Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Chechen national police taking lessons from FBI?

Or maybe it’s the other way around. 

From Caucasian Knot

In the first five months of 2021, crime in Chechnya went up 41.2 percent, Russian officials say.

Dimitry Oreshkin, a political analyst disagrees.

"’This is a purely propaganda action,’ he told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent. In his opinion, the election of the head of the republic is not of great importance for correcting the statistics. ‘(Ramzan) Kadyrov has everything under control. He will get as many votes as he needs.’”

Oreshkin believes the true crime rate in Chechnya is almost negligible.

"’In reality, crime in Chechnya is low. And if not for the efforts of the authorities themselves, and the actions of law enforcement bodies, which sometimes fabricate cases in order to show the fruits of their work, there could have been zero criminality in Chechnya,’ Mr Kutaev has stated.

© Caucasian Knot

Russian authorities need no lessons from anyone when fabricating crime and arrest statistics. Maybe the FBI has learned lessons from Russian national law agencies, considering the number of federal agents involved in headline-grabbing arrests of alleged terrorists.

Ben & Jerry’s CEO is a crook

Funds her own non-profit with $104,000 in grants, drew salary of $156,000 from same non-profit. 





Monday, August 30, 2021

What you get when you play with China

 ‘Hollywood’s Share of China Box Office Collapses, Now Less Than 10%’

By David Ng

In a dramatic turn for the major studios, Hollywood’s share of China’s box office is in free fall, reportedly collapsing to less than 10 percent as Beijing aims to bolster its domestic movie industry while continuing to block major Hollywood releases from playing in Chinese cinemas.

The result is a potential existential crisis for Hollywood, which has bent over backwards to please China’s Communist dictators in the hopes of maintaining access to the lucrative Chinese market.

But the reverse has happened. Hollywood’s share of the China box office market has plummeted to just 9.5 percent so far this year, according to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway, as reported by Variety.

The stark decline comes as Hollywood imports are being edged out by domestic releases.

Last year, only two Hollywood releases cracked China’s top-ten grossing movies — Tenet and The Croods: A New Age. For 2019, only Avengers: Endgame and Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw made the top-ten list. A decade ago, Hollywood accounted for eight of China’s top-ten grossing movies.


Chinese audiences are instead gravitating toward home-grown movies in larger numbers, lifting the time-traveling comedy Hi, Mom and the buddy-cop adventure Detective Chinatown 3 to blockbuster status. Meanwhile, recent Hollywood titles like Disney-Pixar’s Luca and Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon have failed to resonate with local audiences.


Even Universal’s dependable Fast & Furious franchise, which has been enormously popular in China, is showing signs of fatigue. The latest installment, F9, saw its China grosses plummet in the second week by a stunning 85 percent.

Hollywood’s decline in China comes as the Communist country has overtaken the United States to become the world’s largest movie market.

Beijing also appears to be exercising tighter controls over its Hollywood import quotas. Disney hasn’t seen a Marvel superhero movie released in China since Avengers: Endgame in 2019. Marvel Studios’ Black Widow still doesn’t have a China release date.


Disney’s Jungle Cruise and Warner Bros.’ The Suicide Squad have also failed to score a China release so far.


Variety noted the supply of Hollywood movies into China has taken a hit due to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.


Political relations between the two countries could also continue to impact the industry. As opposed to former President Donald Trump’s hardline stance, the Joe Biden administration has so far taken a more conciliatory attitude toward China, recently approving chip sales to Huawei.




The Chinese Communist Party plays the long game. In this case, “long” was about 10 years, time enough for Hollywood to become dependent upon Communist money and Communist theaters. The CCP has different rules.





Sunday, August 29, 2021

A fine for something no one is doing

Sign at Norway-Russia border: ‘No peeing towards Russia’ 

By The Barents Observer

“No peeing towards Russia.”

A new sign has been set up at one of the most frequently visited spots along the Norwegian-Russian border where visitors stop to take selfies. A Russian border pole is clearly visible on the opposite side of the creek.


The “No peeing towards Russia” sign on the road toward the village of Grense Jakobselv is considered a preventive message.


The border line runs in the middle of a creek, and at low waters the distance from the opposite river bank is only a few meters.

Norway’s Border Commissioner Jens Høilund told The Barents Observer that he isn’t aware of any “specific events in recent times” that prompted the sign's appearance.


He said military border guards are often in this area to warn visitors before “such attempts turn into an incident.”


“The police, the border guards and the border commissariat will try to prevent incidents that could lead to violation of the agreement with Russia, including insulting behavior,” Høilund said.

He encouraged everyone who travels in the border areas to thoroughly familiarize themselves with current regulations.


The border commissioner made it clear that incidents would be reported to the police.


Located an hour drive northeast of Kirkenes, Grense Jakobselv is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. The narrow road on the Norwegian side of the border is at some places directly on the river bank. Signs along the road tell visitors how to behave.


The “No peeing towards Russia” sign, however, is new.


Norway’s dedicated law on the border with its eastern neighbor in the north is from 1950 and stipulates what citizens can and cannot do in the near-border areas. In §3, the law reads that no “offensive behavior along the border aimed at the neighboring state, or its authorities, are allowed.” Violations of this law can be punished with fines or up to three months in jail. 


Asked about possible punishments for peeing, Høilund said that it is up to police to decide.


“In such cases, the likely [punishment] is a fine starting at 3,000 kroner (290 euros).”


A few years ago, border guards detained four people in the same area after they threw stones across the Russian border.


Last winter, a woman who put her left hand across the Russian border was fined 8,000 kroner (772 euros). The incident, captured by surveillance cameras, happened as she claimed the cairn at Treriksrøysa in the Pasvik Valley where Norway, Russia and Finland meet.


Both Høilund and Finnmark police chief Ellen Katrine Hætta said they are not aware of who put up the sign. 


“However,” Høilund said, “it is set up in a place where tourists often stop, often the first stop after a long drive. It is likely that some have fallen for the temptation to urinate in the area.”


He noted that the area is under video surveillance.


Norway’s 197.7 kilometer-land border with Russia is likely the most peaceful of Russia’s external borders. Unchanged since it was agreed in 1826, the border is also a sign of peace; Norway is the only neighbor that Russia has not been at war with.





Recommendation for aid to Afghanistan

“We could provide free agent orange crop dusting on their poppy fields for the next 100 years?”



Saturday, August 28, 2021

A fight to the death

From Asia Times 

Afghans in Panjshir Valley defy Taliban.

"It’s only a matter of when the attack comes.

"And when it does it could be the greatest battle, and possibly the bloodiest, that Afghanistan has ever seen.

"An Agence France-Presse correspondent reported seeing 'machine gun nests, mortars and surveillance posts fortified with sandbags' set up by the National Resistance Front to defend its positions in the Panjshir Valley.

"Famed for its natural defences, the redoubt tucked into the Hindu Kush mountains never fell to the Taliban during the civil war of the 1990s, nor was it conquered by the Soviets a decade earlier, and is now Afghanistan’s last remaining holdout.

"None of these guys are going to be laying down their arms anytime soon, for the basic reason they will be tortured and executed.

"Sources say they are fierce, and will fight to the death if they have to.

The Afghans in the valley have asked for material support.

‘‘'We’re waiting for some opportunity, some support,' Hamid Saifi, a former colonel in the Afghan National Army, and now a commander in Massoud’s resistance, told the New York Times by phone.

“'Maybe some countries will be ready for this great work. So far, all countries we talked to are quiet. America, Europe, China, Russia, all of them are quiet.’"


Link at Maggie's Farm.

In the early 1980s during debate on whether the US should supply the anti-Soviet forces, an Afghan leader said (paraphrased), “We will accept your arms and ammunition, but we do not want your soldiers.”

Friday, August 27, 2021

Shouldn’t be surprised. Disgusted, but not surprised

 The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, which runs a monument to 1700s history in Virginia, has created a “Gender Diversity Committee” to create “programs and reenactments geared toward educating the public on LGBTQ history in the colonies.”

The Virginia Gazette reported that their goal is “piecing together a more complete history of LGBTQ people in colonial times” and that “they have made strides in answering their research question: What is the Western population’s view on sexuality and gender and how did they determine who was a man and who was a woman?”




Put 'em in a closet


Thursday, August 26, 2021

Signs, signs, everywhere signs

Greg Epstein is Humanist Chaplain and president of Harvard University’s 40-plus chaplains “from 20 different religious, spiritual and ethical traditions.” (chaplains.harvard.edu) 

Lone Star Parson notes Epstein “is an atheist” and “an apostate Jew” who “doesn’t believe in a higher power, but he’s all about being ‘good.’”

The atheistic humanist chaplain told the New York Times, “We don’t look to a god for answers. We are each other’s answers.”

I’m sure you are.

Hungary got its people out

Tamas Vaski

Hungary Today

The two Hungarian military transport aircraft which took part in the evacuation of Afghanistan returned from Kabul airport Wednesday evening. The Hungarian rescue mission has come to an end. The government does not plan on taking part in any further sharing or distribution of refugees. The Hungarian Armed Forces has evacuated altogether 540 people from Afghanistan, including all Hungarian citizens known to be in the country. Hungarian Defense Minister Tibor Benkő and Chief of Staff Romulusz Ruszin-Szendi held a press conference Thursday morning to publicly conclude the mission.

The two Airbus A319s left Hungary on August 19 to Bukhara, Uzbekistan, from where they would participate in aiding NATO allies in evacuating Afghanistan, a mission which has saved more than 82 thousand people from the Taliban.

The world is not us and never will be

“If we learn anything from Afghanistan, from Iraq, and from September 11, let it be this.

“There have to be boundaries, physical and conceptual borders, between us and the rest of the world. American exceptionalism can’t be a narcissistic belief that everyone ought to be like us. If everyone could become us, there would be nothing exceptional about us. Our exceptionalism is that the rest of the world isn’t like us and never will be. And that if we want to protect ourselves, we have to stop trying to define the world or allowing the rest of the world to redefine America.

“Americans have spent the last century trying to turn the world into America. Let’s spend this century making America what it was always intended to be: a refuge from the rest of the world.


Link at Maggie’s Farm.


‘Isis suicide bomber’ kills Americans at Kabul airport

US: Gee, we really wish you guys wouldn’t do things like that. It makes it harder for the present administration to get its plans done. Just tell us what we need to do.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

If you’re hiring people to steal an election, at least do a background check

From Ace of Spades HQ 

Torrance police are investigating the discovery of hundreds of recall election ballots in a vehicle where a felon was found passed out with drugs, a loaded firearm and multiple driver’s licenses one week ago, authorities said Monday.

Approximately 300 ballots were recovered from the vehicle, which was parked in the lot of a 7-Eleven convenience store on the night of Aug. 16, according to the Torrance Police Department.

Officers also discovered a loaded firearm, methamphetamine, thousands of pieces of mail, a scale, and multiple California drivers licenses and credit cards that were in other people's names, a police news release stated. Xanax pills were also located on the unidentified male subject, who authorities described as a felon.

He was arrested on suspicion of a number of offenses, including weapons violations, narcotics and forgery violations.


Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Final Firefly

This report is maybe twelve years old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear, because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, ten, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people…better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave. – Malcom Reynolds.

Managers rule!

 “Western society today is openly ruled by a managerial class.

“Where kings once claimed a divine right to rule, and the bolsheviks of old claimed a right to rule as messiahs of a future kingdom on this earth (bearing a conspicuously strong resemblance to a very old tradition of messianic Christianity with the serial numbers filed off, by the way) the technocrats of today base their claims to lordship not necessarily on the idea of the democratic will of the people, but on the historical inevitability of technocracy as such. 

“Just as there once was a properly ”socialist” way to understand great literature, there is today a properly technical, scientific, or ‘critical’ (in the academic sense of the term) way of understanding war, nation building, cinema, primitive marriage rituals, or whatever else.

“Our managerial leaders deserve to rule us, because managerialism as a world ethos is the only means of effecting functional rule in the context of a modern, international, post-national, information driven, knowledge economy, rules-based… well, you probably already know all the familiar buzzwords beloved by this class of people.

“Kings ruled in the epoch of monarchies, because only kings could rule, or at least so they all claimed. Technocrats rule our post-Soviet era for very much the same reason; they are, according to the legitimating narrative of our age, the only ones that can rule. Much like you can’t put a monkey in charge of a battleship, you can’t possibly hope to rule a modern country without being part of the educated managerial class.

“And just like the kings of old, our technocrats at one point claimed (and even enjoyed) a form of quasi-magical power in the eyes of their peasantry; a view once commonly shared that they could use the very thing that made them rightful rulers – science, logic, rationality, data – to lay on hands, cure ills, and improve society.

Malcom Kyeyune at Never Yet Melted.

(A couple or three decades ago, there were writings on the danger of technocrats running the European Common Market. Those people, so the argument went, owed no allegiance to political party nor to any nation-state. Theories and formula would govern (or rule) without emotion. Technocracy requires organization. Organization requires managers. Technocrats are good at developing theories and plugging in numbers and data until the desired mathematical or scientific answer is achieved. (“Scientific” in the sense of modernity, not the classic meaning.) But, technocrats are not so good at producing schedules and agenda; ergo, managers.)

Monday, August 23, 2021

Another Firefly

We meant it for the best... to make people safer. -- Dr. Caron on Miranda, before dying at the teeth of Reavers.

The truth

Here is the thing about Bidenistas and Afghanistan: Whatever happens there, they do not care. Taliban takes the whole country, kills any woman caught without a male relative escort outside her home, the Bidenistas do not care. Beheadings of all men without a beard? The Bidenistas do not care. Westerners killed on sight? Infiltration of every country bordering Afghanistan? Same-same. The Bidenistas do not care. 

Afghanistan has nothing to do with Black Lives Matter, with Antifa, with any Progressive plans. The border with Mexico must be opened. All peoples of color must be allowed into the United States, to become registered voters and wards of the state. Wind and solar will produce the electricity needed by Americans, and if there is not enough, Americans must surrender their vehicles and devices until what is produced is sufficient.

We are enemies of the state.

“Thousands of Americans are trapped in Afghanistan and the Taliban are crowing about their victory over the world’s lone superpower, but far-Left ‘journalist’ David Rothkopf wants to make sure we keep our head and focus on the really dangerous threat out there. Rothkopf tweeted Friday: ‘The Taliban, all of them together, plus every Al Qaeda fighter in the world, do not pose the threat to the United States that Trump or Trumpist extremists do. Let’s maintain our perspective.’”


There you have it. Muslims murdering Americans are not as dangerous as Americans who support Trump.



Sunday, August 22, 2021

George Jessel is sitll with us

I told my wife I wanted to be cremated. She made me an appointment for Tuesday.

Try this at home



They can't stop the signal, Mal. They can never stop the signal. -- Mister Universe.

From Valor Guardians


Saturday, August 21, 2021


"People don't like to be meddled with. We tell them what to do, what to think. Don't run, don't walk. We're in their homes and in their heads and we haven't the right. We're meddlesome." -- River Tam.

(Mr. Universe and Capt. Reynolds will speak later.)

Friday, August 20, 2021

Why hasn't the government hired Amazon to handle intelligence collection?

 Today my wife collected a bunch of shoes and handbags no longer used. She took the things to Goodwill. Shortly after dropping off the shoes and purses, she began receiving ads for shoes and handbags on her Facebook page, courtesy of Amazon. She did not have to identify herself at Goodwill. She did not say to me she was taking the shoes and purses to Goodwill. Yet Amazon, within an hour, posts ads on her Facebook page. It's like Amazon and Facebook have ways of knowing what we are doing even when we do not talk about it. How can such a thing be, when both companies assure Congress they are not spying on anybody in the U.S.?

Miguel meets the new state bureaucracy, Part I

(Miguel moved from Florida to another state. Here is his adventure.)

From Gun Free Zone

I need to get a new drivers license.

I go online to set up an appointment.

Six weeks.

Go in, the DMV requires a mask.  I don’t have one.

Usually they have extras but they are out.

They check my paperwork to make sure I have what I need then send me away to get a mask.

I get one.

Come back.

They sign me in.

Wait five minutes.

They process my paperwork and make me take off my mask for the picture.

None of this makes a God dammed bit of sense.  But obtuse bureaucrats have to enforce obtuse, useless, and inconvenient rules because that justifies their existence.

I hate the bureaucratic state.

Part II

North Carolina lets you register to vote at the DMV.

I had to tell them my party affiliation.

Unfortunately I could not register as a Pinochetist.

Also, if you try and register two pickup trucks, and the guy asks “Why do you have two pickup trucks?”

The correct answer is not “one for each testicle”

(Here is my DMV story, eight years ago in Arkansas.

I had done everything with paperwork and now had one last thing to do before getting my new license in hand. The DMV lady said, “Do you want to register to vote?”

I said, “I am already registered.”

She pushed a piece of paper at me and said, “Sign this saying you declined to register.”

I said, “I do not decline. I am already registered.”

She holds my new DL. “If you don’t register here, you have to sign this paper saying you decline to register to vote.”

I figure I’ll try at least one more time. “I am not declining to register. I am registered.”

She said, “The legislature says that if you do not register to vote here, you must sign this paper saying you decline to register.”

So I signed and got my new DL. And left the DMV office much, much more pissed off than when I went in.)

Repatriation flights are not free

From US Embassy in Afghanistan 

“Flight Costs: Repatriation flights are not free, and passengers will be required to sign a promissory loan agreement and may not be eligible to renew their U.S. passports until the loan is repaid.  The cost may be $2,000USD or more per person.”


Story mentioned at Gun Free Zone.


Thursday, August 19, 2021

And they think this will get them more votes?

Hungary opposition party opposes fireworks and an air show on St. Stephen’s Day, August 20, because those forms of celebration are “by no means green, environmentally sound or sustainable.” 

From Hungary Today

The opposition party is LMP, Hungary’s Green Party.

In a year, party co-leader Mate Kanasz-Nay said, the Greens will be in power, and will initiate a new order of social justice, elimination of child poverty, raising the wages of social workers, increasing the family allowance, and will give young people easier access to housing.

(Well, Mate, when you control parliament, you can announce to the people of Hungary there won’t be any more fireworks for any holiday. Not one. Ever.)

“The new government, he said, will take action to slow climate change, focus on renewable energy, stop the Paks II nuclear power plant project, close the Mátra power plant, and establish solar plants and wind farms.


Another headline: ‘Prepare for Hungary’s “Best Ever” St Stephen’s Day Celebrations.’

Hungary sending more aircraft to Afghanistan

From Daily News Hungary 

The 26 Hungarian citizens rescued from Afghanistan arrived by plane in Frankfurt early on Thursday, foreign ministry state secretary Levente Magyar said.

The Hungarians are safe and they are expected to arrive in Budapest in several groups during the day on Thursday, he said.

Aircraft to rescue further Hungarian civilians and Afghans that earlier helped Hungarian troops in the country took off from Hungary early on Thursday, Magyar said. These flights are planned to travel to Kabul through Uzbekistan, he added.

“It wasn’t easy to organise the rescue, as it is not just Kabul where conditions are chaotic,” Magyar said. “Half the world is crowding the Central Asian airspace, scrambling to evacuate their citizens.”

Magyar said Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó had personally reached out to the Uzbek deputy prime minister for the Hungarian planes to be given special permission to pass through Uzbekistan’s airspace and refuel.

He said it was uncertain what sort of conditions the Hungarian planes will be faced with in Kabul and how fast they can take on their passengers, but said the government would do everything to make sure that the planes can bring people back to Hungary.




British MP reminds us of a forgotten fact

Tom Tugendhat, member of Parliament and veteran of the Afghan war, mentioned in his speech Wednesday that the 20-year war in Afghanistan was a NATO war, not an American war. An American administration does not have the moral authority to decide what happens now.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Tolkien might say, ‘I fear you have missed the point’

The Tolkien Society’s 2021 Annual Seminar demanded papers on “Tolkien’s approach to colonialism and neo-colonialism, representation of race, gender, sexuality and the rest in Tolkien, and so on.


“This call was answered with appropriate gusto. The programme for the event is too large to reproduce here: but we can give a flavour of it. It kicks off with Gondor in Transition: A Brief Introduction to Transgender Realities in The Lord of the Rings. We then have delights such as ‘The Burnt Hand Teaches Most About Fire’: Applying Traumatic Stress and Ecological Frameworks to Narratives of Displacement and Resettlement Across Cultures in Tolkien’s Middle-earth; and The Lossoth: Indigeneity, Identity, and Antiracism. The second day continues with more in the same vein: “Something Mighty Queer”: Destabilizing Cishetero Amatonormativity in the Works of Tolkien; Questions of Caste in The Lord of the Rings and its Multiple Chinese Translations; and something which should puzzle anyone, Hidden Visions: Iconographies of Alterity in Soviet Bloc Illustrations for The Lord of the Rings.”

Those supposed aficionados of Tolkien need reminding: He wrote in English.

That “Cishetero Amatonormativity”? As near as I could find, it has nothing to do with thee and me, since we speak the language of daily communication. See above, Tolkien wrote in English.

Link at neveryetmelted.

The over-educated should read Harvard Lampoon's "Bored of the Rings" for some perspective.


My wife hired a cleaning lady

What that means: 

The house must be cleaned of clutter and dusted, lest the cleaning lady think we are bad housekeepers.

I have to remove everything form a small table near the dining room table because the things have attracted dust. The dining room table holds my laptop, a Tanakh, two stone coasters, a folded dish towel for the coasters, my phone and my Nookbook. The small table holds three charging devices, a lung exerciser, a mouse pad, a timer to remind me to get up every hour and take 200 steps through the house, a thermos for coffee or tea and a thermos cup.

I have to put away all visible guns, lest the cleaning lady be afraid of guns.

Note: The cleaning lady speaks English with the same proficiency as my wife and I speak Spanish. My Spanish consists of: Donde esta communista? Donde esta guerrilla? Donde esta el bano? Donde esta restaurante? Donde esta cerveza? I can throw in things like tamale, tortilla, policia, le migra policia. Most of those, the cleaning lady is not interested in.

So, when the senora de la limpieza is here, I will be as I am now, sitting on the lanai, with the ceiling fan on high and me poking at the letters on my writing machine. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Another Ace of Spades HQ one-liner

I picked up a hitchhiker. He asked if I wasn’t afraid, he might be a serial killer? I told him the odds of two serial killers being in the same car were extremely unlikely.

Pompeii taco truck opens for first time since Vesuvius eruption

Thermopolium not serving food from 79 A.D. Just for looking. 

From The History Blog

“The elaborately frescoed thermopolium discovered in Pompeii’s Regio V excavation in 2019 opens to the public for the first time on Thursday. The Regio V thermopolium was one of more than 80 small eateries in Pompeii which served beverages and hot food, albeit one with particularly rich decorations and the only one to be fully excavated by archaeologists.

“The snack bars were mostly used by poorer residents of ancient Pompeii who rarely had a kitchen in their homes. Typical menus included coarse bread with salty fish, baked cheese, lentils and spicy wine.”

Customers ordered prepared foods at an L-shaped counter painted with brightly colored frescoes of a nereid riding a sea horse, a food counter with amphorae leaning against it and pots on top of it (thermopolium inception), two ducks hanging upside down, a rooster and a snarling black dog on a leash. The vessels embedded in the countertop contained the remains of some of the dishes on offer at the shop, including duck and a paella-like combination of proteins (pork, goat, bird, fish and snail). Remains of wine and fava beans were found in one of the large storage amphorae.




Monday, August 16, 2021

Numbers a city does not want to see

But, the numbers haven’t changed in a while. 

Madison, Ark., is in St. Francis County. Madison’s biggest population was 1,263, in 1990. The town’s estimated 2019 population was 686. Thirty years and almost half the population gone.

About 40 percent of the town’s families and 42 percent of the overall population overall lives below the federal poverty line. Fifty-six percent of children under 18 and 50 percent of those age 65 and older are below the poverty line.

Madison’s racial demographics show a population that is 89 percent black and 10 percent white.

St. Francis County population has been going down as well. The county in 1950 was 36,841. The 2019 population was estimated at 29,994. Racially, the county is 49 percent black and 48 percent white. Twenty-three percent of families and 27.5 percent of the overall population lives below the poverty line.



A little American history

1880s – Too much money. Need to invest somewhere.

1890s – Cuba! Puerto Rico! Philippines! Lots and lots of stuff to sell and buy. Oh, looks like we can have Hawaii, too.

1907-09 – Great White Fleet sails around the world. We can go anywhere, project power as we want.

1903-14 – France has screwed up the canal job in western Colombia, aka Panama. Recognize new country Panama. Dig canal. Open in 1914. Yeah! We can do anything.

1914-19 – Too much s’t going on to really get a handle on. Limeys and Frogs kind of holding the Krauts, but looks like they’ll need American stuff to get the job done. Not a problem. They have cash, right?

1919-39 – Britain, France and US really screwed the pooch. Everybody has an idea, none works. (Maybe we killed too many of everybody except Germans in The Great War? Didn’t kill enough Bolsheviks?)

1939-45 – Well, s’t. Here we go again. Soon the US has the world’s largest navy and the best air force. War’s over, let’s go home.

1946-50 – Ain’t gonna study war no more. And if we have to, we’ll just drop some nukes. Worked before.

1950-1989 – Well, s’t. The commies are really serious. Can’t nuke them, cause they’ll nuke us in return. Sounds kind of MAD, huh. “Little” war here, “little” war there. Does it really matter how many rice farmers think we’re OK? LBJ shook hands with a Pakistani camel driver.

1990-2001 – Americans forgot who they were.

2001-Now – Americans still haven’t figured out who they are. S’t has been piled up for decades, and now it’s starting to roll back down. Find the dung beetles.

A joke from 2001

 Or maybe it was 2002.

Waiting in line at the airport, I saw TSA checkers take an elderly lady into a separate room because she had knitting needles and wool yarn. Did they think she was going to knit an Afghan?

(Not so funny now that we've been run out of Afghanistan. Well, that's inaccurate. Our political generals led by politicians decided they can't take any additional losses. Or, the Global War on Terrorism has become bad press. Or, it was a war we could not win as long as there are Muslims, but nobody will kill enough of them to make them stop fighting. Since 1917 we don't do war well unless we fight a country whose army is just like ours. China should take that under consideration. European-style army, you are going down.)

Ace of Spades one-liner

As I watch this new generation try to rewrite our history, one thing I’m sure of....it will be misspelled and have no punctuation.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

The stars at night are big and bright

Somewhere in the skies of Scotland

A rookie police officer in Glasgow, Scotland, was recently embarrassed to discover that the “drone” she thought was pursuing her on her way to a shopping center was actually just the planet Jupiter. Local news outlets report that the embarrassing mix-up has become the talk of her station.

The Daily Record reported Saturday that the officer left her station around midnight Tuesday when she first saw the bright light she believed to be a drone. She attempted to “lose the drone” on her way to a local shopping center; however, she failed. Afraid, she eventually called the general complaints number for Police Scotland to report that she was being followed by a drone and “couldn’t lose it.”

The operator working the complaints line told the officer to return to her station where she could meet with a senior officer. So, she did as she was told.

According to police via Daily Record, when she arrived at her station, “she was found standing in the police yard with her hood up trying to hide from the ‘drone’ and pointed out the bright white dot in the sky.” When the senior officer looked up at the light, they realized that the drone she’d been afraid of was actually just Jupiter.

EarthSky claims that Jupiter and Saturn are “nearly at their most glorious this month.” This is because the planets will both reach opposition in August.

Sky at Night Magazine reports that Jupiter will reach opposition on August 19. “Opposition,” the magazine explains, “describes when a planet or other body is in the opposite part of the sky to the Sun.” During this time, a planet is at its closest to Earth, making it appear much larger and much brighter than usual.

As Jupiter makes its way toward opposition, those in the Northern Hemisphere can see it clearly from evening until dawn, as this officer did in Glasgow.

According to the Daily Record, the officer’s mistake is the “talk” of the station. “Nobody can quite believe it,” an anonymous police source told the outlet. “She was very alarmed and spooked that she was being followed by a drone.”

The source continued to say that the officer was “embarrassed” when it was explained to her that the “drone” was simply a planet. Apparently, those at her station are “concerned.”

“This is going to haunt her for years,” they said.

Local reports did not name the officer.

At Valor Guardians