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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 01:53 PM
Number of posts: 22,574

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

North Carolina Officials Counted Votes Before Polls Closed

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina elections officials looking into allegations of ballot fraud in the country’s last undecided congressional election are finding that votes were counted days before Election Day in the rural county at the center of the disputed results.

The officials also said the election was marred by falsified signatures, blank ballots that consultants could complete and disappearing documents.

The state elections board on Tuesday heard from Bladen County poll workers who admitted tallying results on the Saturday before Election Day when early, in-person voting ended. That’s contrary to proper practice.

The poll workers, Agnes Willis and Coy Mitchell Edwards, said that while they and others could see who had the early lead in Bladen County sheriff’s race, they didn’t tell anyone.

That testimony contradicted the account of another poll worker, Michele Maultsby, who said earlier Tuesday that she never saw anyone view the tape listing the voting results that Saturday. Agnes Willis must have made an honest mistake when she said people saw the early voting totals, Maultsby said.


Misogynist trolls attack Captain Marvel movie ahead of premier.

Captain Marvel may be one of 2019's most-anticipated movies -- coming in second only behind Avengers: Endgame according to IMDb, but that isn't stopping some people on the internet from trashing the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe Film on Rotten Tomatoes just a few weeks before it debuts in theaters.

A quick look at the audience reviews page for Captain Marvel over on Rotten Tomatoes has been flooded with negative, angry "reviews" of the film and while there are some genuine comments noting excitement for the film, most have an unsettling common theme: anger about Captain Marvel being centered around a female hero.

A disproportionate number of comments on the review page cite issues with a perception that Captain Marvel is "sexist" for a variety of reasons including but not limited to the gender of primary hero, star Brie Larson's backing of a campaign to send under privileged girls to see Captain Marvel, and generally a number of trolls complaining that the film is a "social justice warrior" or "SJW" film. Some have even gone so far as to lodge the same complaints about Captain Marvel -- which, again, won't hit theaters for another few weeks and first reactions to the film aren't set to debut until tomorrow -- as a certain subset of "fans" did about Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Sadly, this isn't the first time a swath of “fans” have attempted to sabotage a new Marvel film. Last February there was an organized effort by disgruntled fans to attack Black Panther with false negative reviews. While those "fans" claimed that their efforts were essentially revenge for poor reviews of Justice League and anger over Star Wars: The Last Jedi, many of the attacks cited complaints about Black Panther being centered around a black superhero. Now, with the false reviews of Captain Marvel also attacking the concept of diversity, be it gender or race-related -- it feels a bit like a pattern.

Of course, there's a positive pattern that could emerge from all of this. Despite the attempted sabotage, Black Panther is the ninth biggest movie at the worldwide box office, with a gross of over $1.3 billion. The film has also been nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture -- the first superhero movie to ever be nominated in that category. When it comes to Captain Marvel, the film is currently tracking for a $120 million opening weekend and while that would be a bit shy of Black Panther's four-day holiday weekend take last year, it puts it ahead of Iron Man ($98 million) Spider-Man: Homecoming ($117 million) and in contention with Iron Man 2 ($128 million) -- movies which were all considered very much a success.


Tweet of the Day


Cross in Stone's threatening tweet is also a "white power" symbol

he white supremacist version of the Celtic Cross, which consists of a square cross interlocking with or surrounded by a circle, is one of the most important and commonly used white supremacist symbols. Although usually called a Celtic Cross by white supremacists, its origins date to the pre-Christian "sun cross" or "wheel cross" in ancient Europe. Norwegian Nazis used a version of the symbol in the 1930s and 1940s. After World War II, a variety of white supremacist groups and movements adopted the symbol. Today, this verson of the Celtic Cross is used by neo-Nazis, racist skinheads, Ku Klux Klan members and virtually every other type of white supremacist. It has also achieved notoriety as part of the logo of Stormfront, the oldest and largest white supremacist website in the world.


Roger Stone lashes out federal judge with threatening picture of her next to crosshairs

Trump’s longtime confidant Roger Stone on Monday attacked the federal judge presiding over his criminal case in the special counsel’s Russia probe.

In an Instagram post, Stone lashed out at U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson.

“Through legal trickery Deep State hitman Robert Mueller has guaranteed that my upcoming show trial is before Judge Amy Berman Jackson , an Obama appointed Judge who dismissed the Benghazi charges again Hillary Clinton [sic] and incarcerated Paul Manafort prior to his conviction for any crime,” he wrote. Stone then asked for donations.

The Guardian’s Jon Swaine noted that the picture Stone posted on Instagram placed crosshairs next to Jackson’s head.

Last week, Jackson prohibited Stone from commenting on the case around the Washington, D.C., courthouse. But he remains otherwise free to discuss his situation. However, Jackson has warned that she could amend the limited gag order in the future if necessary.

“This is completely out of bounds. The cross hairs will likely lead prosecutors to ask for revocation of his pre-trial release. At best, this is a cheap stunt designed to get the judge to recuse, at worst, an outright threat,” former U.S. attorney Joyce Vance said.


Tory minister and four Conservative backbench MPs poised to join new Labour splinter group

Tory minister and four Conservative backbenchers appear poised to defect to the new Independent Group set up by disgruntled Labour MPs, it has been claimed.

Describing the breakaway group as “remarkably sensible people”, the minister told the Telegraph he was prepared to join the new party if the Government presses ahead with a no-deal Brexit.

It came as Anna Soubry sparked speculation she is preparing to jump ship after removing a Conservative Party slogan from her social media profile.

The Tory Remainer removed all reference to her party from her Twitter biography, referring to herself simply as ‘MP for Broxtowe’ having previously described herself as a ‘lifelong One Nation Tory’.


Bonus Tweet of the Day


Neil Young - Cinnamon Girl

Patty Hearst: How the Outlaw Heiress Became a Chameleon

Almost 40 years after her release from prison, Patty Hearst finds herself -- and her confusing and compelling story -- under public scrutiny again, thanks to a CNN documentary series, The Radical Story of Patty Hearst, based on Jeffrey Toobin's 2016 book, American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst. Both capture the political chaos, social unrest, and taut social hierarchy that the Hearst heiress unwittingly found herself caught up in, when she was kidnapped from her Berkeley home in 1974.

Her reasons for joining her captors, the Symbionese Liberation Army, and carrying out a series of shocking crimes while on the run with them remain muddy, but in a 2016 Conan appearance, Toobin compared Hearst's year and a half-long rampage to an ISIS recruitment.

Toobin argues in his work that Hearst wasn't brainwashed, but that a solid period of isolation and indoctrination at the hands of her captors made her believe that changing the world by any means necessary was the right thing to do.

This is not an unreasonable assertion. During her 1975 arrest, after participating in two bank robberies (the second of which resulted in the death of Myrna Opsahl), a shoot-out (that she started while trying to rescue one of her captor-comrades), and a number of car thefts, Hearst told the arresting officer that her profession was "urban guerrilla." This was after she gave a clenched-fist salute to awaiting photographers from the back of a police car. Six out of eight of Hearst's kidnappers died in a fiery gun battle with the LAPD, but she remained on the run for a full 16 months after that, until her capture.

Hearst made for a convincing and passionate revolutionary, but quickly became a sympathetic kidnap victim too. She and her family managed to convince President Carter to commute her 7-year sentence and allow her to go free after just 22 months. Utterly convinced that Hearst was "a model citizen in every way," Carter also managed to convince President Clinton to give her a full pardon in 2001.


Trump calls for retribution against television actors, writers

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