Friday, April 3, 2015

Bad Friday

Started right away with the front page:

"A Passover tradition for the White House; Campaign aide turned Mass. lawmaker helped inspire Obama’s Seders" by Joshua Miller, Globe Staff  April 02, 2015

SPRINGFIELD — The story of how state Senator Eric Lesser will celebrate Passover in the White House with President Obama Friday begins where few grand tales do: in a dim basement room of a Sheraton in Harrisburg, Pa.

During the Pennsylvania primary, one of the toughest patches of the 2008 presidential contest, Lesser and other Obama campaign aides organized an impromptu Passover Seder there and were joined by a surprise guest. In the years since, the President, who is Christian, has not only brought the yearly ceremony to the White House, but makes a point of participating and including Lesser and other members of the original crew.

See: O-Seder Makes His Life Easier

Does it?

So is another chapter of an unlikely story.

Think I'll skip ahead.


White House chefs do the cooking, including using some family recipes from participants. Last year’s menu included Passover foods such as gefilte fish, chicken soup with matzo balls, and kugel.

The Seder tradition is anchored in the retelling of the Exodus story. And for Lesser, retelling his own Passover story — how he came to celebrate with the president himself — has become something of a touchstone.

Earlier this week, Lesser regaled sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders at Heritage Academy, a Jewish community day school in Longmeadow, with his real-life tale of being part of history in 2008.

I'm really getting tired of the self-centered supremacism.

He told them about campaign staff members, Jewish and not, making their way into the basement room. Just as they were about to start the service, they heard a familiar voice from the hallway.

“He popped his head in and said, ‘Hey, is this where the Seder is happening?’ And it was Barack Obama,” Lesser recalled.

Lesser, who is still a Harvard Law School student, explained how the tradition has continued and, in 2009, they “celebrated the first Seder in the White House in American history.”

He also chronicled that time the Seder was delayed when a participant had trouble getting a container of macaroons past the Secret Service. And talked about Malia and Sasha Obama usually finding the afikomen, a hidden piece of matzo that is a part of the Passover service.

The middle-schoolers were enthralled, peppered him with questions, and then presented him with a note and a decorated Seder plate to bring to the First Family.

He assured them he would deliver the items....

I cannot assure you of same.


Meanwhile, I found this guy in the right-hand corner of page A6, and I washed my hands of it:

"A bishop was installed in southern Chile on Saturday amid riot police and shouting protesters who accuse him of covering up crimes of a mentor the Vatican has sanctioned for abusing young boys. Hundreds of churchgoers dressed in the black of mourning denounced the 58-year-old Rev. Juan Barros as he took over as bishop of the southern city of Osorno. The case is being watched as a test of Pope Francis’ promises to crack down on sex abuse (AP)."

"Sex abuse panel upset at bishop’s appointment" Associated Press  March 27, 2015

VATICAN CITY — Several members of Pope Francis’ sex abuse advisory board are expressing concern and incredulity about his decision to appoint a Chilean bishop to a diocese despite allegations from victims that he covered up for Chile’s most notorious pedophile.

In interviews and e-mails with the Associated Press, the experts have questioned the pope’s pledge to hold bishops accountable, listen to victims, and keep children safe, given the record of Bishop Juan Barros in the case of the Rev. Fernando Karadima.

Barros was installed last week as bishop of Osorno in southern Chile amid nationwide political opposition, violent protests in the cathedral, and a boycott by most of the diocese’s priests and deacons. It was an almost unheard-of vote of no-confidence for a bishop in an overwhelmingly Catholic country in a part of the world that the Argentine pope knows well.

While the Holy See is loath to be bullied by public opinion, the concern about the appointment expressed by the commission members is hard to ignore since they are not victim advocacy groups. Rather, they are professionals appointed by Francis to advise the Vatican on best practices to protect children and educate the church on how to respond to and prevent sexual abuse by priests.

The five commission members spoke to the AP in their personal and professional capacity and stressed that they knew about the case only from news reports and were not speaking on behalf of the 17-member commission, which Francis formed in late 2013 and named Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley to head.

‘‘I am very worried,’’ said commission member Dr. Catherine Bonnet, a French child psychiatrist and author. ‘‘Although the commission members cannot intervene with individual cases, I would like to meet with Cardinal O’Malley and other members of the commission to discuss a way to pass over our concerns to Pope Francis.’’


Staying on that theme:

"Bridgewater State day care director on leave amid abuse claims" by Peter Schworm and John R. Ellement, Globe Staff  April 02, 2015

BRIDGEWATER — The administrator of a day-care center at Bridgewater State University was suspended Thursday after information surfaced that she did not immediately report allegations of inappropriate behavior by a student worker who is now charged with sexually assaulting two young children at the facility.

For weeks, teachers at the center had found the behavior of that student, Kyle Loughlin, troubling. On one occasion, Loughlin, 21, was seen sitting with a boy on his lap, rubbing his back as he read him a story, a teacher later told police.

The program administrator, Judith Ritacco, advised teachers to watch Loughlin closely and keep him away from the children at nap time, police said. But no one intervened.

Even after a mother voiced concerns last Friday that her son had been molested at the center, Ritacco waited a day before reporting the allegation to authorities, telling a teacher to “keep this confidential,” a police report said. Ritacco informed the state Department of Early Education and Care about the allegations on March 30, said Kathleen Hart, a spokeswoman for the department.

This week, police said that Loughlin admitted that he had molested two boys, 4 and 5 years old. He is being held without bail.


The mother who brought the complaint said she was playing with her son when he asked her to tickle his bottom “like Kyle does it.”

Earlier in the month, teachers saw Loughlin spending a lot of time with a reported victim. One teacher “felt so uncomfortable about it,” that she sent Loughlin to the kitchen to get him away from the boy, police said.

The next week, Loughlin had the boy on his lap, and the teacher asked him to "find his own space." The boy hopped up quickly, as if happy to get away.

For some reason the web article was rewritten.

When investigators questioned Loughlin in his dorm room Tuesday, police said, he initially denied touching children inappropriately, but then admitted he abused them.

“Kyle stated that he didn’t start touching children until recently, and it ‘comes from a place of love,’ ” police wrote. He said he started feeling attraction to little boys when he was 17, and that the attraction has since grown stronger.

"I don't plan my actions, he told police. "It's an instinct."

Loughlin agreed to let police search his room, and they found bins filled with boy’s underwear and diapers. Loughlin allegedly told police his “other personality” would surface and write sexually charged fantasy stories involving children.

The only writing I'm doing is what you see here.

Police said Loughlin seemed remorseful and when given an opportunity by police to write a letter of apology to the parents of the two boys, he did so this week.

It was rejected. They wouldn't even talk about it, and I suppose the only way to keep the kids safe would be to put a wall around the home.

On campus, students expressed alarm over the charges. Several said they had met Loughlin in passing, and considered him extremely strange.

Daniel Marques, 19, said his history class was spent discussing the charges. One mother in the class was distraught over the allegations, and other students became too upset to stay.

“You would think this would be a safe place,” he said....

You would think that Massachusetts doesn't hate children, but Baker better deliver and get the asocial service workers to shape up!


Of course, of far more concern is that the Muslims are coming, the Muslims are coming -- now that the Germans are gone.

Sorry I missed these:

"Greece has slipped back into a deficit situation, new figures showed Monday. But the country’s new leftist prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, said there will not be any trouble paying public sector workers’ salaries and state-backed pensions. The government’s cash balance was $723.12 million in deficit for the first two months of 2015, compared with a surplus of $146.95 million a year earlier. Tsipras’s Syriza party won elections Jan. 25 on a pledge to ease conditions of the country’s bailout program. It wants to slash the budget surplus targets lenders demanded, arguing they will hinder economic recovery."

"A German court banned Uber from offering its ride-hailing service nationwide on Wednesday, adding to the company’s troubles in Europe. The ruling stems from a suit brought against Uber by a German taxi association. It was heard in Frankfurt because it is one of several German cities where Uber launched it service offering rides with drivers who do not have taxi permits. Uber said it regrets the Frankfurt court’s ruling, calling it ‘‘a defeat for all those who want more choice in their personal mobility.’’ The ruling can be appealed." 

Should be called JUber.

"Germany’s Commerzbank AG will pay $1.45 billion to US and New York authorities for alleged violations of US sanctions against Iran, Sudan, Burma, and Cuba. The bank avoids criminal prosecution but admits responsibility. Regulators also said gaps in Commerzbank’s oversight to prevent money laundering allowed payments to flow through the New York branch that aided an accounting fraud by the Japanese optics maker Olympus Corp. Commerzbank will pay $172 million to the Justice Department, $300 million to the US attorney’s office in Manhattan, $200 million to the Federal Reserve, $610 million to New York state, and $172 million to the Manhattan district attorney’s office. It agreed to fire some employees and install an independent monitor."

See the liquidation in there?

I didn't miss these:

"The wife of an imprisoned former Greek defense minister escaped from a psychiatric hospital where she was serving her sentence on the same corruption charges as her husband, police said Thursday. Vicky Stamati, wife of former Socialist Party stalwart Akis Tsochatzopoulos, was found missing from Dromokaitio state psychiatric institution early Thursday. Her escape came a day after another of her multiple appeals to be released from prison was rejected, one of her lawyers, Alexis Cougias, said. Stamati was imprisoned in 2012 and was convicted in 2013 along with her husband, stepdaughter, and more than a dozen others in a military procurement corruption case. She was transferred to the psychiatric hospital after suffering a breakdown, attempting suicide, and being found to be suffering from severe depression."

Looks like she found some help.

"Germanwings copilot researched suicide before crash, officials say" by Anthony Faiola, Washington Post  April 03, 2015

BERLIN — The information on Andreas Lubitz’s surfing activity came as another break in the case emerged in France, where authorities said Thursday they had found the second of the Airbus A320’s two ‘‘black boxes’’ amid the pulverized wreckage in the French Alps.

The fake tape forgery is complete.

The new details added to an emerging picture of the copilot as a deeply troubled 27-year old who was battling serious mental health problems before stepping into the cockpit of Flight 9525. Authorities have previously said that, among his seized possessions, they found prescription medications that showed he was being treated for psychological problems including depression.

The announcement on Thursday added to a growing body of evidence suggesting that the copilot’s mental state had severely deteriorated before the crash.

Even as the airline admits they knew as far back as 2009.

Lubitz, officials said, also had sought out treatment for vision issues, though it remains unclear whether such problems were real or psychosomatic.

He was hallucinating yet allowed to fly a plane and "did not show any evidence of a real problem."

On Thursday, German authorities did not provide further details about which websites Lubitz had visited or what search terms he had used. Authorities were still plumbing through the items seized from Lubitz’s two homes, in Montabaur and Düsseldorf, including a laptop computer.

A subtle hint by the NYT that this story is all sh**!

In France, meanwhile, investigators announced they had found the aircraft’s second black box, a flight data recorder.

The second black box is the recorder that captures a vast array of systems data, including course changes and other information entered into the plane’s computer system from the cockpit.

Analysts said the data, once retrieved, could help provide a more detailed picture of what happened on board. It could also confirm air traffic control monitoring data that showed the plane entered a sharp but controlled descent.

Meaning it will confirm the cover story, and why were there no black boxes found on 9/11?!!

Meanwhile, German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt and the German Aviation Association, which represents Lufthansa, Germanwings, and other airlines, announced a new task force to study whether procedural changes are needed on commercial flights, including possible alterations to cockpit doors and mental health screening for pilots.

But they also expressed caution about implementing changes before the full details of last week’s crash were clear....


Time to target something else:

"Target Corp. is laying off 1,700 workers and eliminating another 1,400 unfilled positions to save $2 billion over two years. The company said the cuts would be primarily at headquarters in Minneapolis, about 12.5 percent of the 13,500 workers there. Each laid-off employee will get at least 15 weeks of severance pay. New chief executive Brian Cornell has said Target needs to be more nimble and innovative. His plan calls for spending up to $2.2 billion in the current fiscal year, about half on technology, as Target seeks to increase online sales. Earlier this year, Target said it would end its foray into Canada, closing all 133 of its stores there. In February, Target said customers who order merchandise worth $25 or more online won’t pay for shipping. The move was intended to help Target keep pace with Amazon, Google, and eBay. This month, the company suggested it will look for other ways to get orders delivered faster.... Target will close the last of its 133 Canadian stores by April 12, just over two years after the US retailer crossed the border in its first international expansion. Target said in January that it was giving up on the new market because it did not see how it could stop losing money there before 2021. The first closings came last month. Costly regulations and customer complaints about prices were among the problems the Minneapolis company faced. Plus most Canadians live near the US border and are willing to shop in the United States to save money. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. also cut prices to fend off Target in Canada, where Wal-Mart is the biggest retailer."

"The law firm representing the families of 47 people killed in the 2013 Quebec train crash said it has received a financial proposal that would see them split $61 million in compensation. Much of downtown Lac Megantic was destroyed by a raging fire after an unattended Montreal, Maine & Atlantic train with 72 oil tankers derailed in the middle of the night. The money was cobbled together from nearly two dozen companies representing oil exploration firms, tank car owners, the Irving Oil company, the Canadian government, Montreal, Maine & Atlantic rail company, and several insurance firms."

And now the railways are Feinberg?

How many miles of track can you walk before falling down and dying?

I wouldn't try skiing down the hill, either.

I really lost my appetite for the Seder -- especially when the leading proponents of such things reserve the right to have an exclusive apartheid state of theft and murder.