Monday, April 23, 2018

Monday's Make Believe

Kevin Cullen placed on administrative leave

That was the first I've seen of it in the Globe, and it explains why he was missing from yesterday's paper. The announcement doesn't say why, but it is apparently for telling stories and literally making things up in the name of service

It's not the first time for the Globe or the pre$$ (remember the NYT's Jason Blair?); however, what it does do is add to the the growing body of evidence that suggests everything that you read in the paper stands a better than even chance of being total fakery, from mass shooting events to babies being thrown out of incubators to Syrian chemical attacks, and on and on and on. 

They are, to coin a phrasefake news.

**********

Exhibit A is today's top story:

Mount Ida projected an image of success right until it folded

They admit right up front it is all about imagery, then as now, but it now looks like a done deal anyway. Nothing you can do about it. Don't fall for the brochure next time.

A $49 lobster roll? A recent shortage has lobster prices soaring

The Globe has already moved on to summer even as spring has yet to arrive a month in (must be why I'm not up for Earth Daysorry).

(flip) 

Will a transmission line run through the wilds of Maine?

I guess that will be up to the voters, right?

A high-stakes European soccer match, made in Boston

Literally $elf-$erving $lop. 

**********

"Search continues for gunman who killed 4 in Nashville" by Christopher Mele New York Times  April 22, 2018

NEW YORK — A gunman wearing only a jacket and carrying an assault-style rifle opened fire at a Waffle House restaurant in Nashville early Sunday, killing four people and leaving the police searching for him and a motive, officials said.

The police sought murder warrants for the suspect, Travis Reinking, 29, of Morton, Ill., who remained at large. He was known to authorities for previous encounters, including one at the White House grounds in July.

Here we go again.

Don Aaron, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, said at a news conference that Reinking pulled into the parking lot of a Waffle House in the Antioch neighborhood of Nashville around 3:19 a.m. in a pickup truck.

He sat in the vehicle for up to four minutes before getting out and using an “assault-type rifle” to fatally wound two people who were outside the restaurant, Aaron said.

A customer who heard the shots ran in the direction of the restrooms and watched the gunman. When the customer heard the shooting stop and saw Reinking look down at his rifle, he rushed the gunman, wrestled the weapon away, and threw it over the counter, Aaron said.

“You had a citizen step up to intervene with an active shooter and that’s what this man did,” he said. “He is the hero here and no doubt he saved many lives.”

The mayor’s office identified the customer who intervened as James Shaw Jr. Shaw said he thought he heard plates crashing in the restaurant before he realized it was gunfire.

In an interview with The Tennessean, Shaw said he saw an opportunity to rush the gunman. He said he was unsure if the man was reloading or his weapon had jammed.

“It really wasn’t a process of thinking,” he said. “It was more so of a Now, you have to do this now or if I let him load that weapon, there wasn’t going to be another window, there wasn’t going to be another chance.”

‘‘He shot through that door; I'm pretty sure he grazed my arm,’’ Shaw recalled at a news conference. “At that time I made up my mind . . . that he was going to have to work to kill me. When the gun jammed or whatever happened, I hit him with the swivel door.’’

The gun then jammed and Shaw managed to get one hand on the gun and grab it. He then threw it over the countertop and took the shooter with him out the entrance. Shaw said the shooter then trotted away.

The gunman, who was naked but for a green jacket, then fled and shed the jacket as he reached a corner not far from the Waffle House.

I'm waffling on whether I believe this or not.

A Secret Service agent said Reinking was arrested last July outside the White House complex, where he had hoped to talk to President Trump, the Associated Press reported. Special Agent Todd Hudson in Nashville said Reinking ‘‘wanted to set up a meeting with the president.’’

Hudson says Reinking tried to cross bike racks near the White House grounds that were part of security barriers. He was asked to leave the restricted area, and when he declined, he was arrested on a charge of unlawful entry. Aaron said it was unclear what Reinking was doing in Nashville or what had motivated him.....

Of course, the first thing Democrats are calling for is restricting ‘‘widespread civilian access to military-grade assault weapons,’’ calling into question the veracity of this strange event.

--more--" 

I hate to say Manchurian candidate, but.....

"Fifty years ago Monday, Columbia University students angry about racism and the Vietnam War began a rebellion that fed a sense the country was in turmoil. Student militants occupied Hamilton Hall, the main classroom building, and took a dean hostage for 24 hours. Over the next few days, hundreds of students would seize a total of five campus buildings. Then, early on April 30, a thousand police officers swept in and cleared out the rebels. As Columbia prepares to observe the anniversary, some people who lived through the occupations see parallels with today’s young activists....."

Yeah, kids were better back then, before joining a union, and you can bank on that.

"A neo-Nazi rally outside of Atlanta did not last very long. When rally participants converged on Greenville Street Park in Newnan shortly after 4 p.m., it appeared there were only about two dozen white nationalists on a platform there. In front of the rally participants was a smattering of reporters in a grassy area that was mostly empty. Beyond that were barricades and dozens of law enforcement officers. And beyond all of that, at least 100 people stood in opposition to the gathering....."

I'm tired of the controlled opposition on both sides.

Lobbyist tied to Pruitt’s rental helped broker meeting with him last year

Russian lawyer questions why Mueller hasn’t contacted her

Has something to do with an abortion and a wall and a hearing before the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Trump is out golfing as the Globe looks forward to 2020.

**********

"Trump denies he’s making too many concessions to North Korea" by Katie Rogers New York Times  April 22, 2018

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Analysts inside and outside the US government believe that Kim’s ultimate goal is to have his country recognized as a nuclear power even as he offers enough concessions — some potentially largely symbolic — to press the United States into easing crippling economic sanctions.

Analysts who study North Korea’s diplomatic patterns say there is cause for concern over Kim’s overtures, given his murky motives and his apparent effort to use the concessions to try to achieve the upper hand in the negotiation process.

North Korea has a long history of not abiding by promises to curtail its nuclear program.

Chuck Todd, host of NBC’s “Meet the Press, reflected the skepticism among lawmakers, as well as some former and current White House officials.

That about says it all, doesn't it? 

The War Pre$$ has already prejudged the meeting before it has been held. Can't even have a glimmer of peace without them throwing cold water on it.

Some officials worry that Trump may be so eager to reach a historic deal that he will be lured into an agreement that falls short of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula that global powers have demanded.

On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Kim’s efforts should be met with caution.

The Republican said North Korea’s leader has staged a “great public relations effort” to woo Trump.

Well, that is one area he has the upper hand on the pre$$. 

Corker’s committee will vote Monday on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to head the CIA, which would then move to the full Senate. Pompeo, a former Kansas lawmaker, is nearing the votes he needs for confirmation after Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota said she will cross party lines to back him.

I wonder what circumstances she would herself in.

Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas and a close ally of Trump, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Friday’s announcement by North Korea was easily reversible. “It’s better than continued testing, but it’s not much better than that,” said Cotton, a member of Senate intelligence and armed services committees.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, termed North Korea’s pledge to suspend missile testing “a beginning.”

“The question is whether it lasts or not,” Feinstein said on CBS program. “The reputation of the North Koreans has been that they don’t necessarily keep their agreements.”

OMFG!!

Right next to this page A10 article is this gem:

"The US president is on the verge of abandoning the Iran deal and potentially could force the Europeans to leave it, as well." 

They even had the Iranian foreign minister on CBS’s ‘‘Face the Nation’’ yesterday.

The question now is, why should Kim believe anything Trump says?

(Of course, Israel put the kibosh on the refugee deal with the U.N. not long ago. You know, while we are on the topic of reputations and keeping agreements)

Trump sought to project an air of only-time-will-tell caution. “We are a long way from conclusion on North Korea, maybe things will work out, and maybe they won’t,” Trump wrote. Later in the day, the president had a word for those who had publicly counseled him to proceed warily. “Funny how all of the pundits that couldn’t come close to making a deal on North Korea are now all over the place telling me how to make a deal!” he tweeted. 

Yeah, this guy is a down-to-earth negotiator while the pre$$ tries to make him appear unhinged.

Kim told a ruling party meeting in Pyongyang on Friday that his regime would suspend tests of atomic bombs and intercontinental ballistic missiles now that it has achieved its goal of building a nuclear arsenal, the official Korean Central News Agency reported.....

Just yesterday the pre$$ was telling us he has secret weapons labs.

--more--"

"Macron takes a risk in courting Trump, but has little to show for it" by Alissa J. Rubin New York Times   April 22, 2018

PARIS — President Emmanuel Macron was put on the spot this year in front of a room full of journalists when one asked: Which man is more dangerous, North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, or President Trump?

“You know, I have always refrained from making sweeping judgments,” Macron answered slowly, weighing his words. “The American people have chosen their president,” he said.

With that careful answer, the leader of France sought to reassure a French public hostile to the US president that pure pragmatism governed his relations, while hinting that by giving Trump the benefit of the doubt, he could get something in return.

But has he? Macron departs Monday for his first official visit to Washington at a particularly difficult moment in his young presidency. His popularity is challenged on many fronts. His ambitious domestic reform program has been barraged by strikes. His big plans to overhaul the European Union are in tatters.

And the verdict on the French president’s subtle calculus toward Trump is distinctly mixed. Almost alone among Europe’s leaders, Macron has struck an apparent rapport with the mercurial US president, who has taken pride in testing, even alienating, some of the United States’ oldest and truest allies.

Macron has made a gamble, given Trump’s unpopularity, that he can court him but not be tarnished by him — or even that he can burnish his own reputation as a leader who is so psychologically astute that he can gain the ear of a US president who is in many respects his polar opposite.

A year into a sustained charm offensive, Macron has won a trip to Washington, occasioned by an invitation from Trump for a formal state visit, the first the US leader has extended during his presidency.

France and the United States have found themselves on the same page when it comes to terrorism and working closely together on the problems in North Africa, as well as in the Middle East, but other than that, he has little to show for his courtship of Trump.....

--more--"

"ISIS suicide bomber kills at least 57 Afghans in Kabul" by Mujib Mashal and Jawad Skhanyar New York Times  April 22, 2018

KABUL — A suicide bomber killed at least 57 people Sunday as they lined up at a government office in Kabul to register to vote, raising new concerns about the potential for violence to undermine Afghanistan’s long-delayed parliamentary elections. 

Screams false flag even if real.

Public interest in the October elections has been alarmingly low because of voter fatigue after successive fraudulent elections and concerns about the threat to safety at polling stations posed by suicide bombers and other violence from groups opposing the government.

Soon after the Taliban denied responsibility, the Islamic State said it was behind the carnage, according to the group’s Amaq news agency.

!!!!!!!

Although the group’s area of control and number of fighters in Afghanistan have largely been reduced through heavy airstrikes and commando operations, the militants still continue to claim attacks in urban centers.

Among the victims were children in uniform who were on their way to a nearby school.

There you go! Waving the bloody shirt at you with a hallmark of false flag terror.

They think this will improve turnout, or is it to cause another delay?

The parliamentary elections have been delayed by three years as the leaders of the coalition government, which came out of a messy presidential election that almost tore the country apart, debated measures to prevent the fraud that had marred previous elections.

After public disagreements that added to the voter fatigue, the leaders announced an October date for the elections.

They also decided to declare void the millions of voter identification cards already in circulation, which have been used in vote rigging in the past.

Instead, they asked people to return to their local polling centers and register with their national ID cards. 

Democrats to soon file lawsuit.

Officials and party leaders have expressed concern about the low response, especially after recent attacks targeting registration centers or their staff. In the first week of voter registration, just 190,000 people signed up — from what political parties estimated is a pool of about 14 million eligible voters.

“We are concerned about the rate of voter registration,” said Bashir Ahmad Tayanj, a spokesman for the Junbish party, an Uzbek group. “If people don’t take part in the election, it will be meaningless.”

That's what I've been trying to tell my fellow citizens. 

How do you claim a political victory and mandate to govern if no one (or a slim percentage) votes?

Security officials have said that close to 1,000 polling stations are completely beyond government control, while more than 2,000 others are in areas that are described as medium or high security risks. In total, there are about 7,355 polling stations in Afghanistan.

In the northern Balkh province, a district police chief died of his wounds after being shot Saturday during an exchange of gunfire with insurgents, according to Sher Jan Durrani, spokesman for the provincial police chief. He said about a dozen insurgents were also killed, the AP reported.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for that killing.

Last week, three police officers guarding voter registration centers in two Afghan provinces were killed by militants.

Afghan security forces have struggled to prevent attacks by the local Islamic State affiliate as well as the more firmly established Taliban since the United States and NATO concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014.....

Yup, gotta send more troops to secure the vote!

--more--"

Funny how ISIS™ pops up in Afghanistan all of sudden after being run out Syria.

"Syrian military pummels ISIS-held districts in Damascus" Associated Press  April 22, 2018

BEIRUT — Syrian government forces used warplanes, helicopters, and artillery on Sunday to pound districts of the capital held by the Islamic State, in a bid to enforce an evacuation deal reached with the militants last week.

Two Palestinian refugees, a father and a son, were killed during the fighting at the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, according to the United Nation’s Palestinian refugee agency, which added that thousands of homes have been destroyed in four days of fighting.

(Blog editor reads these things and shakes his head. Now the Jewi$h War Pre$$ cares about Palestinians! Nothing regarding Gaza today, mind you. It's the Syrians killing the Palestinian refugees! The US and Israel bombings down the new$ cycle memory hole)

Hundreds of ISIS militants hold parts of the Yarmouk camp and nearby area of Hajar al-Aswad in southern Damascus. They agreed to give up their last pocket there on Friday but have yet to begin surrendering to government forces and relocating to ISIS-held areas elsewhere in the country.

ISIS™ holding Palestinians hostage!

State-run al-Ikhbariya TV showed thick gray smoke billowing from the Hajar al-Aswad neighborhood on Sunday, and government warplanes streaking overhead amid heavy bombardment of the area.

Residents of Damascus reported hearing loud booms throughout the night and Sunday morning.

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunnes said that since the start of fighting four days ago, most of the six thousand civilians in Yarmouk camp have been forcibly displaced to the neighboring area of Yalda.

It never ends for them, does it?

‘‘Most fled their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Their needs are dire. There are reports that people are begging for medicine. Some have spent their first nights in the street,’’ he said in a statement.

Gunnes added that the camp’s last functioning hospital, Palestine Hospital, is now completely unable to operate, and called on all sides to allow for the safe evacuation of civilians wishing to leave the area.

President Bashar Assad has escalated his military campaign to retake all remaining enclaves in the capital and surrounding areas.....

--more--" 

All Iran's fault, right?

"Iran detains ex-prosecutor convicted in 2009 torture case" Associated Press  April 22, 2018

TEHRAN — Iranian police have arrested a former prosecutor known as the ‘‘torturer of Tehran,’’ who faces a two-year jail term over the death of prisoners after protests in 2009, Iranian media reported on Sunday.

Huh. 

Wish some American officials would do that. Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, pick one.

The official website of the judiciary, Mizanonline.com, said former Tehran prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi has been arrested, without elaborating. The semiofficial Tasnim news agency said police detained Mortazavi in a villa in northern Iran, near the Caspian Sea.

Mortazavi was sentenced to prison by an appeals court in December. That court found him guilty of ‘‘aiding and abetting’’ the torture and deaths of protesters arrested after the disputed reelection of hard-line president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Since that court decision, Mortazavi apparently couldn’t be found by authorities.

‘‘They could not find him despite the arrest warrant,’’ judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejehi said last week.

Canada has blamed Mortazavi for the death in custody of Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi in 2003.....

My pre$$ cares about him, but not the Palestinian kid Israel shot dead.

--more--"

"Dozens of businesses looted amid Nicaragua unrest" Associated Press  April 22, 2018

MANAGUA — Dozens of shops in the Nicaraguan capital of Managua have been looted as protests and disturbances sparked by government social security reforms continued into Sunday.

Human rights groups say at least 26 people have been killed in several days of clashes.

Images broadcast by local news media showed looted shops in the sprawling Oriental Market district and at least one Walmart.

Police apparently did not intervene, in contrast to what had been a heavy-handed response to the demonstrations, in which dozens have been injured or arrested.

RelatedUS alleges ‘excessive force’ in Nicaragua

Well, we know who is behind the unrest. US needs to move out another left-leaning head of state, no doubt.

State-controlled media blamed protesters for the looting, while critics speculated that it was being allowed in order to pressure the business sector, which has set conditions for talks with the government, including an end to the harsh crackdown.

‘‘We are seeing social chaos in Nicaragua provoked by the absence of government leadership, and the crisis has been combined with poverty, and that in any society is a time bomb,’’ sociologist and analyst Cirilo Otero said.....

Coming to AmeriKa?

--more--"

Maybe not:

"Son of ex-dictator’s aide favored as Paraguay votes" Associated Press  April 22, 2018

ASUNCION, Paraguay — The son of a former dictator’s top aide appeared to have a strong lead heading into Sunday’s election for Paraguayan president, aided by a booming economy under his party.

But will it hold him the House?

Mario Abdo Benitez has promised to continue the business-friendly policies of outgoing President Horacio Cartes and he has downplayed any fears of a return to the heavy-handed past of Alfredo Stroessner, who ruled from 1954 to 1989. Abdo’s father was Stroessner’s private secretary.

Polls showed him with a lead of more than 20 percentage points over his closest rival, 55-year-old lawyer Efrain Alegre of the Authentic Radical Liberal Party, who also finished second in the last election.

The two candidates have similar platforms, promising to attract foreign investment to create jobs in an economy that has been one of the fastest-growing in the region but still suffers from high poverty levels, extreme inequality, and endemic corruption. Both also are social conservatives who have criticized sex education and abortion rights.

That is what elections are boiling down to, social issues -- if there is any difference at all.

Abdo’s Colorado Party has led Paraguay with only a few interruptions since the mid-20th century. The landlocked nation of about 7 million people borders Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil.

Election officials reported no serious disturbances during the balloting, though a woman was detained for hitting Abdo in the shoulder while he was at the polling place..... 

A clean election? 

That's a first down there.

--more--"

"Armenia protest leader arrested after failed talks" Associated Press  April 22, 2018

YEREVAN, Armenia — The leader of major political protests that have gripped the Armenian capital for more than a week was arrested Sunday, while the streets of Yerevan echoed with blaring car horns as protesters tried a new technique for expressing opposition.

The protests that began on April 13 center on the appointment of former president Serzh Sargsyan as prime minister, part of Armenia’s transition to a governmental system that reduces the powers of the presidency and bolsters the premier’s.

Critics say the change effectively allows Sargsyan to lead the country for life.

Sargsyan and protest leader Nikola Pashinian met Sunday morning for brief televised talks. The prime minister walked out after Pashinian made it clear he would only discuss Sargsyan’s resignation.

The protest leader was arrested later in the day.

As crowds gathered in various areas of Yerevan, police tried to break them up and there were clashes between officers and some protesters.

At least 232 demonstrators were detained, police spokesman Ashot Aragonian said. The Health Ministry said seven people were hospitalized for problems related to the demonstrations.

On Saturday, President Armen Sarkisian, a former Armenian prime minister and ambassador to Britain who was elected in March when term limits required Sargsyan to step down, came to the square to speak with Pashinian. Their discussion was not broadcast to the crowd.....

Looks a destabilization campaign to keep Russia busy.

--more--"

**********

DA says woman killed in North Andover was likely strangled

That is why she couldn't scream.

Dogs in tow, residents remember Mrs. Bush

Time to close the book on her and wait for the movie.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Flying a Kite

You can bask in the glow of the sun as I do:

"Harvard grad students vote to unionize" by Katie Johnston Globe Staff  April 20, 2018

Harvard University graduate students have voted to join the United Auto Workers, part of a wave of teaching and research assistants on private college campuses embracing the labor movement.

The UAW, with its deep blue-collar roots, has become a seemingly unlikely bastion of academic organizing. At Harvard, those backing the union said they are looking for stability in their wages (the usual 3 percent annual raise was cut in half this school year), more robust health care, and a better process for resolving grievances. But above all, they are seeking bargaining power, said Ben Green, a fourth-year PhD student in applied math. “The main thing that we really want is to have a greater say, greater democracy, in our working conditions,” he said.

The rise in unionization among graduate students reflects the growing role of younger, more white-collar workers in unions. “These workers and our union are not defeated or demoralized by the threat posed by an anti-worker National Labor Relations Board put in place by President Trump and the Republican Congress,” said Julie Kushner, director of UAW Region 9A, which covers New England.

They have been the only ones that are effective, the rich man's unions!

Some campaigns have reached a fever pitch. At Harvard, the administration has sent a series of e-mails to students making a case against unionization, referencing the Columbia strike and noting that school deans and leaders would be “legally prohibited from working directly with individual students” on matters of wages and working conditions.

Along with increased stipends, better health care coverage, and more stability in their work, Harvard organizers want a sexual harassment policy that gives students more protection. Just last month, the prominent Harvard government professor Jorge Dominguez was placed on leave, and then abruptly retired, after allegations of sexual misconduct spanning three decades came to light. Despite the fact that multiple women had complained to university administrators over the years, Dominguez continued to climb the ranks.

A contract recently negotiated by the UAW at the University of Connecticut strengthened protections against sexual harassment, union officials note, including detailing specific offenses — such as sexual innuendo, unwanted touching, and standing too close — and expanding the time period that students have to file a complaint.

Grad students are highly dependent on their advisers, especially in science, where research tends to be funded by grants awarded to specific professors, making those students more vulnerable to abuse because their jobs depend on that person, said Green, the Harvard applied-math student.

Niharika Singh, a fourth-year PhD student in public policy, said, “With a union we have expanded options for dealing with sexual harassment on campus. These are not minor issues. They are pervasive.”

--more--"

That's why you have to elect more women.....

(flip)

..... and start naming boardrooms after them.

Was hoping you kids would protest something that could affect us all, but here comes my meal (hope it isn't fish).

**********

"Dorchester Academy scheduled to close" by James Vaznis Globe Staff  April 20, 2018

A Dorchester high school that caters to students at risk of dropping out — and that has been under state scrutiny — would close in June under a proposal that Boston school officials released Friday.

The proposal by Superintendent Tommy Chang caps off nearly a year of speculation inside Dorchester Academy that Chang was planning to shut down the school, sparking a string of denials by Chang and other top officials last fall.

Just 15 students are enrolled at the school and almost all are slated to graduate this year, school officials said. The school system stopped assigning students to the school sometime during this school year, contributing to intrigue about the school’s future.

A centerpiece of Boston school officials’ effort to turn around Dorchester Academy was transforming the one-time traditional high school into an alternative education program, in recognition that many of its students were academically behind by several years, missed classes frequently, and were at risk of quitting school.

The effort included reducing enrollment somewhat to give students more individualized attention and placed a premium on hands-on projects and internships, but enrollment dropped far more than anticipated.....

--more--"

Related:

"One of Superintendent Tommy Chang’s top deputies is leaving the school system at the end of this school year, the school system confirmed Thursday. Karla Estrada, deputy superintendent of academics and student support services, sent a letter to the school community Wednesday announcing her departure. “Although this was a tough decision, I know that this is the right time for me to spend with my family and explore professional opportunities,” Estrada wrote....."

"Headmasters at two Boston high schools have been removed from their positions at least temporarily, a school official confirmed Thursday, but it remains unclear why the moves were made. Superintendent Tommy Chang notified the affected schools last week. In a letter dated March 27, Chang told the West Roxbury Academy community that its longtime headmaster, Rudolph Weekes, was being placed on leave immediately. Two days later, Chang sent a similar letter to the Brighton High School community that its headmaster, Robert Rametti, who was appointed to the job a year ago, was going on leave immediately. In both cases, Chang said support services would be offered to students at each school if any of them had any questions or concerns....."

Also seeFacebook temporarily removes Black Market Dudley’s page

Back to that theme, huh?

"Harvard students rally against gun violence" by Elise Takahama Globe Correspondent  April 20, 2018

CAMBRIDGE — Scores of students gathered on the steps of Widener Library in Harvard Yard on Friday, the 19th anniversary of the shootings in Columbine, Colo., to speak out against gun violence.

Organizers said efforts must be made to protect all people, particularly those subject to racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia.

“I think this had a very different tone from a lot of the national walkouts across the country in its emphasis in giving voices to minorities,” said Te Palandjian, a freshman at Harvard.

She said most of the speakers at the event were intentionally women and people of color, including representatives from Black Lives Matter Cambridge, the Muslim Justice League, and the Phillips Brooks House Association.

“Harvard is historically a white, upper-class institution, and it was incredibly important to us that we do not put those voices at the forefront of the movement,” said another organizer, Leo Garcia, also a freshman.

“We enjoyed the idea of having a primarily white and privileged audience because the speakers we invited were ones we knew would make people uncomfortable,” Garcia said. “It was the perfect audience to be tackling.”

The Harvard sit-in was part of a national movement organized by Lane Murdock, a sophomore at Ridgefield High School in Connecticut, who started a petition on Change.org after the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In her call to action, she pushed students to protest by signing the petition, wearing orange — a color now associated with the gun control movement — and walking out of class at 10 a.m. Friday.

Massachusetts public school students are on spring vacation. But dozens of private school students marched on Boston Common against gun violence.

Back in Cambridge, Harvard junior Rosie Wigglesworth said, “I am so inspired by the work that students have been doing over the last couple of months to stand up and tell our parents, our adults, the people who are supposed to be looking out for us, that they’re not doing what they’re supposed to be doing and that if they’re not going to, then we will.”

--more--"

Related: Cosby and the Cambridge Cops

"Feds seek 70-month sentence for Liberian national who attacked ICE agents trying to deport him" by Travis Andersen Globe Staff   April 20, 2018

A Liberian national with “a history of violent aggressive behavior and domestic abuse” should spend 70 months in federal prison for badly injuring an officer attempting to transport him back to his home country in August, prosecutors said Friday.

Federal prosecutors filed their sentencing request for Mohammed Kenneh in US District Court in Boston. Kenneh, who is in his mid-30s, pleaded guilty in January to resisting a federal officer.

Prosecutors wrote that Kenneh, initially granted lawful permanent residence in the US in 2000,  “appears to have a history of violent aggressive behavior and domestic abuse. This is clearly documented in his criminal convictions, but also evident from the extensive number of other criminal arrests, the majority of which have resulted in dismissals.”

Three women took out four separate restraining orders against Kenneh between 2002 and 2012, prosecutors said, and he “has a history of drug and alcohol abuse. He has participated in brief alcohol detox programs three times in the past, and is not interested in receiving additional substance abuse treatment.”

Just trying to put food on the table for his family, I'm sure.

--more--"

Like this guy:

"Jurors got a look Friday at Bill Cosby’s travel records as his lawyers made the case that he never visited his suburban Philadelphia mansion in the month he is accused of drugging and molesting a woman there. Cosby’s lawyers say the alleged assault on Andrea Constand could not have happened in January 2004. The date is important because Cosby was not charged until December 2015, just before the 12-year statute of limitations was set to expire. The defense produced logs for Cosby’s private jet flights as well as several days’ worth of schedules listing his whereabouts and media appearances. The schedules do not indicate what Cosby was doing during his personal time. Debbie Meister, his personal assistant, testified that the flights on Cosby’s Gulfstream IV coincided with performances and other events on Cosby’s schedule. None of the records showed him flying into or out of Philadelphia-area airports from December 2003 to February 2004. Testimony will resume Monday....."

Hey, the Globe loves you ladies

Just don't eat any lettuce.

"Students protest gun violence on Columbine anniversary" by Marissa J. Lang Washington Post  April 20, 2018

WASHINGTON — Columbine marked the start of an era of deadly school rampages.

And there have always been questions about what really happened there.

Overall, Friday’s protests appeared to be much smaller than a similar student-led national walkout March 14 and the ‘‘March for Our Lives’’ rallies that took place across the country March 24.

Several factors may have contributed to the lower turnout, including a lack of promotion about the event, questions about its goals, conflicts with mandatory standardized testing and, in some cases, protest fatigue among students.

NOOOOOO!

School administrators have also been rethinking their approach to the student actions. In many districts that had encouraged or facilitated student participation in earlier walkouts or moments of silence on campus, administrators were less inclined to continue accommodating the protests.

Don't worry, kids, the teachers are still behind you.

Students at a Forest High School in Ocala, Fla., 270 miles north of Parkland, had to cancel their planned walkout after an early morning shooting at their school.

Fear gripped Forest High School when a gunman who carried a shotgun in a guitar case opened fire, wounding one student before he was taken into custody, authorities said.

The school was put under lockdown, the Associated Press reported. The wounded student, a 17-year-old boy, was taken to a local hospital for treatment of an injury to his ankle.

The timing is just to convenient, sorry.

Some students and teachers piled desks and filing cabinets against classroom doors as a makeshift barricade as hundreds of students at the Washington event sat in silence for 19 minutes — one for every year since the Columbine shooting.

Hannah Weisman, 18, a senior at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Md., said she has been wondering if her school could be next. “It could happen.’’

--more--"

Not here:

""A Massachusetts high school student has been charged after police say he brought a knife to school. The Enterprise reports that the knife was discovered Tuesday at Brockton High School after a teacher overheard a 16-year-old student saying he hoped no one looked in his bag. Police responded and confiscated the knife. School officials did not provide a size or description of the knife. The student was not arrested, but he has been charged with carrying a dangerous weapon on school grounds. A schools spokesman says the student is also facing school discipline....."

He stabbed someone in the Star Market on his way home.

"A drunken, gun-toting man alarmed people at a CVS in the South End on Sunday night when his firearm fell out of his pants, and he later threatened to harm responding police officers, authorities said. The incident unfolded around 9:05 p.m. inside a CVS at 285 Columbus Ave., Boston police said in a statement. “Responding officers were informed that a customer who appeared to be highly intoxicated was at the front counter of the store when a firearm fell from his pant leg onto the floor,” the release said. “Upon arrival, officers observed the described suspect standing just inside the main doors. Officers were able to secure the suspect without incident, however, as they did so, he threatened that he could have shot the officers if he wanted. Officers conducted a pat frisk and recovered a loaded black Desert Eagle firearm from his waistband.” Police identified the suspect as 29-year-old Christopher Baker, of Dorchester. He was arrested on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, unlawfully carrying a loaded firearm, unlawful possession of a large capacity firearm, and threats to do bodily harm, according to the statement. He allegedly doubled down on those threats at booking. “During the booking process, Baker reiterated his threats to ‘take down’ the officers,” the release said....."

Here is what complete gun control looks like:

"4 Palestinians killed as Gaza border clashes resume" by Erin Cunningham Washington Post  April 20, 2018

GAZA CITY — At least four Palestinians were killed and hundreds injured Friday as Israeli forces tried to disperse mass demonstrations along the border zone with the Gaza Strip for a fourth consecutive week, officials in Gaza said.

Israeli troops fired tear gas and live rounds at crowds gathered near the barriers between Israel and Gaza, which has been under an Israeli blockade for more than a decade. Some Palestinian protesters threw stones and attached homemade firebombs to kites, which they flew across the border.

Oh, those crazy Palestinians!!

What, they not get the catapult working yet?

By late afternoon, crowds had swelled, and black smoke from burning tires billowed over the demonstrations. At least 726 protesters were injured, a spokesman for Gaza’s health ministry said, including more than 150 who were wounded by gunshots.

The protests Friday marked the fourth week of mass rallies for what organizers have called the ‘‘Great March of Return.’’ It was initially conceived as an effort to highlight the right of Palestinian refugees to return to land they left behind when Israel was created in 1948.

The demonstrations also underscore the plight of Palestinians living in Gaza, where a blockade has stunted the economy, and jobs and basic services are scarce.

Since the border protests began last month, 34 Palestinians have been killed and more than 4,000 injured, according to Palestinians. The United Nations has slammed Israel for ‘‘excessive use of force.’’

I don't know if they have "slammed" them, but the death toll proves I'm not crazy as the numbers are thrown around.

Israel, in turn, said the protests are violent and provide cover for militant attacks. Israeli aircraft dropped fliers over the border areas Friday, urging protesters to stay away from the border fence.

‘‘You are participating in violent riots,’’ the leaflets said. ‘‘Stay away from the terror instigators and violent riot orchestrators.’’

In a statement Friday, Israeli Defense Forces said that 3,000 Palestinians participated in riots in five locations along the border.

Demonstrators, the army said, were ‘‘attempting to approach security infrastructure, burning tires adjacent to it and attempting to fly kites with burning items attached.’’

Think what that is going against: tanks, planes, etc.

Two Palestinian men were fatally shot in a border area in northern Gaza on Friday, the health ministry said.

On Thursday, the militant group Islamic Jihad released a video showing a gunman watching Israeli army officials through the scope of a rifle.

‘‘You are killing our people in cold blood,’’ the video said. ‘‘And think that you are protected.’’

The Palestinians don't need their kind of help, calling into question who is really behind the terror groups.

All Palestinian factions in Gaza have supported the protests, including Hamas, the militant group that rules the 140-square-mile territory.

Israel has accused Hamas, which the United States has designated a terrorist organization, of using civilian protesters as shields to ‘‘terrorize Israel.’’

Israel and Egypt have imposed travel and trade restrictions on the territory since Hamas took power in 2007. Hamas and Israel have fought three wars in Gaza in the past 10 years.

Wars? More like assaults.

And think about this for a second: between the catapult, kites, and stabbings, you come to realize that the Palestinians DO NOT HAVE GUNS!!

At the demonstrations near Gaza City on Friday, Hamas officials toured a protest camp about 700 yards from the border. Its supporters were bused in from mosques in the area, and muscular men with closely cropped beards patrolled the camp and checked participants’ identification.

A large prayer site was set up, and a troupe performed an Arab and Palestinian folk dance called ‘‘dabke.’’

‘‘They realized after the first [protest] that they would achieve more with peaceful action, because they would lose a military confrontation’’ with Israel, Mukhaimar Abu Saada, a political analyst and professor at Gaza’s al-Azhar University, said of Hamas.

‘‘If Hamas decided not to participate, the number of protesters would be really low,’’ he said. ‘‘But the fear is that this will turn from a peaceful protest into a violent one. Throwing molotov cocktails is not peaceful — it’s violent.’’

And who benefits?

The atmosphere near Gaza City was festive Friday, even as protesters clashed with Israeli troops at the fence. Vendors with carts and megaphones sold everything from nuts to ice cream to grilled liver sandwiches. Palestinians took selfies with posters of Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

Closer to the border, protesters were more hardened. At a small staging area in a dusty lot, masked youths launched kites with rags and plastic bottles attached, which they set alight with lighter fluid. Two kites were emblazoned with the Nazi symbol, which they flew over the border.

That's funny because it tells you they were most likely false flags from settlers!


--more--" 

If you would like to help pay for the burial of the little girl.....

"Islamic State to give up last district in Syrian capital" Associated Press  April 20, 2018

BEIRUT — Islamic State militants agreed to give up their last pocket in Damascus on Friday, state media reported, as the government seeks to retake the entire Syrian capital and its surrounding areas for the first time since 2011.

So why would they gas people?

The capitulation followed a week of escalations by progovernment forces against the ISIS-held Hajar al-Aswad neighborhood and Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Damascus.

Progovernment forces bombed the two areas and blanketed them with artillery fire in a crescendo of violence captured by the state-affiliated Central Military Media outlet on Friday.

The UN’s refugee agency warned that the spiraling violence was a threat to 12,000 Palestinian refugees still there — Palestinians who came to Syria since 1948, and their descendants.

That must be the U.N. slamming of Israel. 

Hey, look over here at Syria.

Militants were given the option to stay and reconcile with the government or leave on buses to ISIS-held territory in the eastern Syrian desert, the SANA state news agency said. It did not say when the relocations would begin.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group reported the militants had accepted the deal, but government airstrikes on Yarmouk resumed Friday evening, putting the fate of the agreement in question.

In 2012, Syrian rebels and army defectors pushed progovernment forces out of Yarmouk in response to a spiraling crackdown by state security services against antigovernment protests.

Progovernment forces, including Palestinian factions, responded by putting the camp under siege, eventually cutting off food and water by 2014, and bombing and shelling it continuously.

And that is different from Gaza how?

Residents trickled out to neighboring areas, and the camp’s population dwindled from an estimated 200,000 people to a few thousand today, not including the ISIS militants, who took over the camp after a battle with rebels in 2015.

Earlier on Thursday, the Damascus-based Palestinian official Khaled Abdel Majid said the government was giving hard-liners two days to leave Yarmouk and Hajar al-Aswad, leaving the government with control of the two neighborhoods.

That initial deal appeared to have collapsed. It was not immediately clear why.

Also Friday, the US-led international coalition against the Islamic State announced the capture of a Syrian-born German Islamic State operative previously tied to a 9/11-linked jihadist cell.

US Colonel Ryan Dillon said the coalition’s local allies in Syria captured Mohammed Haydar Zammar in northeast Syria about four weeks ago.

Zammar, a Syrian-born German, was a key member of a Hamburg jihadist cell that included three of the Sept. 11 suicide pilots. Dillon said Zammar was in custody of the Syrian Democratic Forces. 

--more--"

Found him just in time:

"Berlin police removed thousands of people from a central area of the German capital Friday and shut down the main train station as a precaution while they defused and removed an unexploded World War II bomb found during recent construction work. Some 10,000 residents and workers were forced to leave an area of about a square mile, including the train station, while bomb experts defused the 1,100-pound British bomb dropped during the war. Even 73 years after the end of the war, such discoveries remain common in major German cities....."

At least the Spain said they're sorry.

Sanctions hurting North Korea, but evasion continues

So says the New York Times. My printed paper carried the Washington ComPost version, and you'll have to pay for that.

Isn't even going to be a trade war with Asia, which means more jobs ($weet) and exports:

"Southwest is sending a letter of apology, a $5,000 check, and a $1,000 travel voucher to passengers who were on the flight. Chairman Gary Kelly says in the letter that the money is to help cover any ‘‘immediate financial needs.’’ Passenger Marty Martinez of Dallas says he has no immediate plan to cash the check. He wants to talk to a lawyer. Eric Zilbert of Davis, Calif., says that after consulting with an attorney, he will cash his. Meanwhile, a public memorial service for 43-three-year-old banking executive Jennifer Riordan is set for Sunday in Albuquerque....."

The big question still looms: What will the GE of the future look like?

"A steep slide in technology companies weighed on U.S. stocks Friday, pulling the market lower for the second day in a row. Losses among retailers, packaged food and beverage makers and other consumer goods companies also helped weigh down the market. Banks rose as bond yields continued to climb, reflecting increasing investor concerns of higher inflation in the wake of rising oil and other commodity prices. Still, the indexes finished the week with a gain...."

Time to take the Silver Line over to the funeral as that theme again takes hold (don't mention the racism and white privilege in the eulogy).

*********

Unbelievably, Saturday's National lead was fake news:

"DNC sues Trump campaign, Russia, alleging plot to influence the election" by Tom Hamburger Washington Post  April 20, 2018

WASHINGTON — The Democratic National Committee filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit Friday against the Russian government, the Trump campaign, and the WikiLeaks group alleging a far-reaching conspiracy to disrupt the 2016 campaign and tilt the election to Donald Trump.

The complaint, filed in federal district court in Manhattan, alleges that top Trump campaign officials conspired with the Russian government and its military spy agency to hurt Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and help Trump. It alleges they conspired to hack the Democratic Party’s computer networks and disseminate stolen material found there.

OMG, the "hacks" were leaks by Seth Rich and others.

WikiLeaks said in a Twitter message: ‘‘DNC already has a moribund publicity lawsuit, which the press has become bored of — hence the need to refile it as a ‘new’ suit before midterms. As an accurate publisher of newsworthy information WikiLeaks is constitutionally protected from such suits.’’

The Russian Embassy in Washington had no immediate response to the suit Friday.

Other nations have immunity from most US lawsuits, but the DNC’s complaint argues Russia is not entitled to the protection because the hack constituted a trespass on the party’s private property.

Is that why they won't hand over the server for investigation?

The lawsuit argues that Russia is not entitled to sovereign immunity in this case because ‘‘the DNC claims arise out of Russia’s trespass on to the DNC’s private servers . . . in order to steal trade secrets and commit economic espionage.’’

The lawsuit echoes a similar legal tactic that the Democratic Party used during the Watergate scandal. In 1972, the DNC filed suit against then-president Richard Nixon’s reelection committee seeking $1 million in damages for the break-in at Democratic headquarters in the Watergate building.

You guys really got stop living in the past.

The civil action brought by former DNC chairman Lawrence F. O’Brien was ultimately successful, yielding a $750,000 settlement from the Nixon campaign that was reached on the day in 1974 that Nixon left office.

The suit filed Friday seeks millions of dollars in compensation to offset damage it claims the party suffered from the hacks.

It's about money because your party is broke, huh?

The DNC argues that the cyberattack undermined its ability to communicate with voters, collect donations, and operate effectively as its employees faced personal harassment and, in some cases, death threats.

Should have hired Cambridge Analytica.

The suit also seeks an acknowledgment from the defendants that they conspired to infiltrate the Democrats’ computers, steal information, and disseminate it to influence the election.

Good luck on that one, even if they were guilty.

To support its case, the lawsuit offers a detailed narrative of the DNC hacks, as well as episodes in which key Trump aides are alleged to have been told Russia held damaging information about Clinton.

Russia engaged in a ‘‘brazen attack on US soil’’ the party alleges.....

Thankfully it wasn't military, and they ignored the CIA being all over the Ukraine and being behind protests in Russia as well as Iran.

--more--"

Hasn't anyone told them that race has been run and that bridge has been burned?

Now that the DoJ and FBI were totally compromised under Obama, Cooper now citing the Cohen defense

"Some of the most reliable conservatives in Congress are starting to speak out against Scott Pruitt, the chief of the Environmental Protection Agency who is facing a barrage of ethics and spending questions. Previously, conservative Republicans had shown a reluctance to question the actions of top Trump administration officials. Their new outspokenness against a prominent architect of President Trump’s regulatory rollback represents a major break from the past. In an interview this week, Senator John Boozman, Republican of Arkansas, said of Pruitt, “I think there are legitimate concerns about him.” He applauded Pruitt’s industry-friendly environmental policies, but said, “I think the president at some point is going to weigh in.” Boozman serves on the Senate environment panel as well as the Appropriations Committee. On Thursday, Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, the No. 2 ranking member of the Senate, said that Pruitt was “just fine” on policy, “but obviously this controversy continues to swirl and it needs to be resolved, one way or the other.”

The Bo$ton Globe really is fake news, and you can put me down as a non-combatant.

Meanwhile, on Sunday's front lines:

Why Trump has struggled to assemble a legal team

It's just a game between a certain cla$$ of people with no answers forthcoming.

"Authorities investigating the killings of a mother and her three children in West Brookfield spoke to a witness earlier this month who claimed that the slayings were the work of MS-13, a violent street gang known for committing brutal crimes. The witness said he heard the story from Moses Bermudez, whose wife and children were killed. But prosecutors now allege that the witness, Mathew Locke, 31, of Ware, fabricated the accountcourt papers show....."

The gang member claims he was set up on Facebook and was arrested trying to cross into Canada.

"Rosenstein’s bid to appease GOP could put Justice Department independence at risk" by Katie Benner New York Times  April 21, 2018

WASHINGTON — Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, is confronting the political fight of his career.

So far, he appears to be succeeding, but a small but influential group of House Republicans has demanded greater access to sensitive documents related to some of the FBI’s most politically charged investigations into the Trump campaign and Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified e-mails.

The Republicans complain that Rosenstein and other Justice Department officials have slow-walked or outright stonewalled their requests for reams of documents and other information they need to conduct oversight. When they do receive documents, they say, too many are showing up with critical content blacked out.

“This is serious stuff,” said Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, a conservative allied with Trump who voiced his complaints in a recent meeting with Rosenstein. “We as a separate and equal branch of government are entitled to get the information.” 

Everyone knows the DoJ is covering its own ass as it protects the the Clintons and Obama. 

You talk about Watergate. At least Nixon didn't use the national security apparatus of this country to spy on the political opposition. He only used it to try and cover it up. Obama used it for both.

Rosenstein, 53, has staved off his attackers on Capitol Hill largely by appeasing them. Two weeks ago, he allowed key Republican legislators to review an almost completely unredacted FBI memo on the opening of a still active investigation of the Trump campaign, an extremely rare step.

He later summoned two other Republicans, Jordan and Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina, to his office to pledge that the Justice Department would be more responsive to their requests.

And Thursday, threatened with a subpoena, he gave a relatively large group of lawmakers access to memos written by former FBI director James Comey about his interactions with Trump.

That showed Comey out to be a self-promoting clown and liar.

The documents are considered to be important evidence in a potential obstruction of justice case against the president being weighed by Mueller.

If anything, the documents prove the opposite!

But still other Republican demands remain unmet, and Democrats have warned that Rosenstein is being boxed into a corner where he has to choose between saving his job and setting disturbing precedents that chip away at the independence that the Justice Department has maintained since President Richard M. Nixon tried to thwart the Watergate investigation.

“That independence keeps the country from sliding into a banana republic,” said Matthew Miller, a former Justice Department spokesman under Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.

Look who is talking! The jailer and surveiller of the pre$$ that used the IRS to investigate political opponents!

Others said they worried that in solving his short-term political problems, Rosenstein could expose the department to increasingly onerous congressional demands into continuing investigations — an area that has traditionally been off limits.

“It could become an exception that swallows the rule,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat and former federal prosecutor. “Every request by Congress can be made to seem exceptional.”

Isn't it? 

I mean, we are talking their oversight function and Constitutional authority.

Every week seems to bring a new rumor that Trump plans to fire Rosenstein, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Mueller, or all three.

Yeah, who is putting those in the paper?

Sessions has notified the White House that he might resign if Rosenstein is fired, The Washington Post reported, citing two people close to the White House. He made the statement in a phone call to White House Counsel Donald McGahn last weekend.

Deep State must have something on Sessions.

Rosenstein declined requests for an interview, but supporters say he is well positioned to defend himself. A careful and conservative lawyer, he is unlikely to make missteps or overstep boundaries, they say.

Sessions has scant ability to provide his deputy cover because he has angered the president by recusing himself from the Russia investigation.

Rosenstein grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs, attended the University of Pennsylvania, and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1989. He became a trial lawyer in the Justice Department and later the US attorney for Maryland.

In a separate development Saturday, Trump said he doesn’t expect Michael Cohen, his longtime personal lawyer, to ‘‘flip’’ as the government investigates Cohen’s business dealings.

Yeah, Trump hates transgenders.

In a series of tweets fired off from Florida, Trump accused The New York Times and one of its reporters of ‘‘going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will ‘flip’ ’’ — a term that can mean cooperating with the government in exchange for leniency.....

--more--"

Related:

EPA chief’s ethics woes have echoes in his past

Mitt Romney fails to secure GOP nod for US Senate seat in Utah

Good Greitens

Mitt not a shoo-in, even with Trump's endorsement?

Teachers union drops mortgage lender because of NRA, gun links

Poor Wells Fargo. Now the teachers are taking shots at them.

Also seeBank of America will stop lending money to makers of assault rifles

They just did (the lenders provided $193 million, among them Bank of America) but the Globe put a silencer on it. Hope that won't keep the teachers from taking out a mortgage with them.

Maybe this will make them happy.

Five Democrats vying for Suffolk DA job make their cases

Do Boston’s leaders care about reform or not?

The short answer: no

Seat just opened up, though:

Longtime Democratic state Rep. James Miceli of Wilmington dies

Well, he "collapsed during opening Little League ceremonies, standing by the third base line at Wilmington Little League Park at about 10 a.m. when he apparently suffered a heart attack."

That must have been horrifying for the kids and the parents involved.

I'm then told he had "coped with several medical issues, including a February collapse during a political caucus, and that on Saturday, he arrived at the ball field using a walker."

I guess all life is a gamble, but maybe someone should have gotten him to retire before this?

"Task force formed after racist incidents releases findings" by Stephanie Morales Associated Press  April 21, 2018

DURHAM, N.H. — Some questioned how calls for community service, pop-up art exhibits, and a charity run planned for this Cinco de Mayo would dissuade students from partying all day. The school is not planning to restrict the parties or limit what students can wear for the day, citing the First Amendment.

But John Kirkpatrick, the college’s dean of students, said he hopes students would come to think of Cinco de Mayo, a holiday recognizing the victory of the Mexican army over the French army at the Battle of Puebla, as something more than another reason to get drunk.

‘‘I can’t think of a better way to turn a toxic day that’s about getting drunk, because there’s nothing else to do, into serving the community and channeling that energy into something positive,’’ Kirkpatrick said..... 

I think he needs a drink!

--more--"

I'm glad the Globe didn't remember to carry the Barbara Bush Funeral as seen by the New York Times, although I did notice that Melania attended while Jimmy Carter did not. Other than that, the sycophantic fawning makes you ill (here is the African version).

Working forward now:

"Queen Elizabeth II marked her 92nd birthday Saturday with a star-studded concert in London. Sting, Tom Jones, Craig David, and Kylie Minogue were among singers performing at Royal Albert Hall as part of a celebration billed as the ‘‘Queen’s Birthday Party.’’ "

"Rising from a barren stretch of African scrubland, a half-finished drone base represents the newest front line in the United States’ global shadow war. At its center, hundreds of Air Force personnel are feverishly working to complete a $110 million airfield that, when finished in the coming months, will be used to stalk or strike extremists deep into West and North Africa, a region where most Americans have no idea the country is fighting. Six months after the fatal attack, which took place outside the village of Tongo Tongo near the Mali border, the Trump administration stands at a critical crossroad in the military’s global counterterrorism campaign. One path would push ahead with President Trump’s campaign vow to defeat the Islamic State and other violent extremist organizations, not just in Iraq and Syria, but worldwide. The other would be to pull out and leave more of the fighting to allies, as Trump said he wants to do in Syria, possibly ceding hard-fought ground to militants. During a counterterrorism exercise this past week in north-central Niger that drew nearly 2,000 military personnel from 20 African and Western countries, many officers voiced concerns that the United States’ commitment in West Africa could fall victim to the latter impulse....."

Looks like they are going ahead whether he likes it or not.

I'm told the "missions reflect a largely undeclared US military buildup outside the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, often with murky authorities and little public attention, unfolding in remote places like Yemen, Somalia, and, increasingly, West Africa. Questions about whether the US military, under the Trump administration, is seeking to obscure the expanding scope of operations in Africa surfaced last month, when it was revealed that the United States had carried out four airstrikes in Libya between September and January that the military’s Africa Command had failed to disclose at the time."

Yeah, who remembers Libya?

Next door to Niger is the oil patch of Nigeria:

"Army spokesman Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu warned residents to remain watchful and report any suspicious people or activity to security officials. Boko Haram has killed more than 20,000 people in its nine-year effort to establish Shariah law in Nigeria....."

Nigeria’s president rebuffs calls to step aside

U.S. wants him gone, and speaking of shadow wars:

US says its airstrike kills 5 militants in central Somalia

The US military said no civilians were killed.

Top Somali politician steps down, avoiding showdown with president

U.S. wanted him gone, too.

"Riots and lynchings around the world have been linked to misinformation and hate speech on Facebook. Time and again, communal hatreds overrun the newsfeed unchecked as local media are displaced by Facebook and governments find themselves with little leverage over the company......"

More fake news, and it is happening all over South America in what is being described as a turning point for Brazil (as the judge leading the judicial coup for the United States is lauded and the turd Termer who installed in the aftermath is omitted from the report).

Suspicious factory underscores challenge of verifying North Korea’s nuclear promises

(Blog editor just shakes his head. Here we are on the eve of some sort of peace talks and the Washington ComPost comes out with that crapola? It's Iraq all over again! 

The only silver lining in it is the confirmation that Iran is complying, complying, complying. Therefore, no motive for them to start a war with anyone.) 

"More than 70 people were arrested, including two people suspected of building bombs, as protests against the new Armenian government entered their second week in the capital. Thousands of demonstrators on Saturday closed off streets in Yerevan, demanding that the prime minister resign. Former president Serzh Sargsyan was named prime minister last week, under a new system of government that strengthens the prime minister’s role (AP)."

They must be pro-Russian.

"At least six local police were killed when a group of Taliban fighters attacked and overran their checkpoint in northern Sari Pul province, Afghan officials said. Two other officers were wounded in the attack late Friday night. Reinforcements arrived and a gun battle ensued. Three Taliban fighters were killed and two others were wounded in the battle. (AP)"

"India’s government on Saturday took a step toward approving the death penalty for people convicted of raping children under 12, responding to widespread outrage over the recent rape and killing of a girl and other attacks on children. An order was approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet and was being sent to the president for his approval. It also will require the approval of Parliament. (AP)"

Should just do what Ireland does; otherwise, you will have to act like Israelis:


"Israeli official blames Hamas over Gaza deaths" by Fares Akram Associated Press  April 21, 2018

JEBALIYA REFUGEE CAMP, Gaza Strip — As the European Union and a top United Nations official made new demands to investigate shootings of unarmed Palestinians by Israeli soldiers a day after four Palestinians, including a 14-year-old boy, were shot and killed by Israeli army fire from across the border fence, according to Gaza health officials, more than 150 Palestinians were also wounded Friday, in the fourth round of weekly Hamas-led mass protests in the border area.

The teen, Mohammed Ayyoub, was about 150 yards from the fence when he was hit, Gaza photographer Abed Alhakeem Abu Rish said. He said that the boy was about to take cover when he was shot and fell to the ground, collapsing head first. The Israeli military says it is investigating the shooting.

The latest deaths brought to 32 the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli troops in protests since late March. More than 1,600 have been wounded by live rounds in the past three weeks, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

Death toll goes up and down.

The rising Palestinian casualty toll signaled that Israel’s military is sticking to its open-fire rules despite international criticism of the use of lethal force against protesters.

About says it all, doesn't it?

Israel has said it is defending its sovereign border, including Israeli communities on the other side. It has alleged that Hamas uses the protests as cover for attacks and for damaging the border fence.

Late Saturday, the military released photos and videos depicting what it has said it is trying to counter. In one image, young boys, under the cover of smoke, are seen charging the fence and uprooting part of it to allow for an infiltration.

The military said it had distributed leaflets warning the residents of Gaza to stay away from the fence, but alleged that ‘‘the terror organizations in the Gaza Strip continue to exploit civilians, including many youth and children, while putting them in unnecessary danger.’’

Rights groups have said Israel’s open-fire orders are unlawful because they effectively allow soldiers to shoot at unarmed demonstrators.

The marches are part of what organizers have billed as an escalating showdown with Israel, to culminate in a mass march on May 15.

The top Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, said Friday that people should get ready for large crowds spilling across the border that day.

‘‘Our people will outnumber the occupation and force it from our land,’’ he said, referring to Israel.

The latest killings sparked new demands by a senior UN official and by the EU for an investigation.

Nikolay Mladenov, a top UN envoy in the region, said on Twitter that it is ‘‘outrageous to shoot at children.’’

The European Union urged the Israeli military to ‘‘refrain from using lethal force against unarmed protesters.’’

Mohammed Ayyoub’s father, Ibrahim, said Saturday that his son was killed in cold blood.

‘‘Mohammed did not deserve to be executed,’’ the 42-year-old said as mourners streamed to the family’s shack in the Jebaliya refugee camp. ‘‘He was not holding a stone or a gun ... Mohammed was not running toward the fence.’’

The Israeli military said Saturday that all reports of fatal shootings by Israeli soldiers, including that of the teen, ‘‘are thoroughly checked by the relevant command echelons,’’ examined by a fact-finding ‘‘assessment mechanism’’ and findings transferred to the military advocate general.

Oh, the Israelis investigate themselves. Then there is nothing to worry about. They would certainly tell us if they did wrong or committed war crimes.

Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli defense minister, said on Twitter that ‘‘the only culprits in the death of the .. . . boy in Gaza are Hamas leaders.’’

He said they are ‘‘cowardly leaders who hide behind women and children and send them forward as human shields, so that they can continue to dig tunnels and carry out terrorist actions against’’ Israel.

The great thing about Zionists are they are guilty of the very behavior they accuse of others.

Hamas says the protests are aimed at breaking a border blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt after the Islamic militant group overran Gaza in 2007.....

They didn't overrun Gaza, they won the right to govern via election.

You know, after reading that version of another distortion in a seemingly endless litany of distortions, I asked myself why am I bother reading this Jewi$h world view presenting itself as news?

--more--"

Ironically, inspectors are being allowed in next door:

"Inspectors collect samples in Douma, site of alleged Syrian chemical attack" by Louisa Loveluck Washington Post  April 21, 2018

BEIRUT — ‘‘We are calling on our Western colleagues to come to reason and refrain from actions that obstruct the establishment of the truth about the April 7 provocation,’’ Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said. She said Moscow expected an ‘‘impartial investigation’’ and a ‘‘prompt release of an objective report.’’

Good luck with that. You have my sympathies.

The inspectors’ report is crucial because, despite reports of the deaths from Douma residents, Syrian, and Russian state television have aired testimonies from local doctors and alleged victims denying that a chemical attack took place. Residents interviewed by the Post, all on condition of anonymity out of concerns for their safety, said the interviewees had been coerced into giving false statements.

Analysts have warned that the OPCW inspectors face an uphill challenge. Chlorine is a gas at room temperature and therefore unlikely to remain at the scene, experts say, while traces of nerve agent are likely to fade fast. It is also hard to draw firm conclusions from traces of chlorine found in biomedical samples because the substance occurs naturally in the body.....

Not in Britain.

--more--"

Oh, I never crossed checked the bu$ine$$ $ection or the op-ed page

Probably a good idea to not even look.