the youngest in a group of juvenile offenders sentenced to death as part of a crackdown on political dissent. His family have gone public with his story as a last ditched attempt to save his life. The Independent reports: Campaign group Reprieve told The Independent Abdullah al-Zaher, who is now 19, was the youngest in a group of juvenile offenders p...more »
I suppose I'm 'live blogging' the Spanish election results here...though not for much longer as I'll be off to bed soon... The BBC News website now says: Add caption One of the Twitter feeds I follow, which has been very busy tonight, is presently saying something rather different, especially *vis a vis *Podemos: My confusion deepens. Is the BBC seriously behind the curve? Or is Twitter (God forbid!) massively wrong? *Update 21:46*: An answer to my question (about vote share v seats for Podemos and Ciudadanos) on the previous post now appears in the BBC's main article: The earl...more »
This morning's *Sunday *on Radio 4, possibly the most liberal programme on Radio 4, found itself in the eye on a Twitter storm today, being roundly denounced by its fellow religious liberals. It was all very odd (as most things have been today). The programme, characteristically, had picked up on a call by a liberal Anglican, the Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, for the C of E to apologise for its treatment of homosexuals. *Sunday *chose to make this a main story. The Dean, the Very Revd Prof Martyn Percy, duly appeared - as, 'showing BBC impartiality', did Canon Dr Chris Sugden fro...more »
Just in time for the summer season, the perfectly-named Ryan Holiday wants to give you a heads-up about parties. He quotes Jack London: *“**“It’s absurd and unfair,” *says Jack London’s title character in *Martin Eden**, “this objection to talking shop. For what reason under the sun do men and women come together if not for the exchange of the best that is in them? And the best that is in them is what they are interested in, the thing by which they make their living, the thing they’ve specialised on and sat up days and nights over, and even dreamed about.”* Mind you, that means you ...more »
Other than *The Andrew Marr Show *my encounters with the BBC today have been confined to three Radio 4 programmes. Two were on my regular Sunday 'beat' - *Sunday *and *Broadcasting House* - and the other was prompted by reading a comment at *Biased BBC *slagging it off. That last one was *Chrismukkah and Other Cultural Mash-ups*. The commenter at *Biased BBC *described it in the following way: More multi culti pro mixing from the BBC, with an attack on Christmas, which again should be ‘holidays’ or some other non ‘offensive’ word! They seem so ignorant of what Christianity is abo...more »
A Tony Blair think-tank report says that the West’s focus on defeating the Islamic State at the exclusion of other jihadi groups is a strategic mistake. Blair’s Faith foundation reports that sixty percent of fighters in the country can be classified as Islamists and have goals similar to ISIS. RT reports: Those fighters belong to at least 15 other militant groups, which are mostly being ignored by the West, British media cited the Centre on Religion & Geopolitics, a think-tank run by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, as saying. Fewer than one quarter of the groups surveyed by the cen...more »
An Air France flight from Mauritius to Paris CDG was forced to make an emergency landing in Kenya after a suspicious package was found in a toilet. Air France flight AF-463 with 459 passengers and 14 crew on-board made an emergency landing on Sunday at Mombasa’s Moi International Airport. Kenyan Airports Authority claimed that they had managed to “foil a bombing attempt on Air France.” They later amended their statement after it emerged that the bomb was a fake and was made up of papers and a timer. Mombasa airport and the Boeing 777 were evacuated, while the device was taken away f...more »
The results of the Spanish election are coming in and, reading the main article on the BBC website, I'm officially confused. This is what it presently says (a screenshot): However things eventually turn out (and Twitter is presently suggesting that far-left Podemos is in third place, *well *ahead of the centrist Ciudadanos), what's puzzling me here is that this BBC article [one of the lead articles on the BBC News website at the moment] presently says that "anti-austerity Podemos" is on 12.3%, well behind the main centre-right and centre-left parties, and that the "liberal Ciudad...more »
BASSEM MROUE & JOSEF FEDERMANatThe Stream - 1 day ago
[image: A general view taken on December 20, 2015, shows a people gathering at the site of a reported Israeli air raid that killed a senior figure in the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah, Samir Kantar, in Jaramana, southeast of the Syrian capital Damascus. Israel's justice minister welcomed the death of Lebanese militant Samir Kantar but did not claim credit for the air strike in Syria that killed him, which Hezbollah said was an Israeli raid. AFP PHOTO / LOUAI BESHARA / AFP / LOUAI BESHARA (Photo credit should read LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)] BEIRUT (AP) -- A Lebanese m...more »
A high ranking member of Hezbollah has been killed by an Israeli airstrike on a residential area near the Syrian capital city of Damascus. Local media report that Samir Qantar was killed during the Israeli raid which targeted his home in the city of Jaramana located 10 kilometers from the capital in the Rif Dimashq governorate early on Sunday. Press TV reports: Following the attack, Qantar’s brother wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday that his brother was a martyr without giving more details about his death. “With pride we mourn the martyrdom of the leader Samir Qantar and we are ho...more »
*“It's time to count down the top stories of the year … [T]he least important of the big stories [is] not about something that's actually happening. It's about how a whole section of our top political and cultural leadership is pretending that something that isn't happening is actually the most vital and pressing issue of the day. Which is pretty important in its own right. “I'll call this The Phantom Menace … I am talking, of course, about ‘climate change,’ the lame euphemism for claims about catastrophic human-caused global warming.”* ~ Robert Tracinski, starting his...more »
*Cortland Pfeffer & Irwin Ozborne* - Christmas has become symbolic of all that is wrong with our society. The post Compassion, Christianity or Consumerism? The True Meaning of Christmas appeared first on Waking Times.
SFGate.com, in its recap of the Democratic presidential debate held last night, reports that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested that the rhetoric of Republican front-runner Donald Trump is driving Muslims to join the Islamic State: *“The Democratic front-runner, kept much of her focus on the general election, sharply criticizing Donald Trump's plan to ban Muslims from entering the United States. She called the leader of the GOP race the Islamic State's best recruiter. ‘Mr. Trump has a great capacity to use bluster and bigotry to inflame people,’ said Clinton, the...more »
Kim Kardashian is eating small portions of her placenta every day as part of a Satanic illuminati ritual, according to North West’s former nanny. Nancy Jenkinson was hired by the Kardashian/West household after training as a midwife in London and working for the English Royal family. She lasted just under six months in the celebrity household before being fired. Nancy claims she overheard Kim speaking to her sister Khloe about her plan to consume the placenta. “I heard her planning this over a month ago. Khloe seemed confused and slightly weirded out by the details until Kim told her...more »
*“The Hula Hoop Theory of History”* by Morris Berman "Above all, no zeal." – Talleyrand “There is a curious rhythm to human affairs, or perhaps more specifically, to Western history. Some movement or idea comes along, and everyone gets swept up in its wake. This is it, then; this is the Answer we’ve been looking for. All of those previous answers were wrong; now, at long last, we’re on the right track. In the fullness of time, of course, this shiny new idea loses its luster, betrays us, or even results in the death of millions. So apparently, we were deceived. But wait: her...more »
Courtesy of the *FT,* former *Newsnight *presenter Jeremy Paxman has just taken his fellow former BBC colleague Jeremy Clarkson out to lunch. Here's a couple of paragraphs from the resulting piece, presenting Jeremy P's general take on Jeremy C - *and* giving us an interesting glimpse into the thinking of "a couple of senior BBC producers": I had happened to mention to a couple of senior BBC producers beforehand that I was lunching with Clarkson, and two individuals whom I had previously thought of as intelligent, friendly and quite sophisticated suddenly became a pair of spitting ...more »
I've been 'around' for a few years now, pursuing the shifting goal of a sharable home-made surfers resource site focused on ease of use and variety of mostly adult ( whoa : I didn't say prurient ) content.