Presidents playing soldier

Given the veneration that Americans seem to have for the military, it is not surprising that some people try to appropriate some of that by lying about having served in the military or even having received military honors. This practice had become so common that Congress even passed the Stolen Valor Act of 2013 that makes it a crime “for a person to fraudulently claim having received a valor award specified in the Act, with the intention of obtaining money, property, or other tangible benefit by convincing another that he or she received the award.”
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Democratic party moves to become more democratic

In a welcome move, by a unanimous vote, the party’s Unity Reform Commission, made up of 21 members selected by Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and DNC Chair Tom Perez, reduced the number of so-called super-delegates to the party’s presidential nominating convention from 715 to 315 and also required them to vote according to the wishes of their respective states.
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Stone Mountain symbolizes nostalgia for an overtly racist past

When people talk of making American great again, the obvious question to ask them would be when they thought it was great in the past, but few reporters do. One audience member at a rally did ask this to Alabama pervert Republican candidate for senate Roy Moore at a rally back in September. Moore spoke about his longing for a return to the days when slavery still existed.

At Moore’s Florence rally, the former judge outlined all the wrongs he sees in Washington and “spiritual wickedness in high places.” He warned of “the awful calamity of abortion and sodomy and perverse behavior and murders and shootings and road rage” as “a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins.”

In response to a question from one of the only African Americans in the audience — who asked when Moore thought America was last “great” — Moore acknowledged the nation’s history of racial divisions, but said: “I think it was great at the time when families were united — even though we had slavery — they cared for one another…. Our families were strong, our country had a direction.

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The first all-LGBT city council in the US

Three days ago, the city of Palm Springs in southern California became home to an elected city council that is comprised entirely of members of the LGBT community.

The country’s first all-LGBT city council will be sworn in Wednesday night at Palm Springs City Hall.

The history-making council’s newest members – Lisa Middleton, the first transgender person elected to a non-judicial office in California, and Christy Holstege, an attorney who identifies as bisexual – will be sworn in at Wednesday night’s meeting of the Palm Springs City Council.

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Mesmerizing short film about lightning

There is something compelling about lightning, the sight of massive amounts of electrical energy surging through the sky and powering flux capacitors. Via David Pescovitz, I came across this compilation of lightning videos shot at 1,000 frames per second and set to music. The resulting film called Transient was made by Dustin Farrell who spent the summer traveling 20,000 miles within the US to capture all the strikes.
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Lead us not into theological controversies

Those of us who are lapsed Christians, however long ago it was that we fell from grace and chose the express lanes to hell, will likely remember the Lord’s Prayer even if we have forgotten everything else in the liturgies. We said it so often that it was deeply embedded in our brains long after we stopped paying any attention to what the words actually mean. So it is a big deal when none other than the pope suggests changing a line in the prayer because it puts their god in a bad light.
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The weird turn that Brexit has taken

The UK political scene has been in turmoil ever since the vote to leave the European Union as to how the separation would be carried out and the costs of it. Yesterday, prime minister Theresa May, after meeting with EU leaders, announced the results of negotiations on the framework and it has stunned pretty much everyone and infuriated those who campaigned hard for the UK to leave.
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Please don’t make Andrew Thierren angry

We are all targets of various scam artists who prey on the gullible and the naïve in order to fleece them. But when one such debt collector called Andrew Thierren’s wife falsely claiming that they had an outstanding debt that needed to be repaid, his first reaction, like that of many of us, was to hang up and ignore it. But when the person called again and threatened his wife with rape that was going too far. This normally genial salesman got furious and launched an intense solo investigation to find out whom this person was and who they worked for, and in the process uncovered a vast network of scammers.
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