Friday, March 27, 2015

Senator Reid To Retire

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), currently in his fifth term, has announced his decision to retire at the end thereof.  He was also the Senate Majority Leader from January 2007, after the Democrats took the Senate (and House) in the 2006 election, until January 2015, after the GOP retook the Senate in the 2014 election.  Senator Reid was also recently in the news because of injuries to his face and eye suffered while exercising at home.

Obviously, rightwing nutjobs such as yours truly will not miss the man from Searchlight, Nevada.  But as the saying goes, I do indeed hope that the door (and the gym equipment) doesn't hit him on the way out.

Read more at The New York Times, Fox News, CNN, The Washington Times and Politico.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Plane Crash Alleged To Be Intentional

According to French prosecutor Brice Robin, the Germanwings aircraft that crashed in the Alps was intentionally brought down by the plane's co-pilot, identified as Andreas Lubitz.  Information recovered from the plane's black box indicated that the pilot, who has not been identified, had left the cockpit and was trying to re-enter, but the cockpit door was then locked.  The black box recorded knocks on the door, but no unusual breathing or other sounds from the co-pilot.

Read more at ABC News, BBC News, NBC News and AOL.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Charged With Desertion

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who disappeared from his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was returned five years later in exchange for five Taliban leaders held in GITMO, has been charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.  Bergdahl is currently stationed at Fort Sam Houston in Texas.  The five released Taliban were taken to Qatar.

Read more at USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, ABC News and CBS News.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

German Airplane Crashes In The Alps

An Airbus 320 operated by Germanwings, a subsidiary of Lufthansa, crashed in the French Alps between the towns of Digne and Barcelonnette.  The plane was flying out of Barcelona, Spain and was destined for Dusseldorf, Germany.  French police have indicated that none of the 150 people on board survived.  One of the plane's black boxes has been recovered.

Read more at Reuters, AOL, BBC News, Russia Today and The Local DE.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Random Musings #4

It's been a while since I put up this type of post, here are a few comments about things going on, and whatever else might have popped into my mind:
It seems that environmentalists have always been fond of trees.  I can't really blame them, since trees are pretty and do indeed take CO2 from the atmosphere.  But the ability to absorb CO2 is not unique to trees.  Every other plant, including grasses and crops, does the same thing.  Yet, I can't recall any environmentalist showing the same concern for corn, wheat or bluegrass that they seem to show for trees.

The term "green energy" is commonly used to denote energy sources that do not produce CO2, implying that this feature would be good for the environment.  (See here, for example.)  This is ironic because without CO2, the environment would not include any life forms that are naturally green.

I wonder how many people who wear a T-shirt depicting Che Guevara oppose the death penalty, while being blissfully unaware that he was an executioner.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

23 Things You'll See In Israel

Just something seen on Twitter, posted by Sue from New Mexico:

Here are 23 things that you'll see if you travel to Israel, which for the most part, can't be found elsewhere.  I think that #2 is especially profound.  The audio portion is a popular Jewish folk song.

Due to the thumbnail (still pic preview) being borderline NSFW and not even appearing in the actual video, I'll use a link instead.  Go here to watch.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Man Attacks TSA Officers At New Orleans Airport

Yesterday evening, a man attacked TSA officers at the New Orleans international airport with wasp spray and a machete after walking down a Pre-Check security line.  He was shot three times and wounded by a Jefferson Parish police lieutenant stationed at the security checkpoint, and taken to a hospital.  The attacker, identified as Richard White, has reportedly been a taxi driver, and has a criminal history consisting of only charges of disturbing the peace and traffic-related infractions.

Read more at USA Today, Yahoo News, Fox News, The New York Times and The Times Picayune.

UPDATE:  From Fox News, the suspect has been pronounced dead.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Links For The Spring Equinox

Here in my part of the world, the first day of spring has been snowy.  So far, it's been the "wet" variety of snow that seems to melt on contact with roads and sidewalks, and is expected to turn over to rain later today.  Tomorrow, we're supposed to see temperatures of around 60F, so it looks like winter will be over with.  But back to today, here's a bit of what's going on:

From CBS Connecticut, some 36 million Americans will be dealing with winter today.

From Fox News, the US will train 750 Ukrainian troops.

From Vatican Radio, Pope Francis invokes the memory of Japan's "hidden Christians".

From DC Inno, Amazon gets FAA approval to test their drones.

From AOL, a report on yesterday's solar eclipse, seen in parts of northern Europe and islands in the northern Atlantic Ocean.

From OneNewsNow, Texas appears ready to discontinue a steroid testing program for high school students.

From CNN, suicide bombers in Sanaa, Yemen kill at least 120 people in attacks on Zaidi mosques.

From Politico, General David Petraeus calls Iran a greater threat than ISIL (a.k.a. ISIS).

From Watchdog, Pennsylvania Republicans launch a website to keep track of tax proposals from Governor Tom Wolf (D).

From Townhall Finance, talk of another bailout for Fannie and Freddie.

From UPI, the US dollar and talks with Iran influence the price of crude oil.

From the Epoch Times, Internet users in China can no longer access Reuters websites.

In National Review, columnist Mona Charen gives us her idea of the conversation we should be having about race.

From the Los Angeles Times, farmworkers in Mexico strike over low wages.

From the National Journal, Hillary Clinton's emails could reach the National Archives - in 30 years.

And from WebProNews, a parody of Too Many Cooks.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Gunman Shoots Six In Mesa, Arizona

In Mesa, Arizona this morning, a gunman shot six people, killing one.  The shooter was first reported to be at large, but later said to be in police custody.  The shooting spree started in a motel room at the Tri-City Inn, which is across the street from the East Valley Institute of Technology.  That school and nearby Mesa Community College were placed on lockdown.

Terrorists Attack Museum In Tunis

At least 17 tourists, and at least 21 people overall, were killed today in a terrorist attack at the Bardo Museum in Tunis, during which other tourists were taken hostage.  The victims included people from Italy, Germany, Poland and Spain.  The overall death toll includes two of the attackers.  Police have captured two other gunmen, with one more being possibly at large.  The Bardo Museum is close to the Tunisian Parliament building.

Read more at The Independent, Fox News, ABC News, The Star and BBC News.