- Posted July 23, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Kernels - Wednesday, July 23, 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 Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014.
1. Dignity at Last - The first of 200 passengers who lost their lives when Malaysian Flight 17 was criminally shot out of the sky last week were returned to The Netherlands.
In a ceremony of solemnity and the regal atmosphere normally only accorded heads of state, the nation along with its king and queen, welcomed the fallen home. The remains were accorded full military honors.
For days the bodies lay in a field of sunflowers under a scorching sun while militants kept aid workers, reporters and inspectors away. Reports surfaced of those bodies being looted.
The bodies were finally loaded in refrigerated cars before finally being allowed by the Russian separatists to be moved into Ukrainian government territory.
Today the first of those bodies were finally accorded the dignity and honor they deserved from the beginning.
Families waited not knowing, and will not know for days maybe weeks, if their loved ones were among those escorted in coffins by a military honor guard off the military transport planes. The nation turned out to morn and pay respects as the 40 hearses made their way to a DNA testing laboratory.
The scene will continue to play out through Friday, according to Dutch officials.
Our hearts and those from around the world feel for the victims and their families.
2. 'Crippling Sanctions' - The Cornfield's own senior US Senator Dan Coats called today on CNN for "crippling sanctions" against Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, for its complicity in blowing Flight 17 out of the sky. Coats said that so far the sanctions by both the US and the Europeans had been too light.
Coats said that Putin must be given a "clear choice" - either start playing nice or face those "crippling sanctions". If Putin refuses without "reassessing" put the sanctions in place that will hurt to the bone.
3. Audacity? - Was this the epitome of audacity or blatant gall today when two Ukrainian jet planes were shot down?
Early reports are indicating that the missiles that took out the two fighter jets were fired on the Russian side of the border.
If this proves to be true, one has to wonder if Russian President Vladimir Putin has truly lost all sensibilities or if he has lost control of his own military?
On the very day that bodies were returned to The Netherlands from Flight 17 shot out of the sky by pro-Russian separatists in a criminal act, in the same area two jets were shot down.
This is adding outrage to outrage.
Compounding the situation, US military sources are reporting that Russia is moving troops ever closer to the border with Ukraine. The movements are indicating that Russia may be positioning itself to fire into Ukraine and blame it on the separatists or even the Ukrainian government.
4. Doesn't Watch the News? - President Obama, at a fundraiser in Seattle Tuesday, said something which is so devoid of credulity. The President remarked that he doesn't watch the news.
The President went on to say, "Whatever they're reporting about usually I know."
How many times over the past six years have we heard the President or his Press Secretary say that the President only became aware of this or that after he heard it or read it in media coverage?
The Veterans Affairs scandal?
AP phone records seized?
General David Petraeus?
Federal Marketplace Exchange woes?
Health insurance policies being cancelled?
IRS targeting conservative groups?
Benghazi security requests?
Fast and Furious?
Spying on Angela Merkel?
Shall I go on?
5. Fake It and Get Insurance - The General Accounting Office, which is non-partisan, conducted a test of the Marketplace Exchange system implemented as required by the Affordable Care Act.
Turns out that 11 out of 18 fake applications for health insurance were able to obtain subsidized policies.
The House Ways and Means Committee is now investigating.
6. Sleeping Too Much? - New studies are revealing that getting eight or more hours of sleep may not be good for our health. New research is recommending between seven and eight hours, with the optimal being closer to seven hours.
Nothing wrong with loving your snooze time. Just remember the more you sleep the less hours you may have in life to sleep, according to these recent studies.
7. Flight Disaster - Another commercial airliner has been downed. This time the culprit was a typhoon.
A TransAsia Airways flight crashed on its second attempt to land on a small island off Taiwan in the middle of a typhoon. Lost were 47 lives. The plane crashed into a building complex setting the buildings on fire
Thoughts and prayers to the victims of this tragedy and to their families.
8. Lockdown? - Little Rock Air Force Base outside the Arkansas state capitol went on lockdown around 11:45 a.m. today.
According to the base's Facebook page and Twitter feeds, "The base is on lockdown as of 11:45 a.m. this morning in the interest of protecting all base members and resources from a suspicious individual."
No additional information was known as Kernels went to press.
9. Senate Control Fight - Democrats are feeling buoyed that their candidate, Michelle Nunn, may have the chance to pick up a long-held Republican seat in the Senate after former Dollar General and Reebok CEO David Perdue shot down 11-term Congressman Jack Kingston to represent the GOP to claim the seat of retiring Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss.
Nunn is the daughter of the late long-term Senator Sam Nunn. Georgia is seen as the best for Democrats to keep control of the Senate.
10. 30th Anniversary - A momentous occasion occurred 30 years ago. It was on that evening of July 23, 1984 that Geraldine Ferraro became the first woman to be nominated for a high public office as the Democratic Party named her their candidate for Vice President.
Now, it is not uncommon to hear of a woman being considered or nominated for the #2 spot on a national party ticket. In fact now, women are running or have run for the top job - President.
All the buzz over two years out is that the next Democratic nominee for the Oval Office will be the first woman to be at the top of the ticket - Hillary Clinton.
But in those days of yore, naming a woman to be in the second slot of the ticket was unheard of until Ferraro stepped up to the podium at the national convention in San Francisco.
The cheers roared and the floor erupted in jubilation as she said, "My name is Geraldine Ferraro."
I well remember that night. I well remember scratching my head asking what were the Democrats thinking. At that time, the idea of a woman bringing momentum and votes to the ticket seemed ludicrous.
That was a long, long time ago. Thinking and times have changed.
It was not, however, Ferraro who was the draw on the campaign which lost and lost big time in the fall election. The blame for the loss fell squarely on the shoulders of the presidential nominee, Walter Mondale.
As many have said, perhaps its long passed time to put a woman in the White House - not as First Lady - but as President.
Surely the Republicans or Libertarians can find the right woman. I am not a fan of Clinton. I could not in good conscience vote for her. Not because she is a woman, but because of her political positions on too many issues.
For this minute, let us forget the 2016 presidential campaign and celebrate that night when history was made. Let us celebrate the set-up when some day there would be the Year of the Woman.
THIS JUST IN: As Kernels was being put to bed, news out of the other trouble spot capturing world attention - the conflict between Israel and Hamas - is dire.
Secretary of State John Kerry is being accused of blowing up any efforts being made by him to secure peace in the region after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took offense to remarks Kerry made alluding to a correlation between what is happening now with the Viet Nam War.
One Israeli official was quoted as saying that the only thing left for Kerry to do is claim his Nobel Peace Prize and leave Israel alone.
Relations between the US and Israel had been warming recently and now have hit the deep freeze.
That's what caught my attention for Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014.
Tune in tomorrow for another episode of Kernels From the Cornfield.
I am Mark Ivy.