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Fri, 23 Feb 2018
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The unsolved killing of Thomas Wales: What does the firing of US Attorney John McKay have to do with the murder?

Tom Wales
Tom Wales, an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Seattle who became a gun-control activist, was killed in his home in 2001.
Tom Wales was not supposed to be home on the night of October 11, 2001. Wales, an Assistant United States Attorney in Seattle, had planned to have dinner and spend the evening with his girlfriend, Marlis DeJongh, a court reporter who lived downtown. But that afternoon Wales called DeJongh and said that he had projects he needed to work on at home. In the evening, after leaving his office, near the federal courthouse, he returned to his Craftsman-style, wood-frame house in a quiet neighborhood known as Queen Anne.

Wales was forty-nine years old and had been a federal prosecutor for eighteen years. When he worked late, which was often, he would tell his family and friends, "I'm here at my post, serving my sovereign." The phrase was partly a joke, a bit of feigned grandiosity to justify a tendency toward excessive meticulousness: Wales did things slowly. He also had idealistic notions about his work. He took satisfaction in mustering the resources of the federal government to take on criminals, especially those with white collars who abused their privileged status.

On the night of October 11th, Wales arrived home after 7 P.M., gave his twenty-year-old cat, Sam, her nightly arthritis medication, and prepared to install some drywall in a stairwell on the second floor. At about ten o'clock, carrying a glass of wine, he went to the basement office that he had been sharing with his ex-wife, Elizabeth. Tom and Elizabeth had met as high-school students at Milton Academy, outside Boston, and married when Tom was an undergraduate at Harvard. They had a son and a daughter, who at the time were both in Britain, attending graduate school, and they had divorced, amicably, in 2000. (Elizabeth had come out as a lesbian, and the marriage was an inevitable casualty.) Under the terms of the divorce, Tom kept the house, though Elizabeth, a literary agent, ran her business from the basement during the day. Tom used a computer there at night, usually to send e-mails to his children and to DeJongh. That night, he had also planned to work on a fund-raising letter for Washington CeaseFire, the leading gun-control advocacy group in the state, of which he was president.

Comment: See also:

Brick Wall

Publishing platform Medium suspends far-right writers Cernovich, Posobiec and Loomer

© Michael Cravotta
Jack Posobiec calls himself a journalist who “breaks the fourth wall” to stir things up.
The online publishing platform Medium has suspended the accounts of prominent far-right figures Mike Cernovich, Jack Posobiec and Laura Loomer.

Medium spokesperson Sandee Roston told The Hill that the company does "not comment on individual accounts."

Roston did point to a Feb. 7 post detailing an update to its rules.

"We have all seen an increase and evolution of online hate, abuse, harassment, and disinformation, along with ever-evolving campaigns of fraud and spam," Medium's rules update reads. "We have strengthened our policies around this type of behavior."


Femininity: Why do feminists hate it?

little girl lipstick femininity
© Marcin Marczak
It's only February, and already the wheels of the online confected outrage cycle are well and truly turning. In an interview with Freakonomics Radio at the end of January, food giant PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi committed the cardinal sin of suggesting women and men are, in fact, different. According to Nooyi, PepsiCo's market research indicated while women enjoy Doritos, they do not like the crunchy, dusty-fingered logistical inconvenience of eating them in public.

"Although women would like to crunch [chips] loudly, lick their fingers and pour crumbs from the bag into their mouth afterwards, they prefer not to do this in public," Nooyi stated.

The potential (and seemingly innocent) solution for this female consumer dissatisfaction? Create a new, less crunchy version of Doritos, that would taste the same, but leave less orange residue on fingers. Nooyi also asserted this potential new product would be compact enough for women to carry them around in their handbags.

Comment: There is a nugget of truth in the last bolded statement. Jordan Peterson has emphasized that both genders need to develop the portion of their personality that corresponds to the opposite sex. Anima and animus need to be in balance. The genders should complement each other. And notice they are sure picky about the professions they clamor for equality in. There don't seem to be many feminists campaigning for more women electricians, miners or other heavy professions.


FBI evidence suggests conspiracy and hired gunman involved in 2001 murder of federal prosecutor Thomas Wales

Thomas wales
© Greg Gilbert/The Seattle Times
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder walks into a news conference at Seattle’s Federal Building in 2011 to announce a $1 million reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who killed Thomas Wales.
The FBI and the Department of Justice have scheduled a news conference in Seattle for Wednesday, during which Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the department's No. 2 ranking official, is expected to discuss the unsolved 2001 homicide.

The FBI has found evidence strongly suggesting that the fatal shooting of Seattle federal prosecutor Thomas Wales in 2001 involved a conspiracy and a hired gunman, according to an FBI official familiar with the investigation.

Agents had pursued a single-shooter theory in the case and focused on a former Bellevue-area airline pilot who has long been a leading suspect in the shooting.

While agents continue to look at all leads that remain in the 16-year-old investigation, they are reviewing possible ties between the pilot and a small circle of people who agents suspect were involved in the killing, the FBI official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the investigation.

The official said there is a "very small group" of people who know what happened. "They never talk about it," the official said.

Comment: See also: The unsolved killing of Thomas Wales: What does the firing of US Attorney John McKay have to do with the murder?


Russia's FSB foils another terrorist plot in St. Petersburg

FSB officers
© Igor Zarembo / Sputnik
The Russian Security Service (FSB) say they have prevented a string of terrorist attacks targeting public places and public transport. A suspect from Central Asia has been detained.

Authorities have not disclosed the identity of the suspect, for fear of compromising the ongoing investigation.

In December, seven alleged supporters of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) were apprehended on suspicion of plotting attacks across St. Petersburg.

Red Flag

Ottawa abortion protester becomes first person charged under Canada's new draconian pro-life speech ban

Cyril Winter
© Deborah Gyapong
Cyril Winter demonstrating outside the Morgentaler abortion facility in the fall of 2017
One of the most well known abortion protesters in the nation's capital is the first to be charged for violating Ontario's new bubble zone law.

Cyril Winter, 70, faces eight charges for violating the law prohibiting pro-life protests within 50 to 150 metres of abortion facilities and came into effect Feb. 1.

On Feb. 7, police arrested Winter near the Morgentaler abortion clinic on Bank St. in downtown Ottawa. He was wearing a sandwich board that featured a picture of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the words: "Freedom of Expression and Religion. No censorship." A crucifix dangled from the top of the sign.

Two days later, Winter said he returned to the area with a sign reading, "God save Canada's Charter Rights," and was charged with an additional three offences under the Act.

Red Flag

Journalist banned from feminist conference in Sweden for daring to write that gender was biological and not a social construct

Kajsa Ekis Ekman
© Stuart McEvoy The Australian
Kajsa Ekis Ekman
Questioning the idea that gender is a social construct is seemingly a no-no in Swedish feminist circles, as it cost a renowned journalist her participation in a conference.

Swedish journalist Kajsa "Ekis" Ekman was scheduled to participate in a porn-related conference in Gothenburg earlier this week. However, her attendance was canceled after she wrote a text in which she claimed that gender was "biological."

The conference on the connection of pornography with prostitution was organized by the National Organization for Women's Shelters (Roks), which asked Ekman for an article about gender.

"In her opinion piece and subsequent replies, Kajsa Ekman was skeptical about the fact that gender is something a person themselves gets to define. This is not consistent with Roks' ideology," the organization wrote on its website.


Man accused of kidnapping British model Chloey Ayling claims she fabricated story to become famous

Chloe Ayling
© Global Look Press
Chloe Ayling
The man accused of kidnapping aspiring British model Chloe Ayling has claimed the whole ordeal was "fabricated" to make her famous. Lukasz Herba faces court in Italy on Wednesday over accusations he abducted the 20-year-old before holding her hostage for six days.

Ayling hit the headlines in July after she was found in Italy, having been shoved into a suitcase in an alleged kidnap and ransom plot. Ayling claims that she was offered a modeling job in Milan, but on arrival was snatched and drugged by a group calling itself Black Death - which is accused of selling sex slaves to the Middle East.

Six days later, she was found outside the British embassy. Young mum Chloe was reportedly spared after telling the kidnappers she had a child.

Herba, a 30-year-old Polish national, is in custody in Milan after his arrest. He denies knowingly taking part in a crime. His brother Michal Herba was also charged with being involved in the kidnapping.

Comment: Previously: Staged? Story about British 'model' allegedly kidnapped in Italy unravels (UPDATES)

Update (Feb. 22): Lukasz Herba has now told a court the same thing, that the stated kidnapping was concocted to make Chloe Ayling famous since she was 'desperate to become rich and famous'. Since both Herba and Ayling have changed their stories, there seems to be little faith that either is telling the truth. The judge is considering ordering Herba to undergo psychiatric tests.

No Entry

American diplomats and election monitors barred from Russian presidential election

presidential election ballot
© Evgeny Biyatov / Sputnik
US diplomats and staff of various American organizations will not be allowed to monitor the upcoming Russian presidential election, in reply to a similar ban issued by the US in 2016, the Russian deputy foreign minister has said.

"As for the American diplomats and workers of the offices of various US organizations in Russia, they will not be permitted to participate in this process [poll monitoring], considering the fact that during the 2016 elections in the US the staff of Russian organizations in the US were denied such an opportunity," Sergey Ryabkov was quoted as saying on Thursday by Interfax.

The deputy minister also added that this would not apply to US citizens who work for the monitoring mission of the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

Russian Flag

Russian Olympic Committee pays $15mln to IOC for reinstatement, may be able to fly Russian flag at closing ceremony

russia ioc
© Fabrice Coffrini / AFP
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has received a sizeable amount of money from the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), which had to pay $15 million for reinstatement of its suspended membership.

On Thursday, the ROC paid the required sum to the Olympic governing body for the restoration of its membership, which might allow the national athletes to march under their national flag at the PyeongChang closing ceremony.

In December, the IOC ruled to suspend the ROC and ban several top Russian officials, including former sports minister, Vitaly Mutko, as a penalty for alleged doping during the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

More than 50 Russian team members, who the Olympic body had suspected of doping, were slapped with life bans for any future Olympic Games and had their 2014 games results annulled by the IOC.