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    • Cold War 2.0 Incoming
      Right, with the ban on Huawei using chips made with American manufacturing equipment (one of America’s last few places of absolute advantage); the bans of TikTok, Tencent and WeChat; the attempt to convince other countries to not use Huawei 5G; the arrest of the Huawei founder’s daughter for doing business with Iran along with the […]
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The BFF’s Boxing Day Challenge

The BFF was half awake this morning but he still remembered what he wanted to do today.  His first words this morning were, “Boxing Day”.  In UK countries, the day after Christmas is known as Boxing Day.  This is the day when those of us with stuff give some of it away to our favorite charitable institutions.

Last night, the BFF showed me his Kiva map.  It looked like one of those maps you see in the back of your in-flight magazine.  My jaw dropped.  “Ok”, he said, “Let’s see yours.  What did you say the name of your group was called?”

I’m feeling the heat guys.  We need to put up or shut up.

He also gave me a very nice Christmas present.  This year, we are helping to sponsor a modern dance company from Los Angeles.  They’ll be coming to the NYC area in March and we hope to see them perform.

Then, there’s always the gift of sustenance.  While I was pigging out on roast beast and Yorkshire pudding, there were American’s all over the country who were just getting by.  Food insecurity is a big problem in this country these days.

These are just three recommendations for fulfilling your Boxing Day obligations.  And it is an obligation, guys.  You can’t expect people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps if you don’t give them boots.  The money you send to organizations like Kiva will help entrepreneurs all over the world as they put that money to work.  For those of you who want to help a starving artist bring beauty to the world, kickstarter can help you connect.  And if we want to help that young physicist solve the energy crisis someday, let’s make sure her brain is well fed with FeedingAmerica.

Can you spare $25?  These organizations can make your money go a long way.  Combined with other donations, we can make a lot of people more happy and hopeful in the year to come.

Here are my suggestions for your Boxing Day contributions:

The Confluence Kiva Team

Kickstarter

Feeding America

If you don’t have the filthy lucre but you have some useful things to give away, consider Freecycle.

cx4800 recommends modestneeds.org for people facing financial emergencies.

Help me wipe that smirk off of the BFF’s face.

Saturday Morning News and Views

Good Morning Conflucians!!!! What’s happening out there in the world?


The big story of this slow news day seems to be the attempted “terrorist attack” in Detroit.

ABC News: Man Attempts to Set Off Explosives on Detroit-Bound Airplane

Federal officials and police are interviewing a Nigerian man, who allegedly tried to “explode” a powdery substance aboard a Northwest flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, injuring himself and two other passengers, law enforcement officials said.

The man said he was directed by al Qaeda to explode a small device in flight, over U.S. soil, ABC News has learned. Authorities have no corroboration of that information, and the credibility of the suspect’s statements are being questioned, officials said.

The suspect was identified as Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, who according to federal documents is an engineering student at University College of London.

The latest from CNN: Device was on fire in terror suspect’s lap, plane passenger says

A Nigerian man is “talking a lot” to the FBI, said a senior U.S. official, after what the United States believes was an attempted terrorist attack on an inbound international flight.

The initial impression is that the suspect was acting alone and did not have any formal connections to organized terrorist groups, said the official, who is familiar with the investigation.

The suspect, identified by a U.S. government official as 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, ignited a small explosive device Friday, shortly before a Northwest flight from Amsterdam, Netherlands, landed at Detroit Metro Airport in Michigan.

Passenger Jasper Schuringa told CNN that with the aid of the cabin crew, he helped subdue and isolate Abdulmutallab.

Abdulmutallab was taken into custody and is being treated for second- and third-degree burns on his thighs, according to federal law enforcement and airline security sources.

CNN World: London police hunt airline terror link

Counterterrorism officers are searching buildings in London in connection with the alleged terrorist attempt aboard a flight to Detroit, police said Saturday.

The officers were believed to be searching locations including an apartment block in central London, but a spokeswoman for the city’s Metropolitan Police would not say specifically where and what they are looking for, or how many officers are involved.

She also said the police are making several inquiries at the request of U.S. authorities.

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