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August 27 2015 | Entertainment | 0 comments
Sounds Fabulous
One of Ryan Murphy's new shows premiering September 22nd:

""It’s Mean Girls meets Friday the 13th. I think it’s laugh-out-loud funny, it’s edge-of-your-seat scary and everyone is wearing Chanel. What other reasons do you need [to watch]?"
—Lead actress Emma Roberts on the series"

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August 27 2015 | Architecture - Brussels | 0 comments
photo: Richard Harris

Endelijk! After many months (maybe years - time goes by so quickly these days) the scaffolding has come off the striking building at the corner of Orts, Dansaert, van Artevelde and Chartreux and it looks fabulous!!!
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August 26 2015 | Politics - USA | 0 comments
photo: Richard Harris

"...Here are some true numbers.

While most Muslims don't engage in politically inspired violence, those who do are responsible for a very small percentage of terror attacks in the West.

An FBI analysis of terror attacks committed on U.S. soil between 1980 and 2005 found that 94 percent were carried out by non-Muslims.

In Europe, the percentage is even lower. Europol, the European Union’s law-enforcement agency, looked at the number of terror attacks over the last five years and found that less than 2 percent were committed by Muslims.

Americans have a much better chance of being crushed and killed by their own furniture or getting struck by lightning than dying in a terrorist attack, the Intercept reported in June.

When Muslims do commit acts of terror in the United States, they often list violence perpetrated by the nation's government as the reason for their actions.

A 2004 Pentagon report confirmed this, noting that "Muslims do not 'hate our freedom,' but rather, they hate our policies," including "American direct intervention in the Muslim world."..."

Click here for whole article.
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August 26 2015 | Pitchforks - USA | 0 comments
The Clown Car Elections
photo: Richard Harris

"...We saw that earlier this week, when Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson blew up Twitter by calling for undocumented immigrants to become "property of the state" and put into "compelled labor." When a caller challenged the idea, Mickelson answered, "What's wrong with slavery?"

"...But then, on July 25th, Huckabee gave an interview to Breitbart News in which he shamelessly invoked Godwin's Law, saying that Barack Obama's deal with Iran "would take the Israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven."

The quote hit the airwaves like a thunderclap. Virtually everyone in the English-speaking world with an IQ over nine shrieked in disgust. The Huckster's "ovens" rant brought MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski to near-tears on air. Huckabee even prompted an Israeli transportation minister to exclaim, Dirty Dancing-style, "Nobody marches the Jews to ovens anymore."

At the event, he was glowingly introduced by Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King, who revved the crowd by bashing the Supreme Court ruling clearing the way for gay marriage. King had apparently been told on good authority by a lawyer friend that Obergefell v. Hodges meant that only one party in a marriage had to be a human being. "What that means," he said, "is you can now marry my lawn mower."

A reporter next to me leaned over. "King's lawn mower is gay?"..."

"...First, he firmly promised to re-litigate the Iraq War. "I'm gonna send some soldiers back to Iraq," he said. "If I'm president, we're going back to Iraq."

Promising concretely to restart a historically unpopular war is a solid Trump-era provocation, but Graham then took it a step further. He pledged to solve the Syria problem by channeling Lawrence of Arabia and leading an Arab army in an epic campaign to unseat the caliphate...

Graham, a politician who reportedly once said that "everything that starts with 'al-' in the Middle East is bad news," insisted he was just the man to unite the Saudis, Egyptians, Jordanians, Turks and other peoples in battle, and also get them to pay for the invasion (getting dirty foreigners to pay for our policies is another Trump innovation). "We're going into Syria with the Arabs in the lead," Graham said. "They will do most of the fighting, and they're gonna pay for it because we paid for the last two."

Ted Cruz, whose rhetorical schtick is big doses of Tea Party crazy (his best line was that Obama wanted to bring "expanded Medicaid" to ISIS)

Trump's campaign is giving people permission to do just that. It's hard to say this word in conjunction with such a sexually unappealing person, but his message is a powerful aphrodisiac. Fuck everything, fuck everyone. Fuck immigrants and fuck their filthy lice-ridden kids. And fuck you if you don't like me saying so.

Those of us who think polls and primaries and debates are any match for that are pretty naive. America has been trending stupid for a long time. Now the stupid wants out of its cage, and Trump is urging it on. There are a lot of ways this can go wrong, no matter who wins in 2016."

These excerpts are from two Matt Taibbi articles. Both full of his witty turns of phrase and insight:

Here and here.

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August 17 2015 | Politics - USA | 0 comments
Seems, Madam! Nay, It Is; I Know Not 'Seems'.
photo: Richard Harris

The following is from The Daily Beast. I don't think much of them and i particularly didn't like the way some "facts" were presented as inevitable: Bernie Sanders' ideas are "bad" and he "cannot win." But I liked this summing up:

"...The truth is, Hillary Clinton has supported every U.S. war since Vietnam. She supported not only DOMA, which her husband signed, but a travel ban on those who were HIV positive. She supported welfare cuts (remember her husband’s efforts toward “ending welfare as we know it”?). She supports the death penalty and campaigned in her husband’s place during the 1992 New Hampshire primary when he left to oversee the execution of an African-American man whose suicide attempt left him brain damaged.

And if “mass incarceration” is a problem today, keep in mind she has long advocated for the criminal justice policies that called for locking up more people for longer periods. She supports—and, as Secretary of State, participated in—the U.S. policy of targeted assassinations, including when the targets were American citizens.

In a political environment in which income inequality is a rallying cry, she makes $300K plus expenses an hour. In fact, she would be the wealthiest person elected president in the modern era..."

And no, I didn't check all the facts.
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