Big Tuesday Motes

Stay aware of who’s around you: Honolulu police have arrested a suspect accused of setting an elderly man’s shirt on fire in Chinatown Tuesday morning. Honolulu police said 29-year-old Charles Burns was arrested and faces charges of first-degree arson and promoting dangerous drugs. Although surveillance video of the attack was blurry, witness’ immediately recognized the suspect. A volunteer minister at Our Lady of Peace Cathedral described the 29-year-old suspect as a troublemaker and known drug user. Video shows the suspect walking up behind the victim and lighting his shirt on fire and walking away. Court records show the suspect has more than a dozen arrests on his record for things like theft, a park violation and DUI but has never been convicted of any of those crimes. An assault charge from last year is still pending.

Ivy league crime : A former Yale School of Medicine administrator pleaded guilty to defrauding the university of $40 million in computer equipment that she had purchased and resold to pay for luxury vehicles, real estate and vacations. The administrator, Jamie Petrone, admitted that she had submitted thousands of purchase orders for computer devices and tablets that included Microsoft Surface Pros and iPads under the pretense that they were for medical studies.  In 2021, she arranged for the university to buy 8,000 iPads and Surface Pro tablets. Based on federal sentencing guidelines, her sentence is more likely to be in the range of eight to 10 years, with a fine of $30,000 to $300,000, according to the plea agreement. She’s 42, at 10 years, she’ll be out in 36 months. Anybody bet she’s still got some stashed away?

Another bad shoot: Cain Velasquez was arrested in San Jose and booked on an attempted murder charge for a shooting near a local high school. One person was shot. He has issued a statement for the first time since being arrested on an attempted murder charge. In a statement on Twitter, Velasquez thanked his supporters and called the story of the shooting “complex and slowly unraveling as we speak.” Velasquez has been formally charged with attempted murder, shooting at an occupied motor vehicle or aircraft, three counts of assault with a firearm, three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, willfully discharging a firearm from a vehicle, and carrying a loaded firearm with intent to commit a felony. According to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office (h/t Raimondi), Velasquez was following Harry Eugene Goularte’s truck in an “11-mile, high-speed chase” when he rammed into the truck with his vehicle “and then fired a 40-caliber handgun multiple times into the truck, which carried Goularte and two older relatives.” The moment he started the chase, he became the defendant instead of the “victim”. He will do a lot of time.

 Nobody listens to the U.N.: Members of Brig. Gen. Suheil al-Hassan’s division are among hundreds of Russian-trained Syrian fighters who have reportedly signed up to fight alongside Russian troops in Ukraine, including Syrian soldiers, former rebels and experienced fighters who fought for years against the Islamic State group in Syria’s desert. Though some question how effective Syrian fighters would be in Ukraine, they could be brought in if more forces are needed to besiege cities or to make up for rising casualties.  Putin named Gen. Alexander Dvornikov, who commanded the Russian military in Syria, as the new war commander in Ukraine. Dvornikov is well acquainted with the multiple paramilitary forces in Syria trained by Russia while he oversaw the strategy of ruthlessly besieging and bombarding opposition-held cities in Syria into submission. Last I checked, Syria was not part of Russia. Does this mean they will be considered “mercenaries”? It would under the U.N. guidelines which “prohibit them. Or is Syria also declaring war on Ukraine? Syria and Ukraine don’t share a common border, so that would be a stretch. So, does this mean it’s become a “World War”?

Another meaningless gesture: The Biden administration is taking a key step toward ensuring that federal dollars will support U.S. manufacturing by issuing requirements for how projects funded by the $1 trillion “bipartisan” infrastructure package to source their construction material. New guidance issued Monday requires that the material purchased, whether it’s for a bridge, a highway, a water pipe or broadband internet, be produced in the U.S. However, the rules also set up a process to waive those requirements in case there are not enough domestic producers or the material costs too much. So, since there is no fuel to melt the ore to make the steel, parts, or cable, the whole process is just for show. U.S. companies will have to buy from outside. And he/they can point out “we tried”.

Weekend music. Yes, these are “cassettes”.

And they still sound great, to me. But then, I’m half deaf.

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