Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Kicking the Boston Globe Habit

I've "checked" into the clinic, $o to $peak:

State defends ban on powerful painkiller Zohydro
US judge blocks Mass. ban on painkiller

Yeah, the court will let you keep dealing.

"Study finds brain changes in young marijuana users" by Kay Lazar | Globe Staff   April 15, 2014

Young adults who occasionally smoke marijuana show abnormalities in two key areas of their brain related to emotion, motivation, and decision making, raising concerns that they could be damaging their developing minds at a critical time, according to a new study by Boston researchers.

Other studies have revealed brain changes among heavy marijuana users, but this research is believed to be the first to demonstrate such abnormalities in young, casual smokers.

The Boston scientists also found that the degree of brain changes appeared to be directly related to the amount participants smoked per week.

Researchers did not study whether those changes were linked to corresponding declines in brain function, but lead author Jodi Gilman, a psychology instructor at Harvard Medical School and a brain scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital, said such abnormalities in young brains are reason for concern.

“This is when you are making major decisions in your life, when you are choosing a major, starting a career, making long-lasting friendships and relationships,” Gilman said.

Yeah, it's much better to have been prescribed prescription pharmaceuticals for years. 

I'm not saying I want kids smoking pot, but I'm also opposed to this story being on the front page of my Globe when the heroin shots I didn't take were back on page B1. 

Don't get me wrong; I'm not complaining. I recognize my promotional pre$$, and embrace all it's $hit-$hoveling narratives. 

I obviously don't smoke pot

The findings, published Wednesday in the Journal of Neuroscience, come amid an increased debate about the long-term effects of marijuana, as a growing number of states legalize the drug for medicinal and recreational use....

Gee, what great timing for prohibitionist propaganda to be placed in a new$paper, huh?

--more--"

Oh, no, I don't want a hit (blog editor frowns at missed opportunities of youth). I believed what I was told, that drugs were bad and the last thing I want these days is legal marijuana. 

Even against medical now because it's too much crime and corruption. I'd rather pharmaceuticals, banks, or military contractors open businesses. We don't need marijuana shops poisoning the world.

What have you kids been up to because something stinks in here.

ConCensus Over Obummercare

I hadn't realized we were this far down the road to dictatorship. 

"Census survey revisions mask health law effects" by Robert Pear | New York Times   April 16, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Census Bureau, the authoritative source of health insurance data for more than three decades, is changing its annual survey so thoroughly that it will be difficult to measure the effects of President Obama’s health care law in the next report, due this fall, Census officials said.

OMG! 

Once again, as we see with the waivers and what not, this gutted law (save for the tax penalty cash grab) is more about the ELECTORAL HEALTH of DEMOCRATS.  

Looks like we will just have to vote on first impressions then.

The changes are intended to improve the accuracy of the survey, being conducted this month in interviews with tens of thousands of households around the country. But the new questions are so different that the findings will not be comparable, the officials said.

An internal Census Bureau document said that the new questionnaire included a “total revision to health insurance questions” and, in a test last year, produced lower estimates of the uninsured.

Using the IRS against one's political opponents is bad enough, but the politicization of the Census goes beyond even that. Add that to the list of impeachment charges.

Thus, officials said, it will be difficult to say how much of any change is attributable to the Affordable Care Act....

Never mind that it's not affordable, ladies.

“We are expecting much lower numbers just because of the questions and how they are asked,” said Brett J. O’Hara, chief of the health statistics branch at the Census Bureau....

In other words, it's devised like an agenda-pushing poll cited in my propaganda pre$$.

The White House reported that 7.5 million people signed up, but health policy analysts and politicians had been assuming that the Census Bureau would help answer those questions when it issued its report on income, poverty, and health insurance, based on the Current Population Survey. The annual report shows the number of people with various kinds of health insurance and the number of uninsured for the nation and for each state.

Several recent private polls, including one by the Gallup organization, suggest that the number of uninsured is declining, because of the Affordable Care Act and improvements in the economy.

Census officials and researchers have long expressed concerns about the old version of insurance questions in the Current Population Survey.

The questionnaire traditionally used by the Census Bureau provides an “inflated estimate of the uninsured” and is prone to “measurement errors,” said a working paper by statisticians and demographers at the agency....

Yeah, it was all a bullshit report they were using to make decisions all that time. No wonder the country and this government is so screwed up. 

At least the looters got paid. And they won't be using the new numbers to say more people are covered, right? I mean that's the flip of this. New numbers expected to show decline, that's the point of the change. But if not....

The White House is always looking for evidence to show the benefits of the health law, which is an issue in many of this year’s midterm elections.

You see?

The Department of Health and Human Services and the White House Council of Economic Advisers requested several of the new questions, and the White House Office of Management and Budget approved the new questionnaire. But the decision to make fundamental changes in the survey was driven by technical experts at the Census Bureau.

They really expect us to believe political pressure wasn't important here, huh? 

Then they are even more delusional and out-of-touch than I thought. 

Or do they just not care about the reaction to the stench they shovel out? 

It's just get it out there, right? 

Mucky up the waters by whatever ways necessary?

--more--"

Sorry I'm such a bummer these days, dear readers, and not a lot more laughs like in the past. Maybe I should just take a pill and forget all the lies.

Globe Takes a Trip to North Adams Emergency Room

The closing of the Berkshire hospital in North Adams was big news for about four days before more or less fading.... 

"Hospital closing roils North Adams; After loss of care, worry about struggling city’s economy" by Deirdre Fernandes | Globe Staff   April 16, 2014

NORTH ADAMS — Dr. Charles O’Neill had taken this route countless times during his 27 years at North Adams Regional Hospital — through the lobby and down the halls to the maternity ward where he delivered thousands of babies.

But his walk two weeks ago was like no other. The hospital, once humming with activity, was eerily quiet. And instead of arriving to help bring a child into the world, O’Neill came to carry out a mundane task: retrieving a pair of shoes he left behind when the 129-year-old hospital abruptly shut in late March.

Like many others in this hard-luck city, O’Neill was stunned by the closing of North Adams Regional. Almost overnight, he had to move his maternity deliveries about 20 miles away to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield and make plans to relocate 15 employees to an office in nearby Adams. He also needed to take on the patients of another doctor in his office — a Canadian citizen who could no longer treat them because her work visa was tied to the shuttered hospital.

RelatedBerkshire Medical hires 143 former employees of North Adams

You are looking better already.

****************

The demise of the North Adams Regional — which went in and out of bankruptcy over the past six years as patient numbers declined — is the latest gut punch taken by this economically depressed city of about 14,000 people on Massachusetts’ western edge. The hospital not only allowed easy access to medical care, it was also the city’s largest employer, with more than 500 jobs. Even before the hospital went dark, the North Adams unemployment rate — at 8.7 percent — was already two percentage points above the state average.

Those numbers are low, too. Real rate is higher. 

Beyond that, hospitals are vital commitments and connections for a community. 

It is still unclear how badly the closing will affect local businesses that provided supplies and services to the hospital, or whether shops and restaurants that counted on the regular business from the hospital’s workers can survive.

How can it be unclear when we have examples of the ripple effect happening in industries all across this country? I read any more of this and I will be sick enough to check into a hospital.

But there is no uncertainty about how people are feeling: angry and betrayed. You’ll hear those sentiments expressed at the downtown hot dog joint, in churches, in the laundry rooms of subsidized housing complexes, and in the brick mill buildings that have been converted into trendy artists lofts close to the city’s major attraction — the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.

Related: Arts $aving North Adams 

Plenty of $urplu$ ca$h out there to link to, huh?

“We’re isolated from power structures, from the state. [But] it is our hospital, it is our place,” said Kathy Keeser, a service coordinator at Mohawk Forest Apartments, a low-income housing complex two miles past the steep hairpin turn that greets motorists entering the city on Route 2.

I know I should just be happy the Globe made it out this way so I'm not complaining. I feel fine, doc.

Over breakfast at Linda’s Cafe on a recent morning, Orchid Beauty Salon hairdressers Michele Kirby, 69, and Karen Cota, 74, said several of their regular customers worked at the hospital. They expect them to stretch out the time between haircuts and treatments. But beyond that, they worry about more businesses closing and homes being put up for sale, further driving down already depressed property values. The median sales price of a home in North Adams is $116,500, compared with about $300,000 statewide, and the median household income of $36,510 is about half the statewide number.

“It’s so discouraging,” Kirby said. “What’s going to happen to the young people?”

People have been asking that question for years here. The answer is always the same — they usually leave.

Mayor Richard Alcombright said the hospital closing is particularly tough to take because it came at a time when the local economy seemed to be gaining modest momentum. One of the largest Walmarts in the western part of the state opened last year, soon after stationery business Crane & Co. added 85 full-time jobs and another shift. The popular Mass MoCA is in line for a $25 million state grant to expand exhibit space.

$25 million on that and the hospital is closing?

RelatedAfter 6 years, Harvard Art Museums reemerging

See what $350 million can do?

“We felt like we were moving right along and this happened,” said Alcombright, sinking into his leather chair at City Hall days after the closing. He was taking a break from a gauntlet of hospital-related meetings with the governor, attorney general, state public health leaders, and more than a 100 residents.

“Talk about the wind out of your sails,” Alcombright said.

Once — long ago — it wasn’t like this. Mills along the Hoosic River churned out textiles, iron plates, and shoes. Arnold Print Works, which closed its North Adams facility in 1942, bragged that every single day it manufactured enough printed fabric to stretch from the Berkshire city to Boston, 130 miles away.

I'd really rather not go down memory lane with the Globe but I'm stuck in this ho$pital bed.

During World War II, Sprague Electric Co. made parts for everything from atomic bombs to televisions. At its height, Sprague employed 4,000 people, nearly a quarter of the city’s population. After several cutbacks during the mid-1980s, Sprague finally shut down its main North Adams plant in 1985, throwing nearly 600 people out of work.

Eventually, Mass MoCA, funded with state and private money, took over the sprawling Arnold Printing and Sprague Electric site. Today, every conversation about North Adams’s future includes the 15-year-old museum. It was supposed to make the city a tourist destination, and to some degree it has — about 130,000 visitors come each year, generating about $20 million in economic activity, according to museum director Joseph Thompson. The massive open spaces of the renovated mill buildings are ideal for ambitious installations; some of the world’s most prominent contemporary artists have exhibited at Mass MoCA.

I wonder if they will annex the works of an artist named W.

Despite the quality of the art — and high expectations from the start — most visitors to the city are daytrippers. Museum officials hope the Legislature will help change that by approving $25 million for the next phase of the its expansion.

As the museum grows, Thompson is betting more people will stay longer, dining out in restaurants, shopping, and booking rooms at local inns. But he concedes it will not be enough to make up for the immediate loss of the hospital.

I really have a problem with tax dollars being bet.

Besides, not everyone is convinced spending more money on Mass MoCA is the best way to rescue North Adams. Since the hospital closed, some residents have grumbled about the state’s willingness to invest in a cultural institution even as people lose ready access to health care.

Oh, no kidding? 

It gives me no joy to say this because it was quite a painful epiphany here in Massachusetts, but the political class serves certain $ectors and intere$ts and that's all.

*********************

State health officials are striving to restore emergency room services at the hospital, with Berkshire Medical Center taking over the operations.

Must not be that urgent.

Berkshire Medical said last week it had rehired 96 workers for permanent positions and another 47 employees for three-month assignments.

Yes, I noticed the good prognosis.

But the hundreds of other jobs tied to North Adams Regional are unlikely to return. 

What? That is unclear, or so I was told earlier.

On Tuesday, hundreds of North Adams residents and nurses converged on the State House to demand that Governor Deval Patrick and his administration speed up the emergency room’s reopening.

And all they got for their troubles was this lousy afterthought of a paragraph near the end of article.

City Councilor Jennifer Breen said the hospital’s failure reminded her of the Sprague shutdown. Breen’s father was laid off then, but he retrained to become a computer science teacher.

It is that kind of persistence that residents will have to tap into once again to overcome the hospital’s loss.

Yep, roll up the sleeves, pull up the bootstraps, cut some corporations more tax breaks, and get to work (if you can find any).

People who call North Adams home know how to fight, said Breen, a lawyer who returned to the city after working for two years as a Middlesex County prosecutor in Cambridge.

“That’s what we do here,” she said. “We claw our way back.” 

Yep, we will all claw at each other while wealth continues to be concentrated in corporations and in the top 5% of income. 

--more--"

Looks like Lawrence is having some problems, too. 

Everett to Use Eminent Domain to Wynn Casino

I know it is not Saturday night, but I just thought I would wipe the slate clean:

"Everett may buy site, sell it to Wynn for casino use; Plan comes as gambling panel worries about felon’s ties to land" by Andrea Estes and Sean P. Murphy | Globe staff   April 16, 2014

Mayor Carlo DeMaria of Everett wants the city to acquire the property where Steve Wynn has proposed building a $1.6 billion casino, and then resell it to the Las Vegas mogul, using the city’s power of eminent domain to remove a roadblock that has threatened to kill Wynn’s chances of getting a casino license.

Except it is supposed to be used for public interests, not private bu$ine$$!

Under DeMaria’s plan, Everett would buy the casino site and seven other nearby properties for approximately $41 million and then resell them at the same price to Wynn Resorts. City officials said that their urban renewal proposal for the long-depressed area along the Mystic River was under development before Wynn proposed a casino and is not solely for his benefit.

“This area, as you are well aware, is critical to the future success of the entire city and will serve as a gateway to the entire region,” DeMaria said in a letter to Everett city councilors dated April 10. “My administration is committed to realizing the extraordinary potential of this area and the city as a whole.”

*******************

The question of whether Everett’s urban renewal plan benefits the city or mainly Wynn could loom large, because, under state law, government taking of private land has to serve a public purpose — in this case, redeveloping a blighted section of the city — and not just for the benefit of a private party.

Everett voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum on the casino proposal last year, largely on the promise that a casino could bring in thousands of jobs.

However, this is the first time that Everett voters are being asked to put up tax dollars to support the casino. Although DeMaria’s plan calls for Wynn to reimburse the city for the land, the broader urban renewal effort also calls for more than $30 million in other improvements in the areas, some of them paid for with city funds or bonds. Marchese is skeptical residents would support it if they think the deal is primarily for Wynn’s benefit.

It's what is known as house odds.

The land-taking would be a substantial boost to Wynn Resorts, acquiring not only the casino site, but several nearby properties that Wynn also had planned to purchase. Once Everett controls the property, the law does not require the newly created Everett Redevelopment Authority to go through public bidding procedures, allowing it to resell directly to Wynn....

I'll bet it happens.

--more--" 

I've kind of folded regarding the issue, sorry.

"Everett landowner resists disclosure pledge; Gambling panel wants assurances criminals won’t profit from selling property to Wynn" by Andrea Estes and Sean P. Murphy | Globe staff   April 11, 2014

One of the owners of land in Everett where Steve Wynn wants to build a casino is refusing to sign a promise that no secret owners would profit from the sale, raising questions about whether a convicted felon is still involved and potentially imperiling the entire $1.3 billion project.

Anthony Gattineri, co-owner of the former industrial land where Wynn proposed to build the Boston-area’s only casino, has declined to sign the pledge, even though Massachusetts Gaming Commission officials say they will not approve an Everett casino without assurances that criminals won’t profit from it.

“He’s not signing under the advice of his criminal counsel,” said Daniel W. Doherty, who represents Gattineri in business matters. The criminal attorney declined to comment further. Gattineri has also declined to testify under oath to Gaming Commission investigators.

Gattineri and his partners in FBT Everett Realty have already come under heavy criticism for misleading commission investigators about the role of Charles A. Lightbody, who has a four-page Massachusetts rap sheet, in the Everett land deal. One partner in FBT, Dustin DeNunzio, has admitted backdating documents to make it appear that Lightbody left the partnership before Wynn offered to buy the land in late 2012.

The ownership of the casino site is under state and federal investigation. 

Isn't there also a lawsuit?

Gattineri’s refusal to sign the pledge is fueling suspicion among the project’s critics that Lightbody could still be secretly involved in the deal, at least indirectly, despite efforts to squeeze him out. DeNunzio and another Lightbody business partner signed a deal last year to buy a notorious strip club near the proposed casino, King Arthur’s Lounge, possibly giving Lightbody a way to profit from a casino in the neighborhood.

Lightbody boasted that he had the club “locked up tight as a drum” in a taped conversation with a prison inmate in June 2013, according to a transcript provided by the Gaming Commission. Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed records from King Arthur’s owners related to the proposed sale, according to three lawyers familiar with the probe.

Lightbody has other close financial ties to the proposed casino site: Gattineri has told commission investigators that he owes Lightbody about $1 million, leading investigators to tell gaming commissioners that Lightbody could become part owner of the land again if Gattineri does not pay off the debt.

Lightbody’s lawyer, Timothy Flaherty, said he does not know why Gattineri is refusing to sign the statement. “It has nothing to do with any hidden interest that anybody believes Mr. Lightbody has because he doesn’t have one,” Flaherty said.

Attorneys for Wynn Resorts stress that they have nothing to do with the inner workings of FBT Everett Realty and that they have taken steps to eliminate secret partners, slashing the proposed purchase price for the land from $75 million to $35 million to reduce the windfall that could be funneled to criminals.

In an e-mailed statement, Wynn spokesman Michael Weaver said the company does not see Gattineri’s refusal to sign the statement as an obstacle to Wynn’s winning a license.

Related(?)Doing Delahunt

*************

One gambling expert said the controversy threatens the credibility of the Gaming Commission’s effort to choose between competing casino proposals in Everett and Revere.... 

How can you threaten something they don't have?

Meanwhile, some critics are watching developments at King Arthur’s Lounge warily. The strip club, the site of an infamous 1982 police homicide, is less than a mile from the casino site, located over the Chelsea line.... 

Did you know the casino came with a strip club just over the town line?

--more--"

Some More Mucking Around

See: Mucking Around in Monday's Globe

Take this first insult with the two inches of snowfall I found on my car when I went to get my Globe this morning. Must have come from Chicago.

What you are stuck with today:

"“One team’s hot, the other not.’’ So it goes for Boston’s storied winter sports franchises. The Celtics and Bruins find themselves on diverging paths of fortune."

Sometimes I feel like my news sections are $port$world$.

RelatedFor Hartford Whalers fans, nowhere to go but all dressed up

Ha-ha, Hartford.

Items not so funny, ones in fact frightening when one sees where it may all be going....

"Capital murder among charges in Kansas shooting" by Steven Yaccino | New York Times   April 16, 2014

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — State prosecutors charged a 73-year-old white supremacist with murder on Tuesday in the killing of three people outside two Jewish community facilities Sunday....

None of the victims were Jewish, but authorities said federal hate crimes were based on intent....

Yeah, one was Catholic and am I ever livid about his rabid anti-Catholicism.

After his arrest at a nearby school, Frazier Glenn Miller of Aurora, Mo., who has for decades espoused anti-Semitic and racist beliefs, shouted “Heil Hitler” from the back of a squad car.

Don't try making up for it now (tongue planted firmly in cheek with contempt).

“The Jewish community is really, I think, just trying to make sense of it.”

I'm not; if I've failed you as an investigator I'm sorry.

***********

The killings, which occurred the day before the Passover holiday, have left much of the area in shock and mourning; vigils have been held, and flags are waving at half-staff. Families and friends are trying to keep the focus on the lives that were lost and not on the man that officials say took them....

The agenda-pushing media will do that, thank you.

--more--"

RelatedTeacher at UK school accused of anti-Semitic slur

You know, I've been mentioning how unhappy I am blogging about the Boston Globe and how I don't want to do it any more, and we really may be reaching a tipping point. Not even highlighting much anymore, care even less about the items I'm bringing you, don't even want to cover and bring the items I do care about to you, don't even read more than half of it anymore, don't want to waste that time on it anymore. I sick of getting filthy in their muck.

"Hamas praises deadly West Bank shooting" by Ian Deitch | Associated Press   April 16, 2014

JERUSALEM — The prime minister of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday praised a shooting that killed an Israeli and wounded his wife and son as they drove through the West Bank Monday en route to a Seder, the traditional Passover meal that starts the weeklong Jewish holiday.

Ismail Haniyeh said the attack outside Hebron ‘‘brought back life to the path of resistance’’ against Israel and warned of more attacks in the territory. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, the latest incident to threaten talks with the Palestinians.

I'm wondering if the translation was butchered, and who benefits from the threat to talks at this point?

Hamas and Israel are bitter enemies. They have engaged in several rounds of fighting since the militant Islamic group seized power in Gaza in 2007 after ousting forces loyal to the Palestinian Fatah party, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, in fierce street battles. The two groups have not reconciled and Hamas now rules Gaza while Abbas governs part of the West Bank.

Okay, the first part is a lie because the newspaper also knows Hamas won elections, and they ousting of forces was the repelling of a coup attempt. I've been linking and relinking the same damn things for years, and I'm just sick of it folks. I'm sick of the selective omissions and bull$hit narratives coming forth from the propaganda pre$$.

‘‘We tell the enemy and anyone who thinks he is able to tame the West Bank . . . the West Bank will be the future point of our struggle with the enemy,’’ Haniyeh said.

Israeli media said the wounded woman was told in the hospital that her 40-year-old husband, a police officer, was killed. It said their wounded son is 9 years old.

The attack almost certainly complicates US attempts to salvage the troubled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The Palestinians want to establish a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and east Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war.

Israel has annexed large portions, but that word is reserved for Russia in the Crimea despite the vote to secede! 

Again, I'm not arguing it or even getting angry. I just recognize the pri$m through which elitist insult and supremacism is being delivered.

--more--"

And thus how odd it is that I noticed this on page A7:

"LUNAR COLORS -- While clouds obscured the view in the Boston area, other parts of the country saw a total lunar eclipse early Tuesday. This composite view, in seven stages as seen from Miami, shows the changes in color throughout the event (Boston Globe April 16 2014)."

The last one in the series is blood red. I'm not big on prophecy and all that stuff because I'm seeing that as an unknowable diversion and distraction from those doing evil here on earth, but given what is going on in the world and the globe-kicker machinations behind them we could be looking at something very bad coming around soon (the Malaysian airliner loaded with a nuclear bomb from Iran being flown into Chicago?). 

For the record, the temperature is still below freezing as of 9:42 a.m., the time of this post. 

At least the air is starting to get clearer despite the cattle problem.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fire-Branded Chile

"Raging fire kills 11 people, destroys residences in Chile; 10,000 evacuated as workers battle to tame flames" by Graciela Ibanez | Associated Press   April 14, 2014

VALPARAISO, Chile — A raging fire leaped from hilltop to hilltop in this colorful port city throughout the night and day on Sunday, killing at least 11 people and destroying at least 1,000 homes. More than 10,000 people were evacuated, including more than 200 female inmates at a prison.

And with hot dry winds stoking the embers, the fires were still burning out of control as a second night approached.

The blaze began Saturday afternoon in a forested area above ramshackle housing on one of the city’s 42 hilltops, and spread quickly as hot ash rained down over wooden houses and narrow streets. Electricity failed as the fire grew, with towering, sparking flames turning the night sky orange over a darkening horizon.

Eventually, neighborhoods on six hilltops were reduced to ashes, including one hill just several blocks from Chile’s Parliament building. And flames broke out again on at least two of those hills, burning out of control and threatening to consume other neighborhoods.

‘‘It’s a tremendous tragedy. This could be the worst fire in the city’s history,’’ President Michelle Bachelet said as firefighters contained most of the blazes, mobilizing 20 helicopters and planes to drop water on hot spots Sunday.

The fire has destroyed 1,000 houses so far and authorities warned that the toll of death and damage could rise once authorities can enter the smoldering remains. Military Police General Julio Pineda said 11 people were killed.

Earlier Sunday, he said 16 died, but it turned out that one family had been counted twice. More than 500 people were treated at hospitals, mostly for smoke inhalation.

It was already the worst fire to hit the picturesque seaside city of 250,000 people since 1953, when 50 people were killed and every structure was destroyed on several of the city’s hills.

While the fires were contained to the hills, Bachelet declared the entire city a catastrophe zone, putting the military in charge of maintaining order.

‘‘The people of Valparaiso have courage, have strength, and they aren’t alone,’’ she said.

Valparaiso, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2003, is known for colorful neighborhoods hugging hills so steep that people have to use staircases rather than streets. About 75 miles northwest of the capital, Santiago, it has a vibrant port and is home to Chile’s national legislature.

Oh. That's why it is getting attention.

But many homes in densely populated poorer areas above the city center have been built without water supplies or access points wide enough for firetrucks, so much of the fight was from the air.

‘‘This is the worst catastrophe I’ve seen,’’ said Ricardo Bravo, the regional governor. ‘‘Now we have to make sure the fire doesn’t reach the city center, which would make this emergency much more serious.’’

While 1,250 firefighters, police and forest rangers battled the blaze, 2,000 Chilean sailors in combat gear patrolled streets to maintain order and prevent looting.

Shelters were overflowing.

Maria Elizabeth Diaz, eight months pregnant and trying to rest with her two sons in a shelter set up in Valparaiso’s Greek School, said she had been hesitant to flee her home in Cerro Las Canas when she first learned that the hilltop above her was on fire.

‘‘I didn’t want to move because I was afraid they’d rob me, but I had to flee when I saw the fire was coming down the hill,’’ she said. ‘‘I lost everything. Now I’ve been ordered to rest because I was having contractions.’’

--more--"

"Chile’s Valparaiso still aflame; 15 dead; 500 hurt" by Eva Vergara | Associated Press   April 15, 2014

VALPARAISO, Chile — Helicopters and airplanes dumped water on wildfires and the smoldering wreckage of hilltop neighborhoods around Valparaiso for a third day Monday as sailors in riot gear prepared to evacuate 700 more families who would be endangered if the winds shift again.

Already 11,000 people were homeless as wildfires propelled embers from hilltop to hilltop, destroying 2,500 homes. As smoke rose from ruins all over the picturesque coastal city, a 15th body was found.

After days without sleep, some people made their way home, only to discover complete ruins. The fires, so hot that they created their own fierce winds, consumed entire neighborhoods in some places. In others, a few houses emerged unscathed, but they remained in danger with so many embers glowing.

Chile’s forestry agency predicted Monday the fires will not be extinguished for another 20 days.

Aid was flowing from all over Chile to Valparaiso, where evacuees crowded into eight shelters. Chile’s president, Michelle Bachelet, met with her ministers to oversee the emergency response.

The fires began Saturday in a forested ravine and quickly consumed ramshackle housing on one of Valparaiso’s 42 hills.

Hot, dry winds blowing out to sea kicked up the embers, which hopped across neighborhoods on six densely populated hills, where people live in poorly constructed homes without municipal water connections, fire hydrants, or streets wide enough for emergency vehicles.

Sunday afternoon’s winds kicked up the flames again, and by Monday morning, the helicopters were still flying without pause, dumping water on hotspots.

Bachelet toured the shelters and canceled this week’s trip to Argentina and Uruguay, warning that it ‘‘could be the worst fire in the city’s history.’’

Valparaiso is an oceanside city of 250,000 people surrounded by hills that form a natural amphitheater. The compact downtown includes Chile’s congress and its second-largest port.

The city owes its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site to the colorful homes built on steep slopes.

Three of the 15 victims were identified, including one man who escaped the flames Saturday but died of a heart attack on Sunday after returning to discover that the flames took nearly every possession he had.

Nine of the bodies were so badly burned that DNA tests will need to be done.

--more--"

Related: Chile Con Current 

Amazing how quickly that earthquake coverage evaporated.

NEXT DAY UPDATE:

"Chile leader to relocate Valparaiso fire victims" by Eva Vergara | Associated Press   April 16, 2014

VALPARAISO, Chile — President Michelle Bachelet vowed Tuesday to reconstruct this once-beautiful port city according to a master plan that would prevent many of the 11,000 victims of devastating wildfires from rebuilding on hills that cannot be protected from disasters.

The fires, which started Saturday and leaped from hilltop to densely populated hilltop, have been contained but not extinguished. Stiff winds threaten to lift the embers, putting still more neighborhoods at risk. The fires already have consumed as many as 3,000 homes and killed 15 people while injuring hundreds more.

‘‘We think this is a tremendous tragedy, but . . . it is also a tremendous opportunity to do things right,’’ Bachelet said in an interview with El Diario de Cooperativa. ‘‘What we’re looking at in terms of reconstruction is how to rebuild in a more orderly manner, better and more worthy’’ of Valparaiso’s status as a World Heritage City. 

Leaders send chills up my spine when they say that because the same was spouted after 9/11. When leaders talk about turning tragedies into opportunities the antenna should go up.

UNESCO granted the city that honor in large part because of its unique architecture, laid out on narrow, curving streets that climb hills so steep many people commute by climbing stairways or riding cable cars. Brightly painted, improvised wooden houses hug forested hills and ravines, which form a natural amphitheater around Chile’s second-largest port.

The city has been plagued throughout history by wildfires that can spread quickly when the wind blows out to sea. Indigenous Changos who lived there before the Spanish conquest called the area ‘‘Alimapu,’’ which means ‘‘land overtaken by fire,’’ said Orion Aramayo, an urban planning specialist at Valparaiso’s Catholic University.

While some victims were middle-class families, thousands more lived in primitive conditions, sharing structures built on tiny ledges carved into the hills. Many homes were built illegally, lacking water and sewer connections, with improper foundations on dangerous slopes. Often, there is no way for emergency vehicles to reach them.

With so many houses reduced to rubble and nearly 4.5 square miles of the compact city’s forests turned to ash, Chileans were debating about whether bulldozers might help solve longstanding problems.

Between the illegal homes and bulldozers I'm thinking Palestine, although I suppose it should be Brazil.

Urban planners called for safer structures, wider streets, and better infrastructure. Some cultural representatives expressed concerns that new construction could endanger the city’s rich character.

Thousands of fire victims have returned to the hills, even to charred places on denuded slopes that could turn into landslides in the next rain.

Many experts blame the Chilean state for decades of uncontrolled growth. ‘‘The government is responsible for having allowed homes to be built in dangerous areas, and somehow it has to show these people that they’re in a place where their lives are at risk,’’ said architecture professor Jonas Figueroa at the University of Santiago.

He sounds "conspiratorial."

--more--"

Malaysian Airliner About to Go Missing Again

It hung around for a while, but it dipped below radar Sunday and yesterday all has gone quiet, meaning the batteries on the all-important black boxes may have finally died. No new electronic pings have been heard since April 8 -- even as hope remains, the search continues, and the hunt is closing in on the ‘‘final resting place’’ of Flight 370.

"Authorities are confident that a series of underwater signals in the Indian Ocean are coming from a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, Australia’s prime minister said Friday, while warning that those signals are beginning to fade.... racing against time in one of the most confounding aviation mysteries on record."

See: MALAYSIAN AIRLINES MH370 - INSIDE JOB, CIA FALSE FLAG CONSPIRACY.

The sourcing is superb.

The latest potential clue?

"Gunmen seek $11m for Chinese tourist" | Associated Press   April 11, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Gunmen have demanded a ransom of $11.3 million for the release of a Chinese tourist abducted last week from a Malaysian resort off Borneo island, a Malaysian minister said Thursday.

The gunmen, believed to be Abu Sayyaf militants, kidnapped a 28-year-old Shanghai woman and a 40-year-old Filipino woman from the Singamata Reef Resort in the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah on April 2.

Philippine authorities believe the women were taken to the island township of Simunul in Tawi-Tawi, the Philippines’ southernmost province. Sabah, a popular tourist destination, is just a short boat ride from the southern Philippines, home to Muslim militants and kidnap gangs.

I knew the peace prospects would not last.


Also seePhilippine court upholds condom law, aids birth-control push

Must have made the Muslims mad.

‘‘We have sent our team, the police, and the negotiators . . . to negotiate about the reduction of ransoms,’’ said Malaysian Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamid on private television station TV3. No ransom was asked for the Filipino woman, who was working at the resort, he said.

Mohammad Mentek, a senior Sabah security official, said the kidnappers have called the family of Gao Hua Yuan, the Chinese kidnap victim, but declined to say whether a ransom demand has been made.

In carrying out the kidnappings, seven men armed with rifles, four of them masked, came to the resort on a speedboat and fled with the two women, according to Malaysian police. Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim group, has carried out seaborne kidnappings for ransom in the region before.

China’s ties with Malaysia have come under stress recently because of anger among Chinese over the search for a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner carrying 153 Chinese passengers.

And then this happens? Who would benefit by causing trouble and division between China and her neighbors?

--more--"

What I have noticed missing from all the linked coverage is the Chinese families that lost loved ones. I guess they were making too big a stink. 

At least they found the hostages.

"Search for Malaysian jet to be costliest in history" by Kirk Semple | New York Times   April 09, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — As the intensive hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 entered its second month Tuesday, all that was certain was that it would become the most expensive search and recovery effort in aviation history, with an international fleet of ships and planes scouring the Indian Ocean at a cost of millions of dollars a day.

All at a time of government-imposed austerity at home!

For the most part, the dozens of countries that have contributed personnel, equipment, and expertise to the search have borne the costs while declining to disclose them, with officials offering a united front in saying that it would be callous to talk about money while a commercial airliner and the 239 people aboard remained unaccounted for.

But Tuesday, as hopes faded that ships would be able to pick up beacon signals from the missing Boeing 777-200’s data and voice recorders, officials were again facing a vast stretch of open ocean with no fresh leads. Many of the governments involved will soon face a tough decision about whether to keep bearing the extraordinary costs, analysts said.

“Each country will have to ask itself: What are the prospects of further investigation and the cost-benefit of it?” said Ramon Navaratnam, chairman of the Centre for Public Policy Studies at the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute in Kuala Lumpur. “If there’s no prospect, there’s no prospect: We have to be very realistic. But it’s a very difficult to decision to make. It’s like someone on a medical support system and you have to determine whether to pull the wires or not.”

I am about to on this story, with updates to follow below if needed.

Until now, the costliest search and recovery effort ever undertaken followed the crash of Air France Flight 447 hundreds of miles off the coast of Brazil in 2009, reaching roughly $160 million at the time, over the course of two years, according to estimates by experts who participated in that effort.

But the search for Flight 370 is already far more complicated, and may have already topped that total. Some of the ships involved cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a day apiece to use, and some of the aircraft being used can cost thousands of dollars an hour each to operate, officials say.

While there is an international convention that determines responsibility for air accident investigations, there are no protocols or treaties that dictate who pays, specialists said. The most likely case is that the countries and companies participating in the search for Flight 370 will bear their own costs, several analysts predicted.

Even if searchers are able to pinpoint wreckage from the plane soon, it would open another costly chapter, involving undersea exploration and possibly the recovery of parts of the plane, bodies and other evidence from depths of nearly 3 miles.

Related(?): Globe Tells the Truth About TWA 800 

Well, half-truth, anyway.

*****************

In the past few weeks, after the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner shifted to the southern Indian Ocean, a seven-nation coalition has largely shouldered the burden of the effort: Australia, China, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Korea, and the United States. Those countries together have contributed at least 10 government vessels, 14 military aircraft and five civilian aircraft, officials said. At least seven merchant ships from various nations have also participated, and in recent days, Britain has chipped in a naval survey vessel and a nuclear submarine....

Maybe I am right after all.

--more--"

NEXT DAY UPDATE:




Do I know my Boston Globe or what!?

No Mora Posts After This

"Alleged drunk driver arraigned in deadly crash; Mother of child who was killed expected an apology" by John R. Ellement and Martin Finucane | Globe Staff   April 08, 2014

The two mothers were in opposite ends of the Suffolk Superior courtroom Tuesday as they faced the newest chapter stemming from their unexpected meeting Nov. 26.

See: Mora Causes Mourning This Thanksgiving

You remember Mora.

*****************

“Every day is a nightmare for her,’’ Revere attorney Joseph Machera said. He said Grendalee Alvarado often dreams that her daughter is alive, but then wakes to the bitter reality.

“She’s not so much angry as she just wonders why it had to be [them],’’ Machera said.

In court, Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Masai King said police concluded that Olivia Mora was driving her sport utility vehicle well over the 30-mile-per-hour speed limit at the time of impact.

King also said that after the crash Mora insisted to police that she had not been drinking. But he said a blood sample showed that her blood alcohol level nine hours after the crash was .125, well above the legal limit of .08. King noted that a State Police chemist calculated that Mora’s blood alcohol level was between .188 and .386 at the time of the crash.

Mora, who walked slowly into the courtroom with the aid of a cane, spoke only when she replied not guilty to numerous charges, including manslaughter by a motor vehicle.

Defense attorney John Pavlos told Trial Magistrate Gary D. Wilson that the State Police report contained a factual error, a wrong time element in describing the blood tests, leading him to question how many more he might discover once an expert on alcohol toxicity examines the report.

At the time of the crash, the 36-year-old Mora was thought to be living in Dorchester. Pavlos said Mora is a California native who has lived in Massachusetts continuously since 1999 after she was granted a full scholarship to Babson College, from which she graduated. He said Mora was trained in “guerrilla marketing’’ and had incorporated a company in New Hampshire.

It was Pavlos’s discussion about Mora’s love for her own daughter and the loss she has felt since her arrest, that prompted Mora’s tears. Pavlos said that at the time of the crash, Mora was a single mother who devoted most of her days to caring for her daughter.

Since last November, he said, Mora has seen her daughter for just 20 minutes. The child is in the custody of the Department of Children and Families.

Alvarado said she understood the importance of Mora being able to mother her own child. “For one point it’s fair; for another point it’s not,’’ she said, “because she took the life of my daughter.’’

Somehow the article devolved into sympathy for the devil.

--more--"

Boston Globe Gas Pump

"Gas prices expected to stay flat" by Erin Ailworth | Globe Staff   April 08, 2014 

Prices have shot up 7 cents in just the past week.

Retail gasoline prices nationwide during this summer’s driving season are expected to remain relatively flat compared with last year, federal energy analysts said Tuesday, in large part because of declining crude oil costs.

According to a short-term forecast released by the Energy Information Administration, the average price of gas from April through September will average $3.57 a gallon. That’s a penny less than the average cost of the fuel during the same period last year.

“For all intents and purposes, that’s the same number,” said Adam Sieminski, the agency’s administrator.

The slight decrease in gas prices, the agency’s report said, is mainly a result of crude oil prices, which are projected to fall through the end of 2015.

Crude oil accounts for about 70 percent of the cost of a gallon of gasoline; taxes, refining, and retail mark-ups make up the rest.

On the East Coast, data from the federal report showed, summer gasoline prices would also remain relatively flat — though prices were projected to rise by a penny to $3.53 a gallon, on average.

On Tuesday, the average price of gas in Massachusetts was $3.55 a gallon, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

It's up to $3.59 now.

Sieminski warned that turmoil in oil-producing countries, supply chain-disruptions, or storms that force refineries offline will all influence exactly what consumers pay for gas in the coming months.

“As always, there are lots of uncertainties,” he said.

The report also predicts that gasoline consumption will be flat, even as highway travel increases.

“Fuel economy improvements offset a good part of that,” Sieminski said.

--more--"

I'm sick of the lies, sorry.

Boston Globe Road Repair

"State to distribute $40 million to repair winter-worn roads" by Todd Feathers | Globe Correspondent   April 09, 2014

After a turbulent winter that took a heavy toll on the region’s roads, the state Department of Transportation is launching a pothole fund, hoping to make summer driving a bit smoother.

Beginning Wednesday, cities and towns will be able to apply for road rehabilitation funds from the $40 million Pothole and Winter Recovery Program, said Richard A. Davey, secretary of MassDOT.

“Obviously, we’ve had a really tough winter, particularly on our roads,” he said. “The condition of the roads is even worse than [after] a normal winter.”

Throughout the winter and early days of spring, the state received a deluge of complaints about potholes, Davey said, prompting the creation of the fund.

The money — $30 million of which will be allocated to cities and towns while the other $10 million covers state roads — will also pay for repaving work and repairs to broken signs and guardrails....

--more--"

As you can see I'm done mucking around.

Remy's Heroic Return

He has become a defender of children:

"Details emerge on alleged jailhouse attack by Remy" by Evan Allen | Globe staff   April 08, 2014

Jared Remy, the son of Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy, allegedly beat and hurled homophobic slurs at a fellow Cambridge jail inmate last week because Remy believed him to be a child molester, according to Middlesex County prosecutors.

“I had a plan and I did it,” Remy told investigators, according to court documents filed in Cambridge District Court. “I took . . . boiling hot water and threw it in the guy’s face. I took a piece of soap and threw it at his face and hit him with a chair. Once I slipped, I punched him in the face.”

Remy, 35, is awaiting trial on murder charges in the death of his girlfriend, Jennifer Martel, on Aug. 15.

The alleged attack on the inmate occurred just before 10 a.m. on April 3, as the victim, identified in court documents as Jemery Hodges, 27, was watching television. Hodges is awaiting trial in Middlesex County on charges of possession and distribution of child pornography, said a spokeswoman for the district attorney.

According to federal court documents, Hodges pleaded guilty last year in Mississippi to transporting a minor to engage in commercial sex acts and sexual exploitation of a minor by production of sexually explicit material. Hodges was sentenced to 23 years and two months in federal prison.

A lawyer for Hodges, Bruce Ferg, declined to comment on the alleged jail assault because he has not yet spoken to his client. He confirmed Hodges’ involvement in the Mississippi case.

According to the Cambridge District Court documents, a surveillance video captured the jailhouse attack.

In the video, Hodges is shown sitting in front of the television as Remy emerges from bunks and throws a liquid and then soap at Hodges. Remy then picks up a green plastic chair and repeatedly hits Hodges before punching him, according to the documents.

During the attack, according to the documents, Hodges retreated between the bunks.

After the attack, Hodges had two dime-sized burn marks on his face and superficial cuts on his left hand. He told authorities that he had never spoken to Remy before, but that Remy had called him a homosexual slur during the alleged attack.

Remy allegedly told authorities afterward: “I did what I had to do. I got a child molester.’’

The documents also indicate that Remy was assaulted on March 31 by a different inmate, but that Remy did not want to press charges. Remy told authorities he may have been assaulted because “he is a rich kid, his name in the newspaper.”

Remy is scheduled to be arraigned April 24 in Cambridge District Court on eight counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and one count of assault and battery stemming from the jailhouse fight.

His lawyer, Edward P. Ryan Jr., said he would enter a plea of not guilty on Remy’s behalf.

“I have to conduct my own investigation and review all the police reports, as well as the videos and see what transpired,” he said.

Ryan said he is likely to challenge the admissibility of his client’s statements because, while Remy was read his Miranda rights according to the documents, authorities should have known he was represented and offered him a chance to speak with Ryan.

Remy is accused of fatally stabbing Martel, the mother of their 5-year-old daughter, at the Waltham apartment they shared.

--more--"

I'm tired of Remyniscing. Sorry. 

Tennessee Mystery

"Discovery of long-dead twins stirs intrigue" | Associated Press   April 08, 2014

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The discovery of the skeletal remains of twin brothers Andrew and Anthony Johnson has mystified people in Chattanooga and beyond.

Each man was found seated in an easy chair inside the modest home they shared for decades, and where they apparently died together about three years ago, with no obvious signs of foul play.

Even while they were alive, though, the 63-year-old twins were something of a mystery to neighbors, who occasionally saw them wearing surgical masks while gardening but never saw them with visitors.

‘‘I didn’t even know their names,’’ said retiree Linda Maffett, who lived across the street.

Police went to the home March 29 after being asked to check on the brothers by a relative who had a key. Officers found the twins’ decomposing bodies in recliners in the living room. Their conditions suggested that both men had been dead since 2011.

An autopsy helped confirm their identities, but preliminary results revealed no obvious signs of trauma or foul play, police said.

Neighbors said they had not seen the brothers in at least a couple of years.

--more--"

Closing the Book on Keegan

"Book showcases work of crash victim Marina Keegan; Her young life is lost, but her words are for posterity" by Joseph P. Kahn | Globe Staff   April 08, 2014

WAYLAND — Her young life ended two years ago in a tragic car accident five days after her college graduation. Her commencement essay in the Yale campus newspaper quickly went viral, drawing more than 1.4 million views. In an outpouring of tributes to the 22-year-old writer, many hailed her as the “voice of her generation.”

Now comes a collection of Marina Keegan’s essays and stories, being published this week by Scribner. Titled “The Opposite of Loneliness,” after the essay that brought Keegan worldwide attention, it marks a bittersweet milestone for the author’s family, friends, and academic mentors, all of whom have struggled with her loss.

And yet, they say, what a gift Keegan has left behind. Not only in her written words — she also wrote plays, poetry, and literary criticism — but also in her legacy of social activism and fierce belief in leading a life of purpose, not privilege. That was the challenge laid down to her Yale University classmates....

--more--"

Canceling Comcast

That means I won't be able to blog anymore.

"Comcast argues Time Warner takeover will benefit public" Associated Press   April 09, 2014

WASHINGTON — Comcast Corp. on Tuesday presented its case to government regulators, arguing that its $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable Inc. would benefit consumers without limiting competition.

The company filed hundreds of pages of documents with the Federal Communications Commission after filing a notice Monday with the Justice Department.

On Wednesday, Comcast Corp.’s executive vice president, David Cohen, will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee at a hearing to review the impact of the proposed merger on consumers.

Comcast says the acquisition will allow it to boost Internet speeds for Time Warner Cable.

The filing also says the company will provide better video-on-demand service and broaden its commitment to ‘‘Net neutrality’’ — the idea that Internet providers should not discriminate against Web traffic, depending on its source.

Related:

Court voids rule mandating equal access to Net
Ruling against ‘net neutrality’ is a blow to innovation
Senator Edward Markey files ‘net neutrality’ bill
FCC won’t appeal ruling on Internet neutrality

Also see:

Europe, also, finds itself divided over Net neutrality
EU Lawmakers approve ‘net neutrality’ rules

Comcast has agreed to not discriminate against any traffic on its network through 2018 as a condition of its $30 billion purchase of NBCUniversal, which was completed last year. The company vowed to maintain the commitment despite a federal appeals court decision that struck down the FCC-imposed rules in January.

Comcast says pay-TV alternatives like streaming services from Netflix Inc., Amazon.com Inc., and others have created competition in video, while there is at least one broadband Internet competitor in more than 98 percent of its markets.

‘‘Comcast and Time Warner Cable do not compete against each other in any area. So this transaction will not result in any reduction in consumer choice in any market,’’ Cohen said on a conference call with journalists Tuesday.

Cohen also responded to calls by Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings to extend ‘‘Net neutrality’’ protections to the so-called ‘‘interconnection’’ area between major Internet backbone providers such as Comcast. In February, the two companies reached a deal in which Netflix pays Comcast to ensure its video streams faster and more consistently to Comcast subscribers. But Hastings said last month that the fee amounts to an ‘‘arbitrary tax’’ on companies like Comcast that act as gatekeepers to their networks. 

There are so many you must pass thrush before finding the truth. 

Also see: Net neutrality ruling could be costly for Netflix

Cohen said the market for interconnection is ‘‘not at all impacted by this transaction,’’ though the deal will give it about a third of the market for Internet subscribers nationwide.

Last week, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said that while rules governing the ‘‘interconnection’’ between Internet backbone providers are not part of its current review of open Internet rules, the agency is monitoring the space to see if action is needed in another context. The comments leave open the possibility that the FCC could impose conditions on interconnection deals as part of its merger review process.

--more--"

"Comcast playing catch-up to Disney; Universal in Calif. to get make-over" by Brooks Barnes | New York Times   April 09, 2014

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — Now Comcast is mouse hunting on both coasts.

After pouring money into its Universal Studio’s resort in Orlando, Fla., Comcast is increasing spending at Universal Studios Hollywood, unveiling a smattering of new attractions on Tuesday that — when combined with previously announced sections devoted to Harry Potter and “Despicable Me” — will leave 70 percent of the California park remade by 2016.

The enhancements, part of a $1.6 billion overhaul of the park and adjacent movie studio, are designed to keep Universal’s thrill-ride fans coming back but also to attract families with young children, a lucrative audience that Universal until recently left almost entirely to nearby Disneyland.

“We’re trying to significantly broaden our base,” said Larry Kurzweil, president of Universal Studios Hollywood, which drew roughly 6 million visitors last year.

*****************

He may not be exaggerating. When Universal Orlando opened the Wizarding World of Harry Potter four years ago, that resort went from an also-ran to a must-visit almost overnight. Year-on-year attendance shot up 30 percent as families swarmed the snow-capped shops of Hogsmeade and rode three Potter-themed rides.

To prepare for a similar surge here — a Wizarding World will open in 2016 — Comcast’s NBCUniversal is adding thousands of parking spaces, spending about $100 million to improve transit, and planning two 500-room hotels. But those efforts are crumbs compared to what is planned inside the gates.

On Saturday a “Despicable Me” attraction called Minion Mayhem will begin transforming riders into furry yellow Minions and taking them on a topsy-turvy excursion. Also opening is a water-themed play area called Super Silly Fun Land.

*****************

“That is our first real kiddie ride,” Kurzweil said during a pre-opening tour, pointing to a contraption called Silly Swirly, a new brightly colored offering similar to Disney’s flying Dumbo attraction, except with exotic bugs instead of elephants. “I rode it earlier myself,” he added with a smile.

The park, which will soon celebrate its 50th anniversary, said that it would also expand its “Simpsons” ride to include an entire themed village. The area, similar to one at Universal Orlando but more expansive, will add about a dozen restaurants and shops to the center of the park and open next year.

Also coming next year, the company said Tuesday, will be “Fast & Furious — Supercharged,” a movie-thrill ride hybrid in which occupants of Universal’s famed back-lot trams will be encircled by 400-foot-long movie screens. “We’re going to make it feel like those trams are being pulled through the streets at speeds of over 100 miles per hour,” said Chick Russell, an executive producer for Universal Creative.

Universal’s tram tours, which currently end at sunset, will be expanded into the evening. There are plans for a new nighttime story line, which will be accompanied by lighting effects at more than 20 stops.

To some degree, the remaking of Universal Studios Hollywood is less about stealing market share from Disney than catching up after years of semi-neglect. Universal’s California outpost has occasionally added new attractions, including a “Transformers” ride in 2012 and a “King Kong” experience in 2010. But Universal’s various recent owners — General Electric, Vivendi, Seagram — were all more interested in wringing cash from the theme parks than putting any in.

In contrast, the Walt Disney Co. was investing heavily in its two-park Disneyland Resort 35 miles to the south in Anaheim, Calif. Disney recently spent $1 billion to expand its California Adventure park there, for instance.

Comcast has discovered — to its surprise — that theme parks represent one of the few areas of stable entertainment industry growth outside of cable television....

Now Comcast, which bought control of NBCUniversal in 2011, also wants to grow by going after families, which have long been Disney’s bread and butter....

Disney, which declined to comment for this article, has repeatedly dismissed the threat of greater competition from Universal in Florida, arguing that a rising tide lifts all boats....

I'm going to skip the trip to the Globe-guided trip to the studio theme park.

--more--"

Quitters in Quebec

They are bucking the trend:

"Quebec separatist party suffers crushing defeat" by Sean Farrell and Rob Gillies | Associated Press   April 09, 2014

MONTREAL — Quebec voters gave a resounding no to the prospect of holding a third referendum on independence from Canada, handing the main separatist party in the French-speaking province one of its worst electoral defeats ever.

The Liberal Party, staunch supporters of Canadian unity, won Quebec’s legislative elections Monday, while the pro-independence Parti Quebecois suffered a crushing defeat that puts its dream of a sovereign Quebec on hold for years.

The results will allow the Liberals to form a majority government, less than 18 months after voters had booted the party from power for the first time in nine years amid allegations of corruption.

**************

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois, who led a minority government, called the snap elections last month in hopes of securing a majority for her PQ party.

But the campaign stirred up speculation that a PQ majority would ultimately lead to another referendum on independence from Canada, an idea that has lacked support in recent years.

Fears of a referendum galvanized supporters of the Liberals. Marois suffered a humiliating defeat, losing her own seat, and announced that she would step down as party leader.

‘‘The defeat of our party tonight without a doubt saddens me as much as you, if not more than you,’’ Marois told supporters. ‘‘I am leaving my post.’’

Marois had tried to mute talk of another referendum on independence. She had hoped instead to make the election about the PQ’s proposed ‘‘charter of values,’’ a controversial but popular measure that would ban public employees from wearing Muslim headscarves and other overt religious symbols.

But the strategy got derailed early in the campaign when one PQ candidate, multimillionaire media baron Pierre Karl Peladeau, burst onto the scene with a fist-pumping declaration of his commitment to ‘‘make Quebec a country.’’

Peladeau, who won his district, congratulated Liberal leader and new premier Philippe Couillard.

Couillard, a former brain surgeon and ex-Liberal health minister, has vowed to return the Canadian flag to the Legislature. The PQ has always removed the flag when elected.

--more--"

I'm getting ready to quit somethings myself, as you can probably tell.

Connecticut Championships Vacated

"UConn basketball players need to be champs in academics, too" |    April 10, 2014

Well before UConn began its magical march to the national men’s basketball championship, it led the 64-team tournament in a far less exalted category: lowest graduation rate. At 8 percent, UConn’s six-year graduation rate for its men’s basketball team is, frankly, a disgrace that can’t remotely be offset by the glories of Monday night’s victory. Second-year coach Kevin Ollie, who wasn’t in charge when the players started dropping classes like errant passes, wisely proclaimed that academics comes first, and touted the classroom success of this year’s team. He needs to keep working toward that goal, year in and year out, and seek to build a legacy similar to that of Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, whose four national championships over 34 years is less impressive than the fact that 98 percent of his players have gotten degrees.

The problem with academics in intercollegiate sports is deeper than any one program. It’s a structural dynamic that’s easy to see: Craving the best athletes for the sports that drive alumni interest and fundraising, universities stretch their admissions standards to accept players who would have a hard time handling their classwork in the best of circumstances. But athletes face an array of challenges that other students don’t: a punishing practice schedule that chews up dozens of hours a week; a mixed set of incentives, since they get their scholarships based on performance in sports, not academics; and an exalted status on campus that puts them beyond some of the normal checks and balances that keep other students focused on classes.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association bears a lot of the blame for letting sports overtake academics for far too many players. Lately, it’s tried to show some teeth by banning schools, including UConn last year, from championship play if their graduation rates are chronically low. But it’s an imperfect punishment. While universities deserve blame for low graduation rates, their current players — who aren’t responsible for the failures of their predecessors — do not. It’s tough to deprive them of a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Over the years, the person best positioned to manage the conflicting pressures on the players has been the coach. If coaches make academics a priority, their players are far more likely to earn degrees. Some coaches, like Krzyzewski, are well known for showing care and concern for their players’ classroom performance. Others, like Ollie’s UConn predecessor, longtime coach Jim Calhoun, carry the opposite reputation. So, Ollie has his work cut out for him. At 41, he’s already lived up to Calhoun’s basketball legacy. It will take a lot of effort for him, and UConn, to live down Calhoun’s record of letting team members falter as students. He need only look down the hall of UConn’s athletic department for inspiration: The UConn women’s basketball team also brought home a national championship this year — with a 92 percent graduation rate.

--more--"

Also seeUndefeated UConn women claim national title

Boston Globe Diet Pill

I'm going to start cutting back, and the fir$t thing I need to do is $kip breakfa$t:

"Dieters move past calories, food makers follow" by Candice Choi | Associated Press   April 11, 2014

NEW YORK — Obsessing over calories alone has left dieters with an empty feeling.

It's the hunger pains from less portions costing more.

The calorie counting that defined dieting for so long is giving way to other considerations, like the promise of more fiber or natural ingredients. That is chipping away at the popularity of products like Diet Coke, Lean Cuisine, and Special K, which became weight-watching staples primarily by stripping calories from people’s favorite foods.

Part of the problem: ‘‘Low-calorie’’ foods make people feel deprived. Now people want to lose weight while still feeling satisfied. And they want to do it without foods they consider processed.

Kelly Pill has been dieting since her son was born in 1990. But the 54-year-old resident of Covina, Calif., made changes to her approach in recent years. She doesn’t eat Lean Cuisine microwavable meals as often because she doesn’t find them that filling. She also switched to Greek yogurt last year to get more protein.

It’s not that people don’t care about calories anymore. Nutritionists still say weight loss comes down to burning more calories than you eat.

But dieters are sick of foods that provide only fleeting satisfaction and seem to make them hungrier.

Actually, they do. There is some sort of chemical in the high fructose, rot gut corn sugar they flavor everything with that makes you hungry even though you are full of junk food. 

Now pass the soda and chips!

The new thinking is that eating foods with more protein or fat will make dieters less likely to binge later, even if they are higher in calories.

‘‘People are recognizing that it’s not enough to just go on a diet and lose weight. Nutrition comes more into play,’’ said Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a health advocacy group.

Many top brands are trying to keep up with the trend:

And the corporate concerns involved?

Kellogg, Nestle’s, Coke, Pepsi, and.... Weight Watchers? 

Time to $top eating, sorry.

--more--"

Hey, I'm not complaining in anger about the corporate fare, folks; I'm just recognizing the look and smell of what it is and choosing not to eat.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Mucking Around in Monday's Globe

Forgive me for feeling melancholy again, what with the SNOW IN CHICAGO and the regular muck:

"UN climate panel says critical action can avert disaster; Deep divisions remain between rich, poor nations" by Justin Gillis | New York Times   April 14, 2014

BERLIN — The countries of the world have dragged their feet so long on global warming that the situation is now critical, analysts appointed by the United Nations reported Sunday, and only an intensive worldwide push over the next 15 years can stave off potentially disastrous climatic changes later in the century.

It remains technically possible to keep planetary warming to a tolerable level, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found, according to a report released here. But even in parts of the world such as Europe that have tried hardest, governments are still a long way from taking the steps that are sufficient to do the job, the experts found.

“We cannot afford to lose another decade,” said Ottmar Edenhofer, a German economist and cochairman of the committee that wrote the report. “If we lose another decade, it becomes extremely costly to achieve climate stabilization.”

What is the phrase they use, pi$$ing in the wind? 

I'm getting a little pissed, but I'm not complaining anymore. I recognize my agenda-pu$hing pre$$ in all its ab$olute lunacy and contradiction of itself and ones own senses. The pri$m of the pre$$ is an illu$ion and and lie.

The report is likely to increase the pressure to secure an ambitious new global climate treaty that is supposed to be completed in late 2015 and take effect in 2020. But the divisions between wealthy countries and poorer countries that are making such a treaty difficult, and have long bedeviled international climate talks, were on display yet again in Berlin.

Some developing countries insisted on stripping charts from the report’s executive summary that could be read as requiring greater effort from them, while rich countries, including the United States, struck out language implying they needed to write big checks to the developing countries.

Both points survived in the full version of the report, but they were deleted from a synopsis meant to inform the world’s top political leaders.

The SBD omission stinks even worse.

The report did find some reasons for cautious optimism. The costs of such renewable energy as wind and solar power are now falling so fast that their deployment on a large scale is becoming practical, the report said. In fact, extensive use of renewable energy is already starting in countries such as Denmark and Germany, and to a lesser degree in some US states, including California, Iowa, and Texas.

Moreover, since the intergovernmental panel issued its last major report in 2007, many more countries, states, and cities have adopted ambitious climate plans, an indication that the political determination to tackle the problem is growing in many parts of the world.

They include China and the United States, which are both doing more domestically than they have been willing to commit themselves to in international treaty negotiations.

Then why the need for any treaty at all?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a UN body that includes hundreds of scientists, economists and other experts. The group periodically reviews the science and economics of climate change and issues major reports every five to six years.

And they have been covered in scandal and lies since Climategate, as well as a period of record-setting winters. It's why I now completely dismiss fart mi$t, the last of the propaganda pre$$ pillars to fall for me.

--more--"

On to the war on $elf-$erving $ocila $ciences:

"GOP pushes funding cuts for social science work" by Tracy Jan | Globe Staff   April 14, 2014

WASHINGTON — If Republicans have their way, a Harvard University anthropologist would not be using tax dollars to study the impact of China’s one-child policy.

Fine with me.

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology political scientist would not have the money to research how Medicare changes might shape seniors’ political attitudes.

Yeah, so?

And a Brown University archeologist would not be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars examining textiles from the Viking Age.

Good.

This is the latest front in a GOP-led war against the federal funding of social science and other research, including the study of climate change, in an age of fiscal austerity.

Well, the $elf-$erving tone by the Globe and the political $how fooley narrative sure has been set, huh?

House Republicans are questioning millions of dollars in National Science Foundation grants awarded to researchers across the country by singling out dozens of projects for extra scrutiny.

They have recently proposed a bill — titled the “Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology (First) Act of 2014” — that would cut foundation spending for research in the social, behavioral, and economic sciences by more than 40 percent. The bill would shift some $160 million that the federal government has allocated for the social sciences and geosciences toward Republican priorities in the physical and biological sciences, as well as engineering.

While on the surface it might seem like the usual partisan bickering, the proposal raises deeper questions about what role the government should play in funding science where the payoff is more difficult to discern than, for example, the quest for the genetic codes that could unlock the mysteries of cancer.

Time to take a pill, no que$tions asked.

It also pits the interests of politicians, who control the scientific purse strings, against the judgments of the scientific community, which selects projects to fund through peer evaluations.

In this context, it is $cienti$ts.

“We have to question spending nearly $700,000 of taxpayer dollars to fund a climate change musical or over $220,000 to study animal photos in National Geographic,” said US Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, in a statement to the Globe. “It’s the role of Congress to make sure we’re using limited federal funds for the highest priority research.” 

Which I'm fine with, except it is of no concern and no never mind when it is weapons cost overruns, bailout loot funneled to Wall Street, aid to Israel checks, all sorts of corporate welfare, and the maintenance of lavish political lifestyles. That's all biparti$an.

The actions have prompted Democrats and many in the scientific community to accuse Republicans of meddling in science — a dangerous precedent, critics say, because it would allow politicians to decide what areas to prioritize based on their own partisan ideologies, over the expertise of scientists.

Like imposing a cash-grabbing carbon tax, right?

****************

This House effort follows a budget amendment by Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma last year to temporarily restrict the funding of political science research to projects that promote US national security or economic development. The amendment was adopted, leading the foundation to cancel a round of political science grant competitions.

In recent weeks, Democrats were able to amend the new House bill and boost social science funding by $50 million.

But FOOD STAMPS get CUT in a farm bill conservationists are sucking sod over! 

And with all the flood and drought damage, the corporations will be accessing those expanded government insurance accounts.

****************

Obama’s proposed budget for social science research accounts for far less than 1 percent of the agency’s $5.8 billion total research funding, a “very, very modest proportion,” said John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, at a recent House Science Committee hearing on science agency budgets.

“Some of the funny-sounding titles, when you look into them, do make a lot of sense,” said Holdren, an environmental policy and earth and planetary science professor at Harvard. “I just don’t feel that most people in this room are well qualified to second-guess NSF’s superb peer review committees.”

Social science research helps the nation understand poverty, control the spread of infectious diseases, reduce human trafficking, understand the conduct of other nations and the effectiveness of sanctions, and optimize disaster response, among other benefits, Holdren said.

Yeah, let's do studies on poverty brought about government policies. That makes $en$e. Aboput as much sense as paying for studies to see how sanctions can be applied to nations, and then analyzing the effect of the sanctions on the target country. 

As for diseases, trafficking, and disaster response, same old ineffectual government despite all the $tudies. Maybe the money could be put to better use.

“This is an attempt to politicize the grant-making process instead of leaving it up to the experts,” said Wendy Naus, executive director of the Consortium of Social Science Associations in Washington. “Even for the scientific disciplines that would actually see an increase at the expense of social sciences, it’s a slippery slope. It may work out for them this year, but in future years, who’s to say?”

I'm not up for agenda-pu$hing experts and $cienti$t priests solving any problems anymore.

Fact is, they are the ones that created most of them so they could grab cash. 

The economic experts at the central banks have really done a great job, huh? (I suppose they have if you occupy to top 5% of wealth). 

And those war plans by experts have all gone to form, right? (Especially with the mouthpiece media megaphone promoting them with front-page lies). 

Btw, Congre$$ politicizes everything. It's called a budget. That's why corporations have lobbyists.

Already Republicans have raised concerns about the merits of some biological research, including a $385,000 study by Yale University ornithologists on the sexual behavior of ducks, which landed on a House science committee spreadsheet of nearly 100 questionable projects.

Patricia Brennan, an evolutionary biologist at University of Massachusetts Amherst who had been awarded the grant to study sexual conflict in ducks when she was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale, said basic research like hers is easy to poke fun at because it does not have clear real-world applicability.

The mother of all $ocial $cienti$ts.

“A lot of the research we fund has to do with topics that may not be immediately apparent why it’s important to human beings,” but it can prove to be, said Brennan.

How? 

And beyond that, why should taxpayers be picking up the tab for someone's sick sexual fetish of watching ducks fuck??

Brennan and other scientists from around the country descended upon Washington last week to talk with lawmakers about the importance of NSF funding for basic research. 

First I've seen of it in my Globe, and although I do not post or read everything on a given day I do note everything.

Michelle McKinley, a law professor at the University of Oregon, said she almost fell off her chair when she discovered in March that House Republicans had been citing her $50,000 grant to study lawsuits in Peru between 1600 and 1700 as an example of waste. McKinley said her research was funded only after surviving two rounds of rigorous reviews by other social scientists. She uses historical records to study the institution of slavery to answer questions about social justice and inequality — work she defends as valuable “even if it’s not going to give us clean energy.” 

Yeah, forget about the record inequality and lack of social justice four-hundred years later.

I mean, I'd love to investigate my personal interests with a grant from the government, like the impact of the Western Massachusetts basketball tournament on the the state economy over its entire history and the correlation between exciting tournaments and increased economic activity and its correlation with larger economic forces. Whaddayathink? Where's my grant!?

“It doesn’t usually have great results for the production of knowledge when Congress starts questioning why certain things are receiving funding,” McKinley said.

She wants to keep feeding at the federal trough.

Coburn, an obstetrician who is retiring from Congress in December, has for years tried to eliminate funding for political science research, and he targeted social science in his annual “Wastebook.” Coburn has gone a step further than House Republicans, proposing the elimination of funding altogether for social, behavioral, and economic research within the National Science Foundation to save the nation about $255 million a year.

“Rather than ramping up the amount spent on political science and other social and behavioral research, NSF’s mission should be redirected toward truly transformative sciences with practical uses,” Coburn wrote in a scathing 2011 review of the National Science Foundation.

One of Coburn’s targets has been research on how members of Congress engage their constituents, conducted by David Lazer, a professor of political science and computer and information sciences at Northeastern University. In 2009, Coburn accused the NSF of wasting tax dollars on helping “members of Congress improve their dismal approval ratings” instead of using the money for cancer and other disease research.

Yeah, YOU are PAYING FOR THAT, too, taxpayers!!

“Coburn was the opening wedge of the attack on the more general social sciences, science that may be producing conclusions that are disliked by particular political players today,” Lazer said.

Coburn also went after waste at the Pentagon, but that is neither mentioned here and has been dispatched down the memory hole.

“The hope is that academia can help speak truth to power, but that doesn’t work when the powerful turn the lights out on those academics.”

They can't in the face of fart-mi$ting contradiction, so why would they regarding anything else?

--more--"

Yeah, they passed the corporate tax breaks, though. 

No word on the unemployment bill that is languishing.

Another front-paged war:

"In a sign of how competitive the Boston-area housing market has become, the maneuver is becoming part of the area’s bidding war landscape, brokers and other real estate executives say. Skeptics say the clauses are potentially risky and a needless ploy that could backfire by alienating some sellers. The use of escalation clauses raises an obvious question: Couldn’t a seller make up a fictitious high-bid figure to command even more money from someone promising to top the best offer? That’s possible but unlikely, brokers say."

Just take it on the mortgage broker's word? We are back to that again after the mortgage-backed securities swindle destroyed the economy and enriched Wall Street?

First in the Nation after the flip:

"Gunman kills 3 at Jewish centers in Kansas; Suspect alleged to have history of racist statements" by Maria Sudekum | Associated Press   April 14, 2014

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The man accused of killing three people in attacks at Jewish-related sites in a Kansas City suburb on Sunday is a well-known white supremacist who has run for public office on a white power platform and who once was the subject of a nationwide manhunt.

This is an expansion of the cover story since it is an update from what I received in print, and the white supremacist angle already screams government involvement.

Frazier Glenn Cross was booked into Johnson County jail in Olathe on a preliminary charge of first-degree murder after the attacks in Overland Park.

At a news conference, Overland Park police Chief John Douglass declined to publicly identify the man suspected of carrying out the attacks. But a jail official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the case, identified the suspect as 73-year-old Frazier Glenn Cross, of Aurora, Mo.

Something just flared up in my mind.

‘‘Today is a sad and very tragic day,’’ Douglass said at the news conference. ‘‘As you might imagine we are only three hours into this investigation. There’s a lot of innuendo and a lot of assertions going around. There is really very little hardcore information.’’

According to police, the attacks happened within minutes of one another. At around 1 p.m. a gunman opened fire on two people in the parking lot behind the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City. He then drove a few blocks away to a Jewish retirement community, Village Shalom, and gunned down a woman or girl there, Douglass said. Officers arrested the suspect in an elementary school parking lot a short time later.

Authorities also declined to release the victims’ names pending notification of their relatives, but the family of the first two victims released a statement identifying them as Dr. William Lewis Corporon, who died at the scene, and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, who died at Overland Park Regional Medical Center.

They were both Christian, and the family thanked members of their church congregation, among other people, for their support.

He missed the Jews and shot Christians?

‘‘We take comfort knowing they are together in Heaven,’’ the family said. It asked for privacy to mourn.

Rebecca Sturtevant, a hospital spokeswoman, said family members said Corporon took his grandson to the community center so that the boy could try out for a singing competition for high school students. Reat was a freshman and an Eagle Scout.

Douglass said the suspect made several statements to police, ‘‘but it’s too early to tell you what he may or may not have said.’’ He also said it was too early in the investigation to determine whether there was an anti-Semitic motive for the attacks or if they will be investigated as hate crimes. The Jewish festival of Passover begins Monday.

Yeah, what a "coincidence."

‘‘We are investigating it as a hate crime. We’re investigating it as a criminal act. We haven’t ruled out anything. ... Again, we’re three hours into it,’’ he said.

Although the suspect was booked under the last name Cross, he is probably better known as Frazier Glenn Miller. A public records search shows he has used both names, but he refers to himself on his website as Glenn Miller and went by the name Frazier Glenn Miller in 2006 and 2010 campaigns for public office.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, said it reached Miller’s wife, Marge, by phone and that she said authorities had been to their home and told her that her husband had been arrested in Sunday’s attacks. Calls by The Associated Press to a number listed as Miller’s on his website were met by a busy signal.

Related: Is the SPLC An American Arm of the Mossad? 

Whether it is or not it is pushing the same agenda.

According to the law center, Miller has been involved in the white supremacist movement for most of his life. He founded the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and was its ‘‘grand dragon’’ in the 1980s before the center sued him for operating an illegal paramilitary organization and using intimidation tactics against blacks. He later founded another white supremacist group, the White Patriot Party.

So how long has he been on the FBI payroll?

Miller, an Army veteran and retired truck driver, was the subject of a nationwide manhunt in 1987 after he violated the terms of his bond while appealing a North Carolina conviction for operating a paramilitary camp. The search ended after federal agents found Miller and three other men in an Ozark mobile home, which was filled with hand grenades, automatic weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Miller tried running for U.S. House in 2006 and the U.S. Senate in 2010.

President Barack Obama released a statement expressing his grief over the attack, and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback vowed to bring those responsible to justice.

‘‘My heart and prayers are with all those who were affected by today’s events,’’ Brownback said in a statement. ‘‘We will pursue justice aggressively for these victims and criminal charges against the perpetrator or perpetrators to the full extent of the law.’’

Michael Siegal, chair of the Jewish Federations of North America, also said in an emailed statement that ‘‘no community should have to face a moment such as this one.’’

‘‘Today, on the eve of Pesach, we are left to contemplate how we must continue our work building a world in which all people are free to live their lives without the threat of terror,’’ he said."

--more--"

While mucking around:

"3 dead in shootings at Kansas Jewish centers

OVERLAND PARK — A man in his 70s opened fire Sunday outside of a Jewish community center and nearby retirement community, killing three people, authorities said.

Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass said at a news conference Sunday evening that it was too early in the investigation to determine if the shootings were hate crimes. The Jewish festival of Passover begins Monday.

"We know it was a vicious act of violence, and we know obviously it was at two Jewish facilities. One might make that assumption," Douglass said.

He described the suspect as a white man in his 70s who is not from Kansas. He said the suspect is being held at the Johnson County Detention Center, but did not provide further information.

"We have no indication he knew the victims," Douglass said, adding that the suspect was not known to Kansas City-area authorities before the shootings. Douglass said a shotgun was used, and investigators were trying to determine whether a handgun and assault-style rifle also were involved.

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park posted on its Facebook page Sunday afternoon that a "shooting incident" happened near its White Theater entrance.

"Everyone participating in JCC programming has been released to their homes," the center posted later Sunday.

There was a heavy police presence at the campus, which spans several acres in an affluent area of Johnson County, Kan. Police had also taped off the entrance to Village Shalom on Sunday afternoon, and several patrol cars and a crime scene unit van were parked in front.

The article I got in print also seemed to be trying to link the guy to this.

--more--"

UPDATE:

"SITE said Monday that the suspect is a prominent member of the Vanguard News Network and has posted thousands of messages - including frequent calls for genocide against Jews - on the neo-Nazi forum's website. His most recent post was Saturday."

Now we know this is total and bogus bullshit! SITE is involved!

NEXT DAY UPDATE:

Some commentators are exposing the fraud, and once again it looks like we have been treated to another false flag or hoax with the appalling regularity of mind-manipulating reinforcement.

NEXT DAY UPDATE:

"Prosecutors to charge suspect with hate crime in Kansas shooting" by Timothy Williams and Emma G. Fitzsimmons | New York Times   April 15, 2014

NEW YORK — Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., 73, of Aurora, Mo., had spoken and written frequently over the years about his hatred for Jews, blacks, immigrants, and others.

Prosecutors declined to say when Cross, who is also known as Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., will be formally charged but said the case would be presented to a federal grand jury.

“We believe this to be a hate crime,” the Overland Park police chief, John Douglass, said. “We believe his motivation was to attack a Jewish facility.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization that tracks hate groups, said Cross was the founder and grand dragon of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

The shooting, Douglass said, was the result of Cross’s hatred for specific races or ethnic groups. Although Douglass has had run-ins with police before, including charges involving weapons and threats, there is little evidence that the Army veteran and retired trucker ever resorted to violence before Sunday.

Now this is really starting to stink.

The FBI and police have not offered any public explanation for what triggered the rampage on the eve of the festival of Passover. Though Cross appeared to have wanted to target Jewish people, none of the three people who died were Jewish.

He didn't kill any Jews? Come on!

Word of the shooting brought an outpouring of condolences and concern from around the world. Speaking at an Easter prayer breakfast, President Obama said Monday that religious violence had no place in America.

Only when he and they need to start a war against a Muslim country does it have a place.

The authorities said the hate-crime charges would be bolstered by “statements that were made” by Cross after the shooting, although they would not confirm whether he had shouted “Heil Hitler” after his arrest, as he appears to have done in a video taken by KMBC, a local television station....

Really hamming it up to sell this psyop, 'eh?

The Associated Press reported Monday that there was no answer at Cross’s last known address in Aurora, Mo. The single-story house is bordered on three sides by barbed-wire fences. A red Chevrolet pickup truck with two Confederate flag stickers was parked in front of the house....

Cross also served three years in federal prison for weapons charges and for plotting robberies and the assassination of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s founder, Morris Dees. As part of his plea bargain, he testified against other Klan leaders in a 1988 trial.

Which outed him as an FBI informant and gave him a reputation as a traitor in the "movement."

Cross made several unsuccessful runs for public office, including a run for the US House in 2006 and one for the Senate in 2010.

Sort of an odd thing for a KKKer to be doing.

He kept a website where he espoused views of white supremacy and eschewed racial mixing. He was a fan of David Duke, a white nationalist and a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, and Louis Farrakhan, the former leader of the Nation of Islam who blamed Jews for slavery in America.

Well, that is throwing to groups that threaten Jewish supremacism in the same boat, and who benefits, huh? Never mind that Duke moved on and became a college professor. It's like being judged for something you did as a teen for the whole rest of your life, but that's the narrative you are going to get from the pos AmeriKan media.

In a 2010 radio interview with Howard Stern, who is Jewish, Cross was asked whom he hated more, Jews or African-Americans.

Cross answered “Jews. A thousand times more. Compared to our Jewish problem, all other problems are mere distractions.”

Prodded to explain, he said Jews controlled the federal government, mass media, and the Federal Reserve Bank. “And with those powers, they’re committing genocide against the white race,” he said.

Ah, yes -- so anyone who espouses the truth is now smeared by this jackass. Nice psyop, but tired play guys!

--more--"

That post threads through to this:

"Israeli negotiator optimistic on talks" | Associated Press   April 14, 2014

JERUSALEM — Israel’s chief peace negotiator on Sunday accused a hard-line faction of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s increasingly unwieldy coalition government of undermining her efforts, while Jewish settlers moved into a sensitive West Bank building that has been a flashpoint of violence.

RelatedJewish settlers clash with Israeli police

The problems inside Netanyahu’s coalition were the latest signs of infighting that has hampered Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace efforts.

Yeah, blame it on that.

Related:

Israeli settlement plan derailed peace talks, Kerry says
Israel ‘deeply disappointed’ by John Kerry’s remarks
Netanyahu, Abbas must be statesmen, not politicians

The proof is in the poof. 

While committed to conducting talks, Netanyahu’s coalition is dominated by hard-liners who oppose making significant concessions or reject the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

Netanyahu’s chief negotiator, Tzipi Livni, said she was optimistic that the sides would get through a crisis that left the talks on the brink of collapse.

Why would she feel that way?

‘‘I believe we are close enough that decisions on both sides will be made, with American encouragement, to continue the talks,’’ she said on the Ynet website. She also accused the hard-line ‘‘Jewish Home,’’ a pro-settler party, of trying to thwart her efforts.

I wonder what that encouragement could be?

--more--"

Sorry I've gone so sour on the coverage. 

NEXT DAY UPDATE:

Israeli families gather for ritual Passover meal

It is a jewspaper. They prove the point themselves!