The Rock of Talk 'Daily Blast' for Thursday, July 29th, 2021
The Conservative Calendar, Top 10 Links, Local/State News Briefing, U.S. News Briefing, Global News Briefing, and Questions of the Day
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Science ... commits suicide when it adopts a creed.
— Thomas Henry Huxley
THE CONSERVATIVE CALENDAR
Forecast from the KIVA Weather Station: Generally sunny despite a few afternoon clouds. High 91F. Winds SSE at 10 to 20 mph.
Today is Thursday, July 29th, the 210th day of 2021. There are 155 days left in the year. It is International Tiger Day, National Chicken Wings Day, National Chili Dog Day, National Intern Day, National Lasagna Day, and National Lipstick Day.
This Day in History
In 1775, the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps was founded, as General George Washington appointed William Tudor as Judge Advocate of the Continental Army.
In 1836, the Arc de Triomphe was inaugurated in Paris.
In 1914, the Cape Cod Canal opened.
In 1921, Adolf Hitler became the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party.
In 1957, the International Atomic Energy Agency was established.
In 1957, Tonight Starring Jack Paar premiered on NBC, with Paar beginning the modern-day talk show.
In 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
In 1967, off the coast of North Vietnam, the USS Forrestal caught fire in the worst U.S. naval disaster since World War II, killing 134.
In 1973, Greece voted to abolish its monarchy.
In 1976, David Berkowitz, the “Son of Sam,” killed one person and seriously wounded another in the first of a series of attacks in New York City.
In 1981, a worldwide television audience of over 700 million people watched the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
In 1993, the Supreme Court of Israel acquitted accused Nazi death-camp guard John Demjanjuk of all charges.
In 1996, the child-protection portion of the Communications Decency Act was struck down by a U.S. federal court as too broad.
This Day in Music History
In 1963, Peter, Paul and Mary released “Blowin’ in the Wind.”
In 1967, “Light My Fire,” by The Doors, went to No. 1 for the first of three weeks.
In 1974, Cass Elliot died of a heart attack — not from choking on a ham sandwich — in London at the age of 32.
In 1978, the Grease soundtrack went to No. 1, thanks to the hits “You’re the One That I Want” and “Summer Nights.”
In 1979, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers concluded their “Lawsuit Tour” with a show at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. Petty embarked on the tour to raise money for his legal battles with MCA Records.
In 2015, the Eagles played their last concert with Glenn Frey. The show took place in Bossier City, Louisiana, on the final day of the History of the Eagles tour. Founding member Frey died six months later. The band continued on with his son, Deacon, in his stead.
Bureaucrat and politician Elizabeth Dole is 85. Actor David Warner is 80. Documentarian Ken Burns is 68. Singer-songwriter and guitarist Patti Scialfa is 68. Singer-songwriter Martina McBride is 55. Actor and left-wing activist Wil Wheaton is 49. Actor Stephen Dorff is 48. Actress Allison Mack, soon to enter federal prison for her role in the NXIVM sex cult, is 39.
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TOP 10 LINKS: NEWS, COMMENTARY, RESEARCH, AUDIO, AND VIDEO
MAINSTREAM LOCAL/STATE NEWS BRIEFING
(Bolded for your attention / analyses)
Body of woman swept away in Albuquerque arroyo is recovered
ALBUQUERQUE — Crews have recovered the body of an unidentified woman who was swept away by floodwaters in an arroyo in northeast Albuquerque. City fire rescue officials say the body was found at a washout Wednesday afternoon. They say two people — a man and a woman — were spotted in the arroyo after heavy rain hit the area Tuesday evening. One person safely got out of the arroyo near Interstate 25 before the search was stopped by darkness and resumed Wednesday morning. Crews had been tied to railings along the arroyo as they searched for any sign of the second missing person coming through the raging water.
Longtime New Mexico lawmaker focus of criminal investigation
ALBUQUERQUE — Authorities in New Mexico are investigating a longtime state legislator’s connections to a company that had contracts to do business with the school district where she worked. Investigators executed search warrants this week at Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton’s home and her office at the Albuquerque Public Schools district. It’s part of a criminal investigation into alleged racketeering, money laundering, illegal kickbacks and violations of a state law that governs the conduct of state lawmakers. No charges have been filed against Stapleton, a top Democrat in the state House and a member of the chamber’s education committees. A call to Stapleton’s home went unanswered Wednesday, and she didn’t immediately respond to an email.
MAINSTREAM U.S. NEWS BRIEFING
(Bolded for your attention / analyses)
Google delays return to office, mandates vaccines
SAN RAMON, Calif. — Google is postponing its plans to bring most of its workers back to the office until mid-October. It’s also rolling out a policy that will eventually require all its employees to be vaccinated once its sprawling campuses are fully reopened in an attempt to fight the spreading delta variant. CEO Sundar Pichai told Google’s more than 130,000 worldwide employees in a Wednesday email that the company is now aiming to bring them back to its offices Oct. 18, instead of its previous target date of Sept. 1. He also disclosed that once offices are fully reopened, everyone working there will have be vaccinated. The requirement will be first imposed in the U.S.
Arizona man accused of striking cyclists charged with murder
HOLBROOK, Ariz. — An Arizona man already facing assault charges for allegedly plowing his truck into people participating in a bike race nearly six weeks ago has been charged with murder. An indictment released Wednesday adds a murder charge against Shawn Michael Chock in Jeremy Barrett’s death. Barrett was one of those injured when authorities said Chock sped into a crowd gathered for the race in Show Low, Arizona. He’s also charged with aggravated assault of nine other people. He pleaded not guilty to some of the charges, though he hasn’t yet entered a plea on the murder charge. His attorney, Hunter T. Lewis, declined to comment.
Illinois seeks Ben & Jerry’s divestment over Israel stance
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois regulators plan to take action against Ben & Jerry’s for its decision to stop selling ice cream in the West Bank or east Jerusalem. State law prohibits investment in companies that boycott Israel over its occupation of territories won in war from Palestinians. Andy Lappin is chairman of the Israeli Boycott Restrictions Committee of the Illinois Investment Policy Board. He says the committee will meet in the coming weeks to vote on setting a 90-day deadline for Ben & Jerry’s, a subsidiary of Unilever, to back off the statement or face Illinois divestment.
NXIVM sex cult member who cooperated avoids prison time
NEW YORK — A former member of NXIVM leader Keith Raniere’s sex trafficking enterprise avoided prison at sentencing after prosecutors cited her extraordinary cooperation. Lauren Salzman was sentenced Wednesday in Brooklyn federal court to time served by Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis. She was also ordered to perform 300 hours of community service. Prosecutors noted in a letter to the judge two weeks ago that her guilty plea to racketeering would normally call for a sentence of seven to nine years in prison. But they cited her credible, detailed testimony against Raniere at his 2019 trial as reason for leniency.
Ron Popeil, inventor and king of TV pitchmen, dies at 86
LOS ANGELES — Ron Popeil, the quintessential TV pitchman and inventor known to generations of viewers for hawking products including the Veg-O-Matic and the Showtime Rotisserie and BBQ, has died. Popeil’s family says he died Wednesday at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 86. Popeil began hawking his inventions in the open-air markets of Chicago as a teenager. He would become a constant presence on television from the late 1950s into the 2000s, pushing products such as the Pocket Fisherman and Mr. Microphone. He popularized phrases like, “But wait — there’s more,” and “Now how much would you pay?”
MAINSTREAM GLOBAL NEWS BRIEFING
(Bolded for your attention / analyses)
Mexico says officials spent $61 million on Pegasus spyware
MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s top security official says two previous administrations spent $61 million to buy Pegasus spyware that has been implicated in government surveillance of opponents and journalists across the world. Mexico’s public safety secretary said Wednesday that records had been found of 31 contracts signed during the administrations of President Felipe Calderón from 2006 to 2012 and President Enrique Peña Nieto from 2012 to 2018. The government says many of the contracts with the Israeli spyware firm NSO Group were signed with front companies, which are often used in Mexico to facilitate kickbacks or avoid taxes.
China’s ties to Taliban warm ahead of US leaving Afghanistan
BEIJING — China’s foreign minister has met with a delegation of high-level Taliban officials as their ties warm ahead of the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan. A photo posted on the ministry’s website showed Wang Yi posing with senior Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and his delegation then sitting down to talks. The highly conspicuous show of friendliness had the appearance of a diplomatic mission at a time when the Taliban are craving legitimacy. Wang said the hasty withdrawal of the U.S. and NATO reveals the failure of America’s policies and offers the Afghan people an important opportunity to stabilize and develop their own country. China and Afghanistan share a narrow border and China is concerned about a possible spillover of Islamic militancy.
Leftist political novice sworn in as Peru’s president
LIMA — A leftist political novice who has promised to be a champion of his country’s poor has been sworn in as Peru’s new president. Rural teacher Pedro Castillo has never held office before. He assumed office Wednesday, less than two weeks after he was declared the winner of the June 6 runoff election. He will succeed President Francisco Sagasti, whom Congress appointed in November to lead the South American nation after weeks of political turmoil. Castillo will face a deeply divided Congress that will make it extremely challenging for him to fulfill his ill-defined campaign promises.
Tunisia opens corruption probes of leading Islamist party
TUNIS — Tunisian local media say prosecutors have opened investigations into alleged foreign campaign funding and anonymous donations to Islamist movement Ennahdha and two other political parties. Ennahdha is the dominant party in parliament and its activities were suspended this week by President Kais Saied. He said it was necessary to stabilize a country in economic and health crisis. But Ennahdha and other critics accused him of overstepping his power and threatening Tunisia’s young democracy. The spokesperson for the financial prosecutor’s office said Wednesday that the investigations were opened in mid-July.
Nigerian court acquits Shia leader, orders his release
LAGOS — A Nigerian court has ordered the release of the leader of the country’s main Shia group, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenah Ibrahim, who have both been in prison for more than five years. A High Court in the northern city of Kaduna on Wednesday dismissed charges brought against them which include culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disruption of public peace. Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, has been in prison without trial since 2015. It is unclear if the government will respect this latest court order to release them. Scores of Shia members have been killed in past years as the police violently put down protests demanding their release.
‘ROCK OF TALK’ QUESTIONS OF THE DAY FOR OUR COMMUNITY (PLEASE ANSWER IN COMMENTS)
Why does NASA still exist?
Did the Son of Sam act alone?
Should government employees be allowed to serve in New Mexico’s state legislature?
Ever had an internship?
How much of a jackass is “Prince” Charles?
Is there an animal more beautiful than the tiger?
Favorite Ken Burns documentary?
Will you be attending one of Saturday’s protests against the forced masking of schoolchildren?
Isn’t Wesley Crusher — on screen and off — just the worst?
Ever bought a product pitched by Ron Popeil?