White Island (or Whakaari) Volcano Erupts

This story from the Mirror, actually is one of the more complete stories. No more survivors expected to be found after New Zealand volcano disaster: Police issue warning after five people were confirmed dead and more than 20 unaccounted for following eruption.

  • White Island, located 29 miles off New Zealand’s North Island, erupted at 2.11pm local time on Monday
  • Five people have been confirmed dead, 18 injured, and more than 20 people are thought to be missing
  • Police say there have been ‘no signs of life’ from the island, and no more survivors are expected to be found

There is more at the link.

The key takeaway seems to be that there was no warning.

This video from Today is fairly complete, and shows a portion of the cellphone video recorded by an American, whose family had just ended a tour of the island.

Paul Volcker: September 5, 1927 – December 8, 2019

If you have to have a central bank, he was the central banker you wanted. Paul Volcker, Fed chair who fought runaway inflation, has died at age 92.

Paul Volcker, the former Federal Reserve chairman who in the early 1980s raised interest rates to historic highs and triggered a recession as the price of quashing double-digit inflation, has died, according to his office. He was 92.

People forget about double digit inflation. I would have to look to see the exact rate, but my first mortgage was something on the order of 14 or 15 percent. Today, people complain about 4 percent.

He is also one of the more quotable central bankers, as he spoke in English, and not some bureaucratic doublespeak. (There was a cottage industry that grew up around translating Alan Greenspan’s statements.)

It is a sobering fact that the prominence of central banks in this century has coincided with a general tendency towards more inflation, not less. [I]f the overriding objective is price stability, we did better with the nineteenth-century gold standard and passive central banks, with currency boards, or even with ‘free banking.’ The truly unique power of a central bank, after all, is the power to create money, and ultimately the power to create is the power to destroy.
– Paul Volcker

How many technocrats would admit that their entire industry and its process for the past 100 years have been a failure?

Next Meme: “Jeffery Epstein’s Banker Didn’t Kill Himself”

Who was it that first said, “Follow the money?” Jeffrey Epstein’s Long-Time Banker Found Dead From Hanging, Immediately Ruled a ‘Suicide’.

Corporate banker Thomas Bowers, who ran the U.S. division of private wealth management for Deutsche Bank AG, reportedly committed suicide last month at the age of 55 by hanging himself with a rope in his California residence.

However, his extensive ties to deceased sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein – who also died from a mysterious suicide – has caused speculation about what the real cause of Bowers’ death may be.

I can’t imagine what could cause that kind of speculation.

We Now Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming…

Well, almost.

There will be a Saturday Links post today, but it will involve minimal editing, and be a bit truncated. I’ve been too busy.

But the holiday is over. The leftovers are dealt with. I kept my head down and avoided Black Friday insanity. (Mostly, the traffic was killer yesterday afternoon…)

I did end up watching most of an NFL football game. The Thursday classic match – Chicago Bears vs Detroit Lions. My brother-in-law is an avid Bears fan, so you cannot avoid football.

Thanksgiving and Family

I will be busy the next couple of days with family, and cooking, and all the things that make Thanksgiving one of my favorite holidays. So. Talk among yourselves. I have a few things in the pipe, so it won’t be radio silence, but it also won’t be business as usual until at least sometime on Friday, and maybe not until Saturday.

Don’t forget to look for the various link roundups. (See last Sunday for list of sites to check.) Visit people from the sidebar. But also try to spend some time with family and friends, because that is what makes Thanksgiving special.

What Would You Do With 44,000 Pounds of Chocolate?

I like chocolate as much as the next person, but really… Austrian thief steals 20 tons of chocolate. That would be 20 metric (or long) tons.

“In recent years we have seen a number of individual cases where loaded trucks never arrived — also containing chocolate,” a police spokeswoman told news agency DPA.

Though if you are going to steal 20 tons of chocolate, Milka would be a good choice. If you’ve never heard of “Milka’s purple cow” (she’s named Lila) or had any of her chocolate, you wouldn’t understand. It isn’t the best chocolate I’ve ever had, but it is better than 95 percent of the rest of the stuff sold in such large quantities.

That 20 tons is worth about €50,000 or $55,000.

The Easiest Way to Solve This Is for BK to Stop the Vegan BS

Because you can’t please these people. Vegan Man is Suing Burger King Over Impossible Whopper.

A vegan man is suing Burger King because the meatless Impossible Whopper is cooked on the same grill as meat products.

So screw ’em. Stop the vegan BS.

Leonid Meteor Shower Visible Tonight

If it is clear, of course. The Leonid Meteor Shower Will Light up the Sky Monday Night.

Prepare to spend an hour or two outdoors on Monday night if skies are clear for the stunning sight of the Leonid meteor shower, which could bring as many as 15 shooting stars per hour.

Unfortunately, the best time to look is 1 AM. Wherever you are, east or west coasts, or in between, 1 AM the sky should be darkest.

It’s just that by 1 a.m. your location will be firmly on the night-side of the planet, so assuredly dark enough for the shooting stars to be visible — if skies are clear, that is.

Camp Fire – One Year On

I hate it when I miss important anniversaries. California’s Camp Fire started early on the morning of November 8, 2018. It would be an incredibly destructive fire, both in terms of property and lives lost. After a year, the area impacted is coming back to life, but very slowly.

There are no shortage of articles marking the anniversary. Few seem to capture what happened that day. ‘That fearsome day’: I escaped the Camp Fire. One year later, the recovery isn’t over.

Information was hard to come by. Then the phone began to ring and rumors began to spread. I gathered three of our cats and got them in their carriers. The fourth one, always more skittish, saw me coming, heard me coaxing and ran away. I remember the last glimpse of her vividly. She always comes to mind in any inventory of losses.

By the end of that day, nearly a hundred of our fellow ridge residents would be dead. Almost everything familiar to the rest of us would be gone. Almost everyone would spend that fearsome day fleeing the fire in slow motion, caught in traffic that inched along one of the few evacuation routes.

The population of Paradise, California was about 26,000 before the fire. By the end of the year, it will be between 4 and 5 thousand people.

Blancoliro has an update on the situation. Camp Fire UPDATE Rebuilding Nov 2019. It’s a 20 minute video, but I think it’s worth the time. Before and after photos. Video of the situation on the ground. etc.

Prosecutors Hate Self-defense

It gets in the way of Winning. (Justice? What’s that?) Charges dismissed against West Valley man accused in deadly argument turned shooting.

Toledo’s lawyer, Rudy Bautista, told 2News the state’s witnesses were actually supporting his argument that Toledo was acting in self-defense during the shooting.

“To begin with, the witnesses not only made inconsistent statements, but actually supported that the defendant was acting in self-defense, so that was a crucial turning point for this case,” Bautista said.

He also said the judge assigned to the case was frustrated that Toledo had been jailed for 13 months “with no evidence presented to court to show that he was guilty of any kind,” he said.

The case was not dismissed “with prejudice,” but if the witness is on record

  1. Contradicting themselves
  2. Supporting a case for Self-defense

Then it gets very difficult for the DA.

Five Against One, And the One Came Out on Top

Knives are dangerous weapons. 4 stabbed, 1 fatally, in Portage Park argument. (Portage Park is a neighborhood in Chicago.)

Four men were stabbed, one fatally, and another man beaten Monday after an argument over a damaged car in Portage Park on the Northwest Side.

They were walking to their parked car about 2:04 a.m. in the 5300 block of West Irving Park Avenue when another vehicle struck it, according to preliminary information from Chicago police. The men got into an argument with the male who hit the car.

It didn’t end well for them. There’s a moral to the story; probably there is more than 1. I leave that up to you, gentle reader, to discern.

Hat tip to Second City Cop, who notes…

That is a dangerous person. That is also why we shoot people with knives.

Edged weapons, in the hands of someone with training and the will to use it, are truly dangerous.

Texans Freak Out Over Cold Weather

Though the memes are funny. Hilarious memes go wild as cold weather hits Houston, rest of Texas. Click thru for a laugh.

Though the Midwest is experiencing real cold. Chicago Weather Today: Arctic Blast Breaks 4 Winter Records, Extreme Cold To Continue.

Marking extreme cold conditions, Chicago weather slipped into unseasonal bitter cold breaking at least four weather records in terms of snowfall, minimum and maximum temperatures in less than 24 hours.

That is the record for the coldest high-temperature-of-the-day record.

And it isn’t just Chicago… Arctic Blast Grips Parts Of the U.S., With Snow And Record-Breaking Cold

An estimated 300 cold-weather records are expected to be tied or broken by Wednesday. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates 30% of the continental U.S. is covered by snow.

Though Texas is having cold weather, at least by Texas standards.

So why did ABC Kill a Story on Epstein?

Gee, I wonder why. Cartoon Brutally Illustrates Reason ABC News ‘Spiked’ Amy Robach’s Epstein Story.

See also

and

Hackers Disrupt City Services – South African Edition

Hackers continue their attacks on government entities. Ransomware Attack Shuts Down City of Johannesburg’s Systems.

The City of Johannesburg municipality shut down the website, its e-services platform, and the billing system (SAP ISU and CRM) following a ransomware attack that also led to unauthorized information access according to a ransom note.

As I write this (Sunday, 9 PM Eastern) the City of Joburg’s Twitter account still has a pinned tweet announcing the disruption. The investigation was to take 24 hours, but it sounds like they intend to, and are able to, restore from backups.

In an update published on the municipality’s Twitter account, the City of Johannesburg says that critical systems are in the process of being restored and that the call center, the website, and e-services platforms remain offline for the time being.

However, EFT and 3rd party payment services can be used for municipal account payments and customers are advised to postpone visits to regional service centers.

Actually it isn’t clear if they aren’t paying the ransom (4 bitcoin) out of principle, or because they hackers didn’t provide enough info.

But then there have been a number of hacks that are wipers, masquerading as ransomware.

Don’t Try This at Home

The only thing missing was him saying, “Y’all hold my beer.” SEE IT: Desperate man trying to torch massive roach infestation blows up his garden instead.

No word on whether it actually killed the roaches.

Insecticides did not work, merely driving them above ground out of their burrow.

Desperate to rid his back yard of the creeping critters, the 48-year-old truck driver saturated the garden with gasoline and tossed a match into the hole in his lawn.

Pipes were damaged in the explosion.

Click thru for the 30 second video. It is priceless.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and Youth Football

I haven’t talked about football or CTE in a while, because frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn. But it’s for the kids. New PSA warns against youth tackle football, compares it to smoking.

A young football player stares down his opponents. He hikes the ball. Then the coach passes him a cigarette, which his mother happily lights.

That’s the premise for a new PSA from the Concussion Legacy Foundation, which wants parents to consider the long-term damage youth tackle football could inflict on their kids.

As I’ve said before, While I am not in favor of outlawing it, or anything, I don’t know why any parent would let their child play football.

NYC and Rape

All of these stories are from WPIX 11 in New York City. One of them came thru a news search, and the rest were linked at the bottom of the article. I’m not sure that this is a definitive list. And I don’t know what I think it says about the state of New York City.

August 15 – Man follows Bronx woman into apartment and tries to rape her: police

August 26 – Man stabs woman multiple times, attempts to sexually assault her in Bronx park: police

September 1 – Man puts woman in chokehold and tries to rape her in Brooklyn: police

September 6 – Man wanted in connection with Bronx sex assault: police

September 18 – Man wanted for sexually assaulting woman on Midtown street in broad daylight: police

October 2 – Man tries to drag woman away from her East Harlem building in attempted rape: police

Paris Knife Attack

Gun Free Zone? Any bets? (Mine? Yes of course it is a defenseless-victim-zone. Europeans are too “civilized” for it to be any other way.) Paris knife attack: Four dead in Paris police HQ stabbing.

Three officers and an administrative assistant were stabbed to death at Paris police headquarters by an employee who went on a rampage after evading security with a ceramic knife.

The 45-year old, named by local media as Mickaël H, had worked for 20 years in the IT department of the police intelligence section in offices in Paris’ central île de la Cité

France clearly needs ceramic knife control, and pasta knife control, and rock control, and…

This article doesn’t say, but the NY Times mentioned that the IT staff is dealing with very low morale in Paris, because they aren’t cops and so they’re second-class citizens. But then the cops are also dealing with low morale, and they just had a demonstration 2 or 3 days ago, to voice their displeasure.

Police sources said the assailant, who was partially deaf and reportedly converted to Islam 18 months ago, was “in conflict” with his superiors.

Which is a fact presented without comment. And not just by me, both the NY Times and the London Telegraph also make no comments. Well the NYT quotes their source who did some backpedaling lest he be thought politically incorrect.

I would love to post this in Cops Behaving Badly, but one of the things that they are looking at revolves around the fact that he wasn’t a cop, and hence a 2nd-class citizen in the police department. Another disgruntled worker, a defense-free workplace, and a bunch of people saying that it can’t happen to them.

Is a Corrupt Illinois Politician News?

JusticeExcuse me a Judge. Maybe that is news. Illinois panel removes DuPage County judge from bench.

Well Judge, Politician. Tomato, To-mah-toe. Putting the Criminal in the Criminal Justice System.

The unanimous ruling agreed with the state’s Judicial Inquiry Board, which alleged that O’Shea made false and misleading statements to Wheaton detectives about a September 2017 case in which he was accused of shooting a bullet through the wall of his apartment. He was acquitted of that charge.

The inquiry board also accused O’Shea of trying to retaliate against two female court employees who accused him of sexual harassment.

Home state of Tony Rezko, Rod Blagojevich, and adopted home of Barack Obama. And Hillary Clinton, since she was born in Chicago, and grew up in Park Ridge. (Not quite “The Land Beyond O’Hare,” but definitely suburbia. And definitely Chicagoland.)