imrs-1.phpimrs.phpAs some of you know, I am a military history nut and collect (on a small level) military historical items. That is why this story caught my eye . . . and my greedy imagination. Sitting at the muddy bottom of the Congaree River in Columbia, South Carolina appears to be the long lost munitions booty of General William T. Sherman from his Carolinas campaign. If retrieved, the find could yield thousands of saves, cartridges, scabbards and other items that would thrill civil war buffs — and flood the market for such items. In a curious way, the river find shows history repeating itself. It was the dumping of pollutants by a gas-producing plant that led to the discovery of Sherman dumping his munitions in the river.

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Wedding_cake_with_pillar_supports,_2009We have previously discussed (here and here) the growing conflicts over businesses that decline to accommodate same-sex weddings and events in a clash between anti-discrimination and free speech (and free exercise) values. Despite my support for gay rights and same-sex marriage, I have previously written that anti-discrimination laws are threatening the free exercise of religion. Some of these cases involve bakeries that insist that making wedding cakes for same-sex couples violates their religious principles. Now we have a twist on this trending litigation. The Azucar Bakey has been found to have broken discrimination laws by refusing to make an anti-same-sex cake. The bakery was asked to make a Bible-shaped cake with an anti-gay slur and owner Marjorie Silva refused. The customer brought a complaint to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and won.

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1421711309674The intense animosity between Israel and its Arab neighbors was put into sharp relief last week when a simple selfie at a beauty pageant triggered a full fledged criminal investigation. Miss Israel Doron Matalon (first from left) snapped a selfie at the pageant and posted it. Someone noticed that the smiling contestant next to her was Saly Griege, this year’s Miss Lebanon (second from left). The reaction was seismic and sad. It appears that fraternization, like beauty, remains in the eye of the beholder.

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We often discuss the short time allowed to react in auto accidents and this video illustrates the point. In this case, the accident may be part of the result of the recent black ice conditions in New Jersey where a rapid and sudden freeze led to multiple deaths in various states.

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Melting Base1

I have previously written about the waste of billions of dollars by the government without any significant discipline of government officials. We have become accustomed to reports of unimaginable corruption and waste in Afghanistan from bags of money delivered to officials to constructing huge buildings immediately torn down to buying aircraft that cannot be used. Much like our useless campaign against poppy production where we continued to spend billions because no one had the courage to end or change the program. We now have another such example from Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko about a $500,000 facility that was built and just left to “melt away” within four months of being built. Of course, contractors and corrupt Afghan officials have made huge amounts of money from such waste. Billions have disappeared while our own science, educational, and infrastructure programs are being cut. The flow of U.S. money however has not ended. After a trillion dollars, our government is on course to spend billions more in the country.

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la-alligator-secret-ktlaThere is an interesting case developing in California over an alleged serial killer that has prowled around a neighborhood for years. The alleged culprit is Jaxson, a female eight-foot alligator believed to be 40 years old, that was kept illegally by a Van Nuys family without a permit. The “Anatomy of a Murder” aspect of the case comes in with the findings of the police in the hidden box of Jaxson — two dead cats. The police are asking neighbors to report other missing cats. I am sure it was unintentional but one article reported the suspicion about missing cats before adding “[t]he house is a family residence with multiple occupants, but no children were found there.” I do not think Jaxson is to blame.

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earth-screensaver_largeA new study in the journal Science suggests that humanity is on the very of causing “a major extinction event” in our oceans while another study has found that 2014 was the hottest year in 135 years of record keeping. In the meantime, Pope Francis has again raised climate change and called environmental destruction a “sin” and affront to God.

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