Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Mid-Week Post

Your mid-week intermission...

Theresa May is now the prime minister of the United Kingdom with Boris Johnson as foreign minister:

Former London Mayor Boris Johnson has been appointed Britain’s new foreign secretary, one of the biggest jobs in government.

Johnson was one of the leaders of the campaign to leave the European Union. He has been given the job by new Prime Minister Theresa May, who backed the losing “remain” side ahead of the referendum.

Johnson had hoped to become British prime minister but saw his dream fade amid Conservative Party plotting after last month’s vote.

By now, it should be clear to any Chinese citizen who notices a great influx of bride-less men enlisting in the army that the sabre-rattling in the South China Seas is a distraction:

China warned other countries Wednesday against threatening its security in the South China Sea after an international tribunal handed the Philippines a victory by saying Beijing had no legal basis for its expansive claims there.

Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said Beijing could declare an air defence identification zone over the waters if it felt threatened, a move that would sharply escalate tensions. But Beijing also extended an olive branch to the new Philippine government, saying the Southeast Asian nation would benefit from co-operating with China.

The Philippines, under a U.N. treaty governing the seas, had sought arbitration in 2013 on several issues related to its long-running territorial disputes with China. In its ruling Tuesday, the tribunal found China's far-reaching claims to the South China Sea had no legal basis and that Beijing had violated the Philippines' maritime rights by building up artificial islands and disrupting fishing and oil exploration.

While introducing a policy paper in response to the ruling, Liu said the islands in the South China Sea were China's "inherent territory" and blamed the Philippines for stirring up trouble.

China is rather like the little emperor who throws a tantrum in a poorly-constructed mall before his doting grandparents are forced to cart him away. 

South Korea and the U.S. have selected Seongju west of Daegu in North Gyeongsang Province as the location for Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense batteries. They are conducting a final assessment of the site.

A government source on Tuesday said Seongju was chosen considering strategic value, safety of residents and environmental concerns because it is already home to an anti-aircraft missile base. ...

Seongju is sparsely populated, which reduces the chances of protests from locals.

Defense Minister Han Min-koo told the National Assembly, "The THAAD has assumed enormous proportions in our minds, but from a military standpoint it's just an artillery battery. THAAD is just THAAD, but I think neighboring countries are giving it excessive strategic value and worsening the problem."

Han denied claims by some boffins that the THAAD would be useless in a war, saying otherwise China and Russia would not be so sensitive about its deployment here.

"I can clearly state that there are no doubts about its military value," he added. 

Just use the damn thing already.

We used to have an anthem. Used to:

Members of The Tenors quickly distanced themselves from a rogue Tenor on Tuesday night after a member of the classical-pop group inserted a political statement into the lyrics of O Canada before the Major League Baseball all-star game in San Diego.

During their on-field performance at Petco Park, a line in the anthem was changed to "We're all brothers and sisters, all lives matter to the great." The normal lyric is "With glowing hearts we see thee rise, the True North strong and free."

On Facebook, members of the British Columbia-based quartet blamed the alteration on Remigio Pereira, saying he acted as a "lone wolf" who changed the anthem to "serve his own political views."

Their statement said they are "deeply sorry" and "shocked and embarrassed" over what they term the "disrespectful and misguided lack of judgment by one member of the group."

The Canadian national anthem was already disgraced by the House of Commons. I don't know what else can be done to it. That it is tainted by the racist movement, Black Lives Matter, and the paralysing fear of valuing any and all human life just rubs salt in one's ears.

What a moaning little nancy-boy:

Police were monitoring the protest as a few hundred peaceful demonstrators amassed on the street. In order to manage the traffic flow and protect the protesters, police blocked the roads accessing the street where the governor’s residence is located. This move forced many to park at a nearby shopping mall and walk a few blocks to the protest. 

The traffic control move also apparently prevented food and water deliveries to the crowd. This was something the protesters did not enjoy.

So when police got a Chick-fil-A delivery, one protester was not pleased — and let Twitter know about it, complete with video and commentary...

Will protest for a free sandwich, eh?

Wait. Really?

The Kerala Government's move to impose 14.5 percent tax on pizzas, burgers and other junk foods has evoked mixed response from Keralites, with some of them giving their thumbs up, while others opposing it.

Nutritionist and food therapist Dr Lalitha Appukuttan, who welcomed the 'fat tax', said, "Since long, I have been longing for such a bill (Act), which is now imposed by the Kerala Government. It's always a welcome in India as far as our health is concerned, as nowadays we are going through very serious situation, since so many problems are arising out of all these bad fats."

The government thinks that it would discourage the people from eating junk foods by imposing such taxes, but it hardly matters for some of them, said Shahbaaz.

"I don't believe in such a concept. If you take a look at alcohol, the government has increased tax on that, but the consumption has not gone down anyway," Shahbaaz added.

Strange considering that more than fifteen percent of that country is under-nourished.

It's called class:

A server at the Eat'n Park diner in Homestead said a couple wanted another table after being brought to one near the group of officers last weekend ...

The officers discussed the interaction as they ate their meal.

"Officer Strang thought, 'Well, we should pay his tab,' " said Thomas.

On the bill, they wrote: "Sir, your check was paid for by the police officers that you didn't want to sit next to. Thank you for your support." They also included a $10 tip on the almost $30 meal.

Has one ever wondered about Vincent Van Gogh's ear and how much of it he cut off?

Wonder no more:

A newly discovered note penned by one of Vincent Van Gogh’s physicians sheds new light on what is likely the most infamous moment in the artist’s tumultuous life.

In 1888, the troubled artist sliced off his ear and gave it to a prostitute. According to a recent story in the New York Times, scholars have been debating just how much of his ear he removed ever since.

The note, penned by doctor FĂ©lix Rey, who treated Van Gogh’s ear injury, seems to put the issue to rest. 

Using simple line drawings, Rey depicts Van Gogh’s ear before and after the slicing, and reveals just how much he chopped off. 

All of it.

(Insert own ear joke here)

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