Thursday, June 30, 2016

Various And Sundry

A few assorted things in the news:

The state department asks for a 27-month delay for releasing Hillary's emails.

Was the Attorney General wrong to meet with Hillary's hubby?

Obama signs FOIA reform.

We still don't know where Obama was on 9/11/12.

It was a drill, it was only a drill.

Although not a member of any team, the man formerly known as "Johnny Football" gets suspended.

New laws take effect tomorrow in my neck of the woods.

Transgenders will be allowed to serve in the military.

Swedish police combat sexual assault by giving out bracelets.  This link comes via this site.  You can also click here.

The PA and Fatah honor a terrorist who killed a teenage girl while she was sleeping.

Netanyahu gives a statement on the murder of the teenage girl.

The victim was an American citizen.

The three suicide bombers who carried out the attack at the Istanbul airport came from three parts of the former Soviet Union.

Some history of terrorist attacks in Turkey.

Only one Doolittle raider survives.

Turkey influences Islam in Austria.

The U.S. State Department releases its human trafficking report.

A Belgian court rules that Facebook may track non-users who visit its pages.

A new use for an old wi-fi router.

A singer's wife admits, "we are weird".

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Suicide Bombers Strike Istanbul Airport

Two terrorists carried out a suicide attack at the security gate to the entrance of the Istanbul Ataturk Airport in Turkey, killing at least 10 people.  According to reports, one of the attackers opened fire, after which police returned fire.  The two terrorists then blew themselves up.  Up to 60 people have been reported injured.

Read more at CNN, Russia Today, The Guardian, Reuters and Al Jazeera.

UDPATE:  All five links above now indicate that 28 people have been killed.

UPDATE 2:  The Guardian now indicates 38 people killed.  Al Jazeera reports 31 killed.

UPDATE 3:  CNN and Al Jazeera now say 36 people killed.  The other three links say 41.  CNN also says that there were three attackers.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Monday Links

More Brexit aftermath, and other things going on out there:

From the Independent, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron rules out another referendum.

From FrontpageMag, the "paradigm is falling apart".

From Crain's Chicago Business, stocks and the British pound fall again.

From Market Watch, the pound could see new lows against the dollar.

From Gateway Pundit, columnist George Will, who recently left the GOP while bashing Trump (R-NY), had previous disfavored Ronald Reagan.

From PoliZette, "the hypocrites have left the building".

From WGN, Hillary Clinton (D-NY) campaigns today in Chicago.

From Fox News, musician Charlie Daniels shares his opinions.

From The Washington Post, President Obama has not done much to help U.S. diplomats harassed by Russia.  (via The Washington Free Beacon)

From Philly(dot)com, Philadelphia police investigate murders involving three different weapons, and one of them is arrested and fired after stealing $38 from a handyman.

From CNN, the Supreme Court has overturned the convictions of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) in an 8-0 vote.

From NBC News, SCOTUS also strikes down a Texas law regulating abortion clinics, in a 5-3 vote.  (via Hot Air)

From Asian Correspondent, a Malaysian woman stands up to religious policing.

From NBC DFW, 11 migrants from Cuba, allegedly armed with machetes, are detained by the Border Patrol.

From The Guardian, the judge who gave a six-month sentence to a Stanford swimmer for sexual assault wasn't so lenient with an immigrant from El Salvador.  (via the New York Post)

From CNS News, Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) wants legislation to limit the size of ammunition clips and magazines.

From the Daily Mail, ISIS hangs four people as "spies" and forces their families to watch.

From KGW, a man's intrusion into a Portland, Oregon home becomes his last mistake.  (via WQAD)

From Khaama Press, an attempt by five "militants" to plant a bomb at a mosque becomes their last mistake.

And from Wireda virtual reality field trip from Google.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Petition To Redo Brexit Vote Gathers Fraudulent Signatures

The Brexit vote occurred three days ago, but the losing side already wants a new referendum.  An online petition to Parliament has already produced 3,000,000 signatures, but about 77,000 have been removed as being fraudulent.  Many signatures have come from outside the United Kingdom, including 39,000 from Vatican City, even though that country has only about 800 citizens.

As an American, I recognize the right to petition my government for redress of grievances, but petitioning someone else's government is another matter entirely.

Read more at The Telegraph, The Guardian and the Mirror.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Music Brexit

To celebrate the Brexit, this music break will consist of songs by British artists.  To start, here's something from Fleetwood Mac, back when they were all British.  To my knowledge, Down At The Crown does not appear on their studio albums, but is included in the compilation Madison Blues.  The lead vocal is mostly from guitarist Danny Kirwan, who wrote the song, but one section is sung by keyboardist Christine McVie.  Jerry Spencer plays slide guitar.

Friday, June 24, 2016

United Kingdom Votes To Leave European Union

As noted in yesterday's post, updated very early this morning, the people of the United Kingdom have voted to leave the European Union.  In other words, they decided to make the Brexit a reality.  As a result, here come the stories:

First and foremost, from BBC News, the referendum results.  I admit to refreshing this page quite often yesterday evening.  The page includes a map by which local results can be searched.  Of the three areas where I've stayed in Great Britain, two (Eastbourne and Cornwall) voted to Leave, while the other (Stirling, Scotland) voted to Remain.

From Politico, how leaving the EU will work.

From National Review, the vote was "just the beginning" of the process.

From CNN, the whole process "will take at least 2 years".

From The Week, why the Brexit should scare Americans opposed to Donald Trump (R-NY), who just happens to be visiting Scotland right now.

From The Telegraph, the British have "defied their jailers", and the Brexit is "more impressive" than the French Revolution.

From the Express, Muslims in Calais, France throw a fit - and rocks.

From the New York Post, in response to the Brexit, American stock markets plunge.

From Roll Call, the Brexit deals a blow to President Obama, who had tried to warn the U.K. against leaving the E.U.

From the Belfast Telegraph, a huge compilation of news items.

And last but not least, from The Guardian, a video "political obituary" for Prime Minister David Cameron, who announced his resignation.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Brexit Vote And Other News

Today the people of the United Kingdom vote whether to stay in the European Union.  The result will be announced tomorrow.  Read more at USA Today.

Meanwhile here in the United States, House Democrats end their sit-in.  Read more at CNN.

In Baltimore, the police officer who drove the van in which Freddie Gray sustained fatal injuries has been acquitted of all charges against him.  Read more at The Baltimore Sun.

The U.S. Supreme Court has voted 4-4 with regard to President Obama's executive amnesty.  The tie vote leaves in place a lower court ruling against his attempt to provide "quasi-legal status" to illegal immigrants.  Read more at Politico.

UPDATE:  A Los Angeles jury has ruled that Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven was not plagiarized from Spirit's Taurus.  Read more at the Rolling Stone.

UPDATE 2:  Just after the polls close in the U.K., UKIP leader Nigel Farange "concedes defeat" as a YouGov poll has Remain at 52% and Leave at %48.  (This is not the official result, which will be announced tomorrow.)  Read more at the Daily Mail, and if you scroll down to look at some pictures, you might think that former London Mayor Boris Johnson looks a bit like American presidential candidate Donald Trump.

UPDATE 3:  Here's something worth adding because it's literally from out of this world.  Observations taken with the Hubble Telescope have confirmed that Neptune has a new dark spot.  Read more at Phys(dot)org.

UPDATE 4:  It appears that UPDATE 2 has been overruled.  According to projections, Leave will win the Brexit referendum with about 51.5% of the vote.  As I write this paragraph, it's about 20 minutes past midnight and thus June 24.  Looks like I'll have plenty to post about later today.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Why There Might Be A Brexit Tomorrow

Tomorrow, the United Kingdom will vote on whether to stay within the European Union (EU), the possible leave being called "Brexit".  Among the arguments for leaving is that the Union's commissioners, an un-elected body of bureaucrats, have legislative power over the ordinary affairs of the people of the member states, without any accountability thereto.  As Jonah Goldberg, who finds some parallels here in the United States, points out in National Review:
The European Union’s bureaucracy and paper-parliament were set up to be as insulated as possible from the concerns of actual voters. Representatives to the European Parliament are selected by party elites as a kind of highbrow patronage. They invariably defer to the permanent bureaucracy, which acts like a transnational cartel, one that happens to be composed of governments. As Daniel Hannan, the rare Euroskeptic skunk to infiltrate the garden party that is the EU parliament, put it, “faced with a choice between democracy and supra-nationalism, the EU will always choose supra-nationalism.”
The rules flowing out of Brussels are in no way the source of all of Britain’s economic and social challenges, but when diktats come down about everything from the proper curvature of bananas to age requirements for the usage of balloons, you can understand why some Brits might be tempted to have their own version of a Boston Tea Party.
Imagine if NAFTA had set up a bureaucracy under which unelected officials had the power to control the lives and economic affairs of ordinary Americans, Canadians and Mexicans, and determine such things as the immigration and trade policies of the United States, Canada and Mexico.  Imagine if gradually more and more powers currently belonging to each national legislature were transferred to these NAFTA bureaucrats.  Now imagine if the citizens of the three countries had no recourse when the commissioners enacted something unpopular.  If you can imagine all of that, you know what the British and other Europeans are dealing with.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Ithaca Falls

The third and last waterfall I visited in Ithaca was the city's namesake falls.  Ithaca Falls, on Fall Creek, is located just west of the Cornell University campus.  It can be reached by a short walk from a small parking lot on Lake Street, next to a neighborhood north of downtown Ithaca and west of Cornell.  As I approached, I took this picture of the falls behind some trees.

I stepped past the trees and got the next shot.  As you can see, I wasn't alone.

Here's the north face of the canyon just below the falls.

I got a bit closer to the south edge of the falls.

On my way out, I took a shot of this cairn.

For more about Ithaca Falls, go here, here, here and here.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Links For The Solstice

I interrupt my tour of waterfalls in Ithaca, New York to bring you some tidbits in the news:

A Taliban suicide bombing kills 14 Nepalese security guards.

Iranian authorities claim to have stopped a terrorist plot.

U.S. authorities will release a partial transcript of the Orlando shooter's 911 calls.

What the transcript won't include.  UPDATE:  The full transcript is released.

How Democrats disarm us by suppressing the truth.

Anti-Trump Republicans make their pitch.

Speaking of Donald Trump (R-NY), he and his campaign manager go their separate ways.

Over 1000 people meet via conference call to discuss unbinding GOP (and thus Trump) delegates.

An archivist in Harlem discovers letters written by Barack Obama the Elder.  (via here)

A solar-powered airplane leaves New York and heads for Spain.

In Pakistan, a cop beats a Christian pastor for "exuberant worship".

In Saudi Arabia, Ramadan iftar dinners bring "massive food waste".

Turkish President Erdogan sues people for insulting him.

Erdogan "condemns" the attack at a Radiohead concert in Turkey.

A Christian pastor gets a nasty phone message after putting a Ramadan greeting on his church's sign.

A warning about Muslim immigrants who favor Sharia - from the daughter of Muslim immigrants.

In Syria, ISIS crucifies "Ramadan violators" daily.

ISIS calls for attacks on American military bases.

Talk about Justice Clarence Thomas retiring is "bogus", as pointed out by his wife.

Hundreds of Japanese people suffer from "earthquake sickness".

And to finish, in his back yard, a teenager finds, not badger, not a mushroom, but it's a snake, a snake!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Wells Falls

After leaving Buttermilk Falls State Park, I drove over to Wells Falls, located along Giles Street east of downtown Ithaca.  Pretty close to this waterfall is a small parking lot for the Mulholland Wildflower Preserve, but it was full, so I continued westward down Giles and found a parking space along the street.  I thus had to hike for a bit, but at least it wasn't uphill.

Wells Falls is also known as Businessman's Lunch, and is located next to an abandoned hydroelectric plant along Six Mile Creek.  Its uppermost section is formed by a dam, which was probably used to divert water into the power plant.  The bridge behind and above the dam is part of Giles Street.

After flowing through the relatively level area below the dam, the water continues downward.

The old power plant stands over the water, while being eaten by the forest.

Since I'd had enough of un-level hiking, I didn't go down to the bottom of the falls, but instead returned to my parked car.  Near my parking space was the Columbia Street Bridge, which transverses the Six Mile Creek gorge, about a thousand feet (by my rough estimation) downstream of the falls.

For more on Wells Falls, watch this YouTube video.

Buttermilk Falls

During my western New York state childhood, I had traveled to Ithaca a few times, to see places such as Sapsucker Woods, but had no idea that the city included a bunch of waterfalls.  I recently returned to the area to check a few of them out.

Buttermilk Falls, in the state park of the same name, is located just off New York state highways 13, 34 and 96, which combine into a single road south of downtown Ithaca.  The falls is really a series of cascades separated by relatively level sections of Buttermilk Creek.  This is the lower end of the falls, with a pool just in front of it.  (No swimming was allowed that day.)  To the right is part of the Gorge Trail.

On the downstream side of the pool are these structures, which look like they might have supported a bridge at one time.

To reach the Gorge Trail, I walked across a bridge that took me in front of the falls, the pool, and the old bridge supports.

Here's another section of the falls, seen from an overlook along the Gorge Trail.

Looking back down from the overlook, I could see the bridge that I had crossed, the pool, and two girls trying to catch some sun.

Further up the Gorge Trail, and I do mean "up", is another section of the falls.  The trail, still on the right, includes numerous flights of stone stairs.

I eventually reached this bridge, here viewed looking downstream, which took me across the creek to the Rim Trail.  This allowed me to return to the park's lower parking lot by a different route.  I had gone maybe another hundred yards up the Gorge Trail beyond this bridge.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Song For The Tube

If you've ever visited London and taken a ride on the Underground, a.k.a. the Tube, you've probably noted the names of quite a few stations.  If so, you'll appreciate this little ditty by British musician Jay Foreman, which mentions every single one of them, or so he claims.  Here's a map for your convenience, if you want to check to see if he indeed got them all.

The next time you're in London, happy Tubing!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Philadelphia To Tax Soda

The place known as the "city of brotherly love" has apparently lost some of its love for carbonated beverages.  Philadelphia has passed a 1.5 cent/ounce tax on sodas, both sugary and artificially sweetened, which will take effect this coming January 1st.  This will be in addition to the 8% sales tax that is already in force.  Philadelphia will thus become the second American city to tax soda, after Berkeley, California.  City officials estimate this new tax will bring in about $90 million.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Two More Attacks

Two attacks have occurred today, possibly related to jihad, on opposite sides of the Big Pond.

In Rennes, France, a Muslim man stabbed a teenage girl, later claiming that "voices told him" to make a "sacrifice" for Ramadan.  He had previously spent time in psychiatric hospitals.

Read more at the Daily Star, Vanguard, the Daily Mail and the Express (via Jihad Watch).

In Amarillo, Texas, a Somali man entered a Walmart and took at least one person hostage, and was later killed by a SWAT unit.  The incident has been described as "workplace violence".

Read more at MySA, Reuters, Fox News and ABC7.

Links For Flag Day

Today is Flag Day, and the anniversary of the creation of the United States Army.  Here are some things going on, including yet more information about the Orlando attack and its perpetrator:

From Sons Of Liberty Media, 17 facts about the Orlando shooter.

From The Washington Free Beacon, analysts regard the Orlando shooting as a failure of President Obama's "politically correct" counter-terrorism policies.

In TownHall, David Limbaugh lambastes Obama's speech responding to the shooting.

From Politico, Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) hasn't yet heard from Obama.

From TMZ, although the shooter's ex-wife can't quite say it, "signs pointed" to the shooter being gay.

From the Express, his wife thought that he was "scouting Downtown Disney", and he was a "regular" at the Pulse.  (Not his ex, as in the above link, but his current wife.)

From NBC News, his wife tried to talk him out of it, but was with him when he purchased the ammunition.  (via the New York Daily News)

From Bearing Arms, contrary to popular misconception, the attacker did not use an AR-15.

From The Federalist, Chick-Fil-A's response to the Orlando attack.

From Ya Libnan, the Iranian army clashes with "opposition forces" in two parts of that country.

From Press TV, Turkey will not cooperate with Kurdish groups in Syria.

From Fraud Of The Day, a Maryland woman filed fraudulent tax returns on behalf of soldiers who were clients of her investment firm.  (via Watchdog(dot)org)

From The Washington Times, one charge is dropped against anti-abortion investigator David Daleiden.

From Canada Free Press, Hillary Clinton (D-NY) is "Saudi Arabia's president of choice", as a prince claims that the kingdom has funded 20% of her campaign.  RedState questions this allegation.

From the New York Post, Donald Trump (R-NY) turns 70 today, thus qualifying twice under the presidential age requirement.

From The Washington Post, Russian hackers penetrated the DNC.

From Medical Xpress, Penn State prepares their medical students for the "third science".

And from BT, eight weird things taken into space by British astronaut Tim Peake.

Monday, June 13, 2016

More On Orlando

Some more information about, and reaction to, the Orlando night club shooting has come out:

In FrontpageMag, Robert Spencer calls the shooting a "Ramadan massacre".

In National Review, Andrew McCarthy explains that the motivation to kill gays doesn't originate with ISIS.

In Conservative Review, Michelle Malkin gives her opinion on America's immigration and anti-terror policies.

From Counter Jihad, the shooter worked for a "major DHS contractor".

From the Daily Mail, the shooter's father makes a statement on video.

From Law Newz, how the shooter was able to buy guns, even while under FBI scrutiny.

From Florida Today, a former co-worker says that the man "frequently made homophobic and racial comments".

From the New York Post, the "final moments" of the Orlando massacre.

From CBS Chicago, the dead victims have all been removed from the night club.

From The Roanoke Times, sadly, my alma mater can relate:
For the Virginia Tech campus, it was a difficult, painful label to carry: the site of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
But it was also a label the community never wanted to have to pass on to another.
And from the city of Orlando's website (H/T Sue from New Mexico), the names of the victims.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Terrorist Kills 50 At Gay Night Club

Early this morning, a terrorist killed 50 people and wounded more than 50 others at a gay night club in Orlando, Florida.  The death toll had been reported at 20, but was later upgraded.  The shooter reportedly wore a "device", possibly a suicide vest.  He was killed in a shootout with police, and identified as Omar Mateen, born in New York City in 1986 to parents from Afghanistan.

Read more at NBC News, CBS Miami, WHAS11, The Washington Post and the Daily Mail.

Heavy has compiled "5 fast facts" about the shooter.

UPDATE:  Some more information has come in:

From Gateway Pundit, this is not the first Islamic attack on gays in America.

From Twitchy, citing NBC News as their source, before the attack, the shooter swore allegiance to ISIS.

From Breitbart's Big Government, the night club was a gun-free zone under Florida law.

And from Recode, what lies ahead in the investigation.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Alabama House Speaker Convicted Of Ethics Violations

Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R) has been convicted of 12 felony ethics violations, and acquitted of 11 other charges, in a trial that lasted 12 days.  His actions which led to the charges included using his office to solicit money or business, and voting on a bill which involved a conflict of interest.  Due to the convictions being felonies, he is automatically removed from office.  Sentencing is scheduled for July 8.

In an ironic twist (noted by several sources linked below), Hubbard had helped bring about the ethics reforms under which he was charged.  This should be a lesson to all elected legislators.  When making or changing laws, you should realize that you'll have to obey them.

Read more at CNN, AL(dot)com, the Montgomery Advertiser, ABC News and CBS News.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Colleges Deal With Transgender Issues

It looks like the transgender controversy might spread from bathrooms to dorm rooms.  From AOL, who cite Thomson Reuters as their source:
As lawmakers across the United States battle over whether to allow transgender Americans to use public restrooms that match their gender identities, universities are scrambling to ensure that dorms meet federal standards.
At a time of year when the nation's 2,100 residential colleges and universities are sorting out student housing assignments, they also are poring over a May letter from the Obama administration that thrusts them into the national debate on transgender rights.
Known as the "dear colleague" letter, it makes clear that federal law protects transgender students' right to live in housing that reflects their gender identity.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Some More Stuff

Some more stuff in the news:

First and foremost, four people were killed yesterday in a terror attack in Tel Aviv, Israel.

One of the terrorists was "yelling about Allah".

Will there be a referendum on Iraqi Kurdistan?

A Nigerian man almost loses an eye for not observing Ramadan.

ISIS executes a "wizard".

During the trial of a Bosnian general, a witness claims to have been forced to kiss a severed head.

Four out of five migrants in Germany are undocumented.

Israel observes Shavuot.

Yes, we really like reading negative stories about Hillary Clinton.

The cause of Muhammad Ali's death might be a surprise.

A former House Speaker says "give Bernie some space."

President Obama makes his endorsement.

An Iowa state senator leaves the GOP over Donald Trump's criticism of a federal judge.

The campus sexual assault problem has a cultural source.

Why the Stanford rape case is unusual.

Prince Charles faces criticism for his role in the sale of British fighters to Saudi Arabia.

This gal is not a circus act, but a real live bearded lady.

Here's what you can make out of Lego blocks.  Geronimo!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Oil Wells Of Los Angeles

When thinking of the sources of American oil, the places that come to mind include the Gulf Coast, Pennsylvania (as place-names such as "Oil City" might remind us), Texas, and the North Slope of Alaska.  But according to the following YouTube video, we should also think of Los Angeles.

It's interesting that while the California government has been preparing legislation under which businesses can be sued for "deceiving" or "misleading" about climate change, their largest city has been producing quite a bit of fossil fuels, which according to government-approved opinion, leads to man-made carbon dioxide and its contribution to climate change.

The presence of liquid hydrocarbons under Los Angeles shouldn't be too much of a surprise for anyone who has heard of the La Brea Tar Pits.  But even so, I wanted to find some corroboration, and found it here, here and here.

A Bit Of Stupidity

As long as there are people, there will be stupidity.  Here are just two recent examples:

In Yellowstone National Park's Norris Geyser Basin, someone decided to leave the designated walkway, and appears to have learned that hot springs really are hot.

Meanwhile in Besançon, France, two guys decided to rob the local Mickey D's, and found themselves dealing with an elite unit of the Gendarmerie.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Hillary Clinton Clinches Nomination (Unless You Exclude Superdelegates)

Although the campaign of Bernie Sanders (I-VT) might beg to differ, former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D-NY) has clinched her party's presidential nomination by reaching a delegate count of 2,383.  This number includes pledged delegates and superdelegates.  However, a Sanders spokesman has stated that the superdelegates should not be counted, because they won't vote on the nomination until the Democrat convention.

Read more at The Blaze and The Hill.

If you're wondering what the difference is between a regular delegate and superdelegate, you're not alone.  Fortunately, Briefing 2016, NBC News, CBS News and The Guardian are all happy to explain.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Some Stuff

It seems I wanted a different title for a links post, so I came up with one based on the alternate name of the site from which the first link comes.  So with that, here's some stuff:

From The Dominion Post, New Zealand experiences Armageddon.

From Swissinfo, the Swiss reject paying people for existing.

From Real Clear Politics, Donald Trump (R-NY) thinks President Obama is hurting our military's ability to fight ISIS.

From Pat Dollard, the Philippine president-elect tells his citizens to get tough on drug dealers.  This is also being reported by The Big Story.

From ABC News (where "A" stands for "Australian"), a Christian grocer in Bangla Desh is hacked to death.  Also reported by BDNews.

From The Express Tribune, an Ahmadi doctor is gunned down in Attock, Pakistan.

From The Times Of Israel, the Israeli attorney general opens an investigation into allegations that Prime Minister Netanyahu accepted an illegal donation.

From Rudaw, Turkey adopts a "preventative strike" policy against the PKK.

From CNN, Novak Djokovic wins the French Open.

From US Daily Review, the National Spelling Bee ends in a two-way tie.

From WGN, Pope Francis canonizes two new saints, including a woman who hid Jews during World War II.

From The Telegraph, how the European Union has changed.

From TechCrunch, Finland has a hot startup scene and Bose has wireless headphones.

From Natural News, if you have a cough, drink some pineapple juice.

From Fox News, the rain is letting up, but there's still a danger of flooding in Texas.

From ABC News (where "A" stands for "American"), meanwhile in Paris, the floodwaters start to recede.

And from CBS Chicago, the Chicago Park District has won a gardening competition in Ireland.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Muhammad Ali 1942-2016

Muhammad Ali, three-time heavyweight boxing champion and sometimes controversial civil rights figure, has died after being hospitalized in Scottsdale, Arizona.  He had been placed on life support yesterday evening.  Ali had battled Parkinson's disease for over 30 years.

Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. was born in Louisville, Kentucky and started has amateur boxing career at age 12 in 1954.  He won six Kentucky Gold Glove titles, two national Gold Glove titles, and the light-heavyweight gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.  He turned professional and ran up a 19-0 record before successfully challenging the reigning heavyweight champion Sonny Liston in 1964.  Afterwards, Clay converted to Islam, joined the Nation of Islam, and changed his name to Muhammad Ali.  Due to his new religious beliefs, Ali declared himself to be a conscientious objector to the draft and to the war in Vietnam.  In 1967, he was arrested, charged and convicted of draft dodging, and had his boxing licence suspended.  The conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court in 1971.  He resumed boxing in 1970 and lost for the first time in 1971, to Joe Frazier, whom he would twice defeat later during that decade.  He retired from boxing in 1981 with a record of 56 wins and 5 losses.

During his career, Ali called himself "The Greatest", and was known for the slogan "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee".  In 1975, he converted to Sunni Islam, the largest sect of that religion, and later embraced Sufism.  In 1996, he was given the honor of lighting the torch at the start of the Olympics in Atlanta.

Ali was married four times and had nine children, including one by adoption.  In 1986, he married his fourth wife, the former Yolanda Williams, having first met her in 1964.  Ali's funeral will be held in his hometown of Louisville.

Read more at ESPN, NBC News, Reuters, the Daily Mail and the Bowling Green Daily News (who cite the Associated Press as their source).

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Worst From The San Jose Anti-Trumpers

Lots of unpleasant things happened yesterday at a rally for Donald Trump in San Jose, California, as anti-Trump protesters (including some illegal aliens) became violent.  Quite a few things were posted on Twitter, but the Independent Journal compiled a list of the 11 worst.  Read the full story, and prepare to be outraged and/or disgusted.

For what it's worth, I'm not that much of a Trump supporter.  There are really two things I like about him.  First, he seems to have shown concern for the families of Americans killed by illegal aliens.  Second, he's not Hillary Clinton.  This means that for the most part, I'll have to choose, once again, between the lesser of two evils this coming November.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Ryan Endorses Trump

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee has garnered the support of the vice presidential candidate from four years ago.  Or to put it simply, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) has endorsed Donald Trump (R-NY).

The story has been reported by CNN, CNBC, The Washington Post and Business Insider, but Ryan himself announced his support for Trump in an op-ed for the Janesville GazetteXtra.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Swiss Complete World's Longest Tunnel

After 17 years of construction and $12 billion in costs, the Swiss have completed the Gotthard Base Tunnel, which brings its own set of superlatives.  From WUIS:
The Gotthard Base Tunnel — a record-setting 35.4 miles long, and farther below ground than any other tunnel — was inaugurated Wednesday. The occasion was marked with a celebration that promoted "Swiss values such as innovation, precision and reliability," as the tunnel's website puts it.
Like the "chunnel", which runs between France and Britain under the English Channel, this new tunnel will accommodate trains.  One other thing to note, also from WUIS:
The $12 billion project was completed on time, The Associated Press notes.
You have to tip your hat to those Swiss workers.  Read the full story from WUIS.  Also reporting on this story are CNN, the Independent and The Telegraph.