Thursday, May 19, 2016

May 19, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web (Updated)

Venezuela:
    The mob didn't know at first what Roberto Bernal had done, but he was running and that was enough.
      Dozens of men loitering on the sidewalk next to a supermarket kicked and punched the 42-year-old until he was bloodied and semi-conscious. After all, they had been robbed of cell phones, wallets and motorcycles over the years, and thought Bernal had a criminal's face.
        Then a stooped, white-haired man trailing behind told them he'd been mugged.
          The mob went through Bernal's pockets and handed a wad of bills to the old man: The equivalent of $5. They doused Bernal's head and chest in gasoline and flicked a lighter. And they stood back as he burned alive.
            "We wanted to teach this man a lesson," said Eduardo Mijares, 29. "We're tired of being robbed every time we go into the street, and the police do nothing."
              Vigilante violence against people accused of stealing has become commonplace in this crime-ridden country of 30 million, once one of the richest and safest in Latin America. The revenge attacks underscore how far Venezuela has fallen, with the lights flickering out daily, and food shortages fueling supermarket lines that snake around for blocks.
                The ebbing price of oil has laid bare years of mismanagement. The economy is unraveling, and with it, the social fabric.
                Three, think how much denser the populations are in our cities, how much more food needs to be shuttled in along predictable routes, how far more heavily armed we are, and how much more hogtied our police are by the leftist idiots. Imagine the massive disparity in the violence-capability of a leftist hipster, and your average street gang. I even think about how dependent our food supply is on the complex distribution machinery of Big Agra to get fertilizer, weed killer, insecticides, fungicides, medicaments, and all the other requirements of today’s big agra operations. People who don’t raise living things in incredibly high densities have no idea how quickly everything can die, if not propped up by a plethora of modern scientific marvels at every step. What will happen in the first few months if Big Agra goes bankrupt and shuts down operations?
                Simply put, however, the Venezuelan economy has disappeared. There is not even enough money to pay for the printing of money--the ultimate triumph of socialism. Mass starvation and riots loom as it is now apparent to all but the most fanatical chavista, that Venezuela's fabulous oil wealth has been squandered by corruption, mismanagement, and, above all, by the consequences of the belief that trust in government is the solution to life's problems. The Venezuelans are discovering what millions of others have: let your liberty get taken away in exchange for promises of safety and porridge, and you will end up with neither liberty, safety nor porridge.

                Disaster:

                Other Stuff:
                Domínguez-Castro and his colleagues collected and analyzed these documents and found that they revealed a pattern of increasing frequency of cold-weather events in the early 10th century. July A.D. 920 was unusually cold, perhaps because of a volcanic eruption, Domínguez-Castro said. It snowed in Baghdad in 908, 944 and 1007. The only snow in living memory in the city was in 2008.
                  The findings suggest that Iraq's climate was more prone to unusually chilly events than it is today.

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