On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog

Random header image... Refresh for more!

Subtropical Storm Ana

Tropical Storm AnaPosition: 32.1N 77.4W [10PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: North [350°] near 2 mph [ 4 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 60 mph [ 95 kph].
Wind Gusts: 70 mph [110 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 140 miles [220 km].
Minimum central pressure: 998 mb ↓.

Currently about 140 miles [ 225 km] Southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for South Santee River, South Carolina to Cape Lookout, North Carolina.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Edisto Beach to South Santee River, South Carolina.

It finally gained enough organization to become the first storm of the season.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

May 8, 2015   No Comments

Invest 90L

The National Hurricane Center is watching Invest 90L, a low-pressure area in the Atlantic off the coast of South Carolina with the potential of becoming a subtropical or tropical storm.

A Hurricane Hunter mission found winds of 50 mph, but the system lacks a closed circulation, which is required for promotion to the first storm of the season.

The conditions for development are forecast to improve in the next few days as the low stalls off the coast.

May 7, 2015   No Comments

Alberta Provincial Election

The Conservative Party has been the government in the Canadian province of Alberta for 44 years. When the election was called for yesterday, the Conservatives held 70 of the seats in the 87 seat parliament.

The polls kept indicating that the Conservatives were in trouble and the New Democratic Party might take power. None of the pundits accepted the polls, because it was unthinkable that the Conservatives wouldn’t win.

Today the Conservatives have 10 seats in the new parliament and the NDP have 53, the Conservatives were crushed.

This is not good news for Stephen Harper who is getting ready for the national elections in Canada.

Meanwhile, the UK is voting tomorrow, and there will certainly be another coalition government because no party can command a majority of voters. There is a lot of ink being wasted on speculation that the Scottish National Party may be the party that decides who will be the next the Prime Minister.

May 6, 2015   2 Comments

Another Slow News Day

The BBC alerted me that the new baby’s great grandmother and great grandfather dropped by for a visit. With a two-year-old as well as the new baby, I get a feeling that her mom and dad would probably just as soon take a nap as deal with the visitors.

The death toll keeps climbing as they reach the more remote areas of Nepal. It is currently above 7,500.

In the provincial elections in Canada, the Liberals have maintained their hold on the government on Prince Edward Island, but the Conservative hold on Alberta is looking very shaky.

The UK is having national elections, but the real question appears to be will anyone bother to vote? That’s the reason the BBC has spent so much space on Princess Charlotte – no one is reading their election coverage, because voters apparently are ready for a “none of the above” election.

So a brain surgeon who has never held elected office, a woman with the same experience in public office but who trashed HP, and a current version of Elmer Gantry have joined the Republican Presidential comedy revue. “None of the above” is currently leading this race as well.

May 5, 2015   2 Comments

Cinco de Mayo

Mexico

Wikipedia usually has to “lock” its Cinco de Mayo page. I suspect it may be related to the sudden appearance of sites opposing the celebration of this semi-holiday and others who have a hissy fit about any Mexican holiday being celebrated in the US.

In Mexico Cinco de Mayo or Batalla de Puebla, is only a really big celebration in the state of Puebla, where the battle took place.

The Mexican army won the Batalla de Puebla on May the 5th, 1862, but the French went on to Mexico City in 1863 after receiving reinforcements and installed Emperor Maximilian.

It has the status of St. Patrick’s Day in the US, an excuse to eat different food, and drink different booze, and be obnoxious show an interest in other cultures.

Margaritas, tacos, and the destruction of piñatas, that’s what it is really about.

May 5, 2015   5 Comments

Staying Informed?

The BBC has been alerting me for the last few days to ensure I knew that Will & Kate had a little girl on Saturday, and named the child Charlotte Elizabeth Diana today. This vital information was echoed on the CBC and the ABC.

In the waiting room today they had Faux News on the TV and they were broadcasting a ‘live report’ from one of their reporters on the scene in Baltimore who said a police officer shot a black man. A bit later Faux News had to issue an ‘Emily Litella’, i.e. ‘Never mind’, as that wasn’t in the same space-time continuum as the truth and the Baltimore police were very unhappy.

Two haters died after a attacking an event staged by a different group of haters in Texas. If the security officer hadn’t been shot in the leg, it would have been a wash. The haters who organized the event claimed it was about ‘free speech’, but anyone who has been aware of them knows that they believe that speech is only free if it agrees with them. Essentially you are free to slander Muslims, but if say any negative about the government in Israel, you are a Nazi. You reap what you sow.

May 4, 2015   No Comments

More On Nepal

While a 101-year-old-man was pulled out of the rubble that had been his house a week after the earthquake, any other survivors are unlikely.

The current death toll is above 7,000 with more than twice as many people injured. There are still about 100 foreigners listed as missing by their embassies, and there have been an average of 10 aftershocks per day.

The airport at Kathmandu has had to close its single runway to big jet aircraft because it wasn’t designed to handle the weight of the fully-loaded military transports that have been landing there to off load supplies and is being damaged.

US Marines supported by CV-22 Osprey aircraft have arrived in Nepal which should provide more cargo capacity to supply remote areas.

Update: The police notified the media that the old man was found in his garden, not the rubble of his house.

May 3, 2015   No Comments

Belated Cat Blogging

Alone

Friday Cat Blogging

Where is everyone?

[Editor: Ninja is the only cat I’ve seen outside in a week. Apparently the others are around in the early morning.]

The Friday Ark for lots of animal pictures.

May 2, 2015   4 Comments

Charges In Baltimore

I was as surprised as most people when the BBC sent me the alert on this – Freddie Gray: Baltimore police to face criminal charges. Then I read the charges and understood why it didn’t take long for the prosecutor to file the charges.

The root of the charges is the lack of probable cause to arrest Mr. Gray. He was charged with having a switchblade, but he was carrying a perfectly legal pocketknife. Given that the arrest wasn’t legal, he shouldn’t have been in the van, and wouldn’t have died. The prosecutor probably had charges outlined some time ago, but she had to wait on the formal declaration of the medical examiner before announcing them. When the medical examiner ruled the death homicide, she charged criminally negligent homicide.

The lack of a valid arrest would usually result in the police officers being denied the special protections of their job in the use of violence.

May 1, 2015   6 Comments

May Day

The May Day association with labor is all American, and just as controversial as everything of any consequence in history. The day is tied to a strike for the eight-hour day and the so-called “Haymarket Riot” of 1886. When it comes to “riots” and the Chicago police are involved, you are not going to find a single truth.

The dynamic duo that mucked up the Pledge of Allegiance, Dwight Eisenhower and his Republican Congress, made May 1st both Law Day and Loyalty Day so those Commie working people wouldn’t get any ideas about having rights.

May 1, 2015   No Comments

In The News

World News:

They are still finding some survivors in the collapsed buildings in Nepal, including a four-month-old baby, but time is running out.

The official death toll is approaching 6,000 and they still haven’t reached all of the villages in the affected area. They only have 20 helicopters available, those were grounded today by the weather.

US News:

Reporting on the investigation into the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, the police chief announced that they have discovered that the transport van made two stops, not just the single stop as was reported earlier. The second stop was discovered when the investigators reviewed private video sources.

Normally, no one would care about a second stop, but this wasn’t a normal transport, and the investigators have to be suspicious as to the reason the officers involved didn’t mention it when questioned about the transport. This is not a good sign, and will not help community relations.

April 30, 2015   No Comments

Hexennacht

It’s Hexennacht, but there is no Blocksberg available for dancing down here and it is so soggy that bonfires are out of the question.

Of course the Church grabbed this holiday too and called it Walpurgisnacht in honor of one of their Anglo-Saxon saints, rather than good German witches [Hexen]. The Celts celebrate Beltaine at this time of the year. It is considered the beginning of summer in much of Europe.

Archæoastronomy

April 30, 2015   No Comments

The View From Afar

Because almost all of the US national news outlets are tools of the corporations that own them, and bend reality to fit with the official ‘vision’ of their masters, I get my information from foreign sources. A side benefit is that you get reporting that does not automatically accept the ‘conventional wisdom’ in the US.

The CBC opinion piece on what has been happening in Baltimore goes right to core of the problem: Police killings are the real state of emergency. As a Canadian Mr. MacDonald doesn’t believe that police officers shooting people is normal.

In his piece for the BBC Jon Sopel looks at efficacy of riots in making a point. He points out that most people only remember Ferguson and Baltimore, as if all of the other unarmed people killed by police officers didn’t exist.

If you go back to the run up the Iraq invasion there were huge anti-war demonstrations that most people in the US knew nothing about, because the US media didn’t cover them. What is the point of having thousands of people march in protest if they are the only people who know the protest took place. History is distorted by claims that ‘everyone’ supported the invasion, when that is patently untrue.

If we want to prevent riots, why don’t we do something about the police using unarmed people for target practice.

April 29, 2015   8 Comments

Quick Hits

The Prime Minister of Nepal is now talking about the possibility of 10,000 deaths, as a result of the earthquake. They are finally able to over-fly many of the remote areas, and things are looking grim.

The Australian government has recalled its ambassador to Indonesia as the result of the death by firing squad of two Australian citizens for drug offenses.

While I recognize the reason behind Australia’s actions, I don’t understand why anyone would risk moving drugs through Indonesia. Their death penalty for drug offenses is not a secret, and it has happened in the past.

Baltimore exploded because people don’t believe that anything is going to change without violence. If you look at the series of unarmed black males being killed by the police all over the country and how quickly it fades from the headlines with no one really being held responsible, why would you expect people to respect the law or the police?

April 28, 2015   6 Comments