Saturday, June 17, 2017

Slow Saturday Special: I Quit

I was hoping to get back in the game and perform my public service, but it looks like this isn't it. I was a lot healthier and happy when I wasn't blogging about the Bo$ton Globe -- and life went on, too.

"Whole Foods deal fits into Amazon’s plan to offer one-stop shopping" by Hiawatha Bray Globe Staff  June 16, 2017

Online retailer’s decision to buy Whole Foods Market Inc. and its chain of brick-and-mortar supermarkets is a lot less shocking than it sounds. In fact, some industry analysts say a deal like this was inevitable. Amazon, they say, needs hundreds of traditional retail stores before it can fulfill the ultimate ambition of founder Jeff Bezos — to become America’s dominant shopping destination for pretty much everything.

The reason is simple: Despite the hype, Americans don’t spend all that much online. According to the US Census Bureau, Americans last year spent $395 billion at Internet stores, or about 8 percent of total retail purchases. Amazon was the big winner, but that’s just 2 percent of the $4.8 trillion in US retail spending last year.

“The problem with e-commerce is there’s just not the consumer demand,” said Kurt Jetta, chief executive of TABS Analytics, a consumer products research firm in Shelton, Conn. “In general, it’s not as big as people say it is.”

OH, NO!!!!

By paying $13.7 billion for Whole Foods and its 460 retail stores, Amazon can reach millions of shoppers in the real world. While Amazon is serious about brick-and-mortar retailing, Brendan Witcher, principal analyst at Forrester Research in Cambridge, said the company will leverage Whole Foods as a way to win more online business. Witcher said many Amazon customers buy an item or two every now and then. But everybody buys food at least once a week.

Except the homeless and the hungry, but within the circle of people he is concerned about that's accurate.

Jetta warned that to get the most of the Amazon-Whole Foods deal, “They’re going to need to do something to expand their appeal beyond the high-income urban millennials.”

Why? That's who this world is for and whom we all exist to serve. That's certainly the impression I get from reading the regional flag$hip everyday.

Not everybody was favorably impressed by the Whole Foods deal. “It doesn’t make a lot of sense,” said Michael Cusumano, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Selling groceries, he said, is “not a good business to be in for anyone.”

It does if you want to control people. Water and food, that's pretty basic. I mean, other than oxygen.

Cusumano noted that the supermarket business delivers famously thin profit margins, averaging 1.89 percent last year, according to data from New York University’s Stern School of Business. He noted that Amazon has prospered by not saddling itself with retail real estate and large inventories of perishable products, but by purchasing Whole Foods, “it brings them into the margins of the grocery business.”

Barry Lynn, director of the Open Markets Program at New America, a liberal think tank in Washington, said federal antitrust regulators should step in to block the Amazon-Whole Foods deal.

They won't. You see who is in office, right?

“This is just a straight up monopolization,” Lynn said. “They’re leveraging their dominance of e-commerce to now take over physical retail, to drive physical retailers out of business. And they’re doing a damn good job of it.”

But Jetta said traditional grocers won’t be overwhelmed by Amazon’s arrival on their turf.

“For context, Walmart built 3,500 supercenters in this country,” Jetta said. Yet despite that kind of market saturation, other supermarket chains like Kroger’s, Albertson’s, and Stop & Shop weren’t blown away, he said. “They are still in place and probably stronger than ever,” Jetta said.

Yeah, too bad Kroger just took its biggest one-day loss since 1999, but when you are spinning dreams of go$$amer..... doesn't he follow the stocks?


Sorry for not showing up yesterday.

"Amazon to acquire Whole Foods" by Janelle Nanos Globe Staff  June 16, 2017 Inc. said Friday that it would buy the Whole Foods grocery chain for $13.7 billion, a move that may accelerate the convergence of online and traditional shopping and insinuate the company even more deeply into consumers’ lives.

What’s more, the deal has the potential to shift how Americans eat.

“Two things happened today: Amazon took a giant leap forward in the fresh-food market, and now has instant credibility” through the Whole Foods brand, said David Portalatin, a vice president and food industry analyst at the NPD Group. “But this is not only about e-commerce. They also became a brick-and-mortar retailer in a big way.”

Does that come in a packet or pouch, and what do I mix it with?

Whole Foods, based in Austin, Texas, operates more than 460 stores and rang up sales of $16 billion in 2016. But its sales have dropped as grocery chains add more organic offerings, and the company has undergone a series of management shake-ups and cost-cutting.

Portalatin said fresh food has long been considered the “final frontier” in convenience for online consumers. The barriers were obvious: You can’t see, smell, taste, or otherwise inspect food while shopping on a phone or computer. But, to its fans, the Whole Food name bestows a level of trust that customers have come to rely on.

Only 7 percent of Americans order their groceries online, but that number is poised to grow significantly, Portalatin said.

Amazon has long eyed the US grocery sector, which has annual sales of more than $700 billion, as ripe for the kind of disruption it has brought to books and in-home video. It opened a grocery store prototype called Amazon Go last December. The Seattle store uses tracking technology to enable shoppers to simply place items in their carts and pay electronically as they walk out of the store without stopping at a cash register.

Which means jobs for humans are eliminated. 

At least any theft or fraud will be eliminated, among the lower ranks of corporate governance anyway.

While analysts don’t see Amazon introducing Go technology to Whole Foods stores anytime soon, they do believe that the company will instill its fixation on offering low prices at Whole Foods, which has been criticized for its high prices.

The 21$t-century robber baron strategy.

“One of the most immediate things I would expect is Amazon working to eliminate the ‘Whole paycheck’ moniker” that’s long been associated with the chain, said Adam Salomone, a venture capitalist and cofounder of the Food Loft, a Boston-based startup incubator for food businesses.

The acquisition, Amazon’s largest, also has the potential to change the very nature of the food that shoppers will buy, said Brita Rosenheim, a food industry analyst with Rosenheim Advisors.

The advent of meal kit subscription services like Blue Apron, combined with increasing demand for healthy and organic products, has forced grocery stores and traditional consumer packaged suppliers to search for new ways to give consumers fresher, more innovative products.

They’re now going to have to compete directly with the private-label grocery offerings sold by Whole Foods and Amazon.

“You have two powerhouse private-label brands that when combined will really pose the need [for traditional grocery stores] to rethink their product mix, let alone how they’re going to be distributing,” Rosenheim said. “This is a game changer for them now, when you combine the Amazon ethos and intellectual property in terms of selling to the young consumer who is focused on fresh and healthy.”

Jetta didn't seem to be worried. WTF?

The sale was also hailed by players in the retail industry as a sign that the brick-and-mortar store is still important to consumers.

“We can officially stop talking about how e-commerce is going to eat the world,’’ said Tom Erskine, chief marketing officer of the Boston-based retail technology firm One Door. “There are things that the physical experience delivers which never goes away.”

I've been saying that about the online excu$es for the retail collapse. For months now.

But the shopping experience itself is likely to change, said Elliot Rabinovich, a professor in supply chain management at Arizona State University.....

I guess I'm going hungry then.


Time to try on something else. Those will be your two choices.


Two major apartment projects win key approvals

For businesses, it’s all hands on deck for Tall Ships

Globe, too:

Here’s a full list of Sail Boston’s six days of free events

look at accessibility for people with disabilities at Sail Boston

State Police plan to use drones for Sail Boston security

Ferry crashes in Hyannis Harbor, injuring six

Sculptors bring ‘big wow factor’ to Hampton Beach sand sculpting contest

And then the tide washed it all away.


"A campaign to raise awareness of postpartum depression hits a nerve" by Megan Thielking, STAT  |  June 14, 2017

Sage Therapeutics, a biotech developing an experimental treatment for postpartum depression, this week trumpeted strong results from a clinical trial, which cheered investors and pushed up its stock price. But outside the lab, the company’s aggressive efforts to raise awareness of postpartum depression have proved divisive.

The campaign’s message: “When it comes to postpartum depression, silence sucks.” It features close-up photos of distressed, tearful women who can’t speak — because they have pacifiers stuck in their mouths.

The images have been plastered on bus stops, buses, conference booths, and on a dedicated website. The ads don’t specifically mention Sage’s drug, which still needs further testing before the company can bring it to the Food and Drug Administration for possible approval. Instead, they urge women to talk “openly and honestly” about postpartum depression. An estimated 600,000 women in the U.S. alone experience symptoms, which range from insomnia and irritability to difficulty bonding with their baby.

Some women who’ve had postpartum depression applaud the effort to raise awareness about a condition that largely flies under the radar, but critics say the choice to picture women sucking on pacifiers “infantilizes” mothers and their illness.....


Maybe you should cancel that date tonight.


"Health care in the United States costs about 50 percent more than in European countries such as France and Germany, said Elias Zerhouni, president for global research and development at French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi SA. Zerhouni faulted the dysfunctional American health care system, with politicians unfairly blaming rising costs on improved technology. “You have a political system that sees innovation as the culprit in health care costs,” he said. To move forward, scientists and businesses will have to not only contain medical costs but enlist the public’s help in understanding genetic defects, said Cori Bargmann, president of science at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which seeks to prevent, cure, and manage diseases. Zerhouni, the former director of the National Institutes of Health, said research scientists of the future will come from farflung fields ranging from diagnostics to information technology. He urged business and academic research labs to “break the barriers between disciplines so you can cross-fertilize” in an effort to advance disease-fighting drug discoveries....."

They want to  “want to break down walls, put up fewer walls.” 

Going to work through the governors now.


"Experts say Michelle Carter case revolved around concept that words can kill" by Mark Arsenault Globe Staff  June 16, 2017

Under the law, words can kill.

Can be as few as three, and it's all in the interpretation of the accuser.

The case had been closely watched in the legal community for its potential to set precedent: Could a person be convicted of manslaughter on the basis of words alone? Now, in the eyes of some legal specialists, it could have far-reaching implications for what constitutes culpability.

Yes, it is very interesting. Does that mean war criminal liars and their ma$$ media enablers that blare them from the headlines are culpable for the millions dead? 

No, those lies have been legalized. 

What this case can be used to do is shut down any words that are taken the wrong way, be they text or anything else. That is chilling. That is not to defend the specifics of this case and the young woman's conduct. It's sort of the beauty is in the eye of the beholder thing as we march towards a politically-sanitized society (while waging mass-murdering wars of conquest abroad).

Good thing this blog has been ever concerned with life and the prevention of death, even for war criminals and looters. It's life imprisonment for them, and no torture either. Then our society can reconcile and heal.

Still, by convicting 20-year-old Michelle Carter in the jury-waived trial, Judge Lawrence Moniz surprised defense lawyer Brad Bailey, who watched the verdict announced live on television Friday morning.

I was, too.

Bailey said he disagreed that the evidence established that Carter’s actions were a direct and proximate cause of Conrad Roy III’s death, and said the verdict creates a need for the state Legislature to step into the thorny issue of assisted suicide and clarify what conduct is legal.

“For those of us on the defense side, this is a surprising result,” said Bailey. “Many will agree this needs legislative clarification or this is going to remain a confusing area.”

They will only make it more confusing.

State law does not specifically ban encouraging another person to commit suicide. Carter was accused of involuntary manslaughter based on conduct prosecutors said was reckless and likely to cause substantial harm. Roy, 18, poisoned himself with carbon monoxide in July 2014.

Martin W. Healy, chief legal counsel to the Massachusetts Bar Association, said that “the verdict represents the application of centuries-old common law principles and the interplay with today’s widespread use of communication through social media.”

He predicted the case will have national implications, demonstrating “that seemingly remote and distant communications will not insulate individuals from heinous acts that could rise to the level of criminal culpability. The defendant’s fate was sealed through the use of her own words,” Healy said.

You must take down your website AND you will be faced with a charge of murder?

Matthew Segal, legal director at the ACLU of Massachusetts, said in a statement after the verdict that Roy’s death was a tragedy, “but it is not a reason to stretch the boundaries of our criminal laws or abandon the protections of our Constitution.

“There is no law in Massachusetts making it a crime to encourage someone, or even to persuade someone, to commit suicide,” Segal said. “Yet Ms. Carter has now been convicted of manslaughter, based on the prosecution’s theory that, as a 17-year-old girl, she literally killed Mr. Roy with her words.

“This conviction exceeds the limits of our criminal laws and violates free speech protections guaranteed by the Massachusetts and US Constitutions.”

I think the "tests" cease was meant to do just that.

Segal suggested the verdict, if upheld on appeal, could chill “important and worthwhile end-of-life discussions between loved [ones] across the Commonwealth.”

Well, I had not thought of that particular aspect yet. Probably because of the age thing.

Carter’s defense lawyers argued in court that Roy was a troubled teen who had attempted suicide multiple times. Carter had tried to help Roy by sending information on hospitals and mental health services, they said.

“The evidence presented reveals that the decedent alone provided himself with the means to kill himself and placed himself in a life-threatening situation,” the defense team wrote in a court motion. “Ultimately, his long-term thoughts, planning and acts toward the commission of his suicide were all of his own volition and creation.”

Here is where we are headed: you will need to sign a paper at the age of 18 that says from here on out, you accept responsibilities for your own actions with no one else to blame. If you can't do that, you will not be granted the privileges, 'er, rights of an adult and will still be considered a juvenile under the law.

Prosecutors had alleged Carter was criminally reckless because she was on a cellphone listening as Roy, of Mattapoisett, succumbed to carbon monoxide fumes in his truck in Fairhaven.

That's eerie.

Carter, who faces up to 20 years in prison, is scheduled for sentencing on Aug. 3.

Dorchester defense lawyer Michael Doolin anticipates “a lot of the issues in this case are going to end up getting resolved in either the Court of Appeals or the [Supreme Judicial Court]. And potentially in the federal courts, up to and including the Supreme Court.”

Doolin said he would not second-guess Carter’s decision to forgo a jury trial, due to the unique nature of the case.

“A lot of times when there are significant legal issues such as this, or you have a unique set of facts that in my opinion the law hasn’t entirely dealt with until this time, you want to go in front of a judge,” he said. “It takes emotion out of it when you’re appealing with a judge as opposed to a jury.”

I'll bet she is second-guessing it now. Lawyers probably said it was better to go this way.

The state Supreme Judicial Court ruled last summer that a grand jury had probable cause to indict Carter, determining that she was “personally aware that her conduct was both reprehensible and punishable.” It was the first time the court ruled that an involuntary manslaughter indictment could stand on “the basis of words alone.” The court found that through a stream of text messages and cellphone calls, Carter had established a “virtual presence at the time of the suicide.”

We found his computer open to your website?

Rosanna Cavallaro, a law professor at Suffolk University, said the Supreme Judicial Court had “cleared the way” for the conviction by allowing the indictment to stand. Once the SJC said words alone could be considered as the cause of a death, “it’s hard to imagine a stronger case than this.”


"Carter found guilty in texting suicide case" by Maria Cramer Globe Staff  June 16, 2017

TAUNTON — Michelle Carter was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter Friday by a judge who ruled that the young woman recklessly goaded her boyfriend into suicide with a series of phone calls and texts, and then failed to help him.

Carter was 17 when she urged 18-year-old Conrad Roy III to kill himself in July 2014 — even after he told her he was too scared to go through with the act.

From 30 miles away, she ordered him back into a truck that was filling fast with carbon monoxide, then listened as he choked to death on the fumes. Those actions, Judge Lawrence Moniz decided, led to Roy’s death.

Ordered him? That's a strange choice of words. How do you order someone to do anything from a phone? It's not like coercive force with a gun at the head. 

“She did not call the police or Mr. Roy’s family,” said Moniz, a juvenile court judge. “She called no one. And finally, she did not issue a simple additional instruction: Get out of the truck.”

Moniz declared Carter, now 20, a youthful offender, which under Massachusetts law makes her eligible to be sentenced as an adult. She faces a sentence of probation, or as much as 20 years in prison. Sentencing was scheduled for Aug. 3.

That judge has set himself up for another day of controversy. If she avoids prison there will be howls, if he levies the maximum as an example there will be howls, and if he splits the difference no one will be happy.

Moniz’s decision, issued from the bench before a packed courtroom in Bristol County Superior Court, ended an extraordinary trial that explored a virtual relationship between teenagers and asked whether a person’s words should make her criminally responsible for another person’s actions.

The trial, which garnered national attention, riveted lawyers and the public alike as it delved into the painful interior lives of two teenagers who called themselves boyfriend and girlfriend though they had seen each other in person only a few times. 

It didn't from me, and this is where it starts to get lurid.

They lived an hour away from each other — she was in Plainville and he was in Mattapoisett — but met in Naples, Fla., in 2012 while they were each on family vacations.

For the next two years, they communicated primarily through text messages and Facebook, digital communications that would provide the bulk of the evidence at Carter’s trial.

Carter showed a range of emotions Friday as Moniz explained his verdict in a booming voice from the bench.

At first, she appeared to weep with relief when Moniz started by declaring prosecutors had failed to show Carter’s many texts to Roy had led to his death.

The judge declared Roy had acted alone — and with purpose — when he secured what he would need to commit suicide, but as Moniz continued to deliver his decision, describing all the ways Carter could have saved Roy, it became clear the defense had lost. Carter’s attorney wrapped his arm around the young woman, who shook with quiet sobs, clutching a tissue to her face.

Behind her sat her mother and father, who had worn a suit every day of the weeklong trial. The family left the courthouse without speaking to reporters.

On the other side of the courtroom was Roy’s mother, Lynn Roy, who sat among a large group of supporters, crying and wiping away tears as she listened to Moniz’s decision.

She declined to speak with reporters after the ruling. Roy’s father, Conrad Roy Jr., briefly addressed the media, thanking police and prosecutors for their work on the case.

“This has been a very tough time for our family, and we would like to just process this verdict that we are happy with,’’ he said.

The case sparked debate among legal specialists, who noted there is nothing under Massachusetts law that forbids someone from encouraging someone else to commit suicide.

Carter’s attorney, Joseph Cataldo, had repeatedly argued that Roy was a troubled young man so intent on committing suicide, he had tried to kill himself multiple times.

But each time, the judge said, Roy stopped himself, then told someone about what he had tried to do, and got help from that person.

Moniz agreed it was Roy who researched how to kill himself and obtained a generator and water pump to fill his truck with carbon monoxide.

One week before police found him dead in his pickup truck, Roy texted Carter that he was having second thoughts.

“I don’t think I have it in me,” he wrote.

“I knew it,” Carter responded.

In another text, she wrote: “Hang yourself, jump off a building, stab yourself. I don’t know. There’s lots of ways.”

Still, the judge ruled that Carter’s texts encouraging Roy to kill himself in the days leading up to the suicide did not result in his death.

It was Carter’s command during their last conversation, that Roy return to his truck — then filled with toxic fumes — and her subsequent failure to act that rose to the level of criminal behavior.

It's Seinfeld's Good Samaritan law, and how do you "command" someone to do something?

Was Carter part of the MK-Ultra, CIA mind-control experiments?

Moniz noted that Carter sent texts to friends after Roy’s death in which she said she knew that the fire and police departments were nearby, about half a mile from the Kmart parking lot where Roy had driven his truck.

Cellphone records showed a 47-minute phone call between Carter and Roy on July 12, 2014, when prosecutors said Roy attached a compression pump to his truck in the Fairhaven parking lot.

“She instructs Mr. Roy to get back into the truck despite knowing all of the feelings he has exchanged with her. All of his ambiguities. All of his fears. His concerns,” Moniz said. “Ms. Carter’s actions, and also her failure to act where she had a self-created duty to Mr. Roy because she had put him into that toxic environment, constituted wanton and reckless conduct.”

Moniz said that before finding Carter guilty, he wanted evidence confirming that Carter listened on her cellphone as Roy slowly died. He said he found that evidence in text messages Carter sent friends after Roy’s suicide in which she described hearing the loud noise of the generator in the background — and the sound of Roy coughing as he inhaled the carbon monoxide.

Moniz, who deliberated for two days, dismissed assertions that the case was novel.

He cited the trial of a Massachusetts inmate who was prosecuted in 1816 for persuading another inmate facing a death sentence to hang himself in his cell before he was executed.

He also cited the prosecution of two homeless men who accidentally started a fire inside the Cold Storage warehouse in Worcester in 1999 that killed six firefighters. Those men were indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter but never convicted.

And he said he was not swayed by the defense argument that Carter was “involuntarily intoxicated” by prescription medication she had taken for depression in the weeks leading up to Roy’s suicide.

A psychiatrist testifying on Carter’s behalf, Dr. Peter R. Breggin, said during the trial that the medication, Celexa, coupled with a psychiatric condition, created a “grandiose’’ belief in Carter that she alone could guide Roy to heaven and take care of his family afterward.

Cataldo said Carter and her legal team were “disappointed in the verdict,” declining further comment.

Bristol Assistant District Attorney Katie Rayburn had described Carter as a manipulative bully so desperate for attention she persuaded Roy to kill himself so she could bask in the sympathy of her peers.

She dreamed of being president someday?

After the verdict, Rayburn struck a sober tone and said “there are no winners here.”

Then why did you bring the case?

“Two families are torn apart and will be affected by this for years to come,’’ she said. “In the end, the case was really about one young man and one young woman who were brought together by tragic circumstances.”

That's what I said.


She looks different now.

Those who are lucky to be alive:

"Several other people were also injured in Wednesday’s shooting before Representative Steve Scalise’s security detail and other police officers gunned down the assailant, who later died. The shooter was an Illinois man, James Hodgkinson, who had lashed out against President Trump and Republicans on social media. Speaking Friday in Miami, Trump said Scalise ‘‘took a bullet for all of us.’’ The president’s meaning was not entirely clear, but Trump went on to say that ‘‘because of him and the tremendous pain and suffering he’s now enduring — and he’s having a hard time, far worse than anybody thought — our country will perhaps become closer, more unified, so important.”

Who does he think he is now, Helmut Kohl

They don't get to the bottom of the shooting, and there is still no justice for the black man in.... Bo$ton?

"N.H. investigating use of deadly force by Mass. State Police" by Emily Sweeney Globe Staff  June 16, 2017

A 40-year-old Maine man wanted on sexual assault charges was shot and killed by Massachusetts State Police troopers across the border in New Hampshire late Thursday as a nearly hour-long pursuit that began in Malden came to a fatal end, officials said.

Michael R. Brown was wanted on charges in his hometown of Presque Isle, Maine, and was the subject of an alert to New England law enforcement that he was armed with a stolen handgun, officials said Friday.

New England's Michael Brown?

Brown’s sister, Colleen Brown, said her brother had been missing since June 7 and that the family feared he might have harmed himself. She also said that her brother had been in trouble with the law since he was 16 years old, and “doesn’t know how to keep his hands off women.”

“We didn’t know if he was dead or alive,” Brown, 36, said in a telephone interview Friday. “We were worried. ... We didn’t want him out there hurting anybody else.’’

The last time she saw her brother was last week, when she heard a noise outside her home. She looked outside and saw her brother dive in front of a lawn mower, in an attempt to hide.

Given the way he was acting, Brown figured he was high on drugs and looking to see if keys were left inside her vehicle. Brown locked her door and called the police. “He was mentally unstable,’’ she said. “We were scared.”

Looking back, she wishes that her brother got the help that he needed, and that his cohorts had cooperated more with the police, instead of helping him when the police were looking for him.

“When they’re not in their right mind, they don’t know what’s best,” she said. “He didn’t turn to us. If somebody had been talking to him, if someone could have reached out to him, maybe things would have been a little different. That’s hard to deal with.”

“I think a lot of this could have been prevented.”

According to authorities in both states, around 11:10 p.m. Thursday, Brown was spotted in Malden, where that city’s police tried to pull him over in the 400 block of Eastern Avenue. Brown drove off, leading State Police through multiple towns during which he allegedly opened fire on troopers and drove for some distance in the wrong direction on Interstate 495 in Amesbury.

Stop sticks were deployed by police during the pursuit, damaging the tires on the vehicle Brown was driving, but he continued to avoid police until he arrived in Newton, N.H., and crashed into a tree near Bear Hill Road and Amesbury roads, officials said.

The crash occurred around 11:51 p.m. Thursday.

At that point, Massachusetts troopers confronted Brown, New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Strelzin told reporters Friday. The New Hampshire state medical examiner conducted an autopsy and concluded Brown died from a gunshot to the neck, not from a self-inflicted wound, officials said.

“There was a confrontation [at the crash site] and the suspect was shot and killed,” Strelzin said. “We believe it happened very quickly.”

He said a stolen handgun was found inside the wrecked vehicle that Brown was driving.

Then it's a no brainer.

“But without doing further work on the case, I cannot tell you whether or not it was fired” at the final confrontation, Strelzin said.

Strelzin said the Massachusetts troopers surrendered their department-issued firearms to New Hampshire authorities as part of the investigation. He said the troopers will likely be interviewed next week.

According to Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio, several troopers involved in the case have been placed on administrative leave with pay while the investigation is ongoing.

Barbara Galarza lives on Amesbury Road, close to where the crash and shooting occurred. She said she was in bed and not yet asleep when she started hearing sirens and seeing police lights outside of her home shortly before midnight.

Then she looked out her window and saw “many, many police cars,” she said.

She estimated that 14 to 20 police cruisers lined the street, and there was a helicopter flying overhead. 

Against one guy who crashed? And he was shot dead?

I know he liked to grope women, but..... ???

“We did hear some gunfire,” she said.

She wasn’t sure what had happened until she heard it on the news Friday morning. Such heavy police presence is highly unusual for her quiet neighborhood.

“It’s a sleepy town,” she said.

Brown’s confrontation with troopers came after the Presque Isle police obtained warrants charging Brown with sexual assault, according to the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department and other law enforcement agencies.....

Well, you won't have to worry about him anymore.


The answer is more gun control, right?


Knives are out for theaters that bear the name ‘Shakespeare’

Trump immigration announcement inspires relief — for some

Border Patrol arrests 4 men at medical camp run by aid group

Interior secretary visits Mass. to review marine monument

Apparently the fisherman really let him hear it.

Trump acknowledges he is under investigation in Russia inquiry

Russian military says it might have killed ISIS leader

Fencing team from Cuba competes at Brandeis this weekend

"Trump revises parts of Obama’s Cuba policy" by Karen DeYoung Washington Post  June 16, 2017

MIAMI — President Trump’s changes prohibit any commercial dealings with Cuba’s economically powerful military and, according to White House aides, was driven by the president’s concerns that the previous policy was enriching the Cuban military and intelligence services that contribute to repression on the island. Through civilian-run holding companies, the Cuban military owns or controls much of the economy, particularly the tourism sector.

Not much different up here: Silicon Valley is basically CIA money, and MIT is really the MIC.

‘‘We now hold the cards. The previous administration’s easing of restrictions on travel and trade do not help the Cuban people. They only enrich the Cuban regime,’’ Trump said in a fiery speech delivered in the heart of Miami’s Little Havana, the Manuel Artime Theater, a highly symbolic venue named after a leader of the Bay of Pigs exile invasion of Cuba in 1961, a failed US-backed attempt to overthrow the revolutionary government of Fidel Castro.

Isn't that meddling like the Russians?

Significantly, a new directive signed by Trump will not affect those elements of the normalization begun by Obama in December 2014 that are popular with younger Cuban Americans and others who have taken full advantage of them. Unlimited ‘‘family’’ travel and money sent to private Cubans on the island will remain unchanged.

Administration officials said no policy changes would go immediately into effect.

Thus the political symbolism.

Instead, the new presidential directive will order the Treasury and Commerce departments to begin within 30 days to write new regulations that reverse some of those Obama implemented to ease the US embargo against Cuba that has remained in place for nearly 60 years. Only Congress can lift it.

Trump’s directive drew criticism outside the theater, including from the US Chamber of Commerce, which questioned the premise that the new restrictions would lead to reforms in Cuba.

‘‘US private-sector engagement can be a positive force for the kind of change we all wish to see in Cuba,’’ said Myron Brilliant, the group’s executive vice president and head of international affairs.

‘‘Unfortunately, today’s moves actually limit the possibility for positive change on the island and risk ceding growth opportunities to other countries that, frankly, may not share America’s interest in a free and democratic Cuba that respects human rights,’’ Brilliant said.

And what it will do is cut out AmeriKan companies when everyone else is rushing in to do business. That is why Obama "normalized" with Cuba and Iran. US corporations went to the administration and said we are going to lose out. Everyone is going to go in without us.

What, you think the US government acted out of altruism and all that other crap?

Trump cast his action as the fulfillment of a campaign promise. 

He keeps his promises to them while stiffing his voters, although I suppose the Cubans helped him win Florida.

‘‘Last year, I promised to be a voice against repression . . . and a voice for the freedom of the Cuban people,’’ he said. ‘‘ You heard that pledge . . . and here I am.’’

A packed theater that included Cuban dissidents, dignitaries and other guests gave Trump a raucous reception.

Trump’s rhetoric in many cases outstripped the reality of what his order will accomplish.....

At least he wasn't being heckled for meeting with rescue workers but not with victims, and is not facing one of the biggest crises of his tenure.


Related: Trump's General Staff

Also seeAfghan reaction split on surge plan

"Seven crew members were missing and at least two, including the captain, were injured after a US Navy destroyer collided early Saturday morning with a merchant ship off the coast of Japan, the Japanese Coast Guard reported. The Japanese Coast Guard said it received an emergency call from a Philippine-registered container ship ACX Crystal at around 2:20 a.m. that it had collided with the USS Fitzgerald about 12 miles southeast of the Irozaki cape....."

Believe it or not, there was a Chinese warship in the area.

Yeah, see you next week.