Sunday, March 4, 2018

Sunday Brainwashing

It's a nightmare:

Warren’s consumer dream dismantled

It’s a “rogue agency.”

"In the maestro’s thrall; They were known as ‘Levinites’ — the young musical acolytes who bent to the will of James Levine in all things, back when the conductor was the brightest emerging star in conducting. From the outside, it seemed a charmed circle; the reality inside was otherwise: dark, sexually charged, and often demeaning" by Malcolm Gay and Kay Lazar, Globe Staff March 02, 2018

Rumors of James Levine’s alleged sexual improprieties have hounded the conductor for decades, even as he became one of the country’s most revered artists during his 40-year reign as music director of the Metropolitan Opera in New York. His epochal career has included a lengthy association with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, where he led the orchestra for years as music director of the Ravinia Festival; a chief conductorship with the Munich Philharmonic; and a seven-year stint with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where he served as music director until 2011.

But interviews with nearly two dozen former students and musicians from Levine’s Cleveland days, including six from the maestro’s inner circle, indicate the conductor’s alleged sexual behavior was part of a sweeping system to control this core group. As Levine yoked his musical gifts and position to a bid for power, he dictated what they read, how they dressed, what they ate, when they slept — even whom they loved.

Former members, many of whom went on to play in some of the country’s top orchestras, say the maestro encouraged them to break off relationships with people outside the group. He discouraged them from reading newspapers, watching television, or going to the movies with outsiders. 

You can't blame him for those first two.

Levine’s dominance was nearly absolute, they say, as he drew his disciples close for nightly meetings that included everything from chamber music and studying opera scenes, to loyalty tests and anonymous group sex he said would enhance their musicianship.

“I thought it was sex for my improvement, sex to make things better,” said Ifsich, who went on to become a violinist in the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. “Obviously that’s not what it was, but we were led to believe that.”

Levine, 74, did not respond to repeated interview requests from the Globe. He has previously denied allegations that he sexually abused his former students.

“As understandably troubling as the accusations noted in recent press accounts are, they are unfounded,” Levine said in an earlier statement. “As anyone who truly knows me will attest, I have not lived my life as an oppressor or an aggressor.”

The Metropolitan Opera, where Levine became music director emeritus in 2016, suspended the conductor last December pending an investigation.

“Until that process is complete, the Met will be making no further statement,” a Met spokesman said via e-mail.

Meanwhile, leaders at the BSO called the allegations “deeply disturbing.”

One survivor says it was “a cult,” and he “was so young, [he] didn’t understand what the hell was going on [and] was pretty much brainwashed.”


What you begin to realize is the elite class is rife with this stuff -- even as they pontificate about morality to the rabble.


"Modeling’s glamour hides web of abuse; The fashion industry is built on glamour and allure, but many models, especially the very young, know it for something else: sexual exploitation and abuse" by Jenn Abelson and Sacha Pfeiffer, Globe Staff February 16, 2018

For adolescents blessed with willowy good looks, the fashion world offers the prospect of glamour, celebrity, and wealth. But this, for many, is what the beginning of a modeling career can actually look like:

On her first test shoot as a 15-year-old, Dasha Alexander said, a photographer held a camera in one hand and digitally penetrated her with his other — a move, he explained, that would make the pictures more “raw” and “sensual.”

When Coco Rocha refused to get naked on set as a 16-year-old, she said, the photographer replaced her with a girl who was younger and more obedient. Months later, a famous photographer simulated an orgasm as he took Rocha’s picture.

By the time Lenka Chubuklieva was 17, she said, an agent had repeatedly groped her, a photographer had thrown her on a bed and kissed her, and another photographer had masturbated in front of her and threatened to ruin her family in Ukraine if she told anyone.

“If people really understood what goes on behind the glamour of the industry, they would be mortified,” said Abbey Lee, an Australian model who, despite having been fondled on sets, describes herself as “one of the lucky ones.”

Emboldened by the #MeToo movement, more than 50 models spoke to the Globe Spotlight Team about sexual misconduct they experienced on the job, from inappropriate touching to assaults. Some are seeking to expose serial predators and those who enable them. Others are demanding new legal protections and calling for radical reform of a youth-obsessed industry they say has left them feeling exploited, treated like “meat” and “clothes hangers,” and, in the words of one model, “pimped out” by their agents.

Collectively, these models — predominantly females, although also males — made credible allegations of sexual misconduct against at least 25 photographers, agents, stylists, casting directors, and other industry professionals. In many instances, Spotlight reporters verified the accounts with third parties or examined records such as e-mails.

Some of the alleged victims were willing to talk publicly, but others spoke on condition of anonymity because they still work in fashion and fear reprisal. The Globe does not identify alleged victims of sexual misconduct without their consent.

The accused men include some of the most well-known powerbrokers in the multibillion-dollar fashion industry and were often named by multiple women — in one case, seven — for alleged sexual misconduct.

All of the accused men denied the allegations against them, and many complained that they can’t fully defend themselves when the Globe protects the identities of alleged victims.....


It's enough to make you Mone with sadness.


In Winchester, neighbors ask what could have been done

I'm not looking back.

"The #MeToo movement might impact the chances of best actor nominee Gary Oldman, best adapted screenplay nominee James Franco, and best animated short nominee Kobe Bryant, all of whom have faced allegations of mistreatment of women. It’s also worth remembering that the movie that ultimately won best picture in 1968 was neither a studio throwback nor a film that drew a counterculture line in the sand. It was “In the Heat of the Night,” a tough-minded detective mystery — a genre movie — that starred the nation’s ascendant black movie icon, Sidney Poitier, and that lightly submerged its themes of racial resistance and resilience in a popcorn entertainment. As far as the film industry is concerned, all that matters is that “Get Out” is far and away the most profitable 2017 film to be nominated for a best picture Oscar....."

I'm sorry, #TimesUp and I won't be watching.


Trump escalates trade war, threatens European carmakers with stiff tariffs

It's Germany that is the main problem via Mexico.

You better Buffett yourself for thi$.

Trump Hotel in Panama embroiled in management dispute The Panamanian misadventure has become the family business’ biggest headache at a time when its founder is in the White House and every move and woe is magnified across the planet.

New doubts about Trump’s Mideast hopes as Netanyahu visits On the surface, Israel’s relationship with the White House has never been better, but beneath the veneer of US-Israeli unity there is lingering disagreement and suspicion.

‘‘The Israelis now are undoubtedly sounding the alarm,’’ said Jonathan Schanzer, who researches Iran’s regional influence at the hawkish Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, while ‘‘It’s important for him not to run afoul of Trump,’’ said David Makovsky, a former State Department official now at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, in the middle of the annual AIPAC conference.

Just who are the "hawkish" Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy anyway?

"Fighting between Shi’ite rebels and forces loyal to the internationally recognized government of Yemen killed at least 55 people on both sides, medical officials said Saturday. The clashes took place Friday in the Nihm district, about 30 miles northeast of the capital, Sana (AP)."

Just wondering ‘‘how many mothers lost their kids to the bombing and shelling? How many more images did we need to see of fathers holding their dead children?’’

"Police in Slovakia have released seven Italians who were detained as suspects in the slayings of an investigative journalist and his girlfriend. The seven men were taken into custody Thursday when police raided houses allegedly linked to members of an Italian crime syndicate. Journalist Jan Kuciak Was working on a story about the influence of the Italian mafia in Slovakia (AP)."


Slovak investigative reporter, girlfriend slain
Slain Slovak journalist worked on story of links to mafia
Three Italians named in a dead journalist’s last story detained

Reminds me of what happened in Malta

That's how you keep the pre$$ in line and self-censoring.

"A Malaysian official said Saturday that the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 by a US company will probably end in June, as families of passengers marked the fourth anniversary of the plane’s disappearance Ocean Infinity of Houston had agreed to resume the hunt for the plane in January, a year after the official search was called off by Malaysia, Australia, and China (AP)."

"Turkey’s prime minister said Saturday that Turkish troops have captured a strategic village in the Kurdish-held enclave in northwestern Syria, tightening their grip on Kurdish militia in the sixth week of its offensive on the area (AP)."

Turkey is an enemy now.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party on Saturday ended the 25-year uninterrupted rule of a communist party in a northeastern state and consolidated its position in two other states in key provincial elections (AP)."

India a friend because their enemy is Pakistan.


Town that expels migrants wants to be a model for Italy Mayor Roberto Di Stefano, 40, a member of Berlusconi’s center-right Forward Italy party, is talking about licensing Israeli CCTV technology in a project that would mount 62 cameras around the town and use facial recognition to monitor people coming and going.

Soon almost the entire world will look like Palestine.

Vatican indicts former bank head, puts embezzlement loss at $62m The scam allegedly involved the suspects selling Vatican-owned real estate at under value prices to offshore companies that then resold the buildings at market rates, with the suspects allegedly profiting from the difference, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

In a separate development, the Vatican’s leading expert on clerical sex abuse wrapped up his fact-finding mission to Chile.

North Korea reportedly sold Egypt missiles via embassy

Egypt a frenemy now?

(Btw, I didn't seen one minute of the Olympics)

Then there is the "conflict that few Americans know anything about" -- nor has anything changed much.

No, I don't mean Afghanistan.


Fla. Senate rejects assault weapons ban

On guns, companies are getting out ahead of the politicians

When will they when it comes to Israel?

"A Baltimore County has awarded $38 million to the family of a woman fatally shot by police in 2016. Korryn Gaines was shot several times by a county police officer attempting to serve an arrest warrant in connection with a traffic offense. Gaines’s 5-year-old son, Kodi , was hit twice by gunfire but survived. The jury found that the shooting was not justified and the victims’ civil rights had been violated (New York Times)."

Didn't see or hear as much about that as Freddie Gray, didja?

"A Trump ally describes the West Wing as ‘pure madness’" by Philip Rucker Washington Post  March 03, 2018

WASHINGTON — Inside the White House, aides over the past week have described an air of anxiety and volatility — with an uncontrollable commander in chief at its center.

These are the darkest days in at least half a year, they say, and they worry just how much further President Trump and his administration may plunge into unrest and malaise before they start to recover. As one official put it: ‘‘We haven’t bottomed out.’’

Trump is now a president in transition, at times angry and increasingly isolated. He fumes in private that just about every time he looks up at a television screen, the cable news headlines are trumpeting yet another scandal.

He should take Levine's advice.

He voices frustration that son-in-law Jared Kushner has few on-air defenders. He revives old grudges. And he confides to friends that he is uncertain about whom to trust.

Trump’s closest West Wing confidante, Hope Hicks — the communications director who often acted as a de facto Oval Office therapist — announced her resignation last week, leaving behind a team the president views more as paid staff than surrogate family.

She has become a running joke.

So concerned are those around Trump that some of the president’s oldest friends have been urging one another to be in touch — the sort of familiar contacts that often lift his spirits.

In an unorthodox presidency in which emotion, impulse, and ego often drive events, Trump’s ominous moods manifested themselves last week in his zigzagging positions on gun control; his shock trade war that jolted markets and was opposed by Republican leaders and many in his own administration; and his roiling feud of playground insults with Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Some of Trump’s advisers say the president is not all doom and gloom. He has been pleased with the news coverage of his role in the gun debate and lighthearted moments have leavened his days, such as a recent huddle with staff to prepare his comedic routine for the Gridiron, a Saturday dinner with Washington officials and journalists.

Still, Trump’s friends are increasingly concerned about his well-being, worried that the president’s obsession with cable commentary and perceived slights is taking a toll on the 71-year-old. ‘‘Pure madness,’’ lamented one exasperated ally.

Retired four-star Army general Barry McCaffrey said the American people — and Congress especially — should be alarmed.

‘‘I think the president is starting to wobble in his emotional stability and this is not going to end well,’’ McCaffrey said.

‘‘Trump’s judgment is fundamentally flawed, and the more pressure put on him and the more isolated he becomes, I think, his ability to do harm is going to increase,’’ he said.

This is another pre$$ hatchet job, that's all.

This portrait of Trump at a moment of crisis just over a year after taking office is based on interviews with 22 White House officials, friends, and advisers to the president and other administration allies, most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to candidly discuss Trump’s state of mind. 

So the Washington ComPost claims.

The tumult comes as special counsel Robert Mueller III’s investigation of Russia’s 2016 election interference and the president’s possible obstruction of justice has intensified.


Mueller’s focus on UAE adviser indicates widening of inquiry

Israeli interference in American politics is apparently okay.

Evidence against accused Russian meddlers might stay hidden


Means they never really had any!

Meanwhile, Kushner, a White House senior adviser, was stripped last week of his access to the nation’s top secrets amid increasing public scrutiny of his foreign contacts and of his mixing of business and government work.

Trump has been asking people close to him whether they think Kushner or his company has done anything wrong, according to a senior administration official.

Two advisers said the president repeatedly tells aides that the Russia investigation will not ensnare him — even as it ensnares others around him — and that he thinks the American people are finally starting to conclude that the Democrats, as opposed to his campaign, colluded with the Russians.

He is crazy, but he's right and the pre$$ won't touch it. 

That was where my print copy ended.

Still, the developments have delivered one negative headline after another, leading Trump to lose his cool — especially in the evenings and early mornings, when he often is most isolated, according to advisers.

For instance, aides said, Trump seethed with anger last Wednesday night over cable news coverage of a photo, obtained by Axios, showing Sessions at dinner with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the Russia investigation, and another top Justice Department prosecutor. 

Turn that s**t of like I do!

The outing was described in news reports as amounting to an act of solidarity after Trump had attacked Sessions in a tweet that morning.

The next morning, Trump was still raging about the photo, venting to friends and allies about a dinner he viewed as an intentional show of disloyalty.

Trump has long been furious with Sessions for recusing himself from oversight of the Russia probe, and privately mocks him as ‘‘Mr. Magoo,’’ an elderly and bumbling cartoon character.

But this past week the president was irate that his attorney general had asked the Justice Department’s inspector general — as opposed to criminal prosecutors — to investigate alleged misdeeds by the FBI in obtaining surveillance warrants.

‘‘Trump’s fundamentally distorted personality — which at its core is chaotic, volatile, and transgressive — when combined with the powers of the presidency had to end poorly,’’ said Peter Wehner, a veteran of the three previous Republican administrations and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

‘‘What we’re now seeing is the radiating effects of that, and it’s enveloped him, his White House, his family and his friends,’’ Wehner said.

Now cross your fingers and wish, wish, wish!


RelatedTrump’s conspicuous silence leaves struggle against Russia without a leader

It's disinformation and propaganda masquerading as NYT news analysis.

Also seeRussia bringing home children raised by Islamic State

To send them you-know-where, Amerikan.

"Teen who allegedly killed parents in dorm had been suspected of drug use" Associated Press  March 03, 2018

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — A 19-year-old student suspected of killing his parents at a Central Michigan University dormitory had just been picked up from a hospital where campus police had taken him because of suspected drug abuse, authorities said Saturday.

Central Michigan University police Chief Bill Yeagley also told reporters that the gun used in the killing was registered to the suspect’s father.

James Eric Davis Jr. was arrested without incident shortly after midnight after an intense daylong search that included more than 100 police officers, some heavily armed in camouflage uniforms, authorities said.

Yeagley said police found Davis after someone aboard a train spotted a person along railroad tracks and called police.

Friday’s shooting at Campbell Hall happened on a day when parents were arriving to pick up students for the beginning of a weeklong spring break.


The university identified the two dead as Davis’s mother, Diva Davis, and father, James Davis Sr., a part-time police officer in the Chicago suburb of Bellwood. The shooting occurred around 8:30 a.m. at a residence hall at Central Michigan, which is about 70 miles north of Lansing.

That is kind of a switch, and certainly won't help with the current narrative.

Yeagley told reporters that the gun used in the shooting belonged to Davis Sr. He would not say whether the father had brought the gun to campus when picking up his son, but noted that Davis Jr. was seen on video in the dorm’s parking lot with the gun before going into the building where his parents were shot.

Yeagley would not say what type of gun was used or whether it was Davis Sr.’s service revolver.

After the shooting, police released a photo of Davis Jr. and urged the public to call 911 if they saw him but also warned that he shouldn’t be confronted.

Hours after a campus lockdown, police started a ‘‘slow, methodical removal’’ of staff and students who were ordered to take shelter in campus buildings, police Lieutenant Larry Klaus said.

The search focused on Mount Pleasant neighborhoods near campus. Officers in camouflage knocked on doors and checked possible hiding places, such as yards and porches. In the surrounding community, students and staff in the Mount Pleasant school district were told not to leave nine buildings.

During the search Friday, Governor Rick Snyder spoke alongside university leaders, promising assistance for students affected by the shooting.

“We had two people that were killed in a residence facility: That’s traumatic,” said Snyder, a Republican. “I hope everyone can rally and, to the degree you see something, say something.”

How could that have prevented this?

More than six hours after the shooting, police officers went from building to building on campus to remove students. Parents who arrived to pick up their children were initially told to wait at a hotel.....

If nothing else, it prepares the kids for future expansion of the police state.


Heck, they will even fashion their own chains:

"Colleges aim to tap students’ voting power" by Farah Stockman New York Times   March 03, 2018

NEW YORK — The University of Michigan has a long tradition of politically active students, dating back to the Vietnam War protests. That is why Edie Goldenberg, a political science professor there, was shocked to learn the percentage of students at the school who cast ballots in the last midterm election: just 14 percent.

“It was a wake-up call,” Goldenberg said. “Nobody realized that so few students were turning out to vote.”

Need I even say it?

Goldenberg has now set a goal for this November’s elections of more than doubling student turnout. And the university itself is getting behind the effort by challenging its Big Ten football rivals to a competition to see which school can get more students to vote in the midterms.

College campuses are often seen as hotbeds of political engagement, with controversial speakers routinely kicking up loud protests. But abysmally low turnout among young people has long been a hallmark of US elections, particularly in midterm years.

I'll bet it was the Russians that kept 'em from voting!

Now a growing number of universities are using their institutional power to increase student turnout on their campuses, spurred by a desire to develop students into better citizens.

And schools like the University of Michigan are armed with data showing them for the first time which kinds of students are voting and which are not, so they can target their efforts and measure which strategies work.

“It’s exciting that colleges are starting to wake up to the role that they should play to teaching people how to be citizens of democracy,” said Robert J. Donahue, associate director of the Center for Civic Engagement at Northwestern University. “Hopefully we’ll live up to the charge and start turning out more active citizens and not just scholars.”


What have they been doing then? 

Brainwashing inculcation and indoctrination?

The new emphasis on voting — among a population that tends to vote Democrat — comes as the nation gears up for a high-stakes midterm election. It is unclear whether the efforts to increase student turnout will impact the nation’s political map. Among the students who vote, many cast absentee ballots for districts where they grew up.

School administrators involved in raising student turnout insist that their efforts are not focused on any one election or political party. Instead, they cite an urgent need to combat a troubling decline in political participation. Voter turnout in the United States has declined since the 1960s for nearly every age group.

This as they keep conservative voices off campus.

Young people have the lowest turnout rates of all because they are more transient and have not yet established the habit of voting, said Kenneth R. Mayer, a political-science professor at the University of Wisconsin Madison.

“They don’t have concerns of property taxes, schools, and other things that make older people go to the polls,” he said. The likelihood of voting increases steadily with age, until about 80, when illnesses begin to prevent habitual voters from casting a ballot, he said.

Young people who do vote tend to favor Democrats. According to a Pew Research Center poll, 58 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds either identify as Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party.

That is the reason some conservatives complain when students flock to the polls, especially in rural places where students outnumber longtime residents.

Efforts to bolster student turnout have been aided by a new national study that analyzes voting behavior on campuses across the country.

For the first time, schools can get detailed data on how many of their students cast a ballot, either locally or absentee, thanks to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, put out by researchers at Tufts University.

The study aims to assess how well schools are doing at preparing students to be active citizens in a democracy, said Nancy Thomas, director of the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education at Tufts, who oversees the study.

As long as you think the politically-correct way and accept official dogma.

The study, which matches enrollment records with voting records, began in 2013 with a modest expectation of getting a few hundred colleges to participate. Today, it includes voting data from more than 9 million students on 1,100 campuses in all 50 states. Identifying information has been removed from the data to protect students’ privacy.....

Do kids even care about their privacy today?


They can't even remember to return their library books and you expect them to vote?

"A private school in Columbus intends to start drug-testing its oldest students. The Brookstone School announced that the drug-testing of students in grades 8 to 12 will be voluntary next school year, and then mandatory in succeeding years. Brookstone plans to send students’ hair samples to Psychemedics Corp. to conduct the testing. The Massachusetts-based company would then provide test results within a few days (AP)."

At least the teachers are looking out for you, right?

"The West Virginia teachers’ strike rolled into its second weekend after the state Senate declined to take a vote on whether the teachers will get the 5 percent pay raise negotiated by Governor Jim Justice and union leaders. As the Senate met again Saturday, Republicans continued to call for spending restraint. Hundreds of teachers, and supporters rallied Friday, the strike’s seventh day (AP)."

SeeWest Virginia teachers hold strike over pay, benefits

It's all for you kids!

"A Nebraska startup awarded the first border wall construction project under President Trump is the offshoot of a firm that was sued over failure to pay subcontractors and accused in a 2016 government audit of shady billing practices. SWF Constructors won the $11 million federal contract in November as part of a project to erect 30-foot barriers in Calexico, Calif. SWF and its parent, Coastal Environmental Group, declined to answer questions on the past legal problems (AP)."

I just “hope and pray that the money is well-spent.”

"A bill that would require law enforcement officers and the courts to aid in federal immigration enforcement officials is making its way through the Georgia General Assembly. Supporters say it would make the state safer and help identify people eligible for deportation, but critics question whether it is constitutional and say it unfairly targets immigrant communities (AP)." 

Better set up a defense fund.

"Former US Senate candidate Roy Moore has issued a plea for money to pay legal bills, saying his ‘‘resources have been depleted.’’ On his campaign’s Facebook page, Moore asked for contributions to his defense fund. Moore has sent regular e-mails for the fund since losing the 2017 election to Senator Doug Jones, a Democrat. But he has raised just $32,000 of his $250,000 goal (AP)."

Well, Moore is less.

Republicans becoming more bullish about midterms

Not in Pennsylvania, but that is another story.

Good thing Trump isn't on the ballot.


DA says four found dead in West Brookfield were murdered

Storm kills Plympton man, leaves thousands without power

"In wake of Spotlight series on race, a growing dialogue emerging" by Andrew Ryan Globe Staff  March 03, 2018

Artists of color have pushed to create in the Seaport District a “black space” that welcomes all to infuse the overwhelmingly white enclave with diverse cultural offerings. The head of a suburban senior softball league, with some 400 players, has reached out to black and Latino leaders to help diversify its roster.

And at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston this past week, two longtime construction executives – one black and one white – shared a stage before more than 300 people to discuss how their unlikely partnership could be a model to help bring equity to a city long beset by racial injustice.

“The path to this solution is a cultural change,” said Greg Janey, who is black and founder of Janey Inc., at a forum organized by the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts. “We’re going to change the way Boston does business.”

The artists, softball players, and business leaders all cited the Globe Spotlight Team’s seven-part series on race published in December as the impetus that pushed them to act, reach out, and organize.....


I wonder how things are over at the Athenaeum.

Boston police spokesman moving on to investigative unit

"Somerville man charged with murder of Chelsea teen" by Jacob Geanous and Jacob Carozza Globe Correspondents  March 03, 2018

A Somerville man has been charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a Chelsea teen last year, the Suffolk district attorney said.

A Suffolk County grand jury returned indictments Friday charging Juan Carlos Matos Figueroa, 21, with first-degree murder in the death of 15-year-old Jimmy Vasquez, according to a statement from the Suffolk district attorney’s office.

Vasquez was shot to death on Shurtleff Street in Chelsea on the evening of Jan. 13, 2017.....


The rest is none of my business, imho, and I'm out of ideas.

It's past brunch (thankfully; the insulting elitism will make you vomit) so I guess I'll just get a hot dog.