A U.S. Navy C-2 Greyhound engaged in Carrier Onboard Delivery aircraft carrying 11 people crashed in the Philippine Sea south of Japan on Wednesday as it flew to the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan and three people were missing. “Search and rescue efforts for three personnel continue with U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ships and aircraft on scene,” the U.S. Seventh Fleet said in a news release. The C-2 has had a good safety record and has not been involved in a fatal accident since 1973 and has been in service for more than fifty years.
North Korea Back On The List As A State Sponsor of Terrorism
I was a bit surprised North Korea was not already on the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. President Trump announced on 21 November his administration would redesignate North Korea to this category which carries with it additional sanctions (how many more can there be?). So, practically speaking this redesignation is more symbolic than practical, as the most serious sanctions have already been put in place, and to date those sanctions have not had the desired effect of persuading North Korea to either abandon or negotiate regarding their nuclear weapons program. The North spent 20 years on that list before being removed in 2008 by the George W. Bush administration for meeting nuclear inspection requirements. Pyongyang later violated the agreement. In a speech to the South Korean national assembly two weeks ago, Trump cited atrocities carried out by the Kim regime and called the North “a hell that no person deserves.” Among other acts, Kim’s regime stands accused of carrying out the assassination of his half brother, Kim Jong Nam, with a chemical nerve agent at a Malaysian airport in February. “Importantly, this is just continuing to point out North Korea’s illicit, unlawful behaviors internationally,” United States Secretary of StateRex Tillerson said at the White House daily briefing Monday. “And we felt it was important to reimpose the designation for that reason.” Tillerson cited other recent sanctions from the United States and the United Nations on the North and added that the redesignation “continues to tighten the pressure on the Kim regime, all with an intention to have him to understand, ‘This is just going to get worse until you’re ready to come and talk.'” Iran, Sudan and Syria also are on the list, which is administered by the U.S. Department of State. According to that agency, sanctions for those nations on the list include “restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance; a ban on defense exports and sales; certain controls over exports of dual use items; and miscellaneous financial and other restrictions.”
Charles Manson, the sinister hippie cult leader who declared himself “the Devil” and dispatched his followers to commit a series of Hollywood murders in 1969 that shocked the country, died Sunday night in a California hospital. Good. Manson was sentenced to death in 1971 for directing the brutal murders of Tate and six other people, but he was spared two years later and was sentenced to life behind bars when California did away with the death penalty.
Baseball’s Most Valuable Player Awards
In the American League, Jose Altuve convincingly won the 2017 MVP Award. He received 27 of 30 first-place votes, racking up 405 total points. Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge finished in second place with 279 points and Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez finished in third place with 237 points. Altuve played well all year, was great in the World Series and was particularly supportive of his teammates during his post award interviews. And at 5’6” it shows you don’t have to be a big guy to play baseball at the highest level. Altuve, 27, led all of baseball with a .346 batting average and led the AL with 204 hits en route to helping the Astros win the AL West with 101 wins, then dispatched of the Red Sox, Yankees, and Dodgers to win the World Series. He also had a .410 on-base percentage, a .547 slugging percentage, 39 doubles, 24 home runs, 32 stolen bases, 81 RBI, and 112 runs scored in 662 plate appearances during the regular season. He is the first Astro to win the MVP Award since Jeff Bagwell in the strike-shortened 1994 season. Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton was named the 2017 National League Most Valuable Player as voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America. He narrowly edged out Reds first baseman Joey Votto, as both received the same number of first-place votes,
but Stanton received one more second- and third-place vote. Stanton had 302 total points to Votto’s 300. It was the closest balloting in years. Stanton, 28, led all of baseball with 59 home runs and 132 RBI, and led the National League with a .631 slugging percentage. He also hit .281 with a .376 on-base percentage, scoring 123 runs in 692 plate appearances. Stanton is the first member of the Marlins to win the MVP Award since the team came into existence in 1993.
Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger Win Rookie of the Year Awards
Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge and Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger won the Rookie of the Year Awards unanimously in their respective leagues, as voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Judge, 25, hit .284/.422/.627 with 52 home runs, 114 RBI, and 128 runs scored in 678 plate appearances. He led the American League in home runs, runs scored, and walks (127). Judge made the AL All-Star team during the summer and just took home a Silver Slugger Award. He’s a major contender for the AL MVP Award as well. Judge is the first Yankee to win the Rookie of the Year Award since Derek Jeter in 1996.
Robert Mueller Can Now Close Down Russian Investigation
In May 2017, Robert Mueller was appointed by the Justice Department as special counsel to oversee the FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, one of several investigations looking into the matter. Mueller can now close down that investigation because after chatting with former KGB agent and now President of Russia Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit President Trump is contradicting the overwhelming consensus among current and former U.S. officials that the Russian leader tried to manipulate the 2016 election. In a 26-minute question-and-answer session with reporters aboard Air Force One, the president managed to dismiss probes into whether his campaign colluded with Russia as an “artificial Democratic hit job,” said he believed Putin was being sincere when he insisted that Russia did not attempt to interfere in the 2016 election, and warned that the continued focus on Russian election meddling risks lives. I was worried there for a while that perhaps Russia didn’t respect us or value our way of life. So now I guess we can close down Mueller’s Russian investigation and get on with the real work of the Administration, that of giving a tax break to corporations as well as the wealthiest tax payers. And let’s create more ciaos in the health care system that will result in people paying more for health care no matter who they are.
For 98 years, Americans have remembered those who served our country in uniform on 11 November – first as Armistice Day, and then, since 1954 as Veterans Day. In this 99th year of commemoration, the Department of Veterans Affairs is broadening that tradition of observance and appreciation to include both Veterans and Military Families for the entire month of November.
It coincides with other holidays, including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I; major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. The United States previously observed Armistice Day. The U.S. holiday was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.
The Veterans Day National Ceremony is held each year on November 11th at Arlington National Cemetery . The ceremony commences precisely at 11:00 a.m. with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations and remarks from dignitaries. The ceremony is intended to honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces.
While the holiday is commonly printed as Veteran’s Day or Veterans’ Day in calendars and advertisements (spellings that are grammatically acceptable), the United States Department of Veterans Affairs website states that the attributive (no apostrophe) rather than the possessive case is the official spelling “because it is not a day that ‘belongs’ to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans.
Fireball Rant of Day – The End of the Driving Your Automobile Is In Sight
In the beginning there were no automobiles and there was darkness along the roads. And man said let us have cars that will move us along the road more efficiently than the horse. At first man created basic transportation vehicles. Once two cars were created, they raced them to see which was better. Man then designed cars to reflect specific needs; functionality combined with beauty and style. The brothers August and Frederick Duesenberg, Henry Ford , Louis Chevrolet, Ferdinand Porsche, Enzo Ferrari all designed and built cars to go beyond transportation befitting our dreams of how to drive and what to drive. I’ve been a car guy all my life. My first car at age 3 was a pedal car very similar to this photo (below right). David Dikowski lived two houses down from us. He had a fire engine pedal car (below left). We raced each other routinely ‘cause that’s what guys do. I worn out three sets of tires on that pedal car. The first car I bought was a tangerine orange ’69 Porsche 911 E Targa. I purchased it from my high school French teacher, another car guy. I’ve had Porsche 911’s ever since. That’s mine below right. Why? Because they’re fun to drive; they were built to drive; to drive fast; to take corners with ease; to make a statement; to be the statement. I’ve also had a couple street rods over the years and as most of you know I’m building a ’31 Chevy 5 Window Coupe. (photo of a 3 window coupe – not mine) Your imagination and your wallet establish the design parameters for these most personalized vehicles. Today’s cars are already being homogenized so as to look nearly identical. They’re either black, white, one of the 50 shades of grey with one red and one blue car per 100 thrown into the mix. I noted that on 07 November, Waymo, a subsidiary of Google has partnered with several other big name corporations to introduce driverless ride-sharing within the next few months, beginning in Phoenix. Those partners include: Fiat-Chrysler for minivans, AutoNation for vehicle service, Avis for fleet management and Lyft for their ride-share technology. Every big name automobile manufacturer is employing all available technology to create driverless ride-share. It will only be a few years until driverless vehicles are accepted as the norm. Children born today will never need to obtain that rite of passage – a driver’s license.
When these blob vehicles reach a critical mass of say 75%; governments will say, driverless cars all obey the speed limits all the time, they reduce the number of accidents, cars driven by individuals are responsible for 90% of vehicle accidents; therefore you have five years to cease driving your vehicles on public roads – you may keep them in your own personal museum – under certain qualifying rules of course. What I see developing is a culture where we can’t and don’t drive. Vehicles will be owned, operated, maintained by conglomerates. People will just pay for a service provided ride from point A to B. The building of great automobiles and the experience of driving those automobiles will be gone forever. I will be both mad and sad. Comments please!