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Algernon Moncrieff

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Member since: Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:49 AM
Number of posts: 5,140

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Paramilitary-Style Tactics in Portland Mirror Decades of U.S. Violence on the Border & Abroad

Democracy Now!

The harrowing scenes of paramilitary-style units in the streets of American cities like Portland has shocked mainstream America, but award-winning independent journalist Todd Miller, who has reported on border security and immigration for over a decade, says it’s a reflection of how the U.S. has operated around the world. We also speak with Cecilia Menjívar, UCLA sociology professor, who says the image of unmarked vans snatching people from the streets “brings back memories to Latin Americans who lived through disappearances of families and friends and co-workers.”

Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Thu Jul 23, 2020, 12:32 PM (2 replies)

My advice: Act as if absentee/mail-in voting won't be an option

If early voting is an option in your district, do that instead.

Consider putting in for a day off on election day now. It's hard for the boss to object this far out.

If you take election day off, go to the polls as early as you can. Once you've voted, help others get to the polls.

Keep an eye on your polling place location. Switching polling places to cause confusion is a common tactic. The internet can be your friend.

Go to the internet now and read up on your state's voter ID law. Make sure your State ID, Drivers License, Passport, and Voter's Reg are up-to-date and ready to go.

Remember that the "ProFa" forces of Donald Trump may not gracefully concede defeat. To the degree possible in these difficult times, get your financial house in order. Remember that you do still have Second Amendment rights (as our crazy uncles have all reminded us). Don't dismiss that option out of hand - you may need to defend your life before this is all over.

After seeing Portland, don't believe for a moment we aren't at this point:

Draped in lush trees and surrounded by stately buildings, Buenos Aires’ Plaza de Mayo might look like a place to check out monuments or stop for a relaxing rest. But each Thursday, one of Argentina’s most famous public squares fills with women wearing white scarves and holding signs covered with names.

They are the Mothers and Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, and they are there to bring attention to something that threw their lives into tragedy and chaos during the 1970s: the kidnapping of their children and grandchildren by Argentina’s brutal military dictatorship.

For decades, the women have been advocating for answers about what happened to their loved ones. It’s a question shared by the families of up to 30,000 people “disappeared” by the state during Argentina’s “Dirty War,” a period during which the country’s military dictatorship turned against its own people.


If you are into prayer, pray that our nation survives this moment intact. Pray that DUers don't end up arrested out of hand. Pray for our opponents - pray that they realize that even though we disagree, secret police are the way of the Nazis that our grandfathers fought, not the way of Americans.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Wed Jul 22, 2020, 01:38 AM (17 replies)

Want to persuade an opponent? Try listening, Berkeley scholar says


In a polarized climate, on issues of existential importance, it can be difficult even to hear opinions that contradict our own — on issues such as same-sex marriage, for example, or climate change, or Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump. It seems offensive that someone doesn’t see the world as we do, and there’s a tendency to correct them, to tell them they’re not just wrong, but deplorable.

Expressing such frustration may provide emotional relief, but it’s not likely to persuade. In fact, it can make people harden their existing views.

For a 2016 study published in Science, Broockman and Kalla worked with the Los Angeles LGBT Center and SAVE, a South Florida LGBT organization, on a field assessment of voter attitudes toward a new Miami-area law protecting transgender people. One group of door-to-door canvassers, a control group, said nothing to residents about transphobia.

But another group engaged in “deep canvassing,” a process based on asking sensitive questions, listening to the answers with sincere interest and then asking more questions. If residents expressed bias toward transgender people, the canvasser might ask them to recall a time when they were treated unfairly for being different and what that felt like.

The outcome? “These conversations substantially reduced transphobia, with decreases greater than Americans’ average decrease in homophobia from 1998 to 2012,” the research found. In effect, about 10% of the deep canvassing respondents shifted toward a more sympathetic view of transgender rights, with effects lasting for at least three months.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Tue Jun 30, 2020, 01:21 AM (1 replies)

NBC - Trump says 'biggest risk' to re-election is not stopping increased mail-in voting


WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says in an interview that the "biggest risk" to his re-election prospects in November is increased mail-in voting and whether he can win lawsuits to stop its expansion.

"My biggest risk is that we don't win lawsuits," Trump said in an Oval Office interview Thursday with Politico that focused on the 2020 race.

"We have many lawsuits going all over. And if we don't win those lawsuits, I think — I think it puts the election at risk," he added.

..except it has nothing to do with lawsuits. The GOP will simply defund the USPS. So my question to DU and progressives - what's the backup plan? Work under the assumption there will be no mail service to deliver ballots. How do we get those voters to the polls and get their ballots to the ballot boxes?
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Fri Jun 19, 2020, 01:04 PM (13 replies)

COVID & Blood Clots

Not a particularly political post. Not a request for vibes/thoughts/prayers/tots/pears.

Several months back, this friend had a bad upper respiratory illness. Now, the friend has been diagnosed with a blood clot. AFAIK, the blood clot, although it will need to be treated, isn't life-threatening. The friend's doctor has revisited the illness from several months back and believes that my friend had COVID. The question in my mind is this: we've seen COVID do some odd blood-related things, so how many people are going to have additional symptoms weeks and months down the road?
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Thu May 28, 2020, 09:38 AM (5 replies)

How would you allocate political donations at this time?

Let's say you found $10 bill on the sidewalk, and said to yourself "hey - I'll donate this to help the Dems." Where do you send the $10?
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Mon May 18, 2020, 06:21 PM (1 replies)

It's Primary Day in Nebraska!

Did you vote for Biden, or did you pick another favorite for old time's sake?

If you are in NE 2: Gladys? Kara? Ann?

Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Tue May 12, 2020, 07:41 PM (0 replies)

One DUers Questions and Musings about the Protests

Her most radical GOP constituents have called the order tyrannical, as they made evident by blaring car horns, waving signs that likened Whitmer to Hitler—including one that read, “Trump, lock up the Nazi woman from Michigan”—and chanting, “Lock her up!” and “We will not comply!” on the capitol front lawn. The protest was organized by the Michigan Freedom Fund and Michigan Conservative Coalition, the former of which is backed by the billionaire family of Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s education secretary. MLive reporter Malachi Barrett highlighted the president’s influence on the rallygoers, calling it “half protest, half Trump rally,” an unsurprising connection given that Trump has recently upped demands for “OPENING UP AMERICA AGAIN!”

Over at Fox News, a number of top hosts had nothing but praise and encouragement for protesters demanding a return to normalcy. “They want to keep us away from churches and synagogues. They want to make sure we don’t go back to work. They don’t get it. The American spirit is too strong, and Americans are not gonna take it,” host Jeanine Pirro said on Sean Hannity’s Wednesday show. “And what happened in Lansing today? God bless ’em, it’s gonna happen all over the country.” An hour prior, Tucker Carlson hosted Michigan protest organizer Meshawn Maddock and thanked her for her service. “Thank you for coming on tonight, and thank you for exercising your constitutionally protected rights as an American. Bless you,” he said, denouncing Whitmer’s “mindless and authoritarian” leadership and saying he hopes “she loses her job.”

Laura Ingraham lionized the protesters in a Wednesday tweet, writing, “Time to get your freedom back,” in response to a video of cars heading to the Lansing rally. The Fox prime-time host, who called scientific findings about the virus “wrong” and envisioned many more Americans throwing rallies “for their right to work, travel, assemble, socialize, and worship,” previously advised her fans to continue air travel, tweeting last month that it was actually a “great time to fly.” Elsewhere at Fox News—where most employees are working from home and others are being advised to heed the CDC’s precautionary guidelines—a “NO TO THE ‘NANNY STATE’” headline led the website on Wednesday, and Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade mocked Democratic governors’ “ridiculous” mitigation efforts on Thursday, while anticipating more protests flaring up across the country.

With every passing day that lockdowns are extended, Ingraham’s prediction appears more and more likely, especially if conservative pundits have their way. Infowars host Owen Shroyer, a conspiracy theorist currently facing a lawsuit for promoting hoax claims about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, has already scheduled an April 18 “You Can’t Close America” rally in Austin, Texas. “It’s time for citizens to stand up and take our country back, just like President Trump promised during his inaugural address,” Shroyer said on Tuesday, downplaying the risk of a mass gathering by telling viewers he was not afraid to catch COVID-19 and ginning them for a revolt. “Are we in martial law right now? Because we’re acting like it.”

Vanity Fair

1) So after 9-11, it was rationalized that we'd all have to give up some rights and endure some cost over the loss of 3,000 lives and billions in economic damage. Many Americans swallowed the loss of protections and privacy in the Patriot Act accordingly. Two wars started as a result. In the past - call it six - weeks we've lost more people than 9-11 and the two wars combined? Why wouldn't an extraordinary national sacrifice be called for?

2) I see the "this is no worse than the flu" argument resurfacing in social media. How is an illness that takes ~ 40K lives and rising in six weeks not worse than flu taking ~33K in a year?

3) There is a vaccine that works against many common forms of flu. There is no such virus in this instance? So other than closing businesses that draw crowds, social distancing, and PPE, there is nothing that can be done to stop the illness. Question for the protesters: how many lost lives are an acceptable tradeoff for opening the economy?

4) I always hear a lot of talk about the wisdom of the founding fathers regarding the 2nd amendment when folks bring firearms to "peaceful protests." Personally, I view it as a form of bullying. But regarding the founding fathers: you do realize these were the same guys that thought 3/5 of a person was also a good idea? They thought not granting votes to women was a good idea? The Constitution is a flawed document written by flawed people - you do know that, yes?

5) I haven't seen this - what were the thoughts of the protesters on the COVID deaths in the Holyoke Soldier's Home? I do understand they were old - but didn't they deserve better than this?
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Mon Apr 20, 2020, 01:37 PM (8 replies)

Neiman Marcus to file for bankruptcy as soon as this week - sources

Reuters via MSN

The debt-laden Dallas-based company has been left with few options after the pandemic forced it to temporarily shut all 43 of its Neiman Marcus locations, roughly two dozen Last Call stores and its two Bergdorf Goodman stores in New York.

Neiman Marcus is in the final stages of negotiating a loan with its creditors totaling hundreds of millions of dollars, which would sustain some of its operations during bankruptcy proceedings, according to the sources. It has also furloughed many of its roughly 14,000 employees.

This is of interest because Neiman's and Bergdorf's are both stores catering to the upper 10% - 20%, unlike many of the other stores involved in Shopacolypse.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Mon Apr 20, 2020, 01:06 PM (13 replies)

Kyle Larson appears to use racial slur on NASCAR iRacing live stream

MSN Sports

NASCAR driver Kyle Larson appeared to use the N-word during a live stream of Sunday's iRacing Pro Series event.

Apparently not realizing his volume was on during the online simulation bout, Larson seemed to say to others on the stream, "You can't hear me? Hey, n*****."

There was a stunned silence afterward before Anthony Alfredo responded, "Kyle, you're talking to everyone, bud."

Added Aron MacEachern: "Yup, we heard that."

Said host of the viral stream, Justin Botelho: "Oh damn, he did not just say that."

Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Mon Apr 13, 2020, 10:07 AM (20 replies)
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