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Ralph Dratman
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Ralph Dratman commented on a post on Blogger.
I first encountered the Arabian Nights in a 19-volume set of Burton's translation. I was both attracted and annoyed by his earthy, long-winded expositions of the tales told to King Shahryar by the clever Shahrazad.

Recently I was disappointed to learn that today's academic community largely condemns the Burton translation as the shoddy work of an amateur linguist. I found Burton to be an interesting character. Now I'm not sure I want to look at any of the more-respectable versions of the Nights.
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It seems that a significant part of the US public -- here represented by the jury -- believes that assertive white people have the right to run this country unopposed by logic or law. Maybe Donald Trump has done us all a favor by making that so much clearer than ever before.

A lot of people believing something doesn't make it true.
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This podcast began for me as a slightly grim, later routinely unpleasant factual account of the author at work cleaning people's apartments. I almost turned it off.

But I continued to listen as, against my will, I began to feel involuntarily close with this woman who, aside from anything else, stubbornly summoned courage without discarding her humanity. It was all done in a style that made me feel good about our species.

Improbably, then, this nothingburger of a work story turned out to be, for me, a flawed but memorable work of fiction; an unmistakably solid short story.
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Should there be a Republican Establishment? Does a new one now need to be created? I say yes, there should be a Republican Establishment. Continual bomb-throwing by several groups, each in conflict with the others, leads to an empty, desolate landscape. That is the Republican Party we have now. It has become obvious that something more stable is needed.
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This is getting so sad. Andy, how can you make jokes about a joke?
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Some Republican voters never listen to the words. They just look at the pictures.
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What is the problem? The problem is not Donald Trump. He is a symptom. The problem is to be found in the process that put Trump on top for the nomination. That process has been in development for a long time. It was first documented in a book called The Selling of the President 1968, by Joe McGinniss. McGinniss heralded the age of political marketing, in which television was the central arena of politics in the new electronic age. All the experience in using persuasion as a tool to sell products and promote companies was suddenly found to be directly applicable to political candidacies. Trump, the "reality star" (which really means make-believe celebrity) getting close to the Republican nod is a perfect illustration, almost 50 years later, of how sadly right Joe McGinniss was.
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In the 1950s, Marion Seldes recorded a poem called "The Roan Stallion," by Robinson Jeffers, who lived in Monterey California. It is the most moving poetry reading I've ever heard. It tells the story of a woman named... California, who falls in love, you might say, with beautiful stallion her drunken husband won from a neighbor in a card game.
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This interview with Dr. Bruce Ribner, at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, is among the most sensible, helpful overviews of the near-term future of Ebola treatment. The gist is that probably there will be no miracle drugs or vaccines available in quantity within the next few months. The good news is that attentive, high-quality supportive care can get many of these patients through the illness. Making such care available in West Africa will be the big challenge in the foreseeable future.
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