Austin Bomber – In Context

21 Mar 2018

A suspect in case of a series of bombings has blown himself up. Below is the series on articles leading up to his death.

2018/03/21 – Austin bombing suspect identified as Mark Anthony Conditt of Pflugerville: NBC News – The Raw Story
2018/03/21 – Police used store receipts and internet searches to identify Austin bombing suspect – CNN
2018/03/21 – Austin bombings suspect kills himself as police close in – CBS
2018/03/20 – Sixth Texas parcel bomb leaves U.S. investigators baffled – Rueters
2018/03/19 – Austin bombings: Four explosions in a month, what we know now – USA Today
2018/03/13 – Austin bombs were sophisticated, with motion-based detonators and shrapnel: Sources – ABC
2018/03/13 – Austin package bomb victim’s neighbor describes finding him after deadly blast – CBS
2018/03/12 – Austin package explosions leave teen dead, women hurt after three blasts in 2 weeks – Fox news
2018/03/04 – Texas man killed after ‘device’ explodes on front porch of Austin home – Fox News


Toy Icon Toys’R Us Is Wrapping It Up

16 Mar 2018

Toys “R” Us shutting U.S. stores, liquidating inventory – CBS, 2018/03/15

Toys “R” Us is going out of business in the U.S. The iconic chain announced early Thursday that it’s seeking bankruptcy court approval to start closing its 735 U.S. stores and liquidating their inventory.

Some 33,000 employees will lose their jobs as a result.

Toys “R” Us, which declared bankruptcy in September, was unable to convince creditors to refinance its more than $5 billion in debt, a crushing load that experts say hampered its ability to adapt to the growth in online shopping, among other consumer trends.

The chain was hobbled by debt stemming from the 2005 leveraged buyout by KKR, Bain Capital and Vornado Realty Trust (VNO). That deal placed it at disadvantage against larger rivals such as Amazon (AMZN), Walmart (WMT) and Target (TGT), which have made inroads in the toy market in recent years.

Toys “R” Us closing leaves workers, customers hanging – CBS, 2018/03/15

The company’s current leadership only compounded its mistakes by failing to act quickly and decisively. One example: When Toys “R” Us first declared bankruptcy in September, CEO Dave Brandon vowed not to close any stores, blithely remarking that “today marks the dawn of a new era at Toys “R” Us.” He was wrong.

The bankruptcy filing doesn’t cover Toys “R” Us’ international business, but it’s struggling, too. The company’s U.K. business on Wednesday announced that it is closing its doors after failing to find a buyer — about 3,000 people will lose their jobs. Toys “R” Us is considering combining as many as 200 of its top-performing U.S. stores with its Canadian operations, but Selbst said that would be complicated, expressing doubt it will fly.

4.2 Earthquake in Oklahoma

5 Mar 2018

Damage reported after earthquakes in Oklahoma – Fox News, 2018/03/05

The U.S. Geological Survey reports the quakes hit Sunday evening near the town of Breckenridge, about 70 miles (113 kilometers) north of Oklahoma City.

Garfield County Emergency Management Director Mike Honigsberg says bricks were split or pulled from walls of homes and buildings, while cracks were reported in walls and ceilings. Smaller quakes were reported in the same area early Monday.

No injuries were reported.

Services for Billy Graham Today

2 Mar 2018

Billy Graham is laid to rest – Yahoo, 2018/03/02

Evangelist Billy Graham, who preached to millions around the world in a 70-year career, will be laid to rest on Friday in his native North Carolina following a funeral service that will draw thousands of mourners including President Donald Trump.

The service for Graham, who died on Feb. 21 at age 99, comes after he lay in honor at the U.S. Capitol in recognition of a clergyman who counseled presidents and was the first noted evangelist to take his message to the Soviet bloc.

The 90-minute funeral service is scheduled to start at 12 p.m. EST.

First Crusade

Last Crusade

A letter to the boys and young men of America

28 Feb 2018

Regarding the school shooting in Parkland, Florida…

A letter to the boys & young men of America. – J Ishiro Finney, 2018/02/17

The boys and young men who will grow up to become one half of America’s future.
Once again, due to society’s failure to raise you, to teach you, to properly guide you on your path to manhood, your mere existence is being held responsible for seventeen more deaths—this time in Florida, and once again, at a school. The headlines of the last few days say it all:

“Guns don’t kill people; men and boys kill people, experts say”

“Michael Ian Black reacts to Florida shooting: Boys are broken”
-New York Daily News

“How Gun Violence And Toxic Masculinity Are Linked, In 8 Tweets”
-The Huffington Post

“Toxic white masculinity: The killer that haunts American life”

“Toxic Masculinity Is Killing Us”
-The Boston Globe

“Toxic Masculinity Is Killing Us”
-Harpers Bazaar

“Don’t Blame Mental Illness for Mass Shootings; Blame Men”

In the handful of decades I’ve been alive, I’ve seen America shift from a culture of responsibility to one of blame. We don’t solve problems anymore. We cry, we pray for, we seek to find closure, and then finally, slaughter a sacrificial lamb for our sins. When I was young and Columbine happened, that lamb was Marilyn Manson and video games. Before that, it was D&D and Twisted Sister. These days, though, as body counts continue to rise and excuses continue to vanish, the lamb America has chosen to sacrifice is you.

Read the rest.

Obama’s Secret Speech at MIT

27 Feb 2018

Last week, there was a report that Obama was supposed to speak at MIT, and there was a request to keep it hush hush.

Apparently someone got a recording of it, and it’s nothing. As soon as you tell people NOT to do something, you know what happens next…

5 Things Barack Obama Said in His Weirdly Off-the-Record MIT Speech – Reason, 2018/02/26

Reason obtained a recording of the speech, however, and the most newsworthy thing about it is the simple fact that the public wasn’t supposed to hear it.

Having listened to the entire thing, I’m not sure what all the secrecy was about—it was pretty standard Obama fare, and he never once said the word Trump, though Obama did seem to imply that his White House was remarkably drama-free in contrast.

I’m not even going to post the 5 things. Feel free to read them and the link and comment. The recording is at the link as well.

Flooding Hampers Central U.S.

27 Feb 2018

More storms threaten sodden central U.S., where at least 70 rivers are in flood stage – USA Today, 2018/02/26

Roughly 70 rivers were in flood stage as of midday Monday in the central USA, the National Weather Service said. Overall, more than 250 river gauges reported levels above flood stage from the Great Lakes to Texas. (Each river can have several gauges.)