A Sexist Theater Company?

I happen to own a theater. It’s called Mister Theater.

I was reading a review of a show produced by another company, and the reviewer was encouraging the producers of that show to get us to change the name of the company to something less sexist. Let me respond.

The name, essentially, came out of a brainstorm for theater names. Since I’m Ryan, and my business partner is Montetré, combining our initials is M.R. Since we were building a theater, MR Theater seemed appropriate – pronounced Mister Theater. Since any company needs a website, I looked to see if MrTheater was available. It was… for like $1,000. But MisterTheater was available for $7, so we went with that.

Now, I understand everyone’s all about inclusiveness, and not offending anyone ever… and I am too! But apparently Mister implies that we’re a no-women-allowed theater, and that seems rather ridiculous.

Are people complaining about Mister Theater being sexist the same ones that complain about children being allowed to play with Mister Potato Head? Does Mister Softee only employ men? Are we boycotting Mr. Show? I saw a lot of women in Mister Roger’s Neighborhood. Do we opt for a more inclusive plumber, or do we call Mr. Rooter? Would Mrs. Clean do a better job cleaning our floors than Mr. Clean? For those what like a bit of sexism served with their morning joe, do they opt for the Mr. Coffee? Why does Planters have to ram Mister Peanut down our throats? Why are people fine with burning a man, but not a woman at Burning Man?

While I’m on the subject, should I be offended as a man that one would assume Mrs. Field’s has better cookies than Mr. Fields? Is Dairy Queen only for women and men who wear ballgowns? Why not Dairy King and Burger Queen? Should that offend me as a gay person? I found this place in Denver: Mister Tuna.  Don’t female tuna matter?

I think the whole thing is just silly. Maybe it’s easier being offended by the assumed gender assigned to an inanimate object or a place that’s inclusive of any gender, sex, religion, race, color, sexual orientation than by… oh I don’t know, actual injustice in the world.

Oh, and how do people know Mister Theater isn’t a female theater that prefers to use male pronouns and honorifics? Would people be equally offended if the theater was named Mrs Theater? The kind of people that complain about the name of a place seem like the kind of people who carefully interject in conversation that their friend happens to be black, or who tell everyone about their trans friend and take great pride that they generally remember to use the correct pronoun. Yeah, I could see if it was named Whites-Only Theater or No-Fags-Allowed Theater [I’m gay, I can say that]. But it’s not. It’s named the same way as a potato-shaped toy, a plumbing service, a funny TV show, a crappy ice cream shop, a coffee machine, and what seems to be a pretty nice restaurant in Denver.

So, to wrap up, people should focus their energy on actual injustice and stop being offended at every little thing they perceive to be sexist that really isn’t sexist just so they can feel like they’re better, and more inclusive than everyone else.

 

 

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10 Reasons to Support Hillary

Hillary Rodham Clinton

(AP Photo/ Alexander Zemlianichenko)

It’s abundantly clear that Hillary Clinton cinched the Democratic Party’s nomination back in June 2015 when a bunch of political insiders and lobbyist Superdelegates picked her, so it’s annoying that some other person came along to try and derail the otherwise super-democratic process by getting millions of people to support him and winning, like half, of states.

All of Bernie Sanders’s little supporters with their cute little dreams of a political process free of financial influence of mega-conglomerates and corporate lobbyists just have to suck it up and admit their tiny voices don’t matter in a political system dominated by the super-wealthy and politically powerful. Their silly dream of such extravagant things like basic healthcare, infrastructure, the right to an affordable education, and a livable environment was fun while it lasted… but get real. Unless you make 6-figures a year, you don’t deserve nice things, so get over it.

Here are the top reasons why you need to shut up and support Hillary Clinton.

1. She’s a woman, and would be the first female President, and that would be historic. Remember, you’re sexist if you don’t support a female candidate. That’s why we all rallied behind Sarah Palin back in 2008.

2. Hillary cares about all the things Bernie’s supporters care about…like Campaign Finance. You like how Bernie raised tens of millions from individual voters in small, $27 increments, and you felt that your individual contribution actually made a difference in the political process? Quaint. Hillary cares about this too, and she hates corporate money influencing politics. That’s why over the course of this election, she’s going to raise over a billion dollars through SuperPACs and corporate donors to fight Citizen’s United and the corporate influence of money in politics.

3. Hillary is basically the same as Bernie when it comes to Wall Street. Sure, she made a few $225,000 speeches to Goldman Sachs and CitiGroup, but she was basically just telling them that when she becomes President, the gravy train will come to an end. That’s why she didn’t release her transcripts, because she was afraid voters would think she was too tough on the Big Banks. So, never mind her transcripts. She would have released them if there was anything interesting in them.

4. Hillary supports gay rights. Always has, always will. Sure, she opposed gay marriage until 2013, but only because no one else supported gay marriage. She just wanted to  make sure that supporting gay marriage wouldn’t harm her politically.

5. Just like Bernie, Hillary takes a peaceful approach to foreign policy. That’s why she supported the military overthrows of Qaddafi, Saddam Hussein, and Manuel Zelaya, which has done nothing but to stabilize their respective regions. Those were bad, bad people. Yeah, I know, she lacked the foresight to see the power vacuums these topplings would create, and, yeah, it led to the proliferation of international terrorism and ISIS, but she also oversaw the transfer of $165 Billion in arms sales while SoS, to countries that supported the Clinton Foundation, which further promoted peace… because terrorists never get their hands on American weapons. She supports Israel in their fight against those pesky Palestinians, too. Unlike Bernie, Hillary has found that delicate balance between supporting the American military industrial complex and promoting peace throughout the world.

6. Hillary hates fracking almost as much as Bernie. That’s why she only supports fracking in places like the European Union, Latin America, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria, Pakistan, China, India, and the United States… and she only supports it because it’s cleaner than coal, and Hillary hates coal. Unless she’s campaigning in West Virginia. She even clearly articulated how much she hates fracking during the debates. Pay attention!

7. Hillary Clinton will carry on the legacy of Obama, in all the ways we were disappointed with Obama. Hope and Change became Settle and Compromise, and Hillary plans on maintaining that legacy of ‘meh’. Just remember, since Obama took office wages have gone up dramatically. For some. Not you. But remember, it is Hillary, not Bernie, who supports a $12 minimum wage.

8. Not Trump. People love voting against someone, and who better to vote against than Donald Trump! Yeah, sure, Hillary attended Trump’s 2005 wedding, but only because Bernie declined Trump’s invite, and he had to fill that vacancy somehow. See, Hillary knows a good party when she sees one. She’s cool! Bernie: not cool. What a party-pooper.

9. Hillary is the most electable candidate. She polls at a whopping 57% of millennials in a head-to-head matchup against Trump. She received the support of a mindblowing 17% of Democrats under 30 against a grumpy old Jewish Senator who lost his hairbrush back in 1984 and never bothered to replace it. A jaw-dropping 37% of people find her trustworthy. She beats Trump in some polls! Real Clear Politics polling average gives her a comfortable 1.5% lead over Trump, whereas Sanders only beats Trump by 10.4%. Remember, the Superdelegates are there to ensure that the most electable candidate becomes the nominee.

10. Hillary supports down-ticket candidates… with money, supposedly. Remember, the only person Republicans hate worse than Obama is Hillary, so it’s imperative that Democrats and Progressives regain the House of Representatives, and key to those victories will be high voter turnout among Millennials. No one has done more to appeal to Millennials than Hillary Clinton, and those voters will enthusiastically turn out in record numbers come November to support other Democrats. Did I say appeal? Oh, I meant alienate. There’s nothing Millennials like more than to feel like their voices have been silenced by a political system that relies on Superdelegates, hoards of corporate cash, and a corporate media hell bent on discrediting Bernie Sanders’s candidacy at every opportunity.

And there you have it. 10 solid reasons to toss your ideas and beliefs aside, and vote Clinton! She’s got your back*. Oh, and if you live in California, she already won, so don’t bother to vote tomorrow.

 

 

*as long as you’re a defense contractor, Wall Street executive, movie star (excluding Rosario Dawson and Susan Sarandon), banker, Saudi Arabian prince, CEO, high-dollar funder of the Clinton Foundation, six-figure or higher campaign contributor, Donald Trump, George Soros, or a Walton.

 

It’s About the (Pledged) Delegates

Bernie needs to win the next 22 contests with 55% of the vote.

Much fuss has been made about the insurmountable delegate lead that Hillary Clinton has over Bernie Sanders. There are still 22 contests to go in the Democratic Primary, and I’m going to resist the calls from the Corporate Media and Hillary supporters to throw in the towel and back Hillary.

Consider this: Bernie Sanders won the last 5 contests with an average of 76.3%.

But Clinton is leading with 1739 delegates over Sanders’ 1070 delegates. He needs to win 67% of remaining delegates. Impossible!

Yes, this is the media narrative, but given the fact that Sanders has won the last few states (albeit Sanders-friendly ground) by over 76%, it’s plausible that he could pull big wins in the remaining states. But 67% is a big number.

The media uses this narrative because they [heart] Hillary, and they really need her to win because… I don’t know, SuperPAC money is good for them?

But what the media are doing here is including superdelegates in their tallies. Since the supers can vote for whoever they damn well please, let’s take them out of the equation. Ah, now it looks a bit closer: 1266 for Hillary and 1038 for Bernie – a 228 delegate difference. Now, consider what just happened in Nevada. In a process that literally no one in the world understands, Sanders seems to have gained pledged delegates, but that won’t be decided until the State Convention in May. I hear that may shift the number 10 points in Bernie’s favor which lowers his delegate deficit to 208.

As it stands today, there are 1747 pledged delegates available, and Bernie needs 988 to win (before Nevada), which means he needs to average 56.5% in the upcoming contests. It’s also likely that he’ll do well in Wisconsin, and if he wins by anywhere near the margins of the last few caucuses, that average will go down to 55%.

55% is not an unachievable number. It won’t be easy, don’t get me wrong. But Bernie’s been steadily gaining in both poll numbers, and on her share of pledged delegates. Additionally, Hillary’s exhausted her supply of red-landslide states. However it turns out, it will be close, and Bernie is right to keep fighting.

Oh, but the superdelegates! Since superdelegates exits to ensure the establishment-backed candidate will prevail over a grass-roots candidate, it makes sense to assume that the supers will boost Hillary to the nomination, and this might just happen. If Bernie is able to secure the 2026 pledged delegate lead, imagine a scenario where your governor or congressman ignores the will of his constituents in voting against the favored candidate. We’ll remember that at the polls. Since the majority of young voters (aka the future of the Democratic Party) support Sanders, what message will using the superdelegate vote to nominate Hillary send, and does the DNC really think that millions of young voters having their voices silenced is going to bode well for them in November (and beyond)?

For now, don’t worry about superdelegates. Let’s just all collectively work, as Bernie supporters and Progressives, to bring him to the 2026 magic number.

Also, vote.

 

Why I’m Not Not Voting for Bernie Sanders

I came across this article on Facebook, and I thought I’d respond to it. Not because I don’t see a shit-ton of either pro-Hillary or pro-Bernie propaganda everywhere, but because I feel that the commentator really misses the point of why I, and millions of others, am supporting Bernie Sanders.

Now, keep in mind that this commentary comes from the New York Observer, which happens to be owned by Donald Trump’s son-in-law, and we all know that publications owned by people closely connecting to political candidates are never biased, amiright, Blue Nation Review? (sarcasm). Anyway, the opinion piece in question, written by Rebecca Unger, is:

I’m a Young Liberal and There’s No Way I’m Voting for Bernie Sanders.

So, for fun, I’ll just copy it here, and respond to it. It’s my blog, I can do what I want.

I am a 22-year-old Democrat living in New York City. I work in a creative industry that pays a low salary. I am socially liberal: I believe in LBGT rights, a woman’s right to choose, women’s rights across the board, racial equality, gun control and confronting climate change in a major way. I am upset about income inequality. I believe rich people should be taxed more to help fund policy initiatives that benefit poorer people: healthcare and education and better infrastructure, for example. And yet the idea of voting for Bernie Sanders never once crossed my mind.

Why not? Everything Bernie Sanders has espoused throughout his political career falls exactly in line with everything you’ve said about yourself. But I digress… continue…

This is not about disagreeing with the message Bernie is preaching to Americans — I happen to agree with a lot of what he says. This is about the simple fact that his is an idealistic, naïve agenda that could never be put into practice in America. In this country, to legislate even one tenth of such an ambitious plan would take degrees of cooperation, sacrifice, even manipulation and such an immense amount of ‘give-and-take’ tactics that an idea that once stood untarnished, glistening at the campaign podium, would come out looking like a child’s napkin after a meal of spaghetti Bolognese. Yes, there may be some white patches left around the edges, but no bleach will ever get out all the stains.

What you seem to miss is one of the fundamental messages of Bernie’s campaign: Political Revolution. This doesn’t mean that Bernie would show up to the White House on day one, wave a magic wand, and fix the country… because that’s not going to happen, and I don’t think many Bernie supporters are diluted enough to think this is going to be the case. If you actually listen to Senator Sanders, you’ll learn that Political Revolution means that more people become involved in the political process – showing up on election day, demanding things from elected officials, standing up for what we collectively believe is right. The writer of this commentary herself said that she agrees with Bernie’s message. Voter complacency amongst so-called liberals has given us majorities in both houses of Congress. Political Revolution depends on young progressives voting in midterm elections for progressive candidates, and much more-so than Hillary, the Millennials are the wholesale fundraisers of Bernie Sander’s campaign. We have skin in the game, and understand the message that Senator Sanders is sending us. Vote for him, and vote for a progressive Congress.

Perhaps Bernie hopes that focusing his energy on a single issue will make the job easier. The Senator has openly embraced, rather than repelled, being dubbed a “one-issue candidate.” “My one issue is trying to rebuild a disappearing middle class. That’s my one issue,” he declared at the Democratic debate ahead of the Michigan primary. While this is an extremely important goal — Michigan certainly welcomed it (and Hillary also supports it) — what is troubling is that the person occupying the Oval Office will be faced with a multitude of other important issues, not least a foreign policy roster that will require a great deal of time spent in the Situation Room.

Single Issue? Have you listened to one Bernie campaign speech? I have, and he covers many issues. To name a few issues he’s talking about: Campaign Finance Reform, Immigration Reform, Universal Healthcare, Gender and Racial Equality, Income Inequality, Tax Reform, Foreign Policy, Fighting Terrorism, Veterans’ Affairs, Native American Affairs, Fighting HIV/AIDS, Environmental Reform, Clean Energy, Trade, Access to Education, and more. And I suppose many of these contribute to the issue of rebuilding the middle class. But #ImSoSick of Bernie Sanders being called a one-issue candidate.

This sanctum is designated for dealing with issues of national security and not, for example, enforcing regulations on Wall Street. The hostilities in the Middle East present a formidable challenge to any seasoned politician, let alone one whose references to foreign policy have almost exclusively been confined to “I voted against the war in Iraq.”

Again, if you’d listened to Bernie Sanders talk about the issues, she’d find out that his foreign policy credentials extend past “I voted against the war in Iraq”. He authorized the military strikes in Afghanistan after 9/11, he supported the Iran Nuclear Deal, and he understands that the United States must act against ISIS without taking a unilateral approach. American interventionist foreign policy has created far more problems than it has solved. American involvement in Afghanistan created the conditions that fostered the rise of the Taliban. American involvement in the Iran/Iraq war created the conditions of a Saddam Hussein with chemical weapons. North Africa, Somalia, Nicaragua… Bernie Sanders understands the long history of Western involvement in foreign countries, and the results of those interventions. And although it’s satire The Onion makes some good points about American foreign policy.

Needless to say, Hillary Clinton’s qualifications here far exceed those of Bernie Sanders. Yes, Clinton has made ‘slip ups’ and she will inevitably be criticized for them, but experience is built by learning from one’s mistakes, and her acumen in this area is something American people should take into serious consideration. We need a Commander-in-Chief who understands the importance of what commanding the most powerful armed forces in the world means and knows how to exercise such an enormous responsibility.

I, personally, want a Commander-in-Chief that understands the long term effects of military action, and as much as Hillary can look back at the invasion of Iraq and claim she made a mistake in authorizing the invasion, she did authorize the invasion and failed to grasp the power vacuum removing Saddam would create. She failed to understand that raining bombs and missiles upon an islamic country that had nothing to do with 9/11 might spawn a new generation of terrorists. And really, has Hillary Clinton learned from her mistakes? Just one of her mistakes cost thousands of American lives and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, not to mention the after effects, such as the insurgency, destabilization of the Middle East and ISIS… and that’s not taking the cost of prolonged veterans’ care into account.

As Democrats we can, however, congratulate ourselves for belonging to a party that has not deteriorated into the terrifying, juvenile, mud-slinging, and even violent mess that has come to characterize the Republican race for the nomination. Between insults about spray tans, excessive perspiration and penis size, candidates discuss their vision for America, or in the case of front-runner Donald Trump, spew noxious sound bites with no informational value.

Yes, we can.

The reason I bring up the Republican race — aside from the fact that it’s always fun to punch a conspicuous punching bag — is that someone recently said to me that they think Bernie is the extremist equivalent of Trump for the Democrats, in the sense that he is galvanizing support for a radical leftist cause. This notion is wrong. Bernie is no raging socialist and I don’t think his ideas for America are all that radical when taken in the context of global politics.

I agree. Bernie’s only extreme when you have a narrow vision of the future of our country.

No one would bat an eyelid in Europe for a candidate with his checklist. I say this as someone who lived in Germany for four years and in London for almost five. The problem is Bernie is running to be the President of the United States, and in the United States, no matter how many young, frustrated, liberals there may be who dream of a more equal America with better opportunities for people across the social and economic spectrum, there are far more people who don’t believe that is the role of the state at a fundamental level.

It’s fair to say this, but the federal government creates the rules in which we must abide. As I learned in PoliSci 101, according to Lasswell, Politics is the control of who gets what, when, and why; the study of influence and the influential. One of Bernie Sanders’ biggest talking points is the influence of power and money over politics. Do we have wars because there’s a clear and present danger to our homeland, or do we have wars because Lockheed Martin, Halliburton, and Raytheon stand to profit? Do we have trade deals because it benefits American workers, or do we have trade deals because the corporate campaign contributors can increase their profits by manufacturing in China for a fraction of the cost? Do we have the most expensive healthcare system in the world because doctors make a lot of money, or because lobbyists influence congress into maintaining a healthcare system that necessitates a for-profit model of healthcare distribution? Do we have the highest prison population in the free world because there are so many more criminals in America, or is it because Corrections Corporations of America has lobbied Congress and paid millions to lawmakers to keep marijuana use illegal?

The enactment of legislation necessitates compromise (a fact enshrined in the constitution), or in the words of Senator Sanders, “As we all know, there are bills in Congress that have bad stuff, there are bills in Congress that have good stuff. Good stuff and bad stuff in the same bill.” Yes, Bernie, but as President the bad stuff will mean a watering down, or outright counteraction of many of your goals.

As one can imagine, it’s difficult to pass climate measures and green energy initiatives when the oil and gas industry is bankrolling the campaigns of every senator and representative in congress. Even Donald Trump himself admits that he gives to political campaigns because he expects favors in return. It it that far of a stretch to think that an uncorrupted politician can help reverse that trend? If Bernie Sanders succeeds in the nomination process, he will set a new precedent that says voters care more about integrity than how much a candidate can raise in corporate donations, or how big their SuperPAC is. By relying on small individual donations, Bernie Sanders is bought and paid for by the voters he will represent when he becomes President. Of course, there will always be compromise, and there will always be a middle ground, but that compromise should be based on the notion that politicians are working for the voters and not for the conglomerates that paid their way into power. This starts with Bernie, it does not start with Hillary.

Take healthcare, for example. Bernie advocates Medicare for all — a national, single-payer health insurance system that would replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) made law in 2010. Hillary also has every intention of making healthcare cheaper. But rather than uproot a program that represents a huge milestone in American healthcare policymaking and was also incredibly difficult to implement because of Republican opposition, her proposal is to build on and improve what we have managed to achieve already.

One can’t argue that cheaper health care would be a bad thing. But what will Hillary do to make healthcare cheaper in an environment where the (likely) GOP congress is bought and paid for by health insurance lobbyists? Universal healthcare is an attainable goal, it just takes political will. That political will comes from voters who insist that the congressmen they are electing into office work on their behalf to realize that goal. If there’s enough political will to launch a $1.5 Trillion F-35 program, and to launch a $1.5 Trillion war, the prospects of a healthcare system that is equitable and affordable to everyone shouldn’t be that big of a hurdle.

This is not an “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” move. This is a rational plan to achieve a realistic goal compared with Bernie’s unrealistic plan that would require so much dilution to make it Republican friendly redundancy kicks in. Would single payer, universal healthcare be good for America? Possibly. However, at a basic level a great many Americans instinctively reject anything that would give the government control over a social issue. Obamacare is an essential step in the right direction and Hillary is wise to take it further rather than switch gears and head off into new, uncharted territory.

Yes, single payer, universal healthcare would be good for America. Free tuition to public universities would be good for America. As a note: that should include trade schools. I somehow owe $100,000 on $40,000 of student debt. The meteoric rise in the cost of tuition vs. the average income is insane. Nothing Bernie Sanders says is necessarily unrealistic. It’s just not plausible under current congressional leadership. Again, it will take a political revolution to change things, but the coalition that Sanders is building are the future politically engaged 40-somethings. It’s really a matter of time, unless our collective voices are silenced by those who decry Bernie’s vision as too unrealistic.

Bernie Sanders is the only candidate I’ve heard in a long time talking about capitalizing on America’s human resources to rebuild our infrastructure. I suppose Hillary has a plan, but Bernie has a bolder vision. I recall back in 2008/2009, when the great recession happened. Millions of jobs were lost, and Americans were paying half a trillion dollars to extend unemployment benefits to those out of work. Why couldn’t we have invested that money in infrastructure thus creating jobs, instead of paying people to look for jobs that were no longer available? Why couldn’t we subsidize the cost of adding employees to small business for a period of time? A public-private agreement would have mutual benefits, build skills, strengthen infrastructure and ultimately the economy.

Hillary Clinton would also be a far stronger candidate against whomever the Republicans put up in the general election. Bernie’s policies would give any Republican a field day: it would only take a few moderately conservative brush strokes to paint him as a pink threat, prepared to sully the values that bind this country together. Hillary is without doubt the palatable alternative for moderate conservatives who will flat out refuse to tick a Republican box with the name Donald Trump next to it. Having Bernie on the ballot beside Trump might lead to an increased number of abstainers.

There’s one person universally hated by the GOP more than Barack Obama, and that is Hillary Clinton. Many of the Democrats I know do not like Hillary at all. In fact, some Republicans I know have told me that they have much more respect for Bernie Sanders than Hillary Clinton. Sure, the Republican candidate will call Bernie Sanders a Socialist. Oooh, scary scary. A bit of education and people will know the difference between a social democrat and Karl Marx. They called Obama that too, and a lot worse, and he’s still standing. Besides, they’ve been calling Bernie that since the start, and it hasn’t fazed him thus far. Let me ask you this? You don’t think the GOP is going to have a field day with Hillary Clinton? She brings decades of baggage, all of which will be exploited by the GOP. Benghazi, the email scandal, Whitewater, paid speeches to Wall Street, her fib about coming under fire in Kosovo, etc, whether or not it’s true or fair, it will be a relentless, never-ending attack. Remember when Swift Boat Vets for Truth sunk John Kerry in 2004?

Speaking of John Kerry, Hillary Clinton brings almost as much enthusiasm to the Democratic Party as Secretary Kerry. In 2008, Barack Obama brought out over two million more young voters than in 2004. This enthusiasm for a candidate they cared about and thought reflected their values was a big reason for this. Now look for a moment at Bernie Sander’s demographics. He won 82% of the youth vote in Nevada (17-29), 81% of the youth vote in Michigan and Ohio, and 86% of the youth vote in Illinois. These are important states for the Democratic candidate to win in November. He even won the youth vote with 64% in Florida, a battleground state he handedly lost last month.

Now, counting on the youth vote is a tricky proposition, but history has shown that when younger voters turn out at the polls, the Democratic candidate usually wins out. But this isn’t about picking a candidate for the Democratic Party. It’s about picking a President that will help shape the course of history that young people and myself have to experience, and it’s about picking congressional representatives that will help or hinder the next President. While it’s nice that your 75 year old great-aunt loves Hillary Clinton, she’s not going to be around all that much longer to reap the benefits of income equality, universal healthcare, and a saved environment. Look at it this way, whether Hillary or Bernie is the nominee, against Trump, both will probably win, but Bernie brings an enthusiasm that will reverberate down the ticket.

So I hate to break it to you my fellow Millennials, but a vote for Bernie Sanders is a selfish act: an indulgence of a fantasy, an impractical, high-minded quixotic vision for an America that can never exist; it would be like striking a match against a damp surface. I therefore urge all Bernie-inclined Democrats to make their vote count and choose Hillary Clinton. Whether you agree whole-heartedly with her policies or not, she is the best person for the White House. She will be able to realize an agenda closest to what you crave for this country because she has the experience, the pragmatism, the smarts, the thick skin and perhaps most importantly, the ability to work across party lines to gain the necessary support to get anything done.

Coming from a true Clinton fan. So basically what she’s asking us to do is to vote for the lesser of two evils, hoping the lesser evil wins in November, because she prefers Hillary Clinton. I’m sorry, this isn’t about November for those of us supporting Bernie Sanders. This is about the future; this isn’t about winning a contest. This isn’t about the Democratic Party. Bernie Sanders is running for President because he’s responding to a want, need, and desire from millions of young (and old) American citizens who want to reclaim America from Wall Street and the billionaire power players. Hillary Clinton is running for President because she’s responding to a want, need, and desire from Hillary Clinton to be President. We want a bold new agenda, not a politics as usual agenda.

Bernie supporters need to recognize this, leave the bandwagon, unite behind Hillary and show Republicans once and for all that the Democrats are an unstoppable force and will govern the White House for four more years.

In all honesty, I could give two shits about the Democratic Party. Sorry to be so blunt, but what has the Democratic Party done for anyone lately, lost a bunch of congressional and gubernatorial elections? As I see it, it’s about as financially corrupt as the GOP. I also find this last paragraph slightly insulting. The bandwagon has been gaining momentum for a reason. Do us a favor, and let us vote for the candidate who best espouses our values. From day one we’ve been told by the corporate media, who in-part funds Hillary’s campaign, that we, as Bernie supports, need to give up. He’ll never win. He’ll never beat Trump (or whoever). He’ll never succeed. The corporate media is losing their credibility. Also, don’t delude yourself into thinking that the Democrats are an unstoppable force. Every 4 years, the Democratic party clings narrowly on to a Presidential victory, or a sliver of a majority in congress. The DNC has lost touch with the voters in favor of moneyed interests. A Party that represents the people does not create a system of super-delegates to ensure that candidates that represent Wall Street don’t have to run against grass-roots candidates. If Hillary wins (especially if she wins by virtue of super-delegates), it will be the beginning of the end for the Democratic Party. Disillusioning millions of young voters will be the death of the Party.

What Am I Voting For?

Since it’s one of those big-time election years, I find myself increasingly sucked into the drama. Let me say from the outset that I’m a Bernie Sanders supporter. I thought I’d use this platform to lay out what I’m thinking.

This election campaign really started November 7th, 2012 when Barack Obama easily won re-election, setting up the stage for the inevitability of Hillary Clinton to replace him in 2016. Ah, there it is… the first time I saw “Ready for Hillary” pop up as a hashtag or whatever on Facebook. But for me, even then, Ready for Hillary was reminiscent of sitting in a dentist office waiting  room, getting ready for an unpleasant dental procedure. “The Dentist is ready for you, Ryan”. Great. I just have to get through this, it won’t be fun, but at least my teeth won’t fall out. So, yeah, I guess I was Ready for Hillary… sigh.

Now, I’ve always been a Democrat. I’ve always looked at Republican shenanigans and thought to myself: I could never be a Republican. I’m a proud Democrat. After all, it was the Democratic Party, under the leadership of President Obama, that pushed forward a bunch of legislation that benefitted me directly – the repeal of DADT (which, as a gay National Guardsman was a big deal), the Affordable Care Act (even without single payer – which I favored), and the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. These were big deals! President Obama had also pulled us out of the Great Recession, and I looked on at the encouraging numbers – job growth and economic recovery, the doubling of the DJIA, all the fiscal trend lines going up, up, up. Better times were on the horizon!

At some point last  year, about the time that a veritable zoo of GOP candidates were entering the Presidential race, I read a couple of books. One in particular, Aftershock, by Robert Reich, really opened up my eyes to what was going on behind the scenes in American politics. Granted, I’d known that the primary benefactors of the great recovery were the super-rich (or Job Creators, as the Republicans like to say), but the connection between big money and political influence became clearer and clearer. When I looked around, I could see it – most people I knew were trapped in a cycle of low wage jobs and coming out of college to find that the doors a higher eduction were supposed to open were bolted shut.

It was also around this time that I started seeing stuff floating around about a Socialist Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders. I watched some videos of his stump speeches and interviews and thought “Yes, this is my guy, this is who I want to support”. The more I learned about him, the more I liked him. But, of course, I had to search to find things about him, as the mainstream media was focused on the GOP circus and who was better able to beat Hillary. So, I figured, the best thing would just be to come out in support of Sen. Sanders and tell my friends about him. The more people learned about him, the more popular he became. I wasn’t alone – by August, Bernie Sanders was filling massive stadiums, rallying tens of thousands of people at a time. But what is it about an old, white democratic-socialist Jew that was appealing?

As it turns out, Bernie Sanders was talking about all the things that politicians have paid lip-service to, but with a record to back it up. He was also talking about the stuff I had read in Robert Reich’s books. He talked about the influence of money in politics and campaigns. Most Democrats do. Hillary does. The key difference is that Hillary has made millions on paid speeches to Wall Street, while Bernie has not. Hillary takes millions in corporate funding through SuperPACs, Bernie does not. Hillary’s campaign is funded by the media outlets that control the flow of information to voters. The DNC is led by the Hillary 2008 Campaign co-chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Conflict of interest? Um, yes. There’s also the issue of consistency. As much as she hates to admit, Hillary did support the Iraq War, she did support traditional marriage, she did support trade deals that made it easier for corporations to screw American workers out of jobs in the name of profits that benefitted the elites. Her interventionist policies as Secretary of State are another point to consider.

No one has excited me more, as a candidate, than Bernie Sanders – but I knew, just like everyone else, that securing the nomination for President was… impossible? The pundits that did discuss Bernie did so in a way that delegitimized him as a candidate while acknowledging him as an influence on the election – he’ll push Clinton to the left, he’ll give Clinton someone to debate, he’ll help maintain the illusion of a democratic process. BUT HE’S A SOCIALIST! But suddenly polls came out showing him gaining on Clinton… a few. Talking heads were quick to point out that a couple polls showing Sanders tied, or leading Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire didn’t mean much. New Hampshire was next to Bernie’s home state of Vermont, and underdog candidates always do well in Iowa (see Rick Santorum). None of that mattered because Bernie was double digits behind in nationwide polling, and 50-60 points behind in most state polls to date. Clinton would be the nominee, no doubt about it. She was already winning by 500 or so superdelegates.

Oh, superdelegates. They were invented in the early 80’s to give more power to the DNC and political elites in the nomination process. Since the Party knows best, as DWS puts it,superdelegates are put in place to prevent the nomination of a grass-roots candidate (like Bernie). So, without the support of the obviously pro-Hillary DNC and media, Bernie Sanders has had to forge his own path by connecting directly with voters in the Sisyphean task of overcoming the monster-truck machine of the Clintons. The interviews Sanders was granted were always peppered with questions like “Will you endorse Clinton when she wins the nomination?”, “Would you be willing to be Hillary’s Vice-President?”, “Don’t you think you should drop out to unify the Party”?

Yay Democracy. These questions came at times when Bernie was actually winning states – some by overwhelming margins. He didn’t do so well in southern red states, but pulled off upset victories in the industrial Midwest, the Northeast, and the West. The media reinforced their bias by flashing headlines that painted a rosy picture of Clinton – she is still leading by hundreds of delegates. Many hundreds. Because superdelegates. While the real delegate count of pledged delegates (the ones we vote for) is 1266 to 1038, the media chooses to report the much-more-skewed 1737 to 1069 including the supers. Keep in mind that there are 4051 pledged delegates at play, and 1747 are still unaccounted for. Bernie has won 15 states to Hillary’s 20 – but 4 of those Hillary wins were statistical ties, within 2 points of each other. State-to-state they’re basically tied – not the landslide that everyone had pre-determined for Clinton. But data manipulation won’t win the race for anyone, it’s (supposedly) up to the voters to decide.

And there are big contests still to come – Wisconsin, New York, California, Oregon! The race isn’t over, and only time will tell what the ultimate outcome will be. Is it a tough road for Sanders – yes. But it’s been a tough road since the beginning. I, and millions more, will continue to support Bernie Sanders until the end. I have much more to say about this election, but I will save that for other posts.

 

Honesty in Politics? Honestly. Ranking the Candidates.

We all know that politicians like to make stuff up. As the 2016 presidential race heats up (go Trump, just kidding) I was curious to see who the most honest politicians currently running are. Lucky for me, Politifact, the nonpartisan, Pulitzer Prize winning website, dissects all that these hopefuls say, and determines whether it’s true or pants-on-fire false.

Politifact Scorecard
My methodology is this:  I assigned a weighted point value to each category. True – 3 Points / Mostly True – 2 Points / Half True – 1 Point // Mostly False – 1 Point / False – 2 Points / Pants on Fire – 3 Points. The points are multiplied by the number of statements in each category. In this case – Trues 48, 52, 21 and Falses 24, 28, 6. Then, I added up the “Trues” and the “Falses”, and subtracted the Falses from the Trues to get the baseline score.  In this example, 121 – 58 = 63. I then standardized the score by dividing the baseline score by the total number of statements. Here, it’s 63/103 = .611. I multiplied by 100 to get the final score 61.1.

The scores can range from -300 (total liar) to 300 (always true). I repeated this methodology for all of the candidates to find who is most honest (or at least makes the most true statements).

As it turns out, Jim Webb is the most “honest” candidate with a score of 188.8. Donald Trump, believe it or not, is the least “honest” candidate with a score of -134.8. In fact, Trump doesn’t have a single completely true statement on file at Poltifact. Here’s how everyone did. Those whose lines go to the right of the centerline tend to tell the truth more in public statements.

TruthChart

Just for fun, I also calculated Sarah Palin, who was pretty center at -0.80, President Obama, with a solid 101.2, and my favorite politician Michele Bachmann with a whopping -115.0.

Update: I forgot Rand Paul. He scores a 73.8. There are too many Republican candidates to keep track of.

So, next time you hear a candidate say anything, you’ll know who to believe.

Scam-Baiting!

I recently did some scam-baiting. It’s basically when you fuck with a scammer. I’ve been looking for a new house to rent. I found one on Craigslist. It was the right price, the right size, but it seemed too good to be true. Still, I emailed the guy and got a response. I did a bit of research on the house and found out that it was actually for rent, albeit at about $1000 more than his advertised price. So… here’s how it went down…

From Me

Hi, I’m interested in this rental for myself and two colleagues. I’m also curious what the additional costs are (deposit, cleaning fee, etc).

Please contact me by email or phone/text.
Thank you,
Ryan Cloutier
From McBale
Thank you very much for your interest in renting my house. It is located at 3182 NE 72nd Ave, Portland, OR 97213, 3 bedrooms and 2 Baths home. Bathrooms with laundry includes washer and dryer, Water, Gas, internet and cable are both provided for at no cost to the tenant. 
 
The house is ready to move in home, so we are seeking for neat, decent, responsible and easygoing Individuals to occupy the house. The house belong to myself and my wife ( Mr & Mrs McBale ) and we are renting the house out by ourselves to anyone who is interested, We just relocated to Maryland to complete my late parents house and we are not planning to return anytime soon. We are very loving Family and i assure you will enjoy staying in our house with lots of comfort.
 
Rent: $1300 per Month
Security Deposit: $600 It will be returned back to you whenever you intend to move out.
Minimum Stay: As long as you wish
 
Hope to read from you soon if you are interested in renting the house, so we can move on to the next procedures.
Regards
Joseph McBale
From Me
Yes.. I am quite interested. What are the next steps??
Ryan
From McBale
Thanks for your response, you can only drive or walk by the location of the house for a view, since we can’t do a showing as a result of our absence, but the keys will be release as soon as you sign the lease agreement and pay the move in cost.
 Every issues that arises will be sort out from the monthly rent. you can come up with the security deposit as a commitment fee, depending on how soon your total move in cost will be ready, but i will advise you to pay the total move in cost, so we can send down the receipt and other necessary documents for you to pick up along with the keys,i believe this will be the best option, and also to avoid renting out the home to another person because we have a lots of applicant with same interest in renting the house. I hate being disappointed holding house for somebody without any commitment payment due to past experience with intending tenants and legal advice from my lawyer. if you are serious about renting the property you are advised to fill the RENTAL APPLICATION FORM below for effective correspondence.
 I will be looking to receive the information’s,  so i can forward it down to our lawyer to prepare your LEGAL LEASE TENANCY AGREEMENT.
 RENTAL APPLICATION FORM
 FIRST NAME: __________________
 MIDDLE NAME: __________________
 LAST NAME: __________________
 PROFESSION: ________________
 PHONE______________________
 AGE_____
 YOU HAVE A PET?__________________________ _ _
 DO YOU HAVE A CAR?__________________________ _ _
 OCCUPATION____________________ ________
 PRESENT ADDRESS: ___________________________
 WHY ARE YOU LEAVING?______________________ _____________________________
 HOW LONG DO YOU INTEND STAYING? ____________
 WHEN DO YOU INTEND MOVING IN? ______________
 HOW SOON IS YOUR MOVE IN COST READY? ___________________________
 REFERENCE ___________________________
 I will Like you to get back to me as soon as possible so that we can proceed on how you can get the house booked down for you. if you really want to rent/secure the house, we will reserve it for you until your move in date.
 Hope to read from you again soon
From Me
Here is the required information. Please hold for me. Thanks.
RENTAL APPLICATION FORM
 FIRST NAME:  Matthew
 MIDDLE NAME: Charles
 LAST NAME: Boulders
 PROFESSION: Accountant
 PHONE: 503-533-4002
 AGE 35
 YOU HAVE A PET? no
 DO YOU HAVE A CAR? yes
 OCCUPATION Accountant
 PRESENT ADDRESS: 9202 SE Foster Rd Portland
 WHY ARE YOU LEAVING? Landlady selling
 HOW LONG DO YOU INTEND STAYING?2 years min
 WHEN DO YOU INTEND MOVING IN? 2/15/15
 HOW SOON IS YOUR MOVE IN COST READY? now
 REFERENCE Brett Connoly 503-240-1019
From McBale
Thanks for the information, your approval has been granted by me and my wife as the new occupant of our home.  we have forwarded your details to our lawyer to prepare the legal lease agreement form, i will get back to you with the scan copy of the lease along with the payment details where the move in cost will be sent to. So we can send down the details to pick up the keys immediately we confirm the payment.
Have a nice day.
I have attached your lease agreement, Pls print it out and sign as the new occupant of the house, email me a copy and keep a copy to yourself. Pls text me the address were you want me to send the keys to at 410 996 4130. I want you to make payment today so that i can send the keys immdiately.
Below is my secretary details where the move in cost will be sent to via Western Union
(You are advise to walk or drive down to a nearby Western Union Store or wall-mart, Grocery store )
Receiver’s Name : Antwoine Demetrius Boyd
Address : 3601 Parkview Ave
City : Baltimore
State : MD
Zip Code : 21207
Country : United States
Get back to me immediately you are done with the Western Union, and also email me with DETAILS SUCH AS :
SENDER NAME
ADDRESS
CITY
POSTCODE
AMOUNT
MTCN
Now, at this point, he has sent a somewhat legitimate-looking lease agreement, save for the ridiculous logo and photo of his “lawyer” at the top, signed and approved by him. I decide to keep playing along… I enlist the help of my friend Montetré to play my attorney.

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 1.10.03 PM

From Me
Joseph,
I’ve forwarded this lease agreement to my attorney as well as your information. I also wrote him a check for $1900, which will be placed into an escrow account. Rest assured this money is safe and intended for you. My attorney will contact you with an address in which to send the keys, once received, he will release the funds to you from escrow. I assume you will be okay with this arrangement since it protects us both. I’m excited to move into my beautiful new home!
-Matt C Boulders.
From McBale
Thank you for your email. I can only recieve via western union or money transfer and i will be sending the keys once i confirm payment
From Me
Oh, no problem. I’ll advise my attorney to send the money via western union.
Thanks,
Matthew
From McBale
Thank you. Pls email me info asap so that i can send down the keys
From Me
Ok. My attorney should be in contact with you soon. He will provide an address to where you can send they keys, and then he’ll western union the money upon receipt. I told him this is time sensitive since I’ll need to move in by Jan 30th. It’ll take me a couple days to move, and I need to be out of my old place at the end of the month. So, he’s aware of the time constraint.
Let me know if you don’t hear from him by tomorrow.
Here’s what my attorney sent him:

Hello Mr. McBale,

I represent Matthew Boulders through my law offices located here in Downtown Portland, Oregon.  The lease agreement for the property at t “3182 NE 72nd Ave, Portland, OR 97213” looks valid.  I have received $1,900 from Mr. Boulders, to pay unto yourself, once we receive the keys to inspect the property.

Mr. Boulders has asked for the keys to be shipped to my offices at:

Jonathan Brown

              B,S &W Assoc.

              In Lieu of Matthew Boulders
1221 SW 10th Ave #713
Portland, OR 97205

Thank you for your time.  I look forward to doing business with you.

Sincerely,
Jonathan Brown, Attorney at Law
Brown, Schmidt & Weisenheimer Assoc.
1221 SW 10th Ave #713
Portland, OR 97205

From McBale
Here is the emaili got from your lawyer below.Pls instruct him to mail the payment out today via western union so thati can go and send the keys asap.Pls get back to me asap

  I represent Matthew Boulders through my law offices located here in Downtown Portland, Oregon.  The lease agreement for the property at t “3182 NE 72nd Ave, Portland, OR 97213” looks valid.  I have received $1,900 from Mr. Boulders, to pay unto yourself, once we receive the keys to inspect the property.

Mr. Boulders has asked for the keys to be shipped to my offices at:

Jonathan Brown

              B,S &W Assoc.

              In Lieu of Matthew Boulders
1221 SW 10th Ave #713
Portland, OR 97205 
From Me
Oh wow, that was fast 🙂
He’ll hold the money until the keys are received. Should I western union some cash to cover express mail for they keys? I could probably send $20 tonight, to speed up the process.
Oh, hi again.
I just got off the phone with my lawyer. I have good news, he will be sending you the western union information. He said normally he would wait for the keys before sending the money, but due to the time sensitive nature of this transaction, he’ll send the money once he receives from you confirmation that the keys have been sent (USPS tracking number or FedEx). Contact him if you have any other questions or issues with the payment.
Thanks again!
Hi again. Sorry to bother you so much about this process. I just returned from Walmart. It seems like there is a fee of $161 to send 1900 to Maryland. Wow! I had no idea it was that much! I was wondering if I could deduct this amount from the deposit? Also, what will be the method for rent payments month to month? I can send western union each time, but that might get too expensive unless we can lower the rent payments.
Thanks for answering my question. Talk to you soon.
From McBale
Yes you can remove it from the fee and send the rest of the money
I will send the keys immediately i confirm the payment. i give you my word. You won’t be disappointed. just email me the western union info once you send it and you will have details on the keys asap. You can remove the western union fee from the the money and send the rest. Pls get back to me asap with info
Pls speak to your lawyer direct. Thank you
 
At this point, he has started calling me on my cell phone. I don’t answer. 
From McBale
I have also tried to call but know response. 410 996 4130
From Me
Hello,

Oh, I did notice I had a missed call. Sorry for not being available to answer, I’ve been absolutely busy packing all of my stuff in anticipation of my big move! I also had to take my dog to the vet, and a dog of that size who’s sick like that is really hard to get into the van. I could have used an extra set of hands. Really, moving is such a headache… I can only hope that I’ll be able to be a tenant in your house for many years!
I have spoken to my attorney, and he has the money ready to send, so there is no worry about receiving the funds. I tried to get him to turn over the money to me so I could send it out through Western Union and expedite the process, but he says since it’s in escrow, his accountants have to handle the transaction. I’ll ask him again, there must be a way to get the money back from him so I can get it out to you tonight. If that doesn’t work, I can ask my dad to borrow the money up front and then pay him back with the money that my lawyer is holding in escrow.
That’s about it for now. Have you shipped the keys yet? I’m really looking forward to start moving my stuff over as soon as possible.
Many thanks,
Matthew

From McBale
Ok. Pls try and send the money by yourself tonight and email me the info ASAP. I will be going to send the keys immediately I confirm payment. Am looking forward to read from you
From Me
Cool. Let me know when they keys have been sent, and I’ll send over the money. I just got off the phone with my dad, and he’s probably able to put up the $1900, and I’ll send that minus the 161 once you let me know the keys are in the mail. I’m meeting him for dinner so I should have a check from him withina couple hours.

Thanks again!
Matthew
Oh, there’s one more thing.

My lawyer is asking if you have a copy of the deed or bill of sale to the house? He says you can scan it or just take a picture of it with your phone and send over a .jpg or .pdf ?? I hope this isn’t too much trouble.
Thanks,
Matthew
Hi Joseph.
I have good news and bad news. First, I had a nice dinner with my dad. He got the ribeye, I opted for a pasta dish. The crostini were delicious and the wine affordable. He was only able to give me $600 to cover the deposit. He doesn’t have the rest since he’s retired and on a fixed income. But I’ll be able to western union the 600 tonight and then advise my lawyer to send the rest of the money once we receive the keys. I have the money in cash so it’s ready to send once I receive the copy of the deed or bill of sale as requested by my lawyer.
Thanks!!
Matthew.
From McBale
I have sent you the lease agreement for the house which is to be given so what is needed to be done now is the exchange of keys with payment. You just send the payment. Email me the info and the keys will be sent ASAP. Thank you
From Me
Are you okay with the 600 for now? I was also planning to have a yard sale tomorrow, I should be able to raise the other 1300. I was going to have a yard sale at the new house, since I don’t have a yard at my old condo. I have the stuff to sell in a truck now, so I’ll head over and set up in the morning. Since I’m leasing the property now, I don’t see a problem, and it’ll help me get your money faster.
Thanks!
From McBale
Yes can you and send it now? Pls give me a number to call you
From Me
Yes, I’ll try to send it all tomorrow, after the yard sale so I don’t have to make 2 trips to Walmart.
You should expect payment tomorrow by 6pm if the yard sale succeeds.
From McBale
Ok, pls give a number to reach you direct.
From Me
One more question, I’m confident that our yard sale will be a success. I do have a couple of questions about the unit. The first question is does the unit have a dishwasher. The second question is what is the capacity of the hot water heater? Thanks for answering my questions I’ll talk to you soon.
Oh, my number is 5035474019 although I’m not always available to take calls, you can leave a msg.
Who do I make the western union to? Your name?
I’m at Walmart now, trying to send the western union, but I’m confused about the form. I don’t have a your account number or questions?? Take a look and tell me what I need to fill in. Thanks!
Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 1.25.41 PM
From McBale
Receiver’s Name : Antwoine Demetrius Boyd
Address : 3601 Parkview Ave
City : Baltimore
State : MD
Zip Code : 21207
Country : United States
Get back to me immediately you are done with the Western Union, and also email me with DETAILS SUCH AS :
SENDER NAME
ADDRESS
CITY
POSTCODE
AMOUNT
MTCN
I want you to pls try and make the payment this morning so that i can mail the keys out asap
From Me
Hello!
I will be going to Walmart soon to send the money to Mrs. Boyd. I’m still at the yard sale. I have a bite on this credenza, but the guy needs to go home and check with his wife first. It’ll be good though because that’ll bring in another $50, and I’m still hoping someone will want to buy my Rod Stewart vinyl record collection. They are collectors items, so I’m asking for $5 a piece.
I did have a couple unanswered questions, so if I could have answers before I send the money, that’d be great. It’s actually my girlfriend who wants to know.
1. Does the house have a dishwasher?
2. What is the capacity of the hot water heater?
3. Are we allowed to paint the interior? My girlfriend likes bright colors, we peeked through a window and all the walls appear to be light yellow, she wants to go bolder.
4. Is my dog allowed to stay inside the house, or just in the yard?
5. How soon after I send the money will you send the keys? And how many copies? I’ll need an extra set for my girlfriend and some other people, so 5 sets would be ideal.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, I’ll be heading to Walmart
once I sell this Credenza and record collection. Also, I almost forgot to sign the lease agreement and email you back. I’ll do this soon, I promise!!
Hope you’re having a blessed day!
From McBale
Yes the house has dishwasher and yes you are allowed to paint to your taste. Dogs are allowed as well inside but i hope yours dog is a trained dog. You will be having 6 pairs of the keys and i will be sending the keys immediately i confirm payment today. Hope to read from you soon with the payment info. I really cant remember the capacity of the heater.
From Me
Ok. I’ll send over the money once I finish up here at the yard sale.

I’m glad you’re sending extra keys. I have a couple friends who will be parking their camper trailers in front of the house and will need to access the bathroom, so I can give them each their own keys. I just wanted to be sure the water heater was high enough capacity to handle 5 or 6 showers each morning. Also I’ll need to run an extension cord from the house to their campers so that they can have electricity at night.
Good news! The guy came back with his wife to purchase the credenza, so that’s extra money in my pocket. The Rod Stewart records haven’t sold yet. I might have to lower the price. I imagine I’ll be finished up with the yard sale in 3 hours or so. Then I can make the trip out to Walmart. My truck broke down, and since I don’t have enough money to repair the transmission, I’ll have to take the bus.
Thanks again, and you’ll hear from me soon with the number to claim the Western Union transfer.
Matthew
From McBale
ok i will be waiting
From Me
Ok, I’ll head to Walmart momentarily. I’ll email you the info within the hour. It’s currently rush hour and the busses are running slow. I’ll wait at the stop until the bus comes, I’ll need to make one transfer to get
on the #72 bus that will take me to Walmart at Eastport Plaza. I’ll also pick up some gallons of bright green and purple paint for the living room and some extension cords for my friends to hook up their camper to the exterior outlet. I found it around the side of the house, so it’ll be most convenient.
The yard sale was a success and I managed to make $61, which will be put toward the rent for the first month.
thanks, I’m leaving now to wait for the bus to Walmart.
From McBale
Get back to me immediately you are done with the Western Union, and also email me with DETAILS SUCH AS :
SENDER NAME
ADDRESS
CITY
POSTCODE
AMOUNT
MTCN
From Me
Hello!

So, I have had a slight problem. I caught the bus successfully to Walmart in order to send off the payments for the house rental. It began to rain a bit on the way, but luckily there was a shelter at the bus stop on 82nd avenue where I had to catch a transfer. I had to wait for nearly 20 minutes. Once I got to Walmart, I was greeted by an elderly gentleman whom I asked where the money services counter was. After finding the counter, I waited in line for about 25 minutes. Unfortunately when I got to the desk, I was informed by an associate that their western union machine was down, and it probably would be back up running tomorrow.
So, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to send the money at this time. I also called my attorney, to see if he could transfer the money that I had previously given him, but he told me that his accountant doesn’t work on Saturday, and would be unable to transfer the funds until Monday.
I’ll try again tomorrow morning at Walmart, providing there is Sunday bus service.
Again, sorry about the delays. I am really looking forward to receiving the keys and moving into my new home!
Best,
Matthew
Oh, I had another question. Is there a basement in the house, and what is the condition? Is it a finished basement? I have a couple of buddies that need a place to stay for a few months. They offered to stay in tents in the back yard, but seeing as it’s cold in these winter months, it may be preferable to allow them to stay in the basement with a space heater and some travel cots.
I’m heading to Walmart at 8am tomorrow morning to complete the Western Union. I’ll send over those details as soon as possible.
Thanks, have a great night!
From McBale
Yes i included that in my previous email that the house has a finished basement. i will be waiting for the info
From Me
Ok, very good information, glad to hear. I am just waiting for the bus to take me to Walmart to complete the transaction. Once complete, please send the keys later today through US Postal Service and include a tracking number so that myself and my attorney can be assured of delivery of keys and release of funds from escrow to pay back my dad. I have several interested parties eager to receive their keys!
From McBale
Ok i will do just that, You need to get back tome asap with the info so that i can go and send the keys before its too late
At his point, I actually wire this Boyd guy money, but only $6. 
From Me
It will please you to know that the Western Union machine is back up at Walmart. Here is the requested information to supply to Mrs. Antwoine Boyd:

Senders name: Matthew Boyd

Address: 9202 SE 92nd Avenue
City: Portland
Post Code: 97266
Amount: 600
MTCN: 2079112025
 
Please send the tracking number to the packaging containing the keys as soon as possible.
 
Thanks again,
 
Matthew
From McBale
Am attending a family meeting, i will get back to you shortly pls
From Me
Okay. Be sure to send the keys out today.

Thanks,
Matthew
It turns out Western Union didn’t like me sending money with a fake name, so they cancelled the transaction. Saved me $11!

From McBale
Pls check the MTCN again and send it to me. seems you email me the wrong numbers or scan a copy of the western union slips to me pls
Pls scan a copy of the western union slips to me. The transaction is not found
From Me
Not a problem, I have enclosed a scan of the western union receipts.

I look forward to the tracking number and the receipt of the keys.
Thanks again,
Matthew
Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 1.31.58 PM
From McBale
Hello, Did you send western union? Can you pls call the western union store where you send it and tell them that the money is not available to receive by the receiver pls.
From Me
Yes, I sent through western union. I have sent you the receipt.
From McBale
Yes i got the receipt but the payment is not available for me to pick you. Here is what i get below: ( We could not find any records that match the information you provided. Please try again )  I want you to pls call them and tell them to make the payment available right now so that i can pick it up. Time is not on my side pls
From Me
I see, hm. Very strange. It might have something to do with the computer problems they were having atWalmart yesterday, when I took the bus to make the payment. I’m sure this is just a short delay, and the payment will be available shortly.

There is also something else I need to talk to you about, seeing as I’m an honest, loyal, and trustworthy tenant of yours. Last night, my friends came to the house to see where they would be staying. Since I do not yet have the keys, my girlfriend and myself have been sleeping in a large tent in the back yard, since we have already given up our last condominium. My buddies came over and set up some lawn chairs around a card table where we were intending to roast hot dogs and enjoy a celebration of moving into our new home. One of them set up a small charcoal grill in order to cook the hotdogs. As we sat sharing stories and waiting for the hot dogs to roast, my large dog Baxter, who is now fully recovered, noticed a squirrel and went after it, chasing it. In the commotion, it appears that Baxter knocked over the grill onto the bushes right behind the house. The embers from the grill sparked a small fire that spread between two bushes and ran up the side of the house. Luckily one of my buddies was able to locate a garden hose to extinguish the flames before the house became engulfed. There is, however, some damages to the exterior of the house as a result of the fire. Be assured that the fire was contained to the outside and only caused damage to the siding and the landscaping around the house. I’m just glad everyone was safe and without injury.

If you do not receive the funds within the next hour, I will call Western Union to find out how long the delay will be.

Thanks again,

Matthew
From McBale
Yes i do trust you. Can you just call the western union now. Thank you so much
From Me
Joseph, hello!

I am calling the Western Union right after this email. So, I had a repairman come to fix the damages caused by the fire in the back of the house. I’ll attach the invoice and forward a copy to my attorney. He’ll be able to use the payments intended for the first month’s rent to cover the costs of the repairs and then send you the balance. When we receive the keys, he will western union the sum of $195.02 for the first month’s rent. I’ll advise you to forward this invoice to your insurance provider for reimbursement. I assumed that it would be most convenient for you for us to take care of the repair costs, so you don’t need to bother with it. You’ll get the $195.02 plus the $600 already sent by Western Union.
Also, my girlfriend is getting impatient we haven’t received they keys. It’s quite cold outside, and she is tired of sleeping in a tent like a sleepaway camper, we look forward to moving our waterbed into the house.
Best regards,
Matthew
Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 1.34.05 PM
Hi again,

I’ve been trying to call the Western Union, their phones have been busy for the last 2 hours. They must have had a lot of problems with transactions after their computer system went down at Walmart. I’ll try to get through some more. PS> did you manage to mail out the keys today?
Thanks,
Matthew
From McBale
Yes i have sent the keys and you should have it today. Did you try to call the western union
From Me
Excellent. Can you send me USPS tracking number so I can ensure safe delivery of the keys. I’m going back to Walmart today to check up on the payment to you.
Thanks
Sent by by “Lawyer”
Hello Again Mr. McBale,

Please for confirmation, before I send Mr. Boulders’ payment from escrow to your western union, please send a copy of your USPS Tracking or FedEx Number of the package containing the property’s keys.  Send keys to:

Jonathan Brown
B,S &W Assoc.
In Lieu of Matthew Boulders
1221 SW 10th Ave #713
Portland, OR 97205

I will proceed with payment once the tracking number is sent.  Thank you for dealing with our legal assurances.

Sincerely,
Jonathan Brown, Attorney at Law
Brown, Schmidt & Weisenheimer Assoc.
1221 SW 10th Ave #713
Portland, OR 97205

From McBale
Did you check the walmart with western union. Are you sure you sent the payment because the lady at the western union told me nothing was sent and i should tell you to send the correct MTCN or go back to the walmart and complain to them
From Me
I don’t want to go back to Walmart. That place is a zoo and full of trash people. Since you sent they keys, I’ll just direct my lawyer to have his accountant send you 795.02 when we receive the keys. They didn’t come today, so I’ll expect them tomorrow. Did you get a tracking number so I can be sure?

Thanks!

From McBale
i have put a hold on the keys till i confirm payment
From Me
You said you had sent them already. The sooner I get the keys, the sooner my lawyer will release the full payment.
From McBale
which means you did not send the deposit in the first place?
From Me
I did, however there is a problem with Western Union apparently. I sent the deposit, from money loaned by my father, but my attorney has the full rent and deposit I gave to him in escrow that will be sent to you once we receive the keys. So, no problems here. Once we receive the keys the money will be sent to you!
From McBale
Likewise what i said before. I will not release the keys until payment is confirm. Am sorry
From Me
I see. Well, I’ve tried to get my attorney to release the payments early, but he refuses without receipt of his keys. This is to protect both of us. He is an honest man, and will release the payments once the keys are in his possession. I’m sure you understand the situation. The money is waiting to be sent. I’ll appreciate your quick response.
From McBale
AM SORRY I CAN’T DO ANYTHING. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME
From Me
Surely you can do something. I send money through Western Union on good faith that I’ll receive the keys. The easiest way is for you to send USPS tracking number of the keys, and I’ll advise my attorney to release the deposit and rent. I’ve been camping in the back yard, and the nights are cold. My girlfriend and my buddies would like to be able to move inside where it is warm, and there are facilities to cook hot dogs and other delights. I look forward to hearing from you!

Matthew

From McBale
can you just call westernunion regarding the 600
From Me
I have called, it got lost in their system. They had to open an investigation and it may take 2-3 weeks for them to track it down. There was a computer glitch apparently. The easiest course of action at this time would be for you to send the keys, and have my attorney send over the funds that are waiting currently in escrow.

Thanks,
Matthew
Sent by my “lawyer”
Sent this to him:

Hello Mr. Mcbale,
 
    As you recall I represent Matthew Boulders through my law offices located here in Downtown Portland, Oregon.  He is still looking to rent “3182 NE 72nd Ave, Portland, OR 97213”

Mr. Boulders told me that the keys have been shipped by yourself.  Excellent!  I have the deposit and rent ready for transfer as soon as keys arrive at our offices.

Please keep in mind that Mr. Boulders is not to be trusted with his money, as he is careless with his spending.  Ever since the automobile crash 7 years ago, he hasn’t quite been the same.  There was a time when he would spend $2,000 nightly at his father’s hotel and casino.  Matthew had grown himself a hump of a penchant for self-destruction, spending wantonly on drugs, booze and ladies of the night.  Luckily, he and I met a year after his crash.  I was staying in the hotel on what we will presume to be business, when I saw this sad soul in the casino sucking up his spilled vodka from an ashtray.  We were able to convince Mr. Boulders to seek regular psychiatric visitations with a woman who, inevitably, became his current girlfriend.  What she saw in him was the potential for greatness (like his father before him), or maybe it was the money.  I can’t be sure, I know nothing of love.  The two lovers also adopted a dog some time ago and, just as the tortoise in that famed race, Matthew has become more responsible, slowly but surely paving the way to success and (unlike the tortoise, or his father, both already wise), he has found much needed retribution.  Although Mr. Boulders has made great progress in these last 6 years, the long/ghastly scar along the left side of his face still troubles him and so he evades his inner resolve, occasionally staying true to his old convictions, vices and ways; still having his problems with his money.  Even if he is moving forward in helping himself, he makes what his father and I consider to be, “Unworthy Mistakes.”  For instance, after Matthew’s Sunday AA Meetings, he usually buys everyone in his group a late-night dinner at Denny’s… and while Denny’s is low in their cost, paying for 20 people a week can add up.  This is simply an example, and it can usually be for better than for worse for Mr. Boulders.  Thankfully, we are here to assure you that you obtain your money regularly.

 
      As soon as the 6 pairs of keys arrive, we will release the funds to you.
 
      Thank you.
 
          Sincerely,

Jonathan Brown, Attorney at Law
Brown, Schmidt & Weisenheimer Assoc.
1221 SW 10th Ave #713
Portland, OR 97205

From Me
Mr.McBale, I have heard from Western Union, they are currently investigating the claim. My lawyer has told me he hasn’t received they keys yet. Yesterday my girlfriend threatened to leave me because you are forcing us to sleep out in the cold in a tent. In order to save my relationship, we have booked into a motel to stay warm. It is the Del Rancho motel on 82nd avenue. It is very seedy, and full of cheap prostitutes and wayfarers, it’s infested with bedbugs, but it’s all I can afford. I fear for our safety there. Last night, my girlfriend was poked by a needle that was hidden in the sheets. I will be deducting the price of the motel stay from the rent, so the sooner you settle the issue with the keys, the sooner we’ll be able to send the payment and move into our new home.

Hope you’re having a great week!
I’m still waiting to hear back from Mr. McBale….

Also, support my new film Zombie Cats from Mars!