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WhiskeyGrinder's Journal
WhiskeyGrinder's Journal
December 14, 2018

O'Rourke doesn't know if he's a progressive.


Rejecting labels makes it easy for people to project what they want to see on you, for better and for worse.
December 6, 2018

When Feminism is Met with Violence: The Ecole Polytechnique Massacre (Dec. 6, 1989)


Dec. 6 is a solemn day for Canadians. It’s the anniversary of the largest mass shooting in modern Canadian history, perhaps the largest mass shooting in Canada or the U.S. that explicitly targeted women. Most Americans probably don’t know about the Montreal Massacre, as it has become known. But given several deadly attacks on women by self-avowed misogynists in the past year alone — and how quickly those murders slipped away from the front page and from public memory — this year’s anniversary carries special weight, no matter which side of the Canada/U.S. border you’re on.

In 1989, 25-year-old Marc Lépine stormed into an engineering class at the École Polytechnique in Montreal with a semiautomatic hunting rifle he’d obtained legally. He ordered all the men to leave before shooting the women, six of whom died before help arrived.

From there, Lépine stalked the school’s hallways and cafeteria. In the end, he killed a total of 14 women and injured 10 more (plus four men caught in the crossfire), before turning the gun on himself.

In the days, weeks and years following the attack, the question of whether it was anti-feminist became a point of contention.

Rest in Power:

Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), mechanical engineering student

Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student

Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student

Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student

Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student

Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student

Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique's finance department

Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student

Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student

Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student

Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student

Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student

Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student

Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student
December 2, 2018

"Extremely not looking forward to when Trump dies and..."

Extremely not looking forward to when Trump dies and we get a million “It turned out he was a great man, at least compared to President Duggar” takes.

Ed Burmilla, Gin and Tacos, on Facebook

December 1, 2018

Bush wanted to show America what crack cocaine looked like at his first Oval Office address.

tl;dr: A high schooler was lured to the WH to sell crack and spent 7+ years in prison, so that the President could make a point on TV.


President George Bush wanted to show America what crack cocaine looked like at his first Oval Office address on Sept 5, 1989. He wanted to show you could even buy crack in front of the White House. That’s how bad the crisis had gotten. That’s how Bush announced his War on Drugs.

But there wasn’t much crack sold near the White House. As a U.S. Park Police official explained, "We don't consider that a problem area…There's too much activity going on there for drug dealers."

Easy solution: invite someone to sell crack outside the White House!

The DEA caught wind of Bush’s plan and they set about arranging a deal for Lafayette Square across from the White House. DEA agents planned to lure someone there to sell them a small amount of crack. Later a WH official claimed no one requested the DEA make the purchase.

On August 31, DEA Special Agent Sam Gaye was approached by his boss and asked if he could make a crack purchase across from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The DEA’s first choice ended up not showing up, so agents went to work on a second choice. That was Keith Jackson, an African American resident of Anacostia and 19 year old high school senior who agents had been in contact with for months.
Jackson + Bush lived in the same city, but they lived worlds apart. DC was deeply segregated, two-thirds Black, but a city where most whites cloistered in the NW corner.

The halls of power in the fed govt were shut off to most Black DC residents, too.

“Where the fuck is the White House” Jackson asked in a secretly recorded call with an undercover DEA agent.

That’s how segregated DC was.

The Agent had to explain the location to Jackson, who eventually replied, “Oh, you mean where Reagan lives."

Agents lured Jackson to Lafayette Square where they made the small purchase from him, but didn’t arrest him, on September 1.
On September 5, President Bush held up the bag of crack on national TV. "This is crack cocaine...seized a few days ago in a park across the street from the White House . . . . It could easily have been heroin or PCP."

Without getting too deep into the details, Bush’s central point was this: “we need more jails, more prisons, more courts and more prosecutors.”

DEA agents had decided not to immediately arrest Jackson. Not sure why, but it seems that they thought the story of a White House drug bust would make the news and undercut the drama of the President’s address.

DEA agents worried Jackson would see the address and hear Bush discussing the Lafayette Square purchase and flee. But they were happy to learn that Jackson “had absolutely no idea what went on” with the national address, and they easily arrested him after the speech.

Many applauded Bush’s story of the arrest, but Kevin Zeese, a defense atty specializing in drug cases, didn't. "It's disgusting...The situation is not bad enough that they have to create a false situation? It's the government creating a hoax so they can rev up the war effort."

Keith Jackson was charged and then tried two times his senior year, once in December 1989 and again in January 1990, both times ending in hung juries.

Prosecutors tried him a third time and finally got a conviction in September 1990.

At sentencing, “U.S. District Judge Stanley Sporkin told Jackson, who had no prior criminal record, that he regretted having to impose the sentence of 10 years without parole. At the same time, Sporkin urged Jackson, 19, to ask Bush for a commutation.” (Washington Post, 10/01/90)

Sporkin: "He used you, in the sense of making a big drug speech," said Sporkin, former CIA general counsel appointed to court by President Reagan in 1986. "But he's a decent man, a man of great compassion. Maybe he can find a way to reduce at least some of that sentence."

Sporkin apparently thought 10 years was too harsh, but regretted, "I've got to follow the law."" Congress had recently passed a new mandatory minimum law as part of the Anti-Drug Abuse of 1988. (WP, 10/01/90)

Bush never commuted his sentence.

According to one historian, Jackson served almost 8 years for the sale in four different prisons until being released on August 5, 1998.

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