Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Tuesday's Junk

I'm going to begin where I left off to a certain extent (torrent of rain this morning). Even that kind of small talk isn't what it should be anymore.

Researcher says young lobsters on decline in Gulf of Maine

Hit like a tornado despite recordbreaking harvests.

Today, front page, above the fold feature:

"Baby boomers are downsizing — and the kids won’t take the family heirlooms" by Beth Teitell Globe Staff  June 04, 2017

For 30 years, Pat Fryzel stored her children’s memorabilia, and her grandmother’s, too. But when she and her husband downsized, from a large Winchester home to a two-bedroom Boston town house, there was no room for the American Girl dolls or Nana’s cake plates. So Fryzel asked her grown kids to collect what they wanted.

She was not met with much enthusiasm. “They said, ‘Take a picture and text it to us,’ ” recalled Fryzel, 64, a retired nurse practitioner.

For generations, adult children have agreed to take their aging parents’ possessions — whether they wanted them or not. But now, the anti-clutter movement has met the anti-brown-furniture movement, and the combination is sending dining room sets, sterling silver flatware, and knick-knacks straight to thrift stores or the curb.

And feelings are getting hurt, as adult children who are eager to minimize their own belongings — and who may live in small spaces, and entertain less formally than their parents did — are increasingly saying “no thanks” to the family heirlooms.

“It’s a bitter pill,” said Ellen Sullivan, director of operations for Andover- and Dedham-based Home Transition Resource, one of a growing number of firms in the booming field of “senior move management.”

The thriving industry is a symptom of the challenge. While the senior-move specialists assist older clients with the mundane aspects of moving — choosing a mover, say, or calling the cable company — they also play the role of family therapist, buffer, diplomat.

“We can help to soften the blow if the kids don’t want anything but are afraid to tell their parents,” said Kate Grondin, founder of Home Transition Resource. “We can shift the focus to how wonderful a donation would be.”

The cold math of downsizing can be seen in a 2016 profile of buyers and sellers from the Massachusetts Association of Realtors.....

I don't mean to hurt their feelings, but I don't want any of that stuff.

--more--"

Sorry to leave you hanging.

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

"In a series of Twitter posts Monday morning, President Trump may have irretrievably undermined his lawyers’ efforts to persuade the Supreme Court to reinstate his executive order limiting travel from six predominantly Muslim countries. Saying he preferred the original travel ban, “not the watered down, politically correct version” he had issued in March, Trump attacked both the Justice Department and the federal courts...."

Sorry, I'm not a follower, and while I was at first supportive of his tweeting, thinking it was an independent avenue of communication, it has now become an element of distraction and counterproductive. My read of the report is that this shows Bannon's resurgent influence as I have not seen the Kushner name in the political to-and-fro lately (although Trump does make a good point given what allegedly is happening in England and in Europe the last year; heck, have our own hotspots at home. Orlando is kind of a Hollywood East, and who knows what kind of mind-control crap is going on there. The guy was "John Robert Neumann Jr., a 45-year-old Army veteran who lived alone and did not appear to belong to any type of subversive or terrorist organization.) 

Related(?): 

"New system of VA electronic health records underway" Associated Press  June 06, 2017

WASHINGTON — Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said Monday the department will be overhauling its electronic health records, adopting a commercial product used by the Pentagon that he hopes will improve care for veterans and reduce wait times for medical appointments.

The VA scandal regarding the wait times, if you recall, was buried after Congre$$ threw gobs of money at the system. It's an Obummer scandal, one of many alphabet jobs, and it was the product of neglectful management combined with bureaucratic $loth and greed.

Shulkin made the announcement at a news conference after a promotional tweet by President Trump that it will ‘‘be a big day for our veterans.’’

Under the proposed change, the VA will begin immediately to implement the commercial IT system, which the Pentagon refers to MHS Genesis. Shulkin says because all the VA’s patients as former service members originate in the Pentagon system, the VA would be better served if it could ‘‘trade information seamlessly.’’

Currently, health data between the two departments are shared both manually and electronically and must be ‘‘reconciled’’ to be fully integrated. Shulkin said he also wants to adapt the new system so it can work seamlessly with various health record systems of private doctors outside the VA. The VA is planning a broader overhaul of its Choice program of private-sector care......

--more--" 

I would keep an eye on the software if I were you.

"Trump backs air-traffic spinoff to fix ‘broken’ system" by Alan Levin and Mark Niquette Bloomberg News  June 05, 2017

President Trump used blunt language to attack his own Federal Aviation Administration, saying it wasted billions of dollars in technology and accusing it — without offering proof — of using equipment that dated back decades.

WTF, Globe?

Trump’s harsh words about the current system overstated some of the problems the FAA has encountered in recent decades, according to agency records and reports by the Transportation Department’s inspector general and the Government Accountability Office.

So what he said is actually backed by some facts, sigh. 

Look, if you don't want to get in the plane with him, fine, but stop giving me the wrong destinations.

While airlines would prefer the FAA adopted technology faster, the agency has gone through multiple generations of upgrades to its radars, communications, and computers, according to the reports. The FAA has already installed a network to monitor planes using satellite navigation instead of radar, though most planes aren’t yet equipped with the devices.....

But  “the performance of the system is as good as it’s ever been." 

Yeah, that's the Spirit. Lie about the bumpy flight and everything else.

--more--"

Related: Trump's TSA

I gue$$ it is part of the infrastructure.

"Shareholders will vote Tuesday on whether Tesla’s directors should face re-election at each annual meeting, rather than serve staggered three-year terms. The measure was proposed by a group of Connecticut pension funds that’s criticized Tesla for filling its board almost entirely with members personally or professional tied to chief executive Elon Musk...."

I'm told the “investor group should buy Ford stock” because of the airbag problem, and he did resign from the Trump CEO committee, right?

CSX shareholders approve $84m payment tied to hiring of new CEO

Too bad most of the money is in bitcoin.

"A pro-President Trump free speech rally drew several hundred to a plaza near City Hall on Sunday. That rally was met across the street by hundreds of counterprotesters organized by immigrant rights, religious, and labor groups. Last week Mayor Ted Wheeler unsuccessfully tried to have the permit for the free speech rally for the conservative group Patriot Prayer, [whose] goal is to wake up the liberty movement, revoked......"

Who is behaving like fascists?

"Seeds of fascism sprout anew in Trump’s America" by H.D.S. Greenway   June 06, 2017

WATCHING DONALD TRUMP on TV whipping up his base of supporters at a rally in Harrisburg, Pa., I had a sudden feeling I had seen this all before. I remembered a speech I had seen on YouTube. It was a speech Mussolini had given in Milan in 1932. I watched it again, and it was all there. The chin thrust, the pouts, the hand gestures, the adoring base cheering every word. He spoke of the might of his army “second to none,” the “injustices committed against us,” and how he had “stormed the old political class.” There was even a complaint about the press that had drawn “arbitrary conclusions” to what he was saying. Mussolini’s Blackshirts, his squads of roughnecks, were used to assaulting reporters they didn’t like.

It got me thinking that nations, like people, can be changed very quickly according to how they are led. Today, Angela Merkel is thought of as the thoughtful, reasonable voice of the liberal order that has ruled in the West since World War II. But within my memory, her country lived under two monstrous dictatorships, Hitler’s and East Germany’s. What makes Germany today different from the Germany of my childhood is leadership.

Japan today is our closest ally in the Far East. A more civilized and polite society you cannot find. Yet older Americans can remember when the Japanese played a very different role. The difference in the way the Japanese treated their prisoners of war in World War I and World War II demonstrates how quickly a country can change. In World War I, Japan was on the side of the Allies, and treated the German and Austrian POWs it captured in Germany’s Far East possessions with extreme respect and to the letter of the Geneva Convention.

Then, in the 1930s, Japan turned toward militarism and nationalism. In one generation, when World War II came, Japanese society had changed. When WWII broke out, the Japanese began treating their prisoners of war with extreme cruelty against every convention. The difference was leadership.

Today the Italians are an easygoing and generous people. But when Fascism took hold in the early 1920s, Italy became belligerent and bullying. Its concentration camps for the native population in Libya and its use of poison gas became genocidal. And it was quick to join the Nazis in dreams of conquest. Mussolini was telling Italians they had to begin winning again.

In his 2004 book, “The Anatomy of Fascism,” Robert O. Paxton wrote that fascism did not die with the end of World War II, that its seeds were planted “within all democratic countries, not excluding the United States.” According to Paxton, fascism was a “form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood. . . . “Fascism was an affair of the gut more than of the brain.”

Or as R.J.B. Bosworth wrote in his 2005 book “Mussolini’s Italy,” “Border fascism,” an obsession with borders and keeping the population pure, was always a “key strain in the fascist melody,” as was “allowing the nation to stand tall again.” All you needed was a charismatic leader, Mussolini, whom Paxton compared to the modern “media-era celebrity.”

Thirteen years ago Paxton wrote that all that is required for a rebirth of fascism is “polarization, deadlock, mass mobilization against internal and external enemies, and complicity by existing elites. . . . It is of course conceivable that a fascist party could be elected to power in free, competitive elections.”

But that could never happen here in America, the oldest democracy in the world, could it?

Actually, Sinclair Lewis beat him to it, and it has been a truly fa$ci$t country for at least 35 years.

--more--"

Interestingly enough, I just got done fighting a North African campaign involving Germany and Italy a few days after finishing up a Pacific campaign.

I'm sorry, but a true fascist in his sense of the word wouldn't be letting this happen or allowing the immigration order to be challenged. All Democratic leaders would have either been executed or in jail and the party banned from political life. What a fraudulent charge.

Honestly, the over-the-top hyperbole and hysteria hurts their cause, and he is not standing up and criticizing the expanding aggressions under the leadership of Trump. That's the parallel here if you want to base the debate on the conventional historical narrative we have all been taught.

And I wouldn't worry. Apparently, Trump might not be in power for long, and it looks to me like Gary Cohn is really the president.

"His Democratic political leanings clear, Jason Feinberg, CEO and creative director of FCTRY, describes the Warren action figure’s stance as “full defiant hero mode,” in a phone interview. FCTRY wasn’t the only company making politically themed toys in the run-up to the election. The popularity of a hand-sewn Bernie Sanders doll called Lil’ Bernie had Emily Engel, of Ludlow, working through the night to keep up with orders, as the Globe reported last year. There was also a boom in the production of political swag that took the form of ball caps, T-shirts, even toilet paper. FCTRY rolled out its Clinton action figure, in a powder blue pantsuit, with a Kickstarter campaign, then followed with a Sanders figure, but when the company decided to produce a Trump figure, the approach was quite different. That figure was designed as “a villain,” Feinberg wrote in a Jan. 30 post on Medium. The Trump action figure wears a long, red tie. His hair is removable. His middle finger is extended. According to Feinberg, the company donated $5,000 from those early Trump figurine sales to Border Angels, a nonprofit that helps immigrants survive the journey across the US-Mexico border. He wrote that the company planned to stop selling the figure once the election was over. Then, of course, Trump won. FCTRY was flooded with orders for the figurine — from Trump supporters. So, as Feinberg noted in his Medium post, the company decided to donate 100 percent of the profits from the figure to the American Civil Liberties Union. Now, FCTRY is focused on Warren, its next petite politician. Whether she’s a hero or a villain depends on what side of the aisle you’re on....."

Not regarding this next case:

Bella Bond’s mother says she’s ashamed she didn’t call 911

Should I be ashamed for not listening to the cries of the children?

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

"2 charged in Calif. warehouse fire that killed 36" by Paul Elias Associated Press  June 06, 2017

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Alameda County district attorney said Derick Almena and Max Harris will each be charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter. Authorities say Almena leased the warehouse and illegally sublet space for artists to live and work. He is also accused of holding for-profit concerts at the warehouse, which was not licensed for entertainment.

Harris lived at the the warehouse, called Ghost Ship, and is accused of helping plan the December concert where the fire broke out. The building was licensed as a warehouse and not for entertainment or residency. Oakland city records show neighbors, residents, and visitors repeatedly complained about the warehouse to city officials, citing safety problems, loud parties, and other issues.....

--more--"

Jury picked in manslaughter trial of Minnesota officer

A Latino officer fatally shot a black motorist in the Upper Midwest.

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"Philippine lawmakers ask top court to nullify martial law" Associated Press  June 06, 2017

MANILA —The petitioners said congressional leaders and the majority of lawmakers allied with President Rodrigo Duterte were derelict in their constitutional duty by refusing to convene a joint session of Congress to vote on whether to revoke the martial law proclamation.

Duterte made the declaration May 23 after extremists allied with the Islamic State laid siege to Marawi city. The declaration lasts through mid-July but could be extended with the consent of Congress.

The martial law proclamation said the militants openly attempted to remove that part of the country from its allegiance to the Philippine government by taking over a hospital, establishing several checkpoints in the city, burning down certain government and private facilities, and flying the flag of the Islamic State in several areas, but the petitioners said the military acknowledged the conflict in Marawi was precipitated by an attempt by troops to capture Isnilon Hapilon, a high-profile militant commander.

Why is the opposition in the Philippines defending Islamic terrorists?

They also said the claim that militants took over a hospital and Duterte’s claim that a local police chief was decapitated both turned out to be wrong. ‘‘The president’s proclamation of martial law in Mindanao has no sufficient factual basis,’’ they said.....

Look, president's lie all the time.

--more--"

Starting to piss some people off:

"Defying Russia, Montenegro finally joins NATO" by Predrag Milic Associated Press  June 05, 2017

BUDVA, Montenegro — Once the Balkan stronghold of pro-Russia sentiments, tiny Montenegro on Monday was quietly celebrating its entry into NATO in a historic turn toward the West that has made the Kremlin furious.

Despite the Russian anger and a deep split within the nation of some 620,000 people over the issue, Montenegro formally become the 29th member of the Western military alliance at a ceremony in Washington on Monday.

To get there, Montenegro has stood up against its former ally Russia, which has sought to maintain strong historic, political, and cultural influence in the Slavic country it considers a special zone of interest.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday, ‘‘Russia reserves the right to take counter-measures on the basis of reciprocity amid the Montenegrin authorities’ hostile stance,’’ according to the Russian state TASS news agency. It did not elaborate, but Russia has threatened economic and political retaliation, including a campaign to undermine the Montenegrin tourism industry, which relies heavily on Russian visitors.

Prime Minister Dusko Markovic of Montenegro said during the ceremony that the NATO accession ‘‘is a historic event for a country and a nation which endured enormous sacrifices in the 19th and 20th centuries in order to defend their right to a free life; the right to decide on our own future; the right to be recognized by the world under our own name.”

Bringing Montenegro into NATO further reduces Russia’s influence in southeast Europe.....

And is another link in the chain ringing them from the Scandinavian Arctic through the Baltic and Eastern Europe down through the Caucuses and into Central Asia and Afghanistan. The only avenue not blocked is the border with China. 

Does Korea really have something to do with that?

--more--"

You know what dissipates anger? 

LAUGHTER!

"Woman arrested after report suggests Russia hackers breached voting software firm" by Deb Riechmann and Russ Bynum Associated Press  June 05, 2017

WASHINGTON — The classified National Security Agency report, which was published online by The Intercept, does not say whether the hacking had any effect on election results, but it says Russian military intelligence attacked a US voting software company and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials at the end of October or beginning of November.

The giggling has already started.

The document said Russian military intelligence ‘‘executed cyber espionage operations against a named US company in August 2016 evidently to obtain information on elections-related software and hardware solutions, according to information that became available in April 2017.’’

The hackers are believed to have then used data from that operation to create a new email account to launch a spear-phishing campaign targeting U.local government organizations, the document said. ‘‘Lastly, the actors send test emails to two non-existent accounts ostensibly associated with absentee balloting, presumably with the purpose of creating those accounts to mimic legitimate services.’’

The document did not name any state.

Yeah, who are the hackers and why have they again retreated to the shadows?

The information in the leaked document seems to go further than the US intelligence agencies’ January assessment of the hacking that occurred.

Leaked to who?

‘‘Russian intelligence obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple US state or local electoral boards,’’ the assessment said. The Department of Homeland Security ‘‘assesses that the types of systems Russian actors targeted or compromised were not involved in vote tallying.’’

PFFFFFFFFFFFFT!

The Intercept contacted NSA and the national intelligence director’s office about the document and both agencies asked that it not be published. Intelligence officials then asked The Intercept to redact certain sections. The Intercept said some material was withheld at US intelligence agencies’ request because it wasn’t ‘‘clearly in the public interest.’’

OMG! 

The Intercept is a pos, Democracy Now offshoot! 

I had recently added them to my blog roll, but took them down after reading this report. 

You don't see Alex Jones there anymore, do you?

The Associated Press could not confirm the authenticity of the May 5 NSA document, which The Intercept said it obtained anonymously. But also on Monday, the Justice Department announced it had charged a government contractor in Georgia with leaking a classified report containing ‘‘Top Secret level’’ information to an online news organization.

But what?

Reality Leigh Winner, 25, of Augusta, Ga., was charged in US District Court with copying classified documents and mailing them to a reporter with an unnamed news organization. Winner’s attorney, Titus Thomas Nichols, declined to confirm whether she is accused of leaking the NSA report received by The Intercept.....

You mean propaganda outlet and tool, don't you, on both ends?

Is that even a real name? Who calls their kid Reality Winner?

--more--"

"Malta’s PM sworn in for 2nd term, pledges gay marriage law" Associated Press  June 06, 2017

VALLETTA, Malta — Joseph Muscat was sworn in Monday for a second term as Malta’s prime minister, pledging to introduce a gay marriage law when Parliament convenes in the next few weeks.

That was the hot-button i$$ue over there?

Official results showed his Labor Party won 55 percent of the vote Saturday to the opposition National Force coalition’s 44 percent, the same margin as his first victory in 2013. The National Force includes the Nationalist Party and the Democratic Party.

Muscat called the special election a year early to consolidate his rule after the Panama Papers leak indicated his wife owned an offshore company. They deny wrongdoing.

The Panama Papers leak exposed identities of the rich and powerful around the world with offshore holdings in Panama, including also Muscat’s energy minister — who was reelected in Saturday’s election — and chief of staff.

Actually, my pre$$ only reported a few select names for the obvious agenda-pushing reasons and to dispatch the no longer desirable puppet political leaders with liabilities. 

Malta introduced civil unions in 2014, and Muscat’s decision to move ahead on gay marriage recognizes election pledges by the major parties to extend full marriage rights to homosexual couples.

Socially conservative, Malta was the last European Union country to pass a divorce law, in 2013. Abortion is illegal.

Also on Monday, the leader of the Nationalist Party, Simon Busuttil, announced he will resign after the defeat.

After the publication of the Panama Papers last year, Muscat was criticized for retaining two government ministers named in the documents.

Corruptibility is a qualification for government, and the real concern in Malta is $ame-$ex marriage.

--more--"

The Panama Papers would bring us to the shores of England, actually:

"Britain debates what to do to tighten security" by Steven Erlanger New York Times   June 05, 2017

LONDON — After three terrorist attacks in 73 days, Britain is engaged in a new debate about balancing civil liberties and security, just days before voting in parliamentary elections Thursday.

Surveillance cameras are everywhere, especially in cities, and there are relatively few restrictions on the mass collection of telephone and Internet data by the government, all of which raises the uncomfortable question of what more can be done to prevent the kind of terrorist attack that killed seven people in central London over the weekend.

Track every single person with some sort of clothing or implanted device, right?

It is a familiar dilemma in the United States, as well as for governments across Europe, particularly in France. “You need more grass-roots intelligence, not community intelligence,” Fran├žois Heisbourg, a security expert and adviser to the new French president, Emmanuel Macron, said, with less delicacy about community sensitivities and more willingness on the part of the British to use the vast powers they already have under the law.

Because it isn't about any of this illusion and imagery regarding terror. It's about a total $urveillance society and constructing the conventional narrative of our times to drive events in a certain direction, to the benefit of a very small few.

If the most surveilled society on the planet can stop so many attacks in such a short time -- taking for granted they are real as reported and not crisis drill hoaxes, which is what they appear to be -- then the surveillance has failed and it is time to stop doing it. What M1-6 and all should be doing is stop creating terrorist patsies in the first place.

In a time of growing anxiety over terrorism, it is a bargain that Europeans may be more inclined to accept. There were, for instance, no protests when France’s new government suggested last month that it would seek a sixth extension for the state of emergency the country has been living under for a year and a half, but it is not clear that tougher surveillance and policing measures alone are the solution.

You see? It's to set the climate to where you won't object, while plying rank emotionalism and fear (like those, you know, fascist guys above) to achieve the ends.

Prime Minister Theresa May promises more help for stretched counterterrorism police and intelligence agencies, but May was selling old rope, said Peter R. Neumann, a professor of security studies at King’s College London and director of the International Center for the Study of Radicalization. The statements amount to a recycling of previous efforts to toughen antiterrorism laws, he added, and of the Conservative Party’s criticism of the powers of Internet and social media companies to resist targeted government surveillance of suspects. That theme is also prominent in the party’s election platform..... 

Well, 73 days worth of a shove should help, right?

--more--"

Related:

"Critics pointed out that Prime Minister Theresa May was in charge of security for six years before replacing David Cameron as prime minister. “I am so sick of Theresa May blaming others for terror when the system she presided over has obviously failed so lamentably,” Steve Hilton, once a close adviser to Cameron, wrote on Twitter. May, he added in a separate tweet, “should be resigning, not seeking reelection.” Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labor Party, when asked by a reporter if he would support calls for May’s resignation over the falling number of police officers, replied, “Indeed, I would.” Stung by the criticism just days before the election Thursday that will decide her political future, May responded at a news conference. “We have protected counterterrorism policing budgets,” she said. “We have also provided funding for an increase in the number of armed police officers.” She cited comments from Cressida Dick, head of the Metropolitan Police in London, that the city’s force is well resourced and has powerful counterterrorism abilities. The prime minister also came to the defense of Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, who was mocked by President Trump over his response to the attack....."

Traders are keeping their eyes on developments, and what is with the video of the bobby changing into a terrorist costume before the whole event? And why is Khan not calling it out? It's his city!

Here is how I see the election playing out, and how no matter what the result the oligarchs winIf May and her party wins in a squeaker, her move backfired and Brexit will allegedly be that much more difficult. She may even resign after the vote and be replaced with someone else. There is the possibility that the Tories won't win a simple majority, thereby complicating Brexit. What we could also get is a "surprise" victory for Labor and the Left (that will show all you conspiracy commentators that the votes aren't rigged). Corbyn can effectively be hamstrung if not done in altogether, and then the Brexit may even be shelved. Either way, you see who wins. Those are western elections in the 21$t-century.

Maybe not so lucky in Mexico, which has a long, long history of fraudulent and fixed elections:

"Mexico ruling party leads in key state vote" by Peter Orsi Associated Press  June 05, 2017

MEXICO CITY — The ruling party’s candidate held a slight advantage in preliminary vote counts on Monday in the race for governor of Mexico’s most populous state, an election seen as a key test ahead of next year’s presidential election.

A PRI victory would hand the party a lifeline, after President Enrique Pena Nieto’s approval ratings dipped to near single digits and a parade of former PRI governors were jailed for corruption.

OMG!!!

Many believed the party would have been essentially knocked out of the 2018 presidential race if it failed to hold on to its last big bastion, Pena Nieto’s home state and one it has governed without interruption for 88 years, but if Alfredo del Mazo of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI,  wins, he will face a state where two-thirds of voters opposed him.

Political analyst Raymundo Riva Palacio said such a narrow, ‘‘pyrrhic’’ PRI victory in the state of Mexico could spell trouble for the party next year. Considering the power of the PRI’s political machine in the state and the fact that Delfina Gomez of the leftist Morena party was practically unknown eight months ago, the result so far signals ‘‘an enormous discontent with the PRI’’ and portends a ‘‘very bad scenario’’ for the party and the president, he argued.

Jose Antonio Crespo, a political analyst at Mexico’s Center for Economic Research and Teaching, said that with the bruising elections in Mexico State the PRI ‘‘is not going to win any more prestige or recover its lost credibility. On the contrary, the PRI insists on playing dirty. As far as 2018 is concerned, they lost prestige, it sends a very bad signal for 2018,’’ he noted. 

Just like an AmeriKan new$paper.

The other two main parties, the leftist Democratic Revolution and the conservative National Action, were behind in the state by significant margins, but the Mexico State elections will also be a test for Gomez, the hand-picked candidate of Morena party leader and 2018 presidential hopeful Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

If Gomez’ campaign holds protests in Mexico State, it could stir up memories of Lopez Obrador’s unpopular decision to block streets in Mexico City for months in 2006 to protest perceived vote fraud in his narrow loss in the presidential race. On Monday, Lopez Obrador said Gomez’ campaign may demand a recount.

‘‘We are in the right,’’ Lopez Obrador said in brief televised remarks. ‘‘Delfina won, and we are going to prove it. We will not accept any electoral fraud. . . . Mexico needs democracy.’’

We will see which side of the wall the U.S. is on before deciding whether you got it or not.

--more--"

Crack open the bubbly!

"Activity in Spain’s ports was intermittent Monday as dockworkers began a three-day strike to protest layoffs stemming from an effort to liberalize the industry in line with European Union rules. Parliament passed a bill in May to end a decades-old monopoly by a workers’ association on who gets employed to load and unload cargo at the country’s 46 ports. The government had been facing hefty EU fines for not reining in the restrictive practices earlier."

I didn't say smash it against the side of a ship.

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

"Wall Street Journal ends Google users’ free ride, then fades in search results" by Gerry Smith Bloomberg News  June 06, 2017

NEW YORK — The reason: Google search results are based on an algorithm that scans the Internet for free content. After the Journal’s free articles went behind a paywall, Google’s bot only saw the first few paragraphs and started ranking them lower, limiting the Journal’s viewership.

Executives at the Journal, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., argue that Google’s policy is unfairly punishing them for trying to attract more digital subscribers. They want Google to treat their articles equally in search rankings, despite being behind a paywall.

“Any site like ours automatically doesn’t get the visibility in search that a free site would,” Suzi Watford, the Journal’s chief marketing officer, said in an interview. “You are definitely being discriminated against as a paid news site.”

Oh, BOO-HOO-HOO, WSJ!

Makes me feel better about what I'm doing, I'll tell you that!

Google says its “first click free” policy is good for both consumers and publishers. People want to get the news quickly and don’t want to immediately encounter a paywall. Plus, if publishers let Google users sample articles for free, there’s a better chance they’ll end up subscribing, Google says.

It's the “opportunity to convert people!”

The Journal decided to stop letting people read articles free from Google after discovering nearly 1 million people each month were abusing the three-article limit. They would copy and paste Journal headlines into Google and read the articles for free, then clear their cookies to reset the meter and read more, Watford said.

The Journal now only lets Google users see a short snippet at the top of its articles, restricting the rest to its 2.2 million subscribers or people who arrive via social media....

You know what? Keep your damn rag! I'm not intere$ted.

--more--"

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

Only problem is, news is like a drug:

"Two men were arrested in Attleborough for allegedly trafficking nearly seven kilograms of cocaine from the Dominican Republic to Boston on a JetBlue flight Friday evening, prosecutors said. Juan Luis Perez Garcia, a 44-year-old Dominican national currently living in the Bronx, N.Y., and 43-year-old Juan Artiles Taveras, of Lakewood, N.J., are both facing charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, Acting US Attorney William D. Weinreb’s office said. Prosecutors said a cooperating witness worked with investigators to identify members of a narcotics organization based in the Dominican Republic. In June 2015, the witness and an undercover officer attended a meeting of the organization in the Dominican Republic, and learned about someone who could smuggle drugs onto flights bound for the US, authorities said. The witness told the group that he worked at the Boston airport and could help retrieve the drugs once the flights landed, authorities said. Prosecutors said the witness spoke with Perez Garcia in February 2016 about putting cocaine on a Boston-bound plane from the Dominican Republic. Prosecutors said multiple attempts were made over the next year to send cocaine to Boston, but none of them were successful. On Friday, a suitcase containing cocaine was placed on a JetBlue flight from the Dominican Republic to Boston, authorities said. Officials intercepted the suitcase in Boston and found nearly seven kilograms of cocaine inside. Perez Garcia and Atiles Taveras allegedly met the witness and the undercover officer at a parking lot in Attleborough Friday evening to exchange money for the drugs. Federal agents arrested the two men at the meeting, prosecutors said......" 

I'd say send the coke to the drug labs, but.... what was the office manager doing with bag of crack on his desk anyway?

"Drug deaths in US rising faster than ever" by Josh Katz New York Times  June 05, 2017

AKRON, Ohio — Drug overdose deaths in 2016 most likely exceeded 59,000, the largest annual jump ever recorded in the United States, according to preliminary state and county data.

HOLY SH**!!! 

Now THAT is a WAR!!!!!

The death count is the latest consequence of an escalating public health crisis: opioid addiction, now made more deadly by an influx of illicitly manufactured fentanyl and similar drugs. The Times’s estimate of 62,500 deaths would be a 19 percent increase over the 52,404 recorded in 2015.

Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death among Americans under 50, and all evidence suggests the problem has continued to worsen in 2017.

“Heroin is the devil’s drug, man.” 

In some Ohio counties, deaths from heroin have virtually disappeared. Instead, the culprit is fentanyl or one of its many analogs.

Just doing the state's job for them or helping out, right?

Fentanyl isn’t new. But over the past three years, it has been popping up in drug seizures across the country.

Most of the time, it’s sold on the street as heroin, or drug traffickers use it to make cheap counterfeit prescription opioids. Fentanyls are showing up in cocaine as well, contributing to an increase in cocaine-related overdoses.....

--more--" 

I am so glad I only dabbled over 30 years ago and never got involved in drugs. My ill was the drink, and those days are long, long gone, never to appear again. 

My vise now, $ad to $ay, is the Globe and a cup of coffee.

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


"The state has paid nearly $750,000 to Velir Studios, a Somerville consulting firm, to help build the new and improved website....."

OH, NO!

"Tax revenue rises, but state still faces budget deficit" by Joshua Miller Globe Staff  June 05, 2017

State tax revenues in May offered mixed news, but Massachusetts remains mired in a nearly half-billion budget hole with just four weeks left in the fiscal year.

The state Department of Revenue announced late Monday that year-to-date revenue collection through May was 1.9 percent less than expected, even as the amount of cash the state brought in last month was $30 million, or 1.6 percent, more than anticipated.

Noah Berger, who has closely followed the state budget for years and is president of the liberal-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, said a significant portion of the state’s fiscal hole does not appear to be the result of a souring economy, but rather the long-term fiscal challenges that persist despite the economic recovery.

Another factor that is resulting in the less-than-expected revenue, Berger said, is choices people made about taxes last year. For example, some people may be waiting to cash out their stocks in hopes of a more friendly tax picture under the Trump administration and the GOP-held Congress, but Eileen McAnneny, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, had a darker take.

Governor Charlie Baker said his administration had spent the last few months “nipping and tucking” state government in response to less-than-expected revenue. 

PFFFFFFFFT!

Baker declined to specify what, exactly, that meant, speaking to reporters alongside the two other members of the powerful troika — Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg and House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo — that controls how $39 billion of taxpayer money is spent each year, but the governor indicated agencies may have held off on spending some of the money that the Legislature appropriated for them.

In past budget crunches, the Republican administration has moved money from different accounts and held off on purchases, contracts, and bills due until the next fiscal year. Asked whether the newest budget crunch changes his mind on taxes, Baker, who won office in 2014 after pledging not to raise them, indicated the answer is no. He said one of the main reasons tax revenue growth has been relatively small is because Massachusetts workers have seen relatively small increases in personal income, and, he indicated, state government, just like the citizens it represents, ought to live within its means. 

???????????

Ah, yes, "to tax or not to tax, there should be no question."

I gue$$ $he is all-in (do you hear an Echo?)!

But Rosenberg, an Amherst Democrat, is using this year’s budget crunch to argue that the state must get new revenue. Rosenberg said step one is voters passing the so-called millionaires tax at the ballot next year. That constitutional amendment would impose an additional levy of 4 percent on annual taxable income in excess of $1 million starting in 2019 and be tied to inflation.

Yeah, good luck with that one.

Another step, Rosenberg said, is scouring the state’s many tax breaks for ones that can be nixed — thus bringing in more cash for essential state services. He argued that new money to support increased investments in education and transportation is key..... 

LIKE WHICH ONES??

You going to give back the PAY RAISE, Stan?!!

--more--"

Let me roll you over to find out (wasn't she going to leave if Trump won) how much tax loot she is going to co$t.

Meanwhile, Bill Maher is just as bad as Kathy Griffin, according to Al Franken.

Criminal justice reform likely in Mass., but how far will it go?

I wouldn't be holding my breath waiting for help if I were you.

Silver Line service to Chelsea to begin next spring

Oh, Sh**!

Peabody man awaiting trial for beating puppy is back behind bars

Didn't scoop the poop.

"June 5, 1967, war erupted in the Middle East as Israel, anticipating a possible attack by its Arab neighbors, launched a series of pre-emptive airfield strikes that destroyed nearly the entire Egyptian air force; Syria, Jordan and Iraq immediately entered the conflict. (By the time fighting ended on the sixth day, Israel had captured the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.....

Three days later they would try to draw the U.S. in with an attack on the USS Liberty. Thank God they didn't set off a bomb.


June 5, 1968, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated

June 6, 1968, Senator Robert F. Kennedy died.

Once again, his death passes quietly by with nary a word from the ma$$ media, and that's all I have to say about that.

June 6, 1944, ‘‘D-Day’’

Every American knows about that.

June 6, 1982, Israeli forces invaded Lebanon...."

Just can't seem to help themselves.

Time to let go of the past, readers, and it is my right to end this blog when I wish, leaving nothing behind.