Ted’s Remarks About Stuff
July thru September, 2019


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Sep. 19, 2019

Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny GantzFollowing the election in Israel two days ago, no clear winner for prime minister has emerged.  With most of the votes counted, the party of right-wing incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu is just behind that of his centrist main challenger, Benny Gantz.

Citing sources in the Central Election Committee, Israeli media reported that Mr. Gantz’s Blue and White alliance was on track to win 33 of the 120 seats in the Knesset (parliament), followed by Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud party with 32 seats.  The results indicate that both men will struggle to form a majority coalition with smaller parties.

MenorahNetanyahu, who became Israel’s longest-serving prime minister in July, has been in office for three consecutive terms since 2009.  He had pledged to unilaterally annex Jewish settlements and a swathe of other territory in the occupied West Bank if he was returned to power.  Palestinians, who seek a state in the West Bank and Gaza, with its capital in occupied East Jerusalem, have warned that such a move would kill any hopes for peace.

Gantz has not advocated any form of annexation, though his position on the creation of a Palestinian state is unclear.  Like Netanyahu, he has ruled out ever dividing Jerusalem.

Netanyahu has urged Gantz to join him in forming a unity government.  Today, however, Gantz stated that he would have to be the prime minister of a unity government, since election results now indicate that his centrist Blue and White party is two seats ahead of Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party.

Netanyahu, Gantz In Standoff
Over Israeli Unity Government

Sep. 18, 2019

I flew up to San Francisco airport yesterday.  There was a 3½-hour delay in the plane’s boarding and take-off, but an exact explanation why that happened was very vague.

A couple of large boxes of free snacks were provided to passengers who were waiting around for the flight, although it seemed that most of the passengers left and came back later.  When I went to get some of the snacks, I was encouraged to take a whole lot of them; so, of course, I did.  I’ll eat them with my breakfast fruit and oats while I’m here in Marin County. 

I didn’t arrive at SFO until well after dark, and my friend Barry picked me up.  That actually worked out well, since there was minimal traffic going through San Francisco, over the Golden Gate Bridge and up to Marin County.  Some yummy food was waiting for me for dinner.  Also, as usual, there was evidence of his thriving vegetable garden, which is one of my favorite things about coming here.

He flew me up here to meet his new young dog that he got in June, since his previous dog died six months ago.  Whenever he goes scuba diving around the world, he will fly me back here to take care of her while he’s gone.

This dog has a pretty wild nature and likes to dig big holes in the backyard.  She also is not easy to take on a walk.  She barks loudly and intensely at other dogs and people.  She also pulls hard on the leash because she wants her freedom.

Today we put her in the car to take her to another area outside of this neighborhood.  As soon as she got into the back seat, she began howling, barking and whining.  There was no way to make her stop.  I don’t even know if Cesar Millan, the “Dog Whisperer,” could train her to behave.

Once we got there, even though there were no dogs or people around, she was very uncooperative and kept barking and pulling hard on the leash the whole time.  If she continues being like that, I will be very reluctant to take her on walks if I come to take care of her in the future.

         

         

         

         
1-minute slideshow

Sep. 17, 2019

Today is Citizenship Day and Constitution Day.  It also is the beginning of Constitution Week: Sep.  17-23.

       
13-second slideshow

Citizenship Day / Constitution Day
Sep. 16, 2019

Attacks on Abqaiq and KhuraisThe devastating attacks two days ago against major oil facilities in Saudi Arabia is having a negative effect on the world’s economy.  The airborne attacks knocked out more than half of production capacity in Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter.  Oil prices have surged, and stock markets have dropped today.

The main attack was on an Abqaiq crude oil processing center, where up to 70% of the nation’s oil production is prepared.  A second attack was on the nearby Khurais oil field.  It may take months for repairs be made.

Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attacks.  The U.S. has blamed the attacks on Iran.

Attack on Saudi facility exposes
world economy’s ‘Achilles heel’

This is a dramatic illustration of how the Iran nuclear deal on July 14, 2015 failed to end the Iranian threat to peace and stability in the Middle East.  The deal was accepted by the Obama administration and has been rejected by President Trump.


Sep. 14, 2019

September often is the hottest month in So. CA.  Heat advisories have been issued today for locations in some counties.  The high temperature in some locations could reach 106°.

Temperatures up to 106 are
forecast Saturday in the Southland

High temperatures and low humidity sound good to me.  However, that also raises the risk of fires.  Hopefully, the latter will not be a problem this weekend.


Sep. 13, 2019

Harvest moon 2019The harvest moon is the first full moon nearest the beginning of Fall or the autumnal equinox.  It will occur tonight and will reach its peak at 9:33 p.m. PDT.

It is the first harvest moon to occur on Friday the 13th since Oct. 13, 2000.  This will not happen again until Aug. 13, 2049.

Harvest Moon 2019: When and How
to See September's 'Micro' Moon

Sep. 11, 2019

Today is the eighteenth anniversary of the horrific and ghastly September 11 attacks by radical Islam on the USA.  Let us keep in our minds and hearts the great sacrifice that thousands of people made with their lives on that day.

Many in the past have claimed that America is not at war with Islam and have insisted that “a religion did not attack us.”  The problem is that true, Qur’an-believing Muslims are at war with the USA, with Israel, and frankly with everyone in the world who does not embrace Allah as “God” and Muhammad as “his Prophet.”

American flag at half mast on 9/11/19Thus, the idea that we are “not at war with Islam” is merely a “politically correct” notion accepted by those who are asleep and who have chosen not to perceive the obvious because they do not want to acknowledge it.  Just as most Christians have not read the Bible from cover to cover, most Muslims have not read through the Qur’an.

Muslims and non-Muslims, alike, have been told that the Qur’an complements and sychronizes with the Bible.  Yet, those who have read both books all the way through, which I strongly recommend doing, have seen that this is an erroneous assumption; the two books are incompatible in countless ways.  Some ways are demonstrated in this section: Gabriel’s messages.

Here is an email response I wrote about some of Islam’s beliefs, mostly pertaining to Christians and their beliefs, included in the Qur’an:

Although “moderate” Muslims will point to passages in the Qur’an that promote “peace,” such harmony and unity is to be among “believers” who have embraced the god, prophet and tenets of Islam.  All others (that is, the Mushrikûn), who have rejected these things, are to be captured, besieged, ambushed and killed.  It has happened before, and I feel quite certain that it will happen again—only on a much larger, more mind-boggling scale.  God—and I don’t mean Allah—help us.


Sep. 10, 2019

A palindrome is a is a word, number, phrase or other sequence of characters which reads the same both forward and backward.  In the case of a sentence, punctuation marks and spaces are ignored, and capital letters are changed to small letters (e.g., P to p).  Here are a few examples:

  • tacocat
  • madam
  • racecar
  • 92529
  • A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
  • Was it a car or a cat I saw?
  • Step on no pets.

On the calendar, beginning today and going through Sep. 19, the abbreviated dates in the “m-dd-yy” format are palidrome numbers.  In this format, each century has 9 years with 10 palindrome days in a row.  These years always occur in the second decade of the century, from the 11th year to the 19th year.  The palidrome dates this month are the final set of palidrome dates, in the “m-dd-yy” format, this century! 

  • Sep. 10, 2019:  9/10/19 = 91019
  • Sep. 11, 2019:  9/11/19 = 91119
  • Sep. 12, 2019:  9/12/19 = 91219
  • Sep. 13, 2019:  9/13/19 = 91319
  • Sep. 14, 2019:  9/14/19 = 91419
  • Sep. 15, 2019:  9/15/19 = 91519
  • Sep. 16, 2019:  9/16/19 = 91619
  • Sep. 17, 2019:  9/17/19 = 91719
  • Sep. 18, 2019:  9/18/19 = 91819
  • Sep. 19, 2019:  9/19/19 = 91919

Sep. 7, 2019

My friend had the day off and spent much of the day showing me around Honolulu.  The journey was very enjoyable, and many parts were quite fascinating.  The first place we went was to the ‘Iolani Palace.  Tours inside are available, but we did not go on one.  Nearby was the free Hawaii State Art Museum.  I’m not much of an “artsy” person, but some of the art was interesting.

Then we went over to the Kawaiaha‘o Church, known as the “Westminster Abbey of Hawai`i”; however, we were unable to go inside.  The grounds around it were nice, though, so we sat outside and talked for awhile and read some Bible passages.  Nearby was the Lunalilo Mausoleum, the final resting place of Hawaii’s sixth monarch King Lunalilo and his father Charles Kana‘ina.

The next stop was Pier 8, where the Star of Honolulu ship was docked.  For a charge, floating tours on the ship can be made, but we did not have an interest in doing that.  We walked around on the pier for quite awhile, looking at fish in the water and other things around us.  Then we took an elevator up to the 10th floor of Aloha Tower and got some fantastic views of the surrounding area.

When we came back down, the Star of Honolulu was leaving for a tour.  Turning the opposite direction, we saw a faint rainbow in a cloudless sky.  By then it was dinner time, so we went over to the Opal Thai restaurant.  The food was quite good and very spicy, which we both like.

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         
2½-minute slideshow

I very much have enjoyed the time I’ve spent in Hawaii.  Before I got here, I had told my friend that I had no expectations and didn’t care what sites he took me to see.  He and his friends took me to many really fun places all over most of the island of Oahu.  I had an extremely good time going everywhere that we did, and I truly appreciate their spending the time to show me everything.  It has been one of my most favorite vacations ever. 


Sep. 6, 2019

One of my friend’s friends and I were having a discussion about coffee.  I said that I prefer the taste and higher caffeine content of dark roast coffee.  She agreed that dark roast coffee has a bolder taste.  However, she added that dark roast coffee actually contains a lesser concentration of caffeine than light roast coffee.  That surprised me.  However, she is a very smart person, so I had to consider that possibility.

Light and Dark Roast Coffee Beans

I did a web search and, indeed, she appears to be correct.  Some web sites describe the difference in caffeine concentration between light and dark roast coffee, but many of them do not describe why this in true in a simple way that is easily understood.  Finally, I found an article at the Cook’s Illustrated website that explained this topic very well.

Caffeine Content of Coffee:
Dark Roast vs. Light Roast

Basically, if the same measured amount of dark ground and light ground coffee and the same amount of water is used to make two pots of coffee, a cup from the light ground pot will contain more caffeine than a cup from the dark ground pot.  This is because the longer coffee beans are roasted, resulting in a darker color, the more moisture and caffeine they lose in the process.  On the contrary, the less the beans are roasted, the lighter in color they are and the less moisture and caffeine are lost.

Dark coffee grounds weigh less and contain less caffeine than light coffee grounds.  Therefore, it takes more dark roast grounds in a pot of coffee for it to have the same amount of caffeine than the same-sized pot of coffee made with light roast grounds.

I enjoy my morning “caffeine buzz.”  So to get a higher amount of caffeine in my two cups of coffee, I probably will just begin adding a greater amount of dark roast grounds to make a pot of coffee, since I think I still prefer the bolder taste of the dark rather than the milder taste of the light.


Sep. 3, 2019

My friends and I had a very busy day today.  We wanted to fit several things in, since two of them will be flying back to Oregon tomorrow.

The first thing we did was drive to the north side of Oahu, where a small Hawaii Adventure Diving boat was taking off.  A couple of other divers joined the four of us.  We rode out into the ocean to a location where sharks usually hang out.

Five of the group jumped in with their snorkeling gear and swam away from the boat.  I remained in the boat because I am not an avid snorkeler; I just wanted to take photos.  Also, admittedly, I was somewhat leary about swimming among a bunch of sharks. 

At one point, I did get a shot of a shark that came close to the boat, although his fin remained below the surface of the water.  My friend that I came here to visit had an underwater camera, and later I captured some screen shots of one of his videos.  The whole thing was an interesting experience.

After that, we went to three different beaches and hung out.  We also spent some time outside at the Turtle Bay Hotel.  We also went to a few places to get snacks.  Overall, it was an active and fun-filled day that I’ll always remember. 

         

         

         

         

         
75-second slideshow

Sep. 2, 2019

Today is Labor Day in the United States.  It always is the first Monday in September, and it is the last national holiday during the summer season.  In Canada, Labour Day also is celebrated on the first Monday in September.

The New York legislature was the first state legislature to introduce a Labor Day bill.  However, Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day an official public holiday in 1887.

By the time it became an official federal holiday in 1894, thirty U.S. states observed Labor Day.  More information about this day can be found at the United States Department of Labor website here:

History of Labor Day

       
15-second slideshow

Sep. 1, 2019

Hurricane Dorian approaching the U.S. East Coast Track of Hurricane Dorian
Hurricane Dorian has been elevated to a very strong Category 5 status.  While the minimum Category 5 sustained wind speed is 157 mph (miles per hour), Dorian’s maximum sustained winds now are about 185 mph, with wind gusts of up to 225 mph.

Today Dorian is slamming into the Bahamas with catastrophic winds.  It ties the record for the most powerful Atlantic hurricane ever to come ashore in the Bahamas, equaling the Labor Day hurricane of 1935.  (Back then, hurricanes did not have names.)

It is possible that Dorian may not make a direct hit on the U.S., although it is expected to move close to the east coast of Florida tomorrow (Labor Day) afternoon.  States of emergencies have been declared for all of Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina, as well as for 12 counties in Georgia.

Hurricane Dorian a Category 5
storm as it slams into the Bahamas

Aug. 31, 2019

We all went to the swap meet at the Aloha Stadium this morning and early afternoon.  It cost only $1.00 per person to get in.  My friends wanted to buy a few things, but I just wanted to walk around and take some snapshots.  Later we went over to Waikiki, walked around for a bit and had a snack.

Today was a lot less cloudy than yesterday, and it was hotter.  That’s how I like it. 

         

         

         

         
1-minute slideshow
Aug. 30, 2019

My friend’s friend (who lived in Hawaii for years but now lives in Oregon) and the friend’s girlfriend are here visiting for about a week.  She hasn’t been to Hawaii before until now.  They have been a blast to hang out with.

We all have seen some great sites, ending with a nice bonfire.  Hawaii continues to be awesome.

         

         

         

         
1-minute slideshow
Aug. 28, 2019

Since I got to Hawaii a few days ago, I haven’t responded to many emails or kept up with the news very much.  My friend and I have been doing things like eating and drinking free samples at various places, hanging out at the beach and going snorkeling, among other things.

Today we found some date palm trees near a beach, and many dates had fallen to the ground around the trees.  We picked up lots of dates, rinsed them off at an outside shower and had a great snack.  Then we went and enjoyed some very hot/spicy Thai food.  It’s been a super fun few days. 

         

         

         

         
1-minute slideshow

Aug. 25, 2019

I have not been to Hawaii since 1983.  A good friend lives in Honolulu, and he has invited me to come here for a few years.  I have not seen him since I flew to Philadelphia on May 17, 2011 to visit him and his brother in New Jersey.  This year, Southwest Airlines began flying to Hawaii, so I made a reservation a few weeks ago and flew here today.

I like to take photos out the window when I fly.  Of course, all the way from California to here is ocean.  But there were various cloud formations above the water, so every so often I would take a snapshot.

         

         

         

         
1-minute slideshow

Aug. 22, 2019

A recent photograph of the south pole of Mars shows that it resembles the top of a cup of cappuccino.  I guess this polar cap could be thought of as a “cap-puccino.”  I wonder if there are any good coffee shops on Mars. 

Mars polar icecap  Cappuccino

Aug. 19, 2019

Which of these signs is more likely to prevent a mass-shooting tragedy in a public location?

I think I would go with the sign on the right.  It should warn a potential aggressor that he probably will be met with deadly force if he attempts an attack with a weapon.

The sign on the left will not prevent criminals, who have illegally obtained guns, from shooting people in so-called “gun-free” zones.  That is why they are criminals—because they do not obey rules and laws.  If anything, that sign would be an invitation to an assailant who, if he begins an attack with his weapon, is not likely to encounter any resistance from someone else with a weapon.


Aug. 17, 2019

At Olive Tree Ministries today, Jan Markell talked with Dr. Mark Hitchcock for the hour.  They discussed God’s Judgment Seat, also known as the Bema Seat of Christ.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10)

Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ is what will get us to heaven and give us eternal life.  Our good works and how faithfully we have served Christ after we are saved determine what rewards we will receive when we get to heaven and forevermore thereafter.

Our thoughts, deeds, motives and more will be judged.  Also, defaulting on or failing to complete certain responsibilities can result in not obtaining some rewards that we otherwise would have received.

God’s judgment at the Bema Seat also determines how believers will reign in heaven, during the Millennium and eternally.  Essentially, it is our “final exam” after this mortal life is over.

Today’s audio program, lasting 57 minutes with 2 commercial breaks, can be heard here:

Your Final Exam: The Bema Seat: Audio

Aug. 16, 2019

Multiple international airports in the U.S. experienced lengthy delays today.  Customs and Border Protection (CBP) experienced a computer glitch, causing a massive outage.

U.S. Customs had to process passengers manually and use backup systems, resulting in a major slowdown.  There were very long lines at various airports throughout the nation.

CBP suffers massive power
outage at airports across US

Aug. 15, 2019

U.S. Congresswomen Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) are supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which promotes various types of boycotts against Israel.  Last month, they were among 17 members of Congress who voted against condemning BDS.

Omar and Tlaib have been very vocal about their hatred of Israel and Jews in the past.  In a couple of weeks, they were planning a tour of the West Bank in Israel.

Today, President Trump tweeted a message saying that Israel would show great weakness if Omar and Tlaib were allowed to visit.  As a result, Israeli officials have blocked Omar and Tlaib from entering their country.

Israel blocks Omar, Tlaib from entering
country amid pressure from Trump

Aug. 14, 2019

Today the stock market dropped the most that it has in 2019.  It also was the fourth largest daily point drop on record: 800.49 points.

By the end of the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was down 3.05% to 25,479.42, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was down 2.93% to 2,840.60.

Dow Jones Industrial Average drop: 25,479.42.  Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index drop: 2,840.60.

Also, the “yield curve” inverted to its lowest levels since 2007.  This is occurring while there are rising tensions due to the U.S. trade war with China and a global economic slowdown.  Some say that this inversion is a classic warning signal of an upcoming recession.

Stock market sinks on
growing recession fears
     Dow plummets 800 points on
worsening global recession fears

Aug. 12, 2019

Tonight and tomorrow night will be the optimal times to watch the meteor shower known as the Perseids.  This is an annual event that I look forward to each summer.

This year, though, we are only 3 nights away from a full moon (on Aug. 15), so the sky will be bright for the next several nights.  In locations away from city lights, it is possible that a few meteors can be seen.

The best chance of seeing meteors will be in locations with clear skies.  Also, the best viewing probably will be during the pre-dawn hours.

Perseid Meteor Shower 2019:
When, Where & How to See It

Aug. 11, 2019

         
15-second slideshow

Today is the observance of Tisha B’Av, which is regarded as the saddest day on the Jewish calendar.  It began at sunset yesterday evening.

Tisha B’Av is a day of mourning to commemorate many tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people throughout the millennia of history.  Primarily, it commemorates the destruction of the first Temple by the Babylonians, in 586 B.C.E., and second Temple by the Romans, in 70 C.E.

Following both of these events, there was a Jewish exile from the region of Judea.  Also, on Tisha B’Av is remembered the expulsion of the Jewish people from England in 1290, from France in 1306 and from Spain in 1492.

This is a full day of fasting and mourning.  A 25-hour fast is common, as well as a reading of the book of Lamentations, which mourns the destruction of Jerusalem.

This year, today also marked the beginning of the first day of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, which lasts for 3 days.  Thousands of Palestinians prayed at the Al-Aqsa mosque.

Overlapping Jewish and Muslim holidays led to tensions on top of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  Israeli police said four officers were wounded as Palestinian protesters threw stones and other objects at security forces, who responded with riot-dispersal means.  The situation continued to get worse after that.

Police temporarily bar Jewish visitors
from Temple Mount on Tisha B’Av

Aug. 10, 2019

Jeffrey Epstein, alleged pedophile and disgraced financier, was found dead early this morning in his New York jail cell.  This was at the Manhattan Correctional Center (MCC).

Epstein died of an apparent suicide, reportedly by hanging.  This comes just two weeks after the former multi-billionaire investment banker was placed on suicide watch as he awaited trial on a slew of charges, including child sex trafficking.

He was transported by EMS to a local hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries, where he was pronounced dead by hospital staff.  The FBI is investigating the incident.

U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr released this statement: “Mr. Epstein's death raises serious questions that must be answered.  In addition to the FBI's investigation, I have consulted with the Inspector General who is opening an investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Epstein's death.

Dead by suicide: Body of Jeffrey Epstein, sex trafficker
and billionaire friend of the famous, found in cell

Rumor has it that Epstein’s suicide in prison happened after his last known visitor left.  If so, maybe he thought, “Okay...now I’ve seen it all.  I’m outta here!” 


Aug. 7, 2019

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visited both Dayton, OH, and El Paso, TX, today.  They met with first responders, victims and families following the horrific mass shootings in both cities this past weekend.

Mass shootings bring Trump to
Dayton, El Paso amid protests

Aug. 5, 2019

U.S. stocks today suffered their biggest one-day decline of 2019.  The cause evidently was due to the sinking of the Chinese currency, the yuan, to a record low value of 7.10 yuan per dollar.  Stock investors fled stocks and other assets perceived as risky, as the outlook for a deal between the U.S. and China dimished.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was down 2.90% to 25,717.74, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was down 2.98% to 2,844.74.

Dow Jones Industrial Average drop: 25,717.74.  Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index drop: 2,844.74.
Aug. 4, 2019

This was a horrible weekend for mass shootings, both yesterday and today.  On Saturday morning in El Paso, TX, 20 people were killed and 26 were injured at a Walmart, both outside and inside.  The suspect Patrick Crusius, 21, is in jail and facing capital murder charges.

Patrick Crusius: 5 Fast
Facts You Need to Know

Very early this morning in Dayton, OH, 9 people were killed and 26 were injured outside of a bar.  One of those that Connor Betts, 24, killed was his sister Megan, 22.  He was killed by police.

Megan Betts, Connor Betts’ Sister
Dead: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Aug. 1, 2019

After a significant decrease in the stock market yesterday, there was a solid rally and upturn this morning.  At one point, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up over 300 points, almost making up for yesterday’s big loss.

However, early this afternoon, President Trump announced that the U.S. would be imposing a 10% tariff on $300 billion of Chinese goods, beginning Sep. 1.  Soon thereafter, the Dow began to tumble substantially.

By the end of the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was down 1.05% to 26,583.42, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was down 0.90% to 2,953.56.

Dow Jones Industrial Average drop: 26,583.42.  Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index drop: 2,953.56.

Dow ends 280 points lower as Trump
announces additional tariffs on China

July 31, 2019

The Federal Reserve cut interest rates by 0.25 point today.  It is the first decrease since Dec. 2008.

This means that it will be cheaper to borrow money for car loans and certain mortgages.  Also, credit card interest rates will be lower.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell spoke at a news conference in Washington, DC, about the decision to cut interest rates.  He indicated that there should not be an assumption that rates will not go up again at some point.

The stock market was not too happy with the cut.  Evidently, investors are worried about what the cuts may mean for the health of the overall economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was down 1.23% to 26,864.27, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was down 1.09% to 2,980.38.

Dow Jones Industrial Average drop: 26,864.27.  Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index drop: 2,980.38.
July 29, 2019

A double meteor shower can be viewed later tonight and early in the morning.  In some places, they will be visible through several nights in August.

The Southern Delta Aquariids will be mostly visible in the Southern Hemisphere.  Viewers should be looking toward the Aquarius Constellation in the southern sky.

The Alpha Capricornids should be equally visible on either side of the equator.  In the eastern U.S., these meteors should be best visible tonight just after midnight.  In the central and western U.S., clouds and rain may make viewing of the meteors difficult or impossible.

Look Up! Dazzling Double
Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight

July 27, 2019

A 5-4 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court allows President Trump to spend $2.5 billion to help build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.  The amount will be redirected from money that was approved by Congress for the Pentagon.

U.S. Supreme Court lets Trump
use disputed funds for border wall

July 25, 2019

There has not been a federal execution in the U.S. since Mar. 19, 2003.  On that date, Louis Jones Jr. was executed by lethal injection for the 1995 kidnapping, rape and murder of 19-year-old Army Private Tracie Joy McBride.

Now Attorney General William Barr has directed the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to schedule the executions of five death-row inmates.  They have been convicted of murders or rapes of children or the elderly.

Barr has stated, “The Justice Department upholds the rule of law, and we owe it to the victims and their families to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system.”  The executions have been scheduled for December 2019 and January 2020.

U.S. Justice Department resumes use of
death penalty, schedules five executions

July 24, 2019

Boris Johnson officially has become the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.  This happened today after he met with Queen Elizabeth II.  She invited him to become the country’s premier and to form a new government.

Johnson is an avid supporter of Brexit.  He has insisted that he is determined to have Britain leave the European Union by October 31 this year.

Boris Johnson officially becomes Prime Minister,
pledges 'modern Britain' cabinet with pro-Brexit tilt

July 23, 2019

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is about to stand down.  She officially will tender her resignation to Queen Elizabeth II tomorrow afternoon.

Boris Johnson was elected leader of the Conservative Party today.  He is expected to take office as U.K. Prime Minister tomorrow, after May’s resignation is final.

Johnson led the Leave campaign in the 2016 Brexit referendum.  He has said that he is determined to take the U.K. out of the European Union on October 31, even if no official exit deal has been made.

New UK prime minister: Johnson and
Hunt await Conservative leadership vote

July 22, 2019

The U.S. economy is the strongest it has been in many years, with low unemployment, low inflation and a record-breaking stock market.  Much of this has occurred since Donald Trump became president.

However, Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren has expressed pessimism about the direction that the U.S. economy is headed.  She is warning of a serious U.S. economic downturn this year or next year.

Warren says that high household and student debt and an increase in interest rates could “plunge families over a cliff.”  She also noted that corporations are holding a growing number of high-risk loans and that the country is experiencing a downturn in manufacturing.

Indeed, these are factors which very well may preclude a significant downward slide in the U.S. economy at some point.  Probably one of the main causes, though, is the colossal U.S. national debt, which now is over $22.5 trillion and climbing.

$22.5+ trillion U.S. national debt

Senator Warren says that as an “antidote” to the debt, a $2 trillion investment in environmental research, manufacturing and exports should be made over the next decade.  This, however, would increase the national debt substantially...not a good idea, in my opinion.

Democratic candidate Warren sees U.S.
economic downturn; urges quick steps

July 20, 2019

This is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 module’s landing on the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969.  It was the first spaceflight that allowed humans to land on the moon.  In all, 12 people have walked on the moon.

The American crew that flew to the moon were Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, who both walked on the moon, and Michael Collins, who orbited the moon in the command module.  All three men were born in 1930.

       
13-second slideshow

There are conspiracy theorists who insist that all of the Apollo moon landings were hoaxes.  They might look at the third photo above and say that it is a deception, insisting that the two astronauts could not be photographed if a third astronaut, holding a camera, was not walking on the moon with them.  Rather, they might say, all moon photographs were taken on a fake moon stage by professional cameramen, as my friend Paul jokingly suggested.

Well, I would ask them to consider the possibility that, unbeknownst to anyone, a monkey who had been taught how to use a camera accompanied the astronauts on the Apollo 11 mission.  Perhaps his sole purpose was to take photos on the moon; he wasn’t there just to monkey around.  I wonder what conspiracy theorists might think about that. 


July 18, 2019

American flag and the Flag CodeThe RNC Chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, has sent a short letter to the DNC Chairman, Tom Perez.  She said the RNC looks forward to seeing members of the DNC proudly supporting the American flag.

Her letter also addresses recent acts of degradation and abasement of the American flag.  These include the following:

  • protesters tearing down the flag in Aurora, CO
  • criticizing the original Betsy Ross flag by equating it to a symbol of hate and racism
  • protesters burning the flag in Washington, DC, and in Philadelphia, PA

In addition, the RNC is sending an American flag to over 70 DNC officials.  These include the Democratic headquarters in all 50 states, as well as Democratic presidential candidates and congressional leaders and.  Along with the flag is a copy of the “United States Flag Code”—from Chapter 1 of Title 4 of the United States Code—and a letter from the RNC.

RNC Sends Message
To Democrat Lawmakers

July 15, 2019

In the third record high in less than a week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was up 0.10% to 27,359.16, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was up 0.02% to 3,014.30, also a record high.

Dow Jones Industrial Average record high: 27,359.16.  Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index record high: 3,014.30.
July 13, 2019

Tropical Storm Barry approaching Louisiana Track of Hurricane and Tropical Storm Barry
Hurricane Barry has become the first hurricane of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.  It reached a maximum wind speed of 75 mph for about 3 hours, barely achieving Category 1 status.  Since then, it has been downgraded to a tropical storm and will be a tropical depression by tomorrow.

Barry already has caused heavy flooding in New Orleans and southern Lousiana.  A coastal storm surge had overtopped levees by midday today.  The flooding is expected to continue as the storm continues to crawl slowly northward at about 7 mph.

Some cities and parishes in Louisiana have issued mandatory evacuation orders.  This is especially in low-lying areas and outside public levee protection, along with voluntary evacuation warnings for other places.

Barry makes landfall over Louisiana
as some levees get overwhelmed


Tower of Babel painting by Pieter BruegelOn American Family Radio (AFR) today, Jan Markell played the audio of her updated DVD, “Hidden in Plain View: The New World Order in Bible Prophecy.”  A global system has been building for about 5,000 years and will culminate with the reign of the Antichrist over the world.

It began with the building of the Tower of Babel, when the world had one language and a common speech; but God confused their language and scattered them all over the earth (Genesis 11:1-9).  Since then, there has been a gradual concerted effort, by many national leaders and regimes, to bring about a unified world with a global system of government.

Of course, this has been in utter defiance of and resistance to God.  Mortal humans are incapable of forming a legitimate and unadulterated government that can rule effectively and unerringly over the whole world.  Only God can do that, and it will happen only when Jesus brings the Kingdom of God to earth and rules and reigns over the whole world during the Millennium.

Today’s audio program, lasting 57 minutes with 3 commercial breaks, can be heard here:

The New World Order in Bible Prophecy: Audio
July 12, 2019

In the second record high in two days, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed above 27,100, 27,200 and 27,300 for the first time.  The Dow was up 0.90% to 27,332.03, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was up 0.46% to 3,013.77, also a record high.

Dow Jones Industrial Average record high: 27,332.03.  Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index record high: 3,013.77.


In congressional hearings today, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) had a short back-and-forth discussion with former acting ICE director, Tom Homan.  She accused Homan of being the author of a policy memo to separate children from their parents at the border.

Homan denied this and also negated other accusations by Ocasio-Cortez.  In a couple of minutes, he effectively painted her into a corner and left her with nothing else to say about the matter.


July 11, 2019

In another record high, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed above 27,000 for the first time.  The Dow was up 0.85% to 27,088.08, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was up 0.23% to 2,999.91, also a record high.

Dow Jones Industrial Average record high: 27,088.08.  Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index record high: 2,999.91.
July 8, 2019

Dump StarbucksOn the radio this morning, I heard a disturbing report about something that happened at a Starbucks location in Tempe, AZ, on July 4.  Six police officers, all of whom had purchased their drinks, were asked to leave or, at least, to move out of a certain customer’s line of sight.

It turns out that the customer informed a Starbucks employee that he did not feel safe because of the presence of the police.  So the employee approached the police officers and informed them of the customer’s uneasiness.  The officers chose to leave the premises.

The Tempe Police Association made a comment on Twitter.  In response, the Starbucks Corporate Office stated that they were aware of the incident and said that the interaction was “not in line with Starbucks’ values.”  An apology to the Tempe Police Department was issued.

Starbucks Apologizes To Police After Six
Officers Were Asked To Leave Arizona Store

Personally, I feel that Starbucks nationwide should announce a day where public servants, including police and firefighters, can receive free coffee and other drinks all day at all Starbucks locations.  Then people who “do not feel safe” in the presence of police officers can avoid Starbucks on that day, if they so choose.

It is troublesome to me that anyone who is uncomfortable in the presence of those in law enforcement would make a request that they be asked, or told, to leave.  I know that I feel much safer in a public place with a police officer or officers present.

This is an example to me of a liberal-thinking, self-centered individual expecting others to comply with his pigheaded wishes.  If that person felt uneasy, he could have stood up, taken his drink, and moved to another location in the Starbucks or else just left the place.  It was very inconsiderate of him to inconvenience others—in this case, six others—rather than himself.

If I had been there and was aware of what had happened, I think I might have gone up to the counter and ordered another coffee.  When the barista asked for my name, I may have said “cop supporter,” hoping that these words would be called when my coffee was ready.  If so, I would have wanted to see the expression on the face of the guy who did not want the police officers near him.

By the way, I do not go to Starbucks.  If I go somewhere just for coffee, I prefer both the taste and the prices of Peet’s Coffee.


July 5, 2019

7.1 magnitude earthquake near Searles Valley and Ridgecrest, CAThe large 6.4 earthquake in California yesterday turned out to be a foreshock of an even larger quake tonight.  At 8:19 p.m., a 7.1 magnitude quake, again centered in the Mohave Desert near Ridgecrest, shook most of the state of California, from Sacramento to Mexico, as well as western Nevada and Arizona.

The shaking lasted for well over a minute.  It was like moving side to side and up and down in a boat floating on a very wavy ocean.  Seismologists say that at least a 6.0 aftershock could occur at some point.

I wrote about various earthquakes on Apr. 4.  I noted how California had been experiencing an “earthquake drought” for some time and was overdue for a quake of at least a 7.0 magnitude.  Well, that now has happened, and it is possible that an even larger one will follow.  Scary. 

Southern California Hit With
Another Big Earthquake

July 4, 2019

America’s 243rd Birthday

       
15-second slideshow

Bill of Rights    Lord’s Prayer


6.4 magnitude earthquake near Searles Valley and Ridgecrest, CAThis morning in southern California, there was a major 6.4 magnitude earthquake at 10:33 a.m.  It was located in the Mohave Desert, near Searles Valley and Ridgecrest.  There were several foreshocks prior to the main quake, and there have been dozens of aftershocks following it, including a 4.6 tremor.

This is being called the 2019 Ridgecrest Earthquake.  It was the largest quake in So. CA since the 7.1 Hector Mine earthquake in 1999, almost 20 years ago.

Ridgecrest Mayor Peggy Breedon said that things were falling off buildings and hitting people, and there were fires and broken gas lines.  USGS seismologist Lucy Jones said that the area would be hit by many aftershocks in the coming days and even could be hit by a larger quake.

The big quake was felt from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and from Fresno to Tijuana.  This is an area inhabited by about 20 million people.  So far, there have been no reports of any deaths or major injuries.

A 6.4 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Southern
California, Rattling A Large Swath Of State

July 3, 2019

In the first record high this year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed above 26,900 for the first time.  The Dow was up 0.67% to 26,966.00, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was up 0.77% to 2,995.82, also a record high.  This was the first record high for the DJIA since Oct. 3, 2018.

Dow Jones Industrial Average record high: 26,966.00.  Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index record high: 2,995.82.

July 1, 2019

California gas prices cost an arm and a legCalifornia’s nation-leading gas prices have climbed even higher today.  The state gas tax has increased an additional 5.6 cents per gallon.  Now the average price of gasoline is $3.755 per gallon, which is more than $1.00 per gallon more than the national average of $2.717 per gallon.

This, along with other increases in the past couple of years, is a result of a 2017 state law, Senate Bill 1, that ultimately is supposed to raise $5.2 billion annually for road and bridge repairs and expanded mass transit.  Under the 2017 law, the tax automatically will increase annually based on a Consumer Price Index adjustment, beginning July 1, 2020.

Back on May 11, 2017, I attended an event in Fullerton aimed at recalling Senator Josh Newman, whose vote enabled Senate Bill 1 to barely pass.  He was recalled by the voters of the 29th Senate District in June 2018.  Too bad the gas tax law was not repealed as well. 

California gas tax rises
6 cents a gallon today


A conservative friend sent me the following three images (click on them to see enlargements).  I happen to agree with what they say.



 

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