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rpannier's Journal
rpannier's Journal
December 25, 2021

Stupidest stuff said in 2021. This why you wait til after Dec 31 is over


It started out with him praising Mary and Joseph for finding the manger so that the animals could heat the baby Jesus with their breath:

"I know we had this conversation before, but were the animals used, were their breaths used to heat Jesus?" Kilmeade wondered. "Remember the animals would go around because it was so cold in Bethlehem. I get them confused. It was so cold at that time, the animals breathed on him to keep him warm."

It was Steve Doocy - of all people - who had to remind Kilmeade that the original Bible story was that they were in the manger because there was no room at the inn.

Kilmeade agreed and added that the inn was full because of people traveling for the holiday season.

Gotta wait until the year is completely over, because they've got 6 whole days to say stupider things.

December 12, 2021

Vatican Nativity creche inspired by Peru's Andean region

The representation of Peru's diverse indigenous communities in this year's Nativity scene in St. Peter's Square embodies the joy and hope of their faith, said Peruvian Bishop Carlos Alberto Salcedo Ojeda of Huancavelica, Peru.

Bishop Salcedo joined Jorge Eduardo Román Morey, the Peruvian ambassador to the Vatican, and other Peruvians to show journalists around the Vatican Nativity scene on Dec. 9.

Statues of Joseph and Mary, as well as the Three Kings, are dressed in the traditional bright, multicolored garments of the region's indigenous Chopcca people.

Unlike more traditional depictions of the Magi, trudging to Bethlehem with camels and gifts of gold, incense and myrrh, the Andean interpretation has them accompanied by llamas and bearing sacks of food from the region, including corn, quinoa and potatoes.

In front of the llamas, an angel, dressed in traditional Andean clothing, hails the birth of the Messiah by playing a flute in one hand while banging a drum with the other. Overlooking the Peruvian Nativity scene atop a tree is an Andean condor, the country's national symbol, with its massive wings spread preparing to soar the heavens.

December 10, 2021

China Evergrande defaults on its debt. Now what?

For weeks, global markets have been watching the struggles of China Evergrande, a teetering real estate giant weighed down by $300 billion or more in obligations that just barely seemed able to make its required payments to global investors.

On Thursday, three days after a deadline passed leaving bondholders with nothing but silence from the company, a major credit ratings firm declared that Evergrande was in default. But instead of resolving questions about the fate of the Chinese behemoth, the announcement only deepened them.

The firm, Fitch Ratings, said in its statement that it had placed the Chinese property developer in its “restricted default” category. The designation means Evergrande had formally defaulted but had not yet entered into any kind of bankruptcy filing, liquidation or other process that would stop its operations.


For years, many investors gave money to companies like Evergrande on the basis of this assumption. But more recently, authorities have shown greater willingness to let companies fail in order to rein in China’s unsustainable debt problem.

To emphasize this point, China’s central bank has blamed Evergrande’s “own poor management and reckless expansion” for its problems and said the crisis was limited to Evergrande. Yi Gang, the central bank governor, indicated Thursday that Evergrande would go through something resembling a typical reorganization, suggesting a bailout was not in the cards.


December 9, 2021

45 years after college student from Georgia vanished, car with remains found in Alabama creek

For 45 years, no one could say for certain what happened to Kyle Clinkscales.

The 22-year-old Auburn University student vanished on a cold January night in 1976 after leaving his bartending job in LaGrange to make the 35-mile drive back to campus. He never made it.

Nearly 30 years later, investigators made two arrests after a tipster came forward with information about Clinkscales’ killing. The man suspected of murder, Ray Hyde, had died years earlier. Another man, Jimmy Earl Jones, was later convicted of making false statements to police.


Troup County investigators speculated that Hyde, who died in July 2001, killed Clinkscales because he feared the student may have learned of Hyde’s role in hiding stolen cars, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. Six months after Clinkscales’ disappearance, Hyde was arrested on numerous auto theft charges and was later sent to prison.


December 6, 2021

'Modern girls': Japan's first recognizable youth culture movement

The period of relative prosperity that Japan enjoyed in the mid- to late 1920s gave rise to the country’s first recognizable youth culture.

However, this new cultural phenomenon wasn’t spearheaded by young men in Japan at that time. Instead, “modern girls” (modan gāru, or moga for short) were the talk of the town, sauntering down the streets of Tokyo in neat bob cuts and wearing chic dresses and heeled shoes.

These women were Japan’s equivalent of flappers in the United States or garconnes in France, abandoning traditional kimonos and conservative societal values to embrace Western fashion and lifestyle.


The 1920s also marked the growth of a small but significant group of urban Japanese who eventually formed a new middle class. This new set of bourgeoisie were a collective of university-educated, salaried employees of corporations and government ministries and their families.


December 5, 2021

Three Years Late, Israelis Finally Hear the Truth About Trump

When Donald Trump decided to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018, Israel’s then-prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, turned the decision into a political celebration. Israeli media outlets received detailed briefings on how a daring Mossad operation to steal Iran’s “nuclear archive” from a secure location in the Islamic Republic was the final straw that convinced Trump to break the international agreement.

That sense of pride was missing last week, when former Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, the man who commanded that operation, spoke at the Haaretz-UCLA conference on Israeli national security. Cohen was asked about the fact that ever since Trump got out of the deal, Iran has significantly increased its uranium enrichment. “That’s true,” he replied.

Another speaker at the same conference was former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who strongly opposed the nuclear deal at the time of its signing, when he was still in office. Yet in an interview with Haaretz analyst Anshel Pfeffer, Ya’alon said that as bad as that deal was, Trump’s decision to withdraw from it – with Netanyahu’s encouragement – was even worse. He called it “the main mistake of the last decade” in Iran policy.

Two days later, former IDF Chief of Staff Lt. General (ret.) Gadi Eisenkot, brought a similar message to the Security and Policy conference in the Reichman University in Herzliya. The American withdrawal from the deal, said the man who commanded the Israeli military when it happened, was a net negative for Israel: It released Iran from all restrictions, and brought its nuclear program to a much more advanced position.


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