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Trump the criminal and his hero and mentor, the demonic Roy Cohn.

Trump the criminal and his hero and mentor, the demonic Roy Cohn.

This is an updated post that originally appeared on 1/25/17

It should come as no surprise that Trump has an attraction to evil leaders like Putin, Dtuerte of the Philippines and and Erdogan of Turkey.  The man who Wayne Barrett called  the personification of evil,  Roy Cohn was Trump’s hero. They talked up to five time a day on the phone. Trump is neither Republican or a Democrat. He is a criminal; a grifter and all around sociopath.

We now have a crime family in the White House. We have President who should be prison and not the White House.

I keep beating this drum and will continue to do so until that miscreant is ousted. Please share this with your dumbass Trump supporters friends and family

In a A Short History of the Trump Family, Sidney Blumenthal writes

Reckoning with Trump means descending into the place that made him. What he represents, above all, is the triumph of an underworld of predators, hustlers, mobsters, clubhouse politicians and tabloid sleaze that festered in a corner of New York City, a vindication of his mentor, the Mafia lawyer Roy Cohn, a figure unknown to the vast majority of enthusiasts who jammed Trump’s rallies and hailed him as the authentic voice of the people.

________________________________________

The recent untimely death of investigative reporter Wayne Barrett left me sad. He was one of my NYC journalistic heroes. He was a giant and his dogged determination led him to expose the fraud and criminal that Trump is.  But no one paid attention. Trump once paid Atlantic City cops to arrest him when he was working on a story about his casino fraud after Barrett turned down his offer of a free apartment to back off the story.

If you want to know Donald Trump all you have to do is look who his hero was. His hero was the hatchet man for Joe McCarthy and later in life was an evil man who was attorney for all five NYC mafia families. Everything about Cohn wreaked of evil and venality. And that was Trump’s hero and mentor.

In an interview with the New Republic in December of 2016, Barrett gave the most apt description of Cohn I’ve ever heard. He actually had lunch with Cohn and this was his takeaway :

Roy Cohn ate with his fingers. I kid you not. He brought a little glass inside of his coat pocket. He would pop little white pills when he thought you weren’t looking. He was the most satanic figure I ever met in my life. He was almost reptilian. I think he’s going to handle the swearing-in at the inauguration. They’re not going to bring a judge, they’re going to have Roy. And then Roy’s going to go back to the White House and fuck a 12-year-old. In the Oval Office.

Trump has long been the FBI radar and was even interviwed by them

R.I.P Mr. Barrett and read the interview.

Update 5/5/17

Here are some links to articles about Trump’s criminality and his association with gangsters, fixers and other lowlifes. I post these links to give those who haven’t lived in NYC for the past 40 years a good idea of who this man is and what a despicable fuck he truly is.

Just What Were Donald Trump’s Ties to the Mob?

“… Trump’s career has benefited from a decades-long and largely successful effort to limit and deflect law enforcement investigations into his dealings with top mobsters, organized crime associates, labor fixers, corrupt union leaders, con artists and even a one-time drug trafficker whom Trump retained as the head of his personal helicopter service.”

FBI agents subpoenaed Trump in 1980 to ask about his dealing with John Cody, a Teamsters official described by law enforcement as a very close associate of the Gambino crime family. The FBI believed that Cody previously had obtained free apartments from other developers. FBI agents suspected that Cody, who controlled the flow of concrete trucks, might get a free Trump Tower apartment. Trump denied it. But a female friend of Cody’s, a woman with no job who attributed her lavish lifestyle to the kindness of friends, bought three Trump Tower apartments right beneath the triplex where Donald lived with his wife Ivana. Cody stayed there on occasion and invested $500,000 in the units. Trump, Barrett reported, helped the woman get a $3 million mortgage without filling out a loan application or showing financials.

The Many Scandals of Donald Trump: A Cheat Sheet, The Atlantic

There have been a string of other allegations, too, many reported by investigative journalist Wayne Barrett. Cohn, Trump’s lawyer, also represented the Genovese crime family boss Tony Salerno. Barrett also reported a series of transactions involving organized crime, and alleged that Trump paid twice market rate to a mob figure for the land under Trump Plaza in Atlantic City. Michael Isikoff has also reported that Trump was close to Robert LiButti, an associate of John Gotti, inviting him on his yacht and helicopter. In one case, Trump’s company bought LiButti nine luxury cars.

And the list goes on. We have a Criminal-Chief and his crime family

One final note. This from an article by a BBC correspondent on the conservative UK Spectator website from January of this year

…  I heard something similar at an impeccably liberal cocktail party in Washington before the election. The crowd were national security intellectuals. ‘If Trump is elected,’ said one of the guests, ‘it will end in a military coup. Tanks on the White House lawn.’ He was the second person to tell me that at the party. Conversations in Washington have taken on a hallucinatory quality. Impeachment — however far-fetched an idea — is not the most outlandish possibility being discussed in this town as the 45th president is sworn into office.

Convicted of laughing at Sessions? Not exactly

Convicted of laughing at Sessions? Not exactly

Credit Alex Brandon/Associated Press

The story is making the rounds and everyone is outraged. A Code Pink protester was arrested and convicted of laughing during Jeff Sessions confirmation hearings. Is this true? Well sort of and not exactly.

61 year-old Desiree A. Fairooz of Bluemont, Va. was escorted from the room after she laughed when Republican Senator Richard Shelby said that Mr. Sessions’s record of “treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented.” Fairooz laughed at that description, rightfully so, but here’s where the two sides differ as to what happened next.

According the NY Times

Ms. Fairooz said that, on hearing that, she let out a giggle.

“I just couldn’t hold it,” she said on Wednesday. “It was spontaneous. It was an immediate rejection of what I considered an outright lie or pure ignorance.”

She said when officers came over, she expected to be warned or told to shush and was surprised to be taken into custody.

The feds have a different story

Ms. Fairooz had “let out a loud burst of laughter, followed by a second louder burst of laughter,” the U.S. attorney’s office said in the filing. The police then tried to “quietly escort” Ms. Fairooz from the room, but she “grew loud and more disruptive, eventually halting the confirmation hearing,” the court papers argued.

As she was escorted away, Ms. Fairooz loudly asked, “Why am I being taken out of here?” She also said that the nominee’s “voting record is evil.”

Before the trial, Fairooz was offered a plea deal which she rejected, insisting on a jury trial. Big mistake.

HuffPo interviewed jurors after the verdict and they said they didn’t convict her on the laughing charge but rather her actions after she was being led out of the room.

She did not get convicted for laughing. It was her actions as she was being asked to leave…

The jurors did say she shouldn’t have been arrested in the first place for laughing

We did not agree that she should have been removed for laughing,” the jury foreperson stated. Some jurors indicated they believed Coronado made a mistake.

“The officer, she was a rookie officer, and I think it was her first time involved in an arrest,” another juror stated. “Make of that what you will.”

They said the rules were so broadly written they had no choice but to convict.

Jurors also said, “If Fairooz hadn’t said anything on her way out… there would have been a different verdict.”

The U.S Capitol Police report stated the protesters “were advised by the committee chair prior to the committee starting that demonstrating in the committee room was an arrestable offense.”

Code Pink are professional protesters. They are well-known on Capitol Hill Police. In an article in The Atlantic from 2015 they describe the relationship as usually cordial and friendly. They quote Code Pink’s national coordinator, Alli McCracken

The signs and t-shirts are a giveaway to Capitol Police officers, who often chat with CodePink members and protesters before the activists head inside. It’s a cordial, friendly relationship, Alli McCracken, CodePink national coordinator, said.

“‘What kind of trouble are you getting into today? Is anybody going to get arrested?’ That’s their standard question after we’ve asked how their kids are doing,” McCracken said.

Sometimes they cross the line and it looks like that happened in this case.

But since Code Pink is a constant presence on The Hill and they are allegedly on good terms with Capitol Hill Police, does their presence and dissent actually do anything positive? Are they thought of as nothing more than goofballs who dress in silly costumes? Are they taken seriously or are they seen as a joke to Congress people? That’s the big question.

 

MAD DOG AND ENGLISHMEN 1993: Happy St. Pat’s

MAD DOG AND ENGLISHMEN 1993: Happy St. Pat’s

©1993 Bernie Mooney                                                                                                     730 words


MAD DOG AND ENGLISHMEN

As the Loyalist death squads mounted their campaign of terror and murder in Northern Ireland, Prime Minister John Major was busy cutting a back room deal with Unionist politicians in order to save his floundering government.

Since the beginning of 1993, Loyalist paramilitaries had been waging a campaign of randomly targeting Catholics. By time of the IRA bombing on the Shankill Road in October that took nine lives, Loyalists had killed nearly two dozen Catholics, injured dozens and made attempts on the lives of Nationalist politicians. Not one word emanated from the mouth of John Major or his friends. Then came the IRA bombing on the Shankill Road.

Tory and Unionist politicians fell all over each other in condemning the horror. The chorus of denunciations that emanated from Britain’s House of Commons after the bombing echoed throughout the world.

For the last three years, Loyalist paramilitaries have killed more people than the IRA. Not once did any British or Unionist politician offer any condemnation of these groups. One Northern Irish police detective told me,

“The British government cares more about how much a bomb costs than they do about how much a life costs. I wouldn’t say it, but there are those who believe the price of a life is cheap.”

The top Loyalist hitman, nicknamed “Mad Dog,” claimed he has personally killed 13 Catholics over the last two years. The UVF and UFF, Loyalists paramilitaries, have publicly announced their  intent to “mass murder” Catholics. They made several attempts last month and succeeded on Halloween Eve in Greysteel.

Officials of the moderate Social Democratic National Labour Party (SDLP) claim at least 20 Loyalist death squads are operating in the Belfast area at the present time. A detective involved in tracking down IRA and Loyalist killers said in a pre-bombing statement to the local Belfast press, “There have been several mass murder attempts by Loyalists and only by the grace of God have more people not been killed.

There is no doubt that the threat from the Loyalist side has been increasing in recent years. And although the gangs claim they are targeting republicans for assassination, it is clear the vast majority of murders this year have been purely random and purely sectarian.”  No one can defend the horror of the Shankill, but there seems to be a double standard among Northern Irish Unionist and British politicians when it comes to the deaths of innocent Catholics.

Before the bombing, neither the Reverend Ian Paisley, Northern Ireland Secretary Sir Patrick Mayhew, nor Prime Minister John Major stood up in the House of Commons and condemned the Loyalist campaign. They and others were similarly quiet when Loyalist gunmen opened fire on a van full of workers, firebombed homes and attacked taxis. They were all content to ignore Mad Dog’s public declaration at the thrill of getting, “your first taste of  Fenian blood.”

When condemnation did come, it was late and muted and at the prodding of SDLP MP, Dr. Joe Hendron.

The voices that haven’t been heard at all are those in west Belfast who, while expressing sympathy with the families of those killed, find it hard to condemn the bombing due to its stated aim; to kill Loyalists who were killing their family members and neighbors.

Walking the streets of West Belfast, you could sense the unease of those on the streets. Anyone stepping out for a loaf of bread, or going to and from work was a potential target.

The IRA was under increasing pressure from the community to hit back at the death squads. The squads were striking with seeming impunity. So, the IRA finally did strike back, in what senior Republican sources told me was an “ill-conceived” action that went “tragically wrong.”

The bomb was meant for top Loyalists meeting in their headquarters above the fish shop on the Shankill Road, a meeting that ended 45 minutes before the bombers arrived. It was a classic IRA blunder that also claimed the life of one of the bombers. I heard the blast from my bed and breakfast in the University area, one mile away

That blunder left the Catholic community in even more fear and gave the Loyalists have another excuse to continue the bloodletting. It’s not as if they needed another excuse. Featuring traditional Irish folk music in your pub is enough.

For some time British and Unionist politicians have called on the Catholic community to condemn those who kill in their name. Yet, they were silent as people carried on their murderous campaign in their name.

Trump’s hero and mentor: the demonic Roy Cohn

Trump’s hero and mentor: the demonic Roy Cohn

 

The recent untimely death of investigative reporter Wayne Barrett left me sad. He was one of my NYC journalistic heroes. He was a giant and his dogged determination led him to expose the fraud and criminal that Trump is.  But no one paid attention. Trump once paid Atlantic City cops to arrest him when he was working on a story about his casino fraud after Barrett turned down his offer of a free apartment to back off the story.

If you want to know Donald Trump all you have to do is look who his hero was. His hero was the hatchet man for Joe McCarthy and later in life was an evil man who was attorney for all five NYC mafia families. Everything about Cohn wreaked of evil and venality. And that was Trump’s hero and mentor.

In an interview with the New Republic in December of 2016, Barrett gave the most apt description of Cohn I’ve ever heard. He actually had lunch with Cohn and this was his takeaway :

Roy Cohn ate with his fingers. I kid you not. He brought a little glass inside of his coat pocket. He would pop little white pills when he thought you weren’t looking. He was the most satanic figure I ever met in my life. He was almost reptilian. I think he’s going to handle the swearing-in at the inauguration. They’re not going to bring a judge, they’re going to have Roy. And then Roy’s going to go back to the White House and fuck a 12-year-old. In the Oval Office.

R.I.P Mr. Barrett and read the interview.

 

 

Be careful what you wish for: Indian Point nuke plant to close by 2021… or 2025

Be careful what you wish for: Indian Point nuke plant to close by 2021… or 2025

The New York Times is reporting that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has reached an agreement with the owners of the controversial Indian Point nuclear power plant to shut it down and its environmental critics are wetting their pants. The fight against the plant has been ongoing for years. This is one of those be careful what you wish for scenarios. Close it down and replace it with what? The article only mentions vague possibilities.

The prospects for replacing that power are so far unclear, but potential options include hydropower from Quebec and power from wind farms already operating across New York, according to the person.

Wind? At present wind provides a tiny 2.6% of all NY State power. Also, it would take 4,000 onshore wind turbines to power just NYC and that would take up about 40 square miles, or about half the size of Yellowstone. Then you have to run new transmission lines which will have an environmental impact.

The Quebec hydropower option called the Champlain Hudson Power Express  is an idea but that too is fraught with problems. The proposed transmission line from Quebec to NYC will run 333 miles, but cost is an issue and even the developers admit it will have to be subsidized by ratepayers since the cost of operating it will cost over $400 million/yr. This doesn’t even include the costs of construction. It cost the Port Authority $1 billion to run a seven-mile line from New Jersey to Manhattan.

New York City’s Department of Environmental Conservation, (DEC) did a study back in 2011 about the various impacts resulting from Indian Point’s closure. They found that the use of hydropower would result in an increase in carbon emissions of 15% statewide and of 5%-10% in NYC. And, the addition of thermal plants would be needed because even the Quebec hydropower wouldn’t be enough.

IPEC is able to provide approximately 2 GW of generation with no direct air emissions. Its retirement will cause a substantial increase in the air emissions from power plants. Our analysis indicates that both the City and State would see approximately a 15% increase in carbon emissions under most conventional replacement scenarios, with roughly a 7-8% increase in NOx emissions. NYC would see similar carbon emissions increases.

In addition:

The state market would see wholesale cost increases of approximately $1.5 billion per year, or roughly a 10% increase under most scenarios. NYC consumers would pay approximately $300 million per year more for wholesale energy, or approximately a 5-10% increase.

The report also predicted that citywide reliability problems beginning within a year of the second reactor’s expiration.

Then you have the taxes and employment. The plant pays $75 million in state and local taxes and employs 1,000 contractors and 1,100 salaried employees and is the region’s major employer

As a former protester in the 70s, I have come around and feel nuclear power should be a major part of the mix. And major climate scientists like the Big Daddy of climate change activists, James Hansen formerly of NASA, support nuke power. I think they should upgrade Indian Point to state of the art rather than shut it down.

And speaking of Hansen, here’s his response to Bernie Sanders’ desire to close Indian Point:

Now, Bernie Sanders says he wants to shut down the plant. If that happened, it would be replaced in substantial part by fracked natural gas that would create the equivalent carbon emissions of adding roughly 1.4 million new cars to the road… For the sake of future generations who could be harmed by irreversible climate change, I urge New Yorkers to reject this fear mongering and uphold science against ideology.

In a press conference called  [LIVE] Conférence presse de James Hansen à La Galerie by World Efficiency. in 2015, James Hansen, along with  Tom Wigley, Kerry Emanuel, and Ken Caldeira spoke and took questions on the issue of nuclear power. All agreed that nuclear should be part of the mix.

Here’s a small clip from the presser posted on the site Atomic Insights by Rod Adams who notes “None of them agreed that a energy system using 100% renewable energy is a valid objective.”

 

Emmanuel, interestingly enough is a Republican. Both he and his wife suffered a barrage of threats from climate deniers in 2012 when he appeared at a climate panel in New Hampshire. His offense? Saying Republicans should take their heads outta their asses regarding climate change. As he told the DESMOG blog back then

“I don’t like it when ideology trumps reason, and I see that the Republicans are guilty of that in spades at the moment… I’ve been toying with the idea of officially switching to independent status,” he adds.

Oh and this is curious. Two years ago, Cuomo fought to reopen an upstate coal-burning energy plant.

 

The Wolf Blitzer “Disturbing” Warning System

The Wolf Blitzer “Disturbing” Warning System

wolfpanic

 

“This just in. You are looking at obviously a very disturbing live shot there.”

“We’ll stay on top of this very disturbing story.”

Very disturbing development in Chicago at the university there.”

“On the heels of a several disturbing incidents…”

“… that is a very disturbing element…”

“I want you to explain what you said, because it’s very disturbing,” Blitzer said…

“We have disturbing images we want to show our viewers as well” – wolf blitzer @cnn

“You have to realize, this is really disturbing a lot of people from all spectrums of life.”

“Disturbing video of police aggressively detaining a black college student..”

disturb

March Against Monsanto claims victory for creating world’s largest agribusiness company

March Against Monsanto claims victory for creating world’s largest agribusiness company

Pesticide and pharmaceutical giant Bayer announced that it would be acquiring seed giant Monsanto. Now you would think this would make MAM howling mad. You would think that. Instead, they are cheering it and counting it as a victory.

Obviously, we should take a brief pause to celebrate our efforts. One has to assume Monsanto, one of the most powerful corporations in the world, probably wouldn’t have curled up and allowed themselves to be gobbled up by Bayer if it weren’t for the amazing efforts of millions of people all over the globe.

What part of consolidation don’t these dipshits understand? While still not commanding a monopoly of the market, they will control sales of 29 percent of the world’s seeds and 24 percent of its pesticides. It will create the largest agribusiness in the world. Let me repeat that…. Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto will create the largest agribusiness in the world.  So yeah MAM! Pat yourselves on the back for your victory.

Monsanto held firm on an earlier offer, but Bayer kept upping the ante until Monsanto couldn’t say no. The $66 billion deal (I believe the actual number is $66.6 billion) is all cash. Since Bayer kept upping the ante and wound up paying about $22/share more than Monsanto’s current price, how toxic can they be?

The most surprising aspect of the merger is the fact that Bayer would be willing to take on the global disdain that many hold for Monsanto.

Sure, if it makes them money you idiots. Why would a company pay $66 billion for a company whose annual profits hover around $15 billion? The Wall Street Journal reports

Bayer plans to pay $128 a share for Monsanto in an all-cash transaction, up from its latest offer last week of $127.50 a share, the companies said. The price represents a roughly 5% increase over Bayer’s original offer in May of $122 a share. Including debt, the deal is valued at about $66 billion.

Oh, and check out this idiocy

We have exposed their corruption, we have made them lose millions, we have been the reason a 1/3 of their workforce has been laid off and we are the reason the word “Monsanto” is the equivalent to “toxic poison” for much of the world.

They’ve gone from totally nuts to totally delusional. These fuckers live in their own world. I don’t think they have any concept how the real world works.

The WSJ:

Tensions have escalated further because global crop prices have fallen for three straight years, squeezing profits and forcing the seed and agriculture industries to cut costs and trim their workforces. Monsanto said last year it would lay off 12 percent of its employees, or 2,600 jobs.*

They are also cheering 2,600 people losing their jobs? These people are vile.

Not all antis are as gleeful. Dave Murphy, the executive director of Food Democracy Now! was quoted on the site EcoWatch

Now the most evil company in Europe has absorbed the most evil company in America. Monsanto and Bayer’s new corporate motto should be ‘Killing bees and butterflies for fun and profit.’

And Murphy’s motto should be, “Being an idiot for a living.” 

Murphy’s take is more in line with most anti sentiment. Ronnie Cummins, the anti-vax head knucklehead over at the Organic Consumers Association also weighed in. He said something like, “BIG POISON! BIG POISON! Arrgghhh” as he scratched at his measles.

That said, the deal is not a done deal.  According to the WSJ, they still have a lot of regulatory hurdles to get through in the U.S. and the Europe.

The deal is likely to warrant intense scrutiny from American and German antitrust regulators, who will assess whether the merger would unfairly lead to higher prices for farmers worldwide. The new company would preside over roughly a quarter of the world’s seed and pesticide supplies.

Regulatory crackdowns have busted several high-profile mega-mergers this year, including a $150 billion deal between pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Allergan.

Justice Department investigators have in recent years launched probes into “possible anticompetitive practices” in America’s Monsanto-led seed industry, though a formal investigation was closed in 2012 without pursuing charges.

The EU opened an investigation into the merger of Dow and DuPont this year and the merger of Swiss seed maker Syngenta and China National Chemical Corp. is also on their radar. The Monsanto/Bayer merger makes it the 5th agricultural merger this year alone. Others have included John Deere/Precision Planting, and Potash Corp./Agrium. All these mergers are coming at a fast past are alarming regulators, not to mention, farmers.

Now, about that John Deere merger. Precision Planting is owned by Monsanto and the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the merger back in August. Renata Hesse, the head of the antitrust division said, “If this deal were allowed to proceed, Deere would dominate the market for high-speed precision planting systems and be able to raise prices and slow innovation at the expense of American farmers who rely on these systems,

If all these mergers go through, around 75 percent of the global agricultural/pesticide and agricultural services industry could end up in the hands of three companies.  Farmers fear lack of competition would raise prices and that concern is a valid one, especially in a time of flat crop prices cutting into their incomes. The concern is so great that Iowa Republican senator and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Charles Grassley has slated a hearing for Sept. 20 to question seed-industry executives and experts.

Grassley said the hearing will focus on the transactions currently being reviewed by antitrust regulators, and the current trend in consolidation of the seed and chemical industries.

The seed and chemical industries are critical to agriculture and the nation’s economy, and Iowans are concerned that this sudden consolidation in the industry could cause rising input costs in an already declining agriculture economy.

And here’s a question. What about the name Monsanto? Good question. Glad you asked. Here we have a bit of confusion. Monsanto says the deal is a merger. Bayer says it’s an acquisition. What’s the difference you ask?

Well a merger is where two companies form a new company. An acquisition is when one firm buys out another and the bought company ceases to exist.

Which will it be? Hmmm. Given Monsanto’s negatives in the PR department, I will go out on a limb, with my limited knowledge, and say this will be an acquisition. Monsanto will be folded into Bayer and Monsanto will cease to exist.


* Here’s what I never got about corporation finances. Look at the above quote. Monsanto didn’t say they were losing money. They said their profits were squeezed. What exactly does that mean? They’re still making money, just not as much as they’d like so, so laying off people seems like a real dick move. In the first quarter of this year their net income was $1.06 billion compared to last year when it was $1.42 billion.  Did they really have to lay off 2,000+ people? Yeah, I know shareholders,  blah, blah blah. But still. This just goes to show that as benign as Monsanto is in relation to other corporations, they’re still a corporation and they act like one when it comes to money. I don’t know this is a fact, but I’m assuming that the execs didn’t take a pay cut during this downturn.

The suits may be nice people, but when it comes to profits, their loyalties lie with the company and not the people who work for it. That’s why I never hopped on the Monsanto bandwagon and bought a shirt or hat etc. as a poke in the eye to the anti-gmo crowd.

Biotech industry files for bankruptcy

Biotech industry files for bankruptcy

Note: This is re-write and update from a 2013 post.

Bankruptcy_monopoly

Days after a group of 107 Nobel Laureates published a letter telling Greenpeace to knock it off with their anti-GMO nonsense, the biotechnology industry filed for bankruptcy, citing their misguided buying everybody off, scheme .

At a hastily called press conference, industry representative and Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant, told assembled reporters

I mean, do you know how many people are in the Nation Academy of Sciences alone? Something like 2,000. So, a few million to a scientific body here and a few million to every independent scientist in the world there, and it begins to add up.” That’s not even including  having to pay those thousands of keyboard jockeys who defend us on internet comment boards. The straw that broke the financial camel’s back were the Nobel laureates. Those bastards didn’t come cheap.”

Anti-gmo activists were left slack-jawed. “We just lost our boogeyman,” one activist lamented. “It’s not fair.”

Asked what was next for the bankrupt industry, Executive VP and CTO, Rob Fraley said it was too early to tell, but excitedly suggested they were thinking of getting into the organic farming business.  “Man, do you know what a cash cow that racket is? I was in Whole Foods the other day and they get like 4 bucks for a freakin’ tomato. Sweet. We’ve gotta get in on that action.”

Hours after the announcement, Organic Consumer’s Association honcho Ronnie Cummins and GM Watch honchette, Claire Robinson had to be talked down off a Maharishi University rooftop after Jeffrey Smith pleaded with them saying, “Cmon guys. We can still make stuff up about beneficial technology.”

In a related story, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said she planned to retire from the Court and buy the Bronx.

My dad’s secret mission in the Pacific in WWII

My dad’s secret mission in the Pacific in WWII

barneyatwarIt’s been 13 years since the old man died. He was typical of that generation where he never talked about WWII or any engagement.

But towards the end of his life he would make these cryptic references to the secret mission. Neither my brother nor I could pry any details out of him. One time, while waiting at the deli counter in a supermarket, out of the blue he said, “It was around this time we spent a week playing cat and mouse with a Jap sub.” * I asked him to elaborate and he just shrugged and said, “Nothing. Never mind.” He seemed distracted, lost in thought.

A few years after he died I was talking with my brother and he brought up the secret mission thing. I mentioned the supermarket incident and decided that I had to look into it. Off to the Google I went.

What I found was an article in the Cleveland Plain dealer from 2009 that stunned me. It was called John Wicinski of Garfield Heights was on a secret mission aboard the USS Tucson: A World at War

Wicinski, 87, of Garfield Heights, said he and fellow crewmen aboard the USS Tucson were told only that they were part of a secret mission. The details became obvious that night as the lone cruiser assumed the role of a battleship supposedly leading a naval task force in an attack on Japan.

They were out there with their asses hanging out.

The plan, as detailed in the U.S. Navy Cruiser Sailors Association newsletter last fall, was to have the Tucson break from the task force on its own and head for southern Japan, while the rest of the group actually sailed in the opposite direction to bombard Hokkaido and the Northern Honshu islands, which lay beyond the range of B-29 bombers.

A team of Navy tricksters aboard the Tucson would send out a flurry of radio dispatches that mimicked the communications of an entire task force, with ships talking to other vessels and aircraft. The hoaxers used scripts and even moved to different locations aboard the cruiser to obtain different background noises for their transmissions.

The hope was that the Japanese would monitor the broadcasts, assume an attack was imminent in southern Japan, and reposition their defenses accordingly.

The old man did say that one point they they were at general quarters for a week, which in miitary parlance means an announcement made aboard a naval warship to signal the crew to prepare for battle or imminent damage, but again, no details despite being pressed.

I contacted the U.S. Navy Cruiser Sailors Association to see if I could get a copy of that article since I was the son of someone who was on that boat. They graciously provided the article which you can read here. 

The old man’s boat was a light cruiser which accompanied battleships. He said it was like a floating ammo dump. Somewhere I have a copy of a letter Admiral Halsey sent to the fleet thaking them for “giving Tojo what for.”

That was that generation. He was told not to talk about it and he never did.

*The USS Indianapolis had just delivered the first atomic bomb to Tinian when it was attacked by a Japanese submarine. The cruiser sank in 12 minutes. Some 900 of its 1,196 crewmen survived the sinking, but only 316 were left by the sharks four days later for rescue.

 

Berniebots Behaving Badly

Berniebots Behaving Badly

It was Sanders’ supporters who were tipping point for me when I made the game time decision to vote for Clinton in the New York April primary. As much as many Sanders supporters tried to claim the Bernibro and Berniebot behavior was an invention by the mainstream media, it wasn’t.

Back in February CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Sanders about it

“Have you heard about this phenomenon ‘Bernie bros’?” Tapper asked. “People who support you, and sometimes attack in very crude and sexist ways?”

“Yeah, I have heard about it. It’s disgusting. We don’t want that crap,” Sanders spit out. “And we will do everything we can, and I think we have tried. Look, anybody who is supporting me and is doing sexist things is — we don’t want them. I don’t want them. That’s not what this campaign is about.”

Sanders’ Rapid Response Director tweeted

casca

Hector Sigala, Sanders’ digital media director, told Mashable

“We love our supporters, and we know we wouldn’t be here without you all, but it does add a layer of complexity when we have to track what you all do during some moments when we are shaping our messaging,” Sigala posted on the subreddit. “Above all: just know you represent our movement and be respectful with those who disagree with you.”

That last line jumped right out at me.

Back in 1984 I worked for the Gary Hart campaign in New Hampshire and New York. We had quite the wacky crowd in NH; hard-drinking and pot smoking enthusiastic kids. He was the dark horse against Mondale and wasn’t given a chance of winning the primary.  When we would be bused to a campaign event we were always issued the standard warning

Remember, these people are normal and we need you to be on your best behavior. Feel free to drink and eat, but watch yourselves. Your behavior reflects on the candidate.

When we gathered to prepare for canvassing, we were also told be to be respectful, especially to those who did not support our candidate.  Don’t argue and if you get a Republican household, thank them for their time and move on.

We listened. We didn’t go to Mondale rallies and make trouble. We stuck to our work. We managed the impossible. Our candidate upset Mondale by about 12 points.  As much we liked Hart we had no delusions. The philandering rumors were making the rounds and we knew about them. But he was a smart. forward thinking politician . For those who don’t remember, or are too young to know, this is how a 2014 New York Times profile described him

Hart was invariably described as a brilliant and serious man, perhaps the most visionary political mind of his generation, an old-school statesman of the kind Washington had lost its capacity to produce. He warned of the rise of stateless terrorism and spoke of the need to convert the industrial economy into an information-and-technology-based one, at a time when few politicians in either party had given much thought to anything beyond communism and steel.

Compared to Hart, Sanders is nothing more than an angry, populist crank whose platform I happen to agree with. But I can’t see him as President.

Back to the present. I just came across this

 

They just can’t seem to help themselves. They have no sense of self-restraint. They have no clue how their behavior reflects on their candidate.

As a footnote: On primary night 1984 in NYC we were watching the returns at some hotel I can’t remember, I was asked by a Senator Bill Bradley staffer who I worked with during the NY primary if I wanted to come work for the Senator.  I demurred since I had a big problem with him voting for Contra aid. I always wondered how my life would have changed had I said yes?

 

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