Friday, September 30, 2016

Man Drives Into Potomac

White's Ferry is a ferry across the Potomac River.  The Maryland side is near the town of Dickerson.  This morning on the Maryland side, someone drove his car through a closed gate, onto the ferry, and then into the river.  The car was later recovered and the driver charged with DUI.  The ferry was closed for several hours.

Read more at NBC Washington, WTOP and The Washington Post.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Yes, Virginia, There Is Voter Fraud

I must admit that this story gave me a bit of a scare, because my late father lived in Virginia.  Reading further, I realized that he was not affected, since he did not live in the city of Harrisonburg, where 19 people who are no longer with us were still somehow able to register to vote.

Read more at The Washington Post and the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Congress Overrides Obama Veto Of JASTA

Today the Senate and House of Representatives both voted to override President Obama's veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA).  First, the Senate voted 97-1 in favor of the override.  The House the followed with a vote of 348-77 to override.  Both tallies were easily in excess of the 2/3 necessary to override a presidential veto.  This is the first time that Congress has overriden an Obama veto.

Harry Reid (D-NV) was the only Senator to vote to sustain the veto.  Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Tim Kaine (D-VA), the latter currently the Democrat nominee for Vice President, did not vote.

Read more at Real Clear Politics, the International Business Times, CNN Money, Politico and Russia Today.  (Yes, a Russian source has reported on this story.)

Shimon Peres 1923-2016

Shimon Peres, who had served as Israel's President and Prime Minister, has died at the age of 93 at the Sheba medical center near Tel Aviv.  He had suffered a stroke two weeks earlier.  His condition reportedly improved, but then suddenly deteriorated.

Szymon Perski was born in Wiszniew, Poland (now Vishnyeva, Belarus) to a timber merchant father and a librarian mother.  His father emigrated to Mandatory Palestine in 1932, with the rest of the family following in 1934.  During the 1940's, he worked as a dairy farmer, shepherd and kibbutz secretary, and was also the secretary of a Labor Zionist movement.  He served in the Haganah (predecessor of the IDF) and later in several positions in the Ministry of Defense.  In 1959, he was elected to the Knesset as a member of the Mapai party.  He eventually severed in four different cabinet positions, twice as Prime Minister, and as President.

In 1945, Peres married Sonya Gelman, who had served as a truck driver in the British military during World War II.  She died of heart failure in 2011.  They had three children.

Read more at BBC News, The Guardian, The Times Of Israel, Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post.

Monday, September 26, 2016

"Delete It"

Although it's been around for a month, I just ran across this today.  This little ditty, entitled Delete It, is a parody of Beat It by Michael Jackson, and was put on YouTube by Demand The Outdoors.

You can also watch the video on YouTube.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Arnold Palmer 1929-2016

Earlier today, golf legend Arnold Palmer passed away at the age of 87 in the UPMC Shadyside hospital in Pittsburgh, reportedly from complications due to heart problems.

Arnold Palmer was born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and learned golf from his father, a professional greenskeeper.  He entered Wake Forest on a golf scholarship, but left school during his senior year after his friend and teammate Bud Worsham died in a traffic accident.  He enlisted in the Coast Guard for three years.  He returned to golf, winning the Ohio Amateur in 1953 and 1954, and the U.S. Amateur in 1954.  In 1955, he turned pro and achieved his first win in the Canadian Open.  He would eventually win 62 PGA tournaments (fifth all-time), including 7 majors.

Palmer was also an avid pilot, logging almost 20,000 flight hours.  He was married to the former Winifred "Winnie" Walzer, from 1954 until her death in 1999.  In 2005, he married Kathleen Gawthrop, who now survives him.

Read more at Golf Week, Golf, Golf Digest, CBS Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

New Jersey Runners Run In New York

Runners who had signed up for the cancelled Seaside Semper Five Marine Corps Charity 5K race in Seaside Park, New Jersey, which was cancelled due to a terrorist bombing, took part in the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers run in New York City.  The race commemorates a New York fireman who ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to reach the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001.

As noted five days ago in the Asbury Park Press, the Seaside park racers were allowed to take part in the New York race for no fee.

Read the full story at NorthJersey(dot)com, NBC New York and Newsday.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Obama Vetoes 9/11 Bill

Today President Obama vetoed a bill that would allow the families of 9/11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia in U.S. courts, to determine if that country was liable for supporting the terrorists who carried out the attacks.  The bill was passed overwhelmingly in both houses of Congress, where leaders of both parties have stated their intentions to hold an override vote.  Overriding a presidential veto requires a 2/3 votes in favor of the bill, in both houses.

Read more at The Hill, NBC News, The Washington Post, Al Jazeera and BBC News.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wednesday Links

Some things in the news:

From Tulsa World, PCP was found in the car of a man fatally shot by police in Tulsa.

From the Daily Mail, Anthony Weiner's latest sexcapade allegedly involves a 15-year-old girl.

From The Huffington Post, scientists believe they know how Pluto got its heart-shaped region.

From The Politistick, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) reacts to President Obama's recent speech at the U.N.

From PoliZette, an opinion that an inaccurate Tweet by Hillary Clinton might have contributed to the unrest in Charlotte, NC.

From The Washington Free Beacon, Hillary's husband was paid $260,000 for a speech by a trade group that would benefit from the Clinton Foundation.  (Isn't it interesting how the "spread the wealth around" and "stop income inequality" factions of the left don't seem to have much to say about the Clintons?  Or did I miss it when they did?)

From The Guardian, the U.K. economy is doing quite well in spite of all those dire post-Brexit predictions.

From the Express, protesters call Sharia courts in the U.K. "discriminatory".

From USA Today, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani calls President Obama and former Secretary of State Clinton "derelict" in the fight against terror.

From National Review, Jonah Goldberg explains how Obama's "trolling" helped fuel the political rise of Donald Trump (R-NY).

From The Jerusalem Post, schools have been evacuated in Prince Edward Island, Canada due to a "potential threat".

From Fox News, a cafeteria worker at a Pennsylvania school quits over a "lunch shaming" policy.

From the Mirror, ISIS executes six boys with welding rods.

From Philly(dot)com, a woman in Philadelphia admits planning to abandon her kids and join ISIS.

From FrontpageMag, Milo Yiannopoulos explains the alt-right.

From Breitbart London, the Hungarian government calls London and other cities "no-go" zones.

From Russia Today, in Syria, a U.S. coalition Predator drone was spotted near a humanitarian convoy when it was attacked.

And from The Washington Post, a Falls Church, Virginia man was a little hard on the beaver.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

More Information Emerges About Rahami - And His Family

In the case of Ahmad Kahn Rahami, suspected of being involved in the New York and New Jersey bombings, two more developments were brought to light earlier today.

From The New York Times, Rahami's father told police that Rahami might be involved in terrorism, two years ago.

And from the Daily News, Rahami's wife and mother left the United States "just days before" the two attacks.

Monday, September 19, 2016

In New York, Bystander Helps First Responders

This guy gets my vote for coolest dude in New York City, for giving several bags full of coffee and other goodies to first responders at the site of the explosion in Chelsea.  Due to the width of the video, I can't easily embed it here, but you can go to the New York Post and watch it there.

If you know about anyone else who similarly made Saturday evening just a little bit easier for the NYPD, NYFD or EMTs, please let the world know.

More Bombs Found, Suspect Identified

Early this morning, five pipe bombs were found in a backpack left on a trash can in the Elizabeth, New Jersey railroad station.  One of them exploded when police tried to disarm it using a robot.

In other news, five people were arrested in connection with the bombs in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York city.  Another suspect, identified as Ahmad Khan Rahami, is still at large.  Rahami was born in Afghanistan, and is a naturalized U.S. citizen residing in New Jersey.

Read more at The New York Times, New York Mag, NBC News, Russia Today and The Sun.

UPDATE:  Rahami has been captured, as reported by ABC7NY.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Explosion In New York City Injures Dozens

In the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City, at around 8:30 p.m. this evening, an explosion took place reportedly inside a dumpster, which blew out windows in a nearby building that houses a facility for services for the blind.  Two cars also had their back windows blown out.  A reported 26 people were injured, with one seriously injured.

Although police have not said definitely that the explosion originated in the dumpster, it appears to be similar to an earlier incident in New Jersey, in which a bomb went off in a garbage can.  There is no indication as of this posting that the two events are in any way related.

Read more at ABC7NY, NBC New York, PIX11 and the New York Post.

UPDATE:  The total number of injured people is now reported to be 29.  The bombing has been called "intentional".  A second unexploded device has been discovered.  NBC New York has changed the url to their story, so I have edited the link accordingly.

In New Jersey, Pipe Bomb Explodes In Garbage Can

In Seaside Park, New Jersey, a reported pipe bomb exploded inside a garbage can along the route of the Seaside Park Semper Five 5K Charity Run, resulting in the cancellation of the race.  The nearby area was placed under lockdown, with some homes being evacuated.  The town's beach and boardwalk were also evacuated.  Other devices were found in the garbage can, but had not detonated.  No injuries have been reported.

Read more at PIX11, CBS New York, CNN, Philly(dot)com and NJ(dot)com.

Friday, September 16, 2016

X-Rays Detected From Pluto

The dwarf planet Pluto, recently visited by the New Horizons spacecraft, has given us another surprise.  NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has detected x-rays from Pluto, thought to be the result of solar wind hitting its thin cold atmosphere.  Normally, gases have to be very hot to emit x-rays.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Just A Thought

Sometimes, you need to take something with a grain of salt.  Other times, you might need to use an entire salt shaker.  But when things get really weird, you may have to consult Mrs. Lot.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Gilpin's Falls Covered Bridge

Located just off Maryland highway 272, Gilpin's Falls covered bridge spans North East Creek a few miles north of North East, MD and is the state's longest remaining covered bridge.  When MD-272 was constructed in 1936, the bridge was bypassed.  The bridge was originally built in 1860 and refurbished in 1959, 1989 and 2009-2010.  There were also some repairs done in 1971 due to vandals kicking out some of its boards.

Here's the bridge from the south, with MD-272 on the left.  The five wooden posts on the near end prevent cars and trucks from going through.

Looking directly through the bridge, you can see three of the five posts on the far end.

The east side of the bridge was in sunlight.

Each side had a row of eight rectangular openings.  These are on the east side.

Immediately east and downstream from the bridge is this little pond, contained in part by the concrete dam to the right.

For more information, go to Maryland Covered Bridges.  If you want to see the bridge, go to Interstate 95 in Maryland, get off at exit 100, and take MD-272 north.  After about a mile, the bridge will be on your right.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Hillary Clinton's Double

In 1993, the strange twists and turns of national politics gave an advertising executive named Teresa Barnwell a chance to quit her day job.  As Americans got to know the new president Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary, some people started to notice the resemblance Barnwell had to the First Lady.  As a result, she left her job to become a full-time Hillary Clinton impersonator.  The two would meet for the first and only time in 1996.

A careful eye can discern the differences between the two.  At 61, Barnwell is seven years younger than Clinton.  Barnwell is a bit slimmer, and has a slightly thinner nose.  As result of these differences, or maybe in spite of them, there has been some speculation that after Clinton left the 9/11 memorial ceremony this past Sunday, where she had to be helped into a van, it was Barnwell pretending to be Clinton who later came back from Chelsea Clinton's apartment claiming to be feeling better and receiving a hug from a little girl.

To judge for yourself, read more at The Sun, the Daily Mail, Heavy, Inquisitr and The Desert Sun.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Wesołego Dnia Jana Sobieskiego

Or in English, Happy Jan Sobieski Day.  On today's date in 1683, the Polish king Jan Sobieski, having led an army of Poles, Germans and Austrians to the vicinity of Vienna the day before (9/11), attacked and defeated the Turks, who had been besieging the city for about two months.  Some of the Turks retreated rather hastily, leaving behind supplies of hard brown beans from which they brewed a hot beverage. Thus, central Europe was allowed to remain Christian instead of becoming Islamic, and western civilization started to drink coffee.

Czytaj więcej, I mean, read more at Badass Of The Week (NSFW language), Encyclopædia Britannica, New Advent, HistoryNet and Utica Phoenix.

Linguistic note:  Polish and most other Slavic languages are case-inflected, similarly to Latin and Greek.  Thus, the form of a noun and any adjective(s) modifying it changes to indicate the noun's grammatical function.  The genitive case is mainly used to convey the notion "of".  In this way, the idea of "of Jan Sobieski" is rendered "Jana Sobieskiego".  The genitive has other functions, including greetings and wishes.  Thus, "wesoły dzień" ("happy day") becomes "wesołego dnia" (literally "of a happy day").  The result of all this is that all four words of this post's title are in the genitive.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Hillary Clinton Has "Medical Episode"

Presidential candidate and former Senator from New York Hillary Clinton reportedly had a "medical episode" at a 9/11 memorial service this morning, causing her to leave early.  She also seemed to stumble and possibly faint as she was helped into the van in which she would ride away.  She went to her daughter Chelsea's home and eventually felt much better.  In this video from InfoWars, Paul Joseph Watson shows what happened just before Clinton entered the van.  InfoWars is one of those sites which I regard with a bit of NaCl, but you can watch and decide for yourself.  Watson also alleges that various media outlets are covering up the full extent of Clinton's problems.  (H/T Sue from New Mexico for the Tweet)

[video deleted]

As for the media coverage or lack thereof, you can likewise decide for yourself by reading more at The Washington Post, Fox News, Russia Today, CNN and the Sunday Express.

UPDATE:  The InfoWars video has been taken down due to a copyright claim, so I've removed it since would now do nothing more than take up space.  Some of the same footage of Hillary Clinton being helped into the van also appears in the links from The Washington Post and CNN, so the claim appears to be justified.

Tributes To 9/11

Today is the 15 anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001, when 19 terrorists from al-Qaeda hijacked four airplanes and flew two of them into the World Trade Center in New York City and one into the Pentagon.  The fourth, due to resistance by passengers and the crew, crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

At the time, I worked about a mile from the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.  I did not learn what was going on until after both WTC towers had been hit (thanks to a co-worker having a portable battery-powered TV, with a screen about three inches wide).  I was thus spared the uncertainty after the first plane hit, when people wondered if a horrible accident had occurred, only to realize when the second plane hit that we were indeed under attack.  While we could see smoke rising from the Pentagon, there was some confusion due to reports of a nearby gas station being on fire, and a fire occurring on the Mall in Washington, DC.  Both of those reports turned out wrong.  One co-worker thought that he had seen a plane flying strangely low as he drove into work, and thus may have seen the plane which hit the Pentagon.  Eventually, there were reports about a plane crashing in Pennsylvania, and questions about other planes still being in flight, which could possibly be used in more kamikaze-style attacks.  Eventually, the media sorted out the details.  Nineteen people hijacked four planes with the intention of crashing them into the World Trade Center (which had been bombed eight years earlier), the Pentagon, and one other target, possibly the White House.

Here are some tributes and reflections on 9/11/2001:

From Newsmax, the United States remembers the victims.

From CNN, Hillary Clinton, at the time New York's junior Senator, calls the scene in New York the closest thing to hell that she had ever seen.

From the Rockford Register Star, the 9/11 anniversary is a "valuable reminder of the cost of freedom".

From SlipTalk, 22 facts about 9/11.

From the New York Post, "the wounds that healed and the threat the continues".

From HealthZette, a man who spent weeks at Ground Zero says, "Prepare for the worst."

From Breitbart's Big Government, "a visual remembrance" of 9/11.

From Fox News, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson says that the United States is safer than we were on 9/11, but are "challenged" by lone wolf attacks.

From The Clarion Project, is al-Qaeda's 20-year plan "coming to fruition"?

From Marathon Pundit, a brief tribute, with a picture of a 9/11 memorial.

And from Holger Awakens, we will never forget, including a video.

Friday, September 9, 2016

33-Year-Old Murder Case Finally Solved?

In 1983, a 92-year-old veteran of  World War I living in Buffalo, New York was strangled to death with his own neckties, but noone was charged with the murder.  Thanks to DNA analysis, the case may finally have been solved.  From The Buffalo News:
Thirty-three years after Edmund C. Schreiber, a slightly built, World War I veteran, was found strangled with eight of his own neckties in his Hastings Avenue home, technology caught up with police work. And that police work led to the arrest Wednesday of a Buffalo woman on murder charges. 
Saundra Adams, now 50, who had been a neighbor of Schreiber's in 1983, was arraigned Wednesday in Erie County Court on charges of second degree murder in the long unsolved killing.
Investigators believe Adams acted with someone else in the attack on Schreiber, who was 92 years old when he was killed. Schreiber, born in 1891, was orphaned as a child, served in WWI and was awarded a Purple Heart. He and his wife raised their family in the house on Hastings, where they lived for more than 50 years. Schreiber’s wife died about five years before he was killed.
Read the full story.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Wednesday Links

With the latest Hump Day upon us, here are some things in the news:

France builds a wall and Britain pays for it.

Police in one German city prepare to deal with crime by migrants.

Air China's magazine is not politically correct about London.

A car with gas cylinders is found next to Notre Dame cathedral.

How the U.S. government failed to defend its computers.

Some sad news about LSU's mascot Mike VI.

The Democrats generally support LGBT people, but not always.  (H/T LSU Jeff for the Tweet)

The drug war in Mexico has created a boom in the private security industry.

ISIS stones a man for adultery and forces civilians to participate.

In Algeria, a three-year sentence for insulting Islam is upheld on appeal.

A top Saudi imam calls for killing Shiites, Jews and Christians.

The Kurdish president arrives in Paris.

A look at Hillary Clinton's campaign strategy.

Hillary gets what I'll call a coffee endorsement.

One conservative writer remembers Phyllis Schlafly.


A Hungarian professor recommends a very harsh policy toward Muslims.

In Nevada, an escaped suspect is recaptured.

Car loan debt tops $1 trillion.

And finally, this phenomenon in Russia might give a new meaning to the song Red River Valley.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Truck Hauling Bacon Burns On Interstate Highway

Yesterday evening on Interstate 68 near Cumberland, Maryland, a tractor-trailer carrying a load of pork including bacon caught fire, which burned for several hours.  The fire is believed to have started in the trailer's breaks.  No one was injured, but a fire hose was damaged "beyond repair" by bacon grease.

Read more at the Cumberland Times-News, CBS Baltimore and Fox45.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Phyllis Schlafly 1924-2016

Conservative icon and Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly has died at her home in St. Louis, Missouri at the age of 92.  According to a family member, she had been ill with cancer.  She was an author, an activist, a constitutional lawyer, and an unsuccessful candidate for Congress.  She has been credited (or blamed, depending on your political views) with defeating the constitutional Equal Rights Amendment.

Phyllis McAlpin Stewart was born on August 15, 1924 in St. Louis to John Bruce Stewart and the former Odile Dodge.  She earned her B.A. in 1944 from Washington University in St. Louis, her M.A. in 1945 from Radcliffe College, and her law degree from Washington University's law school in 1978.  She married John Fred Schlaffly Jr. in 1949, with whom she had six children.  She ran for a seat in the House of Representatives in 1952 and in 1970, both in Illinois, losing both elections.  (I remember a speech in which she said something to the effect of "To those of you who voted for me, I thank you, and for those of you who didn't, my husband thanks you.")  Between 1964 and 2014, she wrote 23 books on a variety of subjects.

Mrs. Schlaffly was predeceased by her husband in 1993, and is survived by her six children.

Read more at The Hill, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Fox News and the New York Post.

Sarkozy Could Be Tried For Campaign Finance Crimes

Prosecutors in France have recommended that former French president Nicolas Sarkozy stand trial for illegally financing his 2012 campaign for re-election, which he lost to François Hollande.  Sarkozy hopes to run again in 2017, but a trial would greatly thwart his efforts.  One accusation he faces is that he allegedly received a large amount of money from the late Libyan leader Muhammar Gaddafi.  Another is that during the course of the 2012 campaign, the public relations firm Bygmalion billed his party instead of his campaign apparatus.

Read more at RFI, France24, BBC News and the Daily Mail.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Angela Merkel's Party Loses Regional Election

This story was put into the chatroom of the BlogTalkRadio show of the English Defence League.

In her own home region of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) lost in the regional election to the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.  The AfD has been described as "right-wing", "populist", "nationalist" and "anti-immigrant".  The CDU came in third, with the Social Democrats (SPD) coming in second.

I take the term "anti-immigrant" with a grain of salt.  These days, if you're against having your country take in unlimited numbers of poorly vetted and medically un-screened immigrants and refugees from parts of the world in which the culture is very different from your own, and show any concern at all for how these immigrants and refugees might affect the well-being of your own people, you're "anti-immigrant".

But enough of my two cents.  Read more at The Globe And Mail, Sky News, Reuters, the Sunday Express and Deutsche Welle.

St. Francis Was Anti-Islam

St. Francis of Assisi is known for being charitable to the poor, as the pope who took his name might like to remind us.  But as Raymond Ibrahim explains in American Thinker, St. Francis was known for something else.
When Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the new Catholic pope in 2013, he chose the name of Francis to indicate that his pontificate would be one of mercy and compassion for the poor and needy.  Such is the reputation of his eponym, Saint Francis of Assisi: "the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation," said Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, as to why he chose that name.
St. Francis (1182-1226) is indeed known for all those qualities.  But he was known for something else his modern-day namesake fails to live up to: unapologetically confronting Islam.
I've been to Assisi twice, and visited the church built in honor of St. Francis.  But during those visits, I did not learn that he himself had done some travelling.  Back to American Thinker:
In 1212, during the Fifth Crusade, Francis and a fellow monk traveled to the Middle East and sought audience with Sultan al-Kamil - despite al-Kamil's vow that "anyone who brought him the head of a Christian should be awarded with a Byzantine gold piece" (p. 57).  
The "p. 57" refers to the page in the book St. Francis of Assisi and the Conversion of Muslims, by Frank M. Rega, which Ibrahim reviews in his article.  That's right, St. Francis went to the Middle East during one of the Crusades.  Read the full article at the first link above.  This story comes via The Religion Of Peace.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Gunman Shoots Corrections Officers In Jail Lobby

This morning, two Fresno County corrections officers were shot and wounded in the lobby of the jail where they work.  One suspect is in custody.  The conditions of the two victims have not been released.

Read more at The Fresno Bee, KFSN and CBS SFBayArea.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Links To Start September

A new month is upon us, and after a long wait, so is NCAA football.  Here are some other things going on out there:

An already convicted sex offender is charged with a 1991 murder.

Jet Blue flies to Cuba.

Speaking of flying, how to stop airport panics.

Colin Kaepernick says he'll do it again.

As the saying goes, plus ça change....

In Syria, ISIS bans soccer referees.

An Australian gets six years for his role in sending seven men to Syria.  (via here)

In India, illiteracy varies between religious groups.

In Yemen, an airstrike kills 16 members of a Shiite imam's extended family.

Child brides are on the increase, among migrants entering Germany.

Iran got some "secret exemptions" from their nuclear deal.

In his speech about immigration, Donald Trump made a "hard to spot" change.

Hillary Clinton quickly reacted to Trump's speech.  (H/T LSU Jeff for Tweeting this)

The Clinton Foundation allegedly bought IT equipment with your tax dollars.

SpaceX's latest test on their Falcon rocket fails spectacularly.
UPDATE:  Video of the failed test may be seen here.

And to finish, Lego does Rogue One.