Tag Archives: boston

Refusal to Answer

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FOIA MA State Police Letter2

The official Massachusetts State Police statement on the 5 men and 2 women arrested for trespassing near the largest man-made water reservoir in the U.S. just days after the Boston Marathon bombings is “no comment,” but that’s not the end of the story.

Publicly, MSP cannot legally release the names or other information about the 7 individuals because they haven’t been officially charged with any crimes, despite the state police department’s efforts to reverse that decision by a magistrate judge from the East Hampshire District Court which serves Belchertown, MA where the reservoir is located.

Clerk Randal Smith would not release the date of the judicial review of the clerk’s decision, citing statutes that require information be withheld from the public until a complaint is filed. Radio host and blogger Michael Graham has a bit more information, as provided by MSP Spokesperson David Procopio:

“In summary, the Quabbin case has not advanced at the Belchertown District Court since the original MSP appeal in May. At that time, the Assistant Clerk Magistrate determined that there was probable cause, yet ruled that no complaint would be filed. Subsequent to that finding, because we believe the complaint should issue so that there is a record of a charge against these individuals, we requested judicial review of the clerk’s decision (basically asking that a judge at the court review the case and issue the complaints).

We think it is important to create a record within the judicial system that the individuals were observed trespassing at a critical infrastructure site at an odd hour (around midnight or so) and gave the stated reason that they had professional and academic interest in engineering and wanted to observe the water storage structure.

Since that time, we have made periodic inquires to the court to determine the status of the case. After receiving your inquiry, we made inquiry of the court again today. Today’s inquiry resulted in the court telling us that the case will be heard by the Belchertown District Court Justice on either September 25th or October 2nd. When the appeal is heard, the Justice may make a summary finding or take it under consideration for a future finding.”

Perhaps the intense confidentiality and confusion related to the MSP complaint and any information on the individuals involved can be explained by the “on-going criminal matter” as described in the Freedom of Information Act request response from the Office of Chief Legal Counsel for the Massachusetts State Police. See page 2 of the response below.
FOIA MA State Police Letter 1

Major media outlets have largely ignored any follow-up on this story, originally reported at CDN in May 2013. Shortly after the trespassing incident, padlocks were cut at an aqueduct in the area that provides drinking water for the greater Boston area.
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To see the early coverage of the trespassing incident, click here:

Questions Remain After 7 Arrested For Trespassing

Massachusetts State Police Unhappy With Clerk Decision
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Mass State Police Unhappy With Clerk Decision

MSP SealThe events following an incident at the Quabbin Reservoir in Belchertown, Mass. have left state police puzzled.

When 5 men and 2 women from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore converged at the reservoir that provides drinking water to the greater Boston area shortly after midnight on May 14, state police thought they would have a slam-dunk trespassing case against the seven individuals. A clerk magistrate, however, put an abrupt halt to those plans which could leave the seven alleged trespassers off-the-hook.

After being detained, interviewed and released by state police, the seven people were to await trespassing charges and a court summons. Local news reports in the days immediately following the incident listed the seven as “arrested,” though state spokesman David Procopio is now saying the group was “detained.”

The clerk’s decision not to charge the group, despite the incident triggering terrorism alerts and the involvement of the FBI, has left state police confused.

“In our view, the clerk’s decision was contrary to our past understanding with the court, specifically, that the continuance without criminal complaints (which is how minor motor vehicle matters are generally handled) is not the resolution in cases involving violations of the Quabbin watershed rules,” said Procopio in an email to MassLive.com.

The FBI and state police have since stated that the 7 individuals who reside in Amherst, Cambridge, Northampton, Sunderland and New York City have no connection to terrorist activity.

Requests to obtain the names and court dates associated with the trespassing incident have gone unanswered by the Massachusetts State Police Chief Legal Counsel Mike Halpin, the East Hampshire District Court, and the records department of the MSP.

The Quabbin Reservoir is the largest man-made water supply in the US and provides clean water to the eastern half of Massachusetts including the Boston area.

Two weeks following the Quabbin trespassing incident, vandals cut padlocks that access the Hultman Aqueduct in Framingham, Mass. The Hultman provides drinking water to the greater Boston area. Authorities say there is no evidence of tampering with the water supply and are calling the broken locks an act of vandalism.
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Read: Questions Remain After 7 Arrested

Read: More Suspicious Activity in Boston
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More Suspicious Activity in Boston

NO_trespassingThree padlocks meant to keep trespassers out of the greater Boston water supply in Framingham, Massachusetts were cut and a fourth was damaged, according to State Police. The incident comes just three weeks after 7 foreign nationals were arrested for trespassing at the Quabbin water reserve.

The Hultman Aqueduct carries drinking water to Boston and surrounding towns. Three access hatches about a half mile apart, with clearly visible “No Trespassing” signage, had their locks cut. A fourth lock was damaged but not fully cut. Officials are calling the latest incident “vandalism” with no connection to terrorist activity, though State Police have increased patrols in the area.

The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority released a statement Monday saying, “MWRA’s real-time water quality monitoring shows no change in water quality nor any sign of contamination” at the aqueduct. A similar statement was made shortly after the trespassing arrests in May.

Information regarding the 7 individuals of Middle Eastern decent who were arrested just after midnight May 14th was characterized as “confidential” by a clerk at the East Hampshire District Court in Framingham. The names, charges, and court dates have not been released by authorities, but local news reports say the individuals live in 4 separate Boston suburbs and New York City. How the 7 came to be at the same location in the middle of the night to trespass on Quabbin Water Reserve property remains unclear. Requests for this data and more via a Freedom of Information Act Request, as well as multiple messages for Massachusetts State Police Chief Legal Counsel have not yet been returned.

Read more here: 7 Arrested
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Questions Remain After 7 Arrested For Trespassing

Shortly after midnight on May 14, 2013, five men and two women, all of Middle Eastern decent, were arrested for trespassing within the boundaries of the Quabbin water reserve just outside Boston, Mass. The seven, who are from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Singapore, are recent chemical engineering grads and “cited their education and career interests” for being at the reserve, according to local news reports. The seven individuals currently live in various Massachusetts towns including Amherst, Cambridge, Sunderland, and Northampton, and one of those arrested lives in New York City.

The Quabbin reserve is in Belchertown, Massachusetts and is one of two sources of the City of Boston’s drinking water. Authorities tested the Quabbin within days of the arrests and discovered no threats to the public’s water supply.

Police have increased patrols in the area as a precaution but say they have found no connection between the seven trespassers and any terror related activity.

Requests from the East Hampshire District Court where the seven will be summonsed for trespassing violations for the names and court dates were denied. A clerk said the cases were “confidential” and deferred all questions to the Massachusetts State Police.

Chief Legal Counsel for the MSP Michael Halpin, did not return phone calls and a Freedom of Information Act request has been sent.

There have been no public statements from the group nor from authorities to explain why 7 chemical engineers from 5 different towns in the Northeast converged on the same location at 12:30 AM on a Tuesday in May to learn about the country’s largest man-made water supply facilities.Arrest

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Refusal To Answer

A Criminal Matter

Mass State Police Unhappy With Clerk Decision

More Suspicious Activity

Conservative Media Elites, Progressives & The Blood of Boston

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Well, bravo to the mainstream media – at least the Conservative mainstream media – for finally putting two-and-two together in understanding the role that political correctness plays in the ongoing conflict with violent jihadists and fundamentalist Islam. To say that they showed up “fashionably late” to the party is borderline sarcastic. Nevertheless, the subject has finally been broached and those of us who have had “three lanterns” in the church tower for over a decade are appreciative that this moment in time has come to pass. But this finally arrived at equation is just the first layer of a much deeper and more troubling convergence. And we all – each and every one of us – have to pray that a fickle news media will not “declare victory” in this singular realization.

For years, many of us in the new media have bared the full weight of speaking truth to power – power in this case being not only elected government, many of whom still choose to exist in denial of the facts, but the elites in the mainstream media as well, where fundamentalist Islamic violence is concerned. Many of us have been demonized and marginalized not only by those of a more liberal bent who level charges of bigotry and Islamophobia at us, but by those in the elite Conservative media who stood dedicated to ignore us for not having slapped down the $125,000 to get a “journalism” degree. Many outlets, both mainstream and on the Internet, cowered in the face of the issue, choosing not to run articles about the facts surrounding jihadi violence or ignoring the intellectual credentials of writers who carved out great swathes of their lives to fully understand the issue; autodidactic or otherwise.

It could be said that at this moment, those who have been ignored or rebuked by the “big boys and girls” with million-viewer television and 50,000 watt flamethrower radio shows, will prove their grit; prove their patriotism, by embracing the reality that it is the message, the education of our citizenry that matters, and not whether we gain fame or wealth examining an issue that threatens the very existence of a free world. As for me, I hope to be judged a patriot for the information I have advanced in an unselfish manner; simply asking for organizational support from time to time so that a roof could be maintained overhead and food could be placed on the table. Some answered unselfishly, most did not.

But now, after all of the “al Qaeda is on the run” rhetoric has been laid to waste, and the eyes of many in the Conservative mainstream media have been focused, it must be stated, without reservation, that our nation faces not a singular foe in a foreign ideology that seeks to expunge the American way of life from the face of the Earth, but three very real and very potent threats that, at present, are well on the path to seeing the demise of the United States of America, Islamofascism being only one of the three.

For years, I and others, including my wife Nancy, a dedicated educator and a formally trained constitutional expert, have been explaining the concept of “The Perfect Storm”; the convergence of three potent threats that together present a threat to our way of life in the United States, and through its destruction, the free world. Our non-profit organization, BasicsProject.org, is dedicated to educating the public on this “Perfect Storm.” Yet, for years the elites in the mainstream media have refused to acknowledge the hypothesis; have refused to allow our voices to be heard. So, it was with great happiness I began hearing the likes of Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Bill O’Reilly – Beck being the first among them to do so, and going “all in” in his efforts, I might add – identifying the role of political correctness in the advance of Islamofascism. It is my hope of hopes that they are inclusive of the grassroots and autodidacts in their efforts because, quite frankly, without a constant push for the citizenry to learn, this will become just another news story; just another cycle, and everyone will soon return to watching “Desperate Housewives of the Jersey Shore in Gator Country,” or whatever inane garbage is captivating the low- and no-information voters today.

“The Perfect Storm” scenario consists of an external threat (Islamofascism) coupled with and facilitated by an internal threat (Progressivism, whose chief manipulative tenet is political correctness) targeting a constitutionally illiterate American populace (a population who fails to understand the worth and value of their rights). Is this a Right-Left or Democrat-Libertarian-Republican issue? No. This is an American issue and one that extends to the free world, as well.

Islamofascism, rooted in an almost fanatical devotion to Sharia Law, places the theocratic dogma of Islam above the inalienable rights realized and codified in the Charters of Freedom – the Declaration of Independence, US Constitution and Bill of Rights (Nancy would also include the Magna Carta, and she is right to do so). In doing so, the rights to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press; all the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights and ensuing Amendments, are subjugated to the will of Sharia. A cursory examination of Sharia Law’s compatibility with the freedoms identified in the Charters of Freedom results in the realization of a total incompatibility between the two. One cannot live a life devoted to Islam and Sharia Law, and recognize the US Constitution as the law of the land, ergo; Islamofascism is a direct threat to the US Constitution.

Progressivism, essentially an American Fifth Column, emanates from the ideology of the Marxist/Leninist Era, and presents a menace from within. This ideology was first empowered under the Wilson reign – which advanced the lie of a “living Constitution” so as to expand government beyond the enumerated powers, and then enjoyed resurgence during the counter-culture revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. Today, this ideology, anathema to the Charters of Freedom, is taught at every level of our public education system – from pre-school to graduate school – in the form of “political correctness,” “multiculturalism” and “diversity.” This ideology – embraced by the likes of the “social justice” crowd – has evolved into a unique yet visionless one, and one which holds that our most basic constitutional tenets are the central cause for many of the social ills here in the United States and around the world.

This Secular-Progressive, Democratic-Socialist and/or neo-Marxist American Fifth Column ideology claims that our Constitutional Republic is, in fact, a Democracy, which our Founders and Framers vehemently opposed; understanding that Democracy did and does not protect minority rights. It employs the democratic process to promote moral relativism, multiculturalism and political correctness, doing so in an effort to silence those who would defend the basic foundational American principles, while pursuing an American form of Socialism in their place. This system of beliefs serves not only to grotesquely blur the lines between good and evil, bad behavior and civic responsibility, it goes to great lengths to negate the concepts all together.

The Progressive ideology promotes the utilization of an artificially created sense of self-esteem within our children while striving to denigrate the notion of individualism in deference to the group-think mentality, or the “it takes a village” philosophy, leaving them ill-prepared for the competitive world in which we live, and dependents of a state unable to compete at all.

The precepts of the American Fifth Column work to eliminate the benefits and rewards of a competition based free market society by instituting the notion that absolute socio-economic equality can be attained through government mandated entitlement and control, usurping the freedom of choice and alienating our constitutionally mandated individual liberty to define and pursue happiness. Anyone who dares to challenge the Progressive ideology is castigated as a “bigot,” a “racist,” and/or any litany of “phobes,” all in an effort to execute Rule No. 12 from Progressivism’s bible, Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky (who literally dedicated his book to Satan):

Rule No. 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

With just this very basic understanding of Progressivism – and I urge you to read more on this (DiscoverTheNetworks.org has an indispensable summary of the movement accessible here) – it is obvious to the honest that Progressivism is not only antithetical to Americanism, but a direct threat to the Charters of Freedom.

Couple these two major threats to our nation, to our Founding Documents, to our liberty, with the fact that since the Progressives’ capture of the American education system, the importance of studying history has been marginalized, so much so that our nation, but for what can only be described now as an alarmed minority, stands constitutionally illiterate; unable to understand the value of the inalienable rights mandated by our Founding Documents and bequeathed to us by Natural Law, not government.

I liken it to the old adage about two children who have received the same bike, one given the bike, the other made to earn the bike. Invariably, the child who was given the bike was more prone to neglecting it, not understanding its worth, while the child who was made to earn the bike; that understood its worth, maintained it. This basic truth applies to our American Heritage and the continued welfare of our nation.

Without a solid understanding of the basic principles used by our Founds and Framers in establishing our Constitution it is impossible for Americans to recognize the worth of the American ideal. When the full values of freedom and liberty are not realized it becomes easy to incrementally relinquish our rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

Today, we do not have a populace, a citizenry, which is literate in constitutional philosophy; that understands the worth of their rights…and so they cede them. Further, without a basic understanding of the value of our founding principles and the worth of the American ideal, the American public is less inclined to be concerned with an unfettered access to un-manipulated, fact-based information; information needed to address many of the serious issues facing our nation, our nation’s leaders and the world; issues like violent jihad on the streets of Boston, New York, Any Town, USA.

With regard to the Boston Marathon bombings, it is without question that the Progressives among us have blood on their hands. Progressives in the media, in elected office and in leadership positions have consistently and absolutely denied the American public their right to examine the violent tenets of Islam by saying that to do so wouldn’t be “politically correct,” by saying it would be “insensitive to Muslims,” or that those who want to examine the facts surrounding the truth about the dichotomy between Islam and terrorism are “racists,” “bigots,” Islamophobic or otherwise “intolerant.” Progressives are the ones who concocted the politically correct policies that keep law enforcement from even using the word “Middle Eastern” when putting out a BOLO about a suspected terrorist. Progressives are the ones who established political barriers between law enforcement and intelligence agencies, stunting our nation’s ability to defend our citizenry from the savage acts of the hate-filled.

Progressives will undoubtedly call me a “racist,” a “bigot,” and an “intolerant Islamophobe” because I dare to speak the truth; because I have dared, for over a decade, to speak the truth, about Islam, about Progressivism and about our constitutionally illiterate culture, doing so at great personal expense; unrecognized by the now finally engaged elite Conservative media. So be it…if that is the price I must pay to be a good citizen; if that is the price I have to pay to be a good American.

I just pray, in my anonymity, that now the media elites have been born into awareness about “The Perfect Storm,” that they see the story through to its successful resolution; that they don’t drop this issue of national survival for the next “blonde girl goes missing” news item of another Lindsay Lohan DUI-Rehab-Back-to-Spoiled-Brat story. Honestly, all of our lives, all of our freedoms, depend on whether they do or not. That’s why there is freedom of the press…for now.

Secretary Napolitano Caught in Lie, Media Absent

Janet Napolitano

Under oath!

Janet Napolitano
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss immigration policy and was quickly questioned about a Saudi national who was reported early in the investigation of the Boston Marathon bombings as a “person of interest.”

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) inquired about Abdul Rahman Ali al Harbi, about whom Napolitano refused to answer questions at a previous hearing. “Before the [Tsarnaev] brothers became the focus of the investigation, authorities questioned a Saudi student who reportedly was on a terror watchlist,” said Grassley, “…if so, how did he obtain a student visa?”

Napolitano’s response contradicts itself in just a few short sentences.

“He was not on a watchlist. What happened is — this student was, really when you back it out, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was never a subject. He was never even really a person of interest. Because he was being interviewed, he was at that point put on a watchlist, and then when it was quickly determined he had nothing to do with the bombing, the watch listing status was removed.”

So which is it? Was he on a watchlist or not? If he wasn’t a “person of interest,” why was he being interviewed? If he was never a “subject,” why was he issued an event file designated 212 3B by federal authorities?

The media has been decidedly silent on the subject of Al Harbi. The front pages of ABCNews.com, CBSNews.com, NBCNews.com, and CNN.com do not contain information on the Saudi national, whose whereabouts has not been released by authorities as of the time of this posting.

Glenn Beck’s The Blaze news site has more information and documentation to support claims al Harbi is a dangerous person with a terrorist designation by federal authorities.

* Updates to this story will be posted, as needed, if more information is released.

Boston Take Aways

Eagle Scowling

Boston was a city that had artificially seized up – made motionless and frozen in fear by 24 hour coverage. That same 24 hour news coverage, with its instantaneous updates, and conjecture-as-news, as exhausting as it was, provided us with a few valuable insights. The media and the government both showed themselves as highly amateurish at times, but perhaps most instructive, the resilience and ability of Americans to stand together in dire times was also shown. We saw both the best, and at times, the worst of humanity.

It is an easy claim that the Tsarnaev brothers were the most vile and inhumane criminals we have seen in some time. Although, not killing nearly as many innocent people as the gutless cowards of 9/11/2001, the Tsarnaevs’ methods were much, much more personal. It is very doubtful that any of the 9/11 terrorists knew any of their 3,000 victims, beyond sitting down beside them on a plane that day, and the victims were a part of a group – victim to both terror, and the randomness of a terribly, macabre, draw. The Boston Marathon bombers carefully chose their spots and their victims, including an innocent 8-year old boy and his family.

The greatest reactions were of the people – who immediately after the tragedy, where seen treating the injured, giving solace to victims in shock, and transporting casualties blocks to the nearest ambulances. When the government ordered people to stay inside, and yet, help with the manhunt, by reporting anything that they saw – it was then that the people came through with the most important tip of the manhunt. The hull of a small boat was the location of Djhokhar’s last free breaths.

Nearly as disgusting as the Tsarnaevs themselves, was the media. Constantly jumping from one allegation or anonymous leak to another, they cannot have helped in the hunt for Dzhokhar. They were also slow to report, perhaps getting nervous when an embarrassed CNN reported incorrect information, and had to apologize. Various members of the press, whether officially representing their employers or not, showed incredible amounts of racism and bigotry. People like Salon’s David Sirota hoped for the bombers to be white Americans. People like MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry denied Islam had any connections with the violent acts. Indeed, in their hurry to receive air time and acclaim, the media personalities doubled down on political correctness, and did not seem to double-check at all.

Government played both two roles in the Boston tragedy: it was both heroic capturing force, who marshaled so many resources to catch mysterious terrorists, and heavy-handed ogre, telling people to stay inside their homes, when no one seemed sure where the terrorist was. For sure, the lasso thrown around Boston seemed to tighten the senses of fear and anxiety, in both the innocent citizenry, and the police force responsible for an extraordinary task: finding suspects who had already killed one officer, and had exchanged fire with them. The police did get their man, but the so many tense moments had a high cost to everyone involved.

Perhaps the most important take-away here is that government showed itself, again, as a mechanism of re-activity  not pro-activity. Despite government’s regulations, and recent increased calls for gun control, the Tsarnaevs scoffed at those past laws and regulations, and procured and used weapons against police. The government assures us, passing new legislation will be different – the future terrorists and criminals will follow these new rules.

Will anything change? Will the media report more slowly, and more carefully? Will the citizenry be more willing to report suspicious people? I hope. The images of an innocent, naked man face-down in the street,massed, flashing red and blue lights,  bloody sidewalks, and police with determined, clinched jaws should not soon be forgotten.

Carlos Arredondo holds Old Glory

Saturday Night Cigar Lounge with Taylor – April 20th 2013

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When: Saturday, April 20th, 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where: Saturday Night Cigar Lounge with Taylor on Blog Talk Radio

What: Saturday nights were meant for cigars and politics.

Hear Taylor and his co-host Liz Harrison talk about everything from the past week – from politics, to news, to books, and entertainment. Whatever comes to mind, and of course, sobriety is not likely.

Tonight: Tonight, of course some talk about the Boston Marathon suspected bombers. Otherwise, who knows? We’re all sleep-deprived, so anything could happen! And we might end up with a friend or two from other talk shows calling in. (Yeah, we’d love to let you know who, but all our friends are just as sleep-deprived, so it’ll be whoever can manage to stay awake for the show!)

Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev – The Boston Marathon bombing suspect captured

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Breaking: 7:50pm EDT
According to live reporting on FoxNews:

At approximately 6:25pm local time, authorities cornered the Boston Marathon bombing suspect, at 67 Franklin Street in Watertown, MA. After police had swept a residence, including a boat and shed in the backyard, the owner noticed the shed door was open, and that there was blood and bloody clothing visible. Authorities arrived minutes after the resident called in, and there was a barrage of gunfire that drew more officers.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
Civilians fled the immediate area, and it was quickly reported that the suspect was down. A bomb-searching robot was sent to the scene, to verify that there are no bombs hidden on the property, in the boat, or in the shed. Reports on the Fox News channel have been supplemented by the local Fox affiliate, WFXT. They have reported that the “suspect is alive, surrounded, and still moving.” Eye witness estimates report that there were 20 to 30 shots fired. At the time of this writing, it is unknown if Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev has any connection with the home or neighborhood where the suspect has been surrounded. Sources have not stated that the suspect has been apprehended. The suspect is alive, in the boat, and refusing to get out. Authorities are engaged in negotiations with him.

It has not been confirmed that the individual surrounded by police at this time is definitely Tsarnaev. He is being referred to as only “suspect number two.”

This is a developing story, and will be updated as more details are confirmed.

7:55pm EDT – Reports of multiple explosions on the scene. WFXT reporter on the scene is too far away to see anything in the dark, but there have been flashes visible in the direction of 67 Franklin Street. Last word was that 8 to 10 explosions were heard.

7:59pm EDT – From WFXT – Confirmed, the suspect is injured from last night’s fire fight, and the subsequent fleeing of the scene.

8:09pm EDT – Fox News Video

8:12pm EDT – WFXT News Video – Explosions heard in Watertown

Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

8:23pm EDT – WFXT News reporting new video footage of law enforcement personnel assisting families, carrying children away from the area surrounding the scene at 67 Franklin Street. Footage was filmed shortly before nightfall.

8:25pm EDT – Fox News reporting three people in custody for questioning in New Bedford, MA. These individuals are not being called suspects.

8:47pm EDT – Fox News reporting suspect is in custody.

8:56pm EDT – WFXT News reporting suspect is being taken away from the scene in an ambulance.

8:59pm EDT – Mayor Menino’s Response:

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Linked photos:
Photo 1 – “We got him”
Photo 2 – I’m proud of you!
Photo 3 – Teamwork!

The “I’m proud of you” photo was apparently taken when Mayor Menino was broadcasting on the police radio to all personnel.

CLEARED By Investigators

Two young men whose photos were captured by surveillance and onlookers at the Boston Marathon have been cleared as suspects in the bombings, according to reports. (New York Post, Business Insider)

Thanks to seeing his face in photos on social media websites like Facebook, 17 year old Salah Barhoun went to the police to clear his name on Wednesday afternoon.

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See a photo of a man carrying a black bag with grey straps similar to the mangled bag in the official FBI photo released to the media here: Could THIS Be the Bomber?

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Could THIS Be the Bomber?

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4-18-13 UPDATE: “Leaked photos” are expected to be officially released today in a news conference, accordinging to the New York Post and several other media sources. At least one photo rumored to be useful to authorities was part of this post yesterday. The New York Post is reporting the 2 young men in the “leaked” photos have been cleared of any wrong doing, though no official statement from law enforcement has been made.

4-18-13 UPDATE 2: Cleared by investigators. Multiple sources say 2 young men cleared of any involvement.
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Twitter has proven the source of breaking news time and again when traditional media outlets fail. The Representative Anthony Weiner scandal, Fast and Furious, and more recently the Gosnell death trial have all gained nationwide attention due to the mountains of information available via social media.
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We just might thank Twitter once again when it comes to the Boston Marathon bombings if David Shor is correct in his prediction.

Shor, who uses the Twitter handle @IshYimini, spent more than 2 hours last night researching, posting and trying to get the attention of media regarding a photo of a man in the crowd near the finish line carrying a large nylon bag. The bag, with thick black and grey strap, bears a striking resemblance to the one used in one of the two bombs found in the rubble.

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Shor said that he has contacted the FBI about his research, but as of the early morning hours of Wednesday hadn’t heard any updates.

Officials have not yet named a suspect in the terror attack, nor have many details been released about the person or persons who are to blame. Perhaps trolling Twitter could lead to some promising leads.

See the original crowd photo here: Flickr.com/photos
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4-17-13 UPDATE: More INCREDIBLE comparison photos here: IMGUR.com

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Bombs Made in Pressure Cookers

Pressure Cooker-500x500

The Marathon Bombs were likely made in pressure cookers, filled with nails and other metal and set off remotely by cell phone according to new reports from CNN. Use of pressure cookers is seen in Afghanistan bombs and were used in the attempted Time Square bombing of 2010.
At this early stage in the investigation no suspects or motives have been identified.

The Insufferable Left Wing Crusade Against Chick-Fil-A

Public Enemy #1...If You're Liberal

Public Enemy #1…If You’re Liberal

I’m shocked at Chick-fil-A.  They advocate for a traditional family unit as described in the bible.  This is very controversial and marginalizing their bases of operation is critical in stopping bigotry and would be a critical victory for the gay rights movement.  That’s literally what liberals think about this whole kerfuffle surrounding what Dan Cathy, President and COO of Chick-fil-A, said about the company’s stance on gay marriage.  After a report was released by Equality Matters, a branch of the liberal Media Matters for America, the contents revealed that “Chick-fil-A donated more than $3 million between 2003 and 2009 to Christian groups that oppose homosexuality. In 2010 alone, the company gave nearly $2 million to such causes, according to the report.”  Wow.  People who are opposed to homosexuality and gay marriage.  I’m shocked. Yet, I’m not convinced that Dan Cathy said anything that could be classified as anti-gay.

As reported in the LA Times:

Chick-fil-A is very much supportive of the family, according to Dan Cathy, president of the popular fast food chain. That is, the biblical definition of the family unit, he said. And that doesn’t include Adam and Steve, suggests Cathy, whose father S. Truett Cathy founded the Atlanta-based company. In a new interview with Baptist Press, Cathy puts on the record what critics say his company’s actions have indicated for years. Well, guilty as charged, he said in the interview when asked about Chick-fil-A’s backing of families led by a man and a woman. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives,” Cathy said. The chain, according to the report, has 1,608 restaurants, sales of more than $4 billion and employees who are trained to focus on values rooted in the Bible. Chick-fil-A’s across the country shut down on Sundays. We don’t claim to be a Christian business,” Cathy said. But as an organization we can operate on biblical principles.

I didn’t hear any epithets or anti-gay rehtoric.  All I heard was that Mr. Cathy and the company he works for doesn’t support gay marriage.  There is a difference.

Well, this has set off the biggest left wing overreaction  that I haven’t seen in a long time and it’s downright hilarious as it is disturbing. Apparently, Big Bird lobbied heavily to get The Muppets to cut ties with the company and donate all their proceeds to GLAAD.  It’s sad to see a great cornerstone in children’s entertainment become so easily swayed by the nonsense spewed by left wing activists.  They’ve whored themselves out to the radical left and I blame Swedish Chef for not being vocal enough in stopping this inane move by the Jim Henson Company. I personally feel that Mr. Snaffalupagus should have curb stomped Bird Bird.  We all know he was a closet liberal.

It’s all your fault!

However, more politicians are getting their panties in a bunch over this.  As Chicago is drowning in its own blood, Mayor Rahm Emanuel decided to put a hold on everything and declare war on chicken sandwiches. In fact, “he said the comments disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents, and therefore building the restaurant in Chicago would be a bad investment, since it would be empty.”  Have you had their sandwiches Mr. Mayor? They’re F-ing delicious!

In Boston, which is known for their tolerance since the city desegregated their schools in the 1970s, Mayor Menino “sent a letter to Chick-Fil-A’s President Dan Cathy. In the letter Menino calls out Cathy for his  prejudiced statements against same-sex marriage and said that having a branch of the restaurant chain across from City Hall would be an insult.”

Menino got the Human Rights Campaign slobbering all over him in their statement:

We applaud Mayor Menino for calling out Chick-fil-A’s anti-LGBT practices. We have been asking people to make their own decisions about whether to continue supporting Chick-fil-A based on the facts available, and Mayor Menino has done just that. Mayor Menino’s rebuke of Chick-fil-A sends a strong messages that their habit of supporting hateful organizations that demonize LGBT Americans are out-of-step with not just Bostonians, but the majority of fair-minded Americans. Chick-fil-A is on the wrong side of history, and we look forward to seeing more and more elected officials and businesses speak out against their discriminatory practices.

So will HRC condemn Mayor Emanuel’s public embrace of Louis Farrakahn? As Kyle Becker of the Independent Journal posted today:

The Weekly Standard reports, Farrakhan was careful to couch his opposition to gay marriage as ‘not homophobic’:

Males coming to males with lust in their hearts as they should to a female,” he said. “Now don’t you dare say Farrakhan was preaching hate; he’s homophobic. I’m not afraid of my brothers and sisters or others who may be practicing what God condemned in the days of Lot. That’s not our job to be hateful of our people. Our job is to call us to sanity.”

Farrakhan goes on to call out clergy who support gay marriage, saying they are placing society’s needs over God’s.

“Is this the book that you believe in, but now you(‘re) backing down from an aspect of it because people will get offended?” he asked.”

Nothing Mr. Cathy said was anti-gay.  Again, he’s for traditional marriage, which half the country supports.  It’s not controversial.  Some people are simply against gay marriage and the Left needs to get over it.  However, I’m glad to see that some liberals are noticing that this isn’t the right battle.  Adam Serwer of Mother Jones stated:

Menino and Moreno have it wrong. Blocking construction of Chick-fil-a restaurants over Cathy’s views is a violation of Cathy’s First Amendment rights. Boston and Chicago have no more right to stop construction of Chick-fil-As based on an executive’s anti-gay views than New York City would have had the right to block construction of an Islamic community center blocks away from Ground Zero. The government blocking a business from opening based on the owner’s political views is a clear threat to everyone’s freedom of speech—being unpopular doesn’t mean you don’t have rights.

While we may disagree concerning the Ground Zero Mosque, Serwer hits it on the head concerning the threat this could pose to our  First Amendment rights.  It’s also anti-capitalist.  This Chick-Fil-A “controversy” is a convenient smoke screen initiated by the left to hide the president’s record since they’re running out of excuses.  While I plan to attend National Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day on August 1st, I will take pleasure as I sink my teeth into that chicken sandwich that the Olympics will overshadow this trivial episode in American politics.

WaPo’s Useless Racism Analysis

Obama lost around 40% of the vote in primaries held in Kentucky, Arkansas and West Virginia.  Of course, The Washington Compost posted a story providing useless and utterly inane analysis surrounding the reasons why the president did so poorly as the incumbent candidate.  Chris Cillizza wrote:

that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that Appalachia and portions of the South — particularly those states without large African American populations — have long been hostile to President Obama.

There are any number of data points that make that point plainly.

During the 2008 Democratic presidential primary campaign, Obama lost Kentucky by 35 points and West Virginia by 41(!) points to then Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton even though both states voted late enough in the process that it was already clear Obama would be the nominee.

In the 2008 general election, only five states voted more Republican than they had four years earlier. Those five states were: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia. (In Oklahoma and West Virginia, Obama and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry got the same percentage of the vote but Obama got less raw votes.)

And, since a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s an amazing graphic courtesy of the New York Times that shows the counties that voted more Republican in 2008 than they did in 2004.

I’ll save you some time with the link:

However, it may surprise some liberals that a significant amount of Democrats have conservative leanings, especially in the region Mr. Cillizza is referring to in this post.  Furthermore, Cillizza quotes

Tom Cole, a Republican House Member, dismissed the idea of race as a major factor in opposition to Obama out of hand.

Said Cole:

Obama fares poorly in states like Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arkansas because he has nothing in common with them. They are rural, he is urban. They are populist, he is elitist. And in case anyone hadn’t noticed, they are conservative while he is liberal. That isn’t just true of Republicans in these states. It is true of Democrats as well.

Well, there you have it Chris.  I can say the same for my home state of Pennsylvania, which is aptly described as Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Alabama in-between concerning the political disposition of its electorate.  In a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by 1.2 million, the PA GOP were able to clinch eleven more courthouses, thus controlling fifty-one  of the sixty-seven counties.  That is up from 40 in 2007.  As Executive Director Mike Barley noted:

Nine of these wins occurred in “blue” counties where Democrats have a registration advantage – Cambria, Carbon, Centre, Clinton, Elk, Lawrence, Mercer, Monroe and Westmoreland…in all of these counties we witnessed Republicans, Independents and even Democrats rejecting Democratic candidates, their big government agenda and President Obama, proving that great Republican candidates can compete and win even in the Democratic counties in the Commonwealth. The story lines are even more intriguing when looking at each race county-by-county and case-by-case. Consider Westmoreland County, where Democrats out-register Republicans 53% to 38%, yet Republicans won the courthouse for the first time in more than 50 years, winning two commissioners and sweeping all of the row offices… in these cases, we see conservative “Reagan Democrats” coming out in droves for Republican candidates. While each county in Pennsylvania is unique, a universal distaste for President Obama’s failed policies was found everywhere and Republicans were successful in large part because we related the ongoing national debates surrounding spending and taxes to issues at the local level.

These rather embarrassing results for the president is not attributed to his race, but his failed record and liberal policies that are destroying the socio-economic health of the country.  The American people are saying “no thanks” to the president’s agenda.  What’s more amusing about Mr. Cillizza’s piece is when he admits that race cannot be gauged in any shape or form.

simply labeling the 42 percent of Kentuckians who supported “uncommitted” over Obama or the 41 percent of Arkansas who backed Tennessee lawyer John Wolfe over the incumbent as “racists” is a major oversimplification.

Untangling or decoupling how people feel about Obama’s race from how they feel about the policies he has pursued in office and his general beliefs about the size and necessity of government is impossible. No poll or election result can divine voters’ motivations.

So why insinuate that racism was a possibility?  Yes, there are some people in America who are racist and will not vote for Obama because of his African-American roots.  However, this is not a new revelation.  And for most of them to be located in the southern and appalachian regions; I’m stunned! Although I’m sure you can find, regrettably, plenty of like minded individuals all over the country.  Think Boston in the 1970s when local schools were desegregated which led to the forced busing fiasco.

In all, for liberals, it is almost unbelievable that people don’t support the president.  It is unbelievable that people don’t support his policies and his far left vision for America.  If you’re against him, you must be racist. That’s their default position to silence the opposition.  However, as demonstrated in key battleground states like Pennsylvania, voters, especially the blue dog, conservative wing of the Democratic Party are beginning to sour on Barry for his failure to get America back on track.  Unemployment has remained above 8% for over thirty-eight months, the national debt has increased by $ 5 trillion dollars, and we’ve ran our third consecutive trillion dollar deficit under this administration. These aren’t things that drive the faithful to the polls.  His record is dismal and the people are calling him out on it. It really isn’t that difficult left wingers.  A study session isn’t needed for everything.

The President Knows His “Story”

 

In a press conference the other day, President Obama referred to a Boston teacher who has been laid off three times in the past four years because of budget cuts. Robert Barrows has a Masters degree and 20 years of teaching experience but, according to Obama, he cannot find a job. This is among one of the many reasons to quickly pass his jobs bill, otherwise known as “stimulus junior.”

 

Just one small detail here – Robert Barrows is not unemployed!

 

Spinmaster Jay Carney was called on it and in response said, "The President knows [Barrows’] story."  In other words, Obama never met the guy!

 

Now, is this a real big deal in the grand scheme of things? Not really.  Did President Obama cause some sort of national security issue because of this? No, but it continues to show a pattern of behavior of using every little thing to pull on the heartstrings of the easily swayed to get them to fall in line with your political agenda. In this case, we have to spend even more of your grandchildren’s money so that all the Robert Barrowses out there will have a good paying job. Being a former teacher myself, I thought I might help shed a little light on this "horrible predicament."

 

First of all, Massachusetts is a lockout state. If you want to be a teacher you must join the teacher’s union.  The union, through collective bargaining, forces all the school districts to pay every teacher according to a scale based on their years of service. Teachers also generally get a pay bump for having advanced degrees. So, someone like Robert Barrows with a Masters degree and 20 years of service, would find himself in the upper echelon of pay in the Boston school system. Whether he is good at his job or not is irrelevant. A person with the same qualifications who is a lousy teacher will get paid the same exact amount as he does and, short of doing something illegal, you really can’t get fired from a teaching gig these days. Unlike the private sector, schools are not allowed to negotiate a pay cut to help you keep your job – it’s all or nothing. So facing such massive shortfalls, what is the school system to do?

 

Does the school system want good teachers? Yes! Would they prefer having somebody with years of classroom management experience? Of course! Do they have enough money to pay them? Thanks to the unions, no! So guess what happens? Robert Barrows gets laid off, due to the fact that he must get paid a high wage that the school can no longer afford. So what does the school do?  They hire some wide-eyed innocent nub straight out of college and pay him the teacher’s equivalent of minimum wage.

 

This of course, happens in the private sector as well. Some companies will lay off the higher-paying workers who have years of experience but a high paycheck in lieu of the kid coming straight out of college. However, most companies that practice this technique generally don’t stay in business for long. In the private sector if you’ve been around for a long time, it’s probably because you’re very good at your job.

 

Another thing a private company can do, short of dumping you altogether, is negotiate down your paycheck. This  is not an ideal situation for anyone, but ask the millions of Americans who are out of work at the moment if they would prefer half the salary of their last job and they would probably jump on it in a minute. Thanks to our good old teachers unions, you can’t do that in schools. How do I know this? Because it is happened to me!

 

I grew up hearing my dad constantly using the phrase "bleeding heart liberals." At first, I thought it was a medical condition. Now I know it is a mental condition. It comes from hearing politicians like Barack Obama churn out sob stories like this one (which is not even true!) over and over again until the knee-jerk reaction becomes natural. And of course, the natural remedy for liberals for conditions such as these is to throw more government money at the problem. It won’t work! It never has and it never will!

 

Perhaps instead of looking to uncle slam for yet another bailout paid out of our grandchildren’s piggy banks, we should be looking to loosening the grip of some of these unions that are simply parasites that just don’t know when to quit. Eventually they’re going to kill the host.