The Rock of Talk 'Daily Blast' for Thursday, June 17th, 2021

The Conservative Calendar, Top 10 Links, Local/State News Briefing, U.S. News Briefing, Global News Briefing, and Questions of the Day

GOOD MORNING FROM THE ROCK OF TALK!

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HERE’S THE BLAST!

Reading Time: 8 minutes 30 seconds

We aren’t here today to bow before the representation of a fierce warlike god, filled with wrath and vengeance, but we joyously contemplate instead our own deity keeping watch and ward before the open gates of America and greater than all that have been celebrated in ancient song. Instead of grasping in her hand thunderbolts of terror and of death, she holds aloft the light which illumines the way to man’s enfranchisement. We will not forget that Liberty has here made her home, nor shall her chosen altar be neglected. Willing votaries will constantly keep alive its fires and these shall gleam upon the shores of our sister Republic thence, and joined with answering rays a stream of light shall pierce the darkness of ignorance and man’s oppression, until Liberty enlightens the world.

— President Grover Cleveland, dedication speech for the Statue of Liberty, 28 October 1886

THE CONSERVATIVE CALENDAR

Forecast from the KIVA Weather Station: Sunny and very hot. High 98F. Winds S at 10 to 15 mph.

Today is Thursday, June 17th, the 168th day of 2021. There are 197 days left in the year.

This Day in History

In 1579, Sir Francis Drake claimed a land he called Nova Albion (modern California) for England.

In 1673, French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet reached the Mississippi River.

In 1775, American troops inflicted heavy casualties on the British at the Battle of Bunker Hill. More than 100 black and indigenous soldiers fought on the side of the colonials.

In 1885, the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor.

In 1877, the Nez Perce defeated the U.S. Cavalry at the Battle of White Bird Canyon in Idaho Territory.

In 1898, the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps was established.

In 1901, the College Board introduced its first standardized test, the forerunner to the SAT.

In 1930, President Herbert Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act.

In 1944, Iceland declared its independence from Denmark.

In 1967, China announced a successful test of its first thermonuclear weapon.

In 1972, five White House operatives were arrested for burgling the offices of the Democratic National Committee, as part of the Nixon administration’s broad targeting of its political opposition. The incident sparked the Watergate scandal, which eventually caused Nixon to become the first president to resign.

In 1994, following a low-speed highway chase, O. J. Simpson was arrested for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

This Day in Music History

In 1955, after a month of booking gigs in larger venues in Dallas and Houston, “Colonel” Tom Parker arranged a meeting with Elvis Presley’s manager, Bob Neal, resulting in an agreement that saw Parker assume control of Presley’s gigs and career strategy.

In 1965, The Kinks and The Moody Blues made their U.S. concert debut at the Academy of Music in New York City.

In 1971, Carole King went to No. 1 with Tapestry for the first of 15 consecutive weeks. The album contained “It’s Too Late,” “I Feel the Earth Move,” and “You’ve Got a Friend.”

In 1978, Andy Gibb became the first solo artist in American history to have his first three releases reach No. 1, when “Shadow Dancing” hit the top of the chart. It became the best selling single of 1978.

In 2009, Billy Joel and his third wife, 27-year-old Katie Lee Joel, announced that the were splitting up after nearly five years of marriage.

Today’s Birthdays

Newt Gingrich is 78. Singer-songwriter Barry Alan Pincus, known professionally as Barry Manilow, is 78. Aerospace engineer and entrepreneur Burt Rutan is 78. Comedian Joe Piscopo is 70. Actor Mark Linn-Baker is 67. Actor Thomas Haden Church is 61. Professional tennis player Venus Williams is 41.

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TOP 10 LINKS: NEWS, COMMENTARY, RESEARCH, AUDIO, AND VIDEO

  1. Man found dead in road near Petroglyph National Monument

  2. Gila River diversion put to bed – for now

  3. Stranded migrant on Mount Cristo Rey rescued, hospitalized

  4. NMSP using resources to guard cash incentives at vaccination sites

  5. Heinrich Welcomes Senate Passage Of Juneteenth Legislation

  6. Luján Statement on the 9th Anniversary of DACA

  7. Georgia audit documents expose significant election failures in state’s largest county

  8. The Horrors of Hyperinflation

  9. Parental Jeopardy: A 50‐​State Survey

  10. The PRO Act Empowers Union Bosses, Not Workers

MAINSTREAM LOCAL/STATE NEWS BRIEFINGS

(Bolded for your attention / analyses)

New Mexico gets closer to hitting vaccination goal to reopen

ALBUQUERQUE — New Mexico is edging closer to a goal of having 60% of residents 16 and older vaccinated. Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham wanted to get there by Thursday so the state could fully reopen in the coming weeks. Vaccinations have been inching up by a couple tenths of a percent daily. State data showed the rate at 58.7% on Wednesday. Officials say more than 20,000 people would need to get their second shots or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine to hit the mark. The state human services secretary says the data will be reviewed Friday and that officials will be focused on “doing the right thing for the people of New Mexico.”

State public defender agency settles gender pay-gap lawsuit

SANTA FE — Several female attorneys and investigators at the state Law Offices of the Public Defender are getting raises to resolve a lawsuit that alleged unfair compensation in comparison with male colleagues. According to settlement documents, five employees of the public defender’s offices were given raises under the settlement agreement. The agency, with more than 400 employees, provides legal representation in state court to those who can’t afford an attorney. The public defender’s offices also paid out $450,000 to resolve the lawsuit by eight female plaintiffs who alleged violations of the state’s Fair Pay for Women Act that mandates equal pay for equal work.

MAINSTREAM U.S. NEWS BRIEFINGS

(Bolded for your attention / analyses)

Baker fined for refusing to make transgender transition cake

DENVER — A Denver judge says a baker who won a partial victory at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 for refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple violated Colorado’s anti-discrimination law by refusing to make a birthday cake for a transgender woman. Judge A. Bruce Jones ruled that Autumn Scardina was denied a cake that was blue on the outside and pink on the inside to celebrate her gender transition on her birthday because of her transgender status. Baker Jack Phillips said he could not make the cake because of its message and plans to appeal.

House poised to repeal 2002 Iraq War authorization

WASHINGTON — The Democratic-led House, with the backing of President Joe Biden, is expected to approve legislation to repeal the 2002 authorization for use of military force in Iraq. A vote Thursday would come one day after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he intends to bring repeal legislation to the Senate floor this year. The growing momentum behind the repeal measure follows years of debate over whether Congress has ceded too much of its war-making authority to the White House. The White House says no ongoing military activities are reliant upon the 2002 authorization.

Fire suppression efforts continue at Illinois chemical plant

ROCKTON, Ill. — Fire suppression efforts continue at a chemical fire near the Illinois-Wisconsin state line as public health officials lifted an outdoor mask mandate for those within a 3-mile radius of the Chemtool plant. Winnebago County Health Department Administrator Sandra Martell said Wednesday the carbon monoxide and the hydrogen sulfide in the air remain below federal standards. However, the evacuation order for those within 1 mile of the fire remains in effect. That’s because the potential danger from the debris, dust and ash that has fallen on the ground from the fire is still unknown. The explosions and resulting fires Monday prompted officials to evacuate an estimated 1,000 residents.

DOJ sues to block AON’s $30B acquisition of Willis Towers

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration has sued to block the merger of two of the world’s largest insurance brokers, asserting the deal could eliminate competition, raise prices and hamper innovation for U.S. businesses, employers and unions that use the companies’ services. The Justice Department announced the antitrust suit filed in federal court in Washington seeking to stop AON’s proposed $30 billion acquisition of rival benefits and risk consultant Willis Towers Watson. Department officials say the proposed merger would bring together two of the “Big Three” global insurance brokers. The companies provide guidance to many major U.S. companies on administering health and retirement benefits, with the aim of keeping costs down by managing risk.

Prosecutors seek ‘very substantial’ prison time for Avenatti

NEW YORK — Prosecutors are urging a judge to impose a “very substantial” prison sentence on Michael Avenatti for trying to extort millions of dollars from Nike. Prosecutors noted in a Manhattan federal court submission that Probation Office officials recommend an eight-year prison term for the once high-profile California attorney. The government said Avenatti deserved a lengthy prison term at a sentencing in two weeks because he used his law degree and fame to try to force the apparel maker to pay out up to $25 million. Avenatti was convicted at trial last year. His lawyers have urged leniency, saying six months in prison and a year of home detention would be sufficient.

MAINSTREAM GLOBAL NEWS BRIEFINGS

(Bolded for your attention / analyses)

Apple Daily editors arrested under Hong Kong security law

HONG KONG — Five editors and executives at pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper were arrested under Hong Kong’s national security law. Trading in its stock was halted and police were searching its offices. The moves raise concerns about the media’s future in the city. Apple Daily is known for its strong pro-democracy stance and often criticizes and condemns the Chinese and Hong Kong governments for tightening control over the city. Hong Kong authorities have been intensifying a crackdown on dissent following months of anti-government protests in 2019. Those said to be arrested were chief editor Ryan Law, Next Digital CEO Cheung Kim-hung, the publishing company's chief operating officer and two other editors.

Resident: Junta burns Myanmar village in escalating violence

BANGKOK — Government troops have burned down most of a village in Myanmar’s heartland in an apparent attempt to suppress local resistance against the ruling military junta. Government-controlled media reported the fires were set by “terrorists” the armed troops were trying to arrests. Both sides call the other “terrorists.” The near-destruction of the village is the latest example of how violence has become endemic in much of Myanmar as the junta tries to subdue an incipient nationwide insurrection against its seizure of power. Images of Kinma village in Magway region show much of the village flattened by fire. A villager contacted by phone says only 10 of 237 houses remain standing.

China launches first crew to live on new space station

JIUQUAN, China — China has launched its first crewed space mission in five years, sending three astronauts to a new space station that marks a milestone in the country’s ambitious space program. The astronauts blasted off Thursday morning from the remote Jiuquan launch center in northwestern China. They are expected to arrive midafternoon Beijing time for a three-month stay on the first and core section of the station. They will carry out experiments, test equipment, conduct maintenance and prepare the station for receiving two laboratory modules next year. The mission brings to 14 the number of astronauts China has launched into space since 2003.

UN chief criticizes Central African Republic forces’ actions

The U.N. chief is strongly criticizing the Central African Republic’s security and allied forces in a new report for an “unprecedented increase in hostile threats and incidents” targeting U.N. peacekeepers and alleged human rights abuses. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s report to the U.N. Security Council obtained Wednesday said people in the country continue to face an “unacceptably high level of violence.” He called on President Faustin Archange Touadera to pursue peace and reconciliation in his second term and “address the root causes of the conflict.” The mineral-rich Central African Republic has faced deadly inter-religious and inter-communal fighting since 2013.

Ukraine police seize cash in raids on major ransomware gang

MOSCOW — Ukrainian police have carried out nearly two dozen raids targeting alleged associates of a ransomware gang it blamed for a half billion dollars in cyberattacks and extortion that hit the United States and South Korea especially hard. A police statement said raids were conducted on the homes of suspects affiliated with the Clop ransomware gang in Kyiv and elsewhere. It said computer equipment and about $185,000 in cash were seized. The statement said six defendants carried out attacks on U.S. and Korean companies — for which they face up to eight years in prison. It did not say whether any suspects were arrested.

‘ROCK OF TALK’ QUESTIONS OF THE DAY FOR OUR COMMUNITY (PLEASE ANSWER IN COMMENTS)

  1. Barry Manilow — musical genius or cheesy lounge act?

  2. Have you ever belonged to a union?

  3. Will we ever learn the full truth about what happened with the 2020 election?

  4. Why are illegal immigrants now called “migrants” by the news media?

  5. Ever been to Iceland?

  6. Should colleges and universities still require SAT/ACT scores for applicants?

  7. Are you a free-trader or an “economic nationalist”?

  8. Should Juneteenth be a federal holiday?

  9. Was Nixon a crook?

  10. Could Elvis have been a respected actor if not for “the Colonel”?

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