Over Easy: Around the World

Welcome to Thursday’s Over Easy, a continuation of Southern Dragon’s Lakeside Diner and its tradition of giving an overview of news our everyday media doesn’t cover, issues that we ought to consider outside the U.S. scene.

The drive that gave ISIS control of Ramadi showed evidence of Iraqi police deserting their posts during the fighting, occasioning the replacement of Anbar province’s police chief.

ISIS on Sunday took full control of the Anbar provincial capital following a three-day blitz that ended with a chaotic retreat of government forces.

The Iraqi cabinet said Tuesday that while those who fought bravely to defend Ramadi should be honoured, it would severely punish “recalcitrants”.

Early tools found in Kenya from the shores of Lake Turkana date back 3.3 million years and originated before the earliest species of hominids.

They are 700,000 years older than any tools found before, even pre-dating the earliest humans in the Homo genus.

The find, reported in Nature, suggests that more ancient species, such asAustralopithecus afarensis or Kenyanthropus platyops, may have been more sophisticated than was thought.

“They are significantly earlier than anything that has been found previously,” said Dr Nick Taylor, from the National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS) in France and the University of Leiden in the Netherlands.

Five banks that constitute the largest of the world’s banks will pay $5.7 Billion in fines for misadministration that hurt the financial picture of its customers and manipulated benchmark interest rates.

Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, JPMorgan, UBS and Citigroup were hit with penalties from UK and US authorities Wednesday.

Four of them agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges for rigging benchmark interest rates, the US Department of Justice said.

All the banks have agreed to a three-year period of corporate probation, which, if approved by the court, will be overseen by the court and require regular reporting to authorities as well as cessation of all criminal activity.


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Ruth Calvo

Ruth Calvo

I've blogged at The Seminal for about two years, was at cabdrollery for around three. I live in N.TX., worked for Sen.Yarborough of TX after graduation from Wellesley, went on to receive award in playwriting, served on MD Arts Council after award, then managed a few campaigns in MD and served as assistant to a member of the MD House for several years, have worked in legal offices and written for magazines, now am retired but addicted to politics, and join gladly in promoting liberals and liberal policies.


  1. Ruth
    May 21, 2015 at 7:14 am

    morning, pups, it’;s also encouraging to see Malaysia and Thailand are reversing their stance on refusing entry to refugees.

  2. Beverly Lawson
    May 21, 2015 at 7:42 am

    Good Morning All, Thanks for the post.
    Still busy packing up/throwing away for move later this summer. What a job.

  3. Ruth
    May 21, 2015 at 7:45 am

    That’s a job I don’t envy you, it’s when I discovered how much stuff I never use but hated to throw out.

  4. Beverly Lawson
    May 21, 2015 at 7:50 am

    So true…..almost like it can all go…except the books, maybe. Thanks.

  5. tjbs
    May 21, 2015 at 7:50 am

    Good morning all,

    “All the banks have agreed to a three-year period of corporate probation, which, if approved by the court, will be overseen by the court and require regular reporting to authorities as well as cessation of all criminal activity.”

    Ah, a benefit of Corporations are people my friends at the US supreme court said.
    Therefore , the corporation,, serves probation and cessation of criminal activity while the criminal operators who actually committed the crimes skate scott free. Funny how that works.

  6. Molly
    May 21, 2015 at 7:50 am

    Good morning, everyone. We notice, of course, that banks were found guilty of manipulation, and no actual individual people are being held accountable. Never mind that the fines are pocket change for those banks.

    As Charlie Pierce said yesterday, “…we are amazed at how many crimes are committed by bank buildings.”

    Throwing the Pamphlet at Them: Crimes without Criminals

    (And we’ll see whether my embedded link works this time…)

  7. Screwtape
    May 21, 2015 at 7:51 am

    Regarding migrants. . . Yesterday it seemed the PTB over there were kicking the can, that is, intending to proactively NOT search and rescue, and limiting any stay to no more than 1 year, no shelter included. A boat would have to essentially wend its way to the shore fully loaded. Thailand has gotten tough with traffickers caught on the high seas, to send a message.

    The theme seems similar in Europe. Last week the EU floated a total “quota” of only 20 thousand refugee admissions per year, to be split among its members, who balk at even that. Maybe that’s just a fig leaf over the real deal — seeking out boats before they load and destroying them along with fuel depots.

    So if everyone wants to slouch, what’s the UN going to do?

  8. Ruth
    May 21, 2015 at 7:54 am

    The profits from the finagling, as I understand it, went to individuals, not to the banks themselves. Investors did not get the benefits of the crime and neither did depositors.

  9. Ruth
    May 21, 2015 at 7:56 am

    The institution pays the fine, the criminal gets doubly let off. It’s an outgrowth of incorporation, which is done for that purpose.

  10. Ruth
    May 21, 2015 at 7:57 am

    Ideally, the U.N. would remedy the causes of refugee crises, seems to me to be economic distress and wars.

  11. Boxturtle
    May 21, 2015 at 7:58 am

    Good Morning All!

    Yeah, replace the police chief. After the fact. Naturally, that police chief had high power weapons and military training and could match tactics with the Isis leadership on an even basis. No? Just another scapegoat, then.

    I’ve been following the tool story. While there is some debate on the dating, none of the proposed dates are far enough forward to reach homo habilis. Either known toolmakers were around much earlier (possible, but not likely) or we mush look for another toolmaker. We’ve seen chimps develop and use tools, so this shouldn’t be much of a shock.

    5.7 Billion sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t for those banks. It ain’t even 10% of what they stole. And nobody goes to jail. Must be nice to have the money and power to simply buy your way out of trouble.

    Boxturtle (It’s really cold here for end of May. 48F. *grump*)

  12. Boxturtle
    May 21, 2015 at 8:00 am

    They say one of the true tests of a relationship is the first home move. If you can avoid simply murdering your spouse, it’s an accomplishment.

    Boxturtle (It’s amazing how much stuff you don’t need that you can’t toss)

  13. Boxturtle
    May 21, 2015 at 8:03 am

    We’ll see how long they keep it up. They get pushback from their citizens too. How long could Obama throw open the doors to Central American refugees before he’d get impeached? And how many of those that would support him in that would get re-elected afterward?

    Boxturtle (New Motto for Statue of Liberty: KEEP OUT! THIS MEANS YOU!)

  14. Ruth
    May 21, 2015 at 8:03 am

    Heads will roll is the answer when the problem has no easy solution, isn’t it? Except in banking.
    Even birds make tools. And your feline companions, but it’s you.

  15. Beverly Lawson
    May 21, 2015 at 8:04 am

    Yes, a real test, esp when one is still in the honeymoon stage. Amazing how easy it is to throw away stuff that belongs to someone else…;) Mostly kidding.

  16. Boxturtle
    May 21, 2015 at 8:08 am

    The UN will issue public statements. High ranking officials will spend days wringing their hands in front of cameras. They may go so far as to mention unhelpful countries by name.

    Boxturtle (basically feeble verbage, with a few colorless adjectives)

  17. Ruth
    May 21, 2015 at 8:08 am

    You have hit on the solution. Let Cheney family for-profit prisons operate there too.

  18. Screwtape
    May 21, 2015 at 8:12 am

    There are chimp artists, too, who paint. I understand they get paid, dunno know if the artwork is auctioned or what. Unless they go shopping with the dough, it’s hard to be certain how much intelligence is really in play throughout the process.

    The question remains, what are they thinking when they insert a blade of grass into a termite mound to fetch a meal, or slosh a paint loaded brush across a canvas? Could be no humans are really so smart either.

  19. Boxturtle
    May 21, 2015 at 8:16 am

    I do firmly believe that the problems with crocked banks will stop as soon as the first Bank exec is criminally charged, convicted AND JAILED FOR A LONG TERM.

    Until that happens, it’s only money. And not much money.

    Boxturtle (China simply shoots them)

  20. Ruth
    May 21, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Everyone’s a critic.

  21. Ruth
    May 21, 2015 at 8:20 am

    And that’s why corporations have legal departments.

  22. Buford2k11
    May 21, 2015 at 8:22 am

    hehehe, figured that one out before getting married…so I bought the house we were/are living in…Bingo, two birds with one payment….

  23. Boxturtle
    May 21, 2015 at 8:24 am

    Back when they first reported the blade of grass tool, one of the things that was really amazing was how quickly the other members of the pack started doing it. Monkey see, Monkey do. And then when one of them licked the grass blade to get the termites to stick better, they all started doing it.

    This is likely how tool use spread amongst humans.

    Boxturtle (Chimps also smoke, so they aren’t THAT smart)

  24. Alice X
    May 21, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Good morning all, up late again.

    Well this morning we don’t have any small (though systemically syndicated) criminal organizations like police departments murdering citizens to ponder. That hits too close to home and makes me so morose, it is impossible to socialize.

    Ah but if the topic turns to when did the US itself became a criminal organization. All the better to socialize with. Even if the byline is foreign news.

    I’ll need some coffee to try to answer that. But I am sure it got off to the wrong start when Chris Columbus first stepped off his ship. Howard Zinn has so much on that.

    When oldhippiejan comes by I have so new thinking on her sign in problem.


  25. Canyon2
    May 21, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Good morning everyone.
    Thank you for the post Ruth.

  26. Molly
    May 21, 2015 at 8:48 am

    We’ve had a few very chilly days here in NW Indiana, too. I think it is supposed to climb back into the 60s today, but I think the overnight lows have flirted with high 30s. All of the plants I just bought (not planted yet) are unhappy with their move out of the warm greenhouse to my chilly yard.

  27. Ruth
    May 21, 2015 at 8:51 am

    ah, slipped in the furrin aspects of bank misbehavior with the UK connection, guess you were peeking under the tent. We’ve internationalized financing.

  28. Ruth
    May 21, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Hi, glad to be here, hope you’re about to enjoy some days off for the Memorial Day break?

  29. May 21, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Good morning all.

    3.3×10^6 years ago. It’s really, really hard to reconcile current acceptable behavior world wide with a life continuum that long and longer. I try to imagine the environment and the activities of those times with respect to now.

  30. Boxturtle
    May 21, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Yeah, we just planted a half dozen fruit trees only to see the temps plunge. Those things are fragile when first transplanted.

    Boxturtle (Anyplace I put a tree, I don’t have to cut grass)

  31. Ruth
    May 21, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Guess that’s why we talk about ‘cycles’ – never growing up, just getting older. Always glad not to have to gather firewood.

  32. May 21, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Good morning Alice X. Yesterday, I tackled those six beginning bars of the Brahms Op118 #3 Ballade, and suddnely, it’s falling into place. It seems that what is really going on (besides my considerable lack in pure technique!) is I’m developing a connection between my ear and my hand for this work. It’s never occurred to me before to see that this is the major effort necessary in my playing to make anything happen. The way I improvise confirms this.

    It’s wonderful that in my late 70’s, understanding continues to unfold in support of efforts! Makes me want to live forevah!

    Off to make my coffee as well……

  33. Ruth
    May 21, 2015 at 9:02 am

    Hard to wait when the season is short, but covering tiny seedlings with grass clippings works fine herer.

  34. May 21, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Especially if the only firewood around is poison oak! Yes, this happened once to me while camping! Fortunately, it was pointed out by another camper that the wisdom in continuing was sorely lacking. I’m not allergic to poison oak, and didn’t even recognize it.

  35. Ruth
    May 21, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Sounds like your skills in hunter-gatherer range are like my musical abilities. Best to stick to the day job.

  36. Boxturtle
    May 21, 2015 at 9:08 am

    I’ve learned not to do seedlings, I buy trees with at least 1″ caliper, preferably closer to 2″. I pay more, but I get much better results. You just can’t tell from a seedling how well the tree will do.

    Boxturtle (Much above 2″, the root balls are too big for me)

  37. Boxturtle
    May 21, 2015 at 9:11 am

    We had someone a couple years back who burned a LOT of poison ivy. Gave the entire neighborhood the itchies and my eyes still remember the pain. And I didn’t even see or smell the smoke.

    Boxturtle (*mutter* weapon of mass destruction *mutter*)

  38. Canyon2
    May 21, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Good morning Ruth.
    The young lady who had the baby ran out of maternity leave last Wednesday.
    Gives me a chance to visit with friends here and get some outside work finished too.
    Thank you for the welcome.

  39. Ruth
    May 21, 2015 at 9:13 am

    What trees don’t provide is lettuce and chard and the like, though, so they don’t do for me.

  40. Canyon2
    May 21, 2015 at 9:14 am

    We have had the same type of weather here in N. Illinois. Cool enough to wear a heavier jacket after working in a t-shirt last weekend.
    Good to see you back home safe from your trip to Indianapolis.

  41. oldhippiejan
    May 21, 2015 at 9:17 am

    She’s here, running late too. I got up early to feed the girls then fell back to sleep. There are several emails from Disqus in my mailbox and wondered if perhaps they may have something to do with my dilemma. I was gone all day yesterday making my cemetery rounds and haven’t looked at the emails yet. So I’m all ears, Alice X. oldhippiejan

  42. May 21, 2015 at 9:19 am

    It was the thought of the smoke that horrified me the most! Actually, the branches were bare and for some reason, laying around the campground. Around the Santa Rosa area in CA, IIRC. Say, isn’t there a U of C school there? Hmmm…..

  43. Ruth
    May 21, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Would be nice if she could bring baby along to work, but probably our species is not that advanced.
    Sounds like a good spring break, from the good job you do.

  44. Alice X
    May 21, 2015 at 9:21 am

    In music performance think only of the next note. This is made somewhat more complex depending on the instrument.

    So on the piano a given fingering may be required to help get to the next note.

    Not enough coffee yet to make perfect sense of that.


    edit 10:15 EDT

    thinking of the next note means it must be “heard” in the mind – “hearing” means the interval (how it is spelled) – of course in harmony all of the voices can be moving.

    Sing the intervals.

  45. oldhippiejan
    May 21, 2015 at 9:23 am

    I had to laugh at the ending of that paragraph, “cessation of all criminal activity.” Sure, and who’s gonna make ’em and so what if they don’t behave. Fools oldhippiejan

  46. Alice X
    May 21, 2015 at 9:24 am

    I was thinking of the system.

    Bill Black has enormous insight into this.

    During the savings and loan debacle he oversaw more than a thousand successful prosecutions of banksters who went to jail.

    When Citibank and Travelers Insurance merged it was illegal but the Banksters said they would change the law which they did.

    They went into Bubbas office and let him know what was up. Like the mafia he was a made man.

    He then oversaw the repeal of Glass-Steagall which was the offensive law to the great offenders.

    He has been collecting his reward every since.

    President Zero will have been not only the first African-American head mafioso President, he will be the first billionaire head mafioso former President.

  47. Ruth
    May 21, 2015 at 9:26 am

    The legal department is hard at work rewriting criminal activity definitions. At the juncture when prosecutors had to prove intent, which is almost impossible without a declaration of intent, the system lost charge imho.

  48. Ruth
    May 21, 2015 at 9:27 am

    The laws favored the depositors in those days.

  49. Canyon2
    May 21, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Thank you Ruth. I love the name of the baby Liesl.
    She is a wonderful teacher in Special Ed. and if she could have her choice that baby would be right there with her at school.

  50. oldhippiejan
    May 21, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Good morning ms. molly from down south. At least you had the good sense not to put your plants in the ground, mine are all planted. They seem to be doing well except for the pansies, they look rather unhappy. I mowed yard Tuesday and though I was gonna freeze, had on so many clothes I could barely get on and off the mower. oldhippiejan

  51. Canyon2
    May 21, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Good morning oldhippiejan.
    After I left the other day I saw on my e-mail site that you had commented. Sorry I missed you as I enjoy your comments so much.
    For some reason Disqus sends all comments directed at Canyon2 right to my e-mail site.

  52. oldhippiejan
    May 21, 2015 at 9:30 am

    But you have to rake leaves and mowing around stuff just takes up more time. No one hates mowing more than I do, the less time I have to spend outside the better. oldhippiejan

  53. oldhippiejan
    May 21, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Good morning Canyon 2 and thank you for the kind words. I do kind of enjoy that comments go to email, that way I don’t miss anything. The bad thing is that it fills up the email rather quickly. Just no making me happy I guess. oldhippiejan

  54. Istherenonamethatdoesntexist
    May 21, 2015 at 9:42 am

    If wife had murdered me after our first move she’d be getting out of prison about now. Missed opportunity.

  55. Alice X
    May 21, 2015 at 9:42 am

    I was poking around and if you see howdy oldhippiejan in the upper right you are signed in via FDL. But that system will not let you access your profile, that is where you get the insufficient permissions prompt.

    For some reason of which I am not sure the system sees you as ohj but puts the other moniker (social misfit) up


    1 – close the FDL page

    2 – go to the Disqus page

    and sign out (assuming you are signed in)

    3 – come back to the FDL page – click on that howdy ohj and sign out.

    4 – go back to Disqus and sign in.

    5 – there you can edit your profile and change it to the name you want. Just don’t try to change the the Diqus !@#$% name.

    See if that works.

  56. Ruth
    May 21, 2015 at 9:44 am


  57. Molly
    May 21, 2015 at 9:45 am

    AC2 and OHJ, you can change that. Beside your name in the top right corner of the comment thread is a little arrow that drops down a Disqus menu. Choose “edit settings” and then “email notifications” setting has a check box for Enable emails: “receive emails from Disqus.” Make sure that box is unchecked. I did that immediately. Last thing I need is more emails!!

  58. oldhippiejan
    May 21, 2015 at 9:48 am

    The legal department for a mega bank would certainly be a nice career choice for an ambitious youngster with no conscience. oldhippiejan

  59. Ruth
    May 21, 2015 at 9:49 am

    sadly, the supply seems large.

  60. May 21, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Actually, I want the notifications. It gives me a track to follow while pursuing e-mails, and by minimizing the browser set to the e-mails, I can constantly monitor any responses to my comment, like I just did to Alice-X. And on my own blog, it’s priceless! Sometimes, many hours go by and no response then last night, I noticed someone responded to Sunday’s blog, so I went there easy-peasy to comment back.

    The e-mail system is set up to flag any new e-mails in the tray at the bottom of the screen. I get a flashing yellow box when anything new shows up.

  61. Canyon2
    May 21, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Thanks msmolly. I will leave that alone for now unless it becomes a nuisance but not a bother right now.
    I can then get back to the site and make a comment if it is not too late after the conversation has moved on.
    I just did not want oldhippiejan to think I ignored her comment.

  62. Molly
    May 21, 2015 at 9:57 am

    I shared this with you earlier, but I will post it here for others. It is an excellent book. I’m about halfway through the de-cluttering process. Amazing.

    The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

  63. oldhippiejan
    May 21, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Thanks Alice, I’ll give it a try and see what happens. I’ve tried something similar, and when I got part way through. it told me something that sounded like I might lock myself out of FDL forever – so I just left it alone. ohj

  64. Alice X
    May 21, 2015 at 10:01 am

    Even though it says you DO NOT have permission you can still sign in and out of FDL.

    But either way the FDL system does not seem to be functional.

    So I am suggesting that you do not sign in with FDL but only Disqus.

    Even though I am quite suspicious of Disqus.

  65. May 21, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Hmmm, I posted a response a bit ago, and it has disappeared!

  66. Ruth
    May 21, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Must get off to the garden,
    check in later
    (spring has meant making the garden now, so not a lot of time for FDL until it’s well established)

  67. ms kitty
    May 21, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Hello, apparently everything has changed, including my name. This is my first time since the new format. Thanks for the post, Ruth. Did you see the article on petroglyphs and the possible connection to early Chinese explorers in “the New World” centuries ago? Not sure if I can post a link, will look around and try it.

  68. Alice X
    May 21, 2015 at 10:20 am

    hello ms kitty

    what was your old name?

  69. Ruth
    May 21, 2015 at 10:23 am

    hi barbara,
    I will definitely check that out, sounds like it’s worth some time
    off to garden nowl.

  70. Alice X
    May 21, 2015 at 10:40 am

    I have been half way through the de-cluttering process for thirty years.

    That is as far as I ever get.


  71. Canyon2
    May 21, 2015 at 11:03 am

    I understand where you are coming from on filling up the e-mail.
    When I see that happening I start erasing the old e-mails as I am sure that you do the same thing.
    So far it does not bother me that the comments show up on e-mail.

  72. May 21, 2015 at 11:12 am

    What I posted was the peculiar nature of the fingering which has to be considered in the motion, because the right hand does melody and partial harmony, the left, rhythm and harmony in a style to which I am unaccustomed. Yes, I hear it and frequently sing it even if quietly under my breath. It disappeared because suddenly, I had to sign in again in the middle of the post.

    Edit: The other side of the equation is that when I hear a new piece to which I am drawn, I play an imaginary piano, attempting to figure out where my hand needs to go. Most times, it has the feeblest connection to the real thing!

  73. oldhippiejan
    May 21, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    It appears I will go to my grave as social misfit. I attempted to follow your directions but could find no place to log out of disqus, then got into a bunch of technical stuff that sent me into an anxiety attack. I attempted to edit my profile and it told me I did not have sufficient permission to do this. Damn it all to hell. I’ll just continue to type in oldhippiejan, just because that’s the way I am. I realize I’m dealing with a machine and not a person, but I just don’t understand, “no you can’t do that”. Not in my vocabulary. Thanks for trying. oldhippiejan – there disqus, take that.

  74. Alice X
    May 21, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    I have a friend that you could call or he could call you but either way we would have go via FDL and I don’t know how that would work.

  75. Ruth
    May 21, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Interesting, thanks, always have cross-cultural references and possibilities, but like you, not sure.

  76. Charles Wolf
    May 21, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    I can see the face of a Daschound in the slab on the left.
    D’ya think it’s a deity?

  77. dubinsky
    May 22, 2015 at 2:00 am

    only an unfounded rumor that Zinn was there when Columbus stepped off the ship