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Profile Information

Name: RuggedRealist
Gender: Male
Hometown: New York, NY
Home country: USA
Current location: NYC
Member since: Tue Jan 4, 2005, 04:36 PM
Number of posts: 32,886

Journal Archives

My appearance on Fox & Friends this morning discussing Carly Fiorina's Presidential bid

Gee I am so surprised. Another Putin opponent is mysteriously shot or poisoned...

No doubt he will blame Nuland or Psaki or Kerry or Obama or the CIA or all the above.


Putin’s Russia: Don’t Walk, Don’t Eat, and Don’t Drink

Last Saturday, on a beautiful, sunny afternoon, a friend and I were in Moscow discussing precautions. I confessed to a fear of apartment-building entryways because two people I knew, the parliament member Galina Starovoitova and the journalist Anna Politkovskaya, had been shot dead on their way up to their apartments. “Ever since Nemtsov was killed,” my friend said, referring to the February shooting of a Putin opponent, “I don’t know anything about precautions anymore. What are you supposed not to do now—walk the streets?”

It would also be prudent now to stop eating and drinking. On Wednesday, Vladimir Kara-Murza, a thirty-three-year-old opposition journalist, was hospitalized in critical condition after he collapsed at his office in Moscow. He was diagnosed with renal failure that had resulted from acute intoxication. Put more simply, the problem was poison.

It is not clear when and how Kara-Murza may have been poisoned, but Russian activists and journalists who get enough death threats and take them sufficiently seriously to hire bodyguards are also usually careful about what they ingest.
Soon after the chess champion Garry Kasparov quit the sport to go into politics full time, in 2004, he hired a team of eight bodyguards, who not only accompanied him everywhere but also carried drinking water and food for Kasparov to eat at meals shared in public. Three years ago, Kasparov told me that what he liked most about foreign travel was being able to shed his bodyguards for a while. A year after that, threats drove him to leave Russia permanently.

Attacks by poisoning are possibly even more common in Russia than assassinations by gunfire. Most famously, Alexander Litvinenko, a secret-police whistle-blower, was killed by polonium in London, in 2006. Last week, British newspapers reported that a Russian businessman who dropped dead while jogging in a London suburb in 2012 had been killed by a rare plant poison. He had been a key witness in a money-laundering case that had originally been exposed by the Moscow accountant Sergei Magnitsky, who was tortured to death, in 2009, in a Russian jail.

L.A. labor leaders seek minimum wage exemption for firms with union workers. Thoughts?

I'm inclined to give organized labor the leeway and benefit of the doubt to do this but I have to admit I am not a huge fan. The reason might be that labor might want to offer firms a slightly lower wage in favor of a bigger benefits package. I'd prefer that labor find other ways to collectively bargain that doesn't involve a lower wage.


Labor leaders, who were among the strongest supporters of the citywide minimum wage increase approved last week by the Los Angeles City Council, are advocating last-minute changes to the law that could create an exemption for companies with unionized workforces.

The push to include an exception to the mandated wage increase for companies that let their employees collectively bargain was the latest unexpected detour as the city nears approval of its landmark legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020.

For much of the past eight months, labor activists have argued against special considerations for business owners, such as restaurateurs, who said they would have trouble complying with the mandated pay increase.

But Rusty Hicks, who heads the county Federation of Labor and helps lead the Raise the Wage coalition, said Tuesday night that companies with workers represented by unions should have leeway to negotiate a wage below that mandated by the law.

Person accused of rape by mattress hauling Columbia student had a prior accusation (at least one)


At this point, I should be used to seeing backlash against Emma Sulkowicz, but I still wasn’t fully prepared for what came this week: endless tittering of people around me in real life and in my social feeds saying they “weren’t sure” about Emma’s choice to carry her mattress to Columbia’s graduation; the insistence that Emma’s alleged assailant Paul Nungesser had been “proven innocent” by Columbia and exonerated by the NYPD; the posters someone put up around Columbia with Emma’s picture on them, calling her a “PRETTY LITTLE LIAR.”

Every time I read another version of this narrative—that Nungesser merely “picked the wrong friends,” that the complaints against him were a calculated vendetta—my stomach flopped. Don’t forget: before he appealed away the conviction, Paul Nungesser was found responsible for sexually assaulting a woman at Columbia. And I’m writing this because that woman was me.

When I filed the complaint against Paul, I didn’t know it would turn into a national event. It was over a year before Emma started carrying that weight, months before what happened at Columbia helped sparked a national dialogue about rape on college campus. I was just trying to do the right thing.

The incident happened my junior year at Columbia, when Paul followed me upstairs at a party, came into a room with me uninvited, closed the door behind us, and grabbed me. I politely said, “Hey, no, come on, let’s go back downstairs.” He didn’t listen. He held me close to him as I said no, and continued to pull me against him. I pushed him off and left the room quickly. I told a few friends and my boyfriend at the time how creepy and weird it was. I tried to find excuses for his behavior. I did a decent job of pushing it out of my mind.
more at above link

Teen given gun shoots and kills friend knocking at his window

Oh well, acceptable losses because we gotta have gunz.


May I advocate for a more advanced and granular thread trash feature?

For instance, I would like to be able to ignore OPs by a certain poster when they have a subject line with Hillary or Clinton in it.

Their other posts aren't so bad but they are over the top with their Hillary OPs.

On Edit: I would imagine such a feature would allow folks to trash threads by multiple authors with a certain subject.

Matt Taibbi's truthiness analyzed

Fellow DUers have compiled a nice list. This was a comment under another OP and I thought it needed to be it's own OP.

Smear of Obama with mistakes pointed out

More half truths and non-truths about various Democrats here:

And more:

And here is another spot on analysis;

And Taibbi's fabricated quotes about Wes Clark:

Facebook mandates that its vendors pay workers minimum of $15/hr and certain benefits at a minimum


Facebook Tells Vendors to Pay Workers at Least $15/Hour

Workplace benefits at Silicon Valley's biggest names including Google and Apple are the stuff of legend. Now tech powerhouse Facebook is entering the minimum wage fight, implementing new standards on benefits for its contractors and vendors.

Vendors or contractors in the U.S. who do a "substantial amount of work" with the social media company will be required to pay their workers at least $15 an hour. Other requirements include offering at least 15 paid days off for vacation, sick pay and holidays.

Additionally, individuals who do not currently receive parental leave will be offered $4,000 in "new child" benefits, according to a blog posted on Facebook by COO Sheryl Sandberg.

While other tech companies have boosted benefits for some security guards and shuttle drivers, Facebook is among the first tech giants to publicly take a stance on the minimum wage. The federal minimum wage stands at $7.25 an hour.

From the "Of course she did" files - Pam Gellar endorses Ted Cruz for President: Graphic warning


I endorse Cruz for 2016. The media is going to try to use this against him. But they have been thoroughly discredited in the past week. They are aligned with our enemies.

Get behind Cruz. I know its early — but the truth is, it’s late in the fight. I have been considering this for some time and will write a more comprehensive post when time permits, but Cruz is the best candidate in the field. Bar none.

The conquered media is viciously enforcing the sharia in their attacks on me. But I believe it does more to expose them than damage our fight for freedom. My email box is crashing with emails of support — tens of thousands of letters.

The media has been outed. If we had a responsible media, they would report more of the positive developments in light of the terror attack. The jihadists were the end of the line. By drawing them out, we exposed their network. We were able to expose the network without getting anyone killed. The FBI are now going after the sources. They are gleaning intel from their computers as we speak. We smoked out a terror structure.

more retchworthy word salad at the above link

Followup on Uber discussion re: Philadelphia Journalist report


So as I noted, I always ask my Uber drivers whether they like driving for Uber http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=6647194 and I have had a 100% positive response rate.

So today, I took an Uber and asked the driver and got another positive response. But this time, I followed up with, "An article just came out that had some negative things to say about Uber. It says that after expenses and Uber's cut, you only end up making $9.30 an hour or so."

and the driver said, "yes, that amount is about right." To which I replied, "but if that's right, why do you like it?"

The driver's response was, he used to work for a regular car company and he averaged $8 an hour for them. His car was often idle, and the dispatchers played favorites. He said that both issues are common ones that drivers face with regular car companies. He is always busy with Uber.

I'll continue to ask the same questions.
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