World view – Sunday

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WorldWatch2

For posting on events, news, opinions and anything of interest from around the world.

37 Comments

  1. Missy

     /  December 23, 2018

    Yesterday stowaways on an Italian Ship heading to Essex (from Nigeria) attempted to take over the ship off the coast of Kent and force the crew to sail closer to the shore so they could swim to land. The stowaways had been discovered last week and locked in a cabin, last night they broke out and armed with iron bars threatened the crew. The crew locked themselves on the bridge and alerted the authorities.

    Last night the boat was boarded by members of the SBS (Special Boat Service – the Navy’s SAS), and the stowaways were taken into custody by the Essex Police. At this stage they have only be charged with Immigration offences not piracy, hijacking, or terror related offences.

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  December 23, 2018

    Trump tries to return sanity to school discipline. Dems protest:
    https://www.city-journal.org/disparate-impact-analysis

    • Gezza

       /  December 23, 2018

      Hang on, I’ll have a look … 😐

      • Gezza

         /  December 23, 2018

        Ok the article’s interesting but I haven’t checked out the source. As for Trump returning sanity to anything – have you gone insane, Sir Alan? Everything involving Trump rapidly descends into madness. Only a fully paid-up twit could conclude the lying, cheating, bullying, egomaniacal Trump is role model for students. He’s a better model for disruptive students.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  December 23, 2018

          He doesn’t aspire to be a role model, merely to allow school rules to apply to all irrespective of minority ststus.

          • Gezza

             /  December 23, 2018

            It’s very good of you to keep inventing reasons on his behalf for why, although he’s actually a well-known arsehole, that doesn’t actually matter.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 23, 2018

              I’m not commenting on why, just what he is doing. Since you don’t manage even to get that right I ignore your opinions on anything more complex

            • Gezza

               /  December 23, 2018

              That article doesn’t say Trump has personally done anything. Odds are he hasn’t even got a bloody clue what’s happening. This is why I ignore your opinions on Trump. You make shit up, like he does.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 23, 2018

              He appointed De Vos to do it for him. From the link in the link – letter of transmittal:

              December 18, 2018
              The President
              The White House
              Washington, D.C. 20500
              Dear Mr. President:
              Our nation’s schools must be safe places to learn. Sadly, incidents of school violence are too common in the
              United States, and far too many families and communities have suffered.
              Following the school shooting in Parkland, FL, you established the Federal Commission on School Safety. You
              tasked the Commission with producing a report of policy recommendations in an effort to help prevent future
              tragedies.
              Our work included field visits, listening sessions, and meetings with anyone and everyone who is focused on
              identifying and elevating solutions. After learning from students, parents, teachers, school safety person￾nel, law enforcement officers, mental health professionals, and others who play a role in keeping students
              safe, we have developed recommendations for leaders at the local, state, and federal levels. Our key observa￾tions and recommendations are included in this report. Our goal has been to identify local, state, and federal
              policy for lawmakers and local officials to consider. The report’s recommendations can assist states and local
              communities in preventing school violence and improving recovery efforts following an incident.
              There is no universal school safety plan that will work for every school across the country. Such
              a prescriptive approach by the federal government would be inappropriate, imprudent, and ineffective. We
              focused instead on learning more about, and then raising awareness of, ideas that are already working for
              communities across the country. That is why the Commission’s work and recommendations focus on a variety
              of school sizes, structures, and geographic locations.
              The federal government can play a role in enhancing safety in schools. However, state legislators should work
              with local school leaders, teachers, parents, and students themselves to address their own unique challenges and
              develop their own specific solutions. What may work in one community may or may not be the right approach in
              another. Each local problem needs local solutions. Rather than mandate what schools must do, this report serves
              to identify options that policymakers should explore.
              Ultimately, ensuring the safety of our children begins within ourselves, at the kitchen table, in houses of worship,
              and in community centers. The recommendations within this report do not and cannot supplant the role families
              have in our culture and in the lives of children. Our country’s moral fabric needs more threads of love, empathy,
              and connection.
              Together with states, local communities, and families, we can all continue working to uphold our promise
              to keep students safe as they pursue their futures at school.
              Sincerely,
              Betsy DeVos, Secretary
              U.S. Department of Education
              Chair, Federal Commission on School Safety
              Kirstjen M. Nielsen, Secretary
              U.S. Department of Homeland Security
              Matthew Whitaker, Acting Attorney General
              U.S. Department of Justice
              Alex M. Azar II, Secretary
              U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

            • Gezza

               /  December 23, 2018

              1. That’s a letter from De Vos to him. Not from him to her. Once he appoints them he ignores whatever they’re doing until one morning they wake up and find out he’s sent out ranting tweets undercutting and embarrassing them becos of something he just saw on Fox News while sitting on the loo, and they resign.

              2. Trump tries to return sanity to school discipline
              Nothing in what you posted even mentions discipline. You can have the last word now, if you like, I’m not prepared to carry this on & watch you continue to embarrass yourself any further.

    • Patzcuaro

       /  December 24, 2018

      Trump and sanity used together would be an oxymoron.

  3. Gezza

     /  December 23, 2018

    Brett McGurk, the US envoy to the global coalition fighting ISIL, resigned this week over his disagreement with President Donald Trump’s surprise decision to pull US troops out of Syria, US media reported on Saturday, citing unnamed sources.

    Both the Associated Press and CBS news reported the departure, saying McGurk submitted his resignation letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday, a day after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said he was leaving his post.

    In the letter, which was described to the Associated Press by an official familiar with its contents, McGurk said fighters with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) were on the run, but not yet defeated as Trump had said.

    He added that the premature pull-out of American forces from Syria would create the conditions that gave rise to ISIL.
    More…
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/12/envoy-anti-isil-coalition-mcgurk-resigns-reports-181222161950217.html

    • The resignations of Mattis and McGurk may may strong points (of difference with Trump’s approach), but they are unlikely to fix things. They could easily make things worse.

  4. Gezza

     /  December 23, 2018

    Iran says US presence in Syria ‘wrong’ from the start
    In first Iranian comments on Trump’s pull-out plan, Tehran says US caused ‘instability and insecurity’ in the region.

    Filling the void:
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday “cautiously” welcomed the planned US withdrawal from Syria, announcing that it would delay a military operation against Syrian Kurdish fighters, who have been supported by the US in Syria since 2014.

    The Turkish government views the US-backed YPG (Kurdish People’s Protection Units) as an extension of an armed group fighting inside Turkey.

    According to reports in Turkish media, Trump made the decision to pull US troops out of Syria in recent a phone call with Erdogan, but the White House has denied the claims.

    More…
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/12/iran-presence-syria-wrong-start-181222114949131.html

  5. kluelis

     /  December 23, 2018

    It is significant that the first 3 letters of both Iran and Iraq = IRA.

    • Gezza

       /  December 23, 2018

      Yes, a common name in backward parts of some Southern states of the US.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  December 23, 2018

        It’s the name of the International Reading Association as well as the Irish Republican Army.

        It’s the first letters of irade.

  6. Gezza

     /  December 23, 2018

    Deadly tsunami hits Indonesia after volcanic eruption
    At least 43 people have been killed by a tsunami that hit beaches in Indonesia after the Krakatoa volcano erupted.

    A wall of water over 20 metres high moved inland, damaging hundreds of houses including hotels, the government and witnesses said.

    The tsunami hit beaches in the Sunda Strait, which is between the islands of Java and Sumatra, on Saturday night (Sunday NZT).

    Indonesia’s disaster management agency says more than 600 people have been injured.
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/109569097/at-least-20-dead-in-indonesian-tsunami

    Blimey. Allah’s certainly got it in for Indonesia. These poor people seem to be copping no end of strife and misery from their geology.

  7. The Consultant

     /  December 23, 2018

    Wow. But given this explosion maybe it should not be a surprise…Krakatoa volcano: spectacular large explosion 17 Oct 2018. Those guys were on the spot in a cruise boat by a total fluke….

  8. The Consultant

     /  December 23, 2018

    And on a completely different note: Confessions of a ‘Soulless Troglodyte’: How My Brooklyn Literary Friendships Fell Apart in the Age of Trump.
    Love the opening…

    When we first met, Jamie (not his real name) told me that he was a genius—that his Catholic school teachers said so after he wrote a poem about vaginas and read it aloud in front of the whole class. He told me he wanted to be “an author.” In the 1990s, our street was a spontaneous symphony of the working poor,….

    But it was also a comment on the blog site that led to that link that cracked me up – sort of, it’s actually a fucking sad commentary on what’s happening in the US…

    I was part of a group that had a yearly holiday party that was centered around a gag gift exchange. This group had the party for 25 or more years. Some of the people in the group I only saw once each year at the party. It was a lot of fun over the years. I looked forward to the event.

    In 2016, the mood at the party was remarkable. I can only liken it to attending the funeral of a close friend.

    Later in the evening, when the discussion turned to the election, I made the mistake of laughing out loud at the notion of Russian interference in the election.

    The party has not happened the last two years. These 20 or so people could not handle the presence of three people that don’t hate Trump. Our presence caused so much distress that the party is no longer. They are not even having the party and not inviting us. I know this because one of the three is married to a party planner.

    The three of us are not Trump supporters, we just are not active haters. I’ll admit to being entertained by Trump’s ability to live for free inside the heads of his enemies. Maybe our real sin against the group is that we also don’t like Hillary.

    I’m sure that anyone reading this comment has seen similar behavior with some of their friends. On the infrequent occasions I log into faceborg I see really strange behavior. I find it all very odd.

    • Griff.

       /  December 23, 2018

      Thank you the consultant
      My life is infinitely richer after reading that piece of vacant gossip.
      So much so I am off to read the side bar of the daily mail and really gorge on vacant twaddle.

  9. The Consultant

     /  December 23, 2018

    To save what was left of our crumbling friendship, I pointed to the words of the man we both revered, Barack Obama, who’d declared in his last State of the Union Address that
    “a better politics doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything. This is a big country, with different regions and attitudes and interests…But democracy does require basic bonds of trust between its citizens. It doesn’t work if we think the people who disagree with us are all motivated by malice, or that our political opponents are unpatriotic. Democracy grinds to a halt without a willingness to compromise; or when even basic facts are contested, and we listen only to those who agree with us.”

    Jamie was unmoved. To not take sides against Trump was, as he put it, “the epitome of white privilege.” I responded that our friendship had survived every presidential election since George H. W. Bush. Surely, it would survive this one.

    It didn’t.

    🙂

  10. The Consultant

     /  December 23, 2018

    After Trump was elected, I continued to seek the company of bookish kin, without fully realizing that they were in the process of excommunicating me. Something shifted in late 2016—and not just with Jamie. An author I’ll call Daniel, who’d solicited my critical feedback in the past, sold his novel to a top publisher, earning a huge advance. I was happy for him, and he was kind enough to thank me in the book’s acknowledgements. But the novel didn’t sell well. And Daniel found a way to blame the bad numbers on Trump’s presidency.

    “I hate every Republican, good or bad, with every fibre of my being,” he declared to the world. Trump’s supporters, he said, were all “soulless troglodytes.”

    ….

    “I think Russians have been at the root of our discord for years,” Daniel announced at one point. “I think they own the government and the NRA.…They are the true enemy…Seriously, #russia, fuck you.” Caught up in these negative reveries, he would lapse into Swiftian absurdism, declaring at one point, “I hope we deport every single one of you motherfuckers back to Russia where you’ll live in gulags.” Eventually, Twitter deleted Daniel’s account after he allegedly posted threatening tweets against other users.

    Brilliant. Truly an example of our modern novelistic giants. I’m also hugely amused by the idea of New York “liberals” (leftists in US speak) going full Russophobe in 2018. What must their ancient forbears who lived through the Cold War think.

    • Gezza

       /  December 23, 2018

      I’m beginning to think what will be happening next year is that Trump, in endless desperation, will finally go Full Retard and the 2020 election will be the end of an absolutely crazy fucking experiment that the class of half-wits that is a bloody great chunk of the American voting public should never have been allowed to even consider conducting.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  December 23, 2018

        I sincerely hope that the novelistic giant comment isn’t serious.

        • The Consultant

           /  December 24, 2018

          Equally brilliant.
          Did I really need to add /sarc to that part of the comment?

          And I got three downticks.

          FFS. Talk about a lack of irony, not to mention self-examination. Seriously, do the three downtickers actually agree with “David” and “Jamie” of the story?
          Trump
          Derangement
          Syndrome.
          🙂

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  December 24, 2018

            I have, alas, read things that are as bad and not ironic.

            Every so often Agatha Christie relentlessly sends up modern writing, and she is cruelly accurate.

            Have you read any Bulwer Lytton? It’s hypnotically dreadful. I have read a few and own The Last Days of Pompeii…it falls open at one particularly bad piece, as if the previous owner couldn’t believe how appalling it was and had to look again. It’s the sort of thing one reads to annoy oneself..

            If you want to read pompous, self-righteous twaddle, read The Woman Who Did and The British Barbarians by Grant Allen. I was amazed to see what my ed. of TBB was going for (mine was in an opshop) as it’s hard to imagine anyone being willing to pay that for anything by that old gawdelpus.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  December 24, 2018

              My TBB was from an opshop, I mean. I looked it up out of curiosity to see what the going price was.

              Barbara Cartland on modern novels: ‘The heroine is raped upon almost every page and still manages to raise a blush when she marries the hero on the last page. This is most unlikely to happen in real life.’

  11. Kitty Catkin

     /  December 23, 2018

    The people who voted for Trump and now find themselves on compulsory unpaid leave (and I bet it’s their annual leave) or working free of charge must be booting themselves up the bum for their stupidity.

    I hope that none of them chanted ‘Build the Wall’ .

    • Gezza

       /  December 23, 2018

      If the president even attempted to remove Powell as chair of the Fed it would likely end up in court, and “we have no idea what the court would do,” said Conti-Brown, which is why he predicts “chaos.”

      Chaos is who they elected to run their circus in the US.