Monday, April 23, 2018

Monday's Make Believe

Kevin Cullen placed on administrative leave

That was the first I've seen of it in the Globe, and it explains why he was missing from yesterday's paper. The announcement doesn't say why, but it is apparently for telling stories and literally making things up in the name of service

It's not the first time for the Globe or the pre$$ (remember the NYT's Jason Blair?); however, what it does do is add to the the growing body of evidence that suggests everything that you read in the paper stands a better than even chance of being total fakery, from mass shooting events to babies being thrown out of incubators to Syrian chemical attacks, and on and on and on. 

They are, to coin a phrasefake news.


Exhibit A is today's top story:

Mount Ida projected an image of success right until it folded

They admit right up front it is all about imagery, then as now, but it now looks like a done deal anyway. Nothing you can do about it. Don't fall for the brochure next time.

A $49 lobster roll? A recent shortage has lobster prices soaring

The Globe has already moved on to summer even as spring has yet to arrive a month in (must be why I'm not up for Earth Daysorry).


Will a transmission line run through the wilds of Maine?

I guess that will be up to the voters, right?

A high-stakes European soccer match, made in Boston

Literally $elf-$erving $lop. 


"Search continues for gunman who killed 4 in Nashville" by Christopher Mele New York Times  April 22, 2018

NEW YORK — A gunman wearing only a jacket and carrying an assault-style rifle opened fire at a Waffle House restaurant in Nashville early Sunday, killing four people and leaving the police searching for him and a motive, officials said.

The police sought murder warrants for the suspect, Travis Reinking, 29, of Morton, Ill., who remained at large. He was known to authorities for previous encounters, including one at the White House grounds in July.

Here we go again.

Don Aaron, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, said at a news conference that Reinking pulled into the parking lot of a Waffle House in the Antioch neighborhood of Nashville around 3:19 a.m. in a pickup truck.

He sat in the vehicle for up to four minutes before getting out and using an “assault-type rifle” to fatally wound two people who were outside the restaurant, Aaron said.

A customer who heard the shots ran in the direction of the restrooms and watched the gunman. When the customer heard the shooting stop and saw Reinking look down at his rifle, he rushed the gunman, wrestled the weapon away, and threw it over the counter, Aaron said.

“You had a citizen step up to intervene with an active shooter and that’s what this man did,” he said. “He is the hero here and no doubt he saved many lives.”

The mayor’s office identified the customer who intervened as James Shaw Jr. Shaw said he thought he heard plates crashing in the restaurant before he realized it was gunfire.

In an interview with The Tennessean, Shaw said he saw an opportunity to rush the gunman. He said he was unsure if the man was reloading or his weapon had jammed.

“It really wasn’t a process of thinking,” he said. “It was more so of a Now, you have to do this now or if I let him load that weapon, there wasn’t going to be another window, there wasn’t going to be another chance.”

‘‘He shot through that door; I'm pretty sure he grazed my arm,’’ Shaw recalled at a news conference. “At that time I made up my mind . . . that he was going to have to work to kill me. When the gun jammed or whatever happened, I hit him with the swivel door.’’

The gun then jammed and Shaw managed to get one hand on the gun and grab it. He then threw it over the countertop and took the shooter with him out the entrance. Shaw said the shooter then trotted away.

The gunman, who was naked but for a green jacket, then fled and shed the jacket as he reached a corner not far from the Waffle House.

I'm waffling on whether I believe this or not.

A Secret Service agent said Reinking was arrested last July outside the White House complex, where he had hoped to talk to President Trump, the Associated Press reported. Special Agent Todd Hudson in Nashville said Reinking ‘‘wanted to set up a meeting with the president.’’

Hudson says Reinking tried to cross bike racks near the White House grounds that were part of security barriers. He was asked to leave the restricted area, and when he declined, he was arrested on a charge of unlawful entry. Aaron said it was unclear what Reinking was doing in Nashville or what had motivated him.....

Of course, the first thing Democrats are calling for is restricting ‘‘widespread civilian access to military-grade assault weapons,’’ calling into question the veracity of this strange event.


I hate to say Manchurian candidate, but.....

"Fifty years ago Monday, Columbia University students angry about racism and the Vietnam War began a rebellion that fed a sense the country was in turmoil. Student militants occupied Hamilton Hall, the main classroom building, and took a dean hostage for 24 hours. Over the next few days, hundreds of students would seize a total of five campus buildings. Then, early on April 30, a thousand police officers swept in and cleared out the rebels. As Columbia prepares to observe the anniversary, some people who lived through the occupations see parallels with today’s young activists....."

Yeah, kids were better back then, before joining a union, and you can bank on that.

"A neo-Nazi rally outside of Atlanta did not last very long. When rally participants converged on Greenville Street Park in Newnan shortly after 4 p.m., it appeared there were only about two dozen white nationalists on a platform there. In front of the rally participants was a smattering of reporters in a grassy area that was mostly empty. Beyond that were barricades and dozens of law enforcement officers. And beyond all of that, at least 100 people stood in opposition to the gathering....."

I'm tired of the controlled opposition on both sides.

Lobbyist tied to Pruitt’s rental helped broker meeting with him last year

Russian lawyer questions why Mueller hasn’t contacted her

Has something to do with an abortion and a wall and a hearing before the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Trump is out golfing as the Globe looks forward to 2020.


"Trump denies he’s making too many concessions to North Korea" by Katie Rogers New York Times  April 22, 2018

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Analysts inside and outside the US government believe that Kim’s ultimate goal is to have his country recognized as a nuclear power even as he offers enough concessions — some potentially largely symbolic — to press the United States into easing crippling economic sanctions.

Analysts who study North Korea’s diplomatic patterns say there is cause for concern over Kim’s overtures, given his murky motives and his apparent effort to use the concessions to try to achieve the upper hand in the negotiation process.

North Korea has a long history of not abiding by promises to curtail its nuclear program.

Chuck Todd, host of NBC’s “Meet the Press, reflected the skepticism among lawmakers, as well as some former and current White House officials.

That about says it all, doesn't it? 

The War Pre$$ has already prejudged the meeting before it has been held. Can't even have a glimmer of peace without them throwing cold water on it.

Some officials worry that Trump may be so eager to reach a historic deal that he will be lured into an agreement that falls short of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula that global powers have demanded.

On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Kim’s efforts should be met with caution.

The Republican said North Korea’s leader has staged a “great public relations effort” to woo Trump.

Well, that is one area he has the upper hand on the pre$$. 

Corker’s committee will vote Monday on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to head the CIA, which would then move to the full Senate. Pompeo, a former Kansas lawmaker, is nearing the votes he needs for confirmation after Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota said she will cross party lines to back him.

I wonder what circumstances she would herself in.

Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas and a close ally of Trump, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Friday’s announcement by North Korea was easily reversible. “It’s better than continued testing, but it’s not much better than that,” said Cotton, a member of Senate intelligence and armed services committees.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, termed North Korea’s pledge to suspend missile testing “a beginning.”

“The question is whether it lasts or not,” Feinstein said on CBS program. “The reputation of the North Koreans has been that they don’t necessarily keep their agreements.”


Right next to this page A10 article is this gem:

"The US president is on the verge of abandoning the Iran deal and potentially could force the Europeans to leave it, as well." 

They even had the Iranian foreign minister on CBS’s ‘‘Face the Nation’’ yesterday.

The question now is, why should Kim believe anything Trump says?

(Of course, Israel put the kibosh on the refugee deal with the U.N. not long ago. You know, while we are on the topic of reputations and keeping agreements)

Trump sought to project an air of only-time-will-tell caution. “We are a long way from conclusion on North Korea, maybe things will work out, and maybe they won’t,” Trump wrote. Later in the day, the president had a word for those who had publicly counseled him to proceed warily. “Funny how all of the pundits that couldn’t come close to making a deal on North Korea are now all over the place telling me how to make a deal!” he tweeted. 

Yeah, this guy is a down-to-earth negotiator while the pre$$ tries to make him appear unhinged.

Kim told a ruling party meeting in Pyongyang on Friday that his regime would suspend tests of atomic bombs and intercontinental ballistic missiles now that it has achieved its goal of building a nuclear arsenal, the official Korean Central News Agency reported.....

Just yesterday the pre$$ was telling us he has secret weapons labs.


"Macron takes a risk in courting Trump, but has little to show for it" by Alissa J. Rubin New York Times   April 22, 2018

PARIS — President Emmanuel Macron was put on the spot this year in front of a room full of journalists when one asked: Which man is more dangerous, North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, or President Trump?

“You know, I have always refrained from making sweeping judgments,” Macron answered slowly, weighing his words. “The American people have chosen their president,” he said.

With that careful answer, the leader of France sought to reassure a French public hostile to the US president that pure pragmatism governed his relations, while hinting that by giving Trump the benefit of the doubt, he could get something in return.

But has he? Macron departs Monday for his first official visit to Washington at a particularly difficult moment in his young presidency. His popularity is challenged on many fronts. His ambitious domestic reform program has been barraged by strikes. His big plans to overhaul the European Union are in tatters.

And the verdict on the French president’s subtle calculus toward Trump is distinctly mixed. Almost alone among Europe’s leaders, Macron has struck an apparent rapport with the mercurial US president, who has taken pride in testing, even alienating, some of the United States’ oldest and truest allies.

Macron has made a gamble, given Trump’s unpopularity, that he can court him but not be tarnished by him — or even that he can burnish his own reputation as a leader who is so psychologically astute that he can gain the ear of a US president who is in many respects his polar opposite.

A year into a sustained charm offensive, Macron has won a trip to Washington, occasioned by an invitation from Trump for a formal state visit, the first the US leader has extended during his presidency.

France and the United States have found themselves on the same page when it comes to terrorism and working closely together on the problems in North Africa, as well as in the Middle East, but other than that, he has little to show for his courtship of Trump.....


"ISIS suicide bomber kills at least 57 Afghans in Kabul" by Mujib Mashal and Jawad Skhanyar New York Times  April 22, 2018

KABUL — A suicide bomber killed at least 57 people Sunday as they lined up at a government office in Kabul to register to vote, raising new concerns about the potential for violence to undermine Afghanistan’s long-delayed parliamentary elections. 

Screams false flag even if real.

Public interest in the October elections has been alarmingly low because of voter fatigue after successive fraudulent elections and concerns about the threat to safety at polling stations posed by suicide bombers and other violence from groups opposing the government.

Soon after the Taliban denied responsibility, the Islamic State said it was behind the carnage, according to the group’s Amaq news agency.


Although the group’s area of control and number of fighters in Afghanistan have largely been reduced through heavy airstrikes and commando operations, the militants still continue to claim attacks in urban centers.

Among the victims were children in uniform who were on their way to a nearby school.

There you go! Waving the bloody shirt at you with a hallmark of false flag terror.

They think this will improve turnout, or is it to cause another delay?

The parliamentary elections have been delayed by three years as the leaders of the coalition government, which came out of a messy presidential election that almost tore the country apart, debated measures to prevent the fraud that had marred previous elections.

After public disagreements that added to the voter fatigue, the leaders announced an October date for the elections.

They also decided to declare void the millions of voter identification cards already in circulation, which have been used in vote rigging in the past.

Instead, they asked people to return to their local polling centers and register with their national ID cards. 

Democrats to soon file lawsuit.

Officials and party leaders have expressed concern about the low response, especially after recent attacks targeting registration centers or their staff. In the first week of voter registration, just 190,000 people signed up — from what political parties estimated is a pool of about 14 million eligible voters.

“We are concerned about the rate of voter registration,” said Bashir Ahmad Tayanj, a spokesman for the Junbish party, an Uzbek group. “If people don’t take part in the election, it will be meaningless.”

That's what I've been trying to tell my fellow citizens. 

How do you claim a political victory and mandate to govern if no one (or a slim percentage) votes?

Security officials have said that close to 1,000 polling stations are completely beyond government control, while more than 2,000 others are in areas that are described as medium or high security risks. In total, there are about 7,355 polling stations in Afghanistan.

In the northern Balkh province, a district police chief died of his wounds after being shot Saturday during an exchange of gunfire with insurgents, according to Sher Jan Durrani, spokesman for the provincial police chief. He said about a dozen insurgents were also killed, the AP reported.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for that killing.

Last week, three police officers guarding voter registration centers in two Afghan provinces were killed by militants.

Afghan security forces have struggled to prevent attacks by the local Islamic State affiliate as well as the more firmly established Taliban since the United States and NATO concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014.....

Yup, gotta send more troops to secure the vote!


Funny how ISIS™ pops up in Afghanistan all of sudden after being run out Syria.

"Syrian military pummels ISIS-held districts in Damascus" Associated Press  April 22, 2018

BEIRUT — Syrian government forces used warplanes, helicopters, and artillery on Sunday to pound districts of the capital held by the Islamic State, in a bid to enforce an evacuation deal reached with the militants last week.

Two Palestinian refugees, a father and a son, were killed during the fighting at the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, according to the United Nation’s Palestinian refugee agency, which added that thousands of homes have been destroyed in four days of fighting.

(Blog editor reads these things and shakes his head. Now the Jewi$h War Pre$$ cares about Palestinians! Nothing regarding Gaza today, mind you. It's the Syrians killing the Palestinian refugees! The US and Israel bombings down the new$ cycle memory hole)

Hundreds of ISIS militants hold parts of the Yarmouk camp and nearby area of Hajar al-Aswad in southern Damascus. They agreed to give up their last pocket there on Friday but have yet to begin surrendering to government forces and relocating to ISIS-held areas elsewhere in the country.

ISIS™ holding Palestinians hostage!

State-run al-Ikhbariya TV showed thick gray smoke billowing from the Hajar al-Aswad neighborhood on Sunday, and government warplanes streaking overhead amid heavy bombardment of the area.

Residents of Damascus reported hearing loud booms throughout the night and Sunday morning.

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunnes said that since the start of fighting four days ago, most of the six thousand civilians in Yarmouk camp have been forcibly displaced to the neighboring area of Yalda.

It never ends for them, does it?

‘‘Most fled their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Their needs are dire. There are reports that people are begging for medicine. Some have spent their first nights in the street,’’ he said in a statement.

Gunnes added that the camp’s last functioning hospital, Palestine Hospital, is now completely unable to operate, and called on all sides to allow for the safe evacuation of civilians wishing to leave the area.

President Bashar Assad has escalated his military campaign to retake all remaining enclaves in the capital and surrounding areas.....


All Iran's fault, right?

"Iran detains ex-prosecutor convicted in 2009 torture case" Associated Press  April 22, 2018

TEHRAN — Iranian police have arrested a former prosecutor known as the ‘‘torturer of Tehran,’’ who faces a two-year jail term over the death of prisoners after protests in 2009, Iranian media reported on Sunday.


Wish some American officials would do that. Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, pick one.

The official website of the judiciary,, said former Tehran prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi has been arrested, without elaborating. The semiofficial Tasnim news agency said police detained Mortazavi in a villa in northern Iran, near the Caspian Sea.

Mortazavi was sentenced to prison by an appeals court in December. That court found him guilty of ‘‘aiding and abetting’’ the torture and deaths of protesters arrested after the disputed reelection of hard-line president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Since that court decision, Mortazavi apparently couldn’t be found by authorities.

‘‘They could not find him despite the arrest warrant,’’ judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejehi said last week.

Canada has blamed Mortazavi for the death in custody of Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi in 2003.....

My pre$$ cares about him, but not the Palestinian kid Israel shot dead.


"Dozens of businesses looted amid Nicaragua unrest" Associated Press  April 22, 2018

MANAGUA — Dozens of shops in the Nicaraguan capital of Managua have been looted as protests and disturbances sparked by government social security reforms continued into Sunday.

Human rights groups say at least 26 people have been killed in several days of clashes.

Images broadcast by local news media showed looted shops in the sprawling Oriental Market district and at least one Walmart.

Police apparently did not intervene, in contrast to what had been a heavy-handed response to the demonstrations, in which dozens have been injured or arrested.

RelatedUS alleges ‘excessive force’ in Nicaragua

Well, we know who is behind the unrest. US needs to move out another left-leaning head of state, no doubt.

State-controlled media blamed protesters for the looting, while critics speculated that it was being allowed in order to pressure the business sector, which has set conditions for talks with the government, including an end to the harsh crackdown.

‘‘We are seeing social chaos in Nicaragua provoked by the absence of government leadership, and the crisis has been combined with poverty, and that in any society is a time bomb,’’ sociologist and analyst Cirilo Otero said.....

Coming to AmeriKa?


Maybe not:

"Son of ex-dictator’s aide favored as Paraguay votes" Associated Press  April 22, 2018

ASUNCION, Paraguay — The son of a former dictator’s top aide appeared to have a strong lead heading into Sunday’s election for Paraguayan president, aided by a booming economy under his party.

But will it hold him the House?

Mario Abdo Benitez has promised to continue the business-friendly policies of outgoing President Horacio Cartes and he has downplayed any fears of a return to the heavy-handed past of Alfredo Stroessner, who ruled from 1954 to 1989. Abdo’s father was Stroessner’s private secretary.

Polls showed him with a lead of more than 20 percentage points over his closest rival, 55-year-old lawyer Efrain Alegre of the Authentic Radical Liberal Party, who also finished second in the last election.

The two candidates have similar platforms, promising to attract foreign investment to create jobs in an economy that has been one of the fastest-growing in the region but still suffers from high poverty levels, extreme inequality, and endemic corruption. Both also are social conservatives who have criticized sex education and abortion rights.

That is what elections are boiling down to, social issues -- if there is any difference at all.

Abdo’s Colorado Party has led Paraguay with only a few interruptions since the mid-20th century. The landlocked nation of about 7 million people borders Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil.

Election officials reported no serious disturbances during the balloting, though a woman was detained for hitting Abdo in the shoulder while he was at the polling place..... 

A clean election? 

That's a first down there.


"Armenia protest leader arrested after failed talks" Associated Press  April 22, 2018

YEREVAN, Armenia — The leader of major political protests that have gripped the Armenian capital for more than a week was arrested Sunday, while the streets of Yerevan echoed with blaring car horns as protesters tried a new technique for expressing opposition.

The protests that began on April 13 center on the appointment of former president Serzh Sargsyan as prime minister, part of Armenia’s transition to a governmental system that reduces the powers of the presidency and bolsters the premier’s.

Critics say the change effectively allows Sargsyan to lead the country for life.

Sargsyan and protest leader Nikola Pashinian met Sunday morning for brief televised talks. The prime minister walked out after Pashinian made it clear he would only discuss Sargsyan’s resignation.

The protest leader was arrested later in the day.

As crowds gathered in various areas of Yerevan, police tried to break them up and there were clashes between officers and some protesters.

At least 232 demonstrators were detained, police spokesman Ashot Aragonian said. The Health Ministry said seven people were hospitalized for problems related to the demonstrations.

On Saturday, President Armen Sarkisian, a former Armenian prime minister and ambassador to Britain who was elected in March when term limits required Sargsyan to step down, came to the square to speak with Pashinian. Their discussion was not broadcast to the crowd.....

Looks a destabilization campaign to keep Russia busy.



DA says woman killed in North Andover was likely strangled

That is why she couldn't scream.

Dogs in tow, residents remember Mrs. Bush

Time to close the book on her and wait for the movie.