Thursday, October 31, 2013


Today is Halloween. I continued my tradition of watching scary movies and eating candy corn. This year was even "scarier" because it was pitch-black, pouring rain with dense fog on my mountain. The perfect Halloween night. As usual we had no trick-or-treaters. I have only had to give out candy once before and it was 5 years ago in another state. Now the Christmas holiday scramble will begin with every store and TV channel doing a countdown to the countdown for the next month and a half.

Poor Approval

From Newsmax:
"NBC/WSJ Poll: Obama Approval Rating at All-Time Low"

President Barack Obama's approval numbers have hit a record low, according to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. Only 42 percent approve of Obama's job performance, according the poll. That's down 5 points from early October. And 51 percent disapprove of his performance, which is tied for his all-time high disapproval. And for the first time in the poll's history, Obama's personal approval ratings were lower than his disapproval ratings. The poll showed that 41 percent approve of him on a personal level and 45 percent disapprove.  "Personally and politically, the public's assessment is two thumbs down," Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart told NBC. Hart and Republican pollster Bill McInturff conducted the survey. The pollsters told NBC that no single issue is responsible for the declines. Rather, a combination of the NSA spying scandal, questions over his "red line" comment on attacking Syria, the government shutdown, and problems with the Obamacare website rollout all played a roll. In fact, the poll showed the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, also slipping in approval along with the Republican Party and Congress as a whole.  Thirty-seven percent now view the healthcare law as a good idea, with 47 percent opposing it. The previous poll showed 38 percent in favor and 43 against. But in a separate question, 40 percent say they are now less confident about Obamacare after learning more about it. Only 9 percent are more confident. Exactly half said there has been no change in their thinking.

^ It's good to see people finally waking up from the dream they have been all these years and seeing what those of us have been saying from the very beginning. I have no problem saying "I told you so!" ^

Loose E-Devices

From USA Today:
"FAA loosens rules for e-devices on airline flights"

Airline passengers soon will be able to use electronics such as readers and games during takeoffs, landings and throughout flights, the Federal Aviation Administration announced Thursday. Before the new rule takes effect, airlines must demonstrate that aircraft won't be at risk because of potential interference from portable electronic devices. That is expected to take place quickly and the devices approved for use by the end of the year in most of the nation's airline fleet. Connecting to the Internet remains prohibited when the plane is less than 10,000 feet in the air. Voice calls also are banned during the entire flight, under a Federal Communications Commission rule. Passengers now must turn off all portable electronic devices (PED) during takeoffs and landings and when the aircraft is flying under 10,000 feet. Passengers should continue to follow all instructions from flight crews regarding the use of the devices, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said. "We believe today's decision honors both our commitment to safety and consumers' increasing desire to use their electronic devices during all phases of flight," Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. Thursday's decision marks a major change for passengers eager to keep reading an electronic book, listen to music or play a game while the plane is less than 10,000 feet in the air, when those activities have been prohibited. The decision follows a report Sept. 30 from a 28-member committee representing airlines, manufacturers, electronics makers, pilots and flight attendants. The prohibition against electronics began decades ago because of concerns about interference with cockpit communications and navigation equipment. But passengers have sought easier use of their gadgets as electronics become more widespread and as aircraft equipment has become less susceptible to stray signals. The Association of Flight Attendants voiced support for the decision provided that electronic devices are proven not to interfere with onboard communications.

^ They have been talking about this for years. I will be surprised if it actually passes anytime soon (ie by the end of the year as they predict.) ^

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

75: War Of The Worlds

Today is the 75th anniversary of Orson Wells' radio program "The War of the Worlds." I watched a show about the whole incident last night and it was pretty interesting and funny. The show tried (desperately) to say that people were living in fear at the time because of the 9th year of the Great Depression and the Nazis (the Munich Crisis) happened a few months earlier. I think it was just the same paranoid people that we have today (the doomsday preppers, etc.) No intelligent person can say they were duped by the show because the station (CBS) had the title and time in the newspaper before - like the TV Guide people used to use for TV. It wasn't some secret show that came out of nowhere. I like that Wells kept the show going even when CBS execs tried to get him to cut-in and announce it was a hoax -that Martians weren't really attacking New Jersey. In the end, the radio program showed how truly gullible people really are. Even after people learned it was just a show they tried to cover-up their stupidity by trying to get charges brought on Wells and CBS - nothing ever stuck. I am curious to see how people today would react to something like that. I wonder if I would be one of the intelligent ones or one of the freaked-out.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Race

From DW:
"A race for justice and against time"

When asked whether it's legitimate to take a 92-year old to court, Andreas Brendel's answer is short: "There's no statute of limitations on murder." As a prosecutor it is his duty to follow up on accusations. Brendel is used to such questions coming from journalists; he has just finished an interview with a Russian TV reporter. Of course there was the same question; it seems obvious when you have a man who for the past ten years has brought one old Nazi after another into a German court. Brendel heads the central office for dealing with Nazi crimes in Dortmund. Brendel always answers with two points: Firstly, they have to be brought to trial for simple legal reasons. But, he adds, "we still have the victims and the relatives of the victims. For them it's very important that there's a German trial determining the guilt of the perpretrators. Independently of whether the sentence will eventually be implemented: it is important that the fate of those people will be heard by German prosecutors." Stefan Willms is an officer with the police in Düsseldorf in charge of tracing Nazi crimes. It's the only department in Germany that exclusively deals with Nazi criminals. So Willms is a close colleague of Brendel in fighting crimes that date back 70 years or more.
He has brown hair, looks a bit like a young rebel when he sits with jeans and shirt in his Düsseldorf office, the sleek new building doesn't quite seem to fit with his character. He says that maybe it helps that he was born long after the war, in 1959. The victims know that he can not have participated in the cruelty and crimes of the Nazis. But still: "You can tell that as a German you have a certain responsibility for the things that have happened." He never feels quite comfortable when inquiring into a case. When Andreas Brendel steps into the courthouse in Hagen, he's wearing a black suit, white shirt and tie, black glasses. The court is dealing with the case of Siert Bruins. The now 92-year old is accused of having been part of murdering a resistance fighter in Dutch town of Delfzijl in September 1944. The case has been under way since early September. Bruins was also in court in Dortmund, back in 1980. The court saw the shooting of the resistance fighter as manslaughter, not murder. Today, the courts might see this question differently and Bruins is back on trial. So did the German judiciary handle Nazi crimes allegations not firmly enough in the past? It's not a question Brendel wants to comment on and it doesn't seem like an excuse. He's got his focus set on getting justice now, rather than asking why it hadn't been done in the past.  Just a few weeks ago, Brendel and Willms visited Oradour-sur-Glane, a small town in France. It's here where the German Wehrmacht committed a massacre in the summer of 1944. The entire village were forced together and brutally murdered. Only a few survived. The Dortmund prosecutors are investigating the former members of the SS regiment who committed the killings. In Germany the massacre got wider attention when current President Joachim Gauck visited the place. Brendel and Wills has begun investigations long before that. They'd spoken with the few survivors who would be crucial witnesses should there be a trial. In Germany, they searched the apartments of suspects but are not allowed to reveal the state of the investigation. What they can talk about are the things they found, evidence and clues. Often it's diaries or letters which might contain sentences like: "Sunday I went with three others to pick up three Jews. We finished them off in the moonlight at the Jewish cemetery. Other things they find are medals or photographs that can indicate the location where a soldier might have been employed. Once they even found the original weapon.  Every step is coordinated. "There's no week where we don't speak on the phone," Willms explains. "At least twice a month we meet." They support each other in many ways. Often they have to deal for weeks with the details of brutal murders. "It's not something you can put aside just like that," Willms says. And then there are the letters they get from people who write in angrily complaining about why they are prosecuting such old men. "I just stick those in a file," he explains. Sometimes though there are threats, to them or even their families. "We've had colleagues here who couldn't handle that and went to others department," Willms says. But for him and Brendel, there's no question that they'll continue. "Probably until the last Nazi criminal is dead," Brendel says. "Time is pressing, If we do find a perpetrator then we give this priority." Only recently, thirty people who've worked in Auschwitz, have been added to the list they're looking for.

^ It's interesting to hear a German born in 1959 still feel responsible for what happened 14 years earlier during the war. I know many 20-40 something Germans that are just so sick and tired of hearing about the war or anything their Grandparents may have done. It is good that Germany is actively taking on the crimes the Nazis did (both the Holocaust as well as other war crimes.) I agree that there is no statue of limitations on murder (and since the 1960s there hasn't been in Germany.) ^

Cancelled ACA

From USA Today:
"Report: W.H. knew plans would be canceled under ACA"

Millions of Americans are getting their health insurance canceled under the Affordable Care Act and the Obama administration has known for about three years that this would happen, NBC News is reporting. About 50% to 75% of 14 million consumers who buy health insurance individually will receive a "cancellation" letter or its equivalent in the next year because their current policies don't meet the standards laid out by the new law, the news organization reports, citing four sources deeply involved in ACA. Of those who will be forced to buy new insurance, many will face huge price increases, NBC reports. Initially, the administration stipulated that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010, could be "grandfathered" or kept even if they don't meet the requirements of the new law. Later, the Department of Health and Human Services wrote regulations that narrowed that provision to dictate that if any part of those policies, such as co-pay or benefits, had substantially changed since then, they would not longer be grandfathered in. NBC alleges the administration knew that up to 67% of customers on the individual market could have their policies canceled, but instead, President Obama said as recently as in 2012, "If (you) already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance." The White House told NBC that people whose policies will be canceled will, in most cases, be automatically shifted to plans with better protections. "Nothing in the Affordable Care Act forces people out of their health plans," White House spokeswoman Jessica Santillo told the news organization. White House spokesman Jay Carney acknowledged that some plans would not meet the new minimum standards and would "not qualify for the Affordable Care Act."

^ Shakes my head. No surprise he lied. ^

Monday, October 28, 2013

Olympics Welcome

From the BBC:
"Sochi 2014: Putin declares gay athletes welcome"

Russian President Vladimir Putin has insisted gay and lesbian athletes have nothing to fear at next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Mr Putin told Thomas Bach, the head of the International Olympic Committee, that gay athletes - and supporters - would feel at ease. Russia has been criticised over a new law banning "homosexual propaganda" towards people under 18. But a proposed boycott of the Games has gained little momentum. There was some suggestion that gay visitors might face prosecution in Russia, but Moscow says this will not happen. "We will do everything to make sure that athletes, fans and guests feel comfortable at the Olympic Games regardless of their ethnicity, race or sexual orientation. I would like to underline that," Mr Putin told Mr Bach. But gay rights groups have accused the IOC of not putting enough pressure on Russia, which has invested more in its Games than any previous Olympic host. During his visit, Mr Bach made no public mention of the new law, focusing instead on Russia's preparations for the Olympics.  Asked about concerns that there might not be enough snow to host events in the Krasnaya Polyana mountains, near Sochi, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, said organisers have stored 700,000 cu. m (24.7m cu. ft) of snow as a contingency.  Under the homosexual propaganda law, passed earlier this year, private individuals promoting "non-traditional sexual relations" to minors face fines of up to 5,000 roubles (£100; $155) while officials risk paying 10 times that amount. Businesses and schools could be fined up to 500,000 roubles. Activists in the West have been outraged at the measures, calling on athletes and countries to boycott the Games.  Gay bars in New York, London and elsewhere have boycotted Russian vodka. But for many in Russia, where homosexuality was decriminalised in Russia in 1993, the law is much less controversial.  A recent poll found that nearly half of Russians believe that the gay and lesbian community should not enjoy the same rights as other citizens.

^ This is nothing surprising. I never expected Putin to openly say homosexuals weren't allowed. Even Hitler allowed Jews and Blacks to the 1936 Berlin Olympics. I have said it before and I will continue to say it the IOC doesn't care about anything other than making money (not about the sports, the athletes, etc.) That has been shown many times over the years (the biggest example is at the 1972 Munich Olympics where the Israeli team was massacred and the IOC went on as though nothing had happened - and then at the 2012 London Games when they refused to commemorate the 40th anniversary.) One thing that does surprise me is that only gay bars/groups are taking this seriously and trying to bring attention to it. Everyone - whether gay or straight (Russian or not) - should see this law as a means to discriminate against people and thus loosing their civil rights. On a  side note: the IOC guy only seemed interested in whether there will be snow. I said the minute Sochi got the Winter Olympics that that area doesn't get much snow and so didn't make much sense. I think it's funny that they are hoarding snow. If they need it they can take it from my yard because we will have several feet by then. ^

United Fine

From Yahoo:
"United Airlines fined $1.1M for tarmac delays"

United Airlines will pay more than $1 million in fines for stranding passengers on 13 planes for more than three hours on the tarmac during a stormy day last year at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, federal officials announced Friday. The $1.1 million fine is the largest levied against an airline since 2010, when new rules took effect that bar airlines from stranding passengers on the tarmac for longer than three hours without giving them the opportunity to leave the plane, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The delays involved 13 United and United Express planes on July 13, 2012, a day when severe thunderstorms and lightning had caused several ramp closures and disrupted the movement of aircraft at O'Hare, the nation's second largest airport. Toilets weren't working on two of those planes. "It is unacceptable for passengers to be stranded in planes on the tarmac for hours on end," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. "We will continue to require airlines to adopt workable plans to protect passengers from lengthy tarmac delays and carry out these plans when necessary." The airline exceeded the three-hour limit by as much as an hour and 17 minutes, and didn't contact airport personnel or other airlines for help, according to the department. United will pay the government $475,000, while $185,000 will be used to compensate affected passengers, including those who were delayed on the tarmac for less than three hours. The airline will also use $440,000 to acquire and maintain a surveillance system to monitor the location of each of its planes on the airfield.

^ Hopefully this fine will stick and not be lowered or done away with. Airlines need to see that the Government means business with these tarmac fines. What everyone in the travel industry (hotels, trains, buses, airports, cruises, airlines, rental cars, etc) seem to forget is that the customer/passenger is the sole reason they are staying open and getting paid and by treating them badly they will loose money in the end - even if it's not through a fine. ^

Saturday, October 26, 2013

First Snow!

We had the first snow of the season tonight. It wasn't much - just a few flurries. It is pretty late in the month for us to get the first snow. Last year it was several weeks earlier and two years ago we got 1 1/2 feet of snow on October 30th - they cancelled Halloween that year. I know I am in for many, long months of more snow. I wish it would only come on Christmas and then be done.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Heroes' Mail

From the American Red Cross: 
"Holiday Mail for Heroes"

Each year the American Red Cross provides assistance to more than 2 million service members and many of our nation’s 24 million veterans. We support military families, military and veterans hospitals and provide emergency communications across the globe. And once a year, we get the joy of delivering holiday greetings to veterans, military families and active-duty service members at hospitals and installations around the world.   The cards and personal messages, sent by tens of thousands of Americans, provide a welcome “touch of home” for our troops during the holiday season.  Throughout the year, you can make a difference with a monetary gift to Help Military Families through the Red Cross. Your donation can help change a military family’s life.
Each year we collect cards between October and early December and then distribute them at military installations, veterans hospitals, and in other locations. There are several ways to be part of the Holiday Mail for Heroes program. In addition to sending cards on your own, you may want to start making plans to host card signing parties or card making parties. Here are a few guidelines to help you on your way:

Card Guidelines:

Every card received will be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working around the country.
Please observe the following guidelines to ensure a quick reviewing process:

  • Ensure that all cards are signed.
  • Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member.” Cards addressed to specific individuals can not be delivered through this program.
  • Only cards are being accepted. Do not send or include letters.
  • Do not include email or home addresses on the cards: the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.
  • Do not include inserts of any kind, including photos: these items will be removed during the reviewing process.
  • Please refrain from choosing cards with glitter or using loose glitter as it can aggravate health issues of ill and injured warriors.
  • If you are mailing a large quantity of cards, please bundle them and place them in large mailing envelopes or flat rate postal shipping boxes. Each card does not need its own envelope, as envelopes will be removed from all cards before distribution.

All holiday greetings should be addressed and sent to:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

The deadline for having cards to the P.O. Box is December 6th.
Holiday cards received after this date cannot be guaranteed delivery.

^ I do this every year and will continue the tradition this year. People seem to forget that we are still fighting (and dying) in Afghanistan and that while it is hard for a serviceman/woman to be away from their family at any time of it is it even more so during the holidays. This is a little act that shows the soldier so much. Regardless if you agree with the war, etc you shouldn't punish the soldier - remember it is the President and Congress that sends them to these places. One thing I do is make a list of how many people I am sending my Christmas/New Years cards to and then buy a box of cards that has more than I need and send the extra to this program - last year it was around 20 cards. ^

Grenada 30

From the Stars and Stripes:
"Grenada: 30 years after US invasion, wounds, mystery remain"

Some call it the intervention. Others refer to it as the invasion. Officially it’s known as Thanksgiving Day — the anniversary of the morning 6,000-plus U.S. soldiers landed on the sandy beaches of an almost forgotten speck in the eastern Caribbean to oust a Marxist regime that had executed the island’s charismatic left-wing prime minister. But 30 years to the day American troops arrived to restore calm, the people of Grenada are still searching for peace. “I don’t think as a nation we have done enough to facilitate national healing,” said Anne Peters, who survived the Oct. 19 executions that sparked the U.S. military involvement ordered by President Ronald Reagan. Peters, a teacher, was with Prime Minister Maurice Bishop in his final hours. Bishop had been placed under house arrest by members of his political party but later freed by demonstrators, Peters among them. Together Bishop and the demonstrators took control of the military barracks —where Bishop and members of his cabinet were later lined up against a wall and shot. “On that morning they [the U.S. troops] came, I didn’t really care who came, whether they were from Jupiter or from Mars,” said Peters, who was shot during the attack. “I just needed to be relieved of the pain and suffering. But then I said, ‘You came, did what you had to do and now leave us alone.’ ” Like many in Grenada, Peters has mixed emotions about the United States. She observes Oct. 19 — the day of Bishop’s execution — but has no plans to be among those commemorating Oct 25. But in a country where many do not know the fate of their loved ones who went missing during that fateful time, healing and reconciliation have not come easy. “There is still a lot of pain, a bitter memory,” said Shirma Wells, a spokeswoman with the committee in charge of Friday’s official commemoration. “It’s very fresh and it comes renewed.” Like in years past, Grenada will mark the day as an official holiday. There will be a church service, wreaths will be laid and there will be visits to the island’s cemetery. Joining islanders will be local government officials and some of the U.S. soldiers who came to protect American students attending a medical school in the island and free the islands’ 100,000 citizens, who had been put under a 24-hour curfew by a military council after Bishop’s death.

^ Grenada wasn't just about helping the American students, but stopping another communist country in America's sphere of influence. We did not want another Cuba so close to home and so we did what needed to be done and stopped it. It's interesting to note that Queen Elizabeth 2 is also Queen of Grenada and strained relations with the UK and the US - even though technically the UK and Grenadian monarchies are supposed to be separate (like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc.) It was not just the US who participated in the invasion, but also many Caribbean countries - many also part of the British Commonwealth.) I don't understand why the people of Grenada can't "come to terms" with what happened 30 years ago - we came in, kicked the Cubans out and then left ourselves. Seems pretty clear-cut. ^

Thursday, October 24, 2013


From Yahoo:
"The Democrats' Freak-Out About Obamacare Has Begun"

Frustrated with the disastrous rollout of, the Democratic coalition is beginning to crack slightly on the Affordable Care Act. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a frequent critic of the health care law, is preparing to introduce legislation that would delay Obamacare's individual mandate by a year. Other Senate Democrats are going to push for an extension of open enrollment in the exchanges. And House Democrats are openly venting their frustrations.  Manchin appeared on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" Wednesday night to discuss his plan, and he said there that he'd be open to working with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). "I came here to fix things," Manchin said. "Affordable health care was never meant to be, if you've got insurance now you're going to have to buy insurance that's more costly and not as good. That has to be fixed." Manchin said he wouldn't attach his name to Rubio's legislation, which would delay the mandate's penalties until six months after the  Government Accountability Office (GAO) certifies that the online exchanges are functional. House Democrats, too, began openly expressing their frustration with the rollout on Wednesday. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that the problems are fixable and said to "just fix it." She is working to keep her troops in line, but there's only so much time to do that while members get angsty. Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.) told reporters Wednesday that heads should roll and people should be fired because of the horrendous rollout. He also called on Obama to "man up" and explain to Americans who's responsible for the mess. Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Gene Green (D-Texas) said the administration should start looking at delays if the website problems persist. Even the most progressive members of the House are starting to realize the urgency. "As the days go by, the President has to know that this problem must be fixed," Rep. Keith Ellison (R-Minn.), a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told Business Insider in an interview Tuesday. "Hopefully a year from now, we're going to be talking about, 'Remember how bad the rollout was? Man, I'm glad those days are over.'"

^ They are a little late to the party, but at least they are starting to realize what we have been saying for a while is true. ^

2 Currencies - 1 Country

From the BBC: 
"Cuba to scrap two-currency system in latest reform"

Cuba is to scrap its two-currency system in the latest financial reform rolled out by President Raul Castro, official media report. Since 1994 Cuba has had two currencies, one pegged to the US dollar and the other worth only a fraction of that. The more valuable convertible peso (CUC) was reserved for use in the tourism sector and foreign trade. Now its value will be gradually unified with the lower-value CUP, ending a system resented by ordinary Cubans. The Cuban economy is almost entirely state-run and the tourism sector has boomed since the collapse of the Soviet Union plunged Cuba into economic isolation and hardship. The two-currency system was supposed to protect Cuba's fragile economy but angered locals paid in the much lower-value CUP and denied access to goods only available for those with convertible pesos. The policy exacerbated the creation of a two-tier class system in Cuba which divided privileged Cubans with access to the lucrative tourist and foreign-trade sectors from those working in the local economy - all-too-visibly contradicting Cuba's supposedly egalitarian society. The council of ministers has approved a timetable for implementing "measures that will lead to monetary and exchange unification", the official Communist Party newspaper Granma said. Unification is "imperative to guarantee the re-establishment of the Cuban peso's value and its role as money, that is as a unit of accounting, means of payment and savings", it said. It gave no details of how quickly the change would be implemented, though Reuters news agency quoted Cuban economists as saying it would take about 18 months.

^ The majority of Communist countries had/have a two-currency system. Most forced foreigners to prepay (use vouchers) for everything before they even arrived in the country and then once there they could shop in "hard-currency stores" that were only open to Communist officials and foreigners. The Soviet Union had Torgsin and the Beryozka stores. Bulgaria had Corecom. China had Friendship Store. Cuba had Dollar Store. Czechoslovakia had Tuzex. East Germany had Intershop. Hungary had Intertourist, Konzumturiszt and IKKA. Poland had Baltona and Pewx. Romania had Comturist. Cuba moved from the Dollar Store (which was, like most Communist countries, hidden from the regular people) to the more-opened double-currency economy. Most Cubans see that as a slap in the face since they see what they could buy if they had the money, but can't buy because they have little. All these reforms in Cuba seem to be pretty slow and not changing much since there is always a catch or high-price to them (ie only the "good" and powerful Communists can still use them, but everyone can see them.) ^

National Dishes

From Wikipedia:
"National Dish"

National dishes and foods by country

Afghanistan: Kabuli Pilav

Algeria: Couscous

Angola: Muamba de galinha

Argentina: Asado, Empanada

Armenia: Harissa

Aruba: Keshi yena

Australia: Vegemite, Meat pie, Roast lamb

Azerbaijan: Dolma

Austria: Tafelspitz, Wiener Schnitzel

Bahamas: Crack conch with peas and rice

Bahrain: Machboos

Bangladesh: Biryani, Rice and fish

Barbados: Cou-Cou and Flying Fish

Belarus: Draniki

Belgium: Moules-frites

Bermuda: Bermuda fish chowder

Bhutan: Ema datshi

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Bosnian pot, Ćevapi, Pljeskavica

Brazil: Feijoada and Churrasco

British Virgin Islands: Fish and Fungi

Brunei Darussalam: Ambuyat

Bulgaria: Yogurt, Banitsa

Burma: Mohinga

Cambodia: Amok trey

Cameroon: Ndolé

Canada: Nanaimo bar, Poutine, Butter tarts, Kraft Dinner, Burgers/Hot dogs/French fries

Cape Verde: Cachupa

Chile: Asado, Empanada, Cazuela, Pastel de choclo

China: No official national dish.

Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China:

 Hong Kong: Char siu, dim sum

Macau: Minchee

Colombia: Ajiaco, Bandeja paisa

Costa Rica: Gallo pinto

Cuba: Platillo Moros y Cristianos, Ropa vieja, Puerco asado, Yuca con mojo

Czech Republic: Vepřo knedlo zelo, Svíčková

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Poulet Moambé

Denmark: Frikadeller, Wienerbrød , Smørrebrød

Dominica: Mountain chicken, Fish broth

Dominican Republic: La Bandera rice, red beans

Ecuador: Encebollado, Fritada, Guatitas,

Egypt: Ful medames, kushari, molokhia, falafel

El Salvador: Pupusa

Eritrea: Zigini with injera

Estonia: Verivorst with Mulgikapsad

Ethiopia: Wat with injera

Finland: Mämmi, Sautéed reindeer

France: Crêpe, pot-au-feu

Gabon: Poulet Nyembwe

Georgia: Khachapuri, khinkali

Germany: Currywurst, Sauerbraten

Bavaria: Weisswurst and Brezn

Greece: Fasolada, Moussaka

Grenada: Oil Down

Guyana: Pepperpot

Honduras: Baleada, Carne Asada, Sopa de Caracol

Hungary: Gulyás

Iceland: Hákarl

India: No officially anointed national dish.

Indonesia: Gado-gado, Nasi Goreng,Sate, Soto

Iran: Chelo kabab, Ghormeh sabzi

Iraq: Samak masgouf

Ireland: Colcannon, Irish stew, Breakfast roll, Full breakfast, Battered sausage, Fish and chips

Israel: Hummus, falafel, Israeli salad, limonana

Italy: Pasta, Polenta, Pizza

Jamaica: Ackee and Saltfish

Japan: Japanese curry, Ramen, Sushi

Jordan: Mansaf

Kazakhstan: Beshbarmak

Kenya: Ugali, Sukuma wiki, Nyama choma

Kuwait: Machboos

Kyrgyzstan: Beshbarmak, laghman

Laos: Larb with sticky rice

Lebanon: Kibbeh, tabbouleh

Lithuania: Cepelinai

Luxembourg: Judd mat Gaardebounen,

Macedonia: Tavče Gravče

Madagascar: Romazava

Malaysia: Nasi Lemak

Malta: Pastizzi, Fenkata

Mexico: Mole poblano, Tacos

Mongolia: Buuz

Montenegro: Kačamak, Raštan

Morocco: Couscous, Tagine, Pastilla

Nicaragua: Gallo pinto

Nepal: Dal bhat

Netherlands: Stamppot, hutspot

New Zealand: Pavlova, Bacon and egg pie, Hāngi, Meat pie, lamb

North Korea: Kimchi

Norway: Fårikål

Pakistan: Biryani, Nihari

Paraguay: Sopa paraguaya

Peru: Ceviche

Philippines: Adobo,  Lechon,  Sinigang

Poland: Bigos, Pierogi, Kotlet schabowy, Żurek

Portugal: Bacalhau, Cozido à Portuguesa

Puerto Rico: Arroz con gandules with Lechon

Republic of the Congo: Poulet Moambé

Romania: Mămăligă, Ciorbă de burtă, Sarmale, Mici

Russia: Shchi, Okroshka, Borscht, Coulibiac, Ukha

Constituent federal subjects of the Russian Federation Republic of Tatarstan: Öçpoçmaq

Tula, Russia: Tula gingerbread

San Marino: Torta Tre Monti

Saudi Arabia: Kabsa

Senegal: Thieboudienne

Serbia: Ćevapčići, Proja, Kajmak

Slovakia: Bryndzové halušky

Singapore: Chilli crab, Hainanese Chicken Rice

South Africa: Bobotie

South Korea: Kimchi,  Bulgogi

Spain: Paella, tortilla española

Sri Lanka: Rice and curry

Sudan: Ful medames

Sweden: Köttbullar,  Kräftskiva,  Surströmming

Switzerland: Cervelat, Fondue, Rösti

Syria: Kibbeh

Tajikistan: O'sh

Taiwan: Beef noodle soup, Stinky tofu

Tanzania: Ugali

Thailand: Pad Thai, Som Tam,  Tom Yum Goong

Trinidad and Tobago: Kallaloo

Turkey: Kebab, Sarma, Baklava, Yogurt, Pilav

Tunisia: Couscous

Turkmenistan: Palaw

Uganda: Matoke

Ukraine: Borscht

United Kingdom: Fish and chips,  chicken tikka masala

England: Beef,  especially roast beef; pudding, particularly Christmas plum pudding

Northern Ireland: Ulster fry

Scotland: Haggis

Wales: Cawl

United States: Hot dog, apple pie,  hamburger, roast turkey.

Regional dishes include Jambalaya (Louisiana Creole), New England clam bake (New England), Barbecue (South), Fish boil (Great Lakes).

United States Virgin Islands: Fish and Fungi

Uruguay: Asado, Chivito

Uzbekistan: O'sh

Venezuela: Pabellón criollo

Vietnam: Phở,  Bún bò Huế

Yemen: Saltah

^ Those in bold are ones I have eaten. ^

Missing War

From the Stars and Stripes:
"70 years on, families of WWII dead still hope for IDs from JPAC"

In September 1943, Tech. Sgt. Harry Arnold Carlsen wrote a letter to his mother and ailing father in suburban Chicago. The Marine told his parents he wouldn’t be home for Christmas but was hopeful he’d visit them the next year. “I would like to see you and dad once more,” he wrote. Carlsen still hasn’t made it home. About two months after writing to his parents for the final time, the 31-year-old died in a battle with Japanese forces on a Pacific atoll called Tarawa, part of the present-day nation of Kiribati. In west suburban Brookfield, where Carlsen grew up, the news arrived in a grim telegram sent two days before Christmas. Carlsen is among tens of thousands of Americans who fought in World War II whose remains have never been identified. At Tarawa alone, where more than 1,100 U.S. troops died, upward of 500 service members were never found. Another 90 or so sets of remains still haven’t been identified. But a historian who once worked for the Department of Defense said Carlsen is a “most likely” match for a body cataloged decades ago as “Schofield Mausoleum No. 1: X-82” and buried as an unknown in a Hawaii military cemetery. Carlsen’s grand-nephew, Ed Spellman, has pushed without success to have the government exhume X-82’s grave and test the DNA against a sample submitted by the Marine’s family. He has been discouraged as bureaucrat after bureaucrat politely noted his request without seeming to act on it. Other families of missing Chicago-area Marines share similar frustrations, which are echoed in a scathing report released in July by the Government Accountability Office. The internal watchdog agency said identification efforts “continue to be thwarted by organizational fragmentation and discord” within the Defense Department. Now just weeks from the 70th anniversary of the Tarawa invasion, the American called X-82 remains in a Honolulu cemetery beneath a slab of granite etched with the word “UNKNOWN.” There are no imminent plans to disinter him. On Nov. 20, 1943, Carlsen was fatally shot in the head as U.S. forces stormed the atoll. In addition to the 1,100 or so Americans who died in the battle, more than 3,000 Japanese lost their lives. Eerie post-battle photos show bodies lining sandy beaches. Cleanup was a daunting process for the survivors. With sanitation concerns making speed important, burial records were imperfect. Back in Illinois, Carlsen’s mother was assured in letters and telegrams from the Marines that her son’s body had been buried on Tarawa and would be returned home when the war ended. Bodies recovered from Tarawa after the war were sent to Hawaii and examined in hopes of being identified. Officials there recorded hair color and approximate height, weight and ages of the men. Any identification tags or uniform parts that suggested a rank were also noted. For years, it seemed that most of the Marines killed on Tarawa would remain unidentified. But recent advancements in DNA testing made identifying them more realistic. The Joint Prisoners of War, Missing in Action Accounting Command is one of the federal agencies charged with finding and identifying Americans killed in past conflicts. JPAC is based in Hawaii, about 11 miles from where X-82 and other Tarawa unknowns are buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Lee Tucker, a spokesman for the agency, said officials are working hard to identify the Tarawa Marines and Americans from other conflicts, but he declined to discuss specific cases because “we don’t want to potentially raise false hope from family members.” JPAC frequently dispatches teams to far-flung battlefields to look for missing Americans, often from World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars. Agency officials say they are doing the best they can amid challenges from technology, complicated search locations, foreign governments, finite resources and the passage of decades.

 ^ It is sad that the families of those killed defending their country can not have closure knowing that their loved one is identified and resting in a certain location. JPAC does a great job trying to bring that closure. ^

Hungary's 1956

From the BBC:
"Hungary uprising anniversary marked by rival rallies"

Tens of thousands of people have taken part in rival rallies in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, to mark the anniversary of the 1956 uprising against the Soviet Union.  Although many took to the streets to remember the victims, events were dominated by party politics.  Conservative PM Viktor Orban likened his opponents to those who betrayed the uprising, while an opposition rally called for Mr Orban to be removed.  Mr Orban compared opposition parties with those who betrayed the revolution 57 years ago, and likened Soviet troops to foreign banks and speculators today. At another demonstration on the banks of the Danube, about 20,000 people heard an array of leftist and liberal party leaders call for the ousting of Mr Orban's government.  Meanwhile, in the city centre the far-right Jobbik party lambasted both the government and other opposition parties.  Our correspondent says many people tried to ignore the party-political events and remember the victims of the uprising - those who fell on the barricades or were executed or imprisoned after it was crushed. The events of 1956 became a lasting symbol of the Cold War. Hungary declared 23 October a national holiday after democracy was restored in Hungary in 1990.

^ People should remember the victims and others that stood up against the Soviet Union and Hungary's Communists - knowing they wouldn't succeed. All the other politics can be put aside for a day. ^

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Gov't Distrust

From USA Today:
"Survey finds distrust in government to handle emergency"

A survey reveals that a majority of Americans would not turn to the government for help in case of a major catastrophe. In the aftermath of the federal shutdown and congressional fight over raising the U.S. debt ceiling, a survey finds that a majority of Americans would turn to family and friends rather than the government for help if a major catastrophe struck. Nearly nine in 10 said it is likely the world will experience a major catastrophe, and about a third expect it will occur in "less than a year from now," according to the online survey of more than 1,100 Americans 18 and older, conducted Sept. 27-Oct. 2 by the National Geographic Channel and Kelton Research. In case of such an emergency, 57% said they would prefer to turn to family, friends or neighbors for help. Just 14% said FEMA or another government agency would be "the most help." Also contributing to the level of distrust, Uslaner said, is that the Democrats and Republicans are "more concerned with attacking each other than fixing each others' problems." In the past, sitting down and negotiating was more common in politics, he noted. According to a USA TODAY/Princeton Survey Research Poll released this week, nearly half of respondents say Congress would work better if nearly all members were replaced next year.

^ This doesn't surprise me in the least. ^

ACT Marriage

From the BBC:
"Australian Capital Territory legalises same-sex marriage"

The Australian Capital Territory has become the first part of Australia to legalise same-sex marriage.
The ACT parliament passed a bill that will allow gay couples to marry, after a short debate on Tuesday. Celebrants will now be allowed to marry same-sex couples inside the ACT, regardless of which state they live in. Federal law, however, specified in 2004 that marriage was between a man and a woman, and the federal government is expected to challenge the move. The move was passed in the 17-member ACT Legislative Assembly, backed by Labor and the Greens, with the Liberals voting against. "There is no longer any excuse, if there ever was, to discriminate against same-sex couples in our community," ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher told the parliament. "More than anything, they are our equals. The Marriage Equality Act puts this fundamental principle and human right into law," the Australian Broadcasting Corporation quoted her as saying.  Attorney-General George Brandis, however, says the local law will face a legal challenge, because it is inconsistent with the national-level Marriage Act. Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who leads a Liberal-National coalition, opposes same-sex marriage.  Last year, a bill allowing same-sex marriage was voted down in both houses of Australia's national parliament.

^ Hopefully, this will survive in Australia's Supreme Court and that it will spread to other states and territories. ^

Monday, October 21, 2013

Secondary Violence

From Wikipedia:
"List of attacks related to secondary schools"

- January 10, 2013 Taft, California, United States
 A gunman entered a science classroom of Taft Union High School with a 12 gauge shotgun and opened fire. A 16-year-old male student, identified as Bowe Cleveland, was shot in the chest and critically wounded. Another student was shot at, but was not hit. The classroom teacher, Ryan Heber, convinced him to drop his weapon, and the gunman followed his order and was later arrested. Additionally, Heber suffered a minor wound from being grazed by a shotgun pellet during the ordeal. The gunman is suspected to be a 16-year-old student of the school, Bryan Oliver. Cleveland and the other student that was shot at are both believed to be intended targets of the gunman. On January 14, Oliver was charged with two counts of attempted murder and assault with a firearm.

- January 16, 2013 Spring Township, Pennsylvania, United States
 14-year-old male student  1 injured A 14-year-old male student stabbed another 14-year-old male student four times with a pocketknife at Wilson Southern Middle School. The victim was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. The school and an adjacent elementary school went on lock down, and the assailant was arrested after fleeing from the school. The assailant was tried as a juvenile for attempted homicide. In February 2013, he was sentenced to 12 months at a juvenile treatment facility. He will receive periodical evaluation after his sentence finishes.
- January 31, 2013 Atlanta, Georgia, United States
 A 14-year-old male student was shot and wounded in the back of the neck at Price Middle School. The gunman, a student, was believed to be arguing with the other student before taking out a handgun and firing multiple shots at him. In addition, a teacher was injured during the shooting. Afterward, the gunman was disarmed by a school resource officer and subsequently apprehended. The suspect was charged with aggravated assault.

- March, 2013 Cape Town, South Africa  
 A grade nine Oscar Mpetha High School was stabbed twice in the stomach and sustained cuts to the head.
- April 25, 2013 Mankgodi, Botswana
Student charged  1 injured A student was stabbed and severely wounded at Thobega Junior Secondary School by another student.

- May 14, 2013 Cape Town, South Africa 
 1 dead  17-year-old Enrico Martin was shot in the head while he was entering Spes Bona High School. He later died in a hospital. Authorities believe that the attack was gang-related. No arrests have been made.

- July 6, 2013 Yobe State, Nigeria
Multiple gunmen 42 dead 6 injured Yobe State school shooting: Suspected Boko Haram militants opened fire on students and deployed explosives before setting the building on fire. 42 were killed.
- August 26, 2013 North Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Six male suspects  3 injured Six non-student suspects robbed and pistol whipped a juvenile student for his cell phone at Canyon Springs High School. The suspects then pistol whipped a second student. Afterward, another student was beaten in a brawl with the suspects in the school parking lot. One of the students struck by the handgun suffered fractures to his skull, cheekbone, and ribs. Six suspects were arrested, and face charges of robbery and battery with a deadly weapon.

- September 1, 2013 Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
18-year-old male suspect  1 injured A 15-year-old student was shot in the neck and shoulder at Carver High School. The student was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. An 18-year-old student was arrested by a school resource officer and was charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, carrying a concealed gun, possessing and discharging a firearm, and carrying a firearm onto educational property. The shooting is believed to be the result of an on-going dispute between the suspect and the victim.
- September 4, 2013 Spring, Texas, United States
 17-year-old student charged 1 dead 3 injured Spring High School stabbing. A 17-year-old student was stabbed to death at Spring High School, and three others were injured. Luis Alonzo Alfaro age 17, was charged with murder. Alfaro admitted pulling a knife during the fight and stabbing four people.

- September 20, 2013 Vereeniging, South Africa
 A student shot a teacher in the leg at Sasolburg High School. A Grade 9 student was arrested.

- September 24, 2013 Greeneville, Tennessee, United States
Student charged  1 injured A 15-year-old student was stabbed and injured at South Greene High School before classes started. Students subdued the assailant until staff members arrived on scene. The victim was hospitalized in stable condition. The suspect, a student, was charged with attempted first-degree murder. There is no decision on if the suspect will be tried as an adult, until his court date at November 7, 2013.
- October 3, 2013 Cape Town, South Africa 
 A New Eisleben High School student, 17-year-old Anele Mhawuli, was stabbed and fatally wounded. The incident was believed to be gang-related.

- October 8, 2013 Johannesburg, South Africa 
At Kgothalang Secondary School, a 17-year-old pupil was stabbed in the chest, shoulder and abdomen during break time. He died at the scene. The alleged killer, a Grade 10 pupil, jumped over the school fence and fled.
- October 10, 2013 Oulu, Finland
16-year-old male suspect  4 injured A 16-year-old Myllytulli vocational school student stabbed 3 girls and a janitor during lunch hour. The suspect had been questioned by the police in February for a school shooting threat he had made on the internet.

- October 21, 2013 Sparks, Nevada, United States
 Student, name withheld 2 dead 2 injured Sparks Middle School shooting. At approximately 7:15 am, a student opened fire at Sparks Middle School, killing a teacher and wounding two students. The two students are hospitalized in critical condition. The gunman then committed suicide from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Students from the middle school were placed into an adjacent elementary school, and students from both schools were held at Sparks High School, where they are waiting for their guardians to pick them up.

 ^ In this list (unlike the elementary school list) the United States has the most high school/secondary school violence. I only added the incidents from this year because the list was too long. What this list also shows is South Africa closely behind. ^

Primary Violence

From Wikipedia:
"List of attacks related to primary schools"

-          February 7, 2008 Portsmouth, Ohio, United States
Layne, the estranged husband of a teacher at Notre Dame Elementary School, stabbed a bystander on the street prior to entering the school. He then walked into his wife's fifth grade classroom where he shot and stabbed her. Layne later shot and killed himself after a stand-off with police at his home.

-          November 12, 2008 Kandahar, Afghanistan
15 Militants in Afghanistan attacked three separate groups of students and teachers by squirting acid on them while they were walking to the Mirwais Mena Girls' School in Kandahar. Fifteen people were injured in the acid attack. Ten people were later arrested in connection to the attack, several of which confessed.

-          January 7, 2009 Budapest, Hungary
A principal and a teacher were killed by a security guard and an administrator at a private elementary school in the 21 district of Budapest at 6:40 pm. The guard afterwards shot himself in the hand to support claims the deed was the act of an unknown masked gunman. The perpetrators had been fired by the principal on suspicion of embezzling.

-          January 23, 2009 Tromsø, Norway 
A man shot and killed a female trainee teacher and then fatally shot himself in the car park of a kindergarten. The shooting occurred just as children were arriving for school.

-          January 23, 2009 Sint-Gillis-bij-Dendermonde, Dendermonde, Belgium
Kim De Gelder entered a kindergarten in Belgium and started stabbing people. Two babies and a 54-year-old woman were stabbed to death and twelve other people were injured in the attack. De Gelder also stabbed a 73-year-old woman to death in her apartment days earlier.

-          March 3, 2009 Mazhan, China
40-year-old Xu Ximei, an allegedly mentally disabled woman, stabbed two boys, aged 4 and 6, to death with a kitchen knife and injured another three children, as well as the 76-year-old grandmother of one of her victims at the primary school of Mazhan village in Guangdong province. She was later found lying in a classroom and arrested.

-          February 26, 2010 Tacoma, Washington, United States
Jennifer Paulson, a 30-year-old special education teacher, is shot to death outside of Birney Elementary School by a man who was reportedly infatuated with her. The gunman, identified as 30-year-old Jed Waits, fled the scene but was later shot and killed by police in a day-care center parking lot.

-          March 23, 2010 Nanping, China
Eight children were hacked to death with a machete and five others were injured outside an elementary school in Nanping. The assailant, identified as 41-year-old Zheng Minsheng, was restrained by school security guards and then arrested by police.

-          April 13, 2010 Xichang, China
An assailant armed with a meat cleaver attacked students and bystanders outside an elementary school, killing a schoolboy and an elderly woman and wounding three other children and two adults before being arrested by police. The assailant, identified as 40-year-old Yang Jiaqin, was reported to be mentally ill.

-          April 28, 2010 Leizhou, China
Chen Kangbing stabbed and injured 16 students and one teacher at Leicheng First Primary School in Leizhou before being restrained by teachers and arrested by police.

-          April 29, 2010 Taixing, China
Xu Yuyuan stabbed 29 children, two teachers and a security guard at the Zhongxin Kindergarten in Taixing. It was reported that five of the injured children were in critical condition.

-          April 30, 2010 Weifang, China
Wang Yonglai, a 45-year-old farmer, used a motorcycle to break through a gate at Shangzhuang Primary School in Weifang and then assaulted several children with a hammer, wounding five of them. A teacher also injured her foot, while trying to stop Wang, who ended his attack by grabbing two children and pouring gasoline over himself. Teachers managed to pull the children to safety, before Wang committed suicide by setting himself on fire.

-          May 12, 2010 Hanzhong, China
An assailant killed seven children and two adults and wounded 11 other children at the Shengshui Temple Kindergarten in Hanzhong when he attacked them with a cleaver. The assailant, identified as 48-year-old Wu Huanming, fled from the school and committed suicide when he returned to his house.

-          August 3, 2010 Zibo, China
A knife-wielding man attacked children and staff at a kindergarten in Zibo. Three children were killed and three other children and four teachers were injured in the attack. It was reported that two of the injured teachers were in critical condition. The assailant, identified as 26-year-old Fang Jiantang, was arrested by police after the attack.

-          October 8, 2010 Carlsbad, California, United States
A middle aged man holding a jack-o-lantern stormed the campus at Kelly Elementary School, his bullets grazing the shoulders of two students, six- and seven-year-olds. The assailant, identified as 41-year-old Brendan Liam O’Rourke, was apprehended by police. O'Rourke was sentenced to life imprisonment.

-          October 22, 2010 Zamboanga City, Philippines
A 12-year-old girl, a teacher, and a 64-year-old man were stabbed to death by ex-convict Felin Mateo at Talisayan Elementary School in Talisayan village. He also wounded four other children and two teachers, some of them seriously, before he could be subdued by irate villagers, who then killed him with his own knife.

-          February 2, 2011 Placerville, California, United States
Principal Sam Lacara, 50, was fatally shot in his office at Louisiana Schnell Elementary School in Placerville. He later died at a hospital. John Luebbers, a 44-year-old school custodian, was arrested after the shooting. Luebbers was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

-          April 7, 2011 Realengo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A gunman armed with two handguns began shooting at children and school personnel at Escola Municipal Tasso da Silveira, an elementary school in the Realengo neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro. 13 people were killed, including the shooter, a former student. Police shot the suspect in the leg, causing him to fall down a staircase, then the gunman shot himself in the head. The shooter is reported to have left a suicide note.

-          August 29, 2011 Shanghai, China
A 30-year-old woman slashed eight children with a box cutter at a child-care centre in Shanghai, leaving one of the wounded in serious condition. The attacker, a day care worker at the kindergarten, who was said to have suffered from psychiatric problems, was arrested.

-          September 22, 2011 São Caetano do Sul, Brazil
David Mota Nogueira, a fourth-grade student at Escola Municipal Alcina Dantas Feijão in São Caetano do Sul, shot and wounded his teacher, 38-year-old Rosileide Queiros de Oliveira, with his father's .38-caliber revolver. He then ran out of the classroom and committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.

-          November 15, 2011 Ga-Mmasehlong, South Africa
Gilford Shapo, teacher at Mmasehlong Primary School in Ga-Mmasehlong village, was hacked to death with a machete in front of his class by his brother Happy. The attacker was arrested by police.

-          December 14, 2012 Chenpeng, China
An assaillant, identified as 36-year-old Min Yongjun, stabbed 24 people, including 23 children and an elderly woman at Chenpeng Village Primary School.

-          December 14, 2012 Newtown, Connecticut, United States
20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed his mother at home, then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School where he shot and killed 20 students and six adult staff members before killing himself. This event is the second-deadliest school shooting in United States history, after the Virginia Tech massacre.

-          August 20, 2013 Decatur, Georgia, United States
A gunman with an AK-47 fired six shots inside the front office of Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy, an elementary school. After the gunman fired the shots, he barricaded himself in the office and police at the scene returned fire. Nobody was injured. The gunman surrendered in the office and was apprehended. Children had to leave the building and were being guided to a corner of a field, where they were picked up by their parents. The alleged gunman is a 20-year-old male named Michael Brandon Hill.

-          September 9, 2013 Guilin, Guangxi province, China
Two adults were killed outside Balijie Primary School, and 44 others were injured after a homemade explosive detonated. Most of the injured were schoolchildren. One of those killed is the bomber, who was riding his motorcycle during the explosion.

-          October 6, 2013 Qabak, Iraq
12 children and the school principal were killed in a suicide bombing at an elementary school in the village of Qabak. Two police officers in an adjacent police station were also killed. 90 people were injured.

-          October 11, 2013 Long Beach, California, United States
Teacher Kelleye Taylor was stabbed to death as she was watching two dozen students at a playground in a park adjacent to the Huntington Academy, where she taught the students at. The suspect was later arrested at the mall. The suspect is Steven Brown, who is the father of Kelleye Taylor's grandchildren. He is charged with murder and held on $1 million bail.

-          October 17, 2013 Jacksonville, Arkansas, United States
  A man with a knife hijacked a school bus in Jacksonville, taking 11 Pinewood Elementary School students and their bus driver on a detour that police ended in Cabot after a 10-mile chase. Police stopped the hijacking 20 minutes after it began. The suspect, 22-year-old Nicholas John Miller, was charged with a felony count of vehicle piracy, 12 felony counts of kidnapping, and two felony counts of aggravated assault.

^ I am adding this because there was a school shooting in Nevada today and already people are saying the US has the worst school violence because of all our guns. This list (the full one starts in the 1700s, but I only went back 5 years) shows China has the most school violence in primary/elementary schools. ^