Lottie the Border Collie may be the smartest dog in Canada, having a repertoire of 275 tricks at age two. BarkPost did a photo essay on Lottie featuring some jumping that caused the writer to call her “the Michael Jordan of dogs.” Less acrobatic but more adorable is her habit of hugging her new BFF, a mutt adopted out of an Ontario shelter.
Turning from dogs that don’t bite to men who do, The Washington Post reported that Robert Giles, 27, was charged with rape in Clayton County, Georgia, after he decided he wanted his victim’s boyfriend to listen to the assault. Giles allegedly ordered his victim to call her boyfriend. Instead, she called 911.
She then had two incredible pieces of luck. First, the only male on duty, Deonte Smith, picked up her call. Second, Smith had enough snap to figure out what was going on and play along while he had co-workers dispatch police from another line. Giles was apprehended “in the act.”
Smith told the Post that it was “the most extreme call of my career.”
Dialing back the seriousness of the crime, WFLA reported that Josseleen Lopez, 20, was arrested in a Lecanto, Florida Wal-Mart for shoplifting while intoxicated. Lopez was allegedly driving a motorized cart around the store while eating sushi, cinnamon rolls and Rotisserie chicken…chased down with wine, half a bottle of which was left when she was stopped. The Sheriff’s deputy who stopped her found two syringes, with which she claimed she had just shot up methamphetamine.
My cousin Ray Sixkiller was puzzled. “I thought speed had the opposite effect on your appetite?”
The crime wave that is climate change denial is causing other kinds of waves. The New York Times published an article referring to recent weather as “Climate Chaos.” In the Cherokee Nation, we have the climate chaos T-shirt. More useful than the weather news so many of us can see out our windows, the Times offers a climate “cheat sheet” that reviews the science in non-technical and non-alarmist language.
Cousin Ray wanted to know what’s wrong with alarmist language when something alarming but preventable is going on? Beats me.
Over where climate change is going to do a lot more harm than in North America, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a surprise visit to his Pakistani counterpart, seeking to thaw the icy relations between the two nuclear powers. Predictably, Modi’s nudge in the direction of peace touched off demonstrations against the meeting both in India and in Pakistan. Relations between mostly Muslim Pakistan and mostly Hindu India are always at a simmer threatening to boil.
Some speculated that Pakistan scrambled fighters too late to intercept SEAL Team Six’s greetings to Osama bin Laden because all Pakistani air defense systems are focused in the direction of India and the SEALs came from the other direction.
A new book upset the government of another country expected to experience climate famine.
The most important member of the first Chinese Communist government, after Mao Zedong, had to be Premier Zhou Enlai. Reuters reported on a book that mines limited evidence and suggests that Zhou Enlai was gay.
Sexual orientation would not have been a big deal in classical Chinese culture, but the Communist revolution imported a prudishness that is only recently beginning to wear off.
Back in the U.S., NBC reported that about 400,000 U.S. citizens got drones for Christmas. Tyro pilots are supposed to get licenses from the FAA at a cost of $5. Cousin Ray took a rain check until the drones come with Hellfire missiles.
The New York Times reported that Alaska is considering a state income tax for the first time in 35 years because the crash in oil prices has left state government in budget shortfall when it normally cuts all Alaskans a check to divide up the surplus. Having lived in states with and without, I prefer the income tax because you can see how much you are paying and deduct it from your federal taxes. No income tax Texas has taxing authorities hidden under every rock.
The British newspaper Independent ran a story titled, “Here are 9 of the stupidest things politicians did or said in 2015.” U.S. patriots will be pleased to hear this side of the pond scored No. 3 (Ben Carson claimed Hitler would not have come to power if Germany had more lax gun laws) and No. 1 (Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore’s Christmas card showing her entire family armed).
Cousin Ray wondered why the picture at the top of the story was The Donald Trump? I expect it was recognition that Trump could have occupied all nine places without breaking a sweat.
The New Hampshire Union Leader, which has endorsed Chris Christie, opened up on The Donald:
Trump has shown himself to be a crude blowhard with no clear political philosophy and no deeper understanding of the important and serious role of President of the United States than one of the goons he lets rough up protesters in his crowds.
Cousin Ray wanted to know why I report this? “Do you think Trump’s base reads the Union Leader?”
I’m not sure Trump’s base reads at all, but those folks probably watch movies, and the Union Leader editorial writer, Joseph McQuaid, reminded the voters that the screenwriter of the Back to the Future series claimed the loudmouthed bully Biff Tannen was based on Trump.
Trump’s response was to call McQuaid “a lowlife.”
Jeb! Bush, who calls himself “a paragraph candidate in a Twitter world,” did the politically unthinkable and changed his mind in a town hall meeting.
Fielding a question whether some particular mass killings in the U.S. were “Christian terrorism” like the mass killings he had described as “Islamic terrorism,” Bush claimed that the jihadi motivation was something different than the crazy people who shot up a Christmas party, an elementary school, a showing of Batman, and a church in South Carolina.
A person in the audience differed with Bush, pointing out that the ideology of the South Carolina shooter was white supremacy and that ideology has been responsible for way more deaths than radical Islam.
Thinking over the comment, Bush agreed.
I saw something similar in 1967 when I caught a debate on the Vietnam War between antiwar university students v. Ronald Reagan and Robert Kennedy defending the government.
The students laid out facts that destroyed any defense of Vietnam related to democracy. Reagan went into Donald Trump mode, blustering about the younger generation having no respect.
Kennedy pursed his lips, scratched his head, and admitted the power of the argument. He promised to think it over. Within a year of that debate, February 8, 1968, RFK gave his famous “Unwinnable War” speech.
In the U.S., the raising of the stars and stripes above Iwo Jima is probably the iconic photo of WWII, and Ira Hayes makes it resonate for Indians.
In Britain, the story of WWII or at least the Blitz is best told by a photo showing the skeletal remains of the 17th century St. Paul’s Cathedral shot at dawn, sun rays shining though the smoke of a German bombing raid. The Herbert Mason photo first published on New Year’s Eve, 1940, in The Daily Mail, with the inexplicable caption, “War’s Greatest Picture; St. Paul’s Stands Unharmed in the Midst of the Burning City.”
WalesOnline posted an investigative report on the Mason photo pointing out that while the British government used it to rally defenders, the German government used the same photo to show the German public the effectiveness of the Luftwaffe.
Back at the scene of the Charleston shootings, Huffpost reported that the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum Commission has lowered the cost estimate for curating the Confederate battle flag taken down after a white supremacist murdered nine black church goers from $5.3 million to $3.6 million. Cousin Ray wanted to know if it’s too late to bid on that project?
Meadowlark Lemon, the Clown Prince of Basketball, walked on at the ripe age of 83. I was privileged to see Lemon perform several times, and every game he played for the Harlem Globetrotters was a performance. Lemon was born and raised in the Jim Crow south and some folks these days disrespect his choice to barnstorm with the Harlem Globetrotters rather than bang on the door of the NBA.
The critics overlook that the Globetrotters trouncing the Minneapolis Lakers in exhibition games in 1948 and 1949 are thought to have led to the integration of the NBA in 1950. Not to mention the team that toured with the Globetrotters as victim and comedic foil was the mostly white Washington Generals.
Meadowlark Lemon joined the Globetrotters in 1955, inheriting the “Clown Prince” title from the legendary Goose Tatum and playing in 7,500 consecutive games in 100 countries. Both Tatum and Lemon had their ball handling skills and showmanship immortalized with induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.