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M Sinclair Stevens
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M Sinclair Stevens

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Politics: Clarity and Anguish
The sudden realization that the system was never designed to protect you, as advertised, but to enable those who want to diminish your human-ness.
From the article, "But some socially conservative women like pedestals. For them, the deal implicit in an embrace of traditional gender norms is that instead of equality, they get protection. Trump offers neither. “We hear them talking a lot about being our defenders and protectors,” Julie Roys, a conservative Christian writer and radio host in Illinois, says of the Trump-supporting men in her movement. “Well, OK, when someone insults us so blatantly, why are you defending him instead of defending us?”
Earlier this month, Michigan GOP leaders told Wendy Day, the state party’s grassroots vice-chair, that she had to endorse Donald Trump or resign. Day, ...
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Denisovich Shun's profile photo
Apparently & sadly, the Pravda-esque old Soviet Union control over weaker minds seems to be too pervasive. Truly intellectual, CARING women mothers in particular, will either read the "facts" or better, travel to the EU or Middle Eastern countries speak to those who bear the torture. Any women who buy into the Clinton lie need to have substantive intercourse with the people (women in particular) who SUFFER gravely with being raped, stoned, tortured and almost mercifully killed, due to the greed of an @@HillaryClinton. Paying attention to or buying into the "Erroneous Narrative" the Mainstream media has vomited into the USA's airwaves' mouths are those who simply too lazy to research the factual detail of horrors this evil woman perpetrates. She talks the talk but never walked the walk, protecting the rights of women. Honestly, the felonious crimes she and Bill perpetrated including multiple murders over 30 years, is overwhelming! I realise the "Media" pushes the oh so wrong narrative, "intellectual women" do not support Mr. Trump's fully weighted, excellent plan to clear the filth in D.C. But they have so much to lose! The owner of these outlets support the Clintons for ONE REASON; the Media owners stand to lose their ill-gotten billions, if an honest candidate wins. It so sad, knowing so many women can not see past the simplistic lie, HILLARY CLINTON DOES NOT CARE ABOUT YOU OR OUR COUNTRY! Read the Peter Schweizer book "CLINTON CASH" a well documented honest work. Better still, research the >29 human beings who 'accidentally committed SUICIDE' or those who could testify against the Clintons and met with all too strange deaths--all at a young age. The email scandals are felons for sure, but they can not approximate the level of greed & inhumane evil, these people possess. Spout the words of #MSM if you're too lazy to research the Clinton horror story if you will, but hopefully those who do, take responsibility & accountability for the NEAR-FUTURE of continued anarchy within a country without borders!
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This. Is. brilliant. Watch it. Especially the look in the girls face.
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That's wonderful!
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Travel Austin: Life is Short
...draw it out.

Welcome #ACLFest  For once, Austin's giving you the best of its weather options.

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Travel California: Mono Lake
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Travel Austin: Guns, Gold, Guitars
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I love playing guitar 
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Dress to impress...yourself.
The science behind why we dress up 
Dressing up every day is an important responsibility, according to Tim Gunn and sartorial science.
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M Sinclair Stevens's profile photoPeter Strempel's profile photo
I will confess that dressing to match my mood and weather, sometimes in a sharp suit, does often match my goal for the occasion.

A suit always adds an unspoken statement of professionalism, and when it's not just a suit, but a well chosen and well tailored one, worn with the matching accouterments of complementary colours and quality in watch, shoes, socks, and maybe a pocket square, it says also that I know what I want and how to get it.

A lot of guys I see around the place never get past the message about the suit as professional uniform, and then immediately undermine that message with jarringly mismatched colours, scuffed shoes, and ugly slobbisms, like dandruff on the shoulders and pastel-coloured ties.
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Politics: Nothing New
Or, why now the denunciations? Let's look a little deeper.
From the article.
"Nothing new is revealed about Trump in the apparently just-discovered open mic tape. What he said is hardly out of character for a man who has made his vulgarity a badge of honour.

"The misogyny inherent in his attitudes is also hardly out of place in a party that stands for destroying basic human rights for women. The Republican Party unambiguously stands for returning women to chattel status, supporting rape culture and rolling back self-determination in social and political rights, to say nothing of the their positively mediaeval, stance on reproductive health or services"
Republicans turning their backs on Trump for grotesque sexism is a bullshit cover story to disguise some unreported shadow-play, most likely about big money interests. Or so I propose.

The sudden outbreak of conscience and principle in the Republican agglomeration of reactionary sentiments just doesn’t ring true.

Nothing new is revealed about Trump in the apparently just-discovered open mic tape. What he said is hardly out of character for a man who has made his vulgarity a badge of honour.

The misogyny inherent in his attitudes is also hardly out of place in a party that stands for destroying basic human rights for women. The Republican Party unambiguously stands for returning women to chattel status, supporting rape culture and rolling back self-determination in social and political rights, to say nothing of the their positively mediaeval, stance on reproductive health or services.

Therefore I just can’t bring myself to believe that the sudden denunciation of Trump by die-hard reactionaries in the party is motivated by the public release of a 2005 video tape.

It might be worth speculating why it took so long to find this tape in a political environment so clearly motivated by sensation and scandal, but even then, the comments about treating women like disposable sex toys could surprise only someone who has been deaf, dumb, and blind for more than a decade.

The Bush family hardly matters at this point, so bringing Jeb Bush’s first cousin Billy into the picture seems pointless.

So what could be the real reasons for this late and potentially disastrous change of heart by the GOP establishment?

One plausible explanation is that Congressional reps suddenly realised that this kind of talk could cost them their seats, and through it, control of the House and Senate. That would certainly be a powerful motivator. But in a party that stands for everything Trump talks about, why would this be a sudden concern powerful enough to seek to scuttle a convincingly nominated candidate a month or so out from the elections? Surely that would just produce a bigger disaster for the party a little further down the road.

If the expectation was that a notoriously belligerent man would gracefully step aside, it was a silly play. Can the Republicans remove Trump some other way? It seems that short of foul play, they waited too long: he was nominated by their own internal pre-selection processes and cannot be forced aside.

Besides, the Republican Party, as it has constructed itself since the 1980s, combining elements of crypto-fascist authoritarians, a pseudo Taliban of religious atavists, the gamut of libertarians, and genuine demagogues, has never been this shy about flying the flag of bigotry and sexism.

Every instinct I have about this says: ‘Follow the money.’

I’m not close enough to the game to have more than instincts, and the American media has lost its core of what was once worthy of being called ‘press’, or ‘news’ media. ‘Reportage’ now centres mainly on ideological justifications for the views of self-interested plutocrats, and on salacious sensationalism that seems to have no end of devoted fans.

What I can see even from this distance, though, is that Trump has made two powerful enemies: China, and its proxy in the USA, Rupert Murdoch. Much of Trump’s anti-China rhetoric is populist nonsense about stealing jobs and undermining an economy that is actually reliant on Chinese money because its own plutocrats have hollowed out its manufacturing and consumer base for their own short-term gains.

The Chinese are hardly known for taking slights lightly, even if their responses are more subtle and long-term than lay observers know how to interpret. And Murdoch, who harbours dynastic ambitions that include a strong presence in China (possibly through his Chinese daughters), is probably the conduit of Chinese displeasure in the USA, albeit less crudely than would be immediately visible on Fox News.

Then there are Trump’s murky ties to Russian business interests. It isn’t clear whether these are directly to gangster cartels, or less directly to money with political obligations. But it’s a concern even in an America where the distinction between ‘business’ and ‘crime’ has always been more blurry than the public is led to believe. Are these Russian ties a conflict of interest for Saudi money in Washington? For Chinese interests? For some other constellation of self-interest?

I’m betting that the late orchestrated Republican disavowal of their leader is in fact the concrete manifestation of demands made by one or more sponsors of the party who are concerned about threats to their investments, and less so about the likely damage they will inflict on their Washington corporate vehicle – the Republican Party.

These sponsors either funded the discovery of dirt on trump to sue as pretext, or merely used a fortuitous discovery to issue orders to the men and women they bought as their Congressional proxies that they should start squawking a particular line on Trump. Even if that line is a complete contradiction of what they were ordered to squawk about yesterday, and the day before.

And what of Hillary Clinton in all of this? Does it matter that she might be laughing ‘all the way to the bank’ as the old saying goes?

If only some enterprising journalist in the USA would follow the money to either debunk this theory as conspiracy, or to find the money trail that might give it substance.

Is Matt Taibbi on leave?

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Roberto Bayardo's profile photo
I think there's a much simpler explanation: now that Trump's odds of winning are nearing zero, it's "safe" to jump ship. Nobody is really surprised Trump would say such things, but it makes for a handy excuse.
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Literature: Imagine That!
Adam Kirsch, " telling the story of poor Neapolitan girls like Lina and Elena, Ms. Raja was claiming the right to imagine the lives of people quite unlike herself. In doing so, she was able to write books in which millions of people found themselves reflected...This is the paradox of literature, which is also the glory of humanism: the idea that nothing human is alien to any of us, that we all have the power to imagine our way into one another’s lives."
If we cannot imagine things other than how they are, there would be no science fiction, no fantasy, no historical fiction and, most importantly, no way to understand the common joys and fears we share with people in situations and contexts different than our own.
It seems you can, in fact, imagine the lives of people unlike yourself.
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On the autonomy of anonymity, from NPR's Camila Domonoske. "There was, too, a much smaller and sadder narrative — a sense of loss, of something beautiful and precious in Ferrante's preservation of a private self...[Ferrante] was fiercely protective of her identity — and said, again and again, that keeping her true name out of the spotlight was a central element of her writing process...She describes her secret identity as liberation, an act of independence, central to cultivating creative space. "The writing becomes intimate," she told The Paris Review."To relinquish it would be very painful," she told Vanity Fair.
" the backlash to unmasking has made clear, most of her readers were far more fond of her mysteries than suspicious of her secrets."

"Dayna Tortorici described the author-and-audience relationship in literary journal n+1: "More than Ferrante herself, her readers have benefited from her choice, spared so much extradiegetic noise. We are as invested in her anonymity—and her autonomy—as she is."
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Politics: In It For Myself
Basically, Trump is one of those guys who doesn't give a damn about humanity, community, or country. His ethics extend only to staying within the letter of the law...or perhaps not even making sure he's not caught. When he is, it's always someone else's fault.

The is the GOP's new standard-bearer of personal responsibility: someone who will put his arm around your shoulder and tell you he's the only one who can protect you while simultaneously picking your pocket.
From the article.
"Trump, by contrast, argued on Monday night that businessmen like himself can do whatever it takes to get rich, so long as they don’t violate the law. He essentially rejected the proposition that people should live by a moral code that goes beyond what is mandated by the state. And he discussed the country as a whole the same way."
Trump's Abdication of Personal Responsibility
Conservatives have put families and communities at the center of their conception of a better America—but they’re notably absent from the Republican nominee’s account.
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+Michael O'Reilly I don't think he can consent. I don't think he has the mental or emotional capacity, the temperament to be any more than a spoiled, whiny boy. And he appeals to other little boys in mens' bodies when he cries that "Mommy is unfair. Mommy isn't nice." Adults see through this. Let him have his tantrums but never let him have his way.
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Travel Yosemite: Taft Point
On the same road as Glacier Point but somewhat less crowded. The fascinating part of this hike is "The Fissures". Deep gashes in the rock that will have you falling through open air until you hit the Yosemite Valley floor some several thousands of feet below. Definitely a place to pay attention to where you're walking and not be staring at your smartphone. Don't let kids run around either. There is no real warning of an a cliff. The fissures are just there.

I took the photo on the left with people for scale. If you look closely at the photo on the right, you'll see the same outcropping. That gives you some idea of the immensity of Yosemite.
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Awesome dude 
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Travel: Austin, TX
We go for an early morning bike ride on the roads around Decker Lake (aka Lake Walter E. Long) in east Austin. The high temperatures are still in the 90s but you can tell it's fall in Austin by the quality of the light.
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+Anuja Jain Blur from the very humid mornings here in Central Texas.
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Readability Test | minority reports

All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years ol

I was excited by the prospect of upscale pub food in a desolate section of South Austin where the most prevalent options otherwise are fast food and taco shacks. On the plus side, the atmosphere is light and airy, casual but smart. The beer selection is solid. Although we didn't try cocktails, the menu looked promising. The food is inventive but, as is often the case especially when cooking with good-quality ingredients, simpler is preferable. In the case of my Porter Burger ($14), the flavor was obscured by too much salt and grease. In contrast to my reaction, my companion enjoyed the Lamb Burger ($15). (Note: See photo of burgers posted here.) Another plus: the portions on the Large Plates were generous. Hungry men will leave satisfied. However, the prices were more downtown Austin than South Austin. This is really a downtown restaurant pioneering a new neighborhood. For this reason, I wish them success and will even go back to try cocktails and small plates to see whether I can become more enthusiastic overall.
• • •
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
When I meet someone for lunch, I always suggest Buenos Aires Cafe. Every creamy soup is rich and flavorful. When I'm eating healthy, I opt for the spinach salad at lunch. Otherwise I go for dinner and have the four types of gnocchi. Some of the best desserts in town.
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
Quality: ExcellentAppeal: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
Appeal: Very GoodFacilities: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago
11 reviews
What a disappointment. We've been here once before for cocktails and snacks. I fell in love with the Gin and Jam cocktail ($8). Three of us managed to drink and nibble our way through more than $100 of delectables. Our memories set lofty expectations and, as such, our lunch experience last Friday (2013-08-09) was a real letdown. We were shoe-horned into a tiny table next to the bar where I could feel the body heat of the person sitting at the bar radiating down on me. As the place filled up with the lunch crowd, it felt even more claustrophobic and cramped despite the architecture which has pleasing natural light, large windows, and high ceilings. The food was the biggest disappointment. Nothing distinguished it and as I looked around at my fellow diners, I didn't see another dish I wish I had ordered instead. If you want a better burger than I had, go to Zax Restaurant and Bar across Congress Avenue bridge. If you want a better upscale Banh Mi go to Elizabeth Street Cafe. $12 for my burger and $11 for my date's banh mi.
• • •
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
Although many descriptions of Piattini emphasize the "small plates" (and there is a good selection of those), be aware that there are choices with generous portions. Don't be scared away thinking that all you are going to get is a tiny, artsy serving of food on a large plate. It's not like that at all. This is solid, good food. We shared an appetizer of the bruscetta. Wonderful. My partner had two small plates and was unable to finish the calamari because he was so full. I had a larger portion of lobster ravioli and was stuffed enough to be able to refuse the dessert menu without regret. I'm so happy we discovered Piattini and look forward to returning.
• • •
Food: Very GoodDecor: Very GoodService: Excellent
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
Very nice for what it is. Not fancy but clean, neat, quiet, and reasonably priced. We were very happy with our stay and would stay here again. Small fridge in the room was appreciated. Mancos is the best place to stay if you are visiting Mesa Verde.
Quality: Very GoodFacilities: Very GoodService: Very Good
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago