Just Catching Up (plus Tweets)

The sacking of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe last night by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions was to be the subject of today’s post. However, thing’s aren’t going to plan. The post is not going to be worthy of public viewing today. Further, I’m going to be busy in the real world for the next few days. So my disgust at this whole situation is going to have to mostly pass without comment. And as I’m not going to be able to do a Proper Post for another few days, I’m reverting to a Tweets Post.

There is one piece of good news re Heather’s Homilies though. The site is now secure. You can see the wee padlock icon in the left of the address bar, and the change from http to https in the address itself. I’m very happy about this, and I know many of you will prefer this too.

Another story that I was planning to tackle is the situation in Britain with the murder of Russian emigrés by Russia. It’s not the first time of course, and I doubt it will be the last. It appears clear that these murders came at the direction of President Putin himself. Perhaps one of you lawyers can help with this questions I have. Can there be a charge of murder against Putin in The Hague? I know the International Criminal Court is for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. Surely Putin’s actions are crimes against humanity? If the ICC can’t do anything, what can be done? Does it matter that Russia withdrew from the ICC? I assume that even if his crimes meet the criteria, that means there will be no charges.

And in the meantime, Putin is about to succeed in Russia’s election. Russians know the election isn’t fair, but they don’t seem to care. (I have data on that, but it’ll have to wait.)

And that’s a useful segue to the case of the Philippines. President Duterte’s war on drugs, which of course involves the approval of multiple extra-judicial murders, has seen the ICC charge him with a crime against humanity. Duterte’s response was to withdraw the Philippines from the ICC. I note there are several people in the US criticizing this move by Duterte. While I agree with the criticism, it’s pretty hypocritical of them. George W Bush did the same with the US in 2002, which was a disgraceful move in my opinion.

Here are the current members:

Current members of ICC

(Cropped and adjusted from Wikipedia source. Click graphic to go to source.)


As can be seen from the map, it is largely the countries that are abusing international law that are not members of the ICC.


Political Tweets

Very interesting. I’ve just been re-watching a documentary series about the rise of Hitler. It’s amazing how many parallels there are between the way Trump has taken power and the way Hitler did it. I’m not saying they are the same sort of people necessarily – I’m just comparing the process. There’s no doubt though that more than any other demographic, it’s authoritarians who are attracted to Trump.
(Via Ann German.)


The video in this tweet is c. 1 hr 20 mins, and I didn’t watch it. I just saw the beginning couple of minutes. It’s of General Michael Flynn, convicted felon, still in his uniform, getting a long standing ovation and more, as he arrives and is introduced in stellar terms, at a fundraiser for Republican candidate Omar Navarro.

Gun Safety Tweets

One of the amazing Parkland shooting survivors.


Human Rights Tweets

Another brave woman in Iran. Change is coming there I think. It may take a few more years, but the women’s movement is strong and increasing in strength. Unlike many other countries in the region, a lot of Iranian women have experience of democracy and freedom. That makes a difference.


Protect your info!
(Via Ann German.)


Religion Tweets

I’ve seen this before, but I’m glad to get the opportunity to post it again. Franklin Graham really is a revolting pile of scum.
(Via Ann German.)


Science Tweets

This is bloody brilliant! best thing I’ve seen in a long time! This idea needs to quickly move all over the world! I hope several someones in New Zealand take it up, especially in places where there isn’t enough housing, or it’s too expensive. Millions of people who can’t afford homes could afford one of these homes.


Wow! No need to pray for your arm to grow back. Science has got this!
(Via Ann German.)


I’m sure she means well …


Women and the internet.


Funny Tweets

Oh dear! 😜


Scenic Tweets

Beautiful. I could be very happy living here.


Entertainment Tweets

Cool pic.


Marine Tweets

Turtles are so cute! I wish I was this guy!


I’d like to see it all in one pic, but it’s still cool.


Other Animals Tweets

A dream come true!


The SWCC Hedgehog Hospital is continuing to do a wonderful job caring for our prickly friends.


Bird Tweets

Isn’t it lovely?! I didn’t know there was such a thing as a pink robin.


Another robin. I wish it was Batman to the rescue!


Dog Tweets

I wonder why corgis lie like this?!


That’s the cutest kitten!


Cat Tweets

Gorgeous animals! And there’s a next generation!
(Via Ann German.)


Profiles in sweetness!


This cat shows the appropriate level of interest …


What a cutie!


Lovely story.


Poor boy. 😿




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24 Responses to “Just Catching Up (plus Tweets)”

  1. nicky says:

    If I’m not mistaken, Mr Duterte does not just approve of these murders, he organises them. I heard a piquing detail: he likes to use female murderers, as the victims are less suspicious of women. Is that a good thing in terms of feminism?

    • Yeah, I heard he’s fully involved. He’s even boasted of committing murders himself before he was president I think. I didn’t know about the detail of women, but it doesn’t surprise me. I’m not sure feminism comes into it though. The whole thing is just disturbing, whoever is committing the murders. Society is being brutalized, and that can’t be good. It shows how easy it is for the norms of civilized society can break down with the wrong leaders showing the way I think. Scary.

      • nicky says:

        A link (one of many) to women murderers, ‘contract killers’.
        I agree feminism does not come into it, was just trying to be sarcastic.
        In fact I think these murderers are victims too, once in they have not much choice but to continue, and they fear for their lives. Fear from 2 sides: 1- families of the murdered, and 2 – the alleged threat by police chief Mr de la Rosa, to kill those who want to opt out.
        Note that the numbers in the BBC article have long been surpassed and is estimated at 4-5000 killed now.
        The most scary thing is that many Philippinos I considered ‘good minds’ are supporting these death squad killings, albeit sometimes half-heartedly. Mr Duterte remains quite popular.

  2. Andrea says:

    What a great post! Thank you for all you do!

  3. nicky says:

    The firing of Mr McCabe is particularly mean, petty and gratuitous. He was going to be pensioned off anyway within a month or so, and there is no rumour of gross incompetence. I mean, he served quite well for decades or so, went after the 9/11 terrorists -not without success. Now it appears he will lose his pension, which I find hard to believe. However, if that is true, it is deeply unconscionable. IANAL, but I hope he has a good case for getting his pension.

    • It was even worse than that. Two DAYS before retirement. And the investigation isn’t finished. Sessions is firing him on an interim report, and, of course, he’s under huge pressure from Trump to fire him. McCabe is a Republican, but his wife is a Democrat who unsuccessfully ran for office. She got donations from Terry McAuliffe, who’s close to the Clintons. McCabe ran the Clinton investigation, so Trump thinks the reason Hillary wasn’t prosecuted was the donation, which was before the investigation even started. (And Trump clearly thinks a woman can’t do anything independently from her husband.) Trump even asked McCabe who he voted for in the presidential election. He’s been suspicious of him from the start, and forced his suspension in January. Trump can’t fire him because he’s a career person. But we know how he’s been bullying Sessions for months, and most commentators are making the assumption that McCabe is gone because of pressure from Trump.

      • nicky says:

        I did know about Mr McCabe’s wife and the ‘link’ to the Clintons, but I did not know about the 2 days. That makes it even pettier and meaner than I thought. Shocking.
        Note, I would not be surprised if Mr Sessions is next on the list, Mr Trump has probably not forgiven him for recusing himself (the only option Mr Sessions reasonably had), and he’s probably thinking of replacing him with a sycophant (like eg. Mr Pruitt) who would fire Mueller if push comes to shove.

  4. Mark R. says:

    A fine collection of tweets this morning…what a great way to start a lazy Sunday.

    Andrew McCabe is not going down without a fight. I’m sure if you’re writing about this you’ve already read his damning statement against Trump’s petty action.

    Loved the turtle rescue!!! To quote the rescuer “that was the coolest thing ever”.

    The cyborg arm and 3D houses are the kind of thing that gives me hope for humanity…even when we are in a serious rough patch.

    I love the Parkland kids! Can’t wait until the generation behind the millenials can vote. The millenials are the largest voting block, and I’m sure the previous generation will be as large. That’s when big change will come to America, even if Trump and his crony cohort of plunderers continue their malfeasance for 3 years. The writing is on the wall in big blue letters.

    • Yep, McCabe isn’t going down without a fight. This is going to blow up in Trump’s face I think. He’s cost McCabe about half a million and created an enemy with his pettiness. I bet the publishers are already beating a path to his door.

      Unlike the Sandy Hook kids, the Parkland ones are old enough to speak up for themselves, and they’re an amazing bunch. They’re not tainted by cynicism yet either. They’ve got the best chance of anyone yet of making change.

      The science stuff gives me hope too. It helps to remember there are people working away on worthwhile things like that, or just pure research, while Trump and the Kardashians fill the airwaves.

  5. nicky says:

    The problems with cheap housing is not so much the walls and roof (although important), but sanitation and (clean) water, and to a lesser degree electricity and access. Those are the big price issues. How does the sanitation in these printed houses work? I mean, I can build a nice little wooden house for less than 2000 US$ here, but a good sanitation system and access to safe piped water is what costs.

    • In some places composting toilets and solar stills would do the trick.

      Yeah, the infrastructure would be an issue but I think that could be worked out.

      I did think afterwards though that they may not (in fact probably won’t) meet earthquake regulations in NZ. The walls would have to be reinforced for a start. Underfloor heating could be installed as they go though. Building is expensive here.

  6. Linda Calhoun says:

    Cute video of orphan kittens being adopted by a nursing queen, but the human(s) involved don’t have a clue.

    They are very lucky that they had a nursing queen available, and that she was the type to adopt the orphans, but if they hadn’t, or she didn’t, there are things they could do to get the kittens to eat.

    First, ditch the syringe and get a kitten nursing bottle, which approximates the queen’s teats much better. Next, ditch the KMR and get some goat milk to put in the bottle. Fresh milk wins every time. Then, warm up a towel in the microwave or the dryer to mimic a warm body. Wrap the kittens loosely, one at a time, in the warm towel, offer the bottle, let a little milk drip into their mouths, and I guarantee, you’ll have way better success than with the stupid syringe.



    • nicky says:

      Yes Linda, I can’t but agree, a syringe is very far from a nipple. Warm towels are also a good idea, we want to emulate a mother, after all. This does not just go for kittens, but for any mammal.

      • Linda Calhoun says:

        You bet.

        Also, those kittens’ eyes are already open, which means that they are at least ten days old, which means that their chances of survival are much better than if they were younger.

        All the franticness of the narrator is completely unnecessary. All those babies needed was a little common sense, which was fortunately supplied by the queen herself.


    • Jenny Haniver says:

      Excellent instructions. I copied this to save in case I find any newborn kittens that need rescuing; and will share it with others.

  7. Jenny Haniver says:

    I, for one, am exceedingly glad that your site is now secure. It’s just as well that you didn’t post about the sacking of McCabe just yet. It gives you a bit of time to let your immediate reflections “cure”, so to speak, and the fallout has already begun, so you’ll have more threads to follow. I love the choice words that Brennan tweeted about Trump after he fired McCabe. Perhaps you’ll quote it in your upcoming post.

    That fat little pink robin is terribly cute; and the lights on the palm trees are both beautiful and hilarious — I want to put those lights on our local palm trees — with blinking and winking and coruscating lights of multicolored seminal spume. Must be great when there’s a wind to rustle the fronds.

    What is that creature on Robin Williams’ shoulder?

    • nicky says:

      That is a Capuchin monkey, considered the most intelligent of New World monkeys.

      • nicky says:

        I’m quite sure it is the brown, aka black-capped or tufted capuchin, Sapajus apella. The ‘robust’ capuchins recently got their own genus, used to be Cebus apella , but that ‘Cebus‘ name is reserved for the ‘gracile’ capuchins now.
        I think that the ‘grimace’ or closed mouth grin, shown on the photo, is considered to be a signal of appeasement and/or submission, contrary to the open mouth grin, which is a fear-threat.

      • nicky says:

        If I may expand a bit, there are about 10 species of Capuchins (there is a lot of infighting there), several of them (such as the blond capuchin, the golden-bellied capuchin or several sub-species) critically endangered. However, the brown or tufted capuchin shown is not.
        I always wondered why there are so many mammals in the Americas with prehensile tails, much more than on any other continent, not just New World monkeys, but also opossums, South American porcupines, anteaters and the Kinkajou. It must be an independently evolved trait (have common ancestors without it).

        • Jenny Haniver says:

          Thanks. I wasn’t familiar with Capuchin monkeys, other than knowing the name. I did a Google search and found lots of photos. They have incredibly expressive faces.

  8. Randall Schenck says:

    Just a mention, but I wouldn’t worry about not having the time to cover the firing of the FBI guy. You will have plenty of time to cover that one later. It is simply par for the course in this useless Putin government. That reminds me, we could be doing plenty to put it directly to Putin and the Russians if we were not an annex of that government. It is very hard to criticize the boss you know. Now that Putin has taken over I think I will stop referring to the republican party because really, it does not exist. It is officially the Putin party.

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