An Open Letter to Bernie Supporters

May 19th, 2016 6:52pm - Posted By: Mark Cohen

Dear Bernie Supporters:

I am one of you. I prefer Bernie to Hillary. I like his positions on the issues. I trust him more. I believe he would be a stronger candidate than Hillary in a general election. Heck, I even find him more sexually appealing. That said, I want to set you straight about a few things.

First, stop whining about the super delegates. Hillary did not create the super delegate system. The system originated in 1984 and has its roots in Nixon’s electoral slaughtering of McGovern in 1972. Bernie knew the delegate selection process before he became a Democrat and before he threw his hat into ring. He knew most Democratic super delegates are party officials that the Clintons have courted since Bill Clinton gave the keynote address at the 1988 Democratic National Convention – the kind of people that proudly display photos of themselves shaking hands with President Clinton in their homes and offices. Hillary did not create the super delegate system to defeat Bernie. In 1984, Hillary was the first lady of Arkansas. She had not even started planning the murder of Vince Foster at that time.

Second, stop complaining that some states don’t allow independent voters to vote in the primaries. Since when do you have a right to participate in the affairs of an organization you don’t belong to? I would like to head the Southern Baptist Convention and impose sweeping change. But guess what? I ain’t a Southern Baptist. (I’m a befuddled Taoist leaning worshipper of Jerry Jeff Walker, but I call myself Unitarian because that sounds more respectable). If you want to vote in the Democratic primary, register as a Democrat.

Third, stop saying Hillary would not be any better than Trump. In November of 2015, Bernie told the Boston Globe, “On her worst day, Hillary Clinton will be an infinitely better candidate and president than the Republican candidate on his best day.” If you are a progressive, it is better to have a Democrat in the White House even if that Democrat is Hillary. (Even if Hillary is the Antichrist). Let’s take one example. The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision was a five to four opinion, with the four Democratic justices in the minority. Hillary may be a centrist Democrat, but she is still a Democrat we can count on not to put conservative ideologues like Scalia on the nation’s highest court.

Fourth, stop being a child and threatening to stay home or vote for a third party candidate in November if you don’t get your way. If Hillary is the nominee, your choice is Hillary or Trump. It’s a crappy choice, I admit, but its crappiness doesn’t make it any less real. If you stay home or vote for a third party candidate, you are helping put Trump in the White House. Maybe you would feel good about that for a few days because you will feel you have taught the Democratic party a lesson. You might even feel good about it right up to the time that Trump puts Ted Cruz or Rudi Giuliani on the Supreme Court, or starts a ground war in the Middle East. Grow up.

Finally, and this is closely related to my fourth point, stop pretending Ralph Nader wasn’t directly responsible for sticking this country with George W. Bush (the worst President ever) for eight years so you can justify voting for a third party candidate. When all was said and done, Bush won Florida by 537 votes. Nader got 97,488 votes in Florida. Nader was more liberal than Gore, but Gore was more liberal than Bush. Therefore, using the transitive property of mathematics we all learned in the second grade, I think it obvious that if Nader had not been on the ballot, most of those 97,488 votes would have gone to Gore.

Nader supporters like to point to an article by Matthew Jones that challenges the view that Nader cost Gore the election, but that is just sophistry, and other a academics have repeatedly refuted his assertions. Remember, an expert is someone who can bring confusion to simplicity. It’s not rocket science if you look at the numbers.

Let’s assume half of those 97,488 voters would have stayed home if Nader had not been on the ballot. That leaves 48,744 voters up for grabs. Let’s also assume 51% of those voters would have voted for Gore in a two-man race and 49% would have voted for Bush. It borders on insane to believe that 49% of the remaining Nader voters would have voted for Bush. (A Gallup poll found that only 4% of Nader voters described themselves as moderate and only 2% described themselves as conservative). But let’s assume it anyhow. Under that assumption, Gore gets 24,859 of those 48,744 votes and Bush receives 23,885 votes, a difference of 974 votes. 974 is greater than 537.  Gore wins Florida by 437 votes. Q.E.D.

You don’t like those assumptions? OK, assume 90% of those 97,488 Nader voters would have stayed home, leaving only 9,749 Nader voters up for grabs. Let’s again make a ridiculous assumption and assume that 45% of those Ralph Nader liberals would have voted for George W. Bush and 55% would have voted for Gore. In that scenario, Gore gets 5,362 votes and Bush receives 4387 votes, a difference of 975 votes. 975 is greater than 537. Q.E.D. again. You have to suspend reality to believe Nader did not cost Gore Florida.

A Gore win would have meant that instead of John Roberts and Samuel Alito, we’d have two justices on the Supreme Court appointed by a Democrat, and Citizens United would have been decided the other way. President Gore probably would have not invaded the wrong country after 9/11. Two Republican justices and more than four thousand dead American servicemembers is a high price to pay because you want to teach the Democratic party a lesson or because you think Hillary is a chameleon. (She is). Not to mention hundreds of thousands of other people killed and a waste of six trillion dollars.

To put it in terms some of you can understand, six trillion dollars would buy every man, woman, and child in America about 4.16 pounds of pot.   

Please send your hate mail to me c/o PO Box 974, Nederland, CO 80466.

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How to Fight a Bear

May 5th, 2016 1:25pm - Posted By: Mark Cohen

Well, spring is here and so are the bears. We tend to think of bears as big, cuddly, loveable creatures, but the truth is bears are mean. Bears hate people. Even though we built roads in their territory to make it easier for them to travel and built houses in their woods stocked with food to make it easier for them to eat, these ungrateful mammals are always eager to fight a human. Given this reality, it’s vital that mountain residents know how to fight a bear.

The first thing to remember in a bear encounter is – don’t run! You can’t outrun a bear.  A bear has more speed than a hooker at a Republican convention. When a bear sees you running away, that bear will chase you down like a Republican pouncing on an Exxon study denying climate change. The bear will catch you and eat you, so don’t run!

The other important principle to keep in mind is that the bear weighs a lot more than you. There are no weight divisions in bear boxing. The bear doesn’t care if you are a heavyweight or a bantamweight. Either way, the bear will outweigh you by several hundred pounds. Given the massive size of these man-hating creatures, you DON’T want to get into a wrestling match with a bear. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu won’t do you any good in a fight with a six hundred pound bear.

While bears possess superior speed and strength, many humans have one important advantage over bears – 85% of Peak-to-Peak area residents are smarter than the average bear. You can prevail in a bear fight – if you use your brain.

The first question to ask when a bear confronts you is what is the bear’s motive? Is the bear motivated by profit or does it just want to mess with you because it’s a mean, man-hating bear? If the bear just wants your sandwich, the solution is easy. Throw the sandwich as far as you can behind the bear’s head. Being a gluttonous animal, the bear will turn around and take off after the sandwich. Then all you have to do is run like heck in the opposite direction.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of bear attacks are not motivated by profit. Bears want to fight you like Republicans want to repeal Obamacare. It’s just their nature.

If you must fight a bear, remember that bear boxing differs from traditional boxing in several critical ways. First, a bear fight is not organized into three-minute rounds. Second, there is no referee. Third, there are no rules. If a bear bites your ear, head-butts you, or hits below the belt, those things are perfectly legal. In fact, bears don’t even wear belts.

When forced to fight a bear, it’s important to know that most bears are right handed. According to the University of Montana Journal of Ursine Pugilism, the percentage may be as high as 99.44%. This means you want to stand with your left foot forward so you can pepper the bear’s snout with left jabs to prevent the bear from getting close to you.

Where should you hit the bear? Focus on the bear’s snout. Bears have long snouts. Consequently, it’s much easier to hit a bear’s snout than to hit it in the eye. You’d have to get much closer to the bear to hit it in the eye. And you don’t want to get closer to the bear than you have to. And a bear’s snout is filled with sensitive nerves. God gave bears long snouts to make it easier to box them, so take advantage of it. Focus on the snout!

As I stated, bears are not smart. It’s easy to fake them out. One effective technique is to feint to the bear’s body twice with your left hand, then duck under and come around with a solid left hook to the bear’s temple. This is the technique Joe Frazier used to use on bears. You would think the bears would catch on because his fights are available on YouTube, but they keep making the same mistake.

Bears are so stupid. Once I was fighting a bear that was holding his own. Suddenly I put up my hands and made the universal time out sign. The bear look confused, but he stopped fighting. I pointed at its foot and politely said, “Your shoe’s untied.” Forgetting that bears don’t wear shoes, the dumb animal looked down at his feet and I threw great uppercut that nearly took his jaw off.

Another technique is to let the bear punch itself out – the Rope-a-Dope. Just lean up against a tree and use your arms to protect your face and body. Most of the bear’s punches will just bounce off your arms, doing little harm. Eventually the bear will get tuckered out and drop its paws, and THAT’S when start showing the bear who is the boss. I once used this technique on a Mexican bear named Robearto and by the end of the fight he was saying, “No mas!”

By using your superior intellect, you can get inside the bear’s head. Trash talking can be very effective and cause the bear to lose focus. Don’t be afraid to scream at the bear and taunt it. The bear already hates you and wants to kill you, so it’s not like you’re going to make the bear any more angry. Say things like, “Your momma’s so fat, her senior picture was taken by satellite.” Then, when the bear gives you a quizzical look, do a quick Ali Shuffle and throw a straight right to its face. In fact, when Ali fought bears, he liked to recite poems. He’d say things like, “I am so pretty, you ain’t so great; eat your berries and salmon, I’ll take you in eight.”

It’s important to believe in yourself when fighting a bear. Too often, I’ve seen young bear fighters become intimidated by a bear’s size. But in bear boxing, size doesn’t always matter. Hit a bear in the spleen a few times and he’ll come down to your size. I remember February 15, 1978, when a 197-pound kid named Leon Spinks took the heavyweight title from the much larger Muhammad Ali. How did Spinks pull this off? He believed in himself.

Now, many people will tell you the best way to deal with bears is to avoid confrontation. This is bad advice offered by naïve people with good intentions. Remember, bears want to fight you, kill you, raid your refrigerator, eat your edibles, and sleep in your recliner. If you don’t stand up to a bear, it will think you are weak and this will only encourage aggression. The only thing bears understand is force, so always be willing to fight a bear. Appeasement did not work with Hitler and it doesn’t work with bears. That’s why Neville Chamberlain never won a bear fight.

Look, there is nothing more fun than watching a pathetic bear limp back home with shame on its face because he knows he got beat by a 58 year old lawyer that he outweighed by four hundred pounds. Now he’s got to explain that to his friends. Like a Republican who has to explain why he lost to a Kenyan born Muslim community organizer intent on imposing Sharia law or to a draft dodging, pot smoking womanizer. They just can’t fathom that they lost.

Of course, no amount of knowledge and training can guaranty that you will prevail in a bear fight. But by understanding bear psychology and the basics of bear fighting, you can greatly improve your odds. Just remember the bear necessities, the simple bear necessities.

Note: The author makes no warranty, express or implied, that the advice in this article will help you in the event you must fight a bear.     

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