Oktoberfest commences tomorrow (in Munich, Germany, of course).
The price of a beer* is expected to be between €12.60 and €14.90 ($13.45 and $15.90), an average of 6.12 percent more than last year.
*One liter of beer! (34 US fluid ounces or about two pints).
TRUMP’S MUG SHOT IS HIS TRUE PRESIDENTIAL PORTRAIT He might be angry in the mug shot; he might even be scared. But he damn sure doesn’t look surprised. Nobody is. – Vinson Cunningham writing for The New Yorker magazine
The stamps I had ordered from a seller in New York City, arrived in the mail. The sender put beautiful stamps from yesteryears on the envelope for me.
Might he have picked the 1934 violet stamp with Mt. Rainier on just for me, because I am in Washington State?
I’d like to think so 😉
Mauritania’s endless sea of sand dunes hides an open secret: An estimated 10% to 20% of the population lives in slavery. But as one woman’s journey shows, the first step toward freedom is realizing you’re enslaved.
– John D. Sutter writing for CNN Interactive (In 1981, Mauritania became the last country in the world to abolish slavery. Activists are arrested for fighting the practice. The government denies it exists).
It is the third time around for the newest federal holiday in the US, Juneteenth National Independence Day, which celebrates the end of slavery in the United States.
There is still a lot of differences in the way states treat the day, though: some commemorate it as an official holiday, some just a day of observance, and others something in between. (In Washington State it was made a permanent state holiday in 2022).
Stealing top secret documents from the White House (‘willful retention of national defense secrets’ is the charge, reportedly) and lying about it, bring consequences.
As simple as that.
This guy is continuing to making history— in a very bad way.
Friday Jun. 9 The DOJ unsealed its indictment of Trump today.
Prosecutors are charging Trump with 37 felonies, including 31 counts under the Espionage Act of ‘willful retention’ of classified records.
The charging docket also says that on at least two occasions, Trump showed classified records to visitors without security clearances at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey — including the map of a military operation to a representative of his political action committee.
[Information from Politico.com]
More than two years out, convictions and sentences are still getting handed out for the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Eduardo Medina writes for the New York Times: Mr. Grider, who operates a vineyard in Central Texas, pleaded guilty last year to entering a restricted area and unlawfully parading at the Capitol, his lawyer said. He went to trial on seven other charges, including civil disorder and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., convicted him on all counts. On Tuesday, Judge Kollar-Kotelly sentenced Mr. Grider to six years and 11 months in prison and ordered him to pay $5,055 in restitution and an $812 fine. In March, Judge Kollar-Kotelly said in court that videos of the episode had clearly demonstrated “how Mr. Grider put himself at the center of this conflict, steps away from some of the most violent, lawless and reprehensible acts that occurred in the Capitol on that day.” She then asked: “How close can a person be to unquestionably violent and completely unacceptable lynch-mob-like acts of others, and still claim to be a nondangerous, truly innocent bystander?” Mr. Grider’s lawyer, Brent Mayr, said in an interview on Tuesday that his client “truly regrets his actions on Jan. 6 and apologizes to his family, his community and, most importantly, his country.” But he added that they were “deeply disappointed that his sentence is significantly longer than others who did so much worse than him.” “He did not assault any officers, much less threaten anyone with any violence before, during or after that day,” Mr. Mayr said. “The disparity in this sentence is very, very disappointing to us.”
“I’m not particularly bothered. I’m not out here raging, angry about it, protesting. But I’m not the biggest fan.” – Nicholas Sowemimo, 36, who spent part of his Saturday afternoon at The Hawley Arms, a well-known pub in North London, but he did not watch the coronation (reported by Derrick Bryson Taylor in the NYT).
LONDON — Britain’s Charles III was crowned king on Saturday, during an eighth-century ritual in a 21st-century metropolis with a handful of concessions to the modern age but the unabashed pageantry of a fairy tale, unseen since the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, his mother, in 1953.
“I come not to be served, but to serve,” Charles said in his first remarks of the ceremony, setting the theme for the intimate yet grand proceedings. The king, 74, was anointed with holy oil, symbolizing the sacred nature of his rule. He was vested with an imperial mantle, and the archbishop of Canterbury placed the ancient crown of St. Edward onto his head.
– As reported by Mark Landler in the New York Times
What is unbelievable is that this man, this immoral creature, still has sway over so many Americans. It would be comforting to imagine that a verdict in Carroll’s favor could break that spell, but we have learned the hard way: nothing will.
-Ruth Marcus, Associate Editor for the Washington Post
Trump’s trial for the rape & defamation of E. Jean Carroll started today.
Also— Last month Trump was charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with 34 counts of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, following a probe into hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniel.
Also— Just today, Trump’s VP Mike Pence testified before a grand jury as part of special counsel Jack Smith’s probe of Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn 2020 the election results.
Also— The culmination of a more than two-year investigation into Trump’s election interference in Georgia is expected this summer, led by a local prosecutor, Fani T. Willis of Fulton County.
We are told by the pollsters that this guy will likely be the Republican Party’s candidate for President of the United States for the 2024 general election.
It was only 7°C (45 °F) today, with light rain— not enough to stop me from going out, though.
I was checking out the beautiful Wittenbergplatz U-bahn station when I realized the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church* is down the street, and I walked down in the rain to it to take a closer look.
(When I was here eight years ago, I just caught a glimpse of it on the way out to the airport).
Then it was time for coffee and a slice of banana bread at Starbucks nearby. Starbucks might be a little passé for many Americans, but not so for South Africans and for Germans. There were no seats left inside, so I sat outside on the only dry chair I could find. A little sparrow came for my bread crumbs that had fallen on the ground.
*During World War II, on the night of 23 November 1943, the church was extensively damaged in an air raid.
The Voortrekker Monument is located just south of Pretoria in South Africa. The granite structure is located on a hilltop, and was raised to commemorate the Voortrekkers (pioneers) who left the Cape Colony between 1835 and 1854. It was designed by the architect Gerard Moerdijk. Construction started on 13 July 1937 and the monument was inaugurated on 16 December 1949 by Prime Minister D. F. Malan.
[Information from Wikipedia entry for Voortrekker Monument].
I walked around the monument today, before going inside. I climbed the 299 granite steps from the carpark to the top (at the inside), in the process. From the ceiling balcony one looks down at a cenotaph* that says ‘Ons Vir Jou Suid-Afrika’ (‘We For You South Africa’).
*A cenotaph is an empty tomb or a monument erected in honor of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere.
Wars bring death and destruction, and this one seems to be far from over.
Check out cartoonist Martin Rawson’s depiction of the brutality that has been going on for a year now (published in The Guardian newspaper).
President Biden announced today that the U.S. will send 31 Abrams tanks to push back against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
From the New York Times: But by promising Abrams tanks — which John F. Kirby, the National Security Council spokesman, said would take “many months” to be built by General Dynamics — Mr. Biden was able to give Mr. Scholz political cover to send Leopard tanks by early spring. And Germany’s decision opened the way for Spain, Poland and Finland to do the same, with Norway likely next to announce a similar contribution.