Monday, October 16, 2017

Monday Links

Another weekend is over, so here comes another Monday full of bah-dah, bad-da-da-dah:

From the Washington Examiner, California's sanctuary policy shows the disconnect between the people and Democrat elites.

From Science News, thar's gold in them thar.......colliding neutron stars?

From Assyrian International News Agency, a priest issues a prayer appeal for persecuted Christians in Iraq.

From The Daily Signal, the policeman who wrongly arrested a nurse is now an ex-policemen.

From EUReporter, the Austrian election, in which rightwing parties appear to have done well, is a wake-up call to the E.U.

From the Express, the victory for Eurosceptics in Austria could be a nightmare for the E.U.

From The Local AT, Austrian conservative Sebastian Kurz promises "great change".

From Russia Today, in Austria, it's the "rise of the right".

From Breitbart London, a Swedish woman defends Islamic polygamy.

From WestMonster, Angela Merkel faces calls for her resignation - from her own party.

From BosNewsLife, Hungary pledges to take in "a limited number" of Christians.

From Dutch News, some people in the Netherlands will be paying a higher tax rate, despite recent tax cuts.

From The Local FR, in France, any "undocumented foreigner" (a.k.a. illegal alien) who commits a crime (besides being in the country illegally) will be deported.

From The Local SE, in Sweden, police have a difficult time deporting failed asylum seekers.

From The Telegraph, in Portugal, 27 people have reportedly died as a result of wildfires.  (I think that California might have the right to say, "Welcome to the club.")

From AOL, citing Thomson Reuters, President Trump says that Congress is working on a "short-term solution" for health insurance markets.

From NBC News, Trump claims to understand his friend Steve Bannon's "war on GOP establishment".

From the Los Angeles Times, Trump blames the Cuban government for sonic attacks on U.S. diplomats.

From the Daily Mail, the Egyptian division of ISIS carries out a sharia punishment, and after her town was taken from ISIS, an Iraqi woman joyfully rips off her burqa.

From the Inquirer, in the Philippines, two dead terrorists will be given an Islamic burial.

From The Korea Herald, according to National Security Adviser McMaster, America's options on North Korea are "under constant refinement".

From Philly(dot)com, Philadelphia's soda tax produces all-too-predictable consequences.

And from The Daily Caller, the president apparently would welcome a rematch.  (As a certain saying goes, be careful what you ask for.)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Are You Ready For Professor Hillary Clinton?

Former First Lady/Senator/Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, most recently seen running unsuccessfully for President, might be reclaiming a title she once had before those listed above.  She has reportedly been in talks with Columbia University to take on a role as professor, and possibly even store her archives there.  (As for how many emails are in those archives, your guess is as good as mine.)  I say "reclaiming a title she once had" because she once was a law professor in Arkansas.

Read more at the New York Post and the Daily News.  All the other websites reporting on this story, as far as I can find, refer back to the Daily News.

Twin Truck Bombs Strike Mogadishu

Yesterday two truck bombs went off in Mogadishu Somalia, about two hours apart.  Some outlets are reporting 85 people killed, while others say that the death toll is 189.  At least 200 others have been wounded.  The Somalian government has blamed the al-Shabab terrorist group, but no one yet has claimed responsibility.  Somalian President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has declared three days of mourning.

Read more at Sky News, The Telegraph, the Independent, The Indian Express, ABC News (where "A" stands for "Australian") and The New York Times.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Football And Other Stuff

First, the football:

No, this is not about the NFL anthem kneelers, but the football that I really care about, which is played by college students.  This not to say, of course, that the NCAA is without sin.  Like it not, as long as the participants are human, there are going to be problems.  But that said, I've always been more fond of the college game.  One reason is that under normal circumstances, a college athlete gets to play for a total of four years.  (These can be spread out over five years, the non-playing year called a "redshirt".)  This forces coaches to think about the future, and gives them a reason to put in their backups and reserves, who are mostly younger than the starters, to give them some experience.  This helps prepare them for more extensive roles that come after the older players graduate.

This weekend, starting with Friday the 13th yesterday, has seen some stunning upsets.  Last night, unranked Syracuse beat #2 Clemson 27-24.  (Clemson had given my Virginia Tech Hokies their only loss two weeks earlier.)  Later on the west coast, California easily defeated #8 Washington State.  Today, Boston College, who last week lost to VT 23-10 at home, went on the road to Louisville (whose quarterback is a Heisman Trophy winner) and beat them 45-42.  VT has no game this weekend, after playing half (six) of our regularly scheduled games, which gives Hokies such as myself a chance to mentally relax and watch other schools' games.

UPDATE:  Just after I finished this post, I learned of another upset.  LSU comes back to defeat #10 Auburn 27-23.

Now for the other stuff:

My response to this headline is "They're not alone."

In Britain, almost 3,400 people got arrested in 2016 for "offensive" online comments.

British civil servants are told not to use gendered pronouns.

Conservative speaker Laura Ingram blasts the "enemies" of President Trump's supporters.

The proposed observance of Muslim holidays in Germany, which I mentioned yesterday, isn't going over too well.

Some E.U. states are "fed up" with Macron and Merkel trying to block Brexit.

In its upcoming meeting, the E.U. will not decide whether to admit Turkey.

Switzerland will vote on whether to ban the burka.

Kneeling spreads to the other football.

Contrary to leftwing criticism, President Trump's decision to discontinue Obamacare subsidies to insurance companies is perfectly legal.

Two DACA recipients have been caught trying to smuggle in (other) illegal aliens.

A man whose family was held hostage by the Taliban tells his horror stories.

A proposal could allow women to go on the Hadj without male escorts.

Thousands of people have been evacuated due to California's 16 major forest fires.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Stories For Friday The 13th

For the second time this year, this particular date has arrived, the first time being this past January.  (A long time ago, I noted that in a non-leap year, January and October begin on the same day of the week.)  So whatever you do, please be sure not to step on any cracks, walk under any ladders, or get near any black cats.  Here are some things going on today, unlucky or benign:

From Russia Today, a U.K. court has ruled against sexual segregation in an Islamic school.

From The Local DE, the German interior minister suggests that Muslim holidays could be observed in some parts of his country.

From the Express, France will extend its border checks for six more months, and a hurricane is headed for Britain.  (Will the latter be blamed on President Trump, for pulling out of the Paris agreement?  I won't be surprised if it is.)

From the Independent, 600 migrants were rescued from the Mediterranean today and taken to Sicily.  (This is not the British site, but the Maltese Independent.)

From the NL Times, after an escape attempt, a prisoner is transferred to a high security Dutch prison.

From Sputnik International, how Sweden is luring Arabs.

From New Europe, the Philippine president has some harsh words for the E.U.

From The Jerusalem Post, Hezbollah terrorists have reportedly entered Germany as refugees.

From National Review, "how the NFL lost to Trump".

From Townhall, the president has a new strategy on Iran.

From FrontpageMag, the anti-hate group that's really a hate group.

From CBS Sports, the NCAA will not penalize North Carolina.

From Pakistan Today, according to the law minister of Punjab, Ahmadis should stop pretending to be Muslims.

From Israel National News, the Jordanian government objects to Israel allowing Jews to visit the Temple Mount.

From SDE, a former bishop claims that "women wearing miniskirts" caused his to convert to Islam.

From the Daily Mail, an Australian imam who spoke out against radical Islam has been targeted by ISIS supporters.

From The Straits Times, DC Comics creates a female Islamic superhero.

From the Daily Sabah, German troops stationed in Jordan are not yet immune from Sharia.  (The last few links come via The Religion Of Peace.)

From The Daily Signal, how libertarian author Charles Murray was welcomed at Michigan.

And from Fox News, as his people starve, Rocket Man wants his own Mar-a-Lago.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Thursday Links

Today is what you could call the "real" Columbus Day, since it was on October 12, 1492 that Columbus and his crew landed on an island that is now part of the Bahamas.  Of course, we crazy Yanks had to move our observance of this historical event, along with several other holidays, to the nearest convenient Monday.  Here's a bit of what's going on today:

From The Local DE, a city in northern Germany says, "no more refugees."

From the Express, French politician Marine Le Pen and her party shelve their plans to leave the E.U.

From Russia Today, at a pro-unity march in Barcelona, a riot breaks out.

From Breitbart London, the Czech president wants Europe to have a Second Amendment.

From Vanity Fair, here are 30 of Harvey Weinstein's accusers.

From CNN, Jane Fonda regrets staying silent about Weinstein.  (Like she regretted aiding the North Vietnamese communists?  Riiiiiight!)

From FrontpageMag, the hypocrisy of Hillary Clinton.  (As I pointed out yesterday, hypocrisy is to be expected of any politician.)

From Page Six, Hillary gets blasted by a TV chef , whose girlfriend is one of Weinstein's accusers.

From Breitbart's Big Hollywood, Ben Affleck has been accused of sexual misconduct by two women.

From the Washington Examiner, President Trump signs an EO that would make dealing with Obamacare slightly easier for some people.  (via LifeNews)

From National Review, President Trump and Republicans do not want to abolish birth control.

From Townhall, Trump nominates Kirstjen Nielsen to be the new DHS Secretary.

From the New York Post, there's a strange hole in the Antarctic ice cap.

From Fox News, Greek police rescue 54 migrants who had been "squashed into a van".

From The Old Continent, in Germany, a "North-African" man stabs a security guard.

From the NL Times, Dutch police foil an attempted prison break.

And from YouTube user DJGardenGnome, via Bloviating Zeppelin, No pomegranates!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Various And Sundry

First up, Jonah Goldberg of National Review has written an article warning his fellow conservatives about hypocrisy and "selective outrage", starting with:
If hypocrisy were a greenhouse gas, the ice caps would be gone by now.
I would add that two major sources of such greenhouse gas would be located along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC.  This would make the already too-hot-and-humid summers in the DC area even more unbearable.  Any discussion of political hypocrisy reminds me of my own update of a quote attributed to Samuel Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain.  Clemens/Twain reportedly said something to the effect of, "Suppose that you're a congressman.  Suppose that you're an imbecile.  But I repeat myself."  In my view, saying that any politician is a hypocrite is to repeat myself.  Read Goldberg's article at the link above.
Some buzz has been going around that the Boy Scouts will soon be admitting girls.  This is true, but as a certain saying goes, the devil is in the details.  As reported by the New York Post,
Starting next year, girls will be able to join Cub Scouts programs. Older girls will then be allowed to join a program enabling them to earn the organization’s highest rank of Eagle Scout starting in 2019.
The Cub Scouts are the junior division of the Boy Scouts, for boys (and soon girls) ages 7 to 10.  Here are some more details from the NYP:
According to the plan, existing Cub Scout packs may establish a new pack for girls, create a pack consisting of smaller girl dens and boy dens or remain an all-boy unit. Cub Scout dens, meanwhile, will be single-gender, consisting of either all girls or all boys. While primarily known for its programs for boys, the Boy Scouts of America has offered opportunities to co-eds since 1971, including its Venturing program that will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year.
It seems that the rules will apply mainly to the Cub Scouts, whose dens will remain single-gender, and that Boy Scout programs for girls are nothing new.  I would thus say that questions about whether the Girl Scouts will reciprocate by admitting boys, or if the two organizations will at some point merge into one, might not (yet) be pertinent.  Read the full story.
And in other items:

Yesterday, things got weird and then weirder at Chicago's Wrigley Field.

Some people on the left still haven't figured out that the Twitter account Sean Spicier is a parody.

Saudi Arabia's efforts to blockade arms to Yemen are also blockading food.

Conditions in Venezuela continue to be horrible.

A European supermarket gives in to political correctness.

How did the E.U. respond to the referendum in Catalonia?

A British MP agrees with Poland's demand for reparations from Germany.  If you read his last name, you might suspect that his willingness to agree with Poland might not be completely unbiased.  (Due to my own Polish blood, I would likewise have to plead guilty to that charge.)

The bubonic plague, now seen in Madagascar, could possibly come to the United States.  (The article blames "underinvestment" in public health, as if throwing more money at the problem is the principal way of solving it.)

Oxfam accuses the E.U. of putting migrants' lives at risk.  (Whether Oxfam realizes that the migrants place their own lives at risk by illegally traveling to Europe, or understands the risk that migrants might pose to Europeans are not, as far as I can tell, discussed to any significant degree.)

The number of Romanians and Bulgarians working in the United Kingdom has doubled in four years.

And last but not least, in the corruption trial of Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the prosecution rests.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Yet More History, And Today

Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Tours (a.k.a. Battle of Poitiers) in which the Franks, led by their king Charles, defeated the invading Saracens, who already had control of the Iberian peninsula.  The victorious monarch would later be known as Charles Martel, the title meaning "hammer".  A grandson of his would also be named Charles and be known as Charlemagne ("Charles the Great").  His life, of course, is another story.

Since I've occasionally written about Jan Sobieski, the Polish king who drove the Turks away from Vienna in 1683, it's only fair that I also acknowledge the deeds of Charles Martel.  For one thing, the Battle of Tours took place in 732, about 950 years before the Siege of Vienna.  It's hard to say if back then, the country of France as we know it even really existed.  There seems to have been several kingdoms co-existing in that general region, such as Neustria and Austrasia.  But in any event, I have Jan and Charles to thank for being a speaker of English who knows a bit of French and Polish, instead of a speaker of Arabic who knows a little Turkish.

In today's news:

From Speisa, 27 percent of London's people live in poverty.

From The Local ES, here are some possible consequences if Catalonia declares independence.

From Breitbart London, Spanish police have been deployed to Catalonia in preparation for the possible declaration.

From the Mirror, Catalan leader Charles Puigdemont says that Catalonia has the right to become independent, but will hold off on a formal declaration.

From The Local SE, despite protests, Sweden deports rejected asylum seekers.

From Russia Today, the U.K. Parliament will debate devolving more powers to the Yorkshire regional government, and millions of French workers go on strike to protest President Macron's labor reforms.

From The Local FR, why the French public sector "has so many gripes with Macron".

From the Express, and speaking of both Macron and Catalonia, Catalan MEP Alfred Bosch tells Macron that France can't expel a newly independent Catalonia from the E.U.  (If there is a new independent Catalonia, that is.)

From Reuters, Swiss police detain two Tunisians in connection with the Marseille knife attack.  (via Fox News)

From the Daily Mail, a Syrian refugee suspected of sexually assaulting six women uses PTSD as an excuse.

From The Old Continent, Ireland commemorates a racist mass murderer with a stamp.

From Euronews, France will send teams to Niger and Chad to bring back refugees.

From Sputnik International, how can Germany deal with the 10,000 Salafists among their population?  (How many of them, I wonder, were among the migrants they allowed in during the past few years?)

From the Los Angeles Times, as Vice President Pence visits California, he says that President Trump has approved a "major disaster declaration" for the state.

From The New Yorker, three women have accused Harvey Weinstein of rape.  (via HotAir)

From The Pueblo Chieftain, for Hollywood, Weinstein's downfall is "a moment of reckoning".  (again, via HotAir)

From Breitbart Texas, ICE deports to El Salvador a man wanted for multiple homicide.

From DailyWorld, Bangla Desh police detain members of an Islamist party.

And from Encore, "news of the weird".

Monday, October 9, 2017

Columbus Day History And Links

Today in the United States, we celebrate the arrival of a man from Genoa, Italy and his Spanish crew in their three ships to a small island in what are now the Bahamas.  We've often said that this man, known in Spanish as Cristobal Colon and in English as Christopher Columbus, discovered America.  More recently, we've argued about whether the term "discover" is correct.  Columbus didn't really discover America, according to one argument, because people such as the Taino and Caribs were already inhabiting the islands that he explored on his four voyages from Spain.  But whether or not he deserves the term "discovered", his major accomplishment in my view was creating the permanent connection between the Americas and the rest of the world, with all the good and bad that followed.  Perhaps ironically, Columbus was reluctant to claim that he had found a part of the world previously unknown to people on his side of the Atlantic, thinking that the islands he explored were off the coast of Asia, other than realizing that South America was a continent.  Whether he died still clinging to this idea seems to be a matter of opinion.

Over the years, some myths about Columbus have emerged.  One is that he believed that the world is round, while his fellow Europeans were still flat-earthers.  In reality, most Europeans back then believed in a round earth.  Columbus differed from his contemporaries by underestimating its size.  More recently, he has been accused of being a greedy imperialist responsible for horrible treatment of the indigenous people, but instead actually instructed his crew to treat them well.  For more, read the FrontpageMag article "Why Columbus still deserves his day".  If you feel like celebrating with some Italian food, go eat some pasta (from the Mediterranean area) with sauce made from tomatoes (native to the Americas).  But on the other hand, if you have a problem with Columbus Day, you agree with the Klan.  Yes, you read that right.  By opposing Columbus Day, you agree with the Klan.  And if you'd rather observe Indigenous People's Day, think again.

Meanwhile, here are some things going on today:

From the New York Post, Italian-Americans fight to keep Columbus Day.

From Middle East Monitor, using Italian boats, the Libyan coast guard has rescued over 16,000 illegal immigrants.

From the Express, the plague strikes Madagascar.

From Russia Today, as Germany's finance minister steps down, he warns of another financial crisis.

From ANSA (an Italian site), the Marseilles attacker had a brother fighting in Syria.

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a girl who had been shot in the head is now "walking, talking and back at school".

From The Washington Free Beacon, California sheriffs oppose their state's "sanctuary" legislation.  (via HotAir)

From Assyrian International News Agency, Syrian fighters backed by the U.S. prepare for a final push in Raqqa.

From The Daily Caller, Samantha Ponder (whose husband Christian played some football for FSU against my Hokies) has the best take on the Cam Newton situation.  (The article's first pic shows her interviewing then-coach Frank Beamer and QB Logan Thomas of Virginia Tech in 2013.)

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Hurricane Nate And Other Stuff

Last night, Hurricane Nate moved inland from the Gulf of Mexico, flooding some coastal areas leaving over 100,000 people in Mississippi and Alabama without power.  Some related stories:

From CNN, Nate strikes the coast as a Category 1 hurricane, and weakens down to a tropical depression.

From ABC News, Nate is downgraded to a tropical storm, but rain and flooding will still be a concern.

From The Times-Picayune, Hurricane Nate was, as Shakespeare once said, "much ado about nothing" for New Orleans.

From the Pensacola News Journal, Nate caused a sewage treatment plant to overflow.

In other news and commentary:

From the Independent, the Las Vegas shooter went to the Middle East on a number of cruises.

From The New York Times, ISIS fighters surrender in large numbers.  (Come to think of it, one translation of the Arabic word "islam" is "surrender".)

From The Telegraph, recently reelected German Chancellor Angela Merkel starts forming her new government as Conservatives demand limits on taking in migrants.

From The Washington Free Beacon, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Cal) says that she'll "take a look" about returning donations from Harvey Weinstein.  (via Breitbart Video)

From Breitbart London, a huge crowd in Barcellona marches against Catalan secession.

From Twitchy, the original anthem kneeler offers to stand, if given a job.

From AhlulBayt News Agency, in Nigeria, more than 2,000 suspected members of Boko Haram will go on trial.

From the Sunday Express, two female British terrorists are recruiting more white Muslim women to their cause.

From NCRI, Iran's Revolutionary Guards encourages prisoners to fight in the Syrian civil war.

From The Guardian, In Egypt, LGBT people are targeted for arrest.

From Channel NewsAsia, police in Bangla Desh search for a man who married a Rohingya refugee, in spite of a ban.

From Digital Journal, after surviving a sea voyage, migrants ride a freight train to Germany.

From the Evening Standard, police ask the public for video footage of the car crash that took place near the Natural History Museum.

From Sputnik International, Turkish President Erdogan blames the West.

From Radio Poland, the Polish and British foreign and defense ministers will meet in London.

From Russia Today, the main railroad station in Lausanne, Switzerland is temporarily evacuated over a bomb scare.

From Gatestone Institute, the "Czech Donald Trump" (who was actually born in Slovakia) has rejected multiculturalism.

And from the Telluride Daily Planet, horror writer Jeremy Robert Johnson is weird.