Rich Lowry: The 'swift-boating' of Bowe Bergdahl

As the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap has curdled from presumed triumph to public-relations nightmare, the White House and its defenders have cast about for excuses why the administration's negotiating brilliance has gone unappreciated.

White House staffers told NBC's Chuck Todd that they were taken aback at the "swift-boating" of Bergdahl by his former comrades. That's a reference to the attacks on John Kerry when he was the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee by the troops he served with in Vietnam.

Rightly understood, swift-boating shouldn't be a pejorative — it's what happens when men in uniform feel betrayed by a comrade and tell the public what they believe to be the truth about his service. But for Democrats and the media, swift-boating is about the most heinous thing that can happen to someone.

Bowe Bergdahl thus joins Kerry as a victim of a partisan smear campaign — except, unlike the secretary of state, Bergdahl doesn't have any prestigious medals to throw away (or pretend to throw away) at an anti-war protest.

Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, tweeted, "Really sad to watch Obama haters attack this kid who CHOSE to fight to protect the rest of us, just to score political points."

On CNN, Van Jones said that "the airwaves are being filled mysteriously with former solders just trashing the guy." Ah, but it's not so mysterious, after all. "It turns out," Jones intoned, "that there are Republican operatives who are working behind the scenes to get some of those guys on television. This is an orchestrated smear campaign."

He was alluding to former Republican official Richard Grenell putting a few of the troops together with journalists. Evidently, these guys should have waited until former White House spokesman Robert Gibbs offered to hook them up, and otherwise kept to themselves their silly stories about what they went through in Afghanistan after Bergdahl's disappearance.

More than half a dozen of Bergdahl's former comrades have said he deliberately walked off his base in 2009 after becoming disillusioned with the war, and that soldiers were killed looking for him.

Let's stipulate that — given the fog of war — these accounts might exaggerate the harm done by Bergdahl's disappearance. But there is no doubt that they are sincere, and the anger is real. What are the odds that Bergdahl happened to get assigned to a platoon full of highly politicized soldiers who waited years for the opportunity to use the circumstances of his capture as a cudgel against President Barack Obama?

As the pseudonymous blogger Allahpundit points out, if there are comrades who will vouch for Bergdahl, or were witnesses to him being snatched while lagging behind on patrol (as Bergdahl maintained in a video after his capture), we would presumably have heard from them by now.

The conspiracy against Bergdahl is so vast that it encompasses Afghan villagers. Some of them told The Washington Post that they saw Bergdahl after he walked away from his base, heading for Taliban strongholds and ignoring their warnings that he was in danger.

None of this necessarily means that the trade for Bergdahl was wrong, or that we shouldn't have wanted him back. But it makes the deal harder to defend, which is why the initial White House spin about Bergdahl was so positive — until the facts got in the way. He went from serving with "honor and distinction," per National Security Adviser Susan Rice's initial assurances on the Sunday shows, to "innocent until proven guilty," per Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey's comment about a potential court-martial, in the space of about three days.

The top Taliban officials released from Guantanamo Bay to get Bergdahl back were last seen hugging and kissing supporters in Qatar, where they are supposed to be watched for a year. Even the president admits that they could return to the fight. Huffy complaints about swift- boating and partisanship aren't going to put the questions about this deal to rest.

Rich Lowry is a syndicated columnist. He can be reached via e-mail at:

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Anger is real

That' s all that counts isn't it. If you can manufacture outrage then facts don't matter and neither does the law. If this soldier had had to wait for a gridlocked Congress that hasn't done anything in years to approve his rescue then he may as well have joined the Taliban. I find it more than a little suspicious that his fellow soldiers who have all these stories to tell about him were marched to pre arranged press conferences by a group of Republican Senators whose sole accomplishment so far in their careers has been to create embarrassment for Obama. Could they possibly have been bribed or coached? There is no proof but who needs evidence when accusations are flying around. He was tortured according to his doctors and it was not because of his political views or his notions about the morality of war it was because of his uniform. For that alone he deserved to be rescued. As for the traded Taliban, they will probably go back to trying to take over Afghanistan. They have been fighting since before the Reagan administration to get foreigners out of their country. That has been their stated goals all along. When our soldiers leave they will probably declare victory and turn to political aims.


"If you can manufacture

"If you can manufacture outrage..." Sounds like what you are doing. You're acting on suppositions; i.e. ""marched to prearranged press conferences by a group of Republican Senators" (yada, yada, yada), "bribed or coached", "no proof but who needs evidence" (you don't have any more proof or evidence than the rest of us) and "tortured according to his doctors." (Were they there, were we there? No. They are probably going on what Bergdahl is saying or not saying. And, who knows--maybe Bowe thought he could fight for a different cause and became disenchanted. Until there is credible data and "evidence, we will not know what happened.

RONALD RIML's picture

The Madness of War.......

Bowe Bergdahl walked away from his perimeter..... And Obama and Rich Lowry believe we should remain in Afghanistan - where no 'Power' has succeeded before.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Or simply madness of this

Or simply madness of this administration.

Are you going to step up and adopt one of the refugees Obama is letting flood into this country?


So Mark...

You're 100% Native or Meso American, right?

Because if you're not, you're either an immigrant or the son/grandson of immigrants. That means your family at one point took land that was settled by other peoples who had more right than yours did and introduced disease, booze, horses, and armed conflict because they vilified the natives who lived here.

And why did your ancestors vilify the natives? Simply because they decided they inherently had more rights, were more human, had more entitlements to what didn't belong to them, and refused to reach out to a different culture and try understanding something foreign to them....

Seems the apple didn't fall far.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

None of my ancestors where

None of my ancestors where here during that period of history, so no they did not do those things you outline nor are they responsible for what others have done.

Hence, the seed of my apple was not present. Don't assume.


But you're here....

Which means you and your family profited on it and you've turned around to inflict the same narrow-minded thinking onto others.

Good for you. I shall throw imaginary confetti to go with your imaginary world where everyone looks like you and talks like you and walks like you and has the color of your skin and the religion of your choosing and the economic background you do.

What a world that would be. If everyone was just . like . you. . . . . . . . . . . .

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I have never profited off

I have never profited off mistreating others. Yes, it is good for me to realize that no one defines me expect myself. In other words, I embrace personal responsibility, and I don't let people who lived in another time or in another place define me.

I reject your liberal crap; keep imagining liberalism is good while the world passes you by and leaves you begging to your messiah called government.

RONALD RIML's picture

I've already adopted two orphans

What about you????

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I paid over $100K in taxes

I paid over $100K in taxes last year. I supported thousands government teat suckers.



That's awesome! And I mean that. It takes someone special to adopt a child of any background, but it takes an extra amount of love to adopt a child from a culture different than yours.

And don't mind Marky over there, he's feeling a bit threatened that his WASP ideologies are being threatened.... hates immigrants, the poor, loves corporate welfare and abuses. Probably very anti-women's reproductive rights (because ...oooh we're frightening when we have equal autonomy!), dancing and skirts that show the ankles. I bet gays scare the heck out of him too. One of those undoubtedly wrath of god type people, considering he says the poor deserve what they get--and if they don't like it, they should up and move. . . .

Unfortunately for him, the world is moving toward a global progression where all people are treated equal. To be fair, change is often frightening for some people because it forces them to step out of their self-imposed box and see the world for what it is. It forces people to value differences and not just similarities, and to listen with an open heart instead of shutting one's mind down. It can be a very scary concept if you're not used to it. I guess it's good that Maine hasn't achieved anything near true diversity, and certainly not on the levels that Los Angeles (where I'm from) has. Poor guy might have a heart attack---if his posts say anything about him.

It is sad to read that much hate and chosen ignorance coming from one person though... But not everyone puts themselves out there--or uses Google.

RONALD RIML's picture

Thank you for your kind words, RIL'RIIA KIL'URDEN

We do love Markey as Buddha tells us, even as he transmigrates into a Dung Beetle for his next 35 reincarnations. Buddha indeed has good plans for Marky's wealth for people who can truly benefit from it!

So what are you doing in Lewiston?? I moved away from there 15 years ago. I used to live near Chicago for the longest......but came up to Lewiston for awhile to get their "9-1-1 Emergency Dispatch System" modernized......

You've certainly got Mark figurted out!!! ;)

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Actually being a Dung Beetle

Actually being a Dung Beetle would allow me to capitalize on all the BS you and your envious friends produce.

I can turn a profit in any environment. I guess that is why you have been signing your checks on the back all your life, and I sign mine on the front - a task you could never achieve because your envy is self limiting.



What kind of stupid statement is that Mark? Seriously Markey... Envious of Ronald? Nope. Love his humor, and I look forward to his comments, but envious?

And if you meant that I'm envious of you.... babydoll, you couldn't and would not put in the hard work I've put in to build my life. I have a beautiful home and peer recognition for my work. I have national honors recognition, which coming from the childhood I did..... amazing. I have the love of my Second Chosen Family, which is a huge honor in itself because I am so blessed and fortunate to know people who are not just amazing; but people who inspire me as well. Considering the very real possibility that I could have died as a homeless teen on the streets of Los Angeles---which ... so many kids I knew did .... the fact that I earned this.

 photo certificate.jpg

This wasn't handed to me. My life was not handed to me. I fought and kicked and screamed and bled for the right to do what you take for granted; to live.

And the fact I'm drowning in student debt merely helps prove it.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

How much of this suffering,

How much of this suffering, such as student loans, was form making the wrong choices?

1. Zero - NO
2. All - no
3. Some - absolutely, now the question is how much.

Lastly, all people have struggles. I admire those who overcome, but don't wear the scares on their sleeve.

There is a message here.


Okay Mark...

I don't wear my scares on my sleeve. I open my life up for transparent inspection, including my scars, in order to help others. Too many people are drowning and struggling and won't step out of their shells due to a myriad of reasons from being embarrassed over their situation to feeling horrible about themselves because people like you tell them they should.

I display my pain and my suffering --and my achievements despite all the barriers-- to show people like you who arrogantly try to qualify people into your narrow thinking, and use it to quantify why services or outreach or whatever is needed and how said outreach enables people to pull themselves up.

By the way, you haven't commented on my citation and documentation. You wanted it on corporate greed, I gave you the data on Wally World. You wanted it on national poverty levels, I gave it to you in spades.

Where is the data backing what you're saying?


Oh hey Markey

Uhm care to rephrase that question ... in the form of a grammatical question that makes some form of sense so it can be answered in its completion?

Well I don't know how much form student loan suffering causes the average person, only that every time I fill out my student loan re-verification sheets, I do get a headache...

We're gonna take a really good example of addiction. My own. I'm addicted to generic Excedrin because I have a back injury. Oh don't get me wrong, this isn't a heroin scale addiction, which I know nothing about and cannot personally comment on, but still.

I take about 15 a day, more with the weather or if I exceed what I should be doing because life takes precedent. I keep count because I buy them over the counter in 2pk bottles of 100 count each. The bottles say that I'm taking more in a day then a person should take in a 3 month period. I can tell you what it's doing to my liver and kidneys, and my stomach. But it's better than an opiate. Being informed as I am about what I ingest, I can tell you it's got 250mg Aspirin, 250mg Acetaminophen, 65mg Caffeine per pill.

That means that when I take myself off of it every few months (again being the responsible person I am) to make sure I'm not becoming immune(er) as my body gets use to the dosage and medication, I have one heck of a whopping headache and feel the pain far more acutely. To the degree that I was hospitalized during one of my med checks when my back gave out and my legs collapsed--I was changing a DVD in my player. (I have cracked vertebrae and one fractured with a ton of nerve and muscle damage. These things happen...) But it's worth it because one of my greatest fears is becoming an addict, which is why I steadfastly refuse narcotics in favor of physical therapy (to the amusement and support of my doctors). Nausea is common, and it's a full week of fun in the sun....

I can well imagine how terrible it must be for people on narcotics to come off. But you add to that the nature of addiction; the manipulation where people manipulate as easily as are manipulated, lies, the stigma that you're automatically an evil person who wanted to be an addict as a child. Add to that the inherent Jerry Springer type drama because like usually attracts like, and the inherent poverty. Tack on a lower expectation for anything remotely like hope for a better future, and then put them in a place that has few job options or avenues to improve their lives. Add to that the normal lack of education that follows through, pregnancy or fatherhood at a young age, etc., etc. and you have one heck of a bloody mess to deal with.

So you're right Mark, there is a message here, and the message is that the system is failing these folks and we need better, more positive community solutions to deter people from drugs. Better accountability for doctors and the medical profession. We need to take a hard look at pharmaceutical companies and stop pushing this idea that everyone everywhere is supposed to be happy and well adjusted---and we have to take a look at the economic and educational opportunities and make sure they are in place so these folks can become or be trained to be functioning and health members of society.

But .... it's easier just to blame them isn't it?


haha Whoops!

Wrong forum for the narcotics post.

RONALD RIML's picture

Marky's addicted to Mammon

We know what that's turned him into.........

And I'd be envious of it/hm? Bwa-hhaaa-HA!!!



...that whole 'net principle of 'don't feed the trolls' is wrong. I love smacking him down. He's trying to cozy up to McDonald's assertions that the poor are to blame for Lewiston's ghettofication and not the slum lords and factories closing.... Yeah right. He also keeps opening the door for me to strengthen my points and provide documentation!!!! LMAO! It's brilliant actually!

Dung beetle.... wow you're nice. I actually had the opportunity to get super colorful with a guy who lamented on the Glenn Beck show that he couldn't use certain words denoting race and orientation without getting a backlash. I had already challenged this guy to an art contest because he's a graphic designer who .... should really pawn his computer and all related technology. Naturally he never responded, but I did get the rare pleasure of demonstrating how many ways one could swear, under the 1st Amendment, without referring once to qualifiers like race or whether someone is gay (which is really childish anyway). Since I'm still feeling the fuzzy afterglow of being terribly creative in my slurring, I can think of other far more ... interest things to condemn Markey to.

What I can't figure out is a good nickname for him. I keep trying to bridge "immigrant" or "hater" with Markey and ... it doesn't flow right. I'm very disappointed with myself.

I am here Sir, quite by accident. I was sold on a bad forensic computing program at CMCC at the Associate's level and it was only after I got here and invested thousands of dollars that I realized while Intro to PC Repair was using Win 7 (now Win 8), Forensics was using XP...., and Networking was using XP.....and so I changed my major to the standard Crim Justice A.S. so I could (hopefully) walk away with a degree that's worth the paper it's printed on. Supposedly CMCC was the only school on the East Coast to offer the classes I needed at the Associate's level..... le sigh

Now I'm working with Clean Elections and pulled a 10 hour poll shift for safe and clean housing on top of that. And I'm determined to kick a progressive roundhouse into Lewiston's teeth. I want to start a number of pro-social programs running the gamut from sex ed (because ................... yeah) to strengthening housing on all levels and networking landlords/tenants to even getting businesses on board because that's how we're gonna build the infrastructure back up. I mean literacy programs, budgeting and finances, expanding the Adult Ed GED program here and making sure the ...don't laugh when I say the term... public transportation system here can get people into productive roles in life. This summer, I'm going to be out and about because I'm working with MPA to get 5000 residents of Androscoggin Co registered to vote.

It was either that or concuss myself with a perpetual facepalm while I bide my time. And while I'm not doing all of that, I play Skyrim in the summer because I can't find any good D&D groups, because I'm one of those geek goddesses.

How are you liking Maine?


RIL'RIIA KIL'Urden--You are a

RIL'RIIA KIL'Urden--You are a ray of sunshine. I'm sure you can come up with a better name for "Marky" other than what he calls himself--"America's Mr. Right." I look forward to further comments from you.


Thank you Carolyn!

I have very much enjoyed your comments too! It's nice to see someone else from Lew that stands up and says "we're not crap Mr. Mayor--despite what you want to think" and refuses to be a whipping post for government officials who have an elitist attitude.

And you do so in a very intelligent and thoughtful way too. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

You'll probably see me out and about this summer. I have four months off from school and 5000 people to register to vote. I'm fairly easy to spot, I'm the strange person in the corsets who looks like she stepped out of a Victorian gothic novel most days. (Which is funny, I'm not goth.) I also wear 'hippy' clothes, and if I have to wear t-shirts, they're either geek related or redress ones like Anonymous' Guy Fawkes or Ben Franklin quote shirts. Please feel free to say hi!

People like Markey there have caused me to be very socially selective, but it would be nice to know some folks here!

And yeah, I have plenty of other nicknames I can give him. Very few I can print, according to the Sun Journal.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Like a pupet on a string

I'm flattered that you make this discussion all about me instead of the topic at hand

America's Mr. F. N. Right

MARK GRAVEL's picture

"I love smacking him down.

"I love smacking him down. "

Certainly, you must be talking about straw men because that is all that I see you playing with here. Your straw men will better serve you in the garden than your bedroom.


Mark I just choked

...on my cigarette with laughter. Thank you, I think.

Uhm wow guy. I mean your ego. Just wow. See you're one of those people who shout hate as fact. You want things to be the way you want them, and because you cannot and will not *EVER* see outside your box, that's the way they are and anything that could remotely counter that is obviously wrong and made up of slander and lies and .... lies and ... slander.

Never mind those pesky things called 'facts'. Never mind that stuff called 'hard unbiased data' that gets in the way. And never mind that you're talking about HUMAN BEINGS WHO HAVE AS MUCH RIGHT TO LIFE AND LIBERTY AS YOU AND YOUR ANCESTORS DO/DID---according to our Constitution. And guess what? Since you're not a colonial family, whereas my maternal family was and my paternal family was here in the Civil War, I'm pulling rank and telling you that your immigration status is now revoked---if only to raise the collective IQ of the US by 20 points...

The funny thing is that I never realized my maternal family coming here as indigent Irish slaves was ever a good thing---until now.

Oh and honey, you're living proof why I refuse to date guys from Maine and have been celibate by choice for four years this August. I don't date low brow baby. Try again.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Address a few points

1. "I mean your ego" Don't confuse ego with self-confidence. People with low self esteem and low confidence commonly make that characterization.

2. "You want things to be the way you want them" Not really. I want you to peruse what is important to you. However, I don't want you to look to me and others to fund your vision. I have libertarian views, live your life and let me live mine. Don't ask me to pay for your utopian policies that are proven failures. How many times do people need to make the same policy mistakes? For example, Lewiston continues to make failed policy discussion because it cannot "think outside the box". Case in point, section 8 subsidies and blight go hand-in-hand.

3. "I'm pulling rank and telling you that your immigration status is now revoked" There you go again with a idea you cannot implement. Picture me giving you the bird.

4. Smoking demonstrates your propensity to make wise life choices - or not.



1) Egotism is not confidence. Confidence is when you simply know you can achieve something or are in a state of being without puffing up like a peacock, demeaning or repressing others, or otherwise trying to raise yourself above all others at their expense.

A lack of ego (i.e. humility) allows for a person to develop something called 'compassion' Markey. Compassion is the state of being where you can look at people in pain or suffering and empathize, and empathy allows for something called 'critical thinking'. Critical thinking allows you to take a hard look at all the problems leading to the suffering of individuals; including what they may be doing wrong (which is why I help build better tenants with the Neighborhood Housing League), which leads to a concept called 'trouble shooting'. Trouble shooting Markey, and stay with me because I know these might be alien concepts based on your non sequitur logic, lets you creatively problem solve those problems causing suffering in a way that creates lasting resolution.

2) You certainly do want people to live like you and be like you. Your posts prove it---and in order to prove my point, I'll let anyone interested look up your posts and read YOUR WORDS where you DEMAND people live up to your expectations.

Then I'll point that you fund corporate and political welfare that does more damage to this country than personal assistance..... So again, you're guilty of faulty logic.

3) You say you have more right than immigrants based on the fact your family is here and established. Well, I'm more established than you are, therefore you now know what it's like to be told you're not welcome.

Doesn't feel too good does it? And your middle finger is exactly what someone of your caliber is expected to do. I'd say I'm offended or hurt or about to cry, but I'd be lying. But I hate liars.

4) Do you drive? You put more toxins into my body than I do. My food is banned in 23 countries, which puts more toxins into my body (judging from my three cancer scares or incidents not related to smoking). My makeup has carcinogenic chemicals in it (that means 'cancer'), orange soda has flame retardant chemicals, and my entertainment center came with a formaldehyde covering and a warning telling me not to inhale the wood flakes when I put it together---due to cancer.

So seriously, get over yourself and your anti-smoking message. Until you stop driving and start fighting the cancer causing issues that extend beyond the easy targets smokers are, your argument is invalid.

....Which is par for the course with you, isn't it?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

"Egotism is not confidence"

"Egotism is not confidence"

Judging someone you have not met is human. I forgive you.



You should try living by your own stated standards, because you're the one spewing hate at an entire city of people you haven't met.

Seriously Mark, the more you post, the more stupid you appear. The more you type, the more elitist you appear. The more you comment, the more out of touch with anything akin to reality you appear. And the more you spew your baseless ideologies, the more clearly you show you are simply an internet troll who probably got kicked off of FaceBook and decided to come here so you could feel good about talking down about people and making accusations about people YOU DON'T KNOW.

Try practicing what you preach before you preach.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I have. 1. Worked to put

I have.

1. Worked to put myself through college.
2. Eat beans and rice for several years because I was poor.
3. Grew may own vegetables because I was poor.
4. Traded work for rent because I was poor.
5. Focused on climbing the economic ladder because I was poor
6. After 30 years, I'm no longer poor.
7. Never accepted government assistance, never knew if I qualified.

RONALD RIML's picture

And forgot every damn thing he learned when/if he was poor.....

in money.....

Still a Pauper in Soul & Spirit.


Oh hey Ronald?

If you know anyone, particularly folks displaced by the fires, who need home stuff or clothes, please let me know. I have a fair amount of stuff in my garage. I just finished redoing my apartment after bringing my stuff from an out of state storage unit last year.

This is the third and final round of the main donations clearing! I have called everyone from Habitat For Humanity to 100 Pine Street (who stopped taking donations due to roaches) and no one has a truck to haul it. I'd rather not have the Salvation Army pick it up. Their pricing has changed over the last five years and I just can't see selling this stuff to people who can't afford food. Everything's gently used and pest/vermin free (unless you possibly count the spiders in the garage). All the clothing and blankets were washed prior to putting them down there, but they do probably smell like garage by now. They've been down there for as much as three months and as recently as .... two days ago when I found some more to add.

The contents range from blankets and clothes to videos to a table and two chairs, Christmas stuff to entertainment centers and end tables, and ... household items. Not dishes because my extra dishes went in the first round of donating or were donated to a homeless shelter in Pittsburgh PA directly so I didn't have to transport them and re-resort them. The dining table is a beast by the way, and I cannot lift it myself. But it is solid enough to withstand a direct hit from the Death Star and still hold Thanksgiving dinner.

If you know anyone interested, have them connect with me over FB or let me know on FB and I'll give you my cell number. I can even send you pics so they can see. Oh and the wrought iron candelabra rescue was from a thrift store, but it needs to be re-bent into shape, which I haven't had the money to pay the New England School of Metal Working to do.

Being a lover of wrought iron, I'm known for picking up $2 pieces I can't actually use, even if they need work.....

And personally, I'm glad to be back to where I can go through my clothes as the donation items again.... So much easier to move! lol!


And I....

Worked and pumped money into a political system set up to help me if something bad happened and put me into a position where I could not help myself. A system that kicked me down rather than help me. A system that forced the elitist ideology of people like you unto me---people like you who told me no matter how much I worked or how much good I did, I was never up to your standards.

Well screw you and your standards Mark, because if I don't live up to your standards, you can lower them....

And FYI, I was working 80 hours a week and have documented work history of working three jobs at the same time AND have had offers of promotions at EVERY jobs I have held. Unfortunately when you're unable to do more than crawl to the bathroom by your hands because your legs don't work (which is called 'paralysis'), retail and manufacturing are somewhat out of the question.

And by the way, I was told by DHHS that because I wasn't a minority, pregnant, or on drugs, I couldn't get help. So what were you saying Mr. Elitism?

Yet another logic fail, try again.

 photo elrondsfacepalm.jpg

MARK GRAVEL's picture

"Worked and pumped money into

"Worked and pumped money into a political system set up to help me if something bad happened and put me into a position where I could not help myself. "

At least you are adult enough to admit your motives. Something Mr. Riml cannot do. I always say that people are looking out for self. It is human nature, so don't deny it.

That is why people like you and Ronald want to use the force of government to steal money from those who earned it and transfer the money to yourself.

I must look out for myself and stop you from being successful.

It is really that simple.

America's Mr. F. N. Right

RONALD RIML's picture


You've been waiting for me to admit 'Self Preservation?'

I loved working in the Navy and Police - they were admirable careers. And I got to fugg with idiots like you and help those who needed it.

Just how freaking stupid are you????

MARK GRAVEL's picture

First, I have no delusions

First, I have no delusions that the manner in which I or others earn a living is any more or less prestigious than anyone else's.

I'm sure you loved your work, just as I love my work. What is the point?

I can say that I have noticed a behavioral trait in many active and retired Police officers. They don't like it when they are not controlling the situation. They don't like it when someone stands up to them and speaks candidly about topics, and at times challenges them. They don't like it when people point out where they are wrong.

The presences of name calling in your response is witness to my assertion.

People need to reconcile with the demon within that others think differently. They don't have to march to the tune of your morality. That is okay. I'm comfortable with that though; it does not frighten me. That is where I draw my confidence. That is what sets me apart from others.

America's Mr. F. N. Right (again)

RONALD RIML's picture

I relish the fact I no longer have to control situations...

Which is why I rarely, if ever, carried an off-duty weapon when employed - and certainly have no 'gun-lust' now as so many insecure folks do.....

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I understand that is a

I understand that is a necessary behavior. I'm just pointing out that some individuals are better at separating on-duty and off-duty lives.

By the way, I'm just truing that observation, which is true, back on you to yank your chain, as if you did not know.


'Truing' is not a word

....Just saying Mark.


Okay, for the record

There are 37 people in the US named Mark Gravel, and the only one in Maine to list under anything comes up with Mark's replies to the Sun Journal or Bangor Daily News. . . .

Moreover, this is a copy of the letter of complaint that I sent to the Sun Journal (have a nice day Mark, game over):

To Whom It May Concern,

Hi, I'd like to report a user named MARK GRAVEL who is abusive on your forums and attacks people personally.

I noticed that yesterday and started responding to his suppositions and stances, ignoring or debunking his attacks at me or other people. They have gotten progressively vicious and now include multiple attacks against me based on gender. His slurs have also included my sexual habits (which is kinda funny since I'm celibate), and are just beyond everything remotely akin to good taste.

I have sought to keep and bring the conversations back to relevant topics, but the progression .... I won't tolerate it anymore and he needs to find some form of small creature to kick because according to your TOS, I don't have to take this.

If you look at the time/date stamps, you'll see that he starts the mud slinging off in a conversation with Ronald Rilm.

It also extends to other forums on your sites, and I would appreciate it if you'd take a look at his comments via his profile please.

Thank you for your time and consideration!

Ril'riia Kil'urden

Phi Theta Kappa - Alpha Phi X
Political/Social Activist proudly supporting the Occupy and Anonymous movements



As I just pointed out to the Lewiston Sun Journal's website content editor, you are actually the one who started the personalized mud slinging--whereas I have been commenting on your points and how you are obviously not a credible source of information on this or any other topic.

So please, continue bashing me based on my gender. We'll see if the SJ's folks decide whether or not it's appropriate and falls in line with their TOS. Time date stamps Markey......

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Knowing that smells do not

Knowing that smells do not traverse the internet (a known fact), that smell must be coming from a yeast infection.

See, I can play the insult game too. Is that what you want? Just remember, I'm will not be incumbered by any moral boundaries.

RONALD RIML's picture

Eew... You got burned bad....

....then you make the acquaintance His Rapaciously Repulsive Majesty.

Good for you that you're young, energetic, and an idealist - Lewiston could be very fertile ground. Back at you later....


Ronald, you know you just...

...gave Markey the acronymned nickname HRRM.... which is the sound I make when I don't understand something.

That's soooo fitting!!!!! Ooh priceless! Thank you! And I look forward to further discourse.

It's actually not idealism. It's problem solving and troubleshooting. I've got a unique skill that allows me to see all sides of a problem and to see what resolutions are needed---from basic short term to long term management. With the economic disparity growing in this country, the deep financial divide means that Lewiston isn't unique in its plight--far from it.

However, other cities and other states are pulling themselves up. Maine is the --only-- New England state that hasn't. And it's directly due to bad politics and bad politicians. And it's completely unwarranted. Maine could be the place to live. It could live up to the hype of "the way life should be", but it's imperative to a) get the bums out of politics, b) get clean elections established to keep the bums out, c) restore our communities by tackling the issues without pandering or dumbing things down or dividing attention with stupid and non-nonsensical things like who immigrated or other externals.

Lew has a series of deeply problematic issues. And it's going to take full blown community inclusion of --all-- people to band together and fix this city.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

"I've got a unique skill that

"I've got a unique skill that allows me to see all sides of a problem and to see what resolutions are needed---from basic short term to long term management."

Yet you never act. Paralysis by analysis.

" Maine could be the place to live. It could live up to the hype of "the way life should be", but it's imperative to a) get the bums out of politics, b) get clean elections established to keep the bums out, c) restore our communities by tackling the issues without pandering or dumbing things down or dividing attention with stupid and non-nonsensical things like who immigrated or other externals."

This will never happen. Why? I see no action statements, just symbolism.

For example,
a) get the bums out of politics

1. What comprises a bum? How do you get them out of politics - you cannot. Moreover, I realize diversity of thought exist, so anyone not aligned with your view will be called a bum. You will never be satisfied as long as you look to government to mold the world into your vision - will never happen.

RONALD RIML's picture

Dammie Gee.......

Look what the hell Private Enterprise did for Lewiston.....

Walmart got a $17 Million Sweetheart Tax Deal from the City before locating a distribrution center in an area which was most advantageous to WalMart in the first place.

Walmart, one of the world's most profitable businesses, needs 17 Million Dollars in Corporate Welfare from Lewiston when the City is going broke and the Walton's are one of the richest families in the World????

Markey's got a very unique skill for talking out his anal orifice........

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Better than squirting methane

Better than squirting methane gas out said orifice.

Got jobs?



This may come as a surprise, but scientifically speaking, by your very nature of speaking, you are emitting methane gas out of your main orifice.

I bet your life must be very interesting with the 'run away' policy you adopt when things get difficult or take work.... UGH! I can imagine the condition of your home...

And yes, I do have ideas for job creation in Lewiston---which starts with the much needed face lift for both market rate housing because Section 8 housing is structurally more sound, newer, and also is better maintained and kept than market rate housing due to federal standards requiring it to be.

Oooh yet more logic based on fact. Whatever will you do?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

If you only knew science, it

If you only knew science, it is C02 that I'm emitting while I speak - literally.


Well if you can .....

....throw out fact because lies or untruths are easier to believe, then so can I.

You may call that CO2, but to the rest of the world, it smells like crap. Maybe you should brush your teeth---or your clean your brain.

RONALD RIML's picture

Check Facebook

for message....


Oh yeah...

Sorry, I was speaking with one of our local candidates on the phone and replying to the latest internship offer and begging them to help me bridge the transportation gap. I meant to apologize for all the petitions you saw from me on your news feed. It's actually not an uncommon event, but usually not so many.... Between volunteering at the polls all day Tues and then being backlogged Wed with stuff, I hadn't checked my e-mail and things piled up...

I usually post petitions, but not usually 130.... *cough*



Starts with market rate housing.


Thank you Ronald

You're exactly right. And corporate greed and unchecked political and corporate kickbacks have killed our country by outsourcing our manufacturing and tech industries. Rome, England, France, Russia, Italy, and lately both Greece and Egypt have all proven you cannot create a stable economy on a service-based industry --OR-- eliminate the middle class.

But folks like Markey and McDonald forget that.

I mean McDonald has the brass set to say that apartments are not homes????? Excuse me? Home is a conceptual idea, but even the dictionary says:

the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.
an institution for people needing professional care or supervision.

So under the first definition, yes people lost their homes. Though I think George Carlin says it better when he said 'the problem in America is not homelessness, it's houselessness'. In fact, his whole rant on the state of homelessness is just as true now as it was then. And victim blaming the poor when the middle class and lower classes have been gutted by greed is not solving the problem.

(RIP George, you are so missed.)

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Americans have more material

Americans have more material goods across the board than nearly another country on the planet. What your you complaining about?


Could we rephrase that....

in English? "What your you complaining about?"

What am I complaining about? Pal if you need another walk through to make it easier for you to understand, then you also need reading comprehension classes. Seriously Markey, get a grip and read the conversations instead of skimming.

I've already addressed the problem of income vs. cost of living vs. material goods.


I never act....

Whoa. Back that truck of effing stupid supposition (that means "assumption") up a notch Markey.

I *clears throat*:

* Speak in front of City Council
* I redress local and state government so much that Sen. King's Augusta interns know my name, same with Collins and Michaud.
* Gov. LePage's Constituent Services' head Pat Conden knows my name and voice. (And probably shudders when I call...)
* Mike Carey and Margaret Craven's offices know me, and Dan with Craven's office and I have very long winded conversations about a myriad of topics--he's awesome btw.
* Put a 10 hour shift in at the polls Tuesday at the Multipurpose Center for Clean Elections --and-- fair housing.
* Am starting a video blog on YouTube this weekend where I start addressing issues.
* Volunteer with the Neighborhood Housing League and am being considered for a board position.
* Volunteer (obviously) with Maine Citizens for Clean Elections in a number of capacities.
* Had to turn down THREE internship positions with local politicians due to (a lack of) transportation issues, including Shelia Bellows
* Have, as of this morning, been asked to help out Maine's Planned Parenthood chapter because I have a plan of action for family planning that would not only get the word out, make contraceptives readily available, and cut down on abortions.
* Am known for being one of the regular donation gatherers for Trinity Jubilee and 100 Pine Street
* Am working with 100 Pine Street to create housing/tenant and landlord responsibility workshops AND getting them registered to vote--as well as how to vote responsibly
* Am working with Maine People's Alliance to get 5000 people in Androscoggin Co registered to vote
* Am known for redressing LePage on the need for MaineCare (medicaid) expansion and have even created art that I have donated to groups to use showing the despair felt by people who cannot access healthcare
* Researching grant money for anti-rape awareness events (because Maine has a higher rate of sexual assault than Los Angeles according to the FBI's 2013 Uniform Crime Report)
* Doing research to create a literacy program through the Lew Library
* Doing yet more grant research to create a budgeting program (or how to budget) at 100 Pine Street

...and that's just off the top of my head.

So ...Markey, Mark, Mark, Mark, what is it YOU do again?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Yea, just like politicians.

Yea, just like politicians. All talky.

Outcomes matter, not intent.


Of course the ....

.....outcome is the important piece. The fact that I want to live in a city I can be proud to call home makes no never mind. Nor does the fact that I want this to be a safe and clean city for others to live in........why would that matter?

And so again, Markey here causes another facepalm by stating the stupidly obvious....

....which, (yet again) proves he has no real point and is simply trolling.

 photo jesuswhenpicardisntenough.png

RONALD RIML's picture

Marky Vomits Loads of BS on this Forum from a far away place

At no charge.........

He probably writes the subscription and donated 'Editorial Commentary Fees' off his taxes.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Good ideal Ronny. ..and

Good ideal Ronny.

..and writes off cost of traveling to Maine as a business expense.

RONALD RIML's picture

10% Business, 90% see Friends and Family

Yep - let's deduct the full boat!!!!!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Who says I don't. I once

Who says I don't. I once owned a yacht - more like a decent size sail boat. The happiest two days with my yacht was the day I bought it and the day I sold it. What a money pit.


Many people

...who RELOCATE write it off on their taxes if they're self employed. Otherwise many people get reimbursed for total or partial costs from their place of business.

Are you sure you work in the professional world Mark?

Then again, are you sure you live on the planet Earth?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Any person who itemizes on

Any person who itemizes on their 1040 can detect relocation expenses. Many small business owners like myself don't incorporate, so we process business income and expenses on our 1040.

Yes, that is real-world behavior.

RONALD RIML's picture

'Detect' not 'Deduct?' - How Freudian.......

Did you 'Superego' finally blow ballast tanks and rise to the surface??

Mr 'Id' must be Fuming!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Perhaps I unconsciously slip

Perhaps I unconsciously slip in these little mistakes to give you something to criticize since the contend is always spot on.

No, just auto-correct on my iPhone.


So you're saying

Apple didn't program "contend" and "context" into their iPhones' auto-correct?

Hmmm, well I refuse to buy anything Apple because they pay no taxes as a corporation due to double blind Irish arrangements and Panama deals, but I'm willing to bet they did Markey.

Your points have been, and will continue to be, debunked. But if you're really having that much of a problem, I suggest upgrading by getting a tablet or a Chromebook. My Chromebook doesn't seem to yield the same issues your lack of appropriate tech for forum posting does.

Or maybe you should try Twitter. Though it does explain why you fail to read or appropriately respond to posts. I had thought it was your fear of having an intellectual debate, knowing you've already lost. I also notice that for someone who says people should take responsibility, you sure do shirk it at every opportunity.

And by the way, I like Lewiston, generally speaking. But then, as an artist, I see things for what they could be and not just what they are. You should try it. It's called 'progressive thinking'. It's also known as 'critical thinking'.


hehehee Ronald

Yeah .... he says he's this, that, and the other, but it's really funny because his lack of everything from an education to knowledge to intelligence to compassion show through at every single post.

I personally have to wonder if he's one of the landlord or McDonald cronies who's trolling to troll. St. Laurents is a very important issue to Lewiston, and one I will not allow to be distracted by people like this with their silly and pointless drivel.

We need the Section 8 housing. The people displaced by the fires still live here and in substandard housing. They are active members of the community (I've met a few) and are working hard to build better lives and a better community.

We should be helping them and hailing them as the amazing people they are, not bashing them for being poor. 76% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. McDonald knows. I put it in an info packet that I gave to Council members when I spoke about the need for St. Laurents.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

"76% of Americans are living

"76% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck."

All BS until you provide citations. Even when I was poor, I saved. Hence, the reason for beans and rice. If there is a will, there is a way. You lack the will.

RONALD RIML's picture

Mr. Malarkey is obviously 'Full of Beans'


Once again Ronald

You are being sooooooooo much nicer than the thoughts in my head.

Sometimes I love TOSes restricting people to being relatively nice and polite. Sometimes though, sometimes you just want to call an elitist *this whole slew of verbiage censored on the grounds I've paid for this subscription not only to read the stories but to start changing the nature of the conversations by putting truth out where bashing the poor or elderly or needy previously existed*

RONALD RIML's picture

I word of advice from my grizzled old street Sergeant...

when dealing with Idiots on the steet: "Kill 'em with Kindness".....

If that doesn't work, and there aren't any witnesses - drag 'em to the squad car by their ballz... 'Sparkly Markley' would wet & soil his pants, and the Policewoman would have to get new gloves......

MARK GRAVEL's picture

With that comment, you are

With that comment, you are demonstrating your true colors. And the hue is called bully. I guess my earlier statement about police is true then.

Remember, your humanity is a two-way street.


No, my hue is actually

Rather a light peach with freckles. But thank you for asking.

And who is the bully? You have tore people on this forum down on a personal level; attacking even my gender and what you decided were my sexual habits.

Or is it okay for you to bully people, but you dislike it when people don't sit idly by and allow it? I won't. I got news for you, you're not discrediting me on any level. And when your attacks become personal (beyond a source of amusement) such as the gender-based and gender-biased attacks...... NO. Oh no.

And I'm not going to let you tell people that the poor caused their situations and they're to blame as though every child who grew up poor said "I want to be an impoverished whipping post while the rich get super rich at my expense in a neo-slavery move". Oh no. Not when that attitude infects our government, and not when those government officials make decisions that further take away from people's humanity.

You want to be treated like a human being? By comparison, I have done that on a far larger scale than what you have extended to ANYONE on this forum, myself especially. But do not get pissy when I get to a point where I stop being nice and treat you the way you treat others Mark.

Accept some form of responsibility for your actions and words by pretending to be an adult.


uhm Ronald....

I have a 6-foot spear hanging on my living room wall named Kindness.

No, really.

Probably not the best advice you could give me because I have no use for people like Mark. He advocates human misery, the new form of slavery in America (with all due respect to actual human trafficking), and is a blight on society that represents why society is so messed up. Makes me honestly wonder about what kind of home life he had as a kid because he's one of those people who actually makes me thankful my "mother" was a junkie and I lived on the streets to survive---because I'm doubly grateful that I am capable of compassion for others (excluding elitists and abusers like him) and can use that compassion to extend to others.

It also makes me glad that I saw a serious need to join the forum and start setting records straight using fact. I have yet to see Mark do that.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

"He advocates human misery,

"He advocates human misery, the new form of slavery in America (with all due respect to actual human trafficking), and is a blight on society that represents why society is so messed up."

We both know you have no facts to back this up, so what spew your venue.

You are demonstrating your propensity to demonize those how you disagree with.


I can't spew 'venue' Mark

....It's not humanly possible.

And yes, I documented how the greed you advocate is a blight on society that has caused a good portion of society's ills and woes.

....It would really help if you read posts.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Okay, but realize with out

Okay, but realize with out me, you would have nothing. Who would you take money from then?



Actually, I overpaid into my taxes annually, and I'm not talking about claiming fewer dependents on my taxes, because at single head of household and zero dependents, you can't get fewer than that.

You do realize you can overpay into Medicare and Social Security, right Markey?

Okay and explain to me again how someone who didn't go to high school knows more about the tax system than you do?

By the way, the money you pay into my household is pennies annually..... So seriously, if you want, I'll give you $10 so you can quit your belly aching.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Who's version of the truth -

Who's version of the truth - just yours?

I'm a bit disappointed to hear you think there is only one version of truth. Perhaps you joined this forum because you thought the party would be filled with like minded people who stroke your version of the truth.

You need to hear the other side; hence, that is my purpose. Just listen, stop attacking the messenger, and you may learn something.


I've heard your version of the truth....

And Mark, it's as underwhelming as you are.

Your version of the truth is that greed is good, greed is normal, and that the only people who should be held accountable for wanting to make some form of decent life for themselves are the poor or elderly or disabled----because it's okay when you take advantage of people to benefit you.

But it is not okay for you to help others you abuse.

Why on earth would I ever count a massive failure like that as logic? Your point is... you have none.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

See wrong again. Let me spell

See wrong again. Let me spell out the takeaway for you.

Greed is human; Greed is in all of us. Your greed is no different than my greed. How does your greed manifest itself?

Answer, attacking people that have what you don't, but you aspire to have.

It is really that simple.


My greed....?

My .... greed. hmmm Funny how you mention that because this is what my greed looks like. These are donations sitting in my garage waiting until I find someone with a pickup that can help me take them to a clothing closet because if people can't pay for food and rent, they can't buy clothes or household items.

 photo donations1.jpg

What does your greed look like Mark?

"An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise."
Victor Hugo

MARK GRAVEL's picture

What is a picture of junk in

What is a picture of junk in your garage supposed to show?

A: Junk accumulating in a garage, nothing more.

By the way, doesn't the Salvation Army have pick services?



Yet another attack....


Give it up Mark. The question wasn't poised at you anyway. I'm sure the stuff that could be freecycled to others or donated from your home ends up in a landfill.

And I've already answered the Salvation Army question. Seriously, reading COMPREHENSION Mark. They offer literacy classes at your local Adult Ed.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

And that is the frame of

And that is the frame of thinking that keeps Lewiston from growing. My simple example illustrated that concept, but your mindset keeps you locked into the status quo.

People migrate with commerce. Bring commerce to Lewiston and bring in dollars that will be spent to improve the city. Anything else is delaying the inevitable.


And how would you...

...Bring commerce to a city that has a ghettofied facade and stigma Markey?

Do tell, because so far you've only said people should pick up and move.

Oh and you've blamed the poor.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Offer 0 mill rate on property

Offer 0 mill rate on property taxes for 10 or 20 years.

States and Cities need to complete for businesses, even liberal New York figured this one out.


So ....

Who covers the expenses to the city for property taxes while big business and mega corporations get yet another tax shelter under your plan?



Uhm I just googled the tax forms for small businesses/business owners. They're not 1040s. They're Form 940, 941 or 944.

I knew they weren't because I used to file I9s as an independent artist and web designer..... muhahaha! You got owned by a Google search!

 photo batmanfacepalm.jpg

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Looks like someone just

Looks like someone just discovered Goolge.


.....Too easy

To debunk you by stating a verifiable fact about my existence that I have been doing probono tech work and building refurbished computers for domestic violence shelters and services that offer help to non-traditional students since 1995, or that I'm working with one of the tech professors at CMCC to put refurbs in the hands of non-traditional students who may not be able to afford something new and shiny (or more likely substandard and overpriced from large retailers).

The more you assume about me Mark, the more you prove why it's a bad idea to assume......

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I never assume. I just don't

I never assume. I just don't care about your personal life. I'm here to discuss policy.



How can you discuss policy

When all you do is spout baseless and undocumented supposition and then call it fact?

That's not discussing policy, that's vomiting your opinion and hate all over others.

And vomiting is actually both a word and a verb. (...."Truing"....? Really????)



You are a laugh riot! I had to cover my mouth and nose with my hand to prevent the gleeish cackles of laughter because 'laughing out loud' doesn't even cover it.

Yeah, Markey's one of those people who thinks his insane whining actually means something in the grand scheme of things. I will never be someone as fantastically awesome as some of the civil rights and social leaders our country has been blessed with, but when I die, I hope my legacy allows me to have helped people. Markey's going to die unknown, having affected nothing, and having helped no one but his own egotism.

RONALD RIML's picture

If you have the stomach for it......

The real 'Den of Iniquity' is The Maine Wire"

This is the official 'Mouthpiece' of the The Maine Heritage Policy Center - which is the ŰberReicHWing Conservative 'Thunk Tunk' and Brain-Laundering Organ in Maine.

Need I say more??

I always enjoy holding a mirror to their anti-matter faces......

For as 'Conservative' as they claim to be, damn few of them ever appear to have had 'Military' service (Which I gleefully point out to them). Their heritage appears only to focus upon power, mammon, and control. The 'American Heritage' as they know and understand it!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I teach people to fish, I do

I teach people to fish, I do not hand out fish. Much more than just bloviating.


As Ron Said

Yeah, blow fish, or more appropriately, blow hard.

You don't teach people to fish by telling them to abandon the watering hole and then throwing away their pole.....

So since I can't post a facepalm pic (and people like you are the reason I have a whole collection of 'em), just know you fail. Epic fail.

"I teach people to fish by telling them to abandon a whole city because people are migratory and demographics change. I say this because I'm too impotent to offer a real solution, so let's just abandon the whole thing and run away screaming IIIIEEEEE because it's easier than actually getting off my butt and doing something productive".

Yeah guy..... just yeah. You make me glad I'm allergic to seafood.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

"I teach people to fish by

"I teach people to fish by telling them to abandon a whole city because people are migratory and demographics change. "

Don't be a drama queen. Stating historical fact is far different than telling...


Nice use of

the bold font function Markey. There's also italics, underline, and strikeout (or strikeout if this is HTLM5). You can also change your font colors and size you know.

I'm just rephrasing everything you've said honey. Don't like it? Stop making stupid comments that make no sense. And drama queen? Well, if you say so... But I'd rather be a drama queen than an over inflated peacock who thinks he's better than everyone.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

This is common knowledge. Did

This is common knowledge. Did you get equally excited when you learn to breath with your month closed like everyone else?


My month is closed?

....When did that happen Mark? Do I need to cancel my appointments or otherwise juggle my schedule so that things resume July 1st? What about reading? Am I still allowed to read? Can I write? Am I allowed to engage in highly valued hygiene practices like showering and brushing my teeth?

This is common knowledge. Did
By MARK GRAVEL, Community Member, Roseville — Sat, 06/14/2014 - 10:05
This is common knowledge. Did you get equally excited when you learn to breath with your month closed like everyone else?

And knuckle dragger or not, at least I'm fluent in the English language--which coming from a woman who had to drop out of 8th grade so she could run to the streets of a major city in order to get away from abuse, a woman who on the day she turned 18 got her GED without studying (thank the higher powers for my love of literature and reading), and went to college..... I wouldn't take that as a compliment if I were you.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Oh no. Another Frank who

Oh no. Another Frank who keeps repeating their woes in public.

You only need to tell your story to me once. I still have a good memory.

Every human on this planet has personal challenges that they may or may not have overcome. We know your past, let's work on the contemporary and the future.

Remember, you cannot change your past, you can only effect the present and the future.



You apparently need to hear people's stories over and over and over until you realize you're not the only human being on earth and welfare isn't acceptable when it only applies to you.....

Yup, you're a welfare addict Mark. Deal with it because putting a corporate spin on it doesn't change the fact that what you enjoy truly is welfare---paid by tax payers.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Okay, can you provide any

Okay, can you provide any examples to back up your claim?


Unlike you, yes, I can

The fact you don't know the difference between a 1040 and business tax form numbers.
The fact you don't come up on Google anything, other than to comment and as a resident of Maine.
The fact that you can't or won't say what organizations you volunteer with. (I can offer names, dates, and pictures!)
The fact that you support legalized slavery.
The fact you support greed and unchecked capitalism, which has been proven to be the killer of our country.
The fact you believe you have an inherent right to bash others based on gender or gender qualifiers.
The fact that you say quite a bit, but prove nothing.

Between the two of us, I'm the only one who's offered up proof of what's been said. So being the one who has a better track record of honesty and documentation, my word is the one we'll be going with.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

"The fact you don't know the

"The fact you don't know the difference between a 1040 and business tax form numbers"

I guess I've been filling out taxes wrong for more than a decade. You better go crying to the IRS or go back to Google and do more searching.

The rest of you rant does not justify a response other than making unsubstantiated claims which constitutes nothing more than name calling.

By that why, using opinion and speculation as truth, well is not fact. I really feel sorry for people who behave that way. It really puts limits on them.


Blah blah blah blah

When you have a point to make, I'll listen. Until then, I'll point to the wonderful quote by Julian Assange:

"Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence and thereby eventually lose all ability to defend ourselves and those we love."

MARK GRAVEL's picture

P.S. Next task: Try not

P.S. Next task: Try not letting your knuckles drag on the ground when you walk.

RONALD RIML's picture

As we know - You're a Blow-Fish.....


Ronald I'm sending you

epic virtual hugs made of happy awesome pixels!!!! What coding do you use to post images on the forum? I'm good with HTML and sub-variants, CSS, and I rock a mean Java/j script.

I'm also having a problem getting my account info to change due to an access error with the Sun Journal's page, so we'll see how this works.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Downtown Lewiston has been in

Downtown Lewiston has been in need of a cleaning as fare back as I can remember. Perhaps the ground id fertile as a result of fecal matter.


Oh and Markey....

It's spelled "FAR" baby, not "FARE". Far is a term for distance not being close to you. Fare is what you pay for admission to an event or for transportation.

Honey, get off the 'net and take a GED class. You apparently need it.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Given that you chose to

Given that you chose to comment on one of my typographical errors instead on the theme of my message, all readers should assume you agree with the core message.


So you admit... can't read. I've been addressing your comments and how silly and hateful they are. How baseless your accusations are. How lacking reality or any type of actual solution, other than to make Lew a ghost town, you offer.

But yes, I did notice your education level is ... about 8th grade? Usually people as hateful as you are uneducated. And I say that as someone who had to drop out during 8th grade because I had to work and came from an abusive home. I mickey moused my education and fought for my GED---and am a national honors student with a 3.8 GPA.

What do you do again?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

"How baseless your

"How baseless your accusations are. How lacking reality or any type of actual solution, other than to make Lew a ghost town, you offer."

First, let's look at history. Once vibrant towns during the gold rush era transformed into ghost towns. Why? The lack of commerce.

In that statement alone, there are two themes you need to walkaway with:

1. Demographics change, and yes, some towns will become a shell of their former self.
2. People are mobile and migrate with commerce. Hence, if Lewiston does not like contracting, then it must attract commence, not subsidized housing. It is really as simple as that.

Summa cum laude in computer and Electronics Engineering with minor in Mathematics. All accomplished while working full time and raising a family. It took nearly a decade, but I it. It is in my DNA to never stop achieving. Life is really the journey, not the destination.

And yes, I make many typos, I'm human.

RONALD RIML's picture

As Markey became a shell of his former self .....

MARK GRAVEL's picture

All readers are aware of your

All readers are aware of your envy for the rich - compensating for something?



I'm compensating for my outrage that people can't get full time employment status so bad businesses can avoid paying benefits.

I'm compensating for the fact that bad business owners don't mind telling their employees to fast track to the welfare line because they don't deserve a living wage that equals the cost-push inflation.

I'm compensating for the fact that people like you, who obviously know nothing about poverty, blame the people who pay more in taxes than the bad businesses they work for, comparatively speaking.

I'm compensating for the fact that the very same people try to invest in the American dream, only to end up getting predatory home or student loans that cost them everything.

I'm compensating for the loss of not only my health, but everything I had worked hard to earn solely due to a bad business owner's decision to knowingly use faulty equipment that even OSHA fined him for---yet his insurance company was able to pay my lawyer to not introduce medical evidence.

I am compensating for the fact that you tell us it's our fault we're poor, yet you're blatantly blind to the fact that jobs keep being outsourced overseas and that while you used to be able to be one out of twenty applicants for a job, you're now one out of a thousand.

I'm compensating for the fact that colleges spend less per student than they do on their Deans or Board salaries--as divided by the number of students.

I am compensating for the anger and the rage felt by millions of Americans abused by a corrupt system you have no problem with Mark. Better than that though, I am helping them to rebuild the American dream that has been robbed by people like you, politicians like McDonald and LePage, their cronies like Mayhew, and big business.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

"Worked and pumped money into

"Worked and pumped money into a political system set up to help me if something bad happened and put me into a position where I could not help myself. "

Perhaps you need to get out of deliverance Maine; sorry, get out of Lewiston Maine. Things are different elsewhere.

"I am compensating for the anger and the rage felt by millions of Americans abused by a corrupt system you have no problem with Mark."

The word you are looking for is rationalization, not compensation. You have to work yourself into thinking I somehow harmed people in the action of earning my money, while the simple fact is I worked harder instead of playing on snowmobiles or taking vacations.

I understand that rationalization is necessary in order for you to justify talking my money. That too is an artifact of human nature. Just keep in mind human nature will prevent you from succeeding. Is there any wonder we don't pay any attention to your cries of poverty and suffrage. Aesop's Fables - the boy who cried wolf.


*sighs* Your use of English is astounding

This is not a compliment Mark.

No, I am compensating for the anger and rage by doing something and trying to put a stop to unbridled greed and by trying to fix things.

And I do not wish to "talk" your money. In fact, your money is no good here. It's amazing you'd try to use the English language to discredit people when you clearly have no understanding of the English language. Shame on you Mark. You should have expected better from your tuition fees.

And like Hansel and Gretel, your want of unbridled gain without considering the consequences or expenses will leave you in the maw (or oven) of the witch---unfortunately folks like you are taking this country along for the ride...


While the rest of us

(If I get the image coding wrong, forgive me, this is a test.)

 photo picardpeekaboofacepalm.jpg




You'd think that with your education, you'd be .... more educated. Or at least in touch with the facts.

Some "towns"---we're not talking a boom town you mook! We're talking about the SECOND LARGEST CITY IN MAINE.

So you support McDonald, when under his care, we've lost more commerce than we had when he was in office.

...No, good job. Really good job. Apparently for all your work toward your educational goals, you lacked the ability to gain intelligence. Since you don't live here, please just stop. You detract from a conversation that would otherwise enable residents of this town to have the ability to brainstorm and plan for meaningful change that actually helps Lew become a thriving city again.

McDonald---this is the type of person who supports you............ Uhm ....... that's not a compliment to you or your logic. And it proves how destructive elitism truly is, ...not to mention how wasteful.

...Yeah, abandon the city. That's a good one.

RONALD RIML's picture

Marky's "ASS"ume "ASS"igner in Chief.

Whadda responsibility!!!!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Downtown Lewiston has been in

Downtown Lewiston has been in need of a cleaning as far back as I can remember. Perhaps the ground is fertile as a result of fecal matter you emit.



At least I have a plan of action instead of whining and complaining like an old woman getting her blue rinse perm at the salon.

You know that woman Markey, the one who meddles in other people's business without offering solutions because she can. The one who thinks her opinions matter in the grand scheme of things, when all she does and all she contributes is back fighting and a constant spewing of bitter hatred and garbage.

And regardless of my fecal matter, Lew is smelling a lot better since your move.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

What of Gods creatures are we

What of Gods creatures are we talking about? Humans, right?

RONALD RIML's picture

You're lower than Whale Shit again......

- and that's at the bottom of the ocean.


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