D
ocumenting modern culture 
as it manifests
on or near that hotspot
on the surrealistic power grid
kn
own as Spokane, WA and/or
the kn
own or unknown universe

                  

 


GIF of and by ssg

Running With Scissors Since 1999

"I will not refrain my mouth.
I will speak in the anguish
of my spirit. I will complain
 in the bitterness of my soul."

WATCH MY VIDEOS

Here are a few of my favorite videos I've done over the years. Click here to see all of my digital video work.

Five Finger Fillet
The Contender challenges Tough Guy Champ to the ultimate knife game.

Welcome to the Fire Room
A young man is confronted by a menacing bartender. Horror. Quite disturbing.

Nib-Ron's Warning 
to OrbEarth

Take heed, gullible earth creatures. (But something is lost in the translation.)

Cuttin' Onions with Zemek
I try to show graffiti gangsta dude Zemek how to chop onions. 
Weirdness ensues.

(I am not) The Blue Bear
Espionage, kidnapping, torture, kinky sex and teddy bears. Horroror.

The Perfect Haunted House
Mr. Needles, Professor Terrington and Stik Mann search for the perfect haunted house to use in a zombie movie.

YEAH, BUT I WANT MORE!!!

 photo LeoPicInlander.jpg

I won first place in The Inlander's 2014 Short Fiction Contest. Read:
Uncle Le-o-nard's
Perplexing Exit


My book is available on Amazon!

Find it here!




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My brush with the
Black Scythe 9/1/13

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I helped my friend Jesse produce some of
his MrDark series. 

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The full series is online

 

Poster by Chris ?

Here's Screen Test (2014), a bizarre little Jesse James Hennessy film. I wrote the script and was assistant director.


Go to my IMDb site, unless you have laundry to do or something.

Me as Steve Striker, broadcast journalist, \"How ya doin\'?\" photo Picture003b.jpg

And heeere's my face 
on Facebook

photo collage - ssg

Favorite Blasts from this
Website's Past:

Judy Roger's
Sarcastic Pantyraid 2000

ColdFire Labyrinth

My meeting with
Stacey #1 - #2

dewD-ling --
Coversations with dewD

The Martyrdom of
MAGOO
#1 - #2 - #3 - #4

TheOTHERSpokane
Prototype Project
Issues 1 - 5

Paranoid-Critical
Letters

Correspondence

OtherWoes

On June 30, 2017, the criminals who run the website Photobucket.com (who hosted the images for OtherSpokane.com) began denying access to any photo or video on their site that was being used on "third-party websites," meaning blogs, websites, Amazon sites, eBay auction listings, Craigslist, etc - unless you pay them a $400 ransom.

See the mess they made of my past decade of work. No pics, but most of the links still work.

Feb '17  
March '17  
April '17 
May - June '17
  Oct '16 
Nov '16  
Dec '16  
Jan '17  
 June - July '16  
August '16  
Sept '16  
Jan '16  
Feb '16 
March - May '16
Sept '15 
Oct - Nov '15  
Dec '15  
May '15 
June '15  
July '15  
August '15
Jan '15  
Feb - March '15  
April '15
Oct '14  
Nov '14  
Dec '14
Aug '14 - Sept '14  
May - July '14  
Jan - April '14  
Sept - Dec '13  
April - Aug '13 
Feb - March '13  
Dec '12 - Jan '13  
Oct - Nov '12  
July - Sept '12  
Jan - June '12 
2011  
2010  
2009 
And beyond...

I first used "The Bing" as a name for The Bing Crosby Theater

OtherSpokane.com is protected speech pursuant to the "inalienable rights" of all men, and the First (or even the Second) Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.
 Don't tread on me, pretty-please.

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 2/22/18 

Billy Graham, who preached to millions and was known as the "pastor to presidents," dead at 99.

Here's his obit in NYT.

SpokesmanReview: Graham in Spokane. In 1982, Billy Graham drew more people to his Spokane crusade than the city had people.
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CrashCourse Godstuff: 
     Anselm of Canterbury and the Argument for God
     Aquinas and the Cosmological Arguments.
     Intelligent Design.
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photo - ssgTime: A Former Russian Troll Explains How to Spread Fake News. A former Russian troll explains how to spread fake news. 
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PoetryFoundation: Animal Planet. Animal-voiced poems tend to be quirky and quaint, like T.S. Eliot’s on cats. Enter Don Marquis, a fatalistic newspaperman who wrote cockroach-based poetry.
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Neatoram: An Acid Trip With Groucho Marx. That time Groucho dropped acid with Paul Krassner. Yeah.

Krassner wrote about it.
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"Always stay in your own movie."
   ~  Ken Kesey
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 2/21/18 

PsychologyToday: The Psychology of Columbo. It was 50 years ago yesterday that the first episode of 'Columbo' aired on TV. This article looks at the psychology of television's greatest detective.
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Circa: Travel Guru Rick Steves' Guide to Marijuana. Europe vs. the US.
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Nautilus: Waiting For the Robot Rembrandt. What needs to happen for artificial intelligence to make fine art.
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1843magazine: Victor Hugo's Surreal, Forgotten Art. The author of "Les Miserables" was an artistic visionary, whose spooky drawings and paintings were admired by the Surrealists.
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 2/20/18 

Figuring in the wind chill and the physio- and psychological affects, it is currently 1000 degrees below zero in Spokane.
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John Oliver on Trump Vs. The World. America's reputation is being damaged by its own president. John Oliver, several dinosaurs, and the NYC Gay Men's Chorus remind the world that our country is...complicated.
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TheWeek: Donald Trump is Our First Porno President. "The tawdry aesthetic of pornography is what lies behind his orange skin, his bleached blond hair, his protruding stomach, even his tiny white tennis shorts. Trump Tower, with its faux marble and imitation gilt and lifeless plastic palms, is a porno location. So is Mar-a-Lago, where overweight boomer tycoons pay hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to engage in a Ron Jeremy parody of leisure. So, too, in Trump's mind, is the White House."
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SpokesmanReview: Idaho Senator Yells at Students Lobbying for Birth Control. A state senator shouted at University of Idaho students affiliated with Planned Parenthood trying to schedule a meeting with him to discuss birth control and sex education. Republican Sen. Dan Foreman said he would call law enforcement officials if they attempted to visit his office at the Capitol again.
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IrishTimes: Picasso's Erotic Year. In 1932 the artist, 50, had a torrid affair with his 22-year-old model. Even his banal subjects — a fruit platter, a shadow — turned phallic.
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Guitarist Randy Bachman Demystifies the Opening Chord of The Beatles "A Hard Day's Night." 
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 2/16/18 

PhilosophyNow: Is Everything A Computer? If something is computable, does that necessarily make it a computer?
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TheStranger: Mass Shootings Reveal America Is a Civilization That's Reverted to Ritual Sacrifice. Americans are protected from people who have never killed Americans, but not from Americans who kill Americans in large numbers on the regular.

AP: Shooting Suspect Possibly Linked to White Nationalist Group. As the criminal case against the suspect took shape, the leader of a white nationalist militia called the Republic of Florida said Cruz was a member of his group and participated in exercises in Tallahassee.
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AmericanConservative: The Lies That Enable Perpetual War. The U.S. is at war around the world because our government chooses to be at war around the world.
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SpokesmanReview: Planned Parenthood Files Suit in Spokane to Stop Trump Cuts to Teen Pregnancy Prevention. The local office of Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit in Spokane Thursday seeking to have a federal judge reverse a decision by the Trump Administration decision to cut the grants that fund the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program.
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 2/15/18 

AmericanConservative: Debunking the Caricature of Jack Kerouac the Nihilist. Mindless hedonist and word-vomiting miscreant. Or the humblest, most devoted American religious writer of the 20th century?
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TLS: Intimacy, Infamy. We may not always know why we kiss, but we do it all the time, which is kind of disturbing, and absurd when you think about it.
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Lapham's: Fire Down Below. Ten visions of the underworld.
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 2/13/18 

Reason: Trump's New Budget Plan Is a Fiscal Disaster. We are likely to be entering a regime of permanent trillion-dollar deficits. And, as the recent financial market turbulence suggests, there is a limit to investors' patience with this new reality.
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Politico: Trump's Parade is Political Genius. The only ones who will be sour are the Democrats, who will have discovered that Trump, contrary to their beliefs and hopes, is not a buffoon. Or at least not a total one.
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CommonDreams: The Deadly Rule of the Oligarchs. Once oligarchs take power, rational, prudent and thoughtful responses to social, economic and political problems are ignored to feed insatiable greed.
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Shuddup shuttin' up...
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 2/12/18 

Shuddup.
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 2/11/18 

ForeignPolicy: Trump's Sound and Fury Has Signified Nothing. Who could have predicted that a ... reality show host whose personal life was tabloid fodder ... would end up presiding over a White House whose defining feature thus far has been backstabbings, betrayals, and bumbling?
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Sojourners: Conservative Christianity Is Now Everything It Once Hated. Post-Modern, Morally Relative, and Post-Truth.
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I'll take the stairs...Atlantic: A Brief History of Dude. No matter how I use the word, it always implies the same thing: solidarity without intimacy. It says close, but dude, not too close.
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AmericanConservative: US Kills Over 100 Syrian Fighters In "Self Defense". It's a lot of people to kill, particularly since the US supposedly isn't at war with Syria.
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ScienceAlert: Scientists Rank Nine Recreational Drugs From Safest to Most Dangerous. Turns out, 'magic' mushrooms are responsible for the lowest percentage of emergency ward visits, followed by cannabis in second place, and LSD and cocaine in joint third place.
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 2/10/18 

RollingStone: Donald Trump's Thinking on Nukes Is Insane and Ignorant. Nukes are the ultimate Trump policy problem because it's a subject that requires scientific knowledge he completely lacks, while also forcing him to choose between two of his most sharply conflicting narcissistic affectations.  
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AmericanConservative: Parade of Defeat: Trump Prefers Spectacle Over Strategy. "As we awaken to news that President Trump ordered the Pentagon to plan for a massive military parade, one cannot help but wonder what it is we’re celebrating. Nearly 17 years of indecisive quagmire?"
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SpokesmanReview: Seattle Clears Pot Convictions, Following San Francisco Lead. More than five years after Washington state legalized marijuana, Seattle officials said Thursday they’re moving to automatically clear past misdemeanor convictions for pot possession – a step similarly announced by San Francisco last week.
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 2/9/18 

Remember last year when all of the Trump apologists were laughing at people who said Trump is a fascist? Now he wants a military parade, and if you don't applaud, it's treason.

Many people did Nazi that coming.

Anyway, Trump already had his parade with the Tiki torches and sweaty Aryan boys.

Here's MoveOn's petition to stop the war parade in DC.

NYT: Trump Wants a Big Parade. It Would Be a Big Mistake. The United States has the world’s most capable fighting force. But do we really want to spike the ball at a time when the country is embroiled in two wars, with no end in sight?
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KREM: Spokane is Considering Zip Line Under the Monroe Street Bridge. The idea would have the zip line go from just north of the library, under the bridge, and end at Glover Field.
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KXLY: Idaho Lawmakers Considering Cutting Climate Change Out of Curriculum. Idaho's House Education Committee agreed to submit a rule that would remove language that deals with environmental effects of fossil fuels and deforestation for the state's K-12 schools.
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 2/8/18 


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 2/7/18 

Yesterday, Spokane - at 49 degrees - was the most pleasant place in America - if not the planet. A spectacularly beautiful day.
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WashingtonPost: Trump's "Marching Orders" to Pentagon: Plan a Grand Military Parade. Trump’s vision of soldiers marching and tanks rolling down the boulevards of Washington is moving closer to reality.
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ScientificAmerican: How to Tell if Someone is Lying. Either way, can you handle the truthiness?  Research says probably not: we’re terrible at detecting lies. 
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LRB: Diary. "Trump, in Wolff’s portrait, is a figure in reverse, like the Pompidou Centre, where everything that’s typically inside – air-conditioning ducts, pipes etc – hangs outside. For Trump, every action is a visceral reaction. There are no second thoughts."
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ParisReview: The Art of Madness. Ready-mades before Duchamp, Cy Twombly-esque scribblings 40 years before his heyday. The work of mentally ill artists reveals their bold originality.
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 2/5/18 

SpokesmanReview: "Live PD" Paints Spokane at It's Ugliest. Shawn Vestal on how reality-TV shows have helped fuel an image of the city as a place where a methed-up man stands on every corner, the arms of his T-shirt cut off, bleeding from an ear and blaming the other guy for starting it.
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AmericanConservative: The Militarization of the NFL. The pre-game patriotism is military propaganda.
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Joe Rogan Experience #1073 - Joe talks with Steven Pinker, cognitive psychologist, linguist, and popular science author.
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Cabinet: The History of Smell-O-Vision. The 1960 film "Scent of Mystery" used a renowned osmologist to revolutionize cinema. The result smelled like cheap cologne. Here's the NYT review from 1960. Rotten Toms. A short doc.
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 2/4/18 

Nation: Rule by Fear. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich was the first major history of Nazi Germany and remains the most-read book on the subject. Time for a corrective.
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TruthDig: American History for Truthdiggers: Original Sin. Trump promises to “Make America great again,” this moment is an appropriate time to reconsider our past, look back at various eras of United States history and re-evaluate America’s origins.
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Futurism: Could We Transport Our Consciousness Into Robots? Michio Kaku ponders the question.
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LARB: Keeping the Darwinian Faith. Darwinism is loaded with cultural and aesthetic baggage rarely found in science. Has evolutionary theory become a religion?
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Discover: Is Your Computer Being Cryptojacked? Nothing is free these days.
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 2/2/18 

I missed my opportunity to see the severed forearm of St. Francis Xavier. It is unlikely I will have another chance.
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Nation: Trump's All-Out Attack on the Rule of Law. Accusing the FBI and DOJ of partisanship and conspiracies, the president is setting the stage for a constitutional crisis.
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Vice: What Would Happen in the Minutes and Hours After a Coup in America
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ForeignAffairs: The Myth of the Limited Strike on North Korea. A strike would have no guarantee of successfully destroying North Korean capabilities, and Kim may well feel compelled to respond to even a limited attack.
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MarijuanaMoment: Washington State Readies Marijuana Lawsuit Against Trump Administration. Ferguson said that his office is ready to defend cannabis businesses that are in strict compliance with state law.
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 2/1/18 

WashingtonPost: The Golden Age of Conservative Magazines. Irrelevance is the fate of most political magazines. Yet there are times when they change the course of history. Now might be one of those moments.
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Here is the State of the Union Address without the applause breaks.
Here is the State of the Union Address with only the applause breaks.
Here is the State of the Union Address at the soul level.
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Atlantic: The Shallowness of Google Translate. The program uses state-of-the-art AI techniques, but simple tests show that it's a long way from real understanding.
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SpokesmanReview: Washington Bill Would Require Concealed Weapon Carriers to Seek Permission to Bring Guns Into Others' Homes. Whether a homeowner’s right to keep guns out their home takes precedence over the right of a person with a concealed pistol license to be armed is a question lawmakers may have to answer.
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"One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back."
  ~ Carl Sagan
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 1/31/18 

Trump's SOTU address. Here is the transcript. Here's the Democratic response.
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NYT: SOTU Fact-Check.
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CNN: Fact-Checking Website Crashes During State of the Union Address. Trump's first State of the Union address proved too much for non-partisan fact-checking site PolitiFact Tuesday night.  The website saw its servers crash for six minutes during the President's speech.
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TheNation: Trump's Long, Low-Energy SOTU Changed Nothing. The White House promised a speech calling for unity. Instead we got nativism, jingoism, and gibberish.
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SOTU with Trevor Noah and Jimmy Kimmel and John Oliver 
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DailyBeast: President Stephen Miller's SOTU Was a White-Nationalist Wish List. Sure, Trump did the talking. But that was President Stephen Miller's first State of the Union Address.
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KREM: Local Lawmakers Respond to the SOTU.
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 1/30/18 

TruthDig: Chris Hedges on The Useful Idiocy of Donald Trump. The problem with Donald Trump is not that he is imbecilic and inept—it is that he has surrendered total power to the oligarchic and military elites.
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Vox: Understanding the Fake Historian Behind America's Religious Right. Newly appointed ambassador for religious freedom, Sam Brownback, is an admirer of controversial "scholar" David Barton.

Atlantic: Genuine Christian Scholars Smack Down an Unruly Colleague. The phony evangelical "historian" David Barton meets his match at last.
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NewYorker: The Book that Colored Charles Darwin's World. Cuttlefish were “hyacinth red and chestnut brown,” sea slugs “primrose yellow,” soft coral “light auricular purple”: Darwin, one admirer noted, was “a first-rate landscape painter with the pen”
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 1/29/18 

AmericanConservative: The Alt-Right Is Not Who You Think They Are. "Far from defending the ideas and institutions they inherited, the alt-right—which is overwhelmingly a movement of white millennials—forcefully condemns their parents’ generation. They do so because they do not believe their parents are racist enough."
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Atlantic: Trump misunderstands Jay-Z, and the Black Community. Jay-Z, and many before him, have espoused capitalism and economic empowerment as a means to an end: racial equality. Being rich is a secondary benefit to the power, stability, and peace of mind that money can provide in a country that has forced blacks into poverty and segregation.
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MarijuanaMoment: Dems Pick Anti-Pot Kennedy to Deliver Dem Response to State of Union. Some observers see the young Kennedy, 37, as a rising political star. But he is starkly out of step with his party — and a majority of U.S. voters — on a key issue now emerging at the forefront of mainstream American politics: Marijuana.
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 1/28/18 

The IMAX theater in Riverfront Park is being demolished tomorrow
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TheNation: Little Spartas. What causes some cities to become sites of revolution?
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Politico: Donald Rumsfeld's Snowflake Poetry is Exactly What America Needs Right Now. In newfound verse from 2001, the former defense secretary rages against time, space and indecipherable acronyms.
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RollingStone: How the GOP Rigs Elections. With a combination of gerrymandering, voter-ID laws and dark money, Republicans have tipped the political scales in their favor. Will it be enough to keep Democrats from claiming victory in 2018?
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TheWeek: Evangelicals Aren't Being Hypocritical for Supporting Trump. They're Being Biblical. There is an analogy often floated in evangelical circles: of Trump to Cyrus, the Persian king who restored the Israelite kingdom.
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 1/27/18 

NewYorker: Rereading Albert Speer's "Inside the Third Reich." Right-wing populism is rising around the world; there are lessons to be learned from the memoir of Hitler’s close associate.
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Nautilus: The Irony of the Pope Decrying Fake News. "The Catholic Church amassed much of its vast following and fortune, still held to this day, on the generation of fear."
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Download 8 of the 10 screenplays nominated for the 2018 Oscars.
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 1/26/18 

Pioneering neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield - honored today in Google Doodles - was born in Spokane.
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BBC: Trump Asked to Borrow a Van Gogh. Guggenheim Offered an 18K Gold Toilet Instead. The piece is an interactive work entitled "America" that critics have described as pointed satire aimed at the excess of wealth in the U.S.
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MerriamWebster: Calling Dibs. "Dibs on that last slice of pizza!"; "I call dibs on the front seat." More than likely, you've heard expressions like these, but—really—why dibs? It kind of sounds like divs, but having dibs doesn't imply dividing or sharing—the person wants the whole thing. We'll call dibs on divulging the origins of the term (sort of)
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 1/25/18 

AmericanConservative: The Darker Implications of Trump's Vulgarity. Appealing to the lowest common denominator threatens to drag the entire American experience down the toilet.
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Here is Umberto Eco's essay Ur-Fascism, 14 common features of fascism.
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OpenCulture: George Orwell Reviews Salvador Dali's Autobiography. "Dali is a good draughtsman and a disgusting human being."
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Nautilus: Why Pain is Necessary. "How does consciousness emerge out of nerve cells? Well, it doesn’t. You’re not dealing with the brain alone."
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ParisReview: When Jazz Was Dangerous. “Jazz, now well advanced into its second century, had an especially violent youth. It was more than merely dangerous—it was homicidal.”
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 1/24/18 

Politico: What Pence Just Did in Jerusalem. The Trump administration has fused itself to Israel more than any in American history. 

WashingtonPost: Female Journalists Covering Pence in Israel Forced to Stand Behind Male Colleagues
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TheStranger: Sen. Patty Murray Offers Vague, Gutless Statements on Vote to Reopen Government; Sen. Cantwell Says Nothing. Why are Democrats like Murray and Cantwell so scared? Unless protecting immigrants isn't really their thing.
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Reason: America's Border Patrol Behave Like Monsters. Activist arrested hours after aid group released video showing agents dumping out life-saving water.
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TLS: Writing Wrongs. The Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Epic of Gilgamesh were preserved through oral tradition. What has been gained, and lost, from writing things down?
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 Ursula K. Le Guin, best-selling science fiction author, dead at 88.
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 1/23/18 

Entire West Coast is on Tsunami alert after 7.9 earthquake 175 miles SE of Kodiak Island in Alaska. Expected to hit Washington State about 5 am.

Update: Alert called off.
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1843Mag: The Stoned Housewives of Washington, DC. When marijuana was legalized, many began experimenting. But a quirk in the law left them in for a surprise.
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NewStatesman: A Water-Based Religion: How Fishing Liberates the Mind. For fishermen, even the smallest grayling lifted flashing from the water stands as a true image, a true sentence, the scrap, as it were, of a greater truth.
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 1/22/18 

BostonReview: Philip K. Dick and the Fake Humans. Ours is a world in which the human and the nonhuman, the real and the fake, blur together. We live, in short, in Philip K. Dick’s future, not Orwell’s or Huxley’s.
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 Aeon: Eating People is Wrong - But It's Also Widespread and Sacred. Cannibalism was widely and frequently practiced, in almost every corner of the globe. Indeed it still occurs, in ritualistic and often propagandistic contexts. 
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photo - sherri st. george-darleyPhilosophyBites: Nigel Warburton talks to philosopher Rebecca Roache about swearing
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Aeon: Spiritual Hyperplane. Pioneering researchers of the fourth dimension: a German physicist perplexed by optical illusions and a charismatic American who swindled the bereaved.
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Atlantic: What Was the Most Influential Photograph in History? Top photojournalists reveal their picks.
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 1/19/18 

I watched an excellent documentary, Voyeur, about legendary journalist Gay Talese unmasking a motel owner who spied on his guests for decades. The story soon becomes a scandal of its own. Streaming on Netflix. Reviews: The Atlantic, NYT, Variety. Here's the New Yorker article by Talese referenced in the film.
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 1/18/18 


ACLU: DHS' Threat to Prosecute Sanctuary Cities Is Unconstitutional. In testimony to Congress, Kirstjen Nielsen confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security wants to prosecute mayors, legislators, and police chiefs who do not comply with Trump's deportation machine.
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Vice: This Is What a White Supremacist Department of Justice Looks Like. Jeff Sessions's tenure as attorney general shows how far to the right the Republican Party has swerved under Trump.
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TLS: Howl. A revolution against boredom, punk music was the 20th century’s last avant-garde movement. What does its demise mean for creative life?
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Walrus: I Was a Bank Robber Until I Read Kant. The one thing that criminals and philosophers share is a sense of being an outsider.
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Guardian: US Border Patrol Routinely Sabotages Water Left For Migrants. Humanitarian groups report agents routinely destroy supplies left in Arizona desert, condemning people to die of thirst.
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 1/17/18 

This is what your Nazism is doing for America --->

Politico
: White House Doctor Gives Trump "Excellent" Bill of Health. He's 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, eats fast food sweets, but "he has incredibly good genes."

TheWeek: Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, and Jimmy Kimmel Have Questions About Trump's Excellent Health. "Look, to be honest, I'm not really surprised. Donald Trump has dictator blood. We're used to this in Africa and other places in the world: Castro, Mugabe, the queen — we're all shocked at how long they live."
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NYT: Pentagon Suggests Countering Devastating Cyberattacks With Nuclear Arms. The Pentagon sent a plan to Trump for approval that would permit the use of nuclear weapons to respond to a wide range of devastating but non-nuclear attacks on U.S. infrastructure.
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Nautilus: Why Hasn't the World Been Destroyed in a Nuclear War. "It’s unsettling to live in a world whose existence is maintained only by the threatening logic of the Nash equilibrium."
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PublicDomainReview: Decayed Daguerreotypes. A collaboration with time: the beauty of decayed and damaged daguerreotypes from the studio of one of the most celebrated 19th-century photographers Mathew Brady.
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NationalGeographic: Best Cities in the US. NG says Spokane is one of the most surprising cities to visit.
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 1/16/18 

Adbusters: Global Funk. We are living through a new epidemic of insanity, far darker than anything the pioneers of psychoanalysis could ever have imagined.
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TruthDig: Martin Luther King's Revolutionary Dream Deferred. Long ago co-opted and sanitized by mainstream political figures, the King of memory bears little resemblance to the radical, complex man himself.

Intercept: King Celebrations Overlook His Critiques of Capitalism and Militarism. America’s celebrations of Martin Luther King Jr. typically focus on his civil rights activism: the nonviolent actions that led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The last few years of King’s life, by contrast, are generally overlooked. When he was assassinated in 1968, King was in the midst of waging a radical campaign against economic inequality and poverty, while protesting vigorously against the Vietnam War
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Atlantic: A Perfectly Postmodern White House Book. What makes Fire and Fury important is that it is not just about Trump, but a product of the same culture that produced Trump.
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LATimes: As Artists Fall Into Disgrace, Must Their Art Be Consigned to Oblivion? What to do with the works of artists whose conduct has been abhorrent? If a work of art speaks, it does so in a way that transcends the limitations and imperfections of the artist.
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TheCut: The Great Awokening. As politics and pop culture converge, we must distinguish between what's engineered to flatter contemporary taste and what says something new.
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 1/15/18 

Beyond Vietnam speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
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SpokesmanReview: Adult Film Actress Reportedly Paid By Trump Filmed Movie in Spokane. A former adult film star who reportedly was paid to keep silent about an alleged sexual encounter with President Donald Trump was once in Spokane to film a mainstream romantic comedy movie about the adult film industry.
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NPR: Nixon's Manhunt For the High Priest of LSD. A new book asks whether Leary really was "the most dangerous man in America," as President Richard Nixon claimed. The story follows Leary as he hops from country to country, trying to stay one step ahead of the Nixon administration.
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Aeon: Could We Reboot a Modern Civilization Without Fossil Fuels? Fossil fuels lie at the foundation of modern civilisation. Without them, an Industrial Revolution would not have been possible. But as the need to transition to a low-carbon economy becomes ever-clearer, it’s worth considering whether or not society could re-boot without fossil fuels.
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Smithsonian: Nine Famous People and What They're Buried With. Icons of their time, these celebrities didn't stray far from their public personaes. 
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 1/14/18 

Juuuust kidding --->
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DailyBeast: Trump's War on the Press Follows the Mussolini and Hitler Playbook. To realize the gravity of where we are now we need more context than is provided by recent history, we need to look at the history of Italy in the 1920s and Germany in the 1930s.
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Wht's wrng wth vwls?
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Sean Penn: Donald Trump Is the Enemy of Compassion. The actor's bitter response to Trump's comments about Haiti.
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NationalGeographic: Is Dark Tourism Okay? Visiting places associated with death and suffering can be a profoundly moving experience that deepens our capacity for compassion and empathy.
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 1/13/18 

WeeklyStandard: Jews and Jokes. The Old Testament isn't funny. Jews, however, produce so much humor. Why? Theories abound, few of them funny.
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Nautilus: The Reality of Color is Perception. Our perception of color cannot be reduced to physics or to psychology. It’s neither external or internal, but somehow in between.
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Slate: The Reviewer's Fallacy. Most literature and film is mediocre or worse. Yet reviewers spout effusive praise. Why aren’t critics critical enough? 
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 1/12/18 

AP: Trump: Why Allow Immigrants From "Shithole Countries"? In a meeting with lawmakers, Trump used profane language to disparage African nations.

NYT: After Trump Said It, How News Outlets Handled It. Lester Holt opened the “NBC Nightly News” with a parental warning: “This may not be appropriate for some of our younger viewers.”

GQ: Trump, Your White Supremacy Is Showing. According to Trump, immigrants from Haiti and African countries come from "shithole countries."

CNN: Not racial. Not racially charged. Racist. "Let's not kid ourselves or dance around it." said Anderson Cooper, anchor of AC360. "The sentiment the President expressed today is a racist sentiment."
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Politico: Dozens of Experts Urge Doctor to Examine Trump's Neurological Health During Physical. More than 70 psychologists, psychiatrists and others note the president's "declining faculties for complex thought."
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Intercept: With Support From Nancy Pelosi and Dems, House Gives Trump Broad Latitude to Spy on Americans. House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that would renew one of the government’s most sweeping surveillance authorities for six years with minimal changes.
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CommonDreams: Walmart Pulls "Diabolical" and "Devious Two-Step" By Pairing Wage Hikes With Mass Layoffs. "Politics at its most cynical" is how one analyst described Walmart's attempt to claim wage hikes were a result of the GOP tax plan.
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Economist: Hundreds of Germans Living as if the Reich Never Ended. Most Germans are not prone to conspiracy theories. Nevertheless, a tiny but growing movement of "imperial citizens" is pursuing bizarre pseudo-legal beliefs.
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 1/11/18 

Politico: Trump's Secret Plan to Scrap Obamacare. The document, revealed for the first time by Politico, shows that despite the chaos surrounding repeal, the administration had an elaborate plan to take apart the law using executive authority.
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TruthDig: Challenging Trump's Language of Fascism. Trump has normalized the notion that the meaning of words no longer matters, nor do traditional sources of facts and evidence.
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NewYorker: Michael Wolff's Withering Portrait of Trump. Michael Wolff recounts near the end of the book “Fire and Fury” that, five months after James Comey’s firing, Steve Bannon was predicting the collapse of Trump’s Presidency.
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Read the full transcript of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s interview with Glenn Simpson, the co-founder of a firm behind a controversial 2016 dossier on President Donald Trump’s ties with Russia.
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 1/10/18 

AmericanConservative: Revolt of the Rich. "Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it. If one can afford private security, public safety is of no concern; if one owns a Gulfstream jet, crumbling bridges cause less apprehension."
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TruthDig: Corpses of Souls. Christian theology has ingested the toxic brew of American exceptionalism, the myth of American virtues and the conflation of freedom with unfettered capitalism. 
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Patheos: In the Age of Trump, What Will Evangelicalism Become? It might be understandable why a Christian would vote for Trump on the basis of key issues. But to make him a hero, a standard-bearer for Christians?
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WashingtonPost: Why Would Bannon Compare Himself With Thomas Cromwell? He's not the first public official who compared himself to King Henry VIII's adviser who was beheaded.

PBS: Bannon Ousted From Breitbart. Steve Bannon’s ouster from Breitbart News marks a precipitous decline for the former White House chief strategist.
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Massive: Life Is Evolving Through a Hurricane of Human Pollution. Life is adapting to the toxic soup of pollution – and we're only just beginning to understand the strange costs. 
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 1/9/18 

AP: Oprah Speech Has Dems Buzzing About Possible 2020 Run. “She would be a serious candidate,” said Jennifer Palmieri, former White House communications director under President Barack Obama.
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Politico: Oprah On the Issues. Winfrey, who has never held public office and has no prior political experience, remains largely a mystery on a wide array of political and policy matters.
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AmericanConservative: Oprah's Throne-And-Altar Liberalism.  "I would call President Oprah the Pallas Athena of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. She would be the goddess of the nation-state."
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TheHill: Neocons Flock to Oprah. Bill Kristol tweets "I'm with Her" on possible Oprah 2020 bid.

Reason: Oprah's Golden Globes' Speech Deflects Attention From Hollywood. Oprah's much-praised speech last night at the Golden Globes doesn't deserve the acclaim it's getting. The speech smacked more of Hollywood smugness than the sort of insight that should launch a political career.
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WashingtonPost: Ivanka Trump Praises Oprah's Speech. Her tweet, praising a rousing speech that spurred calls of Oprah running against President Trump in 2020, caught many people by surprise.
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Salon: Oprah 2020? Oprah would be a better president than the current guy. But she's a magical solution to an imaginary problem.
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 1/8/18 

Now we know: The J in Donald J. Trump stands for Genius...
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ReligionForBreakfast: The Origins of Animal Sacrifice. It is one of humanity's oldest rituals. But how old? When did this ritual originate?

Is Animal Sacrifice Legal in the USA?
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NewYorker: The 1968 Book That Tried to Predict the World of 2018. What a 1968 book gets right (your life is so consumed by technology that you are looking at it at this very moment) and wrong (suppression of lightning by the 1980s) about 2018. 
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Nixon's Paranoia + Reagan's dementia + Bush's complete lack of knowledge = Trump.
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Snopes: Is It Possible to Get High From Secondhand Marijuana Smoke? It is possible to experience some psychoactive effects, but you'd really have to put some effort into it.
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 1/7/18 

NewRepublic: Michael Wolff and Donald Trump Deserve Each Other. Why an unscrupulous journalist is the ideal chronicler for an unscrupulous White House.

GentlemansQuarterly: Michael Wolff Did What Every Other White House Reporter Is Too Cowardly to Do. Why is Fire & Fury having such an impact? Drew Magary writes it’s because Wolff was willing to throw decorum away and torch his access—and more journalists should do the same.

CNN: Much of What Michael Wolff Says About Trump Rings True. So says Trump biographer.
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 1/6/18 

I'm reading Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury - Inside the Trump White House." 

I'll be back in a bit ... God help us.
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 1/5/18 

AP: What Does Session's Policy Mean For the Future of Legal Weed? How is Sessions' policy going to affect medical and recreational marijuana users? Can it be reversed by Congress? 

Reason: Blame the Supreme Court for Letting the Feds Target Pot. What gives the federal government the authority to target legal state pot? The answer is not the Constitution. This federal power grab is the product of two awful Supreme Court precedents.
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Aeon: Whence Comes Nihilism, the Uncanniest of All Guests? Nihilism is not a choice or intellectual commitment, but a thing that comes upon you.
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EvolutionInstitute: Does Natural Selection Explain Why You Exist? Darwinian evolution explains how life forms change, but has been unable to account for how life emerged from non-life in the first place. Here is one model with a mechanism for how it all could have come to be.
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 1/4/18 

HighTimes: Jeff Sessions' Anti-Pot Federal Crackdown Is In Full Force. Is the party over?

NYT: Trump Administration Takes Step That Could Threaten Marijuana Legalization Movement. Federal prosecutors will be given discretion to more aggressively enforce.
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Aeon: 21st-Century Marx. He is perpetually reinvented to fit the needs of a given era. In the midst of the Cold War, the humanism of Marx's early writing was brought to the fore. In the wake of the financial crash, the details of his economic theories have been re-scrutinized.
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NYT: Would Twitter Ever Suspend Trump's Account? President Trump boasted Tuesday evening that he had a “nuclear button” that is “much bigger” and “more powerful” than North Korea’s, again prompting fears that an errant tweet could lead to a nuclear conflict.

By the way, there is no nuclear button...
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Esquire: The Highest Highs and Lowest Lows of 2017. A look back at a truly insane trip around the sun.
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AtlasObscura: Why Humans and Insects Keep Holding Funerals for Insects. We have surprisingly overlapping death traditions.
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 1/3/18 

ScientificAmerican: A Neuroscientist Explores the Sanskrit Effect. MRI scans show that memorizing ancient mantras increases the size of brain regions associated with cognitive function.
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PublicDomainReview: Defining the Demonic. How at the heart of Dictionnaire Infernal, a monumental compendium of all things diabolical, lies an unlikely but pertinent synthesis of the Enlightenment and the occult.
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Smithsonian: The Fight Over Andrew Johnson's Impeachment Was a Fight for the Future of the US. Three years after the end of a bloody civil war that had sundered the Union, and nearly three years after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the government of the United States had triggered the most serious process in the constitutional mechanism: the power of impeachment.
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 1/2/18 

HistoryCollection: When the Lower Class Fights Back. Twelve of history's greatest peasant revolts.
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AmericanConservative: Trump and Military Intervention. Trump is a weak president, and escalation of ongoing wars is the path of least resistance in Washington, so that is what he is doing.
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Aeon: Utopia Inc. Most utopian communities are, like most start-ups, short-lived. What makes the difference between failure and success?
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ScepticalEnquirer: Becoming Fantastic. Why some people embellish their already accomplished lives with incredible tales.
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Esquire: Musicians Backstage in the 70s. Behind the scenes of an iconic era of music history.
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 1/1/18 

Harold Balazs (photo - Spokesman-Review)I honestly did not think I would ever see the date written above. One Spokane icon did not.
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SpokesmanReview: Harold Balazs, titanic figure on Northwest art scene, dead at 89.

Inlander: Harold Balazs, iconic Spokane artist, dead at 89.

SpokesmanReview: The Best of Balazs. From Jan. 2016. Harold Balazs has always been part artist, part prankster. He even borrowed his motto – “transcend the bullshit” – from original “merry prankster” Ken Kesey.

Harold BalazsHaroldBalazsArt.com  

"Comparatively few people care anything about art and when they do, it is because they have confused it with something else."
   ~  Harold Balazs
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Guernica: Among the Messiahs. Around the world, men claim to be the Second Coming of Christ. This photographer recounts the years he spent documenting - and befriending - six of them.
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Harold BalazsArtNet: Has Duchamp's Final Work Harbored a Secret for Five Decades? One artist has the theory that the work is meant to function as a camera obscura.
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HistoryToday: Romania's Problem with Dracula. Bram Stoker’s novel was a mixed blessing for Romania. It attracted tourists, but the legend was at odds with communist ideals and made a villain of a national hero.
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Macleans: The American Dream Has Moved to Canada. By every measure, Canada is the true place to find ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’
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Travel to the intelligible past:
December '17
November '17
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