Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Comes To A Close

In a few hours, the year 2017 will come to its end, and 2018 will start.  Before writing this post, I took a brief look at what I wrote a year ago, in which I hoped that this year would be somewhat less interesting than last year.  I'd have to admit that on that count, I might have been frustrated.  If anything, the interesting times in which we live have continued.

In January, Donald Trump, a man who had never before held political office was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States.  A day later, there were large rallies opposing the new president in many American cities, in which many participants wore "pussyhats" or vagina costumes.  I must give the organizers of these events credit for what they pulled off, even though I obviously disagreed with their purpose.  Putting together these protests and keeping them all peaceful was probably no easy task.

President Trump has had some success in his first year in office.  He appointed Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court to replace the late Antonin Scalia, and other judges to various federal courts.  His policy of scaling back regulations appears to have helped the economy.  His tax reform plan was passed by Congress earlier this month, In the Middle East, ISIS has lost most of its territory on Trump's watch.  On the other hand, he has had a whale of time trying to establish a ban on travel from some dangerous places in the world.  His most audacious act might be the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, something opposed by much of the world, but in reality is little more than acknowledging reality.

The use of vehicles to deliberately run over pedestrians, in what might be called "low level terror attacks", has continued from last year, in Europe, Australia and the United States.  The deadliest attack during the year, however, was the shooting in Las Vegas, in which a man fired from the Mandalay Bay Hotel on concert attendees across the street.

Over in Europe, migrants continued to enter the continent by crossing the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas.  This led to a conflict between the European Union and the countries of Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, which have refused to admit them.  The Prime Ministers of Poland and Hungary had no reluctance to point out their reasons.

In Europe and America, a movement calling itself Antifa, for "anti-fascist", showed itself to be the true fascists, such as by shutting down at least one speech by someone they with whom they disagree.  On the other side of the aisle was the "alt-right" movement, which tangled with Antifa when they tried to hold a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Numerous NFL players, starting with Colin Kaepernick, decided to kneel for the National Anthem instead of standing, as their way of protesting police brutality and other alleged injustices.  As a result, NFL attendance and TV ratings appear to have gone down.

The above stories, of course, are just the ones that I can recall off the top of my head.  There are obviously many other things that are worth remembering.  In my own life, I've been able to travel to the Netherlands and Belgium, the latter including some places I first saw in 2005.  Back here in the United States, I was able to travel westward to Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, whose mayor has four legs and a wagging tail, and southward to Philadelphia, Tennessee, to see the solar eclipse which ran from coast to coast.  It literally might be the most awesome thing I have ever seen.

I'd love to see 2018 be less interesting than 2017, but I've learned not to expect it.  I'm sure that the upcoming year will see some of the above trends continue, and will produce other stories that I can't yet anticipate.  To all reading this, see you next year.

Deputies Shot In Colorado, And Other News

Before I make a post recalling some of the significant events of 2017, I must first relay some of today's events in the news.  To start, earlier today in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, a man shot five police deputies who were responding to a domestic disturbance, one fatally.  The gunman also shot two civilians and is reported to be have been shot dead.  One of the wounded deputies is the son of the Boulder County sheriff.

Read more at The Denver Post, 9News, KDVR and CBS Denver.  The TDP link comes via HotAir.
In other stories:

From Chron, police arrest a man staying at the Hyatt Regency in Houston and find a stash of weapons and ammo in his room.

From The Washington Times, the best-selling movie of 2017 is......(click to find out).

From Reuters, one third fewer migrants arrived in Italy by sea in 2017 than in 2016.

From Voice Of Europe, 2017 was the year when Europe lost its freedom of the press.

From Focus Information Agency, Turkey detains 20 suspected ISIS members.

From Flanders News, unlike in Ostend and Bruges, fireworks in Brussels will go on as planned.

From Russia Today, Germany paid 230 million Euros to provide jobs for Syrian refugees stranded in Middle Eastern countries.

From the NL Times, a Maltese man is arrested after making a false bomb threat targeting a train.

From Deutsche Welle, 2017 ends with German Chancellor Merkel still not having formed a governing coalition.

From Sputnik International, the head of the German Bundestag rejects the creation of a "United States of Europe".

From Khaama Press,  in eastern Afghanistan, Taliban terrorists execute a lecturer and a student.

From The Asian Age, Muslim Indian women will be allowed to go on the Hajj without a male guardian.

From New York Magazine, what's going on in Iran?  (The fact that they actually noticed something going on is a good sign, I would think.)

From Free Malaysia Today, a video made by an ISIS terrorist from Singapore "jolts" his home country and taunts Prince Harry.

From National Review, some New Year's resolutions.

From Politico, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) blames former President Obama for the troubles in Iran.  (via Townhall)

And from the Page Six, the "stars we lost in 2017".

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Stories For A Slightly Snowy Saturday

We got a small dusting of snow this morning in Maryland.  It was so powdery that I could use a broom instead of a shovel to clear my section of the sidewalk.  So as the New Year gets closer, here are some things going on:

From the New York Post, if you're going to Times Square, it's best not to drink.

From the Evening Standard, 12 ways to celebrate New Year's Day around the world.

From LifeNews, 13 pro-abortion celebrities to boycott.

From Russia Today, in Sweden, Jesus gets a new pronoun.

From Voice Of Europe, left-wing Austrians call their new government "heirs of Nazism", and a record number of car fires have occurred in the Netherlands in 2017.

From Reuters, Greece seeks to cancel asylum given to a Turkish soldier.

From UAWire, the Polish government says that only Poland decides whether to accept refugees.  (via Voice Of Europe)

From the Express, British police search for terror suspects in Sheffield.

From Total Croatia News, a migrant entering Croatia hiding on the underside of a bus is returned to Serbia.  (Sounds like he literally threw himself under a bus.  If you read Croatian, read the original story at Večernji List, the title of which translates to "evening letter", if an educated guess from my knowledge of the related Polish language is correct.)

From New Europe, Turkey claims that E.U. funds for Syrian refugees are not all being used correctly.

From Sputnik International, GDP and wages have grown in the U.K. "despite" worries about Brexit.  (Or maybe the Brexit itself, or at least the anticipation thereof, helped a little.)

From Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Bosnia charges 29 people with war crimes.

From The Japan Times, ISIS claims responsibility for the supermarket bombing in St. Petersburg.

From News(dot)com(dot)au, a man has died from injuries sustained in the car-ramming terror attack in Melbourne, Australia, becoming its first fatality.

From India TV, in India, 51 girls have been rescued from a madrasa where they allegedly were sexually abused.

From the Luxora Leader, an Egyptian-born Muslim woman spews hate for Coptic Christians - from her home in New Jersey.

From The Straits Times, a Malaysian Muslim party leaders says that only Muslims may join the Malaysian cabinet or make policy.

From American Thinker, "how to fight terrorism the Russian way".

From Townhall, anti-government protests, including hijab removal, sweep Iran.  (Two stories I found yesterday noted some of the protests.  This story could be considered a follow-up.)

From The Times Of Israel, three protesters in Iran have reportedly been shot dead.

From The Guardian, it's been the biggest unrest in Iran since 2009.  (The last two links come via BizPac Review, who note the U.S. media's general reluctance to report about these events.)

From Al Arabiya, in response to the protests, Iran cuts off Internet access in some cities.

From Autosport, Dale Jr. find retirement "weird".

And from Fox News, as Vice President Pence finds out, "MAGA" gets a new definition.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Links For The Year's Last Friday

It's the last Friday of the year, and even though the span between Christmas and New Year's might seem quiet, things still keep going on.

From The Telegraph, South Korea seizes a Hong Kong tanker after it delivers refined petroleum to a North Korean vessel.  (via The Blacksphere)

From Russia Today, an American-born investor is sentenced to nine years by a Moscow court, after being tried in absentia.

From BBC News, gunmen kill at least nine Coptic Christians in Cairo.  (via The Daily Caller)

From Reuters, police disperse protesters in Iran.

From American Thinker, something has been going on in Iran, which has been ignored by the Western media.

From FrontpageMag, unfavorable Western attitudes toward Islam did not start with the Crusades.

From National Review, we're in "the age of outrage".

From Townhall, President Trump says no wall, no DACA.

From Voice Of Europe, in Berlin, women need a safe space.

From the Express, Germany has their highest inflation rate in five years.

From the Evening Standard, two people are chemically attacked in the Isle of Dogs neighborhood in London.  (A woman was hit by acid, and an "Asian" man was "assaulted with an alkaline solution".  In U.K. codespeak, "Asian" often means "Muslim".)

From The Sun, acid attacks have become so common in London that delivery drivers have mapped their locations.  (via Brietbart London)

From The Local FR, two people in France, who have no known connection to each other, have been arrested on terror conspiracy charges.

From TRT World, the number of migrants entering Spain by sea will triple in 2017 from the previous year.

From the NL Times, in the Netherlands, murders have increased by 43 percent.

From Politico, according to former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair's institute, populism had not yet peaked.

From LifeNews, it's easy to buy abortion pills online.

From Fox News, the Republic of Congo releases a naturalized American citizen after holding him for a year.  (The Republic of the Congo is a former French colony, not to be confused with the nearby Democratic Republic of the Congo, which was ruled by Belgium.)

From the Deccan Chronicle, a woman claims to be threatened because of her progressive interpretation of the Koran.

From the Kaplan Herald, the Pentagon will review their counter-terrorism training in response to a demand by CAIR.

From Arutz Sheva, a member of Hamas tells Trump, "Palestine will be your graveyard."  (The last three links come via The Religion Of Peace.)

From the National Post, seven weird scientific discoveries from 2017.

From ITV, the time U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher refused to fly with a panda.  (via the New York Post)

From the New York Post, the current cold weather has produced a strange form of ice.

And from the Financial Times, some weird ways to celebrate the New Year.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Links For A Cold Thursday

It's the last Thursday of the year, and it's really cold out there.  Naturally, the cold will be blamed on man-made global warming, if such blame has not already been assigned.  So as I do my best to stay warm, here are some things going on:

From The Washington Times, immigration into the United States in 2016 may have matched the record set in 1999.  (If we Americans are xenophobes, we are the weakest, most ineffective xenophobes in the history of the world.)

From Sputnik International, South Korea drills to defend islands disputed with Japan.

From Fox News Insider, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) pardons 18 illegal aliens.  (via The Daily Caller)

From LiveScience, a new type of reactor "could revolutionize fusion energy".

From About Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán says that Hungarians have the right to see themselves as a Christian nation.

From the Express, a Finnish MP says that some E.U. politicians see Brexit as a "mortal sin", while Britain's business growth has been the best since 2015.

From Russia Today, a U.K. tribunal blocks the release of files on Julian Assange.

From EuroNews, more than 370 migrants have been rescued from the Mediterranean since Christmas.

From France24, Turkish President Erdoğan offers an olive branch to Germany and the E.U.

From Voice Of Europe, a Somali refugee family are given an expensive British council house.

From the Washington Examiner, Judge Roy Moore still has not accepted his loss.

From CNN, a circuit judge in Alabama denies Moore's voter fraud complaint.

From PopZette, after putting out a video on Hillary Clinton, Vanity Fair "bows" to the left wing mob.

From The Northern Echo, a Muslim man in England is beaten after saying "Merry Christmas".

From the Tampa Bay Times, weird news out of Florida.

And from Variety, the musicians we lost in 2017.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Western Wall RR Station, Explosion In St. Petersburg, And Other Things

Although I regard this development as good news, I still feel like stealing a line from Nancy Pelosi and asking, "Are you serious?"  The Israeli transportation minister as announced plans for a new railroad station close to the Western Wall in Jerusalem.  (To any readers on the left, please be sure to sit down, because you're not going to like this.)  The station will be named after none other than the current American president, Donald Trump.

Read the story at The Jerusalem Post and NOQ Report.
In St. Petersburg, Russia, a bomb exploded inside a supermarket storage room, reportedly injuring 10 people.

Read more at the MirrorSputnik International and Russia Today.  (The Mirror story comes via The Blaze.)
Some other things going on include:

From ZeroHedge, a new Trump EO targets people including "Clinton-linked" individuals.

From Shy Society, according to residents of Bradford, England multiculturalism has failed.

From Gatestone Institute, Palestinians are victims of apartheid - by other Arabs.

From Hungary Journal, the Hungarian government is aiding in the reconstruction of 5,500 churches and related buildings in the Carpathian Basin.  (The story comes via Voice Of Europe.  As a descendant of people, mainly Slovaks, who lived in the Carpathian Basin, I welcome this action.  However, this is only possible because Hungary does not have American-style separation of church and state.)

From Voice Of Europe, the Muslim mayor of the second largest city in the Netherlands claims to be a Salafist.

From The Local DE, one out of two Germans wants Chancellor Merkle to step down.

From Russia Today, U.K. Prime Minister May might not remain in office until next Christmas.

From Breitbart London, new Polish Prime Minister Tadeusz Morawiecki lays out his policies.

From Sputnik International, in Sweden, a building being converted into a refugee asylum is torched for the third time.

From Deutsche Welle, the E.U. allocates 6 billion Euros to help refugees in Turkey.

From the Evening Standard, over half of British children are "exposed to illegal levels of air pollution".

And from The Times Of Israel, workers and volunteers in Tel Aviv have built a 118-foot-tall tower of Lego blocks.  (via Fox News)

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Links For The Feast Of Stephen

Today is the Feast of Stephen, the man regarded as the first Christian martyr.  Accused of blasphemy, he was executed by the traditional method of stoning.  According to the song Good King Wenceslas, on a Feast of Stephen a few centuries later, the song's namesake looked out and saw lots of snow.  Speaking of songs, I've occasionally wondered if Bob Dylan might have thought of Stephen when he wrote that line "everybody must get stoned".  So whether or not you have "deep and crisp and even" snow today, here are some things going on out there:

From The Jerusalem Post, Guatemala announces that their embassy in Israel will move to Jerusalem.

From the Daily Mail, the Nazis made a fake town that was really a concentration camp near Prague.

From News(dot)com(dot)au, police break up an unauthorized beach party in a no-alcohol zone.  (via the New York Post)

From Balkan Insight, dozens of invaders refugees demand to be let into Croatia from Serbia.

From Voice of Europe, some French double standards.

From Russia Today, according to the German foreign minister, Turkey and Ukraine are unlikely to join the E.U.

From the Express, a British economist calls the E.U. "deeply immoral" because it forced poor Brits to buy "expensive" goods.  (Perhaps the people of the above-mentioned Turkey and Ukraine might want to know about this, before asking to join.)

From Gatestone Institute, are the British just going about their "normal" lives?

From the Daily Star, migrants are still gathering in Calais, France trying to enter Britain.

From National Review, the failure of the Obamacare individual mandate is bipartisan.

From AccuWeather, Erie, Pennsylvania gets a record-breaking amount of snow.  (I don't know how crisp and even it is, but it's extremely deep.)

From The Guardian, Australian football (a.k.a. soccer) has had a weird year.

From The Week, "the weird and wonderful world of body suspension".  (I would add "masochistic".)

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, everyone.  Enjoy unwrapping your presents, while remembering the best Christmas present ever, given to the world a little over 2000 years ago.

Here are some Christmas wishes from:

The Captain at HotAir

The Philadelphia Eagles

Baghdad, Iraq

The Prime Minister of Israel (where that greatest gift was given)

And America's First Lady.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve Links, But First A Song

I've driven down to Virginia, bought a few more presents, and found some time to blog.  But before I proceed to pass along some stories, here's some Christmas cheer, as in The Santa Claus Boogie by The Tractors.

Now then, here are some things going on:

From National Review, "a Christmastime reflection".

From Townhall, the Bundy mistrial shows why some people don't trust the federal government.

From The Hill, the DHS calls a series of shootings in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania an act of terror.

From ABC News, the shooter's ex-brother in law says that he was a "chicken".

From ZeroHedge, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley gets pranked by Russian comedians.

From Breitbart London, France deploys 97,000 security forces for Christmas.

From Sputnik International, an interview with Alternative for Germany's Frauke Petry.

From France24, the E.U. plans to take in 10,000 refugees from Libya, and for the first time in four years, Christians celebrate Christmas in Mosul, Iraq (via The Blaze).

From Deutsche Welle, Austria's new chancellor recommends backing safe areas for refugees with military power.

From WestMonster, merry Brexmas.

From the Sunday Express, fewer than half of polled Europeans "have a positive image" of the E.U.

From Gatestone Institute, how the west misunderstands Islam and Turkey.

From Rûdaw, Turkey is upset with President Trump's continuing aid to Syrian Kurds.  (via Assyrian International News Agency)

From the Independent, at least 10,000 people died in the Tianenmen massacre.  (via The Daily Caller)

From The Daily Caller, the truth about Kwanzaa and its creator.

From The Express Tribune, a local Santa Claus in Rawalpindi, Pakistan is now unemployed.

From Fox News, five reasons why all Americans will benefit from the tax cuts.

From the New York Post, doctors in Florida plan to remove a 10-pound tumor from a Cuban boy's face.

From Variety, The Last Jedi keeps keeps bringing in movie-goers' money.

And from Malay Mail Online, at a charity golf tournament in Jitra, Kedah, Malaysia, the prize for a hole-in-one eats grass and provides milk.  (via Golf)

Friday, December 22, 2017

Some Stories Before Travelling

Tomorrow I'll be travelling down to Virginia, which is my normal routine this time of year.  Today, naturally, I'll be packing my suitcase and presents for the family, gassing up the vehicle, and generally running around a bit.  So for the time being, let me leave you with some things in the news:

From Media Equalizer, the federal work force has decreased by 11,000 since President Trump took office.  (In the past, reductions in the number of federal employees has simply meant that the work was contracted out to private companies.  In other words, the scope of federal power was not reduced.  Thus, I would not read too much into this development.)

From the NL Times, for the first time in years, the number of burglaries in the Netherlands has increased.

From Russia Today, two passenger trains collide in Austria, resulting in over a dozen injuries.

From Voice Of Europe, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban says that western Europeans need to rejection migration.

From The Local FR, French police reopen the case of a British family who were murdered in the Alps five years ago.

From The Times Of India, a Muslim cleric in Kerala tells doctors to avoid the Red Cross symbol.  (I'm pretty sure that Muslim medical personnel may use the Red Crescent instead.)

From the Express, the E.U. will not accept Catalonia as a member, if the region breaks away from Spain.

From National Review, "the ten best movies of 2017".

From the New York Post, the Australian run-'em-over terrorist explains his motives.

From CNN, the U.N. Security Council adopts new sanctions on North Korea.

And from Page Six, an old friend of Mr. Bill now has her own strain of weed.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Stories For The Solstice

The winter solstice occurs today in the northern hemisphere.  However, the first story comes from Australia, which is experiencing the summer solstice.  In Melbourne, a man driving an SUV rammed his vehicle into a crowd of pedestrians, injuring 17.  He has been identified as an Australian of Afghan descent.  The driver was quickly arrested, while the victims were taken to various hospitals.

Read more at the Herald Sun (posted by Kel the Red Fox Blogger in her BlogTalkRadio chatroom), BBC News and the Daily Mail.
In other stories:

From One American News Network, the city council of Memphis, Tennessee has voted to remove statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and General Nathan Bedford Forest.  (The latter was a founder of the KKK, so in his case, good riddance.)

From the Daily Mail, behind the scenes in support of the Trump tax cut was another Trump.

From NBC News, DOJ prosecutors ask the FBI for information on the Uranium One deal.

From Space Daily, according to the South Korean defense agency, a North Korean soldier defected to the South.

From NPR, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants more bipartisanship.  (I've come to realize that "bipartisanship" means that one side makes a demand, and the other side gives in to it.)

From The New Observer, over 1,900 Muslims in Germany are being investigated for terrorism.  (The site will check your browser for a few seconds before opening the page.)

From Deutsche Welle, Germany's efforts to return failed asylum seekers is not working as well as it was a year ago.  (via WestMonster)

From The Local FR, migrants going from Italy to France try to cross the Alps.  (A much earlier group of migrants, led by a guy named Hannibal, did that sort of thing in the opposite direction.)

From the Express, French opposition leader Laurent Wauquiez calls for a referendum on the future of the E.U., and the United Kingdom and Poland sign a military agreement.  (Niech żyje brytyjsko-polski sojusz, I mean, long live the British-Polish alliance.)

From the Mirror, a woman is fatally stabbed in an Aldi supermarket in North Yorkshire, U.K.

From Channel NewsAsia, Indonesian police fear that Islamists will raid business for Santa hats.

From Gatestone Institute, Canada's obsession with Islamophobia.

From FrontpageMag, #MeToo, with an asterisk.

From The Daily Caller, two Turkish-American supporters of President Erdoğan plead guilty to attacking protesters earlier this year.

From Screen Rant, why did a character revived for Star Wars The Last Jedi look weird?  (Spoilers)

And from ForTheWin, this year's Bowl games are off to a bad start, due to lopsided scores.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Tax Bill And Other Stories

Today, Congress passed the GOP tax cut bill, which required a second vote due to a procedural matter, causing President Trump to celebrate.  Here are some related stories, and other items which are not related (and a bit of commentary from yours truly):

From The Washington Times, Trump holds an outdoor event with some GOP congresspeople.

From PoliZette, Congressman Dave Brat (R-VA) praises the tax legislation.

From National Review, despite what some Democrats think, this is not a "heist".

From The Daily Caller, several business respond by directing their money toward employee training and education.

From the Washington Examiner, Senator Al Franken (D-Minn) chooses his last day in office.  (The Senatorial version of the Al Franken Decade thus will have lasted only nine years.)

From the St George News, the Bundy defendants get a mistrial.  (H/T Call Me Mom for the Tweet)

From Breitbart's National Security, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declares a temporary cease-fire in fight against the Marxist terrorist group NPA.

From LifeNews, abortion reportedly increases a woman's risk of premature death.

From Voice Of Europe, a school in Lüneburg, Germany postpones their Christmas celebration because a Muslim student said that its songs are "incompatible with Islam".  (Why songs used in a Christian event need to be compatible with any other religion has not been explained.  If you read German, you can read more in NDR.)

From the Express, the E.U. calls upon its member states to sanction Poland.

From The Guardian, Poland cries foul.  (If anyone wonders about my opinion in this matter, let me just say, "Niech żyje Polska!")

From Russia Today, President Trump threatens to withdraw aid to U.N. member states that vote against the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

From YNetNews, more on the president's threat.  (H/T Gadi Adelman for the Tweet)

From the Evening Standard, in Paris, Santa Claus chases down a suspected hit-and-run driver.

From the NL Times, with Christmas shopping in full swing, Amsterdam monitors its crowds.

From EuroNews, Europe's top court will not recognize a divorce made in a sharia court.

From Reuters, Denmark will no longer accept U.N. refugee quotas.

From the Daily Mail, MI5 is dealing with a surge in "high risk" terror suspects.

From USA Today, Turkish prosecutors indict an NBA player for insulting President Erdoğan.

From Gatestone Institute, the Arab Street rises up - in Europe.  (The last two items were found at The Religion Of Peace.)

From the New York Post, Disneyworld isn't so nice this time of year.

From CBC News, Oumuamua has yielded no alien signals.  (Reports of its elongated shape have reminded me of the alien probe in Star Trek IV.)

And from WPVI, during a party at a fraternity house in Maryland last month, the surrounding air had enough alcohol to register on a police breathalyzer.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Tuesday Links

Tuesday is the day when Wimpy would repay whoever buys him a hamburger, or so he promises.  Tuesday Afternoon is a song by the Moody Blues.  Another band called themselves 'Til Tuesday.  But on Tuesday today, here are some things going on:

From LifeNews, 77 percent of the abortion clinics open in 1991 are no longer in business.

From Breitbart London, the Council of Europe engages in some creative historical revisionism.

From Voice Of Europe, a Belgian woman is attacked by a North African man at a Christmas market.  (If you read Flemish, read more at HLN.)

From Sputnik International, the presidents of France and Syria point fingers at each other.

From New Europe, according to a German newspaper, Poland could lose funds from the E.U. for not taking in migrants.

From the Express, the new Austrian government quickly rolls out their policy on migrants.

From the Daily Mail, an Islamic radio station in Britain is faulted for giving potentially harmful advice to people with diabetes.

From The Straits Times, two Malaysian MPs fault two Malaysian airlines for the uniforms worn by their stewardesses.  (via the Independent)

From XinhuaNet, Christmas in the land where the real Santa Claus lived comes under pressure from conservative Muslims.  (Again, I must ask.  Does "conservative" Islam favor low taxes, limited government, and a strong national defense?)

From Gatestone Institute, is Jerusalem really the problem?

From the Washington Examiner, President Trump "is on a roll".  (via HotAir)

From The Daily Signal, a review of The Last Jedi.

From Variety, "the worst films of 2017".

Monday, December 18, 2017

Amtrak Derails In Washington, And Other Stories

An Amtrak train travelling south from Seattle derailed between Tacoma and Olympia, with some of its cars falling from an overpass onto Interstate 5.  Six people are reported to have been killed, with more than 70 taken to hospitals.  Some vehicles on the highway were struck by train cars, which resulted in injuries to people on the road, but no fatalities.

In other stories (with some of my own commentary):

From Breitbart London, the E.U. president calls the E.U. "too white".  (Why is it always that Europe, its countries, or even the United States is "too white"?  Ever notice how no one calls Africa "too black", Latin America "too brown", or the Far East "too yellow"?)

From the Daily Mail, Austria's "far-right" coalition takes office while protesters have their say.  (These days, at least by European standards, wanting your country to be run by its national government instead of by the E.U. Commission, desiring finite limits on immigration and the entry of refugees, and opposing illegal immigration makes you "far-right".)

From the Express, the Italian eurosceptic Five Star Movement might become the largest party in that country.

From WestMonster, a Dutch eurosceptic party has also made gains in the last nine months.

From the Evening Standard, the driver is arrested and "quizzed".

From The Local DK, a Danish party spokesman says that refugees should go home when it becomes safe.

From Hürriyet Daily News, an Islamic preacher in Turkey warns men against shaving their beards.  (In 2006, I walked around in Turkey, clean-shaven as usual, without any problems.  I wonder if this guy knows that some racial groups, such as native Americans, have very little facial hair.  The idea, however, that native Americans have none at all is a myth.)

From the Sunday Guardian Live, the Labour Party creates a Muslim Network in the U.K. parliament.

From Gatestone Institute, the United Kingdom appears to be overthrowing its own "Christian Basis".  (H/T Kel the Red Fox Blogger, for using this in her BlogTalkRadio show.)

From AhlulBayt News Agency, the Syrian army destroys a tunnel used by terrorists.

From National Review, what went wrong in Zimbabwe.

From FrontpageMag, what's wrong with #MeToo.

From TechSideline, someone gives Virginia Tech's athletic program a donation of over $15 million.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sunday Links

As I take a break from Christmas shopping, here are some things going on:

From the Daily Star Sunday, the E.U. is spying on the British using "Cold War tactics".  (via the Sunday Express)

From CNN, a U.K. embassy employee in Lebanon has been found dead.

From Russia Today, President Putin thanks President Trump for U.S. aid in foiling a terror plot.

From Voice Of Europe, Dutch politician Geert Wilders stands with eastern Europe against Islamization.

From the Daily Mail, former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair will not be prosecuted over the Iraq war.

From the Sunday Express, British politician Nigel Farage explains the real reason for Brexit shock.

From the Irish Examiner, protesters in Killarney "raise concerns" about a new asylum center.

From Reuters, protesters in Bethlehem burn pictures of Vice President Pence.  (via Fox News)

From The Daily Star, Bangla Deshis are not like the NY Port Authority subway bomber.  (I'd have to agree.  He's only suicide bomber I've ever heard of coming from that country.  This publication is based in Bangla Desh, and should not be confused with the similarly-named British one linked above.)

From Fox News, a singer is not allowed into an airport lounge because of her Ugg boots.  (via Legal Insurrection, posted by a writer with the appropriate pen name "Fuzzy Slippers")

From The Daily Caller, The New York Times has made some wrong assumptions about Patriot missiles.

From the Niarobi News, if you're going to practice polygamy, you might as well be efficient about it.

From National Review, hurrah for prosperity.

From Townhall, global warming is "fake news from the start".  (Wait a minute.  Isn't it called "climate change" now?)

From the Greek Reporter, the disputed origin of baklava.

And from the Metro, "5 weird Christmas foods from around the world".  (Due to my Polish heritage, I do not find the last item, "pierogi dumplings", to be weird.  In fact, the Polish word pierogi means "dumplings", which means that "pierogi dumplings" is redundant.)

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Happy Beethoven's Birthday, And Some Links

On this date in 1770, in the city of Bonn, in the Holy Roman Empire (which is known historically to have been none of these three things), a baby was born to Johann van Beethoven, a music teacher who also sang tenor, and his wife, the former Maria Magdalena Keverich.  Named Ludwig after his paternal grandfather, he would grow up to be one of the most renowned composers of classical music.

The idea of observing Beethoven's birthday comes from the character Schroeder in Charles Schulz's comic strip Peanuts.  Although he uses a toy piano, he is still able to play classical music like a virtuoso.  One of my favorites, which I also played in real life, is the second movement of Beethoven's Sonaté Pathetique, which was much later reworked into Midnight Blue by Louise Tucker and Charlie Skarbek, and This Night by Billy Joel.  On the hand, if you're not that much into Beethoven, you can go here (and skip to about 1:40) and just have a small glass.
Meanwhile, here are some things going on these days:

From Politico, for about 10 years, the Pentagon has been searching for UFOs.  (via the New York Post)

From The New York Times, more on the Pentagon search for UFOs.  (also cited by the New York Post)

From Voice Of Europe, Palestinians in Germany disrupt a Christmas market with music, which definitely was not composed by Beethoven.

From The European Post, the Visegrad 4 will help Italy protect its sea borders.

From Breitbart London, gay men are assaulted and told that they're "not welcome" in part of London.

From Turkish Minute, 32 Turks, including teachers and doctors, seek asylum in Greece.

From the Mirror, a refugee from Somalia in Britain goes back and pockets benefits.

From Russia Today, the top constitutional authority in France rules that visiting terrorist websites should not be illegal.

From the Express, European leaders unite to oppose U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May.

From British Pakistani Christian Association, more than 30 priests and seminarians in India are arrested for singing Christmas carols.

From The Express Tribune, Sikhs in Hangu, Pakistan are forced to convert to Islam by a government official.

From AhlulBayt News Agency, Iraqi troops find two more Izadi mass graves.

From The Guardian, the chief inspector of schools in England receives threats after criticizing schools run by religious conservatives.  (Which particular religion(s), as far as I can tell, was/were not specified.)

From Townhall, as President Trump opens more offshore areas to oil drilling, it's time to go fish.

From the Toronto Sun, a billionaire and his wife are found dead in their mansion, from a suspected murder-suicide.  (via the New York Post)

From The Florida Times-Union, what are these weird mushrooms?

And from The Roanoke Times, this year's guide to the bowls.