Author Archives: Kestrel

And it just keeps getting better.

The U.S. brewing and beer importing industry puts more than two million Americans to work. A recently analysis completed by the Beer Institute found that every one job inside a brewery supports another 45 jobs outside the brewery – among industries such as farming, can- and bottle-manufacturing, warehousing, shipping, distribution and retail.

It isn’t difficult to see how brewing creates demand for jobs outside the brewery. Agriculture – just one industry of the many that are involved in brewing – is a great example.

Every year, brewers and beer importers buy billions of pounds of barley malt from farmers in more than a dozen states. Those same brewers and beer importers buy 1.5 billion pounds of rice, corn and other grains used to brew beer, and another 119 million pounds of hops. It takes nearly 56,000 people to cultivate and harvest these brewing staples.

At some point you make the political process so offensive …

… that you lose the bright decent people that it needs.

Wisconsin prosecutors aim to shut down conservatives

Day by Day

The hard, hard job of making a nickle.

This time they should have to agree to SEC oversight.

And not future bailouts.

Fannie Mae, the large mortgage lender bailed out by the U.S. government, may be looking to have its shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange, in what would be a historic move.

According to a recent job posting, Fannie (FNMA) is looking for an attorney, who among other things, would “provide advice and counsel on corporate governance and securities law matters, including Federal Housing Finance Agency, ‘34 Act, (and) ‘NYSE listing requirements.’”

Seeking a listing on the Big Board would be an audacious move for Fannie, which along with its counterpart Freddie Mac was put into conservatorship in 2008 after receiving nearly $188 billion in federal assistance —a move designed to forestall the looming financial meltdown. Shares of both Fannie and Freddie, which had traded on the NYSE, were subsequently delisted, and currently trade on the over-the-counter markets.

Evidently not ‘George Bush’s Fault’.

Army report: Islamic State grew more powerful over four years, did not suddenly emerge

This is a ‘reach’.

In a first-of-its-kind ruling that could make it easier for some immigrant women to win permission to remain legally in the United States, the Justice Department Board of Immigration Appeals has determined that Guatemalan women who fled their country due to domestic violence can qualify for asylum.

Less ‘slavery’ in the past than thought.

In the course of ongoing excavations at Timna Valley, archaeologists analyzed remnants of food eaten by copper smelters 3,000 years ago. This analysis indicates that the laborers operating the furnaces were in fact skilled craftsmen who enjoyed high social status and adulation. They believe their discovery may have ramifications for similar sites across the region.

Too late now.

After doing nothing for 5 years …

Obama dodges on Ukraine invasion

Something like this shows up every day.

Massive cyber attack on oil and energy industry in Norway

What a sense of humor these guys have.

The conflict in Ukraine just got worse

‘Plausible deniability’ isn’t looking like an option for Putin anymore.

Problems for the Industrial West

The 28 Guertelstrasse hostel was converted into housing for refugees in April as part of a deal to convince asylum seekers to abandon a tented camp in Berlin’s Oranienplatz. They had been living illegally there, in protest against the German government’s policies, for more than a year.

But since city authorities ordered 108 mostly African asylum seekers who had claims pending in other German states to vacate their accomodations here, the building has morphed into the latest flashpoint for Germany’s refugee problem — with a handful of diehards refusing to leave the rooftop overnight Tuesday.

“In Hamburg, legislators have already proposed building makeshift villages out of shipping containers.”
Historically committed to providing humanitarian relief to the victims of foreign conflicts, Germany has absorbed more refugees from strife in Africa and the Middle East than any other nation in Europe.

But as violence within Iraq and Syria heat up, a housing shortage has prompted new debate over just how many asylum seekers the country can take in, says Claudia Beck, Germany spokeswoman for the Christian aid organization Caritas.

Finally coming to an end.

The suspects, of course, were not expected to put up any resistance. The youngest was 88 and the oldest almost 100. Nevertheless, three of the accused — in Wiernsheim, Gerlingen and Freiburg — were temporarily taken into custody.

The next day, prosecutors in each locality issued a press release titled: “Searches conducted of presumed former SS members at the Auschwitz concentration camp.”


Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been officially sworn in as Turkish president after winning the country’s first public vote for head of state.

Mr Erdogan, who served three terms as PM, has vowed to give more power to the previously ceremonial post.

Critics of Mr Erdogan say the move will make him more authoritarian. Opposition MPs walked out of the ceremony.

Outgoing Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is set to be PM after being elected head of the governing AK Party.

Mr Erdogan promised in his presidential oath to protect Turkey’s independence and integrity, to honour the constitution and adhere to the principles of the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Too much money … Too many rules.

Guilty Pleas in Illegal Campaign Financing Cases Relating to Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Chaka Fattah

Shaky security.

White House Going With ‘Security By Obscurity’ As Excuse For Refusing To Release Security Details

Tiny diamonds

A comet collision with Earth caused abrupt environmental stress and degradation that contributed to the extinction of most large animal species then inhabiting the Americas, a group of scientists suggests. The catastrophic impact and the subsequent climate change also led to the disappearance of the prehistoric Clovis culture, and to human population decline. Now focus has turned to the character and distribution of nanodiamonds, one type of material produced during such an extraterrestrial collision. The researchers found an abundance of these tiny diamonds distributed over 50 million square kilometers across the Northern Hemisphere.

How the Time-Warner crash happened.

During an overnight network maintenance activity in which we were managing IP addresses, an erroneous configuration was propagated throughout our national backbone, resulting in a network outage. We immediately identified and corrected the root cause of the issue and restored service by 7:30am ET. We apologize for any inconvenience this caused our customers. A failure of this size is very serious and we are taking the necessary steps to improve our processes with the objective of making sure this doesn’t happen again.

On this day in history.

No so much this time.

The grand irony is that Ukrainians had originally viewed the Germans as liberators from their Soviet oppressors and an ally in the struggle for independence. But as early as July, the Germans were arresting Ukrainians agitating and organizing for a provisional state government with an eye toward autonomy and throwing them into concentration camps. The Germans also began carving the nation up, dispensing parts to Poland (already occupied by Germany) and Romania.

It still isn’t working.

Hundreds of thousands of people risk losing their new health insurance policies if they don’t resubmit citizenship or immigration information to the government by the end of next week — but the federal site remains so glitchy that they are having a tough time complying.

Consumers are being forced to send their information multiple times, and many can’t access their accounts at all, immigration law experts and insurance agents say.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent letters to about 310,000 consumers two weeks ago, telling them they need to submit proof of their citizenship or immigration status by Sept. 5 or their insurance will be canceled at the end of the month.

CFPB not a friendly place to work.

Who knew?

The Washington Times, citing congressional investigators, internal documents, and interviews with employees, reports that workers at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed 115 official grievances through the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) in 2013 alone.

Among the complaints are that managers retaliated against employees for comments or questions that they didn’t like by denying vacation time, refusing internal requests for promotion, and hiring unqualified acquaintances who would have to be trained by employees in lower positions.

“Certain managers have adopted an authoritarian, untouchable, unaccountable and unanswerable management style,” CFPB enforcement attorney Angela Martin told Congress earlier this year.

More seriously, according to the Times, Martin’s testimony alleged the existence of an entire department at the CFPB nicknamed “The Plantation” that is staffed almost entirely of black workers supervised by white managers with no obvious promotional track.

Take with with the proverbial grain of salt.

Al-Qaeda’s Syria wing the Nusra Front and other Islamist fighters have taken control of a border crossing on the line dividing Syria from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, an activist group said Wednesday.

The fighters, who have vowed to “liberate” the area, captured the Qunaitra post on the Syrian side from forces loyal to President Bashar Assad after fierce clashes, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

However, Stephane Dujarric, a U.N. spokesman, said the organization’s peacekeepers could not confirm whether the rebels had seized the crossing, “as fighting is ongoing” at one of its gates.

The crossing is monitored by the United Nations, which oversees traffic between the two enemy countries. The distance between the two countries’ posts is some 200 meters.

Arrests in Australia

A terror suspect has been arrested by a new anti-terror squad attempting to leave Melbourne Airport with at least one other person, and is suspected of going to fight in a conflict abroad.

The arrest was detailed in parliament today, as it emerged 15 Australians have so far died fighting for Islamic militant causes.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott revealed the arrest today, telling parliament the new Australian Customs and Border Protection counter-terrorism units were now operating in Sydney and Melbourne international airports.

Let’s see if anything is done about this.

17 voted twice in same election

That … and they’ve run out of rockets.

Israel’s counterterrorism operations in Gaza have effectively deteriorated Hamas’ military capabilities and facilitated in breaking down the terrorist group’s chain of command, security officials told the Jerusalem Post Tuesday.

Later that day, amid the report’s assessment that Hamas had lost much of its will to fight, the terrorist group agreed to the latest Egyptian-brokered ceasefire.

There is growing discontent among the Hamas ranks, as the group suffered significant terrorist casualties, destruction of vital military infrastructure, rocket construction capabilities, and major destruction of its sophisticated underground tunnel network, the Post report said. Israel’s successful targeted assassination of senior Hamas leaders severely disrupted the terrorist organization’s command and control structure, and even resulted in the desertion of rank and file terrorists from battle.

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