Friday, February 28, 2014

Begging Boeing

Plane maker slumps on revenue outlook

They really need the tax loot de$pite the fourth-quarter profit of $1.23 billion.

Airlines go on jet shopping spree

But the revenue outlook is down?

"US airlines are buying too. After suffering the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, bankruptcies, and recessions, they are now strong enough financially to buy jets [and] with the price of fuel nearly 4 times what it was 10 years ago, carriers must replace old gas-guzzlers. The new planes cater to passengers’ changing habits. Instead of reading a paperback book or magazine from the airport gift shop, travelers today are surfing the Internet or reading on their Kindle or iPads. So this new generation of planes provide passengers with larger overhead bins, power outlets and USB ports, better lighting and a less-claustrophobic feel. There’s also less noise and — in many cases — individual TVs. ‘‘We want to give you a sense of as much space as possible.’’

See: Airlines squeezing in even more seating

Depends on which class you ride:

Boston Globe Boarding Pass
Not Your Father's Airline
Arrogant Australian A$$hole

Latest airline perk: Safe distance from the masses

The idea is to provide an exclusive experienceinaccessible, even invisible, to the masses in coach. It’s one way that a gap between the wealthy and everyone else has widened.

The insulting elitism drips from the words.

The special treatment now starts at check-in. American and United Airlines have both developed private rooms, located in discrete corners of their terminals in New York, Chicago, and elsewhere, that allow for a speedy check-in. Boarding passes in hand, travelers exit through hidden doors leading to the front of security lines.

They can even get valet parking at Logan

Meanwhile, the rest of us get the joy of waiting hours before being mistreated and molested by TSA perverts.

Time for you taxpayers to be taken for a ride:

"States compete to attract new Boeing assembly plant" by Reid Wilson |  Washington Post, December 02, 2013

WASHINGTON — When Boeing’s machinists union last month rejected a long-term contract proposal, the workers who voted against the aerospace giant’s offer inadvertently set off a nationwide competition — for their jobs.

Boeing had offered the new contract, which would have cut some pension benefits and given workers a $10,000 signing bonus, in exchange for a long-term commitment to build the new 777X long-haul aircraft at the company’s factories in Washington state’s Puget Sound region. But members of the International Association of Machinists voted against that deal by a 2 to 1 ratio amid anger over what they saw as an insufficient offer.

Boeing barely waited for the ink to dry on the results before it began calling other states in search of a new assembly site.

‘‘I think the first phone call that Boeing made was to Utah. We didn’t call them. They called us,’’ Governor Gary Herbert of Utah said in an interview. With potentially tens of thousands of jobs in the balance, Herbert cleared his calendar. ‘‘We adjusted our schedule to accommodate them.’’

The Boeing executive who contacted Herbert, offering the chance to compete for tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity, joked: ‘‘I’m the most popular guy in the country right now.’’

Utah is one of a dozen states the aerospace giant has contacted in recent weeks as it searches for an assembly site for the 777X.... 

Looks like extortion to me.

RelatedStates grovel before Boeing in bid for 777X jobs

How much money are they throwing at them?

Also seeBoeing’s 787 could face a new inquiry

Yeah, let's hope the new plane isn't a piece of $hit.

The states on the list have until Dec. 10 to craft proposals that, in many cases, include tax breaks and incentives valued at hundreds of millions of dollars.

But the pensions have to take a cut.

On Friday, Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri called his state legislature back into session to consider a $150 million package of tax breaks in an effort to win the Boeing assembly lines. The legislature will meet Monday, and Nixon said he wants the measures passed this week....

Look at government move quick for a change!

The Puget Sound region, where Boeing was founded in 1916, remains home to more than 83,000 Boeing jobs, far more than any other state. But the aerospace giant has been slowly divesting itself from Washington state in recent years, first moving its corporate headquarters to Chicago, then opening a major construction facility in North Charleston, S.C. Boeing said this year that it would move several hundred engineering jobs to Long Beach, Calif.

The lines that produce the 777X could be next. Even before the union vote took place, top officials in states such as South Carolina and California were lobbying to host the new long-haul aircraft.

‘‘We stay in good contact with Boeing, because they obviously are a great corporate friend to South Carolina,’’ Governor Nikki Haley said in an interview. ‘‘We were in touch prior [to the vote], as it was happening.’’

In California, the ‘‘governor’s office of business and economic development maintains a strong relationship with Boeing, and we are actively working to expand all facets of their operations in California,’’ said spokesman Brook Taylor....

See: Drought Draining California Reservoirs 

Maybe Boeing can fill up Brown's cup.

Herbert and Haley said they are working to increase aerospace and advanced manufacturing programs in local community and technical colleges. Nixon’s proposal in Missouri would do the same. Herbert pointed to an 800,000-square-foot facility that Boeing is operating in his state, while Haley said it was a good sign that the company recently bought an additional 500 acres near its North Charleston facility and committed an additional $1.2 billion.

Washington has pushed hard to keep the 777X line. The union’s vote to reject the contract came days after Washington legislators passed the largest corporate tax break in the nation’s history, valued at nearly $9 billion over almost three decades. Washington has also been asked for a proposal, and Governor Jay Inslee is working behind the scenes to get the union and Boeing negotiating.

Is he a governor or an corporate representative?


"Boeing workers in Washington state voted late Friday to approve an eight-year contract extension, ensuring that the company’s new 777X aircraft will be made in the Puget Sound region instead of another state. The vote was close, with 51 percent of workers in favor of the contract, said the union representing the workers, the International Association of Machinists. Local union leaders had encouraged workers to reject the contract because, they said, it had too many concessions on retirement and health care benefits (New York Times)." 

Ah, you won't need those. Obummercare will take care of you -- if you can ever sign up.

‘‘The governor also is asking Boeing and the [International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers] to return to the table and renew talks about a contract. He’s done that in private conversations with both sides and has more conversations planned in the coming days,’’ said David Postman, an Inslee spokesman.

Boeing has told the states that it wants to move quickly to identify a new assembly plant.

‘‘There’s some sense of urgency,’’ Herbert said. ‘‘This is not something they want to drag out for a long period of time.’’

Yeah, want to get those tax breaks into law since they are never revoked.


A Blechy Story

"One-time biotech giant’s comeback ends in jail" by Andrew Pollack |  New York Times, September 06, 2013

He was once hailed as the king of biotechnology. In the industry’s frontier days, David Blech was the top gunslinger, quick to draw his checkbook to start new companies or prop up faltering ones.

Related: The King is Dead

Blech was the initial financial force behind the industry giant Celgene, the rare disease specialist Alexion Pharmaceuticals, and the cancer drug developer Ariad Pharmaceuticals, not to mention Icos, which developed the impotence pill Cialis.

In the early 1990s, Blech was worth about $300 million and made the Forbes list of 400 wealthiest Americans.

Now, however, he is about to begin a four-year prison term, is about $11 million in debt, and is mainly an afterthought to the industry he helped foster.

He squandered his fortune with reckless borrowing and stock trading in a quest for even greater riches. His Wall Street firm, D. Blech & Co., collapsed — dragging biotech share prices down with it — in 1994, on a day some called “Blech Thursday.” Comeback attempts have only gotten him deeper into trouble....

Critics over the years have said Blech was merely an aggressive stock promoter who got lucky.

It is an unlikely story.

Not really.

In 1980, Blech was working as a stockbroker while trying to become a songwriter. That fall, biotechnology pioneer Genentech went public, and its share price doubled the first day.

“I can do that,” Blech, then only 24, told his father, a rabbi who was also a stockbroker. Blech then called his brother, Isaac, who was working in advertising, and said, “Quit your job: We’re starting a genetics company.”

David and Isaac Blech went on to form several other companies, some of which ultimately failed. They attracted top scientists, directors, and advisers by offering them stock and a chance to get rich. The companies were often taken public quickly, so the Blechs and other early shareholders could realize a return.

Things began going wrong around 1990, when Blech wanted to expand while his more cautious brother wanted to take a hiatus. The brothers had a rancorous split and have essentially not talked since.


Blech started D. Blech & Co., which underwrote stock offerings. When biotechnology stocks he was involved with weakened, he tried to prop them up by buying more shares, using $65 million in borrowed money. When creditors started calling in the loans, a desperate Blech started engaging in sham trades to make it look as if he was getting his house in order.

The Bernie Madoff of biotech?

D. Blech & Co. collapsed on Sept. 22, 1994. Emotionally broken, Blech checked himself into a hospital psychiatric ward for a brief stay. His wife filed for divorce....

Laying the groundwork for a legal appeal.

But instead of going to prison, Blech was sentenced to five years’ probation because of his bipolar disorder and his cooperation with the government.... 

He didn't even do a day in jail!

By the time his probation ended, his old formula would not work. Startups could no longer go public just because they had “genetic” in their names. And companies did not want financing from a felon.

Awww, poor guy!

So Blech turned to hard-pressed penny stock companies. Government investigators said he reverted to past behavior, trading through more than 50 nominee accounts in the name of his new wife, other relatives, even a yeshiva run by a cousin.

Looks like the nice Jewish boy has a di$ea$e.

In 2012, Blech pleaded guilty to two counts of securities fraud. Once again he asked for mercy, citing the hardship a prison sentence would impose on his family, including an autistic son.

Should have thought about that before becoming a crook.

But the judge, Colleen McMahon, said the time for leniency had passed.

“I bleed for your family, your wife, your kids,” she told him at the sentencing hearing in May. “It’s a terrible thing you have done to them, not me.”

Blech is appealing his sentence, saying it is excessive. But the appeal is not likely to be heard until he is already in prison. “I made my money legitimately, and I lost it illegitimately,” Blech said.

Yeah, what a $ad $tory.


What a $cum!

Globe Shoving Gay Agenda Down Our Throats

It's an election year, right?

Arizona bill on service for gays divides GOP

"Governor Jan Brewer, a Republican, faced intensifying pressure Monday from chief executives, politicians in Washington, and state lawmakers in her own party to veto a bill that would allow business owners with strongly held religious beliefs to deny service to gay people. The chorus of opposition has grown each day, and on Monday, three state senators who voted for the bill changed course and said they oppose it." 

What is this footsie shit?

"Arizona governor vetoes religious rights bill" by Fernanda Santos |  New York Times, February 27, 2014

PHOENIX — Ending days that cast a glaring national spotlight on Arizona, Governor Jan Brewer, a Republican, vetoed a bill Wednesday that would have given business owners the right to refuse service to gay men, lesbians, and other people on religious grounds.

Her action came amid mounting pressure from Arizona business leaders, who said the bill would be a financial disaster for the state and harm its reputation. 

Because it's all about money and imagery.

Prominent members of the Republican establishment, including former presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Senator John McCain of Arizona and Governor Rick Scott of Florida, sided with the bill’s opponents, who argued that the measure would have allowed people to use religion as a fig leaf for prejudice....

In other words, it would have allowed us all to act like Israelis.

The governor castigated the Republican-controlled Legislature, which passed the bill last week, for making it the first piece of legislation to reach her desk this year. Her priorities, she said, are a budget, continuing the state’s economic growth, and “fixing our broken child protection system.”

Yours, too, huh?

RelatedOverhaul of Ariz. child welfare urged

Also seeShining a Light on Patrick's Legacy

Hundreds may be missing in child welfare system

Who knows where the little runaways are, and who cares about the hair-splitting lies told by the heads of government agencies?

The bill was inspired by incidents in other states in which florists, photographers, and bakers were sued for refusing to cater to same-sex couples. But it would have allowed much broader religious exemptions by business owners.

A range of critics said it was broadly discriminatory and would have permitted all sorts of denials of service, allowing, say, a Muslim taxi driver to refuse to pick up a woman traveling solo.

Supporters said the bill was needed to allow people to live and work by their religious beliefs.

“This bill is not about allowing discrimination,” State Senator Steve Yarbrough said during debate on the measure last week. “This bill is about preventing discrimination against people who are clearly living out their faith.”

At her news conference, Brewer acknowledged the qualms that many people have about same-sex marriage and noted that society was undergoing many dramatic changes....

Reactions of relief came swiftly. McCain said in a statement, “I hope that we can now move on from this controversy and assure the American people that everyone is welcome to live, work, and enjoy our beautiful state of Arizona.”

Even as she deliberated — hour by hour — the state began to lose business: The Hispanic National Bar Association said Wednesday it had canceled plans to hold its annual convention of 2,000 lawyers here next year, citing the bill.

The National Football League, which had planned to hold the Super Bowl here next year, started actively exploring its second-choice location, Tampa, in case Brewer passed the bill, Sports Illustrated reported.

The money speaks louder than any moan.


"US judge voids Texas same-sex marriage ban" by Manny Fernandez |  New York Times, February 27, 2014

HOUSTON —The ruling by Judge Orlando L. Garcia of US District Court for the Western District of Texas, who was appointed by President Clinton in 1994, was the latest in a series of legal decisions that have overturned bans or lifted restrictions on same-sex marriage in several states, some in the South and the Bible Belt.

A federal judge overturned Virginia’s ban early this month, a day after Kentucky was ordered to honor same-sex marriages performed in other states.


Va. gay marriage supporters celebrate
Judge orders Ky. to recognize gay marriages
Ky. ordered to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages

That should start a fire and let off the political fireworks in Kentucky.

In Oklahoma, the state’s amendment barring same-sex marriage was recently ruled unconstitutional, while a federal judge in Utah reached the same conclusion about that state’s amendment.

SeeJudge calls Okla. gay marriage ban unconstitutional

Bunch of devil-worshippers down there.

In the Texas case, lawyers for two gay and lesbian couples who sued the state had argued that the ban on same-sex marriage perpetuated discrimination and put a financial, legal, and emotional burden on homosexual couples.

One couple in the case, Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman, traveled to Boston in 2009 to get married, but Texas does not recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, under one law overturned Wednesday. De Leon is the biological mother of the couple’s 2-year-old son, but Dimetman had to adopt the child because Texas did not consider her the child’s parent.

“Ultimately, the repeal of Texas’s ban will mean that our son will never know how this denial of equal protections demeaned our family and belittled his parents’ relationship,” De Leon and Dimetman said in a statement. “We look forward to the day when, surrounded by friends and family, we can renew our vows in our home state of Texas.”

In court papers and at a recent hearing, the state’s lawyers argued that the Supreme Court decision in June, which declared parts of the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, left states the authority to define and restrict marriage. The lawyers denied that Texas’s laws were rooted in prejudice, linking the bills instead to the state’s interest in protecting traditional marriage to promote procreation and child-rearing by a mother and a father in “stable and enduring family units.”

That is under attack by the gay rights movement, but you can't say that without being called antisemitic or a homophobe.


Also see:

Illinois sends bill allowing gay marriage to governor
Same-sex couple’s wedding a first for Illinois
Michigan gay-marriage ban at stake in trial
Oregon won’t defend gay marriage ban
Passions high as Hawaii debates gay marriage
Governor signs bill legalizing gay marriage in Hawaii
Gay marriages begin in Hawaii as 40 get licenses

No longer an endangered species or threat to kids.

Gay teen achieves Eagle Scout milestone in Md.

They must be possessed.

"The other plaintiffs in Monday’s lawsuit are three lesbian couples living in the Cincinnati area who married in states that have legalized gay marriage. One woman in each of those marriages is pregnant through artificial insemination, and their babies all are due to be born this summer in Cincinnati hospitals."

If you wanted a kid.... this is really getting sick. 

What's next sperm farms

And now for the backlash:

Not Happy With This Post About Uganda

"Uganda’s president defies West, signs antigay law" by Alan Cowell |  New York Times,  February 25, 2014

LONDON — Brushing aside Western threats and outrage, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda strengthened Africa’s antigay movement on Monday, signing into law a bill imposing harsh sentences for homosexual acts, including life imprisonment in some cases, according to government officials.

I think prison is an overreaction, but there is no antigay agenda. It's a defense of families agenda.

The move came weeks after Museveni’s Nigerian counterpart, Goodluck Jonathan, took similar steps in his own country, threatening offenders with 14-year prison terms.

Related: African Confusion 

Looks like his luck is running out.

The Ugandan law seemed even tougher, threatening life terms on charges including “aggravated homosexuality,” meaning homosexual acts with a minor, a disabled person, or someone infected with HIV.

“We Africans never seek to impose our view on others. If only they could let us alone,” Museveni said, according to the Associated Press, alluding to Western pressure to reject the bill.

It's a rule I try to live my life by.

He signed the legislation at his official residence at Entebbe, near the capital, Kampala, in front of government officials, journalists, and a team of Ugandan scientists who had said they found no genetic basis for homosexuality — a conclusion that Museveni cited in support of the new law, the Associated Press said.

There probably isn't a biological gene per se, but who knows why people make certain choices?

While Western gay-rights campaigners have accused US evangelical Christian groups of promoting antigay sentiment in Uganda, Museveni accused “arrogant and careless Western groups” of seeking to draw Ugandan children into homosexuality.

Some perverts do want that, and many get involved in the gay rights group. That doesn't mean most gays that are not connected to these fringe groups feel that way.

The Ugandan government spokesman, Ofwono Opondo, said Museveni wanted to sign the bill “with the full witness of the international media to demonstrate Uganda’s independence in the face of Western pressure and provocation.”

“It’s a gloomy day, not just for the gay community in Uganda but for all Ugandans who care about human rights, because this law will affect everybody,” Julian Peppe Onziema, an advocate for gay rights in Uganda, told Reuters.

The country’s Parliament approved the law in December, saying it was aimed “at strengthening the nation’s capacity to deal with emerging internal and external threats to the traditional heterosexual family.”

Last week, President Obama called the legislation “a step backward for all Ugandans,” and administration officials were quoted as saying the law could result in a review of relations with the United States.

What business is it of his?

Washington is one of Uganda’s biggest aid donors. Museveni also is an important ally in the West’s efforts to curb Islamic militancy in Somalia.

Then this is either empty hot air from Obummer, or they are getting ready to turn on Uganda (I doubt it).


"Newspaper lists Uganda’s ‘200 top’ gays" by Rodney Muhumuza |  Associated Press,  February 26, 2014

KAMPALA, Uganda — A Ugandan newspaper published a list Tuesday of what it called the country’s ‘‘200 top’’ gays, outing some and raising fears of violence against those named just a day after the president enacted a severe antigay law.

Many on the list ‘‘are scared and they need help,’’ said Pepe Julian Onziema, a prominent gay activist who was named in the Red Pepper tabloid. ‘‘Some want to leave the country and they are asking to be helped.’’

Meanwhile, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Monday’s signing of the bill by President Yoweri Museveni marked ‘‘a tragic day for Uganda and for all who care about the cause of human rights.’’ He warned that Washington could cut aid to the East African nation over the new law, which punishes gay sex with up to life in prison.

Good! Cut it all off! We can't afford it, and I was never for using Uganda's military as a regional proxy.

‘‘We are beginning an internal review of our relationship with the government of Uganda to ensure that all dimensions of our engagement, including assistance programs, uphold our antidiscrimination policies and principles and reflect our values,’’ Kerry said in a statement.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon demanded the revision or repeal of the law, warning that it could fuel prejudice and harassment against gays.

The Red Pepper ran its list of names, and some pictures, in a front-page story under the headline ‘‘EXPOSED!’’

News editor Ben Byarabaha said the paper published the full names of only the well-known activists and tried to use nicknames for those not publicly gay. A popular Ugandan hip-hop star and a Catholic priest are among those on the list. Byarabaha offered no details on how the names were compiled.

Onziema, who has warned that Uganda’s new law could spark violence, said the tabloid had provided enough information to identify many people who had not come out publicly.

‘‘Some of the employers have read the paper, and from the descriptions they can tell who these people are,’’ he said.

Few Ugandans identify themselves publicly as gay, and the tabloid’s actions recalled a similar list published in 2011 by a now-defunct tabloid that called for the execution of gays. A prominent Ugandan gay activist, David Kato, was killed after that list came out.


"Uganda losing aid over new antigay law" by Rodney Muhumuza |  Associated Press, February 28, 2014

KAMPALA, Uganda — Uganda’s government has been hit with substantial aid cuts after the president enacted a severe antigay measure over that some Western governments had warned of consequences.

At least three European countries are withdrawing millions in direct support to Uganda’s government, which depends on donors for about 20 percent of its budget.

So the life of the average Ugandan, gay or straight, will become a little more impoverished.

The Dutch government said in a statement Thursday that it is suspending aid to Uganda’s government but will continue supporting nongovernmental groups, joining the governments of Norway and Denmark in taking such action.

Washington has also signaled it could cut aid to Uganda over the antigay measure, which the White House described as abhorrent.

Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday compared the law to oppressive government crackdowns on German Jews in the 1930s and black South Africans during apartheid, saying he was going to direct American ambassadors to look at how the United States deals with what he called a human rights challenge.

There he goes, jumping the shark again! He should just shut up with all the outrageous statements flying out of his mouth these days. 

As for human rights, when does the torture stop?

Ugandan officials have been reacting with scorn, saying that Western governments can keep their money.

I applaud them! People eventually reach a point where money and pressure doesn't matter. They are just sick of you. Now go away!

Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, told African leaders attending a summit in the Congolese capital of Kinshasa Wednesday that although the matter of gay rights is ‘‘dear’’ to the West, ‘‘even the homosexuals need electricity.’’

No, no, no, gays don't need all of those other things we do. If they did those issues -- wealth inequality, good health care, clean environment -- would be getting much more attention from the agenda-pu$hing whoreporate pre$$.

Museveni enacted the bill on Monday, drawing widespread condemnation from the United Nations and rights groups.

When they start leveling it at Israel, let me know. Of course, we all know there are no gay Palestinians so that oppression is okay.

In signing the bill, Museveni said he wanted to deter Western groups from promoting homosexuality in Africa. The law is widely popular in Uganda, however, and some analysts believe Museveni’s enactment of it will boost his popularity ahead of the 2016 presidential elections.

Law is popular with their people? 

Yeah, you can't listen to them over the AmeriKan government.


I'm sure China will be happy to step in and help with military and financial aid to help further their influence.

Feeding You This Post From Nebraska

"Two people were killed and 10 seriously injured Monday in an explosion and partial building collapse at an Omaha animal feed processing plant, authorities said. Interim Omaha Fire Chief Bernie Kanger said the cause of the fire has not been determined. Kanger said no hazardous chemicals were used at the plant. Omaha-based International Nutrition declined to comment....


Time for me to take some lunch.

This Post Fills the Slot

"Slot parlor OK’d for Plainville racetrack" by Mark Arsenault |  Globe staff, February 28, 2014

The state’s tumultuous effort to launch the casino gambling industry took a giant leap forward Thursday, with the state gambling commission’s milestone selection of Penn National Gaming to build the first slot machine parlor in Massachusetts, at Plainridge Racecourse.

Penn’s $225 million proposal to expand the state’s only harness racing track, at Route 1 and Interstate 495 in Plainville, into a gambling hall won a 3-to-2 majority in a vote of the five-member commission. Penn narrowly edged a highly rated proposal in Leominster by Cordish Cos. A third applicant, Raynham Park, received no votes and did not heavily factor in debate.

Penn officials are wasting no time, scheduling a design and construction meeting Monday in Plainville. They expect to open for business by spring 2015.

Penn won on the strength of its experience running 27 US facilities, which commissioners suggested makes Penn better suited to weather competition and any downturns in the economy. Commissioners also put weight on the fact that the project would preserve the state’s harness racing industry.

Thursday’s vote followed hours of tense back-and-forth deliberations, held entirely in open session and broadcast on the Internet, offering the public unusual access to the sausage-making behind such a far-reaching decision....


Also see: Revereing Casinos

Sleepwalking Through This Post

It will make you shit your pants.... 

"Statue of sleep-walking man triggers controversy at Wellesley College" by Jaclyn Reiss |  Globe Staff,  February 06, 2014

WELLESLEY — A sleep-walking man clad solely in his underwear is a bit startling to encounter on the campus of a women’s college. Even if he’s just made of bronze and paint.

Double-takes and debate have abounded this week at Wellesley College, where a lifelike statue of a somnambulant male was installed outdoors as part of a new exhibit at the Davis Museum.

The artist, however, is thrilled. “I was talking with the curator of the exhibition and my assistant this morning, and we were saying, ‘When was the last time a work of art was talked about so much and got so much attention?’ ” sculptor Tony Matelli said Wednesday, after news of the debate rocketed around the Internet. “I can’t remember when.”


But shortly after it appeared Monday near the center of campus, a group of students began a petition on asking college president H. Kim Bottomly to have “Sleepwalker” removed.

“While it may appear humorous, or thought-provoking to some, it has already become a source of undue stress for many Wellesley College students.”

At the college Tuesday, drivers could be seen slamming on their brakes as they approached or passed the statue, craning their necks for a second look. Many students made a beeline for the new addition on campus — some smiled and laughed as they got closer; others frowned and seemed apprehensive. All reached for their smartphones to take a photo....

On Wednesday, Bottomly released a joint statement with Davis Museum director Lisa Fischman, noting the installation has served its purpose — to evoke response.

“The very best works of art have the power to stimulate deeply personal emotions and to provoke unexpected new ideas, and this sculpture is no exception,” the statement said.


Lawrence Kitty Litter

"Lawrence pet owner accused of tying ailing cat to wall near radiator" by Catalina Gaitan |  Globe Correspondent, February 05, 2014

A Lawrence pet owner is facing felony animal cruelty charges after he allegedly tied his kitten by the neck to a wall next to his home’s radiator.

The alleged abuse began in early January when the 7-month old kitten swallowed a string, MSPCA Angell spokesman Rob Halpin said.

“We get that kind of case here all the time, where an animal comes in having swallowed a piece of string,” Halpin said in a phone interview. “It can be extremely dangerous or not dangerous at all, depending on if it’s addressed immediately.”

After an animal swallows a string, it can either be dragged from its mouth, or the animal can undergo a minor surgical procedure to remove it, Halpin said. In the Lawrence case, the pet owner chose neither option. Authorities did not immediately name the owner.

The string was left in the kitten’s body for weeks, allowing it to travel down into, wrap around, and puncture its intestines. That allowed fluids and matter from the intestines to spill into the animal’s body, Halpin said.

The kitten’s infection caused it to vomit constantly, prompting the owner to tie a shoelace around its neck and tack the string to the wall next to a radiator in order to keep the vomit spills contained, Halpin said.

Unable to move, the kitten became dangerously dehydrated and thin due to the heat from the radiator and the persistent vomiting.

When Lawrence animal control officers arrived Jan. 24, the kitten was dying. It was taken to emergency surgery at MSPCA Angell, where it had almost half its intestines surgically removed.

“When he arrived, he had about a 30 percent chance of surviving,” Halpin said. “Our veterinary surgeons put his intestines back together in a way that would give him the best chance of recovery, but a lot of his intestine couldn’t be saved.”

The kitten survived surgery and is currently being cared for at the MSPCA Animal Care and Adoption Center at Nevins Farm. It will be put up for adoption after it recovers.

“In terms of animal cruelty, I’m sad to say it’s not one of the worst cases that we’ve seen,” Halpin said. “But it says a lot about the owner as a person.”


Lenient Treatment For Lunenburg Loony

Related: Lunenburg Hate Crime Was a Self-Inflicted Hoax 


Also see: Lunenburg Lemmings Should Be Applauded  

Even more pathetic.

"No arrest in Lunenburg racist graffiti case" by Jennifer Smith |  Globe Correspondent, January 30, 2014

Charges will not be filed in the case of racist graffiti left on the Lunenburg home of a young biracial high school football player, due to lack of evidence, authorities said on Wednesday.

No charges will be filed because there is not sufficient evidence that “a crime has been committed by a particular person,” according to a statement from Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

School Superintendent Loxi Calmes, in a statement Wednesday, said, “I cannot comment on a criminal investigation conducted outside the school department. I do, however, again want to commend our students, the faculty and staff of our schools and our community for the way they responded to an unprecedented situation.”


The incident began on Nov. 15 of last year when a racial epithet was discovered spray-painted on the home of 13-year-old Isaac Phillips. Born to a white mother and black father, Phillips had reported being harassed by teammates on the Lunenburg High School football team.

The football team was suspected to be involved in the graffiti, causing concern among residents of the small North Central Massachusetts town.

Earlier racially charged incidents involving the team were confirmed by Worcester school officials. Lunenburg football players had been allegedly directing racial slurs toward players on a Worcester team during varsity and junior varsity games.

Phillips’ father, Anthony J. Phillips, expressed his belief that the same football players who had allegedly hazed his son were responsible for defacing his home.

With the investigation under way, the school’s annual Thanksgiving Day football game was canceled, sparking concerns among players, parents, and town residents.

Calmes, the superintendent, said at the time that the cancellation was a matter of safety rather than punishment.

In early December, Lunenburg police concluded that players on the football team were no longer persons of interest in the investigation, and other suspects would be pursued. In statements to the Globe, players said they did not believe that the team had been involved.

The Blue Knights’ head coach, Steve Boone, was “very happy that the team was cleared of the allegations.”

The investigation then shifted to Phillips’ 38-year-old mother, Andrea Brazier. According to court records and police, Brazier was considered a “strong suspect.”

And she is just going to be let off because they have no suspect or evidence, yup. C'mon! Filing a fraudulent report with police is a crime!

In December, Lunenburg police Lieutenant Mike Luth said that Brazier was the only active suspect, though an arrest was not imminent.

Police conducted a search of Phillips’ home, discovering one can of Krylon indoor/outdoor spray paint and one can of Krylon Fusion spray paint, along with five live shotgun shells. Prior to the search, two burnt aerosol cans were observed outside of the family’s Chase Road home.

Phillips transferred to a nearby school district following the initial incident, and “no trespassing” signs were installed around the family’s property.

No family members were available for comment Wednesday night.

The case has not been officially closed and Early said his office will continue to review any new evidence.

But no penalty flag, huh? Just the divisive race issue injected into the conversation again, with the football team's season ruined in the process.


Shouldn't they be applauded?

Pacheco's Cache

"Man who allegedly threatened people at R.I. university arrested" by Jacqueline Tempera |  Globe Correspondent, February 05, 2014

A cache of weapons was found Tuesday in the Dartmouth home of a man who had allegedly threatened to harm people at a Rhode Island university, police said.

Kevin Pacheco, 36, was arrested after an eight-hour standoff with State and local police, including SWAT officers, at his 209 Richard St. residence, said Dartmouth Police Chief Timothy Lee.

Dartmouth police released a photo of two pistols and four rifles taken from the home. A search of Pacheco’s home also yielded ammunition, and books about becoming a serial killer and making methamphetamine, Lee said.

Pacheco, a former student at Roger Williams University, sent a threatening e-mail to a group of faculty and administrators at the university’s law school, the school said.

He doesn't know the NSA is scooping that stuff up?

Pacheco said he would injure community members at the university’s campuses in Bristol and Providence, Lee said....


Using a Pickax to Cut Pizza in Quincy

Must have been the advertising....

"Man allegedly used pickax to rob Quincy Domino’s" by Catalina Gaitan |  Globe Correspondent, January 29, 2014

A Braintree man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a charge that he robbed a Quincy Domino’s Pizza while wearing a mask, smashing a pickax into a wall to intimidate employees.

John P. Waschela, 27, was arraigned in Quincy District Court on a charge of armed robbery while masked and was held on $25,000 cash bail. Waschela’s bail was revoked on two open cases, including a larceny charge from 2013, because of the new arrest. He is scheduled to return to court for a probable cause hearing on Feb. 27, a clerk said.

Waschela was arrested at about 8 p.m. Tuesday, according to Quincy police Captain John Dougan.

“Braintree police got a tip there was a stolen car in front of his house yesterday, and when we checked on him, we got a tip that he was at Quincy [Medical Center] for a medical condition,” Dougan said. “When he was medically clear, we brought him in.”

The search for Waschela began after Quincy police received reports of an armed robbery at a Domino’s on Hancock Street at 1:10 a.m. Sunday.

Waschela entered the store wearing a mask and carrying a pickax, and said, “I want the register,” police said. When the manager said he would call the police, Waschela allegedly smashed the pickax into the wall and said, “I’m serious.”

The manager opened the register, and Waschela began removing cash, eventually pulling the entire money tray from the machine, Dougan said.

Waschela then got into a red Mercury Mountaineer and was last seen driving south on Hancock Street, police said. The manager and two other employees inside the store during the robbery were not injured, Dougan said.


This Post a Purge

Out-of-control missile officers and other nuclear threats

Just won't let that sleeping dog lay, 'eh?

Hagel orders nuclear force review

The order amounted to the most significant expression of high-level Pentagon concern about the nuclear force since 2008, when Defense Secretary Robert Gates fired the Air Force’s top uniformed and civilian officials following a series of mistakes that included an unauthorized flight of nuclear-armed cruise missiles across the country. 

During which one was mysteriously "lost."

"Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is now concerned ‘‘there could be something larger afoot here,’’ according to his chief spokesman."

Like a purge of those who would stand in the way of a new false flag?

Related: Hagel Says Nuke One For the Gipper

Otherwise the size of the force needs to be cut.

92 implicated in missile test cheating

Separately, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said that an investigation into drug possession by officers at several Air Force bases now involves 13 airmen, two more than initially announced. All 92 officers have been decertified and suspended while the scandal is being investigated, meaning other launch officers and staff fill in, performing 10 24-hour shifts per month, instead of the usual eight, Lieutenant General Stephen Wilson, who heads Global Strike Command, said."

An overworked and weary nuclear watchdog? 

But the military has more important troubles to deal with:

"It is the second exam-cheating scandal to hit the military this year, on top of disclosures in recent months of ethical lapses at all ranks in the military. Unlike an Air Force cheating investigation that has implicated nearly 100 officers responsible for land-based nuclear missiles that stand ready for short-notice launch, those implicated in the Navy investigation have no responsibility for nuclear weapons."

"Report on military academy assaults cites athletes’ culture of disrespect" by Lolita C. Baldor | Associated Press, January 10, 2014

WASHINGTON — A culture of bad behavior and disrespect among athletes at US military academies is one part of the continuing problem of sexual assaults at the schools, according to a new Defense Department report that comes following scandals that rocked teams at all three academies last year.

Welcome to AmeriKa!

Defense officials say the culture permeates the academies beyond just the locker room, saying that students often feel they need to put up with sexist and offensive behavior as part of their school life, according to the report obtained by the Associated Press.

It's kind of the culture-at-large thanks to Zionist media and ejewkhazional programming. That's the point we have reached.

The annual report on sexual assaults at the US Military Academy at West Point in New York, the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., identifies sports and club teams as an area where they need to expand sexual assault prevention training for coaches and faculty.

The report is expected to be made public on Friday.


Athletes and sports teams are coming under increased scrutiny in light of separate harassment and assault episodes at all three schools.

At the Naval Academy, three members of the football team faced accusations in a complicated sexual assault case involving a female student at an off-campus party.

Shouldn't have gone to the party.

RelatedMilitary Sex Abuse Investigation Sequestered 

"The deal buoyed Wall Street investors. Guggenheim Partners, a financial services firm, concluded that as a result overall Pentagon spending will remain relatively the same for the next several years before it begins to grow once again, at about 2.5 percent per year."

Meaning more money to investigate.

Charges were dropped against one team member and may be dropped against another. The third is still scheduled for trial.

At West Point, the men’s rugby team was temporarily disbanded, and more than a dozen seniors were demoted and faced other punishment and restrictions, after e-mails that were derogatory to women came to light.

NSA out 'em?

And there was a similar problem with sports team members at the Air Force Academy circulating a document that disparaged women.

Defense officials said Thursday that students view crude behavior and harassment as an almost accepted experience at the academies and that victims feel peer pressure not to report incidents.

Just rights of passage to make you tough -- militarily speaking.

So the schools are being encouraged to beef up training, particularly among student leaders, to recognize and feel empowered to report or step in when they see unacceptable behavior.

Both the Army and Navy targeted sports team captains, are using field trips to Gettysburg to talk to them about leadership and the need to combat sexual harassment and assault within their ranks.

Lieutenant General Robert Caslen Jr., the superintendent at West Point, said Thursday that the rugby scandal revealed a bad subculture that had existed for years.

‘‘There were people within the organization that became desensitized to the degradation of respect,’’ Caslen said. ‘‘But there were also people in the organization that recognized it as being wrong and elected not to do anything.’’

The challenge, he said, is finding ways to train and encourage cadets to have the moral courage to stand up and report such conduct when they see it.

Why is doing the "right" thing such a challenge in the finest military force in the history of the world, filled with such honorable and noble heroes?


See: The Pentagon's Next War 

They already disarmed!

"Annapolis midshipman will not face rape charges" by Jessica Gresko and Brian Witte |  Associated Press, January 11, 2014

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A US Naval Academy midshipman accused in a sexual assault case will not face charges, the school announced Friday, leaving just one of three original defendants in the case remaining.

A Naval Academy spokesman said charges against Midshipman Eric Graham of Eight Mile, Ala., were dismissed following a recommendation from prosecutors.

Prosecutors initially accused three men of sexually assaulting a woman, also a midshipman, in 2012 at an off-campus house in Annapolis. The woman said she didn’t remember being sexually assaulted after a night of heavy drinking but heard from others she had sex with multiple partners at a party.

Booze causes rapes! Time to ban booze!

The men were all football players at the academy at the time of the alleged assault.

The decision to drop charges against Graham was made by the US Naval Academy superintendent, Vice Admiral Michael Miller.

At an earlier stage of the case Miller also decided not to pursue charges against Tra’ves Bush of Johnston, S.C.

Commander John Schofield, spokesman for the Naval Academy, said prosecutors recommended Miller drop the charges against Graham ‘‘citing no reasonable grounds to believe a crime of sexual assault was committed by Midshipman Graham due to the absence of evidence.’’

Another Duke lacrosse frame-up?

A major factor in the recommendation was a recent ruling by a military judge that statements Graham made during an investigation would not be admissible during a military trial scheduled for later this month.

Graham had faced charges of abusive sexual contact and making a false statement during the investigation of the case.

The third midshipman involved in the case, Joshua Tate of Nashville, Tenn., still faces charges. Tate’s court-martial is scheduled to begin Feb. 10.



"US Naval Academy chief testifies" by Jessica Gresko |  Associated Press, January 25, 2014

WASHINGTON — The head of the US Naval Academy rejected suggestions Friday that political pressure influenced him in pursuing sexual assault charges against a football player at the school.

Vice Admiral Michael Miller, the school’s superintendent, dismissed the suggestions of a lawyer for the student while testifying for more than three hours in a military courtroom in Washington. His appearance was part of a hearing ahead of a scheduled trial for the student, Joshua Tate of Nashville.

It was Miller’s decision to move forward with charges against Tate, and the midshipman’s lawyers contend the officer was influenced by a heightened focus on preventing and responding to sexual assault in the military....

Miller, a 39-year veteran of the Navy who has headed the school since 2010, said his decision to move forward with the charges against Tate was made after a careful review and in consultation with others in the military justice system. Responding directly to the question of whether he was pressured by superiors, he answered: “I was not.” He later said he believed he had complete freedom in making his decisions. Miller acknowledged being aware of a focus by the military on sexual assault prevention and response, and said he followed statements made by his superiors on the topic. But he rejected the idea that he pushed forward with the case to set a tone or send a message.

A military judge overseeing the case, Colonel Daniel Daugherty, used a Navy analogy to ask Miller whether going forward with the case was a warning to other students about the seriousness of sexual assault charges, asking whether it was a shot across the bow....

Creative foreplay, 'er, wordplay.

Prosecutors initially accused Tate and two other Naval Academy students of sexually assaulting a female student in 2012 at an off-campus house in Annapolis, Md., where the school is located. The woman said she didn’t remember being sexually assaulted after a night of heavy drinking, but heard from others she had had sex with multiple partners at a party. The men were all football players at the academy at the time.

That's a horrible feeling. I did what? What happened?

On Friday, under questioning by Tate’s lawyer Jason Ehrenberg, Miller acknowledged being aware of a number of high-profile comments about sexual assault in 2013 as the case was ongoing, but he said they didn’t affect his decisions. Miller said he knew that in May, President Obama said those who commit sexual assault in the military should be “prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court-martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged. Period.” Obama also spoke at the academy’s graduation that month and mentioned the topic of sexual assault.

Miller said he was also aware that in June, Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, a member of his academy’s oversight board, sent a letter to the Secretary of the Navy saying she was troubled by inconsistent policies at the service academies for preventing and responding to sexual assaults....

Later that month, Miller decided to move ahead with the military equivalent of a preliminary hearing or grand jury investigation in the case....

Miller said he decided not to move forward with charges against one student because the report concluded “reasonable grounds” did not exist to believe he had committed a sexual assault crime. But he decided to move forward with charges against the two other students....

Even so, the report ultimately recommended that Miller not move forward with charges against the two men because of credibility problems with the woman’s testimony. Miller went against that recommendation....

Yeah, I don't remember is not strong testimony.


"Army prosecutor quits assault case; General’s sexual misconduct trial is closely watched" by Richard A. Oppel Jr. |  New York Times, February 15, 2014

The military’s most closely watched sexual misconduct prosecution has been thrown into turmoil after the Army’s lead prosecutor abruptly left the case this week, less than a month before the scheduled court-martial of Brigadier General Jeffrey A. Sinclair on sexual assault charges.

RelatedGeneral’s court-martial delayed again

He's a sinner!

The departure of the prosecutor, Lieutenant Colonel William Helixon, came just days after defense lawyers said in interviews that the colonel told them that he had come to think that a jury would not believe the testimony of the prosecution’s chief witness, a 34-year-old captain.

Sinclair, 51, who was recalled in 2012 from his job as deputy commander of US forces in southern Afghanistan, has acknowledged a three-year affair with the witness, a military intelligence officer who had worked for him. But he has denied her accusation that on two occasions he forced her into oral sex and threatened to kill her and her family if she told anyone about the affair.

Sinclair faces additional counts of misconduct based on the testimony of other prosecution witnesses, including accusations that he pressured a female subordinate to send him naked photographs of herself, in a case that has become a lightning rod for critics who say the military has played down sexual assault in the ranks.

Major Crystal Boring, a spokeswoman at Fort Bragg, N.C., said in an e-mail that Helixon voluntarily left the case for “personal reasons.” The general was a commander with the 82d Airborne Division before being placed on limited duty because of the criminal investigation.

For several days, the Times had been putting questions to Army officials at Fort Bragg and the Pentagon about what defense lawyers described as Helixon’s misgivings about the case and his efforts to persuade superiors to drop the most serious charges.

According to the defense, Helixon also disclosed that he believed the captain had not told the truth during testimony at a pretrial hearing last month.

It was impossible to confirm the defense team’s description of conversations with Helixon, who did not respond this week to e-mails or to messages left at his office and on his wife’s cellphone. Army officials at the Pentagon declined to comment.

Isn't that harassment?

Boring declined to discuss other aspects of the case or whether the military would seek to delay the court-martial, scheduled for early March. She said prosecutors would “continue to pursue resolution of these charges,” and asserted that personnel changes were common in lengthy cases.


UPDATE1st prosecutor in Army sex case wanted it dropped

Looks like they are all unfit for duty, but I suppose that's what happens when standards are relaxed and command looks the other way because there is a war on. Still the finest and best fighting force the world has ever seen, the liberator of women worldwide!

And the poor wives. I guess I can see why women are turning down the combat jobs. 

Heck, they can't even get them to be firefighters.


"The unusually large number of recipients of the medal for conspicuous gallantry was the result of congressionally mandated review of war records to determine if any Jewish-American or Hispanic-American soldiers had been denied the Medal of Honor because of prejudice.... 

The law required that the record of each Jewish American and Hispanic American veteran who got a Service Cross in or after World War II be reviewed for possible upgrade to Medal of Honor."

I guess sexism really isn't an immediate concern. 

Filipoving Up My Olympics Coverage

Well, they already ruined the party and wrecked the opening, with the protests noted and logged, thank you, so why not crap on the closing ceremonies, too?

"Putin muscled Sochi to success. Now, what’s next?" by David Filipov |  Globe Staff, February 23, 2014

SOCHI, Russia — In the end, nothing could rain on Vladimir Putin’s Olympic parade. Not unfinished hotel rooms, suppressed dissent, overbearing law enforcement, or — so far, thank goodness — Islamic terrorists.

There were embarrassing blips (they shoot dogs, don’t they?) and deflating defeats (the futile final 52 minutes of the Russian men’s hockey quarterfinal loss to Finland will not soon be forgotten here).

Finally saw another dog, huh?

RelatedUS men’s hockey team humiliated in Sochi

Forgot to read it, sorry.

There were horrifying images of street violence in neighboring Ukraine, and the hideous sight of female members of the punk-activist group Pussy Riot being whipped by Cossacks, a rogue element inexplicably brought in to augment a security force already the size of the Army of the Potomac.

"Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak said Saturday that a Cossack who horsewhipped members of a punk group has been ‘‘held accountable.’’ Local media reported that the attacker was fined but did not identify him. The group Pussy Riot spent five days in Sochi this week, filming footage for a video criticizing President Vladimir Putin and the Sochi Olympics. A man in a group of Cossacks armed with whips began lashing as the group performed Wednesday."

They got pussywhipped!

Once the Winter Games started, however, the focus was mostly on the athletes, rather than critics of the Russian president’s no-holds-barred approach to making Sochi into a national showcase. The venues were widely praised, though warm temperatures sometimes made snow conditions iffy. Things ran smoothly, thanks in part to a vast, English-speaking volunteer force that is still smiling, and entering the final day of competition, the host nation was leading the medal standings.

Part 2 of the Russian president’s plan is to make Sochi a destination, and not just for Russians who stopped coming here when the end of the communist police state opened up the rest of the world to them.

Putin wants you in Sochi. He’s already built it. But will you come?

The balmy climate and snow-capped Caucasus peaks are already mentioned in the tourism brochure. There will be other attractions.

The Adler Arena, a.k.a the Dutch Fort Knox after their gold medal blitz, will be converted from a speedskating arena to an exhibition center. Fisht Stadium, the site of the opening and closing ceremonies, will host the 2018 World Cup. The Alpine venues will be turned into a ski resort. The media center will become a massive shopping center, and that raises a red flag.

Greater Sochi has about 400,000 residents. It also has a mall with unclaimed store space in the city center, where most of the people live. Only a small percentage of the population lives near the coastal cluster and Olympic Park. Who’s going to shop there when there’s no international event to draw outsiders in?

Who is going to shop when there is no money except the wealth being concentrated at the top?


"The report warned that cities that have spent heavily solely to stage the Olympics and promote national pride — such as Beijing and Athens — have struggled financially, and their venues have been unused after the athletes left. But others, such as London and Barcelona, have used the Games to revitalize neglected neighborhoods." 

Yeah, it all depends on where they have been held. What is Spain's unemployment, 25%?

Paul Beck, an eternal optimist and a lifelong builder of theme parks, believes the masses will come. He waves his hand at the teeming crowds gawking at the colorful towers and lining up at carousels of his latest creation, Sochi Park. “It’s not even finished, and they already love it.”

The sprawling Russia-themed park, or at least the fraction of it that was open, saw 10,000 visitors a day during the Olympics, where it was one of the few places you could go without a ticket or an invitation.

As if Boston or any other venue would be any different!

Its premier attractions, extreme roller coasters that top 60 miles per hour, haven’t opened, and there is nothing but barren earth beyond the gates to special theme areas. But Beck is convinced people will line up to brave the Quantum Leap (“it’s hellishly frightening,” said one of his aides. “I wouldn’t go on it.”) or the Firebird (a free-fall so long that you’ll have time to calculate 65 meters in feet.), and everything is supposed to be fully operational by July.

Speaking of deadlines, mark Oct. 12 on your calendar. Russia will host the Formula 1 Grand Prix that day, assuming workers can finish the stadium, pave the finish line, and finish off the track by then. And why not? The theme park went from mostly wetland to almost Disneyland in nine months.

Can it all work? Alexander Valov, whose site,, has become required reading for anyone trying to learn what the state-run press won’t tell you, has his doubts.

Which is also why you are reading this blog!


Don’t tell it to Putin. The Kremlin pooh-poohed a report by opposition leaders that suggested $30 billion of the $51 billion spent on Sochi was stolen. The official line was that most of the money went into infrastructure needed to make the Black Sea coast as nice as Nice. So the plan can’t fail.

They $hit their pants?

But the problem is deeper. The Olympics showed that Russia does Big well. It’s the little things that don’t always work.

Take the “Ring of Steel” security system that skeptics questioned. Bolstered by zeppelins, brightly colored helicopters, legions of smiling security staff in magenta uniforms, and a good chunk of the Black Sea Fleet, law and order Russian-style kept big-time troublemakers at bay.

Honestly, I'm sick of the damn hypocrisy and insults.

But poked in the side by a few women in neon ski-masks, Russian law enforcement couldn’t help showing its overbearing side.

Then the Amerikans must have felt right at home.

The smooth way the Games went off made ordinary Russians — far more of whom are proud of Sochi than you’d think, given how poorly they live and how much was spent — bristle when they heard the words Potemkin Olympics. 

I'm sure they will be happy to see you to the airport, a$$hole.

But away from the glistening new hotels and palm tree-lined seafront, Sochi is pockmarked with half-finished apartment buildings that have gone fallow. 

Now it sounds like Boston.

An impressive network of roads and railways was built to connect Sochi with the coastal and Alpine Olympic clusters. But there’s a soft underbelly. For example, one road project was supposed to include gas lines to local residences. The pipes were buried under the road, but the gas never flowed because of leaks. The only fix would be to dig up the road, or leave the residents without gas. Guess which option was chosen.

Fixing this stuff is hard in Putin’s Russia. Politics and business interests are welded together.

Nowhere more so than in AmeriKa at this time! Wow!

Regional leaders have a free hand as long as they remain loyal to the Kremlin and keep order in their house. Whistleblowers are ignored or socked away in prison.

No kidding?

"In the Obama administration’s unprecedented number of prosecutions to date, six government employees and two contractors have been targeted for prosecution under the 1917 Espionage Act for accusations that they leaked classified information to the press. There were just three such prosecutions under all previous US presidents. To bypass journalists, the White House developed its own network of websites, social media, and an online newscast to dispense favorable information and images. In some cases, the White House produces videos of the president’s meetings with major figures who were never listed on his public schedule. Instead, they were kept secret — a departure from past administrations, the report noted."

You were saying, Dave? 

At the top of the chain is Putin’s determination to personally raise Russia’s prestige. These Olympics were going to come off, come hell or high water.

High water may be coming, by the way.

The Olympic venues, massive concrete buildings, have been built on a foundation of muck that is below the level of the Black Sea. The construction has clogged the rivers that used to carry the sediment that formed the beach that holds the sea back. The Olympic builders, spurred on by Putin’s deadlines, ignored the pleas of residents and environmentalists for feasibility studies and public debate.

Alik Le, who headed a group whose entreaties were tossed aside, acknowledged that dire forecasts of imminent flooding might be a bit over the top. But....

The Globe flak will go over it anyway!


"For Russian activists, better than bad is not enough" by David Filipov |  Globe Staff,  February 23, 2014

Alexander Valov told a story.

His mother cried at the television, at the violence and the economic crashes and the gangland wars and the robber baron capitalism.

The way Valov sees it, there was a positive side to Vladimir Putin’s rise to power. The robber barons, the criminals— all of that was brought under control.

Something I have mentioned often; however, when your new$paper is a mouthpiece and obscurer of those groups it's not mentioned much.

The country’s economy stabilized somewhat, people began to be able to live, work, travel, buy things, as long as they kept criticism to a minimum. 

Life got better and yet there were protests?

Some of the young Russians I spoke to these last three weeks stopped there. They didn’t remember the Soviet days.

Don't worry; they are coming back if my agenda-pushiong pre$$ and its ma$ters in government have their way.

They thought of the 1990s as a recurring nightmare, and whatever the limitations of Russia now, it is is better than all that.

In other words, they didn't like AmeriKan-$tyle capitali$m.

For Valov, and a few activists I met in Sochi, better than bad is not enough. He has uncovered corruption and abuse of authority among Sochi’s regional elites during the construction of the Olympic complex, and he says he has gotten action. A corrupt regional official was fired, a riot police commander was cashiered, a man who had been evicted so a construction company could build a tunnel was given a house.

If only Americans could get the same reaction from authority.

His blog, he says, is not just a place to complain. It’s where he fights for the democracy he believes in against the functionaries and crooks that undermine it.

And to blow off steam.

“We don’t just write about them,” he said. “We are at war with them.”

But not at war with his own country.

“The way the Olympics were built hurt the area,” he said. “But I am trying to help. I wanted the Olympics to show Russia’s best side. I’m like any patriot who loves his country.”

As he told me all this, his eyes never dried.

Crybaby Russian! Must be blinding him to Putin's tyranny.


So who won, anyway? 

What do you mean Israel didn't win any medals?

"Seven Putin protesters get up to 4-year terms" Associated Press, February 25, 2014

MOSCOW — Hundreds of their supporters gathered outside the courtroom to condemn the trial and the Kremlin’s crackdown on opposition since Putin returned to the presidency. As the judge read out sentences, chants of ‘‘Shame!’’ drifted into the courtroom.

About 200 people, including two members of the punk band Pussy Riot who spent nearly two years in prison for their own anti-Putin protest, were briefly detained by police outside court.

Some of them, including members of Pussy Riot and opposition leader Alexei Navalny, were detained again later Monday when protesters attempted to hold an unsanctioned rally outside the Kremlin....

All in "reaction to the upheaval in neighboring Ukraine," of course.