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Gender: Male
Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 46,333

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A Letter to a Bernie-or-Bust Voter

A Letter to a Bernie-or-Bust Voter
I get it. I was just like you once.

In the year 2000, fresh out of college, I cast my second-ever presidential election vote for Ralph Nader. Later that night, I watched in horror as the contest between Al Gore and George W. Bush ended in an unprecedented electoral college toss-up, leading to a messy recount battle and the infamous Supreme Court decision Bush v. Gore. The chosen successor of a popular incumbent administration, Gore should have sailed to victory on the strength of the economy alone, yet he conceded the election to Bush, a candidate initially considered too unserious to be a true contender.

Gore lost Florida by 537 votes. Nader received almost 100,000 votes in Florida. And he actively campaigned in swing states, including Florida, in the lead-up to the election. If Nader had quit the race and thrown his support to the Democrats, we might be reminiscing about a Gore administration right now.

And I share the blame. Now, before you post mean things in the comments, let me clarify: I voted in New York state, which went blue in 2000, so my individual vote did not help swing the election. But I still feel complicit. I jumped on the Nader bandwagon and bought into a set of beliefs that seemed right to me at the time but were proven very wrong over the eight years that followed.

Chief among them, I thought that Gore and Bush were essentially indistinguishable. Carbon copies of each other. Both corporate insider candidates, beholden to big-money interests and out of touch with people struggling at the margins of the economy. I’m from the Rust Belt—I grew up near Cleveland—and I had seen factory closures turn a once-vibrant part of the country into a series of ghost towns. I blamed NAFTA and the Clinton administration’s failure to defend unions and stem the tide of outsourcing. In this and on other issues—welfare reform, prison sentencing—I thought the Clinton administration had bent so far backward to win over the right that it had lost its progressive conscience. The economy boomed during the Clinton years, but the gulf between the rich and poor, the haves and have-nots, only widened.

Nader voiced the discontent I was feeling. I was young and idealistic and wanted political revolution. It felt good to back a rabble-rouser, not the stiff, robotic Al Gore. I was annoyed with the Democrats for picking a predictable, incremental candidate who played not to the left, but to the mushy middle. I went to a Nader rally in NYC: Bill Murray, Michael Moore, and Susan Sarandon spoke. Eddie Vedder sang. I felt inspired, part of a movement to bring about real change, ready to cast my protest vote.


Said it much better than I could...

If you are active duty/retired military, PLEASE don't be this guy:

Virginia Beach veteran found guilty in American flag dispute with neighbor

John Parmele Jr. admitted he learned an expensive lesson. But he defended why he stole two American flags from his neighbor. The Navy vet said he took them from Mike Anderson last month because they were flown at night without being illuminated.

“I regret I did it now,” the 73-year-old said. “But I will not apologize because Mr. Anderson disrespects the flag. He disrespects veterans and he disrespects all Americans.”

District Court Judge Teresa Hammons found Parmele guilty Monday of trespassing, petty larceny and intentional damage to a monument after Anderson presented photos and video of the crime being committed. The judge suspended a 90-day jail sentence and ordered Parmele to reimburse Anderson $99.98 for the stolen items. She also ordered Parmele to stay off his neighbor’s property and to remain on good behavior for two years.

Anderson, who was accompanied in court by four other neighbors from the cul-de-sac in Laurel Cove where he and Parmele live, said he was pleased with the outcome but declined to discuss it. Parmele told the judge he took the flags because he could not put up with Anderson flying them against the federal flag code, which states that if a flag is not taken down at night, it should be illuminated. The code, however, is not enforceable.



We called up Bernie fans who threatened Nevada Dem Chair & asked them to explain themselves

...Soon afterwards, Lange’s cellphone number was posted online, and the local offices were vandalized. In a formal letter of complaint written to the Democratic National Committee, the Nevada Democratic Party said Lange has received hundreds of insulting and often threatening calls and texts. The letter said, too, that they feared the same behavior will happen again at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July.

As Stassa notes, many Sanders supporters condemned what happened at the Nevada convention and the threats against Lange. The Nevada Dems, though, placed the blame squarely on Sanders’ camp, drawing no distinction between the campaign itself and its supporters:

We write to alert you to what we perceive as the Sanders Campaign’s penchant for extra-parliamentary behavior—indeed, actual violence—in place of democratic conduct in a convention setting, and furthermore what we can only describe as their encouragement of, and complicity in, a very dangerous atmosphere that ended in chaos and physical threats to fellow Democrats. Indeed, the threats to the Chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party are ongoing at time of this writing, as Sanders activists have posted her cell phone and home address online, and have bombarded her with threats to her life and the safety of her family. We have attached some examples of this conduct, which is not merely offensive but obviously criminal in nature. We can provide audio of threatening phone calls made directly to the Chair, which now number in the hundreds.

The state party also released a Dropbox folder that had links to some of the texts and voicemails Lange received.

In these voicemails, she is called a cunt and a bitch, and many callers express hopes that she’s seriously harmed. “Praying to god someone shoots you in the FACE,” one says, “and blows your democracy-stealing head off!” Another called for her to be “hung in a public execution.”


Get Control, Senator Sanders, or Get Out

Violence. Death threats. Vile, misogynistic names screamed at women. Rage. Hatred. Menacing, anonymous phone calls to homes and offices. Public officials whisked offstage by security agents frightened of the growing mob. None of this has any place in a political campaign. And the candidate who has been tolerating this obscene behavior among his supporters is showing himself to be unfit for office.

So, Senator Sanders, either get control of what is becoming your increasingly unhinged cult or get out of the race. Whatever respect sane liberals had for you is rapidly dwindling, and the damage being inflicted on your reputation may be unfixable. If you can’t even manage the vicious thugs who act in your name, you can’t be trusted to run a convenience store, much less the country.

When Bernie Sanders launched his presidential campaign, he seemed to be the kind of candidate who would inspire voters from the liberal blocs of the Democratic Party, push the party leftward and influence the future direction of politics—either as the nominee or as a force for change. But Sanders has increasingly signaled that he is in this race for Sanders, and day after day shows himself to be a whining crybaby with little interest in a broader movement. His vicious—and often ridiculous—attacks on the party whenever he doesn’t win a contest have inspired a level of ignorant fanaticism among a large swath of his supporters that is becoming more akin to what might be seen at an out-of-control rally for Donald Trump. Signs are emerging that the Sanders campaign is transmogrifying into the type of movement through which tyrants are born.

The ugly was on display at the recent state convention of the Nevada Democratic Party, where Hillary Clinton won more delegates than Sanders. Now, this should hardly have been a surprise to anyone except the Sandernistas, whose certainty in their righteousness has overwhelmed any commitment they may have ever had to democracy. Sanders lost the Nevada caucuses in February by more than 5 percent. A rational person who cared about the will of the people would presume that Clinton would emerge from the state with the most delegates. But Sanders supporters were outraged—outraged!—that the person with the largest number of votes ended up with the largest share of delegates.


'You want a description of hell?’ OxyContin’s 12-hour problem

The drugmaker Purdue Pharma launched OxyContin two decades ago with a bold marketing claim: One dose relieves pain for 12 hours, more than twice as long as generic medications.

Patients would no longer have to wake up in the middle of the night to take their pills, Purdue told doctors. One OxyContin tablet in the morning and one before bed would provide “smooth and sustained pain control all day and all night.”

When Purdue unveiled OxyContin in 1996, it touted 12-hour duration.

On the strength of that promise, OxyContin became America’s bestselling painkiller, and Purdue reaped $31 billion in revenue.

But OxyContin’s stunning success masked a fundamental problem: The drug wears off hours early in many people, a Los Angeles Times investigation found. OxyContin is a chemical cousin of heroin, and when it doesn’t last, patients can experience excruciating symptoms of withdrawal, including an intense craving for the drug.

The problem offers new insight into why so many people have become addicted to OxyContin, one of the most abused pharmaceuticals in U.S. history.


Arizona man sentenced for leaving granddaughter in desert with loaded gun

An Arizona man was sentenced to six months in jail for abandoning his five-year-old granddaughter in the desert and instructing her to 'shoot any bad guys,' prosecutors said.

Paul Armand Rater, 54, of Buckeye, pleaded guilty to one count of felony child abuse under a plea agreement stemming from the November 2015 incident, county Attorney Bill Montgomery said.

The girl was reported missing by family members four hours after Rater took her for a ride in his newpickup truck, authorities said.

She was found holding a .45-caliber pistol during a search of the area by her mother and an off-duty firefighter,court records said.

She told sheriff's detectives that she had been told to 'shoot any bad guys' and added: 'I don't know why papa left me.'

Rater was located at a store and he admitted to leaving the girl under a tree with his gun after his vehicle apparently had broken down and he left to seek help.

But he then proceeded to go into an establishment where he had drinks and ate a cheeseburger, court records showed.

'There still has been no satisfactory explanation for why that happened,' Montgomery said at a news conference on Wednesday. 'I can't tell you why.'


Am I the only one who thinks this was an attempted murder and six months is WAY too short?

Court Papers Reveal Qaeda Operative’s Work as Trainer and Bomb Expert

WASHINGTON — The Qaeda bomb-making instructor carefully demonstrated for his student how to mix the chemicals to make a volatile powder, then supervised a test explosion and added a sinister final tip: tape bolts around the homemade bomb to produce lethal shrapnel.

The explosive expert’s identity, revealed by a Qaeda operative facing sentencing next week, came as a surprise: He was Anwar al-Awlaki, the American imam who had joined Al Qaeda in Yemen and become the terrorist network’s leading English-language propagandist.

Mr. Awlaki had long been known for public oratory on behalf of Al Qaeda before he was killed in a drone strike in 2011 on President Obama’s orders, making him the first American citizen killed without criminal charges or trial in the campaign against terrorism.

But new court filings in New York offer the most detailed account yet of a hidden side of Mr. Awlaki’s work inside Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen — as a hands-on trainer who taught recruits how to make bombs, gave them money for missions and offered suggestions about how to carry out suicide attacks.

The papers, part of a sentencing memorandum submitted by the government, were filed Tuesday in Federal District Court in Manhattan in the case of Mr. Awlaki’s former bomb-making student, Minh Quang Pham, a Vietnamese-British convert to Islam. He has pleaded guilty to three terrorism-related counts and is to be sentenced Monday.


Remember the good old days when DUers used to argue he had nothing to do with AQ and was completely innocent?

These West Point cadets are being investigated, mostly for being black

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York is investigating a photo showing 16 black female cadets in uniform with their fists raised in a salute that critics are calling a gesture of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, the Army Times reports.

"We can confirm that the cadets in this photo are members of the U.S. Military Academy's Class of 2016," West Point’s director of public affairs, Lt. Col. Christopher Kasker, said in a statement. "Academy officials are conducting an inquiry into the matter."

According to the Army Times, not many details are known about the photo, although it has since been shared wildly in military circles, along with the claim that the women are supporting BLM. Critics are reportedly concerned that the photo violates the Department of Defense Directive 1344.10, which cautions against "partisan political activity" when in uniform.


Cops Tried To Memory-Hole Hasidic Jews' Beating Of Black Man In Williamsburg

Police seem to have tried to deep-six an investigation into the brutal beatdown of a gay black man in Williamsburg, allegedly by Hasidic Jewish neighborhood watch members, and only reopened the case after the victim's mother made a fuss in the media. The Daily News reports that within a day of the December 2013 attack on then-fashion student Taj Patterson that left him with a broken eye socket and blind in one eye, the NYPD had marked the case a misdemeanor assault and labeled the case closed, with no arrests made.

Patterson was walking home along Flushing Avenue early in the morning when a group of men pounced on him, according to prosecutors. Five men accused him of damaging cars in the area and surrounded him, then were joined by another 10 people, and when Patterson tried to flee, they held him down and kicked and punched him, prosecutors allege.

The pummeling only ceased when a bus driver pulled over and started to take photos.

"That wasn’t a misdemeanor," the driver told the News.

He continued:

"They were actually stomping and kicking him. One of his eyes was closed and so swollen. He was saying, 'My eye. I can’t see.'"

Somehow, the initial police report only mentioned one attacker, and called Patterson, "highly intoxicated, uncooperative and incoherent," according to the tabloid.

The NYPD wouldn't discuss the News's findings.


Shootings reported at Westfield Montgomery Mall, Giant grocery; at least 3 injured

Source: WJLA-TV//ABC 7

BETHESDA, Md. (WJLA) - Two men and one woman were injured in a shooting at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda Friday morning, according to police.

Montgomery County Police responded to 7101 Democracy Blvd. at approximately 11:30 a.m.

A second shooting was reported shortly after the first at a Giant grocery store located in the 13700 block of Connecticut Avenue at approximately 11:50 a.m.

There was speculation that the suspect in both of the shootings was 62-year-old Eulalio Tordil, who was already wanted in connection with the shooting death of his estranged wife Gladys Tordil Thursday, sources told ABC7.

Nearby Walter Johnson High School, Tilden Middle School and Bells Mill Elementary were all on "shelter in place" status while the incidents were under investigation.

The condition of the victims was not yet known.

Read more: http://wjla.com/news/crime/report-shooting-at-westfield-montgomery-mall-in-bethesda
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