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Stonepounder

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Member since: Sun Jun 27, 2010, 10:05 PM
Number of posts: 3,827

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Kurds' Sense of Betrayal Compounded by Empowerment of Unsavory Rivals

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/18/world/middleeast/kurds-sense-of-betrayal-compounded-by-empowerment-of-unsavory-rivals.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur


Kurds’ Sense of Betrayal Compounded by Empowerment of Unsavory Rivals

DOHUK, Iraq — Abandoned by the U.S., Kurdish forces are doubly angry at who are seeking to replace them: Turkish-allied Syrian fighters the United States had long rejected as extremists, criminals and thugs.

The United States had encouraged its Kurdish allies to dismantle their defenses in northern Syria, saying it would make it easier to assure Turkey that the Kurds posed no threat. So in recent months, according to three American officials involved, the Kurds blew up tunnels and destroyed trenches, leaving themselves vulnerable as the United States promised that it would have their back.

Now, a week after President Trump’s decision to pull American support from them, the sense of betrayal among the Kurds, trusted allies now being forced to flee under assault from Turkey, is matched only by their outrage at who will move in: Turkish soldiers supported by Syrian fighters the United States had long rejected as extremists, criminals and thugs.

“These are the misfits of the conflict, the worst of the worst,” said Hassan Hassan, a Syrian-born scholar tracking the fighting. “They have been notorious for extortion, theft and banditry, more like thugs than rebels — essentially mercenaries.”

The sudden empowerment of Turkish-backed Syrian militias is yet another swift turnaround in Syria’s eight-year-old war, and it was unleashed by President Trump’s decision to pull United States troops out of the way for a Turkish military incursion.


More at link.

Even if we manage to throw Trump out of office, or he loses the election, who is ever going to trust us again? If we are very lucky it will only take 50-70 years to regain the world's trust.

Scam warning

For some reason that I can't remember back at the end of Sept I paid $1.00 for a 'free trial' of a credit monitoring firm. I discovered that it was even less helpful than the free monitoring of Credit Karma, so didn't do anything to extend the service after the '7 day free trial'. Imagin my shock and awe when a $39.99 charge from them just showed up on my bank account. Evidently, buried somewhere where they assumed you wouldn't see it was the little factoid that if you didn't cancel after the free trial, you would end up paying $40.00 a month for something you can get for free elsewhere. Caveat Emptor! The firm is:

YourScoreAndMore, 866-752-5004, CA

Seth Abramson has some info about White House and DOJ hiding whistleblower info.

Follow link below:


https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1172703173322203136.html

Trump's trade war is about to make it harder for Americans abroad to vote.

You've probably never heard of the UPU, or Universal Postal Union. It is a 145 year old treaty that facilitates the sending of mail across international borders. Trump is now threatening to withdraw from the treaty as part of his trade war with China.

Does China currently get somewhat of a sweetheart deal on shipping rates? Yes. Would it make sense to get some of our allies (do we have any allies left?) onboard to try and get a rate change? Sure. But Trump wants to go it alone and just leave the treaty. Which could be disastrous.

WaPo has a full article/opinion at:

https://beta.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/09/13/trumps-trade-war-is-about-make-it-harder-americans-abroad-vote/

The article is long and complex and just doesn't lend itself to a 4 paragraph excerpt.

An oldie but a goodie.

Is Hell Exothermic or Endothermic?

The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term:
"Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)? Support your answer with a proof."

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle’s Law (gas cools off when it expands and heats up when it is compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So, we need to know the rate that souls are moving into Hell and the rate they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let’s look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there are more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all people and all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle’s Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand as souls are added. This gives two possibilities.

1) If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2) Of course, if Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it ? If we accept the postulate given to me by Ms. Therese Banyan during my Freshman year that "It will be a cold night in Hell before I sleep with you," and take into account the fact that I still have not succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then (2) cannot be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic.

The student got the only A.

China Stops Buying US Agricultural Products Entirely

https://modernfarmer.com/2019/08/china-stops-buying-us-agricultural-products-entirely/

Modern Farmer

By Dan Nosowitz ON AUGUST 7, 2019

On Tuesday, the Chinese Commerce Ministry announced that China will no longer be buying American agricultural products, a decision with huge, wide-ranging implications. Zippy Duvall, president of the normally conservative-leaning American Farm Bureau, called the decision a “body blow” to American agriculture.

The Chinese decision is a response to two moves from Donald Trump and his administration. The first was a surprise announcement, made by Trump, that the US would begin instituting a 10 percent tariff on about $300 billion worth of Chinese goods. This came following a series of trade negotiations that press officers in the Trump administration described as “productive,” but Trump tweeted that China had reneged on promises to purchase certain American agricultural products (without specifying what those might have been).

Then, on Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin formally labeled China as a currency manipulator due to a drop in the value of the yuan. The move is largely symbolic, but also nearly unprecedented, and seen as mostly an open-handed slap in the face to China.

In response, it appears, came the Chinese government’s tactic to halt the purchase of American agricultural goods. China’s targeting of American agriculture has the benefit, in China’s perspective, of being both a large and a political attack. China imports billions of dollars of American agriculture, being the largest importer of American soybeans and a top-three importer of American pork; overall, China is the fourth-largest importer of American agricultural goods. But attacking American agriculture also serves as a de facto attack on Trump, who is perceived to draw support from rural America. This will be yet another insanely heavy burden on American farmers, who have dealt with fallout from the trade war for over a year, in addition to swine flu, floods, droughts, and heat waves.

MPD: At least 10 shot at Ladd Peebles Stadium after HS football game

Source: KKTV (CBS Affiliate, Mobile, AL)

UPDATE (10:18 p.m.) — Mobile Police say at least 10 people have been shot at Ladd Peebles Stadium. Police say the age of those injured ranges from 15 to 18. Mobile Fire-Rescue confirms 10 people were transported to area hospitals. The five patients transported by MFRD were taken to the hospital in critical condition, but with non-life threatening injuries.

Police say two people are in custody. Police say they are questioning them, but have not confirmed if they are the shooters.

Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste asks “Why are the young people bringing this type of violence to public events. They’re bringing their beefs that they have with each other in their neighborhoods and they’re putting other people in harm’s way. ” Chief Battiste and the Mobile Police Department has been advocating to prevent teen violence in the city.

“We’re going to have to be more aggressive on our end, the city, as to how we hold the individual accountable when they go before the courts. We have got to make sure they understand that we will not tolerate juvenile violence in our community,” says Chief Battiste. Chief Battise says they will make sure the suspects are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Read more: https://www.wkrg.com/mobile-county/shooting-at-ladd-peebles-stadium-after-hs-football-game/

I've been struggling over writing this for over a week.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/862298659886359413/

Last Tuesday we made the heart wrenching decision that it was time to
let our Bosley go. He had stopped eating, was sleeping 22-23 hours a
day, needed to be carried outside and then back in again. Liz and I can
still barely talk about it. I find myself getting out 5 cookies for
treats instead of 4, or two insulin hypos instead of just one.

Bosley was with us for something over 12 years and knew every dog and
cat we have ever owned. We had just gotten Dulcinea as a puppy to be a
companion for Sancho, our first Cavalier, and were taking her to puppy
school at Pet Smart. Sancho was not about to be left alone, so he came
along to class just to watch. The staff at Pet Smart realized we were
sort of Crazy Dog Folks. One day we arrived for Dulci's class an a
clerk came running up to us to tell us there was an adoption day going
on and they 'had one of your kind of dog!'. So naturally we had to go
look. In truth, Bosley wasn't a Cavalier, he was a King Charles Spaniel
(aka a Charlie), but we always considered him an honorary Cavalier. We
made it out of the store without him, since we had just gotten Dulci.
But the next day the Mrs. called me at work and said she just couldn't stop
thinking about 'that dog'. So I called Pet Smart, got the number for
the Shelter and called them. Turns out they had making bets on when we
would call. They brought him back to Pet Smart the next week and he
became out Bosi Bear.

He had been rescued from a Puppy Mill where he had been standing stud so
his life could have been worse, but it hadn't been great. When he came
to us he didn't have any idea how to go up or down stairs, he would come
if he were called but it was a slink with his tail between his legs. He
very quickly realized that his life had changed for the better and
wanted to do everything he possibly could to get our approval and love.
And he never stopped.

Shortly after we moved back to Ky he was diagnosed with diabetes. Our
vet told us that the average expectancy for diabetic dogs was 3-5
years. Bosley was going on 9 years a diabetic. We've been aware that
old age was catching up with him, but have been in denial. But last
week we couldn't deny any longer. It was one of the hardest good-byes
we have ever had to go through.

Run free, full of energy and no aches or pains at the Bridge, Bosi
Bear. Say Hi to Sancho and Dulci and Maggi for us and let them know
that we will be along presently. We love you dearly and miss you terribly.

Link Found Between Gun Violence and Cowardly Politicians (Borowitz)

https://bit.ly/2Z7F1lx

Link Found Between Gun Violence and Cowardly Politicians

MINNEAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report)—There is a “significant link” between gun violence and cowardly politicians, a new study from the University of Minnesota asserts. The study, which is raising eyebrows with its startling conclusions, finds that the most reliable predictor of gun violence is the “prevalence of quiveringly fearful politicians in positions of power.”

As part of the study’s methodology, researchers examining gun violence compared countries ruled by non-cowards with those ruled by gutless toadies. “In countries ruled by non-cowards, such as New Zealand, gun violence is virtually nonexistent,” the study claims.

While the study’s authors paint a bleak picture of nations with “coward-rich” leadership, they offer a recommendation to remedy this dire state of affairs.

“While censoring movies or video games would have no measurable effect on gun violence, major strides can be made by replacing cowards in government with non-cowards,” the study suggests, noting that this theory could be tested as early as 2020.

I'm a little embarrassed, but I was on receiving end of a good deed today.

I don't talk about it much, but I have an incurable disease known as IPF (or Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis). It means that I have developed scar tissue on my lungs which restricts my breathing. You wouldn't have a clue if you saw me sitting on a park bench. I've slimmed down to my ideal weight, hair is thinning a bit but not bald, and all things considered I look pretty good. However I can't walk from one room to the next without getting short of breath.

So, when the Mrs. asks me to run to the store and pick up a few things, I'm more than happy to go, hang my handicapped placard on my rearview mirror and grab one of those electric shopping cards and get what we need. So today I had a pretty full cart and got into the checkout line. There was a woman ahead of me of didn't look a whole lot younger than me. She had loaded her groceries onto the belt and was waiting for the woman ahead of her to finish paying. She turned around to me and said: "Here, let me load your groceries onto the belt so you don't have to get up" and proceeded to do so.

Some people seem to think that if you don't have an obvious handicap you are riding in a card because you are lazy, or having fun. Others just assume if you are in a cart it is because you need one. The woman ahead of me in line was one of the latter. I thanked her for her concern and for assuming not all handicaps have to be visible to be real.

So thank you unknown shopper for being helpful to a stranger.
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