Thursday, November 22, 2018

No Thanks!

I'll let you be the judge:

"Chief Justice Roberts fires back at President Trump on judges" by Felicia Sonmez and Robert Barnes Washington Post  November 22, 2018

WASHINGTON — Chief Justice John Roberts directed a rare and pointed shot at President Trump on Wednesday, defending the federal judiciary in the wake of Trump’s criticism of an ‘‘Obama judge’’ who ruled against the administration’s attempt to bar migrants who cross the border illegally from seeking asylum.

‘‘We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,’’ Roberts said in a statement released by the court’s public information office. ‘‘What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them.’’

The Thanksgiving eve statement added: ‘‘That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.’’

He's going to be the new Kennedy.

Supreme Court justices, and the chief in particular, hardly ever issue statements on news events, but it appeared Roberts was eager to counter Trump’s criticism when asked to comment by the Associated Press.

The chief justice, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, is an aggressive defender of the judiciary and has frequently expressed concern about attacks on its impartiality, whether they come from the left or the right. He had made it clear last month that he felt the recent partisan battle over the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh had cast a shadow on the Supreme Court.

Yeah, you don't want to reopen that!

At an event at the University of Minnesota just after Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Roberts sought to assure that the court served ‘‘one nation’’ and not ‘‘one party or one interest.’’

‘‘Our role is very clear: We are to interpret the Constitution and laws of the United States, and to ensure that the political branches act within them,’’ he said. ‘‘That job obviously requires independence from the political branches. The story of the Supreme Court would be very different without that sort of independence.’’

Trump also complained that his opponents file lawsuits in courts that are part of California’s liberal-leaning Ninth Circuit, which covers several Western states. It’s not unusual for those challenging a president’s policies to sue in courts they consider likely to back their claims. Conservative groups tended to bring challenges to Obama-era policies in Texas, part of the conservative-leaning Fifth US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

The Ninth Circuit has long had a majority of judges appointed by Democratic presidents, with the current breakdown at 16-7, but Trump has the opportunity to narrow that edge significantly because there are six vacancies, and he already has nominated candidates for five of them.

And the new Senate will confirm them.

I imagine that in a few years, the roles will be reversed due to the massive Democratic electoral fraud. They will consistently win elections like Republicans used, and Republicans will find the courts their only line of defense like Democrats did for so long.

Lower courts have not been accommodating to Trump’s efforts to crack down on illegal immigration, but the Supreme Court last June upheld the president’s travel ban on people from certain Muslim-majority countries, in a 5-to-4 decision written by Roberts.

Roberts has not commented on Trump before, even though Trump as a candidate called Roberts a ‘‘disaster’’ because of his vote with the court’s liberals to uphold the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare.

His opinion of the ruling read more like a dissent, and it makes you wonder what the NSA has on Roberts.

Liberals who follow the court and are often critical of Roberts applauded his Wednesday statement.

‘‘A remarkable rebuke of a President by a Chief Justice — offhand, I can’t think of any historical analogy even close,’’ Georgetown law professor Marty Lederman said in a tweet. ‘‘But then again, every day Trump breaches norms never before breached.’’



I'm told “we are a nation of laws,” and maybe the retired judges should be reinstated.


New Justice Department head erroneously says bomber had help

He's literally begging for forgiveness.

While we are discussing the rule of law:

"In his statement Tuesday, President Trump argued that punishing Saudi Arabia by ‘‘foolishly canceling’’ arms deals worth billions of dollars would only benefit Russia and China. Critics, including high-ranking officials in other countries, accused Trump of ignoring human rights and giving Saudi Arabia a pass for economic reasons. Trump also said the United States needs Saudi Arabia’s help to counter Iran in the region, fight extremism, and keep oil prices steady. Criticism of the president will likely resume after the holiday. ‘‘Congressional Republicans will have to do a gut check,’’ said Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. ‘‘The Republican Party has believed for more than 50 years that morality was one of the reasons why the United States won the Cold War. And the president walked away from that.’’

I'm sorry, but those are all really sh**ty reasons to support war criminal slaughter that is soaking us in blood.

"One day after President Trump backed the Saudi crown prince over accusations that he may have ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a leading charity has issued a blistering report that poses more uncomfortable questions over Saudi practices. More than 85,000 children may have died from hunger since Saudi Arabia intervened in the war in Yemen three years ago, according to Save the Children, a British charity. The United States has long remained largely silent on the war, even when Saudi Arabia enacted a blockade on its borders with Yemen last November....."


"In 1967, the UN Security Council approved Resolution 242, which called for Israel to withdraw from territories it had captured the previous June and implicitly called on adversaries to recognize Israel’s right to exist."

Not only are they still there, the children dying from hunger in the previous article also made me think of Gaza.

"Two decades after 9/11, militants have only multiplied" by Eric Schmitt   November 21, 2018

WASHINGTON — Nearly four times as many Sunni Islamic militants are operating around the world today as on Sept. 11, 2001, despite nearly two decades of US-led campaigns to combat Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, according to the study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.


It's the same $tink tank that was front-paged to beat the war drums against North Korea, and it was once again standard BS spew.

I guess it doesn't help when it is the U.S. and its allies that are creating, funding, and directing the very terrorists we are fighting, but it sure is a nifty trick to keep the endless wars going while mind-f***ing the domestic population.

The report’s conclusions, drawing on multiple databases dating to 1980 to compile one of the most extensive studies of its kind, underscore the resiliency of these terrorist groups, and the policy failures by the United States and its allies in responding. The findings also highlight the continuing potency of the groups’ ideology and social-media branding in raising money and attracting recruits as they pivot from battlefield defeats in strongholds like Iraq and Syria to direct guerrilla-style attacks there and in other hot spots.

Once again, the New York Times is a mouthpiece of war propaganda in full throat.

“Some of these groups do want to target Americans overseas and at home, particularly the Islamic State and Al Qaeda,” said Seth Jones, the director of the center’s transnational threats project and one of the report’s six authors. “All this indicates that terrorism is alive and well, and that Americans should be concerned.”

Yeah, the conversation needs to be changed away from the California Fires because that ‘window of opportunity’ is nearly closed and all luxury mansions will need to be rebuilt.

The West has largely failed to address the root causes of terrorism that perpetuate seemingly endless waves of fighters who are increasingly turning to armed drones, artificial intelligence, and encrypted communications to foil the allies’ conventional military superiority, the report said.

So the terrorists is us, huh? 

Good God!

“Perhaps the most important component of Western policy should be helping regimes that are facing terrorism improve governance and deal more effectively with economic, sectarian, and other grievances,” the study concluded.

They can start at home with their own people!

For example, the report said, the slow pace of reconstruction in Iraqi cities like Ramadi, Fallujah, and Mosul — once controlled by the Islamic State — has angered residents in those Sunni-majority areas and made them more susceptible to militant entreaties.

It's the U.S. that has flattened those places, and the stink of corpses in Mosul is revolting.

The report also warns that withdrawing US forces from Africa and the Middle East — as the Pentagon has started to do — could serve as a boon to these terrorist groups as the Trump administration shifts its national security priorities to confront threats from Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran.

Don't tell me you didn't see that coming from the war shop?!

The report further intensifies the growing scrutiny of the fight against the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, as well as other Sunni groups that are not affiliated with either but sometimes form battlefield alliances or draw inspiration from their ideology and operations.

Earlier this week, the Soufan Center, a research organization in New York, called the results of the US-led counterterrorism campaigns “mixed, at best.”

“The good news is that there has not been an attack anywhere near the scale of 9/11 in the US since that day, a significant achievement,” the center said. “The bad news is that the ideology that leads someone to fly a plane into a building or drive a car into a crowded sidewalk seems to have metastasized.”

They have been reduced to driving trucks into crowds. How pathetic.

The fact that there hasn't been another attack on that scale is all you really need to know about that terrible September morning and the inside job quality of the event; however, this article appears to be serving as a warning for the near future during this Christian time of year (and who benefits most when Christian and muslim are at each others throats for no reason at all other than trickery?).

General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, acknowledged at a security conference on Saturday that the fight against the Islamic State and other Salafi jihadi groups was far from over. Dunford said the United States must maintain sufficient forces and political will “to make sure that we’re putting pressure on and disrupting these terrorist networks.”

Yup, the endless wars won't be allowed to continue unless the increasingly weary and woke American  people can once again be traumatized into maintaining its political will. Scary.

An examination by The New York Times in September found that Islamic State attacks in the West have fallen sharply in 2018 compared with the previous four years, the first time the number has fallen since 2014, but the number of attempted attacks remained steady......


Maybe it is just time to declare victory, come home, and leave it to Interpol:

"Interpol Rejects Russian as President, Electing South Korean Instead" by Matt Apuzzo   November 21, 2018

Interpol elected a South Korean police veteran as its next president Wednesday in the face of pressure from Western diplomats who said choosing a Russian candidate who had been considered the front-runner could jeopardize the independence of the world’s largest international policing organization.

That is about as close to a rejection and admission that the "West" doesn't want to talk or work with them.

The South Korean, Kim Jong-yang, was elected by secret ballot at Interpol’s annual conference in Dubai, where its top official downplayed the controversy surrounding the vote and offered assurances that the agency would remain independent.

“No matter what the nationality of the president is, it is not affecting Interpol’s neutrality and the independence of our organization,” Secretary-General Jürgen Stock told reporters after the vote.

What he means by that is it will continue to be a tool of the West.

If his statement is truthful, why did the Russian need to be blocked? 

Why must all Western leaders be such damn liars?

US and European officials lobbied behind the scenes early this week to prevent a senior Russian security official, Alexander V. Prokopchuk, from winning the organization’s presidency. The Russian government has tried for years to use Interpol and its international warrants, known as red notices, to track down and arrest political enemies and dissidents living abroad.

Human rights groups said that electing Prokopchuk would be seen as rewarding the Kremlin for those efforts. They warned that it would undermine confidence in Interpol and make it susceptible to political interference.

What do you think just happened?

That turned Wednesday’s vote into an unusually closely watched diplomatic event. The Kremlin accused its adversaries of meddling in the elections of an independent international body, while opponents countered that Russia was trying to hijack Interpol.

Look at the charged language in that NYT paragraph. 

So it's okay if the West meddles in the election of an international organization, even if the Russians never meddled in the 2016 elections, because it would prevent a Russian hijacking of Interpol, wooooo (see the article above for the obvious linkage, and the next time they will have help from the Russkies rather than Putin warning us like before 911).


"Over the past year, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has welcomed a line of foreign leaders to Cairo, where he signed deals for billions of dollars in advanced military equipment: German submarines, Russian combat helicopters, a French aircraft carrier and a military satellite. US military officials have tried quietly to persuade him to allocate his resources, including $1.3 billion in annual US aid, to tools and techniques better suited to fighting the insurgency in Sinai, like equipment and training for intelligence gathering, but Sissi, they say, is not listening, and his generals prefer to buy tanks, jets, and other heavy weapons for their bases around the Nile. Concrete information about the conflict is hard to come by....."  

Once again, the NYT paints a picture for you in such poetic terms!

The election came at a difficult time for Interpol, which has faced controversy over its handling of the disappearance in September of its president at the time, Meng Hongwei of China. The Chinese government later produced a resignation letter in his name and acknowledged that it had secretly arrested him on unspecified corruption charges.

He never showed up, huh?

They never even apologized for the insult.

Interpol’s tepid response to that highly unusual action sparked criticism that it was too quick to yield to influence from an authoritarian government. Stock did not directly address those criticisms,

“Interpol has to work in a space neutral to geopolitics, but not of course neutral to human rights,” he said.

Kim has served as Iterpol’s interim president since Meng’s disappearance. Prokopchuk has served as a vice president and is well regarded by his colleagues, but Prokopchuk has also worked for more than a decade in a Russian department that has flooded Interpol with requests for international warrants, known as red notices, seeking the arrest of political dissidents and others. Interpol has rejected requests that it viewed as baldly political, but the Russian government has at times found workarounds by seeking a different type of warrant, known as a diffusion. Diffusions are circulated through Interpol but do not get reviewed there.

Investor Bill Browder, one of the highest-profile Kremlin critics, is the most public target of this effort. The Russian government has repeatedly sought his arrest. Early this year, he tweeted his detention in Spain on a warrant issued out of Moscow.

On Tuesday, Browder held a news conference in London and warned that President Vladimir Putin of Russia was trying to use Interpol to intimidate his opponents.

“This is a perfect way for Putin to basically breathe the fear of God into all of his enemies,” Browder said. “So they know they can’t even escape Russia if one of his guys is at the head of Interpol.”

What they don't tell you is Browder is wanted for financial fraud and is a western agent of agitation.

The presidency is in many ways a ceremonial position at Interpol, where executive power is held by the secretary-general.....

Then what is all the hoopla about?


Maybe someone should call the cops on this:

"Child bride auction in South Sudan goes viral, sparks anger" by Sam Mednick Associated Press  November 21, 2018

JUBA, South Sudan — Five hundred cows, two luxury cars, $10,000, two bikes, a boat, and a few cellphones made up the final price in a heated bidding war for a child bride in South Sudan that went viral after the auction was pointed out on Facebook. It is the largest dowry ever paid in the civil war-torn country, the government said.

The highest bidder was a man three times the 17-year-old’s age. At least four other men in Eastern Lakes state competed, said Philips Anyang Ngong, a human rights lawyer who tried to stop the bidding last month. Among the bidders was the state’s deputy governor.

‘‘She has been reduced to a mere commodity,’’ Ngong told The Associated Press, calling it ‘‘the biggest test of child abuse, trafficking, and auctioning of a human being.’’ Everyone involved should be held accountable, he said.

Earlier this month, Nyalong became the man’s ninth wife. Photos posted on Facebook show her sitting beside the groom, wearing a lavish dress and staring despondently at the floor. The AP is using only her first name to protect her identity. The groom did not respond to requests for comment.

South Sudan has a deeply rooted cultural practice of paying dowries for brides, usually in the form of cows. It also has a long history of child marriage. Even though that practice is now illegal, 40 percent of girls still marry before age 18, according to the United Nations Population Fund. The practice ‘‘threatens girls’ lives’’ and limits prospects for their future, said Dr. Mary Otieno, the agency’s country representative.

The importance of cows in the area is what I remember most from my anthropology class so long ago.

The bidding war has caused local and international outrage. It took several days for Facebook to remove the post that first pointed out the auction, and after it was taken down other posts ‘‘glorifying’’ the situation remained, George Otim, country director for Plan International South Sudan, told the AP.

‘‘This barbaric use of technology is reminiscent of latter-day slave markets. That a girl could be sold for marriage on the world’s biggest social networking site in this day and age is beyond belief,’’ he said. The auction was discussed, not carried out, on the site.

Must have missed it while cleaning out the haters and fake accounts.

Facebook did not reply to a request for comment.

While South Sudan’s government condemns the practice of child marriage, it says it can’t regulate communities’ cultural norms, especially in remote areas.

That's a very interesting argument that deserves a lot of careful consideration; however, I always feel the pre$$ pushes these sorts of things in order to advance a certain lifestyle by a set of chosen people. That's the goal at bottom.

‘‘You can’t call it bidding as if it was an auction. It’s not bidding. If you see it with European eyes you’ll call it an auction,’’ government spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told the AP. ‘‘You have to see it with an African eye, as it’s a tradition that goes back thousands of years. There’s no word for it in English.’’

Maybe there shouldn't be a word for it. 

This kind of thing does need to be abolished, but in a sensitive, careful, and considered way, and certainly not by force of arms.

Some local lawmakers and activists disagree. In a statement released this week, the National Alliance for Women Lawyers in South Sudan called upon officials to comply with the government’s plan to end child marriage by 2030. Ending the practice includes putting a stop to the auctioning of girls.

South Sudan’s anti-human trafficking chief called the case reminiscent of others he has seen across the country, in which girls are forced or tricked into marriage after being told they are going to live with relatives and go to school instead. ‘‘It is clear that some human trafficking practices are hidden in our culture,’’ John Mading said.

They are hidden in all cultures, from Catholic pedophiles to elite pedophilia in the educational institutions, media, government, and nearly every industry you name.

In other cases, some girls who grow up in the South Sudanese diaspora are brought back to the country and forced to marry. The AP spoke with several people who know girls who arrived for what they thought was a vacation, only to have their passports taken away and forced into marriage by their families.

‘‘Some families want children to marry in their countries and in their ethnic communities, but most do it if the kids are misbehaving,’’ said Esther Ikere Eluzai, undersecretary for South Sudan’s ministry of gender.


Just wondering why female genital mutilation case in the United States isn't causing as much of a ruckus.

"An American adventurer who kayaked to a remote Indian island populated by a tribe known for shooting at outsiders with bows and arrows was killed, police said Wednesday. Officials said they were working with anthropologists to recover the body. Dependera Pathak, director-general of police on India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands, identified the American as John Allen Chau, 26. He was apparently killed by arrows. Chau arrived in the area on Oct. 16 and stayed in a hotel while he prepared to travel to the island. It was not his first time in the region......"

Pronounced CIAo.

And it was just last year that Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb general whose forces carried out the worst massacre in Europe since World War II, was convicted of genocide and other crimes by the United Nations’ Yugoslav war crimes tribunal and sentenced to life behind bars:

Defense lawyer says Mladic may not be fit to hear verdicts

The groundbreaking work leading to the Ratko Mladić verdict

"Serb general sentenced to life for genocide; Mladic’s decision revealed amid xenophobic push" by Marlise Simons New York Times  November 22, 2017

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Nationalist passions, the clamor for redrawn frontiers, and collisions of faith are rising anew, not to the crump of mortar fire and the stutter of machine guns, but in the recharting of the political landscape.

In October, Austria became the latest European nation to veer to the right, following Hungary and Poland. In Germany, the far-right Alternative for Germany secured enough votes in national elections in September to enter Parliament for the first time. In many lands there is a sense of flux, from the secessionist yearnings of Catalonia in Spain to Britain’s planned departure from the European Union.

I hate to say it, but that is the only way to save the United States and drain the swamp: be destroying it. Each region must secede and decide on its own path forward.

In Serbia, calls are intensifying for a return to the nationalist politics of the 1990s. Once-discredited senior officials from the barbarous government of Slobodan Milosevic in Belgrade — and not a few convicted war criminals — are reclaiming positions of prominence.

Thankfully, Hillary did not win here.

There is a sense, too, of unfinished business and resentments that the war did not heal. Indeed, the trials of Mladic and others, including his political boss Radovan Karadzic, who was jailed for 40 years on almost identical charges last year, may simply have intensified Serbia’s rancorous perceptions of being treated unfairly and Muslims’ sense of loss.

On both sides of the enduring ethnic divide, there was a feeling that the pronouncements of robed judges at The Hague will have no perceptible impact on the practicalities of eking out an existence in straitened times.

Bosnians in Sarajevo who once ran from snipers’ bullets and sheltered from incessant indiscriminate shelling have traded those perils for a dysfunctional government, joblessness, and a collapsed social security and health system.

Must be the AmeriKan model.

In Belgrade, the crumbling socialist-era grandeur harks back to better times, when the city was the capital of a moderately developed Yugoslavia with a population of 22 million, rather than the impoverished republic it is today.

Coupled with that struggle is a lingering memory not just of the war in Bosnia and Croatia of the early 1990s but also of the fighting later in the decade in what was then the southern Serbian province of Kosovo.

That is what enabled 

Against that dim backdrop, Serbia is hoping to become the next member state of the European Union....

I wonder if they still feel that a year later.


Through it all, “Mladic remains a legend.”

Related: "In 1963, President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.

There is more than one way to skin a cat:

"War Criminal Dies After Apparently Drinking Poison in Court" by Marlise Simons New York Times   November 30, 2017

The session was meant to mark the final act of a decades-long legal process over the atrocities of the Bosnian and Croatian wars. Instead, it descended into chaos, confusion and, ultimately, death.

As judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia were in the midst of delivering rulings Wednesday over appeals related to Croatia’s involvement in the Bosnian conflict, one of the six defendants before the court suddenly drank what appeared to be a vial of poison and died shortly afterward, Croatian state television and a tribunal official said.

It's like Nuremberg, and it was before Salisbury!

When judges upheld a 20-year sentence against Slobodan Praljak, the former general addressed the bench. In a solemn voice, he said: “Slobodan Praljak is not a war criminal. I reject your judgment with contempt.”

Praljak then raised a vial and drank from it. His lawyer called out, “Our client says he took poison.” Praljak was taken from the courtroom shortly afterward, and the hearing was suspended.

He was later pronounced dead and his body removed from the court building, a tribunal official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Croatian state television said Praljak had died in a hospital in The Hague, citing unidentified sources close to him.

Didn't Milosevec also die in their custody when he threatened to reveal the links between the Clinton administration and Al-CIA-Duh in the Bosnia?

The presiding judge suspended the session after Praljak, 72, drank the liquid, and ordered curtains that divide the court from the public gallery to be drawn. Guards seized the vial used by the defendant. If tests prove the liquid was poisonous, officials will have to explain how he managed to smuggle it into the courtroom — proceedings at The Hague are typically tightly controlled.

The hearing drew attention to Croatia’s often overlooked role in the Bosnian war. The tribunal has for the past 24 years largely focused on the dominant Serbian role in the conflict, but Croatia, trials at the tribunal have shown, also orchestrated a brutal campaign of ethnic violence.....

That's because Croatia was on the right side of that one, unlike in WWII.



"A former Croatian general who died after swallowing a liquid at a war crimes hearing had cyanide in his blood, Dutch prosecutors said. A toxicological test revealed potassium cyanide in Slobodan Praljak, 72, which induced heart failure after he lost his appeal Wednesday (AP)."

He pulled a Goering, and the stuff came from Vermont.

"Bosnians vote in divisive election testing EU bid" Associated Press  October 07, 2018

BANJA LUKA, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Bosnians voted Sunday in a general election that could install a pro-Russian nationalist to a top post and cement the ethnic divisions of a country that faced a brutal war some 25 years ago.

Meddling, meddling!

After polls closed, the two main contenders for the Serb seat in Bosnia’s three-person presidency both said they were leading the election for the post, which appeared to be very tight. Preliminary official results are expected later.

The ballot was seen as a test of whether Bosnia will move toward integration in the European Union and NATO or remain entrenched in rivalries stemming from the 1992-95 war.

More than half of Bosnia’s 3.3 million eligible voters cast ballots, election officials said. Voters chose an array of institutions in Bosnia’s complex governing system, which was created by a 1995 peace accord that ended the war that killed 100,000 people and left millions homeless.

That's when my printed paper stopped reading returns.

Election officials described the voting that took place as ‘‘extremely fair’’ despite several incidents.

The country consists of two regional mini-states — one Serb-run and a Muslim-Croat entity — with joint institutions in a central government. Voters were electing the Bosnian presidency, the Serb president, and the two entities’ parliaments and cantonal authorities.

The campaign was marred by divisive rhetoric and allegations of irregularities that fueled tensions.

All elections are the same!

In a show of widespread popular discontent with Bosnia’s politicians, thousands rallied at anticorruption protests Friday in Sarajevo and in the main Serb city of Banja Luka.

Bosnia’s Serbs and Croats want to move closer to their ethnic kin in neighboring Serbia and Croatia, while the Muslims want to keep Bosnia together. The issue was at the core of the 1990s’ war.

Tribalism has taken over the planet, from the top down!

The election’s main focus was the Bosnian presidency, because of the candidacy of hard-line Serb leader Milorad Dodik, who advocates eventual Serb separation from Bosnia.

Dodik also is a key Balkan ally of President Vladimir Putin of Russia, and his victory would mean stronger influence of Russia.

The West has hoped prospects of EU and NATO membership would encourage nations in the Balkans to solve their disputes stemming from the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia. Russia opposes any more Balkan countries joining NATO.

It's like the Ukraine all over again.

Dodik shifted to the race for the Bosnian presidency because of term limits for his current job leading the Bosnian Serb regional mini-state. His ruling coalition hopes to maintain a firm grip on power in the Serb region.

He urged the voters Sunday to elect a ‘‘compact and unified’’ government that will preserve the unity of Republika Srpska, the Serb entity, and work to further benefit it.

‘‘Of course I expect a victory, a big victory that will enable for important work to be done for Republika Srpska,’’ he said.

The current Serb member of the federal presidency and a relative moderate, Mladen Ivanic, is also running, backed by an opposition Serb coalition that hopes to undermine Dodik’s rule.

Ivanic was also optimistic Sunday.

‘‘I wouldn’t run if I didn’t believe I could win,’’ he said.

The main ethnic Croatian presidential candidate, Dragan Covic, is also dashing hopes that Bosnia will be strengthened as a multi-ethnic union. Covic seeks the formation of a third government body, a Croat mini-state that would spell further fragmentation for the fragile nation.

He urged voters to ‘‘deliver a clear, new message’’ they want to turn Bosnia into a country of ‘‘absolute constitutional equality’’ for all ethnic groups.

Liberal candidates who back a civil society free of ethnic divisions largely have been pushed to the margins.

‘‘I expect a lot, but I have little hope that something will change,’’ said Dragica Ruzic, a 72-year-old retiree from the Bosnian Serb region.

At the other side of Bosnia’s ethnic divide in the capital of Sarajevo, worker Kemal Cengic, 57, said he wished ‘‘someone younger wins.’’

‘‘Anyone really, just not those who have been in power so far,’’ he said. ‘‘I don’t care who wins, as long as it’s someone new. There is great potential here among the young people.’’

Who is their Trump?


Also see:

New York congressman who signed letter against Pelosi now says he’ll support her

It's part of the speakership battle, and ‘‘there’s no alternative right now and there’s not going to be one.’’ 

Obama’s book sells 1.4 million copies in a week

It's a massive hit.


Ready to get hungry?

"4 lessons from the Mass. marijuana law roll-out" November 20, 2018

Well, at least it’s a start.

More than two years after Massachusetts voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use, the first two stores are finally set to open on Tuesday, one in Northampton and the other in Leicester, where “budtenders” will help customers pick just the right pot-infused lozenge in sleek and stylish buildings resembling out-of-place Apple stores. Police details have been added for the expected throngs.

It’s a milestone (and it’s inspiring many eager shoppers to learn where Leicester is — Exit 10 off the Pike, by the way), but the long wait has been symbolic of some of the frustrating ways the legalization law has so far failed to live up to its potential to spur economic development and address inequities.

State and local officials can do better as the industry rollout continues. Too often, officials seem to run for the hills when the subject of marijuana comes up, or view stores as nothing more than opportunities to extract tax revenue. “In my view, we’re running into a lot of challenges because, generally, local and state officials are not caught up to where the people are,” said Shaleen Title, one of the five members of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission.

As stores open, customers may confront an odd scenario where they can buy marijuana legally but are unable to consume it legally (landlords can bar marijuana). Because of confusion over legal technicalities, it may require legislative action or new rules from Secretary of State William F. Galvin to move forward with social consumption venues. 

All that rewriting after the pay raise they gave themselves, months and months, commission regulations, and somehow they missed it! 

What are they smoking under that dome anyway?

If mayors, selectmen, and town officials start treating marijuana as something they have an opportunity — and a responsibility — to get right, here are four ways they could help steer the state’s marijuana industry in the right direction.....


Also see:

Recreational pot shops prepare for thousands on opening day

The two-year wait is over!

Recreational marijuana sales begin in Massachusetts, first on the East Coast

Meet the first pot customers in Massachusetts

One was Joe Kennedy.

Consumers spent $440,000 on marijuana products Tuesday in Massachusetts 

The location of the article on page B4 means it must have been a mere pittance!


"Boston police SWAT officers and members of a drug control unit arrested a 20-year-old Dorchester man Wednesday after seizing drugs and a loaded gun in a predawn raidauthorities said....."

"A Boston man, who was arrested with a gun and more than 20 bags of marijuana Monday morning after he lead police on a foot chase through Downtown Crossing, was arraigned in Boston Municipal Court Tuesday, authorities said. Junior Louis, 20, was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, unlawful possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number, assault and battery, and possession of a Class D drug with intent to distribute, said Jake Wark, a spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney’s office. His bail was set at $7,500 cash. If he posts bail he must wear a GPS monitor, abide by a curfew of 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., and stay away from the location of his offense, Wark said. Officers responded to the area of Temple Place and Tremont Street around 10:40 a.m. after receiving a call about a man who had been threatening someone with a gun, Boston police said in a statement. As the officers were making their way toward a man who matched the suspect’s description, the man began to run, and the officers took off after him, police said. “While bravely running behind the suspect, officers noted that the individual was displaying behavior indicative of a person in possession of a firearm,” police said in the statement. The man was running with his left arm pressed against the front of his body, which police said is indicative of someone trying to hide a gun. The man led police to Music Hall Place, about a block from Temple Place, and tossed his pistol over a fence before running into a bathroom in the Corner Mall food court, police said. Police found the man, identified as Louis, hiding in a bathroom stall and arrested him. He was carrying more than 20 small plastic bags of marijuana. The gun was later recovered from Music Hall Place, police said....."

He was arrested after gunshots made him shit his pants!

"A 19-year-old man from Holbrook was arrested and charged with manslaughter while operating under the influence of liquor Monday morning, about a week after he allegedly crashed his car into a house, killing one of his passengers, police said. On Nov. 11, Hector DeJesus was allegedly driving more than 100 miles per hour on Route 139 when he sideswiped a telephone pole, sending his car airborne and into the roof of a house on Kingsley Street around 4:30 a.m., police said. DeJesus was charged Monday with manslaughter while operating under the influence of liquor, driving under the influence of drugs (marijuana) causing serious bodily injury, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, malicious destruction of property over $1,200, and speeding, Holbrook police said in a statement. First responders had to use a hydraulic tool to extricate Nicole Ricci, 20, of Stoughton. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she later died. DeJesus was ejected from the car, and he and a 21-year-old male passenger were taken to a hospital to be treated for serious injuries, police said. The house, which was unoccupied at the time of the crash, was seriously damaged, police said. DeJesus was expected to be arraigned Monday in Quincy District Court, police said."

"A Roxbury man who was driving with a loaded gun and several open alcohol containers was arrested Sunday afternoon after he drove through a stop sign, police said. Officers were in the area of Ruthven Street and Elm Hill Avenue in Roxbury around 1:11 p.m. when they saw a car speeding past another car that was stopped at a stop sign, Boston police said in a statement. Police stopped the driver, later identified as Reginald Clagon, 38, and ordered him to get out of the car after learning that he did not have a valid driver’s license, police said. Inside Clagon’s car officers found three open containers of alcohol, police said. As they were arresting Clagon, officers found a loaded .380 caliber handgun and an additional loaded magazine that he had been hiding on his person, police said. Clagon was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm (second and subsequent offense), unlawful possession of ammunition, carrying a loaded firearm, possession of a large-capacity feeding device, and operating a motor vehicle after license revocation or suspension. He was expected to appear in Roxbury District Court, police said. He was also cited for failure to stop for a stop sign, unsafe passing, and violation of the open container law, police said."

He's lucky he didn't kill anyone and deserves at least four years in jail.

Also see:

Victim of Sunday shooting identified as 28-year-old Roxbury resident

Police identify woman fatally shot in Jamaica Plain earlier this week

It was Boston’s 49th homicide this year.

Good thing the city has changed since the days of ‘Whitey’ Bulger

If nothing else, the parking iSouthie these days is a lot easier.


Speaking of criminals and liars:

"More questionable spending found at Dorchester charter school" by James Vaznis Globe Staff  November 19, 2018

Questionable spending at the embattled Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy runs much deeper than excessive pay to a former executive director, according to a state audit released Monday that found the Dorchester charter school made more than $126,000 in improper credit card transactions and that its former executive director dipped into school funds to pay her mortgage.

The audit indicated that some of the most vulnerable students at the small middle school may have paid a big price for the financial missteps. Instead of hiring two special education professionals in 2017 to work with these students, the school used the money to help cover a $117,000 sick-time payout to retiring executive director, Karmala Sherwood.

“This audit makes clear that the Board of Trustees for the Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy fell considerably short of their fiduciary and oversight responsibilities,” state Auditor Suzanne Bump said in a statement.

Davis Leadership officials could not be reached for comment.

The state audit is one of three investigations into Sherwood’s payout that have gone on for more than year, casting a shadow on a school that aims to foster “good character” in marginalized youth.....

I $uppo$e they learned a life le$$on on how to get ahead, though.



"About 100 teenagers from Boston Public Schools walked out of class Monday afternoon and rallied at City Hall to protest school budget cuts and closures as well as gun homicides. According to the organizers, the walk-out was to protest the proposed closure of West Roxbury Academy as well as the McCormick Middle School in Dorchester, which they said will disproportionately affect black and brown students. Nearly all of the students who rallied were students of color, but the walk-out was also to protest a litany of problems that organizers said affect students, including homelessness and gentrification. The rally was organized by groups including March Forward Mass, Black Lives Matter Boston, Teen Empowerment and Stuck on Replay. After a brief rally, with chants of “black lives matter,” they went into City Hall where they staged a “die in” in front of the offices of Mayor Martin J. Walsh. Students lay on the floor for 43 minutes, one minute to represent each of the gun homicides in Boston over the past year, according to organizers....."

The print article told me that a Ms. Aleva Fernandez told the mayor to "step his game up," and are the kids showing the kind of good character they are being taught in school?

Btw, are the buses still driving late? 

School Department stopped sharing information and the Globe stopped riding.

Just going to have to hoof it, I gue$$:

"The highly touted new dormitory was supposed to mark a turning point in the school’s transformation from a commuter college into something more grand, but then the problems came: As acting head of the state university system’s Dorchester campus, Katherine Newman has stepped into a role steeped in drama. It’s an unexpected step in a distinguished academic career. Newman, a sociologist, has written 15 books focused on poverty and inequality. She’s taught at Harvard, Columbia, and Johns Hopkins. Newman was vice president for academic affairs for the UMass system before assuming her current role. While Newman has spent much of her career in elite institutions, she has much in common with the working-class young people who make up the bulk of the UMass Boston student body. She worked her way through college at the University of California San Diego, graduating with her bachelor’s degree in 1975, and is “robustly supportive of public higher education.”

Thankfully, there are members of the elite ruling cla$$ looking out for you!

Now try to get some sleep.

Dartmouth case galvanizes female scientists

What a nightmare!

And just by coincidence, after nearly 50 years, investigators may finally have cracked one of the Boston area’s most notorious unsolved murders:

Prosecutors blame serial rapist for 1969 murder of Harvard student Jane Britton

They just had a feeling it was him

Knife-wielding Ludlow man assaults woman speaking to police

Conn. man accused of abducting young son in 1987 faces arraignment

Betsy DeVos reinstates controversial gatekeeper of for-profit colleges

It's an agency Obama tried to shut down.


Better take the dog for a walk before eating:

"Teens accused of animal cruelty can’t be tried as adults, SJC rules" by John R. Ellement and Travis Andersen Globe Staff  November 20, 2017

Teenagers cannot be prosecuted as adults when they physically assault animals because the legal term “bodily injury” only applies to human beings, the state’s highest court ruled Monday.

The Supreme Judicial Court ordered the dismissal of animal cruelty and bestiality charges filed against a 14-year-old boy who “tortured a friend’s dog” forcing a soap dispenser into the animal’s body, causing “serious internal injuries to the dog.”

The puppy was left for dead.

“Preventing animal cruelty is a tenet of our collective humanity and a crucial public policy goal in Massachusetts,’’ Justice Elspeth B. Cypher wrote. “A juvenile who intentionally harms an animal displays a concerning propensity for viciousness. If the Commonwealth can respond to juvenile animal abuse effectively, it may help spare future victims, animal and human alike,’’ she wrote.

Cypher said the youthful offender statute, if broadened, “can provide the Commonwealth more flexibility when dealing with such disquieting cases of animal cruelty. Prosecutors then may be able to enlist the comprehensive assistance of the criminal justice system in addressing allegations of animal cruelty that may be harbingers of violence to come.”


The SJC believes he is a mentally troubled child, and just think, one day he could be president:

"We were terrible to animals," recalled Mr. Throckmorton, laughing. "We'd put firecrackers in the frogs and throw them and blow them up." When he was not blowing up frogs, young George-- always restless and something of a natural leader-- would lead neighborhood children on daredevil expeditions around town."

The genesis of the Iraq invasion!


Poodles in Wayland attacked by coyotes
A wandering coyote carrying a cat in its mouth was spotted in Newton
Here’s what to do if you encounter a coyote
North Attleborough police shoot, kill coyote that attacked residents

Then drown it:

Traces of hormone allow scientists to detect stress in whales
New study used ocean-floor listening devices to track endangered right whales
Dolphin whistles may help predict mass strandings and help prevent them

It's either that or the plastic, so I guess it'll be paper.

Kitten brought back from the brink of death
A doctor bonds with his furry little patient

It's almost deer season.


"Martha’s Vineyard detective fired for conducting illegal background checks" by Matt Rocheleau Globe Staff  November 21, 2018

A veteran detective was fired from a Martha’s Vineyard police force this month for allegedly conducting illegal background checks — a problem that surfaced after a separate investigation found packages filled with large amounts of cocaine had been delivered to a tenant living inside his home, police officials said.

Investigators said they did not believe Oak Bluffs Police Detective James T. Morse was involved in the alleged drug trafficking, but an internal probe into the drug case led officials to uncover Morse had used police computers while on duty over the last year to look up the criminal histories for a “large” number of people not associated with any recent cases, according to an internal report.

Accessing such sensitive information without proper justification violates state law.

His firing and the circumstances around it were first reported by The Martha’s Vineyard Times and the Vineyard Gazette.

The probe into Morse began Oct. 9 when, according to the internal report, Williamson said he was told that troopers involved in a yearlong drug investigation had found multiple packages containing a total of about three kilograms of cocaine had been delivered during the summer to a tenant who was living in Morse’s home, a condominium in Falmouth.

Property records show Morse owns a two-bedroom, one-bathroom condo in that town assessed for tax purposes at about $340,000.

Williamson wrote he was told there was “no indication or information that Morse had any involved in the [drug] activity other that [sic] he believed that Morse rented a room to the target.”

Still department officials placed Morse on administrative leave while they launched an internal investigation, the report said.

When department officials asked Morse a series of questions about the packages and his tenant, who had moved out in mid-September, Morse declined to answer one about background checks, the report said. Morse cited his constitutional right to refuse to answer.

That prompted the department to audit background checks Morse had run over the past year, which uncovered he had improperly searched the state’s Criminal Justice Information System for numerous individuals’ Criminal Offender Record Information, or CORI.

Morse declined to answer questions from the department about those searches.

A person’s CORI record potentially includes a person’s complete criminal history — or “rap sheet” — including arrests, criminal charges, judicial proceedings, sentencing, incarceration, rehabilitation, and release in Massachusetts.

Access to much of the data is restricted to law enforcement agencies, licensing agencies, employers, and others with a reason to view the information. There are strict rules about under what circumstances and how the information can be accessed, stored, and shared.

Oak Bluffs Chief Erik Blake said by phone Tuesday he still does not know why Morse ran the background checks in question. As for the drug investigation, Blake said Morse’s former tenant was arrested, but declined to provide the person’s name or other details, saying the investigation is ongoing and his department is not involved.

State Police troopers assigned to the Cape and Islands district attorney’s office have assisted with the drug probe, which is an ongoing multi-agency effort, officials from both agencies said, declining to comment further.

Blake expressed disappointment over the matter but said he hopes the case will serve as a lesson for his department of about 20 sworn officers.....


RelatedEmbattled former union boss retires from Mass. State Police

Also seeMonday's SPAM

The Globe has been gunning for him for a long time.

"Suspended Rockland town administrator files complaint over sexual harassment claims" by Laura Crimaldi Globe Staff  November 21, 2018

A Town Hall soap opera in Rockland involving allegations of sexual harassment, affairs between married members of the Board of Selectmen, and late-night surveillance video from town offices took a new turn Tuesday as the suspended town administrator filed a discrimination complaint.

Allan Chiocca, who was placed on paid leave on May 29, alleges Deirdre Hall, a former member of the Board of Selectmen, falsely accused him of sexual misconduct tied to an encounter at Rockland Town Hall, the complaint states.

“She was actually the true victimizer, exploiting her position of power to force him to participate in sexual acts against his will,” Chiocca’s lawyers wrote in the 46-page complaint filed with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

He is seeking damages for wages, benefits, emotional distress, and other costs.

In a statement issued Tuesday night, the Board of Selectmen announced it would not take action against Chiocca’s contract, which ends next June 30 . The town also disclosed for the first time that former Selectman Edward Kimball, who resigned in July, has also threatened legal action.

“This entire episode has been an embarrassment to the Town of Rockland, and we would all like it to end,’’ selectmen said in the statement. “Unfortunately, the individuals that put the Town in this position do not seem interested in putting this behind them or letting the Town do so.”

The incident began late on May 1 and continued into the early morning hours of the following day. An investigator hired by the town concluded that Hall sexually harassed Chiocca, writing in a July report that she sought sexual relations with the town administrator in exchange for her support for his contract extension and raise, records show.

When Hall became worried that the encounter would become public, she accused Chiocca of inappropriate conduct and asked the Board of Selectmen to investigate, the complaint said.

“Hall repeatedly used her position on the [Board of Selectmen] to threaten to vote against Mr. Chiocca’s then-pending raise and contract extension if he did not accede to her sexual demands, and when she became concerned that Mr. Chiocca was going to disclose her conduct, she brazenly accused him of being the aggressor,” the complaint said.

Hall, who resigned her position in July, declined to comment on Tuesday. Chiocca’s complaint was filed against her, the town, three current selectmen, and Kimball.

Kimball and Hall were engaged in an “intense physical and emotional affair” in March and April, the complaint said. Kimball’s wife confronted Hall about it on May 1, hours before the encounter between Hall and Chiocca at Town Hall.....

I don't want to know anymore.



"Last year, former sports doctor Larry Nassar, accused of molesting at least 125 girls and young women while working for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, pleaded guilty to multiple charges of sexual assault."

Also seeMichael Leonard toots his own horn, and rents out others

Related(?)Pedophilia Found at Philharmonic

He should have taken a private sector job.


Time to turn the game on:

R.I. casino to allow sports betting beginning Monday

I'm blocked from betting on it?

Time to put on some music and dig in:

On Thanksgiving, revisiting the other Plymouth

Yeah, somehow New York has stolen a holiday that by all rights should be ours as we gather together to give Thanksgiving its meaning, and there are plenty of reasons to be thankful in the hope of a better life in P-Town.

It's a holiday built on food, and the first thing I notice is the cranberry sauce missing on the Globe's table.

Anyhow, it smells good but is only the plate is only lukewarm. They waited too long to serve it serve it, and it was undercooked.

Thanksgiving dinner to be a bit cheaper this year

You know who deserves the thanks, right? 

(Hint: He works and lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue)

I suppose I should be thankful for the dinner conversation with the people I love:

"The United States seems more polarized than ever after the midterm elections. Vitriol and name-calling seem to crowd out reasoned discourse not just on social media, but in much of public life. In such a climate, Metro Minute wonders: Are there practical ways to bring people together? We sought answers from Carl Hobert, , a graduate of Middlebury College and The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University who has decades of experience in conflict-resolution education....."

Stick to the trivial says the granddaughter of the grandfather of modern propaganda.

Did you see the pie they put out for dessert?

This will give you indigestion before you head out to shop:

"House staff to get 6 percent pay hikes" by Matt Stout Globe Staff  November 20, 2018

Hundreds of employees working for the state’s House of Representatives will receive a 6 percent pay hike, according to House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo’s office, which Tuesday estimated the pay package will cost $1.35 million.

The pay bumps, which a DeLeo aide described as cost-of-living increases, mark the fourth in as many sessions for House staff, which now number more than 500 and includes legislative aides, chiefs of staff, communication directors, and other employees making an average of $39,000 a year, according to state payroll records.

The state Senate has awarded 3 percent raises to its 277 full-time staff members both this year and last, though Senate President Karen E. Spilka’s office couldn’t say Tuesday when the most recent pay increase went into effect.

Catherine Williams, a DeLeo spokeswoman, said the costs of the House raises will be absorbed by the chamber’s existing $40.2 million budget. The pay increases will go effect in the current two-week pay period, according to the DeLeo’s office.

Where do you think that money comes from, taxpayers?

DeLeo has routinely announced the biennial raises for House staff ahead of Thanksgiving. The 2014 and 2016 pay hikes also came in stretches when the state was struggling with flagging revenues and looming cuts. Two years ago, for example, the Baker administration was in the midst of finalizing buy-outs for hundreds of state employees in a cost-cutting measure.

This cycle, the state has faced no such problems: It finished last fiscal year with more than $1 billion in unexpected revenue, and officials said this month it had already built a $350 million cushion above estimates four months into this fiscal year, which began in July.

Thanks to the Trump tax cuts!

State House staff are among the last to receive extra compensation this legislative session.

Legislative leaders last year pushed a controversial bill into law awarding themselves, judges, constitutional officers, and an array of other public offices pay hikes as part of an $18 million package.

They said they had to get it out of the way before assigning committee chairmanships so they could quickly rewrite the pot referendum, and then spent months and months holding their hit before rushing a budget through.

DeLeo and the Senate president each saw their pay rise from $97,500 to $142,500, plus additional money for office and travel expenses.....

You know who he should be thanking, right?


Remember all that when they are cutting budgets early next year.


Dukakis, Weld urge transportation board to get moving on north-south rail link

They are still waiting on the platform, and they didn't even notice the graffiti on the train


You can really go places with Black Friday, Cyber Monday deals

Yeah, right:

" informed some customers on Wednesday that their names and e-mail addresses had been ‘‘inadvertently disclosed’’ as a result of a ‘‘technical error,’’ but declined to provide more details about the security incident. The e-commerce giant confirmed it sent the messages, adding in a subsequent statement it had ‘‘fixed the issue.’’ It’s not the first time Amazon has run into security troubles. In October, the tech giant reportedly fired an employee who inappropriately shared customer e-mails with a third-party seller. The security lapse, which Amazon said it was working with law enforcement to investigate, similarly resulted in messages to customers indicating their e-mail addresses had been exposed. The latest incident, however, could embolden those who would like to see tech giants and other businesses disclose more information about security incidents to their customers....."

Cui bono?

I guess you won't be worried about Ivanka's Emails as much, huh?

Stocks edge higher on Wall Street after 2 days of big losses

Actually, the Dow was down so the headline is deceptive.

What are they smoking over there anyway?

Sales up in October for first time in six months

Orders for big-ticket goods fall by largest amount in more than a year

Big-ticket manufactured goods fell by the largest amount in 15 months with a key category that tracks business investment showing weakness for the third consecutive month.

Claims for unemployment rise to highest level since late June

Potentially reflecting holiday-related volatility in what otherwise has been a strong labor market.


Aren't they hiring people this time of year?

"There’s a tight supply of tannenbaums this holiday season. That means some shoppers will be paying more or searching longer for that perfect Christmas tree, but industry officials say there’s no cause for panic buying. The tight market is rooted in an oversupply followed by the Great Recession that caused many growers to leave the business. Now the supply is tight. Tim O’Connor from the National Christmas Tree Association says most people will find what they want, but prices could be a bit higher than last year’s average retail price of about $75. All told, the association says US consumers are expected to buy about 27 million live trees. That’s roughly the same as the last two years."

I sure hope the millennials can afford one.

If not, they will just have to buy a fake tree, no matter of what it is made.

Christmas tree arrives at Boston Common from Nova Scotia

Not only is it hypocrisy considering their position on climate change, but they didn't even buy local!

Globe Santa Christmas campaign begins

I don't have any gift ideas, do you?