Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Late Lunch

I'm ashamed to admit it:

"Students are being shamed and punished over lunch debt, and it may take legislation to stop it" by Kara Baskin Globe Correspondent, June 13, 2019

Four years ago, Stephanie Rosenquist put a $10.80 check in the mail to cover the overdue balance on her son’s school meal payments. She didn’t think twice about it until he came home from his Oxford elementary school upset and hungry. He had ordered a school breakfast, made it to the front of the line, and watched as a cafeteria worker tossed the food into the trash after discovering the negative balance.

I'm sorry, but throwing away food is wrong.

Rosenquist was incensed, and her son, she said, was humiliated in front of his classmates.

“There’s punishment and humiliation for a child who has no knowledge — and doesn’t need to have knowledge — of my finances or know that mommy’s behind on a bill. It’s none of his business, and he shouldn’t suffer for it,” Rosenquist said. “Why should my child starve or be embarrassed over 10 dollars and 80 cents? Let’s pretend I owe a thousand dollars. Does my child deserve to starve or be embarrassed?”

The act of shaming students for being behind on lunch bills attracted national headlines last month after officials in Warwick, R.I., said children who owed money would be served cold sandwiches, not hot meals, but it’s a phenomenon that has been percolating through districts locally and nationally for years.

According to a 2018 study by the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, school officials have employed a range of tactics, including barring students from graduation exercises and hiring collection agencies to recoup costs. In some cases, policies contained provisions that included punishing the siblings of indebted students, too. Twenty-eight districts, mostly secondary schools, had implemented “no charge” meal policies — meaning indebted students can’t charge any meal to their account, calling their ability to eat for the school day into question.

In other districts, like Warwick, kids whose parents fall behind on payments are given cold sandwiches — what some call the scarlet letter of the cafeteria world. Students, critics say, are singled out for something over which they have no control: their family’s finances. Meanwhile, food service employees are left to dole out lunchroom justice.

Rosenquist called her son’s school to complain, but she said her concerns were brushed off.

“I was told: ‘When you go to McDonald’s, do you pay for your food? Why do you think you should get free food at school?’ ”

Reached for comment, Oxford superintendent Elizabeth Zielinski noted that she wasn’t in the district then and was unaware that such an incident took place. Oxford’s current policy states that at lunch, once a charge limit is reached, a student is offered a cheese sandwich and a drink. Breakfasts may not be charged if there is an outstanding balance.

On her watch, Zielinski said, “We would let the child eat. We haven’t had issues with this.”

Legislation to address the issue is pending in the Massachusetts House and Senate and is slated to be heard as early as July. An Act to Promote Student Nutrition would bar employees from publicly identifying a student with meal debt; denying meals as punishment; serving an “alternative meal” solely to students who lack money or are in debt; disposing of an already served hot meal; or prohibiting a student or sibling from participating in non-fee-based activities, events, or graduation. Districts also would be required to maximize the federal reimbursement that’s available for meals and minimize the debt on families, including more frequent checking of state databases that can qualify students for free-meal status.

“My hope is that people will understand that . . . to provide the best education we can, we need to include feeding these kids,” said Senate sponsor Cynthia Stone Creem, a Newton Democrat.

It shouldn't even be an issue.

In the meantime, some employees are taking matters into their own hands.

“We feed our kids no matter what their bill is,” said Marjorie Nelson, a cafeteria worker at a Fitchburg charter school. She has used her own money to buy lunches for kids, as have her colleagues. They made a “pact,” she said, never to single out a child.

Nelson spent years working in Texas schools, where she had to enforce a cheese sandwich policy. The experience haunted her.

“[Kids] cry. And then they’re mad at you. And then they’re embarrassed and ashamed, and then of course, kids are mean,” she said. “So many kids will start to make fun of the child who has no money and shame them. . . . And it’s just horrifying.”


Wendy Timmons feels the same. A staff representative at AFSCME Council 93, a union that comprises school cafeteria workers, she testified at the State House in 2018 in support of the Act to Promote Student Nutrition. Timmons grew up poor in Uxbridge. She understood the stigma that hunger brings.

As a cafeteria worker in Northbridge from 2014 to 2017, she was told to hold her hand up in the shape of a “C” when a child came through the line and was identified as over their $11 debt limit. Their hot meal would be discarded; a cheese sandwich — for which the student would still be charged — replaced it.

You know, it's not like school lunches were ever great, but this has turned into a money-making operation at the expense of the kids, from the people who props to speak for them most vociferously (sadly, I think there is some feather-nesting going on, but cut me some slack, I'm from Ma$$achu$etts).

“I have had students start crying, begging, and walk off without a meal. A lot of the staff, including myself, would pay for meals,” Timmons said in her testimony and in a subsequent interview. “They were very, very embarrassed. They would get into the line and then, you know, we would have to stop the line. They would be sectioned off to one side. I literally would give it back to the server behind the line, and she would just throw it right in the barrel.”

I don't blame them so much, and they have a future of student loan debt to accumulate, if they take that route.

Of course, cafeterias are run like a business. Schools are beholden to budgets, which need to be reconciled by the end of the fiscal year on June 30. Nearly every Massachusetts public school, and most charter schools, participate in the National School Lunch Program, which provides federal funding for balanced meals at no cost or low cost to students.

The only one that isn't is the colossal war machine that is the National Government down in D.C., and they hand out crumbs (or worse) to the kids -- and on this one, yeah, you even let the undocumented illegal eat. Calk it up to deep-seeded religious beliefs of a Christian nature, I suppose. Not that I'm trying to win my way anywhere.

Thanks to programs such as the USDA’s Community Eligibility Provision, some high-need districts, including Boston, qualify for universal free meals. Other students in nonqualifying districts can receive free or reduced-cost meals: Schools are required to serve meals at no charge to children whose household income is at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.

You may want to check the expiration great, I mean, date on those before cooking.

If nothing else, give it a sniff-sniff.

Massachusetts Law Reform Institute senior policy analyst Patricia Baker headed the 2018 study, which examined 154 districts’ unpaid meal policies after hearing from families with meal debt whose children should have automatically qualified for free meals.

She sees common scenarios: Financial catastrophe might happen midway through the year, and either a family is overwhelmed and doesn’t apply for free meal status or doesn’t realize it can apply for meals at any time. Other times, a family simply forgets to put money into a child’s account.

Yeah, okay. 

I know I'm showing my age, but they used to give us tickets beforehand. 

Welcome to the digital age with no paper, 'eh, where everything can be erased at the press of a button? 


Regardless, she said, the child should never be punished.

“I think the common issue for all of these scenarios is that kids, young kids, teenagers, are incredibly vulnerable. They are not the ones who are making these decisions. They shouldn’t be put in the middle of meal debt, and they shouldn’t be forced to go hungry,” Baker said.

Interesting point for later!

In Woburn, however, students could be barred from graduation activities or charged for cheese sandwiches if in debt — though the printed consequences differed from the reality, said Joseph Elia, assistant superintendent for finance and operations.

Please, stop it! 

The newspapers have enough trouble already!

“I’m of the opinion that nobody should have to pay for lunch and breakfast. We should come up with a way to fund a certain amount and let us run the programs. Don’t charge these kids. To me, it’s foolish,” he said.

Yeah, I mean they sure do roll out the tax loot to the tunes of $1 billion-plus to corporate conglomerates with going concerns, as well as funding all the perks of government while looking for ways to enhance revenues.

As legislation is pending, some districts are trying to make policies more compassionate.

Woburn has softened aspects of its policy, effective in July. For example, all students will receive a “regular” lunch each day regardless of balances.

Last year, the Medford School Committee crafted a new lunch policy. According to member Paul Ruseau, it states that “no food service person will ever speak to a student about their balance when purchasing a regular meal.” Even indebted students receive a regular meal.

Elsewhere, grass-roots efforts have been established.

In Arlington, in Belmont, wealthy communities.

“We’re this affluent community, but we still have a significant number of families who struggle,” said Jessie Bennett, a PTA member in Belmont. She recalled an incident in which a parent became incapacitated and failed to fill out a free lunch application. “What gets lost a lot of the time is that whatever’s going on in the home is not the child’s fault when they’re standing there at a register.”

Ultimately, said Baker of the institute, the burden lies with districts.

“I think school districts need to take a hard look at their meal debt practices and not make kids cannon fodder in this battle to manage the school budget. Ideally, I would love to see all schools guarantee access to basic school meals, the same as providing students books, desks, chairs, and supplies they need to learn. That would be the best solution.”

I had to lean back on that one, because that is probably they career they are headed for given the current situation, what with Trump sending troops and equipment there nearly everyday.

You know, you reflect on it as they argue about starving kids (as we lecture the rest of the world on damn near everything), and yet we have neither the school administrators nor the pre$$ here speaking out against the massive war machine. 

Heck, the Globe shills for it and the educators keep their mouths shut because it means no more job.


Just don't drink the water, kids.

Is that the final bell I hear?

School bus crashes into utility pole, leaves homeowners without power in Quincy

I'll bet it was Russia's fault!


"A Dorchester teenager was arrested early Monday morning after officers pulled over a car and found the passenger with a loaded gun, officials said. Jaquoiri Washington, 19, was arrested around 1:11 a.m. near 30 Gayland St. after a car he was riding in was pulled over for a traffic infraction and officers found a loaded gun in Washington’s seat, said Boston police Officer Kim Tavares. Officers seized the loaded .380 Cobra handgun and arrested Washington for unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition. He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in the Roxbury Division of Boston Municipal Court."

Well, if you can't use the gun:

"A 16-year-old boy was arrested Sunday night for allegedly stabbing another teenager in Whitman in an attack that left the victim with “significant” injuries, police said. During a news conference Monday, Whitman police Chief Scott D. Benton said the male victim, also 16, was stabbed around 9 p.m. the night before. The violence erupted at the corner of Washington Street and Belcher Drive, police said in a statement. Benton said the victim is expected to survive but “still has a ways to go. ... I know the victim did go into surgery [at an area hospital], and it was extensive.” The chief did not disclose a motive for the stabbing and said the incident remains under investigation. The suspect’s name was not released because of his age. He was slated to be arraigned Monday in Brockton Juvenile Court." Benton said other juveniles were present at the time of the stabbing, but he didn’t elaborateAsked if social media had factored into the incident, the chief said, “I would not be shocked if, in the end, social media played a role in this somehow.” The suspect faces charges of assault to murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, police said.

I had a little acid reflux for a moment, but would you like a second helping?

Benton said he couldn’t fathom what would cause a 16-year-old to allegedly inflict such severe injuries on a peer. “I guess that’s why in law enforcement, we know we’ll always have jobs, because people don’t always use their common sense,” Benton said. He said the victim and his family remain in the department’s “thoughts and prayers” for a “full recovery.” The suspect and victim “definitely knew each other,” Benton said. He did not provide further details on their relationship." 

I don't even know if I believe the above bull.

Also seeHaverhill marijuana entrepreneur accuses neighbors of extortion

All of sudden I'm not hungry.

Try to choke this down:

"Iran threatens to exceed nuclear deal’s limits on uranium enrichment after US withdrawal" by Edward Wong and Helene Cooper New York Times, June 17, 2019

WASHINGTON — Tensions between the United States and Iran flared Monday as Tehran said that it was likely to breach a key element of the 2015 international pact limiting its nuclear program while President Trump ordered another 1,000 troops to the Middle East and vowed again that Iran would not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon.

Well, they haven't been working on one and said they aren't building one, and quite honestly, I believe them a hell of a lot more than that corrupt nest of vipers surrounding you, sir.

The Pentagon’s announcement of the troop deployment came three days after attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman that the administration has blamed on Iran, and it came hours after Iran said it was within days of violating a central element of the landmark 2015 agreement — intended to curb its ability to develop a nuclear weapon — unless European nations agreed to help it blunt tough US economic sanctions.

Iran is violating it, yeah. 

Well, Trump pulled out of it at the behest of, you know, and somehow Iran still has to abide by it even though no one else is and the U.S. threatens all who may breach blackmail, 'er, protocol.

The White House responded with a call for greater international pressure on Iran. The developments add to escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran that have called into question the effectiveness of Trump’s pressure campaign, and European officials urged restraint between the longtime adversaries.

Yeah, go get 'em (insert extreme sarcasm here)!

The additional 1,000 troops being sent to the region come on top of 1,500 dispatched in May. They will be used primarily for additional surveillance of Iranian activities and further protecting US forces already in the Middle East.

Every excuse to escalate, no matter how absurd and inane. 

Tick, tick, tick..... tock!

“The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region,” acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan said in a statement.

Looks like he is being pushed aside, and that is downright scary. That means the Deep $tate has lost out to the neo-con cluck f***k. I mean, I can't believe it was of conscience. He was executive at Boeing before the planes went down.

Iran had been abiding by the terms of the nuclear deal, negotiated under President Obama, and has continued to do so since the withdrawal by the United States, but the nuclear agreement limits the level of enrichment to 3.67 percent, but if Iran began producing 20 percent enriched uranium, it would put the country much closer to weapons-grade levels.....

They are much closer, but still very far away for they would need around 90% enrichment to event think about it. The Iranians are using them to create medical isotopes treat cancer, and this government wants them to sicken and die for the sake of, you know.


Thanks for leaving that out, Jew York Times.

And I'll admit, I'm worried. This whole thing could turn on a dime if a mushroom cloud goes up over Chicago. I'll be in a camp for opposing the orange-haired ogre and his MIGA war policies. That's what is this whole $ocial media trap and wre$tling match between them. Used to be called giving you rope to hang yourself; however, I guess the concern kicks in and overrides the fear after a while. Can only be on the edge of the seat so long, and if we are going down, I'm going down screaming sorry to the world for failing as a people to stop these monsters. I give 'em credit; they had vast resources and endless lies to bring to confuse us all.

Second on my apology list, after Iran (Operation Ajax, for starters, btw, bringing on the Saddam of Iran, the Shah -- and then siccing Saddam on you before betraying him, ha, ha, ha):

"Kremlin warns of cyberwar after report of US hacking of electrical grid" by Ivan Nechepurenko New York Times, June 17, 2019

MOSCOW — The Kremlin warned on Monday that reported US hacking into Russia’s electric power grid could escalate into a cyberwar with the United States, but insisted that it was confident in the system’s ability to repel electronic attacks.

These chess players against our blustering shit-kicking cowboys! It's no match.

Dmitri S. Peskov, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, also raised concerns that President Trump was reportedly not informed about the effort, which was the subject of a New York Times report on Saturday that detailed an elaborate system of cybertools deployed by the United States inside Russia’s energy system and other targets.

I was anything but indifferent to that, but am now wondering if it's all a bluff, booga-booga, and away the bear will go, right?

The program, as described by current and former unidentified US officials, would enable an attack on the Russian power grid in the event of a major conflict between Moscow and Washington.

It was deployed, the Times reported, after years of public warnings from US security agencies about similar aggressive actions conducted by Russia.

I will tell you what I think: I think they are just laying the groundwork for rolling blackouts across the country this summer, for a) lower the emissions they care so much about and b) as the excuse for a increasingly decrepit and debilitated infrastructure because of, you know.

Now that I think of it, the kids are going hungry at the top of this and here I am immersed in trying to point to push to war that cost how much?!

It is unclear how deeply the so-called software implants have penetrated into the Russian power grid. Russia’s Energy Ministry said in a statement that it had received no information about attacks against its system, which is defended separately by various companies that manage it.

US intelligence agencies say that, in fact, Russia is a major source of cybercrime and state-directed intrusion into American systems. Investigators have reported that Russian intelligence agents tried to gain access to American voting systems before the 2016 election, and in some cases succeeded.

Well, they could certainly make it seem that way, and and the leak is no longer of Globe concern, much the way Seth Rich is no longer anyones concern (and the Clinton body count grows).

Energy power grids have recently turned into an international battlefield. Russian foreign policy commentators said that the report about US efforts to insert software code into Russia’s energy system might jeopardize a potential Putin-Trump meeting at the G20 Summit in Japan at the end of June.

Who gives a damn about a potential meeting? 

I want to know who decided power grids are now a international battlefield, and now it makes me wonder about certain recent events in South America (more on that below).

The short answer is the United States, and they have been doing this covert destabilization stuff for over 50 years. Just ask the Cubans!

“This is a direct challenge that Moscow cannot leave unanswered,” Ruslan Pukhov, an arms expert and head of the Center for Strategies and Technologies, told Kommersant, a Russian business daily.

Actually, they can.

The two leaders might meet briefly on the sidelines of the summit, Peskov said, adding that Washington had not reached out to Moscow to organize a full-scale meeting.....

I'm sure the Russians are rather indifferent to that meeting now.


Boy, really makes you long for Old Germany, you know. Someone who will take on the Russkies on a suicide preemption:

"Germany’s attorney general’s office on Monday took over the investigation into the killing of a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right party, days after authorities arrested a suspect with a history of violence and ties to far-right extremists. Federal prosecutors take over cases that are thought to be politically motivated and pose a nationwide threat. They said that they were still investigating whether others may have been involved in the death of the official, Werner Lübcke, but said that so far they had no indication that a terrorist organization was involved. The prosecutors assumed control of the investigation into Lübcke’s death two weeks after he was killed and as authorities began to treat his case as possibly the first case of fatal right-wing terrorism since a killing spree by a far-right terror cell ended in 2007....."

Oh, I was thinking farther back, but maybe with a second helping?

The suspect, a 45-year-old German citizen with longstanding ties to right-wing extremists, was identified and arrested after DNA found on the victim’s clothes was matched to him in a criminal database, authorities said. “We are working on the assumption that the crime has a right-wing extremist background,” said Markus Schmitt, the spokesman for the federal agency. Speaking at a news conference Monday afternoon, Schmitt said that the agency’s assessment was based on the suspect’s known opinions and record, and that prosecutors did not have evidence of a wider conspiracy but were still investigating. Germany has strict gun laws, and while nonregistered guns do exist, gun murders remain rare, especially in small and midsize cities. Federal authorities identified the suspect as Stephan E., in keeping with German privacy laws. They said that among the evidence found in his apartment, there were digital storage devices that still needed to be fully analyzedAccording to German news reports, the suspect had a history of involvement in right-wing violence, including an attack on a refugee camp in 1993 and on a union gathering a decade ago. He was thought to be active in the local branch of the NPD, a neo-Nazi party, according to the news outlets. 

Bit off more than I could chew.

Besides those, the man seems to have had a past of violence and was known to police, according the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a major newspaper, and other outlets. Lübcke was found shot in the head on his terrace on June 2. After failing to find a trace of the weapon, investigators quickly ruled out a suicide and had instead focused on finding a personal motive for the killing. Police briefly arrested someone with personal ties to Lübcke last week but released the person after questioning. Police also considered a political motive. In 2015, Lübcke was known to have provoked the ire of the far right when a video of him giving a speech to a local audience showed him suggesting that anyone who did not support taking in refugees could leave Germany themselves. ”Both the murder as well as the mockery after Mr. Lübcke’s death shows that the hate is not just against ethnic minorities, but their supporters as well,” said Hajo Funke, a professor at the Freie Universität Berlin who studies right-wing extremism. Funke called the killing “ice-cold murder.” The 2015 video of Lübcke supporting refugees went viral in right-wing circles: one blog post on a far-right news site went so far as to list Lübcke’s work address and telephone numbers. Indeed, the death of Lübcke set off a chorus of jubilation among some members of the far right on social media, a response that President Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany condemned as “cynical, tasteless, despicable, and in every way disgusting.” 

I never put up addresses or phone numbers.

Kassel, the midsize western city where the killing occurred, was the site of another gun attack carried out by far-right terrorists in 2006, when Halit Yozgat was shot twice in the head, the ninth victim of a terrorist group that called itself the Nationalist Socialist UndergroundAuthorities’ reaction to the NSU killing spree was widely criticized, first for their slow pace in realizing it was right-wing terrorism and then for their struggle to put an end to it. “It’s not the NSU, but it’s similar in both ideology and execution,” Funke said....."

Could all be one big Operation Gladio, and speaking of executions:

"Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, collapsed in court and died Monday while facing trial, state television reported. Morsi, 67, died of an apparent heart attack, according to Egyptian media reports. He had been imprisoned since 2013, when his elected government was overthrown in a military coup led by the country’s then-military leader, Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, who is now president, but as news of his death spread, Morsi’s backers and allies raised questions about his death and his treatment in prison. The former president was known to have been suffering from several ailments, including diabetes and liver disease. A panel of British politicians and lawyers concluded last year that Morsi had received ‘‘inadequate medical care’’ and found that the conditions of detention could meet the threshold for ‘‘torture.’’ ‘‘We feared that if Dr. Morsi was not provided with urgent medical assistance, the damage to his health may be permanent and possibly terminal,’’ Crispin Blunt, a British lawmaker who chaired the panel, said in a statement Monday. ‘‘Sadly, we have been proved right.’’ Blunt called for an independent international investigation into Morsi’s death. Morsi, a top leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, was elected in 2012 after the nation’s Arab Spring revolts that toppled President Hosni Mubarak. Following the military takeover, Morsi was convicted in trials that were denounced as politically motivated by his supporters, Western diplomats and human rights activists. For the past six years, he has remained largely in solitary confinement. On Monday, he was in court to face trial on a range of charges, including espionage and inciting violence."

Second helping?

"After Sissi was elected president in 2014, he began dismantling the Muslim Brotherhood, banning the party and arresting tens of thousands of the movement’s members and supporters. When Morsi won office in the first, and only, presidential elections in the country’s history widely considered to be free and fair, Egyptians hoped their nation might be entering a momentous democratic transition, building on the aspirations of their revolution. Morsi promised an inclusive government, open to all Egyptians, but his tenure quickly eroded with accusations that he was stacking the government power structure with Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood, a Sunni Muslim religious, political, and social movement founded in Egypt in 1928 that became a controversial force in the Arab World. 

The word is out that is was actually created by the British; however, it is now mostly an arm of Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E.

On the streets, Egyptians criticized Morsi’s government for mishandling the economy and failing to deliver on election promises, especially regarding basic human rights and social justice. Massive protests erupted after Morsi issued a decree granting himself unlimited powers to enable him to push through a new constitution. By the end of 2012, tensions were at a boil amid clashes between Morsi’s supporters and opponents divided over his leadership. In January, Sissi, who was then the chief of the armed forces, warned that the political crisis could lead to the collapse of the government. In June 2013, huge crowds turned out across the country, calling for Morsi to step down and demanding new presidential elections. In a speech to mark his first anniversary as president, Morsi vowed to correct his ‘‘mistakes.’’ The military warned him publicly to meet the people’s demands, prompting Morsi to declare publicly that he was Egypt’s legitimately elected leader. Days after another massive street demonstration, the military seized power, suspending the constitution and announcing the formation of an interim government. Morsi was taken by soldiers to an undisclosed location." 

His real crime was throwing up the gates of Gaza, thus the coup, and the regime is now worse than the Mubarak days; however, they follow orders from Israel and that is the most important thing.

Also see:

Quebec bans religious symbols on job

That's quite an ejewkhazion, huh?

Now about those blackouts:

"The huge blackout that left tens of millions of people in the dark in Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay over the weekend raised serious questions about the vulnerability of the power grid in South America and brought criticism down on Argentina’s leader. President Mauricio Macri promised a thorough investigation into the cause of what he called an unprecedented outage. Energy officials said the findings would not be available for 10 to 15 days, and they had no immediate estimate of the economic damage from Sunday’s 14-hour power failure. ‘‘This is an extraordinary event that should have never happened,’’ said Argentine Energy Secretary Gustavo Lopetegui. ‘‘It’s very serious. We can’t leave the whole country all of a sudden without electricity.’’ He vowed: ‘‘There is zero chance that this will repeat itself. It can’t repeat itself.’’ While the precise cause has yet to be established, the blackout originated at a transmission point between two power stations in the country’s northeast ‘‘when the system was getting too much power,’’ Lopetegui said. A chain of events then caused a total disruption, he said. Lopetegui did not rule out the possibility of a cyberattack but said it was unlikely. Argentine energy experts said that operational and design errors probably played a role and that the system should have isolated the local failure before it cascaded so disastrously. ‘‘If the automatic system would have been working correctly, we wouldn’t be talking about this right now,’’ said Daniel Montamat, a former energy secretary. The blackout happened with winter about to begin in the Southern Hemisphere."

I would say Russia is to blame, but after the NYT report regarding the Trump administration's infection of the Russian grid..... cut bono?

Second helping?

"Power failures are much more common in the summer, when the use of air conditioners pushes the grid to the maximum. While energy officials defended the Argentine power system as ‘‘robust,’’ the grid had been known to be in a state of disrepair, with substations and cables that were insufficiently upgraded as power rates remained largely frozen for years. Macri came to power in 2015 promising to reinvest in the grid and end what he called the failed energy policy of his predecessors, and outages have become less common under his government. Just over a week ago, he boasted on Twitter about Argentina’s exports of natural gas, saying: ‘‘From darkness to exporting energy,’’ but after Sunday’s embarrassing outage, his rivals jumped at the chance to criticize the conservative leader, who is up for reelection in October. Argentina is going through a deep economic crisis with soaring inflation, a tumbling currency, and a spike in utility bills fueled by Macri’s decision to cut subsidies as part of an austerity campaign. The crisis has sent his approval ratings plunging and triggered demonstrations

That's the price to be paid for being a puppet in the campaign against Venezuela, and he's our guy so it isn't a color coup attempt (probably steal the election, too).

‘‘Millions of people who have had to pay astronomical rates for electricity to benefit those in power are still waiting for the energy to return to their homes,’’ Alberto Fernandez, a center-left presidential candidate who is seen as Macri’s top rival, said on Twitter. ‘‘Just days ago, they were boasting about ‘exporting energy.’ ’’ The power failure began about 7 a.m., with nearly all of Argentina’s population of 44 million, all 3.5 million people in neighboring Uruguay, and many more in rural parts of Paraguay waking up to Father’s Day in the dark. Subways and commuter trains came to a stop for several hours in Buenos Aires, while phone and Internet communications were disrupted, water supplies were cut off and shops were forced to close. Patients dependent on home medical equipment were urged to go to hospitals with generators. Power was almost fully restored by Sunday night, though Argentina’s electricity regulator said thousands remained without electricity on Monday. ‘‘The country is already in a weird moment, and then you wake up and can’t see anything,’’ said Julieta Dodda, 27, a saleswoman at a Buenos Aires clothing store. ‘‘Many people were going to meet for lunch to celebrate the day. I saw many online who joked: ‘Happy Father’s Day from Edesur and Edenor,’ which are our electricity companies.’’ A similar outage in Brazil, the region’s largest country, left more than 60 million in the dark in 2009. Three months ago, crisis-torn Venezuela suffered its worst power failure. 

I can't imagine who did that last one. 

In 2003, about 50 million people in the northeastern United States and Canada were hit by a cascading blackout that began when a tree branch in Ohio touched a power line. Experts say the US grid is now better managed and equipped to stop blackouts from spreading. Cascading outages occur when power surges and automatic equipment shutoffs spread through a system, said Susan Tierney, an expert on energy policy at the US-based Analysis Group consulting firm. Depending upon how robustly a particular electric system is configured, an outage can spread across borders. ‘‘That can happen in particular on systems where the grid operator does not have sensing and/or communications equipment already built into the grid that might otherwise allow him/her to visualize what’s coming at them from another part of the grid and to take quick and remedial action to protect service in their own area,’’ she said in an e-mail."

Good thing the Russians can't do that, and this government can take 'em down in a day. 


Vatican eyes allowing married men in remote areas to become ordained as priests

Now they can start pumping out the kids, and are they ever needed:

"World population is slowing in growth and getting older, says UN" by Rick Gladstone New York Times, June 17, 2019

The world’s population is slowing down and growing older.

Women are having fewer babies, the number of elders is rising fast, and an increased number of countries will face population declines, according to a projection of global population released Monday by the United Nations.

The global population of 7.7 billion will increase to 9.7 billion by midcentury and could peak at 10.9 billion by 2100, the United Nations said. The findings are a downward revision from the previous forecast by the global body, when it projected 11.2 billion people would inhabit the planet by century’s end.

The 2019 projection cited slowing population growth, punctuated by declining fertility, as an underlying trend. It also said people ages 65 or older were the fastest-growing segments of the global population; however, fertility rates remain high in some parts of the world — notably sub-Saharan Africa, where the population could double in the next 30 years.

The 2019 projection nevertheless reaffirmed that falling fertility rates globally, combined with increased life expectancy, are causing the world’s population to age.

The aging trend has troubling implications for countries with growing populations of retirees.

Like Japan and China, which partly explains why India is expected to surpass China as the most populous country sometime around 2027, and it is almost as if they are trying to tell us something.

The projections, published every two years by the population division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, provide important benchmarks of global demographic patterns. The projections are used to help calculate a range of other important indicators, including health data, around the world.....


Related: Sunday Globe Special: For the Children

They will kill them as they slumber in the womb:

"On Beacon Hill, high-voltage testimony about abortion" by Stephanie Ebbert Globe Staff,June 17, 2019

Hundreds of activists descended on Beacon Hill Monday for their first opportunity to weigh in on a bill that would expand abortion access in Massachusetts.

The rhetoric was, as expected, pitched.

“This is murder. It’s infanticide,” Abigail Young, director of New England Students for Life, told the Legislature’s Joint Committee on the Judiciary.

She noted that politicians used to advocate that abortion be “safe, legal and rare.”

“We have already abandoned rare,” she said, “but if this bill passes, we’ll also abandon safe.”

Abortion rights defenders, conversely, accused their opponents of hyperbolic rhetoric and misinformation.

“All these audacious claims about this legislation are blatantly false,” said Senator Harriette L. Chandler, lead sponsor of the bill in the Senate. “They are intentionally misrepresentative. They are incredibly offensive. Make no mistake about it, they are lies.”

Still, she harkened to an era of back-alley abortions that opponents said is nowhere near imminent in Massachusetts, where abortion rights are recognized under the state Constitution. Some opponents of the measure characterized it as misplaced and reactionary, a response to more extreme efforts by states like Alabama to end almost all abortions.

“It’s apparent that this bill was written in a way that is, for lack of a better word, revenge against President Trump, against his Supreme Court additions, against what is happening in other states,” said Myrna Maloney Flynn, a Massachusetts Citizens for Life activist from Northampton.

“I think many people in this room would agree that enacting legislation based on what happened in other states makes no sense.”

Yeah, that's the way to craft legislation -- in the blind fury of emotion!

The so-called Roe Act would codify the right to an abortion in state law and remove the requirement that minors get the consent of a parent or a judge. It would also allow women to terminate pregnancies with fatal anomalies after 24 weeks.

It's the consent that is the concern, and yet the Globe reporter will quickly pivot to the second component.

Representative Jay Livingstone, a lead sponsor, defended the need for the legislation by saying some state abortion restrictions that have been deemed unconstitutional under the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision remain on the books in Massachusetts.

A 24-hour waiting period, he noted, is not enforced because of court interpretations dependent upon Roe.

“Depending on what the Supreme Court does in enforcing Roe v. Wade, that could undermine the case law that’s calling some of the provisions in our current law unconstitutional,” he said.

Then why not wait until then before crafting a law that may not even be needed?

Livingstone, Chandler, and fellow lead cosponsor Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad presented their bill with 28 other cosponsors, reflecting broad support among Democrats for abortion rights, but Representative Colleen Garry, a Dracut Democrat who sits on the judicary committee, joined Republican members in peppering proponents with tough questions and in testifying against it.

“This legislation is extreme,” Garry testified, casting doubt on the reliability of medical diagnoses of fetal anomalies that could result in abortions. “Doctors are not all-knowing,” she said.


With pitched arguments and emotional testimony, the debate also presents political risks for proponents.

The Massachusetts Republican Party has targeted supporters of the bill with over-the-top rhetoric, accusing them of supporting infanticide.

At a rally in front of the State House early in the day, MassGOP chairman James Lyons painted an erroneous and grisly picture.

Proponents repeatedly tried to amp down the rhetoric, saying the concern is fictitious and that the bill focuses on pregnancies being terminated after 24 weeks because they are not viable outside the womb.

Facing such attacks, Democrats on the committee went on the offensive.

Representative Michael Day refused to let it pass when David Franks, chairman of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, seemed to blame abortion rights for an uptick in human trafficking.

“Do you have the statistics to back that up, or is that something you just made up?” Day asked. Franks told him he assumed, based on “national investigations,” that abortion providers were not reporting perpetrators of sexual abuse that ended with abortions.

If he couldn’t find the data, Franks said, “I will write a letter to the committee apologizing for making something up. But I am not making it up.”

Representative Christopher Hendricks, a Democrat who represents New Bedford and Acushnet, demanded that each abortion opponent who testified say whether they think a 13-year-old rape victim should be allowed to get an abortion.

Several said no.

They finally return to it, and after flipping everything upside-down and inside-out, they paint the side they oppose as moral monsters while casting themselves as the victims.

Dr. Kerry Pound, a physician, drew fervent applause from abortion opponents with her answer:

“I’m always, always, always on the side of giving life of a chance,” she said, noting that a rapist should be penalized, but questioning, “Why does a baby deserve the death penalty?”

Given all the millions killed in the wars across this planet the last 20 years or so, I feel the same way.


So what side are you on? 


Monday’s hearing drew hundreds of activists to the State House.
Monday’s hearing drew hundreds of activists to the State House.(Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff)



Pro-choice supporters of the the Roe Act lined a staircase waiting to attend a hearing.
Pro-choice supporters of the the Roe Act lined a staircase waiting to attend a hearing.(Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff)

Meanwhile, outside:

The scene in front of the State House on Monday.
The scene in front of the State House on Monday.(Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff)

I think Massachusetts has spoken, and once again the is promoting a small minority to advance its agenda-pushing goals.

Damn fools:

"Mass. GOP accuses abortion rights activists of supporting ‘infanticide’" by Stephanie Ebbert Globe Staff, April 1, 2019

An attempt by Democrats on Beacon Hill to expand abortion access in Massachusetts has run into harsh blowback from the state Republican Party, which has adopted the rhetoric of President Trump and antiabortion activists.

I wonder how many Gazans were aborted by COGAT today.

The party has launched Facebook ads accusing individual Democratic cosponsors of supporting “infanticide” through the bill that would permit abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy in cases where the fetus has a fatal anomaly and is not expected to survive. Massachusetts law currently allows an abortion after 24 weeks only if necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.

Are you sure it wasn't the Russians?

“This bill fails the feeblest standard for a decent and humane society,” Republican Party Chairman Jim Lyons said. “Nothing would be done to protect or even comfort a baby who survives a late-term abortion.”

The new GOP rhetoric is in stark contrast to years past, when the party tried to steer clear of heated social issues.

Well, they were going nowhere and that's all we can argue about anymore. Both parties are hooked into the MIC and servicing well-connected intere$ts.

The Massachusetts bill is part of a nationwide campaign by reproductive rights groups to preserve and expand access in liberal states, at a time when more conservative states are reining in abortion rights — and conservatives are hoping the newly conservative Supreme Court will overturn the 46-year-old ruling that made abortion legal. More than half of Massachusetts legislators have signed on as cosponsors of House and Senate versions of the bill, but the state Republican Party, now under Lyons’s leadership, intends to make the measure politically uncomfortable for lawmakers in certain districts, including those considered competitive for Republicans. Lyons, formerly a legislator from North Andover, had been the leading abortion foe on Beacon Hill before he lost reelection in November.

The GOP approach puts the current governor, Charlie Baker, in an uncomfortable spot. The governor frowned upon his party’s loaded rhetoric on Monday, though he did not go so far as to condemn it.

“I’ve made pretty clear that I have a particular approach to this public policy process in Massachusetts,” Baker said. “I don’t believe in questioning motives. I don’t believe in questioning character, and I think the inflated language that exists on all sides in politics has made it much harder for people to do the work that they’re supposed to do on behalf the people they serve and they represent.”

Between this and the T troubles, his third coronation, 'er, term could be in jeopardy.

However, the governor — who had just signed into law an emergency measure replacing federal family planning funding cut by the Trump administration with $8 million in state money — also said he does not favor new exceptions for abortions after 24 weeks, but abortion opponents sprang into action on the bill in recent weeks, lobbying their representatives on Beacon Hill and rallying on Saturday on the Boston Common, chanting “No to Roe,” and calling the measure radical.

Conservatives have seized upon similar efforts in other states as evidence of extremism in the abortion rights movement. When New York lawmakers voted to allow later abortions to protect the health of the mother and to end a non-viable pregnancy, opponents falsely claimed that it would permit abortions until the moment of birth, and in his State of the Union address, President Trump incorrectly claimed that Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said that “he would execute a baby after birth.” Northam had fumbled an explanation on his state’s abortion proposal, saying it would let a mother to decide not to resuscitate a live birth after a botched abortion, but Rebecca Hart Holder, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, said she’s not aware of any such cases of unsuccessful abortions.

Oh, yeah, remember him?

“That’s not how medicine works,” she said. “What I can tell you is extreme antichoice politicians and organizations are pushing misinformation and lies.”

The cries of “infanticide” rankled Massachusetts lawmakers, who said it’s an intentional distortion of their intent.

“It’s outrageous,” said Representative Jay Livingstone, one of the lead sponsors, who was personally targeted on Facebook ads. He said Lyons “has always been antichoice, antiscience, similar to our president, who is doing whatever he can to end a woman’s ability to control her own body.”

It's a racy history.

“I’m disappointed that the governor, who’s the top elected official of that party, hasn’t condemned it,” Livingstone added. “It’s unfortunate that when there’s a discussion of medical procedures, that people will use misleading inflammatory rhetoric like that to try to get their way.”

You get used to the war propaganda and agenda-pushing in the papers after a while.


Someday we will all be history:

"In 1778, American forces entered Philadelphia as the British withdrew during the Revolutionary War.

In 1812, the War of 1812 began as Congress approved, and President Madison signed, a declaration of war against Britain.

In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte met defeat at Waterloo as British and Prussian troops defeated the French in Belgium.

In 1940, during World War II, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill urged his countrymen to conduct themselves in a manner that would prompt future generations to say, ‘‘This was their finest hour.’’

It just dawned on me that all wars are bankers wars.

In 1948, Columbia Records publicly unveiled its new long-playing phonograph record in New York.

In 1953, Egypt’s 148-year-old Muhammad Ali Dynasty ended with the overthrow of the monarchy and the proclamation of a republic.

In 1979, President Jimmy Carter and Soviet President Leonid I. Brezhnev signed the SALT II strategic arms limitation treaty in Vienna.

In 1983, astronaut Sally K. Ride became America’s first woman in space as she and four colleagues blasted off aboard the space shuttle Challenger on a six-day mission.

In 2009, tens of thousands of protesters filled the streets of Tehran again, joining opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi to mourn demonstrators killed in clashes over Iran’s disputed presidential election.

Last year, President Trump announced he was directing the Pentagon to create the ‘‘Space Force’’ as an independent service branch. Troubled rapper-singer XXXTentacion was shot and killed in Florida in what police called an apparent robbery attempt."

That sent me into orbit, as did this:

"Walsh announces program to provide free menstrual products in Boston schools, but some say it doesn’t go far enough" by Ysabelle Kempe Globe Correspondent, June 17, 2019

Mayor Martin J. Walsh has taken a stance in the fight for accessible menstrual products, rolling out a pilot program providing free tampons and pads to all 77 Boston Public Schools serving students in grades 6 through 12.

Some have already criticized the $100,000 investment as inadequate.

“This pilot program is about equity in our schools, and among our young people,” Walsh said in a statement. “Nearly one in five girls in the U.S. have left school early, or missed school all together, because they didn’t have access to menstrual products.”

Boston Public Schools Health Services will order the menstrual products and distribute them to school nurses’ offices across the city. Schools will receive refills as needed throughout the year. After the initial pilot, nurses will partner with selected teachers who will also give out menstrual supplies.

To critics, however, the program is not nearly progressive enough..... 

I'm not saying I'm necessarily against, but please keep do it quietly and don't drink the water.


Globe put that grossness on the front page Sunday, and it makes me want to puke:

"President Trump directed his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to leave the room to cough when his top aide let out a short rasp during the president’s back-and-forth in the Oval Office with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News. ‘‘If you’re going to cough, please leave the room,’’ Trump said during one segment of the lengthy interview, which aired on Sunday evening. He shook his head as he warned Mulvaney, ‘‘You just can’t, you just can’t cough.’’ The president was in the middle of answering a question about his financial records when he became distracted by the sharp sound of his chief of staff expelling air from his lungs. Trump tripped over his words, requesting to Stephanopoulos, ‘‘Let’s do that over.’’ Appearing to point at Mulvaney, he said, ‘‘He’s coughing in the middle of my answer.’’ As an aside to Stephanopoulos, Trump said: ‘‘I don’t like that, you know. I don’t like that.’’ The ABC anchor and chief political correspondent laughed, remarking, ‘‘Your chief of staff.’’ The president asked if the ABC team wanted to do the shot over, and then went back to discussing his financial statements, maintaining that he would like to make them available to the public. Pressed by Stephanopoulos, who noted, ‘‘It’s up to you,’’ Trump said: ‘‘No, it’s not up to me. It’s up to lawyers; it’s up to everything else.’’ Trump has explained his decision to withhold his tax returns by asserting without evidence that they are under audit and asserting that the public isn’t interested in them. His move had broken with the custom of every president since Jimmy Carter. It also appears to go against the findings of the IRS, which indicated in a memo last month that only the rare invocation of executive privilege can thwart a congressional subpoena for the tax information (Washington Post)."

Everyone knows Trump is a germaphobe, but a lot of people are like that now due to risk on infection, and he said what to Stephenopolous?

Thank God he doesn't drink.

"President Trump’s latest anointment of an acting head of a major federal agency has prompted muttering, but no more than that, from Republican senators whose job description includes confirming top administration aides. Their reluctance to confront Trump comes as veterans of the confirmation process and analysts say he’s placed acting officials in key posts in significantly higher numbers than his recent predecessors. The practice lets him quickly, if temporarily, install allies in important positions while circumventing the Senate confirmation process, which can be risky with Republicans running the chamber by a slim 53-47 margin. The latest example is Ken Cuccinelli, who last week was named acting director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services. He is an outspoken supporter of hard-line immigration policies, and his appointment was opposed by some key Senate Republicans. Definitive listings of acting officials in Trump’s and other administrations are hard to come by because no agency keeps overall records. Yet Christina Kinane, an incoming political science professor at Yale, compiled data in her doctoral dissertation, ‘‘Control Without Confirmation: The Politics of Vacancies in Presidential Appointments.’’

"A government watchdog will investigate whether the US Interior Department broke the law by making plans to open up lands cut from a Utah national monument by President Trump to leasing for oil, gas, and coal development. Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico said Monday in a news release that the Government Accountability Office informed his office last week that it has agreed to his request that it look into whether the Interior Department violated the appropriations law by using funds to assess potential resource extraction in the lands cut from the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument......"

Clinton created the monument in 1996. Trump downsized it by nearly half in 2017.

"South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is seeking to become the first openly gay president of the United States, said in an interview that aired Sunday that it is statistically ‘‘almost certain’’ that the country has had previous gay presidents. ‘‘I would imagine we’ve probably had excellent presidents who are gay; we just didn’t know which ones,’’ Buttigieg said during an interview on ‘‘Axios on HBO.’’ Host Mike Allen pressed Buttigieg, 37, on whether being young, liberal, and gay would be liabilities if he becomes the Democratic nominee against President Trump. ‘‘People will elect the person who will make the best president,’’ Buttigieg said. ‘‘And we have had excellent presidents who have been young. We have had excellent presidents who have been liberal.’’ He added that the country has also probably had some who are gay. ‘‘You believe that we’ve had a gay commander in chief?’’ Allen asked. ‘‘I mean, statistically, it’s almost certain,’’ Buttigieg replied. ‘‘In your reading of history, do you believe you know who they were?’’ Allen asked. ‘‘My gaydar doesn’t even work that well in the present, let alone retroactively, but one can only assume that’s the case,’’ Buttigieg said. Buttigieg entered the race as a little-known mayor from a modest-sized city, but in recent months, he has become one of the more prominent candidates in the crowded Democratic field, regularly polling among the top five nationally. On Sunday, he stepped off the campaign trail following a deadly shooting by a police officer in his city, and he canceled a planned appearance Monday at an LGBTQ gala in New York hosted by the Democratic National Committee (Washington Post)."

Yes, it was a black man that was shot by a white officer (who trained them?).

I won't be voting for Buttigieg, and its amazing how you are vaulted into contention after meeting with certain people.

Btw, he wouldn't be the first gay president. It's an open secret that Buchanan was gay, and a not so open secret about Obama, and maybe Biden will be the first openly pedophile president (sorry, but creepy).

"Harvard rescinds admission to Parkland survivor over racist comments" by Emily Sweeney Globe Staff, June 17, 2019

A survivor of the Parkland shooting revealed Monday that Harvard College had rescinded his admission due to racist comments that he made nearly two years ago.

Kyle Kashuv announced the news in a series of tweets Monday morning, in which he also referenced Harvard’s own “checkered past” and stated that “Harvard’s faculty has included slave owners, segregationists, bigots and antisemites.”

He has a point there.

Kashuv became known as a gun rights activist after he survived the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14, 2018, that left 17 people dead.

Oh, I see. He took the wrong side.

In the wake of the shooting, Kashuv rose to prominence as he met with President Trump and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and made appearances on Fox News. His social media presence grew to include more than 300,000 Twitter followers.

In May, Kashuv issued an apology after screenshots of racist slurs that he allegedly wrote when he was 16 surfaced, but apparently his apology and explanation of what transpired were not enough to save his slot at Harvard.....


See you in court!

"Supreme Court affirms exception to double jeopardy in a case with implications for Trump associates" by Adam Liptak New York Times, June 17, 2019

WASHINGTON — In a decision that could affect associates of President Trump accused of wrongdoing and hoping for pardons, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that criminal defendants may be prosecuted for the same offenses in both federal and state court. Since Trump’s pardon power extends only to federal crimes, the ruling leaves people he pardons subject to state prosecutions.

Could affect Trump, too.

The vote was 7-2, with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Neil Gorsuch each filing dissents.

Body double for Ginsburg?

Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito said there was no good reason to overrule 170 years of precedents allowing separate prosecutions.

The Constitution’s double jeopardy clause generally forbids subsequent prosecutions, but the Supreme Court has made one exception.

Saying that the federal government and the states are independent sovereigns, the court has allowed separate prosecutions of the same conduct in state and federal courts.....

It's a "Gamble" either way, states are separate sovereigns much as foreign nations are, and as that alliance suggested, the issue did not divide the justices across the usual ideological lines.



"The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a challenge to the voting map for Virginia’s House of Delegates, saying that state lawmakers were not entitled to appeal a ruling striking down parts of the map on race-discrimination grounds. The Supreme Court’s action is likely to help Democrats in the 2020 election. The vote was 5-4....."

Writing for the majority, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, representing Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan and Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch. In dissent, Justice Samuel Alito, Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and Justice Stephen Breyer.

Also see:

"Supreme Court won’t rule on clash between another bakery and a gay couple" by Adam Liptak New York Times, June 17, 2019

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal from the owners of an Oregon bakery who were fined for refusing to create a wedding cake for a gay couple.

In a brief order, the justices instead returned the case to lower courts in Oregon “for further consideration” in light of a 2018 decision in which the court ducked a similar issue in a case concerning a baker from Colorado. (The ruling left open the question of whether a business can discriminate against gay men and lesbians based on rights protected by the First Amendment.)

The court’s action Monday left still unresolved the question of whether many kinds of businesses, including florists, photography studios, calligraphers, and tattoo artists, may discriminate against same-sex couples on religious grounds.

They basically said let 'em eat cake.

Lower courts have generally sided with gay and lesbian couples who were refused service, ruling that they are entitled to equal treatment, at least in parts of the country with laws forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation. The owners of businesses challenging those laws have argued that the government should not force them to choose between the rules of their faiths and their livelihoods, citing constitutional protections for free speech and religious liberty.

The new case started in 2012 when the owners of a bakery called Sweetcakes by Melissa refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, Rachel Bowman-Cryer and Laurel Bowman-Cryer.

The owners, Melissa Klein and Aaron Klein, said doing so would violate their religious principles. The state labor bureau ruled against the Kleins.....

Jews stirring it up?!


I would  listen to a different Melissa and 
Aaron if I were you.

Maybe they will take up this case:

"Wearing a starched white uniform and a chestful of ribbons from years of military service, Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher walked into a military courtroom in San Diego on Monday to stand trial on war crimes charges, but what prosecutors initially believed would be a straightforward case has looked increasingly troubled in recent months, with delays caused by prosecutorial missteps and with signs that at least one important prosecution witness had changed his story. Gallagher, a Navy SEAL platoon leader, is charged with shooting unarmed civilians in Iraq in 2017, including a school-age girl, and with killing a captured teenage Islamic State fighter with a knife, among other crimes. The chief was turned in by members of his platoon, who told investigators he had become obsessed with killing and had bragged about shooting scores of people in Iraq. Gallagher has pleaded not guilty and denied all the charges. His lawyers and supporters say that he is being unfairly prosecuted simply for doing his job well, and that his accusers were disgruntled subordinates who could not meet his high standards."

Second helping?

"On a Facebook page that is regularly updated by Gallagher’s family, a message posted on Sunday read in part, “Over the course of the trial we will expose the false narrative spread by these accusers for what it is . . . a smear campaign full of lies.” During the trial, which is expected to last two weeks, the Navy plans to present firsthand testimony from several witnesses; photos of the chief posing with a dead body; and a text message in which he admits killing the captive, among other evidence, but officers from his unit, SEAL Team 7, waited so long to report the alleged war crimes — nearly a year after they took place — that by the time an investigation was begun, much of the physical evidence was gone. “There is no crime scene, they don’t have any bodies, and they can’t determine a cause of death,” said Patrick Korody, a former Navy prosecutor who has been tracking the case. “This case is going to come down to witnesses, and witness cases in this day and age are some of the weakest.” 

That's how my stomach is feeling right about now. Been working on this all day.

Complicating matters further, the lead prosecutor was removed from the case two weeks ago after complaints from the defense about attempts to improperly track their communications, leaving the new lead prosecutor little time to prepare for trial, and President Trump has indicated that he is “looking” at pardoning “two or three” service members accused or convicted of war crimes. Trump did not give their names, but Navy officials suggested that one of them may be Gallagher. “It’s a little bit controversial,” Trump told reporters on May 24. “It’s very possible that I’ll let the trials go on, and I’ll make my decision after the trial.” He added: “Some of these soldiers are people that have fought hard and long. You know, we teach them how to be great fighters, and then when they fight, sometimes they get really treated very unfairly.” 

Why am I not surprised the war criminal president is going to pardon war criminals?

Gallagher, 40, was on his fifth deployment with the SEALs in 2017, leading a platoon that was supporting Iraqi troops as they sought to drive Islamic State fighters out of the city of Mosul. According to a Navy investigative report, platoon members saw their chief at first as an experienced leader with a reputation as one of the top chiefs in the SEALs, but once they were in Mosul, platoon members told investigators, the chief became frightening. They said he proposed dangerous missions that had no clear purpose, ordered SEALs to fire rockets and machine guns at neighborhoods with no clear targets, and spent much of his time in a hidden sniper perch, firing far more often than any of the platoon’s snipers. Snipers told investigators they saw Gallagher shoot a school-age girl in a flower-print hijab who was walking with other girls on a riverbank, and an unarmed man in a white robe with a wispy white beard. Both were hundreds of yards away and posed no threat, the snipers said. 

He was like an Israeli sniper behind the berm, and maybe they will make a movie about him, the best ever.

SEALs also told investigators that Gallagher stabbed to death a wounded Islamic State fighter that the platoon was holding captive. A few days later, the investigative report said, the chief texted a photo of the dead body to a fellow SEAL, saying, “Good story behind this, got him with my hunting knife.” However, at least one SEAL who initially told investigators he saw the stabbing has apparently recanted. According to an interview summary, Petty Officer Second Class Ivan Villanueva, the most junior SEAL in the platoon, told investigators he had been right next to Gallagher when the chief stabbed the wounded fighter without provocation, and had been “shocked and surprised when the incident occurred,” but Villanueva will not testify to that in court, according to Chris Ramirez, a lawyer representing him. In a written statement, Ramirez said, “Our client does not have any evidence supporting the allegations against Chief Gallagher and will testify accordingly.” 

I'm wondering if he killed the US proxy to shut him up.

Lawyers familiar with the case said that at least one other witness may change his story as well. According to the Navy investigative report, members of the SEAL platoon approached the platoon commander, Lieutenant Jacob Portier, and others with their concerns about Gallagher’s actions soon after they occurred in 2017, but Portier and his superior, Lieutenant Commander Robert Briesch, did not act for nearly a year. Portier has been charged and is facing court-martial for failing to report possible war crimes. He has pleaded not guilty and denied wrongdoing. Briesch has been formally notified by the Navy that he is under investigation, but has not been charged; he told investigators that he was unaware of the platoon’s concerns about misconduct until shortly before he reported the chief to criminal authorities in 2018."

He's already started the tunnel:

"A wealthy stock trader was sentenced Monday to nine years in prison for his conviction in the fiery death of a man who was helping him secretly dig tunnels for a nuclear bunker beneath a Maryland home. Daniel Beckwitt, 28, apologized to the parents of 21-year-old Askia Khafra, who was burned beyond recognition by the September 2017 fire that broke out above the tunnels they were digging in a suburb of Washington, D.C. ‘‘If there was something I could do to bring Askia back — anything — I would jump at that chance,’’ said Beckwitt, who didn’t testify at his trial in April before a jury convicted him of second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. ‘‘I most certainly did not intend for any of this to happen.’’ Beckwitt had faced a maximum of 30 years in prison when Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Margaret Schweitzer sentenced him. In total, Beckwitt was sentenced to 21 years but the judge suspended all but nine years of the sentence. Sentencing guidelines had called for a prison term of 10 to 21 years. Beckwitt repeatedly nodded his head as the judge explained why she settled on a sentence that slightly departed from the guidelines. Schweitzer told him that his ‘‘intellectual arrogance’’ led to the tragedy‘‘You thought that everything would be fine because you were very smart,’’ she said. ‘‘You thought you could fix everything.’’ She told Khafra’s parents the length of Beckwitt’s prison sentence doesn’t equate with their loss. ‘‘My sentence will not and cannot give you justice,’’ Schweitzer told them. Beckwitt wiped away tears as Dia and Claudia Khafra, Askia’s parents, described how their son’s death has left indelible scars on their lives. ‘‘Askia’s death has left me broken,’’ Claudia Khafra said. ‘‘I am constantly plagued by feelings of emptiness.’’ During the trial, Montgomery County prosecutor Marybeth Ayres accused Beckwitt of recklessly endangering Khafra’s life. Beckwitt ignored obvious signs of danger and sacrificed safety for secrecy while they dug a network of tunnels beneath a home in Bethesda, the prosecutor said. Defense attorney Robert Bonsib had told jurors the fire was an accident, not a crime."

Second helping?

"He described his client as an idiosyncratic but ‘‘incredibly brilliant’’ man who never intended any harm. ‘‘This is a passive omission. This is a failure to clean up the house,’’ he said Monday. ‘‘That’s what he was on trial for, the consequences of failing to keep the basement clean.’’ Firefighters found Khafra’s naked, charred body in the basement of Beckwitt’s trash-filled house, only a few steps from an exit. Prosecutors said the extreme hoarding conditions in the home prevented Khafra from escaping. Ayres said Beckwitt has shown a lack of empathy and a willingness to squander his brilliance. ‘‘And the result is harming others,’’ the prosecutor added. 

If a crime was committed fine, but screaming a$$hole at him makes the prosecution look weak and turns off a jury.

Hours before the fire broke out in the basement, Khafra texted Beckwitt to warn him it smelled like smoke in the tunnels. Ayres said Beckwitt didn’t respond for more than six hours before telling Khafra that there had been a ‘‘major electrical failure.’’ Instead of getting Khafra out of the tunnels, Beckwitt told him that he ‘‘just switched it all over to another circuit,’’ according to the prosecutor. Bonsib said Beckwitt screamed for help from neighbors after the fire broke out and tried to rescue his friend from the blaze before heavy smoke and flames forced him to retreat. Khafra met Beckwitt online. Beckwitt had invested money in a company Khafra was trying to launch as he helped Beckwitt dig the tunnels. Beckwitt went to elaborate lengths to keep the project a secret. He tried to trick Khafra into thinking they were digging the tunnels in Virginia instead of Maryland by having him don ‘‘blackout glasses’’ before taking him on a long drive. Khafra had a cellphone with him in the tunnels, but Beckwitt used Internet ‘‘spoofing’’ to make it appear they were digging in Virginia. 

Tough work. 

Khafra worked in the tunnels for days at a time, eating and sleeping in there and urinating and defecating into a bucket Beckwitt lowered down to him. The tunnels had lights, an air circulation system, and a heater. A hole in the concrete basement floor led to a shaft that dropped down 20 feet into tunnels that branched out roughly 200 feet in length. Investigators concluded the blaze was ignited by a defective electrical outlet in the basement. A prosecutor has described Beckwitt as a skilled computer hacker who had a paranoid fixation on a possible nuclear attack by North Korea. In 2016, Beckwitt spoke at a hacker convention using the alias ‘‘3AlarmLampscooter’’ and wearing a fire-resistant suit and visor that obscured his face. Bonsib has said Beckwitt’s use of a pseudonym and disguise was harmless, typical of the ‘‘weird things’’ people do on the Internet. Khafra’s parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Beckwitt on the anniversary of the Sept. 10, 2017, fire."

That is one weird story, and WhoTF was this guy really? 

I mean, he looks like some kind of government agent:

"Masked gunman killed in shootout at Dallas courthouse" by Jake Bleiberg and Jamie Stengle Associated Press, June 17, 2019

DALLAS — An Army veteran wearing a mask and carrying more than 150 rounds of ammunition for his high-powered rifle was shot dead Monday after he opened fire outside a busy federal courthouse in downtown Dallas, authorities said.

Officials are still trying to determine a motive but said there was nothing to indicate the presence of any other shooters or threats to the city, said  FBI agent Matthew DeSarno said.

A bomb squad later examined a vehicle associated with the gunman as a precaution and performed controlled explosions, authorities said. Two loud blasts could be heard.

This has the stench of a staged and scripted crisis drill, folks -- a non-event!

The Dallas Morning News reported that one of its photographers, Tom Fox, was outside the building and witnessed the shooter opening fire.

Is that supposed to convince me its real and not another in a long line of staged and scripted, Operation Gladio-type psyops for agenda-pushing, mind-manipulating purposes?

An image of the shooter captured by Fox showed the man wearing a balaclava and a heavy vest and carrying a rifle. Magazines holding 30 rounds each could be seen on his belt.

Another photograph from Fox showed officers tending to a shirtless man lying on the ground in a parking lot outside the building. The gunman was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, authorities said.

And now it is on to his next assignment for the DIA.

Police closed off several blocks around the federal building.

Chad Cline, 46, who lives near the courthouse, said a message was broadcast throughout his building shortly before 9 a.m. announcing that there was an active shooter in the area and that residents should stay inside.

Yup, shelter in place so you don't catch on or can record any video with your phone.

Less than half an hour later, another message said there was a potential bomb threat and that residents needed to leave. He, his wife and their two dogs went to a coffee shop.....

They really did a number on them, and then they went for coffee!!


The alleged shooter is 22-year-old Brian Isaack Clyde, who was discharged from the Army in 2017, and relatives declined to comment -- which is odd.

How quickly they forgot Virginia Beach, huh?