Re: “Excuses to celebrate”, (PostBag, Nov 17). I really got a kick out of it when Khun Songdej quipped, “Thais celebrate Valentine’s Day and Halloween without knowing what they are.”

To Thais, especially adolescents, Halloween has something to do with witches and ghosts and Valentine’s Day is related to roses, chocolates, candies, and it is the day to lose their virginity if they still have it.

Meanwhile, if you randomly ask Thais what the significance of Makha Bucha, Visakha Bucha and Asahna Bucha Day is, I bet only one out of 100 can give you the answer right off the bat. To most Thais, all they know is those days have something to do with Buddha and they enjoy having days off from school or work.

While we are at it, I asked several people what the Victory Monument is all about. They all think it’s about Thailand’s victory in either WWI or WWII.

For the Thai readers, do you know without googling it? Tick, tock, tick, tock.

Somsak Pola


Voters want peace

Re: “Destroying democracy”, (PostBag Nov 17).

Eric Bahrt portrays those of us coming from a “democracy”, enjoying all freedoms, as people who think Thais are too stupid to choose their own leaders.

Mr Bahrt, did you ever hear of the Alien and Sedition Acts in the United States? Do you honestly believe censorship and media control do not exist in a “democracy”?

No, Mr Bahrt, I for one would never label a Thai, or anyone else too stupid, as you claim expats do, to have the right to choose a leader. But, this being Thailand, we all have seen (corrupt) governments come and go, (corrupt) leaders come and go, and we know most Thai politicians are in the game for self-enrichment.

Most people I know do not care who runs the country as long as there is stability, no infighting, and peace and quiet. If the gentlemen with the tanks and guns can achieve all this, let them stick around.

449900


Odds of success are slim

Re: “No safe boxing”, (PostBag, Nov 17).

I agree that there is no such thing as safe boxing.

I think it’s disgusting when in America I hear people connected to boxing tell poor young men that boxing is a great opportunity to find fame and fortune. If they gave a hoot about those kids, they would tell them the odds that they will end up wealthy are so slim it’s not worth trying, while according to the Association of Neurological Surgeons, the chances they will end up with brain damage are 90%.

Eric Bahrt


Replace the draft

Some people, for whatever reason, are less than happy with a military government. It seems that it doesn’t imply they believe this government is a particularly bad government. Rather, it is a distaste for a military government — good or bad. This is true in other countries, too. In the case of Thailand, it may stem from a dislike by parents who see their young sons being drafted into military service when they had other plans for their futures — especially when there seems to be no impending invasion!

I am wondering how Thai parents would feel if the prime minister, before the New Year, made a surprise announcement informing the nation that the red/black card system will be replaced with a voluntary enlistment policy? Countries like Canada, for example, have such a policy. In such countries the voluntary system is more than successful. Military service can be a viable career choice, especially when it includes career training programmes.

Many parents, I believe, would join the ranks of others who hope to see the general continue as PM if he were to find a way of replacing the compulsory draft with a voluntary and career-oriented system. And, now that he is chair of the Asean community, he would be setting an excellent example for leaders of other governments to follow.

A well-managed, career-oriented military service option would be a welcome alternative for many young people in Thailand — and, in my view, would win over many undecided voters in the upcoming election.

Happy to live in Thailand


America last

Re: “Get priorities right”, (PostBag, Nov 12).

There is no doubt that the majority of the voters in the heartland of America care about a workable healthcare system, opportunities to make a decent living, and affordable education. The heartland of America is also infested by right-wing white extremists who believe that America belongs to them only. Immigrants are either labelled as parasites or criminals. Hence, most people in the heartland are not very keen on immigration reforms and fair international trade. For example, the agricultural sector in the heartland has been the beneficiary of US government subsidies for decades. And the military has wasted billions on senseless wars causing death and destruction more devastating than what we saw during WWI and WWII.

Since the beginning of this new century, the US has had a troubling relationship with most countries in the world, especially those in the Middle East. If there were responsible gun ownership laws in America, we would not see the killing of innocent people every other month. The “America first” slogan is slowly sliding into “America last”. Many countries around the world have already started ignoring the USA.

Kuldeep Nagi


Expensive tourist addiction

Re: “Opening the gates to salvage tourism”, (Business, Nov 12).

According to a business news report on Nov 12, the government is once again liberalising the tourist visa rules in a “quick fix” that, at best, will only provide some sugar for what has arguably become a Thai economic addiction — tourism.

This liberalisation means 20% of our economy depends on an unsustainable addiction. In the end, a tourism-based economy can fall into a Great Depression. Innovation and economic pluralism are required for the economy to remain both resilient and functional, and innovation has clearly stagnated in Thailand through recent years. Without change, innovation in Thailand could simply fall too far behind the rest of Southeast Asia. Should that happen, it will become all too clear that the “tourist fix” was one very expensive addiction, indeed.

Jason A Jellison


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Steve Hansen has stuck to his guns and labelled Ireland as the world’s best team – and favourites for next year’s World Cup – in the wake of his All Blacks side’s loss to the Six Nations champions in Dublin on tonight.

The Kiwi head coach had upped the ante for this game between the world’s top-two ranked sides when the tourists arrived in Dublin last Sunday when insisting that this eagerly-awaited test would determine who finished the year as the globe’s greatest.

Joe Schmidt with New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen before the game. Photo: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

And he leaped on the opportunity – with a side serving of his trademark sarcasm – to increase the pressure on Ireland after this rare defeat when asked explicitly if their conquerors here would be the team to beat in Japan in 2019.

“Well, you’ll make them favourites if you want to make them favourites,” said Hansen. “What it does do – and I said during the week that this was a game between the two best sides in the world – is, as of now, they are the number one team in the world. So, yeah, they probably are favourites.”

It was a question he faced, in various formats, more than once in his main post-match press conference but his counterpart was having none of such talk when Hansen’s words were put to him later.

“The World Cup? In 12 months time? We’ve got to work hard in the next week to make sure we are ready for the USA,” said a straight-faced Joe Schmidt. “People will postulate about who is where and who is favourite. It is a nebulous thing for us because all we can do is look to our preparation and performance.”

Was this mere kidology from the Kiwi head coach, then?

“He kind of uttered it before by saying that … he probably enjoyed a bit of banter. I have huge respect for Steve. Fozzie (Ian Foster) and Scott McLeod. For us to be favourites when they are number one for nine years and will continue to be after this… They are at the end of a long season and they’ve been around the world a number of times. We’ll take this tonight.”

Like Hansen, Schmidt had to face a number of enquiries on this one subject. One Kiwi journalist asked, almost incredulously, if he wasn’t actually doing his players a disservice by refusing the moniker of favourites ahead of the World Cup.

Schmidt, as he does, handled that without much bother.

What I would say is the players do live in a bit of bubble in these (test) periods of time and come out and try to perform. You are being called World Cup favourites but what do you get tangibly from that?

“If we prepare right we get something tangible from that. We can’t control what people say but we can control how we prepare and play.”

Hansen, as he did after Ireland’s defeat of his side in Chicago in 2016, was gracious in stating that the home team were worthy winners and the better team, but he refuted the idea that the number of errors made by his side had been prompted by the pressure put on by Ireland.

“No. I don’t think so,” he said. “Some of the penalties we conceded in the first-half were just dumb.”

Not as dumb as some of the mistakes they made in butchering what should have been at least second-half tries via Kieran Read’s knock-on, Beauden Barrett’s pass straight to Rob Kearney’s bread basket and Barrett’s ill-thought grubber which was claimed by Peter O’Mahony when he had men outside on the overlap.

Schmidt referenced each and every one of them. And it was hard not to agree with his assertion that Ireland ‘got a bit lucky’ in ensuring that this would be just the second time since 1995 that the famed All Blacks were held tryless over the course of a game.

“It is so seldom that the All Blacks don’t score a try but there were three potential tries that we managed to scramble on,” said the Ireland head coach. “On another day that goes differently. They are narrow margins.”

A ‘heavyweight contest,’ Schmidt labelled it.

It was that and more.

Ireland may have enjoyed some luck but they earned it.

Favourites or not for next year’s World Cup, this was an enormous step on the way there.

Read part 1 and part 2

The Great European War posed no national security threat whatsoever to the US. And that presumes, of course, the danger was not the Entente powers – but Germany and its allies.

From the very beginning, however, there was no chance at all that Germany and its bedraggled allies could threaten America – and that had become overwhelmingly true by April 1917 when Wilson launched America into war.

In fact, within a few weeks, after Berlin’s Schlieffen Plan offensive failed on September 11, 1914, the German Army became incarcerated in a bloody, bankrupting, two-front land war. That ensured its inexorable demise and utter incapacity in terms of finances and manpower to even glance cross-eyed at America on the distant side of the Atlantic moat.

Likewise, after the battle of Jutland in May 1916, the great German surface fleet was bottled up in its homeports – an inert flotilla of steel that posed no threat to the American coast 4,000 miles away.

As for the rest of the central powers, the Ottoman and Hapsburg empires already had an appointment with the dustbin of history. Need we even bother with any putative threat from the fourth member of the Central Powers – that is, Bulgaria?

Beyond the absence of any threat to homeland security,Wilson’s pretexts for war on Germany – submarine warfare and the Zimmerman telegram – are not half what they are cracked-up to be by Warfare State historians.

As to the first item in Wilson’s casus belli – the so-called freedom of the seas and neutral shipping rights – the story is blatantly simple.

In November 1914, England declared the North Sea to be a “war zone”. So doing, it threatened neutral shipping with deadly sea mines; declared that anything which could conceivably be of use to the German army – directly or indirectly – to be contraband that would be seized or destroyed; and announced that the resulting blockade of German ports was designed to starve it into submission.

In retaliation a few months later, Germany announced its submarine warfare policy designed to the stem the flow of food, raw materials and armaments to England. It was the desperate antidote of a land power to England’s crushing sea-borne blockade.

Accordingly, there existed a state of total warfare in the northern European waters – and the traditional “rights” of neutrals were irrelevant and disregarded by both sides.

Indeed, in arming merchantmen and stowing munitions on passenger liners, England was hypocritical and utterly cavalier about the resulting mortal danger to innocent civilians. That was exemplified tragically by the 4.3 million rifle cartridges and hundreds of tons of other munitions carried in the hull of the Lusitania, when it was sunk by a German submarine off the coast of Ireland in May 1915, and long after Germany had taken ads out in east coast newspapers warning Americans not to embark on its fatal voyage.

Likewise, German resort to so-called “unrestricted submarine warfare” in February 1917 was brutal and stupid, but came in response to massive domestic political pressure during what was known as the “turnip winter” in Germany. By then, the country was starving from the English blockade – literally.

Before he resigned on principle in June 1915, Secretary William Jennings Bryan got it right. Had he been less diplomatic he would have said never should American boys be crucified on the cross of Cunard liner state room – so that a few thousand wealthy plutocrats could exercise a putative “right” to wallow in luxury while knowingly cruising into in harm’s way.

As to the Zimmerman telegram, it was never delivered to Mexico at all. It was actually only an internal diplomatic communiqué sent from Berlin to the German ambassador in Washington, who had labored mightily to keep his country out of war with the US.

As it happened, this draft communiqué was intercepted by British intelligence in February 1917, which sat on it for more than a month waiting for an opportune moment to incite America into war hysteria.

Contrary to the mainstream history books, therefore, the so-called Zimmerman bombshell was actually the opposite of what it is cracked-up to be. Rather than a threatened aggression against the American homeland, it was actually an internal foreign ministry rumination about approaching the Mexican president regarding an alliance and the return of territories in the event that the US first went to war with Germany

And exactly why would such a defensive action in the face of an attack be all that surprising – let alone a valid casus belli?

After all, did not the Entente (England, France and Russia) bribe Italy into the war with promises of large chunks of Austria?

Did not the hapless Rumanians finally join the Entente when they were promised Transylvania?

Did not the Greeks bargain endlessly over the Turkish territories they were to be awarded for joining the allies?

Did not Lawrence of Arabia bribe the Sheriff of Mecca with the promise of vast Arabian lands to be extracted from the Turks?

Why, then, would the Germans – if forced into war with the USA – not promise the return of Texas?

In any event, by the end of 1916 the expected “short war” was long ago a faded delusion. What existed at that point was a guaranteed military stalemate, mutual political exhaustion and impending financial bankruptcy among all the European belligerents.

To be sure, Europe had almost gotten its “short war” when the German “Schlieffen Plan” offensive brought its armies within 30 miles of Paris during the first weeks of the war. But the offensive bogged down on the Marne River in mid-September 1914.

Within three months thereafter, the Western Front had formed and coagulated into blood and mud. It soon became a ghastly 400 mile corridor of senseless carnage, unspeakable slaughter and incessant military stupidity that stretched from the Flanders coast and then across Belgium and northern France to the Swiss frontier.

The next four years witnessed an undulating line of trenches, barbed wire entanglements, tunnels, artillery emplacements and shell-pocked scorched earth that rarely moved more than a few miles in either direction, and which ultimately claimed more than 7 million casualties on the Allied side and nearly 5 million on the German side.

If there was any doubt that Wilson’s catastrophic intervention converted a war of attrition, stalemate and eventual mutual exhaustion into Pyrrhic victory for the allies, it was memorialized in four developments during 1916 that preceded the US declaration of war.

In the first, the Germans wagered everything on a massive offensive designed to overrun the French fortresses of Verdun. These historic defensive battlements on France’s northeast border had stood since Roman times, and had been massively reinforced after the France’s humiliating defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870.

But notwithstanding the mobilization of 100 divisions, the greatest artillery bombardment campaign ever recorded until then, and repeated infantry offensives from February through November that resulted in upwards of 400,000 German casualties, the Verdun offensive failed.

The second event was its mirror image – the massive British and French offensive known as the Second Battle of the Somme. The latter commenced with equally destructive artillery barrages on July 1, 1916 and then for three month sent waves of infantry into the maws of German machine guns and artillery.

It too ended in colossal failure, but only after more than 600,000 English and French casualties including a quarter million dead.

In between these bloodbaths, the stalemate was reinforced by the above mentioned naval showdown at Jutland. That battle cost the British far more sunken ships and drowned sailors than the Germans, but also caused the Germans to retire their surface fleet to port and never again challenge the Royal Navy in open water combat.

Finally, by year-end 1916 the German generals who had destroyed the Russian armies in the East with only a tiny one-ninth fraction of the German army – Generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff – were given command of the entire war effort.

Presently, they radically changed Germany’s war strategy by recognizing that the growing allied superiority in manpower, owing to the British homeland draft of 1916 and mobilization of forces from throughout the Commonwealth, made a German offensive breakthrough will nigh impossible.

The result was the Hindenburg Line – a military marvel of awesome defensive impregnability. It consisted of a checkerboard array of hardened pillbox machine gunners and maneuver forces rather than mass infantry on the front lines and also an intricate labyrinth of highly engineered tunnels, deep earth shelters, rail connections, heavy artillery and flexible reserves in the rear.

It was also augmented by the transfer of Germany’s eastern armies to the western front in 1917 – giving it 200 divisions and 4 million men on the Hindenburg Line.

This precluded any hope of Entente victory. By 1917 there were not enough able-bodied draft age men left in France and England to overcome the Hindenburg Line, which, in turn, was designed to bleed white the Entente armies led by butchers like British General Haig and French General Joffre until their governments sued for peace.

Thus, with the Russian army’s disintegration in the east and the stalemate frozen indefinitely in the west by early 1917, it was only a matter of months before mutinies among the French lines, demoralization in London, mass starvation and privation in Germany and bankruptcy all around would have led to a peace of exhaustion and a European-wide political revolt against the war-makers.

Wilson’s intervention thus did turn an impossible stalemate into an unwarranted victory for the Entente. It was only a matter of time before Washington’s unprecedented mobilization of men and material during the balance of 1917 flooded into the battlefields of France and turned the tide of war.

So Wilson’s crusade did not remake the world, but it did radically re-channel the contours of 20th century history. That is, by giving rise to the Entente victory and the disaster of Versailles it unleashed the 1000 year flood of Nazi and Stalinist totalitarianism that flowed therefrom.

David Stockman was a two-term Congressman from Michigan. He was also the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. After leaving the White House, Stockman had a 20-year career on Wall Street. He’s the author of three books, The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed, The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America and TRUMPED! A Nation on the Brink of Ruin… And How to Bring It Back. He also is founder of David Stockman’s Contra Corner and David Stockman’s Bubble Finance Trader.

Read more by David Stockman


Ireland manager Martin O’Neill and assistant Roy Keane have presided over an awful run of results this year as they head to Denmark for Monday’s Nations League clash
Ireland manager Martin O’Neill and assistant Roy Keane have presided over an awful run of results this year as they head to Denmark for Monday’s Nations League clash
Ireland striker Callum Robinson takes a rare shot on the Northern Ireland goal in last Thursday’s friendly

You can lose matches when you are manager of the Republic of Ireland team.

Just ask Mick McCarthy, who had five defeats in his first six games in charge and went on to enjoy much better times.

But you cannot lose the crowd when you are boss of the Irish side. Again, ask Big Mick as his time with the national side was done when the home support turned on him, and the team, in what would prove to be his final game in charge, at home to Switzerland.

The current Irish side are now in that place. The Lansdowne Road crowd booed at the end of Thursday’s 0-0 draw at home to Northern Ireland, but the boos themselves weren’t a surprise. The surprise was that so many of those loyal supporters stayed on for the final whistle.

He has lost the crowd so we are now at the end of days when it comes to Martin O’Neill’s time as manager. Thursday was the fifth anniversary of his first game in charge but clearly, the side is in regression.

Speaking afterwards, O’Neill was sticking to his guns, insisting that though these were tough times, better days were ahead, things would pick up once the Euro 2020 qualifiers start early next year.

There was a crowd of 31,241 in Lansdowne Road on Thursday night. How many felt – really felt in their hearts – that O’Neill was still the man to lead this team? Outside of O’Neill and his coaching staff, how many would honestly say they look forward to 2019 under the 66-year-old, having endured in 2018 one of the most miserable years of international football?

Here are the facts: eight games in the calendar year, one win (against an under-strength USA), four goals scored in 720 minutes of football, no goals scored in the last three games.

Yes, it’s hard to score goals, but you can try: Northern Ireland have failed to score in their last seven away games but they were the only side in Thursday’s game who created, who looked like scoring.

Even the choices off the bench for the Republic were off-target – namely the baffling selection of Scott Hogan ahead of Michael Obafemi. Putting on Obafemi would have lifted a downbeat Dublin crowd, as subs James McClean (2012) and Sean Maguire (2017) did on their debuts, but instead, the arrival of Hogan onto the field led to a shrug of indifference.

Stale

O’Neill is not for turning, and that is the problem here. He will talk of a “transition period” and “bedding in” young players, but his methods are stale.

Once again last Thursday night, the Ireland squad arrived at the match stadium with no idea of who was playing or where. The team was named upon arrival in the dressing room.

Of course, as O’Neill tells us, that’s what Brian Clough did and it’s what Matt Busby did with George Best for his debut. George Best made his Manchester United debut 55 years ago.

O’Neill’s assistant is not helping in this time of crisis. And it is a crisis. Roy Keane was overheard to tell Robbie Brady after his display against Northern Ireland that he’d “played like a 14-year-old kid”.

Brady didn’t have the best game of his 40-cap career on Thursday and looked all at sea at times, but the player is only back from a long-term injury. Brady is a grown man and can take criticism, but words like that from the assistant manager can’t help, especially when some nerves are still frayed by events last summer – you know the one, where Keane told a member of the squad that he was “a f***ing p***k” and a “c**t”.

It’s not all O’Neill’s fault. The FAI are now reaping what they sowed when they handed O’Neill a new contract 13 months ago, at a time when no-one was agitating for a new deal.

Any new deal for the manager should have been contingent on the outcome of the World Cup campaign: failure to make the playoffs should have led to an end of his time with Ireland, a poor showing in the playoffs the same.

Ireland lost 5-1 to Denmark, the Irish side looked jaded, confused and rudderless, devoid of ideas and inspiration, but while veterans like Wes Hoolahan and John O’Shea left the stage, the manager stayed on.

Let’s be clear about Monday’s game in Aarhus. Barring an unprecedented calamity (and by that we mean an 8-0 defeat), O’Neill will be in charge of the side for the Euro 2020 draw, held in Dublin in 15 days’ time. European football coming to Dublin is a big deal for this FAI regime and the last thing they want is a manager hunt overshadowing their big day out. But when you lose the crowd it’s hard to win them back, as O’Neill will find out.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY WIKIPEDIA

  • Photo by Wikipedia

Ohio looks likely to get its very own “Stand Your Ground” law soon.

House Bill 228, which Ohio House members will vote on today, would remove requirements that Ohio residents try to flee a confrontation before using deadly force in self-defense. Supporters, including gun rights groups, say removing the so-called “duty to retreat” gives residents a better chance to defend themselves in the case of a potentially deadly assault. But opponents, including statewide law enforcement and prosecutors’ organizations, say it will encourage escalation of confrontations.

At its essence, the law shifts the burden of proof.

Twenty-seven states have codified stand your ground into law, and another seven basically observe stand your ground in practice due to past court precedent. In Ohio, there is currently no duty to retreat only when a person is in their home or vehicle.

“What a ‘duty to retreat’ functionally does is force law-abiding citizens into making tactically poor choices when confronted with a violent, criminal aggressor,” Ohioans for Concealed Carry Director Doug Deeken told House members at a hearing on the bill this summer.

But the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association disagrees. The group says Ohio law already provides for self-defense when a person feels they are in a legitimately life-threatening situation.

The laws have received scrutiny after a number of controversial killings, including the 2012 death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin at the hands of George Zimmerman, who claimed self-defense after he confronted and struggled with Martin inside a Florida gated community where Martin was staying as a guest. In another Florida case earlier this year, law enforcement officials cited the law when declining to arrest Michael Drejka, who shot Markeis McGlockton after McGlockton pushed him down in a gas station parking lot.

Even Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara, who claims stand your ground wasn’t applicable in his client’s case, has questioned the law after McGlockton’s killing.

“The problem I have is that people misinterpret the statute and are emboldened to use a gun,” he told USA Today this summer. “Look at this case. Pointing the gun? Absolutely. Shooting a warning shot? Fine. But shooting him?”

Ohio’s proposed legislation, which lawmakers look likely to pass today, has been months in the making.

A House committee passed HB228 in May, but a final vote on the legislation was delayed in June. Ohio Gov. John Kasich has threatened a veto of the bill because House Republicans won’t take up Kasich’s suggested gun control reforms, including a “red flag” law that would bar gun sales to — and allow seizure of guns from — those exhibiting violent behavior.

House Speaker Ryan Smith says Republicans have enough votes to override Kasich’s veto, however, and won’t be considering Kasich’s suggestions.

“There’s no gun law in America that’s going to stop a lot of this,” Smith said this summer. “I mean criminals don’t abide by the law by their very nature so it’s not to say that we’re insensitive to it or don’t want to do something on it, it’s just people are very protective of the Second Amendment.”

HB228 also contains a number of other measures loosening gun restrictions, including further legislation barring local municipalities from passing their own gun laws. The bill would also reduce some concealed carry violations to minor misdemeanors and do away with requirements that public schools, airports, courthouses and other public spaces post “gun free zones” signage.

It was the young guns that shined for the Three Lions in Wayne Rooney’s farewell, while Belgium proved once again why they’re a force to be reckoned with.

Meanwhile, a thrilling end-to-end game between Croatia and Spain ended in drama with a 22-year-old substitute proving to be the hero.

Here’s a wrap of all the international action!

CROATIA 3-2 SPAIN

Defender Tin Jedvaj scored his second goal of the game in injury time to earn Croatia a 3-2 win over Spain, a result that left both teams and group rival England still in the running to reach the UEFA Nations League finals.

With Croatia needing a victory to keep its hopes alive, the World Cup runner-up pinned Spain in its area in the final moments and Jedvaj scored on the rebound after goalkeeper David de Gea had blocked a shot.

Earlier, Andrej Kramaric opened the scoring for the home team in the 54th minute, only for Dani Ceballos to equalise two minutes later. Croatia went back ahead in the 69th when Jedvaj headed in a cross from Luka Modric, but Sergio Ramos levelled for Spain with a penalty eight minutes later after Sime Vrsaljko handled.

Croatia won the game in the most dramatic of circumstances.
Camera IconCroatia won the game in the most dramatic of circumstances.Picture: AP

ENGLAND 3-0 USA

Wayne Rooney made his 120th and final international appearance for England as a new generation of players provided the goals in a 3-0 victory over the United States at Wembley.

England’s all-time top scorer, Rooney came on as a 58th-minute substitute with Gareth Southgate’s team 2-0 up thanks to excellent first-half strikes from Jesse Lingard and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The 33-year-old former Manchester United and Everton forward did not have a major impact on the game but forced American keeper Brad Guzan into a save in stoppage time. Callum Wilson, the Bournemouth striker making his England debut, scored the final goal in the 77th minute.

England's youngsters put on a show at Wembley.
Camera IconEngland’s youngsters put on a show at Wembley.Picture: AFP

BELGIUM 2-0 ICELAND

Michy Batshuayi, replacing the injured Romelu Lukaku in attack, scored twice as Belgium beat Iceland 2-0 to maintain its 100 percent record in the inaugural UEFA Nations League on Thursday.

After 65 minutes of pounding the Iceland defence, captain Eden Hazard found Thomas Meunier on the right and the Paris Saint-Germain winger crossed for Batshuayi to slot the ball home.

The second goal was even easier for the on-loan Valencia striker, as he tapped the ball into the net after Hans Vanaken’s shot had rebounded to him. Belgium has nine points from three games in Group 2 of League A, three ahead of Switzerland.

Michy Batshuayi was the man of the moment for the Red Devils.
Camera IconMichy Batshuayi was the man of the moment for the Red Devils.Picture: AFP

OTHER RESULTS

Austria 0-0 Bosnia and Herzegovina

Greece 1-0 Finland

Hungary 2-0 Estonia

Kazakhstan 1-1 Latvia

Andorra 1-1 Georgia

Luxembourg 0-2 Belarus

San Marino 0-1 Moldova

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has claimed that recordings related to the killing of the Saudi Arabian journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, are “appaling” as shocked a Saudi intelligence officer who listened to them.

Reports from Turkey said Erdogan told reporters on his plane while returning from a weekend visit to France that he had discussed the journalist’s killing with the U.S, French and German leaders at dinner in Paris.

It was reported that the Turkish government has already shared the recordings with its Western allies,

Khashoggi, a critic of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate on Tuesday, October 2, 2018.

Erdogan alleged that the killing was ordered at the “highest levels” of the Saudi government.

“We played the recordings regarding this murder to everyone who wanted them from us.

“Our intelligence organization did not hide anything. We played them to all who wanted them including the Saudis, the USA, France, Canada, Germany, Britain,” Erdogan restated.

“The recordings are really appalling. Indeed when the Saudi intelligence officer listened to the recordings he was so shocked he said: ‘This one must have taken heroin, only someone who takes heroin would do this’,” he added.

Khashoggi’s killing has provoked global outrage but little concrete action by world powers against Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter.

Erdogan insisted that it was clear that the murder was planned and that the order came from the top level of Saudi authorities, still, he could not think such a thing of King Salman, for whom he has ‘limitless respect’.

‘We are waiting patiently,” Erdogan said, adding that the perpetrators of the killing were among 18 suspects detained in Saudi Arabia.

“It must be revealed who gave them the order to murder.”

A Turkish newspaper (Sabah) reported on Tuesday that the luggage of the Saudi team which was sent to Istanbul at the time of Khashoggi’s killing contained syringes, large scissors, staple guns, walkie-talkies, electric shock devices and a signal jammer.

Saudi Arabia’s prosecutor Saud al-Mojeb has since said Khashoggi’s killing was planned in advance, as another Saudi official said Prince Mohammed had no knowledge of the specific operation.

In his reaction, “The crown prince says ‘I will clarify the matter, I will do what is necessary’.

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News broke recently broke that the Girls Scouts of the USA has filed lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America, declaring that the organization has committed trademark infringement after BSA announced that it plans to drop “Boy” from its name in 2019. According to the complaint, filed in Manhattan federal court, the Girl Scouts say Boy Scouts do not have the right to use “scouts” or “scouting.”

The complaint stems from the Boy Scouts’ decision last year to start accepting girls into its organization, which it is now doing. The new name was announced as Scouts BSA. The Girl Scouts state that the decision has caused too much confusion.

“Only GSUSA has the right to use the Girl Scouts and Scouts trademarks with leadership development services for girls,” the complaint states.

Officials with the Boy Scouts of America are now reviewing the lawsuit.

“We applaud every organization that builds character and leadership in children, including the Girl Scouts of the USA, and believe that there is an opportunity for both organizations to serve girls and boys in our communities,” it said in a statement to CNN.

As I read the news involving the name change and the recent lawsuit, I couldn’t help but think about a recent Cub Scout “cub haunted” camping trip I went on last month.

Our family is fairly new to the Boy Scouts. Yes, I was a Daisy Scout and a Brownie when I was in elementary school, same as my mother. I proudly was the top cookie sales girl three years in a row (much to the credit of my mom) and I’m pretty sure I have my old brown sash and beanie cap stuffed away in my hope chest at home. When my daughter was in kindergarten, there was no question — I signed her up to be a Daisy Scout and she served two more years as a Brownie. We sold cookies, did craft projects, visited a local animal shelter to deliver donations of dog and cat food. It was fun.

But it wasn’t really super-important to my daughter, now 9. When her troop fizzled after second grade, I asked her if she wanted to find another troop to join. She shrugged her shoulders.

“Not really,” she replied.

Last year, it was my son’s turn. Granted, I had no experience whatsoever with Cub Scouts, but when my son was 6, we signed him up as a Tiger Scout. The boys built little wooden derby cars to race and boats for the “Rain Gutter Regatta.” They went camping, my husband went with our son to spend the night with his troop on the U.S.S. Alabama battleship, and they shot BB guns and paint guns at the local police shooting range.

One afternoon, when I was dropping my son off for Cub Scouts and my oldest daughter was in the van, she looked out onto the church yard where the Cub Scouts meet and saw a handful of boys — many of them her close friends from school — running around and playing tag before the meeting began.

“No fair. Why can’t I be a Cub Scout?” she asked.

That was before the Boy Scouts of America made its decision last year.

When my son’s troop announced it was going to start accepting girls, my daughter was one of the first to sign up. Although this is the first year, her troop has close to 15 girls who have joined.

Last month, my husband, our son and our oldest daughter went camping as a family for the first time at the local Cub Scout camp. It was freezing, dipping down into the 40’s at night, and I’m pretty sure our camping gear still hasn’t dried out all the way. Our kids went on a hayride, played gaga ball and learned how to shoot archery. They played carnival games for Halloween candy and played on an inflatable slide.

As we roasted marshmallows over the campfire that night after the festivities, I couldn’t help but watch the scouts around us — the boys and the girls — talking and laughing. There was a huge grin across my daughter’s face as she ate her own s’more.

The next morning, after breakfast in a camp dining hall, my husband and I walked back to our campsite with our kids to pack up. I asked the kids if they had fun camping, if they would want to go camping again as a family, sometime.

Our son said, “Sure.” Our daughter said, “Yes! I want to stay here forever.”

The Girls Scouts is a great program for a lot of girls. But the Boy Scouts of America can be a great program for girls, too — girls like my daughter. Names of programs shouldn’t matter. There should be a place in this world for both.
— Lydia Seabol Avant writes The Mom Stop for The Tuscaloosa News in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Reach her at lydia.seabolavant@tuscaloosanews.com.

There isn’t an awful lot of text in Leslie Singer’s Do You Read Me?: Vintage Communication Toys (Schiffer, $24.99). On a couple of counts, that’s a genuine shame.

Because longtime Little Rock advertising guy Singer has a lovely wry voice that perfectly suits this whimsical subject matter, which is mostly pictures of his personal collection of toy walkie-talkies, cup telephones, telegraph sets and related bits of paraphernalia. And because so many of the toys depicted in this beautifully photographed (by Willie Allen) and art directed (by Patti Woods Rye) book cry out for further explication. For example, I’d really like to know if the Solar Space Phone depicted on page 77 actually works.

It probably does, seeing how it uses an “official U.S. photo electric solar cell” and was “seen in Newsweek.” (Though it’s not clear as to whether Newsweek acknowledged the existence of the Solar Space Phone or the official U.S. photo electric solar cell.)

Looking at the box illustration and the packaging, I surmise that the communication with this device is strictly one-way. There’s a “receiver” that looks like an oversize kazoo with a pistol grip wired to a stethoscope and a “transmitter” without the stethoscope, the busy end of which is angled. I can tell from the box that it was manufactured in the USA by ®Hear Ever. As someone who grew up staring at ads for Magic Sea Monkeys and mail-order submarines in the back of comic books, I’m skeptical.

So it’s on to the wonderful World Wide Web where, er, there’s not much about the Solar Space Phone. But I do find where someone has archived a UPI photo of Danny Gray, 9, using the device to transmit a message some 2 feet to Jackie Meegan, 8. The caption for this photograph says that “messages can be transmitted and received at distances of more than 100 feet — and even through glass.” Cool! The caption also says the “ingenious toy” is “approved by the Boy Guidance Council.”

But there is a Magic Sea Monkey caveat here too — “the sun must be reflected from the speaker … and aimed directly into the receiver cone of the second unit.” So good luck lining the device up at a distance of 50 feet, much less 100. To get it to work over that distance you’d need a theodolite and a working understanding of the parallax effect. And if you’re going to make it work through glass, you’re probably going to have to allow for some refraction. I’m guessing most kids probably found Solar Space Phone a little disappointing. But it still looks appealing in its vintage packing.

(Oh, and about that vintage. Singer and company have it leading off their section on the 1970s and beyond. The UPI photo is dated Nov. 04, 1960. But that’s a quibble, strategically placed in the review to show that the critic isn’t completely in the tank for the book.)

Seriously, this is fascinating eye candy and a long overdue companion to Zap! Ray Gun Classics, Singer’s 1991 book about his toy ray gun collection that Dr. Atomic, who as far as I can tell is the world’s leading blogger on such subjects, called “a major milestone in the history of space-toy collecting.”

Apparently Zap! was responsible for raising the prices of vintage toy ray guns. I’ve always thought that the first Foo Fighters album, which came out in 1995 and featured an art deco Buck Rogers XZ-38 Disintegrator Pistol on its cover, owed a debt to Zap! (Singer prominently featured the 1936 toy in his book. Chief Foo Dave Grohl says the album photo, taken by his wife, fit in with the band’s sci-fi theme.)

I suspect that communicators aren’t quite as sexy as old ray guns are, but even the casual browser is likely to be struck by the art deco lines and sense of quality inherent in many of these toys. There’s very little here that can be dismissed as kitschy junk, certainly not the toys from Remco, a company Singer singles out “for their imaginative and beautifully designed toys of all kinds.” (“Every boy wants a Remco toy,” the company’s television commercials intoned, only after they added a line of dolls in the late ’60s did they append “… and so do girls.”)

I didn’t count them — I kept getting pulled into rabbit holes while I was paging through the book — but the Schiffer website says there are 150 color images in Do You Read Me? Almost every one of them evokes that mingling of memory and yearning we identify as nostalgia. While I wish there was a bit more of an attempt at interpretation, Singer may be right to let these colorful bits of bakelite and metal speak their own poetry.

Most of them feel like artifacts from a future never realized, from that midcentury dream of flying cars and cities in the sky. A future some of us somehow outgrew and now look back on with wonder and delight.

Email:

pmartin@arkansasonline.com

blooddirtangels.com

We might be a little skeptical about the efficacy of the Solar Space Phone, but it sure is pretty.

Style on 11/11/2018

by Michael Cline, Staff Writer

The San Diego State chapter of the conservative student organization Turning Point USA hosted their first event on campus, a panel titled “Gun Rights are Women’s Rights,” on Nov. 8.

The event featured an all-female panel consisting of four Second Amendment activists: Anna Paulina, Antonia Okafor, Amy Robbins and Xena Amirani. The four argued in favor of guns as the ultimate deterrent to violent crimes and sexual abuse towards women.

“Mace and a knife are not going to stop a 200-pound man on PCP,” Paulina said. “However, a .357 (magnum) or a 9mm with hollow points will stop a man coming at me.”

SDSU’s Turning Point USA President Skyler Shibuya began the event with a moment of silence in response to the shooting in Thousand Oaks, Calif., that took the lives of 12 people in a country bar just a day prior to the panel. Shibuya said the shooting was personal to him, given that one chapter member personally knew victims of the massacre.

“This is close to my heart,” he said. “This is close to the hearts of everyone in the organization.”

Shibuya said he wanted to host a pro-Second Amendment event in the wake of the suspension of the Del Mar gun show. He was inspired by hosting an all-female panel when he was researching gun rights activists, stressing the importance of conservative groups to highlight underrepresented communities.

“Many people paint Turning Point and other conservative groups as being misogynistic or sexist,” he said. “We do care about women in a genuine way.”

Two activists, Paulina and Okafor, cited first-hand experiences in arguing in favor of gun rights. Paulina described how past burglaries perpetrated by her landlord convinced her to apply for a concealed carry permit. Okafor, a survivor of sexual assault, argued the Second Amendment is an authentic reflection of feminism saying female students facing threats of sexual assault on college campuses would be better protected by the Second Amendment.

“Perpetrators are people who are evil and who want to do harm, regardless of what the law is,” Okafor said. “We are not empowering women to take preventative measures.”

Robbins said her family values in her younger years were what informed her views on gun rights. She said proper training and gun safety are important deterrents, especially for females in precarious circumstances. Robbins also described female gun ownership as “the most empowering thing.”

Amirani, a 19-year-old USC student, started the “March for our Rights” organization to represent future gun owners of America. She described the numerous crime reports she receives daily from USC campus police in Los Angeles, a city with strict gun ordinances. Amirani raised additional concerns over state efforts to raise the legal age of gun purchases from 18 to 21, a regulation that wouldn’t account for young women who live alone or law-abiding citizens.

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” she said. “The only people my friend and I know who have guns are the gangsters who obtained them illegally.”

All four women criticized modern feminism for failing to empower women.

Paulina, in arguing in favor of women bearing arms, said women and men are “biologically different” and argued women could feel more confident knowing a firearm could stop a potential threat.

Okafor and Amirani criticized campuses that banned mace and other forms of self defense. Okafor called firearms “the great equalizer,” advocating for any tool women can use at their disposal to defend themselves.

The event drew a crowd of over 100 people from multiple sides of the political aisle. Junior management information systems student Benjamin Cunningham attended to inquire about solutions to shootings across America – with the hope that liberals and conservatives could come together to prioritize solutions and tackle political polarization.

“I thought it would be interesting to see the conservative viewpoint on gun rights is,” Cunningham said. “I think people should be more focused on solutions than picking sides. There is a fear of open discussion that is troubling.”

Junior psychology student Jonny Ramon said he attended because he felt political events are important to enrich his college experience. He also said the event was personal to him as a conservative student.

“(It’s nice to know) there’s a group on campus that you can go to and not get chastised the moment you walk through the door,” Ramon said.

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