Saturday, November 3, 2018

Slow Saturday Special: Politics and Protests

All over the front page, too:

With NRA lying low, gun control groups seize new ground in midterms

Who benefits from the mass casualty events? 

What agenda is advanced?

At Boston synagogue, a night to remember Pittsburgh and to heal

No comment.

[flip to below fold]

Online hate is spreading, and Internet platforms can’t stop it

don't even want to argue anymore, and the odd thing is a supremacist hate group is so concerned about online hate that it has opened a Silicon Valley office to work with tech companies on the problem.

Calif.’s nurse staffing law offers lessons for Mass.

Well, we know how the Globe wants you to vote and their coverage has basically pushed you in that direction:

"Donna Kelly-Williams, the president of the Massachusetts Nurses Association, which wrote the measure, said the proposed law would protect patients, is backed by studies and nurses, and also just makes plain sense — urging voters to say yes on Question 1, but Nancy Gaden, the chief nursing officer of Boston Medical Center, said Massachusetts already has some of the best hospitals and patient outcomes in the country and warned the proposed law would squeeze hospitals, increase wait times, and lead to “tragic unintended consequences”. She pressed people to vote no on the Nov. 6 referendum....."

What is strange is the Globe editorial used the exact same language regarding “tragic unintended consequences,” and the article was also in the printed paper the same day as the editorial!

Why I am voting no on Question 1

The chief nursing officer of Boston Medical Center argues that Question 1 would have unintended consequences that will hurt patients. 

Seems like I've heard that before.

Question 1 and the way out of the nurse staffing impasse

Should have called him first. Then we could have avoided all this na$tine$$.

Vote yes on Question 1 for better patient care

That is the opinion of registered nurses Donna Kelly-Williams and Judith Shindul-Rothschild.

When are nurse staffing levels unsafe?

Staffing reports have become a tool in the battle over Question 1.

So who will win the propaganda war?

Support is dropping for ballot question on nurse staffing

Was a bad idea anyway:

The bad business of ballot questions

Yeah, "if history is any guide, we may never know which side has the better argument. After votes are tallied and the fog of Election Day clears, high-stakes ballot battles tend to fade from view, never to be examined again."

Unless it is a vote to recreationalize pot or lower tax rates. Then the Legislature has to get into rewriting the will of the voters.

If passed, when would the nurse staffing law take effect?

Not for a while, and that precludes the legislature from getting involved and changing it like the, you know (of course, that only happens in GOP-leaning states, right?).

The simple fact is you have to vote No on 1, can't you see

Otherwise, the little girl will die.

Just nursing this blog home, folks -- for the record.


Time to call a doctor (more worried about their image than you) to put you out of your misery (sorry, just a training exercise, a simulation drill with role-playing actors):

Bulger slaying suspect’s brother says families had bad blood

Hazelton inmates were known to use locks as weapons

Some wanted them banned, but it's too late for Jimmy.

The Globe is now asking questions:

"Bulger was a monster, but federal government must answer for his death" November 02, 2018

James “Whitey” Bulger died the way he lived: as a symbol of federal government failure.

Probably nobody’s sad to see Bulger gone — least of all anyone in Boston, but the brutal murder of the aging gangster in West Virginia federal prison on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after he arrived there, is an outrage that can’t be brushed off as just deserts or rough justice.

Why not?

It apparently happens all the time and some lame cover story is connected to explain it all.

Welcome to the 21st century.

Authorities are investigating the killing, and reportedly focusing on Fotios “Freddy” Geas, a fellow inmate from West Springfield with mob ties, and North Shore gangster Paul J. DeCologero. The suspects’ affiliations come as no shock: Bulger had plenty of enemies, especially in Massachusetts, and especially in the Mafia, but while punishing the killer or killers, authorities also need to look at least as hard at the decisions by federal prison officials that left Bulger exposed.

The sad truth is (one you will never get from the Globe and they will disparage anyway who suggests such things) that Whitey was about to do a deathbed confession regarding all the FBI informants who knew about him and the higher-ups in charge of the program -- in particular, one Robert Mueller, who was an assistant and then in charge of the office. Then, all of a sudden, he is carted away and left exposed.

The Globe has reported that the wheelchair-bound Bulger asked to be placed in the general prison population when he arrived in Hazelton, W. Va. But why did the Bureau of Prisons agree? Did anyone check to see who would be in proximity to him? And how did the killer or killers learn he was there so quickly? A third prisoner with Massachusetts organized crime ties, Paul Weadick, is also housed at Hazelton, raising still more questions why Bulger was transferred there in the first place.

Considering Bulger’s history with the once-corrupt FBI office in Boston, it’s especially troubling that he came to a violent end in a way that’s sure to revive conspiracy theories. To be clear, there’s no evidence that anyone purposefully put him in harm’s way or tipped off the killers, but that history — Bulger bribed Boston FBI agents, several of whom went to prison themselves — increases the need for transparency around the murder.

There they go again.

At the West Virginia prison, Bulger’s homicide was the third this year. The guards’ union and local officials have raised concerns about understaffing. That might be part of the explanation. Prison violence in general deserves federal scrutiny, and if it takes a high-profile death like Bulger’s to focus attention on the issue, so be it.


Look, I'm no fan of mobsters, far from it; however, the reason there is a government is because they are NOT supposed to behave that way. It's what is supposed to set them apart from the very people they are imprisoning. That's why I'm outraged. We have all this lip service surrounding AmeriKa, and it turns out its run like any other two-bit totalitarian system, right down to the total surveillance.

No prisoners should die the way Bulger reportedly did, beaten to death with a padlock wrapped in a sock.

He also had his eyes nearly gouged out, but if that's what it takes to focus attention, so be it.

It goes without saying that Bulger was a monster, but the fact that he was so universally loathed isn’t a reason to look the other way. If anything, his notoriety was a reason why the prison should have been more careful with him — he was an obvious target. It does no disservice to Bulger’s victims to demand a real investigation into how he ended up on the receiving end of the kind violence he once meted out to others.....

Speaking of monsters..... oh, right, he is our monster.


Remember Todashev?

Nothing ever changes and truth remains a fugitive.

I wonder who the FBI will investigate next, and if they can delay or even stop it.

In wake of racist graffiti, a community gathers to support students

There is a ‘wolf in the fold,’ and promises were broke.

"Mass. GOP official calls Jewish protesters ‘a disgrace’ and an ‘embarrassment’" by Andres Picon Globe Correspondent  November 02, 2018

Fourteen Jewish protesters were arrested outside the state headquarters of the Massachusetts Republican Party in downtown Boston Friday after a Republican official denounced them as an “embarrassment to the country.”

Boston police made the arrests outside the Merrimac Street office around 9:30 a.m. Tom Mountain, who is is the vice chairman for an unofficial Jewish committee within the MassGOP, complained he was being blocked from entering the building.

While protesters, most of whom appeared to be in their 20s, sang and recited Jewish prayers, including the prayer for the dead, Mountain told the media the protesters were “a disgrace to the Jewish people” and “an embarrassment to this country.”

Protestors sit in a circle in the foyer of the Massachusetts GOP office downtown (Andres Picon).

The arrests came about 90 minutes after a group of 50 men and women who identified themselves as members of the group IfNotNow arrived at the headquarters intent on protesting what they said was “white nationalism” embedded in the Republican Party since President Trump took office.

“The [Republican Party] has blood on its hands,” said Evvie Jagoda, 26, one of the lead speakers at the protest. “They have refused to hold their elected representatives accountable. They have continued to support Trump, who is a white nationalist by his own admission.”

Why, did they shoot Gazans yesterday?

The group was also protesting anti-Semitic attacks in the United States, particularly last Saturday’s mass killing of 11 Jews in a Pittsburgh synagogue, allegedly by a heavily armed man who told police he wanted to kill as many Jews as he could.

IfNotNow members wearing fluorescent vests stood outside the entrance and several times turned away people who said they worked in the building, regardless of whether they worked in the Republican party office.

One was Eliza Kaplan, 25, one of the leaders of the IfNotNow protest.

Mountain spoke to the media on the street in front of the protest.

“They’re vile,” Mountain said of the protesters. “They are basically spitting on the graves of the deceased who were massacred by the anti-Trump white supremacist last week in Pittsburgh . . . They’re trying to paint America as some racist Nazi entity. It is not. This was an isolated incident caused by one crazed gunman. Something like this has never happened before in the history of the United States.”

Several police officers who had been monitoring the protest began making the arrests after Mountain complained he couldn’t get into the office. The protesters continued singing and chanting as officers handcuffed them, and they were loaded into detention vans. The protesters said they had expected to be arrested.

The protesters were charged with disorderly conduct and their cases will be heard in the Boston Municipal Court, officials said. A date was not given..... 

I'm sure all charges will be dropped.


There is really no denying it anymore, and I just want to get as far away as possible:

"In re-election bid, Charlie Baker can’t get far enough away from his fellow GOP nominees" by Matt Stout and Victoria McGrane Globe Correspondent and Globe Staff  November 03, 2018

Governor Charlie Baker hasn’t held a fund-raiser for Geoff Diehl or Jay McMahon, his advisers say. He hasn’t organized joint campaign stops with his two fellow Republicans. Even as Baker’s campaign pours hundreds of thousands of dollars into the state party, his endorsements of his ticket-mates often sound more like admissions than declarations, and yet, the state Republican party’s most popular figure has a problem: He seemingly can’t run away from them fast enough.

Even as he enjoys stratospheric polling ahead of Tuesday’s election, Baker’s support of the Massachusetts GOP ticket sticks to him like a stubborn early-November cold — and one his challenger, Jay Gonzalez, has happily inflamed on the race’s biggest stages.

It resurfaced this week in their final debate.

Asked after the debate if he feels his own ticket is weighing him down, Baker didn’t directly answer: “In the end, I do believe voters in Massachusetts will make their decision on this race based on the performance and the work and the vision that the lieutenant governor and I have put forth for the last four years,” he said.

To be sure, Baker’s party ties go well beyond public endorsements. Just this week, he and running mate, Karyn Polito, gave a combined $250,000 to the Republican State Committee, and since 2016, their campaigns have funneled $360,000 into the state account.

Terry MacCormack, a Baker campaign spokesman, said they made the most recent donations after the MassGOP sent a direct mailer to voters on their behalf.

And the money flows in as the party also operates dozens of so-called victory offices across the state to help down-ballot candidates, such as McMahon, organize and, as Baker put it to reporters on Friday, “compete” on Election Day, but Baker’s campaign also notes how few direct lines he’s drawn to Diehl and McMahon. Since the Sept. 4 primary, Baker has appeared with them only at the Plymouth County GOP’s post-primary unity breakfast — an event Baker’s campaign noted was organized by the group, not him or the state party. The event was closed to the press.

He told them to talk to the hand!

Baker also isn’t planning any events with either of them before Election Day, while Democrats, Gonzalez included, are happily organizing rallies for this weekend together.

He’s attended at least three events with his party’s ticket-leader, Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has also given more than $1 million to the Massachusetts Democrat’s coordinated campaign that’s providing field workers to help all the party’s state and federal candidates, Gonzalez included.

In fact, on the Democratic side, everyone is embracing each other — literally, in Gonzalez’s case, as he appeared with two prominent Massachusetts Democrats at a get-out-the-vote event in Arlington Friday night.....

Ultimately, they “have to make their own case to the voters.”


Here is how you do that:

"Is this ‘the greatest political ad evah’?" by Stephanie Ebbert Globe Staff  November 02, 2018

One Twitter fan called it “the greatest political ad evah.”

A quintessentially Boston ad, produced pro bono by the advertising agency MullenLowe Boston, employs a tough talker in a hoodie to advocate for transgender rights in Tuesday’s election.

(Warning: The language in this video is rated R — or “ahr.”)

Drinking a pint and dropping his Rs, he appeals to Bostonians’ collective identity — as indifferent, rude, go-their-own-way “Massholes” — to encourage support for those with differing gender identities by voting Yes on Ballot Question 3.

It's true, and they are all Democrats.

“Hey, think about it, kid,” he declares to a disinterested bartender turned toward the taps. “We bang U-ies wherever we want. No blinkah.”

“We cut you off on the Pike and then we slow it right the [expletive] down. And the second that light turns green, I’m honkin,’ ” he goes on, in an accent unmatched in most Dennis Lehane movie adaptations.

“Spoken like a true Masshole,” the bartender riffs.

“We use our grandmothers’ furniture to save our parking spots,” the speaker continues. “We drop our Rs and put them back in words that don’t even have ’em.”

“Seventeen years, 10 championships,” he goes on, undeterred when the blase woman down the bar corrects him. (“Eleven.”)

Whole country can agree on hating that.

Rife with profanity and unsanctioned by the official campaign supporting the ballot question, the ad was launched by a “passionate group of employees,” including an LGBTQ staffer who asked if and how the agency could support the ballot question, president Kelly Fredrickson said. The online ad was never expected to be used on TV, she said, but is linked to a website with an unprintable name and additional salty logos for social media distribution.....



"Trump hotel records may be unveiled" Associated Press  November 02, 2018

WASHINGTON — A federal judge denied the Justice Department’s efforts to halt legal proceedings in a case accusing President Trump of violating the US Constitution — opening the door for Trump’s critics to soon gain access to financial records related to his Washington, D.C., hotel.

Trump has been fighting multiple lawsuits that argue that foreign representatives’ spending money at the Trump International Hotel is a violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause, which bans federal officials from accepting benefits from foreign or state governments without congressional approval.

In a sally to prevent the case moving on to legal discovery — which would potentially unearth financial records such as Trump’s income tax returns — Justice Department lawyers had asked Maryland-based US District Judge Peter J. Messitte to put the case on hold while they appeal his decision to a higher court in Richmond, Va.

That effort failed.

‘‘This is another major win for us in this historic case,’’ said District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine in a statement. ‘‘Our next step is to proceed with discovery. We will soon provide the court a new schedule to begin the process of getting information about how President Trump is profiting from the presidency.’’

Messitte argued in a sometimes blistering 31-page opinion that the president did not sufficiently meet the requirements for an appeal midway through the ongoing case.

‘‘It is clear that the president, unhappy with the court’s reasoning and conclusion, merely reargues that his interpretation of the emoluments clauses should apply instead of the one the court gave,’’ he wrote. ‘‘The court sees no point in stating again why it concluded as it did,’’ but, Messitte said, merely disagreeing with the court doesn’t constitute a required ‘‘substantial’’ reason for such an appeal.

Justice Department spokeswoman Kelly Laco said that the department ‘‘disagrees with and is disappointed’’ by Messitte’s ruling. She added: ‘‘This case, which should have been dismissed, presents important questions that warrant immediate appellate review.’’

Good thing he got Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court because that is where this will end.

Justice lawyers had objected to any discovery on a sitting president in his official capacity because of separation of powers concerns, in order to avoid a ‘‘constitutional confrontation’’ between two branches of government. They argued that the ‘‘public interest is decidedly in favor of a stay because any discovery would necessarily be a distraction to the President’s performance of his constitutional duties.’’

Maybe that is what we need.

The president could try to seek a writ of mandamus to have the appeal heard by a higher court. That would be an ‘‘extraordinary remedy,’’ according to the Justice Department’s website, that ‘‘should only be used in exceptional circumstances of peculiar emergency or public importance.’’

It’s also a move with a demanding standard for petitioners that would partly rest on showing Messitte’s decisions to be clearly wrong.

The plaintiffs, Maryland and the District of Columbia, have said they plan to move forward quickly with discovery, seeking information and financial records that would primarily come from third parties rather than the government.

A clue as to what they may request can be found in the preservation subpoenas they filed more than a year ago with 23 Trump-related entities, including The Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust, The Trump Organization, the Mar-a-Lago Club, Inc., and entities related to his D.C. hotel and its management, among others.

They are going to pop them open, and that is where the print copy ended.

The emoluments clause has never been fully tested in an American courtroom. Two other lawsuits accusing the president of violating the emoluments clause are also being heard in other federal courts. Neither has reached the discovery stage.

The plaintiffs have argued that Trump — who has declined to divest from his assets as president — is capitalizing on the presidency and causing harm to businesses trying to compete with his Washington hotel, which is just steps from the White House.....

I don't blame him if he needs a pill as the try to drip-drip him to death.


"Authorities are investigating whether a Roman Catholic diocese in Ohio responded appropriately last November when it learned that a priest for two of its parishes had taken a now-pregnant altar girl to a wedding reception last November, Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said. Blackburn’s office on Tuesday charged the Rev. Henry Christopher Foxhoven with eight counts of sexual battery for his relationship with the girl, who is 17. He is being held on a $1 million bond and doesn’t have an attorney. Revelations about Foxhoven’s behavior have shaken Catholics in the two small former mining towns where Foxhoven ministered, Blackburn said. The story began to unravel Oct. 26 when the 45-year-old priest and the teen told her parents she was two months pregnant. A spokesman for the Diocese of Steubenville said Foxhoven called Bishop Jeffrey Montforton the next day to tell him about the relationship. Spokesman Dino Orsatti said a diocesan attorney immediately called the Athens County Sheriff’s Office to report what Montforton had learned. Foxhoven was ordered to move out of his parish residence at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Glouster and to stay out of that village and Buchtel, where he was pastor at St. Mary of the Hills. The Athens County Sheriff’s Office searched the residence Monday and found used condoms and a positive pregnancy test kit. Blackburn said his office received a call after the news broke from an out-of-town guest at last year’s wedding reception who said she saw Foxhoven inappropriately touching the girl. The diocese sent a letter to Blackburn’s office this week saying when it learned last November about the reception, it suspended the priest for a week and ordered him to receive counseling for ‘‘boundary issues.’’ The diocese did not contact authorities when it learned about the outing. Orsatti said in an e-mail that Foxhoven denied acting inappropriately and said the teen needed a ride to the reception."

The flock was a haven for that fox, huh?

My first reaction was thank God it wasn't a boy, but this is worse. 

An impregnation resulted, and then they punished the child for talking!

Maybe THAT is the reason the "caravan" is coming:

"Army assessment of migrant caravans undermines Trump’s rhetoric" by Nick Miroff Washington Post  November 02, 2018

WASHINGTON — Military planners anticipate that only a small percentage of Central American migrants traveling in the caravans President Trump characterizes as ‘‘an invasion’’ will reach the US border, even as a force of more than 7,000 active-duty troops mobilizes to prevent them from entering the United States.

According to military planning documents, about 20 percent of the roughly 7,000 migrants traveling through Mexico are likely to complete the journey. The unclassified report was obtained and published by Newsweek on Thursday. If the military’s assessment is accurate, it would mean the United States is positioning five soldiers on the border for every one caravan member expected to arrive there.

‘‘Based on historic trends, it is assessed that only a small percentage of the migrants will likely reach the border,’’ the report says. It was prepared by US Army North, a component of US Northern Command, which oversees the mission dubbed Operation Faithful Patriot.

The assessment also indicates military planners are concerned about the presence of ‘‘unregulated armed militia’’ groups showing up at the border in areas where US troops will operate.


So this "caravan" that is all over the networks and cable news for political purposes is also being used as an excuse to transfer troops to the areas where there are, for lack of a better term, right-wing patriots who may object and resist..... what?

The Washington Post was unable to independently confirm the report’s authenticity. Reached Friday, military officials did not dispute its veracity but declined to address questions about its contents.

And yet here it is, showing up in my new$paper.

Seizing on immigration as his main campaign theme ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections, Trump has depicted the caravans — at least four have formed, though they remain hundreds of miles away — as a grave danger to US national security, claiming they are composed of ‘‘unknown Middle Easterners,’’ hardened criminals and ‘‘very tough fighters.’’

Well, he is right and the printed paper must have lost its will to fight -- unlike the web version.

He also insists the number of migrants heading north is much larger than estimates put forward by US and Mexican government officials.

The military assessment does not support any of those claims.

The report, dated Oct. 27, notes that caravan members are unlikely to arrive for at least two to four weeks.

So it will be after the midterms?

Among those traveling are ‘‘limited #s of Bangladeshi, Haitian and African individuals,’’ it reads. It makes no mention of Middle Eastern countries.

In the military planners’ most likely scenario, the caravans will continue to dwindle in size as they move north with ‘‘no terrorist infiltration,’’ potentially causing a ‘‘balloon effect’’ on smuggling activity as traffickers attempt to exploit the diversion created by Trump’s focus on the migrants.


He's the one funding their trip?

Oh, right, WaComPo.

In its ‘‘most dangerous’’ assessment, the caravan would ‘‘grow markedly’’ and become exploited by terrorists and traffickers, leading to increasing ‘‘cross border engagements.’’ The assessment does not assign a numerical probability to those scenarios.

Trump said this week he wants to send as many as 15,000 troops to the border to prepare for the caravans. The deployment appears to be the largest such peacetime mobilization of active-duty US troops at the border in at least a century.

Bush and Obama did the same thing. 

Just didn't send as many guys, huh?

High on the list of potential dangers facing US personnel, according to the military’s assessment, is the presence of ‘‘unregulated militia members self-deploying to the border in alleged support’’ to US Customs and Border Protection.

Yeah, they don't need any help.

It estimates 200 militia members could show up while troops are in the area.


The troops and ICE should be able to handle them -- unless they are ISIS™ or something.


For the ones that do get through, there will be lots of questions before they let you in.


Speaking of stone throwers:

"The Nigerian army, part of a military criticized for rampant human rights abuses, used the words of President Trump on Friday to justify its fatal shootings of rock-throwing protesters. Soldiers opened fire Monday on a march of about 1,000 Shi’ite activists who had been blocking traffic in the capital, Abuja. Videos circulated on social media showed several protesters hurling rocks at the heavily armed soldiers who then shot fleeing protesters in the back. The army’s official Twitter account posted a video, “Please Watch and Make Your Deductions,” showing Trump’s antimigrant speech Thursday in which he said rocks would be considered firearms if thrown toward the US military at the nation’s borders. “We’re not going to put up with that,” Trump said in the clip. “They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back.” On Friday Trump reversed course, saying that if migrants throw rocks at US troops or border patrol officers, they’re not going to be shot, but they’re ‘‘going to be arrested for a long period of time.’’ The Nigerian military said three protesters were killed Monday, but the toll appears to have been much higher. Amnesty International as well as leaders of the protest said more than 40 people were killed at the march and two other smaller marches, with more than 100 wounded by bullets. Human rights activists and many ordinary citizens were outraged at the military’s response, which echoed a similar confrontation in 2015, when soldiers killed nearly 350 protesters from the same group, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, the largest and most recognizable face of Shia Islam in the country. The group organizes frequent protest marches."

Better get to the airport as fast as you can.

"British police launched an inquiry into allegations that some members of the Labor Party may have committed anti-Semitic hate crimes, police said Friday. The Metropolitan Police are acting on a dossier of information handed over to investigators at the broadcast office of LBC Radio in London two months ago. The file was reported by British media to be an internal document assembled by the Labor Party itself, detailing 45 instances involving messages posted by party members on social media and other forums. One of the posts read: ‘‘We shall rid the Jews who are a cancer on us all.’’ Other examples of anti-Semitic speech in the dossier were accusations of slurs used, including calling someone a ‘‘Jew boy’’ and another a ‘‘Zionist Extremist.’’ Police Commissioner Cressida Dick on Friday stressed that the Labor Party itself was not under criminal scrutiny. ‘‘We are not going to investigate the Labor Party,’’ she told BBC radio. ‘‘We would always want institutions and political parties and similar to be able to regulate themselves.’’ The Labor Party faced a torrent of accusations over the summer that the opposition party was lax in allowing anti-Semitic speech on its social media pages, including online gatherings of local Labor activists. The party has more than 500,000 dues-paying members, making it one of the largest in Europe. Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn has said that the ‘‘poison’’ of anti-Semitism has no place in his party and vowed to expedite the process to investigate claims. Members guilty of bad behavior may face internal discipline or get tossed out of the organization."

Yeah, you want to dancing away from them as soon as possible.

Another "dossier" from the British, ha! 

So now Zionist extremist is considered a slur. Not Islamic extremist, or any other extremist as so designated by Zionist extremists!

Her name is really Dick, huh? 

She trans?

More protest centered on religion:

"Pakistani cleric called ‘father of the Taliban’ killed in attack" by Pamela Constable Washington Post  November 02, 2018

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A Pakistani cleric known as the ‘‘father of the Taliban’’ was stabbed and shot to death in his home outside Islamabad on Friday, his family and aides said.

The killing of Maulana Sami ul-Haq, 82, by unknown assailants came amid a spate of violent nationwide protests by Muslim groups angered at a ruling by Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Wednesday that acquitted a Christian woman on charges of blasphemy.

It was not immediately clear whether the slaying was related to the ongoing unrest, but aides to Haq said he had attempted to join the protests after weekly prayer services. He had returned home because roads were blocked.

Angry protesters were seen on videos posted on social media smashing and burning cars on the highway between Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

Haq, a former senator, was the longtime leader of a conservative Sunni Muslim party that preached opposition to the West. For several decades, he ran a seminary in Peshawar near the Afghan border that trained hundreds of young men to join the Taliban forces in Afghanistan in the 1990s.

As news spread of the attack, Pakistani officials and religious leaders expressed shock and sorrow at his death. The news also brought a fresh outbreak of demonstrations on the darkened streets of Islamabad, where protests against the acquittal of Asia Bibi by the high court had erupted Friday, as well as in other cities, for the third day in a row.

So who is benefiting here?

Haq’s eldest son, Maulana Hamid ul-Haq, told Pakistani media outlets that his father had been ailing with heart problems and that he was in bed when the attackers came. He said his father’s bodyguard and driver were out at the time. He said Haq was stabbed and probably shot. His body was taken the Rawalpindi district hospital.

Probably shot? 

Wouldn't he know?

Analysts warned that the slaying could further fuel the religious antigovernment violence that has roiled the country in the past week and potentially inflame sectarian tensions as well. Since the Supreme Court ruling in the blasphemy case, thousands of protesters have blocked highways, burning tires and vehicles. They view the acquittal of Bibi as an insult to Islam and the prophet Muhammad.

Some of the demonstrators and their leaders have demanded that Bibi be put to death. The peasant woman in her early 50s was charged with blasphemy after arguing with some Muslim workers in a field in 2009. She was convicted and sentenced to death. The high court overturned those rulings, prompting some protesters to demand that the justices be killed and that the army rise up in mutiny.

The government has tried to quell the violence peacefully, but the crisis appears to be escalating. Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is on a visit to Beijing, addressed the nation Wednesday night and appealed to the protesters not to challenge state authority. He emphasized that he and all Pakistani Muslims revere Muhammad and said the protesters’ actions were ‘‘deplorable.’’

I thought we were friends.

On Thursday, a government negotiating committee met until late at night with the leaders of the antiblasphemy movement that spearheaded the protests. The talks broke off in failure. The religious group demanded that Bibi be barred from leaving the country, but the government refused.

‘‘This is a very dangerous time, and there is no time to waste,’’ said analyst Amir Rana. ‘‘The government must assemble all religious leaders and tell them to issue a joint statement to call off the protest.’’

This whole post has been leading up to the banning of free speech and assembly, too.



"Here’s what a British dorm builder is planning for Boston" by Tim Logan Globe Staff  November 01, 2018

British student housing developer Scape has big plans for Boston, and this week the company made its first move.

The company runs private dorms in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia. The facilities are not affiliated with any particular schools but offer 24/7 support services much like a university dorm. It will base its new US operations in Boston, where Mayor Martin J. Walsh is pushing for more student housing to ease pressure on the city’s tight rental market.

Scape plans to invest approximately $1 billion in development in Boston in the coming years, executive chairman Nigel Taee said recently, with several billion more dollars targeted for projects in other cities across the United States.

The Walsh administration has been supportive of Scape’s launch, but some neighbors in Fenway are already raising concerns.

The Fenway Civic Association pushed back against Scape’s plans, saying in a recent letter to the Boston Planning & Development Agency that it’s in “firm opposition” to privately run student housing in the neighborhood.

“It undermines our zoning and what we’ve worked on for the last two decades, to get dorms built on campus,” association president Tim Horn said. “We believe in building dorms, but they should be built on campus.”

Other neighborhood groups, though, point out that many local schools balk at the high cost of building and maintaining dorms, and say Scape could provide a solution that helps ease a housing crunch driven in part by students living off-campus.

“We’re keeping an open mind,” said Andre Jones, housing director at the Fenway Community Development Corp. “If this has the effect of drawing students into dedicated buildings and out of buildings that can house families and working people, it could benefit everyone.”

Then again, it could not.

If you are keeping an open mind about things.

That debate will probably play out in the coming months.....


RelatedThis company wants to spend $1 billion on private dorms in Boston

There is really nothing to $ee yet.

"US economy added 250,000 jobs in October; unemployment stays at 3.7 percent" by Danielle Paquette Washington Post  November 03, 2018

WASHINGTON — The US economy added 250,000 jobs in October, federal economists reported Friday in the government’s last labor market snapshot before the midterm elections.

The unemployment rate stayed at 3.7 percent, a 49-year low, and the typical worker’s earnings rose by 3.1 percent over the year that ended in October, the biggest leap since 2009.

‘‘This is the best labor environment in over a decade,’’ said Joseph Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM US, an international consulting firm.

Will Republicans be rewarded?

The report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics arrives less than a month after Hurricane Michael pummeled the Florida panhandle and Georgia, knocking some people temporarily out of work and dampening economic activity in the southeast. Michael’s destruction followed Hurricane Florence, which devastated homes and roads in the Carolinas with flooding.

Oh, yeah, those.

President Trump celebrated the country’s rebound from the disasters Friday on Twitter.....


That means the MFA will be open to everyone so all can have a ta$te of the Good Life.