Saturday, July 23, 2016

College Commencement Collage

Graduating is an EPIC event in a young adult's life, even if held at home or at a one-room schoolhouse.

This will get you prepped:

"A bus monitor for a western Massachusetts school for socially and emotionally challenged students is facing child pornography charges after allegedly asking a 14-year-old student for pictures of his body. Chicopee police say 27-year-old Gregory Redmond is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday on a charge of possession of child pornography. Police say Redmond contacted the student online and offered him money and gift cards for the photos. The student told school administrators, who called police. Police say during the course of the investigation they determined that more graphic, pornographic photos were being sent. Redmond was a bus monitor for a bus that served the Valley West School."

What do you do with these guys, huh?

"A Massachusetts man has denied charges that he molested an intellectually disabled teen and then threatened to kill the boy if he told anyone. The Salem News reports that 55-year-old Kenneth Haas pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of indecent assault and battery on an intellectually disabled person, indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 and witness intimidation. The Ipswich man was arrested in March after the boy told police that Haas led him to a wooded area and touched him inappropriately. Police say the teen, who functions at a third-grade level, told officers that Haas molested him two other times over the previous eight years. Haas was allowed to remain free on bail. His lawyer says he is a house painter who is entering his busy season."

The charges were dismissed.

"A man was arrested Monday evening for allegedly attempting to abduct a 14-year-old girl outside of a Framingham mall, police said. Robert Toney, 25, is accused of approaching the girl in his car at about 5 p.m. outside of an Olive Garden restaurant at Shoppers World and offering her money for sex, said Framingham Police Lieutenant Harry Warhead. When the teen refused and walked away, Toney allegedly followed her and tried to convince her to get in his car, Wareham said. She refused again, and a witness called police, according to the lieutenant. Toney was then arrested by Framingham police and charged with enticement of a child under 16 years old, Wareham said."

She goes to school in Hopkinson

Thankfully, it's not Pennsylvania:

"Penn State coach Joe Paterno was told by a teen boy in 1976 that assistant coach Jerry Sandusky had molested him in the shower but responded that he didn’t want to hear about it and had ‘‘a football season to worry about,’’ according to court documents unsealed Tuesday. Dozens of documents and excerpts were released Tuesday by a judge who is presiding over litigation by Penn State against Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association Insurance Co. over payment of claims for abuse by Sandusky, who is now serving decades in state prison for child molestation. The judge two months ago disclosed the existence of the 1976 allegation, along with claims coaches witnessed inappropriate contact between Sandusky and children in the ‘80s, but the newly unsealed documents provide far greater detail. Paterno told a reporter before he died in early 2012 — just months after Sandusky’s arrest — that the first inkling he had that Sandusky might be abusing children occurred in 2001."

And thus the legend of Joe Pa is put to rest.

"A Pennsylvania man who spoke out against clergy abuse after publicly identifying himself as a victim of a predator priest has killed himself, authorities said. Brian Gergely, 46, was found hanged in his home in Ebcnsburg."

That's the official story anyway, and the church would have been better served under sisters. Better to avoid it altogether.

Labrie Violated Probation 

"Witness in Owen Labrie trial faced similar claim, lawyer alleges" by Andy Rosen Globe Staff  May 11, 2016

A defense lawyer for Owen Labrie claimed that a key witness in his sexual assault trial had also faced suspicions of having sex with an underage student at St. Paul’s School but avoided charges, according to recently unsealed documents in the high-profile case.

The assertions came at a private sidebar during Labrie’s trial last summer, as attorney J. W. Carney Jr. sought to undercut the testimony of Andrew Thomson, who was Labrie’s roommate.

Thomson testified that Labrie told him he had sex with the 15-year-old girl on the night of the alleged attack in May 2014. But Carney told the judge that Thomson “would have an incentive to be especially cooperative in giving the police what they wanted” because of complaints raised by the mother of another first-year girl, according to a transcript.

Carney also noted Thomson’s connections; his mother, Lucy Hodder, is a trustee at the Concord, N.H., private school and a former aide to Governor Maggie Hassan.

Through a spokesman, Thomson denied Tuesday that he had faced such an allegation. The lawyer now representing Labrie, however, said she would use the issue to argue Labrie did not receive a fair trial.

“I don’t think attorney Carney just came up with this on his own,” Jaye L. Rancourt said.

Labrie was convicted last August of misdemeanor sexual assault charges involving a minor, along with a felony count of using an Internet service to entice the teenager, who was below the age of consent. He was acquitted of felony sexual assault charges.

Labrie is appealing his conviction and has asked for a new trial based on claims that Carney did not represent him effectively. He had been free on bail but was ordered to begin serving his one-year sentence after a judge ruled that he had violated his curfew.

The discussion about Thomson took place at a bench conference during his testimony and became public last week, when the state Supreme Court unsealed a transcript.

Carney said he expected evidence to show Thomson “went out with” a 15-year-old student and claimed the girl’s mother “believed that this witness had sex with the girl” after seeing his e-mails and Facebook posts.

Thomson was not charged, and a representative for Thomson and Hodder denied he had ever been accused of such actions. The representative added that Hodder did not intervene on her son’s behalf and would have no reason to do so because he did nothing wrong.

“Andrew did not engage in any inappropriate sexual conduct during his time at SPS and there is no allegation that he did,” attorney James D. Rosenberg said in a statement issued on behalf of Thomson. “These unfounded allegations appear to be part of the defendant’s trial strategy.”

Merrimack County Attorney Scott W. Murray said in a statement that police had “thoroughly investigated” the Labrie case and that his office was “presented with no evidence which would have supported sexual assault allegations against other individuals.”

A spokeswoman for Hassan’s office said in a statement the governor “had no knowledge of the defense attorney’s accusations” before news reports on the transcript emerged Tuesday. The statement noted Hodder had left the governor’s office before Thomson testified.

Hodder took a job directing the Health Law and Policy Program at the University of New Hampshire early last year. She had served as legal counsel to Hassan since 2013.

In a statement, St. Paul’s School denied another claim Carney made at the sidebar — that Thomson had been ordered to stay away from the campus for three years while the first-year student whose mother allegedly accused him completed her studies.

“St. Paul’s School did not reach an agreement with Mr. Thomson for him to stay off campus for three years,” the statement said.

Neither Merrimack County prosecutors nor Concord Police could be reached for comment.

At Labrie’s trial, prosecutors argued that senior boys at St. Paul’s had sought to have sexual encounters with younger students as part of a tradition known as the “senior salute.”

In his testimony, Thomson said Labrie told him that he had taken the virginity of the girl who accused him in the case.

“He seemed a little taken aback, but overall happy” after the encounter, Thomson said. “He seemed to be in a good mood.”


"Judge ordered to consider whether Owen Labrie can be released" by Andy Rosen Globe Staff  May 12, 2016

Nearly two months in a New Hampshire jail may have taught Owen Labrie a lesson about obeying the conditions of his release, the state’s top court said Thursday as it ordered a judge to reconsider whether Labrie should be granted bail.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court’s order follows a March decision by a Merrimack County judge to revoke Labrie’s bail for repeatedly violating his curfew. Labrie was free while he appealed his conviction for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl at St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H., in 2014.

Merrimack Superior Court Judge Larry Smukler ordered Labrie to begin serving his one-year sentence, but Labrie’s lawyers challenged his decision.

The state’s Supreme Court said the lower court was within its rights to revoke bail, but should consider whether it could come up with reasonable conditions of release “now that the court’s revocation order has been in effect for sufficient time to presumably impress upon the defendant the importance of strictly complying with all bail conditions.”

The Superior Court can decide whether to hold another hearing on the matter, the order stated.

In a split verdict in August, a jury convicted Labrie of misdemeanor allegations that he had sex with the first-year student, who was below the age of consent. He was also convicted of a felony count of using computer services to lure a minor, but acquitted of felony rape charges.

Prosecutors said Labrie and the 15-year-old arranged to meet as part of a tradition known as the “senior salute,” in which graduating students sought encounters with younger ones.

Labrie is appealing his conviction, and had been released on bail until prosecutors — alerted by a media report that Labrie had visited the Boston area — alleged that he had broken his court-imposed curfew multiple times.

Prosecutors alleged that they found at least seven instances where Labrie was not at his mother’s home as required every day between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Labrie said he was traveling to the Boston area to meet with lawyers, visit professors, and pursue academic research.


Also see:

Owen Labrie released on bail

Time to get a new attorney.

Maybe the answer is segregated schools:

"Catholic school, gay man settle discrimination lawsuit" by Astead W. Herndon Globe Staff  May 10, 2016

A man who lost a job offer from a Catholic high school when administrators learned he was in a same-sex marriage has received a settlement in the case, his lawyers announced Monday.

The settlement comes almost five months after a Massachusetts Superior Court judge ruled that Fontbonne Academy, an all-girls school in Milton, had discriminated against Matthew Barrett by rescinding its job offer for a food service position in 2013. School officials withdrew the offer after learning that Barrett had listed his husband as an emergency contact on an employee form.

The school had argued it was exempt from the state’s nondiscrimination laws because of its religious beliefs, notably the Catholic Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage.

The confidential settlement means the school will not appeal the December court ruling, which legal specialists described as the first of its kind.

Barrett, 45, who will receive an undisclosed amount of money in the settlement, said he was thankful his legal ordeal is over.

“It’s just a relief to have this off our shoulders,” he said. “We’ve gone through a lot and we’re happy it’s behind us now. We just hope it doesn’t happen to someone else.”

Ben Klein, a lawyer with GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) who represented Barrett in the case, said the settlement means the ruling against Fontbonne Academy stands, creating an important legal precedent that bars employers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, regardless of religious conviction.

“This is a case that there was not a factual dispute about whether discrimination occurred, but whether they had a permissible reason,” Klein said. “They do not.”

Klein said he expected the case to have broad and lasting implications.

“This is the first case in the country to rule that an employer has no religious justification for discrimination,” Klein said. “Everyone deserves to be treated on their merits, and not based on whom they love or any other protective category.”

In a statement, Fontbonne Academy said it was pleased that the lawsuit had been resolved.

“Fontbonne Academy expresses deep gratitude to Mr. Barrett for his willingness to come together with us in a spirit of conciliation, and wishes him well as the school moves ahead in its mission to foster educational excellence and social justice in an open and inclusive community,” the school said in a statement.

In court filings, the school’s attorneys had argued that hiring Barrett “would be inconsistent with both the teachings of the Catholic Church and its own policy that all employees are models for the students.”

But in his ruling, Superior Court Judge Douglas H. Wilkins rejected that argument.

“Requiring Fontbonne to retain a food service director who has done nothing more than list a same-sex husband as an emergency contact does not significantly and seriously burden Fontbonne’s expressive situation,” Wilkins wrote.

In December, the decision was blasted by the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts, which called it “a frontal assault on religious freedom” and “an appalling subordination of the First Amendment to the Massachusetts gay rights law.”

But Klein said the ruling demonstrated that “discrimination cannot go unanswered.”

“Matt had the courage to step forward and fight an injustice and the court ultimately vindicated him,” he said. “We hope it’s a message to others.”

Barrett, who lives in Dorchester and was raised Catholic, said he’s happy to put everything behind him.

“You can’t discriminate and that’s what they did,” Barrett said. “That’s why these laws are here: To protect us.”


Related: Massachusetts Court Rules Gay Man Can Work at Catholic Girls School

Yeah, where are your girls?

Also see: 

Head of strife-torn St. George’s to step down next year
Former students call for inquiry into assault claims
Victims decry makeup of St. George’s search committee
No criminal charges after St. George’s sex investigation

Phillips Exeter under fire again for handling of sex misconduct allegations
Phillips Exeter alumni vow to withhold donations over mishandled abuse complaints

They still have “much work to do.’’

Harpooning Harvard

That's before the Globe sent you off to school with some valuable advice.



Corporations have a field day at Harvard

"Corporate money has been flowing into universities for years. Oil companies support energy research, and agriculture-chemical giants endow chairs at farming institutions. Medical schools across the country have grappled with the influence of pharmaceutical companies on doctors."

Harvard Medical School eases rule on faculty ties to industry
Harvard endowment chief takes medical leave

Don't have to be so Blyth about it. Healey is looking into it, too.

Outsiders will manage Harvard’s US stocks
Harvard settles lawsuit over royalty payments
Head of Harvard endowment earned $8.3 million in 2014
Harvard receives $35 million gift for early education study
Effort to make Harvard University tuition-free fails
She had to drive her mom 2,000 miles to see her graduate from Harvard

Here's why:

"Harvard women rally against single-gender clubs policy" by Travis Andersen Globe Staff  May 10, 2016

CAMBRIDGE — More than 200 female Harvard University students pushed back Monday against a new policy to discourage participation in single-gender clubs at the Ivy League school, a move that will affect sororities and other women’s groups.

During a raucous rally on Harvard Yard, student demonstrators from an organization dubbed the Crimson Women’s Coalition used a hockey stick to unfurl a banner across the facade of a campus building that read, “Hear Her Harvard.”

That brought a cascade of cheers from demonstrators, who say the university’s policy to crack down on single-gender clubs, which will take effect with the freshmen class in 2017, will deprive them of a community of women who gather to assert their rights, in a world where female voices are often marginalized.

“My women’s organization has been more than a social organization,” said graduating senior Whitney Anderson during the rally. “It has been a mental health respite, a place to discuss sexual assaults . . . where I became a feminist, and where I refound my voice.”

The demonstrators were protesting against a plan that Harvard announced on Friday.

The equality feminists want a double standard?

The restrictions were announced amid a mounting standoff between the elite clubs and college administrators, who say the organizations foster a culture that leads to sexual assault.

But during Monday’s rally, demonstrators said that by targeting female clubs as part of the plan, administrators were ultimately doing a disservice to women on campus.

To illustrate the point, protesters held signs bearing slogans such as, “Women’s Groups Keep Women Safe,” and “Collective Punishment Is Not a Harvard Value.”

They also chanted slogans that reverberated across the august yard, including one mantra that went, “What do we want? Female spaces! When do we want them? Now!”

But Harvard officials contend the new policy is part of a broader push to eliminate all forms of gender discrimination on campus.

“As we noted Friday, change is difficult and is often met initially by opposition,” said Harvard spokeswoman Rachael Dane in a statement Monday.

“That was certainly true with past steps to remove gender barriers at Harvard, yet few today would reverse those then-controversial decisions. We continue to believe that gender discrimination has no place on Harvard’s campus. At the same time, we support the right of every community member to express their views.”

Among those voicing opposition during the rally was Caroline Tervo, an undergraduate who said women face discrimination in a variety of areas.

Those include the classroom where men are called on more often, the workplace where many women earn less than their male counterparts, and in social settings where females are “targeted and shamed for their sexuality,” Tervo said.

Her women’s groups, Tervo said, “have been invaluable parts of my experience.”

“They have introduced me to leadership positions and given me confidence,” she said.

After the speeches, which were repeatedly interrupted by loud cheers and chants, the demonstrators walked a single lap around the yard in solidarity.

Criticism of the new policy was vociferous at the rally....



An answer is needed at Harvard, but this isn’t it
Harvard’s toxic final clubs culture

The crux of the problem is that the rich are overrepresented.

It took 108 years, but the Harvard Club of Boston has its first female president


Are campus police departments diverse?

"Public sentiment about police officers makes recruiting minorities difficult, whether for campus police departments or for cities and towns, experts say. “A lot of people I talk to say: ‘It ain’t cool to be the po-po,’ ” said Lieutenant Charles P. Wilson, national chairman of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers Inc. “A lot of that has to do with various incidents that have occurred across the country. They don’t see it as a viable career choice.” Must be their personal experiences driving them that way."

Yeah, must be.

So to where are they being driven?

Is that even an Ivy League school?



"MIT researchers have developed a computer system that independently adds realistic sounds to silent videos. Although the technology is nascent, it’s a step toward automating sound effects for movies. The findings are an example of the power of deep learning, a type of artificial intelligence whose application is trendy in tech circles. With deep learning, a computer system learns to recognize patterns in huge piles of data and applies what it learns in useful ways. But the technology is not perfect...."

I'm way ahead of ya', Globe!

"Snowden proposes a smartphone spy catcher" by Hiawatha Bray Globe Staff  July 21, 2016

Former National Security Agency contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden is working with an MIT Media Lab researcher to build a device to protect journalists’ smartphones from government spies.

What about the rest of us?

“Increasingly the tools of their trade are being used against them,” said Snowden during a Thursday conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Snowden, who addressed the symposium via teleconference, has lived in hiding somewhere in Russia since 2013. He fled the United States after revealing a variety of secret surveillance programs that collected information on millions of Americans.

Bill Binney told us all about them 7 years earlier.

The simplest way to avoid smartphone snooping is to leave the device at home, or switch it off.


But many journalists use their phones to shoot video and still images, record interviews with sources or take notes. So to avoid broadcasting their locations, they can set the phone to “airplane mode,” which is supposed to switch off its cellular, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi radios.

Oh, so they are handing everything over to the NSA, too.

But Snowden said it’s possible that spy agencies could infect phones with malware that would leave the radios in operation even when a phone appeared to be in airplane mode. In addition, phone user can deliberately or accidentally switch on Wi-Fi or Bluetooth even in airplane mode.

Like Gibney's Stuxnet?

The proposed device would eliminate these risks. It would be a plastic sleeve designed to slide over an Apple iPhone 6. The electronics in the device would monitor the phone’s antennas to detect any incoming or outgoing signals from the cellular, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, or NFC radio chips. It would trigger an alarm to warn the user of possible snooping. Because the device is a separate piece of hardware, it would be secure against any effort to hack the phone’s operating system.

“The technical goal here is to make sure that the radios are really off,” said Huang. “Think of the thing we’re doing as like a designated driver for the phone.”

Snowden said that the creation of such a device would make spying less likely because it would increase the risk that an agency would be caught at it. “The NSA, for example, is very nervous about being caught red-handed,” he said. “They don’t want to risk the political impact of being seen targeting groups, like journalists, like American lawyers.... If we can create a track record of unlawful or unethical activity, we can begin creating a framework to overturn a culture of impunity.”

Snowden’s firsthand experience as a whistleblower may have inspired the project. He worked closely with several news organizations, including the Washington Post and the UK’s Guardian newspaper, to publicize his allegations.

Which cast suspicion upon him. 

Why not put it all out there and let bloggers find it? 

]Instead it dribbles out through ma$$ media $ources that filter, obfuscate, and omit.

For now, Snowden’s proposed spy detector exists only on paper. Media Lab research affiliate Andrew “Bunnie” Huang couldn’t say when it would become available, or how much it would cost....

Better leave that phone at home then.


Now I'm convinced he is worse than an idiot; he's part of the psyops!

He's no Aaron Swartz, that's for sure.

"Former MIT student indicted for allegedly raping sleeping BU student in dorm" by J.D. Capelouto Globe Correspondent  May 10, 2016

A 20-year-old man who lived in Boston was indicted Tuesday for allegedly raping a Boston University student in her dorm in October, prosecutors said.

Samson Donick, who did not attend BU and is now a resident of Tiburon, Calif., is expected to be arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court Wednesday. Donick is a former MIT student.

Prosecutors believe the rape occurred during the early morning hours on Oct. 18. Donick and three other males were signed into the Student Village II dorm at 33 Harry Agganis Way by three female students at about 2 a.m., Conley’s office said in a statement.

They initially went to the females’ suite, prosecutors allege.

At 2:30 a.m., Donick and one of the males left the suite, searching for a female student. The person they were looking for was not the same as the eventual victim, Conley’s office said.

“For approximately 30 minutes, Donick and the second male entered about 10 different dorm rooms on four different floors while looking for her,” the statement said. Numerous students later reported that two unknown males had entered their rooms that morning.

While they were searching, prosecutors said, Donick entered the victim’s room. They did not know each other, Conley’s office said.

“The 20-year-old victim . . . awoke to find Donick in her room sexually assaulting her,” the statement said. “She confronted him and screamed, and he fled the scene.”

BU police saw the men on surveillance cameras and accessed their identification at the dorm’s front desk, where they signed in....



"Donick, 20, pleaded not guilty as his lawyer argued that the government faces “problems of proof” in prosecuting the former college basketball player."

I didn't know MIT had a basketball team.

“We live in the shadows of MIT and Harvard, but they cannot put out the number of people we need. We’re kind of elitist here, too.’’



There is fear for the future:

BU professor accused of harassing students to teach youth camp

Board approves funds for protected bike lanes on Comm. Ave.

What, no helmet when you are a target out there?

What will happen to the Citgo sign?

Does it look like I give a damn?

"Dr. Bennet Omalu, who was played by the actor Will Smith in the recent movie “Concussion,” was notified in April that the Boston University School of Public Health planned to award him its highest honor at the school’s 40th anniversary gala in November, but...."

They finally pinned him down, and the movie was so-so.



Father’s labor of love puts 5 kids through Boston College

He's a janitor at the college?

"As energy secretary, Moniz played a key role in the Iran-US nuclear deal and is a leading figure in efforts to combat climate change. Moniz credits his BC education with giving him the tools to work in an ever-changing world. “The emphasis is on addressing and embracing change at the personal, community, national, and global scales,” he said in his speech. “BC has prepared me and prepared you for the challenges and opportunities of change.” The college conferred honorary degrees on Moniz and four others."

And what harm could that do?



"Northeastern University e-mailed students Wednesday alerting them about the death of a freshman from bacterial meningitis, and included information about the infectious disease along with details for contacting the school’s health center, but university officials assured students the 18-year-old was not ill when on campus. The infection is passed by close contact, such as kissing, sharing water bottles, cigarettes, utensils, bottles, straws, and phones. It can also be spread by being within 3 to 6 feet of an infected person who is coughing or sneezing, the website said. Living in close quarters, such as a college dorm, increases the risk of infection."


Suffolk board taps N.H. businessman as new chairman
N.H. businessman recommended to lead Suffolk board

"Suffolk has been transformed from a quiet private school to which most people gave little thought into a cauldron of intrigue."

Attorney General cites lapses by Suffolk University’s board

Related: State AG's Office


"Students hired at Fla. yoga studio were sold for sex" by Katie Mettler Washington Post  May 12, 2016

The college students from Kazakhstan came to Florida in 2011 for a sunny summer by the beach. They’d signed up to work at a yoga studio near Miami and got visas through a program with the US Department of State — an opportunity that was supposed to expose them, as foreign students, to the “people, culture, and way of life in the United States.”

Isn't that where the patsies who were fingered for the Marathon bombing came from?

They’d be organizing yoga retreats, they were told, scheduling appointments, and answering phones.

Instead, authorities say, they were sold for sex.

The students’ alleged boss, Jeffrey Jason Cooper, 46, was indicted by a federal grand jury this week in the Southern District of Florida on charges that include sex trafficking, wire fraud, bringing foreign nationals to the United States for prostitution, and using a facility to operate a prostitution enterprise, according to a news release from the Department of Justice.

Cooper masqueraded as Dr. Janardana Dasa, the owner and director of Janardana’s Yoga and Wellness S.A., and used the company to recruit several college students from Kazakhstan through the state department’s Summer Work Travel program, according to the indictment.

The program is designed to give foreign college students who are proficient in English and have completed at least one semester of their post-secondary education the opportunity to live and work in the United States during their summer vacations. The program website cautions the international exchange companies with which it contracts against placing students in jobs that are frequently associated with human trafficking, like modeling agencies, housekeeping, and janitorial services.

But somehow, Cooper’s imaginary yoga studio fooled the unnamed Chicago-based company that placed the Kazakh students in his care. When the students arrived they were told they’d be performing a different kind of work.

“After foreign nationals arrived in the United States from Kazakhstan, Jeffrey Jason Cooper revealed to the foreign nationals that, in fact, no yoga studio existed, and that the foreign nationals would be expected to perform erotic massages and sex acts in exchange for money,” the indictment alleges.

The students were then taught how to go about their explicit duties by Cooper’s female associates, according to the indictment.

The students, two young women, were rescued by law enforcement two months later, in August 2011, Newsweek reported.

The criminal complaint filed against Cooper offers more details about the trafficked students and the operations of his alleged prostitution business.

“Beautiful ladies from Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Belarus, and Ukraine offering Sensual Body rubs,” read a advertisement Cooper posted that was documented in the complaint, Newsweek reported. “Work and travel students, visiting the South Florida area . . . their ages range from 18-22, completely ‘drama free’ and very happy. Lovely Miami Beach waterfront location, plenty of parking.”

Cooper’s indictment alleges that he tried to traffic in sex at least three other victims that same summer. Miami’s glamorized culture of sex and drugs has made South Florida attractive to those who make a living trafficking human beings. Federal data ranks Miami among the top three US cities for human trafficking, ABC affiliate Local 10 News reported.

According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, Florida ranked third among US states where individuals made the most phone calls to the organization to report instances of alleged trafficking.

In 2011, Miami became one of the first cities to host an Anti-Trafficking Coordination Team, an effort launched by the US Attorney General and Secretaries of Labor and Homeland Security and meant to bring law enforcement agencies together and streamline federal criminal investigations into human trafficking offenses.

Since the ACTeam Initiative was launched in Miami and other cities, such as Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Memphis, the prosecutions for forced labor, international, and adult sex trafficking rose 86 percent in those districts, the Justice Department said, compared with 14 percent in districts without the initiative in place.


No offense, but it looks like one more reason to have the heavy hand of the federal government come down on campus -- after they approved the visas in the first place!


You needn't have gone to Stanford to have figured it out:

Ex-Stanford swimmer’s jail term decried as too lenient
Stanford rape victim emerges as a powerful symbol
What the Stanford rape case teaches us about justice

That leadership needs to make a report and resign.




"Trump is used as cautionary tale at commencements" by Michael Levenson Globe Staff  May 20, 2016

By invoking Donald Trump -- often without mentioning him by name -- the speakers have sparked a debate about whether overt political criticism is appropriate at such a celebratory occasion, particularly when many in the audience may not agree with the speakers’ harsh assessments of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

“Frankly, to be pulled into the current election cycle strikes me as very political, short-sighted and almost petty for a commencement address,” said Mary Kate Cary, a former speechwriter for President George H. W. Bush, who writes a handful of commencement speeches for business and political leaders every spring. “You want to be lofty.”

But others said it would be almost irresponsible for dignitaries looking out on a sea of young faces to ignore the rise of a caustic candidate who wants to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States and build a wall on the US-Mexico border.

“There is divisive, hateful rhetoric in the country right now, which will have a lasting effect on the lives of these graduates,” said Michael Waldman, a former speechwriter for President Clinton. “I think it’s admirable to push back and defend the core values of tolerance, equality and freedom. That’s the kind of thing we want commencement speakers to do.”

Predictably, many of Trump’s robed attackers are Democrats.

At Rutgers University’s commencement, President Barack Obama took repeated jabs at Trump, without naming him directly.

RelatedRebuking Trump, Obama tells graduates walls won’t solve ills

Tell it to Israel -- as he jokes about addiction and lead in the water (but not about his age).

What an a-hole!

Elizabeth Warren, the liberal senator from Massachusetts, turned her ongoing feud with Trump into a laugh line at Bridgewater State University’s commencement.

You can embrace her if you want (and there is that hand gesture again).

John Kerry, the secretary of state, made his own Trump-related crack in his commencement address at Northeastern University.

Yeah, ha-ha.

But Democrats aren’t the only ones targeting Trump from the commencement stage.

Senator Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican, criticized his party’s standard-bearer in his address to graduates of Friends University in Wichita.

Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee and a leader of the anti-Trump movement within the GOP, took on both Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders -- without naming either -- in his speech to graduates of Trine University in Indiana.

“Demagogues on the right and the left draw upon our darker angels, scapegoating immigrants and Muslims or bankers and business people,” Romney said.

He means Mike Bloomberg (and there is that salute again).

And Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator and star of the musical “Hamilton,” alluded to Trump when speaking at the University of Pennsylvania’s commencement. 

Oh, hurray!

“In a year when politicians traffic in anti-immigrant rhetoric,” Miranda said, “there is also a Broadway musical reminding us that a broke, orphan immigrant from the West Indies built our financial system. A story that reminds us that since the beginning of the great, unfinished symphony that is our American experiment, time and time again, immigrants get the job done.”

History of labor violence and riots over it, too.

In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson used a commencement speech at the University of Michigan to unveil his “Great Society” program to combat poverty.

Then he brought us Vietnam based on the abominable Gulf of Tonkin lie.

In 2006, Senator John McCain defended the Iraq war in a speech to graduates of Liberty University in Virginia, in which he also argued that opponents of the war had a “right and obligation” to speak out against it.

Then why were we hammered, defamed, and denigrated for it?

“The occasion does lend itself to some forms of political commentary, and that’s been true throughout the history of American higher education,” said Julie A. Reuben, a Harvard historian of higher education. “It’s not supposed to just be empty words about going off and living a happy, successful life.”

I get enough of that in the new$paper.

But Craig R. Smith, the director emeritus of the Center for First Amendment Studies at California State University, Long Beach, and a former speechwriter for President Ford and Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca who has written commencement addresses for actor Michael Douglas and George H. W. Bush, said attacks on Trump should be delivered at civic clubs or chambers of commerce, not commencement ceremonies filled with jubilant graduates and parents.

“I just think it sullies the moment,” he said. “It’s their day, and to take it away from them and to take it to partisan politics is offensive.”

Who cares about the stupid kids? Making' a point here!


Btw, you won't have to worry. Trump can't make it; his plane is stuck in Cleveland.

Now who can we find as a replacement?

Walsh applauds community college grads for their grit

There is that hand gesture again.

Baker cites mother’s battle against Alzheimer’s in commencement speech
Ex-CBS Entertainment chair to BU graduates: ‘Embrace fear’ 
Biden, Boehner share award at Notre Dame graduation
Seth Moulton has words of courage for UMass Boston graduates
Quirky college commencements: Who has them, and what they mean
Tufts grads enter the world with words of wisdom from ‘The Simpsons’
At Suffolk commencement, focus is on the future

Warren is making her case.

Spielberg urges Harvard graduates to heed their intuition
Matt Damon urges MIT grads to ‘turn toward’ world’s problems


Huh, what?

Wow, you can really $mell the pine on the property.

MIT student does romantic photo shoot with thesis

He is in love with his teacher

So where is your term paper?

You know where you are headed after school, right?

Where did you think I meant?



Only thing to do after graduation is start paying off those loans:

"College loan rates to drop to lowest level in decade" by Danielle Douglas-Gabriel Washington Post  May 13, 2016

WASHINGTON — The government will charge families less to borrow money for college this fall as interest rates on federal loans are set to drop to their lowest level in a decade.

Undergraduate students can expect to pay 3.76 percent in interest on new Stafford loans, instead of the current 4.29 percent.

It’s been almost two years since Congress decided to tie federal student loan rates to the market, rather than setting them. At the time, lawmakers clashed over the rate-setting system that many feared would eventually lead to higher rates as the economy improved. If Congress didn’t take action, the rates on undergraduate loans were going to double to 6.8 percent.

Here is what happened there: when the Democrats were in charge they wrote the loan bill to expire in the summer of 2012. That means all you kids would have to get out and vote. Then they lost control of Congre$$. So the rate doubled when the bill lapsed. Then the Congre$$ got a bill through that lowered the rate (but still decimal points higher than what it was, 3.4 to 3.75 or something like that) while tying future payments to interest rates that have nowhere to go but up. Then they held a press conference and told you all how they just did so great by the kids!

Congress put caps in place to prevent rates from skyrocketing. The interest on undergraduate loans can never go higher than 8.25 percent. Graduate loans are capped at 9.5 percent, and PLUS loans, at 10.5 percent.

How come they don't get bank rates that are less than 1%?

‘‘While market-based interest rates are a far better solution than the structure they replaced, they still suffer from a key problem,’’ Salerno said. ‘‘Where borrowers enroll, what program they choose, and whether they complete all affect the employment and income opportunity they’ll have later on that will determine their ability to pay back those loans.’’

For whom?


At least Obama is getting you a grant as he leaves. 

Maybe mom and dad could help?

"More parents say kids should help pay for college, poll shows" by Polly Mosendz Bloomberg News  May 09, 2016

More high school graduates had better forget about Mom and Dad paying for all their college costs, now a six-figure proposition at even middling schools.

Interestingly, the number of very wealthy families is increasing at the same time that half the country contemplates taking ever-larger student loans.

Yeah, how intere$ting.

The good news for the higher education industry, and the good news for students is despite an increasing reliance on student borrowing — and nightmare tales of unemployed graduates carrying $100,000 or more in debt — a third of parents don’t seem to know much about what their kids are getting into.

That's the good news!!

The majority of those polled said they didn’t complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). About $2.7 billion in federal grant money was left on the table because parents didn’t bother to fill out the forms, the consumer finance website NerdWallet says. Among those who did complete the application, 15 percent called it ‘‘very difficult.’’ Nonso Maduka, a student debt expert at NerdWallet, said the form is indeed complex, which may be ‘‘impeding them from filling it out.’’

Government does that on purpose so you WILL say F*** IT! 

Then that money can be put to better uses like the war machine, aid Israel, corporate welfare, and the funding of lavish political lifestyles.

Despite the hurdles, the survey found that Mom and Dad have high hopes for Junior’s success....

They have high hopes, such high hopes, high apple pie in the sky hopes!


Is it me, or was that article damn condescending and insulting? 

Better get used to working late, kiddo:

"Burning the midnight oil may be about to pay off for millions of millennials. The White House has announced a new rule that will boost the number of Americans who qualify for time-and-a-half pay whenever they work more than 40 hours in a week. Among the biggest beneficiaries may be young employees — toiling at startups and ad agencies or serving as restaurant managers, for example — who haven’t been getting extra compensation for working extended hours. Workers of all ages stand to benefit, but young workers, especially, can expect a boost, said Ross Eisenbrey, vice president of the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. ‘‘Millennials are disproportionately affected by the overtime rule because they tend to be in the lower end of the wage spectrum,’’ said Eisenbrey, who testified at a congressional hearing last week on the rule’s potential effects. Still, some say the rule could have unintended consequences...."


At least the BANKS are here to HELP:

"Banks offer student loan repayment as reward benefit" by Deirdre Fernandes Globe Staff  June 21, 2016

Banks offer free airline tickets, hotel stays, and shopping discounts through their rewards programs. And earning up to 1.5 percent cash back on purchases is a standard perk of credit card companies.

Now, one local bank is offering a debit card that takes 1 percent of all purchases and directs it toward paying down college debt, rather than bankrolling a vacation.

Boston-based Radius Bank on Tuesday launched a partnership with Gradifi Inc., a technology startup that manages student loan repayment benefits for companies. They’re hoping to lure millennial customers and earn their good will by tackling one of the biggest financial issues facing that generation.

“We understand that student debt is a problem. We’re happy to participate to help consumers pay down that debt,” said Mike Butler, the bank’s chief executive.

The partnership follows Gradifi’s announcement earlier this month that it had struck a deal with Providence-based Citizens Financial Group Inc. to promote the bank’s student loan refinancing program to employees enrolled in the benefit plan at work.

“We’re trying to build an ecosystem for millennials,” said Tim DeMello, founder of Boston-based Gradifi. “We are able to provide our members with another innovative way to get out of debt faster.”

After they spent so long putting them in it?

Under the rewards program, Gradifi participants will have to open a free checking account with Radius and get a debit card. Every purchase using the debit card earns the user 1 percent, which goes directly to paying off student loans.

There is no limit on how much customers can earn.

Still, with the average student loan debt load at about $30,000, that means lots of trips to the grocery store and debit card swipes to earn enough to chip away at that balance.

It's chump change.

Student loan debt repayment as an employee benefit, on par with a 401(k) match, has recently gained traction as the labor market tightens and companies compete to attract and keep younger workers, many of whom are saddled with thousands of dollars in college loans. The Department of Education pegs outstanding student loan debt at $1.2 trillion.

In the spring of 2015, only 3 percent of companies helped workers reduce their student loan debt, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, a Virginia-based trade group. But several large financial and consulting firms have since rolled out programs to help workers reduce their student loan debt, including Boston-based Fidelity Investments, Natixis Global Asset Management, a Boston-based unit of the French financial firm Natixis, and PricewaterhouseCoopers, the global auditing and consulting firm.

Related: Note From Natixis

They are doing it for the TAX BREAK for themselves, NOT YOU!

The companies have structured their programs to meet their own needs and budgets, but they essentially provide a monthly contribution that is paid directly to the student loan company.

The programs are popular with workers, and banks are eager to piggyback on these programs. By making student loan repayments less onerous, banks believe they can make young people more willing to take on other debt, such as a home mortgage.

Is there really anything worth typing anymore?

I'm so f***ing tired of the BANKER'S PRE$$!!!!!

By working with student loan employee benefits programs, banks get access to low-risk, younger customers because the companies offering the benefits tend to be white-collar finance and consulting firms.

“We love the profile of people who are paying down debt,” said Butler, with Radius Bank. The bank, with $800 million in assets, is also trying to focus more on virtual banking and luring younger, tech-savvy customers.

Meanwhile, Fidelity Investments on Tuesday launched a new online tool to help borrowers map out their student loans and repayment options.

Think of it as the reverse of a retirement savings calculator that Fidelity deploys to encourage consumers to put money into their 401(k) plans and watch it grow. The student debt calculator helps borrowers understand how much they have borrowed, with interest, how long it will take to pay off the loan, and how their debt load would change if they refinanced or changed their monthly payments.

“It’s a paydown calculator, instead of a save up calculator,” said Sean Belka, the head of Fidelity Labs, which is piloting the free tool.

Many consumers don’t know how much they owe in different loans and what they’re really paying over several years, Belka said.

Fidelity has no plans to enter the student loan lending space, but if consumers find the calculators and site helpful, the company might consider marketing the technology in some form, company officials said.

Borrowers can plug in information about their loan amounts, interest rates, and monthly payments and find out what their total repayment will be and how long they’ll have to carry the loan. The calculator also offers options, such as where a consumer could put an extra $100 per month to save in the long run.

They can't make ends meet now.

John Zurick, the executive vice president of American Student Assistance, a Boston-based nonprofit that counsels borrowers, said he welcomes these private efforts, but said more systemic changes are also needed to ensure that people can afford a college education.

“It’s not a panacea by any means,” Zurick said. “But it’s a step in the right direction.” 

I$ it?


I think it's a millennial moment, don't you?

"In college, the six-year plan could cost you more than you think" by Danielle Douglas-Gabriel Washington Post  June 21, 2016

Still, students juggling school, work, and family may have a hard time carrying a full course load. Nearly two-thirds of students at community colleges, for instance, attend part time because of those kinds of obligations, according to data from the American Association of Community Colleges. Earning an associate’s degree in two years would certainly reduce costs for those students, but increasing their grant aid could arguably be more effective.

The Obama administration has urged Congress to expand the federal Pell grant program to boost graduation rates among college students in financial need. A Senate subcommittee recently approved an appropriations bill that authorizes full-time students who qualify for Pell to receive the grants three semesters a year instead of two. The administration has said this will help students afford to take a full load of courses year-round, earn a degree faster, and avoid taking on a lot of student debt. Members of Congress say the bill has a good chance of clearing both chambers.... 

I'll be looking for it.


Those extra two years in school could mean forgoing tens of thousands of dollars in earnings and retirement savings.

Or not:

"Friends are raising money for a Milford man after his wife, newborn daughter, and sister died within days of each other. A GoFundMe page set up to support the family had raised more than $38,000 by Wednesday afternoon."

People will invest in YOU! 

"Sensing momentum, she went to a busy shopping mall in Lowell and panhandled for parts of two days last month, raising another $600. That was just the beginning. In less than a month, she raised $24,170, with 474 donating. Emily Stutz has been a standout high school student, with a 4.0 grade point average. She was named to the National Honor Society, was captain of the swimming team, and worked with her art teacher, Katy Sheridan, to film and edit public service videos about the dangers of opioids. Stutz, stunned by the outpouring of support, said she hopes her campaign will bring more attention to rising college costs. “She’s a good kid; she’s a victim of my bad finances. I’m proud of her,” said her father, Han Stutz."

Next thing you know, the government will classify that as a job.

The college debt crisis is even worse than you think

Thus education becomes another separation barrier by the elite, and they enslaved you in debt at the same time.  It's almost as if they are a bunch of heroin addicts up at the top there.

This will be the last Boston Globe graduation I will be attending. Sorry.


Bentley University, adjunct faculty reach agreement

Don’t encourage young women to feel traumatized

The unexpected price of reporting abuse: retaliation

And they don't mean the Clintons (no boy scout), but it is their cla$$.

Also see: 

Harvard fund CEO Stephen Blyth resigns

Suffolk board to hear McKenna report

Elite R.I. private school and abuse accusers settle

As their “spirits are renewed on our forward healing journey.”

What’s ahead for Suffolk University?

No offense, but what do I care?

Harvard social club won’t admit women — yet

Developer Related Beal holds Citgo sign’s future

Harvard Medical School appoints prominent stem cell scientist as new dean

Suffolk’s board of trustees acts like a firing squad

Former Suffolk president ‘shattered’ by campus turmoil

"MIT, Yale sued over retirement fund fees" by Beth Healy Globe Staff  August 09, 2016

More than half the fund offerings were also managed by Fidelity, and carried higher costs than, for instance, passively managed index funds.

A year ago, MIT eliminated hundreds of mutual funds provided under the plan, narrowing the lineup to 37 investment options, according to the lawsuit.

As firms that manage money and administer retirement accounts for employers have incentives to maximize fees, Schlichter said, the employers “have the ultimate fiduciary duty” to their workers.

Fidelity has been the recordkeeper at MIT since 1999, with many of its own funds in the plan, Schlichter alleged. The university has not put the contract out to bid over those years, he said....


The fact that Fidelity chief executive Abigail Johnson also sits on the board of tru$tees of MIT was kindly scrubbed for web viewers. Wow!