If you are living in the United States, you might want to check out an incredibly rare harvest full moon that will be appearing in the sky this week. The harvest moon is the full moon which is closest to the start of the fall equinox, and this year it will occur on the mythical Friday the 13th.
For those in the Eastern Standard Time Zone in the United States, the harvest moon will appear at exactly 12:33 AM on Saturday, just after midnight, but it will be visible until sunrise on Sunday morning.
The last time that a harvest moon occurred on Friday the 13th was the 13th of October, 2000, and this won’t be happening again until the 13th of October, in the year 2049.
The event will also be unique because it will appear as what experts call a “micro-moon,” which means that the moon will look significantly smaller because it is nearing the point where it is the farthest from Earth in its cycle.
Harvest moons have been recognized since the times of our ancient ancestors. The phenomenon got its name because during pre-industrial times the moon would light up the sky and allow farmers to work late into the night. It was also sometimes called a “hunter’s moon” for similar reasons, as the moonlight allowed hunters to see better and operate at times that they wouldn’t usually be able to.
On the other hand, the fact that it falls on Friday the 13th this year has caused a great deal of excitement as well. However, this coincidence is not that big of a deal, and has nothing to do with astronomy. The day of Friday the 13th is simply something that is recognized by popular culture because of historical events and a legendary film series.
There's a rare harvest moon on the rise…and it will happen on Friday the 13th. https://t.co/qvNqMV1iKC
— ABC News (@ABC) September 10, 2019
The date is thought to be unlucky, but this superstition stems from the historical arrest and execution of the Templar Knights, an elite group of politically connected warriors who accrued so much power that they became a target for the nobility of the time.
For some reason, the date that this group was rounded up and arrested became marked as an unlucky day in history. It is also possible that the superstition surrounding the number 13 played a role in the development of this myth as well. More recently, the horror film “Friday the 13th,” has renewed the superstition for a new era, and now many people in modern times are legitimately afraid to leave their homes on this day.
Unfortunately for them, they won’t be able to check out the awesome harvest moon this week if they refuse to leave their homes! The fall equinox will occur just about a week after the harvest moon at 3:50 AM on Monday, September 23. The fall equinox marks the end of summer and the beginning of the autumn season. Many people today don’t realize it, but the passage of our seasons are actually determined by the alignment of celestial bodies, and this has been happening for many thousands of years.
Gov Newsom Aide Arrested For Trying To ‘Suffocate A Child With A Pillow’
A top aide for California Governor Gavin Newsom was arrested and charged with multiple felony domestic violence charges.
51-year-old Nathan Ballard was arrested on October 18th and received two felony charges of willful cruelty to a child with possible injury and death, and domestic violence. News of the incident did not reach the public until a Politico report revealed the details this week.
Ballard is a close “friend and adviser” to Governor Newsom, and the San Francisco Chronicle referred to him as a “longtime Newsom aide.”
Ballard is accused of being violent on numerous occasions, including one instance where he charged at his wife while he was drunk, pushing her into a glass door and causing her to fall and hit her head. He then allegedly attempted to “suffocate a child victim with a pillow,” according to police.
The child victim was reportedly a four-year-old female, but police would not say if it was his child.
“Ballard grabbed the pillow from the bed, placed it onto the child victim and laid on top of the pillow, placing his weight on the child victim who was under the pillow,” Police said.
Tony Brass, Ballard’s attorney, says that his client was actually the victim in the altercation.
“Nate and Mara went on an overnight vacation to Napa on Oct. 17 with their two young children. That night, after they both had too much to drink, they had an argument. Nate was the only one who emerged with any injuries. I saw and documented those injuries firsthand,” Brass said.
Brass also said that Ballard is now clean and sober and currently in a treatment program for his addiction.
“Nate knows that he is not perfect, but he is facing his own challenges head-on. After nearly eight years of continuous sobriety, Nate resumed drinking in April, after his father died. He is now clean and sober again, and he is currently in a residential recovery program to deal with his drinking problem in a responsible, comprehensive manner,” Brass said.
He is a good father, he has his children’s best interests at heart, and he wants to resolve this matter privately, quickly, and fairly for their sake,” he added.
Dem strategist Nathan Ballard — a longtime friend and adviser to Gov. Gavin Newsom — was arrested and jailed on two felony domestic violence charges in Napa that include an allegation of attempting "to suffocate a child with a pillow"@cmarinucci reportshttps://t.co/B4GCdZtr5g
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) December 3, 2020
Ballard currently runs a public relations agency that has advised many high profile clients in the professional sports world, Fortune 100 companies, and public figures in the tech industry.
In addition to once serving on Newsom’s staff, Ballard also served as spokesman for past Democratic presidential candidates Sen. John Kerry and General Wesley Clark and once served as communications director for the Democratic National Committee, the California Labor Federation.
Ballard issued a statement saying that he was wrongfully accused.
“I’ve spent my career in crisis communications fighting on behalf of the wrongfully accused, and now for the first time I really know what it feels like to be in their shoes,” Ballard said in a statement. “I will be exonerated. I love my children more than anything on earth, and we will be reunited.”
California Monolith Destroyed And Replaced With A Cross
A group of vandals drove over five hours to the new monolith in Atascadero, California to tear down the structure and replace it with a cross.
The group streamed their entire trip up until the moment that they took the structure down. The young men were chanting things like “America First” and “Christ is King” as they toppled the structure.
In the bizarre footage, they referred to the monolith as “gay” and at one point one of the individuals can be heard saying “Christ is king in this country. We don’t want illegal aliens from Mexico or outer space. So let’s tear this b***h down.”
“It was a learning experience. Nobody got arrested … It was fine because it was funny,” another young vandal can be heard saying.
A report in Vice News indicated that the live stream of the group’s trip was filled with racist and “edgelord” commentary, which should come as no surprise considering that they were broadcasting from a channel called “CultureWarCriminal.”
In the stream, they sang military songs like “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and discuss burning crosses. Two members in the back of the car were wearing combat helmets with night-vision goggles.
After the monolith heist, as the group was making their way down Pine Mountain, they were pursued by an unknown group of people. They turned off their lights and ducked into the bushes.
In the distance, someone can be heard yelling “grab the cross and beat them with it.”
They then discuss calling the police to frame the people who were after them as the monolith destroyers. Ultimately, they dropped the monument and fled in fear once they thought that someone was coming after them.
At this time, it is not clear if the monument was returned to the hill that it was taken from.
The monolith found in southern California looks more like the one found in Utah, which was made out of a sort of sheet metal, while the one found in Romania appeared to be welded out of a more solid metal. This new one also seems much larger in size than both previous monoliths.
The new monolith was found on a hiking trail in Atascadero, and was first reported by The Atascadero News on Wednesday.
The mystery began late last month in the Utah desert when helicopter pilots with the state’s highway patrol noticed a strange monolith in a remote area in the wilderness as they were counting sheep from above. After posting photos of the strange monument, internet sleuths tracked down the location and began flocking to the region for photo ops.
Within days, it was gone, taken by a group of environmentalists who felt that it was “trash” left in the desert where it didn’t belong.
This was not the end of the monolith saga though, as a new structure, very similar in shape and size, appeared on a famous Romanian hillside next to a famous tourist attraction. However, this monument disappeared shortly after its existence was reported as well, and this disappearance has not yet been explained.
Columbian Govt Wants To Legalize Cocaine And Then Sell It
Columbia is one of the most notorious producers of cocaine in the world, despite the fact that the country has gone to great lengths in hopes of diminishing the trade of the drug trade within its borders.
Now, some members of the Columbian government are proposing a new approach. They are calling for the drug to be legalized and for the government to take control of the industry for themselves.
In a new bill first proposed earlier this year, senators Iván Marulanda and Feliciano Valencia call for the Colombian government to take total control of the cocaine industry to bolster public funds and cut violent cartels out of the trade.
In a recent interview with VICE, Marulanda explained that the government would purchase coca at market price from the 200,000 farming families that are believed to be involved in the trade.
Columbia is considering a bill that makes the government buy up and sell the country’s cocaine production.
HOLY. SHIT. So instead try to stamp out drugs, Columbia tries to take control of the trade and regulate the problem? https://t.co/8SBmE45dmX
— Jason Ng (@ByJasonNg) December 2, 2020
The senators argued that it would actually be cheaper for authorities to buy the crop from the farmers than it would for them to destroy their crops. It costs the government roughly $1 billion every year to destroy coca crops, while it would only cost about $680 million to buy it.
“The thing is, we have to recover control over the state. We’re losing control of the state to corruption, narcos in politics. They’re in municipalities, in departments and in congress. All the way to the highest echelons of government,” Marulanda explained.
From here, the state would supply cocaine to users and research groups looking to study its use for painkillers, but it would not be sold recreationally. However, cocaine use is already legal in Columbia, after a court ruled that personal consumption was a human right.
Marulanda is not sure if his bill will make an impact, or how long it will take to gain traction, but he is hoping to make it a major election issue in 2022.
‘The first big obstacle is to open up the conversation among public opinion. This has been a giant taboo. Colombians are born and raised under this assumption that drug-trafficking is a war. There’s no information about coca and cocaine. So, with this bill we hope to open the conversation,” he explained.
In recent years, the government has stepped up their military-police-style enforcement of the industry, and yet cocaine production continues to grow in the country.
Coca cultivation reached 212,000 hectares last year, a rise of nearly 2% from 208,000 hectares the year before, according to figures released by the White House in March. Potential pure cocaine production, meanwhile, rose to 951 metric tons, an 8% increase, according to the Associated Press.
“It’s pretty remarkable that they manually eradicated 100,000 hectares last year and didn’t move the needle,” Adam Isacson of the Washington Office on Latin America think tank said earlier this year. “I guess it means replanting has at least kept pace.”
It seems that no matter what the government does, the cocaine keeps on coming, so politicians are willing to try things that may drastic. However, as Marulanda pointed out in his interview with Vice, cutting out the criminal middlemen will reduce the violence seen in the country’s drug war, and also make the drug safer for the people who use it.
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