Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A Solemn Anniversary, And Today's News

Today is the 75th anniversary of the "date which will live in infamy", when the Japanese navy attacked Pearl Harbor and Hickam Field in Hawaii.  Early this morning, a moment of silence was observed at Pearl Harbor.  About 4,000 people were expected to attend a commemoration ceremony.  Survivors of the attack attended the ceremony in Hawaii, or a reception in Los Angeles.  As some look back, the attack is said to have "shaped the modern world".
Here are some things going on today:

The Charleston church shooter starts to get his day in court.

When in Spain, beware the fake police.

Donald Trump finds his DHS secretary....

....And maybe his Secretary of State.

Leftists already have problems with another Trump nominee.

Time gives their Person Of The Year award to.......

Responsibility for the plane plane crash in Brazil, which killed 71 people, goes all the way to the top.

A founder of the "alt-right" movement speaks and gets protested.

A deadly earthquake strikes Indonesia.

Indonesians celebrating Christmas get shut down.

A British imam claims that Islam has been distorted.

As Steven Stills sang, "paranoia strikes deep".

The above-mentioned DHS isn't doing so well these days.

If you think Chicago is violent, five other Illinois cities are even worse.

Miami has been wracked by heroin overdosing.

And to finish, the weird ways we've been using Cheetos.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Things I Don't Believe #3

This post goes into the field of science, or possibly pseudo-science (which you might expect from someone who names himself after a creature whose existence is not universally accepted).  There are some interesting but strange ideas out there, some of which I've decided are a bit too strange.

I do not believe:

That there is a planet, often called Nibiru, which is headed for a close encounter with Earth.

This idea seems to be quite popular on YouTube, and is based on the work of Zechariah Sitchin, who in his book The Twelfth Planet, alleges that the solar system includes a planet with a highly elliptical orbit.  About every 3,600 years this planet, called Nibiru or Marduk, passes through the inner solar system.  According to various YouTube users, Nibiru will soon either collide with Earth or pass closely thereto, which either way will be catastrophic.  The trouble is, predictions of this planetary encounter have been going on for over a year, with the predicted times of Nibiru's arrival coming and going without it ever showing up.  Another problem is that the Nibiru theorists don't agree with each other as to the planet's characteristics and trajectory.  Some say that it's coming from the south, which is why nobody in the northern hemisphere can see it.  Others say that it's behind the sun, either directly or off to one side, and show pictures of the sun with a second smaller luminous sphere nearby.  I've also heard that Nibiru has an extremely dark surface that reflects almost no light from the sun, which is why it can't be seen.  Is this object very dark, or does it reflect so much sunlight that it looks like a second sun?  Both can't be true.  For those of you who believe in an imminent encounter with Nibiru, could you please decide what it is, where it is, and how it's moving?

One Two Three [Guitar Chords] Turn It Up

In a story I ran across yesterday, but which was published about two weeks ago, shoppers at a Brooklyn food store were triggered by, of all things, a song.  I know that some people can be oversensitive, but this was so strange that I wonder if a bit of NaCl might be in order.  As David Marcus, who had been shopping with his wife, writes in The Federalist:
After getting our Brazilian Arabica ground for drip (I know, I should really use a French Press), Libby and I walked towards the organic maple syrup. That’s when it started. I suppose there had been music playing in the store, but I hadn’t noticed until a familiar guitar lick pierced the air and a soft voice said, "Turn it up."

Monday, December 5, 2016

Castro's Last Ride Not Without Problems

In what the right side of the blogosphere might call a bit of irony, the funeral procession of Fidel Castro experienced some technical difficulties.  The reportedly Russian-made jeep that was pulling the wagon carrying the late tyrant's ashes broke down and had to be pushed toward his final resting place in St. Ifigenia Cemetery.

Read more at Fox News, Townhall and VOA.  The last link comes via Gateway Pundit.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

To Follow The Cat

As my British blogosphere friend Tim Burton again finds himself in trouble for (gasp!) offending a Muslim, he has decided to recount this strange episode by writing a playlet entitled Liberty and Justice meet Hubris and Nemesis.  In doing so, he has taken the nom de plume 'Follow the Cat'.  The character based on himself is Catstrangler101, which is also his Twitter handle, which means that you can indeed follow the cat.  (It should be noted that Tim has never actually strangled a cat, but has merely produced the sound effect of a cat being strangled when attempting to play the violin.  Fortunately, he has had more success with the guitar.)

Tim has posted the first act of his playlet at the Liberty GB website, and has invited the public join in.
The following playlet entitled "Liberty and Justice meet Hubris and Nemesis" is an imagined account of events surrounding the upcoming Crown Court trial of Liberty GB representative Tim Burton, accused of 'Religiously Aggravated Harassment' of one Fiyaz Mughal, professional Muslim and head of Tell Mama, an organisation of ill-repute.
To enter our competition, all you have to do is write your own alternative version of the ending, or of any act or scene in the play. Submit to Liberty GB at before Friday 23rd December. The lucky winner will earn an honourable mention on the Liberty GB website and an exclusive dual wine presentation box.
Taking up this challenge, I have written a scene for the playlet.  I don't think it's an alternative to any part thereof, but instead could be inserted into wherever Tim thinks it may be used.  This scene was written as a show of support from the North American part of the Anglosphere.  To read it, click on the "read more" link.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Brief Christmas Music Break

'Tis the season for caroling, but here are two songs that you might hear this month, which are not your standard Christmas carols.  The first one ultimately comes from the Dr. Seuss cartoon The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.  The YouTube user Biolleo recorded and posted this heavy metal version of Mr. Grinch.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Friday Links

As the first weekend of December comes around, here's some of what's going on out there:

From Zero Hedge, while the official unemployment rate has gone down, the number of people not in the work force has hit an all-time high, and on the first day of the recount in Wisconsin, Hillary Clinton (D-NY) gains one vote.

From The Big Story, Trump supporters strike back.

From RealClearPolitics, Donald Trump's campaign manager says that people in the Clinton camp haven't gotten to the acceptance stage.

From The Federalist, a report from a man who served under Trump's nominee for Secretary of Defense, retired General James Mattis.

From MSNBC, General Mattis has a "big legal obstacle" if he is to head the DOD.

From Yahoo News, the effort to name a street in Paris after Steve Jobs has hit some obstacles.

From the Daily Star, a gunman is at large in Paris after taking six hostages.

From FrontpageMag, why left-wing methods of fighting terrorism are unrealistic.

From National Review, beware the bear propaganda.

From WA Today, a Melbourne airport stops the construction of an Islamic school under a flight path leading to one of its runways.  (Since this source is Australian, I think that "WA" might stand for "Western Australia".)

From Watchdog(dot)org, Hampshire College has allowed its flag to return.  The Boston Globe has also covered this.

From Fox News, Israel gets their first whiskey distillery.

From the Belfast Telegraph, support grows for a moon village.

From the New York Post, a woman wants to be a mother, although she was born without a, well, just read the story.

From WQAD, be careful about downloading apps at a car lot.

From CNN, the CEO of the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline puts on a music festival in Cherokee, Texas.  (His last name might be ironic due to the name of that town.)

From Philly(dot)com, ends its probe of an alleged incident in which a student was knocked down by  men yelling "Trump!".

From The Detroit News, terror suspect Sebastian Gregorson gets hit with a new charge.

From The Times Of Israel, a stolen concentration camp gate is found in Norway.

From The New York Times, Gambia's president, in power for 22 years, loses his bid for re-election.

And from ESPN, Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown introduces his alter-ego.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Canadian Cops Unleash The Nickelback

The police in the small Canadian town of Kensington, Prince Edward Island have come up with a new way to make life even more unpleasant for anyone they arrest for drunk driving.  During your trip in the back seat of the police cruiser, if you are arrested on this specific charge, you will be subjected to music by Nickelback.  This might be called "cruel and unusual punishment", except for the fact that Canada, being separate from the United States, does not have the Eighth Amendment.  (It's possible that they have something analogous, but I'm not familiar with their constitution.)  On the other hand, any true fans of Nickelback who get to ride in a Kensington, PEI police car might find their experience temporarily enjoyable.  But in any event, if you've been enjoying Labatt Blue, Molson or Moosehead, take a good break or let someone else drive before you go running around the Maritime Provinces.

Read more at The Verge, CBC News, Quartz, Refinery29 and CNN.

Things I Don't Believe #2

This post will be devoted to a single topic, because of how much I had to write in order to explain what it is that I don't believe, and why I don't believe it.  The topic is the purported death of a certain musical celebrity, of which reports have been greatly exaggerated, as Mark Twain would say.

I do not believe that Paul McCartney was killed in a car accident in 1966, and replaced with a look-alike.

According to this conspiracy theory, the man currently known as Paul McCartney isn't really Paul McCartney.  This is because the original Paul McCartney, who played in a group called the Quarrymen, which later evolved into the Beatles, died in a car accident in late 1966.  The Beatles found a replacement in William Shears Campbell, a Scottish man who (depending on which version of the story you run across) had either won or came in second in a Paul McCartney look-alike contest.  Starting in 1967, the band started passing off Campbell as McCartney, perhaps with the help of some cosmetic surgery.  They also started to incorporate, into their songs and album cover artwork, clues to Paul's alleged death and replacement.  One early example of this would be the lyrics "the one and only Billy Shears" in the title song of their 1967 album Sargeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, allegedly giving a clue to Campbell's identity.  If this theory is true, it would mean that a man named Bill Campbell, after assuming McCartney's identity, married Linda Eastman and later Heather Mills, founded the band Wings, had a long solo career, was knighted, and is still around today.  Meanwhile, the "true" Paul McCartney has been pushing up daisies for fifty years (although no believer in all this, as far as I can tell, has ever tried to point out the location of his grave).

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The ACC Football Coach Of The Year Is....

....drum roll, please....

....Justin Fuente of Virginia Tech.

In just his first year as head coach of Virginia Tech's football team, Justin Fuente has been named Coach of the Year by the Atlantic Coast Conference.  The Hokies have finished the regular 12-game season at 9-3, the best since 2011, in the process winning the Coastal Division.  They will face Atlantic Division winner Clemson in the ACC Championship Game this coming Saturday.  Fuente had previous been the head coach at Memphis.

Read more at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, WDBJ, TechSideline and Hokiesports.