Idaho Indian Casino List by Tribe - 500 Nations

List of casinos in Idaho. Detailed information on Idaho Casinos and Online Casinos. This includes Casino Resorts, indian casinos in Idaho. Find casinos in Idaho address, map, toll-free numbers, room/suite rates, buffet prices, casino games offered..

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Colorado breweries we've visited in the rest of the state: 2020 update

One more roundup before we leave, alas. Regions are still super approximate. I updated some previous rankings as well.
Tallies: 137 in the Denver metro; 66 in the rest of the Front Range; 33 in the rest of the state. We've visited a total of 236 breweries, cideries, and meaderies in Colorado.

The Rest of the Front Range

The Rest of Colorado (South, West, Central)

Current category tally: 33
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The Ugly, The Bad, and The Good

The Ugly, The Bad, and The Good
Hi, I’m skuwee. You may recognize me as someone who wrote a decent portion of the Facebanking guide that now resides on the sidebar. I’ve phonebanked, canvassed, translated, and donated Uber rides to the polls.
I saw a lot of vague generalities last night and today about the race moving forward, so I wanted lay out the specifics, but stay concise. You can’t just say we need “58% of the delegates moving forward” – that’s not actionable at all.
This post is meant to sum up the current state of the race as best I can, and my 2 solutions (which are co-dependent and must occur simultaneously; the first cannot happen without the second) on how to win this race. It’s a little long, but it plays out the rest of the race and provides actionable plans.
TL;DR (but please take 5 min to read and digest) – It’s time to take risks and bet big on certain states. If we play small ball, we lose no matter what. More complete TLDR at the end.
And one small point before I begin: every delegate matters, because they’ll be crafting the Democratic Party platform at the DNCC, and the more Bernie wins, the more progressive our platform no matter the nominee.
The Ugly
Clinton won all 5 states last night. That said, we effectively tied in 2 of them (MO, IL) and lost 2 that we knew were coming (FL, NC). Ohio felt, admittedly, like a punch in the nose. But it shouldn’t have.
We actually outperformed expected results, but that Michigan win made us think that we would outperform like that in every state. We set expectations way too high in spite of polling, and we’ll learn from this mistake that we can never get complacent and expect a “Bernie bump.”
Still, ugly.
The Bad
Prior to last night, Clinton was up by 219 pledged delegates (773 to 554).
Today, including the Democrat Abroad vote that Bernie won 70%-30%, she is up by 329 pledged delegates (1,180 to 851). That’s a -110 drop for us. Thanks, FL (net -64, my home state).
2,031 delegates have been awarded. Clinton has taken 58.1% of them.
2,020 delegates are still up for grabs with 28 primaries to go, including 24 states and Puerto Rico (60), Guam (7), DC (20), and the Virgin Islands (7).
Either candidate needs 2,026 to win.
This means that, to win, Bernie needs 1,175 of the remaining delegates, or 58.17% of the vote.
To win, HRC needs 846 of the remaining delegates, or just 41.89% of the vote.
So, yes, this is bad. Not insurmountable, but undeniably bad.
The Good
I saw many posts prior to last night saying that if we were down by about 300 at this point, we’d still face an uphill climb, but there would be a path forward. That is currently the case. And struggles like this are the nature of fighting for an underdog; you’re the underdog ;p every win has to be come-from-behind.
A quick reminder of where we were exactly one year ago.
We have come a long way, have an army of experienced volunteers that grows daily (join), and are trending in the right direction every day. But make no mistake: this is due to hard work, and that work must be amplified if we are to win.
And so, the good news is that we can win. But we have to bet big.
Solution #1: Focus on 13 specific states to win the delegate math
Having volunteered in several different ways, I’ve tracked our progress and have noticed that we have made a massive difference when we focus on a singular state at a time (e.g., MI). When we spread thin, we lose focus and effect.
For example, FL was always going to be a 67-33 loss, but we made 43,000 calls there over the last 4 days (and probably tens of thousands more off of BerniePB). I’m sorry, but FL registration closed Feb. 16, it’s a closed primary, and has a massive elderly population. We never had a prayer and should have been more strategic in our time (i.e., maybe we moved the needle slightly, but we should have focused efforts on where we can move the needle the most: open and same-day registration states).
The next 9 states have 620 total delegates:
Top 4 states (AZ, WA, WI, NY): 509
Crux of the strategy – We can cut into her lead deeply by doing one very important thing: stop caring about smaller states.
I understand this is a gamble, but now is the time to take big risks; if we bet small, we lose. Period. If we bet big, we may still yet lose, but we give ourselves a shot. This isn’t a casino night: we can’t just pick up and walk away down a few hundred delegates if we just play responsibly.
No offense to our brothers and sisters in these states, but that means ignoring HI, AK, WY, ID, and UT these next 4 weeks and concentrating volunteering efforts on AZ this week, WA the next, WI after that, and then after April 5, it’s 2 weeks of pure NY volunteering (WY’s 14 delegates on April 9 are inconsequential comparatively). The good news is we're already projected to win those 5 states I'm saying to ignore.
If we win the top 4 states with 60% and simply split the smaller 5 at 50%, we gain 361 delegates, or 58.22%, and net +102 delegates.
This is on pace, and it brings us to -204.
After April 19, if we accomplish this, we will have 1,212 delegates and will be 219 delegates down with 1,400 to go. At this point, we will still need 814 delegates, or 58.14%, of the remaining delegates to win, so we are slightly above pace.
And after the 19th of April, 1,199 of the remaining 1,400 will be from 9 primaries:
These are spaced out perfectly for focused volunteering! And the best part is that many of the unlisted primaries are favoring Bernie already.
Those 9 states are 1,199 delegates. If we win 60% in these states, we pick up 719.4 delegates, leaving us with just 94.6 to clinch with 201 left in play! So we just need 47.06% of the primaries I haven’t mentioned yet!
^ AKA, these are the primaries we don't care about at all, along with the 5 smaller states in the next 4 weeks listed above. For those 15 "small" states, we strictly limit our efforts to Facebanking to register voters and GOTV, and canvassing to GOTV from people who are already on the ground.
Solution #2 (much shorter): Register new voters, don’t try to convince Dems
Solution 2 is crucial, because Solution 1 cannot happen without it. If we try to win 60% by convincing Democrats to vote for Bernie, we’ve already lost. We consistently win by 70-30 with Independents and first-time voters, and we consistently lose by 15 points or more with registered Dems.
We must focus our efforts on registering voters in the states we want to win by 60%, not convincing Dems to vote for Bernie. After calling Dem after Dem, I realized something backed up by exit polling: we’re just not going to win if we rely on already-registered voters and existing Dems. The facts are that we dominate with first-time voters, dominate with people under 39, dominate with Independents or non-traditional Democratic voters, and need to boost the volume of those voters.
We can do this. I've laid out the registration deadlines and links for all non-same-day registration states in the comments, also found here. This must be (and thankfully is starting to be) incorporated into our phonebanking, Facebanking Mega-events, and ground efforts as the #1 thing we do. And it must start today.
TL;DR2 – To win, we have to simultaneously mass register new voters via Face / phonebanking and canvassing / university registration drives, as well as gamble and bet big on certain states. There is no small ball anymore. The math to clinch means we must:
  1. Focus all our efforts on and win with an average of 60% in 13 "big," spaced-out primaries (chronological order): AZ, WA, WI, NY, PA, MD, CT, IN, KY, OR, PR, CA, and NJ. This is similar to the "58%" goal on the front page all day today, except actionable.
  2. Capture an average of 48.1% of the vote in 15 "small" primaries that we ignore completely (aside from Facebanking and ground game): ID, UT, AK, HI, WY, DE, RI, Guam, WV, Virgin Islands, MT, NM, ND, SD, DC.
This will net us 2,026 pledged delegates exactly. This is the plan. Get going. It’s going to take every one of us doing our part, and that’s not an exaggeration.
Phonebank if your state has passed
Canvass or go to your local office if your state is coming up
Facebank and walk all your Bernie friends through it
Text for Bernie
Sign up to Volunteer
Donate to keep the wheels moving
Sign up to give rides to the polls on your state's Election Day
Offer your couch to a volunteer making a road trip for Bernie
Edit: To be clear, I am not saying "do nothing" in those 15 states. I'm saying we Facebank and canvass those states, but phonebanking and coordinated volunteering from this sub should be targeted almost exclusively on the big delegate prizes.
I write all of this as someone who is driving from Denver to Utah to canvass for Bernie all this weekend (because canvassing works, it sounds like a fun road trip, and I can phonebank from anywhere).
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The JonBenet Ramsey Case: Emerging Child Sex-Ring Allegations, Political Connections and a Suspect By Alex Constantine 2000


Contents:
Introduction: The Belinda Schultz File
  1. Southwestern Child-Pornocrats
A) The Huey Meaux Connection
B) Jerry J. Moore, Houston Real Estate Developer.
C) The Prime of Ms Tweet Kimball
2) Supporting Evidence of Child Sex Ring Involvement
A) A Brotherhood
B) The Belgium Syndrome
C) Lawrence Schiller & the Designated Patsy (Ramsey)
Introduction: The Belinda Schultz file
On March 22, I received a call from Joe Calhoun, a reporter from the Denver area and a recipient of an Academy Award in 1990 for his investigative work on The Panama Deception. For the record, we had talked once before, also by telephone, about the JonBenet Ramsey case, exchanged observations, and thatwas the extent of my past relationship with him. At the time, I had an uncomfortable feeling that Boulder police spokesmen, the cable martinets and investigative “experts” on the case were misrepresenting the facts. Calhoun was in town, Los Angeles, and wanted to discuss the murder in detail.
Shortly thereafter, Calhoun, with the bearded, wide-eyed demeanor of an academic on the brink of a discovery, dropped a folder on my desk. For this record, he read a prepared statement:: “I am a freelance journalist who has been covering the JonBenet Ramsey case since its beginnings. There are only a few news conferences in Boulder that I have not attended. At the last news conference, on October 13, 1999, the day after the announcement by Alex Hunter that there would be no charges filed in the Ramsey case following the adjournment of the Grand Jury, myself and a few individuals were given a file.”
I was, at this stage, stepping more or less blindly into a quagmire of details after three years of following the public debacle casually on the cable talk shows. Whatever Calhoun had, I was not in the mood for conspiratorial moonshine, but he had been down this road himself the file, containing 23 pages of interviews with a victim of organized child abuse in Colorado and Texas, “was of such a bizarre nature, I was extremely circumspect about regarding it as a collection of genuine documents andconfidential memos. I jokingly referred to it to some of my colleagues as The Blair Witch Project of the JonBenet Ramsey case. I didn’t pursue any of the leads mentioned in the file until recently.
Three weeks ago,” Calhoun recalled, “a 37-year-old woman from San Luis Obispo, California came forward with information to Boulder Attorney Lee Hill. She alleged that she came from a family of inter-generational child abuse victims, and had been abused since the age of three by a powerful group of pedophiles, some of whom were associates of the Ramsey family. I dug up the file I had originally obtained in October and decided to give it a second look, since the information contained therein seemed to parallel the information the woman was providing Boulder D.A. Alex Hunter and the police. Upon rereading all of the information contained in it, and cross-referencing names, the entire file had more of a flow of information.”
Calhoun came to entertain the notion that the sex-ring allegations surfacing sporadically on the edge of the case might have some merit. “On March 21, I contacted the Pearline, Texas Police Department for verification of the Paul Schultz [child sexual abuse] case mentioned in the file. I was immediately transferred to Detective Bill Colson,. He was unaware of the recent developments in Boulder concerning the 37-year-old woman from San Luis Obispo, California. However, Detective Colson confirmed the following: The case number ‘951302,’ on pages 7 and 14, is genuine, and the woman, Belinda Schultz, currently living in Cypress, Texas, in a notarized statement contained in the file, at the time would [have been] more likely to give information concerning the Ramsey case. And a Boulder detective was in Texas in December, 1997, seeking information regarding Paul Schultz [her estranged husband] and his involvement, if any, in the JonBenet Ramsey case.”
Calhoun placed the next call to a private investigator, Char Blaiser, wife of O.J. Simpson attorney Robert Blaiser, at her office in Sacramento, California. Ms Blasier, whose office had been contracted by Boulder police to obtain social security numbers of everyone close to the Ramsey case, reportedly states that the night after the JonBenet murder, a caller claiming to be a member of the Ramsey family told her, “I want to talk to you about Paul,” but disconnected when put on hold. Blasier, Calhoun recalls, “was extremely surprised that I had information in my possession concerning Paul Schultz, and essentially confirmed the information regarding the JonBenet Ramsey case.”
“It is clear,” Calhoun says, “from the statements of both Detective Colson and Char Blazer that the Boulder authorities were very interested in a connection between the death of Jonbenet Ramsey and what appears astonishingly to be organized pedophilia on a national level, perhaps with a criminal government license.”
Child sex and pornography rings with political ties have been known to exist. In 1995, for example, Linda Rozar, president of Concerned Citizens for Florida and chapter head of the American Family Association, a branch of presidential candidate Gary Bauer’s ultra-conservative Federation, pledguilty to one count of child abuse and two counts of tampering with a witness. She received a remarkably light sentence, one year of probation, and was ordered to see a psychiatrist. In 1986, Linda’s husband Jerry Rozar was convicted of child molestation. So there were precedents. And since the murder, the 1999 Parent of the Year Award, an honor conceived by Congress, was bestowed on a Longmont, Colorado man with connections to a cult that prostitutes young girls, so-called “hookers for Jesus,” and has been charged repeatedly with child sexual abuse. The annual honor was chosen by the National Parents Day Foundation, an organization that has ties to the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church, a creation of the Korean CIA and alsovery right-wing.
It happens. Nevertheless, a healthy dose of skepticism was called for. Calhoun’s conclusion about the background of the JonBenet case was based, again, on a file of police interviews passed to him at a Boulder press conference. Fortunately, its origin is no longer a mystery. Calhoun has, since obtaining the file, found out that the documents were supplied by a researcher at the University of Denver. The University, says Calhoun, threatened to fire the tenured faculty member if he continued with his investigation of the Ramsey case, and the file was passed along to reporters in Boulder.
If the statements of Belinda Schultz and other abuse survivors are correct, Boulder has a serious problem. With Calhoun’s file of leaked affidavits, all that remained was to flesh out a Who’s Who register of predators tied to the alleged killer of JonBenet Ramsey in 1996.
  1. Southwestern Child-Pornocrats
Belinda Schultz, 43, was born to the Zander family, an established, aristocratic family in Louisiana, and grew up in Lafayette, near New Orleans. Her first marriage was to Lanny Slaydon, an oil industry marketer. She had four children before the marriage dissolved in the early 1980s. She moved on to Houston to live with family members, and met Paul Schultz. She describes her ex-husband as a “white supremacist” of the “Christian Identity” strain, and a “mafia hit-man” currently serving time for felony child molestation, sentenced in Brazoria County, Texas, the county seat of Angleton. Prior to their divorce, Paul and Belinda ran Custom Air Products on Hampstead Road in northwest Houston, a business formerly run by Paul’s father, Carlton Schultz. She notes that the business had “Mafia” connections. The company largely served the petroleum industry along the Gulf Coast, but everyday management of the business fell to Belinda because her husband was often incapacitated by a weakness for cocaine and alcohol.
They had a child, Nicholas, in 1990. In an affidavit filed with the Pearland, Texas PD, Nicholas recalls that his father used to receive “sugar” and “lots of money: when he pimped his son out to pedophiles frequenting the adult bookstores on Houston’s south side.
Belinda’s second marriage crumbled when she began to suspect that he was bisexual and had a gay lover, Tenourio Luga, sometimes “Lucas,” a reputed explosives expert and informant to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, who has provided his services to the Mexican Mafia and CIA. Luga is a suspected drug runner. He has been investigated in the past by the BATF for the stockpiling of firearms and explosives.
A) The Huey Meaux Connection
  1. Paul Schultz, according to his ex-wife, was also a coeval of Huey Meaux, the famed record producer and a convicted child molester. On January 30, 1996, the Associated Press reported: “Huey Meaux, 66, was arrested and appeared in court Monday on charges of possession of child pornography and cocaine. He was released after posting bonds totaling $110,000. After police went public with the allegations Monday, two people came forward to say they were assaulted. Meaux then was charged additionally with two counts of sexually assaulting children. Police investigators seized hundreds of videotapes and more than 1,000 photographs last week from offices rented by Meaux at Houston’s Sugar Hill Recording Studio. Meaux formerly owned the studio.”
  2. Huey was charged with possession of drugs and child pornography and two counts of sexual assault on a child. Two weeks after the arrest, Shannon McDowell Brasher, 25, filed a sexual abuse lawsuit against Meaux, alleging that he had plied her with illegal drugs as a prelude to sexual assault, “exploitation and other perverted and unnatural sex acts.” He also persuaded accomplices to assault her and videotaped the acts, according to Ms Brasher. State District Judge Mark Davidson issued a temporary restraining order sought by Brasher’s attorneys, Dick DeGuerin and Wayne Isgitt. The order prohibited the record producer or others from destroying evidence or retaliating against Brasher.
  3. Belinda Schultz’s contention that Meaux participated in a child sex ring is substantiated by Brasher and court transcripts. Belinda’s son Nicholas, age six at the time of Meaux’s arrest, identified the accused in a televised news report. Belinda called Bill Colson, a detective with the Pearland Police Department. Colson did not investigate the sex-ring allegation, though he told her that he would contact Houston police to search for a photo of Nicholas among Meaux’s child pornography collection. Frustrated with Colson’s false promises, she contacted Detective A.D. Wright, the officer in charge of the Meaux case. Wright confirmed a connection between Meaux and Paul Schultz. In addition, according to Calhoun’s file, Officer P.C. Taylor of the CID section produced telephone records indicating that Schultz and Meaux had made “numerous” calls to one another. Houston police offered that they had a “thick file” on Schultz, linking him to several known pedophiles in Houston.
B) Jerry J. Moore, Houston Real Estate Developer
One of Paul Schultz’s confederates in the sex ring, according to Nicholas Schultz, was a wealthy Republican, one Jerry J. Moore. Nicholas says that he once accompanied Moore by plane to Colorado.
In January 1996, the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced that it sought a $250,000 civil penalty against Charles R. Vickery, former senior chairman of the First National Bank of Bellaire, Texas. The OCC charged that in 1991, Vickery directed the bank to make illicit loans to Houston real estate magnate Jerry J. Moore and corporations owned and controlled by him. Vickery also granted some $50,000 of title insurance premiums paid by Moore on the loans for his personal use. The loans violated federal lending limit law and triggered alarms at the OCC . The S&L was issued a cease and desist order.
  1. Jerry J. Moore is now one of the wealthiest men in Texas. His real estate company was recently bought out for $400 million. He is also active in Republican state politics. Nicholas Schultz maintains that he was taken to Moore’s antebellum mansion, Nicholstone, not far from Dickerson, Texas, and describes the home as a distribution point for child pornography. Huey Meauxwas a regular at Moore’s mansion, according to the boy’s statements.
Moore’s social connections to the Mafia are consistent with the “hit man” allegation raised by Belinda Schultz. Moore’s social circle included: Leonard Capaldi, convicted by the district court in the southern district of Texas on charges of bank fraud and bribery, stemming from his involvement in the April 4, 1986 collapse of Mainland Savings Bank. This S&L lost $300 million. Capaldi was sentenced to the Federal Correctional Institute in Milan, Michigan.
  1. Leading lights of the Mainland Savings scandal: arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, James Bath (a business associate of George W. Bush, recruited to the CIA by George, Sr,), Martin Schimmer (for walking off with Teamster steelworker pension funds), Herman K. Beebe, a known Mafioso. Another gangland chum of Jerry J. Moore is Jack Tocco, a Detroit crime boss. Political ties have included late Texas Governor John Connally and Lloyd Bentson, former Secretary of the Treasury.
  2. The Prime of Ms Tweet Kimball
Another connection to Paul Schultz was the late Mildred “Tweet” Kimball. Tweet lived in a castle on US 85, just south of Denver in a small town called Sedalia. Nicholas Schultz states that he was taken to the castle and molested there by adults.
The castle was deeded to Kimball by Merritt Ruddock, a member of the U.S. diplomatic corps, an obscure CIA official and her first of four divorced husbands. Tweet Kimball divorced Ruddock in 1955, and as she explained to a local reporter in 1996: “When I divorced him, he said I’d probably go back to Tennessee and talk about him. He said “If you’ll buy property west of the Mississippi, I’ll help you.”
7, And that’s what I did. She bought a 24-room castle on a 4,000 acre estate, built on a promontory with a view of the Rockies. Ruddock had good reason to buy her silence. He was the immediate deputy of the CIA’s Frank Wisner, the notorious overseer of Nazi recruitment by the agency immediately after WW II. Ruddock was hired by Wisner in 1949.
Ray Cline, another notorious Agency stinkbug (the organizer of a support network for George Bush, Sr.’s 1980 campaign. composed almost entirely of former intelligence officers headed by Steven Halper, Cline’s son-in-law), kept close to Ruddock throughout the war. Cline recalls Ruddock as a hard drinker and “a personal manipulator of ideas and people.”
  1. (The Colorado Department of Tourism doesn’t advertise the fact, but the state has a thriving intelligence establishment. Loring Wirbel, an environmental researcher in Monument, Colorado, found that worldwide “intelligence expansion by U.S. agencies has a very real impact on Colorado.
Buckley [Air Force Base] is now the major employer in the Denver metro area, with the classified Aerospace Data Facility section of the base responsible for far more jobs than the public Tactical Air Command portion of the base. The Denver Business Journal estimated in April that classified intelligence spending by NSA and NRO in Colorado may exceed $3 billion annually. Support facilities for Buckley include Falcon Air Force Base east of Colorado Springs, which performs intelligence fusion missions; Lockheed-Martin’s Waterton Canyon plant in southwest Denver, which builds spy satellites and Titan-4 rockets; Peterson Air Force Base, the headquarters of the Space Command; and the aging North American Aerospace Defense Command inside Cheyenne Mountain west of Colorado Springs.
Another Air National Guard base outside Greeley, Colorado, is receiving many mobile satellite reconnaissance troops formerly housed at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, part of a mission to make the Colorado Front Range a center of excellence for technical intelligence.”
  1. Merritt Ruddock was not the only member of the family with CIA and Nazi ties. Ms Kimball’s father, according to a note found in the Belinda Schultz file, “Colonel Kimball of Chattanooga, Tennessee, had been a prime mover in the grown of the Post-WWI Ku Klux Klan.” (The repetitious links to Nazism in the testimony of Nicholas Schultz, a 7-year-old boy, recalls his mother’s statement that Paul Schultz is a “white supremacist,” and is obviously among friends.)
She bonded with her castle and its environs, re-christened Cherokee Ranch, and lived like a European monarch. A tour guide told an AP reporter, “the house has a number of Portuguese tile murals and many examples of parquetry (an artistic inlaid wood design done on furniture). As she describes the lavish contents of several china cabinets, words like Dresden, Spode, Meissen and Waterford slip into the conversations. That bed was built for Charles II, and he actually slept in it. This inlaid cabinet came from the court of Spain, and the pictures represent Aesop’s fables. The libraries are full of first editions, some quite old and valuable. Well, with names like Dickens and Thackeray on the bindings, one would think so.”
  1. Tweet Kimball died in 1999. She had been an active Republican. Kimball served on the Douglas County Planning Commission and the commissioners’ Water Advisory Board, as well as the board of the Douglas County Educational Foundation. She also spent 14 years on the board of the Denver Art Museum as accessions chairman. She was the local matriarch of local Republican party politics and frequently played hostess to the Douglas County Republican caucus.
  2. “Kimball’s castle and ranchland provided an extravagant vehicle for her varied pursuits,” the local County News-Press noted in her obituary last January, “wildlife conservation, a vast, eclectic art collection, politics, innovative ranching, royal relationships and storied social events.”12
2) Supporting Evidence of Child Sex Ring Involvement
As Calhoun mentioned, in March of this year, Boulder detectives flew to San Luis Obispo, California, to interview Mary Bienkowski, a licensed family therapist. Bienkowski claimed to have information pertaining to the JonBenet Ramsey murder investigation. The woman said that her mother’s godfather is Fleet White, a friend of John Ramsey. The therapist had urged police in Boulder to interview her client:
Regarding Bienkowski:
CLIENT GAVE BOULDER POLICE NAMES OF PEOPLE WHO ARE WITNESSES IN JONBENET’SDEATH – 2000 Daily Camera
A private therapist said Friday she stands behind her client who claims to have crucial information that could help investigators in the death of JonBenet Ramsey. Mary Bienkowski, a licensed marriage, family and child counselor, said her client gave Boulder police specific names of individuals who are witnesses in the killing of JonBenet as well as ongoing sexual and physical abuse of other children.
“If they do their job and investigate what needs to be investigated, the rest of the pieces will fall into place, and nobody is going to like what they find out,” she said. “This person wouldn’t be coming forward and risking everything if it were not because she wanted the abuse to stop and wanted to protect other children.”
Bienkowski said she has treated her client for the past 10 years for trauma endured as a repeated victim of sexual assault. Because her client had information that a widespread sex ring could have been behind the Dec. 26, 1996, strangulation and beating death of 6-year-old JonBenet, she encouraged the woman to take the information to authorities.
JonBenet was found in the basement of her family’s Boulder home. Her parents, John and Patsy, are the focus of a police investigation, although the couple have denied involvement in their daughter’s death.
After 13 months of investigating the case, a Boulder grand jury disbanded in October without charges being filed. During an interview Friday with the Daily Camera at a downtown San Luis Obispo coffee shop, Bienkowski blasted the Boulder Police Department for not actively investigating the list of people she said her client believes may have knowledge of who killed JonBenet.
She would not divulge the names of those thought to be involved, saying that information should first be given to law enforcement officials. The Whites have not returned phone calls from the Daily Camera. John Ramsey’s attorney has declined to comment on the new information.
Boulder police questioned Bienkowski’s client in Colorado for five hours. The FBI interviewed her as well. Detectives also contacted her family and interviewed some of them in California. And then the whole matter was dropped. Bienkowski lost faith in the police and refused to cooperate any further.
13. Who left warnings on her answering machine? The Daily Times-Call in Longmont, Colorado reported in March that a reliable witness “identified the voices as [those] of two women [among others] accused of victimizing thenow-37-year-old [informant]. The woman remains in hiding.”
The anonymous callers told Bienkowski:
1. “Hello Mary. This is a very interested party in regards to [your client’s] welfare. [Her] past and her future are of no, of no concern to you. She made an error in judgment when she came to see you and you have caused her nothing but pain and suffering. Her main concern now is her new husband and her family. She has started a life and is going to be moving as far away from you as possible. She belongs with her family and nobody else. She is off limits to you.”
2. [Caller Two]: “Hello. Leave [your client] alone. We take care of our own. Everything. And nothing is any of your business.”
3. [Caller Two] “Hello. It’s high time that you caught on that [the informant] doesn’t have time for your foolishness. Thank you.”
4. [Caller Two] “[She] is going on an extended vacation with her family and while there will seek medical care for her problems. [The woman] has forgotten more than you will ever know.”
  1. [Caller Two] “Hello. Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will never hurt us. So leave [her] alone. It’s against the law to disturb the peace. Don’t forget it.”
14. The statement of the informant that JonBenet was killed in a sadistic sex game was upheld independently by forensic specialist Dr. Cyril Wecht, who studied the autopsy file and concluded that JonBenet’s abuse occurred over a period of time.
Wecht: “This evidence of abuse, tied literally and figuratively to the cords around her neck and wrist, was enough to draw the conclusion that a sick sex game had gone awry.” But the medical evidence “so far suggested that the vaginal penetration had been a carefully controlled, limited situation not a savage sexual assaults. While the attacker was applying the perverted useof the garrote that pinched the vagus nerve in her neck and eventually shut down her heart and lungs, the young prey had suddenly turned lifeless without explanation, perhaps literally in her abuser’s arms. Wasn’t it likely that the shocked and panicking molester had shaken JonBenet in a futile attempt to return her to consciousness? A few anxiety-driven shakesand a ‘wake up! Wake up!’ had failed to restore her to life, but had inflicted the bruises to the temporal lobes of the brain.”
15. A panel of pediatric experts assembled from all parts of the country states unanimously that JonBenet had injuries “consistent with prior trauma and sexual abuse.” The medical affidavits referred to “past violation of the vagina,” “chronic abuse,” “evidence of both acute injury and chronic sexual abuse.”
  1. Author Stephen Singular, a Boulder native, believed so strongly that organized pedophilia and child porn lurked behind the murder of the child that he published a book exploring the sex ring angle, Presumed Guilty. According to Singular’s publisher, “some highlights of the book suggest that one or both of the Ramsey parents unknowingly exposed their daughter to danger that fateful Christmas night,” and reminds, significantly, “human DNA found on her clothing matched nothing found in the Ramsey home”
  2. Evan Ravitz and Bob MacFarland, Boulder political activists who shared Singular’s perspective on the case, gave eight of the grand jurors hearing testimony regarding the death of JonBenet Ramsey excerpts of Singular’s book, theorizing that that the girl may have been killed by someone involved in a child pornography ring. Ravitz and MacFarland were cited with contempt of court. Ravitz, wearing a crumpled purple T-shirt, explained to District Judge Roxanne Bailin that the leakers planned on petitioning the D.A.’s office to allow them to testify before the grand jury, and present evidence of corruption in the city, including drug dealing and child pornography possibly “related to the slaying and handling of the Ramsey case.”
Child porn is “an important line of investigation that we hear Hunter has stayed away from,” Ravitz told Judge Bailin.18 But homicide detectives considered this angle a “side theory,” yet have acknowledge that the killer “may have been involved in a child pornography ring that operated in or around Boulder and had earmarked JonBenet as a likely subject.” The connection to child pornography with child sex murders is by no means original.
In 1997, Jeremy Strohmeyer:
18. Stalked a seven-year-old girl in a Las Vegas casino before murdering her in a restroom. Strohmeyer was an admitted collector of child pornography. “If the pornography connection is true,” the Internet Crime Library observes, “then the murder may have been committed by more than one person as part of a conspiracy.”
  1. The market in Colorado for child prostitution and pornography is a relatively large silent minority. In 1995, the Colorado Department of Human Services filed 5,085 cases of sexual abuse of the 7,931 referred to the agency. Of these,1,160 victims were abused in the state. But the department may investigate a tiny fraction of the actual cases. One-half of one percent of children report sexual abuse, according to Dr. Richard D. Krugman, dean of the University of Colorado Medical School and director of the C. Henry Kemp Center for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.
20. a) A Brotherhood In 1997, the Boulder PD contacted Dale Yeager and Denise Knoke at Seraph, Inc. in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, a security consulting firm summarized in sales brochures as “an international company [with] extensive sources throughout Europe, South America, the Middle East, Asia, Eastern Europe, Russia and Africa. Our associates are investigative professionals and former intelligence officers”, and asked them to submit an analysis of the ransom note. Yeager and Knoke claimed without hesitation that Patsy Ramsey was the author, joining the chorus of police and tabloid reporters who kept at the parents, and reported that Psalm 118:27.
b) interpreted as the source of the $118,000 ransom demand, “Decorate the festival with leafy boughs and bind the sacrifices to be offered with thick cords to the horns of the altar” is commonly cited by “white supremacists,” who “use the redemption and sacrifice ideas to form a justification for killings.” Despite the neo-nazi nuance, Yeager and Knoke were positively certain that JonBenet’s mother forged the kidnap letter. “Our conclusion,” Yeager offered, “is that you are investigating a child’s murder with ritualistic overtones. Strangulation and sexual assault are most commonly seen in sadomasochism between heterosexual and homosexual adults”.
21. On February 27, 2000, Yeager explained to a CBS 2 News reporter, “What we believe was happening in Patsy’s mind was that her daughter was losing control, becoming a wild rebel. She felt (her daughter) was becoming evil.”
22. Patsy Ramsey did not exactly fit the white supremacist profile, and she certainly wasn’t known to participate in “ritual murder.” Paul Schultz, not incidentally, rings the bell on both counts. He is a member, according to the interviewers of Belinda Schultz, of a “heterodox Christian” cult with Nazi leanings that found its way into the intelligence establishment via the German presence at Tweet Kimball’s castle in Sedalia.
The occult Brotherhood of the White Temple, as this sect was known, survives and has reportedly evolved into an underground terrorist cell. The same “faction” that warned Mary Bienkowski to back off? Police investigating the Ramsey case also received warnings. Blood was splashed on Detective Linda Arndt’s front door. The mutilated carcass of a cat was left on Steve Thomas’s front lawn (if his statements have any credibility, given the flagrant distortions in his book on the case, clearly contrived to widen the umbrella of suspicion that has hung over the parents since the smears began). Sergeant Bob Wilson was at home when four high-powered rounds were fired through his bedroom window and nearly hit him. After these events, “there was no follow-up by the police department” Steve Thomas complains, “which apparently regarded bullets, blood and dead cats as minor”
23. Belinda Schultz has tied her ex-husband to a cultic, “white-supremacist” terrorist underground with domestic intelligence connections and the murder of JonBenet Ramsey but despite his resemblance to the killer’s profile, Paul Schultz has not been asked for a sample of his hand-writing.
b) The Belgium Syndrome The behavior of law enforcement officials and the media has been odd since the 911 call. John Ramsey was the CEO of a key military-industrial subsidiary, Lockheed, and his daughter had been murdered by a group that claimed to “represent a small foreign faction” (Brotherhood of the White Temple?) Ordinarily, the “Lindbergh Law” requires a “rebuttable presumption” in a high-profile kidnap, particularly one pulled off by terrorists fronting for a “foreign faction,” a widely overlooked point raised by journalist Donald Freed, author of Killing Time, a forensic study of the O.J. Simpson case.
Notification of the FBI in a murder case involving terrorists is mandatory, and officers in Boulder did contact Washington. But the Bureau did not respond.
  1. Freed reports that someone in a lofty position assured the FBI and Lockheed Martin Security “prior to the 911 call that any report coming from Boulder “would not affect ‘national security,'” and directed to “let the police handle it.”
25. Freed coined the phrase “Belgium Syndrome” after the recent refusal of Belgian officials and the justice system to respond to a series of child murders, “not because they were involved in the murders, but because they were involved in their own way in pornography, child sexuality and related elements, some of which are not even illegal but all of which would be death sentences for their careers.”
Fleet White, in his letter “to the people of Colorado,” maintained: “It is our firm belief that the District Attorney and others intend to use the Grand Jury and its secrecy in an attempt to protect their careers and also serve the conflicting interests of powerful, influential and threatening people who have something to hide or protect.”
26. “Conflicting interest” may explain the inertia of detectives in Boulder when the photo of the young beauty contestant turned up in the home of a child pornographer in Columbus, Ohio suspected of involvement in the abduction of another Colorado girl. James Partin, 35, was arrested in December, 1997 for selling child pornography on the Net. Police searched Partin’s home and found a newspaper clipping about the 1983 kidnap of Beth Miller,14, and a map of Idaho Springs marked with several X’s.
The girl vanished after a jog near her Idaho Springs home, and Partin lived in the area at the same time. Boulder police announced that they would contact the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to learn more about the Ramsey photo in Partin’s collection, but a local newspaper reported that they “do not believe that Partin had any involvement” in the slaying. “It’s not a high priority,” police spokeswoman Leslie Aaholm assured reporters.
  1. Did the DA’s reluctance to question Partin about the JonBenet picture suggest an unwillingness to solve the case? Pornographic photos of JonBenet were posted on the Internet.28 In his August 6, 1998 resignation letter, Boulder Detective Steve Thomas openly accused then police chief Tom Koby and other officials of sabotaging the case: “During the investigation detectives would discover, collect, and bring evidence to the district attorney’s office, only to have it summarily dismissed or rationalized as insignificant.
The most elementary of investigative efforts, such as obtaining telephone and credit card records, were met without support, search warrants denied. The significant opinions of national experts were casually dismissed or ignored by the district attorney’s office, even the experienced FBI were waved aside.” Thomas was ordered not to question certain witnesses, “and all but dissuaded from pursuing particular investigative efforts. Polygraphs were acceptable for some subjects, but others seemed immune from such requests. Innocent people were not “cleared”, publicly or otherwise, even when it was unmistakably the right thing to do, as reputations and lives were destroyed. Some in the district attorney’s office, to this day, pursue weak, defenseless, and innocent people in shameless tactics that one couldn’t believe more bizarre if it were made up.”
c) Lawrence Schiller & the Designated Patsy (Ramsey) Denver reporter Joe Calhoun takes aim at Lawrence Schiller, the made-for-TV “expert” who denounces all sex-ring allegations in shrill terms. “Schiller, along with talk show hosts and the more ‘responsible press,’ appear to be preparing the public for an indictment of Patsy Ramsey for the murder of her child,” Calhoun says. The patsy would be Patsy. ”
According to a source in Boulder, the script reads that the much physically and mentally traumatized Patsy Ramsey went to her daughter’s room that night and found that she had wet the bed and in a fit of exasperation and rage struck the child and accidentally killed her and then was assisted by her husband to try to cover up the crime. ” The bed-wetting scenario, repeated in best-selling books on the case and many a talk show, is insupportable upon a moment’s reflection: it entails a belief, Calhoun points out, that Patsy Ramsey “stuck her child in the head, killing her, and then tied a garrote around her neck and sexually violated her daughter’s corpse to cover up the crime.”
TO BE CONTINUED
submitted by samarkandy to JonBenetRamsey [link] [comments]

State of the Week 36: Nevada

Overview

Name and Origin: "Nevada"; Spanish for "snow-covered", after the Sierra Nevada; "snow-covered mountain range".
Flag: Flag of the State of Nevada
Map: Nevada County Map
Nickname(s): The Silver State, The Sagebrush State, The Battle Born State
Demonym(s): Nevadan
Abbreviation: NV
Motto: "All for Our Country"
Prior to Statehood: Nevada Territory
Admission to the Union: October 31, 1864 (36th)
Population: 2,890,845 (35th)
Population Density: 24.8/sq mi (42nd)
Electoral College Votes: 6
Area: 110,653 sq mi (17th)
Sovereign States Similar in Size: Burkina Faso (105,878 sq mi), Ecuador (106,889 sq mi), Philippines (120,000 sq mi)
State Capital: Carson City
Largest Cities (by population in latest census)
Rank City County/Counties Population
1 Las Vegas Clark County 583,756
2 Henderson Clark County 257,729
3 Reno Washoe County 225,221
4 North Las Vegas Clark County 216,961
5 Sparks Washoe County 90,264
Borders: Oregon [NW], Idaho [NE], Utah [E], Arizona [SE], California [W]
Subreddit: /Nevada

Government

Governor: Brian Sandoval (R)
Lieutenant Governor: Mark Hutchison (R)
U.S. Senators: Harry Reid (D), Dean Heller (R)
U.S. House Delegation: 4 Representatives | 3 Democrat, 1 Republican
Nevada Legislature
Senators: 21 | 11 Republican, 10 Democrat
President Pro Tempore of the Senate: Michael Roberson (R)
Representatives: 42 | 24 Republican, 17 Democrat, 1 Libertarian
Speaker of the House: John Hambrick (R)

Presidential Election Results (since 1980, most recent first)

Year Democratic Nominee Republican Nominee State Winner (%) Election Winner Notes
2016 Hillary Clinton Donald Trump Hillary Clinton (47.9%) Donald Trump Libertarian Party Candidate Gary Johnson won 3.3% of the Nevada vote.
2012 Barack Obama Mitt Romney Barack Obama (52.4%) Barack Obama
2008 Barack Obama John McCain Barack Obama (55.2%) Barack Obama
2004 John Kerry George W. Bush George W. Bush (50.5%) George W. Bush
2000 Al Gore George W. Bush George W. Bush (49.5%) George W. Bush Green Party Candidate Ralph Nader won 2.46% of the Nevada vote.
1996 Bill Clinton Bob Dole Bill Clinton (43.9%) Bill Clinton Reform Party Candidate Ross Perot won 9.5% of the Nevada vote.
1992 Bill Clinton George H.W. Bush Bill Clinton (37.4%) Bill Clinton Independent Candidate Ross Perot won 26.2% of the Nevada vote.
1988 Michael Dukakis George H.W. Bush George H.W. Bush (58.9%) George H.W. Bush One faithless elector gave Dukakis' Vp pick, Lloyd Bentsen, an electorate vote.
1984 Walter Mondale Ronald Reagan Ronald Reagan (65.9%) Ronald Reagan
1980 Jimmy Carter Ronald Reagan Ronald Reagan (62.5%) Ronald Reagan Independent Candidate John B. Anderson won 7.1% of the Nevada vote.

Demographics

Racial Composition:
  • 65.2% non-Hispanic White
  • 19.7% Hispanic/Latino (of any race)
  • 6.8% Black
  • 4.5% Asian
  • 3.8% Mixed race, multicultural or biracial
  • 1.7% Native American, Native Alaskan, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander
Ancestry Groups
  • German (14.1%)
  • Mexican (12.7%)
  • Irish (11%)
  • English (10.1%)
  • Italian (6.6%)
Second Languages – Most Non-English Languages Spoken at Home
  • Spanish or Spanish Creole (16.2%)
  • Tagalog (1.6%)
  • Chinese (0.6%)
  • German (0.6%)
  • French or French Creole (0.4%)
Religion
  • Christian (66%)
    • Catholic (25%)
    • Evangelical Protestant (20%)
    • Mainline Protestant (10%)
    • Historically Black Protestant (5%)
    • Mormon (4%)
    • Jehovah's Witness (1%)
    • Orthodox (1%)
  • Unaffiliated, Atheist or Refused to Answer (28%)
  • Jewish, Buddhist, Islamic, Hindu, or Other (5%) _______

Education

Colleges and Universities in Nevada include these five largest four-year schools:
School City Enrollment NCAA or Other (Nickname)
College of Southern Nevada Las Vegas ~54,113 Division I (Coyotes)
University of Nevada at Las Vegas Paradise ~33,007 Division I (Rebels)
University of Nevada at Reno Reno ~21,463 Division I (Wolf Pack)
Western Nevada College Carson City ~5,238 ? (Wildcats)
Nevada State College Henderson ~4,714 ? (Scorpions)

Economy

State Minimum Wage: $8.25/hour
Minimum Tipped Wage: $8.25/hour
Unemployment Rate: 7.1%
Largest Employers
Employer Industry Location Employees in State
MGM Resorts International Gaming, Hospitality, Tourism Paradise (HQ) + Various ~ 56,000+
Clark County School District Education Clark County ~35,000+
Caesars Entertainment Gambling, Hospitality, Tourism Paradise (HQ) + Various ~ 26,600+
Nellis Air Force Base Military Clark County ~14,000+
Wynn Resorts Gaming, Hospitality, Tourism Paradise (HQ) + Various ~11,000+

Sports

While Nevada currently does not host any professional franchises, the NHL has announced that an expansion team will begin play during the 2017-18 NHL season.
The NFL's Oakland Raiders have announced they are considering a move to Las Vegas in the near future.
The city of Las Vegas has been a host to some of the most prominent professional boxing matches in recent years, including both fights between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway currently hosts the third race of the NASCAR season, and has hosted Indycar races previously, including the disastrous 2011 race.

Fun Facts

  1. The ichthyosaur is Nevada's official state fossil.
  2. Nevada's the seventh-largest state in size, and about 85% of its land is owned by the federal government.
  3. Nevada is the largest gold-producing state in the nation, and is second in the world behind South Africa.
  4. Construction worker hard hats were first invented specifically for workers on the Hoover Dam in 1933.
  5. In March 1931 Governor Fred Balzar signed into law the bill legalizing gambling in the state; shortly thereafter, the Pair-O-Dice Club was the first casino to open on Highway 91, the future Las Vegas Strip. ____ List of Famous People
Previous States:
  1. Delaware
  2. Pennsylvania
  3. New Jersey
  4. Georgia
  5. Connecticut
  6. Massachusetts
  7. Maryland
  8. South Carolina
  9. New Hampshire
  10. Virginia
  11. New York
  12. North Carolina
  13. Rhode Island
  14. Vermont
  15. Kentucky
  16. Tennessee
  17. Ohio
  18. Louisiana
  19. Indiana
  20. Mississippi
  21. Illinois
  22. Alabama
  23. Maine
  24. Missouri
  25. Arkansas
  26. Michigan
  27. Florida
  28. Texas
  29. Iowa
  30. Wisconsin
  31. California
  32. Minnesota
  33. Oregon
  34. Kansas
  35. West Virginia
As always, thanks to deadpoetic31 for compiling the majority of the information here, and any suggestions are greatly appreciated!
submitted by cardinals5 to AskAnAmerican [link] [comments]

Subreddit Stats: SandersForPresident top posts from 2019-04-30 to 2019-05-30 04:01 PDT

Period: 29.70 days
Submissions Comments
Total 1000 24295
Rate (per day) 33.67 791.73
Unique Redditors 325 6318
Combined Score 435526 181426

Top Submitters' Top Submissions

  1. 37764 points, 26 submissions: Cadet-Bone-Spurs
    1. Bernie Sanders: If I'm elected president, we'll create a national minimum that must be spent per-pupil to educate our kids. No matter where you live, whether your community’s property values are high or low, your kids' schools will be guaranteed a certain minimum level of education funding. (13539 points, 546 comments)
    2. 38 Years Ago, Bernie Marching for Womens Rights (5227 points, 148 comments)
    3. Bernie Sanders' divisive proposal to give all prisoners voting rights is already a reality in countries like Canada and Israel (5128 points, 355 comments)
    4. Bernie: “The workers in the fossil fuel industry aren’t our enemies. They are working to feed their families. And that is why we will provide a just transition in the Green New Deal.” (5035 points, 145 comments)
    5. Bernie Sanders: The truth is that our country has had a long and shameful history of voter suppression. This should not devolve into a debate about whether certain people are “good enough” to have the right to vote. Voting is not a privilege. It is a right. (4308 points, 169 comments)
    6. Bernie: Betsy DeVos is the worst Secretary of Education in the modern history of our country. We need an Education Secretary who is a fierce advocate for public education and working class children and works to integrate our schools—not who is doing everything she can to undermine them. (796 points, 24 comments)
    7. Bernie Sanders didn't need to evolve or be told which side to be on. He's been a staunch defender of women's autonomy 100% of his adult life. (505 points, 24 comments)
    8. Bernie Sanders: When Harry Truman first proposed guaranteeing health care to seniors the idea was billed as radical, “un-American” and an attack on basic freedom. Medicare is now one of the most popular government programs. We can make health care a right to all if we have the political will. (372 points, 1 comment)
    9. Bernie: Did you know that from 1911-1967, Americans could bank at their local post office? At one point our postal banks serviced 4 million customers. We must ensure all Americans can access basic financial services by allowing every post office to offer basic banking services again. (331 points, 16 comments)
    10. Bernie Sanders currently has the largest twitter following of any declared presidential candidate besides Donald Trump (281 points, 12 comments)
  2. 33655 points, 36 submissions: puppuli
    1. Bernie: I was right about Vietnam. I was right about Iraq. I will do everything in my power to prevent a war with Iran. I apologize to no one. (24414 points, 909 comments)
    2. GOP Officials Publicly Denounce Bernie Sanders’ Obamacare Expansion, Quietly Request Funding - Fascinating story from 2015 on how Sanders’ political savvy substantially improved the ACA & directly saved lives (1351 points, 17 comments)
    3. Bernie's rally attendance cross 100,000 🔥🔥 (825 points, 32 comments)
    4. Sanders argued in a CNN town hall that a major sign of inequality can be seen in how much people pay for housing. He was correct (817 points, 15 comments)
    5. Bernie Sanders wrote to Margaret Thatcher demanding an end to the British government's abuse of Irish republican prisoners on hunger strike in the 1980s (742 points, 32 comments)
    6. Iowa Caucus Poll (15-19 May, Change Research): Sanders 24%, Biden 24%, Buttigieg 14%, Warren 12%, Harris 10%, O'Rourke 5%, Klobuchar 2%, Yang 2% (578 points, 121 comments)
    7. Bernie: I understand President Trump is blocking a resolution at the WHO that would require drug companies to disclose actual R&D costs for pharmaceutical drugs. Nobody should believe Mr. Trump when he talks about taking on Big Pharma. (565 points, 4 comments)
    8. Bernie Sanders explains his plan to cut military spending (486 points, 26 comments)
    9. Bernie Sanders Had His Own TV Show. We Found the Archives (427 points, 24 comments)
    10. 24 Million With 'Good' Insurance Are Struggling With Medical Bills (318 points, 15 comments)
  3. 30269 points, 149 submissions: cmplxgal
    1. Glenn Greenwald: Bernie Sanders is 77 years old, grew up with immigrant parents in working-class Brooklyn, spent his entire adult life earning a modest salary as an elected official, and now the media is turning him into a gluttonous, oligarchical mogul because he wrote a book when he was 75. (5741 points, 239 comments)
    2. Bernie: McConnell said he’d fill a Supreme Court vacancy in 2020 after blocking hearings for Merrick Garland. What a hypocrite. Make no mistake about it, McConnell's goal has always been the same: lifetime appointments for extreme rightwing judges by any means. (2386 points, 68 comments)
    3. Bernie: "If we are a nation that can pay baseball players hundreds of millions of dollars, don't tell me we can't afford to pay teachers the salaries they deserve." (2223 points, 181 comments)
    4. Glenn Greenwald: "One of Sanders' best 2016 moments was when he replied to Hillary's boasting of her friendship with Henry Kissinger by proclaiming how proud he was that Kissinger is not his friend. His refusal now to feign respect for murderous neocons & their wars is even better. Very promising." (935 points, 25 comments)
    5. Bernie now has six events this weekend in Iowa! (620 points, 31 comments)
    6. NEW: Bernie Sanders will march tonight w/ abortion rights activists in Birmingham. He will go to the march directly after his rally there this afternoon. (492 points, 15 comments)
    7. "If you’re ever sad, just remember the world is 4.543 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as Bernie Sanders." (483 points, 24 comments)
    8. "There are 612,000 people locked in local jails across this country and 462,000 haven’t even been convicted of a crime. In America, you are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, not jailed until you make bail. Criminal justice reform must include ending cash bail." (472 points, 17 comments)
    9. Bernie: "Instead of recognizing and addressing the concerns of workers, American Airlines has moved to sue @MachinistsUnion. Machinists keep passengers safe and on time. My message to American Airlines is simple: Stop the intimidation and bullying!" (472 points, 7 comments)
    10. CNN reporter: In Concord, @berniesanders was asked if he would federally recognize a third gender. “The answer is yes.” Sanders added, “Everything that I’m talking about is trying to create a non-discriminatory society.“ (448 points, 67 comments)
  4. 21192 points, 11 submissions: kaffmoo
    1. Bernie Sanders on Joe Biden saying he's most progressive: "Joe voted for the war in Iraq. I led the effort against it… Joe voted for the deregulation of Wall Street, I voted against that… I don't think there's much question about who's more progressive" (10211 points, 576 comments)
    2. Hindsight is 2020 (9978 points, 653 comments)
    3. Bernie Sanders “Our Revolution is about reaching out and bringing new people into politics.” (222 points, 4 comments)
    4. Ady Barkan a dying Man with ALS Explains to Congress.“In this Country, the wealthiest in history, we do not have an effective or fair or rational system for delivering that care.High costs, bad outcomes, mind-boggling bureaucracy, racial disparities, geographic inequities, and obscene profiteering.” (205 points, 8 comments)
    5. How to keep wages low and working conditions poor (144 points, 13 comments)
    6. How A Plan To Cap Credit Interest Rates Would Affect Your Wallet | Better | NBC News (93 points, 0 comments)
    7. Bernie 2020 Town Hall in Londonderry, New Hampshire. A honest debate with locals about Major Issues. (86 points, 1 comment)
    8. Senator Bernie Sanders: I Can ‘Absolutely’ Swipe Donald Trump’s Base Back (76 points, 4 comments)
    9. The casualties of war we often forget: Veteran victims of overdose and suicide deserve special attention on Memorial Day and year-round (67 points, 0 comments)
    10. Tuition or Dinner? Nearly Half of College Students Surveyed in a New Report Are Going Hungry (56 points, 2 comments)
  5. 14438 points, 4 submissions: relevantlife
    1. Bernie Sanders says all teachers salaries should start at $60,000 (13255 points, 1056 comments)
    2. Bernie Sanders: "Billionaire Robert F. Smith's gift to forgive the student debts of the graduating class of Morehouse College was extremely generous. But the student crisis will not be solved by charity. It must be addressed by governmental action." (598 points, 19 comments)
    3. Bernie Sanders to demand Walmart workers get a board seat at annual shareholders meeting. “Walmart workers are sick and tired of being paid poverty wages, while the Walton family is worth over $170 billion." (550 points, 4 comments)
    4. This Memorial Day, I am reminded why I am voting for Bernie. As of this year, we will have been sending our men and women to Afghanistan to die for OVER HALF of my life. Bernie understands that endless war for two decades is unsustainable. Today, let’s make a commitment to BRING OUR SOLDIERS HOME. (35 points, 0 comments)
  6. 14182 points, 18 submissions: lrlOurPresident
    1. Bernie responds to Biden: "There is no 'middle ground' when it comes to climate policy. If we don't commit to fully transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels, we will doom future generations. Fighting climate change must be our priority, whether fossil fuel billionaires like it or not." (4362 points, 111 comments)
    2. In the mid 1980s, Joe Biden was publicly praising a segregationist at the same time Bernie Sanders was fighting for justice alongside Jesse Jackson’s rainbow coalition. (3810 points, 152 comments)
    3. Yesterday, Bernie marched for abortion rights, just as he did 33 years ago. Issue by issue, unlike many other politicians, you don't have to wonder if Bernie has been on the right side of history. (1079 points, 18 comments)
    4. Bernie Sanders: "Uber says it can't pay its drivers more money, but rewarded its CEO with nearly $50 million last year. People who work for multibillion-dollar companies should not have to work 70 or 80 hours a week to get by. I stand with the Uber and Lyft drivers going on strike on May 8." (1006 points, 20 comments)
    5. Bernie Sanders just announced that if elected president, he will use executive action to block cuts to workers' promised retirement benefits, and will push his own legislation to permanently block future cuts (583 points, 13 comments)
    6. Bernie Sanders: “One out of every three senior citizens in America relies on Social Security for virtually ALL of their income. I don't think the wealthiest country in history should have seniors living in poverty. Trump wants to slash Social Security. I believe we must expand it.” (486 points, 2 comments)
    7. Bernie Sanders: "Walmart workers are sick and tired of being paid poverty wages, while the Walton family is worth over $170 billion. I’m honored to have been invited by Walmart workers to demand they have a seat on the company’s board." (457 points, 2 comments)
    8. Average annual interest rates on payday loans: Delaware 521%, Idaho 652%, Nevada 652%, Texas 661%, Utah 652%, Wisconsin 574%. It's time to end exploitative lending that keeps Americans trapped in debt. We will cap interest rates on consumer loans and credit cards at 15%. (341 points, 12 comments)
    9. Bernie Sanders vows to end cash bail nationally (316 points, 11 comments)
    10. Bernie Sanders: "This is shameful. A fourth child has died after being detained by Border Patrol since December. Our job is to provide protection and due process to those fleeing violence and persecution—not to threaten the safety of families and children at the border and tear families apart." (284 points, 10 comments)
  7. 11630 points, 38 submissions: amplify-twenty20
    1. J. Cole didn't vote, but he has an interesting perspective (3654 points, 443 comments)
    2. Bernie Sanders will fight the total abortion ban in states such as Alabama (652 points, 6 comments)
    3. Private prisons are a failed experiment (612 points, 14 comments)
    4. Bernie Sanders is a strong criminal justice reform candidate (541 points, 7 comments)
    5. Bernie Sanders wants a responsible foreign policy (530 points, 11 comments)
    6. End cash bail nationwide (512 points, 16 comments)
    7. Legalize marijuana (472 points, 7 comments)
    8. How terrible! (445 points, 6 comments)
    9. Bernie Sanders thinks a high-quality public education should be a right (390 points, 5 comments)
    10. Bernie Sanders wants to root out institutional racism (381 points, 17 comments)
  8. 11109 points, 2 submissions: SherSinghz
    1. Bernie Sanders refutes Dick Cheney’s daughter Liz as she attacks Socialism. (10120 points, 499 comments)
    2. Bernie Sanders on Twitter: "This is the richest country on Earth and our people don't have clean water. That's an international disgrace. Our solution: the WATER Act, which would create more than a million jobs to overhaul our nation's water infrastructure. (989 points, 12 comments)
  9. 8764 points, 21 submissions: sonofspy
    1. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders call for investigation into TurboTax and H&R Block for allegedly steering customers away from free tax filing (6302 points, 158 comments)
    2. A 10-year-old girl’s $67,957 snake bite is the exact reason we need Medicare for All (589 points, 24 comments)
    3. Bernie Video: GM got a $514 million tax break from Trump. It pays nothing in federal income taxes. Its CEO made $22 million last year. (387 points, 9 comments)
    4. During 2020 Bid, Sanders Looks To Convince Young Voters To Turn Out In Record Numbers (295 points, 37 comments)
    5. Sanders pushes back against Biden's claim he's the 'most progressive' candidate in the Democratic field (287 points, 20 comments)
    6. Pointing to Disastrous History of US Intervention, Sanders Warns Against Military Action in Venezuela (96 points, 18 comments)
    7. Bernie Sanders slams Joe Biden for downplaying China's economic threat to the US (82 points, 14 comments)
    8. 'Tired of Getting Ripped Off,' Key Swing District Voters Want Candidates Willing to Take on Big Pharma: Poll (79 points, 0 comments)
    9. Daniel Desnoyers died after he couldn’t afford his mental health meds. (78 points, 1 comment)
    10. Bernie Sanders announces a farmers' right-to-repair and antitrust proposal similar to Elizabeth Warren's (66 points, 1 comment)
  10. 7805 points, 2 submissions: WhiskeyInferno
    1. 2020 election poll: Joe Biden's lead shrinks to zero against Bernie Sanders in critical Iowa (7225 points, 410 comments)
    2. Shaun King: Joe Biden is the father of modern mass incarceration (580 points, 30 comments)
  11. 7651 points, 12 submissions: roku44
    1. Bernie Sanders Decides to Play Rough This Time. The senator is playing to win, drawing sharp contrasts with his opponents far more quickly and aggressively than he did four years ago. (4835 points, 193 comments)
    2. Pollster Frank Luntz Predicts Bernie Sanders Will Be The 2020 Democratic Nominee. Ironically, some of the same fears that helped Trump win in 2016 could deliver the Democratic nomination to the Vermont senator, the GOP pollster says. (1434 points, 175 comments)
    3. Bernie-Biden Is a War for the Future of the Democratic Party (322 points, 57 comments)
    4. Are centrist candidates really the most "electable"? It may be the opposite. Despite the mainstream media's centrism fetish, voters want someone inspirational, not just "nicer than Trump" (212 points, 32 comments)
    5. Fox News viewers are more likely to support Bernie Sanders than people who watch MSNBC (184 points, 16 comments)
    6. 'Let's Expand Employee Ownership': Bernie Sanders Backs Plan to Give Workers Power Over Corporate Decisions. "We can move to an economy where workers feel that they're not just a cog in the machine—one where they have power over their jobs and can make decisions." (156 points, 1 comment)
    7. NBC News| Meet The Press| "We're going to create the kind of excitement that we need to bring out the large voter turnout," Sanders said. "The truth is that our campaign, I think, can generate that excitement." (126 points, 2 comments)
    8. 'Caravan' of Americans Crossing Canadian Border for Affordable Medical Care. A group of Minnesotans with diabetes said they were traveling five hours north to buy insulin for a tenth of what it costs in the U.S. (111 points, 13 comments)
    9. Sanders Calls on 2020 Candidates to Pledge Opposition to 'Unfair' Trade Deals That Put Corporate Interests Ahead of US Workers. "What we have seen over the last many years is one disastrous trade policy after another... It has led to a race to the bottom." (76 points, 1 comment)
    10. Bernie Sanders Speech Iran War (72 points, 2 comments)
  12. 7282 points, 7 submissions: bourgeoisfunctionary
    1. Bernie Sanders appears to be the favorite to secure Ocasio-Cortez’s prized endorsement in the Democratic presidential primary (6102 points, 408 comments)
    2. THREAD: It’s almost as if @JoeBiden & @BernieSanders are literally opposites. So the question is: which side are you on? Scroll through this thread (704 points, 102 comments)
    3. Young voter turnout increased by 79 percent in 2018 midterms (184 points, 13 comments)
    4. Indiana: Biden 33, Sanders 23, Buttigieg 20 (105 points, 90 comments)
    5. A plurality of Democratic voters (46%) support giving felons the right to vote (89 points, 14 comments)
    6. NATIONAL PRIMARY POLL (May 17-18, 2019, The Hill/Harris X): Biden 33 (-13), Sanders 14 (0), Warren 8 (+1), Buttigieg 6 (-2), Harris 6 (0), O'Rourke 5 (+2) (58 points, 23 comments)
    7. Morning Consult: Biden 39, Sanders 19, Warren 8, Harris 8, Buttigieg 6 (40 points, 11 comments)
  13. 7184 points, 12 submissions: MightyMane6
    1. Sanders to join Ocasio-Cortez at rally as climate fight heats up (5811 points, 199 comments)
    2. Tomorrow I will be out Canvassing in Downtown Tampa and I brought hundreds of Bernie business cards to give out! I challenge everyone to go out and Canvass! Sign up for a Canvassing event near you at: map.berniesanders.com (323 points, 17 comments)
    3. We NEED to aggressively begin distinguishing Bernie and Warren!! (281 points, 95 comments)
    4. Bernie is asking for our help! We need to reach 20,000 individual donations by midnight tomorrow! We are already at 3,000! Let's crush this goal!! (206 points, 81 comments)
    5. Yesterday the Sanders Campaign sent out an email setting a donation goal before the next FEC Deadline. The goal is set at 20,000 Individual donations by midnight tonight! (115 points, 24 comments)
    6. Paula Jean and Amy Vilela from Knock Down the House are fully endorsing Bernie! 🔥 (86 points, 13 comments)
    7. The Crowd in Birmingham AL (86 points, 36 comments)
    8. NEW Hear the Bern Episode is out | Bernie back in the day with David Sirota, Jeff Weaver, and Chuck Rocha. (69 points, 1 comment)
    9. Road to a Green New Deal - ft. Bernie & AOC | LIVE (68 points, 4 comments)
    10. Sen. Bernie Sanders visits River Region | 27 Photos (54 points, 0 comments)
  14. 6988 points, 43 submissions: axiomsofdominion
    1. For those counting at home, @BernieSanders has now been accused of being in the pocket of Big Poor, Big Human Rights and Big Elementary School (2091 points, 34 comments)
    2. Bernie Sanders says the U.S. should be like Iceland and legally enforce equal pay (831 points, 74 comments)
    3. “Nevada's powerful teachers unions are applauding Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' new education plan, which would put a moratorium on charter schools and end funding for for-profit charter schools nationwide.” (301 points, 18 comments)
    4. Bernie Sanders is making 2 stops in South Carolina this weekend. Here’s where you can see him (248 points, 1 comment)
    5. BREAKING: Common Defense surveyed our 125,000 members to see how politically engaged progressive military veterans are feeling about the 2020 primary. Here’s what we found: 1) @BernieSanders 29.1% (up 5.1% from Jan) 2) @ewarren 20.7% (up 10.7% !!) 3) @JoeBiden 18.2% (up 0.2%) (234 points, 28 comments)
    6. Bernie rolls out New Hampshire endorsements: Alderman at-Large Brandon Laws, City of Nashua, Representative Josh Adjutant, (Ashland) Grafton, Representative Mark King, (Nashua) Hillsborough, Representative Skip Cleaver, (Nashua) Hillsborough, Representative Tim Smith, (Manchester) Hillsborough, etc. (174 points, 9 comments)
    7. Shaun King: "In 1989 @BernieSanders gave the strongest speech in Congress opposing the @JoeBiden Crime Bill. Bernie then fought against it for 5 years. This speech, which I think may be the best Bernie ever gave in Congress, was in April of 1994 opposing the Crime Bill once again." (172 points, 23 comments)
    8. Amazing Bernie Video: "The first thing Bernie says when he meets you: 'What can I do for you?' And then...he delivers." (171 points, 5 comments)
    9. "Just listened into the Bernie Sanders rally in Montpelier, Vermont and the speaker is boasting about how Bernie came to a farm to milk a cow and didn't leave until all 130 cows had been milked. Among Democratic presidential candidates in history, can even Jimmy Carter claim that?" (168 points, 7 comments)
    10. No Democrat has ever won I-Bernie Sanders's Senate seat. It was held by JimJeffords from 1989-2007, Robert Stafford from 1971-1989, and Winston Prouty from 1959-1971. All 3 men previously held Vermont's House Seat, which was held only for one term by a Dem between 2007 and 1933. Bernie Is Electable. (161 points, 18 comments)
  15. 6902 points, 7 submissions: BERNIN_FOR_BERNIE
    1. Labor Leader Chuck Jones who took Trump to task endorses Bernie Sanders (5621 points, 107 comments)
    2. Bernie Sanders is an accomplished, effective leader (699 points, 15 comments)
    3. BERN UP the New DailyKos Straw Poll! (200 points, 109 comments)
    4. BERN UP the May 1 DailyKos Straw Poll! (159 points, 42 comments)
    5. NEW TODAY: OFFICIAL DAILY KOS POLL, NOT YESTERDAY'S DECOY POLL, PLEASE VOTE! (142 points, 40 comments)
    6. Over 70 Civil Rights Groups urge Democratic candidates to support the right to vote for those incarcerated (42 points, 1 comment)
    7. Bernie Sanders has a campaign machine that is crushing it! (39 points, 1 comment)
  16. 6855 points, 1 submission: nolesfan2011
    1. Bernie Sanders will call for ban on for-profit charter schools (6855 points, 360 comments)
  17. 6714 points, 1 submission: zxlkho
    1. Bernie Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez want to cap credit card interest rates at 15 percent (6714 points, 467 comments)
  18. 5586 points, 1 submission: donkijote97
    1. Bernie is leading among voters under 50. Each and every one of us should talk to the older people in our lives and convince them that voting for Bernie would be in everyone’s best interest. (5586 points, 380 comments)
  19. 5431 points, 1 submission: sirtinykins
    1. God this at the casino last night. I’m starting to agree. (5431 points, 155 comments)

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  1. BopTheDrass (2387 points, 151 comments)
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  3. caraperdida (1578 points, 205 comments)
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  5. axiomsofdominion (1309 points, 201 comments)
  6. EcoSoco (1272 points, 148 comments)
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  11. MightyMane6 (994 points, 54 comments)
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  14. ClockworkBlues (913 points, 1 comment)
  15. IsherwoodWilliams87 (893 points, 24 comments)
  16. FireWaterBern (869 points, 89 comments)
  17. Nwprogress (846 points, 43 comments)
  18. bullbear101 (836 points, 13 comments)
  19. IronicEyeCancer (830 points, 23 comments)
  20. cmplxgal (805 points, 145 comments)
  21. Brockstroturf (805 points, 11 comments)
  22. b778av (798 points, 4 comments)
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  26. Yarongo (765 points, 43 comments)
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  33. DrCarsonsCure (681 points, 86 comments)
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  35. waheifilmguy (639 points, 3 comments)
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  38. skellener (603 points, 30 comments)
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  40. BerryBoy1969 (591 points, 64 comments)

Top Submissions

  1. Bernie: I was right about Vietnam. I was right about Iraq. I will do everything in my power to prevent a war with Iran. I apologize to no one. by puppuli (24414 points, 909 comments)
  2. Bernie Sanders: If I'm elected president, we'll create a national minimum that must be spent per-pupil to educate our kids. No matter where you live, whether your community’s property values are high or low, your kids' schools will be guaranteed a certain minimum level of education funding. by Cadet-Bone-Spurs (13539 points, 546 comments)
  3. Bernie Sanders says all teachers salaries should start at $60,000 by relevantlife (13255 points, 1056 comments)
  4. Bernie Sanders on Joe Biden saying he's most progressive: "Joe voted for the war in Iraq. I led the effort against it… Joe voted for the deregulation of Wall Street, I voted against that… I don't think there's much question about who's more progressive" by kaffmoo (10211 points, 576 comments)
  5. Bernie Sanders refutes Dick Cheney’s daughter Liz as she attacks Socialism. by SherSinghz (10120 points, 499 comments)
  6. Hindsight is 2020 by kaffmoo (9978 points, 653 comments)
  7. 2020 election poll: Joe Biden's lead shrinks to zero against Bernie Sanders in critical Iowa by WhiskeyInferno (7225 points, 410 comments)
  8. Bernie Sanders will call for ban on for-profit charter schools by nolesfan2011 (6855 points, 360 comments)
  9. Bernie Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez want to cap credit card interest rates at 15 percent by zxlkho (6714 points, 467 comments)
  10. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders call for investigation into TurboTax and H&R Block for allegedly steering customers away from free tax filing by sonofspy (6302 points, 158 comments)

Top Comments

  1. 941 points: wehaveengagedtheborg's comment in Bernie Sanders appears to be the favorite to secure Ocasio-Cortez’s prized endorsement in the Democratic presidential primary
  2. 913 points: ClockworkBlues's comment in Bernie Sanders says all teachers salaries should start at $60,000
  3. 777 points: BootsieBunny's comment in Bernie Sanders on Joe Biden saying he's most progressive: "Joe voted for the war in Iraq. I led the effort against it… Joe voted for the deregulation of Wall Street, I voted against that… I don't think there's much question about who's more progressive"
  4. 761 points: IsherwoodWilliams87's comment in Aisha Moodie-Mills on MSNBC calling out the new CNN where no one under 45 was polled.
  5. 731 points: IronicEyeCancer's comment in Bernie Sanders refutes Dick Cheney’s daughter Liz as she attacks Socialism.
  6. 719 points: bullbear101's comment in 2020 election poll: Joe Biden's lead shrinks to zero against Bernie Sanders in critical Iowa
  7. 713 points: b778av's comment in Bernie: I was right about Vietnam. I was right about Iraq. I will do everything in my power to prevent a war with Iran. I apologize to no one.
  8. 707 points: saintnicklaus90's comment in Bernie Sanders says all teachers salaries should start at $60,000
  9. 634 points: Nwprogress's comment in Bernie Sanders Decides to Play Rough This Time. The senator is playing to win, drawing sharp contrasts with his opponents far more quickly and aggressively than he did four years ago.
  10. 634 points: waheifilmguy's comment in Sanders to join Ocasio-Cortez at rally as climate fight heats up
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The Weight We Carry Ch 18

So you've been asking and I heard! The latest chapter in The Weight We Carry! I got bit by the writing bug earlier this morning and if my strange writing habits weren't so time consuming I'd have it out sooner. As it is I'm posting this and then going to bed! So if there's any glaring mistakes or horrible things I didn't mean to leave in? Well... shit.
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Highway Y outside Eldon, Former Missouri. 9:21 am local time, December 25th 2034.
“This… isn’t… a very… good… Christmas.” I looked over my shoulder with a smirk as I saw Sergeant Huertas pedaling along at the back of the group. Wobbling a little as he kept riding.
“What’s wrong sergeant? Don’t you get enough PT? This is just a nice little ride into town.” I looked ahead up Highway Y as we kept riding. Thankfully it hadn’t snowed since the trucks came through so the road was clear enough for the rest of us to follow on our bikes. Since the attack on Fort Sierra the trucks and cars were all being used to move around supplies and equipment, along with our wounded. The rest of us. Myself included, had two choices for transport. Foot. Or bike.
“It’s… not that… this… hurts… my dick.” The sergeant replied which made the rest of us start laughing and I shook my head a little at his rather honest answer.
“You’ve got to adjust the seat sergeant. Didn’t anyone ever teach you how to properly ride a bike?” I asked then as I looked back to see him huff and puff, his breath coming out in big plumes thanks to the low temperature.
“When I was a kid! Not… for this… ride so… long… your dick… hurts… shit.” I couldn’t help but laugh once again. “In the… fishing village… where I grew up… we drove places.” I thought that over a moment.
“Fishing village? Aren’t you from LA?” I asked and he nodded as he kept pedaling.
“Like I said… the fishing village. Fuck… I didn’t… join the army… for no… goddamn… tour de… Missouri shit.” I kept chuckling even as I shook my head and kept moving. Leave it to Sergeant Huertas to make a long cold bike ride more amusing.
“Come now sergeant. Bicycle corps have a long and storied military history. Starting in the late 1800s. Used by the first commandos of the modern age. The Dutch in South Africa.” I glanced around the group of bike riders around me then. Lewis was to my right, Felon was to my left, and the rest of Alpha around us. I was plenty well protected in this group of resistance soldiers riding their bikes into old Eldon. Might as well give them a little history lesson while we rode.
“The Dutch? Weren’t they known for smoking a lot of pot and growing tulips?” Lewis asked which made me chuckle again.
“Don’t let their modern history fool you. The Dutch once held a massive trade empire spanning the globe. New York as first New Amsterdam, and Australia was New Holland. Though for some reason the Brits didn’t rename New Zealand… Anyway they actually started a lot of modern military ideas. The first marines were Dutch. They raided the English navy at port once. Burned up a lot of ships up the Thames river which would be like… the Cubans sailing up the Mississippi and burning shit in Saint Louis.”
“The Dutch?” Felon asked and I nodded as we kept pedaling along, Huertas wheezing behind us.
“Yep. Then their king… or prince? The monarch of the Netherlands at some point became the king of England and shit went downhill for the Dutch after that. The Brits conquered most of their colonies and they were never the same… But anyway back to bicycle corps. In the…” I paused and tried to remember my years a bit. “A few centuries ago the Dutch settled in South Africa and later the Brits showed up and drove them inland away from the coast. The Netherlands had to give up the colony and they became the independent… Boers. Before you ask no I have no idea what Boers means or why the name change.”
“They called themselves pigs?” Lewis asked and I laughed before shaking my head.
“B-O-E-R-S.” I spelled out. “Like I said. I don’t know the meaning. Anyway, the Brits weren’t satisfied with the coastal towns when they found out about the resources deeper in South Africa… and all of Africa I guess. So they took over. Then the Boers began a resistance campaign that spawned the first modern commandos. Hit and run raids, early IEDs, all sorts of guerilla tactics. It was a brutal and protracted affair. War crimes for both sides involved honestly. But back then they weren’t called war crimes.” I trailed off as we kept riding until Lewis spoke up again.
“So… the bicycle corps?”
“Right.” I nodded as he reminded me. “So one of the best commandos at the time realized that horses take supplies and are pretty easy to spot, and only certain people could have them since they were expensive. But they also had bikes. So what’s faster and easier than walking 20 miles? Biking 20 miles.”
“It ain’t… fuckin… easy…” Huertas panted from the back which made most of us chuckle again.
“I said easier. Easier doesn’t mean easy. Anyway, that’s Eldon up ahead.” I pointed to the buildings ahead of us a ways. “We’re not far now. But yeah… the Dutch were the first marines, and commandos, and created the first bike corps. They were in limited use for decades. Even in World War 2 the Danish had them and later on the Germans used them as they got pushed back into Germany. In fact the Boer commando who came up with the idea was the great great grandfather of… that one… actress…” My words slowed down as I tried to think of her and glanced over at Felon. “You remember her right?”
He just shrugged as he kept riding. “Colonel I have no idea who might be related to an old Dutch commando.”
I sighed out then and slowly shook my head. “Shit…” Was all I could mutter. “That’s going to bug me.” What was her name? I could picture her… she was in that movie about Australia. Driving that big war truck thing around. Fuck! What was the name of that movie? I was getting too damn old. I let out another sigh and shook my head. “I’ll remember in the middle of the night.” I muttered knowing that it would eventually come to me when it was too late.
“We’re coming up on the junction.” Felon pointed out the slight curve in the road where Highway Y would meet 52. As we got closer I began to slow down without really thinking about it before finally coming to a stop at the intersection and looking to my left for oncoming cars. “Sir are you expecting traffic?” I looked over my shoulder at Felon and then laughed as I started to get riding down the road as we turned right.
“Old habits.” I answered with a shrug. On either side of us snow was piled up around the old abandoned houses. Most of them had Christmas decorations still up from the invasion all those years ago. Up ahead on the right I spotted some of our trucks parked in front of the old dollar store. “You can finally give your dick some rest Huertas.” I called over my shoulder to a wheezing reply.
“Thank Christ!” I chuckled again and looked over to Felon.
“Get them warmed up and fed. I’m heading down the road a bit to the bank across from that… Gas station with the… what was it? Mobster’s pizza?” I was about to continue when I heard Huertas cry out.
“Don’t mention pizza! Fuck! I’d… I’d fuckin… kill… for a big… greasy… pepperoni… fuck.” Felon just shook his head at that.
“With cheese in the crust?”
“Beer! Beer in the crust!” Huertas called back as I frowned.
“How’s the supposed to work?”
“Science! Fuck… I dunno… just… give me… a way… to eat… greasy pizza… and get drunk… at the same time…” He was trying to stand up a bit as he rode now, one hand adjusting his pants as I heard him mutter something about “cojones.”
“Well they won’t have that here.” Felon called back. “Just soy sludge and hot porridge probably. Warm you right up Huertas don’t you worry.” Most of the soldiers pulled off then to stop in the old parking lot of the general store while Lewis and I continued on.
“They used to have a lot of gas stations didn’t they?” Lewis asked as we rode on and I nodded as we past several local places with gas pumps out front. I could see the old sign for McDonalds further down. By now the golden arches had faded to a pale yellow white. There were still some old cars in the parking lot. The snow covering everything but the tops of the windows and their roofs, their paint stripped from years of neglect. Diagonal from the fast food place was the birck building of the bank and there were more of our trucks out front.
Lewis and I rode up onto the sidewalk then and dismounted our bikes, leaning them against the building as we headed inside. Sergeant Jackson nodded to me as we entered and I let out a happy sigh as I saw an oil drum someone had dragged to the middle of the big room and set a fire in. I walked towards it, glancing up at the ceiling to see it was already blackened from the smoke. But without a fireplace or a heater this was simply how we had to keep warm. Rubbing my hands together after removing my gloves I held them up before the fire and looked around.
All the old desks had been removed or shoved to the side and I could see Reed off in the bank’s small vault with a clipboard in hand. We were storing some of our gear and intel around the town until we could get a new camp. The most important stuff would go into bank vaults. Besides Reed there was Jackson and the rest of Bravo scattered around the place. I’m sure some were up on the second floor keeping watch, but only Lewis and I were huddled around the oil drum fire for now. When Reed finally finished with her checklist she walked out of the vault and over to us.
“Sir, have a nice ride through the snow?” She smirked a bit and I gave a snort. Reed was a good officer. I gave her credit for being so professional despite our resistance conditions. I always felt she was a bit too stern and formal with the soldiers though. She was relaxed and casual when it was just me and Lewis but she held very strictly to the old separation of the enlisted from the officers.
“I did, but Sergeant Huertas was having some problems with his seat.” She just shook her head and rolled her eyes before she went on.
“So, we’ve gotten most of our things stashed through the town. You and Alpha were the last to make it down off the mountain. I got word from Piven that the gun bunnies made it to Barnett. His guns are stashed around Rocky Mountain and we’re going to have to hope the aliens don’t find them.” I nodded at that. We barely had time to get out of the Ozarks before the Unity brought in heavy reinforcements so getting the howitzers hooked up and towed would have been nearly impossible.
“What about Hatchet?” I asked and she pointed to a map up on the wall of the area.
“Same as last report. Unity forces are heading northwest from the remains of Fort Sierra to Versailles.” She was about to continue when Lewis spoke up.
“Is that how you say it? I’ve been pronouncing it ver-sails this whole time.” Both Reed and I laughed at that for a moment.
“It’s French.” I informed him and he frowned.
“The French settled there?” He asked and I shook my head. Sometimes I forgot how little history the kids these days knew.
“No it’s just a name. We’ve got a long proud history of stealing names from other places for use here. Like… Paris Texas.”
“West of us is Warsaw.” Reed added. “North up the 87 is California.” I laughed at that.
“Yeah Missouri has Warsaw, Versailles, and California… and… isn’t there a Nevada here too?” I asked and Reed nodded. “Then… Pittsburg?”
“No that’s on the Kansas side.” She mentioned and I nodded.
“Well I know there’s a Moscow Idaho. And Dublin California.” I listed off.
“New York New York Las Vegas Nevada.” Reed added but I just snorted.
“That’s a casino it’s not the same.” She shrugged and then wagged a finger at me.
“But we’ve also got some pretty original names too like Knob Noster.” I laughed as she reminded me about that.
“Oh yes that’s right. Over near Whiteman airforce base… I never did find out what a Noster is or why it has a knob.” I sighed and shook my head slowly before shrugging. “I just hope that it confused the aliens too while they were invading. So back to Hatchet. They’re moving up and away from us even now? Has he been drawing them up?” I asked and Reed shook her head.
“He’s only instigated minor hit and run raids on convoys for supplies but they’ve been scattered all across from 135 to 52.” She pointed at the highways on the map. “And they’re already moving past his position. They’ve got a heavy presence and they’re searching the town itself but they aren’t really stopping for long. Oh and he said you wanted to know about anything unusual? Two nights ago in one of the camps the dogs went… as he phrased it. Nuts.” I arched a brow at that and she handed me the radio transcript.
Hatchet reported that the trained dogs in the camp began acting strangely shortly after sunset. They would growl at the woods but wouldn’t bark and often would try to pull their handlers away from the edge of the camp and closer to the center. In fact all the dogs formed a ring at the center of the camp that night and didn’t sleep but kept an alert and vigilant pose as he put it. Several combat patrols were made that night but no contact was made and no trace of Unity hostiles were found. I shook my head as he described their behavior just like Reed said, as nuts. “That was two nights ago? Nothing since?” She shook her head as I rubbed my chin.
“We haven’t had time to properly interrogate the pilot either. We’ve got her down the street in the Hardee’s freezer.” I glanced up at Reed then and frowned trying to place the name.
“Is that… the Arby’s out here?” I asked and it was Reed’s turn to frown before she realized what I meant and shook her head.
“No, Arby’s is just Arby’s. You’re thinking of Carl’s Junior. I forget sometimes you’re from the west coast.” I just groaned a little and sighed.
“Well damn. Earlier Huertas was talking about greasy pepperoni pizza and now I just made myself think of a big fat ham and cheese sandwich. I guess I’m just hungry. Was Carl’s Junior… Hardee’s the one that had that special that was just a big pile of french fries covered in cheese and bacon?” I asked and heard Lewis groan a little.
“Would you stop with the food? I’m hungry too.” Reed smirked then.
“I can help you two with that problem. Even get you a ham and cheese.” She nodded at me before looking over at Jackson. “Sergeant Jackson. Go get some sandwiches from upstairs.” The Sergeant nodded and headed into the back of the bank to get upstairs as she explained. “We’ve been picking up some goodies from the farms around Jeff. Including ham and cheese.”
I was feeling greedy and couldn’t stop myself before asking. “What kind of bread?”
“Rye I think.” I got my hopes up for a moment. “Just the light one. Not marbled.” I let out a disappointed grunt and shrugged.
“I really shouldn’t get my hopes up. But one day. One day I swear I will have a Reuben again.” Reed chuckled as I said that.
“For a west coast boy you always go on about Reubens. You sure you’re not from New York?” I scoffed as she asked that.
“You act like marbled rye and pastrami is somehow exclusive to the east coast, when they got it from eastern Europe so really you’re just denying yourself the culinary splendor that makes up America.” She smirked at that. “Anyway it’s about where you find it. We moved around a lot when I was a kid but I always could find a Jewish or Russian deli with good rye bread. It was so much more flavorful than that enriched white bread crap in the stores.” I thought it over for a moment then and shrugged. “But I guess now all bread has to be pretty fresh. Not like I can just walk into a supermarket and pick up a loaf of Wonder bread.”
“The Unity provisioning centers usually have some form of bread.” Lewis mentioned. “But… I don’t think I ever got anything that wasn’t a few days old and pretty stale.
“Well you’re in for a treat today.” Reed mentioned as Jackson came back out with a brown paper bag. He opened it up and handed me a hot sandwich wrapped in deli paper and I couldn’t help but let out a soft groan.
“Oh it’s hot… Just what I needed after riding 10 miles uphill through the snow.” I started to unwrap my sandwich as Lewis chimed in.
“Sir, it was actually more like 5 miles downhill.” I just glanced over at him while he unwrapped his own sandwich until I caught his attention and he looked at me.
“Lewis, would you like to go back outside in the cold Missouri winter and ride 5 miles uphill and then 5 miles back down? Or would you like to just agree with your commanding officer and eat a hot ham and cheese sandwich?” He stared back at me for a few seconds before quickly raising his sandwich to take a large bite, as if I was about to take it from him. “That’s what I thought.” Was all I said and looked down at my meal. It was warm but not really toasted. Not like I cared. Light rye, thick slabs of ham, and also thick slices of what looked like very pale yellow cheddar. Without mass production and consumer demand cheese had stopped being orange.
As I took a bite I kept it small, not wanting to eat too fast or choke on a big chunk. But I nearly went back on that idea as I could taste how damn fresh it all was. One of the benefits of getting supplies from the local farms.Which made me pause for a moment. But I kept chewing and swallowed before speaking. “How did they get fresh rye at this time of year? It’s late December and there’s no crops growing.” I looked at Reed who frowned and then shrugged.
“I’m… not sure? I’m sure they had some stored away for the bread.” I thought that over for a moment as I looked at my sandwich.
I glanced at Lewis who was still chomping down big mouthfulls of sandwich, then Jackson past him. “Did you have one?” He nodded.
“Yes, sir. Why?”
I looked back to Reed. “Did anyone get sick?” She looked confused and shook her head. “No? Is this a trustworthy farm?” Switching back over I saw Jackson who seemed to catch on.
“Yes, sir it is. They’ve always been good about providing supplies for the resistance. I know the rye crop is over but it’s just a grain. I’m sure they had some stored away for bread like this.” I nodded slowly and then shrugged before dismissing that thought.
“Just an old man being paranoid I guess. Lord knows I’m no farmer.” I sighed as I realized that a life of being a spy master had corrupted me permanently and this was just one of the more minor ways. I went back to taking small manageable bites of my sandwich and then had to keep from spitting some out when I looked over to see Lewis with his cheeks bulging. I choked down my current bite and spoke. “I had no idea you were this hungry Lewis.”
When he looked at me he just tried to say something but all I could hear was a muffled collection of sounds that meant nothing to me. “Well try not to choke to death. I’d hate to train a new orderly.” I looked past Jackson and nodded at him. “More in the bag?”
“Yes, sir. I was warming them up to take over to the guards at the Hardees. Got a thermos of hot soy sludge in there too.” I reached out for the bag then which he handed over.
“I’ll take it over. I need to talk to the prisoner anyway.” Jackson nodded and began to head for the door when I spoke again. “I didn’t ask for an escort sergeant.” He looked back at me then seeming surprised.
“You should have an escort sir. We’re not in a secure camp.” I snorted at that.
“The nearest Unity forces are supposed to be miles away. And we’re in the center of Eldon. We have sentinels on all the roads. You think I’m in danger walking… what, 200 feet?” The Sergeant shrugged.
“I still think you should have an escort sir.” I glanced over at Reed who shrugged so I then copied the movement and shrugged as well.
“Doesn’t hurt I guess. I must really be showing my age for a young man to offer and help me cross the road.” I smiled and he did as well but the lack of laughter cut a bit deeper than I’d figured it would. We headed outside and I shivered a little at the change in temperature once we were outside. “Did you want to talk to me in private? Is that why you felt the need to escort me?” I asked but the sergeant just glanced over and shook his head. Was I really looking that old and feeble these days? I just rode a bike five miles through snowy roads… I shrugged it off then and kept walking.
The old fast food place was ahead of us past yet another gas station. The once bright and colorful signs faded and worn. I could barely make out a sign about some sort of new hamburger with ham on it and snorted a little. One of Jackson’s men nodded to us from the window as we walked around the structure to the entrance. Inside it was still pretty cold, but not nearly as bad as outside. One of them had a fire going inside one of the ovens.
“Brought you guys some chow.” I mentioned and the soldiers approached, thanking me as I handed out the still warm sandwiches followed by the thermos. I took another few bites of my sandwich as I waited for them each to get a cup full of hot soy sludge and then took the thermos as they handed it back. “The prisoner talkative?”
“Lizzie? She answers questions. Doesn’t venture much on her own except complaints.” One of the soldiers answered me. A corporal based on the smiley face patches on his gear. Just how did that start again? I wish I could remember. How much could I not remember today? I frowned a little and tried to clear my head as something caught up with my brain.
“Lizzie? You guys named her Lizzie? As in… Lizzie the lizard?” I asked and they chuckled.
“That’s her name. It’s on her documents.” Jackson informed me.
“She named herself Lizzie?” I asked then and he shrugged.
“Someone named her Lizzie. That’s all I know for sure.” That made me think for a minute as I just shifted and shook my head.
“See this is why I don’t trust the Isoren. Bregnan have names that sound like you’re coughing up phlegm. The Rekanta don’t even have real names that I can tell. They just have their rank and then a number. But Isoren? They have suspiciously human names. I don’t like it.” I shrugged then and headed to the back of the restaurant. The freezer was pretty easy to spot, as was the icepick they were using to keep it locked shut. I removed the ice pick from the handle and opened it up.
Inside was our captured alien pilot. The reptile was bundled up in thermals and a parka, and ski pants and was still shivering visibly when I saw her. She was just standing in the middle of the room shivering and clutching herself in the cold. “Oh hell you look like a popsicle. Come out here.” I waved her forward and the alien quickly stepped out and then feeling the heat from the oven stood in front of it close enough that I thought she might burn herself on it but clearly the alien wanted the heat.
I stepped into the freezer then and noticed it was about as cold as the outside. “Ah right even without power it’s insulated. Probably kept all the heat from the oven out. Sorry about that. I’m the one who told my men to keep you someplace secure. But that’s not necessary now.” I mentioned and closed the freezer door. I glanced over at Jackson and his men clustered around the old counter as I waved them away to give me and the alien some space.
Jackson nodded and motioned for his men to head closer to the front of the seating area. I handed the thermos to Lizzie then. “Soy sludge.” I said simply and she unfastened the cap so quick I thought she might have just ripped it off before she tilted her head back and started to chug it down. I was about to reach out and try to stop her as I saw the steam coming off the dark liquid but even as I heard her whimper she kept drinking until it was all gone. After that she was shivering less but handed the thermos back, her tongue hanging out a bit as she looked to be in pain.
“Burn your tongue?” She nodded at my question and I just sighed. “Wait here.” I set the sandwich bag on the counter along with my own sandwich and walked outside, scooping up a bit of what looked to be clean snow and walked back inside to press it into her hand. “Suck on some of this.”
The alien looked at the snow as if she’d never dealt with it before. Perhaps she hadn’t. Then she put some in her mouth and we stood there in silence as she seemed to work it around before nodding. “Maybe not burn… just felt very hot.”
“Well I’m sure with how you were shivering in there it’s a hell of a temperature difference to suddenly chug hot sludge like that. Are you hungry?” She nodded then and I was about to tear my sandwich in half when I paused. “Can you eat cheese? Dairy?”
She nodded to that as well. “Given treatment after conquest. Is good source for fat. Need more fat. Cold planet.” I smirked a bit at that and finished tearing my sandwich apart to hand her half. She glanced at it, then me and I took a bite of mine before she began to eat what I’d given her. Once more we just stood there, but now we quietly ate our sandwiches. She finished hers first and waited for me to finish before speaking again. “You said needed to be keep secure. No longer?”
“Well, you’re still our prisoner. But your friends didn’t come looking for you like I thought they would. Hell they didn’t even slow down. They just raced off chasing that Chimera of yours.” She eyed me carefully and I knew she didn’t want to talk about that stuff but I was no longer interested in the fast and sloppy route. “Still hungry?” I asked and she looked a bit confused but nodded once more.
I walked back to the counter for the sandwich bag, just one left so I pulled it out and crumpled up the paper bag they’d been in. I tore it in half just like the other and then reached out with half in either hand. “Which one?” I asked and she hesitantly reached for the one in my left. So she favored her right. I was curious if aliens were lefties or righties and so far I’d seen they were mostly righties. The Bregnan at any rate. I wondered if that meant anything.
This time as she ate I spoke. “Do you have any special dietary needs? We take multi-vitamins to make up for certain deficiencies in what food we can get. I can show you what’s in them. I’m not very familiar with Isoren diet.” The alien pilot studied me carefully and shook her head slowly as she chewed, then swallowed before speaking up.
“No… should be fine with human food. Maybe more… mmhhh… plants?”
“Vegetables and fruit?” I ventured which made her nod. “They’re not as easy to come by in the winter. Hence the vitamins. We’ve got lots of those. Before the invasion people were concerned about eating healthy. We had so much food to eat most of it was very tasty but bad for our health in large amounts. But since it tasted so much better we kept eating it.” I chuckled a little but watched the alien to see if there was any reaction.
“This I was told. Seems so strange… before we get too heavy. Too… mmhh.. Fat. They reduce rations. Why did you not simply reduce rations?” That was interesting. So a pilot had rations? The Unity wasn’t starving. Military habit? I’d find out in time.
“We were free to eat what we wanted. We were successful enough to get fruits and vegetables in any season. But… not any more.” I shrugged. “We’ll see if you can take our multi-vitamins.”
She watched me as she ate a bit more of the sandwich and I took a bite of my half, waiting for her to initiate this time. “So… I am prisoner. But you share food with me? You do not bind me?” I nodded at that. “This is… not as I was told.”
“Have you been treated alright?” I asked then.
“Cold… coldest in that… room.” She nodded past me at the freezer. “But past few nights… not hurt. Fed when able… allowed to wear warmth.” She touched the front of her parka with her free hand. “I thought… maybe just waiting until done running. Thought that room was start. A room to freeze me if I did not talk. But you say mistake?” I nodded.
“Just a simple mistake. I told them to keep you secure. And that room is very secure. It’s just… also cold.” I shrugged.
“I thought… punishment. For not answering questions.” I looked over at Jackson and the other three sitting in one of the old booths up front, talking and drinking their cups of soy sludge.
“Did they ask you questions?” When I glanced back at the alien she was shaking her head.
“No.”
“So… why would we be punishing you for not answering questions we didn’t ask you?” The pilot frowned at that and slowly shrugged. I was curious if shrugging like that was natural to them or learned from us. “Well, no more cold rooms. Soon we’ll move to the houses for the day. Not sure how long we’ll be here. If you keep behaving things should go pretty smooth. Then maybe we can send you home when the fighting dies down.” I shrugged and tried to seem non committal but the alien seemed confused.
“Not here now to… barbecue me for information?” I frowned at that and then laughed.
“Grill you? No. No I wanted to make sure you were fed and doing alright. I’ll have questions later. I don’t know much about the Isoren. All the Unity says is you’re faithful servants. Like the Bregnan.” I made sure not to smile when the alien let out a hiss.
“Not like them! They are brutes! No manners! Too aggressive. We are better. More useful. More civilized.” I raised my hands then.
“Hey that’s only what we heard from the Unity. They don’t tell us much.” She got quiet at that and seemed thoughtful. “I’ll talk with you later Lizzie.”
“Wait… that is all? No… questions about Chimera?” She asked and I shook my head.
“Nope. It’s moved on. I’m more interested in you. Your kind. If you need something let them know.” I pointed to the soldiers up front. “If you get cold where they set up for the day tell them. They’ll find you more blankets, or get a fire going. Just tell them.” I nodded and turned to leave, motioning for Jackson who got up from the booth to walk over to me. I stepped outside with him before talking. “You trust your men to watch her?”
He nodded. “Yes sir I do.”
“Good. Tell them to keep a light touch with this one. Treat her well. Be gentle but firm. She can’t just wander off but don’t tie her down. Keep someone up at all times at night to make sure she doesn’t escape but no interrogation, no mistreatment. They’re free to talk to her. But simple questions only. Nothing about Unity forces or their military. Okay?” He nodded once more and I gave his shoulder a pat as he headed back inside to talk to his men.
While he was in there I briefly considered heading back to the bank on my own without him as an escort but figured I’d just wait. Didn’t make sense to possibly annoy him over something so trivial. When he came back outside we went crunching back through the snow towards the bank. “How was the fight for the supermarket crossroads back at Fort Sierra?” I asked then, realizing I hadn’t done much after action work yet since I’d been so busy with the evacuation and then hiding in the woods.
“Surprisingly easy sir. By the time they started to retreat we were well entrenched and Zeus just moved the barrage up along their path. Did we ever get a final count of the hostiles sir?” I shook my head at that.
“No we were moving out of there too quick. Best guess is around a buck twenty.”
“What about our own casualties sir?” That made me sigh softly. Besides hiding out in the woods these last few days I’d also been carving stars into rocks to honor our dead.
“We got off light. Final count was 34 dead. About the same seriously wounded. We caught them by surprise and hit them hard as we could. You know as well as I how poorly the Bregnan do in an ambush. Especially when they’re outnumbered. Their only instinct is to charge. They’re too used to having the upper hand.” He nodded at that. We’d seen them charge head first into kill zones. The Bregnan were not tacticians. They were bred to charge it seemed. So charge they did.
“Sort of sucks to think that even if we always could kill them three to one there might not be enough of us left.” I nodded as he said that. It was a sobering thought. As we approached the bank I saw a third bike stacked next to mine and Lewis’. When we headed inside it wasn’t much of a mystery to see who it belonged to.
“Master Sergeant Felon. Has Sergeant Huertas’ ass managed to recover from his earlier ordeal?” I asked as Felon laughed.
“Yes, sir I do believe he has. At least enough to stop complaining and start eating.” I smirked at that and nodded. “Either way sir I found us a house Lewis, you, and I can camp out in today.” I nodded at that. Felon was more or less my bodyguard when he wasn’t commanding Alpha.
“Alright well let's go take a look then. Major Reed has he told you where we’ll be?” I looked past him at the Major and she nodded.
“It’s down the street a bit. Not too far at all. If I need you or hear anything I’ll send someone down. Plus Lewis has his radio if things require breaking radio silence.” I nodded then and motioned for Lewis who tipped a cup he was holding up to his mouth to quickly gulp the contents before he stepped back outside with Felon and me. Felon got his bike but was just walking it rather than riding it.
“The snow down the street makes it a bit too hard to ride. We didn’t want to drive our trucks further into town in case a Unity patrol rolls down the highway. It’s not too bad though just a few blocks. I’m sure you’ll love it sir. You’ll fit right in.” I frowned as he said that and tried to think about what was down this road.
“You’re not trying to take me to the funeral home are you?” I asked which made him laugh.
“No sir. You’re not dead yet are you?”
“I most certainly am not. Sergeant Jackson thought I looked so old and frail though he did walk me down the street.” I let out a grumpy harumph which made Felon laugh again while we walked our bikes along the old snow covered street. I looked around as we walked along. Past an old church, then a career center, then a fire station, then another church. Looking back I never understood why we had so many churches. Then again why did we have so many gas stations? Everyone liked their own particular brand I guess.
We passed the funeral home and I glanced over at Felon. “We’ve passed a few houses Felon. Where are we going?”
“Just up ahead. Across from that boat.” When he pointed I squinted to see a boat sticking up out of the snow half a block up. It looked like at one point it had been covered in a tarp but the tarp was torn to shreds and the boat itself didn’t look much better. When I saw the house we were approaching I scoffed a little, looking up at it.
“Did you just find the biggest fanciest house in the area?” I asked as I looked up at the big columns out front and the Christmas decorations littered all over the place.
“Yes, Sir I did. I figure the nicer houses are built better. Besides it’s got a fireplace.” He pointed to the chimney.
“They’ve all got fireplaces.” I replied as I waved my arm around the neighborhood. But either way we were soon walking up the path past the little statue in the front yard sticking up out of the snow and up the brick steps to the front door. I knocked and the other two just stared at me for a moment as I sighed. “Old habits.” I repeated again and tried the door which opened with a loud ominous horror movie creak. But inside was dark and quiet.
“Anyone home?” I called out but got no reply so I knocked my boots against the door frame to try and knock most of the snow off and stepped inside. To the right in the corner was the skeletal remains of a Christmas tree. I sighed heavily as I saw the presents arrayed around the bottom. Still wrapped, but now covered in dust and dead Christmas tree.
“You always call that out when we enter an old house like this.” Felon mentioned as he stepped past me. “Has anyone ever answered?”
“Not yet.” I replied with a shrug.
“Look at this one.” Lewis pointed at one of the presents which was very sloppily wrapped. Whoever had covered it looked like they’d used one giant piece and just wrapped the boxy contents in it, folding it at odd angles and using a giant piece of tape to hold it all in place. Felon picked it up.
“Ah shit… it’s just made out to dad.” I shook my head slowly then as I walked further into the house, glancing at the pictures at the walls. The people were smiling and happy. Were any of them still alive?
“Open it.” Lewis was saying behind me.
“What?”
“Open it. They clearly aren’t coming back for it.” I heard the tearing of wrapper paper followed by Felon’s surprised gasp.
“No way!” I looked back and frowned as I tried to see what the box was he had in his hands. “It’s the complete blu-ray set! The original trilogy, the prequels, and the new stuff! Look!” He held the box out towards me. “It’s the one with the unmolested original trilogy at that!” I arched a brow as I tried to piece that together.
“Unmolested?”
“Yeah you know, like it was originally aired! Without all that bullshit CGI stuff they added later. Thanks George.” He muttered that last phrase sarcastically.
“Are the stand alones on there?” I asked but he shook his head.
“Nah just the core.”
“Well it’s still not a bad find.” I replied before seeing Lewis’ confused face. “Wait… you’ve got no idea what we’re talking about do you?” He just shrugged and I began to look around. “Leo see if the power still works. Lets find the TV. Lewis here hasn’t seen this glorious masterpiece of science fantasy before! We need to correct that.” Felon snapped off a salute to that.
“Sir yes sir!” He said before heading deeper into the house, the boxset held tight in his hands as if he was afraid he’d lose it.
“Lewis head back up to the general store and requisition us snacks. Lots and lots of snacks. You’ve got…” I tried to do some mental math. “Somewhere between 18 and 24 hours of movies for us to get through.”
“What?” He stood there looking even more confused at me. “But… aren’t you worried about Unity or… planning our next move or something?” I was about to reply when there was a loud clack from somewhere in the back and the lights flickered to life around us. So I just lifted my hands to the ceiling,
“It’s Christmas Lewis and we’ve just been handed a miracle! So go get some food and prepare yourself for a spectacle of Hollywood entertainment! You’ve missed out on some of our finest cinema! It’s time to correct that and show you some of what we’re fighting for!” He snorted at that.
“Movies? I think fighting for our freedom is pretty damn important sir.”
“It most certainly is. And that includes our freedom to make movies! So get.” I waved him out the door and then went to find Felon and the house’s TV. I knew I was being a bit selfish, especially with Unity forces just a few miles down the road. But if they headed our way Reed would warn me. And I couldn’t remember the last time I’d sat down and just watched a movie. Maybe this Christmas wasn’t going to be so bad.
Next Chapter
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