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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
Number of posts: 9,280

About Me

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.

Journal Archives

Public Library To Open In Polygamous Community After Sect Leaders Prevented It

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A public library is set to open next year in a polygamous town on the Utah-Arizona border that hasn't had one for decades because of controlling sect leaders who try to limit followers' exposure to the outside world.

The library is expected to open in March 2016, Washington County Library System director Joel Tucker said. The plan is to put the library in an old schoolhouse the center of town, near the public school and town hall in Hildale, Utah.

The community is dominated by a polygamous sect led by jailed leader Warren Jeffs. He and other sect leaders try to limit members' exposure to the outside world by prohibiting Internet and books.

The community used to have a library on the Arizona side of the town in Colorado City, but it was shuttered after Jeffs took over the group in the late 1990s, former member Isaac Wyler said.

"I think it's really going to be good for the community. Warren has been trying to keep knowledge out of this town for so long," he said. "In the end, look what's winning out."

The nearest library now is about 40 minutes away, and having easier access to information could help people in the remote community get information that's not influenced by sect leaders, Tucker said.


Independent: Netflix's Jessica Jones portrays the domestic violence I knew.

What I didn’t expect was that a show that centres round a comic book character with super-strength would also feature the most nuanced, realistic portrayal of partner violence that I’ve ever seen on television. In fact, the entire first season deals with the repercussions of Jones’ relationship with a violent man. I never thought I’d relate so strongly to someone who can lift a car with one hand.

The violent man in question is Kilgrave, played to sinister perfection by David Tennant. Because this is a superhero show, he has the ability to control minds and force people to bend to his will, which is how he kept the physically stronger Jessica in line during their time together. It is a constant struggle for the women he controls to assert their independence from him and, when they do, to convince the world of his crimes.

The metaphor here is obvious. Though abusive men in reality don’t possess psychic abilities, their control over their partners is real and palpable and hard to explain. The inability to escape, even though - as the characters in the show describe - you know in some part of you that this situation is damaging is familiar to countless women, myself included.

Kilgrave’s abuse of women ranges from the seemingly minor - forcing them to smile for him - to the extreme. The show doesn’t shy away from discussing rape, which is rare on any series, let alone one of this genre. Kilgrave’s desire to control Jessica by forcing her to use her immense power to benefit him is analogous to the gradual restriction of a woman’s freedom and a redirection of her energies until she is subservient to her partner. It is horrifying to watch and so, so real.

If the show merely dealt with the realities of being in an abusive relationship, it would still be worthwhile and powerful. However, it goes further, as it tracks Jessica’s subsequent PTSD and attempts to recover. She drinks, she has nightmares but, most importantly, she goes on.


Salon: Thanksgiving Do's and Don'ts for Hillary Bots and Bernie Bros

For Sanders supporters

Do acknowledge that while Clinton is more centrist than Sanders, she is still quite clearly a liberal and falls to the left of both her husband and Barack Obama.

Don’t accuse Clinton supporters of only supporting her because she has a vagina. That just suggests that’s the only reason you’re voting against her.

Do accept that Clinton’s plan for reining in the big banks is thoughtful and more detailed than Sanders’s plan, even if you think it does not go far enough.

Don’t pretend that Clinton would have invaded Iraq just as surely as George W. Bush did, just because she voted for the war authorization. No one buys that, not for a minute.

Do acknowledge that whoever wins will be facing a Republican-dominated legislature that will make sweeping change nearly impossible for any Democrat sitting in the White House.

Don’t assume that people are unaware of what the term “democratic socialism” means and that they need lengthy lectures to rectify this assumed ignorance.

Do acknowledge that Wall Street donors are actually throwing their weight behind Republicans far more than Clinton this election season, even though they supported Obama over John McCain in 2008.

Don’t swear that if Clinton wins the nomination over Sanders, you refuse to vote for her in the general election. That just confirms that you’re less interested in economic justice than fluffing your own ego or that you panic at the thought of women in power.

For Clinton supporters

Do praise Sanders for holding Clinton’s feet to the fire and making sure she keeps her focus on pleasing liberals rather than trying to win over imaginary swing voters.

Don’t try to argue that Sanders is unelectable. Factors like voter turnout and the state of the economy will likely have more impact on the election than words like “socialism.”

Do agree with Sanders that income inequality and the disappearing middle class are the biggest problems facing our country, and that far more needs to be done to address them.

Don’t dismiss Sanders as a lightweight. His tendency toward sweeping rhetoric is a sign that he’s a smart politician, not that he’s careless or wouldn’t know how to hire the right advisors and policy analysts.

Do acknowledge that Sanders is a feminist candidate who supports every line item on the feminist agenda and that his ideas about labor and economic justice are critical to helping secure women’s equality.

Don’t accuse Sanders supporters of being sexist. Most aren’t, and those who are tend to prove it quickly enough without any prompting from you.

Do admit that Clinton is cozy with Wall Street and that her horrid 9/11 comments during the debate reached Republican levels of pandering.

Don’t gloat about the fact that Clinton is almost surely going to win this. After all, both candidates are great and no one likes a sore winner.



Bernie Sanders Claims Vermont’s Hunters Need Their Guns on Amtrak. The Hunters Disagree

Lisa McCrillis of Gun Purveyors in Alburg thought the idea that anyone would take a train to go hunting was hilarious—and dangerous. “That’s silly,” she said. “I’ve never heard of anybody doing that.”

What if the train stops, McCrillis wanted to know, and somebody saw a gun case in the baggage and just took it? Nobody would notice until it was too late. And what if your train passed through somewhere, like New York, with impossibly stringent gun laws and was searched? Well, then, you’d probably become a felon.

“If somebody came in and asked me, ‘Lisa, can I take my gun on the train?’ I would say, ‘No, you can’t.’ That’s really bizarre.”

None of this was to say, McCrillis added, that someone, somewhere in Vermont wasn't doing what Sanders said. But if they were, she’d certainly never heard of it.

Rick Gorham of Rick’s Gun Shop in Burke, Vermont, also had never heard of such a thing. “Uh, I don’t know anything about that,” he said. “I’ve never heard of anybody taking a gun on an Amtrak train. You can take ‘em on a plane,” he said, but “I haven’t heard of anybody taking their gun on an Amtrak train, no.”

Gray Stevens of the Vermont Sportsman’s Club hadn’t heard of it either. “Oh, I don’t know anything about that,” he said. “Everybody that hunts takes their vehicle, goes to hunting camps. I don’t know anything about people using trains to go hunting. Once they get there, what are they gonna do, take a cab to the woods?”


The Civil War Begins – 1st Trailer for Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War”

Clinton scolds Trump for treatment of Black Lives Matter protester

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday condemned Donald Trump’s comments about a Black Lives Matter protester who allegedly was assaulted during one of his rallies last week.

“Now he’s saying maybe it’s OK for peaceful protesters to get ‘roughed up.’ Violence is never, ever acceptable,” Clinton wrote during a Noticias Telemundo Facebook Q&A.

Clinton was referring to comments Trump made after video showed several white supporters punching and kicking a Black Lives Matter protester at a Trump event in Alabama Saturday. On Fox News on Sunday, Trump defended the treatment of the protester, saying, “Maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.” He added that “it wasn’t my people if they treated him rough.”

At a campaign rally in Cleveland, Monday night, Trump continued to deflect blame, saying that it wasn't his people who dealt with the protester, but that “he was really misbehaving badly.”


Hillary maintains solid lead in Massachusetts primary poll.

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to lead among Massachusetts Democratic primary voters with 54 percent saying they lean her way. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont drew 29 percent, and former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley collected 3 percent.Twelve percent were undecided.


Laborers' International Union of North America endorses Hillary

Hillary Clinton just locked down another endorsement from a major labor union as she seeks the Democratic nomination for president, solidifying her hold on organized labor's backing in the primary.

The Laborers' International Union of North America, or LIUNA, announced Tuesday that it would be throwing its weight behind the front-runner, rather than Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) or former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. The union said in a statement that it arrived at the decision after a membership poll and a vote by the union's executive board.

"LIUNA members are deeply concerned about the direction of our country and are looking for a real leader who will create good jobs, rebuild our country, and grow our economy," Terry O’Sullivan, the union's president, said in a statement. "Secretary Clinton’s record proves that she is a tough and tested fighter for our nation and for working men and women."

LIUNA has roughly a half-million members working mostly in the construction and building trades. In response to the announcement, the Clinton campaign said the candidate was "honored" to have the endorsement and would "fight to increase investment in our infrastructure."


After Paris, Sanders sticks to script — and it doesn’t say much about fighting terrorism

ST. HELENA ISLAND, S.C. — The more than 600 people who packed into a historic cabin on this small sea island were treated to the usual rousing — and lengthy — performance by Bernie Sanders.

The Democratic presidential hopeful ticked off an expansive agenda for improving the lot of those struggling to get by, touched on climate change and devoted some extra attention to issues of racial justice and policing.

But by the time the senator from Vermont had wrapped up his speech, which clocked in at 59 minutes, there was one topic that hadn’t merited a single mention: foreign policy.

The omission was striking, given the marked shift in tone of the presidential race in the week and a half since the terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people and injured more than 350. Many of the Republican candidates have recast their pitches altogether, and the other Democrats, including former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, have pushed their plans for defeating the Islamic State to the top of their agendas.

The post-Paris-attacks Sanders campaign looks remarkably similar to the pre-Paris-attacks Sanders campaign. During a four-day swing through South Carolina and Georgia that ended Monday, the candidate said little about fighting terrorism unless asked by a journalist or audience member — as happened here shortly after he opened the floor to questions.


Hillary Clinton Is Most Trusted Candidate To Handle Terrorism, Poll Finds

Terrorism trails only the economy as the most important issue in the presidential race, according to a new Washington Post and ABC News poll conducted after the attacks in Paris and some of the raids to round up suspects.

Among all poll respondents, Hillary Clinton beat the leading Republican candidates as the potential presidential nominee most trusted to handle terrorism, but her lead melted against several Republicans when the poll was narrowed to registered voters.

The poll, which reached 1,004 adults on land lines and cell phones from Nov. 16-19, revealed that Americans rank security among the most important issues, though there's a wide gulf between Republicans and Democrats. Twenty-eight percent of respondents overall said terrorism was the most important issue for them when considering how to vote in 2016, while 33 percent said the economy was their top issue.

Forty-two percent of Republicans and independents who say they lean toward the GOP picked terrorism as the most important issue for 2016. That beat out the economy, which was the most important issue for 29 percent of this group.

The result differs sharply from what Democrats and those who lean toward the Democratic Party said. Of this group, just 18 percent said terrorism was most important to them, while 39 percent said the economy and 19 percent said health care.

The poll also asked respondents how Clinton compared to Republican presidential contenders Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush on the issue of terrorism. Previous ABC News and Washington Post polls on the 2016 election had not asked respondents about which candidate was more trustworthy to confront terrorism, so it's unclear whether the Paris attacks, which left 130 people dead, had an impact on public opinion.

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