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rpannier's Journal
rpannier's Journal
April 27, 2020

I never in my wildest imaginings ever thought I would say/think this

Please do not die or resign Clarence Thomas (at least until February 2021)

April 27, 2020

I will consider the position of those who say don't vote Biden. But I require a few things

1. You have to prove that AJ RBG will not have to leave the bench (either as the result of death or some illness)
2. You have to prove that AJ Thomas will not resign or die
3. You have to be able to prove that il douce will not continue to place wholly unqualified hacks onto the bench
4. You have to prove that he won't continue damaging the environment
5. You have to prove that he won't keep marginalizing the LGBT community
6. You have to prove that he will get rid of the worst Attorney General in U.S. history
7. You have to prove that il douche-bag will act presidential
8. You have to prove the he'll stop spending huge amounts of tax dollars enriching himself, his family and his friends
9. You have to prove that he'll stop undermining the medical community
10. You have to prove that he'll listen to the advice of people who actually know what they're talking about
11. You have to prove he will stop acting like an insane, narcissistic, petulant, obnoxious, psychotic three year old.
12. You have to prove he'll stop eroding women's rights
13. You'll have to prove he will stop making excuses for racists and other bigots
14. You have to prove he'll stop listening to people like Falwell, Jeffries and Graham
15. You have to prove he'll stop watching TV and actually work
16. You have to prove he'll read the daily briefings, instead of winging it
17. You have to prove he'll stop picking fights with our allies/strategic partners
18. You have to prove he'll actually take responsibility for his mistakes
19. You have to prove he'll stop lying
20. You have to prove he'll stop taking advice from Hannity, Dobbs and the couch sitters.

If you can prove to me that these few things will happen (all of them, not some), then we can talk

April 25, 2020

Largest-ever hole in the ozone layer above Arctic finally closes

The largest hole ever observed in the ozone layer over the Arctic has closed, says Copernicus' Atmospheric Monitoring Service.

Scientists spotted signs in late March of a rare hole forming and it was thought to be the result of low temperatures at the north pole.

The ozone layer shields the Earth from most of the Sun's ultraviolet radiation, which is a major cause of skin cancer.

The record-breaking hole would only have posed a direct threat to humans if it had of moved further south to populated areas.


Interesting read. The article makes it clear this has to do with the polar vortex and not anything related to Covid

April 25, 2020

5 Stories from Europe You May Have Missed

1. Czechs See Signs Of Russian Role In Cyberattacks As Tensions Seethe

A recent wave of coordinated cyberattacks in the Czech Republic is likely tied to malware linked to Russia, Czech Internet security experts say.

Earlier this month, Czech officials said information-technology (IT) systems at Prague's international airport, several hospitals, and the Health Ministry were targeted in the attacks, which sparked outrage in Prague -- and Washington, as well.

On April 22, the Czech Interior Ministry said its IT systems were also targeted in the attacks, all of which were thwarted and were preceded by warnings from the country's cybersecurity watchdog of expected cyberattacks on critical infrastructure.


"It's impossible to pinpoint where the attacks originated, but the tool MBR Locker, with which it was created, is in the Russian language. So are the instructions for using it, and they can be found on forums used by Russian hackers," Dvorak said in comments sent to RFE/RL.

He added that the digital trail also led to IP addresses in China.


2. Ukraine’s Job Offer To Saakashvili Angers Georgia

TBILISI/KYIV -- The government of Georgia, led by former President Mikheil Saakashvili's longtime foes, has voiced objection to his possible appointment to the post of deputy prime minister of Ukraine, saying such a move would negatively affect relations between the two countries.​

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia said in Tbilisi on April 24 that it was "absolutely unacceptable" for Ukraine to appoint to a top post a person who has been convicted in his native Georgia and is wanted on charges of abuse of power.​


In Kyiv, Ukrainian lawmakers representing the ruling Servant of the People party said they were divided over the government's proposal to give Saakashvili the post of deputy prime minister in charge of reforms.​

Saakashvili, whose appointment needs to be approved by parliament, told reporters that President Volodymyr Zelenskiy had asked him to conduct talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).​


3. Michel Barnier: 'UK cannot refuse Brexit transition extension and slow down talks at the same time'

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier has accused the UK of dragging its feet over post-Brexit negotiations, at the end of the second round of talks on the future relationship.

He described this week's talks, which resumed this week by videoconference after a six-week standstill amid the coronavirus pandemic, as "disappointing" -- adding that no progress had been made in key areas.

The UK had failed to engage or provide texts on crucial topics such as fishing, Barnier said. Yet "more than ever, the clock is ticking," he added, ahead of crucial deadlines this year.


4. Lenin At 150: Even Without COVID-19, Russia Was Set To Snub The Soviet Union's Founder

When the 100th anniversary of Vladimir Lenin’s birth rolled around in 1970, the Soviet Union pulled out all the stops to mark the occasion. Commemorative stamps were printed; coins were minted; medals were struck. A vast new wing was opened at the Lenin museum in Ulyanovsk, the Volga River city where he was born and raised. In Kurgan Oblast, a vast grove of trees was planted to spell out “Lenin 100,” a living monument that can be seen from space 50 years later.

The country, and the entire Soviet bloc for that matter, capped off two years of preparations with a Communist Party meeting in the Kremlin addressed by General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev. Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet Nikolai Podgorny opened the event by saying: “What Lenin did during his spectacular life is not something for 100 years, but for the ages, for millennia.”

Yet on Lenin’s sesquicentennial, April 22, the country he created no longer exists and its successor state -- Russia -- seems decidedly uninterested in marking 150 years since his birth. Even before the coronavirus pandemic hit, only the most diehard Communists remaining in Russia seemed even to have noticed the anniversary. By contrast with the past, the silence seems deafening.

In Russia today, under President Vladimir Putin, Lenin’s memory is caught between what analysts say are two primary ideological currents of the ruling elite: the lionization of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin -- whom Lenin described as “too coarse” in his final political testament, urging Stalin’s removal as general secretary -- and nostalgia for Russia’s pre-Soviet tsarist past, which Lenin despised and sought to destroy.


5. Sweden queries basis of lockdowns as Germany keeps its guard up

Sweden questioned the scientific basis of other EU countries’ strict coronavirus lockdowns as Germany said its number of cases needed to fall from about 2,000 to a few hundred a day before it could ease restrictions further.

As several European countries continued to cautiously lift lockdowns, sending children back to school and reopening some shops and businesses, Sweden’s chief epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, said their original measures looked difficult to justify.

Sweden has favoured civic responsibility over mandatory rules, closing senior high schools and banning gatherings of more than 50 people, but asking rather than ordering people to avoid non-essential travel, work from home and stay indoors if they are over 70 or feeling ill. Shops, restaurants and junior schools have stayed open.

Polls show many Swedes support the policy, although the interior minister, Mikael Damberg, and the mayor of Stockholm, Anna König Jerlmyr, urged people not to relax as the weather turned warmer, warning that bars and restaurants that did not follow physical distancing recommendations risked being shut down.

April 24, 2020

Pro-China Kiribati president loses majority over switch from Taiwan

China’s diplomatic ambitions in the Pacific suffered a setback on Wednesday when the party that switched recognition from Taiwan to China last year lost its majority in parliament over its handling of the move.

In the second round of parliamentary elections, the governing party and allies won 22 seats out of 45, dealing a blow to President Taneti Maamau, who previously enjoyed a comfortable majority of 31.

The rest of the seats were won by members or allies of two other parties: one of which has pledged to switch back to Taiwan, and another made up of MPs who left the governing party to create a new opposition party last fall over Maamau’s handling of the switch.


Kiribati is thought to be of interest partly due to its location – some islands are just 700 km from US military installations – and also due to Christmas Island, the world’s biggest atoll with a land mass of nearly 400 sq km. It lies just 2,150 km from Honolulu, home of the US Pacific Command and is far to the east of existing port facilities available to the Chinese navy.


April 24, 2020

Top 9 Reasons for People Who Didn't Support Biden to vote Biden

****I am one of those people who really did not support Biden in the Primaries. I have (among my circle) found that one or more of these 9 do bring them around (or very close). Bringing up Russia and Putin does not sway them. The situation in the Ukraine has zero effect. I want them to definitely vote and insulting them does not help the situation. They are attainable. Why throw that chance away? I have found engaging people to be far more effective.***

9. Trump is leaving us with almost no friends -- unless they're despotic, authoritarian, obnoxious dictators. The guy in the PDK, the lunatic in Brazil, his administrations support of the Afd in Germany. He has chosen fights with our allies in the EU, with trading partners, like Canada and key strategic partners like Japan and South Korea. They abandoned the Kurds.

8. Watching Sean Hannity in total melt down. It would be like Christmas morning. But, instead of unwrapping presents under the tree, you could turn on faux spews and watch Hannity sputter and whine and cry. Make me believe in Santa again.

7. The Chaos. This maladministration thrives on creating chaos. In their defense, it's the only way they have to keep people from looking at their criminal behavior. Just in the last week alone he has hawked three game changing cures for Covid without any regard for the dangers they present.

6. The Environment. Do you really believe that Biden would open up National Parks to oil and mineral companies?

5. The Cronyism. Has there ever been any administration that has shamelessly gorged at the public trough? I wouldn't be surprised to find out that a 30th cousin 11 times removed was getting perks from the government.

4. He has done things that undermine the chain of command in the U.S. military. The pardons he granted to those two completely undermines military justice and the authority of the commanders.

3. The Incompetence. Along with chaos, this administration is incompetent. Trump lies because that's all he has. The Covid-19 would be incredibly difficult for any administration, no matter who was president. But, this administration makes situations worse because it cannot admit it isn't perfectly capable of everything and it throws out quick fixes. Take the anti-malarial drug. Deprive people with lupus of their necessary medication. Now it's heat lamps and injecting Clorox.

2. Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Bret Kavanaugh. RBG will not live forever and she likely will not survive another four years. Do you really want 30 years of a Kavanaugh clone or Alito clone on the bench? I would also point out that Breyer and Thomas are not youngsters either. There could be three openings on the bench in the next four years. Losing two to the evil clownishness of Trump and a shot at filling Thomas' seat is insanity.

1.Trump's behavior after impeachment. After the senate failed to convict him, Trump went off the rails. What do you honestly think he is going to be like should he get re-elected? There is no, nada, zip realistic scenario where Trump acts even remotely presidential and with even a smidgen of humility. None!

Don't vote for Biden. Vote against trump by choosing the person best positioned to beat him. If that turns out to be the nominee of the Communist Peace Love Chainsaw Juggling and Stalin Party, vote for him or her. But reality says the only person that has a shot is the nominee of the other major political party. Go all out to get a new political party elected president 4 years from now.

As my late mother would say, "This hill isn't worth dying on."

April 24, 2020

Supergenius. The animal equivalent of Donald J Trump

Wile E Coyote Super Genius
He sounds like trump and is as successful

Coyote trump
Bugs Nancy
April 19, 2020

April 19 is Orthodox Easter. How are the churches handled Covid-19? Depends on where you are

If you live in the Ukraine, the disagreement between the Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox Churches are minimal (compared to other places)
The Russian Orthodox Church has banned people from attending services, urging them to watch at home. Metropolitan Onufriy did say worshipers could come, stand outside the church and pray, provided they keep proper distance apart. The Ukrainian Orthodox Archbishop Yevstratiy criticized the decision, stating that it was every Christians duty to protect one another and stay home.
This dispute is fairly minor

In Russia, it's been a bigger mixed bag. In St. Petersburg churches have been closed since Mar 26.
The Moscow Patriarchate criticized the decision because it infringed on religious freedom. Yet, 3 days later (and after the government aka Putin changed their tact on the virus) Patriarch Kirill publicly urge believers to "strictly obey the regulations imposed by the health authorities" and "refrain from church visits."

However, Archbishop Pitirim of Syktyvkar and Komi, urged the Orthodox community to legally challenge orders to close churches. He has invited "volunteers" to come to services in the city of Syktyvkar.
According to the Archbishop, "Faith helps develop an immunity that protects."
Guy sounds like a few religious in the U.S. I wonder if he's washed in the blood of Christ?

In Greece the churches are closed. The Saturday vigil was watched on-line. Though some stood outside St. Demetrios Church in Thessaloniki with lit candles.

In Bulgaria the churches have stayed open. Patriarch Neophyte, led Midnight Mass. Though other Easter services will be held on TV only.

In Georgia, you must arrive before 9 pm and cannot leave until after 6 am -- the curfew. Churches have been set up to enforce social distancing. Police forces are patrolling the churches checking.
Be curious how many show up for that.

In Cyprus, Turkey and Romania everything is closed -- including the churches. Though in Balcoi, Romania, the priests and volunteers did go and distribute the Holy Fire under the eye of local police officers who were instructed to break up this activity if social distancing rules were not obeyed

Yes, it isn't just in America that some people will not listen. Euronews has a picture from Bulgaria of people outside a church and one of them brought their son with them

All of this information was gathered from Euronews and REFRL

April 18, 2020

5 Stories from Europe You May Have Missed

1. Afghans Among Unaccompanied Children Evacuated From Greek Refugee Camps To Germany

A group of 47 unaccompanied children evacuated from refugee camps in Greece arrived in Germany on April 18, German officials said.

The children come from Afghanistan, Syria, and Eritrea. Four are girls and there are several siblings among the group. Some of them have families waiting for them in Germany.

They were previously housed at refugee camps on the Greek islands of Lesbos, Samos, and Chios that have been criticized by rights activists as unsuitable for children.

Germany's Interior Ministry said the children arrived in Hanover, Germany early on April 18 on a flight from Athens.


2. Queen’s birthday will not be marked by gun salutes ‘for first time’ due to coronavirus pandemic

The Queen’s birthday will not be marked with a traditional gun salute due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday 21 April, Queen Elizabeth II will turn 94 years old.

It is customary for the monarch’s birthday to be commemorated with a royal gun salute.

However this year, given the impact the Covid-19 outbreak is having across the globe, the monarch is said to have decided against the tradition.


3. Depiction Of Roma As Crows Exposes Deeper Racism Within Romania

BUCHAREST -- One of Romania’s best-known intellectuals' involvement in a controversy over a racist depiction of Roma is seen as symbolic of a larger problem with racism in the country.

Vladimir Tismaneanu, an acclaimed Eastern European scholar at the University of Maryland, posted a meme late on April 10 in which Roma were compared to crows, a widely used, derogatory expression in Romanian for Roma and Africans.

A Facebook post by Romanian-American Tismaneanu and the reactions to it exposed the prevalence of anti-Romany racism in Romania and the prejudice faced by the minority, of which an estimated 600,000 to 1 million live in Romania.

Tismaneanu called a photo of a group of crows sitting on a fence with an inference to them being Roma "very cool." He later deleted the post, saying he didn't understand the racist connotations because he doesn't "live in Romania," from where he defected in 1981.


4. Lyra Mckee: Police appeal for more information one year after murder

Police in Northern Ireland on Friday renewed their appeal for information into the death of Lyra McKee, one year after the journalist was murdered.

McKee, 29, was shot dead while observing rioting in the Creggan estate, Londonderry on April 18, 2019.

The New IRA paramilitary group has admitted it was responsible for the killing and police have charged one man, 52-year-old Paul McIntyre, with the murder.

Police, who do not believe that the murder involved just one person, are renewing their appeal for information, asking residents in Creggan to provide them with mobile phone footage and photographs of the night and tips to recover the gun that killed McKee.


5. Greece to use drones to stop crowds gathering for Orthodox Easter

Greek authorities will deploy drones, monitor churches and ramp up street patrols as they prepare the nation for a very different Orthodox Easter in the age of Covid-19.

The spectre of worshippers defying strict bans on movement to mark the most sacred holiday of the year has posed an unprecedented challenge for officials.

“This Easter is different. We will not go to our villages. We will not roast in our yards. We will not go to our churches. And, of course, we will not gather in the homes of relatives and friends,” the government spokesman Stelios Petsas said. “For us to continue being together, this year we stay apart.”

April 18, 2020

7 Midwest governors form bi-partisan partnership to coordinate post-COVID-19 economy. Iowa's governo

7 Midwest governors form bi-partisan partnership to coordinate post-COVID-19 economy. Iowa's governor chose not to participate.

Seven Midwest Governors — Illinois’ JB Pritzker, Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer, Ohio’s Mike DeWine, Wisconsin’s Tony Evers, Minnesota’s Tim Walz, Indiana’s Eric Holcomb and Kentucky’s Andy Beshear — announced Thursday they will work in close coordination to reopen the economy in the Midwest region. Eastern and Western states’ governors have also met to coordinate their states’ economies reopening.

“Our Number One priority when analyzing when best to reopen our economy is the health and safety of our citizens,” the governors’ statement read. “We will make decisions based on facts, science and recommendations from experts in health care, business, labor and education.

“We will closely examine at least these four factors when determining when best to reopen our economy: sustained control of the rate of new infections and hospitalizations; enhanced ability to test and trace; sufficient health care capacity to handle resurgence; and best practices for social distancing in the workplace.”

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds will not be part of the partnership.


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