Wednesday, April 24, 2019

FUTURE LOOKS EVEN MORE BLEAK FOR LAUGHLIN AND RUGRATS

by Bob Walsh

Laura Janke, 36, was the assistant head women's soccer coach at USC until recently. She has just agreed to cop a plea and has admitted to taking bribes and has agreed to testify for the government.

Among others, Janke agreed to set up a fake jock profile for Olivia Jade, Laughlin's youngest daughter. There is a significant email chain of this activity.

Toby McFarlane, a big wheel in a title insurance company, paid $450,000 to get his two rugrats into USC with fake athletic recruit cover. As far as I can tell he is second to Laughlin, who paid $500,000 to get here two airhead daughters in on athletic achievement that never happened. McFarlane has agreed to cop to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud.

Both Laughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli are still going the "not guilty" route. They are now facing a buttload of serious charges, including fraud, money laundering, tax fraud and mopery. People who claim to know assert that Laughlin can not get her head around the idea that she could actually do time behind this. Talk about stuck on stupid. Club fed might not be a lot of fun, but 18 months is a hell of a lot better than 18 years. Especially considering that there is no question that she is actually guilty.

JUST IN CASE YOU HAD ANY DOUBT

by Bob Walsh

Kamala Harris, who is currently polling in the low single digits for the Democrap nomination for El Presidente, announced yesterday that she will unilaterally move to ban guns if congress refuses to do so.

She said, "Upon being elected, I will give the United State Congress 100 days to get their act together and have the courage to pass reasonable gun safety laws. And if they fail to do it, then I will take executive action."

She is a little fuzzy about what "reasonable gun safety laws" are, or what action exactly she would take to enforce this wonderful degree of reasonableness.

ANOTHER HONORABLE MENTION FOR STOCKTON

by Bob Walsh

Three men were shot during a fight outside a grocery store on West Lane in Stockton Monday evening. The shooting happened about 7 p.m. and sent people scattering. The three people shot managed their own transport to the hospital. There were an awful lot of people in the area when a fight broke out, then shots.

The injuries are all non-life-threatening. The cops have no motive for the shooting, except general assholeishness of the people involved.

HOW BAD AN IDEA IS THIS ?

I'll Give You A Hint. Very Bad

by Bob Walsh

There is a legislative proposal moving thru the capitol in the formerly great state of California that has the potential to make the prison system even more chaotic than it is right now.

Under the current rules gender assignment is easy. I know, I used to do it when I ran the reception center. If your birth certificate says MALE and you have a dick you go to a men's prison. If not, the matter is up for legitimate debate. (Remember in CA now it is possible to have a birth certificate that indicates non-binary under sex / gender.)

Under the new proposal the inmate would determine his own gender by declaration. The DOC would have no right to question the inmate's decision, which he / she could change at will. Staff would be required by law to address the inmate by the pronoun that he / she chooses.

The real fun part comes with housing. The DOC would be required by this proposal to house the inmate appropriately to his / her declared gender. Period.

I am sort of hoping that the legislature is smart enough to realize the problems this has the potential to introduce into an already trouble-prone system, but anticipating that the legislature is composed of reasonably smart people is in itself not smart.

MOMMA, THEY WON’T LET YOU TAKE ME TO SCHOOL IF YOU’RE DRESSED LIKE THAT

Principal at Houston’s Madison High School sets dress code … for parents

By R.A. Schuetz and Jacob Carpenter

Houston Chronicle
April 22, 2019

A Houston Independent School District high school has a new dress code. But it’s not for students, who already have a school uniform. It’s for their parents.

James Madison High School will turn away parents if they show up at the school wearing bonnets, pajamas, hair rollers or leggings, among other clothing items, according to a memo signed by the school’s new principal, Carlotta Outley Brown. The new parent dress code is posted on the front page of the school’s website.

“Parents, we do value you as a partner in your child’s education,” Outley Brown, herself a graduate of Madison High School, said in the memo. “However, please know we have to have standards, most of all we must have high standards.”

While some said the guidelines were necessary to maintain a dignified atmosphere, others have taken issue, saying the rules codify deeper issues tied to class, gender and race.

“I’m almost insulted,” said Tomiko Miller, the mother of a Madison High School student. “I really think it was discriminatory, the language that was used. It was demeaning. And I’m African American — and if it’s misty outside and I have a hair bonnet on, I don’t see how that’s anyone’s business.”

Zeph Capo, president of the Houston Federation of Teachers, called codes relating to women’s hair “classist,” “belittling” and “dismissive.”

“I’m sorry — this principal may have plenty of money and time to go to the hairdresser weekly and have her stuff done,” he said. “Who are you to judge others who may not have the same opportunities that you do? Having a wrap on your head is not offensive. It should not be controversial.”

HISD administrators declined to comment on the mandate, and Outley Brown did not respond to a call seeking comment. District policy allows each school to establish standards for student attire and personal grooming, but no policy addresses the appearance of parents.

The parent dress code was issued the day after KPRC-TV (Channel 2) reported a parent attempting to enroll her daughter at Madison High School had been turned away because of how she was dressed. The mother, who was wearing a T-shirt dress and headscarf, said the school called police to remove her from the property when she demanded to see the parent dress code she had supposedly broken. Outley Brown’s memo detailing a parent dress code is dated the next day.

DeGeneres’ praises

Outley Brown took over as Madison’s principal midway through the second semester this year, becoming the school’s fourth principal in five years. She replaced Paolo Castagnoli, who lasted just shy of one year on the job.

Outley Brown previously served as principal of Peck Elementary School, southeast of downtown Houston, for about 14 years. She received widespread media attention in 2015 when her campus received $100,000 from Target during a live presentation on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” DeGeneres called Outley Brown an educator who “works seven days a week dedicating her life to students, who are mostly poor or homeless.”

Peck routinely met state academic standards during her tenure, occasionally earning distinctions awarded to schools performing above average compared with campuses with similar student demographics. Peck scored an 80 on last year’s state academic accountability rating system, slightly below the district average of 84.

In a 2008 profile of Peck Elementary following its recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School, one of the country’s highest academic honors, a U.S. Department of Education publication noted Outley Brown’s approach to parent clothing.

“Early in Principal Brown’s tenure, some parents showed up at school in inappropriately informal dress,” the author wrote. “She took these parents in hand and explained that they may not appear at school so dressed and firmly turned them away, as she did any parents using inappropriate language on school grounds.”

Similar push elsewhere

Houston is not the only place wrestling with parent dress codes. In Tennessee, state Rep. Antonio Parkinson and state Sen. Dolores Gresham have sponsored a bill that would require all schools adopt a parent code of conduct, which could include how parents dress.

“I’ve heard from people literally from New York to California to Washington state saying there is a need for this,” Parkinson said. He said one of the school leaders who reached out to him was Outley Brown during her time at Peck Elementary School.

As for concerns that parent dress codes could unfairly target people from certain demographics, Parkinson said, “I’m not speaking about affordable as much as priorities. … What could be a higher priority than bringing your child to school? You wouldn’t go to a date like that.”

Parkinson said he had tabled the bill until next year after a fellow state legislator passed an amendment exempting his school district, citing worries the policy could be an impediment to parent involvement.

Those worries were echoed by some in the Houston community.

“I think the fact that a mother was there checking her child into school — that’s what’s important,” said Kristy Jhaver, the president of the Heights High School Parent Teacher Organization. “What she was wearing was not.”

She worried that the dress code could discourage parents, which in turn could discourage students. “It has a domino effect.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s a good thing Carlotta Outley Brown is black. If she were white instead, the racism fur would really fly.

To be sure, this dress code does effects mostly poor people, especially poor minorities.

NOT JUST A MONKEY, BUT A SHINING MONKEY

United Airlines employee is charged for calling black female passenger 'a shining monkey' when she asked about a refund

By Leah Simpson

Daily Mail
April 23, 2019

A United Airlines employee has been charged with disorderly conduct after a passenger claimed she was repeatedly called a 'monkey' during an incident in Texas two months ago.

Cacilie Hughes, an actress and co-founder of the Big Sister Little Sister Mentoring Program, a nonprofit group, was returning home to Houston on Feb. 26 from a speaking engagement in Michigan when she encountered Ms. Davano.

Hughes alleges that in a shocking rant in the United terminal at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Carmella Davano referred to her as a 'shining monkey'.

'I walked up to the woman, Carmella, and said, "Hi, do you have a refund code available?" and she started yelling at me, calling me a monkey,' the co-founder of non-profit group Big Sister Little Sister Mentoring Program told the New York Times on Monday.

'I was humiliated, I was crying and I was the only black woman in the area.'

The Houston resident told the publication that she called police after another United employee refused to.

Hughes' allegations were backed up by two witnesses at the scene Houston Police Department told the Times.

Law enforcement issued Davano a citation for profane and abusive language in a public space.

A month later in March a misdemeanor charge was filed in Municipal Court for Houston.

A lawyer for Hughes suggested United could benefit from teaching their staff what's appropriate and what's not.

The Times reports Benjamin Crump claimed United had a pattern of failing 'to train employees to interact with minority customers'.

United told DailyMail.com in a statement: 'At United, we proudly hold ourselves to the highest standards of professionalism and have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind.

'We have withheld the employee from service since the night of the incident pending an internal investigation. Upon conclusion of the investigation, we will take any and all appropriate corrective action up to and including termination.'

TWO COPS APPARENTLY FORGOT NEVER TO LET A SUSPECT GET BETWEEN THEM WHEN ATTEMPTING AN ARREST

Two California Police Officers Shoot Each Other During Arrest

By Claire Morgan

The Sacramento Bee
April 23, 2019

ELK GROVE, California -- Two police officers inadvertently shot each other in Elk Grove while attempting to apprehend a burglary suspect on Saturday night, according to the Elk Grove Police Department. Both officers sustained apparently minor gunshot injuries to their legs and were later released from an area hospital.

Officers responded to reports of a suspicious person near Tegan Road shortly after 11 p.m. on Saturday, according to a news release. The caller said the suspect was pulling on the doors of a recreational vehicle and moving a firearm from his pants to his sweatshirt.

When they arrived at the scene, officers found a male and a female, and ordered them to sit on a curb. While another officer was arriving, the male suspect, who the Elk Grove Police Department has only identified as a 41-year-old Sacramento man, stood up and ran away.

Officers chased the man both by cruiser and on foot to a nearby shopping center, the release said. The two officers stood on either side of the suspect, who then moved toward one of the officers with “his hands near his midsection area,” the release said.

The two officers shot the suspect, but during the altercation, both officers sustained gunshot wounds to the lower legs. The suspect did not shoot at the officers, Elk Grove Police Department spokesman Jason Jimenez said, and both wounds were a result of the other officer’s gunshots.

The suspect survived his injuries and was taken to an area hospital. He was found to be in possession of a loaded firearm, the release said.

Police say both officers were taken to an area hospital and have since been released.

The woman who was found with the male suspect was detained and released, according to the release.

When he is released from the hospital, police say the male suspect will be booked into the Sacramento Main Jail on charges of being a felon in possession of a loaded firearm and resisting arrest.

The officers involved in the shooting will be placed on administrative leave as the department investigates the shooting, according to the news release.

APPLE STOLE MAN’S FACE

Teen’s $1B suit claims Apple’s facial recognition software led to false arrest

By Andrew Denney

New York Post
April 22, 2019

He’s trying to save face.

A New York man filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Apple, claiming the tech giant’s facial-recognition software wrongly blamed him for stealing from Apple stores.

Ousmane Bah, 18, claims someone used a stolen ID to pass themselves off as him when they were busted stealing $1,200 worth of merchandise from an Apple store in Boston on May 31, 2018, according to papers filed in Manhattan federal court.

The ID listed his name, address and other personal information — but did not include a photo. Bah believes Apple took the perp at his word, and then programmed its security systems to recognize the man’s face as Bah’s.

The thief then ripped off Apple stores in New Jersey, Delaware and Manhattan — incidents Bah was blamed for, the suit claims.

He only learned about the mix-up after receiving a Boston municipal court summons in the mail in June, according to court papers.

The NYPD arrested him on Nov. 29, but a detective working the case viewed surveillance footage from the Manhattan store and concluded that the suspect “looked nothing like” Bah, his lawsuit states.

Charges against Bah have been dropped in every state except New Jersey, where the case is still pending.

Apple’s “use of facial recognition software in its stores to track individuals suspected of theft is the type of Orwellian surveillance that consumers fear, particularly as it can be assumed that the majority of consumers are not aware that their faces are secretly being analyzed,” the lawsuit states.

LYING SMOLLETT LAWYERS SUED FOR LYING

Brothers accused of attacking Jussie Smollett sue his attorneys for defamation

By Jessica Sager

Fox News
April 23, 2019

Abel and Ola Osundairo, the brothers accused of attacking Jussie Smollett in January — then later accused of helping him stage the alleged hate crime hoax — have filed a defamation lawsuit against the "Empire" star's attorneys, Tina Glandian and Mark Geragos, and Geragos' firm, Fox News has learned.

The suit alleges that Geragos and his firm continued to say publicly in widely reported statements that the brothers "led a criminally homophobic, racist and violent attack against Mr. Smollett," even though they allegedly knew that wasn't true.

The brothers are seeking punitive damages as well as lost income in the lawsuit.

The Osundairos' attorney, Gloria Schmidt, quoted Smollett, 36, in a press conference Tuesday in Chicago, telling reporters, "'I will never be the man that this did not happen to. I will be forever changed.'" She said of her clients and the Chicago Police Department, "Now they can say that same statement. My city, my police department and my clients deserve to have their reputations restored."

Schmidt slammed Geragos and Glandian's alleged "continued false statements and hateful rhetoric" against the brothers following the alleged hoax.

"That is why today we are taking action in federal court," she said. "We want to end these malicious attacks and ensure that those responsible for continuing to destroy the reputation of the Chicago Police Department and Abel and Ola Osundairo are held accountable."

"The Chicagoan brothers told the truth," Schmidt said. "They could have remained silent, but they told the truth to the police, and with their right hands in the air, they told the truth to the grand jury." She later said they were "asked to do something by a friend that they trusted, and later that friend betrayed their trust."

In a statement Schmidt read during the press conference, the brothers said, "We have sat back and watched lie after lie being fabricated about us in the media only so one big lie can continue to have life. These lies are destroying our character and our reputation and our personal and professional lives. Those who know us personally know we don't have hate for anyone. That is not who we are. We try to spread love and positivity to everyone we come in contact with. We will no longer sit back and allow these lies to continue."

Schmidt also noted that the Osundairos actively participated in the alleged publicity stunt, but did not participate in calling or lying to the police. Attorney Gregory Kulis said the Osundairos have had trouble making ends meet and lost work since the Smollett attack occurred.

"No one should be surprised by this lawsuit," attorney James Tunick said. "[The defendants] know the extent of their false and vicious remarks." Tunick said that there are "numerous false statements" in their 16-page lawsuit, many of which he says were made after the charges against Smollett were dropped. Tunick said his team has "actual evidence" that contradicts statements Geragos and Glandian allegedly made. Tunick did not specify, however, what the evidence was.

In January, Smollett told authorities that two masked men attacked him, put a rope around his neck and poured bleach on him as he was walking home from a Subway restaurant. The actor, who is black and openly gay, said the masked men beat him, made racist and homophobic comments and yelled, "This is MAGA country" before fleeing the scene. Surveillance video reportedly revealed the Osundairo brothers purchasing the rope allegedly used in the attack.

Smollett was later arrested for allegedly filing a false police report and faced 16 counts of disorderly conduct. The charges against the actor were dropped. Smollett has maintained his innocence and insists the attack was real. The city of Chicago has since sued the actor in an effort to recoup resources spent investigating the alleged hoax.

The Chicago Police Department alleged in March that the Osundairo brothers became cooperating witnesses in the investigation into Smollett, alleging that the singer-actor paid the Osundairos by check for a "phony attack" in order to take "advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career." Smollett has repeatedly and vehemently denied the allegations, saying he paid the brothers for physical training.

When questioned about Smollett's claim that his attackers were white, Glandian previously alleged that the Osundairos may have been wearing white makeup at the time of the attack.

"He did tell police that from what he saw, he thought it was white or pale skin, that's what he initially said," Glandian said on "Today" on March 28, adding, "Obviously, you can disguise that. You can put makeup on." She then pointed to a 2016 YouTube video of Abel Osundairo wearing white makeup on his face to dress up as the Joker for a costume.

Glandian also told "Good Morning America" that the Osundairos lied about their participation in the alleged hoax attack.

Schmidt previously told Fox News of the Osundairo brothers' role in the alleged hoax, "What they did, and I'll say have they tremendous regret over their role and their participation in this, but what they did was accept payment for training that also encompassed doing a favor for this person. It's not an easy narrative to say, 'Oh, OK, let's just take $3,500 for this."

Schmidt insisted at the time that Smollett took advantage of the brothers, adding, "They are remorseful for their involvement. That's without a doubt. I was there to witness their realization process, to see that this was something that was going to effect tremendous people across the board, have an enormous impact on minority populations — I was there to see that realization process, and they are remorseful for that."

TRUMP’S DEAL OF THE CENTURY IS DOA AS PLO WANTS TO REVOKE RECOGNITION OF ISRAEL

PLO to discuss revoking Israel recognition, ending security coordination

By Khaled Abu Toameh

The Jerusalem Post
April 22, 2019

The PLO Central Council (PCC) will convene in Ramallah on May 15 to discuss suspending all relations with Israel, including security coordination between Palestinian Authority security forces and the IDF in the West Bank.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to visit several European Union, Arab and Islamic countries before the meeting to brief leaders on the decisions the Palestinians are planning to take ahead of the announcement of US President Donald Trump’s plan for peace in the Middle East, also known as the “deal of the century.”

Abbas will also seek worldwide support for Palestinian opposition to Trump’s upcoming plan, a senior PA official told The Jerusalem Post. On the eve of the PCC meeting, Abbas will also hold meetings with several Palestinian officials to discuss future steps by the Palestinian leadership, the official added.

In a speech before Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo on Sunday, Abbas hinted that the PA was considering rescinding all signed agreements with Israel. Abbas accused Israel of failing to implement the agreements, including the Oslo Accords, and said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “does not believe in peace between us.”

The upcoming meeting will focus on Trump’s plan and Israeli measures against the Palestinians, especially the decision to deduct from tax and tariff revenues Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinians, those payments made by the PA to families of prisoners and “martyrs,” the official said.

The PCC is a key decision-making body belonging to the Palestine National Council (PNC), the PLO’s legislative body responsible for formulating its policies.

Last year, the PCC called on the PA to end its security coordination and suspend Palestinian recognition of Israel until it recognizes a Palestinian state.

Mahmoud al-Aloul, deputy chairman of the ruling Fatah faction, said the Palestinians were planning to withdraw their recognition of Israel and halt security coordination during the upcoming PCC session.

“The US administration has chosen escalation in the region after its decision to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem and encourage Israeli settlements,” he told the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper. “Now there are preparations to annex areas of the West Bank. We won’t allow the status quo to continue.”

PNC Speaker Salim Za’noun said on Monday that invitations will soon be sent to Palestinian delegates and representatives of various Palestinian factions to attend the PCC session next month. He said he agreed on the date of the session during a meeting with Abbas in the Jordanian capital of Amman.

PA Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh welcomed the decision to convene the PCC, and said his government was prepared to implement its decisions.

“The circumstances under which the PLO Central Council is meeting are very difficult, especially in wake of the upcoming ‘deal of the century,’” said Fatah Central Committee member Jamal Muhessein. “The Palestinian cause is facing strategic dangers that require all of us to assume responsibility in order to confront this plan, which threatens the future of our cause.”

The PCC meeting, Muhessein said, will discuss mechanisms for implementing previous decisions by PLO institutions to “revise” relations with Israel.

Ahmed Majdalani, a senior PLO official in Ramallah, said preparations were underway to convene the PCC to discuss the challenges facing the Palestinians in wake of Trump’s peace plan. He expressed hope that all Palestinian factions would participate in the meeting, adding that the Palestinians were also acting in the international arena to brief world leaders about the decisions and measures the Palestinian leadership intends to take in response to the deal.

Another PLO official, Wasel Abu Yousef, said the PCC will discuss the future of relations with Israel in the aftermath of previous recommendations by PLO institutions, “particularly in light of American-Israeli schemes to annex settlement blocs in the West Bank and prevent the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.”

Abu Yousef said the PCC will also discuss the “arrangement of the internal Palestinian situation” – a reference to the continued dispute between Fatah and Hamas. He expressed hope that the two rival parties would implement previous “reconciliation” agreements they signed in the past decade.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

AMERICAN ICON VILIFIED 35 YEARS AFTER HER DEATH FOR 2 SONGS SHE SANG OVER 80 YEARS AGO

Kate Smith’s version of “God Bless America” will no longer be played before Philadelphia Flyers home games and during the 7th inning stretch of New York Yankee home games and her statue has been removed from the stadium where the Flyers play

By Howie Katz

Big Jolly Times
April 22, 2019



Kate Smith is an American icon. Her rendition of “God Bless America” made people’s chests swell with pride in our country. She frequently performed the song at the start of the Philadelphia Flyers home games and after her death in 1986 a recording of her singing the song was played in her stead. The Flyers even erected a statue of her outside the stadium where they play.

Kate’s rendition of the song was also played at many sporting events. The New York Yankees played it during the 7th inning stretch of their home games. (Kate is pictured above with baseball legend Babe Ruth.)

But all that is no more because some lowdown asshole complained that Kate Smith had performed two songs back in the 1930s which contained lyrics that are now considered racist. The Flyers and the Yankees will no longer play her recording of “God Bless America” and the Flyers have removed her statue from its site.

The two songs were “Pickaninny Heaven” and “That’s Why Darkies Were Born.” She sang Pickaninny Heaven in the 1933 movie “Hello Everybody” which featured black children in an orphanage. She recorded Why Darkies Were Born in 1931.

The lyrics in Pickaninny Heaven that are now considered racist were “Great big watermelons” and “pork chops right outside your door,” with a “Suwanee River made of real lemonade,” in the heaven that’s made just for “pickaninnies.”

Here are the lyrics of Why Darkies Were Born:

“Someone had to pick the cotton,
Someone had to pick the corn,
Someone had to slave and be able to sing,
That’s why darkies were born;

Someone had to laugh at trouble,
Though he was tired and worn,
Had to be contented with any old thing,
That’s why darkies were born;

Sing, sing, sing when you’re weary and
Sing when you’re blue,
Sing, sing, that’s what you taught
All the white folks to do;

Someone had to fight the Devil,
Shout about Gabriel’s Horn,
Someone had to stoke the train
That would bring God’s children to green pastures,
That’s why darkies were born.”


That makes Kate Smith a racist? Come on, give us a break!

Kate’s niece Suzy Andron told USA Today she was “saddened that a woman who has been dead for almost 35 years would be attacked in this way. Aunt Kathryn really did not see color. She didn’t see a person’s color. She was very in tune with a person’s character. I’ve always thought that was a model, to not see a person’s color but to see their character. And this is why I’m incredibly sad,”

Those that are now vilifying Kate Smith for songs she sang back in the 1930s without any evidence that she was a racist ought to be ashamed of themselves and so should the Flyers and the Yankees.

What in the world is this country coming to when we vilify an American icon 35 years after her death for two songs she sang over 80 years ago. That’s how political correctness treats an American patriot who helped sell over $600 million in war bonds during WW2. This should make all loyal Americans sick.

In awarding Kate the Presidential Medal of Freedom, President Ronald Reagan said that Smith’s singing of ‘God Bless America’ is a “reminder of the beauty, the courage and the heart of this great land of ours. In giving us a magnificent, selfless talent like Kate Smith, God has truly blessed America.”

Amen!

GOVERNOR NEWSOM ABOUT TO ENGAGE IN PISSING CONTEST WITH TRUMP OVER WATER

by Bob Walsh

The Governor of the formerly great state of California Gavin Newsom, is about to enter into a pissing contest with the federal government and therefore with Donald Trump over the shipping of water from the north end of the state to the south, like how much, where it goes, etc.

There are multiple overlapping laws and jurisdictions on this and it could become very interesting. I suspect Newsom is primarily interested in pissing in Trump's cornflakes for the hell of it, but there may be a valid issue here somewhere.

CA PAYING OUT A TON FOR WILD FIRE DAMAGES

by Bob Walsh

The formerly great state of California is in the process of paying out tens of millions of dollars in damages for the Erskine Fire, which ignited on state managed property near Lake Isabella in Kern County three years ago.

So far the state is planning on shelling out about $25.6 million, partly on personal claims but mostly ($20 million) to insurance companies to repay them for their losses.

NUMBER 19 JUMPS INTO THE FLAMING DUMPSTER

by Bob Walsh

Seth Moulton, a democrap politician from Mass., jumped into the flaming dumpster that is the Democrap nomination race. If my math is correct he is #19. I never heard of him, and I suspect it is likely that I never will again.

PIERS SAYS TRUMP’S OPPONENTS BEHAVING LIKE HYSTERICALLY DELUDED, PETULANT AND ENTITLED BRATS

My warning to petulant Veruca Salt liberals screaming to impeach President Trump: Oompa Loompas always have the last laugh

BY Piers Morgan

Daily Mail
April 22, 2019

One of my favourite scenes from Charlie And The Chocolate Factory features appalling spoiled brat Veruca Salt screaming at her father: ‘Hey. Daddy, I want an Oompa Loompa! I want you to get me an Oompa Loompa right away!’

The pathetically weak Mr Salt tries to mollify her: ‘All right, Veruca, all right. I’ll get you one before the day is out.’

But this is no solace for Veruca who shrieks dementedly: ‘I WANT AN OOMPA LOOMPA NOW!’

Donald Trump’s opponents right now remind me of Veruca Salt.

First, they’re behaving like hysterically deluded, petulant and entitled brats.

Second, they crave getting their Oompa Loompa, which is what many of them call Trump because they say his orange-shade face tan resembles that of Willy Wonka’s factory workers, and they’re not prepared to wait for the 2020 election to get him.

Third, if they continue down this route, then they will all end up in the political equivalent of the garbage chute that propels Veruca into muck-encrusted oblivion.

The Mueller Report confirmed what President Trump has been vehemently protesting for two years – that neither he, nor any of his 2016 campaign team, colluded with Russia to fix the election.

Mueller’s conclusion about collusion was unequivocal: ‘The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.’

It was a complete exoneration of the central charge against Trump since he shocked the world by winning the White House, namely that he only did so by fraudulent and indeed, treasonable means.

This allegation was explicitly why Mueller was appointed as Special Counsel in the first place on May 17, 2017.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced then that Mueller was charged with investigating ‘any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.’

Trump responded at the time by saying: ‘As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know – there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity.’

He was right.

It did.

Yet Mueller’s confirmation of no collusion has led to the mother of all meltdowns by Trump’s opponents – fuelled by seething Democrats, horrified liberal celebrities, and an incredulous Trump-loathing media.

All of them had spent the past two years screaming ‘COLLUSION!’ from the rooftops, creating a wall of Russia noise deliberately designed to end Trump’s presidency.

Yet it turned out the only collusion was between all these anti-Trump factions, ganging up to persuade the American people that their president had only been elected because he actively worked with the Russians to fix the election.

It’s hard to imagine a more heinous charge against any American president than that they conspired with an enemy power to defraud their own people.

No wonder Trump was enraged and spat blood about it on a daily basis about it.

Wouldn’t you if you faced that kind of concerted campaign to destroy you and paint you as a traitor?

One of the many pathetic responses to the Mueller Report has been the media’s attempt to justify its own erroneous reporting on Trump and Russia.

‘We’ve been vindicated!’ has been the universal rally-cry from journalists at the New York Times and Washington Post to anchors at CNN and MSNBC. ‘All the stories we reported about this scandal have been proved true!

Really?

It’s certainly correct that many of the stories surrounding the Russian collusion allegations, some of which Trump denied at the time, were confirmed as true by Mueller’s investigators.

But that’s like a crime reporter boasting that everything he wrote about the circumstances surrounding a crime was true, apart from the actual crime itself.

The bottom line is that the ‘COLLUSION!’ they all incessantly screamed about never actually happened.

What did happen is a lot of dodgy, mostly unconnected behaviour by Trump cronies that led to a series of indictments and prison sentences.

From Manafort and Gates to Cohen to Flynn, numerous minnows around the whale were caught cheating or lying.

There is no defence for what they did, and Trump can rightly be criticised for lacking judgement in employing so many people who committed crimes.

But none of them were convicted of any offences involving Russian collusion.

As for Trump himself, he doesn’t emerge from the Mueller Report smelling of fragrant roses, as he would have us believe.

A lot of HIS behaviour, whilst falling short of criminal, was seriously unbecoming of the President of the United States.

But when it comes to obstruction of justice, I simply say this: how can Trump be guilty of obstructing justice into a crime we now know he didn’t commit?

Oh, I know that technically, legally, he can.

Though the two top lawyers in America, Attorney General Barr and his deputy Rosenstein, both determined that he didn’t.

But in the court of common sense, I don’t think any fair-minded person (if there is such a thing on Trump?) would convict the President of trying to obstruct an investigation into something he didn’t do.

It’s no excuse for his erratic and unsavoury conduct, but one obvious explanation for it is that Trump was so genuinely incensed by the monumental lie being levelled at him – one he believed might end his presidency – that he lashed out at anyone and everyone who he believed might support or encourage that lie.

That would be entirely in keeping with his personality, and of course, entirely ironic given Trump himself was found to have repeatedly lied by Mueller.

BUT, and it’s a big BUT, none of this changes the fact that Trump was cleared of any collusion.

He didn’t conspire with the Russians, he didn’t use them to fix his win, he didn’t betray his country.

Not that you would know this judging by the behaviour of Trump’s opponents since the report was published.

Neither the New York Times nor Washington Post, both of whom won Pulitzer prizes for their reporting on the story, bothered to mention this fact in their headlines the next day.

Isn’t that a staggering, damning indictment of their bias?

CNN and MSNBC, once they got over their collective anaphylactic shock at Trump’s acquittal, swiftly pivoted from obsessing about collusion to obsessing about obstruction, without so much as a whisper of apology for conning their viewers for so long.

Liberal celebrities, all the usual tiresome suspects from Rob Reiner to Chelsea Handler and Alyssa Milano, have carried on screaming that Trump’s guilty of collusion anyway.

And, the Democrats are now working themselves into a fevered lathe of excitement about pushing for Trump to now be impeached.

To which, if I were Trump, I’d say ‘BRING IT ON!’

Because such a campaign will fail so long as the Republicans hold the Senate, and it will simply allow Trump to gleefully play the oppressed victim of the lying, biased Establishment as he heads into 2020.

One thing we know about Oompa Loompas, is that they always have the last laugh.

AMAZING 40 YEAR OLD COLD CASE DNA SOLUTION

DNA from deceased prison inmate's old RAZOR helps solve cold-case murders of two women raped and killed in California 40 years ago

By Snejana Farberov

Daily Mail
April 22, 2019

DNA evidence collected from an old razor has linked the cold-case rape and murder of two women in California to a convict who died of cancer in a Washington prison nearly four decades after the killings.

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson said at a news conference last week that DNA taken from the shaving tool belonging to one-time fugitive from justice Arthur Rudy Martinez recently matched DNA left by the suspect in two unsolved killings in Atascadero in the late 1970s.

The body of 30-year-old Jane Morton Antunez was found in the back seat of her car on a dirt road on November 18, 1977. She had been bound, sexually assaulted and her throat had been cut.

Antunez was divorced and left behind a daughter, who was 13 years old at the time of her mother's death, as San Luis Obispo Tribune reported.

Less than two months later, 28-year-old hospital worker Patricia Dwyer was found raped and stabbed to death in her home on Del Rio Road on January 11, 1978. Like in Antunez's case, Dwyer's arms were tied behind her back.

Martinez moved to Washington from Atascadero shortly after Dwyer’s slaying. He later was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of two rapes and multiple robberies in Washington, but Martinez escaped from prison in 1994, Parkinson said.

Martinez returned to California and lived in Fresno under an alias for more than 20 years on the lam.

He turned himself in on his Washington convictions after getting diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2014 so he could get medical treatment in prison.

He died around two months later at the age of 65 in the prison in Spokane.

At the time of the murders, Martinez was working as a welder in Atascadero and was on parole for convictions of attempted murder and rape.

At one point, he had been considered as a potential suspect in the killings, but there was no evidence at the time linking him to either crime scene, Parkinson said.

Crime scene investigators collected biological evidence from Antunez's car and Dwyer's home, but there was no DNA technology in use at the time.

The sheriff’s office reopened the 41-year-old cold case in 2017 and decided to test Martinez’s DNA after one of his family members was connected to the case through a familial DNA search.

The relative's DNA ended up in the system because of a prior arrest unrelated to the cold-case murders.

Investigators then contacted Martinez's former girlfriend, who still had some personal items that once belonged to him in her possession, including the razor, which was tested for DNA and produced a match.

It remains unclear if Martinez, who lived in Fresno, knew the victims before he killed them.

‘Our hearts go out to the families of the victims and are hopeful the resolution to these cases brings them some closure,’ Parkinson said in a statement.

RACIAL PROFILING REDUCES CRIME

L.A. Metro Cops Are In A Bind: Avoid Racial Profiling While Also Fighting Crime

LAPPL News Watch
April 22, 2019

After a Times investigation showing that Metro pulled over black drivers at a rate more than five times their share of the city’s population, Mayor Eric Garcetti in early February ordered the LAPD to scale back on vehicle stops like this one.

At Metro’s Temple Street headquarters, the Times article and mayor’s directive caused an uproar. Metro officers felt they were being maligned as racists for policing a part of the city where almost everyone is black or Latino.

On the ground with Metro in South L.A., the realities are more complex than statistics can capture, with decisions about which drivers to stop shaped by years of experience with possible crime indicators, from the man walking up to a parked car to the paper license plates sometimes used to hide a car’s origins.

Last year, Metro officers seized more than 700 guns and made 576 gun arrests, mostly initiated through vehicle and pedestrian stops. Two-thirds of the suspects had prior arrests for assault, burglary, robbery or weapons, according to the LAPD.

Monday, April 22, 2019

COMPLETE AND TOTAL EXONERATION? ….. WELL, AS TO OBSTRUCTION, IT’S ACTUALLY NO EXHONERATION

The redacted Mueller report is a gift to the Democrats who are hoping the unredacted report will be even more damaging to the president

After Attorney General William Barr sent his summary of the Mueller report to Congress, President Trump proclaimed: “No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION.”

Not so fast there Mr. President. Mueller indicated that the reason he did not charge Trump with obstruction was because he did not want to get involved in a court battle over whether or not a sitting president can be indicted for a crime. Complete and total exoneration? … Not on planet Earth.

For the Democrats like Pocahontas Warren, Adam Schitt (my deliberate misspelling) and many of his fellow House members the redacted report contains enough material to make an obstruction of justice case. It’s all in the eye of the beholder.

To most Republicans, Mitt Romney being an exception, the president did nothing to warrant an obstruction charge. Again, it’s all in the eye of the beholder.

In any case, the Mueller report is a gift to the Democrats because even with the redactions it tends to make Trump look bad. The Democrats are hoping the unredacted report will be even more damaging to the president. That’s why House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler has subpoenaed the unredacted version of the full report.

Nadler, like Schitt, believes the Mueller report lays out an obstruction case. Nadler says the report outlines “disturbing evidence” that Trump engaged in obstruction of justice.

So, it sure looks like Trump’s celebration was premature. The dark days he thought were over may just be beginning. It ain’t over till the fat lady sings and she hasn’t even begun to warm up yet. The Democrats are relentless in their attempts to destroy Trump's presidency. Shame on them!

GETTING BLASTED IN SRI LANKA

by Bob Walsh

A series of eight bomb blasts tore thru high end hotels and churches holding Easter services on Sunday. At least 207 people are known dead, including several dozen foreigners.

The bombings are said to be the worst since the more-or-less end of the civil war there ten years ago. Two of the bombings were carried out by suicide bombers. Six happened more or less simultaneously, the other two several hours later.

At least 450 people were injured. Seven people are under arrest.

The police there put out a security alert ten days ago warning of possible bombings of prominent churches on Easter. I guess they were right. A radical Muslim group, NTJ, is believed to be behind the blasts.

UKRAINIAN TV STAR WITH NO POLITICAL EXPERIENCE IS ELECTED PRESIDENT

Comedian Zelenskiy wins Ukrainian presidential race by landslide - exit polls

By Matthias Williams and Andrew Osborn

Reuters
April 21, 2019

KIEV -- Ukraine entered uncharted political waters on Sunday after exit polls showed a comedian with no political experience and few detailed policies had easily won enough votes to become the next president of a country at war.

The apparent landslide victory of Volodymyr Zelenskiy, 41, is a bitter blow for incumbent Petro Poroshenko who tried to rally Ukrainians around the flag by casting himself as a bulwark against Russian aggression and a champion of Ukrainian identity.

Two national exit polls showed Zelenskiy had won 73 percent of the vote with Poroshenko winning just 25 percent. Early voting data suggested the polls were accurate.

Zelenskiy, who plays a fictitious president in a popular TV series, is now poised to take over the leadership of a country on the frontline of the West’s standoff with Russia following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and support for a pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

Declaring victory at his campaign headquarters to emotional supporters, Zelenskiy promised he would not let the Ukrainian people down.

“I’m not yet officially the president, but as a citizen of Ukraine, I can say to all countries in the post-Soviet Union look at us. Anything is possible!”

European Council President Donald Tusk congratulated Zelenskiy, as did French President Emmanuel Macron and British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt.

Zelenskiy, whose victory fits a pattern of anti-establishment figures unseating incumbents in Europe and further afield, has promised to end the war in the eastern Donbass region and to root out corruption amid widespread dismay over rising prices and sliding living standards.

But he has been coy about exactly how he plans to achieve all that and investors want reassurances that he will accelerate reforms needed to attract foreign investment and keep the country in an International Monetary Fund programme.

“Since there is complete uncertainty about the economic policy of the person who will become president, we simply don’t know what is going to happen and that worries the financial community,” said Serhiy Fursa, an investment banker at Dragon Capital in Kiev.

“We need to see what the first decisions are, the first appointments. We probably won’t understand how big these risks are earlier than June. Perhaps nothing will change.”

WEST WATCHING CLOSELY

The United States, the European Union and Russia will be closely watching Zelenskiy’s foreign policy pronouncements to see if and how he might try to end the war against pro-Russian separatists that has killed some 13,000 people.

Zelenskiy said on Sunday he planned to continue European-backed talks with Russia on a so far largely unimplemented peace deal and would try to free Ukrainians imprisoned in Russia, which is holding 24 Ukrainian sailors among others.

Viktor Medvedchuk, the Kremlin’s closest ally in Ukraine, last week outlined ways in which Ukraine and Russia could mend ties, though Zelenskiy has given no indication of being open to the prospect.

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Ukraine now had a chance to “reset” and unite its people.

An emotional Poroshenko conceded defeat to his supporters, some of whom were crying.

Although he said he accepted the loss, he said he would not leave politics and that Zelenskiy would face strong opposition, a reminder that Zelenskiy will have to work with a sometimes volatile parliament before it is re-elected in October.

Zelenskiy has pledged to keep Ukraine on a pro-Western course, but has sounded less emphatic than Poroshenko about possible plans for the country of 42 million people to one day join the European Union and NATO.

Poroshenko said on social media he thought Zelenskiy’s win would spark celebrations in the Kremlin.

“They believe that with a new inexperienced Ukrainian President, Ukraine could be quickly returned to Russia’s orbit of influence,” he wrote.

Critics accuse Zelenskiy of having an unhealthily close working relationship with a powerful oligarch called Ihor Kolomoisky, whose TV channel broadcasts his comedy shows.

Zelenskiy has rejected those accusations.

One of the most important and early tests of that promise will be the fate of PrivatBank, Ukraine’s largest lender, which was nationalised in 2016.

The government wrested PrivatBank from Kolomoisky as part of a banking system clean-up backed by the IMF, which supports Ukraine with a $3.9 billion loan programme.

But its fate hangs in the balance after a Kiev court ruled days before the election that the change of PrivatBank’s ownership was illegal, delighting Kolomoisky but rocking the central bank which said it would appeal.

Zelenskiy has repeatedly denied he would seek to hand PrivatBank back to Kolomoisky if elected or help the businessman win compensation for the ownership change.

The IMF will be watching closely too to see if Zelenskiy will allow gas prices to rise to market levels, an IMF demand but a politically sensitive issue and one Zelenskiy has been vague about.

Zelenskiy gave few new policy details on Sunday, but said he wanted a new general prosecutor to replace incumbent Yuriy Lutsenko, and spoke of wanting new generals to work in the army.

His unorthodox campaign traded on the character he plays in the TV show, a scrupulously honest schoolteacher who becomes president by accident after an expletive-ridden rant about corruption goes viral.

Zelenskiy has promised to fight corruption, a message that has resonated with Ukrainians fed up with the status quo in a country that is one of Europe’s poorest nearly three decades after breaking away from the Soviet Union.

MAYOR WANTS FLORIDA DEPUTY FIRED IMMEDIATELY

Broward County sheriff asks for patience during investigation into teen's rough arrest

By Amanda Batchelor and Madeleine Wright

WPLG Local 10
April 19, 2019

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. - Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony asked for patience Friday as Internal Affairs investigates the rough arrest of a 15-year-old boy in Tamarac.

"Roughly 90 days ago, I was appointed to this position exclusively about accountability. And that accountability will be held, not just for the sake of when we are right, but in the cases where we may be wrong," Tony said.

Broward County Mayor Mark Bogen, meanwhile, released a statement, saying the deputy who was captured on cellphone video banging the teen's head into the ground during the arrest Thursday should be fired.

"The behavior of these Broward Sheriff's Office deputies was outrageous and unacceptable," Bogen's statement read. "The officer who jumped on the student, punched the student and banged his head to the ground should be fired immediately. There is no excuse for a law enforcement officer to harm a teenager who was on the ground and who gave no resistance. I also have a problem with the deputy who threw the student to the ground after he pepper sprayed him. After being sprayed, the teen held his face and walked away. If the deputy wanted to arrest the student, he could have easily done so without throwing him to the ground. I hope the appropriate authorities investigate this conduct and take the appropriate action."

The 15-year-old appeared in court Friday, and one of the charges against him was downgraded.

He was originally arrested on charges of aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest without violence and trespassing.

The teen's attorney argued in court that there was no probable cause for the aggravated assault charge, and the judge agreed to downgrade it to a simple assault charge.

The judge, however, said there was a struggle during the incident outside the McDonald's in Tamarac and the teen tried to get his arm free, which led to the resisting arrest charge.

The teen, who has no prior history with the criminal justice system, was released to his mother after the hearing.

The incident between the teen and the deputy was captured on cellphone video by a group of teens who told Local 10 News they had gathered at the McDonald's after school to watch two teens fight.

According to an arrest report, the Tamarac Town Square Plaza on Pine Island Road, where the McDonald's is located, has been a popular place for students to fight after the school, which resulted in deputies being assigned to patrol the plaza.

Deputy Christopher Krickovich wrote in the arrest report that there had been a fistfight the day before, which resulted in an innocent bystander's vehicle being damaged.

Krickovich wrote that one of the teens at the scene Thursday had been there the day before and had been warned not to trespass on the property.

He wrote that he and Sgt. LaCerra walked over to the teen and ordered him to sit down.

According to the arrest report, Krickovich grabbed the teen, took him to the ground and placed him in handcuffs.

Cellphone video shows a deputy restraining a teenager in the parking lot when another deputy pushes away a girl who appeared to grab a phone from the ground.

The same deputy then uses pepper spray on the teen who appeared in court Friday, after the teen appears to intervene. After pepper-spraying the teen, the deputy is seen grabbing him and taking him to the ground.

Krickovich and another deputy then jump in, and Krickovich bangs the teen's face on the pavement and punches his head.

According to the arrest report, the teen tried to pick up the other apprehended teen's cellphone on the ground and LaCerra ordered him to stay back.

The arrest report stated that the teen took an aggressive stance toward LaCerra and began clenching his fists.

Krickovich wrote that the teen was then pepper-sprayed and forced to the ground.

The deputy claimed in the report that the teen appeared to be pushing up while he was pushing down on the teen to apprehend him.

"Again, the three of us were outnumbered by the large group of students who were yelling, threatening us and surrounding us. I had to act quickly, fearing I would get struck or having a student potentially grab weapons off my belt or vest," Krickovich wrote.

According to the arrest report, Krickovich was forced to punch the teen in the head as a "distractionary technique" to free the teen's right hand, which the teen had placed under his face as the deputy was slamming it into the ground.

"I think it's outrageous. I think anybody in this community who looks at this video would say the same thing," the teen's attorney, Richard Della Fera, said. "His family is very upset as to what happened to him."

Della Fera's client and another teen were arrested in the incident.

A man who witnessed it all told Local 10 News he believed the deputies went "way too far."

"The video clearly shows there wasn't even an assault on this officer," Della Fera said. "So we're just at the very beginning stages of this and we're going to continue to pursue it and get justice for this young boy and his family."

The Broward Sheriff's Office released a statement Friday, saying: "Sheriff Gregory Tony is committed to accountability in every case and at all times.

"We vow to conduct an open, transparent and thorough investigation into the incident that occurred April 18 in Tamarac. The deputy has been placed on restrictive administrative assignment."

According to the memo given to Krickovich, he was ordered to surrender his BSO ID card, any other symbol of authority and any BSO-issued weapons.

He is also not allowed to drive a BSO vehicle at this time and is not allowed inside any BSO facility, except where assigned, without the approval of Internal Affairs.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This does not look good for the deputy. He may soon be driving a cab if not serving jail time.

NBA super star LeBron James tweeted: “So wrong!! Hurts me to my soul!! To think that could be my sons. Scary times man.”

A PARTY THEY’LL NEVER FORGET ….. THAT IS, THE SURVIVORS WILL NEVER FORGET IT

13 people shot dead at a family party in Mexico

By Nicole Chavez, Madeline Holcombe and Daniel Silva Fernandez

CNN
April 20, 2019

Gunmen burst into a party hall in southeastern Mexico on Friday and opened fire, killing at least 13 people, authorities said.

The attackers raided a family party in the city of Minatitlán in the Mexican state of Veracruz. Six men, five women and a child were killed and four others were wounded, the state's public security department said.

Authorities said the suspects were looking for a person known as "El Beky" when shooting ensued, according to preliminary reports obtained by the state police. He is believed to be the owner of a bar located in Minatitlán.

But the motive behind the mass shooting was not immediately known.

"Federal and state forces have deployed a strong search and capture operation of those responsible for the events," Gutiérrez Maldonado, secretary of public security in Veracruz state, tweeted Saturday.

State authorities held an emergency meeting "to address the regrettable and condemnable events," Veracruz state Gov. Cuitláhuac García tweeted.

Minatitlán Mayor Nicolás Reyes Álvarez described the attack as a "tragedy that tears the soul" and an incident that he "deeply regrets."

He called state and federal officials to investigate the shooting "so they would not go unpunished in any way."

Friday's mass shooting in Minatitlán comes just a couple of days before President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is scheduled to travel to the state of Veracruz for an official visit.

Reyes Álvarez said he plans to ask López Obrador to increase security forces and, if possible, assign the Mexican National Guard to patrol the city. Minatitlán has also canceled a public weekend-long event to commemorate Holy Week and Easter.

Minatitlán is about 315 miles (507 kilometers) southeast of Mexico City. The shooting took place near one of the six oil refineries run by Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, the country's state-owned oil company.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I wonder if the mariachi band kept playing.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

EASTER SURPRISE: LOSING WEIGHT WITHOUT DIETING AND EXERCISING

I just learned from a friend how without dieting and exercising, he has been losing one to two pounds of weight a day

I have an overweight friend who is simply amazing. Fred has been losing one to two pounds of weight a day without dieting and exercising.

When I asked Fred how he does it without dieting and exercising, he replied:

“Well, it’s simply like this. Every time I take a shit, I lose some weight and depending on how many times a day I shit, I lose anywhere from one to two pounds.”

Now why didn’t I think of that?

Happy Easter everyone!

JOE "LET ME RUB YOUR SHOULDERS" BIDEN PREPARING TO LEAP INTO DUMPSTER FIRE

by Bob Walsh

The talking heads are now almost all saying that Joe "Hands" Biden is preparing to leap into the dumpster fire that is the Democrat nomination race, probably on Wednesday of this coming week.

Joe, who I think is a veteran of the Spanish American War, will be the presumed front runner immediately on his entrance into the race.

Joe has more than a few hurdles to get over. He is an old white guy and an old-time pol. He was at one time a semi-middle-of-the-road kind of guy who is being pushed and pulled farther and farther to the left by the lunatic fringe of his own party, who actually thinks the lunatic fringe can win. Crazy Bernie, a wealthy avowed socialist, is within striking distance of Joe and in fact is ahead of him in at least one poll.

Joe will also have to answer some possibly uncomfortable questions about his late son's business dealings with Russia. Damn, there is that Russian collusion shit again, landing where it actually belongs maybe this time.

OMG this is going to be fun to watch.

YALL GIT THEM THAR RIFLES AND SHOTGUNS READY!

'Shedding of blood' may be required to save US, controversial former Arizona state senate president Russell Pearce claims during right-wing rally

By Rod Ardehali

Daily Mail
April 20, 2019

A controversial former Arizona state senate president appeared to suggest the U.S. might have to resort to violence to save itself during a right-wing rally this week.

Russell Pearce, a firebrand ex politician who helped introduce one of the country's harshest state immigration laws, declared that it might take the 'shedding of blood to save the Republic,' during a series of remarks delivered at an event dubbed 'Patriotism Over Socialism.'

While it is unclear what the remarks specifically referred to, the heated speech comes against a backdrop of vast economic migration from Central America.

Pearce, wearing an American flag shirt and Stetson hat, told the audience of anti-immigration activists that 'I, for one, am willing to do whatever it takes.'

During the rambling speech, that appeared to have severe racial and homophobic undertones, he rallied against lawmakers who do not support his tough immigration laws.

'We have stupid leaders, we have stupid politicians, and it's time we started replacing those that refuse to stand up for the values that have shed blood for,' he said.

Pearce was fundamental in introducing the SB1070 requires police to determine the immigration status of someone arrested or detained when there is 'reasonable suspicion' they are not in the U.S. legally.

The much maligned law is among the toughest on illegal immigration nationally.

The rally also included speeches by U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., Arizona Republican Party chairwoman Kelli Ward, and right-wing activist Laura Loomer, who was banned from Twitter and for using Uber and Lyft over her anti-Muslim posts.

Later in his remarks, Pearce went on to criticize the repealing of a law that banned teachers from discussing homosexuality in the classroom.

'They took that away. Why would they do that? Why would they do that? Why would they put my children at risk?' Pearce said about the repeal of the so-called 'No Promo Homo' law.

Pearce currently works at the treasurer's office, where he earns $157,000 a year, according to county officials.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bet many of those nutjobs were wearing MAGA caps.

FAILED PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE MITT ROMNEY AND FADING ACTOR ROBERT DE NIRO VENT THEIR HATRED OF TRUMP

'I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection': Mitt Romney blasts Trump and his aides for their 'appalling' conduct revealed in the Mueller report

Daily Mail
April 20, 2019

Republican Senator Mitt Romney said Friday that he was 'sickened' and 'appalled' by what Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report revealed about President Donald Trump and his aides. While most Republicans declined to comment on the explosive report, he chastised the GOP president and senior White House officials caught misleading the public.

'I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the president,' Romney said in a Twitter statement. 'I am also appalled that, among other things, fellow citizens working in a campaign for president welcomed help from Russia -- including information that had been illegally obtained, that none of them acted to inform American law enforcement and that the campaign chairman was actively promoting Russian interests in Ukraine.'

Robert De Niro has criticized Donald Trump again, calling him a 'total loser' and 'wannabe gangster' during an interview on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Elizabeth Warren calls for the House to begin IMPEACHMENT proceedings against Trump, saying Trump 'welcomed' help from Russia.

WHITE SUPREMACIST WAS JUST TRYING TO HELP REDUCE THE DISPROPORTIONATE BLACK PRISON POPULATION

'Just let them die': Ohio prison staff sued for allegedly allowing a white supremacist inmate to stab four black inmates with a homemade blade while they were left handcuffed to a table

Daily Mail
April 20, 2019

Four inmates - Shamieke Pugh, Maurice Lee, Dontez Hollis and Daryl Pascol - were sitting together, handcuffed to a table. Greg Reinke, another inmate, slipped out of his handcuffs, pulled a homemade blade out of his shocks and began stabbing the men.

Correctional officers stayed behind a closed door allegedly laughing and debating letting the men die. Guards entered the area after one of the victims got out of his cuffs and tackled Reinke to the ground.

The lawsuit, filed by Pugh and Lee, allege that officers strip-searched the four men but not Reinke and either gave him a key to his cuffs or knew he had one.

Reinke was sentenced to 54 years for the attack and is currently on a hunger strike, saying he is being mistreated by guards.

EDITOR’S NOTE: It must have been a puny shank.

NYPD BRASS WERE A BIT TOO COZY WITH MAYOR DE BLASIO DONORS

Five high-ranking NYPD cops forced out amid bribery scandal awarded over $1 million for accrued compensation, including vacation and comp time

By Stephen Rex Brown

New York Daily News
April 19, 2019

Five scandal-scarred cops forced out of the NYPD during a federal bribery investigation have received a settlement of over $1 million from the city, a source tells the Daily News.

Former Inspector Peter DeBlasio and ex-Deputy Chiefs Andrew Capul, David Colon, Eric Rodriguez and John Sprague had claimed they lost out on accrued compensation, including vacation and comp time, when former Deputy Commissioner for Legal Matters Lawrence Byrne demanded they retire in July 2016.

The men were linked to the bribes-for-favors scandal revolving around Mayor de Blasio donors Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg -- but never faced any charges.

The forced-out officers filed a grievance with the city Office of Labor Relations over losing their positions in the department. Last year, arbitrator David Stein wrote that they’d been “blackmailed” out of their jobs.

“They were never informed of the basis for any suspicions the department may have about them, nor were they able to assuage the department of any concerns it may have had with respect to any of them,” Stein wrote. “The department’s motive was depicted as a concern about negative publicity, although neither man was ever charged with misconduct.”

Except that the settlement topped $1 million, The News could not determine its exact amount. The Captains Endowment Association, which filed the grievance on behalf of the five cops, declined comment. The officers’ lawyer Harry Greenberg did not respond to a request for comment. Two sources said the officers may file a lawsuit over their ouster.

“The NYPD believes these retirements were handled properly; an arbiter rendered a decision binding on all parties,” an NYPD spokeswoman said.

The federal investigation resulted in a sentence of two years’ probation for former Deputy Chief Michael Harrington, who copped to misusing police resources as favors for Reichberg and Rechnitz. Ex-Deputy Inspector James (Jimmy) Grant was acquitted at trial of taking bribes. Reichberg is awaiting sentencing for bribery and other offenses. Rechnitz testified for the government and is also awaiting sentencing.

The nearly two-month long trial tarnished the badges of at least a half-dozen high-ranking cops and pulled back the curtain on their unusually cozy relationship with Reichberg and Rechnitz. Evidence showed that the businessmen sought to monetize their access to 1 Police Plaza by making themselves look like bigshots.

In one memorable episode highlighted during the trial, Reichberg and Rechnitz handed out trophies to favored cops in a private suite at MetLife Stadium during a 2013 Jets game. Colon was among those who accepted an award.

MISSILE WAR BETWEEN ISRAEL-US AND IRAN ANTICIPATED

ANALYSIS: How Israel and the US are Preparing for War With Iran

By Yochanan Visser

Israel Today
April 17, 2019

You probably didn’t know this but normalizing relations with Israel is against the Quran and Islamic faith.

At least that’s what Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said to participants in a Quran knowledge competition in Tehran on Monday.

Never mind that the Quran, in chapter 5:21, explicitly says that the Land of Israel has been given to the Jewish people by God as a perpetual covenant, this is what Khamenei really thinks and he’s acting upon it too.

As I wrote at the end of March, Iran is actively preparing for war with Israel and recently held a massive drill named Bayt al-Maqdis” or Beit HaMaqdish in Hebrew.

Bayt al-Maqdis (or Temple in English) was the name the early Muslims gave to Jerusalem.

The Islamic Republic, furthermore, is slowly but steadily turning Syria and Iraq into proxy-states based on the Lebanon model and is feverishly working to improve its missile arsenal.

In Syria, Iran is continuing its entrenchment as was proven by the Israeli air force (IAF) last weekend.

On Saturday morning, IAF warplanes again used Lebanese airspace to bomb an Iranian missile plant in Masyaf which is located in the Hama Province.

The Israeli jets launched brand-new supersonic Rampage missiles at the plant in Masyaf and destroyed not only a number of buildings but also dozens of Iranian ‘Earthquake 2’ missiles which are able to carry a warhead of half a ton.

The Iranians also succeeded to lease a port in the Latakia Province in Syria which is now being used by the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps to ship unknown cargo from Iran to Syria via the Mediterranean Sea.

Israeli military experts think it will be a matter of time before Iran will station a part of its naval fleet in the port and will use the vessels, among them cruise-missile equipped submarines, in a future war with Israel.

You might ask what the Israeli army is doing except for launching airstrikes in Syria to counter the growing Iranian threat to the Jewish state.

Israel is aware that a future confrontation with Iran and its terrorist proxies will most likely be a missile war which will be fought on several fronts.

After all, Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani last year boasted that Iran is a superpower when it comes to asymmetric warfare and warned the United States not to start a war with the Islamic Republic.

The Iranian army and the IRGC are no match for the IDF or the US army in a conventional war and this is the reason Iran is working to improve its long-range missile arsenal while building facilities for mid-range and short-range missiles in both Lebanon and Syria.

Iran’s Shihab-3 has a reach of roughly 1200 kilometers and the recently tested Khorramshar missile is able to hit targets across Israel from Iran since it has a range of more than 1,800 kilometers.

The prospect of a multi-front missile war with hundreds of projectiles pounding Israel every day has led to intense cooperation between the Israeli military and the US army while the Trump Administration is trying to strangle the Islamist regime in Tehran by means of a heavy sanction regime.

The US Administration last week designated the IRGC – a heavily armed force of 150,000 men- a terrorist organization a move which is considered a declaration of war by Iran.

The decision by President Trump has led to increasing tensions and Iranian threats to the US military in both Iraq and Syria while Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu made clear he was behind the move against the IRGC.

“Thank you for answering another one of my important requests, which serves the interests of our country and the countries of the region,” Netanyahu wrote on his Twitter account.

Trump’s decision came into effect on Monday and has already led to the shut-down of the wildly popular Instagram account of Quds Force commander Soleimani.

Another indication that Israel is working in tandem with the US to contain Iran came in the form of a unique missile defense drill which was held in Israel recently.

The Americans brought their Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to Israel where it was integrated in Israel’s multi-layered missile defense systems such as the Arrow a mid-altitude missile interceptor.

The 230-servicemen strong THAAD force landed on the Nevatim airbase in southern Israel and got short notice to rapidly deploy the system in Israel Maj.Gen. Andrew Rohling the commander of the US army in Germany revealed.

“The ability to rapidly surge combat-ready forces into and across the theater is critical to projecting forces at a moment’s notice to support our allies and partners across the theater,” Rohling said.

Aside from the THAAD system, the US military will also use the Aegis system on navy vessels to help Israel protecting itself in the anticipated missile war.

Yair Ramati, former director of the Israeli Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) says that the Aegis missile interceptor will play an important role in the defense of Israel during such a war.

The two allies will conduct another missile defense drill coming summer when the Israeli military will send a contingent servicemen to Alaska to test the new version of the Arrow 3 which has been developed by Israel Aerospace Industries and Boeing in the U.S.

The Arrow 3 is able to score a direct hit at a target which flies at supersonic speed because it has highly precise sensors and an extremely agile interceptor.

The joint drills between the Israeli army and the US military will result in better preparation for “real-life challenges” according to Brig Gen. Ran Kochav of Israel’s missile defense unit.

Another indication the US is seriously taking in account that the current tensions with Iran will boil over and will cause a new armed conflict in the Middle East is the deployment of American F-35 stealth fighter planes to the United Arab Emirates.

An unspecified number of American F-35’s landed at the al-Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates on Monday.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

THE FUTURE OF THE DEMOCRATS IS NOW

DAN CRENSHAW ONCE AGAIN UNDER ENEMY FIRE, THIS TIME AT HOME FOR SHAMING ILHAN OMAR

After Houston Congressman Dan Crenshaw condemned Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar for being dismissive of the 9/11 Muslim terrorist attacks he was subjected to a barrage of vile insults

By Howie Katz

Big Jolly Times
April 19, 2019

Houston Congressman Dan Crenshaw is a genuine hero. He was a Navy Seal for 10 years and served three tours of duty in Afghanistan. In 2012, while in Helman Province, an IED went off, costing him his right eye. After he got out of the hospital, he continued to serve in the Navy until he retired in 2016.

Crenshaw attained the rank of lieutenant commander and was awarded two Bronze Star Medals, the Purple Heart, and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with valor.

Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan is a refugee from Somalia. Before and after being elected to congress in 2018, Omar made a number of anti-Semitic statements. She said Jewish money – “It’s all about the Benjamins baby” - has bought the pro-Israel votes of Congress and accused Jews who support Israel of having a dual loyalty.

On March 23, Omar gave a speech about Islamophobia following the 9/11 attacks at a banquet of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an organization that has been accused of having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. During her speech she referred to the 9/11 Muslim terrorists as “Some people did something.”

When Omar was roundly condemned for her dismissive remarks, Democrats defended her by insisting that her remarks were taken out of context. While “Some people did something” was only a short sentence from her speech, it was nevertheless dismissive of the 9/11 Muslim terrorist attacks.

Dan Crenshaw shamed Omar by tweeting: “First Member of Congress to ever describe terrorists who killed thousands of Americans on 9/11 as 'some people who did something.’ Unbelievable.” Then during an interview on MSNBC he said: “It's terrorists who killed almost 3,000 Americans. And we should talk about it that way. We should talk about it with deference.” When challenged that Omar’s remark was taken out of context, Crenshaw said: “I think everyone should just look at the clip and decide for themselves. And I don't think it's out of line to simply call that out and criticize it.”

Crenshaw once again came under enemy fire, this time at home. His condemnation of Omar was met with a barrage of vile insults. He was called fascist, rotten, stooge, big phony, a cultist, a murderer several times, perniciously dishonest and other epithets, and told he can “eat shit.”

NYU journalism professor Talia Lavin called Crenshaw “Captain Shithead.” When advised he did not reach the rank of captain, Lavin corrected herself by calling Crenshaw “Lieutenant Commander Shithead.”

Lavin was hired by NYU after she was fired by the New Yorker magazine for falsely identifying a U.S. immigration agent as a Nazi sympathizer. NYU should now fire her for the disgusting way she insulted a wounded war hero. This is not an academic freedom issue. It’s a civility issue, and a person lile Lavin who spews out such venom should have no place in academia.

Eli Valley, a political cartoonist known for his anti-Israel drawings, referred to Crnshaw’s condemnation of Omar by writing: “Wow it’s GOP-Nazy Party Terrorist Incitement Night on NBC.” (The dumb shit can't even spell Nazi right.)

Ryan Cooper, a national correspondent at The Week, wrote of Crenshaw: “Classic fascist propaganda technique: whip up a storm of murder frenzy, then operatically play the wounded victim.”

Most abhorrent of all was freelance writer Rob Rousseau who wrote to Crenshaw: “You’re deliberately lying about what [Omar] said you eyeless fuck.”

How low can you get? You can’t get much lower than calling a wounded war vet, who lost an eye in combat, an eyeless fuck.

These attacks on Crenshaw are made in defense of an anti-Semitic congresswoman who is dismissive of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. They should make all decent Americans want to puke. But instead, the Democrats are trying to cover up Omar’’s anti-Semitism and insensitivity to 9/11 by attacking those who condemn her statements, and in particular Dan Crenshaw and President Trump.

Crenshaw put his life on the line and lost an eye in the service of his country while safely ensconced back home, his sorry-ass attackers were enjoying themselves without having to worry about being under enemy fire or getting blown to bits by an IED.

Houstonians and all other Americans should be damn proud of Dan Crenshaw not only for his valor in combat, but just as much for shaming a very disgusting and disgraceful Democrat congresswoman.

THE ARMY HAS A MESSAGE FOR SOLDIERS: EVEN WHERE MARIJUANA IS LEGAL, DON’T USE IT

Recreational marijuana use is now legal in ten states, but it remains off-limits to service members ... and some military communities don't want it to be sold anywhere near bases

By Dan Boyce

Texas Public Radio
April 16, 2019

As more states legalize recreational marijuana, there's at least one place where the rules haven't changed: the military. Active service members are strictly forbidden to use marijuana, whether it's recreational or medicinal.

Standing in a rec center at Fort Carson, Col. is a doorframe-sized poster headlined, "The Costs of Marijuana." Through charts and graphics, it lists the Army's perspective on pot's physical costs, social costs and usage trends.

"It emphasizes the fact that marijuana still continues to be the drug of choice in all of our services," said Donna Clouse, prevention services branch chief for the Army's Substance Abuse Program.

Her group created the poster, which is displayed at bases around the country. The poster also includes a color-coded map of the U.S., showing where marijuana is legal recreationally or medically.

Colorado, the home of Fort Carson, is colored white on the map, reflecting the fact that the state legalized recreational marijuana five years ago. But under the map is a large warning for service members: "Marijuana is still considered a Schedule 1 Drug."

"We understand there might be confusion," Clouse said, "especially for individuals who live in the states where marijuana use is legal."

For the military, there's no confusion. It is never okay for soldiers to use marijuana, even in a state where it's been legalized for medical or recreational use.

Some criticize military policy

Not surprisingly, active duty soldiers are wary of talking about any marijuana use. But as legalization has spread, some veterans are getting increasingly vocal, saying it's time to re-examine the policy.

Army veteran Matthew Kahl served two tours in Afghanistan. His second deployment ended after a severe injury to his face, a traumatic brain injury, spinal injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder. It left him taking about 20 different medications.

Kahl moved to Colorado to try marijuana as an alternative and said it largely worked. He started reducing his pills, medication by medication, until he stopped taking any of them. He now runs an organization focused in part on securing the right for veterans to use medical cannabis, and he said it's time to be realistic about active duty soldiers and drug use.

"I know of people who are deployed, and they often come across hash in Afghanistan," Kahl said, referring to the resin of the cannabis plant that has the same psychoactive effect of marijuana.

"They use hash to medicate not just to medicate the horrors, the hardships of war, but to alleviate the boredom," he said.

Local leaders worry about alienating military

The inconsistencies between state laws and military regulations not only can create confusion for service members. It also has led to tension in some military communities in states where marijuana is legal. Those cities rely on the economic stability that nearby military bases bring, but could bring in hefty tax dollars if they welcome marijuana dispensaries to town.

Colorado Springs, Col. is a prime example. Five years after the state's voters legalized recreational marijuana, Colorado Springs remains the largest city in the state that has not yet allowed recreational dispensaries to set up shop.

It's likely no coincidence the city is the home of Fort Carson and several other military bases.

"The last thing we need to do is make recreational marijuana yet another reason why the Defense Department opts to take missions, troops, personnel … and move it somewhere else," said Colorado Springs City Council member-elect Wayne Williams at a recent candidate debate.

Andrew Heaton runs a medical marijuana dispensary in Colorado Springs, which are legal. He said he's heard that other military towns outside Colorado are trying to use their states' prohibition of marijuana as a reason for the Pentagon to consider locating missions there, rather than at Colorado bases.

Heaton disputes that having legal marijuana near a base means more soldiers will use the drug. He argued soldiers can go off-base just about anywhere and buy pot on the black market.

"In a community where it's legal, you've got it off the streets for the most part," Heaton said.

There are many who would debate that point; just last December, Colorado Springs busted eight businesses accused of illegally selling marijuana. Aside from that, Heaton pointed out military members undergo random drug tests. If a soldier tests positive, it doesn't matter where the marijuana came from.

"None of them want to get what they call the BCD, the 'big chicken dinner,' which is a bad conduct discharge," he said.

Clouse - the Army substance abuse prevention chief - said as long as marijuana remains illegal federally, it will remain incompatible with both military and civilian services in the Army.

Last year, the Department of Defense released a memo specifically reaffirming its prohibition on marijuana - medical or otherwise.

Clouse said the Army has not seen any significant uptick in marijuana violations in five years that recreational marijuana has been legal in Colorado.

This story was produced by the American Homefront Project, a public media collaboration that reports on American military life and veterans. Funding comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A very appropriate message. The army has no use for any space cadets.

5 ARRESTED FOR THROWING CHEMICAL BOMB AT COLORADO OFFICER

The officer lost consciousness and was taken to the hospital where he suffered from chlorine gas exposure

By Sam Tabachnik

The Denver Post
April 16, 2019

Four 19-year-old men face charges in connection with a chemical bomb that injured two people, including a police officer, the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office announced.

On Friday, Braiden Ulmer, Gavin Dawson, Isaac Koch, and Maxwell McCann, all 19 years old, posted bond and appeared in court to be advised of their charges.

On April 7, an officer arrived at 72nd Avenue and Beech Street to clear a barricade blocking the street. As the officer and a civilian picked up the debris, someone threw a plastic bottle toward the officer, which began releasing white smoke, police said.

The officer soon lost consciousness and was taken to the hospital, suffering from chlorine gas exposure, the DA’s office said. The civilian suffered minor symptoms and was treated at the scene.

The four men, plus one unnamed juvenile, were arrested the next day on suspicion of first-degree assault; criminal attempt of second-degree assault; two counts of possession, use or removal of explosives or incendiary devices; and conspiracy to commit possession, use or removal of explosives or incendiary devices.

Ulmer, Dawson and McCann and Koch will appear in court for preliminary hearings on May 10.

‘DID YOU FIND THE BODY?’

Bucks County cold case: Man charged with homicide in wife's 1981 disappearance

By Holly Harrar and Danielle Gehman

WFMZ-TV
April 18, 2019

WARWICK TOWNSHIP, Pa. - An arrest has been made in a 38-year-old cold case in Bucks County.

William Korzon, 76, was arrested Thursday in his wife's 1981 disappearance and presumed death.

Korzon had long been the focus of investigation after Gloria Korzon vanished in 1981, following years of reported abuse by her husband.

Gloria was last seen leaving work in Horsham Township on March 6, 1981. She was 37 years old.

Police said within days of her disappearance, her husband, William, went to her employer and told them to terminate her because of poor mental and physical health.

In the following months and years, William continued to forge documents and lie to her family and police to make it seem like Gloria was still alive, investigators said.

William forged Gloria's signature on two checks and filed joint taxes for him and his wife four months after Gloria went missing, police said.

Warrington Township police were called to the couple's home numerous times between 1968 and 1981 for violent assaults, where William attacked and threatened to kill Gloria, according to court documents.

Gloria suffered multiple injuries, including a broken arm, broken collarbone, damage to her nasal bone and a black eye, many of which required hospitalization.

Police said she documented the history of abuse in a series of letters she wrote to her attorney and to her father. She told her father not to open the letter unless something happened to her.

Investigators searched William Korzon's Warrington Township home twice in 1986, but didn't find anything and the case went cold.

Korzon insisted she left him, and he divorced her in 1987.

In 1997, a Bucks County court declared Gloria Korzon legally dead.

Investigators reopened the case in 2018 and again interviewed William Korzon, now 76, in 2019.

Detectives said when questioned about her death, Korzon asked police, "Did you find the body?"

Korzon was arraigned Thursday morning on homicide, soliciation to commit homicide, forgery and perjury charges. He's behind bars in Bucks County.

NO MORE FREE HAIRCUTS ON TRIMET BUSES AND TRAINS

‘TriMet Barber’ gets first-ever lifetime ban from buses and MAX trains

By Andrew Theen

The Oregonian
April 18, 2019

Jared Walter, a 32-year-old man convicted, implicated and charged in dozens of instances of cutting, masturbating into or gluing women’s hair on public transit during the past decade, was banned from TriMet for life on Thursday.

Walter is in jail and charged with two more cases of sexual abuse on TriMet light rail trains, stemming from a March 20 incident.

Doug Kelsey, TriMet’s general manger, issued a statement saying he decided to ban Walter after careful thought.

“The decision to issue this individual a lifetime exclusion from the TriMet system was not one made lightly,” he said in a statement. “As a public transit provider, people rely on our buses and trains to get to jobs and services. But we cannot allow Mr. Walter to continue to ride based on his recent actions and behavior that threatens the safety and well-being of our riders and employees.”

Walter’s history of attacking women on buses and trains dates to 2009, and his crimes occurred in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties. He was placed on probation for five years in March 2018 as part of his conviction for a May 2017 incident, where he cut a woman’s hair while riding a bus in Washington County. While he was banned from riding trains or buses as part of that probation agreement, those requirements were dismissed upon his release from custody, and he could legally ride TriMet as of last year.

In September 2017, TriMet’s board approved an ordinance giving the agency’s top officials the ability to issue life-long bans or other more extensive exclusions. That action was taken in response to Walter’s continued crimes on TriMet trains and buses.

TriMet crafted that code to apply to individuals who committed “serious physical offense” against another rider or person on the system, or if they pose a “serious threat to TriMet employees and passengers” or “he or she has committed a sexual assault.”

But that harsh exclusion policy couldn’t be retroactive, and TriMet couldn’t act to ban one of its most notorious riders until Walter reoffended. The exclusion policy allows for the general manager to make an exception to ban a passenger on first offense.

“While TriMet worked with authorities to make a ban on riding transit part of Walter’s parole or probation, we had no control over the ultimate length of his sentences,” Roberta Altstadt, a TriMet spokeswoman, said in a statement. “With new criminal charges pending just four months after his latest release from jail in November 2018, TriMet has invoked the strongest penalty that we as a transit agency can – a lifetime exclusion.”

He has been banned from TriMet several times, including back in 2013 when he received a five-year ban.

“I’m sorry that I hurt a lot of people – the victims, my family, myself," he said at the time. “I want help. I just don’t know how to get it.”

According to TriMet, he will be able to seek a modification or end to the lifetime ban if he “received treatment” and can “prove he has been rehabilitated.”

The ordinance sets out a process allowing individuals to request an appeal hearing once a year.

Victims will be allowed to submit statements if – or when – a banned rider appeals.

Walter, who drew the moniker “TriMet Barber” for his repeated attacks and infatuation with women’s hair through the past decade, is scheduled to appear in Multnomah County court on Friday.

If Walter is spotted on public transit once he’s released, he would face criminal trespassing and interfering with public transportation charges.

D.C. HOUSED THE HOMELESS IN UPSCALE APPARTMENTS

High-stakes social experiment hasn’t gone as planned

By Peter Jamison

The Washington Post
April 16, 2019

The SWAT team, the overdose, the complaints of pot smoke in the air and feces in the stairwell — it would be hard to pinpoint a moment when things took a turn for the worse at Sedgwick Gardens, a stately apartment building in Northwest Washington.

But the Art Deco complex, which overlooks Rock Creek Park and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is today the troubled locus of a debate on housing policy in a city struggling with the twin crises of homelessness and gentrification.

Located in affluent Cleveland Park and designed by Mihran Mesrobian — the prewar architect behind such Washington landmarks as the Hay-Adams Hotel — Sedgwick Gardens was once out of reach for low-income District residents.

That changed two years ago, when D.C. housing officials dramatically increased the value of rental subsidies. The goal was to give tenants who had previously clustered in impoverished, high-crime areas east of the Anacostia River a shot at living in more desirable neighborhoods.

At Sedgwick Gardens, the effort met with wild success. As of February, tenants with city-issued housing vouchers had filled nearly half of the building’s roughly 140 units.

Mixed-income developments aren’t rare in the District, where officials often require that new buildings preserve some space for working-class residents.

But the situation at Sedgwick Gardens is different: Many of the new tenants are previously homeless men and women who came directly from shelters or the streets, some still struggling with severe behavioral problems.

The result has been a high-stakes social experiment that so far has left few of its subjects happy. Police visits to the building have nearly quadrupled since 2016. Some tenants have fled. In February, responding to complaints, the city began staffing the building with social workers at night to deal with problems that arise.

Some tenants with vouchers say they have been made to feel unwelcome by their new neighbors, a dynamic that has unavoidable undertones of race and class in a largely white neighborhood.

More established tenants contend that they support the goals of the voucher program, but that it has gone badly awry at Sedgwick Gardens, transforming the building into a dumping ground for people unprepared to live on their own.

Even some Sedgwick Gardens residents who receive public assistance say the complex was colonized by the city’s housing programs too rapidly and without sufficient oversight.

“It’s not about the voucher program. It’s not about racism. It’s about people’s conduct and behavior,” said Lorraine Starkes, 61, a formerly homeless woman who moved into Sedgwick Gardens using a voucher about two years ago.

Starkes, who is black, said some of her fellow tenants with vouchers were not properly screened by city officials before moving in. Now, she said, those residents have overwhelmed her new home and “are trying to turn it into a ghetto.”

The drama within Sedgwick Gardens’s red-brick walls exposes challenges and contradictions in the “housing first” policies for reducing homelessness that have been adopted by the District and many other cities.

That approach calls for placing the homeless in long-term housing without first requiring treatment for mental illness or addiction. Many experts say it is the best way to help people who have trouble helping themselves amid the chaos of homelessness.

But as housing first has emerged as a national policy consensus, some have begun to warn that it is being applied too broadly and at times with inadequate support for people who aren’t ready for the independence and responsibilities of living by themselves.

City officials insist those mistakes have not been made at Sedgwick Gardens, calling the disturbing incidents isolated cases.

“I think the reason the issues at Sedgwick Gardens came to a head is that there were a couple of residents that were causing a problem. That could have been true whether they had a voucher or not,” said D.C. Council member Brianne K. Nadeau (D-Ward 1), who chairs the council’s Committee on Human Services. “I want us to be careful not to demonize everyone who finds stable housing through a subsidy because not everybody who needs a subsidy is a criminal.”

'My home's right here'

Built in 1931, Sedgwick Gardens rises on Connecticut Avenue NW less than a mile north of the National Zoo. Past an elegant stone carriage porch is a cavernous lobby, ringed by Moorish arches and featuring a fountain of marble and blue tile, that could be the setting for a scene in a Raymond Chandler novel.

Until recently, the building was occupied by a quiet mix of tenants made up primarily of couples and single apartment dwellers, said Carren Kaston, a former literature professor who has lived at the complex for more than three decades and is president of the Sedgwick Gardens Tenant Association.

That began to change about two years ago.

In late 2016, the board of the D.C. Housing Authority — which sets payment standards for vouchers issued in the city — increased the maximum value of vouchers to 175 percent of fair market rent, as set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

That meant vouchers could be used for one-bedroom apartments renting at up to $2,648 a month, according to Housing Authority documents. At Sedgwick Gardens, the going rate for one-bedroom units was about $2,200 per month in 2017, according to a former tenant who moved in that year without public assistance.

Tenants with vouchers pay 30 percent of whatever income they have toward rent, with the city subsidizing the rest.

The move came in a city desperate to offer its residents more affordable living options — and to move the chronically homeless off the street. At the last official count in 2018, there were 6,904 homeless people in the District, which has a population of just over 700,000. A recent study by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition found that the District has experienced the most intense gentrification of any city in the country.

Naimah Simkins, the former property manager at Sedgwick Gardens, said that in early 2017, she listed basement units she was having trouble leasing on a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website. Soon, there was a trickle of formerly homeless or low-income veterans bearing vouchers issued by the D.C. government.

Cleveland Park is a bastion of urbane liberalism where just 1 in 20 voters supported President Trump in the 2016 election. Yet from the beginning, Simkins said, it was clear that some of the building’s older residents were discomfited by the new basement dwellers.

She likened the dynamic to “The People Under the Stairs,” a 1991 kitsch horror movie in which a well-to-do couple live above a cellar filled with mistreated children.

“It would be, like, the smallest thing that they would call the police on,” Simkins said. She said the more established tenants “feel uneasy, but if they would just reach out and talk, they would see that (tenants with vouchers) are human beings, too.”

After moving into the building about two years ago, voucher holder Joseph A. Bundy, 69, said he was smoking outside one day when another resident approached him: “This lady came up and said, ‘Don’t you know there’s a park up the street?’ I said, ‘What you talking about, a park up the street? My home’s right here.’ ”

Lawrence Hilliard, a 69-year-old Marine Corps veteran who previously lived at the homeless men’s shelter on New York Avenue, said a social worker took him on a tour of apartments where he could use his rental voucher. At the initial addresses in Southeast, Hilliard said he was warned by residents that the sound of gunshots made it hard to sleep at night.

Sedgwick Gardens, in a neighborhood of parks and small businesses where Hilliard had done odd jobs as a young man, was a revelation.

“It was away from the violence and the foolishness, man, that’s the main thing,” he said, smoking a cigarette on a recent evening in the building’s parking lot, which adjoins a vibrant patch of World War II victory gardens still tended by community members. “And then the violence and the foolishness came up here.”

'I have a shotgun'

There were 121 calls for police service at Sedgwick Gardens in 2018, up from 34 in 2016. City officials said despite that volume, officers determined just five times last year that a crime had taken place. Still, a number of the incidents left residents rattled.

On Palm Sunday of last year, officers responding to a noise complaint encountered Robert Gingell, who according to a police report could be heard throwing objects around his third-floor apartment.

When they knocked on the door, Gingell allegedly said, “If you try to come into my apartment, I have a shotgun and will shoot all of you. I will pick you off one by one.”

A police tactical team filed through the historic carriage porch and across the limestone-and-marble lobby and set up a perimeter outside Gingell’s apartment, where he holed up until the next morning. Although no gun was found, Gingell was arrested. He was released — and then arrested again at Sedgwick Gardens two days later, accused of striking another tenant in the head with a flashlight.

Gingell could not be reached for comment. Court documents say he pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted threats to do bodily harm, agreeing to undergo mental health and substance abuse assessments and treatment as necessary.

In February, his community supervision officer reported that he no longer lived at Sedgwick Gardens, but at another apartment building in Northwest Washington.

About a month after the SWAT team’s visit, police were called to the building to investigate the whereabouts of 68-year-old tenant Jacob Brooks, who according to building staff had not been seen in weeks. When he did not answer his door, police entered his apartment and found him on the floor of his bedroom, unconscious and not breathing, according to an incident report. Fire and emergency medical services officials called to the scene declared him dead.

The chief medical examiner determined that his death was caused by drugs including fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that often causes overdoses when it is mixed with heroin.

City officials declined to say whether Gingell or Brooks were receiving rental assistance, citing privacy laws.

Tenants say they have also confronted a slew of less serious nuisances such as panhandling, marijuana smoke in the halls and feces discovered on a landing in the stairwell.

Diane McWhorter, a Sedgwick Gardens resident and author of “Carry Me Home,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning book about segregation and the civil rights movement, said bureaucratic bungling was undermining the laudable aims of the voucher programs.

“I became extremely disillusioned with the city as a result of this whole thing because I kind of lost faith in their willingness or ability to respond to what was happening on the ground,” McWhorter said.

“Cleveland Park is the ideal community to test this out because by and large the existing residents are very hospitable to these ideas,” she added. “It just would behoove them to try to make this work here. Because the odds are, if it can’t work here, they’re going to have a hard time selling it in communities that aren’t as ‘woke.’ ”

McWhorter said landlords also have little incentive to turn away tenants unfit for independent living because the vouchers guarantee them rents in excess of market rates.

And there is an added perk. In buildings such as Sedgwick Gardens, where many older tenants pay less for rent-stabilized units, apartments that are let out to tenants receiving public assistance don’t revert to rent control once those tenants leave. Last year, the D.C. Council took action to close this loophole, but the law has not yet gone into effect.

A spokeswoman for Daro, which owns and manages Sedgwick Gardens, said the company had not taken steps either “to solicit or discourage voucher holders from applying” and noted that it was illegal for landlords to discriminate against tenants receiving government rental subsidies.

She said Daro addressed problems with tenants as they arose.

“Beyond enforcing lease violations and working to evict tenants who repeatedly violate the terms of their lease, Daro has worked with city officials, police, case managers, housing officials and other tenants to create a safe environment,” she said.

Housing first — or housing only?

For decades, the homeless often faced obstacles in the search for long-term housing. Among them was the mind-set that issues such as chronic mental illness or addiction should be under control before people became eligible to live outside shelters or group homes.

“Housing first” revolutionized that attitude. Backed by a formidable body of research showing that it reduces chronic homelessness, it has become the dominant philosophy in the District and many other cities.

“Housing is therapeutic in and of itself, and there should be no behavioral barriers to access to housing,” said Jay Melder, the District’s assistant city administrator for internal services. “Housing first is a best practice, nationwide.”

But as that practice spreads, some are urging caution against a one-size-fits-all attitude.

Particularly for those who have endured prolonged bouts of homelessness or mental illness, the approach is risky, said David Buck, associate dean of community health at the University of Houston College of Medicine.

While studies clearly support the effectiveness of housing-first programs, Buck said, they can fall apart when participants don’t get the follow-up care they need.

Government officials and advocates for the homeless “want one answer for everyone,” Buck said. “Housing first and just the voucher works great for some people. But for people who are chronically mentally ill or chronically homeless . . . those people don’t do as well just jumping in.”

A majority of the D.C. Council is backing a bill, introduced by Nadeau, that would require buildings with at least 20 units and 30 percent or more of them occupied by tenants receiving housing assistance to offer on-site access to social services such as health care, nutrition counseling and child care. Nadeau said the bill did not arise in response to complaints about Sedgwick Gardens.

Melder noted that only a portion of the voucher holders at Sedgwick Gardens are formerly homeless or in need of ongoing social services. Some, including families, simply qualified for public assistance because of their low incomes.

Case managers were assigned to those who required services, he said, even before the city began stationing social workers at the building two months ago.

But Sedgwick Gardens tenants say some of their new neighbors seem lost.

Jane Hardin, 79, has lived in the building since 1974. She said most of the voucher holders are good neighbors, apt to say hello or open a door for her. She likes seeing some of the older men who have moved into the building playing checkers in the basement common space.

Then there is the woman who moved in alone down the hall, who moans and screams incomprehensibly for long stretches of the day and night, who seems to badly need help she isn’t getting. On Christmas Day last year, Hardin said, she found her sitting by herself near the elevator. It seemed like a good time to try to establish a connection.

“I looked at her and just said, ‘Merry Christmas,’ and she nodded her head and almost smiled,” Hardin recalled. “But I haven’t been able to build on that.”