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Fritz Walter

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Member since: Sat Mar 21, 2015, 07:08 PM
Number of posts: 3,307

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OK, WikiLeaks: here's your chance to display a whiff of impartiality

I know: your human and electronic resources were really stretched during the recent political campaigns, and have now enjoyed a respite -- well-earned... or not.

Now, show us that you are not a tool of Russian intelligence (or other shadow operations) and deliver the documents, emails, etc. that We The People should see during this transition -- as you did so ably in the run-up to Election Day.:

Let's start with Drumpf's most recent federal tax return. Surely, your network of "freedom-fighters" has uncovered that document by now.


Is there a "smiley " for Crickets?

Election night game: name that country

As you gather together with your family and friends tomorrow evening, here's a way to pass the time as polls close across the country. Giving each guest/player two index cards or note pads, pose the following questions:
1. As the opposition plummets like a homesick rock, to which five countries would you suggest the sore-losers relocate?
2. When you first heard that the Mangled-Apricot-Hellbeast got the nomination from the GOP, which five countries had you considered calling your new home?

The guests take turns with each question, number by number. Whenever one (or more) guest has the same answer, they each take a drink/treat.

It would be better than surfing channels for the least offensive coverage, or binge-watching movies/TV-shows until the west-coast polls close.
Posted by Fritz Walter | Mon Nov 7, 2016, 07:30 PM (0 replies)

Smooth sailing here with early voting... so far!

One of the advantages of being semi-retired is getting Mondays off, so I put my morning to good use by casting my ballot.

My particular multi-precinct polling site is in a very diverse neighborhood, so I didn't know what to expect, (one very good reason to early-vote on a weekday). Despite some lame-ass parking by other voters, this was Minute-Rice-perfect for me. No lines, no waiting, but most especially no hassles. There were two young gentlemen in the library's foyer, attired in day-glo orange vests -- hard to miss, even for those voters still squinting after walking from Florida's clichéd bright sunlight to the fluorescence of late-20th-Century public-space architecture. The implicit message here: any self-appointed, Drumpf-ster Divers, presumably sent there to monitor voting were not welcome there.

Everything -- except the paper ballot -- has been automated here. Check-In involved handing my driver's license at the first table (did I already mention "no lines, no waiting"?). The poll-worker swiped my ID into her terminal, asked if anything had changed, made me sign on an attached device, and -- once I checked-out, as who I said I was -- handed me my thermal-printed, bar-coded receipt, inscribed with a number in large, bold type. On to step two.

The worker at the next stop took my "receipt" and stood by a laser printer, waiting for my very-own ballot to print out. It, too, was inscribed with my magical vote number. Fill in the bubbles for each candidate or referendum item, scan it and walk away.

Un-harassed. Un-challenged. Un-impeded.
Is "white privilege" hyphenated?

What troubles me now is the automation bit. Essentially, it identified who I am with the ballot I cast. So much for secret ballots. I get it: we want to avoid multiple votes cast by the same voter, but where else are these data used?!?

OK, no screens that switch from one candidate/referendum to another. But still, in a deeply Red state, how am I assured that the above-mentioned voter number won't be misused to either void my ballot, whether his whim is based on party-affiliation, demographic or just simply because the Supervisor of Elections here in ultra-Red Duval County doesn't like the cut of my jib, or doesn't care for how the early voting results are going?

What's to stop him or one of his drones from negating my ballot -- and hundreds of thousands of others -- because they don't like how things are trending, while counting on avoidance of a manual recount?

Nothing but our perseverance and determination. In numbers that overwhelmingly express our desire to avoid the nightmare that is Drumpf and the continued gridlock on Capitol Hill.


Demand accountability.

And, yes, I voted straight Democratic Party for the candidates and in favor of the other ballot issues that aligned with policies favored by -- or at least leaning toward -- those of our Party.

Reminder for most of us: Time change NEXT Sunday - NOV 6

So, Republicans: be sure to change your calendar back to 1933, Central European Time.

Everyone else: set your clocks back one hour.

Rubio boo'ed off stage at Orlando's Calle Orange event

...by a Latino crowd, no less.

According to the Orlando Weekly (alternative newspaper) -- as well as NPR and other media outlets -- it did not play out the way Marco and his campaign staff had hoped.
"I'm going to introduce a man who represents Latinos, no matter where you're from," the emcee boomed in Spanish. The boos grew louder still. "Ladies and gentlemen, the senator for the state of Florida, a Latino like you and me ... his name is Marco Rubio! Applaud!"

Instead, the boos rained down on the senator, drowning out what appeared to be a handful of supporters in the crowd.

The NPR report goes on to say that Rubio's support of Drumpf has become an albatross around Marco's neck. And, as one attendee Tweeted, "So @marcorubio just showed up at a largely Puerto Rican street fair in Orlando and got booed of (sic) the stage big time."

As it turns out, the Republican strategy of grouping all Latinos into one demographic has backfired on them. When you attack Mexicans as a group, the people from Puerto Rico, South America and other Central American countries do not take kindly to that approach.

I wish I could have been there!

Here's the Orlando Weekly article

How *some* Xtians justify supporting Drumpf

Last night, I received a forwarded email from a friend in another state, outlining how Xtians should feel OK with voting for the worst-ever candidate for POTUS.

It opens with a feeble joke about a flooding victim, stranded on his rooftop, who turns away three rescue attempts -- via rowboat -- because he's waiting for "God." The punchline is the guy dies and meets his god in heaven who tells him "But I sent three rowboats to you!"

Here are some of the justifications the writer made for voting for the mangled-apricot hellbeast:
Maybe God is trying to tell us something important--that now is not the time for a "nice Christian guy" or a "gentleman" or a typical Republican powder puff. Maybe now is the time for a natural born killer, a ruthless fighter, a warrior. Because right about now we need a miracle, or America is finished.

No, the image that comes to my mind is a large predator, such as hungry alligator or perhaps even a great white shark, rescuing the hapless soul on the rooftop to fill its own belly.

The argument continues:

Or do you want another Mitt Romney, Bob Dole, John McCain, Gerald Ford or Paul Ryan? Did any of them win? Did they lead the GOP to "the promised land?" Did they change the direction of America ? No, because if you don't win, you have no say.

And with one last breath, maybe what we need to save us at the last second, is someone different. Someone you haven't ever experienced before-- because you weren't raised in rough and tumble New York where nothing good gets accomplished unless you're combative, aggressive, outrageous, on offense at all times, and maybe just a tad arrogant too.

Someone with a personality you've never seen on stage at your church. Maybe, just maybe, being a nice gentlemanly Christian would not beat Hillary and her billion dollars, and her best friends in the media who will unleash the dogs of hell upon the GOP nominee.

I guess you think God is only nice and gentlemanly. Really? Then you've missed the whole point of the Bible. When necessary, God is pretty tough. When necessary, God strikes with pain, death and destruction. When necessary, God inflicts vengeance.

Maybe you think God couldn't possibly be associated with someone like Trump. Trump is too vicious, rude and crude.

When I spent three weeks working in the hot zone in lower Manhattan 15 years ago, those of us responding to the attacks on 9/11 did manage to accomplish a lot of good work without a lot of "combative, aggressive, outrageous, offensive or arrogant behavior."

And I'll admit, it's been a few decades since I read or even cracked-open a bible, but I seem to recall all the vengeance was crammed into the old testament. The whole tone of the book changed in the new testament; you know, the Beatitudes, Sermon on the Mount, that sort of stuff. No?

Here's the conclusion:
I believe Trump is our miracle. I believe Trump is our rowboat. Except he's more like a battleship!

No one is saying Trump is perfect. No one is saying Trump is a perfect conservative. But he is a patriot. He is a warrior. He is a capitalist. He is the right man, at the right time. Yes, he's a bit rude and crude and offensive. But that may make him the perfect warrior to save America , American exceptionalism, capitalism and Judeo-Christian values. The choice should be easy for Christians.

It's Trump...or it's the end of the American dream.

"Battleship"? -- Well the abbreviation matches what we've seen over the past 15 months;
"Patriot" -- defined as someone who avoids the draft via four student deferments, and when those ran out, he got a note from his doctor about a bone-spur on his foot;
"Warrior" -- someone who insults Sen. McCain, stiffs veterans of money donated by others (until he gets caught); sacrificed nothing and no one; would start a shooting war over a perceived slight; and idolized the ex-KGB official who invaded Ukraine, is currently committing mass murder of civilians in Syria, and wants Drumpf to abolish NATO so that he can invade individual European countries with no significant resistance. Yeah, some warrior!
"A bit rude, crude and offensive" -- only to people of color, women, Muslims, LGBT citizens, immigrants, anyone who disagrees with him, and just about everybody else Drumpf defines as "losers," including the author of this bit of skreed

I'm with Hillary on this one!

Bad Lip Reading: the Democratic National Convention

Warning: do not drink or eat while watching this.
(I'm not going to replace anybody's smart phone, tablet, keyboard, monitor or laptop due to spray-damage).

Stephen Colbert has a question for Drumpf

What a Dirty (Sanchez) thing to say!

"If we elect this cartoon of a human, we will have made a mistake! A straight-up mess!"

Best. Line. Ever. "That guy needs a turd Martini."

Nice try, Professor!

It's finally dawning on some members of the Fourth Estate that they're culpable for much of the havoc that the Mangled-Apricot-Hellbeast (AKA Drumpf) has wreaked over the past year. True, there are some who have been consistent in telling us that this short-fingered vulgarian has no clothes -- and I apologize for that mental image -- but they have been and continue to be marginalized.

Eleven days ago, well before the RNC dumpster fire in Cleveland, the Columbia Journalism Review published an article written by David Mindich, a professor of media studies, journalism, and digital arts at Saint Michael’s College in Vermont and former assignment editor for CNN: "For journalists covering Trump, a Murrow moment." He references Edward R. Murrow, the CBS News journalist who exposed Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the early 1950:
“This is no time for men who oppose Senator McCarthy’s methods to keep silent—or for those who approve,” he said. “We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.”


After months of holding back, modern-day journalists are acting a lot like Murrow, pushing explicitly against Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. To be sure, these modern-day Murrow moments carry less impact: Long gone are the days in which a vast majority of eyeballs were tuned to the big-three television news programs. But we nonetheless are witnessing a change from existing practice of steadfast detachment, and the context in which journalists are reacting is not unlike that of Murrow: The candidate’s comments fall outside acceptable societal norms, and critical journalists are not alone in speaking up.

Yeah, professor. A handful of critical journalists have been speaking up. But the Drumpf still scores front-page headlines and top-story newscasts every time his stubby, little fingers tap out a Tweet. I guess old habits are hard to break. Instead of focusing our attention on the blatant racism, sexism, xenophobia and unvarnished hatred contained within the Republican Party's platform, they point us to the shiny objects: Melania's cribbing a few lines from FLOTUS Michelle Obama's speech eight years ago; Raphael Cruz's non-endorsement.

The good professor waxes nostalgic about the good old days:

The American journalistic goals of detachment and objectivity are long held. Until the mid-19th century, most newspapers were directly funded by political parties. As that started to change and the commercial model began to emerge, newspapers started to shed their partisan baggage. For much of the last 150 years the trade-off was a good one: Journalists would avoid taking sides, and they would be given access to newsmakers—and news consumers—from both parties.

Yeah. Right!

Today, instead of political parties directly funding newspapers, we have that power concentrated into a handful of massive corporations, who are totally committed to their financial reports' bottom line, and a return-on-investment for their shareholders. Responsible journalism -- with solid commitment to the concepts of accuracy, objectivity and balance -- has been supplanted by infotainment, and an obsession with ratings with their correlated advertising revenue streams. These same corporate entities are major donors to candidates and PACs, thanks to SCOTUS for Citizens United. Not quite full-circle, but pretty close.

Still, it's an interesting read, especially since he mentions Steven Colbert's diagram on The Late Show. I imagine Mr. Murrow must be up to 500 RPM in his grave by now. In classic pedantry, Mindich cites:
...a theoretical construction of objectivity by a leading journalism historian, Daniel Hallin, who sees the world of political discourse as falling into three concentric spheres: consensus, legitimate controversy, and deviance.

We call them "bubbles" in the real world, professor.

Let's see how the coverage of the DNC unfolds next week, shall we?
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