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    Posted July 1, 2014 by
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    Kernels - Tuesday, July 1, 2014

     

    Welcome to the latest edition of Kernels From the Cornfield - No Husks, No Hulls, No Shucks!

    News with a dash of commentary to spice up your fare for Tuesday, July 1st, 2014.

    Today's Kernels ran late as I was catching the exciting US-Belgium  soccer match. This is so unusual for a non-sports fan. I had no choice,  but bring this headline and current event to tonight's edition in item  #10.

    1. Fiery Furnace Getting Hotter - The fiery furnace known as the Mideast is getting hotter and hotter.

    Will it soon engulf the world in brimstone and smoke?

    Israel is striking back at Hamas in the Gaza Strip after Hamas lobbed  shells into the Jewish homeland. Under discussion in the Israeli Cabinet  is how to respond to three Israeli teens killed by Hamas in the West  Bank after being snatched on their way home from school.

    Hamas is a major player not only in Gaza, but Lebanon, which borders Syria.

    Will Israel strike Hamas in Lebanon igniting a wider firestorm?

    As the Syrian civil war and advance of the Islamic State in Iraq and  Syria (ISIS) spills out over borders and affecting its neighbors, could  another World War be on the horizon?

    With ISIS declaring a  Caliphate and thus the successor of the Prophet Mohammed, how will the  Sunni world, which comprise the majority of Muslims worldwide, react?

    Is this a call to arms not only against the Shia Muslims, but also against what Muslims perceive as the Zionist problem?

    2. Apocalypse? - Those who follow biblical prophecy are seeing the  signs leading to the final war, Armageddon, in the current pressure  cooker situation.

    With Russia, traditionally thought to be the  biblical Gog and Magog, siding with those who will only be satisfied  with the destruction of Israel, is this the beginning of the end, as  some Christians believe?

    3. Fallout - Monday's decision in  favor of Hobby Lobby by the US Supreme Court continues to see fallout as  liberals and Democrats see the ruling as a way to excite its base and  fire up young women to get out the vote for the November Midterm  Elections.

    The spector of a "war on women" has resurfaced as a  major talking point. Those on the left are decrying the men who make up  the Republican Party as waging war against those of the "gentler" sex.

    Citing Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's 35-page dissent as Gospel, those  opposed to the ruling are seeing boogey men behind every bush and under  every rock. The Pandora's Box has been open and spells ill for women  everywhere.

    My thoughts on the decision are found in: Splitting Hairs Gets Right Decision.

    Did the Supremes limit the impact in siding with Hobby Lobby or were the floodgates opened for the sky to fall?

    4. Arthur for the Holiday - Arthur may make the Fourth of July  anything, but festive for the Atlantic seaboard. No, I'm not talking  about the cuddly, lovable Dudley Moore character, but the season's first  named tropical storm which may become a hurricane before the weekend is  over.

    Arthur may hit its stride by the time it slams into the  Outer Banks Thursday night just in time to put a damper on all those  fireworks as it moves up the coast from Florida to Maine.

    Time to start battening down the hatches.

    5. Al Qaeda Not Running - Al Qaeda, at least not the one on the Arabian  Peninsula, is not running. New worries that malls and airports may be  subjected to a new breed of undetectable bombs is heightening security  alerts.

    A few months ago, the US had expressed hope either a  drone attack or the Yemeni army had taken out the chief bomb maker for  AQAP, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri. Turns out he is alive and well and still  building bombs. Reportedly he has now sworn allegiance to ISIS and the  Islamic Caliphate.

    6. Mission Creep - The vow of "no troops on  the ground" seems to be put far back on the burner, as up to an  additional 300 troops are sent to Iraq. There also 1,000 Marines waiting  off the coast. Another 1,000 Marines are on their way to the Persian  Gulf.

    Military officials say the situation and need in Iraq for  US involvement is under assessment. At this point it is unclear if  additional American forces may be needed to protect the embassy and  American citizens in Iraq.

    Sounds similar to how we wormed our way into another no-win situation called Viet Nam.

    7. Are There Potholes in Your Future? - States are receiving letters  from the federal government warning that dollars for road construction  after August 1 may not be there. That is if Congress doesn't find and  appropriate money to replenish the federal trust fund and soon.

    The trust is funded through federal gasoline taxes we each pay at the  pump. The sluggish economy is being blamed for motorists traveling less  and buying less fuel along with the higher cost of gasoline. This in  turn has led to less gasoline tax being collected.

    Congress can, as it has in the past, allocate more funds from the general account to prop up the leaking trust fund.

    With summer upon us and the Midterm Elections five months away, will Congress act?

    8. Fatal Explosion - An explosion in the Cornfield's northeastern city  of Marion at a GM plant has resulted in the death of one and five  injured. The chemical blast is still under investigation.

    The plant was cited in 2009 for a serious safety violation which resulted in a fine.

    Thoughts and prayers to our fellow Hoosier who passed on and to those who were injured.

    9. Dominos Keep Falling - Add Kentucky to the list of states who have  been on the losing end in banning equality to long-term, same-gender  couples. Today a federal district judge ruled the Kentucky ban is  unconstitutional and violates the constitutional guarantee of equal  protection under the law.

    The order that Kentucky begin to  allow same-gender couples to obtain legal recognition is on stay until  the 6th District Court of Appeals rules on the state's appeal of Judge  John G. Heyburn II's decision.

    Heyburn had ruled months ago  that the state must recognize same-gender couples who had obtained legal  recognition in other states. That order is also on hold pending the  outcome of the appeal.

    10. Two Bones for Sports Hounds -  American tennis great Serena Williams took ill at Wimbledon today. This  forced her and sister, Venus, to cede the doubles match in which they  were engaged. Reportedly a virus has felled the pro.

    USA or Belgium?

    That's the big question.

    After Fabian Johnson walked off the field with a strained, left hamstring, people wondered if the USA could hold on?

    The final score was 1-2 Belgium in extra time.

    This  was a must win for Team USA to make it to the big game. Now the team  must pack their bags for home and wait another four years.

    On a  high note of skillfulness, Tim Howard played the game of his life. The  US goalie seemed to be the whole team for the 90 minutes of regulation  play. When regulation time ended, the ref added 30 more mintues which  allowed Johnson to prove He's the Man!

    That's what caught my attention for Tuesday, July 1st, 2014.

    Tune in tomorrow for another episode of Kernels From the Cornfield.

    I am Mark Ivy.

    Good evening!

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