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Kee Hinckley

Kee Hinckley 

Fascinated by the boundaries of technology and social behavior.

Occupation: I create things using code, words, and ideas. (TiVo, Inc.)

Location: La Conner, WA

Followers: 11,215

Following: 1,133

Views: 7,628,780

Added to CircleCount.com: 12/25/2011That's the date, where Kee Hinckley has been indexed by CircleCount.com.
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Activity

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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 20

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2016-07-21 04:19:07 (20 comments; 1 reshares; 18 +1s; )Open 

Most reshares: 9

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2016-07-24 22:08:50 (19 comments; 9 reshares; 97 +1s; )Open 

This Kasich Ad from November is dead on: "You might not care if Donald Trump says Muslims should register with their government, because you're not one," says Moe, to an ominous soundtrack. "And you might not care if Donald Trump says he's going to round up all the Hispanic immigrants, because you're not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump says it's okay to rough up black protesters, because you're not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump wants to suppress journalists, because you're not one. But think about this: If he keeps going, and he actually becomes president, he might just get around to you. And you better hope there's someone left to help you."

Most plusones: 97

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2016-07-24 22:08:50 (19 comments; 9 reshares; 97 +1s; )Open 

This Kasich Ad from November is dead on: "You might not care if Donald Trump says Muslims should register with their government, because you're not one," says Moe, to an ominous soundtrack. "And you might not care if Donald Trump says he's going to round up all the Hispanic immigrants, because you're not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump says it's okay to rough up black protesters, because you're not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump wants to suppress journalists, because you're not one. But think about this: If he keeps going, and he actually becomes president, he might just get around to you. And you better hope there's someone left to help you."

Latest 50 posts

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2016-07-26 04:19:12 (8 comments; 0 reshares; 5 +1s; )Open 

After I'm done with my dental floss farm I'm going to start milking cockroaches.

Break out the Oreos...___After I'm done with my dental floss farm I'm going to start milking cockroaches.

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2016-07-26 03:03:06 (3 comments; 0 reshares; 8 +1s; )Open 

A break from the election craziness: Wonderful story about the origins of pho, the great Vietnamese meal in a bowl. http://luckypeach.com/the-history-of-pho-andrea-nguyen/

A break from the election craziness: Wonderful story about the origins of pho, the great Vietnamese meal in a bowl. http://luckypeach.com/the-history-of-pho-andrea-nguyen/___

2016-07-26 02:44:16 (4 comments; 0 reshares; 15 +1s; )Open 

I want a plugin that hides all articles with the word "epic" in the title. It never is. Unless followed by "Gilgamesh" of course.

I want a plugin that hides all articles with the word "epic" in the title. It never is. Unless followed by "Gilgamesh" of course.___

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2016-07-25 18:07:24 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 8 +1s; )Open 

Invasive hippos.

Invasive species have been a tremendous problem around the world. When a species arrives in a brand-new ecosystem and thrives, most often there isn't a network of other species already in place to integrate with it: so the species might simply choke off competitors who haven't evolved to deal with it (e.g. kudzu), eat all the food and cause other species to starve (e.g. rabbits), or dump so many nutrients into the river that they cause massive algae blooms, while being a perpetual risk for killing people (e.g. hippos).

If your first response to that was "wait, invasive hippos?" then you're probably not alone. Apparently, Pablo Escobar had quite a number on his estate, and when he was gunned down in 1993, nobody really knew what to do about them. So they're still there, and doing what hippopotami do -- namely, make more hippopotami. And produce copious quantities of feces.

Unlike most invasive species, this problem is still contained enough that it could be stopped if people decided to. (The recommended way to stop invasive hippopotami is with high-caliber ranged weapons, in case you're wondering.) However, it isn't clear that people do; the locals apparently file them under "charismatic megafauna" and kind of like having them around.

That said, this opinion is likely to change as they increase in number; hippos are generally considered to be the deadliest animals in Africa, killing nearly 3,000 people a year. While they're vegetarian, they're very large, and extremely ornery. They frequently charge and attack boats, destroy crops, and are well-known for something technically known as "projectile pooping."

In the scope of the problems facing the world right now, a few dozen hippos are probably not the biggest thing we need to be concerned about. But it's nice to think about some kind of potential apocalypse that doesn't involve public officials, for a change.

Via +rone.___Invasive hippos.

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2016-07-25 13:57:38 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 4 +1s; )Open 

The ghost-singer who replaced or augmented Natalie Wood, Margaret O'Brien, Marilyn Monroe, Rita Moreno, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, etc. For Maria, Eliza, and Anna, she did all the singing.

Seen finally on-screen as Sister Sophia in the movie version of The Sound of Music.

Also toured with Liberace and Victor Borge; taught; hosted a children's program; sang opera as an oratorio, concert soloist, and recitalist; acted; judged vocal competitions. Acquired Emmys, Grammy nominations, a Drama Desk nomination, three husbands, and three children.

Sadly, she outlived her son Andrew Gold, who died five years ago. Andrew was similarly multi-talented: a singer, songwriter, studio musician, producer, sound engineer, arranger, film composer, actor, and painter. He played at least 13 instruments, wrote "Lonely Boy" and "Thank You for Being a Friend" (yes, the... more »

The ghost-singer who replaced or augmented Natalie Wood, Margaret O'Brien, Marilyn Monroe, Rita Moreno, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, etc. For Maria, Eliza, and Anna, she did all the singing.

Seen finally on-screen as Sister Sophia in the movie version of The Sound of Music.

Also toured with Liberace and Victor Borge; taught; hosted a children's program; sang opera as an oratorio, concert soloist, and recitalist; acted; judged vocal competitions. Acquired Emmys, Grammy nominations, a Drama Desk nomination, three husbands, and three children.

Sadly, she outlived her son Andrew Gold, who died five years ago. Andrew was similarly multi-talented: a singer, songwriter, studio musician, producer, sound engineer, arranger, film composer, actor, and painter. He played at least 13 instruments, wrote "Lonely Boy" and "Thank You for Being a Friend" (yes, the Golden Girls theme), and played with everyone.___

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2016-07-25 09:52:19 (0 comments; 2 reshares; 4 +1s; )Open 

❝ Flows from the glaciers that give the pole its name support roughly 1.3 billion people in China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan — and the glaciers are melting fast. ❞

h/t +Ray Radlein

❝ Flows from the glaciers that give the pole its name support roughly 1.3 billion people in China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan — and the glaciers are melting fast. ❞

h/t +Ray Radlein___

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2016-07-25 09:50:14 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 1 +1s; )Open 

Some special effects probably should not exist.

Some special effects probably should not exist.___

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2016-07-25 09:47:16 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 5 +1s; )Open 

I've had days like that.

h/t +Ray Radlein 

I've had days like that.

h/t +Ray Radlein ___

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2016-07-24 22:34:42 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 7 +1s; )Open 

"If he killed her in the name of honor, did he see her do anything wrong to anyone? What was her crime?" [her father] asked.
...
"We are hopeful that the world will remember her -- that Pakistan will remember her, like they do (former Prime Minister) Benazir Bhutto," Azeem said. "She has left us with her stories. May God give her a place in heaven."

___"If he killed her in the name of honor, did he see her do anything wrong to anyone? What was her crime?" [her father] asked.
...
"We are hopeful that the world will remember her -- that Pakistan will remember her, like they do (former Prime Minister) Benazir Bhutto," Azeem said. "She has left us with her stories. May God give her a place in heaven."

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2016-07-24 22:32:14 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 0 +1s; )Open 

Cool photo my co-worker +Blake Ulmer took this weekend.

Cool photo my co-worker +Blake Ulmer took this weekend.___

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2016-07-24 22:08:50 (19 comments; 9 reshares; 97 +1s; )Open 

This Kasich Ad from November is dead on: "You might not care if Donald Trump says Muslims should register with their government, because you're not one," says Moe, to an ominous soundtrack. "And you might not care if Donald Trump says he's going to round up all the Hispanic immigrants, because you're not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump says it's okay to rough up black protesters, because you're not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump wants to suppress journalists, because you're not one. But think about this: If he keeps going, and he actually becomes president, he might just get around to you. And you better hope there's someone left to help you."

This Kasich Ad from November is dead on: "You might not care if Donald Trump says Muslims should register with their government, because you're not one," says Moe, to an ominous soundtrack. "And you might not care if Donald Trump says he's going to round up all the Hispanic immigrants, because you're not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump says it's okay to rough up black protesters, because you're not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump wants to suppress journalists, because you're not one. But think about this: If he keeps going, and he actually becomes president, he might just get around to you. And you better hope there's someone left to help you."___

2016-07-24 20:07:34 (2 comments; 1 reshares; 8 +1s; )Open 

Police/BLM liason week one -- lessons learned
some boundaries are not serving us well

Wall of text, but bear with me please.

Week one of my journey as a facilitator of the BLM/LE liason project or whatever it ends up being.

Background:

I grew up with my dad working night security for the summer marches with Dr King and the SCLC, starting in 1963 around the time of the Salem-Montgomery March. Yes, thank you, it was scary as hell. Black life, white life, it did not matter, 0% to Bull Connor in Birmingham at that time if you did not respect Jim Crow.

My dad, along with a number of non-black Unitarian Universalist ministers, joined the cause.

Among their number was our minister Dr James Reeb, of our church in Roxbury MA, a few miles from where I live now. Many many many blacks died, including the four little black girls in the... more »

Police/BLM liason week one -- lessons learned
some boundaries are not serving us well

Wall of text, but bear with me please.

Week one of my journey as a facilitator of the BLM/LE liason project or whatever it ends up being.

Background:

I grew up with my dad working night security for the summer marches with Dr King and the SCLC, starting in 1963 around the time of the Salem-Montgomery March. Yes, thank you, it was scary as hell. Black life, white life, it did not matter, 0% to Bull Connor in Birmingham at that time if you did not respect Jim Crow.

My dad, along with a number of non-black Unitarian Universalist ministers, joined the cause.

Among their number was our minister Dr James Reeb, of our church in Roxbury MA, a few miles from where I live now. Many many many blacks died, including the four little black girls in the church basement that year, RESPECT, but I am saying, my mom and I are listening on the news, and Walter Cronkite says, "A northern Unitarian minister has been shot and killed...name has not been released pending notification of next of kin..."

Now, I was four. But I can tell you every detail. The brown upholstery of the Laz-y-boy. The pool of light from the lamp overlapping the odd color of the cathode ray from the old B&W TV we had. I looked at mom, she looked at me. And the phone rang, and time stopped. Forever. Probably only two rings.

And my mom FLEW out of that chair, and ran for the wall phone by the kitchen. "HELLO?" It was a woman from the church asking about a chicken pot pie social. My mother was cool. She answered everything like nothing was going on. She hung up the phone, she came back to the La-Z-Boy. And we just bawled.

Next morning I learned my dad was ok, but we'd lost a friend. Another. Later more. People with careers ruined, beaten crippled, dead, families broken by their activism, lost to addiction, suicides. When I was little, I had two ambitions, I wanted to be an astronaut or a great civil rights leader.

Everyone told me that they wouldn't take me for the first, but in civil rights, there were kick ass women. Mostly blacks, but I could kick ass with any black woman, I knew I was that good. There were amazing orators and writers. Mostly black men, but I could do that too, I knew I could be that good. I had the fire of Amos in my soul.

So here I am, 2016. I have done my bit in digital divide, digital rights. I'm stepping up more directly. I have worked the edges. I have worked with law enforcement and intelligence services and military and I know how they work and think, and I expect I can help. I'm an Army mom, and a third generation union member.

So this week, the Patrollman's Union president, Mike McGrath, at the Somerville Police Department, sends an inflammatory, disinfo ridden, dog-whistling letter to our mayor, saying that the BLM banner on city hall (which includes the seal of the police department and has been up since I think a year ago April?) is demoralizing, and should be replaced with "all lives matter." Mayor Joe, who is a gem, refuses. The police chief, Fallon, says it's not within policy of the department. Hmm...

So when this letter hit, I'd been hitting my social media pro-BLM since Ferguson, and I've been active in local affairs here in Somerville for...well, I'm old, lol. I got one of my son's housemates to help me get my rollator downstairs and went to city hall and checked in with Communications, and no, this wasn't some union dispute under the surface, so fine, I'd head to SPD HQ.

On the way out, three news trucks for national feeds mobbing folks for comments on replacing the #blm banner with "all lives matter." They weren't interested in long form, reasoned comments, in history, they were interested in four second clips.

I gave them a nice answer about how when we say "Women's rights are human rights" no one says we have to change it to "Human rights matter," and we pledge "Justice and liberty for all" -- until blacks get 100% parity in justice, I'll be saying "black lives matter." Otherwise, we're falling down on that pledge.

Black camera dude for Fox gave me a wink. Heh.

Anyway, everyone at SPD HQ was so cool. I made a "science fair" display on the history of nonviolent civil rights 1963-2016, and some suggestions on how the police unions might help. I got great constructive feedback, offers to get me water, one officer brought me a chair with lumbar support (seeing the walker) because those lobby benches are murder on a bad back.

Where's the not-love?

Chief Fallon had stated that the union president's letter was not department policy. Every officer in the rank and file who stopped was not only friendly but intense and enthusiastic.

But my note and my email to the union president went unanswered.

I got to SPD HQ late Thursday so I went back early Friday. In an otherwise empty lobby, an officer approached me. He told me, he didn't want me to think badly of the patrolmen's union, that Mike McGrath, the union president, had gone rogue.

- there was no meeting, no vote
- no coordination with rank and file
- no coordination with the chief
- no coordination with city hall

This was one man's opinion going out over his union title on union stationary. The chief couldn't touch it because of rules about retaliating against a union officer doing union business, even though technically, the officer didn't know anyone -- couldn't swear there wasn't anyone -- who agreed with it, and there wasn't any procedure involved. Rank and file were forbidden to speak out publicly because it's politics, and policy is, police can't speak out on politics. So Mike probably figured he had his stuff sewn up watertight. He was probably the kind who wanted it to go viral, hit all this media, he assured me when I said maybe he was just ignorant -- it was just what he'd intended.

I thought for a minute. I said, "Well look, I don't want to get you in trouble, so this goes nowhere unless you agree, but I am press. See on that sign where it says I'm retired NWU/UAW? That's National Writer's Union. Retired press. I still freelance, and make about $400/mo on my writing. This circuit of the courts will protect a confidential source, if you want to go off record and whistle blow on a union official abusing his office. But I am going to say we didn't have this conversation if you don't say yes. It's the honor of the city here though among other things. This is making us look like some dogwhistle as far away as Toronto and beyond, when we're a strong community policing city -- we do ok."

His eyes had been going a little wide. He took a deep breath and said, "Yes. Our job is to keep everyone feeling safe."

Now, this makes me a little extra mad, because I may be misreading some subtext here, but part of what makes me extra mad about McGrath is that every community policing officer is taught de-escation of conflict spirals -- which that letter really violates. And part of that letter throwing gas on the fire inflames the very lone wolf types and general yahoos -- outside of the nonviolent reform movements including BLM -- who are confronting officers on the street with verbal and physical violence, and ultimately guns.

So just as you have the choice to "be the change you want to see in the world," we tend to assume that means people will want to choose to be peacemakers. This story is a good parable for you, where you can be the mayhem you want to be in the world if that is really your choice.

Discord is an option. The most common people calling people out falsely for f'ing things up are the guardians of a rotten status quo. Painting targets on the peacemakers' backs? That's a tradition that I've seen 1963-2016. But it must be called out and de-escalated. We can not sit by. We must be warriors for peace.

So this means, like Dr. King, who negotiated with segregationists and beltway insiders, that sitting down inside a police station for days on end not in jail, not protesting, is a path to peace. Set aside your anger, beat your swords into plowshares. Take the barbs off your tongues. Open your ears and your minds.

wwMLKd -- he took direct action after he did all these other things, yo? Read up.

Here's what I bring forward and what else I learned:

- community policing programs are very well trained in nonviolence and de-escalation of conflict. They have education departments that have excellent curricula in topics concerning negotiation, conflict spirals, protocols for dealing with crisis, and so on. These curricula could help all of the nonviolent protest/reform movements in the same/neighboring communities. However currently they are not resourced to share these curricula. Their cities or local nonprofits or the protest/reform movements could raise resources to bring those curricula into the greater communities. This has the huge advantage that movements on the street also understand the language of conflict de-escalation, and it's vocabulary, from the law enforcement POV.

- police are forbidden to discuss politics in public. If you are waiting for the police to sit down and negotiate around police brutality issues as a social issue, you can sit and rot. They can't discuss it any more than an active duty military person is able to go on the campaign trail and be a surrogate for a future commander in chief. It's the way we've set up boundaries. Is it possible to set up "safe space" for police to discuss these things? Gosh, that's supposed to be what police oversight/review boards are about, but they rarely work because they are usually viewed as outsiders looking in, and punitive. Is there a community policing model for a safe space to discuss political issues with community policing, do we need a new model of facilitation? Do we just need new boundaries?

- BLM often assumes police don't understand the culture of protest. But they forget that nearly every police officer they look in the eyes is a member of a union. The union movement in this country basically established the protocols for police/demonstration interactions. These folks know exactly what they are doing, and think that BLM is not following protocol and discipline, or whatever. They're happy to do what they are doing if dialog isn't happening, or they have orders, whatever is going on under the surface. Do not assume.

- Several officers I spoke to were of the opinion that in many parts of the country, officers hope that BLM never reaches the level of organization in formal nonviolence that the SCLC had, working with churches and having a more paramilitary solidarity. I pointed out to them (and it surprised them not at all) that many of the leaders of the SCLC were military vets before they became preachers, WWII or Korea, it being that they were that age, poor and black, some of the men getting div degrees on the GI bill. This helped them organize, heh. Also, knowing that the police are going to KILL YOU and send the Klan for your family if you call them pigs will enforce formal nonviolence as a set of strategies and tactics far more effectively than today's conflicts.

- Formal nonviolence (this was me) aims for Truth and Reconciliation, with the ultimate goal of uniting The Beloved Community. I love @deray and them but this is my one great beef with the BLM movement as it stands today, is that the eyes are not on the prize, which is one community, one nation, one Beloved Community that we gave up on probably in the summer of 1968 when a couple months after Dr. King was murdered, Bobby Kennedy, running on a pro-Civil Rights platform and knocking McCarthy out of the running the summer before the 68 convention, was shot dead. Probably for his Civil Rights stances. And our anti-apartheid movement, our poor people's movement, died. No Truth and Reconciliation, no Beloved Community, just we lost the war. and retreated with the gains we'd taken and took what skirmishes we could from there out in the culture war since.

- Remember when people started talking about domestic violence and suddenly it was everywhere and people freaked out? Remember when people started talking about rape, or child abuse, or child molestation and suddenly it was everywhere and people freaked out? Ultimately these are good things. They clean old wounds. People did not beat their spouses more because we talked about it. They started to beat them less because it became so not ok, and their spouses had resources, and the police said, "Oh, we need to deal." Well, a bunch of us have been saying, "police violence against minorities has been disproportionate" for over a half century, and a lot of police have said, "Nah, look at the FBI stats, that's bullshit." Then about two years ago, WaPo and The Guardian started a new kind of recordkeeping and invalidated the FBI stats, and Director Comey agrees that his stats are invalid (and I will assert that they were for a half century back). OK, so people in the press never covered cases of police violence against blacks, because stats said, they didn't happen. Now, they know they do, and it's fashionable. Just like spouse abuse, rape, child abuse, child molestation had been when those became things. And the black community is freaking out, and some of the rest of us too. Because for fifty years, some of us knew, but no one listened. And now it's in the news, and people say we lie that children are dying unjustly because they never heard it before. And some of us are also freaking out, because we knew some folks were hit near us, but we had no idea how big the problem really was, and we're frightened, and heartbroken, and our faith in our country is shaken. And some are very very angry. And some are very very defensive.

By rights, this should be a temporary thing -- nothing has changed from before the media exposed what had already been going on. Now we know. Can we fix it?

We fixed a lot when we found out people were beating their spouses.
We fixed a lot when we found out that rape was a bigger issue that we thought.
We fixed a lot when we found out more children were being physically and sexually abused.

These are all problems in society that will likely never be eliminated. Perhaps racism will never be eliminated.

But we can peacefully confront these problems as a society, just as we confronted those others, de-escalate the conflicts, identify why dialog is not working, find peaceful solutions and pursue them.

We can identify and isolate bad actors, and encourage the press to understand that clickbait is not worth damaging our communities. That the charge of the press is to heal our communities, not to sell ads. And people, when you see a TV or online press group selling division?

We need a "bus boycott" of their advertisers. Any group that is distorting race relations in this highly charged environment, I think we should be organizing to tell their advertisers they are doing poorly by their community, so turn off that ad blocker, folks, and start contacting advertisers. Tell every pickup truck advertiser that you do not appreciate a TV affiliate that doesn't support "Liberty and Justice for All." That sort of thing.

So besides that, I'm hoping to go back to SPD. I am hoping to work with the city to see what we can do to get some formal nonviolence/de-escalation/etc curricula going. I am hoping to get some further backup than just me from local BLM etc. because I am old, ill, and frail. I am hoping that Somerville corroborates the issues with the police union president, so it can get out into wider media and become damage control, and heal some divisions here and in the greater world that that story did. I am hoping this story shows that one person, righteously pissed off and with faith that people are acting in good faith, can help out with a $20 budget in office supplies and snacks and an uppity but friendly attitude.

And I love my history with the black community, and if you are not black, that should not keep you from working for equal rights any more than it should keep anyone from working for women's rights, or rights of those in poverty, or for literacy, or for better STEM education, or disability rights, or anywhere else you see need. These are the nonviolent fights for our future and for peace and well being in all our communities.___

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2016-07-24 06:22:42 (2 comments; 1 reshares; 5 +1s; )Open 

The agency tasked with helping Trump win specializes in lobbying for dictators.

I'm posting this article with an abridged, annotated version because it is quite long and quite detailed and if you haven't been following politics (both US and World politics) for the last 40 years, you won't be able to keep up.  But it's important that you keep up. Because if you do, you will have witnessed something far more astounding than you've ever imagined.

Hold on to your seat:
(Quoted material)

The genesis of Donald Trump’s relationship with Paul Manafort begins with Roy Cohn. That Roy Cohn: Joe McCarthy’s heavy-lidded henchman, lawyer to the Genovese family. During the ’70s, Trump and his father hired Cohn as their lawyer to defend the family against a housing discrimination suit. (Cohn accused the Feds of using “Gestapo-like tactics.”) But Cohn and Trump became genuine pals, lunching at the Four Seasons and clubbing together at Studio 54. It was Roy Cohn who introduced Stone and Manafort to Trump.

[This guy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Cohn ]

------------------

Despite his Yankee stock, Manafort ran Reagan’s Southern operation, the racially tinged appeal that infamously began in Philadelphia, Mississippi, the hamlet where civil rights activists were murdered in 1964.

[ He's talking about this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reagan%27s_Neshoba_County_Fair_%22states%27_rights%22_speech]

The success of the 1980 campaign gave Stone and Manafort cachet. More important, they helped run Reagan’s transition to power. They stocked the administration, distributing jobs across the agencies and accumulating owed favors that would provide the basis for their new lobbying business. They opened their doors in 1981.

----------------------

Manafort and Stone built a glamour firm. The Black in its name belonged to Charles Black, who as a 25-year-old launched the Senate career of Jesse Helms. Later, they lured Lee Atwater, the evil genius who would devise the Willie Horton gambit for George H.W. Bush.

[ He's talking about this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willie_Horton ]

The firm had swagger. In the early ’80s, the partners spoke openly to the Washington Post of their annual $450,000 salaries. According to the consultant Ed Rollins, Black would later boast that the firm had schemed to gain cartel-like control of the 1988 Republican presidential primary. They managed all of the major campaigns. Atwater took Bush; Black ran Dole; Stone handled Jack Kemp. A congressional staffer joked to a reporter from Time, “Why have primaries for the nomination? Why not have the candidates go over to Black, Manafort and Stone and argue it out?”

------------------------

Strangely, the HUD scandal proved a marketing boon for the firm. An aide to Mobutu Sese Seko told the journalist Art Levine, “That only shows how important they are!”

[ This man https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobutu_Sese_Seko ]

Indeed, Manafort enticed the African dictator to hire the firm. Many of the world’s dictators eventually became his clients. “Name a dictator and Black, Manafort will name the account,” Levine wrote. (Levine’s piece, published in Spy, featured a sidebar ranking the ethical behavior of Washington lobbyists: It found Black, Manafort the worst of the bunch.) The client list included Philippine strongman Ferdinand Marcos (with a $900,000 yearly contract) and the despots of the Dominican Republic, Nigeria, Kenya, Equatorial Guinea, and Somalia. When the Center for Public Integrity detailed the firm’s work, it titled the report “The Torturers’ Lobby.”

Indeed, the firm was an all-purpose image-buffing operation. As the Washington Post has reported, Manafort could book his clients on 60 Minutes or Nightline—and coach them to make their best pitch. He lobbied Congress for foreign aid that flowed to his clients’ coffers. He might even provide a few choice pieces of advice about tamping down domestic critics. Manafort understood the mindset of the dictator wasn’t so different from his corporate clients. According to one proposal unearthed by congressional investigators, the firm boasted of “personal relationships” with administration officials and promised “to upgrade backchannels” to the U.S. government.

This wasn’t empty rhetoric. On a Friday in 1985, Christopher Lehman left his job at the National Security Council. The following Monday, he was flying with Manafort, his new boss, to the bush of Angola to pitch the Chinese-trained guerilla Jonas Savimbi, who wanted covert assistance from the U.S. to bolster his rebellion against Angola’s Marxist government. Savimbi briefly left a battle against Cuban assault forces and signed a $600,000 contract.

[ He's talking about this man https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonas_Savimbi ]

The money bought Savimbi a revised reputation. Despite his client’s Maoist background, Manafort reinvented him as a freedom fighter. He knew all the tricks for manipulating right-wing opinion. Savimbi was sent to a seminar at the American Enterprise Institute, hosted by the anticommunist stalwart Jeanne Kirkpatrick, a reception thrown by the Heritage Foundation, and another confab at Freedom House. (Kirkpatrick introduced Savimbi, who conscripted soldiers, burned enemies, and indiscriminately laid land mines, as a “linguist, philosopher, poet, politician, warrior ... one of the few authentic heroes of our time.”)

Manafort’s campaign worked wonders. His lobbying helped convince Congress to send Savimbi hundreds of millions in covert aid. Indeed, every time Angola stood on the precipice of peace talks, Manafort, Black worked to generate a fresh round of arms—shipments that many experts believe extended the conflict. Sen. Bill Bradley was blunt in assigning blame. “When Gorbachev pulled the plug on Soviet aid to the Angolan government, we had absolutely no reason to persist in aiding Savimbi. But by then he had hired an effective Washington lobbying firm, which successfully obtained further funding.” Or as Art Levine concluded, “So the war lasted another two more years and claimed a few thousand more lives! So what? What counts to a Washington lobbyist is the ability to deliver a tangible victory and spruce up his client’s image.”

--------------------

In 2005, the Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Ahmetov summoned Manafort to Kiev. Ahmetov hailed from Donetsk, the Russian-oriented heavy-industry east of the country. Ahmetov had cause for panic. The best political hope for his region, and, more to the point, his own business interests, was a gruff politician called Victor Yanukovych. As a teen, Yanukovych spent three years in prison for robbery and assault. After his release, he was again arrested for assault. None of this past history—these “youthful mistakes,” which he once instructed the KGB to expunge from his record—slowed his rise through the political ranks. In 2002, he served a brief stint as prime minister in a sclerotic pro-Russian government, mired in corruption scandals.

[ He's talking about this man https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Yanukovych ]

When Ahmetov summoned Manafort, in 2005, his candidate had suffered a crushing defeat. Yanukovych had just run for president of Ukraine, a campaign that involved rampant fraud and the possible poisoning of his opponent with dioxin. His bid ended in massive protests against him and his crude attempts to overturn the will of the people. The protests, the Orange Revolution, were a burst of optimism that Ukraine might transcend its past and take its seat as a European-style democracy. They should have destroyed Yanukovych’s career.

[ He's talking about Victor Yushchenko https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Yushchenko ]

Yanukovych seemed a hopeless case. “A kleptocratic goon, a pig who wouldn’t take lipstick” is how one American consultant who worked in Ukraine described him. Yet Manafort saw hope, as well as a handsome paycheck. Despite Yanukovych’s Soviet style, Manafort considered him political clay that could be molded. “He saw raw talent where others didn’t and he shaped it brilliantly,” one former State Department official told me. Manafort set about giving Yanukovych a new look: well-tailored suits, shirts and ties that matched, a haircut that tamed his raging bouffant. Manafort taught the pol a few simple lessons that helped sand down his edges. He showed him how to wave to a crowd, rather than keep his arms locked to his sides. He instructed him to refrain from speaking off the cuff. He taught him how to display a modicum of empathy when listening to the stories of voters. “I feel your pain,” Yanukovych would now exclaim at his rallies. One Ukrainian columnist cheekily asked his readers to identify the 10 elements of Yanukovych rallies that Manafort had imported from the Republican conventions he’d run.

The buffed image was born from opinion surveys, conducted by a team of pollsters Manafort brought to Kiev. He found that the hope of the Orange Revolution had curdled into frustration with the government’s incompetence. So Manafort crafted a new image of Yanukovych—businesslike, not likable but persistent—that stood as a pragmatic antidote to the hapless Orange Revolutionaries. People believed that when Yanukovych was prime minister, “there had been an order to things,” Brian Mefford, a Ukraine-based consultant told me. “That’s the sentiment they tried to run on.”

At the same time, Manafort understood how to accentuate divisions in the Ukrainian electorate. He had overseen Reagan’s Southern strategy;

[ The Southern Strategy is a political maneuver in which a Republican appeals to racists in order to win. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy ]

he understood the power of cultural polarization. His polling showed that Yanukovych could consolidate his base by stoking submerged grievances. Even though there was little evidence of the mistreatment of Russian language speakers by the Ukrainian state, he encouraged his candidate to make an issue of imagined abuses to rally their base. To the same end, he instructed Yanukovych to rage against NATO, which he did by condemning joint operations the alliance was conducting in Crimea.
---------------

To be fair, Manafort was hardly the only American in Yanukovych’s orbit. Bernie Sanders’ consultant Tad Devine went to work for him in 2009. Ukrainians spent heavily in Washington, hiring a small army of top-drawer Republican lobbyists, including former congressmen Vin Weber and Billy Tauzin, to bolster Yanukovych’s image in Washington and ultimately stave off American support for Ukrainian democracy. But Manafort set up the largest shop in Kiev, housed in a well-guarded office just off Independence Square. During elections, his operation swelled to six American consultants, in addition to Ukrainian translators and drivers. He procured a special role in the Yanukovych camp. Anders Aslund told me, “Manafort became Yanukovych’s closest political advisor.”

-------------

It wasn’t just Ukraine. That year, the pair [Manafort and Davis] had consulted on behalf of pro-independence forces in the tiny principality of Montenegro, which wanted to exit Serbia and become its own sovereign republic. On the surface, this sounded noble enough, so noble that McCain called Montenegro’s independence the “greatest European democracy project since the end of the Cold War.”
A report in the Nation, however, showed that the Montenegrin campaign wasn’t remotely what McCain described. The independence initiative was championed by a fantastically wealthy Russian mogul called Oleg Deripaska.

[ This man https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oleg_Deripaska ]

Deripaska had parochial reasons for promoting independence. He had just purchased Montenegro’s aluminum industry and intended to buy broader swaths of its economy. But he was also doing the bidding of Vladimir Putin, on whose good graces the fate of all Russian business ultimately hangs. The Nation quoted Deripaska boasting that “the Kremlin wanted an area of influence in the Mediterranean.”

Manafort and Davis didn’t just snooker McCain into trumpeting their client’s cause; they endangered him politically, by arranging a series of meetings with Deripaska, who the U.S. had barred from entering the country because of his ties to organized crime. In 2006, they steered McCain to attend a dinner with the oligarch at a chalet near Davos, where Deripaska speechified for the 40 or so guests. (The Washington Post reported that the oligarch sent Davis and Manafort a thank-you note for arranging to see the senator in “such an intimate setting.”) Seven months later, Manafort and Davis took McCain to celebrate his 70th birthday with Deripaska on a yacht moored in the Adriatic.

--------------------

As for Bulgari Tower, the project sputtered and shuttered in January 2009. Yulia Tymosehnko didn’t like the smell of things. She sued Manafort and Firtash for racketeering in the Southern District of New York. “The money kept going in and out,” her lawyer Kenneth McCallion told me. “Real estate was the ostensible reason for sending money to New York. But they never wanted to close on the project, they wanted to keep the cash liquid, so it could keep going back to Ukraine.” The suit never had much of a chance, because it didn’t offer enough supporting evidence to justify its grandiose claim: that Manafort and Firtash were laundering money to finance human rights abuses on a grand scale. But her case raised all manner of troubling questions, and reinforced an old one: Why would Paul Manafort so consistently do the bidding of oligarchs loyal to Vladimir Putin?___The agency tasked with helping Trump win specializes in lobbying for dictators.

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2016-07-24 06:10:20 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 7 +1s; )Open 

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2016-07-23 20:01:13 (15 comments; 0 reshares; 5 +1s; )Open 

Well, the Wonder Woman trailer is certainly visually appealing.

Maayyybe.

#f  ___Well, the Wonder Woman trailer is certainly visually appealing.

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2016-07-23 17:25:43 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 4 +1s; )Open 

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2016-07-23 16:32:00 (4 comments; 0 reshares; 6 +1s; )Open 

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2016-07-23 16:17:31 (3 comments; 5 reshares; 8 +1s; )Open 

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2016-07-23 16:12:28 (0 comments; 7 reshares; 7 +1s; )Open 

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2016-07-23 16:03:57 (3 comments; 1 reshares; 7 +1s; )Open 

The Internet and its Racism Problem: @blackgirlinmain 

The Internet and its Racism Problem: @blackgirlinmain ___

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2016-07-23 07:22:27 (4 comments; 0 reshares; 8 +1s; )Open 

Ignorance and indifference [at all levels]: Delving deep into the Clinton e-mail saga. But criminal? Not even close. On the bright side, at least she didn't do it using AOL like Secretary Powell.

Ignorance and indifference [at all levels]: Delving deep into the Clinton e-mail saga. But criminal? Not even close. On the bright side, at least she didn't do it using AOL like Secretary Powell.___

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2016-07-23 05:43:42 (3 comments; 2 reshares; 11 +1s; )Open 

Six examples of the success of evidence based medicine.

"There is a tale, told by many an alternative medicine proponent, that scientific (read: real) medicine is close minded, old-fashioned and doesn’t adapt to change. They tell us they’re the cutting edge, though in actuality not once has any alternative practice change when proven ineffective or dangerous.

"But real medicine, being a scientific field, adapts to new information. When something works we embrace it. When something doesn’t – we toss it away."___Six examples of the success of evidence based medicine.

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2016-07-23 05:39:19 (2 comments; 2 reshares; 9 +1s; )Open 

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2016-07-23 05:09:03 (13 comments; 0 reshares; 29 +1s; )Open 

So how do you generate a random string? :-)

So how do you generate a random string? :-)___

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2016-07-23 04:13:34 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 14 +1s; )Open 

From the trailer, “American Gods”  is looking really promising.

From the trailer, “American Gods”  is looking really promising.___

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2016-07-23 04:04:57 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 1 +1s; )Open 

J.S. Bach's "Crab Canon" visualized via a Möbius Strip.

J.S. Bach's "Crab Canon" visualized via a Möbius Strip.___

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2016-07-23 03:59:52 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 12 +1s; )Open 

Must-Go-My-Planet-Needs-Me Dep't:

Must-Go-My-Planet-Needs-Me Dep't:___

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2016-07-23 02:13:34 (2 comments; 1 reshares; 9 +1s; )Open 

❝ fewer than ten percent of veterans signing up for health benefits are able to complete the process online. ❞

US Digital Services aims to fix that by doing an end run around a procurement process that could be further from modern software practice of it had been designed before modern computer systems existed...oh, right.

❝ fewer than ten percent of veterans signing up for health benefits are able to complete the process online. ❞

US Digital Services aims to fix that by doing an end run around a procurement process that could be further from modern software practice of it had been designed before modern computer systems existed...oh, right.___

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2016-07-23 00:27:46 (2 comments; 1 reshares; 1 +1s; )Open 

Limited edition of a new +Brandon Sanderson SF detective novella available.

Limited edition of new novella now up for preorder

It’s time to talk novellas. I commonly do one or two of these a year (this year, I did Mistborn:Secret History and the Stormlight novella Edgedancer, coming out in November in Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection). These shorts are ways for me to explore cool or intriguing ideas in a briefer form, so that my attention isn’t drawn too far away from my main projects.

For next year, I only have one novella scheduled right now: a science fiction detective thriller called Snapshot. I wrote it during my trip to Dubai this year, and I’m quite pleased with it. I think you’ll all enjoy it quite a bit.

Normally when it comes to one of my novellas, I just release it and then start promotion. With this one, however, some of my professional colleagues (including the bookseller who long ago organized my first real signing) are starting a specialty press, and so we wanted to announce this one early to give a little momentum to their company. Therefore, Snapshot is up for preorder at Vault Books right now. (Exciting!) It releases February 2017.

I do want to warn you, however, that their edition is the expensive, leatherbound collector’s edition we sometimes do for these books. If the price tag makes your eyes bulge, realize that there will be a simultaneous cheap ebook (which will also be included for everyone who buys the limited edition), and then later in 2017 we will have a non-limited-edition hardcover on my webstore along the lines of the Shadows for Silence/Perfect State double. (We might publish Snapshot alongside Dreamer, the horror story I did for a Charlaine Harris anthology.)

As always, thanks for reading!

Brandon

http://www.vaultbooks.pub/news/the-brandon-sanderson-announcement___Limited edition of a new +Brandon Sanderson SF detective novella available.

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2016-07-23 00:04:53 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 7 +1s; )Open 

Ieshia Evans, the woman in the iconic photograph, speaks.


Ieshia Evans, the woman in the iconic photograph, speaks.
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2016-07-22 23:40:25 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 11 +1s; )Open 

Archaeologists Find 40,000-Year-Old Rope-Making Tool in Germany

http://www.sci-news.com/archaeology/rope-making-tool-germany-04047.html

#archaeology #history #science

Archaeologists Find 40,000-Year-Old Rope-Making Tool in Germany

http://www.sci-news.com/archaeology/rope-making-tool-germany-04047.html

#archaeology #history #science___

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2016-07-22 21:25:53 (4 comments; 6 reshares; 38 +1s; )Open 

TGIF.

h/t +Sordatos Cáceres

#TGIF___TGIF.

h/t +Sordatos Cáceres

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2016-07-22 21:22:47 (2 comments; 0 reshares; 9 +1s; )Open 

When I tell people the food's good in Madison, I'm not just talking about restaurants.

These (and several more) all show up around lunchtime on the UW campus every weekday; all in a cluster. 

When I tell people the food's good in Madison, I'm not just talking about restaurants.

These (and several more) all show up around lunchtime on the UW campus every weekday; all in a cluster. ___

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2016-07-22 18:28:46 (8 comments; 0 reshares; 20 +1s; )Open 

Actually, they do believe that Democrats are the ones who raised the trans bathroom issue. The claim that they were perfectly happy to live and let live (otherwise known as "if you pass well enough, we won't hurt you") and then Democrats began forcing the issue so they had to respond.

I've been told that multiple times. By people who haven't a clue what it's like to live in fear of being beaten up for not looking "right".

They make the same argument about doing business with gays. "It wasn't an issue until people tried to start forcing us. We have no problems with gays. Just don't flaunt it and make us see it". It's don't ask don't tell, stay in the closet, don't speak out. But with their privilege they see it as "don't be uppity".

And yes. I'm fully aware of who used to get called... more »

___Actually, they do believe that Democrats are the ones who raised the trans bathroom issue. The claim that they were perfectly happy to live and let live (otherwise known as "if you pass well enough, we won't hurt you") and then Democrats began forcing the issue so they had to respond.

I've been told that multiple times. By people who haven't a clue what it's like to live in fear of being beaten up for not looking "right".

They make the same argument about doing business with gays. "It wasn't an issue until people tried to start forcing us. We have no problems with gays. Just don't flaunt it and make us see it". It's don't ask don't tell, stay in the closet, don't speak out. But with their privilege they see it as "don't be uppity".

And yes. I'm fully aware of who used to get called uppity. Race blind my ass.

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2016-07-22 16:19:16 (1 comments; 1 reshares; 3 +1s; )Open 

Vermin Supreme keeps the peace at the RNC convention protests.

You Know, This Election I Might Just Vote For Him
An before you get all nimby pimby "Then Trump Might Win", I advise you check NJs voting history.

Electoral college is winner take all, and we go bluer than a drowned smurf. The only contest is off cycle, when voter turn out drops to single digits and our retirees run red.

Either way, I still want my pony.___Vermin Supreme keeps the peace at the RNC convention protests.

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2016-07-22 07:15:27 (1 comments; 2 reshares; 10 +1s; )Open 

Ignore the trailer park click bait, this is a fascinating piece about lichen.

And that is how science works!___Ignore the trailer park click bait, this is a fascinating piece about lichen.

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2016-07-22 00:01:47 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 9 +1s; )Open 

Get some new shirts for you or someone you love!
http://amzn.to/29RRLiL

Get some new shirts for you or someone you love!
http://amzn.to/29RRLiL___

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2016-07-21 21:19:01 (2 comments; 2 reshares; 16 +1s; )Open 

Super.
http://maximumble.thebookofbiff.com/2016/07/21/1372-super/

Super.
http://maximumble.thebookofbiff.com/2016/07/21/1372-super/___

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2016-07-21 15:13:45 (1 comments; 3 reshares; 4 +1s; )Open 

Amazing Postmodern Jukebox cover. Aerosmith's Dream On. Totally brings out the lyrics and bluesiness!

wow.. just wow.___Amazing Postmodern Jukebox cover. Aerosmith's Dream On. Totally brings out the lyrics and bluesiness!

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2016-07-21 14:51:49 (0 comments; 2 reshares; 10 +1s; )Open 

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2016-07-21 14:48:40 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 10 +1s; )Open 

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2016-07-21 14:20:35 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 5 +1s; )Open 

A very short film, shot using iron filings, which gives is a very interesting feel.

+Daniel Glass +Mz Maau +Joachim Nink +Igor Frankenstein___A very short film, shot using iron filings, which gives is a very interesting feel.

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2016-07-21 05:51:18 (2 comments; 1 reshares; 19 +1s; )Open 

Refusing a search is a right, not a provocation https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2016/07/19/refusing-a-search-is-a-right-not-a-provocation/ -via Flynx

Refusing a search is a right, not a provocation https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2016/07/19/refusing-a-search-is-a-right-not-a-provocation/ -via Flynx___

2016-07-21 04:33:32 (2 comments; 0 reshares; 32 +1s; )Open 

Dinner at a hotel bar. Three patrons discussing guns, Trump, and Cruz. I agreed with absolutely everything they were saying. But I couldn't stand listening to the conversation. I am so burnt out. And then I realized, my God, what's this like for the bartender? So I asked her. She said it was pretty bad, but not as bad as the other week when people were arguing about Black Lives Matter and police shootings. Not a good year to be a bartender.

Dinner at a hotel bar. Three patrons discussing guns, Trump, and Cruz. I agreed with absolutely everything they were saying. But I couldn't stand listening to the conversation. I am so burnt out. And then I realized, my God, what's this like for the bartender? So I asked her. She said it was pretty bad, but not as bad as the other week when people were arguing about Black Lives Matter and police shootings. Not a good year to be a bartender.___

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2016-07-21 04:19:07 (20 comments; 1 reshares; 18 +1s; )Open 

Quick! Last chance!

___Quick! Last chance!

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2016-07-21 00:54:02 (3 comments; 2 reshares; 14 +1s; )Open 

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2016-07-21 00:45:37 (1 comments; 7 reshares; 23 +1s; )Open 

All of them in one. 

All of them in one. ___

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