Welcome to another edition of Kernels From the Cornfield – No Husks, No Hulls, No Shucks!
News with a dash of commentary to spice up your fare for Thursday, December 17th, 2015.
1. Plotting – Two students in the Cornfield have been arrested for plotting violence in local schools.
Schools were closed in Danville and Plainfield, Indiana today in light of the online threats. Other schools across the country decided to remain open.
Police are investigating additional threats.
This from Reuters:
“Due to threats received through social media, I can tell you that two students were arrested early this morning … one a freshman, one a senior,” Danville Police Chief William Wright told a news conference on Thursday morning.
He said the two juveniles could be charged with intimidation and other crimes. “Get ready to go to jail,” he said. “We’re flat out not going to put up with it.”
2. Charged – The friend and next-door neighbor of the San Bernardino terrorists is expected to be charged on federal gun charges today.
The man has already admitted to plotting an attack a few years ago. He also has admitted to building pipe bombs. He was the one who purchased the rifles used in the attack.
3. On Edge – The City of Baltimore is on edge after a jury was deadlocked in the trial of the first police officer charged in the death of Freddy Gray earlier this year.
The city erupted in flames and riots following Gray’s death while in police custody. Authorities are concerned that the city may once more ignite now that a judge has ruled a mistrial in the case.
Today the prosecutor and defense are meeting with the judge to determine if and/or when a new trial will be scheduled.
4. Newspaper Update – As reported earlier this week, there has been much speculation on who bought Nevada’s largest newspaper – the Las Vegas Review-Journal. That mystery has now been solved.
Republican money man and casino mogul, Sheldon Adelson is the primary shareholder in the group which bought the newspaper. Speculation is now whether Adelson bought the paper to further some type of political agenda.
5. Growing – The influence of the Islamic State is far from “contained”. Reports are out that the jihadist group is growing in numbers in Afghanistan.
Reportedly, the terror group’s presence in Afghanistan has grown stronger over the second half of this year, according to a Department of Defense report released Tuesday. The Congressional report also outlines how the Taliban remains a significant military force in the country and has continued to cause the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces considerable problems.
While President Barack Obama has pledged to end America’s longest war, that pledge is in jeopardy.
6. Upset – China has called the US second command in the Asian powerhouse on the carpet over a deal in which the US will sale $1.83 billion in arms to Taiwan.
“China resolutely opposes the sale of weapons to Taiwan by the U.S.,” Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang said in a meeting with Washington’s second-highest ranking diplomat in Beijing.
“In order to safeguard the nation’s interests, the Chinese side has decided to take necessary measures, including the imposition of sanctions against companies participating in the arms sale to Taiwan,” Zheng said, according to a statement posted on the ministry’s website.
7. Loser – Donald Trump is known for proclaiming he is a winner and how if he is President the nation will tire of winning. But, today he is a loser.
The highest court in the United Kingdom dealt a blow to Trump ruling against him in a wind farm case.
In a unanimous decision the UK Supreme Court ruled that Trump cannot stop a wind farm being built and operating near an estate he owns in Scotland.
“History will judge those involved unfavorably and the outcome demonstrates the foolish, small minded and parochial mentality which dominates the current Scottish Government’s dangerous experiment with wind energy.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron recently said about Trump, “If he came to visit our country, I think he’d unite us all against him.“
But to be fair, The Donald did get a ringing endorsement from Russian President Vladimir Putin today.
This from The Guardian:
“He is a very bright and talented man, no doubt about that,” said Putin, speaking after his annual press conference in Moscow on Thursday. “He is the absolute leader of the presidential race, as we see it today. He says that he wants to move to another level of relations, to a deeper level of relations with Russia. How can we not welcome that? Of course we welcome it.”
8. On the Run – Remember the rich kid who got away with murder because he was a victim of “affluenza“?
Well now he is on the lam after violating his 10-year probation. Authorities have no clue where he is.
His lawyer effectively argued that he had no sense of right and wrong because his wealthy parents catered to his every whim. Now, he is on the run and possibly with his mother in a location without an extradition treaty with the US of A.
More on this travesty of justice: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/12/16/affluenza-teen-back-in-trouble-after-beer-pong-video-posted-to-twitter/
9. ‘Damn Emails‘ – No, it is not Hillary Clinton, but Defense Secretary Ashton Carter who is in hot water over using his iPhone to send official emails.
According to The New York Times, Carter continued to use his private email for two months after revelations about Clinton’s use of a private server.
Carter is no longer using his phone to conduct official business.
10. Rate Hike Impact – So the Federal Reserve did it. It increased the interest rate to 0.25%.
What does that mean to you and me?
a. Some Mortgage Rates Will Rise
b. Possible Slight Increase in Auto Loan Rates
c. Steady Deposit Account Rates
d. Increase in Money Market Mutual Fund Rates
e. Lower Stock Market Gains
f. Higher Credit Card Interest Rates
g. Stronger U.S. Dollar
That’s what caught my attention this Thursday, December 17th, 2015.
Tune in tomorrow for another edition of Kernels From The Cornfield.
I am Mark Ivy