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rpannier's Journal
rpannier's Journal
August 23, 2021

I do hope Troy Nehls (R-TX) recovers from Covid

Troy Nehls (R-TX) has Covid. He is staying at home for ten days. He has his Covid shots and, according to two articles I've seen, he has been encouraging people to get vaccinated for awhile now.
He's a douche and an ass-circus. But, he is vaccinated.

August 23, 2021

Takeharu Yamanaka wins Yokohama mayoral election

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who is from Yokohama saw his candidate choice Hachiro Okonogi defeated.

Suga has watched his popularity in Japan crumble with each stumble. For a man who has always been good at personality politics (first politician in Japan to hold impromptu public campaign rallies) and was widely respected for his work as the person in charge of Covid response in 2020, it is a shock at how badly he has faltered as the Prime Minister.

To be fair, part of the reason why Takeharu Yamanaka won the mayor's race was likely due to a large number of people on the ballot. But this is not the first time the ballot had so many candidates, and the LDP won the Mayor's race.

Also, the resort casino was a very large issue in the Mmayor's race. Yamanaka opposed a casino resort being built in Yokohama. Okonogi supported it (as did 4 other candidates). Most of the public in Yokohama oppose it. Everyone I know in Yokohama opposes it. The man known as the “Don of Yokohama”, the former Yokohama Harbor Transportation Association chairman, 90-year-old Yukio Fujiki opposed the resort and threw his support behind Yamanaka

The Japanese government's pitiful handling of Covid is an albatross around the neck of many LDP politicians

So, the issues behind why Okonogi lost are varied. Still, for someone so close to a sitting Prime Minister, who is from the same city, to lose an important election is really rare in Japan. More-and-more people are talking about Suga no longer being the Prime Minister. Already 3 members of the party hae announced they are running for the party presidency next month; two of these are influential party members, internal affairs minister Sanae Takaichi, a close ally of Abe, and LDP policy chief Hakubun Shimomura.
Kishida and Kono will likely run as well. Though, former LDP Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba has said he will not run (which is odd, given how power-hungry he is and the high likelihood he would win)

August 23, 2021

"Sorry for your easily avoidable loss."

Steve Walsh, husband of MO state Rep Sara Walsh died of Covid -- Unvaxxed
To Sara "Sorry for your easily avoidable loss."

Dr Jimmy DeYoung Sr Minister, Radio Host and Conspiracy Nutjob-- Unvaxxed
To his family "Sorry for your easily avoidable loss."

Radio Host Phil Valentine -- Unvaxxed
"Sorry for your easily avoidable loss."

Greenville County Republican Party Leader Pressley Stutts -- Unvaxxed
"Sorry for your easily avoidable loss."

Waiting on
Cardinal Burke
Andre Jacque
Rep Barry Moore
and others

August 21, 2021

Five Stories from Europe You May Have Missed

1. Dutch journalist targeted in Molotov cocktail attack

A Dutch journalist has been targeted in a Molotov cocktail attack in the northern city of Groningen.

Police said that "burning material" had been thrown through the window of the home of Willem Groeneveld, who writes for the Groningen blog "Sikkom".

Groeneveld and his partner were woken by breaking glass on Wednesday night and managed to extinguish the flames and throw the material outside.

Police officers later found flammable material in front of their upstairs flat in the Tuinwijk neighbourhood of the city.


2. Merkel Makes Farewell Trip To Meet Putin Amid 'Deep Disagreements'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin had a long list of contentious topics to discuss during Merkel's last official visit to Russia before retiring from politics after next month's general elections.

The controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline, the return of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan, the Iranian nuclear deal, and the stalled peace process to end the conflict in Ukraine were just some of the headline issues discussed by the two leaders during their nearly three-hour talk in Moscow on August 20.

Also up for discussion in the Grand Kremlin Palace were upcoming elections both in Russia and Germany and the continuing postelection crisis in Belarus, with Merkel stressing at the beginning of the meeting that Moscow and Berlin need to maintain dialogue despite “deep disagreements."


3. Levelling up Pompeii: grave shows how a former slave went far

The inscription on the gravestone proudly attests to how far Marcus Venerius Secundio, a former slave of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, went in life. In order of importance, he lists his achievements after being liberated. The first was his role as custodian of the Temple of Venus, built soon after the creation of Pompeii as a Roman colony.

He also joined the ranks of the Augustales, a college of priests who were in charge of a form of emperor worship. But perhaps the most telling indication of his eventual status was that he financed entertainment events in Greek and Latin.

“Being a slave is humiliating, you are in the possession of someone else,” said Gabriel Zuchtriegel, the director of Pompeii’s archaeological park. “So here we see evidence of a transformation in social ranking … he is showing that he became a different person, that he made it in life.”


Secundio, who was first identified as a public slave in archives belonging to Caecilius Iucundus, a rich banker who lived in the city, is believed to have died at around the age of 60 in the decades before Pompeii was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD79. Two urns were also found in the tomb, one with the name Novia Amabilis, possibly Secundio’s wife, along with a coin celebrating Greek athletic games organised by Emperor Nero.


4. Bulgaria Moves Closer To Third Election This Year After GERB Party Fails To Form Cabinet

Bulgaria's political crisis has deepened, moving the country closer to its third parliamentary elections this year, after GERB became the second political party to give up efforts to form a new government since last month's inconclusive vote.

The center-right GERB party's choice for prime minister, Daniel Mitov, returned a mandate to the president on August 20, prolonging the crisis and leaving few options to avoid fresh elections.

The prolonged political uncertainty could hamper the European Union's poorest member state's ability to effectively deal with a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and tap the bloc’s multibillion-euro coronavirus-recovery fund.

President Rumen Radev had asked GERB, the party of former long-serving Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, to try and lead the country after an antiestablishment party that narrowly won the July 11 polls gave up efforts to form a minority government.


5. Rain falls on peak of Greenland ice cap for first time on record

Rain has fallen on the summit of Greenland’s huge ice cap for the first time on record. Temperatures are normally well below freezing on the 3,216-metre (10,551ft) peak, and the precipitation is a stark sign of the climate crisis.

Scientists at the US National Science Foundation’s summit station saw rain falling throughout 14 August but had no gauges to measure the fall because the precipitation was so unexpected. Across Greenland, an estimated 7bn tonnes of water was released from the clouds.

The rain fell during an exceptionally hot three days in Greenland when temperatures were 18C higher than average in places. As a result, melting was seen in most of Greenland, across an area about four times the size of the UK.

The recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded it was “unequivocal” that carbon emissions from human activities were heating the planet and causing impacts such as melting ice and rising sea level.

August 19, 2021

'Climate change has become real': extreme weather sinks prime US tourism site

At Lake Powell on the Arizona-Utah border, the water line has dropped to a historic low, taking a heavy toll on the local industry


“This is a crisis for our community that is just as bad as Covid,” West said of Page, which has a population of 7,500 and is the main service hub for Lake Powell. “It is peak season and the whole town is being hit hard – the restaurants, the grocery stores, the bars, we are all feeling it.”

While climate change has exacerbated wildfires, heatwaves and flash floods this summer, it is also taking a heavy toll on the tourism industry that’s dependent on Lake Powell. Last week the water line reached a historic low of 3,554ft, a level that has not been seen since 1969, when the reservoir was first filled. The giant reservoir is currently three-quarters empty and will keep dropping at least through next spring due to record low snowpack levels in the Colorado River basin.


“We sent out plenty of advisories to stakeholders about the possibility of very low lake levels this year and no one took it seriously,” said Billy Shott, superintendent of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which manages Lake Powell. He compares the park’s regular drought notices to routine avalanche alerts in the mountains. “Well, now the avalanche has actually happened. Climate change has become real at Lake Powell.”


August 19, 2021

Mississippi Quarantines 20,000 With 5,993 Students Positive For COVID; Teen Deaths Rise

With both siblings wearing backpacks, Mkayla Robinson put her arms around her little brother, and the two smiled for a photo on Friday, Aug. 6., as they prepared to leave home to start her final year of junior high and his first day of kindergarten. But eight days into her eighth-grade year at Raleigh Junior High, Robinson died of COVID-19 on Saturday, Aug. 14, mere hours after testing positive for the virus.

She was one of at least 5,993 Mississippi students who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks, according to data the Mississippi State Department of Health released today. At the same point in August 2020, the Mississippi State Department had reported just 199 cases among students; total confirmed COVID-19 cases did not surpass 5,000 until the end of the semester in December 2020.

Last week alone, 803 schools reported 4,521 positive cases among students. Schools have also confirmed 1,496 cases among teachers and educational staff this month so far. The situation and the deaths of at least two teenagers from COVID-19 since late July has led to increased calls for Gov. Tate Reeves to reverse his opposition to a statewide mask mandate and take aggressive action to stem the viral tide.

“I was thinking about your girls and all the other children I’ve ministered to, all the children I love who cannot yet be vaccinated against this deadly virus, and I am afraid for them, Tate,” the governor’s former pastor, Elizabeth Henry, wrote in an open letter to him that she posted on social media on Aug. 15. Mkayla Robinson, she noted, was close in age to one of his own daughters.


August 19, 2021

Suit: Changing prisoner count weakens rural, GOP districts

A Republican state senator is among a group of people suing the Virginia Redistricting Commission over plans to count prisoners at their last known address instead of the prisons where they’re incarcerated.

The lawsuit says the change will politically weaken Virginia’s rural and conservative areas after the state draws new congressional and legislative districts.

“Virginia prisons are typically located in rural districts with greater Republican voting strength, particularly in the southside and southwest regions of the commonwealth,” the suit said.

The legal challenge was filed Friday in Virginia’s state Supreme Court. Petitioners include state Sen. Travis Hackworth, who represents a reliably Republican district that stretches from the Virginia-Kentucky border to Radford.


Virginia’s law requires the state to count prisoners based off their last known address before incarceration if it was in Virginia, the NCSL said. If it was out of state, the prison’s address is used.


August 7, 2021

'People think you're an idiot': death metal Irish baron rewilds his estate

Lord Randal Plunkett strides through the hip-high grass of Dunsany, a 650-hectare (1,600-acre) estate in the middle of Ireland, trailed by an invisible swarm of midges and his four jack russell terriers: Tiny, Lumpy, Chow and Beavis & Butt-Head.


It is probably Ireland’s most ambitious attempt at rewilding on private land, an attempt to recreate a vanished landscape in a swath of County Meath, 20 miles north-west of Dublin.


He still loves death metal, and sports a ponytail and (fake) leather jacket, but he decided seven years ago to turn over 300 hectares of his estate to nature – no livestock, planting, sowing or weeding.

Some people considered it disgraceful neglect of an estate associated with agricultural innovation, he said. “They just thought I was a complete waster. Decadent, a fool. One farmer said I should be ashamed of myself for destroying the farm.”

Plunkett says vindication has come in multiple forms. Before, the estate had just three types of grass, now it has 23. “I didn’t do it, the birds did.” Trees regenerated and multiplied – oak, ash, beech, Scots pine and black poplar. “I see a lot of saplings growing that I haven’t planted.”


August 7, 2021

'Stunning' Ice Age lion cub found in Siberia, Russia is 28,000 years old, scientists say

In early autumn 2018, seven metres below ground in a frozen tunnel deep in the Siberian Arctic, local mammoth tusk hunter Pavel Efimov made a shocking discovery.

As per a long-established working relationship, he contacted researchers at the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Yakutsk. A team was duly dispatched to the site at Belaya Gora, on the bank of the Indigirka River.

What they found there was one of the most beautifully-preserved Ice Age animals ever found: a 28,000-year-old cave lion cub, curled up under the permafrost with its teeth, skin, claws and even whiskers still intact.

The cub, whom scientist Dr Valery Plotnikov and colleagues initially dubbed Spartak, was found just 15 metres away from another cave lion cub, Boris, that locals had discovered the previous year.


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