18h UTC; WEDNESDAY, 24 APRIL 2013: Even allowing for the prospect of rain and thunderstorms later on today (and towards the evening, know), it looks as if--finally!!--this bizarre pattern of winter weather extending this late into April may be coming to a timely conclusion: The forecast here in the Minnwissippi calls for milder conditions heading into the weekend, as in maxima approaching 60 degrees Friday and Saturday and maybe 70 on Sunday, with a slight cooldown into the mid-60's as April segues unto May.

And as for the flooding here in the Midwestern states (especially well to the south of us, as in along the Fox, Illinois and Mississippi rivers), we can do without the rather tasteless prolefeed from the Westboro Baptist crowd insisting that said flooding is Divine Wrath and Judgment Upon Thy Dear Lovely Nation for Rejecting His Divinely-Ordained Will and Prophecy that AmeriKKKa Was, Is and Would Forever Be the Shining City on the Hill, the New Jerusalem of Gold....

In case you didn't notice it yesterday, a compromised Twitter post on The Associated Press' feed thereat as claimed that bombs damaged The White House and injured President Obama in the process caused a 150-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average as panic selling ensued ... only to recover after the reports were discredited; The AP is now reviewing its social-media security protocols and is assisting both the FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission in their joint enquiries. (BTW, the Palestinian Authority claimed responsibility for the exercise and misadventure.)

For those who ask why my own family would rather prefer
donating to The Salvation Army rather than the Red Cross when it comes to disaster and emergency relief appeals, consider what BBC Monitoring's roundup of Chinese media reportage is noting about the response (or want thereof) to official Chinese Government appeals urging donations to the Red Cross Society of China in aid of victims of the recent earthquakes in China's Sichwuan province:
Xinhua news agency and other state media are defending the Red Cross Society of China and say the organisation should not be "stigmatised" as a corrupt embezzler.

Public concerns over embezzlement are prompting people to donate funds for last Saturday's earthquake in Ya'an, Sichuan, to non-government organisations (NGOs) and microblog donation sites instead of China's Red Cross.

A photo of a young Red Cross worker with a Sichuan earthquake donation box being shunned by passer-bys in Shenzhen last Sunday has been widely carried in the media, including Hong Kong's
Phoenix TV.

Yesterday, the Chinese Red Cross announced that it would reopen an investigation into a scandal back in 2011 involving a young woman named "Guo Meimei" who claimed to own luxury cars, and to work for an organisation under the Red Cross,
Caijing reports.

Photos of her apparently lavish lifestyle on her microblog triggered suspicions that the organisation's funds had been misappropriated.

A heated debate in Hong Kong on whether public donations should be given to the mainland government continues to dominate the Hong Kong press.

The Beijing-backed
Wen Wei Po condemns local activists and legislators for "politicising" disaster relief funding in "violation of humanitarian principles and human conscience".

Apple Daily, columnist Lee Yee says many members of the public in Hong Kong are worried that the funds will be stolen by corrupt officials, and encourages the public to donate to NGOs instead.
As if the whole notion that ekonomesie vryheid met Amerikaanse eienskappe requiring "due and utmost public respect" among the "REAL AmeriKKKan," as conservative prolefeeders would love to put it, wasn't rather absurd enough, the Comptroller of the Currency, as regulates Federally-chartered banks in the United States, is about to issue a warning to major bankers (in particular Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Bank of America, Chase, US Bank and Regions) against continuing to offer, directly or through finance-company affiliates, short-term payday loans to the "REAL AmeriKKKan," especially such without decent access to mainstream consumer-credit channels; the rationale behind this Diktat is that such lending, with high interest rates to boot, and the marketing thereof, only drives habitual users thereof into a debt trap such as they cannot escape from, which would make it even more difficult for them to get job promotions or security clearances in certain instances.

Such lending practices as targeted working-class Americans a century or more ago (which were commonly known as "loansharking") were enough to lead to the creation of the Morris Plan model of banking and credit, in which character was seen as the collateral for loans thus offered (which, initially, were linked to purchase of an Installment Thrift Certificate equal to the loan's face value, repayable weekly). So what exactly would preclude giving Morris Plan-model banking (a/k/a "industrial banking" or "thrift and loan companies," depending on the state) a fresh reappraisal, especially if the desire is one of weaning the Lower Classes all the more off "dependency on government," as per the disciplines of ekonomesie vryheid, &c.?

Meanwhile, see if you can spot the doublethink in the following: How exactly does the "Tea Party" expect the poor to shun "dependency upon government" per ekonomesie vryheid, &c., when they're essentially left to themselves and their own ilk in developing preferably Mutual Aid-based models of self-help to rescue themselves towards self-reliance and personal responsibility (even to the extent of shunning outside help with organisation, &c., as being one with "perpetuating dependency")? Isn't it like essentially expecting the Lower Classes to act stoopid and moronic as one with their "REAL AmeriKKKan" identity and honour?

What a friend the "REAL AmeriKKKan," in terrorist wannabe mode, must have in Walmart when it comes to building their own terrorist bomb: An item on NPR's All Things Considered the other night as discussed the Unfortunate Events in Boston last week took note of how easy it was to get bomb-making components and ingredients in the sporting goods department at Walmart, in particular smokeless gunpowder and black powder for the explosive effect. And with no questions asked, besides.

Finally, something Your Correspondent would love to see within measurable distance: News of The Oxycontin Boar keeling over from a sudden, spontaneous even, heart attack on air just as he's about to bring up the Latest Lurid Conspiracy of the Obama Administration Undermining Our Sovereign Peculiar (cf. a popular trope involving detective films where the detective is about to name the culprit, only to have some sort of technical issue come up as interveneth) ... with all manner of Lurid Conspiracy Theories and Rumours emerging within minootas of the news breaking across Teh Innerwebz, almost all of them lacking credibility to take advantage of the ensuing confusion and conflicting reports--even as news of his death on arrival breaks on the wire services.

Itself calling to mind some rather wild hysterics making the rounds of several West African countries a few years back about witch doctors and sorcerers supposedly having the power to shrink men's genitalia with a simple handshake leading to rioting, looting and general disorder; police in at least one of the afflicted countries even issued warnings that such stories were likely to be spread by criminal gangs seeking to exploit the ensuing chaos with acts of robbery, vandalism and looting as were byproducts of said hysterics.



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