TRUE ACTIVIST reported on an unlikely friendship between a Belgian Shepherd dog named Ingo and Poldi, a one-year-old owlet. You would think that a big dog would hang out with a tiny bird in case of need for emergency rations, but the photo essay appears to show that the dog and the bird, without human involvement, have become BFFs.
KXTV reported from Solano County, California, that the local animal shelter is testing a smart phone app called “Finding Rover.” The app uses off the shelf facial recognition technology to recognize the dogs’ faces. The app can compare pictures of the missing mutt to pictures from shelter databases nation wide. The shelter claims microchip technology is failing because pet owners fail to register their chips.
If Finding Rover is successful the plan to expand to cats.
My cousin Ray Sixkiller was asking about hamsters, but he was kidding. I think.
KDFW in Dallas-Ft. Worth scored a viral video out of Commerce, Texas, of a young man riding a horse into a Taco Bell. The newly famous rider was Lathan Crump of Campbell, Texas, a third generation cowboy who had just come from a calf roping competition. Police said they had no plans to do anything about the horsing around unless there was a complaint. There was no complaint.
Cousin Ray was proud of the cops for not getting horsey and he reminded me to state the name of the four-legged star of the video. He’s called Hollywood.
Time reported from Rio de Janiero that the longest line in the Olympic Village is the 30 minutes it takes to get served at a temporary location of McDonald’s. Several athletes interviewed in the line expressed dismay that their coaches and trainers might find out, but Mohad Ishak, a platform diver from Egypt, said that his coach knows he consumes two Big Macs a day and often asks the athlete to bring back some fries.
Some of the popularity of the golden arches cuisine might be because Mickey D is a sponsor of the games, and so the food in the Olympic Village location is free.
Business Insider reported on another matter of taste—or lack of same, depending on your point of view. At your neighborhood Kroger’s, you are now blessed with the opportunity to buy Swedish Fish Oreos.
The blending of chocolate and fish will be limited and temporary unless it starts coining money for Kroger’s, in which case fish Oreos will become to dessert what Donald Trump is to politics.
CNN Money reported that Trump campaign gold membership cards are on sale, discounted from $100 face value to $35. The gold card was a response to Hillary Clinton’s “woman card,” which was only a buck.
The Clinton campaign has moved on by asking 45 artists who are supporters to design campaign buttons. The whole set goes for $100. They vary in quality, but will probably hold value for collectors. I don’t think I would want to wear “Pantsuits for President,” but I’m partial to “SHE uses big words!” and “SHE believes in science.”
None of the 45 artists went for the obvious: “SHE’s Not Trump!”
The New York Times reported that Trump was litigating with New Jersey over unpaid taxes of about $30 million complicated by Trump repeatedly zipping in and out of bankruptcy reorganization. Then Gov. Chris Christie got elected and New Jersey settled the Trump tax bill for 17 cents on the dollar.
The Times quoted Trump in a 2015 interview on Fox News as opining that only “a stupid person, a really stupid person, is paying a lot of taxes.”
This, by the way, is why people who have provided goods or services are always suing him. It is always cheaper to settle a case than to go to trial and Trump is happy to claim the litigation discount.
Trump did get a little carried away with the principle when he suggested that the U.S. could go ahead and default on the national debt for the purpose of renegotiating it. That would be how the world’s reserve currency could become just another piece of paper.
The BBC reported that David Lisnard, Mayor of the French Riviera resort of Cannes, has banned Muslim women from wearing the “burkini” on Cannes beaches. The burkini has been a way for observant Muslim women of the more fundamentalist flavors to enjoy the beach, but Mayor Lisnard calls it “not respectful of good morals and secularism.” Informally, some authorities expressed fear of concealed bombs, which appears about as practical as hiding a bomb in a diver wetsuit.
Cousin Ray had trouble suppressing a chuckle when he reminded me that these are the same beaches that brought us topless bathing suits for women and thongs, which fundamentalist Christians think raise moral issues.
Popular Science reported that SpaceX has delivered the first rocket engine, known as the Raptor, which will be used to power the next generation of rocket known as Falcon Heavy. The Raptor is meant to power Falcon Heavy to reconnoiter Mars ASAP.
The next generation after the Raptor will be known as BFR (an acronym unlikely to be expanded in a family publication) to power the Mars Colonial Transporter.
Cousin Ray had an ethical question whether Indians have an obligation to warn the Martians what’s about to happen?
Zaman al-Wasi, a Syrian opposition website, acquired a trove of Islamic State documents including the application forms of some 4,030 recruits.
Those of us who know something about mainstream Islam and how Sharia law can be judged compliant with the U.S. Bill of Rights got our gut impressions of would-be jihadi martyrs confirmed. The ISIS brand of Islam is to Islam as snake cults are to Christianity.
When you understand this, it is not shocking that our terrorist adversaries are not exactly Islamic scholars. This was obvious to some when the late Osama bin Laden started issuing fatwas, and mainstream Islam was asking, “Who does this guy think he is?”
Over 3,000 of the ISIS applications asked the applicants to rate their knowledge of Islam on a scale of one to three. Seventy percent of recruits claimed only “basic” knowledge, 24 percent “intermediate,” five percent advanced. Only five claimed to have memorized the Holy Quran. Not five percent. Five.
The intellectual center of Sunni Islam is Al-Azhar University in Cairo. The ISIS propaganda organ, Dabiq, warns potential martyrs to stay away from the university, claiming the scholars there have a purpose “to subdue Muslims though appeasement.”
Perhaps the ISIS big shots already noticed what the AP reporters noticed going though the recruitment records. The more a recruit knew about Islam the less likely that recruit would volunteer for “martyrdom.”
When not standing in line for free Big Macs in Rio, the U.S. is leading the Olympic medal count…unless you ask how many medals a country wins per 100,000 citizens. The island nation of Grenada has .94 medals per 100,000 citizens compared to a mere .03 for the U.S.
Cousin Ray reminded me of Operation Urgent Fury, when President Ronald Reagan bravely attacked Grenada in the first significant U.S. military operation after Vietnam.
The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution branding the operation “a flagrant violation of international law” by a vote of 108 to nine with 27 abstentions. The invasion was also denounced by well-known dictatorships in Canada and the United Kingdom, but of course the U.N. Security Council was powerless in the face of a U.S. veto.
Great Big Story reported on Bri McMillen, dubbed “the only B-girl in Alaska.” Cousin Ray and I grew up in the fifties, when “B-girl” was code for “Bar Girl” and the job was to chat up customers and get them to order drinks. The B-girls would get “drinks” with almost no alcohol, so they could keep going all evening. The customers would get the real deal, and presumably get more generous at they got drunker.
Given Alaska’s history of rough mining towns, we found it hard to believe there was only one B-girl left.
Cousin Ray and I were out of date. The B stands for breakdancer, and being the only woman she is forced to compete against men.
Cousin Ray observed that she better not quit her day job.
He walked right into it. In her day job, she is a Blackhawk helicopter mechanic.
CNN recycled a report from Canadian TV about a Great White Hunter who posted a video on YouTube of himself throwing a spear into a black bear. He celebrated his manliness and then went home, returning the next day to find the dead bear.
The kill was not illegal, but you have to wonder what he was trying to prove? If the point were courage, he would have chased the bear right then, because he had another spear and most real hunters take pride in quick kills. Of course, a mortally wounded black bear might fight back.
Speaking of fighting back, CNN reported that the Navajo Nation has hired John Hueston---known for his litigation of one of the great corporate rip-offs in history against Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling of Enron---to sue the corporate perpetrators and the Environmental Protection Agency over spilling 880,000 pounds of heavy metals into the Animas River near Silverton, Colorado, upstream from the Navajo Nation—the Gold King Mine disaster.
Navajo Nation Attorney General Ethel Branch spoke to CNN about the significance of clean water in the river to the Navajo people in terms that reminded me of the way Cherokee Nation officials jump all over threats to the Illinois River because of our ceremonial needs.