Is Twitter out to deceive us – again?

It seems that Twitter, not content with silencing voices with which it disagrees, is now actively trying to deceive the centrist and right wing of US politics among its subscribers.  The Ralph Retort reveals: Over the last couple weeks I’ve noticed something a little fishy every time I browse the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag. Every time I looked, the hashtag would be absolutely overrun with tweets critical of BLM — tweets that could generally be described as ‘alt-rightish’ in nature. What’s weird about the BLM hashtag completely overrun by alt-right tweets, you might be wondering? First off, although we may be legion,

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Law enforcement: the impossible conundrum

It’s become more and more clear over the past couple of years that law enforcement agencies and officers across the USA are increasingly caught in a no-win situation. Undoubtedly, some of this is their own fault.  The number of ‘bad cops’ does seem to have increased, and the number of agencies and officers with an attitude towards the general public is worryingly high – dangerously so, IMHO.  I’ve discussed several aspects of the problem in previous blog posts. Nevertheless, the profession of peace officer (a term I prefer to ‘law enforcement officer’:  it’s more philosophical, explicitly referencing ‘keeping the peace’

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This is a disgrace

I was very angry to read that helmets made for the US armed forces by Federal Prison Industries have been shown to be defective and far below acceptable standards. FPI is a government-owned company established by an executive order in the 1930s, and whose aim it is to provide prisoners with jobs that can help make them marketable after they’ve served their time. FPI was awarded a $23,019,629 government contract in 2008 to build Lightweight Marine Corps Helmets, or LMCHs. The Beaumont, Texas-based FPI produced about 23,000 helmets, selling and delivering only 3,000 to the DOD, though the DOD never

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Doofus Of The Day #923

Today’s award goes to Microsoft’s Bing Maps. The Register reports: Microsoft has misplaced Melbourne, the four-million-inhabitant capital of the Australian State of Victoria. A search on Bing Maps for “Melbourne, Victoria, Australia” says the city is at 37.813610, 144.963100 which we’ve screen-captured above. The co-ordinates are right save for one important detail: Melbourne is at 37.8136° South. Bing’s therefore put it in the wrong hemisphere. There’s more at the link. Oh, well . . . what’s a few thousand miles – and a hemisphere – between friends?  Watch that GPS, though, as you navigate around Australian roads looking for Melbourne.

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So much for the “cashless society”

There’s been lots of talk lately about doing away with bigger banknotes and moving towards a so-called “cashless society”.  To name just a few recent articles: The War on Cash Stores to customers: “Cash not welcome here” A Cashless Society Singapore Wants to Be Asia’s Sweden in Push for Cashless Payment However, when banks start charging you for the privilege of keeping your money in their vaults, that changes the picture.  The Wall Street Journal reports: For years, Germans kept socking money away in savings accounts despite plunging interest rates. Savers deemed the accounts secure, and they still offered easy

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A very lucky dog indeed!

Bolivia staged its annual Rally de Santa Cruz a few days ago, and a local pooch became the luckiest critter in the country.  Watch the video in full-screen mode for best results. Cats may have nine lives, according to fable;  but I reckon that pup used up at least that many, right there, all in one go! Peter

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In memoriam: Gene Wilder

I was sorry to learn that Gene Wilder, who in my opinion was one of the best comedic actors of his generation, has died.  His movies gave me hours of pleasure, and his sometimes whimsical yet always well-grounded interpretations made me think.  Not many actors have done that, over the years. There are many films for which he’ll be remembered.  My favorite is ‘The Frisco Kid‘, a comedy in which he plays a rabbi making his way through the Wild West to San Francisco (with Harrison Ford as a reluctant and less-than-honest sidekick).  Perhaps it’s because I’m a pastor that

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Mad dogs and Englishmen (or Welshmen, at any rate!)

This weekend saw the 31st World Bog Snorkeling Championships, both for swimmers and for underwater bicyclists. While most people were out enjoying their long weekend and trying to catch the fleeting sun, a group of cycling enthusiasts were racing through a boggy trench in Powys, Wales. They were competing in the World Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling Championships in Llanwrtyd Wells, where competitors have to ride a mountain bike as fast as they can along the bottom of Waen Rhydd bog – a two-metre-deep water-filled trench. The bikes are specially prepared with a lead filled frame and riders wear lead weight

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“The US position is untenable”

That’s the view of commentator Karsten Riise in an article hosted on the Web site of highly respected military historian and strategic analyst Martin van Creveld. A vicious circle threatens the US economy. When and how it may start, we don’t know. The biggest driver of the US Federal debt is the aging of the US population. Today 15% of Americans are aged 65+. This percentage will increase by two thirds, so that by 2060 about 24% of the US population will be 65+. Until now, the USA has benefited from a young population. The strain on medicare and social

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How many of you remember ‘Undercover Blues’?

It’s a relatively light-hearted, fun movie about a family of secret agents.  One of the peripheral characters is a New Orleans street thug calling himself ‘Muerte’, who keeps ending up on the losing side of his encounters with the hero and heroine (and sundry others who get in the way). Here’s a collected clip of Muerte’s finest (?) moments.  Watch in full-screen mode for best results. Yep.  Loser. Peter

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