Thursday, October 30, 2014

Global Warming Created ISIS

They really jumped the shark on this one.

"Climate change might have contribut[ed] to the rise of terrorist entities like the Islamic State."

Yeah, climate change is the enabler of ISIS, yup.

How frikkin' pathetic that the propagandists at the Pentagon would put this out as an excuse to expand the empire when it is the same said empire that is the biggest cause of global warming on the planet.

"Pentagon says global warming presents immediate security threat" by Coral Davenport | New York Times   October 14, 2014

As usual, it is another self-created "enemy!"

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon released a report Monday asserting decisively that climate change poses an immediate threat to national security, with increased risks from terrorism, infectious disease, global poverty, and food shortages.

It also predicted rising demand for military disaster response as extreme weather creates more global humanitarian crises.

The report lays out a road map for how the military will adapt to rising sea levels, more violent storms, and widespread droughts. The Defense Department will begin by integrating plans for climate change risks across all of its operations, from war games and strategic defense planning situations to a rethinking of the movement of supplies.

This is ALL COVER for the military movements of Empire!

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, speaking Monday at a summit meeting of defense ministers in Peru, was expected to highlight the report’s findings and the global security threats of climate change.

While foreign policy experts have for years warned that climate change could present a future risk to national security, the Pentagon’s characterization of climate change as a threat demanding immediate action represents a significant shift for the military.

Anything to expand attempted domination over the planet, especially when the earth has been cooling for the last 16 years and we have had record winters the last three seasons (with no summer again this year).

In the past, the Pentagon’s response to climate change has focused chiefly on preparing military installations to adapt to its effects, as in protecting coastal naval bases from rising sea levels. 


From what we have been told about rising seas, those bases should already be underwater!

RelatedThe Rising Level of Bulls***

And it's coming in the form of a newspaper every day!

But the new report calls on the military to incorporate climate change into broader strategic thinking about high-risk regions, for example, the ways in which drought and food shortages might set off political unrest in the Middle East and Africa.

An excuse to seize and secure other peoples' resources, that's all it is!

“One of the differences from previous documents is that they’re really looking at the immediate threat,” said Marcus King, an expert on climate change and international affairs at George Washington University. “The other is that they’re not just looking at installations — they’re looking at a different level, the strategic impact across regions.”

King and other experts said the broadened approach would include considering the role that climate change might have played in contributing to the rise of terrorist entities like the Islamic State.

“Climate change and water shortages may have triggered the drought that caused farmers to relocate to Syrian cities and triggered situations where youth were more susceptible to joining extremist groups,” King said. The Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has seized scarce water resources to enhance its power and influence.

ISIS is an excuse for the U.S. and Israel to do just that!

As the Pentagon plans for the impact of climate change, it is conducting a survey to assess the vulnerability of its more than 7,000 bases, installations, and other facilities. In places like the Hampton Roads region in Virginia, which houses the largest concentration of American military sites in the world, rapidly rising sea levels have already led to recurrent flooding.

The Pentagon report is the latest in a series of studies highlighting the national security risks of climate change. A May report by a government-funded research group, the CNA Corporation Military Advisory Board, concluded that climate change was becoming a catalyst of global conflict.

And yet Kerry and Obummer keep flying the campaign planes.

In March, the Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defense Review, the agency’s main public document describing the current doctrine of the US military, drew a direct link between the effects of global warming and terrorism.

This is so asinine and absurd it is laughable.

The new report does not make any specific budget recommendations for how the military will carry out its climate change agenda.

Oh, they need more money to save the environment after polluting so much of it with depleted uranium munitions and general bombings?

If and when the Pentagon does request funding from Congress for spending on climate change initiatives, it will clash directly with congressional Republicans, many of whom question the established scientific evidence that human activities are causing climate change.

I'm against the carbon tax that is to pay for all this -- underwritten by well-meaning Wall Street banks, of course, that are going to SAVE the PLANET!!!!!!!!! 

How could you EVER DOUBT THEIR VERACITY, huh? 

Now excuse me while I go turn the heat up.

Republicans have fought to block and overturn most of President Obama’s climate change policy initiatives. 

That's one slim reason I trend Republican.

“ISIS is still gaining ground and causing havoc in Syria and Iraq, with foreign fighters from over 80 countries coming and going into the fight and then returning to their home country,” said Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee and a prominent skeptic of human-caused climate change, of the Pentagon report. “It is disappointing, but not surprising, that the president and his administration would focus on climate change when there are other, legitimate threats in the world.”

It's all part of the same plan, Jim.

The Pentagon’s increased emphasis on the national security threats of climate change is aimed in part at building support for a UN agreement, to be signed next year in Paris, that would require the world’s largest producers of planet-warming carbon pollution to slash their emissions, while increasing aid to help the world’s most vulnerable populations adapt to the effects of global warming.

Of course, the PENTAGON is EXEMPT from such treaties!


Now I'm told last year was the hottest year on record, even after last year’s exceptionally cold and snowy winter that slowed the economy in the first quarter. 

I'm told not to expect a winter polar vortex again, and yet HERE IT IS!!

One killed as storms sweep across several states

It threatens millions! Fear, fear, fear everywhere!

Microburst confirmed as cause of Easthampton damage
Cleanup goes on after Easthampton storm

I'll bet ISIS did it!!

As for REAL environmental problems?

"Asian carp DNA found in southwestern Michigan" Associated Press   October 08, 2014

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Genetic material from Asian carp has been found in the Kalamazoo River in southwestern Michigan, but there’s no indication the invasive fish have become established in the river that flows into Lake Michigan, officials said Tuesday.


The discovery marks the first time so-called environmental DNA for silver carp has been found in Michigan’s Great Lakes waters outside of Maumee Bay in Lake Erie. The term ‘‘environmental DNA’’ refers to genetic markers that fish leave behind as they move through waters, shedding scales, mucus, or excrement.

Scientists have been testing waters for Asian carp DNA in an effort to track their progress toward the Great Lakes. Bighead and silver carp were imported to the Deep South from Asia in the early 1970s and escaped into the Mississippi River, where they have been migrating northward since. They have invaded numerous tributaries including the Illinois River, which leads to Lake Michigan, although authorities have installed electric barriers near Chicago in hopes of stopping their advance. The large, voracious fish compete with native species for food.

The discovery of genetic markers doesn’t necessarily prove the presence of live carp, as scientists say it could come from other sources, such as fishing gear or bird droppings that came in contact with the DNA. But some contend the presence of live fish is the likeliest explanation....

Government can't give a straight answer if life itself depended on it.


Related: Angling You This Post

Must be why Detroit's water has been shut off:

"UN officials want Detroit to restore water to poor" Associated Press   October 21, 2014

DETROIT — United Nations human rights experts called on Detroit officials Monday to restore water to those unable to pay, including those with disabilities or chronic illnesses.

Two officials visiting Detroit to observe the effect of water service shutoffs said shutoffs affect the poorest and most vulnerable. They say it discriminates against Detroit’s majority black population.

Detroit isn't Ferguson.


The city says about 27,000 shutoffs were made between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30. Most shutoffs were halted for several weeks during the summer to give customers a chance to enter payment plans.

Groups opposing the shutoffs appealed to the UN for support.

At least someone is being well-watered in Detroit:

Last week, the Detroit Institute of Arts, which is among the facilities caught up in the controversy over the city bankruptcy case, defended the six-figure salaries of its two top executives. Some suburban officials have criticized the museum over the salaries, especially because it relies on a three-county property tax for much of its budget.

This type of thing is endemic across the entirety of AmeriKan authority, leadership, and its political $y$tem. That is why this country is in horrible shape and close to collapse.

Officials are also disturbed that city-owned art will not be sold to pay creditors, while retirees would see pension cuts under the bankruptcy plan.

Director Graham Beal’s total compensation was $534,000 last year, a 17 percent increase since 2011. Chief operating officer Annmarie Erickson received $337,000 in 2013, the museum said.

It appears Erickson got a 36 percent raise in 2012, but the museum called that misleading. Some pay in 2012 was for work performed in 2011, after a promotion.

Yeah, that certainly ju$tifies it all.


Water getting shut off is a war crime, AmeriKa.

"Expert says Detroit bankruptcy plan feasible" Associated Press   October 23, 2014

DETROIT — Detroit’s plan to get out of bankruptcy is feasible, a court-appointed expert testified Wednesday as the last witness in a historic trial to determine whether the largest city in US history to file for Chapter 9 can get back on its feet.

Martha Kopacz, a Boston-based expert who has participated in hundreds of restructurings, expressed confidence that Mayor Mike Duggan and other officials can execute a long-term plan hatched by Detroit’s emergency manager.

Detroit is shedding billions in debt, taking on new debt, and cutting pensions by 4.5 percent, among many steps. At the same time, the strategy calls for spending more than $1 billion to improve services during the next decade.

At least the Arts guys got paid.

‘‘There is a genuine desire to right the ship,’’ Kopacz said in response to a question about the attitude of middle managers at city hall. ‘‘Again, that group needs more detailed plans . . . but there is a significant level of enthusiasm among the mayor, his direct reports.’’

‘‘Feasible’’ is a key word in bankruptcy because Detroit must persuade Judge Steven Rhodes that the plan is fair to creditors and feasible for the years ahead. After weeks of trial, he will hear closing arguments Monday and make a decision by Nov. 7.


The main point to take away from that is government doesn't keep its promises to those that work in the trenches for it.

Time to park this post.

Walsh announces regional effort to tackle climate change
EU reaches deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions

The deal was aimed at countering climate change and setting an example for the rest of the world ahead of key international climate negotiations next year.

More public relations, agenda-pushing pooh-pooh.

Emissions drop puts EU just shy of 2020 goal

California drought takes bite out of rice harvest

I suppose ISIS is responsible for that, too. It certainly couldn't be government neglect of water infrastructure when all the fountains in L.A. are flowing freely.

Heck, while we are at it let's blame them for the lack of rebuilding from the hurricanes a couple of years ago.

ISIS Freezes Canada

Related: Al-CIA-Duh Attacked Canada

Canada gunman wanted a passport to go to Mideast" by Carol Morello and Mark Berman | Washington Post   October 24, 2014

Well, my print copy was by Jennifer Peltz, Rob Gillies and Raphael Satter of the Associated Press, and it looked more like this

Honestly, readers, I'm getting a little cold to the shell game censorship and it raises one hell of a suspicious stink. We are seeing what I said, a complete hoax or psyop false flag. Period.

"Gunman in Canada attack complained about mosque" by Rachel La Corte | Associated Press   October 25, 2014

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The gunman who shot and killed a soldier in plain daylight then stormed Canada’s Parliament once complained that a Vancouver mosque he attended was too liberal and inclusive, and was kicked out after he repeatedly spent the night there even though officials told him to stop, Muslim leaders said Friday.

Ever hear of Newburgh?

Aasim Rashid, spokesman for the British Columbia Muslim Association, said Michael Zehaf-Bibeau visited the Masjid Al-Salaam mosque for three to four months toward the end of 2011, and possibly early 2012, before he was told not to come back.

Rashid said that before Zehaf-Bibeau got in trouble for using the mosque for accommodations, he had complained to leaders in the previous administration about the mosque’s openness and willingness to let non-Muslims visit.

‘‘The mosque administration sat him down and explained to him that this is how they run the mosque and that they will keep the doors open to all Muslims and non-Muslims who want to visit,’’ he said at a news conference held at the mosque Friday.

Rashid said that Zehaf-Bibeau was told he should go pray at a different mosque if he disagreed. However, he stayed until he was ultimately asked to leave when officials learned he was still sleeping in the mosque while battling legal troubles.

After the second or third time, he was told to leave the premises and ‘‘not to come back,’’ Rashid said.

‘‘This was the last interaction that the people of the mosque here have had with him,’’ he said.

Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, shot a soldier to death at Canada’s national war memorial Wednesday, and was eventually gunned down inside Parliament by the sergeant-at-arms.

His motive remains unknown, but Prime Minister Stephen Harper has called the shooting a terror attack, and the bloodshed raised fears that Canada is suffering reprisals for joining the U.S.-led air campaign against Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police released two photos of Zehaf-Bibeau on Friday evening in an effort to elicit information from the public. One is of the car he used in the attack and the other is mug shot taken by Vancouver police. Police say they are particularly interested in information from his time in Ottawa from Oct. 2.

The attack in Ottawa came two days after a man described as an ‘‘ISIL-inspired terrorist’’ ran over two soldiers in a parking lot in Quebec, killing one and injuring the other before being shot to death by police. The man had been under surveillance by Canadian authorities, who feared he had jihadist ambitions and seized his passport when he tried to travel to Turkey.


Rashid said the Muslim association has been working on a preventive program that focuses on minimizing the effect of terrorist and criminal propaganda in Canada. He decried the recent violence.

‘‘These are acts of criminal violence and show utter disregard for human life and the laws of the world as well as its religions,’’ he said. ‘‘We openly denounce the propaganda of the lawless groups trying to incite Canadians to hurt other Canadians.’’

In July, another man who attended the Masjid Al-Salaam mosque, 25-year-old Hasibullah Yusufzai, was charged under a new anti-terrorism law for allegedly leaving the country to join Islamist fighters in Syria. Yusufzai is believed to have left Canada in January.

Rashid said Yusufzai attended the mosque two or three years ago.

‘‘We do know that at some point he was asked to leave this mosque because of certain views he was expressing,’’ he said.

While he was living in Vancouver in 2011, Zehaf-Bibeau was arrested on a robbery charge. During a court-ordered psychological evaluation, he said he committed the crime for the sole purpose of getting incarcerated. An evaluation said Zehaf-Bibeau believed jail was the only way to overcome a crack addiction and that as a devoted Muslim, he thought prison time was a way to pay for his mistakes.

Unlike the attacker in the Quebec case, Zehaf-Bibeau was not being watched by authorities. But a top police official said Zehaf-Bibeau — whose father was from Libya — may have lashed out in frustration over delays in getting his passport.

Bob Paulson, commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said the police commissioner said Zehaf-Bibeau’s email was found on the hard drive of someone charged with a terrorist-related offense. He didn’t say who and described the connection as tenuous.

Zehaf-Bibeau’s passport had not been revoked or his application rejected, but authorities were still investigating whether to grant him one, Paulson said. The wait appeared to weigh heavily on Zehalf-Bibeau.

Abubakir Abdelkareem, who often visited the Ottawa Mission, a homeless shelter downtown where Zehaf-Bibeau stayed in recent weeks, said Zehaf-Bibeau told him he had had a drug problem but had been clean for three months and was trying to steer clear of temptation by going to Libya.

But in the days before the attack, Abdelkareem said Zehaf-Bibeau stopped being talkative and sociable and slept during the day. Abdelkareem concluded Zehaf-Bibeau was back on drugs.

In an email to the AP expressing horror and sadness at what happened, Zehaf-Bibeau’s mother, Susan Bibeau, said that her son seemed lost and ‘‘did not fit in,’’ and that she hadn’t seen him for more than five years until having lunch with him last week.

Out of blue just like that he schedules a lunch? 

What a STINK!!!!?


The freeze is also dropping down to the U.S.!

"US to increase security at some federal buildings" Associated Press   October 29, 2014

WASHINGTON — Security will be increased at various federal government buildings in Washington and other major American cities, the Homeland Security Department announced Tuesday in what it described as a ‘‘precautionary step.’’

There is SUCH A STENCH coming from this LATEST GLADIO PSYOP it is SICKENING!

The move came a week after a gunman in Ottawa fatally shot a soldier as he stood as a ceremonial guard at Ottawa’s National War Memorial, then stormed the Parliament building. Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada called the shooting a terrorist attack.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson would not identify the buildings that will receive enhanced security or disclose the specific security measures to be taken by the Federal Protective Service, which protects more than 9,500 federal facilities visited daily by roughly 1.4 million people. But he said ‘‘prudence dictates a heightened vigilance’’ to protect government buildings and workers.

He also called on law enforcement nationwide to be on the lookout for small-scale attacks, like the one in Canada, ‘‘by a lone offender or a small group of individuals.’’


One terrorist they finally got rid of:

"Toronto voters elect new mayor to move beyond Ford" Associated Press   October 28, 2014

TORONTO — A straight-laced moderate conservative was elected mayor of Toronto on Monday, as many voters were eager to close out the Rob Ford era characterized by crack smoking, public drunkenness, and outrageous behavior.

John Tory had 39 percent of the vote, compared with 35 percent for Doug Ford, brother of the outgoing mayor. Left-leaning Olivia Chow was third with 22 percent.

The results were announced Monday night with more than 90 percent of polls reporting.

Rob Ford announced last month that he would not seek reelection as he battles a rare and difficult form of cancer. His brother, a city councilor, ran in his place but lost to Tory, wealthy former chief executive of cable company Rogers Communications.

Analysts said Chow, the widow of late popular Canadian politician Jack Layton, lost momentum as a candidate because people voted strategically to ensure Doug Ford didn’t win.

Jaclyn Souza, a 24-year-old student, said before the results were announced that she would almost consider moving if Ford won.

‘‘I would not understand what to make of Toronto if that happens,’’ Souza said.


I would go find a link or two, but my enthusiasm has been frozen of late.

Exhausted by Ebola Coverage

That is the power of fear:

"Dr. Margaret Chan, the WHO’s director-general, has spoken in increasingly dire terms about the Ebola outbreak and the need to stop it. She told an emergency session of the UN’s Security Council last month that the outbreak was “likely the greatest peacetime challenge that the United Nations and its agencies have ever faced.” 

It's the end of the world and we know it, so I feel fine.

Hagel OK’s 21-day quarantine for troops back from Africa

Nurse says she may sue Maine over quarantine

Who is Kaci Hickox?

Anti-quarantine nurse Hickox was trained as intelligence officer by the CDC 

It's all a propaganda psy-op, folks. That's why the ma$$ media is covering her.

Speaking of intelligence agencies:

"While about 3,700 volunteers have signed up to assist through the US Agency for International Development, many will not have the required skills."

For those who do not know AID = CIA!

"State’s Ebola response is unclear, critics say" by Kay Lazar | Globe Staff   October 30, 2014

The state’s health department is being criticized by some specialists and by the Republican candidate for governor for not forcefully and clearly communicating how it would deal with Ebola if someone arrived in Massachusetts infected with the disease.

Some of the criticism comes directly from members of the board charged with helping the agency shape public health policy.

A month after a patient in Dallas tested positive for the deadly virus, igniting concerns about potential infections in other states, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has yet to brief its Public Health Council on the agency’s plans for containing an outbreak. In a statement Wednesday night, the health department defended its response to Ebola, arguing it has communicated its strategy on many fronts.

The concerns about insufficient communication were brought into focus Tuesday during a televised debate between Republican Charlie Baker and Democrat Martha Coakley as the contenders for governor discussed how they would handle the politically sensitive issue of quarantines for people returning from Ebola-wracked West Africa.

“My big problem with this, to tell you the truth, is no one in Massachusetts has really put out there what the Commonwealth has actually been doing up until this point,” Baker said. 

I don't know if he can tell the truth because the fisherman doesn't seem to exist (I'm sure they will create, 'er, find him, though).

He went on to question the state’s apparent lack of a plan to designate a hospital to be the state’s primary Ebola treatment hub. The Globe reported Wednesday that Boston’s big teaching hospitals are rejecting calls that one of them be designated as a hub of Ebola care.

Coakley did not specifically address the state’s Ebola plan but said, “We need to continue to watch and be ready.”

No one with Ebola has been identified in Massachusetts, and the likelihood of an infection here is considered remote, although possible.

But some public health specialists say the state health department has done a lackluster job on a core mission of public health — reaching out to inform and calm residents about a disease that has left the public confused and fearful.

Health leaders should be making clear to the public that they are ready to handle a crisis, whether it be Ebola or a new virulent strain of flu, so that residents will know the agency can be trusted, David Ropeik, a Harvard University instructor and consultant in risk communication and risk management, said.

“It establishes the foundation for that trust when the crisis happens,” he said....

That has been completely lost by this government.


Lewis No Longer on the Lamb

"Southbridge suspect’s crime spree was ‘last hurrah’" by Evan Allen, Martin Finucane and John R. Ellement | Globe Staff   October 29, 2014

FRAMINGHAM — A Southbridge man’s coast-to-coast crime spree, which ended Tuesday night with his dramatic capture in New York, was a “last hurrah” that he planned to complete by returning to his hometown and murdering the 13-year-old girl he allegedly raped there in August, State Police said Wednesday.

Since cutting off his GPS monitoring bracelet in September and fleeing Massachusetts, Gregory J. Lewis allegedly embarked on a six-week rampage, raping, robbing, and beating six escorts he hired to meet him at motels in five different states, authorities said.

He is linked to crimes as far west as Oregon and as far south as North Carolina.

During the past several weeks, Lewis allegedly told several people that he planned to work his way back to Southbridge so he could murder the girl, according to State Police Detective Lieutenant Michael Farley. “I don’t think I can speculate on his mentality, his state of mind, but it was almost like he had nothing to lose. It was his last hurrah, and he was going to go out and do as much damage as possible for as long as he could,” Farley, commander of the agency’s Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section, which led the hunt for Lewis, said during a news conference Wednesday at State Police headquarters in Framingham.

Lewis, 26, was arrested in the small New York village of Fort Edward after a chase had him driving his Jeep into the Hudson River.

Once captured, he boasted about his notoriety.

“Don’t you know who I am?” Lewis repeatedly asked officers, Fort Edward Police Chief Justin C. Derway said.

In nationwide alerts, State Police had warned of Lewis telling people that he wanted to confront police and engage them in a gunfight that would end in his death.

Lewis was arraigned Aug. 6 on charges that included statutory rape of the 13-year-old. On Sept. 15, he allegedly cut off the monitoring bracelet he had been ordered to wear following his arrest.

He apparently headed south, and is accused of attacking a woman in North Carolina on Sept. 23. He then returned to Southbridge, where he allegedly attacked his stepfather and stole a 9mm handgun and 200 rounds of ammunition.

Since then, according to State Police, Lewis allegedly raped and robbed women he met through escort services in Kansas City, Mo.; Denver.; Portland, Ore.; Salt Lake City; and Westminster, Colo.

Troopers said they expected more victims to be discovered as police along the fugitive’s cross-country route realized that Lewis was involved in crimes in their jurisdictions.

“The people of Southbridge and Worcester County can sleep a little better at night, and Lewis will now have to answer for his crimes,” Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. said in a statement.

Lewis is expected to remain in New York for the near future, officials in both states said Wednesday....


Posting to Beat the Band

"Trial starts in marching band hazing death" Associated Press   October 28, 2014

ORLANDO, Fla. — A member of the Florida A&M University marching band went on trial Monday on charges of felony hazing and manslaughter.

The trials of three band members were postponed until April. But the trial of a fourth began with jury selection, nearly three years after drum major Robert Champion died from being beaten.


Champion, of Decatur, Ga., died from what authorities say was a hazing ritual in November 2011.

His death has put a spotlight on a hazing ritual at FAMU known as ‘‘crossing Bus C,’’ and caused the band — which had played at the Super Bowl and before US presidents — to be suspended for more than a year.

It also contributed to the resignation of the university’s president.

Hours after a football game in Orlando, band members boarded Bus C parked outside a hotel.

They pummeled Champion, 26, and two other band members as they tried to wade their way through a pounding gauntlet of fists, drumsticks, and mallets from the front to the back of the bus.

After making it to the back, Champion vomited and complained of trouble breathing. He soon fell unconscious and could not be revived.

He died from hemorrhagic shock and his autopsy showed extensive internal bleeding.


Also see:

Prosecutor: Former band member organized hazing

Witnesses say Florida A&M hazing suspect led ritual on bus

Related: Florida Bullies

"Ohio State says fired band director was dishonest" ASSOCIATED PRESS   OCTOBER 24, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State University’s fired band director handled more sexually charged incidents than previously reported, proposed punishing a female band member who reported sexual assault, and had a calendar of nearly nude male band members in his office that he never brought to investigators’ attention, school attorneys said in response to his federal lawsuit.

In continuing to defend Jonathan Waters’s firing in July, the university said he repeatedly concealed the culture of the band from outsiders and misled university officials.

Waters sued for reinstatement last month, accusing the university, president Michael Drake, and a provost of discrimination by disciplining him differently than a female employee and denying him due process.

The university seeks dismissal of the suit, including on grounds Waters was an at-will employee who could be fired for any reason. It also argues Waters can’t validly argue gender discrimination as a member of the male majority.

Waters had led the celebrated band since 2012. The halftime shows he created were considered revolutionary. Videos of the dancing images the band creates on the field have drawn hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.


RelatedAnd the Band Stopped Marching

This Post Flows to Hawaii

It's about that time:

Slithering lava sends Hawaii residents from homes

"Hawaii volcano lava prompts evacuation concerns" Associated Press   October 27, 2014

HONOLULU — Dozens of residents in a rural area of Hawaii have been placed on alert as flowing lava from an erupting volcano advances.

Authorities on Sunday said lava flow in Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii had advanced about 250 yards since Saturday morning. The flow front had entered a cemetery and was about a half-mile from Pahoa Village Road, the town’s main street.

Residents in the Kilauea volcano flow path, in the mostly rural region of Puna, were told to complete all necessary preparations by Tuesday for a possible evacuation.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says the future advance rate is likely to continue fluctuating, making it difficult to forecast arrival times.

Officials were going door to door to about 50 homes in Pahoa to keep residents informed of the lava’s movement. The lava flow now threatening Pahoa, the largest town in Puna district, began in June.

The county will issue a mandatory evacuation order if the flow begins advancing at such a rate that it would be difficult for people to move out of the way with little notice, said Darryl Oliveira, the director of civil defense for Hawaii County. The presence of hazardous materials — like a pile of tires or a stockpile of chemicals — in the flow’s path would also trigger a mandatory evacuation order, he said.


"River of lava crackles, creeps toward Hawaii town" by Audrey McAvoy and Jennifer Sinco Kelliher | Associated Press   October 29, 2014

PAHOA, Hawaii — After weeks of slow, stop-and-go movement, a river of asphalt-black lava destroyed a wooden shed Tuesday as it crept closer to homes in a Big Island community.

The lava flow easily burned down the empty shed at about 7:30 a.m., several hours after entering a residential property in Pahoa Village, said Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira.

A branch of the molten stream was less than the length of a football field from a two-story house.

Residents of the small town have had weeks to prepare for what’s been described as a slow-motion disaster. Most have either already left or are prepared to go. At least 50 or 60 structures — including homes and businesses — are in the area likely to be hit.


Kilauea volcano, one of the world’s most active, has been erupting continuously since 1983.

County officials are making arrangements for those living in the lava’s path to be able to watch the lava destroy their homes as a means of closure.

‘‘You can only imagine the frustration as well as . . . despair they’re going through,’’ Oliveira said.

Hunt watched last week as the lava crept toward Pahoa and saw a woman whose house is near its path put a ti leaf lei at the front of the flow.

‘‘It helps a person come to grips with the reality of the situation,’’ he said. ‘‘I found it to be oddly comforting in a really strange way.’’

Sporadic suspensions in the lava’s movement have given emergency crews time to build alternate routes to town.

Raras said they began putting their belongings in storage in September.

An elementary school projected to be in the lava’s path, will close starting Wednesday. Other schools will start closing Thursday.

Downtown Pahoa chiropractor Roy Lozano’s business isn’t in the lava’s projected path but he can see its glow in the evening.

Even though the flow is about 2,000 feet away, he hasn’t been able to smell the smoke. ‘‘We’ve been very lucky in the way the wind’s been blowing.’’

Terri Mulroy, who runs Kumu Aina Farm with her husband, said the lava flow, while unnerving, has a cleansing quality to it because it keeps development on the lush Hawaiian island in check.

‘‘If it wasn’t for the flow, I wouldn’t be able to live here,’’ she said. ‘‘This land would have been a golf course for the rich.’’


Encore Act For Afghan Officers

Related: Afghan Troop Trainees Field Trip Was to Strip Club

"Bond granted to 2 Afghan military officers" by Maria Sacchetti | Globe Staff   October 22, 2014

A federal immigration judge said Wednesday that two Afghan military officers who disappeared from Camp Edwards last month could be released on $25,000 bond as they pursue asylum here, according to federal immigration officials.

Immigration Judge Steven Connelly set bail for Afghan army Captain Mohammad Nasir Askarzada and Captain Noorullah Aminyar, who have been held in an immigration jail in northern New York since Sept. 22, when they and Major Jan Arash were stopped while trying to cross into Canada to request asylum in that country.

It is the same amount the judge ordered earlier this month for Arash, who has not raised enough money to post bail, his lawyer, Matthew Borowski, said in an interview before the hearing.

Borowski said this week that donors had raised more than $10,000 for Arash, who is also seeking asylum. Borowski could not immediately be reached Wednesday after the court hearing, but he has said a $25,000 bond is high.

The average bond nationwide is $5,200, according to the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Federal immigration prosecutor Marvin J. Muller III opposed bond, calling the men flight risks. Officials have said the men were not dangerous and had passed strict vetting procedures to obtain visas to travel to the United States.

All three are being held for civil immigration violations in Batavia, N.Y. The immigration court is inside the jail.

The soldiers vanished in September during an outing on Cape Cod, where they were training with officials from other countries. In interviews, the Afghan officers said they feared that if they returned to Afghanistan the Taliban would kill them for fighting alongside the Americans, and they also feared reprisals from the Afghan government for seeking asylum.

Canada turned away the men because of an agreement between Canada and the United States that requires foreigners to seek asylum in the nation where they first arrive.

The Afghan government has urged the officers to return home, saying they would not be harmed and would only face the ordinary punishment of a solider who went AWOL.

Arash has a deportation hearing scheduled for Dec. 9. On Wednesday, the judge set Askarzada’s deportation hearing for Jan. 6 and Aminyar’s for Jan. 8, officials said.

If released from custody, Aminyar could stay with a cousin in California, Borowski told the judge. Apartments in Buffalo and Virginia are also available to the men, he said.

Globe kept the cover on the strip club story.


Maybe you guys should have went to the cafe in Kabul. 

"A mullah who raped a 10-year-old girl in his mosque was sentenced to 20 years in prison after a dramatic trial here in Kabul on Saturday during which his accuser, weeping and shaking, summoned the courage to confront him. Women’s activists attending the packed proceedings hailed the sentence as a victory because the mullah was successfully prosecuted under a 2009 law meant to fight violence against women in a country where rape had long been treated as adultery, implicitly placing partial blame on the victim." 

How are the prisons in Afghanistan these days?

"Afghan prison renovation incomplete, auditor says" Associated Press   October 29, 2014

KABUL — The renovation of Afghanistan’s main prison, which began five years ago, has yet to be completed, and the State Department has terminated the contract despite the United States spending $18.5 million, a report said Tuesday.

Who stole the money, and in which Dubai bank accounts did they end up?

Federal auditor SIGAR, which oversees reconstruction projects in Afghanistan, reported that work on Pol-i-Charkhi prison is only half finished despite the US government spending almost all of the $20.2 million contract value.

The prison, built in 1973 to house approximately 5,000 prisoners, is now heavily overcrowded with 7,400 inmates, said the report, based on an April-September assessment.

SIGAR said the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs had already paid Al-Watan Construction Co., an Afghan firm, the sum despite its lagging results.

It also found that not all the work had been done according to contract terms.

The report said the contractor improperly covered 30-year-old wood trusses with new roofing material, rather than replacing them with new metal trusses as required under the contract.

Meanwhile in western Herat province, an Afghan police chief said that gunmen attacked a checkpoint in the capital city, also called Herat, killing two police officers.

The chief of the provincial criminal investigation division, Gul Agha Hashimi, said seven civilians were also wounded when two gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on the checkpoint at around 2 p.m.


Related: Afghans Despise AmeriKan Detention Dungeons 

Seemed like an appropriate link for this holiday season.

"US and British troops end combat operations in key Afghan province" by Azam Ahmed | New York Times   October 27, 2014

Reading that name is usually followed by the words "Oh, no."

KABUL — Combat operations in the province of Helmand officially ended Sunday for the US Marines and British troops stationed there, bringing an end to a decadelong struggle to keep a major Taliban stronghold and the region’s vast opium production in check.

Officials commemorated the handover during simultaneous ceremonies at Camp Leatherneck for the Marines and Camp Bastion for the British forces, conjoined bases that made up the coalition headquarters for the region.

The Afghan army’s 215th Corps will assume full control of the camps, a 6,500-acre parcel of desert scrubland in Southwest Afghanistan — and with it responsibility for securing one of the most violent provinces in the country.

No wonder those guys wanted to bolt to Canada.

While some US combat troops will remain in Afghanistan through the end of the year, the closing of Camp Bastion signified the end of all British operations in the country. During the nation’s long tenure in Helmand, which began in 2006, British forces lost 453 servicemen.

The handover came amid the deadliest period on record for Afghan forces. In the six months since March, more soldiers and police officers have died than any period since the start of the war, evidence that the Afghan forces are truly in the lead, and of the grinding battle that lies ahead.

Yeah, hurray!

Played out this summer, areas once deemed relatively secure grew problematic, while trouble spots became engulfed in violence.

Nowhere has that fight been more apparent, or deadly, than in Helmand.

Helmand was the first site of the United States’ 2010 troop surge, when thousands of military personnel were dispatched into Afghanistan to beat back a resurgent Taliban. Hundreds of coalition troops lost their lives to ambushes and roadside bombs in the bleak deserts and verdant valleys of Helmand.

Districts such as Sangin and Marja, home to some of the most violent fighting of the past 13 years, became household names as the United States wound down its war in Iraq and accelerated its involvement in Afghanistan.

Yeah, right.

For the British forces, Helmand was the centerpiece of a multiyear counternarcotics effort that largely failed to stem poppy cultivation.

And we know why. Opium funds black budgets for government intelligence agencies and bolsters the bottom lines of banks that can't survive without drug cash.

The province, which is home to more than 80 percent of the nation’s opium production, remains the heart of the illicit drug trade. According to a UN report, 2013 saw more land used to cultivate the crop than any year since the international community began recording the figure.

Obama calls it victory. What is he on?

Still, officials Sunday expressed cautious optimism that the Afghans would be ready to handle the fight on their own. While the Taliban tested districts across northern Helmand, claiming checkpoints, causing hundreds of casualties and sowing fear into the local population, the movement failed to claim any district centers from the government.

They need an ISIS of their own.

“Because of the competence, resolve, and combined skills of the ANSF, insurgent networks have become ineffective in Helmand province,” said a statement from the International Security Assistance Force, referring to the Afghan National Security Forces.

Oh, yeah?

In reality, locals say, the Taliban have never been stronger in the province.

And you wonder why I'm sick of reading this stuff?

In the face of Western assertions, they added, the Taliban have claimed stretches of area surrounding the government centers and have dominated rural areas, as well as the flourishing drug trade.

Yeah, the Taliban have set up a shadow government for years now, but don't let that spoil the high.

Related:  The New York Times Smokes Opium 

It is no myth, either.


Related: How Britain fell from grace as a global military power

And so has the U.S.:

"The new Afghan president travels to China this week, signaling the pivotal role he hopes Beijing will play in Afghanistan's future, not only in the economic reconstruction of the war-ravaged country after U.S. and allied combat troops leave by the end of the year but also in a strategic foreign policy aimed at building peace across a region long riven by mistrust and violence. 

Is this what the U.S. thought it was getting when it stole the election from Abdullah and installed this former World Bank official? 


Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai will leave Kabul on Tuesday for a three-day visit to China, where he will meet President Xi Jinping, as well as potential investors to bankroll Afghanistan's development as it emerges from 30 years of war impoverished, wracked by corruption, and still struggling to contain the Taliban insurgency.

He will lead a delegation of Afghan businessmen at a summit where he hopes to attract Chinese investment to develop a mining industry as the bedrock of the economy, after more than a decade of dependence on international military and aid largesse." 

We won the war and China is going to reap the rewards?

Related: Your Nation Need AmeriKan Help? Dial ‘1-800-air power’!

The call just came in.

Alaskan Shithouse

"Feds to bring indoor plumbing to Alaska village" by Rachel D’Oro | Associated Press   October 24, 2014

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Phillip Peter, chairman of the village tribal council, lives in one of the homes without plumbing. The 63-year-old has lived in the village most of his life and said everyday conditions will hugely improve after remaining homes have indoor plumbing. These days, he collects river or pond water. In the winter, that means chipping away at the ice and carrying it home to melt.

Like other residents without plumbing, his home relies on the honey bucket system — large buckets that serve as toilets. His grandchildren are called upon to haul away the human waste and dump it in village receptacles, which sometimes leak when too full, Peter said Wednesday during an interview in Anchorage, where he and other Akiachak representatives traveled to attend the annual Alaska Federation of Natives convention this week.

He looks forward to the day when his home will have what most Americans take for granted.


Look who is already in there:

"US Rep. Don Young apologizes after suicide comment" Associated Press   October 23, 2014

JUNEAU, Alaska — Representative Don Young has apologized after telling students at a high school where a youth recently committed suicide that people kill themselves when there is a lack of support from family and friends.

During an appearance Tuesday in Wasilla, a teacher asked Young about Alaska’s high suicide rate.

‘‘He was talking about the role alcohol plays, and he mentioned depression,’’ Wasilla High School principal Amy Spargo said. ‘‘But he also went on to say that suicide happens when there’s a lack of support from friends and family, and that’s when the students in the room and the adults just took offense, because it’s like blaming the people who are left.’’

She said after that, the event became confrontational Spargo said she went for the microphone after a student asked about same-sex marriage. ‘‘And Representative Young told him that this was a question about marriage, and you can’t have marriage with two men,’’ she said.

On Wednesay, Young spokesman Matt Shuckerow said: ‘‘In no way did congressman Young mean to upset anyone with his well-intentioned message. In light of the tragic events affecting the Wasilla High School community, he should have taken a much more sensitive approach.’’


He just killed his own political career.

This Iranian Protest Burns

So much for the "they hate their women" meme from my Jewi$h ma$$ media (sorry, but....):

"Iranians protest acid attacks in central city" Associated Press   October 23, 2014

TEHRAN — Iranians rallied on Wednesday in the central city of Isfahan and the capital, Tehran, to protest a string of acid attacks on women in Isfahan in recent months, the latest public outcry over the assaults that have shocked the nation.

About 2,000 people gathered in front of Isfahan’s judiciary building, demanding that the perpetrators be brought to justice, reported the semiofficial Fars news agency. Later Wednesday, dozens of people also gathered in front of the Parliament in Tehran to condemn the attacks and demand punishment for those behind such assaults.

Acid attacks are very rare in Iran, but Isfahan has seen a string of eight cases of such assaults over the past few months, police chief General Ismaeil Ahmadi Moghaddam told reporters.

According to police, the attacks all had the same pattern — attackers on a motorbike, one driving, the other throwing acid at women sitting inside a passing car.

This is a hallmark of Sunni militants and extremists connected to the United States, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the like. That's why this is not only a one-day wonder (for a pre$$ that claims it truly cares about women's rights) but also a vague pos.

Moghaddam said an ongoing police investigation suggests the same attacker threw the acid in all the assaults. Police have already arrested four suspects in the case, but the extent or nature of their suspected involvement was not known.



"Iran hanged a woman on Saturday who was convicted of murdering a man she alleged was trying to rape her, drawing swift international condemnation for a prosecution several countries described as flawed. Reyhaneh Jabbari was hanged at dawn for premeditated murder, the official IRNA news agency reported. It quoted a statement issued by the Tehran Prosecutor Office Saturday that rejected the claim of attempted rape and said that all evidence proved that Jabbari had plotted to kill Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a former intelligence agent."

Maybe Reading This Will Give You a Boost

Or maybe things will head $outh:

"North Reading booster club’s president faces charge of theft" by Kiera Blessing | Globe Correspondent   October 22, 2014

The president of the North Reading Athletic Booster Club, a former elected town official, has been arrested and charged with allegedly stealing more than $10,000 from the organization, authorities said.

John Norton, 68, had solicited donations from businesses and residents for the club, but allegedly kept the proceeds for himself, North Reading police said in a statement. Norton previously served on the town’s School Committee and Planning Commission, said Town Clerk Barbara Stats.

“This is a case in which we allege that this well-known member of our community built himself up to be a trusted helper, until reality showed him to be little more than a fraud,” said Police Chief Michael P. Murphy.

There is a le$$on to be learned there.

Authorities began investigating Norton’s position with the booster club in May, when he sent the Police Department a personal check to pay for detail officers who provided security at a high school basketball tournament in December.

During the investigation, police found that the club had never filed the required papers with the attorney general’s office, and that Norton was the only officer of the club with access to its bank accounts.

He allegedly stole $10,700 from the club’s accounts between December and June, primarily by withdrawing cash from the accounts using ATMs and by writing checks from the club made out to “cash.”

Norton’s lawyer, George F. Ohlson Jr., declined to comment on the case.

Norton pleaded not guilty to one count of larceny of property over $250 by embezzlement Wednesday in Woburn District Court. He was being held on $1,000 bail, and ordered not to make any financial transactions for the booster club except to sign over control of the funds.

Norton is due back in court for a pretrial hearing Nov. 14.


The Web is Like a Box of Chocolates

Except they always know what you're gonna get....

"Online retailers found to shift offerings and prices" by Callum Borchers | Globe Staff   October 23, 2014

You know that friend who always scores hotel deals you never seem able to find? The reason might not be her skill at ferreting out online bargains.

Travel websites and other Internet retailers may be giving your friend better deals than you as part of a high-tech experiment called price steering that gives consumers different search results based on their buying histories, tastes — even the types of digital devices they shop on.

When browsing shoes, for instance, a connoisseur of handmade leather may get different Internet search choices than someone who typically buys knockoff brands.

And in some cases two consumers may actually get different prices for the exact same item, a practice known as price discrimination:

Looks like PRICE GOUGING to ME! 

Isn't that ILLEGAL?


New research to be unveiled by Northeastern University Thursday found that major travel websites and general merchandisers are testing price steering and discrimination in small doses. The techniques can make it easier for online consumers to find what exactly they want, or conversely, harder to get the best deal.

“You do a search for an item and you’re shown some results, but you don’t know if those are all the results,” said Christo Wilson, a computer science professor at Northeastern and coauthor of the study. “Maybe there’s more stuff or better prices that are being hidden from you.”

This has been commented on and known for years.

The Northeastern researchers focused mostly on travel, an industry known for variable — and sometimes mysterious — pricing. But they also tested general merchandisers, finding instances where similar searches for dinner tables, for example, yielded different results: Some shoppers were shown expensive options with gilded mahogany, others got the cheap plastic.

What it is, and we have $een this at the airports, is a further division of society along cla$$ lines. It's all over the Globe, all over my bu$ine$$ and new$ $ections every day.

Price steering and discrimination sit at the intersection of two of the hottest trends in high technology: personalized web browsing and big data analytics.

All that spying power and data collection is not only for the Feds; it's for corporate!

Users of Google’s search engines have undoubtedly noticed its knack for correctly guessing queries even before the typing is finishedas if computers have turned into mind readers.

Can you read what I'm thinking now? 

Would tossing the chocolate back into the box give you a clue?

For retailers, all that data generated when you visit their sites — browsing and buying patterns — can help them tailor search results to what they think you really want and — critically — are more likely to buy. Ideally, sellers can push customers toward the upper end of their spending limits because they know the price points at which they’re likely to make a purchase or walk away.

Can I tell you that I'M SO SICK of having to be SOLD on SOMETHING, be it this, wars, politics, carbon taxes, racial and gender division, or whatever else I'm being pitched by every single page of my propaganda pre$$?

Conducted this spring, the Northeastern study examined the e-commerce websites of 16 well-known outlets and found nine, including Orbitz, Travelocity, and Home Depot, that sometimes delivered different results to different customers, even those who used the same search terms. Researchers created dummy accounts to conduct tests and also provided a team of consumers with scripted searches to perform.

Importantly, the researchers concluded tailoring search results to particular types of users is not a widespread practice; discrepancies were infrequent, but in some cases the differences were significant.

Oh, now I feel better.

“The key take-away is, this is going on,” said Wilson. “Companies have a lot of personal information about you, and we do see cases where that is being used to either change prices or change the items that you see. It’s difficult for you as a consumer to protect yourself because these systems are black boxes, and they change all the time.”

So are the voting machines.

This issue has surfaced within the travel industry before.

I'm tired of writing about nothing ever changing except for the worse and per the ma$ter's designs. I'm glad the month is ending and the chocolates almost gone.

In 2012, Orbitz acknowledged steering Mac users to higher-priced hotel rooms than PC users on the theory they have more expensive taste, though the company said the experiment was short-lived.

They always tell us they stopped it before they got caught. HA!

Responding to the Northeastern report, Chris Chiames, a spokesman for Orbitz, acknowledged the travel site displays different search results and sometimes sets different prices for identical hotel rooms. Each technique has a business rationale behind it, he said.

I can't really imagine what tho$e could be, can you?

When users of GPS-enabled mobile devices search for lodging, Orbitz can detect their current locations and automatically steer them toward nearby hotels — something that is not possible for desktop users. That can explain some differences in listings, Chiames said.

Might as well scream out I'm here! Better than a bracelet.

In other cases hotels earmark small numbers of rooms for discounts and make the low prices available only to customers who use Orbitz’s custom mobile shopping app.

“The cost of acquiring that customer is much lower, as they are coming directly to our app,” he said. “We are then able to better reward that member and share the lower customer acquisition cost with more generous rewards.”

You know what? $crew traveling and touri$m anywhere in AmeriKa. If you are from a foreign country, go somewhere else. If you are a citizen, stay home. That's $olves a lot of problems right there. 

I'm sure that typo of attitude $ends certain people into Orbitz.

The rewards can be generous indeed. On Wednesday afternoon, for example, The Boston Globe searched Orbitz for hotel rooms in Miami using a desktop PC running Internet Explorer, a laptop computer running Mozilla Firefox, and an iPhone using the mobile version of Safari.

Intrepid investigative reporters!

Results on the two computers were the same but differed greatly from the iPhone. For example, Orbitz quoted a nightly rate for a standard room at the Clinton Hotel South Beach for this weekend that was $41 less on the mobile device. Using Orbitz’s mobile apps gets an even lower price.

Another travel site, Kayak, also quoted a special rate at the Clinton Hotel for mobile shoppers — $13 less. On and, the room rates for the Clinton were the same on the computers and iPhone searches.

Several other online shopping sites singled out in the Northeastern report did not return calls for comment.

Software formulas can assemble a customer’s data into a rough profile: Someone who lives in Wellesley, works at a law firm, and shops using a new i-Pad is likely to have expensive taste and a sizable budget. So the customer’s search results can be modified accordingly.

Related: NSA Unlocking Your Secrets 

Turns out they (and the Jewish mafia as well as Israel) are the ones doing all the hacking, not all the designated enemies that don't benefit from it at all. 

Only rotten chocolates no one wants left:

Pegging some shoppers as big spenders has origins in brick-and-mortar stores. 

$crew those. 

How 20th century!

A older, well-dressed man browsing jewelry at the mall before Valentine’s Day might be nudged toward a pricier display case than would a high school boy, for instance.

And while price discrimination is a loaded phrase, it is widely accepted in certain contexts — such as when senior citizens and veterans receive discounts because of age or military service.

Those discounts were allegedly to thank veterans for risking their lives in service and because the treatment and care of senior citizens and elders is supposed to define us as a humane society. 

I'm not arguing they should be taken away, and to see the corporate pre$$ spin this thievery as, oh, well, you know, already do it, whatever.  And then they sit back in their newsrooms and wonder why they have lost the minds of the American people, or maybe they don't. Maybe they are just smug elite writing for and of the same elite crowd.

Boosting sales may be retailers’ chief motive, but there can be real value for consumers, said Justin Borgman, chief executive of Cambridge big data firm Hadapt. Borgman said he has a thing for expensive shoes and would prefer high-end products when he searches online.

What did I.... never mind.

But retailers aren’t always transparent about their pricing strategies, Borgman noted, and that could backfire on them with consumers.

“It’s probably the sort of thing the general public isn’t conscious of,” Borgman said. “You could argue it’s one of darker sides of what big data can do for you.”


What an odd photograph to choose for the article -- almost as if it is another in a long line of subtle mind manipulations to evoke certain images in your head. One also, at this point, wonders if the photograph is even real or not some shopped pos propaganda for just such a purpose. 

That's the problem with the Globe: I know what I'm gonna get (Gump never looked at the inside lid?).

"Stephen Burgard, head of Northeastern journalism school, dies at 66" by Travis Andersen | Globe Staff   October 29, 2014

Stephen D. Burgard, the director of the Northeastern University School of Journalism who also served as an editor at the Los Angeles Times, has died while on sabbatical, school officials said Tuesday.

Bruce Ronkin, interim dean of Northeastern’s College of Arts, Media, and Design, wrote in an e-mail to the university community that he was sharing the news of Burgard’s death “with deep sadness.”

Ronkin’s message did not provide details on when or how Burgard, 66, of Arlington, had died, and a Northeastern spokeswoman said she had no additional information.

Burgard joined the faculty at Northeastern in 2002 after more than two decades as a newspaper reporter and editor, Ronkin wrote.

A member of the editorial board of the Times from 1990 to 2002, Burgard helped lead the newspaper’s editorial page coverage of the aftermath of the Rodney King trial and also was part of the newspaper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the 1994 Northridge earthquake, Ronkin said. The Times said no one was available Tuesday night to comment on Burgard’s death.

Ronkin wrote, “He was a vital part of our community, and he will be dearly missed. I hope that we can draw strength from each other and from the larger Northeastern community.”

Dan Kennedy, the acting director of the journalism school, said in a phone interview on Tuesday that Burgard had been on sabbatical during the fall semester but was planning to return as director in January.

“This has really been difficult news for all of us,” Kennedy said. “It’s been pretty hard to get anything done over the last day. But you know, we’re just going to try to move forward, because he certainly would have wanted that.”

Kennedy credited Burgard with helping the journalism school embrace reporting in the digital age.

“I think what Steve wanted to do was move as quickly as possible into the digital present, but at the same time, do so with respect for the ethics and the tradition of our craft,” he said.

In addition to his reporting and academic careers, Burgard was the author of “Hallowed Ground,” which was published in 1997 and landed on’s list of the Top Ten Religion Books that year, according to his official university biography.

His second book, “Faith, Politics and Press In Our Perilous Times,” was published in 2010.

The book was his edited selection of essays on covering religion by leading writers, according to the biography.

Kennedy said that Burgard leaves three adult children. Funeral information was not available on Tuesday night.

“Please join me in offering sincere condolences to Steve’s family and friends,” Ronkin wrote. “The family plans a celebration of Steve’s life later in the fall.”

Ronkin’s message also included information on counseling available for students and staff, which is standard protocol, the university said.

Kennedy said that Burgard was “just absolutely terrific” as a colleague.

“He [was] kind of a big, blustery guy, but he [was] also somebody who clearly cared about the people he worked with,” he said. “He was more than a mentor. He was a friend.”


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Skipping Supper

Related: Dinner at McDonald's

Maybe you would like to grab a quick bite?

"McDonald’s CEO outlines changes as sales slide" AP  October 22, 2014

NEW YORK — McDonald’s chief executive Don Thompson said Tuesday the company hasn’t been keeping up with the times and that changes are in store for its US restaurants.

Starting in January, Thompson said McDonald’s will ‘‘simplify’’ its menu to make room for restaurants to offer options that are best-suited for their regions. To offer greater customization, he also said the company planned to expand its ‘‘Create Your Taste’’ offering that lets people pick the buns and toppings they want on burgers by tapping a touchscreen. The program is currently being offered in Southern California.

The remarks came after McDonald’s said its profit sank 30 percent in the third quarter, with sales at established locations down 3.3 percent globally and in its flagship US market. In the division encompassing Asia, where a major McDonald’s supplier was shown on TV repackaging expired beef, the figure sank 9.9 percent.

Some analysts questioned whether the moves McDonald’s has in store will be enough to fix its problems. Sara Senatore, a Bernstein restaurant analyst, noted that the company efforts seem focused on marketing, rather than changing recipes.

For the quarter, revenue declined to $6.99 billion, short of the $7.23 billion Wall Street expected. Net income declined to $1.07 billion, or $1.09 per share. Adjusted for one-time costs, earnings were $1.52 per share. Analysts expected $1.37 per share.


Maybe this is the problem:

"2nd guilty plea in California tainted beef case" AP   October 22, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO — A second defendant has pleaded guilty in a case alleging that a Northern California slaughterhouse at the center of a massive recall processed and distributed tainted beef.

Eugene Corda, an employee of Petaluma-based Rancho Feeding Corp., entered the plea to one count of aiding and abetting in the distribution of adulterated, misbranded, and uninspected meat earlier this month.

A co-owner of the slaughterhouse, Robert Singleton, pleaded guilty to the same charge in August.

The two other defendants, co-owner Jesse Amaral Jr. and Felix Cabrera, are still facing charges. They have pleaded not guilty.

Federal prosecutors say the owners schemed with employees to slaughter about 79 cows with skin cancer of the eye.

The plant’s operations were halted in February after a series of beef recalls.


Think I will skip the beef and keep blogging.

Get Out the Kleenex For Kimberly-Clark Employees

"Kimberly-Clark to cut up to 1,300 jobs" AP  October 22, 2014

DALLAS — Kimberly-Clark plans to eliminate up to 1,300 jobs as part of restructuring efforts aimed at reducing costs and increasing efficiency.

The consumer products company behind brands such as Kleenex and Huggies has 58,000 workers worldwide, according to its website.

Kimberly-Clark Corp. said Tuesday that it anticipates restructuring costs between $130 million and $160 million, after taxes. The company foresees between $120 million and $140 million in savings by the end of 2017.

The restructuring is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

Kimberly-Clark also cut its 2014 adjusted profit forecast to account for the spinoff of its health care business. The Dallas company now expects an adjusted profit between $5.93 and $6.03 per share, down from its prior range of $6 to $6.15 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expect $6.06 per share.


New Jersey Nabs Genovese Crime Family

"New Jersey charges 11 with mob loansharking scheme" Associated Press   October 22, 2014

NEWARK — Members and associates of one of New York’s legendary crime families used check cashing businesses and a Newark restaurant to run a racketeering enterprise that reaped millions of dollars through loansharking and money laundering, New Jersey officials said Tuesday as they announced charges against 11 people.

You know, like a Wall Street bank.

One of those arrested was reputed Genovese family capo Charles Tuzzo, 80, of Bayside, N.Y., who was charged with racketeering, money laundering, conspiracy, loansharking, and promoting gambling. Also arrested was reputed Genovese soldier Vito Alberti, 55, of New Providence, N.J., whom authorities charged with the same crimes as Tuzzo, as well as one tax-related count.

Tuzzo, Alberti, and five others were being held on $400,000 bail each and were scheduled for an initial court appearance later Tuesday in Morris County. Three people were charged by summonses and one, Vincent Coppola of Union, was being sought.

Coppola is the son of jailed Genovese capo Michael Coppola, acting state Attorney General John Hoffman said Tuesday.

The money laundering and loansharking ran through check cashing businesses owned by Domenick Pucillo of Florham Park, Hoffman said.


Related: Globe Gets After Organized Crime

They left the roaches alone.

Surgeon's Pilot Fell Asleep Landing Plane

"Pilot errors, fatigue led to deadly Ga. jet crash" Associated Press   October 22, 2014

SAVANNAH, Ga. — The pilot of a private jet failed to follow correct landing procedures and probably was fatigued from a lack of sleep when the plane went down in a fiery crash in eastern Georgia last year, killing a vascular surgeon and four co-workers on board, federal investigators concluded in a report Tuesday.

Richard Trammell was at the controls of the jet on the evening of Feb. 20, 2013, when it aborted a landing attempt at a small airport in Thomson, and struck a 72-foot utility pole less than 2,000 feet from the runway. The plane was carrying Dr. Steven Roth and his surgical staff based in Augusta.

The only survivors were Trammell and his co-pilot, Jeremy Hayden, who both suffered severe injuries.


Kelsey Smith Killed Stepdaughter Over Soiled Diaper

"3-year-old’s beating death ruled homicide" Associated Press   October 21, 2014

NEW YORK — The 5-year-old brother of a 3-year-old New York City girl police say was fatally beaten by her stepfather over the weekend has given detectives a detailed account of the assault, telling investigators the beating was prompted after the girl soiled her diaper, authorities said Monday.

Kelsey Smith forced stepdaughter Jeida Torres to smell the dirty diaper then kicked her, banged her head against a bed frame, and choked her while in a facility for the homeless in Brooklyn, the toddler’s older brother said, according to police.


Smith remained hospitalized Monday in Manhattan after allegedly trying to slit his wrists at his mother’s Queens home. His mother called police Saturday after having a conversation with him and becoming worried that he might harm himself, police said.

Let him. That will be one less scum in the world.

Housing Bridge, a homeless services nonprofit, has a contract with the city to run the Brooklyn facility where the beating occurred, said Harry Fried, the group’s chief operating officer. He said he wasn’t permitted to comment further.

Smith, who police said was married to the children’s mother, had lived with the family at the Brooklyn apartment for three months.

He has 15 prior arrests, including for a 2010 robbery in which police say he slammed a 14-year-old boy into an iron gate, then put his knee on the boy’s throat before stealing his wallet with $10 in it, records show. Smith was 15 at the time of that arrest.


Butler Did It to Himself

Who wanted Bill Butler dead and why?

"N.Y. man drowns while swimming in Cape Cod pool

A New York man drowned while swimming alone in a Yarmouth hotel pool Sunday morning, officials said. William Butler, 68, of Springfield Gardens, N.Y., was reported lying at the bottom of a swimming pool at the Riverview Resort, at 37 Neptune Lane in South Yarmouth, about 11:45 a.m., according to a statement by Yarmouth police. Butler was transported to Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, where he was pronounced dead. Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe said Butler’s death is not considered suspicious, adding that, according to Butler’s wife, Butler had several medical ailments."

DNA Leads to Rapist Abercrombie

"Man linked to 1992 rape by DNA pleads guilty

A 52-year-old man was sentenced to 18 to 20 years in prison Tuesday after a DNA test confirmed he was responsible for a rape that occurred more than two decades ago, according to the office of Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley. Terry Abercrombie, formerly of Dorchester, pleaded guilty to aggravated rape in Suffolk Superior Court just before his trial was to start. On the evening of Oct. 30, 1992, Abercrombie approached a 53-year-old woman as she was walking home from the Savin Hill T station, pulled her into a driveway off nearby Cushing Avenue, robbed her of a small amount of cash, and raped her before fleeing the area, according to Conley’s office."

MacKenzie's Faith in Mail Fraud and Money Laundering

"Weymouth man pleads guilty in connection with scheme to rob church

A Weymouth man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to 13 counts, including racketeering, after he stole millions of dollars in financial assets from a Boston church over a decade, according to the office of US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz. Edward J. MacKenzie Jr., 56, also pleaded guilty to mail fraud and money laundering in federal court in Boston, Ortiz’s office said. In 2003, MacKenzie became the Boston Society of New Jerusalem Church’s first director of operations, which included a starting salary of more than $100,000 annually. MacKenzie then used his power to vote co-conspirators into authoritative positions in order to drain the church of funds and assets, according to Ortiz’s office."