• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


darknight1 last won the day on November 13 2015

darknight1 had the most liked content!

1 Follower

About darknight1

  • Rank
    Member IV
  • Birthday 05/22/1985

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Relationship Status
    In a Relationship
  • Location
    Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Interests
    Sci-Fi, Star Trek, Star Wars, industrial/metal music, travel, conventions, haunted houses, paranormal investigation, astronomy.
  • Referred To DGN By:

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
  1. It's been nearly two months since that wig wearing bastard was sworn in. So far, I'm just as enraged as I was the night he "won". Virtually everyone in his cabinet by this point has been shown to have been talking to the Russians before the election. I don't like that one goddamned bit, and yet instead of taking responsibility and telling the truth about why he and his people were even in touch with them (apparently it was to "ease" sanctions or so the official story goes), this dumb, narcissistic asshole has gone around for 9 straight days screaming about how Obama allegedly wiretapped his phones. All without a shred of proof, too. We cannot seem to go a single day without something happening in this administration. Not a single damned day. Take his education secretary, Betsy DeVos, as the first example. When the question of standing up for the rights of LGBT students in public schools, and standing up to ensure disabled persons have fair, equal access to a school setting (this was all during her confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill), she blanched. She demonstrated zero knowledge of how equal protection laws work, and why the federal government must play an important role in ensuring that civil rights of a wide swatch of the nation's kids are protected. She kept up this goddamned game of "let the states decide". She knows goddamned well every deep red state won't give a flying fuck about those ideals. They'll do nothing if it interferes with their racial beliefs or their religious views. The only thing Betsy has shown she gives a damn about...and this echoes to her past in Michigan...is fighting to funnel more money into private, unaccountable charter schools and religious "schools". This woman has no background in education, no degree, no experience even as a teacher. That infuriates me. Jeff Sessions infuriates me. That racist bastard first got caught red handed talking to Russia's ambassador to the United States weeks before the election even happened, and before he was even picked for his role as the nation's top cop. Now? He won't even resign because of the questionable circumstances surrounding what exactly he did or said in those meetings with that ambassador. Instead, what does he fucking do? He, just along with the rest of those inhuman inbred racist motherfuckers in the GOP, decides to go ahead and work on gutting decades of hard won civil rights protections. Over at the EPA, Scott Pruitt actually is going against nearly every respectable scientific organization in the world and not even doing a goddamned thing to reverse the catastrophic effects of human-induced climate change. Never mind the fact that our environment is in incredibly high danger of ending up like the planet Venus. Never mind the catastrophic damage done by oil corporations, mining corporations, logging corporations to our environment. Never mind the fact that we're seeing the worse die-off of numerous lifeforms this planet has seen since the Great Dying 220 or so million years ago (also known to scientists as the Great Permian Extinction - where almost all life on earth was completely wiped out). Never mind the fucking fact that our CHILDREN are inhaling epic amounts of carcinogens and numerous other poisons into their lungs every fucking day because of what those above named corporations are pumping into our air. Never mind the fucking fact that our children are drinking POISONED WATER brought on by the same corporations that are destroying virtually every habitat on the planet that is vital to human survival, not to mention survival of nearly every living creature on Earth. No, let's just ignore that because the poor dumb fuckers in coal mining country just want their jobs back that they lost 20 years ago. God help them if they ever thought to adapt to a different economy. In matters of housing and urban development, we have a proven idiot in charge there who simply has the post due to his loyalty to that fat orange fucker in the White House. Again, zero experience in anything to do with HUD outside of apparently being known to be a "brilliant neurosurgeon" at one point at time. And to think this dude actually believes the pyramids were grain silos, and equally had the nerve to call SLAVES, his own goddamned ancestors, "immigrants". The stupid Sleepy Ben Carson puts on parade is almost beyond belief. The next target is Rick Perry, the Secretary of Energy. The man openly admits he has no fucking clue as to what the Secretary of Energy does, and has zero qualifications for the job compared to his predecessor, Ernest Moniz, an actual nuclear physicist who understood all too goddamned well just what kind of responsibility comes attached to the job of overseeing virtually every nuclear power plant in America, every single nuclear weapon at our disposal, along with promoting and championing newer, alternate methods of energy besides fossil fuels. The only thing Rick Perry apparently fucking understands is oil. That's it. He's not interested in any goddamned thing else. At the Defense Department, you have an epic idiot in charge by the name of General James "Mad Dog" Mattis, a man who was given his pink slip by the Obama administration because of his eagerness to rush blindly into armed conflict with Iran, international consequences be damned. This same inhuman piece of trash has repeatedly joked about gunning down Muslims in the past, and has openly admired the infamous Roman dictator Lucius Cornelius Sulla in the past. And now this loose fucking cannon is now the second man in charge of our entire military...promoted by an insane dumb fuck who doesn't clearly seem to understand, just for example, the dangers of nuclear war, let alone learned any goddamned lesson about the huge problems typically associated with something as idiotic as pre-emptive war ala Iraq. The only sane pick so far seems to be H.R. McMaster for director of the NSA. He has a storied reputation of being an honest, scholarly man and has been known to stand up against stereotyping of Muslims worldwide. I have to wonder how long it will be before the Trump administration tosses him for his sound, logical advice. I could go on and on and on about how immensely fucked up this entire cabinet is. Tom Price is my final example - head of Health and Human Services, a former health insurance executive who in the past has insinuated (without directly saying so) that poor Americans can go to hell on getting ANY kind of medical coverage. Small wonder we lag far behind every goddamned developed country in the world where universal health care is concerned - it's not a right here thanks to the profit motive, and I cringe at how this administration (along with it's many harping clowns in Congress) view universal health care. They're fucking idiots, every last one of them. Finally, Trump and Pence themselves. These fucking Nazis need to go. I don't care how. Here, you have two men who apparently openly admire dictators. Pence, with his apparent willingness to let women go back to dying in back alleys from coat hanger abortions (instead of in a safe, controlled clinical setting) and who thinks LGBT people can be cured through the bullshit approach called "conversion therapy". Seriously, I look at that spineless little bastard and my hands literally shake with fury. I can't stand the prick. Trump? Cozying up to Putin of all fucking people on the globe. Putin, a former KGB man, who is suspected of committing human rights violation after human rights violation. Allying himself with these "alt-right" fuckers like Steve Bannon - a man who now sits on the National Security Council with no fucking business being there...a guy whose ties to every white supremacist group in the entire United States are well documented. Trump, a man who joked about fucking his own daughter and who brags about sexually assaulting women. A man who cannot even piece together a coherent sentence without OBSESSING over his fucking "win" every other goddamned speech. A man who regularly attacks and attempts to undermine a free, independent press as the Constitution should provide us with. A man who refuses to separate his business holdings from his duty as President, all in defiance of the Constitution itself. A man who demeans every fucking immigrant, every fucking non-white race that comes to this land, even as his wife evidently is a foreign bought hooker. A man who let one of his rich buddies not only take a photograph of the man tasked with carrying the nuclear football, but even fucking naming him! Does this stupid sonofabitch NOT comprehend the principles of national security, or even care about the fact that the very action his rich asshole friend at Mar-A-Lago could have placed that aide with the nuclear football at risk of being compromised by actual enemies of the United States? Did he not comprehend how unwise it was to send in special forces into a camp in Yemen without full intelligence on just what the fuck they would be flying into? Did he not fucking comprehend how disgusting it was to use a grieving widow to showboat himself as some sort of arrogant badass at his first State of the Union speech?! The ACA, gone at his hands and at the hands of Republicans, damn the millions who will suffer because of that loss, and all to benefit his fucking friends on the street. Environmental protections, gone at the hands of his rich friends in the oil and mining industries. An entire host of people from 7 nations banned because of their religion, yet not a fucking peep on banning anyone from Saudi Arabia, the true murderers directly responsible for the 9/11 attacks, and all because of his business holdings there. Any remaining oversight on Wall Street gone, putting us all at risk of another Great Depression, literal fucking lives at risk, all so his poor fucking friends in the banking industry can get even richer because it's just so hard on them with all of those regulations they should be law be required to follow (in my mind every last banker should be stripped and thrown into general population until they break). I hate every fucking thing about this entire administration, and the people who actually voted for this fucker and what he and his administration stand for I hold a burning, white hot rage towards. They more than anyone else fucked each and every last one of us, and all because they couldn't get over the fucking fact that a black guy was President, and because they refuse to think beyond the 1800s era mentalities in their small, useless, worthless small towns. All of which throughout my life were epic hotbeds of religious fueled ignorance, simple minded thinking, xenophobic nationalism and racism. Fuck this administration, and fuck rural America. They're the problem. The exact source of our fucking ills. And they're holding this nation hostage.
  2. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a password protected forum. Enter Password
  3. How Did You Pick Your DGN Name? 2.0

    It all started with DC Comics at the tender age of 6...
  4. So, I broke into the corrections field but...I am completely fucking exhausted. The facility I work at seems to have a ton of drama over the past month, and most of it centers around specific staff members who seem to be pissed that my shift does the job they never do. I don't get it. I fail to understand what it is with Colorado Springs and every potential job site here being full of pointless drama. Beyond that, the exhaustion is real - 70 plus hours a week right now, and no end in sight. And I'm still reeling from finding a deceased inmate last weekend, too.
  5. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a password protected forum. Enter Password
  6. what are you doing right now?

    Trying to enjoy my last night off out here.
  7. I tried, sekhmet. The amount of rigging of our system goes to unheard of levels. On a local level, government itself is laughable. In my area, the current mayor's ideas are something to just stare in amazement at. Rather than focusing on repairing our infrastructure, he took queues from Steve Bach on what sound public policy should be. I actually heard them at a neighborhood watch event I volunteered for on the southeast side a few months ago. This man's ideas consist of eliminating power lines along the South Academy corridor, instead of, I don't know, working to actively combat the root causes of crime in the city's southeast district (known locally as Sand Creek) - which would nominally be rising levels of poverty due to the plethora of low wage jobs and no community events happening there. We do have UCCS and PPCC, but with the increases to tuition and the reduced amount of student aid currently available to all individuals pursuing a higher education (which includes a high amount of debt as outlined in my reply to Troy), survival is the one thing that comes to the minds of most low-income wage earners in the Colorado Springs area. A partial ugly result of this has been a spike in arrests made by the police for drug-related crimes, most of which are traced directly back to high rates of usage of methamphetamines and opioids. Law enforcement here has been trying to combat these issues through the utilization of what they call the MNVI here (Metro Narcotics and Vice Unit - all composed of CSPD, Manitou PD, EPSO, Fort Carson Police, Monument PD and Fountain PD), but honestly, it's not enough, especially when the city and county governments (both of whom are dominated almost wholesale by Republicans and have been for 41 years now) refuse to do anything to offend the small segment of the population here that refuses to consider any tax increases. Part of this anti-tax mantra led directly to the state passing what they call TABOR here - Taxpayer Bill of Rights. These people amaze me with their attitudes on how we should fund our public services - they insist we can pay for police, fire, medical and city maintenance services using money gained from the taxation of medical marijuana and retail marijuana, and yet City Council, with the support of the mayor, have refused to consider even allowing retail marijuana anywhere within city limits. They don't even get that the tax money from even medical marijuana itself goes towards the state. The latest fiasco has been two ongoing battles here. The first is the city government's insistence on pushing through what they call the "City of Champions" effort, inspired partly by Colorado Springs being home to the US Olympic Committee and the US Olympic Training Center. This idea, which has all city residents paying an extra hefty tax towards, includes building a convention center in an already cramped downtown area (they never thought of much city planning past the 1970s), a new baseball stadium that almost everyone in the area is opposed to, an Olympic museum and a new welcome center for the Air Force Academy - itself situated at least 15 miles northwest of downtown, and three miles outside of city limits. The Air Force publicly said they didn't need a new welcome center, having just built a new one right on the academy's grounds, while the US Olympic Training Center has stated they already have a museum they built just over a decade ago. This as our streets and roads have been declared to actually have a pothole emergency (there's tens of thousands of claims with the city regarding tire replacement and other car repairs needed stemming from having hit so many potholes that the city never makes a serious attempt to fix), several key transit areas are undergoing construction that was never requested by area citizens, several major bridges that still have not been fixed and reopened despite protests from affected neighborhoods and an outdated stormwater system that is causing flooding issues not only here but downstream in Pueblo (the city is trying to have Pueblo pay for all of the stormwater system upgrades - in Colorado Springs). And the height of the absurdity is that despite the locals here knowing that these issues need to be addressed, and should know that taxes are needed to cover these repairs, they insist they don't want to pay a dime because it is unconstitutional. And as for our elections...the area here is heavily gerrymandered to favor Republicans. Almost every congressional district in Colorado Springs favors the Christian reconstructionist crowd, who have sent Gordon Klingenschmitt (a former Navy chaplain who stated a few years back that a woman who had her fetus cut out by someone else was "God's punishment for abortion") to the state house again and again, and who have repeatedly elected Doug Lamborn again and again, despite the man having a bad habit of being best known for saying racist slurs about President Obama and voting for pork barrel projects that go nowhere. And meanwhile, despite some great progressives trying to run again and again, the local heads of the Democratic Party keep running a fool every two to four years for the House known as Irv Halter, a former Air Force general whose policy ideas and temperament are in line with Jim Webb...essentially, a Republican in Democrat clothing. And their ideas for jobs and green space are laughable. The county commissioner, at this same meeting I mentioned volunteering at, was openly mocking Cincinnati's idea to turn some abandoned warehouses into working spaces for community artists and small business owners...their idea of a viable employment scene consists of Wal-Mart (currently there are 10 locations within a 30 minute drive in each direction where I live at), shady call centers ran by companies like First Source Solutions, Startek and Xerox (all known colloquially as BPOs - Business Processing Outlets - for a good laugh, look up employee reviews of the three named companies alone on Glassdoor), for-profit colleges along the lines of ITT Tech, University of Phoenix, Intellitec and Everest, and attracting more military defense contractors that simply just bring out of state workers along with them instead of hiring locally. They're pretty clueless here. That's not to say that the state is any better. The governor, John Hickenlooper, is just as much of an idiot as Jennifer Granholm was when I lived in Michigan. Here, his mantra is fracking, and more of it. This despite complaints from towns along I-70's western corridor who are complaining of increased health problems because of water contaminants originating from fracking sites in the region, along with other fracking sites in southeastern Colorado, parts of western Colorado and up by Weld County. Small wonder Hickenlooper is known here as "Frackenlooper". Denver at least is trying to set an example, with heavy investments made into so-called "green" buildings, attracting young entrepreneur types through generous tax breaks and grant programs, promoting a unique arts and culture scene, allowing for locally owned businesses to pop up while ensuring corporate outfits of Wal-Mart's type stay outside of the city and promoting healthy living through a huge abundance of parks, trails and exercise options city wide. It's definitely a different vibe up there, but the downside is the cost of living - just a small studio apartment can easily go up to $1,200 a month for starting rent each month. Wages do tend to be higher within Denver, at least, with an average starting pay amount of $12.00 an hour or higher. And again, outside of a few exceptions (Mike Merrifield, Tom Reynolds, Pete Lee all come to mind), the majority of the Democratic Party here is in lockstep with Hillary - small baby steps in wage increases, universal healthcare, campaign finance reform, pro-union worker's laws, zero opposition to TPP. Senator Michael Bennett (U.S. Senate) is the same. And people wonder why I'm supporting Arn Menconi's run for Senate - yes, he's Green Party, but he's actually standing by his principles as a progressive. And we need more of that, badly, if we're to get the fuck away from the neoliberal disaster that defines today's Democratic Party, and even more importantly away from the poisonous neoconservative ideals that constitute the Party of Lincoln. Neither ideals have worked, and we could stand to light a fire under the system. I still wish Bernie would have been allowed a clean win, though, and wish he would have cut loose and ran as an independent - it amazes me that he expects his supporters to endorse Clinton's neoliberal ideals after we all saw from inside his campaign how much he got fucked over. With this all having been said, I'll pick back up later. Good night, everyone.
  8. TLDR: I'm still not voting for more neoliberal decisions that will destroy us ala Hillary Clinton, and am still with Jill Stein until the bitter end. I do get the concerns regarding a third party vote, but to reiterate what I said before - this is bigger to me than that orange faced fool and bigger than Hillary herself. And while I do agree to an extent that the game has been half-rigged, it wasn't that way for a short period of time in our history, at least not to the extent that we see in our age. Part of what influences my rationale to decide to support Dr. Stein over Hillary Clinton has a lot to do with recent history, and a term I do not see talked about enough in our country. This term would be neoliberalism, which as an ideology since at least Reagan has advocated for a hands-off approach to corporate affairs, reductions in government spending and privatization of most of our social services. It is true that both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are not that different from one another, at least where the business sector is concerned. Both parties, over the past 35 years, have had a direct hand in engaging the United States in some of the most disastrous anti-worker deals seen in US history. I think primarily of NAFTA, KORUS, CAFTA and in our current time TPP. Under these trade agreements (supported by Democrats and Republicans alike), we have seen the outsourcing of millions of jobs in automobile manufacturing, pharmaceutical production, IT, health insurance services, computer technology manufacturing and even financial services. In terms of copyright laws, patents and banking, binding legal decisions that apply to Americans have been made in corporately ran courts and committees based in eastern Asia, Europe and even in Latin America. KORUS is a perfect example of these exact issues - one aspect under this agreement allows for foreign investors to have the right to challenge US public health and environmental regulations made by our own government that could prevent a threat to their ability to make continued profits at the expense of our own safety and well-being where physical health and environmental health are concerned about. With TPP, the negative impact to us as citizens would be enormous. In terms of medicine, TPP would actually prevent Americans from having access to lower cost drugs that could potentially save lives by expanding the drug patents to certain types of medications produced by some of the world's most powerful pharmaceutical corporations. With concern to environmental regulations in the United States, an international tribunal (mainly staffed by corporate lawyers and lobbyists from what I have read) could challenge and overturn any environmental regulation in the United States that a corporation views as blocking it's way to higher profits. This could be anything from mandated air scrubbers installed in smoke towers to cut back on the amount of fossil fuel based contaminants created from burning of fossil fuels within privately held power plants, to cutting out regulations imposing smog limits on numerous types of gasoline powered vehicles, to even attacking laws mandating that factories located near major sources of water for a community ensure that all water being pumped out of the facility itself has little to no contaminants in it. We already saw these exact things happen in small ways since the United States joined the WTO, and have also seen these issues happen thanks to involvement with NAFTA, CAFTA and a host of other bilateral and multilateral trade agreements the United States has signed with other nations. Under the terms of the TPP, and the still proposed FTAA (Free Trade Agreement of the Americas), corporations would also be given unlimited powers (and unlimited rights) to monopolize any industry of their choosing - naturally, of course, Comcast is just one of the major supporters of the TPP. Who else, might one ask, support the implementation of the TPP? Goldman Sachs, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Google and Facebook are just a few corporate outfits throwing their weight behind the TPP. A good starting point for why these trade deals are disastrous can be found at the Citizens Trade Campaign, located at http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/ . It can be argued that Hillary is against the TPP, but she only came out in opposition to this deal as late as last fall - and her pick for Vice President, Time Kaine, gave his full throated support of this deal up until June 22nd - the day before he was tapped to become Hillary's VP. Article link is here: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/tim-kaine-trade-tpp-226054 Almost no Democrat in Congress (outside of Elizabeth Warren, Alan Grayson, Tulsi Gabbard and a few other notables) are even trying to make a stand against this horrific trade deal. The rationale behind this is thanks to President Obama supporting the passage of TPP. Most of the Republican Party is supporting this deal as well. And the nightmares don't end there, either. In terms of workers' rights, there too we have seen a drawdown on both sides of the aisle with the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. The Republican Party, at least today, has shown nothing but open contempt and hostility towards American workers since 1981, going to extreme lengths to ostracize and cripple (through numerous laws) the power of unions to make a stand to defend workers from having their wages reduced, their working hours extended (or severely shortened), their benefits made more expensive for workers or outright eliminated and even a reduction to workplace safety regulations. We even saw OSHA and it's many state variants crippled through budget cuts made out of spite to the point where they are virtually powerless to prevent or stop workplace abuses. The Democratic Party has done little to stem the tide, making only token gestures of raising the minimum wage by $1 to $2 at a time, but these efforts have done little to alleviate the immense suffering of the working class in America. Even less has been done to stop the ever increasing rise of the cost of living itself - the cost of rent, as a rule, is almost arbitrarily raised without any real rationale beyond vague statements about "market forces". The cost of purchasing basic food supplies has gone up dramatically as well, even though our domestic food industry utilizes the most inexpensive ways to push meats, fruits, vegetables, grains and other consumable products onto the market, all while utilizing cheap labor brought into this country through the H1-B visa program offered by the Department of State. And the stories of abuses heaped upon immigrant workers brought in through this visa are horrific - workers forced to labor in unsanitary, unsafe conditions with no actual safeguards in place to prevent potentially fatal accidents, workers forced to labor for 18 hour days or longer, under the table pay that is far, far below what the federally mandated minimum wage of $8.23 an hour is, no contact allowed whatsoever with family members, numerous documented incidents of racially motivated hate crimes committed against workers bussed in by corporations employing H1-B workers, numerous sexual assaults on female migrant employees...these things all continue unabated and without very much light shed on them. Again, here, both parties only pay lip service to the idea of doing something to stop this. The Republican Party, as has been the standard for over 30 years now, is to simply blame immigrant workers, almost going to the point of painting them as malicious individuals here to intentionally disrupt our way of life. The Democratic Party has done nothing to address the problems found in the H1-B visa program, instead electing to make moves that target smaller companies engaged in immigrant worker abuses - all while Tyson Foods, Kraft, Dole, Smithfield’s and a vast amount of multinational food corporations get away with utilizing the H1-B visa to continue to be able to reap vast profits on the backs of human beings they consider to be cheap, exploitable sources of labor. And yet they continue to increase the cost of our own food while crying about market forces being at work for the price increases they impose. In fact, a huge part of the increase to the cost of living has everything to do with the same exact sort of speculators who were directly responsible for the crash of 2008 (more on that in a minute). Seguing back briefly to the little realistic difference between either party, almost all of the Democrats and Republicans in office right now have continued to do little to stop the reckless, almost criminal, behavior by the banking sector. Clinton’s repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999 has often been cited as one of the most direct causes of the crash of 2008 – and those words could not be any truer. Since the 1980s, Democrats and Republicans have both joined together in countless votes to tear down the very laws passed in the aftermath of the Great Depression that were meant to prevent just the sort of reckless financial behavior that caused the Great Depression in the first place. Today, despite the “successes” of Dodd-Frank that Clinton touts so much – Dodd-Frank is a toothless tiger that no one should have any illusions about – we still have no laws on the books mandating a separation between commercial banking and private banking (think here of your own personal checking account), there is still little real accountability for individuals in the banking sector who knowingly conceal and sell loans to customers they know could never afford to pay them back, little to no accountability for corporations to engage in the sales of known toxic assets that could crash the economy if too many explode into existence again, almost no accountability for financial corporations that engage in banking services with state sponsors of terrorism, little to no accountability for individuals in financial corporations that engage in, as HBSC was caught doing, domestic spying and even no accountability for debt collection firms that often employ threatening tactics to debtors such as threats of jail, of murder of pets, harassing phone calls continuing into the late hours of the night, harassment of family members of debtors, employers of debtors and friends of debtors…there is zero accountability there, and both parties have done nothing to stop these behaviors for good. The same exact case exists where payday lenders are concerned in several states, with at least two to three dozen Democrats receiving campaign support from payday lender associations throughout the United States. And Hillary is not above the fray in the financial services sector, considering how Goldman Sachs and Citi are two of her largest campaign contributors. She even did paid speeches for these people that she now tries to say she is fighting, a claim that would be laughable if those speeches, in their full, unedited glory were ever released to the public. In matters of debt and the collection of debt, absolutely nothing has changed over the last 8 years of Obama’s presidency. At this point, the sheer volume of medical debt and student debt is simply beyond staggering, with estimates of over $2 trillion in medical and student debt alone existing in this country. Partly because of pressing medical debt and student debt, it is estimated that up to 71% of all newly graduated 2-year and 4-year college students owe some type of debt. The average amount of debt per student, as estimated in a US News report from October 27th, 2015 is around $28,000 or higher. And partly due to the outsourcing of a huge swath of American industries, the only kind of work many graduating students would be lucky to get is at best a minimum wage job in one of the few industries I am about to list, all of which are reportedly the major reason for the increase in job opportunities nationwide: 1. Fast food; 2. Retail; 3. Fast casual dining; 4. Temporary contract work in the so-called “gig economy” (Uber, Lyft, Task Rabbit all come to mind here); 5. Casual dining outfits (Applebee’s, Denny’s, IHOP, Chili’s all come to mind here. And this is just but a small taste of what our economy has increasingly come to be post-NAFTA, post-CAFTA and post-KORUS – primarily based upon service. Another rising sector, which I was a part of at least twice since moving to Colorado, is the call center industry. This sector, quite arguably, is the equivalent of the modern day sweatshop, in which attendance violations are handed out for missing work due to illness, even with a physician’s note, long hours with very limited time for breaks (most call centers on average stick to the 10 minute per break rule), often unsanitary working conditions (many call centers tend to be limited in cleaning to prevent the spread of viral and bacterial pathogens due to their almost singular focus on billing third party clients to make money hand over fist), numerous issues with pest control issues (the most predominant of which tends to be bed bugs), poor treatment of floor employees by upper management…and as a rule, both Democratic politicians and Republican politicians alike have rushed to give these places tax breaks to come into the community, the singular focus being to create new jobs. Oftentimes, none of the issues I describe above are ever acted on by public officials until it becomes a story in local media, and even then as soon as the spotlight is back to somewhere else, these same issues spring right back up in a matter of weeks. It happened here in Colorado Springs several times, and it happens elsewhere in the United States every single day. And because the owners of these companies tend to donate a lot of money to the campaigns of people like Hillary, little to no regulations block their ability to make obscene profits at the expense of worker safety and health. On matters of health care treatment in the United States, it is true that Hillary and the Democratic Party try to make some small, rather insignificant steps towards improving our healthcare system. For the Democrats, at least right now, the idea is to continue building on Obamacare (or the Affordable Care Act as policy hounds like myself refer to it as). The unfortunate truth is that the Democratic Party, like the Republican Party, still has done little to improve the condition of our healthcare system. Despite the half-hearted push for a public option, the big concern is that the United States will continue to exist with a for-profit healthcare model in place throughout the country. Currently, the United States is one of two countries in the civilized world that continues to rely upon a for-profit model where healthcare is concerned at. A map of all of the other countries without universal healthcare was actually included in an article by The Atlantic in 2012, and although the article itself is dated, I think it’s still worth reading. Here, again, is a link: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/06/heres-a-map-of-the-countries-that-provide-universal-health-care-americas-still-not-on-it/259153/. Continuing on, similar to what Bill Clinton did, President Obama allowed health insurance corporations to dictate how healthcare would be managed in this country. Despite the expansion of the availability of Medicaid to persons whose income would place them under the federally defined line of poverty, the cost of care in this country still remains a joke. Medicaid, for all of the good it does for basic medical needs, still is not accepted by most physicians engaged in private practice, leaving the burden of healthcare to fall onto community health centers that have seen drastic cuts to their funding by Republican led state legislatures – and the Democrats have barely lifted a finger to actually stop this from happening, outside of a few verbal protests here and there. Both Medicaid and Medicare, as a rule, do not tend to pay much towards the cost of care, where with for-profit insurance corporations (and even the one singular non-profit insurance corporation in the US – Kaiser Permanente) pay out more for the cost of care depending on what level of coverage you elect to have. And that level of coverage…it is entirely dependent on your income level. Here, I have personal experience – having done contract work for Kaiser Permanente, the majority of the accounts I dealt with were Bronze level – typically the cheapest plan for people with limited income. And I am not kidding when I state that the number of Bronze plans I saw at my job numbered in the tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands. And there’s no federally mandated cap at all on the cost of these insurance plans. Absolutely nothing is done by either party in a realistic setting to encourage drug companies to focus on research – instead, it’s all about marketing. Absolutely nothing is done to force doctors’ offices or hospitals to lower the cost of supplies that anywhere else would cost a few cents to a few dollars per item. And meanwhile, people like Hillary continue to get the gears of their campaigns greased to look the other way and spout off nonsensical policy ideas that only count as baby steps that ultimately go nowhere. And meanwhile, the US continues to lag behind in every measurable category compared to much of western Europe in terms of cost of treatment, life expectancy, infant mortality and prevalence of common diseases that could be easily treated or prevented. On matters of foreign policy and the military, the Democratic Party hasn’t done much better at all then the Republican Party. Yes, we did see a drawdown in the physical size of our military under President Obama. We saw the same thing under Bill Clinton. But, here’s the thing on that: that money that was freed upon by the reduction to the size of our standing forces was directed back into technological research for the military. What I mean by this is new bombs, new aircraft designs, new ship designs, new drones and even the stepping up of cyberwarfare as a means to combat our enemies around the world, if one could truly call them that. Despite the fact that even with 50% of its current funding left intact, we would have the world’s most powerful military in terms of firepower and technology, the Democratic Party, along with the Republican Party, continues to pour unlimited funds into the mechanisms of war, and again with a few exceptions, Hillary and people with her mindset have seen unlimited campaign donations from military contractors like Boeing, Lockheed, Texas Instruments (notorious for involvement in helping to create new processing technology for remotely operated aircraft and missiles), General Electric, General Dynamics…this continues even between elections. And in turn, our own elected leaders, if you can truly call them that, continue to send billions to the defense industry in this country, all without an actual say from us as citizens. Where foreign policy is concerned at? Hillary scares the hell out of me more than Trump ever would. Her posturing has put us on a dangerous footing with the Russians, with Iran, with Syria, North Korea, Pakistan and a whole veritable host of nations around the world. With respect to Russia, they have stated without any hesitation that if Hillary were to engage in further military action in Syria if elected (and Hillary has certainly promised to do such a thing), Russia will regard her actions as an act of war. And in the background, her backers in the defense industry cheer her on all over our cable news outlets nationwide. Here, I am forced to ask the obvious – do I really want more war and more war hawk posturing with her in power, all at the risk of international peace and security? With respect to campaign finance, nothing will be done by the Democrats any more than the Republicans. Both parties benefit greatly from the continued existence of unlimited campaign contributions that do not have to be reported, as was allowed with Citizens United and the McCutcheon case not even two years ago by the Supreme Court. For all her talk about reforming campaign finance, Hillary won’t do a damn thing, especially given that not so long ago she was more than willing to take millions to whore herself out to the same Wall Street institutions that she now tries to convince us she told them to “stop it” right before the crash of 2008 happened. This is coming from the same woman who even backed George W. Bush’s support of the bankruptcy reform act of 2005, only to withdraw her support the second it became clear she could lose her spot in the Senate if she didn’t – and that act, since then, has continued to see the interests of financial corporations upheld over the needs of financially broken human beings with little to no ability to gain a break and get rid of debt that they cannot afford, given that, once again, our wages have not gone up compared to the cost of living since day one of Ronald Reagan’s administration. And here, I touch one more time on it: student debt. It’s crystal clear Hillary is only interested in prolonging the ability of banks to continue to profit from the interest alone made off of student loan debt. She’s all for refinancing student debt. The problem is, student debt, as has been pointed out by some of the country’s most respected economists, is helping to push the country to another Great Depression, right in hand with the lack of regulation on the exact speculation that Wall Street is doing with your own money, all to try and enrich themselves even more. I rather admire Jill Stein’s idea of immediately forgiving all student debt in this nation. Falling back onto a similar theme I said earlier about healthcare, we are the only advanced country in the western world that does not guarantee debt free higher education, and in a way we are suffering from that, as right now, we are hurting badly from the lack of scientists needed to lead the western world in scientific advancements again. We’re hurting from a growing lack of medical doctors who could lead our healthcare system to a better place. We’re hurting from a lack of engineers as our infrastructure continues to rot, as Democrats and Republicans continue to play a pointless game of charades before our very eyes. A better, cost-free educational system where no debt is at play is the way to go, and not many on either side are content to listen. The only viable difference between the two parties…issues which I think are non-issues as they are just distractions…have to do with social matters. Marriage equality is one big issue – we should have had it firmly in place years ago without any argument. Instead, it was argued about to distract us from what the wealthy oligarchs manipulating both parties were doing. Abortion? That was finished with Roe v Wade, and there’s no point in arguing over it any further. It’s the law of the land, and we quite frankly have better things to do with our time. Civil rights? Again, a non-issue: we shouldn’t even be arguing over the color of a person’s skin and whether or not they should even be able to vote or have the same opportunities as us pale white people. Just give them the same opportunities we have and shut the fuck up about it. We’re all human beings at the end of the day, after all. I realize all of this is long and extensive to read, but it’s where I stand. We’re seeing a repeat of history…or rather, the exact history humanity lived through nearly a century ago. And I think it’s time we stopped acting like only two parties should ever exist. There are other political parties that are willing to do well for us in the working class and in the middle class. We need to stop making excuses and do what is right for our conscious, instead of compromising for two parties that only give a damn about the wealth that goes into their pockets, and more importantly stop giving a damn about two parties that use the non-issues called social issues to distract all of us from the behind the scenes corruption that both parties play with. And I’m still not voting for Hillary, either.
  9. I'm just a myth. I am not in sight anywhere.
  10. TLDR: I'm not voting for Hillary - I'm voting for Jill. But please read all of this if you have the time. You'll find it enlightening. Believe me. First, I'm back after another extended absence. Now, onto the question of who I am voting for, and why. Initially, I was going to vote for Bernie Sanders. I even went to the length of volunteering for his campaign in Colorado for much of 2015 and part of 2016. And then, primary season began. And guys, let me tell you...I have stories. Things started off great for us volunteers - we spent all of last fall going from door to door, making phone call after phone call, organizing dozens of rallies in support of Bernie and like-minded candidates for the house, the senate, the state legislature, city government, county government...we fought our asses off. Many of our weekends were consumed alone from the thousands of doors we knocked on, and we didn't even let the weather hold us back - we had people out walking through even blinding snow to canvass for Bernie's campaign. And then, something happened. Back in December and January, in anticipation of the primaries, many of our volunteers from all over the state began to travel out to help out Iowa, California, Texas and much of the rest of the country. At that time, I was serving as a training captain with the campaign...I was in charge of getting new volunteers trained on how to conduct phone banking, how to canvass, how to get voters educated on what they needed to do to change their registration ahead of the primaries and the caucuses. Because of my position within the campaign, I was able to call into and participate in not only a lot of nightly phone meetings with our state volunteers, but also other campaign volunteers and leaders from all 50 states. And what I saw and heard behind the scenes still has me very unsettled about how our democracy works, or rather how we think it should work. We did manage to get millions of people added to the Democratic Party voter lists who supported Bernie, and they kept track of this through Mini-VAN (an app used to bring up registered Democratic voter's contact information - all of which is given to us voluntarily by people who are registered as Democrats) and a lot of meticulous documentation done at least twice a week as the canvassers and phone bankers continued to work. And at the end of it, Bernie actually had far, far more support as a presidential candidate than Hillary could ever dream of. And then, the primaries hit. You all saw it unfold. Hillary "won" 34 states and Bernie won 23. The problem is, she shouldn't have taken that many. In each state Hillary took, our meetings right after the win was called for Hillary were chaotic. We fielded god knows how many millions of emails, of Facebook notices, phone calls, tweets from people we helped to get register ahead of each state's deadline to change your party affiliation to vote in the Democratic Party primaries or participate in caucus if that's what your state did. Most of those messages we received from Bernie supporters we canvassed for and called directly all followed a similar theme: their party affiliation was changed to Republican, independent, Green Party or some other party without explanation. And the way a lot of states structured everything, changing your party affiliation on the same day was not allowed in almost all of the country. There were other problems, too. Our own volunteers on the ground, many of whom volunteered to run caucus locations (I trained a good number of them myself) and polling sites reported seeing Clinton volunteers on site, many of whom were already in positions of responsibility. From there, things got worse. We were all direct witnesses to a lot of the behind the scenes clashes with Clinton volunteers who elected to close a lot of polling stations hours before they were due to be closed. Thanks to the party changes made to many Bernie supporters we had listed within Mini-VAN (this app is available to any volunteer who is doing canvassing and phone banking with the Democratic Party and can easily be accessed just by using a personal account you set up as a volunteer), provisional ballots were almost always the rule of the day, and on those nightly conference calls, we had people openly attesting to witnessing Clinton's people throwing out provisional ballots at the end of the night. At caucuses all around the country where Clinton's people were predominantly present in leadership positions (many of them holdovers from the 2012 elections - caucus is a complex topic to navigate and I had to attend four training sessions just to get completely trained on what to expect and what to do at one), our people with the campaign not only caught Clinton supporters in charge of caucus locations openly ignoring votes for Bernie (and in many instances even for O'Malley before he dropped out), but pressing onto other minor issues on their agenda that was not discussed with our own campaign volunteers who stepped up to help out with running a caucus as leaders without so much as a roll call vote - it was a rushed process, and we had endless reports of these antics happening in almost every state that utilized caucusing as a way to nominate a candidate for President. And the rabbit hole continues. With the states that used primaries to determine a nominee's delegates, as I noted before, we were witness to ballots being thrown out, polling stations being closed early in the day by people we identified as Clinton campaign volunteers from having run into them out in the field, no accommodations made at all for disabled voters...on top of those issues, I heard volunteer leaders from almost every state where Clinton "won" state that there were even limited amounts of ballots available at a huge amount of primary locations nationwide. The worse of these happened in Arizona - one fellow training captain I met while briefly in Utah earlier this spring mentioned how some of Clinton's people at a polling station in Tucson were openly joking about how with so few ballots, the "communists" supporting Bernie will simply turn away and they could just finish up and elect Clinton. He and several others with his local office attempted to take this up with Arizona's secretary of state, only to get brushed off, and outside of maybe two independent newspapers with little reach (his own words), no other media outlets he contacted showed any interest in investigating this issue. And the rabbit hole goes deeper. When it came to our county convention and state convention in Colorado, things got worse. One of the few people running for office here, a person who would nominally be called a "Berniecrat", declared her intention to run for Doug Lamborn's seat in the House of Representatives. The head of the county Democratic Party walked up to her and told her there was no need - they already had someone they were going to run for office. As we found out later at our state convention, the head of the county Democratic Party was planning to have Irv Halter, a local conservative Democrat best known for having been a major general in the Air Force, for at least the third time in a row. They ended up tapping another conservative leaning Democrat to try and go for Lamborn's seat, but thanks to our work in getting out word in the area about Misty, she ended up winning the primary back in June - it was enough to generate headlines nationwide and even worldwide. The same story went for the county commission - another candidate, Electra, announced at county convention her intention to run for district 3 commissioner. Again, same thing from the head of the county Democratic Party - they were planning on tapping someone else of their own choosing. And at both county and state, we had elected officials who we knew to be Hillary supporters actually telling a lot of people from the Bernie campaign that our votes didn't matter at all. And we continued to hear this on the conference calls we had with other volunteers at Bernie's campaign offices all over the country - that Hillary's supporters at a huge amount of county and state Democratic conventions were openly disparaging us and were not even counting any Bernie votes, but instead holding a vote for Hillary to be the nominee before closing out the voice votes. And still, the rabbit hole doesn't end there. Now, we're sitting here just over two weeks after the end of the Democratic National Convention. The conference calls I was a part of to discuss strategies we could take or even other options are no longer happening - we all saw Bernie get up and endorse the neo-liberal disaster (to quote Dr. Cornel West) that is Hillary Clinton at the convention. I know of several hundred people who went to the convention as Bernie delegates, and the national convention in Philadelphia was simply a repeat of what we saw at the county level and at the state level. There, the DNC at the last minute decided to change the time of the roll call vote for delegates without advance warning. Again, there were a lot of reports of elected Democratic officials supporting Hillary telling our people that our votes didn't count or even matter. There, a lot of votes for Bernie not being counted. And true to form, the exact thing we fought hard to ensure would never happen, did happen - Hillary is the nominee. The email leak from WikiLeaks just validated everything I heard on those conference calls while as training captain. It validated every suspicious incident we tried to have investigated but were rebuffed by the DNC on. It validated the antics Debbie Wasserman Schultz engaged in against our campaign volunteers in Florida. The maddening thing is that although all of us know Hillary herself had a hand in manipulating this election to her benefit, she left it up to her surrogates all over the country to do it for her. None of us doubt she was directly involved in face to face meetings with her own campaign volunteers in each state she went through, and none of us doubt those same volunteers for her campaign spread out across the country to stop the one actual honest person who was listening to the needs of the entire country through deception and fraud. And now, having seen up close how the political process worked in this election, and having gained an idea of how unlikeable Democrats like Hillary end up as the front runner despite what the rest of the nation actually wants out of a leader, I'm not voting for her. Her policies alone are deeply distasteful to me, and only serve to continue to enrich the rich, even if it will continue to be detrimental to the working class in this country, detrimental to the cause of peace, and especially detrimental to the long-term well being of the environment. We were fucked over...and I'm saying that in my former capacity from within Bernie's campaign. We were fucked over by someone with no respect for the actual workings of democracy, and the idea that we should forget about her campaign's manipulation of this election, her campaign's torrents of verbal abuse towards us Bernie supporters and volunteers, her continued support of corporate interests, her conservative hawkish views on foreign policy...we're supposed to forget that, and come together because she "wants what I want"...damn the fact that she has whored herself out to corporate assholes for years at our expense...and has never done any serious fighting for the very people that her and her husband's policies have continued to harm. We're supposed to do all of that to defeat Trump, and are told that a vote for anyone else but her is a default vote for Trump, damn the actual reality that a vote for a candidate of your choosing is a vote for that person alone, and no one else. I'm taking my chances this round, and supporting Jill Stein of the Green Party - she was my plan B all along, and I have known of her and been an admirer of her for 3 years now. It's a long shot, but I'm choosing to make my own stand as a progressive and not compromising because of yet another manufactured bad guy that the Democratic Party's watered down corporate friendly policies have helped to create. And given everything I just saw unfold from the inside of Bernie's campaign? It's a choice I make with pride. And I know I won't go against my own morals and ethics by voting, yet again, for the "lesser of two evils".
  11. Random Acts of Kindness 3.2 (post your updated list!)

    Because I'm a gamer, and you all love me so much... https://www.humblebundle.com/store/wishlist/5765963303878656
  12. Freedom!

    How do you keep your sanity?
  13. At long last, my days of driving for Lyft and Uber have come to an end. I ended up finally getting another job late last month, and officially start at it next Monday. Thank god. I cannot stand the thought of driving around drunk, entitled millennials who can't even tip $5 on a ride, but can afford to drop $200 or $300 in one sitting at a club. I can't even stand the thought of having to fake a smile anymore for these rat bastards - they're so shallow and self-centered it's unreal. Even on nights where I thought everything went great, I would wake up and find I had several less than 5 star ratings on my daily reports, and realize they were just acting nice. I'd wonder what I did wrong, too. Either way, I'm free from the chains of driving drunk, selfish cheapskates around.
  14. ​You almost hit the nail on the head. The core of the GOP is composed of baby boomers who are stuck in the 1950s and 1960s and Gen X types who were raised to worship the theory of trickle down economics and Ayn Rand style selfishness.