Friday, July 01, 2016

Somme 100

One Hundred years ago today.

Bloody July 4 Weekend Feared After June Ends In Surge Of Violence

Looks like it'll be a bloody one.

Bloody July 4 Weekend Feared After June Ends In Surge Of Violence: Chicago Police will deploy more officers "to make this a safe weekend," the chief of detective said.

Ricobene's Breaded Steak Sandwich Turns 40, Still 'Best In The World'

Some links to other good Bridgeport spots besides Ricobene's at the bottom of the link.

Ricobene's Breaded Steak Sandwich Turns 40, Still 'Best In The World': The most challenging thing about the breaded steak sandwich is figuring out how to eat it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Singjar Delegates in Washington DC

via the Newsletter of the the Kurdistan Regional Government

Two years ago this month, the terrorists of the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) attacked Mosul and began their rampage across Nineveh Province which by August 2014 saw the terrorists committing genocide against the Yezidis, Christians and other minorities. Many of you will remember the images of the Yezidis who fled to Mount Sinjar and eventually to the Kurdistan Region where they found a welcoming embrace and safety.

With this dark anniversary in mind, a delegation from Sinjar is currently in Washington DC for meetings with US government officials, members of Congress, think tanks and humanitarian organisations. This follows their meetings in New York at the United Nations last week.
Mahma Khalil (pictured), the Mayor of Sinjar, and Saido Haso Shingali, Head of the Kurdistan Brotherhood and Coexistence Bloc in the Nineveh Assembly, are calling for US assistance on key issues, including:
  • help bring back the thousands of Yezidi women, girls and children who are still held as slaves by ISIS
  • help bring the perpetrators of genocide to justice at the International Criminal Court
  • help with the protection, exhumation and evidence-gathering from the mass graves of Yezidis murdered by ISIS
  • assist in the reconstruction of Sinjar which has been utterly destroyed by ISIS and in the fighting to liberate the area. The destruction and lack of services make it impossible for the hundreds of thousands of displaced people to return to their homes
The KRG Representation in the United States is honored to host this delegation and to assist in delivering its message to our American friends. 

A Kurdish photographer, Younis Mohammed, who captured some of terrible tragedies of the past two years on camera has been awarded first prize this week at the Moscow International Foto Awards. Another photographer with a growing following is Jemal Penjweny whose pictures depicting the hopes and tragedies of people across Iraq was profiled in the UK's Guardian newspaper this week. You can read about their photographic storytelling in the media section below.

Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman
Kurdistan Regional Government
Representative to the United States

Monday, June 27, 2016

Tim Stanley: Britons need to calm down and embrace Brexit - and each other

Part of my purpose as a political commentator for these past few years has been to try to understand the fears of angry people. I don’t agree with everything said by the voters of Clacton, Rochester or Trumpville USA. But I think it’s important that we understand where they are coming from. I probably do that for personal reasons. My own family tree is populated with working-class folks who would be dismissed in the media as morons and bigots. They’re not. They’re just people, and there’s a poetry to their lives like everyone else’s - a resilience that defies recessions and snobbery. It’s like Ma Joad says in Grapes of Wrath: “Us people will go on livin' when all them people is gone. Why, we're the people that live. They ain't gonna wipe us out. Why, we're the people - we go on.” 
On and on they go, silent and invisible. The people driving your train, fixing your car, pouring your coffee. Until some day some desperate politician gives them a referendum – and they are heard across the world. That’s why the referendum saved my faith in politics. It put the people back in charge.
Well said Tim. 

Baghdad City of Peace Carnival

Nice to see something peaceful out of the ME.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Stephen Moore: Obamanomics: R.I.P.

Via Stephen Moore:  Obamanomics: R.I.P.
All of this brings me to the Republicans. Why are they stone silent on the economy and jobs, and why are they beating up Mr. Trump rather than Hillary and Mr. Obama for their economic malpractice. Every poll over the last three years finds the economy and jobs are by far the biggest voter concern. In 2007 and 2008 when the role of the parties were reversed, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a blizzard of legislation to the desk of George W. Bush which he either had to veto or put his tail through his legs and sign into law. 
Where is the Republican tax cut? Where is the Republican regulatory freeze? Where is the Republican bill suspending the 50-worker rule under Obamacare or the 30-hour-a-week regulation that has forced millions of Americans into part-time jobs. Why haven’t they suspended the Clean Power Plant rules by the EPA that are putting coal miners out of work? House Speaker Paul Ryan has some wonderful policy ideas he is rolling out, but rather than talking about them, how about passing them? 
Hillary’s growth agenda is to give America more of the same. Congressional Republicans seem to have no economic agenda at all — just white papers of what they will do in the future. But to quote George Allen, “The future is now.” Congressional Republicans like to blame Mr. Trump for their precarious political predicament and lousy poll numbers. Maybe they should look in the mirror.
No kidding, gotta wonder. 

Hank Poulson and the tails on a distribution.

Via Breitbart Poulson tells me,
We need to welcome rather than shrink from trade and economic competition. Trump calls our current trade deals “disgusting, the absolute worst ever negotiated by any country in the world.” This is simply false. According to the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the average American household income is roughly $10,000 higher because of the postwar expansion of trade. Because of trade, we add jobs and foster innovation and competitiveness. That doesn’t mean that people aren’t losing jobs and suffering in certain industries. However, it is wrong to tell the American people that we can turn back the clock and win, with merely 4 percent of the world’s population, by walling ourselves off from the remaining 7 billion people and the markets they represent. Instead, we need to fix the programs that help U.S. industries and workers transition to new and better jobs. We need better training, new education programs and a more robust safety net. The policies Trump endorses would destroy, not save, U.S. jobs.
  Listen to closely to Trump and he's saying the trade deals badly negotiated and not that he's opposed to free trade.  He just doesn't like deals where the US gives and gains little.  If your on the wrong side of the $10k average above, and I have a feeling that distribution skewed so there are far more under than above, then Trump will make sense.

Al Qaeda and allies gain more ground in Aleppo province | The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda and allies gain more ground in Aleppo province | The Long War Journal

The Hillary Campaign Should Be Panicking

Via the Weekly Standard,

 The Hillary Campaign Should Be Panicking: If Hillary Clinton's campaign headquarters isn't in a state of panic right now, it should be.
Senior operatives in Brooklyn just watched Donald Trump spend the last month flailing from one gaffe to another, all while failing to raise as much money as a mildly competitive congressional campaign. As she was bogged down with primary opponent Bernie Sanders in California, Trump never went on offense and instead spent his time insulting or scaring wide swaths of the electorate.
And yet, after the worst month of Trump's campaign, she's clinging to a lead in most swing state polls that's within the margin of error. It's time for someone in Brooklyn to pull the fire alarm. Her team has known for months what a deeply flawed candidate she is, and they smartly decided to make this election a referendum on Trump. Team Clinton has already spent millions on ads painting Trump as a crass buffoon. They've stayed on message for the last month while avoiding any unforced errors lately. Their media coverage has markedly improved since pivoting to the general, with the press fawning over her recent foreign policy speech as her best to date. She should be ahead by double digits today.

Огненные версты / The Fiery Miles

Spent Saturday watching this film. It's an "Eastern" and per Wikipedia,
The Ostern (Eastern) or Red Western (also known as "Borscht Western") was the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries' take on the Western. The term refers to two related genres:

Proper Red Westerns, set in America's 'Wild West', such as Lemonade Joe (Czechoslovakia, 1964), or the East-German The Sons of Great Bear (1966) or The Oil, the Baby and the Transylvanians (Romania, 1981), or A Man from the Boulevard des Capucines (USSR, 1987), involving radically different themes and genres. These were mostly produced in Eastern European countries like East Germany and Czechoslovakia, rather than USSR.

Easterns (Osterns), set usually on the steppes or Asian parts of the USSR, especially during the Russian Revolution or the following Civil War. Examples of these include The Elusive Avengers (1966) and its two sequels, White Sun of the Desert (1969), Dauria (1971), At Home among Strangers (1974), The Burning Miles (1957), The Bodyguard (1979), and The Sixth (1981). While obviously influenced by Westerns, Easterns form a specific genre. The word "Ostern" is derived from the German word Ost, meaning "East".
I recommend it. You don't have to be a Bernie Sanders supporter to enjoy it. It has classic and enduring themes of heroism.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Britain Exits, Democracy Lives, And Everything Has Changed

From the Weekly Standard: Chris Caldwell's take....
Britain Exits, Democracy Lives, And Everything Has Changed: London
London feels like a city liberated by one side in an ongoing civil war. The papers on the newsstands seem to come from a foreign country—yesterday's country. At twenty minutes to five this morning, it became apparent that Britain's citizens had voted by a 4-point margin to leave the 28-nation European Union. Most Londoners, politicians across Europe, and virtually all pundits and politicians are in a state of shock and rage. 
The EU has always found, by hook or by crook, the wherewithal to forestall populist outrage against it. A poll released on election eve showed that those who favored remaining in the EU would scrape through pretty easily. But so deep is the cleavage between those who profit from the present order and those who feel screwed by it that the latter have become unfathomable to, and unpollable by, the former. Despite driving rains across Britain on Thursday, voter turnout was at record highs—72 percent, higher than in last year's general election. Within hours, prime minister David Cameron, who led the Remain side, had announced he would resign. Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn was facing a party vote of no confidence. The pound had fallen to its lowest level against the dollar since 1985, and people were dancing in the streets of various European capitals and calling for referenda of their own.

Chicago Loses Lucas Museum to California (Ho Hum)

Losing this no lose to me.  I had no clue why Chicago should ruin more of  the lack front to continue turning the city into a theme park.  Unless they wanted to build it on the old Brach's Candy site or some other chunk of unused industrial land, I'd say good bye to Lucas.
Chicago Loses Lucas Museum to California: The multi-episode saga to build the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art on Chicago’s lakefront is apparently over. In a statement sent just before noon on Friday, “Star Wars” creator George Lucas himself announced that the ongoing litigation from Friends of the Parks effectively killed off the project.