Sunday, March 25, 2018

Boston Globe Bullhorn

They are literally screaming at you:

"In Washington, teen marchers make their fear and fury heard" by Astead W. Herndon Globe Staff  March 24, 2018

If a tree falls in the forest.....

"With Congress on spring recess for two weeks starting Monday, many lawmakers had already departed Washington early Friday. Some were on their way out of the country as part of official congressional delegations overseas."

..... does it make a sound?

WASHINGTON — Hundreds of thousands of Americans, including many young people enraged by decades of political inaction on the issue of gun control, gathered Saturday afternoon at the National Mall and in cities across the country with a singular message for lawmakers they view as sharing blame for the country’s relentless toll of gun deaths: Enough.

The nationwide protests, dubbed The March for Our Lives, were the culminating event for the youth-led, gun control movement that has rapidly built steam since mid-February, when a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Unlike with mass shootings of the past, which have garnered intense attention for a short period of time before fading from the forefront, student leaders from Stoneman Douglas have created a national network of like-minded teenagers who are challenging America’s gun lobby — along with the elected officials it often influences.

The boisterous, singing, chanting crowd in Washington reached well over 300,000, according to a count by the Associated Press. At one point, the protesters jammed the entire corridor of Pennsylvania Avenue that stretches from the White House to the Capitol Building.

This glowing approval of their protests clues you in to its agenda-pushing, controlled opposition quality.

On Saturday, in Washington and in hundreds of smaller marches in other cities, including Boston, that burgeoning political network flexed its adolescent muscle. Speaking rosters almost exclusively made up of young activists called for gun control measures such as increased gun background checks, a nationwide ban on assault weapons, and more measures to specifically address gun violence in minority communities.

Speakers also called for a realignment of the country’s moral compass, because, they believe, society has come to see gun deaths as an unfortunate byproduct of Second Amendment freedoms, rather than a preventable harm, they said.

Some crisis actor is Hogging the spotlight. 

Related: "In the more than a month since their former high school became a tragic part of the national lexicon, the alumni have been struggling with a mix of emotions. Some have felt unsure of how, exactly, to talk about what happened. Some have struggled with the unnerving reality of hearing their quiet little hometown becoming a constant topic of national news. But they’ve also been amazed at the poise shown by the high school’s current students — a couple of whom have become household names thanks to their vigorous calls for change....."

Going to be on the cover of Time!

President Trump spent Saturday afternoon golfing in West Palm Beach, Fla., and his usually active Twitter account made no mention of the young people’s cause.

Yeah, I told you that even if they did not.

More than a single-issue gun rally, the protests were a primal scream from a new generation seeking to forcefully assert themselves in a political sphere in which they are often ignored. Many attendees, even those too young to vote, spoke of voter registration drives and mobilization efforts for the upcoming midterm elections.

Exemplifying their frustration, “Vote them out!” chants often rang out as marchers passed the US Capitol, and one attendee carried bright orange price tags that listed how much money lawmakers took from the National Rifle Association.

Across the country, thousands more gathered outside state houses and in city squares both big and small to hold similar rallies. The march in Boston attracted more than 50,000 attendees.

“It feels like a different type of movement here this time,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh said. “All we can do is worry about today and work with our young people today across America and hopefully . . . the people in Congress and the Senate will pay attention to what’s happening outside their windows.”

Yeah, except "with Congress on spring recess for two weeks starting Monday, many lawmakers had already departed Washington early Friday. Some were on their way out of the country as part of official congressional delegations overseas," and Trump flew off to his Florida estate for the weekend where "a police officer shot and killed a suspect who was trying to pin him with a car in the town of Largo on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Police said officer Matthew Steiner attempted to stop a driver at a gas station Friday evening and the driver used the car to try to pin him in the area near the gas pumps. Steiner then fired into the vehicle. The driver was later pronounced dead at a local hospital, and the officer was also taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries (AP)."

More grist for the protest mill.

In Washington and Los Angeles, celebrity protesters included the megastars who had financially backed and publicized the march, including actor George Clooney, moguls Kim Kardashian-West and her husband Kanye West, and Broadway star Lin-Manuel Miranda. However, because organizers did not want adult involvement to distract from the event’s youthful energy, the only speakers at the main Washington event were students ages 18 and younger.

Just shaking my head now.

The march marks another flashpoint in the rise of political activism since the election of Donald Trump in November 2016. Since the day of after his inauguration, when the anti-Trump Women’s March became the largest single-day protest in American history, liberals and other Trump critics have often resorted to protests and disruptions to give voice to their displeasure.

Whatever happened to Antifa, anyway? That Soros-funded bunch of thugs were dispatched down the memory hole and are now being completely ignored. What skullduggery are they up to that we are not being told?

This week, Congress used a massive spending bill to enact some gun-related matters, though the proposals stopped far short of activists’ demands. The bill, which Trump begrudgingly signed into law on Friday, included incentives to improve the country’s background check system for gun purchases and new language that will make it easier for the Centers for Disease Control to spend money on gun research.

Yeah, he betrayed his base on their most beloved issue. That's why he closed ranks with the Khazars.

Trump has expressed sympathy for the victims of mass shootings and took steps to ban bump stocks — the controversial gun device that allows weapons to be fired more rapidly — but the president has also embraced the NRA.

Though the NRA was conspicuously silent for most of Saturday, some of its most vocal spokespeople spent the day sparring with gun control activists on Twitter. One NRA spokesman, Colion Noir, said in a tweet, “so this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause.”

I wonder where he got that from.

“In 1963 we marched on Washington for freedom. In 2018 we marched on Washington to give up our freedom,” Noir wrote Saturday.

Trump dined with gun lobby executives at the White House shortly after the Stoneman Douglas shooting. His most recent policy proposal to curb school shootings, which includes a request for additional armed teachers and guards in school buildings, is one firmly backed by pro-gun lobbyists.

Leaders from longtime gun control groups such as Everytown for Gun Safety, Giffords Courage, and Sandy Hook Promise — many of whom have been toiling against the American gun lobby for years — said they believe Saturday could be a turning point for the country.

Though clear-eyed about the staying power of America’s gun enthusiasts, they pointed to a bipartisan school safety law in Florida and other proposals from lawmakers in Louisiana and Ohio as proof of a changing tide.

“These student leaders are speaking about our country’s moral failings.

Where they been? 

Have they been protesting torture and I'm just not being told?

It’s not a back-and-forth about policy, it’s not even a political question — it’s focused on really big ideas like ‘What kind of country do we want to have?’ ” said Peter Ambler, the executive director of Giffords, the gun-control advocacy group founded by former Representative Gabrielle Giffords after she was shot in 2011.

“So not only are lots of young people having their first political experience around the issue of guns, but they’re shaming the adults into actually taking action. And that’s something that’s effective politically,” Ambler said.

Shannon Watts, the founder of a gun control group called Moms Demand Action, said the students have done something no one could have expected months ago — made gun control a leading issue going into the politically contentious election season. Making use of the technology they have long used to socialize, the most interconnected generation of teenagers is now using that collective power to have their voices heard, Watts said.

They have to “keep this momentum going,” and this adds to the narrative regarding another "change" election and Democrat takeover of the House.

Michaela Hoenig and Mai Canning, two students at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Md., solicited donations from corporations and lawmakers to provide food and transportation stipends for their fellow students on Friday evening and Saturday morning. In an interview, the teenagers said they coordinated almost exclusively through social media and, of course, outside of school.

“We want politicians to realize we’re serious,” Canning said. “And if they don’t listen to us and they don’t agree with our issues, we’re going to vote them out.”

That is where all this is being channeled.


"Young people are irate, and absolutely right" by Yvonne Abraham Globe Columnist  March 24, 2018

Hurry up and take over, kids.

The students at the vanguard of Saturday’s March for Our Lives — arms locked tightly, voices raised in fiery defiance — could plant a glimmer of hope even in a heart utterly broken by the desecrations of the last year or so.

We older folk messed up royally. There weren’t enough of us to stop the ascension of a president who has given haters cover, diminished values we thought sacrosanct, and embraced our elected officials’ long tradition of slavish devotion to the gun right absolutists at the NRA.

Who is "we?"

Even in the face of repeated carnage, we were unable to budge the politicians and corporations that profit off grotesquely deadly weaponry cynically marketed as symbols of patriotism.....

So she is against the wars now?


Screw her collective guilt tripShe never did investigate the sexual assaults and harassment in her own house.

"Students, demonstrators march, rally on Boston Common" by Laura Crimaldi, Adam Vaccaro and Jacob Carozza, Globe Staff | Globe Correspondent March 24, 2018

Students galvanized by last month’s deadly school shooting in Florida led tens of thousands of demonstrators Saturday in a march and rally in Boston to push for stronger gun control and draw attention to the stark toll that gun violence takes on communities of color.

Police estimated 50,000 people participated in the march through city streets for Boston’s version of the worldwide rallies called March for Our Lives, a mayoral spokeswoman said. Protest organizers said more than 100,000 took part.

The event culminated in a rally on Boston Common, where students and teachers spoke movingly of the gun violence that has indiscriminately torn apart lives from the halls of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., to the streets of Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan.

“My school will now always be remembered for what took place on Feb. 14, 2018,” said Leslie Chiu, a graduate of Stoneman Douglas who attends Northeastern University.

Her alma mater will be known, Chiu said, as the place that “started the movement that we are a part of today.”

“Our generation will carry with us the weight and burden of countless lives lost and we will take it upon ourselves to ensure that on their behalf that we are the last ones in this environment of daily shootings,” she said.

Elected officials attended to show their support for the youth-led demonstration, but kept to the sidelines and didn’t speak at the rally. The protest was among more than 800 held Saturday, including the main event in Washington, D.C., which drew hundreds of thousands of people.

And no one was there to hear or see them.

In one poignant moment, Leonor Muñoz, a survivor of the Feb. 14 shooting that killed 17 people, was joined on stage by her sister, Beca, a Northeastern student.

Leonor Muñoz recalled hearing the “Code Red” alert and escaping the school. The sound of SWAT officers knocking on doors remains fresh, she said.

Beca Muñoz said their demand for change is not new.

“The thing that sets the people of Parkland apart is our wealth and the color of our skin,” she said. “We cannot be complacent with a system that designates certain areas as safe while communities of color continue to be neglected, abused, and disproportionately affected by gun violence.”

The demonstration started Saturday morning in Roxbury, where protesters gathered at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School to march to the Common.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and US Representatives Stephen Lynch and Michael Capuano greeted marchers as they got into place.

Remember when liz claimed authorship of Occupy and then was forced to disown them?

“It feels like a different type of movement here this time,” Walsh said. “All we can do is worry about today and work with our young people today across America and hopefully . . . the people in Congress and the Senate will pay attention to what’s happening outside their windows.”

Wow, deva ju!

The rally and walk were peaceful and officers made no arrests, a Boston police spokesman said.

Marchers filled city streets, chanting “Enough is Enough,” “Black Lives Matter,” and “Hey, hey NRA, how many kids have you killed today?” Supporters cheered from the sidewalks, some crying as they applauded and photographed the throngs.

Many in the streets held signs that didn’t mince words.

People danced to music, including a song by Rihanna and a remix of the theme song from the television show “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” They held signs reading, “2020 Voter” and “If I Die In A School Shooting, Lay My Body On The Steps Of Capitol Hill.”

Massachusetts has a reputation for tough gun control laws, but could do more to save lives, demonstrators said.

Harvard University student Reed Shafer-Ray told the crowd about a family friend who committed suicide with a firearm he purchased at a sporting goods store.


After the suicide, Shafer-Ray said he and his friend’s mother approached state Representative Marjorie Decker about gun control legislation.

One proposal would let police officers temporarily remove firearms from people who may be in danger of harming themselves or others, Shafer-Ray said. The other bill would create a “no-sell” list for firearms that people could sign up for voluntarily. The measure is aimed at preventing people from purchasing a firearm when they are feeling desperate, he said.

“Both of these bills have a real chance to pass this year in Massachusetts, but you all understand how politics work,” Shafer-Ray said. “These bills will not pass unless the people of Massachusetts raise their voices so loud that our legislators cannot help but listen.”

They are quietly doing that!

As marchers walked toward the Common, several dozen counterprotesters assembled at the State House to speak out against what they see as a push to limit individual freedom and attack the Second Amendment.

“March for Our Lives has a lot of money behind them, they have a lot of politicians behind them,” said Mark Sahady, 42, a demonstration organizer with the group Resist Marxism.

From where?

The students involved in the march “are being used as pawns by the media and the political class,” he said.

He's right about that.

Boston police officers formed a human barrier between the counterprotesters and the anti-gun violence demonstrators. Members of Veterans for Peace also tried to separate the opposing groups.

Where they come from?

The pro-Second Amendment protesters left the Common at about 2:15 p.m., shortly after the March For Our Lives rally began. They dispersed from the State House about 45 minutes later.

Students invited a few adults — all teachers or antiviolence advocates — to address the rally.

Graciela Mohamedi, a physics teacher at Rockland High School, recounted the first time she handled an assault rifle after joining the US Marine Corps when she was 18 years old.

“We have seen them used to specifically incapacitate not just enemy combatants but innocent children and adults,” she said. “We’ve seen them used in places like Iraq and Sandy Hook Elementary School. Syria and Pulse nightclub. Afghanistan and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

And that is about as close as you will get to any inference regarding AmeriKan war crimes (the drone strikes and bombings don't even register).

She blasted President Trump.

Michael Martinez, a Roxbury resident who attends Weston High School, urged the crowd to register to cast ballots in upcoming elections. Organizers said they want to continue to collaborate and host a town hall event next month.

“The most powerful place one can show up is at the polls,” Martinez said.

If elected leaders fight gun control reforms, they must be voted out, he said.

A short time later, the crowd chanted: “Vote them out! Vote them out!”

The right winger is right! The kids are being channel into cul-de-sac politics.

They did this with the college loan interest rates, remember? The Democrats wrote the bill so the rates would zoom in the summer of 2012, making sure you kids would get out to the polls for Obummer. Then the Congre$$ swooped in and raised the rates while claiming they cut 'em!

Of course, you don't get LIBOR rates or anything.


Had to walk to get there, did you?

"Student protests reflect growing trend of Americans embracing activism" by David Crary Associated Press  March 24, 2018

NEW YORK — Saturday’s March for Our Lives in hundreds of cities across the country was the most recent sign that an extraordinary number of Americans are taking to heart the adage that democracy should not be a spectator sport.

In numbers not seen since the tumult of the 1960s and ’70s, multitudes are venturing off the political sidelines in a remarkable surge of political and social activism.

They include high school students angered by gun violence, racial minorities opposing police tactics, immigrants fighting deportation, and women with a range of grievances — notably pervasive sexual harassment and the longtime dominance of men in political power.

Well, at least they let you know which controlled opposition protests they approve.

The array of massive women’s marches in January 2017, primarily a backlash to Donald Trump’s election as president, served as prelude to the #MeToo movement, which caught fire in October and continues to this day. Women are calling out men who have sexually mistreated them in workplaces ranging from Hollywood to state legislatures to symphony orchestras.

The Feb. 14 massacre at a high school in Parkland, Fla., reignited the simmering national campaign to curtail gun violence. Tens of thousands of students across the United States walked out of their classrooms on March 14 to demand action by politicians, a prelude to this weekend’s March for Our Lives.

Activists are now trying to channel the energy of the youth-led antiviolence initiative into this fall’s midterm elections, and some of the leaders of the activist movements have been moving beyond political advocacy and organizing consumer boycotts and investment strategies to change corporate behavior.

You are BEING USED, kids! Can't you see it?

As the gun-control campaign was spreading nationally, public school teachers in West Virginia provided a dramatic example of how organized activism can prevail. After a nine-day walkout, they won a 5 percent pay raise even though they lacked collective bargaining rights and had no legal right to strike.

Racial tensions also have fueled activism, including the Black Lives Matter campaign protesting the deaths of black men at the hands of police, and the take-a-knee protests by some National Football League players.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, sees a common denominator in the overlapping movements.

‘‘People see that when they come together, they have power that they don’t have when they’re alone,’’ she said. ‘‘In these movements being created now, there’s a sense that with collective action, you can make possible what would have seemed impossible.’’

Another common denominator: The use of social media to publicize and organize a movement with a speed and scope beyond the wildest dreams of activists in the 1960s.

That's funny in light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

It took only a few days for global use of the #MeToo hashtag to pass the 1 million mark. Parkland student Emma Gonzalez quickly amassed more than 1.2 million Twitter followers after the shooting. And the West Virginia teachers plotted their walkout strategy over a private Facebook page that grew from an initial 100 members to more than 24,000.

RelatedUS company manufactures social media followers

And THAT is how you create a following and push an agenda!

The new embrace of activism has spread into pop culture as well. When Frances McDormand accepted her Best Actress award at the Oscars, she urged all the women to stand in unison in support of equal pay.

All the more reason to oppose it.

The protests have echoes of what happened the last time a new president was elected. In 2010, conservatives staged boisterous rallies around the country in response to President Obama’s health care law. The Tea Party movement helped Republicans complete a takeover of Congress in the midterm elections that year.

Now we are going to get the reverse, and given Trump's increased troops to Afghanistan, a near mirror copy of the Obama presidency.

Among those getting deeply engaged are a record number of women seeking high-level political office. Nearly 500 women — roughly three-quarters of them Democrats — plan to run for Congress this year, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. That’s up from 334 women who filed to run for the House or Senate in 2012, the previous record high. Women currently hold 106 of the 535 seats in Congress.

And if they are all visited by the AIPAC rep?

The national gun-control movement seems certain to remain energized for the foreseeable future by the infusion of student-led activism, even if Congress and many state legislatures balk at meeting the activists’ demands.....

Yeah, ‘‘people are getting off the sidelines.’’



Hundreds of thousands around the world make emotional plea for action

Did you see what happened in Spain?

"Emergency officials in the wealthy region said that 35 people were injured in clashes with police sent to control the angry crowd in central Barcelona....."

"French officer slain in terrorist attack honored as hero" by Elian Peltier New York Times  March 24, 2018

PARIS — France on Saturday mourned a police officer who was shot and died of his injuries after he swapped places with a woman being held hostage in a supermarket by a gunman claiming allegiance to the Islamic State.

The interior minister, Gérard Collomb, announced the death of Lieutenant Colonel Arnaud Beltrame, 44, overnight, and President Emmanuel Macron praised Beltrame, who was married and had no children, as a fallen hero.

“France will never forget his heroism, his bravery, his sacrifice,” Collomb said on Twitter.

Macron expressed condolences to the officer’s widow and relatives on Twitter on Saturday. And the office of the presidency said Beltrame had “displayed exceptional sang-froid and illustrated military virtues in a brilliant way, which deserves the respect and the admiration of the whole nation.”

French authorities said the officer had gone unarmed into the supermarket and was shot in the exchange of gunfire after police stormed the market and killed the gunman, Radouane Lakdim. It was unclear Saturday if Lakdim had been holding more than one person hostage.

A French judicial official said Saturday that three homemade explosive devices were found in the supermarket, the Associated Press reported. Also found were a 7.65-caliber handgun and a hunting knife.

Authorities searched Lakdim’s home Saturday, and said officers found notes referring to the Islamic State.

I'm supposed to be believing this?

Police also arrested a 17-year-old friend of Lakdim’s overnight on charges of criminal association in connection with a terrorist enterprise. A woman, identified by Molins as Lakdim’s partner, was taken into custody Friday night on the same grounds.

The death of Beltrame brought the toll from Friday’s violent outburst in southwestern France to five dead, including the gunman, and 15 wounded.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in Trèbes, about 60 miles southeast of Toulouse. It was the latest in a string of smaller-scale, individual terrorist acts to rattle a country on a high terrorist alert since attacks in Paris and Nice in 2015 and 2016.

There were/are questions about their veracity as well.

A double valedictorian who graduated at the top of his class from the prestigious military school Saint-Cyr in 1999 and from the gendarmerie school in 2001, Arnaud Beltrame joined the special forces unit of the gendarmerie, known as the GIGN, in 2003. He was deployed in Iraq in 2005, and later received military honors for his service there.

After he returned from Iraq, he joined the Republican Guard, which is part of the national gendarmerie and provides officers for the security of French institutions. He was a guard at the Élysée Palace between 2006 and 2010, and joined the gendarmerie unit in southwestern France in August.

Almost 250 people have died in terrorist attacks here in recent years. Beltrame is the 10th member of the nation’s security forces to be killed in a terrorist attack on French soil since 2012, as police and military officers have become regular targets of jihadis.

The Paris prosecutor François Molins said the terrorist threat had not waned, calling it “the result of radicalized individuals who are on our national territory.”

The attack at Trèbes could increase pressure on the French government to take a more aggressive stand on the thousands of people on the security services’ terrorism watch lists.

More details of how the attack unfolded emerged Saturday.....

If you like fiction.


"Young people give Pope Francis a piece of their mind" by Nicole Winfield Associated Press  March 24, 2018

VATICAN CITY — Young Catholics told the Vatican on Saturday they want a more transparent and authentic church, where women play a greater leadership role and where obeying ‘‘unreachable’’ moral standards isn’t required.

In a fascinating final document from a weeklong Vatican-initiated conference, 300 young people from around the world joined by 15,000 young people online gave the older men who run the 1.2-billion-strong church a piece of their collective mind.

They urged Pope Francis and the bishops who will gather at the Vatican in the fall to back their recommendations that church leaders must address the unequal roles of women in the church and how technology is used and abused.

They warned that ‘‘excessive moralism’’ is driving faithful away and that out-of-touch church bureaucrats need to accompany their flock with humility and transparency.

‘‘We, the young church, ask that our leaders speak in practical terms about subjects such as homosexuality and gender issues, about which young people are already freely discussing,’’ they said.

Among the participants, however, there was no consensus on hot-button issues such as church teaching on contraception, homosexuality, abortion, or cohabitation, but overall, the young people concluded, the church often comes off as too severe and its ‘‘excessive moralism’’ often sends the faithful looking elsewhere for peace and spiritual fulfillment.

A handful of non-Catholics and non-Christians, as well as some atheists, also participated, and their views were incorporated into the final document. Their reflections will be formally presented to Francis on Sunday — Palm Sunday — and will become one of the working documents that will guide discussions during an October synod of bishops at the Vatican on better helping young people find their way in the church.

On four separate occasions in the 16-page document, the participants demanded greater and equal roles for women in the church, calling for ‘‘real discussion and open-mindedness’’ about ways to promote the dignity of women so they feel accepted and appreciated.

‘‘Some young women feel that there is a lack of leading female role models within the church,’’ they said.

No, no, that's not true!

See: "A Vatican magazine has denounced how nuns are often treated like indentured servants by cardinals and bishops, for whom they cook and clean for next to no pay. The March edition of ‘‘Women Church World,’’ a monthly magazine of the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, hit newsstands Thursday. Its expose on the treatment of religious sisters confirmed that the magazine is increasingly becoming the imprint of the Catholic Church’s #MeToo movement. Recent issues have explored the symbolic power of women’s bodies and ‘‘rape as torture.’’

Also related:

"Loyola continued to be inspired by its 98-year-old team chaplain, Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt, who led a prayer in the locker room before the game, then was pushed onto the court in her wheelchair to join the celebration when it was done. Sister Jean donned a Final Four cap and flashed a big smile. When asked how she was feeling, she gave a thumbs-up that said it all. Joining the celebration were several members of the Ramblers’ 1963 national championship team, which played one of the most socially significant games in college basketball history on its way to the title. It was known as the ‘‘Game of Change,’’ matching the Ramblers and their mostly black roster against an all-white Mississippi State team at the height of the civil rights movement, setting up an even more noteworthy contest three years later. Texas Western, with five African-American starters, defeated Kentucky in the national championship game....."

"Italian lawmakers on Saturday elected the speakers of both chambers of Parliament after the inconclusive March 4 election, giving the antiestablishment 5-Star Movement leadership of one chamber and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia the other. Senator Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, a Berlusconi ally, became the first woman to be elected Senate president. But there was no solid indication that the parties were closer to forming a government."

Just f***ing with ya'!

The young people also made it clear that they love their technology and the church must get hip to that or lose relevance. At the same time, the document said young people are looking for guidance as to how to responsibly use technology and combat online addiction, pornography, and cyberbullying.

They called for the Vatican to issue a teaching document about technology, and use it to better spread the faith.

The final report is brutally honest in places, responding to Francis’ call on the first day for the participants to speak freely and courageously. 

I have yet to read one word about sex abuse.

It noted that young people are leaving the church in droves, in part because they have experienced ‘‘indifference, judgment, and rejection’’ by the institution.

Church leaders, they say, are too focused on administration rather than community, and use words like ‘‘vocation’’ and ‘‘discernment’’ that young people often don’t understand.

But mostly, they say, the church needs to admit that it is human and makes mistakes, and that its mentors aren’t perfect people but forgiven sinners.

That was where my print copy said Amen.

The document cited the clergy sex abuse scandal as both an error that has driven people away and an ongoing issue that requires admission of wrongdoing. 

They still don't get it.

‘‘Some mentors are put on a pedestal, and when they fall, the devastation may impact young people’s abilities to continue to engage with the church,’’ they said.....

I put no man -- or woman, for that matter -- on a pedestal.


Speaking of the children:

"For migrants raised in US, returning to Mexico feels like ‘exile’" by Kirk Semple New York Times  March 24, 2018

MEXICO CITY — Lalo Aguilar was born in the Mexican border city of Juárez 29 years ago, carries a Mexican passport, and lives in Mexico City. Yet he speaks of Mexico as a kind of foreign country, a place to which he was banished.

“Exile,” he calls it.

In 2012, after living nearly his entire life as an unauthorized immigrant in Utah, he was deported to Mexico after an altercation with some police officers over an immigration-enforcement bill he was protesting.

He is part of a growing population of Mexicans who spent much — if not most — of their lives in the United States without immigration papers before returning to Mexico, either voluntarily or by force.

Many must deal with feelings of loss, dislocation, and confusion, adrift in a kind of transitional state between two countries — one they knew and loved but that rejected them, and another in which they have citizenship but lack a deeper sense of belonging.

The experiences of these returnees have become more resonant in light of the intensifying debate in Congress about the future of young immigrants who were brought to the country as children.....


Also see:

"The bodies of an Iowa couple and their two children were found in a rented condo in Mexico, though it wasn’t immediately clear what caused their deaths. The family was reported missing by relatives in their hometown of Creston on Friday, about a week after the family left for vacation. The bodies were found during a police check at the condo in Tulum, on the Yucatan Peninsula. Officials found no signs of violence or forced entry, and autopsies are planned (AP)."

There have been a lot of dead bodies turning up in Mexico.

"Investigators are trying to determine why a man with no apparent ties to terrorism drove a flaming minivan full of propane tanks and gasoline cans through the main gate of a major Northern California Air Force Base last week. Hafiz Kazi, 51, died in the Kia minivan Wednesday night after veering through the gate at Travis Air Force Base and crashing, the FBI said. He made no threats and left behind no explanation, officials said (AP)."

Turns out he was a refugee from Syria.

Better put out the fire:

"A firefighter died battling a fierce blaze on a movie set after getting separated from his fellow firefighters in the thick smoke. The fire started in the cellar of a former jazz club as the crew of ‘‘Motherless Brooklyn’’ was nearing the end of its work day at 11 p.m. Thursday. Firefighters stormed into the five-story Harlem building, dumping water on the blaze to get it under control. The dead firefighter was identified as Michael R. Davidson (AP)."


"A waterslide called the world’s highest was a ‘‘deadly weapon’’ that had already injured more than a dozen people before a 10-year-old boy was decapitated on it in 2016, according to a grand jury indictment unsealed Friday. The indictment charged the operator of the waterslide at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark and a company executive with involuntary manslaughter (AP)."

"Large-scale projects long considered essential to easing Houston’s flooding woes went to the top of the area’s to-do list after Hurricane Harvey inundated large swaths of the nation’s fourth-largest city. Seven months later, local officials are still looking for funding to undertake plans that include a new reservoir, deeper and wider bayous, and a costal barrier system — all of which have fallen victim to a lack of money or political will in the past. But this time, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has promised $1 billion for areas affected by Harvey, including Houston (AP)."

Yeah, all that money had to be spent on wars instead, and now the place is a poisonous pit.


"Renowned photographer abruptly retires as MassArt investigates alleged misconduct" by Malcolm Gay and Kay Lazar Globe Staff  March 24, 2018

Renowned photographer Nicholas Nixon retired abruptly from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design this month, departing mid-semester amid allegations of inappropriate behavior, the school has announced.

Nixon, 70, is among the most influential photographers of his generation. He has received three National Endowment for the Arts fellowships as well as two Guggenheim fellowships. His photographs have been collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, among many others.

Oh, no!

Nixon, who has taught at MassArt for more than 40 years, referred questions about his departure and the investigation to his attorney, Bruce A. Singal. MassArt officials have not detailed the nature of the allegations against Nixon. But Singal suggested the investigation will focus on Nixon’s classroom behavior.

“Nick has been widely known for a provocative teaching style in a creative art school environment that he believed was inspiring to his students,” he said. “This investigation — which has not even begun yet — is to determine whether or not Nick made inappropriate comments in the classroom.”

Where "people are posing nude for him."


You know, this “opens a wound in the photographic community in the region.”

"Norfolk inmate starts hunger strike over water" by David Abel Globe Staff  March 24, 2018

An outspoken inmate at the state’s largest prison has gone on a hunger strike after he was sent to solitary confinement for amassing large amounts of bottled water, which he intended to distribute to fellow inmates, prisoner advocates said.

In response to longstanding concerns about MCI-Norfolk’s routinely tea-colored water, which inmates contend has been the source of health problems, Wayland Coleman began working with prisoner advocates to provide bottled water to the prison’s roughly 1,500 inmates.

Advocates from a group called the Deeper Than Water Coalition have raised thousands of dollars for Coleman and 39 other prisoners to buy bottled water at the prison’s canteen and distribute it to their fellow inmates, members said.

“The Department of Correction is punishing someone who’s trying to get access to clean water, which should be a basic human right,” said Christine Mitchell, a member of the Deeper than Water Coalition and a doctoral candidate at the Harvard School of Public Health.

You know, managing water is the government’s “most important policy challenge.” 

[Why did Flint just cross my mind, even though he ate lead as child (which explains a hell of a lot if you think about it): ‘‘I'm sure when I was 2 years old I was somewhere eating a paint chip,’’ he said with a chuckle, and he encouraged parents to get medical checkups for their children. ‘‘They will be fine . . . as long as we’re looking after them’’]

Ummm, no they won't be. The damage from lead poisoning is irreversible!

Prison officials declined to comment on Coleman’s case or confirm that he’s observing a hunger strike. Coleman is serving a life sentence for murder.

Then he should go thirsty, right?

Officials acknowledged, however, that amassing too much of any item, even bottled water, violates prison rules meant to prevent strong-arming.

“It’s rare that there are no strings attached,” said Christopher Fallon, a spokesman for the state Department of Correction. “When inmates have something of value, it’s usually for something that’s owed for something else, like contraband, drugs, sex, anything.”

For that reason, prisoners aren’t allowed to buy anything from the prison canteen for other inmates, he said.

Coleman apparently had 15 cases of bottled water in his cell and was on his way to pick up another six cases from the canteen when he was confronted by corrections officers.

For years, the often sediment-filled water from the prison’s aging tanks and wells has stirred anger among inmates and drawn scrutiny from state regulators.

Repeated water failures there have led the state Department of Environmental Protection to fine the nearly century-old prison thousands of dollars and order the Department of Correction to install an expensive new water-treatment system. That system has been delayed repeatedly but is scheduled to begin issuing clean drinking water this spring, Fallon said. The agency has spent about $5 million on the new system over the past two years.

You wonder what graft and corruption came from the contract.

Last year, a Globe review of state records found that 43 percent of all water samples collected at MCI-Norfolk since 2011 showed elevated levels of manganese, a prime component of sediment from the wells. The naturally occurring mineral, found in many foods, can be dangerous when ingested at heightened levels for prolonged periods, potentially leading to tremors, slowed speech, and neurological disorders that resemble Parkinson’s disease.

You have to wonder about the epidemics of that and Alzheimers and whether there may be a connection -- one the Globe will never make.

With nearly half of the prison’s inmates serving life sentences — more than any other state prison — many of them have worried about their extended exposure to the water, and some blame it for their health problems.

In a letter sent last year to the Globe, Coleman, 40, who had been elected co-chairman of the Norfolk Inmate Council, said the water looked like “black tea” and “smells horribly.”

Last February, the prison placed him in solitary confinement for a month after he mailed a critical council report about the water to the Globe, and officials later stripped him of his position on the council, according to Coleman. Prison officials would not comment on his account.

Coleman said he feared drinking water from prison taps.

“I ingest it, and with each swallow, I fear for my long-term health,” he wrote in his letter.

Members of the Deeper Than Water Coalition said they’re concerned about Coleman, who they said was placed in solitary confinement on Wednesday. They said they have since spoken to him on the phone.

“I’m deeply worried,” said Annie Atwater, a member of the coalition, which formed in response to last year’s Globe report. “It is cruel to punish someone with isolation who is actively trying to better his community.”

That's an important lesson for you kids. Better make sure you are on the right side of the protests.

Sofia Owen, a lawyer on the coalition’s steering committee, blamed the state for not providing bottled water to prisoners and questioned whether Coleman’s punishment was disproportionate.

“I am very concerned about the fact that the DOC can throw anyone into solitary confinement for something so simple as trying to ensure that they can drink clean water,” she said. “Wayland should not have to put his health and safety at risk in order to get the DOC and the DEP to address the problem.”

But prison officials said the coalition put Coleman in a situation where he had to violate the rules.

The group should have gone through proper channels by contacting prison authorities, as other groups have done when they’ve distributed toothpaste, socks, and other necessities to prisoners, Fallon said.

“There could have been a reasonable way to do this, but the bottom line is that this wasn’t the way,” Fallon said. “How do we make sure the distribution of water is equitable? You can’t have an inmate run that. Property to inmates is huge, and it leads to fights.”

As I turn east to the Holy Land.

Yet coalition members said they have urged prison officials to provide bottled water to prisoners without success, and they felt that working directly with inmates was their only choice.

“Quite honestly, we had no reason to trust that they would do anything to help with this or distribute the water in an equitable way,” Mitchell said. “We didn’t want to give the DOC any more money.”


You got reimbursed, right?


Globe says it's a good idea to just go to sleep.