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Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 06:50 PM PDT

President Authorizes ISIS Airstrikes

by La Gitane

This is our mess. The blood of so many innocents is on the hands of the Bush administration. We on the left knew this would happen, but ISIS is evil on a Hitler scale.

Here's a link to Vice News. They embedded a journalist with ISIS and made a documentary.

This also cannot be another Muslim vs Christian thing. It's not. ISIS are not Muslims - they are psychopaths that behead children. All they want is to kill. That is not Islam.

I am sad about it all - I pray that this doesn't escalate further. But preventing genocide is a just reason to go to war. Sure is a helluva lot better than control of oil fields.

Discuss

Let's just get this straight, because it has become entirely obvious that a lot of people aren't understanding just what we mean when we say "rape culture".

Jump, please.

Poll

What is your experience with sexual violence?

42%35 votes
3%3 votes
22%19 votes
21%18 votes
2%2 votes
7%6 votes

| 83 votes | Vote | Results

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Actually, they make more sense than usual.  I'm a little impressed.

Discuss.

Discuss

One of my conservative Facebook friends just posted this meme, and it seems to be pretty popular. This is the lie making it around the world while we're still putting our pants on; it's an easy, powerful sound bite that takes a lot more time to debunk. I just wanted to get this out here - we need to be aware. It's a classic "so senator, are you still beating your wife?" strategy. Regardless of how untrue it is, the simple act of putting it out there is going to make things very difficult for us. Ugh.

If you can't read all the text, I've copied it below the orange noodle.

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San Diego just gave the Republican Party a very obvious clue as to how they can win and stay viable in 2016. After our mayoral licking last night (Faulconer 54.5%, Alvarez 45.5%), I am now convinced that the future of the GOP can be found here in SoCal.

Follow me below the border for some juicy advice....

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I had a couple requests to re-post my comment in the rec-listed diary "CNN does hit job on Dawn Zimmer" as a diary, so here it goes...

Note: there were virtually no facts to rebut in this ridiculous piece by Chris Frates, so I have no links.  Just logic.

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I have to get to work so I'll make this quick - I just want to share what I am going through.  Here's the email that I sent to them; apparently you can "dispute" your balance.  No one's ever told me that before.

I'd love to hear your stories if you have similar experiences to share.  The collector is a government contractor, collecting for the Department of Education, Windham Professionals.

My original principal was under $30,000.  My current balance is $138,000 – Four and a half times what I initially borrowed.  In addition, I did make payments on this debt; in my estimation totaling about $12,000.

I will agree to reasonable terms, not usurious ones. The only reason I “agreed” to the various loan deferments, forbearances and consolidations was because I had no other choice.  There were times I would have filed bankruptcy, but student loans are the only financial instrument in this country that are not able to be renegotiated or discharged in bankruptcy.  I. Had. No. Choice.

I had virtually zero income from 2008 – 2011.  I was on federal assistance and food stamps.  In that time, I was in your so-called “sliding scale” payment “arrangement”, and in that time my balance DOUBLED.  Before that, I was paying when I could.  Even as I watched my balance increase exponentially, I continued to pay.  But now, to see this ridiculously huge balance, even after almost 20 years of acting in good faith, I say stop.

I am not trying to run away from my debt.  I will agree to pay back what I borrowed, minus what I have already paid, and agree to REASONABLE terms.  Reasonable terms do not include paying 460% of my original principal.  I refuse to enter into any kind of payment arrangement until these terms are agreed upon.

I basically have no motivation to pay this back under these conditions.  I know that, in default or not, whether I pay or not, the ridiculous interest on this loan has ruined my financial future.  I own nothing of value.  I have no assets.  I am self-employed and make a meager income.  I have nothing for you to take away from me.  If you want to recuperate anything at all, then allow me to renegotiate this down to something that is reasonable, that will allow me to see a financially stable future for myself - not one that will keep me mired in impossible debt for the rest of my life.

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I know I may be a late comer to the party on this one, but this movie was jaw-dropping for me.  Not that it told me anything I didn't know (except a few very interesting details about Atwater himself), but because it was so goddamn honest.  The most honest thing about the state of politics today that I have ever seen.

I want to share my take on it because now I have a whole new appreciation for the Republican Party, and I am even more convinced that their demise is rapidly approaching.

For anyone who is not familiar with the movie, here's the link to the movie at Amazon:
Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story

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In a nutshell, Lee Atwater grew up in Texas and scrapped his way up the GOP food chain.  He was the architect of the infamous Southern Strategy, and the protege of Strom Thurmond.  His own protege was none other than Turdblossom himself.

His first campaign was for the national chairmanship of the College Republicans.  He was not favored to win, but with his newly discovered bag of dirty tricks he squeaked by to victory.  After that, he kept climbing upward, winning elections, leaving pain and humiliation in his wake.

Follow me below the thingy - I need to get this off my chest.

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My brain is out to lunch today - wandering thoughts do not an efficient worker make.

Instead, I started contemplating these past five or six years since the crash and how they have affected me, those I care about, and our nation as a whole.  I was hit hard, early on, and have been in recovery mode for the past two-three years.  Some of my friends were hit later and are having the worst of it now, while others were hit hard back then and are still struggling.

I am thankful for being as busy as I am.  The construction business is booming again here in SoCal, and my business has been steady for almost two years now.  However, recovery has not been easy.  As busy as I am, catching up financially after having - literally - zero income for three years is like being on a hamster wheel.  Every time I feel like I'm finally getting a little ahead, something comes up to set me back again.

After the crash, all of us architects were pretty desperate.  Some still are.  In my case, I took a lot of jobs that I knew would be a bitch, just because I didn't have a choice.  Difficult clients, difficult projects, impossible budgets....  there were times, for the first time in my career, that I really started hating my job.

In short, I feel like the past five years have been an endless series of Rocky movies; I win in a couple, but I'm beat up and exhausted, and there's a part XVII right around the corner and nobody wants to see it.

So I started daydreaming about what I wish for 2014, and I'm interested in hearing your stories and wishes too.  Jump with me below the fold and let's share!

Poll

Do you expect 2014 to be a better year for you than 2013?

72%8 votes
9%1 votes
18%2 votes

| 11 votes | Vote | Results

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You all know David Harris Gershon, aka The Troubador, from his many great diaries here at the dKos.

Well, he's got a new book out, What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?: A Memoir and he's appearing at a book signing tonight in San Diego, at the San Diego Jewish Book Fair.

Go here to buy tickets and support a loyal Kossack!

Discuss

I have entered into a conversation with EdFinancial, the company that now has the government contract to collect student loan debt.

You will find my letter to Senator Elizabeth Warren, describing my story, below the orange noodly thing.

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Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 06:00 PM PST

Let's just put this myth to bed

by La Gitane

Today while driving I was behind an elderly white guy whose car had a bumper sticker that read:

The second amendment makes all the other amendments possible
Well, no it doesn't.  I've been hearing this "justification" of the right to bear arms now for decades, and, like a lot of Americans, I always kind of accepted it in a knee-jerk reaction sort of way.  

But not anymore.

more below the plume of orange smoke....

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