Wednesday, November 14, 2018


An American Suburb, 2018 - Stories and photos from Dolton, Illinois

Pilots Spot UFOs Over Ireland: 'It Was Moving So Fast'

UPS driver snaps photo of boy in leaf pile to share message about safety

Girl's use of family 'code word' to thwart potential kidnapping draws praise from police

The News in Zingers

Is English class still useful in 2018?

Ocasio-Cortez Claims New Yorkers Are ‘Outraged’ Over Opening of New Amazon Headquarters ( I strongly disagree with most of her positions but, she has some good points here about the Amazon Hdqtrs.)

China Restores Rhino and Tiger Parts Ban After International Fury

Alpine ice shows three-fold increase in atmospheric iodine


AT&T streaming could be nightmare scenario for 'Open Internet' activists

Why you should change your internet router password now

Israel, Gaza trade rockets and airstrikes as botched undercover operation sets off new conflict

Hamas fires rockets into Israel, threatens more if bombing continues

US locates secret North Korean missile sites

In Florida, it's the thought that counts, because it sure isn't our votes!

Thanks, TM ...

Another self-inflicted wound for Trump

Five Words that Scare the Hell out of Socialists: 'Operation Win at the Door'

A Bigger House Won’t Heal Congress

New political realities test Pelosi, Democrats in lame-duck session

New hurdle arises in Pelosi’s march to speakership

Chuck Schumer, Foiled Again
See the Wall Street Journal article, below.

Martha McSally Could Still Represent Arizona In The Senate­...Here's What Needs To Happen
"You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to
Lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever
they might be."
           - VAdm James Stockdale, USN (1923-2005)

FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (without permission)

Chuck Schumer, Foiled Again

The Senate minority leader was one of the few clear losers in last week’s midterms.

Nov. 12, 2018 6:47 p.m. ET
Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer in
                  Washington, D.C. Nov. 7.
Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer in Washington, D.C. Nov. 7.
 Photo: nicholas kamm/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Spare a tear for Chuck Schumer.
Write to
Appeared in the November 13, 2018, print edition.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018


The News in Zingers

Building Resilience: 5 Ways to a Better Life

Less glamorous but ultimately significantly more satisfying --- a life lesson learned the hard way, early on

Kat Timpf Chased Out of Brooklyn Bar

Why Did Facebook Fire a Top Executive? Hint : It Had Something to Do With Trump

Pathways from college to employment — good news and buyer's remorse

Pompeo Faces a World of Challenges. Add House Democrats to the List.

Scared bodega owners want panic buttons, stun guns to help to stop crime

Thanks, TM ...

Trial of ‘El Chapo’ Poses Unprecedented Challenges 
See the first Wall Street Journal article, below.


In North Korea, Missile Bases Suggest a Great Deception

Judge Denies Scott’s Request to Impound Broward Voting Equipment

Report: FL Airport Shut Down Over 'Suspicious Package' That Ended Up Being Provisional Ballots?

Majority say Trump fired Sessions because he wanted loyal attorney general to oversee Mueller probe

Jerome Corsi says he's being indicted in Mueller probe: 'My only crime was that I support Trump'

Sinema defeats McSally in Arizona Senate race

Who Lost The House? John McCain
See the second Wall Street Journal article, below.

Republicans Remain in a Strong Position in State Legislatures

GOP didn't have a turnout problem. Here's why they didn't do better

Falling Short: If Anti-Pelosi Democrats Stick Together, Pelosi Doesn't Have The Votes For Speaker

-- "You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to Lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be." - VAdm James Stockdale, USN (1923-2005)
FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (without permission)

Trial of ‘El Chapo’ Poses Unprecedented Challenges

From closing down the Brooklyn Bridge to protecting jurors, New York City braces for its most high-risk trial in years

Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán arriving in New York after his extradition from Mexico in January 2017. His trial, which begins Tuesday in Brooklyn, presents logistical and security challenges for authorities. Photo: U.S. DEA/Associated Press

Nicole Hong and

Zolan Kanno-Youngs

Nov. 12, 2018 5:30 a.m. ET

New York City is no stranger to high-profile criminal trials, but few defendants have presented the challenges posed by Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, one of the most infamous criminals in modern history.

Opening statements in Mr. Guzmán’s trial will begin Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, N.Y., an undertaking that will require a virtually unprecedented law-enforcement effort to ensure the safety of government witnesses, jurors, other New Yorkers and Mr. Guzmán himself.

A 17-count indictment, which spans nearly three decades of alleged criminal activity, accuses Mr. Guzmán of building a multibillion-dollar international narcotics empire, through murder and violence, as the leader of the Sinaloa cartel. Mr. Guzmán, 61 years old, has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Before his extradition last year to New York, Mr. Guzmán escaped twice from maximum-security prisons in Mexico, including in 2015 when he crawled through a tunnel prison workers had dug into the shower of his cell.

Law-enforcement officials say this potentially is the most high-risk trial New York City has handled since the terrorism trials two decades ago of the masterminds of the 1993 World Trade Center bombings.

A motorcade escorting Mr. Guzmán back to jail in Manhattan after a court appearance last month in Federal District Court in Brooklyn. Photo: timothy a. clary/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

“In some ways, this case is unprecedented,” wrote U.S. District Judge Brian M. Cogan, who is overseeing Mr. Guzmán’s trial, in a recent ruling. “The amount of public attention has been extraordinary.”

The trial is expected to last three to four months.

Last week, the judge denied Mr. Guzmán’s request to briefly hug his wife, former beauty queen Emma Coronel Aispuro, on the first day of trial. Although the judge said he was sympathetic and noted Mr. Guzmán “has displayed considerable grace under pressure,” he also said Mr. Guzmán’s motivation to escape might be particularly strong right before trial.

Snipers will be stationed on rooftops along the 2-mile route, and New York Police Department helicopters will occasionally follow the escort.  During the week, he is expected to stay at an undisclosed location in Brooklyn.

Note: Timing and route could change as new circumstances arise.

Source: Law enforcement officials

A major logistical hurdle concerns transporting Mr. Guzmán to the courthouse. Since his extradition in January 2017, he has been living in solitary confinement at Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Manhattan, widely regarded as the most secure pretrial facility in the U.S.

Mr. Guzmán will travel in an armored vehicle flanked by police escorts to his Brooklyn trial on Mondays and return on Fridays, a law-enforcement official said. During the week, he is expected to stay at an undisclosed location in Brooklyn.

Snipers will be stationed on rooftops along the 2-mile route, and New York Police Department helicopters will occasionally follow the escort, officials say. Police have closed the entire Brooklyn Bridge whenever Mr. Guzmán needed to be transported to pretrial hearings in Brooklyn over the past year. Officials said the timing and route could change as new circumstances arise.

Although there are no credible threats against New York City, officials are concerned about the possibility of an assassination attempt against Mr. Guzmán, and the NYPD’s intelligence division has been communicating with confidential cartel sources to monitor any threats, according to a law-enforcement official.

A 12-person jury was selected last week; most of the jurors said they recognized “El Chapo” from news reports or crime television shows. The jury is anonymous, meaning jurors’ names and other personal details won’t be publicly released. Each day, federal marshals will transport them to and from the courthouse.

One prospective juror was dismissed after he tried to get Mr. Guzmán’s autograph, while another was let go because his job as a Michael Jackson impersonator potentially made him too identifiable. Another had a panic attack in the jury room and was taken to the hospital.

Video Released of 'El Chapo' Guzman Raid

The Mexican government released body camera video worn by Marines during the raid that led to the capture and arrest of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. The Mexican drug lord was captured after a shootout on Jan. 8, 2016 in Los Mochis, Mexico. Photo: AP (Originally published Jan. 11, 2016)

The judge said one woman, after being picked for the jury, cried to the judge, expressing fears about her identity being revealed. She remains on the jury.

Prosecutors presented credible reasons to believe the jury needs protection, the judge wrote in an order. The government said a group of prisoners in California released a video after Mr. Guzmán’s extradition pledging to be “hitmen who are going to take care of” him.

Mr. Guzmán’s lawyers said there is no evidence Mr. Guzmán has the “actual current ability to harm jurors.”

The indictment alleges Mr. Guzmán employed “sicarios,” or hit men, who carried out murders, kidnappings and other acts of violence to discipline cartel members and silence cooperating witnesses.

Some government witnesses who will testify at trial “live in hiding at locations that the government and the witnesses have taken measures to keep secret from the cartel,” according to court filings.

Members of the defense team arriving for the start of jury selection on Nov. 5.Photo: eduardo munoz/Reuters

Following Mr. Guzmán’s recapture in 2016, Mexico agreed to extradite him to New York. His two escapes had tarnished public perceptions of the Mexican government’s law-enforcement capacities. The U.S. promised not to seek the death penalty against him.

Mr. Guzmán’s defense team, led by A. Eduardo Balarezo, is experienced in drug-trafficking and mob cases. One of his attorneys is Jeffrey Lichtman, who secured an acquittal for John A. Gotti, son of the notorious Mafia boss.

One defense strategy may be to prolong the trial, legal experts say, increasing the possibility of jurors becoming confused by the government’s narrative. Prosecutors have said the trial will take months because the defense has refused to agree to the authenticity of certain evidence, such as AK-47 rifles, forcing the government to call extra witnesses.

Mr. Guzmán’s defense team also is expected to challenge the reliability of cooperating witnesses by highlighting their criminal pasts.

Mr. Guzmán has argued repeatedly since extradition that his strict conditions of confinement are causing physical and mental deterioration, preventing him from properly assisting his lawyers with his defense. His legal team has cited frigid cell temperature, lack of clean blankets, isolation from other inmates—and the fact that his only reading materials are trial evidence.

Prosecutors say they have accommodated some of his requests. For instance, after he said the jail’s tap water was irritating his throat, the Bureau of Prisons allowed him to buy bottled water from the commissary.

Mr. Guzmán’s twin daughters and wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, right, walking to the courthouse in Brooklyn last February. Photo: brendan mcdermid/Reuters

Soon after Mr. Guzmán’s extradition, his lawyers complained that he hadn’t been allowed to watch television in the exercise room because the jail was still looking for “suitable programming, such as videos from the National Geographic Channel.”

His twin 7-year-old daughters have visited him under government monitoring. During one visit, the agent interrupted to say Mr. Guzmán couldn’t tell his daughters to give his greetings to their mother, the defense said.

Among the only human physical contact Mr. Guzmán has had since his extradition, his lawyers said, is when jail personnel touch his shackles.

Write to Nicole Hong at and Zolan Kanno-Youngs at

Appeared in the November 13, 2018, print edition as '‘El Chapo’ Drug Trial Puts City on Alert.'


Who Lost The House? John McCain

His July 2017 vote killed ObamaCare repeal and made Democratic lies impossible to refute.

Jason Lewis

Nov. 11, 2018 3:33 p.m. ET

Sen. John McCain in Washington, D.C., July 27, 2017. Photo: aaron bernstein/Reuters

The Republican Party lost its House majority on July 28, 2017, when Sen. John McCain ended the party’s seven-year quest to repeal ObamaCare. House leadership had done an admirable job herding cats. On the second try, we passed the American Health Care Act in May. Then McCain’s inscrutable vote against the Senate’s “skinny repeal” killed the reform effort.

McCain’s last-minute decision prompted a “green wave” of liberal special-interest money, which was used to propagate false claims that the House plan “gutted coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.” That line was the Democrats’ most potent attack in the midterms.

It was endlessly repeated by overt partisans in the media. An especially egregious column in Minneapolis’s Star Tribune asserted the AHCA would turn back the clock so that “insurers could consider sexual assaults and even pregnancy [to be] pre-existing conditions.” In fact, the bill prohibited sex discrimination and stated: “Nothing in this Act shall be construed as permitting insurers to limit access to health coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions.”

The problem was—and still is—that under ObamaCare all policyholders are charged as if they are sick. If restoring a modicum of traditional underwriting by loosening the Affordable Care Act’s strict age-rating rule discriminated against the old, then ObamaCare was—and is—discriminating against the young. The AHCA would have relieved this problem by allowing states to opt out of ObamaCare’s most onerous mandates and instead cover the most difficult-to-insure with $138 billion worth of high-risk pools. That would have arrested the ObamaCare “death spiral” and, as the Congressional Budget Office admitted, reduced both premiums and the deficit.

Emerging in response to World War II-era wage and price controls, health insurance has been tied to employment. When older workers lose their coverage along with their job, it creates a serious barrier for entering the individual market, as pre-existing conditions are often the result of age. This is primarily due to an unfair tax code that gives employers but not individuals tax breaks for buying insurance.

Again, the AHCA sought to even the playing field by offering a refundable tax credit anyone could use to buy an individual plan. The bill also would have expanded tax-deferred health savings accounts to help cover deductibles, copayments and over-the-counter expenses.

All these provisions were an attempt to alleviate the pre-existing condition problem, not exacerbate it. To be sure, instead of running away from health-care reform after it failed, Republicans should have leaned in on the plan’s most important aspects. But because the AHCA didn’t pass, it was impossible to refute the lies about it.

The late Arizona senator’s grievance with all things Trump was well known, but this obsession on the part of “Never Trump” Republicans has to end. Disapprove of the president’s style if you like, but don’t sacrifice sound policy to pettiness.

Mr. Lewis, a Republican, represents Minnesota’s Second Congressional District. He was defeated for re-election last week.

Appeared in the November 12, 2018, print edition.

Monday, November 12, 2018

California FIRE - (all fall down)

Gerard Vanderleun, the blogger for “”American Digest”” lives in Paradise, CA.  Or he did

For those of you who may not be aware the Camp Fire has devastated a large area of Northern Cali (there are other fires active in Malibu and SoCal).   The Camp Fire essentially burned through a town of ~30,000 people before an effective evacuation could be accomplished. 
This is a stark reminder to those of us who live in Wildfire Country……It can happen here.
Mr. Vanderleun owns the little black kitten “”Olive”” whose pics I have sent along as he has posted them.
American Digest is an exceptional blog site.  Mr. Vanderleun is safe with his 104 yo mother in Chico.  He writes eloquently of the loss of pretty much everything……….and thankfulness for the safety of his mother and kitten.
We have had friends in the Black Forest of CO come within a half mile of a burnout…..this can go bad very quickly.
There has been some reporting that the local authorities failed to effectively use reverse 911 and other call techniques to get people out…..but the fire was on them so fast the firefighters could do little but assist in rescue and save themselves.
One of the big issues in the news—big enough to make the WSJ and other print media is the disorganization and extent of the evac have people unable to match up with family and relatives.  Best to have the Rendezvous Point known and identified……you do have webmail addresses for all above age 10?  You do keep your vehicle fuel over half a tank at ALL times right?  If you have a situation such as we do with our son in another part of the community (downtown on looped firemains) or friends, one might consider a pre-positioning approach to evac.



What are the "cockles of your heart" and why do they need warming?

A 69-year-old man asks to be declared 49, claiming age is as fluid as gender

Meet the couple that bought an entire town

7 mistakes to avoid when renovating older houses

Congo ministry says Ebola outbreak worst in country’s history

Thanks, TM ...

What’s the Difference Between a Psychopath and a Sociopath? An Expert Weighs In

Keeping Up

So you want to date someone who's sarcastic? How original

FDA Approves First Waste-Gas-Reduction Drug for Cattle

Florida Man Kills 17.5-Foot Burmese Python in Everglades

Officers catch huge lizard that terrified suburban neighbors

2019 Subaru Forester: Do You Want Your Car to Spy on You?
See the Wall Street Journal article, below.

Whatever happened to Berlin’s deserted ‘ghost’ airport?

Keystone Cops: How Democrats Kill American Infrastructure

Quarry Discovery May Explain How Pyramids Were Built

The Trump admin thinks U.S. pressure could sink Iran's regime, but allies have doubts

Video of fatal school bus crash shows driver cross 3 lanes

Left wants to punish a protector of the Constitution for using his First Amendment Rights

"You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to
Lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever
they might be."
           - VAdm James Stockdale, USN (1923-2005)

FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (without permission)

2019 Subaru Forester: Do You Want Your Car to Spy on You?

Subaru’s new DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation, a safety system based on eye movement, is surprisingly intimate, even invasive. Dan Neil takes a peek

OUT WITH THE OLD? Beyond added safety tech, the              2019
 Forester is nothing new.
OUT WITH THE OLD? Beyond added safety tech, the 2019 Forester is nothing new.
 Photo: Subaru

Nov. 9, 2018 2:02 p.m. ET
THE 2019 SUBARU FORESTER debuts the company’s DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System; by means of advanced eye-tracking technology the car can detect driver fatigue, distraction or, more likely, boredom. I assume it can also detect the moment when the driver slips into a trance due to the ensorcelling drone of the engine... Ommmmmm.
While many parts of this car are stimulating—the price/feature matrix for the Forester Touring ($35,270, as tested) is flat-out awesome—the performance from the 2.5-liter, 182-hp flat-four and continuously variable transmission (CVT) feels pretty somnambulant. A system that detects drowsiness seems like a self-inflicted wound.
Obviously, I’m in favor of anything that keeps distracted Mother Earthers from plowing into the traffic ahead. But I must say a safety system based on eye movement is surprisingly intimate, even intrusive. I noticed when I was driving with my wife that the system would register my eyerolls during conversation and throw a warning indicator on the dash: “Keep Eyes on Road.” Tina was like, Uh-huh, see? Car, don’t you start with me.
This is the fifth design generation of the Forester since model-year 1998, long enough for children conceived in a first-gen Forester—that magical night in Yosemite, remember?—to grow up and buy their own (driving mom and dad’s old one would be weird). It’s tempting to call that Forester the template of the ka-jillions of crossover SUVs to come, but of course nobody else went on to build cars with this particular Venn diagram of attributes: full-time, mechanical all-wheel drive; ample snow-busting ground clearance; a front-mounted horizontally opposed engine providing a lower center of gravity; and better road-holding character.
Subaru owns this whole vehicle conception, which has carried the company through a record 83 consecutive months of month-over sales increases, with the second-highest owner brand loyalty in the industry after Toyota, according to These are the stones of Subaru’s fortress.
But the quirky IP sort of owns Subaru too. Because of the brand’s mechanical distinctiveness, the cars are harder to evolve and so risk technical irrelevancy in a market pursuing low and no emissions.
Example: Like almost all Subies, the Forester has a robust all-wheel drive system, comprising an electro-hydraulically actuated center differential splitting torque and sending it to the front and rear axles at all times. Fabulous, unbeatable, best in the business. The problem is that such a system incurs higher frictional losses than a typical part-time, on-demand AWD system, and that reduces mileage. The new Forester’s average fuel economy is rated at 29 mpg combined, and it only gets that by way of the thoroughly throttled engine.
OPEN FOR BUSINESS The family friendly Forester has            a
 max cargo capacity of 70.9 cubic feet with the seats            folded
OPEN FOR BUSINESS The family friendly Forester has a max cargo capacity of 70.9 cubic feet with the seats folded down.
Another example: styling. The all-new, globally redesigned Forester, the car they will build for the next six years, looks almost exactly like the car they’ve been building for the last six. The self-imposed antiquation really jumps out at you when you see it across a parking lot. Its designers have even codified a weirdness in the Forester’s proportions, with the swollen, SUV-like passenger and cargo space wearing a sedan’s nose like a prosthetic.
So it isn’t enough to say the Forester is dorky looking and a little bit lethargic. It embraces these qualities as brand values.
Constrained in other areas, Subaru’s marketers have enhanced the Forester’s value proposition to nigh-on irresistible. Please consider the Touring trim level, which includes DriverFocus as well as Subie’s suite of sensor-based driver assists; an 8-inch, app-based infotainment touch screen with navi; Harman Kardon sound system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; leather upholstery; heated outboard rear seats; in-vehicle Wi-Fi hot spot; and panoramic sunroof. The Touring also gets X-Mode system, designed to improve the car’s hill climbing and hill-descent performance.
SLOW YOUR ROLL The heavy-laden Forester struggles            off
 the line, taking nearly 10 seconds to reach 60            mph.SLOW YOUR ROLL The heavy-laden Forester struggles off the line, taking nearly 10 seconds to reach 60 mph. Photo: Subaru
The foie gras of features adds up to a curb weight of 3,588 pounds for the Touring model, which holds it to a 0-60 mph acceleration of 9.6 seconds, straining every fiber.
So the new Forester isn’t particularly quick, or fast, and if you rev it hard, it’ll bleat like a spring sheep-shearing. And don’t wait for the turbocharged version—it isn’t coming. But the Forester Touring is plenty quick and quiet enough. It will go almost anywhere an SUV will go, it has 1,500 pounds of towing capacity, and it’s loaded to the gills. What more do you want in a car?
Stop looking at me like that.

2019 Subaru Forester Touring

2019 Subaru Forester: Do You Want Your Car to Spy              on
Price, as Tested: $35,270
Powertrain: Direct-injected 2.5-liter horizontally opposed engine with variable valve timing; continuously variable transmission; full-time all-wheel drive with active torque vectoring
Power/Torque: 182 hp at 5,800 rpm/176 lb-ft at 4,400 rpm
Overall Length/Width/Height/Wheelbase: 182.1/81.3/68.1/105.1 inches
Ground Clearance: 8.7 inches
Curb Weight: 3,588 pounds
Towing Capacity: 1,500 pounds
0-60 mph: 9.6 seconds
EPA Fuel Economy: 26/33/29 mpg, city/highway/combined
Cargo Capacity: 33.0/70.9 cu. feet, rear seat backs up/folded
Write to Dan Neil at