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Our polarized country needs to rebuild the unity we felt on Sept. 12, 2001

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Have you ever noticed that America unites in our darkest times? 

Our country was formed in dark times. When tyranny was rampant across the 13 colonies, a group of patriots had enough of it and decided to take a stand for freedom. 

When America was attacked at Pearl Harbor, even Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto wrote that he feared waking the “sleeping giant” because he knew a unified America was unstoppable. 

After the 9/11 attacks, our tragedy-stricken country united like never before. The American flag was sold out for months. There was not a single dry eye when the national anthem played at sporting events. People took pride in our country, regardless of their varying beliefs. 

We didn’t care about anyone’s differences in religion, we didn’t care about differences in race, we didn’t care about differences in gender. 

Americans cared about one thing: America. 

Today, the state of our nation is in shambles. Polarization and division is so rampant, many have lost sight of what it means to be a UNITED States. 

On Sept. 12, 2001, New Yorkers openly showed their gratitude to first responders.
On Sept. 12, 2001, New Yorkers openly showed their gratitude to first responders.
Getty Images

We have forgotten that differences and division are two totally separate things. 

Rather than rallying behind our favorite sports teams as an escape from politics, we’ve become mired in ugly debates about keeping politics out of sports and what it means to represent America as an athlete. 

Being forced to be physically divided throughout the pandemic has made it much easier to tweet, comment and post about our beliefs from the couch instead of having in-person discussions that could actually make a difference. Meanwhile, the media monetizes our fear by pumping out stories that feed off our emotions. 

Our prevailing cultural attitudes haven’t helped either. These days it is much easier to be a victim than a victor. When our entire culture tells you that you are owed something because of your “differences,” it is easier to take that handout rather than rise above it on your own terms. 

But here’s the thing. The only folks who benefit from our polarization are our enemies across the globe. They want Americans to argue and fight on social media because it diminishes the unilateral bond we share. And our weakness gives them strength. 

Following the 9/11 attacks, people prioritized each other's well-being over politics.
Following the 9/11 attacks, people prioritized each other’s well-being over politics.
Corbis via Getty Images

Some of you might say, “We are past the point of no return.” 

But, as a US Army veteran, I don’t agree. Between the looming 20th anniversary of 9/11 and the current state of the United States, I felt compelled to write my book, “Dear America: Live Like It’s 9.12” as a message to the nation. 

The truth is that unity is more difficult than division. But, here is the good news: America can and will prevail. 

Hitler’s regime tried to take control over all of Europe and did that stop us? No. When terrorists attacked our country on 9/11 did that stop us? No. 

America has fought tyranny, slavery, genocidal dictators, socialism, racism, communism, terrorism, radical Islam, and we can combat our internal divisions as well. 

Like the Japanese admiral said, America is the sleeping giant. But this sleeping giant needs to wake up! 

dear america cover

During the COVID-19 lockdown, my company Nine Twelve United and 231,043 Americans across the country donated to The Barstool Fund, helping to support 443 small businesses shut down by the pandemic. Moments like these prove we still can unify during times of crisis. 

Living like it’s 9/12 means prioritizing people over politics. It means being willing to sacrifice the shelter of our own echo chambers on social media. It means listening and having uncomfortable conversations with others in order to restore the unity that our country needs. 

If we remember how we felt after 9/11, we can show the world that America does not divide in our dark times. 

In fact, we grow stronger in them. 

Graham Allen is the host of the podcast “Dear America” and the author of “Dear America: Live Like It’s 9/12” (Center Street), out now.

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What Time Will ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Be on Netflix?

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The season finale of Riverdale aired in late July on The CW. Notice we said season finale? Thankfully, the beloved series will return for a seventh season, but, unfortunately, Season 7 will be the final installment of Riverdale.

If you already streamed the current season, make sure to read Alex Zalben’s interview with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on Decider. If you’re waiting to binge Season 6 on Netflix, well, you better clear your calendar because all 22 episodes are about to drop on the streamer. What time will the sixth season of Riverdale debut on Netflix? What time does Netflix release shows? Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN IS THE RIVERDALE SEASON 6 NETFLIX RELEASE DATE?

Riverdale Season 6 premieres Sunday, August 7 on Netflix.

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN RIVERDALE SEASON 6?

The sixth season of Riverdale consists of 22 episodes.

WHAT TIME DOES NETFLIX RELEASE NEW SHOWS?

Netflix releases new episodes at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT.

WHAT TIME WILL RIVERDALE SEASON 6 BE ON NETFLIX?

Netflix is based out of California, so Riverdale Season 6 will be available to stream at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) beginning Sunday, August 7. If the clock strikes 12:00 (or 3:00 a.m. for folks on the East Coast) and you don’t see the new episodes, give it a moment, hit refresh, and then enjoy the show!

WILL THERE BE A SEASON 7 OF RIVERDALE?

Yes! Decider recently covered that very topic.

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Actress Anne Heche Suffers Severe Burns After Crashing Car Into Los Angeles Home

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Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in such films as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was involved in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles on Friday.

According to TMZ, Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper and had first crashed into the garage of an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex tried to get her out of the vehicle but she backed up and sped off.

Footage of Heche speeding down the streets of her neighborhood had been obtained by TMZ as well as her initial encounter at the apartment complex.

In the first clip, you can hear her car crash towards the end. It has been reported that the actress crashed into someone’s home, causing her vehicle and the house to erupt into flames. Heche suffered severe burns and was resisting being taken away in a stretcher. You can also view footage of this via the TMZ article.

It has not been confirmed whether alcohol has been involved in the incident since her condition prevents doctors from performing any tests to determine if she was driving under the influence. She is currently intubated in the hospital but expected to live.

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These are the vulgar license-plate requests the DMV has rejected

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Stay CL4SSY, New York!

The state Department of Motor Vehicles nixed 3,752 requests for vanity license plates in the last three years because it deemed them too raunchy, radical or simply ridiculous.

New York’s personalized plates go for $60 initially, and then $31.25 annually for renewal. You can get any plate as long as no one else has it and it’s not offensive.

Odds are a request for a plate that marks a wedding anniversary or shows your allegiance to a team — like METS86 — will pass muster with the DMV gatekeepers.

Vulgarity won’t get you to first base.

So plates with the phrase LFGM — the acronym for Pete Alonso’s “Let’s F–king Go Mets” rallying cry — did not make the cut.

And you won’t see anyone driving around with the custom plates MILFDAD, AS5M4N and WLHUNG.

Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
New York DMV
NYC123
New York state Department of Motor Vehicles denied more than 3.5 thousand requests for license plates deemed inappropriate.
New York DMV
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
New York DMV

The DMV also put NICEBUNS, FATFANNY, GOTAPOOP and BENDOVER in the rear-view mirror.

One player unsuccessfully tried to score the plate YESDADDY, to no avail.

The DMV also shot down such dark requests as DEADGIRL, GENOC1DE, S8TAN, DETONATE and MURDERM3.

“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
New York DMV
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
New York DMV
BOOBIE is prohibited.
BOOBIE is prohibited.
New York DMV

Getting political is a dead end too — FJOEBIDN, FDTRUMP and CNNLIES were nixed.

LUDEDUDE, NARCO, GOT METH and BLUNT also went up in smoke.

Staten Island attorney Bill Dertinger said his blue 1995 Jaguar SJS was tagged with ESQLTD after his company and his 2014 Porsche had the plate GHOSTGTS because the sleek sportscar was white.

“The plates can make you stand out — which can be a curse or a blessing,” the 54-year-old Dertinger said. “Make sure you don’t cut anybody off.”

A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
New York DMV
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
New York DMV
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
New York DMV

There must be a New York Jets fan playing referee at the DMV because a request for the seemingly innocent plate GASE was sidelined. Ex-Jets head coach Adam Gase had an offensive 9-23 win-loss record during his forgettable two-year tenure.

The DMV would not reveal who gives the final yea or nay.

“The DMV reviews all custom license plate requests and works hard to ensure that any combinations that may be considered objectionable are rejected,” said agency spokesman Tim O’Brien.

“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
New York DMV
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
New York DMV

He said guidelines on what plate combinations are restricted can be found on the DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/learn-about-personalized-plates. Approximately 50,000 personalized and custom plates are sold per year, O’Brien said.

Bagged Tags

The state DMV has rejected 3,752 requests for custom license plates in the last three years because it deemed them potentially offensive. Here are some:

YESDADDY

FJOEBIDN

FDTRUMP

GLOCKS

FLYMOFO

BOOBIE

AS5M4N

BUDLIGHT

DEADGIRL

SUM8ITCH

GENOC1DE

S8TAN

CNNLIES

DETONATE

MURDERM3

MILFDAD

WLHUNG

Source: NYS DMV

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