Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Faces of Fascism in AmeriKa

Comes cloaked in the flag of political correctness and it is hidden under terms like diversity and tolerance.



"The notion that someone would find offense in the benign gyrations of three fifth-graders is evidence that this overheated election cycle has made America grate on people’s nerves, and so a dance act featuring the face of a presidential candidate who decries political correctness in all its forms was silenced so as not to offend anyone.

The school superintendent declined to say who complained or why.

Christine Norcross, whose son Andrew was Rubio in the dance-off skit, remembers the principal telling her, “a parent took offense to it,” because the skits were critical of the Republican Party, but Maryellen Maggiacomo, whose twin boys, Marc and David, are two-thirds of the trio, wondered why politics should be off-limits at a public school that’s ostensibly trying to prepare kids for the world. “Have an opinion,” Maggiacomo said. “Have a discussion. Isn’t that what we want to have happen in our schools?”

David Lussier, the Wellesley school superintendent, said Wellesley’s schools are open to those discussions, but that a talent show wasn’t the right forum in which to raise the issues, especially “in a highly charged political environment like the one we’re in.”

He's the reason I haven't been commenting on the campaign, and apparently, it was a mask after all (and now he says it wasn't, flip-flop).


"‘SNL’ skit of commercial for fake heroin pill upsets viewers" by J.D. Capelouto Globe Correspondent  April 18, 2016

“Saturday Night Live” performed a mock commercial skit during the weekend joking about casual heroin usage, prompting several Massachusetts residents to sign an online petition demanding an apology.

The faux advertisement for Heroin AM imagines a pill that lets people abuse drugs without disrupting their days.

“I want to use heroin, but I also want to get stuff done. That’s why I reach for Heroin AM, the only nondrowsy heroin on the market,” said Saturday Night Live’s host, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who spoke while sitting next to a young boy playing with a toy car. “So I can get jacked on scag, and then get to work.”

The segment also features SNL regulars Kate McKinnon, Beck Bennett, and Bobby Moynihan as other parents who use the pseudo drug.

An online petition created by a person identifying herself as a Hudson resident says the show should not have made light of the deadly scourge of addiction. An appeal soon appeared on Change.org asking SNL to apologize for the “tasteless” skit.

You know what else is tasteless:

Clinic offers a room for highs

Kind of makes light of the whole thing, doesn't it? 

Also see: Democrats chide Bush for joke on weapons hunt

It's a tradition that continues

So where do I sign the petition?

The petition had nearly 6,500 names attached to it by Monday evening. Organizers had set a goal of 5,000.

The skit “poked fun of a very real and deadly drug epidemic in America right now,” according to a post that accompanied the petition. “The skit was cruel and heartless.”

A “Saturday Night Live” representative did not immediately respond Monday to a request for comment.

Heroin addiction and opioid-related deaths have been rising steadily in Massachusetts, and opponents contend the skit was insensitive.

“It [showed] utter disrespect to those currently struggling daily with drug addiction and to those who have lost someone to heroin previously,” the petition states.

“They need to be held accountable. Free speech does not give you the right to be cruel.”

Actually, it does. Just don't act on it.

The fake drug in the commercial combines heroin with caffeine and “a small pile of cocaine.”

“I have lost two of my three sons to heroin, it is no laughing matter,” a woman who said she was from Missouri wrote on the petition. “This was downright cruel.”

Free speech can be that way sometimes, and where the hell were you? 

Is it possible the reaction is a form of guilt being projected at others for their failure as a parent?


That's the one thing about fascism. No fun allowed.


"Bill calls for student screenings in schools to curb drug abuse" by Joshua Miller Globe Staff  September 24, 2015

The state Senate is expected to vote next week on a bill that would require all public school districts in Massachusetts to screen seventh and 10th graders for potential drug use, with an eye toward stemming the scourge of opioid abuse at an early stage.

The screenings would not involve drug tests. Rather, the screener — who could be a school nurse or psychologist trained in speaking to kids about drug use — would determine through a conversation if the student was engaged in risky behavior, according to a Senate briefing for reporters on the proposal.

The intent is to identify students who need help “and to try to move them in a way that they will want to go into treatment. You can’t force them,” said Senator Jennifer L. Flanagan, Democrat of Leominster, the main backer of the provision.

Students or parents would be able to opt out of the screening. Parents wouldn’t be immediately notified of the screening results, and the bill would work to protect students’ privacy, Flanagan said. Parents would be notified only in the most extreme cases of dependence or addiction, according to a Flanagan aide.

Updated wording of the bill, which will be subject to amendment, was not publicly available Thursday and was still being scrutinized by Senate’s legal office. The final version senators vote on could look very different.

The program, referred to as SBIRT — Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment — is currently used in 10 Massachusetts public schools, Flanagan said.

Hadley Public Schools began a pilot program last year, training its nurses and counselors in the screening methods and applying them to 10th-grade students, said Renee Denenfeld, nurse leader for the school district. This year the program expanded to include seventh-graders as well as 10th-graders.

Denenfeld said the program had been embraced by the community. The Hadley School Department sent letters to parents detailing the questions their children would be asked and instructing them on how to opt out of the screening, but no families chose to exclude their children, she said.

“It gave students an opportunity to ask the nurses questions . . . and let them know that we not only take care of physical complaints, but we are there for their emotional and their mental health as well,” Denenfeld said. “I think it’s an important piece of health screening.”

Flanagan said there would be state funding for schools to train screeners, but did not specify the cost associated with the program.

Senators and aides did not know whether other states had adopted similar screening mandates for schools.

Massachusetts Teachers Association president Barbara Madeloni said in a statement that the increase in the use of opioids is a huge concern.

“Schools can play an important role in making sure students have access to treatment and counseling, but it has to be done right,” she said. “We’re very interested in learning more about the specifics of this bill.”


The opioid abuse crisis a priority.

"The Legislature is poised to approve a bill this week that would require schools to conduct screenings of students for drug abuse and work to curb opioid use by limiting doctors’ initial prescriptions to seven days. Parents and students would have the ability to opt out of the screen, which would come in the form of a confidential interview with children at two still-to-be-determined grade levels. The long-awaited legislation, the product of a compromise between House and Senate negotiators, is Beacon Hill’s latest response to an opioid scourge that leaves about 100 Massachusetts residents dead every month. The measure is not as far-reaching as a proposal made by Governor Charlie Baker last fall. But his office offered praise for the legislation Tuesday night. “Governor Baker appreciates the Legislature’s work on this bill, which takes a strong step in the right direction,” said Lizzy Guyton, a spokeswoman for the governor, in a written statement, adding later, “moving forward, the administration is committed to collaborating with the Legislature, law enforcement, and treatment providers to continue fighting this public health crisis.” The opioid scourge has become an urgent priority for government officials across the country."

I think we are seeing why in furtherance of the surveillance agenda. 

If you are against it, well, you are for kids being hooked on drugs!

Schools doing drug screenings laud benefits for students

Stories of addiction, recovery available for those who struggle

Drug screening of students draws cautious reaction


Bronx man gets up to 8 years in prison for drug possession

No one said anything about that.

"The state Senate voted unanimously Thursday to repeal a 26-year-old law requiring a driver’s license suspension for anyone convicted of a drug crime, such as possession or distribution, unrelated to vehicle operation."


Like they are never going to get behind the wheel?

Where do I start?

"In D.C., a radical shift in parent involvement" by Michael Levenson Globe Staff  March 29, 2016

WASHINGTON — The program is part of a radical shift in the way some schools are thinking about parent involvement. Rather than encourage parents to attend bake sales and spaghetti dinners — which have long been the domain of middle-class families and have no direct link to academic achievement — these schools are effectively training parents of all backgrounds to become informed and confident tutors at home.

Schools are the state, folks, and they know better than you parents (love your kids more than you do. Thus all the Pavlovian mind manipulation with drills and all the rest).

Boston, which also struggles to get parents more involved in its schools, has focused more on encouraging mothers and fathers to become active in shaping school policy and also offers free classes in child development, advocacy, and parenting skills.

In Washington, the effort was spurred by a growing body of evidence showing that when teachers and parents trust one another and work together, students tend to earn higher grades and test scores, have fewer absences, and exhibit better social skills.

To build that kind of collaboration, however, schools like Beers Elementary School, which is predominantly African-American and low-income, must break down deep-seated layers of mistrust between parents and teachers and administrators.

Why and how could that be in America? 

That begins with shattering the assumption that parents who don’t attend school functions like PTA meetings simply don’t care about their children’s education.

Who "assumed" that? 

Seems to be one of the few things that gets 'em riled up!

“Our public school system is one that has not been a welcoming place for decades and decades and decades to people living in poverty, people of color, and people who don’t ‘speak teacher,’ so we start with an assumption that parents love their children and want what’s best for their children,” said Vincent Baxter, deputy chief of family engagement in the Washington public schools....

OMG! An entire belief system I've been taught and told disintegrates in front of my eyes!


Of course, it's all to better prepare students to prosper in a global economy and society despite the obstacles placed by some, and the whole thing looks rotten to me.

What's next, robots teaching the kids?

Grass-roots bid to scrap Common Core faces tough fight

Can't we all get along?

Black enrollment at Boston Latin falls sharply
Superintendent meets with angry Boston Latin students
Latin School headmaster in spotlight amid racial controversy
Students, black leaders question scope of BLS probe
Report says BLS did not adequately probe racial slur
Boston Latin students who launched race dialogue praised
BLS student says teacher greeted her with slur during class
NAACP branch calls for ouster of Boston Latin’s headmaster
Boston Latin headmaster says she will not resign
Latin School head apologizes for slow response to racial incidents
Chang says probe into Boston Latin School is closed
Pride and pressure at prestigious Boston Latin
Dorchester students push for Frederick Douglass statue
At Boston Latin, little outreach to city’s black, Latino students
Testing program to expand, increase Latin School access
Family of student threatened wants consequences in the case
Social media posts point to more trouble at Boston Latin
Advocates seek federal race probe of BLS
US to investigate racial allegations at Boston Latin

Right in the bullseye now and all eyes are on Boston Latin School in year of ‘enormous rage.’ 

Smithsonian to include 2 Cosby items in new history museum
Museum criticized for featuring Bill Cosby’s work
African-American Museum to include accusations against Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby’s wife completes deposition, lawyer says
Racial aspects tinge Mass. charter debate
Executives outnumber parents on Mass. charter school boards

It's shocking, I know, and I'm done going out of my way to drop you kids off.

Cambridge Rindge & Latin students put focus on assaults

I see you have graduated, and here is what comes after:


"Colleges spending millions to deal with sexual misconduct complaints" by Anemona Hartocollis New York Times  March 29, 2016

CAMBRIDGE — The expansion of Title IX bureaucracies — often at great expense — is driven in part by pressure from the federal government, which recently put out a series of policy directives on sexual misconduct on campus. More than 200 colleges and universities are under federal investigation for the way they have handled complaints of sexual misconduct, up from 55 two years ago.

But the growth of these bureaucracies also reflects the difficulties that students, parents, administrators and faculty members face as they negotiate changing ideas and standards of sexual behavior.

You know, there was another crew that tried to regulate sexual behavior.

And in a report last week, a national association of professors said that the Title IX bureaucracy had started to infringe on academic freedom, by beginning investigations into faculty members’ lectures and essays.

Title IX, enacted in 1972, bars discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs that receive federal funds. It is more familiar as the law used to promote gender equity in sports and faculty hiring. But a 2011 federal policy statement clarified that it also applies to how universities deal with complaints of sexual assault. At a minimum, federal rules require colleges to designate one Title IX coordinator, at least part time.

Many colleges have gone far beyond that, at a cost ranging from thousands to millions of dollars. College officials said it was difficult to put a price tag on the efforts because they often span more than one department and involve volunteers and doubling up on jobs.

“There’s so much more litigation on all sides of the issue,” said Brett Sokolow, executive director of the Association of Title IX Administrators, an industry group of 5,000 members that did not exist in 2011, and has doubled in size for each of the past two years. “This has very much created a cottage industry.”

Title IX coordinators, who carry out policy and oversee how institutions respond to complaints, can earn $50,000 to $150,000 a year. Sokolow estimated that the cost of lawyers, counselors, information campaigns and training to fight sexual misconduct ranges from $25,000 a year at a small college, to $500,000 and up at larger or wealthier institutions....

Could you explain the difference between a romantic encounter and “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature” again? 


It could punish behavior as mild as flirting?

Get your letter yet? Gotta a lawyer?

I know someone you could turn to for help, but it might cost a few bucks (the perpetrators are going to help eliminate the crimes, 'eh?)

Good thing colleges don't have their own secret police, 'eh?

"A City Council panel will hold a public meeting Monday on Northeastern University’s decision to arm campus police with semiautomatic rifles, a move that committee members have said could raise mistrust and fear in neighboring communities."

NU says it involved community, police in rifle decision
College police forces — including Northeastern’s — add firepower
Northeastern lands $3m grant for ‘nanoscale’ manufacturing
Tennessee campus gun plan becomes law without governor’s signature

They would feel right at home up here:

"The US Labor Department has sued a local hospitality union. Levy Restaurants employs workers at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, the Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, Fenway Park and Northeastern University."



"A bill that would bar anyone under the age of 18 from using tanning beds has passed the state Senate. Supporters of the bill — including dermatologists — cite a sharp rise in the number of young people diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Doctors say they believe that rise is linked to the increased use of tanning beds. Salon owners say tanning beds are safe if used responsibly in professional settings. Massachusetts law currently allows 14- to 17-year-olds to visit tanning salons with written consent from a parent or legal guardian. The bill now heads to the House for consideration (AP)"

Going to keep you kids from burning up (don't worry; you still have the right to die in the wars based on lies).

"The five-year, $11.8 million pilot demonstrated that older people could lose weight through lifestyle counseling and regular meetings that encourage healthful eating habits and exercise, an improvement that helps stave off diabetes. On average, the more than 7,700 participants lost about 5 percent of their body weight."

What's next, sending community health workers to check on patients at home?

Or will that draw a fine?

Things could be worse:

Study backs pancreas cell transplants for severe diabetes

Scientists unveil the ‘most clever CRISPR gadget’ so far

It might give you a yeast infection, but it could be worse.They could be giving you HIV and selling you life insurance at the same time. Out of love, of course (don't get caught being just another face in the crowd at Fenway amidst the empty seats. Kind of leaves one depressed).

"Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology Inc., which is developing bioengineered organ implants to address life-threatening conditions, is set to disclose Thursday that it is changing its name to Biostage Inc. The new name reflects the company’s focus on organ regeneration and is intended to avoid confusion with its former corporate parent, Harvard Bioscience Inc., which spun out the regenerative technology business in late 2013 to operate as an independent company. Biostage is located next door to Harvard Bioscience. Biostage, which has 19 employees in Holliston, is testing its products in animal studies in a lab in the Worcester County town of Lancaster and at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. The company’s initial focus is replacement tracheas for patients who need airway transplants. Its product aims to guide the repair of the patient’s own tissue through natural healing. “Our new corporate brand culminates the transformation and refocusing of our company over the past two years,” Biostage chief executive Jim McGorry, a one-time Genzyme Corp. executive, wrote to shareholders."

Didn't want you mi$$ what was mo$t important. 

Might as well just end it:

"US suicide rate surges to a 30-year high" by Sabrina Tavernise The New York Times  April 22, 2016

WASHINGTON — Suicide in the United States has surged to the highest levels in nearly 30 years, a federal data analysis has found, with increases in every age group except older adults. The rise was particularly steep for women. It was also substantial among middle-aged Americans, sending a signal of deep anguish from a group whose suicide rates had been stable or falling since the 1950s.

The increases were so widespread that they lifted the nation’s suicide rate to 13 per 100,000 people, the highest since 1986. The rate rose by 2 percent a year starting in 2006, double the annual rise in the earlier period of the study. In all, 42,773 people died from suicide in 2014, compared with 29,199 in 1999.

“It’s really stunning to see such a large increase in suicide rates affecting virtually every age group,” said Katherine Hempstead, senior adviser for health care at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, who has identified a link between suicides in middle age and rising rates of distress about jobs and personal finances.

Does that include terrorists?

Researchers also found an alarming increase among girls 10 to 14, whose suicide rate, while still very low, had tripled. The number of girls who killed themselves rose to 150 in 2014 from 50 in 1999. “This one certainly jumped out,” said Sally Curtin, a statistician at the center and an author of the report.

American Indians had the sharpest rise of all racial and ethnic groups, with rates rising by 89 percent for women and 38 percent for men. White middle-aged women had an increase of 80 percent.

The rate declined for just one racial group: black men. And it declined for only one age group: men and women over 75.

I'm wondering if there is a correlation with the police shootings.

The data analysis provided fresh evidence of suffering among white Americans.

Who cares about whitey? Had it too good for too long.

Recent research has highlighted the plight of less educated whites, showing surges in deaths from drug overdoses, suicides, liver disease, and alcohol poisoning, particularly among those with a high school education or less. The new report did not break down suicide rates by education, but researchers who reviewed the analysis said the patterns in age and race were consistent with that recent research and painted a picture of desperation for many in American society.

“This is part of the larger emerging pattern of evidence of the links between poverty, hopelessness, and health,” said Robert D. Putnam, a professor of public policy at Harvard and the author of “Our Kids,” an investigation of new class divisions in America.

The rise in suicide rates has happened slowly over many years. Federal health researchers said they chose 1999 as the start of the period they studied because it was a low point in the national suicide rate and they wanted to cover the full period of its recent sustained rise.

They do the opposite when it comes to average temperatures, but whatever backs up the agenda that needs pushing.

Policy makers say efforts to prevent suicide across the country are spotty. While some hospitals and health systems screen for suicidal thinking and operate good treatment programs, many do not.


Now we see the real motive of the state.

So what are they going to do, put you on a pharmaceutical that causes suicidal thoughts?

“We have more and more effective treatments, but we have to figure out how to bake them into health care systems so they are used more automatically,” said Dr. Jane Pearson, chairwoman of the National Institute of Mental Health’s Suicide Research Consortium, which oversees the National Institutes of Health funding for suicide prevention research. “We’ve got bits and pieces, but we haven’t really put them all together yet.”

She noted that while NIH funding for suicide prevention projects had been relatively flat — rising to $25 million in 2016 from $22 million in 2012 — it was a small fraction of funding for research of mental illnesses, including mood disorders like depression.

Compared to the funding of wars that kill people. Same government that wants to keep you from killing yourself.

The new federal analysis noted that the methods of suicide were changing....

More hangings and strangulations, less guns. 

That's good, right? Less guns?


It's almost as if they are encouraging you to take your own life, and I noticed they didn't break it down via veterans.

Speaking of suicides:

"Records from a Franciscan religious order show three former leaders knew a friar had been accused of child sex abuse before he was allowed to work at a high school and other jobs where more than 100 people eventually accused him of molesting them as children, an investigator testified Thursday. Jessica Eger, a special agent with the state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, testified for hours about documents that she said showed Giles Schinelli, Robert D’Aversa, and Anthony Criscitelli knew of allegations dating to 1977 against Brother Stephen Baker, who killed himself in 2013."

And if they refuse to take the noble way out?

"Multiple charges have been filed against a man described as a career criminal who led authorities to a body believed to be that of a missing Florida priest, authorities said Wednesday.  Steve James Murray, 28, of Jacksonville, Fla., was arrested in South Carolina while driving the priest’s Toyota Corolla. Rev. Rene Wayne Robert of St. Augustine, Fla., 71, a Roman Catholic priest, had dedicated his life to working with prisoners and society’s downtrodden, a calling police say put him in contact with the alleged killer. Police said Robert may have been trying to help Murray, who was recently released from jail. Authorities believe the suspect kidnapped the priest, took him to Georgia in his own car, and killed him there."

Who knows what happened in that confessional.



Related: Homicide increase was fueled by three cities

Baltimore, Chicago, and Washington — accounted for more than half of the total increase.

Houston didn't make list because it's underwater.

Let's start at the top:

"Chicago has long been troubled by violence, but murders and shootings have risen sharply this year. Violent crime remains below the levels of two decades ago and criminologists caution against finding trends in only a few months of data, but City Hall, the police, and community leaders are alarmed by the surge. The increase could hardly have come at a more difficult time. The city is at a pivotal moment for law enforcement, mired in a crisis over police conduct and discipline and over distrust of officers, particularly by African-American residents, who make up about one-third of Chicago’s population."

And they have the toughest gun control laws.

Chicago Police Department Plagued by Systemic Racism, Task Force Finds

"Chicago weighs cost, complexity of proposed police changes.... the 190-page report can’t simply be shoved into a desk drawer and forgotten. The hardest part of turning the report into reality may not be paying the cost but making sure everyone from rank-and-file officers to the city’s political leaders embraces the change, said Lori Lightfoot, the head of the Chicago task force. ‘‘Change is coming.’’

Is it?

Video shows Chicago officer slamming woman who had hands up

I suppose some Chicagoans might see the cops as an execution squad.

Emanuel picks interim police chief for Chicago

Before he resigned?

"Chicago is already the worst-rated major US city after once-bankrupt Detroit, with a rating one step below investment grade from Moody’s Investors Service. It’s facing growing pension bills after years of failing to set aside enough to cover all the benefits that have been promised. Last year, the need to put more taxpayer money into the pension system spurred officials to approve a record property-tax increase. Mayor Rahm Emanuel vowed to keep working on a plan to protect pensions that is fair to taxpayers and ensures the city’s long-term financial health."

While the police go unprotected.

"In Chicago on Monday, an off-duty Chicago police officer was shot in a leg during an attempted robbery, less than two days after another off-duty officer suffered a broken arm when a man attacked him with a baseball bat, police said. Detectives were questioning a person of interest who showed up at a hospital apparently wounded from being shot, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said."

Someone just getting even?


"Baltimore police say 13-year-old with fake gun turned on officer who shot him" Washington Post  April 29, 2016

WASHINGTON — A 13-year-old boy shot by a plainclothes Baltimore police officer Wednesday while carrying a replica handgun turned to face the officer with the fake gun in his hand, police said.

At a news conference Thursday, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said two officers identified themselves to the boy before a 150-yard foot chase that ended with one officer shooting him in the leg and shoulder. The boy is in a hospital.

‘‘These two police officers, 18 years experience in all, identified themselves as police officers,’’ Davis said, ‘‘and ran after a 13-year-old who ran for whatever reason . . . ” He cited an ‘‘independent witness’’ who ‘‘describes the 13-year-old as raising the gun’’ at the conclusion of the chase. ‘‘What direction the gun was pointed in is a different question,’’ Davis said. That is still under investigation.

Davis said officers could not be expected to make a snap decision on whether a weapon was real during a stressful pursuit.

Unless it is unloading the weapon.


That reminds me of another shooting.....


"Cleveland reaches $6m settlement in Tamir Rice case" by Mitch Smith New York Times  April 26, 2016

CHICAGO — As grainy surveillance footage showed, a squad car drove over a curb and through snow-dotted grass before sliding to a halt within a few feet of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy whose fatal shooting by a Cleveland police officer in 2014 prompted national outrage. The officer, Timothy Loehmann, who said later that he had feared for his life and had seen Tamir reaching for his waistband, stepped out of the cruiser and quickly shot the boy.

Took him all of one second.

Tamir’s shooting, which happened two days before a grand jury in Missouri declined to charge the Ferguson officer who fatally shot Michael Brown, an African-American 18-year-old, also occurred amid a wave of new attention on use of force by the police and set off protests in Cleveland.

From the outset, activists, the leader of the local police union and Mayor Frank G. Jackson of Cleveland agreed that Tamir’s death was tragic. But the city was deeply divided on whether Loehmann and his partner, Officer Frank Garmback, who was driving the cruiser, had committed crimes, or had been justified given what they knew at the time.

As the case made national headlines, it was revealed that Loehmann had resigned from another Ohio police department after a “dangerous loss of composure” during weapons training. Many questioned his decision to fire quickly, as well as the tactics of Garmback, who did not shoot but whose fast approach left his partner little time to assess the situation.

Tensions escalated when Cleveland filed a response to the lawsuit that seemed to blame Tamir for his death, prompting an apology from the mayor and a revised filing....


No mention of what his sister went through.

Related: High-profile police killings, high-profile settlements


"Family says death of black woman in jail was easily preventable" by Eli Rosenberg New York Times   February 27, 2016

The chain of events that led to the death of a black woman in a South Carolina jail in July began with a desperate bid to save her life from alcoholism.

When details of Joyce Curnell’s death at the Charleston County jail surfaced last week in court documents, they drew broad condemnation. Curnell, 50, had been arrested a day earlier while seeking care at a hospital for a stomach illness.

Lawyers working for the woman’s family, which is preparing a lawsuit, said she could have been saved if she had been given adequate medical care.

Others wondered how officers had come to arrest Curnell, after she checked into an emergency room, on a bench warrant stemming from about $1,150 in fines she had failed to pay over the theft of some candy and beer in 2011.

On Thursday, the case came more clearly into focus. The police said the woman’s son, Javon Curnell, had called 911 to tell them she had an open warrant and was at the hospital. The family’s attorneys, James B. Moore III and Scott C. Evans, said Javon Curnell and his sister were trying to help their mother get alcohol out of her system and resolve her open warrant.

On a recording of the 911 call, Javon Curnell said he would rather she go to jail “before I have to bury her.”

“She’s my mom, but I’m trying to help her. She won’t listen, she drinks a lot,” he told the dispatcher, according to the recording obtained by the Post and Courier. “She needs some time to detox herself.”

Instead, she died the next day at the Charleston jail. Many of the questions about Curnell’s time at the jail, where she was brought on the day of her arrest, remain unanswered.

The family is preparing to sue the county, the sheriff’s office and the private medical provider that works with the jail.

The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that it “takes the welfare and safety of its inmate population seriously.”

It pointed to a state police investigation, a standard procedure in police custody deaths, that determined that Curnell’s death was “natural.”

A summary of the report, which includes interviews with detention officers, inmates, and nurses at the jail, indicates that some became concerned about Curnell’s health as she fell violently ill during her first night in custody. An inmate wondered whether she was suffering the effects of alcohol withdrawal.

Attorneys for Curnell’s family said she received little in the way of medical attention that night. Two inmates cited in the police report described an officer bringing Curnell a plastic bag to vomit in and noted she was too sick to make it to the bathroom on her own.

In the morning, she had trouble eating and continued to vomit.

The attorneys said there are no records or statements that show that Curnell was “offered oral hydration or IV hydration to prevent dehydration.”

The Carolina Center for Occupational Health, which provides health care at the jail, did not respond to requests for comment.

A march to demand accountability for Curnell’s death was held Friday morning in Charleston.

“This is not a situation in which Joyce needed access to cutting edge medical care to save her life,” Evans, the family lawyer, said in a statement. “She needed fluids and the attention of a doctor.”


Also see:

Alleged Charleston church shooter trial delayed until 2017
Church shooting suspect’s friend to plead guilty
Friend of Charleston church massacre suspect pleads guilty to lying

The Meek will say almost anything in the face of government intimidation and coercion.


"A Tennessee woman says her fianc√© was shot in the back by an officer as he was surrendering a rifle to her during a confrontation with police — and then again in the chest as he lay dying — contradicting the assertion by investigators that he was killed as the two struggled over the weapon. Debra Nesbit described the March 23 encounter to the Associated Press, providing a detailed account of the events leading up to the shooting of Alexio Allen, 30. Investigators have not named the officer, who was black, as was Allen."

Black on black shooting. Must be Trump's fault.


"Bourbon Street shooter sentenced to 60 years for gunfight" Associated Press  April 05, 2016

NEW ORLEANS — A man convicted for his role in a gunfight that killed one bystander and left nine people injured on Bourbon Street was sentenced Monday to 60 years in prison, the maximum penalty.

State District Judge Byron Williams sentenced Trung Le, 22, to 40 years for manslaughter in the death of Brittany Thomas of Hammond. The judge sentenced him to 20 years for attempted manslaughter for firing at the other gunman — who has never been captured or identified. The sentences will be served consecutively.

Williams said Le had ‘‘dodged the proverbial bullet’’ when a jury found him guilty of manslaughter on Jan. 15.

Thomas’s mother was present in the courtroom and told reporters later she was satisfied with the sentence. During the hearing, Assistant District Attorney Laura Rodrigue noted that Thomas, a nursing student, would have turned 23 this year.

Rodrigue also read a statement from Amy Matthews, an Australian tourist who was hit in the face by a bullet.

Matthews’ letter described a series of facial surgeries, lingering pain, the loss of most of her teeth and psychological trauma that includes panic attacks and nightmares....



"Two women who were Southern University students and members of the school’s athletic program were shot and killed early Sunday outside a Baton Rouge apartment complex, police and university officials said. Detectives didn’t immediately identify any suspects or motives in the shooting, which occurred in a parking lot outside an apartment complex around 2 a.m., said Baton Rouge Police Sergeant Don Coppola Jr."

"Five former police officers involved in the shooting deaths of unarmed people here in the days after Hurricane Katrina, a case that drew national outrage and intense scrutiny to the city’s police force, pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday and received significantly less prison time than they originally faced. The guilty pleas, which drew prison terms from three to 12 years, were the latest development in a wrenching 10-year saga that began when officers responding to a distress call on the Danziger Bridge on Sept. 4, 2005."

Let's bring it on home.


"The Massachusetts State Police department for the first time has begun widely arming troopers with Tasers, a typically nonlethal weapon that officials hope will give troopers a way to subdue criminal suspects without resorting to gunfire. “None of us want to shoot anybody,” Colonel Richard McKeon, superintendent of the State Police, said Thursday in an interview with the Globe. “It provides for more safety, less injury, and it’s a less-than-lethal force tool. It can also be a deterrent.” As part of a larger effort to equip troopers to ratchet down potentially violent confrontations, the department has purchased 895 Tasers for nearly $1 million and started training officers to use them in the last two months, McKeon said. The devices send an electric current through the target, stunning and temporarily incapacitating them. The weapons have been used by police officers in Massachusetts since 2004."

“It’s a game changer,” but some expressed concern(?).

"Homicides reached a 10-year low in 2015. Why?" by Jan Ransom Globe Staff  April 04, 2016

The number of homicides in Massachusetts reached a 10-year low last year, and officials attribute the decline to focused attention on gang violence, drugs, and gun trafficking.

Some also credit last winter’s epic snowstorms, which kept people off the streets.

The annual number has been falling since 2010 — when there were 220 homicides statewide — and mirrors a national downward trend.

The reason for the decline in 2015, according to the State Police, was the focusing of resources to “hammer the drug and gun trade in high-crime areas,” said State Police spokesman David Procopio.

The State Police investigate homicides across the state, except in Boston, Worcester, Springfield, and Pittsfield, which conduct their own investigations.

“Our State Police gang units and drug units make great efforts in urban neighborhoods, working with their local police counterparts, to disrupt drug networks and seize illegally owned guns and arrest the people who sell the drugs and the guns,” Procopio said.

Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans pointed to youth outreach programs, community walks, and initiatives aimed at seizing illegal guns as contributing factors to fewer killings in Boston.

“I’m hoping we have as much success this year as we did last year,” Evans said. “These small measures have had some impact to set the tone.”

Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said Boston accounts for one out of every two of the state’s homicides. The downward trend, he said, is the result of smarter crime-fighting strategies that target “violent offenders” and prevention programs that steer juveniles away from the criminal justice system.

“You have to strike the right balance,” Conley said.

In Boston, homicides dropped to 39 from 53 in 2014.

The homicide figures alone, however, don’t tell the whole story, said Frank Farrow, community engagement coordinator for the TenPoint Coalition. He pointed to the fact that although deaths from gunfire dropped, overall shootings were up.

There were 244 nonfatal shooting victims in Boston in 2015 compared with 214 the year before, according to police data.

“I don’t think those are stats that people can pat themselves on the back about,” said Farrow. “Every shooting is a potential homicide.”

Farrow said Boston’s top-notch medical care has helped save shooting victims.

Last year there were no homicides in Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire counties, according to the State Police records....


Also seeAudits find Boston fire, police facilities in disrepair

All the money went to retroactive raises  (and to corporations like GE, etc), although the firefighters sure earn it.

No charges for officers in Roxbury shooting, DA says
Lowell police officer justifed in shooting, department says
Beverly officer cleared in fatal October shooting

You should be happy they even got to it.

Family sues cops after SWAT team mistakenly raids apartment

Sorry, wrong door.

City to hold hearings on body camera pilot program
Plan for police body cameras is flawed, activists say
Residents question police about body cameras proposal
Body cameras are coming — the Boston Police Dept. needs to accept it

Look what they caught on tape:

"2 Boston police officers injured removing person from Copley library" by Andy Rosen and Jan Ransom Globe Staff  April 25, 2016

Two police officers were injured Monday in a scuffle with a Boston Public Library patron who had refused to leave an exhibition hall at the institution’s central branch in Copley Square, officials said.

The incident began in the McKim Exhibition Hall, a marble-floored room near the building’s main entrance that contains stacks of books, reading tables, and chairs along with windows that face the intersection of Dartmouth Street and Huntington Avenue.

Police identified the suspect as Kevin Williams, 40, of Waltham, said David Estrada, a Boston police spokesman. He was charged with two counts of assault and battery on a police officer, trespassing, and resisting arrest, Estrada said.

Operations had returned to normal by early afternoon, and though some patrons and bystanders said they had seen police arriving at the building, there were few other signs of the scuffle. Visitors in the exhibition hall said they did not see anything out of the ordinary.

John Quinn, 54, said he did not witness the tussle between officers and the man who was escorted from the library, but he has seen patrons — some of them homeless — removed before. Sometimes that results in altercations, he said.

“There are few good places for homeless people to go, and in the daytime a lot of them come here,” said Quinn, who is homeless. “I fall asleep frequently; I need to take a nap because I have nowhere to go.”

Lavery said guests should continue to feel comfortable.

“The library is a safe and open, welcoming place for everybody,” she said....

It should be after $78m in renovations.


Where it is not safe:

State trooper accused of choking girlfriend

"According to his girlfriend, a fellow state trooper, Robert Sundberg was a chronic abuser, alcoholic, and steroid user who terrorized her for years. The woman, who worked with Sundberg at the State Police barracks in Concord, told a judge she lived in constant fear, and often had to hide in the bathroom to avoid his rages. They recently moved in together after a series of arguments and breakups. Sundberg’s lawyer, Richard Rafferty, rejected the allegations as “fully untrue.” “She’s angry,” Rafferty said. He described the woman as vindictive, and her allegations as a “self-serving” attempt to put Sundberg in jail. During aggressive questioning, Rafferty said the woman was pretending to be a victim. “She’s a trooper, she knows what she is doing,” Rafferty said. “The ‘victimness’ of this whole thing is ridiculous.”

Trooper charged with assault is released on bail

He's already been convicted.

State Police mourn loss of beloved horse

They still rode to the rescue.


"A 2-year-old Indiana boy fatally shot himself Wednesday evening after discovering a gun in his mother’s purse, authorities said. The boy retrieved the gun when his mother ‘‘momentarily stepped away,’’ leaving her purse on the kitchen counter, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said in a news release. It was, police said, an ‘‘unfortunate tragedy.’’

But it won't stop some from flogging the gun control agenda.

Related2-year-old fatally shoots mother from back seat of car in Wis.

"Teen shoots 2 outside prom before officer kills him" Associated Press  April 24, 2016

ANTIGO, Wis. — An 18-year-old man opened fire with a high-powered rifle outside a high school prom in northern Wisconsin, wounding two students before a police officer who was in the parking lot fatally shot him, authorities said Sunday.

Was it real or was it crisis drill?

Investigators did not say whether they believe the two students were specifically targeted or discuss a possible motive for the shooting Saturday night. But a school administrator said it appeared that the gunman — identified by police as Jakob E. Wagner — intended to go into the dance and start shooting randomly.

The school district said the ‘‘quick actions’’ taken by police and district staff to secure the building ‘‘prevented what might have otherwise been a disaster of unimaginable proportions.’’

In Kansas, authorities found a body in a hotel room that erupted in flames during a shootout in which three federal agents were injured while trying to arrest a robbery suspect, the FBI said Sunday.

The FBI said two deputy US marshals and an FBI agent who were part of a US Marshals Service fugitive task force, suffered nonlethal injuries Saturday night when they came under fire while trying to arrest 28-year-old Orlando J. Collins at a Topeka hotel.

In Arizona, two police officers are in stable condition and a trespassing suspect is dead after a shooting Saturday at a Wal-Mart in a Phoenix suburb, authorities said.


Also see:

New tests unravel Phoenix freeway shooting case
Cause sought in Arizona fire that forced 70 to flee homes

They found it:

Lured by Early Warm Weather, Scorpions Emerge to Swarm Arizona Homes
Storms bring hail, strong winds, small tornadoes to Plains
Midwest sees 2nd day of storms but no major damage
Four people rescued from icy N.H. hiking trails

"The discovery comes at a time when the Himalayan glaciers are shrinking, probably because of climate change. The glaciers on the Tibetan plateau — the ‘‘roof of the world’’ — are diminishing by an estimated 7 percent a year."


Hubble Telescope finds tiny moon orbiting dwarf planet

We are TRAPPIST in our own little universe!

The new brownshirts:

"Rowdy Trump protests portend explosive California primary" Apr. 29, 2016

BURLINGAME, Calif. (AP) — Hundreds of rowdy protesters broke through barricades and threw eggs at police Friday outside a hotel where Donald Trump addressed the state's Republican convention. Several Trump supporters said they were roughed up but no serious injuries were reported.

The people who note that the Nazis did the same thing to their political opponents' rallies are right.

The protest just outside San Francisco occurred a day after anti-Trump protesters took to the streets in Southern California, blocking traffic and damaging five police cars in Costa Mesa following a speech by the leader in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Demonstrators at both locations waved Mexican flags, an action meant to counter Trump's hard stance on immigration and disparaging remarks about Mexico.

This $mells of Soros!

Because of the protest, Trump was rerouted to a back entrance. In a surreal scene, news helicopters showed the billionaire businessman and his security detail walking between two concrete freeway barriers before hopping down onto a grass verge and walking across a service road.

"That was not the easiest entrance I ever made," Trump quipped when he started speaking to the convention delegates. "It felt like I was crossing the border."

That made me smile, and I'm glad his security is serious.

Outside, crowds of anti-Trump demonstrators broke through steel barricades and pelted riot police with eggs as the officers stood shoulder-to-shoulder to keep the demonstrators from entering the hotel.

A man wearing a red hat bearing the Trump campaign slogan "Make America Great Again" was punched in the head from behind while being jostled by a group of shouting protesters. Another Trump supporter said he was punched and spit upon by demonstrators who also threw his phone to the ground. 

Where are the condemnations coming from officials?

Then that version veered off for some reason.

"It went gangbusters. They attacked me," said Chris Conway, a mortgage broker from San Mateo.

Burlingame is right outside San Francisco, a liberal bastion that became the focal point of the immigration debate last year when an immigrant in the country illegally, and who had been deported multiple times, shot and killed a woman walking with her father.

Immigration has been one of Trump's main issues and he often has highlighted the San Francisco killing while touting his plan to build a wall along the entire Mexican border.

California's primary is June 7, a date once seen as too late to influence the selection process. Now it is seen as the election that either gets Trump over the threshold needed for the nomination or leaves him just short. 

After tonight, it's looking like he's got it.

He'll likely make many visits to California in coming weeks. That and his hard stand on immigration in a state where millions of immigrants live and that's run by Democrats who generally support more benefits, services and job opportunities for those in the country illegally raise the prospects of more raucous demonstrations.

In Orange County, once a Republican stronghold but now home to a surging Hispanic population, a vocal but peaceful demonstration before a rally and Trump speech turned violent afterward. At least 17 people were arrested, five police cars were damaged and an officer was hit in the head by a rock but not seriously hurt, authorities said.

One Trump supporter had his face bloodied in a scuffle as he tried to drive out of the Pacific Amphitheatre area.

Dozens of cars — including those of Trump supporters trying to leave — were stuck in the street as several hundred demonstrators blocked the road, waved Mexican flags and posed for selfies in front of lines of riot police

A STAGED and SCRIPTED EVENT that was ALLOWED BY AUTHORITY, thus exposing the fraudulent nature of these approved agenda-pushing agent provocateurs!

There were no major injuries and police did not use any force.

That when it got back on the road:

Trump spoke for about 30 minutes in a basement banquet hall in this town just outside San Francisco. It was the sort of small-scale interaction with party activists and donors that he has generally eschewed for grander rallies. Trump made his pitch as the nominating calendar moves toward its end game in the nation's most populous and diverse state — which, with 172 delegates at stake on June 7, could decide the GOP presidential nomination.

The billionaire front-runner told Republicans they needed to come together after their divisive primary but also delivered a warning.

"There has to be unity in our party," Trump said. "Would I win — can I win — without it? I think so, to be honest with you, because they're going to be voting for me" — and not the party, he added.

Trump supporters snapped up tickets to the luncheon and cheered heartily for their candidate from a ring of tables around the perimeter of the ballroom. But Trump's speech got an icier reception from the party veterans and donors.

"We all listened politely," said Gregory Gandrud, an activist and donor from Santa Barbara County who backs Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Kasich speaks to the convention Friday evening, and Sen. Ted Cruz and his new vice presidential pick, Carly Fiorina, address it Saturday."

You hide that or change it if you must.

You can't even state the obvious without being jumped on for it.



"To recoup money lost because of the exemption, Methuen state Representative Diana DiZoglio said, the bill to exempt active-duty members of the armed forces from the automobile excise tax would allow municipalities to add $3 to the fee connected to the issuance of a warrant to collect unpaid motor vehicle or trailer excise taxes from a delinquent taxpayer. “She’s in Afghanistan and she’s really going through hell, and that’s exactly what it is over there.”

I'm not saying they shouldn't get; however, another regime carved out special exemptions for the military.

"Mary G. McMahon is part of a mournful fellowship of spouses who have lost husbands and wives in service to the military, and on Tuesday she joined other members of the Gold Star Wives of America to mark the 71st anniversary of the organization during a State House ceremony. The Boston chapter of the organization sent a group of representatives to meet with Governor Charlie Baker and other state officials. Baker, who issued a proclamation declaring Tuesday Gold Star Wives day, said those who have lost loved ones serving the country have made a special contribution."

While command serves itself:

Pentagon watchdog says three US generals broke ethics rules for travel

No charges for the extra-long trips on taxpayer dime.

Feels so Germany, 1944, but its decades instead of years this time. 

Except for this:

"2 ousted executives defend work at Wounded Warrior Project" Associated Press  April 11, 2016

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Two men ousted from top executive positions at Wounded Warrior Project say their leadership upheld the intent of donors who contributed millions to one of the nation’s largest veteran support groups.

Al Giordano and Steve Nardizzi want the Jacksonville-based charity’s board of directors to publicly release the results of an independent review of its records.

The board announced last month that Nardizzi was no longer chief executive officer and Giordano was out as chief operating officer. Amid news reports alleging wasteful spending, the board hired outside legal counsel and forensic accounting consultants for a records review. 

They stole money from a charity intended for wonder veterans? 

Can you get any lower?

The board named retired Major General Charlie Fletcher as interim chief operating officer and started a search for a new chief executive.

Since their ouster, Nardizzi and Giordano have been defending their work in media interviews, op-ed pieces, and posts on their blog.

In a statement, the board said the independent review’s findings were submitted orally and summarized in March, and there was no written report to be released....


And yet it is still all smiles, oops(??).

Taps for the last of a true band of brothers
Family, friends mourn Hingham Marine killed during training mission
Navy unlooses a new sea of ink
Arlington Cemetery could house more than 25,000 new graves

Just preparing for the next phase of WWIII.