Thursday, June 30, 2011

No NBA At Midnight

I don't think I can go on with life.

"Stakes high as NBA nears a lockout" by Shira Springer, Globe Staff / June 30, 2011

Less than 24 hours remain on the only National Basketball Association countdown clock that matters. With the collective bargaining agreement set to expire at midnight, the league appears headed toward a lockout. 

Isn't it sad that the only strong unions in AmeriKa are millionaire unions?

Hundreds of millions of dollars still separate proposals from the owners and players, almost certainly too large a divide to bridge in negotiations scheduled for today in New York City.

“I sure would like to see us make a deal,’’ said NBA commissioner David Stern. “Not making a deal should give everybody apprehension.’’

But neither side is in a concession-making mood, especially the players....  

I notice the corporate papers always blame labor.

The standoff comes down to this: League executives and owners want a new financial system for the NBA with a tougher salary cap, shorter contracts and a greater share of basketball-related income — everything from ticket sales to TV revenue to merchandise. Players want to protect many of the benefits they enjoy under the current deal, such as a soft salary cap, contract lengths that can extend to five or six years and more than half of basketball-related income.

The prospect of a lockout comes at a most inopportune time, with record television ratings and increased attendance building momentum for the NBA. If the NBA entered a lockout, the league would join the National Football League, which is 110 days into the longest work stoppage in its history. NFL negotiations are scheduled to continue today and tomorrow in Minneapolis.  

Related: Locked Out of the Boston Globe

The NBA negotiations are high-stakes for more than just the owners and players. Lockouts lead to lost revenue for the cities that host games and for businesses located near arenas.  

I don't want an economy based on the overflow and largesse of sports teams.

Each Celtics home game at the TD Garden results in about $420,000 of outside-the-arena consumer spending for eating and drinking, retail, hotels, transportation and parking, according to the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Add in tickets sales and Garden concessions, which have an economic impact on arena workers and local suppliers, and the number jumps to $1.8 million per game....  

And how many schools is Boston closing this year?

As the dollar-driven gamesmanship progresses, incendiary comments, courtrooms and fan frustration follow. And the current, uncertain economic climate only complicates ongoing negotiations.

“With all the economic problems in this country, no one wants to hear about NFL/NBA lockout,’’ Jared Dudley, Phoenix Suns forward, union representative and former Boston College standout, recently commented via Twitter.... 

The league points to projected losses of about $300 million this season as its strongest argument for changing the NBA’s current business model....  


The league also wants it known 22 of 30 franchises lost money this season....

Imagine if the league was not doing well (unless the owner's cries of poverty are lies).

The players dispute the league losses....  

I'm wondering about them myself (or is it the reporting?).

Regardless of when both leagues resolve their respective labor disputes, teams, owners and players have already suffered costly losses when it comes to their images.

Billionaire owners arguing with millionaire players about the division of profits never sits well with fans....   

Neither does sports on the front page of my newspaper.

I would RATHER PLAY the GAME MYSELF than watch, readers. 

Warm Fart Mist

I can't take anymore, readers.

"Global warming continues as greenhouse gas grows" by Randolph E. Schmid AP Science Writer / June 28, 2011

WASHINGTON—The world's climate is not only continuing to warm, it's adding heat-trapping greenhouse gases even faster than in the past, researchers said Tuesday.

Indeed, the global temperature has been warmer than the 20th century average every month for more than 25 years, they said at a teleconference.

"The indicators show unequivocally that the world continues to warm," Thomas R. Karl, director of the National Climatic Data Center, said in releasing the annual State of the Climate report for 2010.

Then please explain the three brutal winters and the springs and summers that are not.

"There is a clear and unmistakable signal from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans," added Peter Thorne of the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites, North Carolina State University....

The warmer conditions are consistent with events such as heat waves and extreme rainfall, Karl said at a teleconference. However, it is more difficult to make a direct connection with things like tornado outbreaks, he said.

"Any single weather event is driven by a number of factors, from local conditions to global climate patterns and trends. Climate change is one of these," he said. "It is very likely that large-scale changes in climate, such as increased moisture in the atmosphere and warming temperatures, have influenced -- and will continue to influence -- many different types of extreme events, such as heavy rainfall, flooding, heat waves and droughts.

The report, being published by the American Meteorological Society, lists 2010 as tied with 2005 for the warmest year on record, according to studies by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA....  

Related: Climategate: NOAA and NASA Complicit in Data Manipulation




"Those envisioning July 4 celebrations at the beach may be swimming at their own risk, according to a study that found the number of beach closures nationwide due to dirty water soared last year.... 

I suppose it would be what with the oil in the Gulf, etc. 

But don't you mind radiation or chemicals in the water; global warming is the threat!


I would skip the swim if I were you.

Body apparently was in state pool 3 days
The body of a 36-year-old woman was pulled from a state-run pool in Fall River Tuesday night, apparently after being in the water since Sunday, prompting the temporary closure of all state-operated deep-water pools in Massachusetts while officials investigate, authorities said.  

I've noticed all state-run facilities are decrepit and look like s***. 

Also see: Season’s first tropical storm forms

Tropical Storm Arlene heads to Mexico

No, you don't want to go out in that.


"Since its discovery in 2006, the deadly disease -- named for the sugary smudges it leaves on noses and wings -- has killed more than a million cave-dwelling bats. State and federal agencies have taken steps to halt its spread, including barring people from caves....  

Yeah, wipe your feet before entering the bat cave.



"JFK airport is snarled by turtles on runway" by Associated Press / June 30, 2011

NEW YORK —The migration of diamondback terrapin turtles happens every year at Kennedy, which is built on the edge of Jamaica Bay and a federally protected park. In late June or early July the animals heave themselves out of the bay and head toward a beach to lay their eggs....

“We built on the area where they were nesting for generations, so we feel incumbent to help them along the way,’’ Ron Marsico, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the airport.

And at the bottom of it all?

"Oceanic migrations linked to climate change" by Associated Press / June 27, 2011

AMSTERDAM — When a 43-foot gray whale was spotted off the Israeli town of Herzliya last year, scientists came to a startling conclusion: it must have wandered across the normally icebound route above Canada, where warm weather had briefly opened a clear channel three years earlier....  

And it has been closed by ice ever since. 

Related: Ice choking Northwest Passage

Oh, the article is no longer available, huh?

The odyssey of the whale, whose species lives in the Pacific, and the surprising appearance of the plankton indicates a migration of species through the Northwest Passage, a worrying sign of how global warming is affecting animals and plants in the oceans as well as on land....  

Anyone ever think a warming climate might mean more food production in an age of mass starvation?


Update: Freak cold weather grips southern Brazil 

Case closed.

Special Ed Looter Had Second Job

"Official in fraud case takes leave; Accused of misspending $10m from Merrimack special education group" by Michael Rezendes, Globe Staff / June 30, 2011

The education official accused of siphoning more than $10 million in public funds from a Merrimack Valley agency dedicated to special needs students is taking an unpaid leave from a related nonprofit organization, where he has received more than $500,000 in annual salary and benefits, according to the nonprofit’s board of directors....


Also see: Ripping Off Retards

Stuck Down Under

"Australian boat abandons US snorkler" June 29, 2011|Associated Press

SYDNEY -- Australian safety officials said today that they were investigating a dive boat company that accidentally left a US tourist behind while he was snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, forcing the panicked man to swim to another boat for help....

The incident drew immediate comparisons to the infamous case of Americans Tom and Eileen Lonergan, who died in 1998 after their tour boat left while they were scuba diving on the reef. Officials believe they drowned or were eaten by sharks....

Their case served as an inspiration for the 2003 movie "Open Water."

Still, a handful of reef tourists have found themselves adrift since then.

In 2008, a British diver and his American girlfriend became lost when they resurfaced from a dive on the reef and found themselves far away from their dive boat. They were rescued from the ocean by helicopter after spending 19 hours in the water.


Democrats DREAM On

"Democrats try again on DREAM Act" by June 29, 2011|Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Senate Democrats renewed an uphill push yesterday for legislation that would give young illegal immigrants a shot at legal status by arguing that the hundreds of thousands affected would improve the nation's economy and security.

The legislation, known as the DREAM Act, would allow students who came to the United States as children to gain permanent residency if they go to college or serve in the military, plus meet other conditions such as passing a criminal background check. The bill's sponsors are unlikely to gain the votes necessary to pass it....



"the vote has no practical effect because lawmakers have not restricted funds for the effort."  

Medicare Vote Meant Nothing

Wasting Time With Congress 

Yeah, it is ALL DISTRACTION and GARBAGE for your consumption, 'murkn newspaper reader.

Geithner Gives Good Head

Going down....

"Lagarde is 1st woman to lead IMF; New chief urges Greece to pass austerity package" by Liz Alderman, New York Times / June 29, 2011

PARIS — Christine Lagarde's victory was sealed when Treasury secretary Timothy F. Geithner said the United States would endorse her over the Mexican central bank governor Agustin G. Carstens.

Lagarde, currently the French finance minister, said in a statement that she would strive to ensure the IMF remained “relevant, responsive, effective, and legitimate, to achieve stronger and sustainable growth, macroeconomic stability, and a better future for all.’’  

Coming from the new leader of an institution destroying just that.


Lagarde was initially opposed to getting the IMF involved in Greece’s rescue, seeing it as a problem that Europe’s politicians and policy makers needed to resolve. When the IMF entered the scene last year, Lagarde took a hard line on Greece, at one point threatening to withdraw financial aid if the country did not respect its engagements to cut spending and raise revenue.  

Yeah, isn't it great a woman is leading the institution?

Moments after her appointment, she urged the Greek government and opposition on French television to pull together to pass the unpopular austerity measures needed to unlock financial aid and avert a default.

Yet Lagarde has also come under fire from those who say she and other senior European policy makers mishandled the situation from the beginning, and are now scrambling to clean up problems of their own making. Geithner last week chastised Europe for failing to speak with one voice on the Greek crisis.

Simon Tilford, the chief economist of the Center for European Reform in London, said the IMF should never have become so deeply involved. “For the IMF to be devoting so much financial and human capital to try to combat a problem in Europe which is largely political in origin and can only be solved by political agreement is controversial,’’ he said.   

Like they are doing the people Europe a favor with their austerity programs so bankers can get rich.

Lagarde, 55, a former top executive at the Chicago-based law firm Baker & McKenzie, is considered a veteran political negotiator who speaks her mind, even when it has put her at odds with her boss, France’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy. She has nurtured a close personal relationship with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, leading the two women to find common ground on several important policy decisions as the euro crisis unfurled....   

That's why the Germans backed down on the bankers-must-take-loss talk.


Massachusetts Mellons

But they don't have money for schools and health care, huh?

"BNY Mellon adding 400 jobs in Mass.; State expected to OK tax credit for bank" by Todd Wallack, Globe Staff / June 28, 2011

BNY Mellon [is] the largest custodian bank in the country with $25.5 trillion in assets under management....

The state is expected to approve as much as $317,000 in tax credits for the company tomorrow to help finance the expansion.  

Do they really need it?

The company said the tax incentive was an important factor in its decision to consolidate its operations in Massachusetts, where it already has a cooperative relationship with the state....    


See: Massachusetts Lays a Mellon

And they are getting a TAX CREDIT -- meaning CHECK, dear Bay State citizens -- not a tax break.

BNY Mellon’s announcement is a bright spot for Massachusetts after Fidelity Investments’ recent decision to shutter its Marlborough site by the end of next year, eliminating or moving 1,100 jobs.  


Many of those jobs will be moved to Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and other states.

Related: Ever Unfaithful

Overall, employment in the financial sector has been roughly flat in recent months. The state had 167,500 jobs in the finance and insurance industries as of May, down a few hundred from the same month in 2010.  

And yet we are told every month by the Globe that the sector added jobs.

The Economic Assistance Coordinating Council, the state board charged with overseeing many economic development incentives, is also slated to vote on state and local tax breaks for more than a dozen other companies tomorrow....


For WHOM is the state picking your pocket?

"State OK’s tax breaks to 16 firms" by Todd Wallack, June 30, 2011

A state economic development board yesterday approved state and local tax breaks for 16 firms that promised to add or retain jobs in Massachusetts.

The Economic Assistance Coordinating Council, which oversees the state’s flagship economic development program, approved more than $4 million in state tax breaks for nine companies, including $1.8 million for E Ink Corp., $1.3 million for Affordable Interior Systems....

The council also gave final approval to nearly $40 million in local property tax breaks that had already been approved by cities and towns, including $12.4 million for Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s new facility in South Boston....    

While YOUR TAXES are RAISED, fellow citizen!

Related:  Executive Payday: Vile Vertex

Hope it's worth it, taxpayers.


Yeah, we have to bribe them to stay or come.  


Massachusetts' Lost Decade of Jobs

Those Are the (Tax) Breaks in Massachusetts 

Are you getting your money's worth, Massachusetts taxpayers?

Also see:

Mass. home sales tumble 25% over year

May pending US home sales up 8.2%

And we are supposed to be doing better than most?  

Back to the ROTTEN MELLONS of Massachusetts:

"State raises estimate of overcharge" by Beth Healy, June 30, 2011

Treasurer Steven Grossman yesterday said the state pension fund suffered even higher overcharges on foreign exchange transactions than previously disclosed — $30.5 million dating back to 2000.

The state had previously said that the pension fund was overcharged $20 million by Bank of New York Mellon Corp. since January 2007. After receiving the results of that audit, Grossman asked the consultants to go further back in time to examine foreign exchange trading costs.

The audits come as several other states are pursuing whistle-blower cases against BNY Mellon and Boston-based State Street Corp. for the way they charge large clients for foreign exchange services on stock trades, particularly in emerging markets....   

Also see: State Street Stealers

Grossman, who is chairman of the state pension board, said: “It’s imperative that pension beneficiaries and taxpayers are treated fairly and that banks do not profit disproportionately at their expense.’’

Except banks profiting disproportionately at citizen expense is what AmeriKa's state capitalism (directed by private central banks) is all about.


Massachusetts Teachers to be Tested

Aren't they under enough stress already?

"Student scores to be key factor in teacher evaluations; New rules to take effect by 2013" by James Vaznis, Globe Staff / June 29, 2011

MALDEN — In a dramatic departure from past practice, students’ MCAS scores and other achievement data will become key barometers in evaluating the performance of their teachers and administrators, under new criteria the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved yesterday.  

Related: Teachers Being Bullied

So bu$ine$$ is now calling the shots in Massachusetts?

The measure, adopted in a 9-2 vote, replaces 16-year-old regulations that merely suggested the use of MCAS scores in evaluations, a provision that most districts ignored. Now, student achievement must be a “significant’’ element of an evaluation, although no specific percentage is attached to that requirement.

State education officials hope that by zeroing in on student achievement, teachers and administrators will gain a stronger understanding of how they can be more effective in pushing ahead the academic fortunes of a classroom of students or an entire school.... 

In introducing the regulations, Mitchell Chester, the state’s commissioner of elementary and secondary education, stressed the goal is to foster professional growth and not to be punitive.

“This is a celebration of teaching and leadership in our schools,’’ Chester told board members and dozens of administrators, teachers, students, parents, and advocates who packed the board’s meeting room. “It’s not about gotcha, or the ranking and sorting of teachers.’’  

See: No Apple For This Teacher

Unless there is a worm in it (although I oppose cannibalism).


Teachers are not the only skeptics. Ruth Kaplan, the board’s parent representative, predicted that the new rules would diminish the quality of instruction. “We are going to see more teaching to the test,’’ Kaplan, a critic of standardized testing, said before casting a dissenting vote.  


Massachusetts joins more than a dozen states that have adopted regulations or laws in the past two years mandating the use of standardized test scores and other student achievement data, such as research projects, in judging the effectiveness of those in charge of classrooms or schools.

The Obama administration has been pushing states to adopt such changes and has been rewarding those that do with millions of dollars from its Race to the Top grant program.  


Where I come from we used to call that EXTORTION!  

Also see: Back-to-School Series: Obama Turns on Teachers

And he is supposed to be your friend?

Massachusetts promised in its application for that program last year to make student achievement a substantial part of job reviews, helping the state to secure $250 million from the fund.  

I gue$$ your campaign contributions don't mean $hit, teachers. 

I guess you are the ones getting the lesson now.

“There has been a real growing sense that the teacher-evaluation system we have is broken,’’ said Sandi Jacobs, vice president of National Council on Teacher Quality, a nonpartisan research and advocacy group, that has uncovered problems with teacher evaluations in districts nationwide, including Boston....

Teachers unions initially expressed opposition last year when the state began to explore the idea of judging teachers with results from the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System exams....

But attitudes changed as a state task force appeared to embrace the idea of multiple measures of student achievement. In December, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the state’s largest teachers union, stunned many policy makers and angered some of its affiliates when it released a proposal to overhaul evaluations that endorsed the use of MCAS scores.... 

If you guys won't stand up for yourselves how am I supposed to help you?

Even the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts, which represents Boston teachers and remains skeptical of using test scores, struck a conciliatory tone in comments to the board yesterday, pointing to provisions that it liked, such as giving teachers a role in evaluating other teachers....

Related: Teacher's Union Charts a New Course in Massachusetts

Several Boston high school students, who successfully pushed for the inclusion of student feedback in the evaluation process, turned out for the meeting. They wore black T-shirts that carried the following message in yellow letters: “We are the ones in the classroom. Ask Us!!!’’  


Boston Globe Summer School: Teachers Do Not Understand the Language

Boston Globe School Daze: Kids in Charge of Boston Classrooms

Yeah, I'm sure the input is greatly appreciated.

Administrators largely supported the proposal, although many of them along with some teachers expressed concern about principals and other evaluators having enough time to do the evaluations  and to monitor the progress of any educator on an improvement plan.  

Just wondering why the educational geniuses never thought of that.

Boston schools Superintendent Carol R. Johnson will brief principals on the new regulations this week as the district revs up evaluation efforts. 

I'll bet Johnson doesn't have to worry about being examined. 

And how many schools are closing in Boston this year?

A National Council on Teacher Quality report last year found about half the teachers in Boston public schools had not been evaluated in two years and that a quarter of schools did not do any evaluations. The district is establishing a new office of teacher and principal effectiveness, and is negotiating the new regulations with the union....  

Meaning they are going to dictate the rules to the teachers.



Evaluating teachers may burden principals
As state education leaders prepare to vote tomorrow on a sweeping overhaul of the way administrators and teachers are evaluated, local school officials say one key area remains a concern: finding time for principals to actually do the evaluations.

Just pile more work on their desk.

Gotta go. Bus is here:

"School bus company, union make deal to avert Hub strike; Drivers’ contracts set to expire today" by Vivian Yee, Globe Correspondent / June 30, 2011

About 2,200 of the city’s most vulnerable students will be able to board buses to class this summer, thanks to a last-minute concession from the school bus drivers’ union.

Drivers’ contracts were set to expire today. But yesterday the union agreed to keep negotiating a new labor pact, allowing school buses to run throughout summer school. Without the agreement, drivers could have gone on strike today, potentially leaving special-education students without a way to attend classes....   

Sometime you need to take a stand for the greater good. 

Haven't you learned anything from the Arab Spring or European Revolutions, Amerikan?

Yesterday’s agreement allows the district to avoid relying on its backup plan, developed last week, which called for hiring bus drivers from other companies.

That would have come at extra cost to the schools, Boston public schools spokesman Matthew Wilder said, shifting resources away from classrooms already strapped for funds. 

Stop it with the guilt trip! 


"Legislators also agreed last week to change legal language in the recently passed sales tax hike to assure credit agencies that $100 million earmarked for the Turnpike Authority would go toward paying off Big Dig debt 

Also see:

Memory Hole: Massachusetts' State Budget

Mass. State Budget: Screwing Cities and Towns 

Uniting With Hollywood   

Talk about shifting resources!

While the two sides continue to negotiate, drivers will continue to work under terms of the previous, 3-year-old contract.... 

The union is calling for increased job benefits and, more contentiously, raises of 3 percent per year for the next five years, an increase Wilder said was “above and beyond’’ what the district has negotiated with any other union that represents employees who work in the school district.... 

Union leaders have rejected one First Student contract offer, accusing the bus company of attacking drivers by proposing harsher alcohol and drug testing, the right to fire workers by mail, and punishing drivers who have more than three absences, among other restrictions.

And the attack on unions continue even here in Democrat Massachusetts.


And what about the kids?

"Tears mark closing of Roxbury elementary school" by Jenna Duncan, Globe Correspondent / June 29, 2011

Staff and students shared tears yesterday on the last day at Roxbury’s Emerson Elementary, one of the Boston public schools that is closing before next school year.

“It’s heartbreaking to me, because I’m leaving our community,’’ said Betty Constantino, a teacher at the school for all 24 years of her career. “It’s frustrating, because it’s a great school and nobody has realized that.’’

The school caters to students from Cape Verde, and teachers have even traveled to the island to understand their students’ origins.

Leave it to the agenda-pushing Boston Globe to choose and focus on a school that caters to immigrants.

Because most students have similar ethnic backgrounds, the school provides a sense of community, Constantino said....   

Which is OKAY unless you are WHITE!!! 


Related: School's Out Forever For Some Boston Teachers

Looks like a lot of crying going on out in Boston.  

Also see: The Boston Globe Dumps All Over Boston's Teachers

And you thought they were pro-education and your friend? 

And about that city budget: 

"In quiet session, council OK’s $2.4b budget" by Andrew Ryan Globe Staff / June 30, 2011

With notably little rancor, the Boston City Council voted 12 to 1 yesterday to pass a budget that will close schools and trim jobs....

The $2.4 billion spending plan will merge or close 18 schools....

The gallery in the City Council chamber yesterday was little more than half full for the vote, a stark difference from the protests and last-minute wrangling of recent years....

It is amazing to me that the birthplace of American Revolution has turned into such a cheek-spreading population willing to accept whatever the bought-off political class shoves their way.


Related: New Rules For Unions in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Investing in Poverty For Profit

Also see: DiMasi allowed pension, for now 

Schools have to close so some state criminal can still draw a pension.  

More: State House

From BMOC to Bus Driver

"Lorenzo Charles; won game for N.C. State in ’83 title game" by Tom Foreman Jr. Associated Press / June 29, 2011

RALEIGH, N.C. — Lorenzo Charles, the muscular forward whose last-second dunk gave underdog North Carolina State a stunning win in the 1983 national college championship game, was killed Monday when a bus he was driving crashed along a highway, a company official said....

In 1983, he grabbed Dereck Whittenburg’s 30-foot shot and dunked it at the buzzer to give the Wolfpack a 54-52 win over heavy favorite Houston and the team’s second national title. The victory sent coach Jim Valvano spilling onto the court, scrambling for someone to hug in what has become one of the lasting images of the NCAA tournament.

Whittenburg was despondent when discussing his friend.

“It’s just an awful day,’’ he said. “An awful, awful day.’’

Mr. Charles secured his spot in N.C. State lore in the final moments of that game in Albuquerque, capping off an improbable run to the championship. N.C. State entered the NCAA tournament with a 17-10 record, having beaten Virginia to win the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament and an automatic berth into the national field. No one expected much....

In the 1983 run, he hit two free throws with 23 seconds left in the West Regional finals against the Cavaliers to give the Wolfpack a 63-62 win and the spot in the Final Four....


Maine Murals to Become Museum

I'm sorry, but you can file it in the "Who cares?" department.

Removing walls for art’s sake
Glenn and Norma Haines are allowing a construction crew to cut up and cart away a group of 18 mural-covered walls in their Maine home, which will be installed in a nearby museum for display.

Another front-page item you can deposit in the same place:

MFA makes amends in probable plundering
The Museum of Fine Arts has agreed to pay restitution to the heir of a Jewish art dealer killed at Auschwitz after determining that a 17th-century Dutch painting in its collection was once owned by him and was probably plundered by the Nazis. (By Geoff Edgers, Globe Staff)  

What's New, New Hampshire?

As reported by the Boston Globe:

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pressing Forward With the Freedom Flotilla

"Israel tells media to stay off flotilla;Vows to expel foreign journalists" by Mark Lavie, Associated Press / June 27, 2011

JERUSALEM — Israel said yesterday that any foreign journalist caught on board a Gaza-bound flotilla could face deportation and a 10-year ban from the country, in a move that threatened to worsen the nation’s already strained relationship with the international media.

Doing 'em a favor by keeping them out of the country. 

As for the international media:

Six Jewish Companies Own 96% of the World's Media

Declassified: Massive Israeli manipulation of US media exposed

That does explain the "journalistic style" of AmeriKa's jewspapers.

Journalists said they should be allowed to cover a legitimate news story, but Israel said the media would be complicit in an illegal breach of its naval blockade of a hostile territory ruled by a terrorist group.  

Am I ever sick of the Zionist narrative passing as news.

The announcement reflected Israeli jitters about the international flotilla, which comes just more than a year after a similar mission ended with the deaths of nine Turkish activists in clashes with Israeli naval commandos who intercepted them. Each side blamed the other for the violence....

Israel is eager to avoid a repeat of last year’s raid, which drew heavy international condemnation and prompted Israel to ease its blockade on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.  

Many Israelis believe that the media’s coverage of the bloodshed contributed to their country’s image problems.  

By that they mean blogs because they certainly can't be referring to their "news" organs.

In a letter to foreign journalists, the Government Press Office’s director, Oren Helman, called the flotilla “a dangerous provocation that is being organized by Western and Islamic extremist elements to aid Hamas.’’    

This is the problem right here. Israel's charges are to the extreme and totally ridiculous. When they engage in such hyperbole (not to mention outright lying) it is tough, damn near impossible to believe anything they say -- ever.

He warned journalists that taking part in the flotilla “is an intentional violation of Israeli law and is liable to lead to participants being denied entry into the State of Israel for 10 years, to the impoundment of their equipment, and to additional sanctions,’’ Helman said.

The letter, he added, was reviewed and approved by Israel’s attorney general.

The Foreign Press Association, which represents hundreds of journalists working for international news organizations in Israel and the Palestinian territories, condemned the Israeli decision and urged the government to cancel the order.

“The government’s threat to punish journalists covering the Gaza flotilla sends a chilling message to the international media and raises serious questions about Israel’s commitment to freedom of the press,’’ the association said in a statement.   

There are a lot of things that raise serious questions about Israel.


Related: Israel Rescinds Threat to Reporters on Flotilla  

Ever notice being a complete asshole always backfires? 

"In a separate development yesterday, organizers of an international flotilla to Gaza accused Israel of pressuring Greece to stall their departure and acknowledged they still faced hurdles in their efforts to sail from Greek waters....


Actually, the ships were sabotaged while in harbor (who would want to do that?), and Israel is pressuring Turkey as well -- all absent from today's edition of my Zionist War Daily.

You want really good reporting? 

Go here, here, or here.

AmeriKan Media Shifts Into Overdrive For Bachmann

Now we know where the machines are going to send Ron Paul's votes this time. 

"Bachmann jumps into crowded GOP field

WATERLOO, Iowa — A recent Iowa poll shows Republican Michele Bachmann essentially tied with national front-runner Mitt Romney, signaling she is a clear caucus favorite.

Bachmann is betting that her standing with the Tea Party movement — she created the Tea Party Caucus in Congress — and affinity with evangelical Christians will deliver a win in the first-in-the-nation caucus state.

“I seek the presidency not for vanity, but because America is at a crucial moment and I believe that we must make a bold choice if we are to secure the promise of the future,’’ she said.

Republican opponents have yet to directly engage Bachmann, but recognize they ignore her at their own peril. Her candidacy presents a particular challenge to fellow Minnesotan Tim Pawlenty, the state’s former governor. 

She's usurped Sarah Palin's position.

Asked about Bachmann on NBC’s “Today’’ show yesterday, Pawlenty demurred while focusing on his record. “I’ve actually led in an executive position and moved the needle on conservative results,’’ said Pawlenty, who is running radio ads in Iowa that end with the slogan: “Results, Not Rhetoric.’’  

The fallback candidate for the corporate masters that control the selection of candidates.

A Des Moines Register poll published Sunday showed Bachmann and Romney far ahead in Iowa of Pawlenty, former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, former senator Rick Santorum, Texas Representative Ron Paul, and businessman Herman Cain.


Also see: Bachmann Bends Over For Israel 

I'd say she has a shot at the prezidency. 

"In N.H. visit, Bachmann praises moratorium on US income tax; GOP hopeful says 1-year halt would boost economy" by Shira Schoenberg, Globe Correspondent / June 29, 2011

RAYMOND, N.H. — Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann suggested yesterday that she would support imposing a moratorium on the federal income tax as a way to boost the economy....

She was greeted enthusiastically in the first-in-the-nation primary state, where a new poll shows her popularity growing....

But today the idea of a one-year income tax holiday is not being discussed because of its cost....

Nothing like a nothing distraction on the campaign trail.

Bachmann, a favorite of the Tea Party movement who started the Tea Party caucus in Congress, has seen her support grow since her strong performance in the New Hampshire debate earlier this month.  

Related: What Did You Watch Last Night?

She was tied for the top spot with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in a poll of likely Iowa voters by the Des Moines Register last weekend. A poll of likely New Hampshire primary voters released last night by Suffolk University/7NEWS found that Bachmann would get 11 percent of the vote, compared with 3 percent in May. Romney remained ahead with 36 percent, with every other candidate in single digits.

David Paleologos, director of Suffolk University’s Political Research Center, said the poll finds that more New Hampshire residents are identifying themselves as conservative and as Tea Party affiliates, Bachmann’s core constituency.

Enthusiasm was clear at yesterday’s event. “She’s our hope for winning and beating Obama,’’ said Belinda Hamel, a church secretary from Danville. “She stands for all the principles I value — our freedom to worship, to have property [and] small government, not large government.’’

Republican state Representative David Bates, of Windham, who founded the Southern New Hampshire 912 Project, a libertarian-leaning conservative group, said he believes he can count on Bachmann as someone who “believes in following the Constitution.’’  

Then RON PAUL is your MAN!

As president, Bachmann said, her top priority would be improving the economy by cutting government spending and lowering taxes. She said she would reduce corporate taxes, eliminate the capital gains tax, and “put a nail in the coffin of the death tax.’’  

The WEALTH GIVEAWAY to the RICH should go over well.

Bachmann pledged to bring together fiscal, social, and national security conservatives to defeat President Obama.

Bachmann did not mention comments she made earlier yesterday on “Good Morning America,’’ when she said she would be open to eliminating the federal minimum wage as a way to address unemployment....

Yeah, $he know$ who elect$ prezident$.


Has she taken the pledge?

"For candidates, position pledges can pose unexpected perils; Romney not alone in tripping over special interests" by Shira Schoenberg, Globe Correspondent / June 29, 2011

When Mitt Romney refused to sign a sweeping antiabortion pledge earlier this month, the Republican presidential candidate found himself in one of the minefields of contemporary politics — the pledges and questionnaires advocacy groups use to get candidates on the record.

Not signing carries a risk, as Romney discovered when his refusal to sign the Susan B. Anthony List pledge revived doubts about his antiabortion commitment. 

Related: Susan B. Anthony Was an Anti-Abortionist

Also see: Romney's Remark

Yer losin' it, Mitt!

Pledges are particularly big in the antitax world. It was a pledge by antitax activist Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, created in 1986, that tripped up Bush in 1988. During his presidential campaign, Bush signed Norquist’s pledge not to raise taxes. The candidate then made his famous statement at the 1988 Republican National Convention: “Read my lips: no new taxes.’’

But the deficit soared, Democrats controlled Congress, and Bush was forced to raise taxes. Democrat Bill Clinton used the broken pledge against Bush during his reelection campaign — and Bush lost.

Read my lips: don’t break promises.

Norquist’s pledge has also played a role in a recent Senate debate over ethanol subsidies. When Senator Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, tried to eliminate the subsidies, he ran into opposition from Norquist.

The problem? Norquist’s pledge, signed by all but seven Republican senators and six House members, obligates members of Congress to oppose efforts to reduce tax deductions or credits without an equal lowering of the tax rate. In Norquist’s eyes, since Coburn was eliminating a tax credit without lowering tax rates, he was effectively raising taxes and violating the pledge.

Bush isn’t the only president whose promises have come back to haunt him. In 1996, Illinois state Senate candidate Barack Obama wrote in response to a questionnaire from Outlines newspaper in Chicago, “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.’’

Yeah, forget the BROKEN PROMISES on TORTURE, the WARS, and SPYING!

Flash forward 15 years. First as a presidential candidate and now as president, Obama has supported civil unions for gays but not same-sex marriage. At first, a White House spokesman asserted that Obama hadn’t written the 1996 response. When that didn’t work, the White House issued a statement....   

That means THEY LIED, dear readers.  


Update: Michele Bachmann Not Truthful On Benefiting From Government Money 

I guess not, readers.

Hidden GOP Tax Hikes

"GOP sees defense cuts as path to compromise " by June 27, 2011

WASHINGTON — In listening sessions with their rank and file, House Republican leaders said they have found a surprising willingness to consider defense cuts that would have been unthinkable five years ago....

The GOP has not been entirely closed to tax changes, according to people in both parties. They mentioned a proposal to adjust the way business inventory is taxed, which could generate as much as $70 billion over the next decade, as one potential area of compromise.

Another $60 billion could be generated by wiping out subsidies for ethanol blenders.  

That I agree with, and let's stop burning food for fuel over a crock of lies with all the hungry people on the planet, huh?


At the Altar in Rhode Island

Sorry, but I'm leaving you standing there.

"In R.I., hopes fading for gay marriage bill" by Michael Levenson, Globe Staff / June 28, 2011

If any state would seem poised to approve gay marriage, it’s Rhode Island.

It has an overwhelmingly Democratic Legislature, the nation’s first openly gay House speaker, a governor who strongly supports same-sex marriage, and two New England neighbors that allow gay couples to wed.

Instead, the state is expected this week to approve civil unions, effectively killing gay marriage legislation with an attempted compromise that has provoked strong opposition from both sides of the issue.

While New York injected new life into the gay rights movement Friday by approving same-sex marriage, Rhode Island’s torturous debate underscores the rocky path the issue has taken in New England, a historically liberal region some activists once believed would be a gay marriage bastion by 2012. 

Is that anything like real torture?

Related: New York Goes Gay

Four out of the six New England states allow gay marriage and two, Rhode Island and Maine, do not. And their prospects for approving same-sex marriage are not imminent.

Voters in Maine repealed their gay marriage law in a 2009 referendum, six months after it was signed by the governor, and gay rights activists are still plotting their next steps there.  

What is it about democracy that these groups don’t understand?’’

Rhode Island activists on both sides of the divide are fighting the civil union bill and believe gay marriage legislation may not be revived again until next year, at the earliest.

Hopes for passage were crushed in April when Gordon D. Fox, who came out as gay in 2004 and was elected speaker of the House last year, abruptly reversed course, stunning gay rights activists....  

So did he.


Update: In compromise, R.I. approves civil unions for same-sex couples

Also see: R.I. officials back policy on cyberbullying

Woman recants ID of rape suspect, court records say

The Connecticut Con

I'm no longer falling for it.

"Conn. unions tempt worse fate in refusing modest savings deal" June 29, 2011

IN A season of confrontations between state governments and their public-employee unions, the deal cut by Connecticut’s pro-labor governor, Dannel Malloy, and a group of 15 state unions was a model of cooperation. That is, until the membership failed to approve it last week, in a truly startling display of selfishness.  

They have a long way to go to catch the bankers, war-profiteers, and scum elite money addicts, sorry.

This was no Draconian giveback. No one’s pay would be cut. There would be no raises for two years, followed by solid 3 percent hikes for three consecutive years. There were also modest cost-savings adjustments on pensions and health care, similar to some that have been enacted in Massachusetts. In return, however, the Connecticut government promised no layoffs for at least four years.

The no-layoff provision was key, because government job cuts have been dragging down the economy almost everywhere. At a time when the private sector is showing some signs of job creation, state governments, facing the loss of federal stimulus funds, have been dropping jobs like huskies shedding in the summer heat. These cuts only exacerbate the downward pressure on the economy.

Then stop paying off banks, investors, and bondholders first.

Fear of layoffs makes consumers stop spending, thereby hurting small businesses and obliging them to cut more jobs.

I'm not helping because I don't like to spend, period. 

Connecticut, at least, seemed poised to avoid this catastrophe.

Now, as he said he would, Malloy has begun alerting 7,500 workers that their jobs are going to be terminated. The taxpayers are double losers: They’re getting reduced state services without any corresponding tax cut....  

Since when has the banker's paper cared about taxpayers? I'm no longer fooled, Glob.

And people elsewhere will simply assume that whenever a reasonable deal is put forward, enough union workers, insulated by seniority provisions and unconcerned about junior colleagues facing layoffs, will put every hard-won perk ahead of the greater good of the union, the government, and the state economy....   

I'm really, really, really sick of the attack on working people. The cop, the firefighter, and the teacher are not why state governments are going bankrupt. 

It is the debt service payments to banks (hundreds of millions a month); the corporate welfare to well-connected concerns (did Hollywood really need Massachusetts to cut them an $82 million-dollar check last year?); and the funding of lavish political lifestyles by the same people telling unions they must give back and go without.


Related: Deficit in Connecticut puts jobs on line

Also seeBiden's Boast

Isn't Connecticut solid blue?

Globe Court Report: Business Reigns Supreme

It's AmeriKa, after all:

"Free speech, business win term’s battles on high court; Class actions, protest curbs hit roadblocks" by Adam Liptak, New York Times / June 29, 2011

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court term that ended Monday was marked by accomplishment and anticipation. The court continued its work on two signature projects of Chief Justice John Roberts: defending free speech and curbing big lawsuits. And it dropped occasional hints about the blockbusters on the horizon.

The First Amendment dominated the term, with the court ruling for funeral protesters, the makers of violent video games, drug marketers, and politicians who decline public financing. 

Related: Globe Court Report: Supreme Vote

A Class Action Court

The Women of Wal-Mart 

Globe Editorial The Supreme Court goes soft on mutual fund misstatements  

Supreme Court Writes Prescription For Pharmaceuticals
Supreme Court Says You Do NOT Have the Right to an Attorney

But you have free speech:

The US commitment to free expression, the court said, cuts across politics and commerce, requires tolerance of offensive speech, and forbids the government from stepping in when powerful voices threaten to dominate public debate.
I take that as meaning this blog will always be here for you, dear readers -- even if I have cleaned up the swearing. After five years of fuming I'm still angry but exhausted.

In cases involving the nation’s largest private employer, Wal-Mart, and the nation’s second-largest cellphone company, AT&T Mobility, the court tightened the rules for class actions and made it easier for firms to do away with class actions entirely by using form contracts.

All of the decisions this term were scrutinized for clues about the arc of the Roberts court as it settles into a period of consolidation and awaits a series of colossal cases, notably the challenges to the health care law championed by President Obama. This term was significant, but the next one may include the most important clash between the Supreme Court and a president since the New Deal.... 

Business groups said their success in the court during the term was mixed, and the numbers support them, as the court often ruled for plaintiffs in employment and securities cases. But business groups won the most consequential cases....

When you look back at the history of big business in this country you find they were against every labor improvement, violently opposed them, and would not have been happy had they not won every single case.

There are major cases in store. “Next term is going to be the term of the century,’’ said Thomas C. Goldstein, a leading Supreme Court advocate and the publisher of Scotusblog....


Globe Court Report: Gulf Slick Suit

"Sierra Club barred from gulf spill suit" by Associated Press / June 29, 2011

JACKSON, Miss. — A federal magistrate judge won’t allow the Sierra Club to join a lawsuit filed by the Justice Department against BP and other companies over last year’s disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill....

The Justice Department had objected to the Sierra Club’s Feb. 7 motion to intervene, arguing that if the request was granted, the rights of the United States would be hurt by denying it exclusive control over the prosecution of its claims.

The group said it wanted a seat at the table to make sure coastal communities are fairly represented and compensated. It also said it wanted to make sure money from BP fines goes to restoring the Gulf Coast....


Globe Court Report: Khadafy the War Criminal

“All of its activities are directed at African leaders’’ 

Related:  U.N. is Racist

You know, I think they have a point.

"Court issues warrant for Libyan leader’s arrest; Crackdown on protesters brings charges" by Colum Lynch, Washington Post / June 28, 2011

NEW YORK — Judges from the International Criminal Court issued a warrant yesterday for the arrest of Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy, his son, and a top military intelligence chief, calling for them to stand trial for crimes against humanity in connection with a violent crackdown on antigovernment protesters.  

I expect that the leaders of Bahrain and Yemen will soon be following?

The three-judge pretrial chamber ruled that ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo had established “reasonable grounds’’ to charge Khadafy, his son Seif al-Islam Khadafy, and Abdullah al-Senussi, the chief of military intelligence. They are accused of killing and persecuting hundreds of Libyan civilians since the government began suppressing public protests Feb. 15.

The ruling adds to the mounting international pressure on Khadafy to yield power.  

Actually, it probably made him dig his heels in more, but....

The regime has been the target of daily NATO airstrikes, and alliance officials hope the court’s action will encourage more countries to abandon the Libyan leader.  

Yeah, haven't seen much about those airstrikes lately.

Related: NATO Violates U.N. Resolution in Libya

Oh, that is probably why. 

U.N. going to serve up war crimes charges against NATO, too?

But it could also give Khadafy less incentive to accept a peaceful settlement because he may be unable to arrange an amnesty.

In issuing the ruling, Judge Sanji Monageng of Botswana said there was sufficient evidence to believe that the three Libyans have committed the crimes and that their arrest was necessary to ensure they appear before the Hague-based court and to prevent them from continuing further crimes....   

And yet western war criminals walk the planet.

“This decision once again highlights the increasing isolation of the Khadafy regime,’’ said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. “It reinforces the reason for NATO’s mission to protect the Libyan people from Khadafy’s forces.’’

But not from their own.

“Khadafy and his henchmen need to realize that time is rapidly running out for them,’’ Rasmussen said. “NATO is more determined than ever to keep up the pressure until all attacks on civilians have ended, until all regime forces have returned to their bases, and until there is unhindered access to humanitarian aid for all those who need it.’’ 

Related: Zero Hour Approaches For Khadafy

He's still there?

Libyan officials did not immediately react to the issuance of the warrant, but the regime has long said it does not recognize the legitimacy of the court.

“All of its activities are directed at African leaders,’’ government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said Sunday. “Is it really trying to protect the people from war crimes? Or is it just conducting a hidden agenda for the West?’’ 



The decision to charge the Libyan leader has sparked a debate among scholars, military officers, and government officials over the role of such a politically sensitive prosecution in the midst of an armed conflict. Some officials fear it will complicate efforts to get Khadafy to step down; others maintain that the charge will send a powerful message to other dictators to not use lethal force against civilians....  

 Unless they are U.N.-approved.

The Libyan leader has shown remarkable staying power, surviving an onslaught of bombing strikes, one of which resulted in the death of one of his sons.  

But the clock is ticking.

Much of the evidence of Khadafy’s intent to violently repress the demonstrations rests on his own public statements.

On Feb. 22, in a speech on state television, Khadafy described the protesters as “garbage’’ and “rats’’ and threatened to “clean Libya inch by inch, house by house, small street by small street, individual by individual, corner by corner, until the country is clear from all garbage and dirt.’’  

Isn't that just political bluster and hyperbole? A

And isn't that what the U.S. did in Iraq and Afghanistan?

The prosecutor charged Khadafy’s son with playing an active role in recruiting foreign mercenaries who were placed under the command of the Libyan security services and ordered to attack suspected dissidents and protesters. 

Then the "rumors" about Israel supplying Khadafy with contract killers is TRUE!

The prosecutor cited Senussi for his alleged role in leading a crackdown on opposition figures and demonstrators in the restive city of Benghazi, which has emerged as the capital of resistance to Khadafy’s rule. He charged that Senussi, acting on Khadafy’s request, “expressly ordered the shooting at civilians’’ in Benghazi.

Yesterday’s ICC ruling marks only the second time that the ICC has sought the arrest of a sitting head of state.

In 2005, the court issued an arrest warrant against Sudanese leader Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who stands accused of orchestrating a genocidal campaign against civilians in Darfur. The court has been unable to arrest Bashir, who is preparing for a visit to Beijing.  

After he was in Tehran for the terrorism conference. 

Libya is not a signatory to the treaty, known as the Rome Statute, that established the ICC, and is subject to the court’s jurisdiction only if the United Nations Security Council authorizes it.  

Neither is the U.S.  In fact, we UNSIGNED IT!

In a sign of Khadafy’s isolation, staunch opponents of the ICC, including China and Russia, voted to approve the ICC investigation of his actions.

The Feb. 26 adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1970, which approved the ICC prosecution in Libya, marked the first time that the United States had voted in favor of a measure empowering the International Criminal Court.

President Obama’s administration has previously encouraged the court to pursue cases that are consistent with US interests.

They really have SOME NERVE, huh? 

And why the obfuscation regarding U.S. membership?


"First, get him out of Libya" June 28, 2011

AT LEAST in the abstract, the International Criminal Court served the cause of justice by issuing an arrest warrant yesterday for Libyan dictator Moammar Khadafy. But the warrant has come at the wrong time. If it prevents Khadafy from striking a deal that grants him safe exile abroad, the arrest warrant could cost more lives than it saves....  

Why does western justice always seem to work that way?

It’s an encouraging sign that, according to Tunisia’s state news agency, three of Khadafy’s ministers are in Tunisia conducting talks with “several foreign parties’’ about sending the dictator into exile.

The ICC is not supposed to let political or tactical considerations enter into its decisions about whom to indict. But....  

It is all political as the selective prosecutions and charges show.


"Prosecutor urges Khadafy’s inner circle to turn him in" by Mike Corder, Associated Press / June 29, 2011

THE HAGUE — The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court urged Moammar Khadafy’s aides yesterday to arrest the Libyan leader and turn him over for trial on murder and persecution charges — or risk prosecution themselves....

Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo was optimistic that Khadafy’s regime would be over within three months.... 

That is nowhere close to zero, and have I ever had it with war lies.

The prosecutor said the other option for arresting Khadafy is through the rebels fighting to end his more than four decades in power.

The court’s enforcement problems were underscored this week by the trip to China by President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, who was charged last year by the international court with genocide in Darfur.

China is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, which authorized the court to investigate the Darfur conflict.

“China is not a signatory of the ICC . . . and we reserve our opinion on the ICC’s prosecution of Bashir,’’ Hong Lei, Foreign Ministry spokesman, told a news conference in Beijing. The United States also is not a signatory to the court’s statute....

Moreno-Ocampo cited the arrest last month of former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic after 15 years on the run as an example of how internationally wanted suspects almost always end up in court....   

Related: Mladic Moved to U.N. Cell

Speaking in Cambodia, where the trial of four Khmer Rouge leaders has begun, Stephen Rapp, US war crimes ambassador, agreed that the long-awaited Cambodian trials and Mladic’s arrest sent a clear signal: “If you commit these crimes, there will be consequences.’’

See: Globe Court Report: Asian Exception

Hundreds of civilians were killed, injured, or arrested in the last two weeks of February, and the court’s presiding judge, Sanji Monageng of Botswana, said there were “reasonable grounds to believe’’ that Khadafy and his supporters were responsible for the murder and persecution of civilians as well as attempting to cover up the crimes.
So how is he different from any other government?


"In win for Obama, panel OKs US operation in Libya

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-- Your friends at 
WTF, Globe?   
Would a "friend" keep doing that to us?
"Senate panel votes to back US actions in Libya that House rebuked" by Donna Cassata, Associated Press / June 29, 2011
WASHINGTON — In a victory for President Obama, a Senate panel voted yesterday to approve participation in the military campaign against Libya and Moammar Khadafy’s forces.
The 14-5 vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee sharply contrasted with the House’s overwhelming rejection of a similar resolution last week, muddling the message about congressional support for the commander in chief’s actions and the NATO-led operation....  
As the operation continues forward unchecked.