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Monday News and Open Thread

Tuesday Update: I'm in court today,I won't be posting until tonight.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are officially engaged. I always enjoy seeing photos of them even though I lost interest in Suits after the second season. Good luck and a happy life to both of them.

The Bali volcano is about to blow.

Did anyone get any great deals on Black Friday or Cyber Monday? I did not find anything that I just had to have.

I spent most of my reading time this weekend on ISIS and the Middle East. It is such a mess over there. ISIS has lost so much territory in Iraq and Syria, it no longer has a "state" to govern, but it certainly is not dead. It is regrouping in other countries and causing and threatening more mayhem along the way. Al Baghdadi has issued a "text message" calling for attacks on the media, including Al Jazeera. ISIS released videos of new "wiliyats" this week, some in places I had to look up where they were. In Syria, HTS, a coalition rebel group that included what was left of al Nusra, which had been affiliated with Al Qaida, has just turned on al Qaida arresting some top former leaders of Nusra. The Taliban and ISIS, while enemies, are both fighting hard in Afghanistan. Like I said, it's a mess in the Middle East, but also in Africa and places in South Asia.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Thanksgiving Open Thread: Alice's Restaurant Edition

My Thanksgiving has begun with the great Thanksgiving tradition of hearing the 18 minute version of Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant, recorded in 1967 on the radio. This year is the 50th anniversary! If you miss it on your local radio, you can listen here at noon and again at 6:00 p.m. MT.

If you're wondering where Alice is, she's here. Does anyone besides me still have a hardcover edition of her 1969 Alice's Restaurant cookbook in their kitchen? (Photo here.) It's filled with tasty recipes and very easy instructions. Her red chili recipe is still my favorite. And she uses ingredients you'll already have in your kitchen.

The line that stood out to me today: "If you want to end a war, you have to sing loud."

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! If you haven't already told us, what's on your menu and who are you spending the day with. This is an open thread.

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Wednesday Open Thread

Thanks to all who donated to TalkLeft yesterday -- please keep the contributions coming, they are a huge help!

Articles I recommend reading:

  • Reuters: Ivanka and Fugitive From Panama
    Exclusive: How an alleged fraudster in Panama, working with Donald Trump's daughter, helped make Trump's first international hotel venture a success. The broker was in business with a money-launderer and two criminals from the former Soviet Union. Then he fled.
  • The ramped up security and forced removal of beggars in Hyderabad, India in preparation for Ivanka's visit next week, where she will resume her role as the Administration's spokeswoman for empowering female entrepreneurs.
    A US Secret Service team has made several rounds of visits to the hotels and the GES venue and reviewed security arrangements for Ivanka. They would bring their own bullet-proof vehicles for Ivanka to travel within Hyderabad, besides carrying their own specialised weapons and bringing squads of trained sniffer dogs.
[More...]

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Thanksgiving (End of Year) Site News

It's been days since our last open thread, and my next thread will be next one. It's right around the corner. This one got so long and specific, I am limiting comments to the topic under discussion. For those of you who view Talkeft site as a little community of sane people trying to accomodate themselves to life in an insane world, the news will be expecially pertinent to you.

Ok, here goes. I think I'm about ready to switch TalkLeft to Wordpress. Readers may remember I started the project in 2013, intending for it to be a "premium access" version of TalkLeft. I abandoned that idea pretty quickly, deciding to keep it free instead, and I have been tinkering with the design and other tweeks ever since. Depite WP's thousands of designs and plugins,
most of which I've read or tested out, the truth is, Wordpress is deliberatly made with some features off limits. An uber-coder could change it, but not a mere mortal like me, with only html training and not even css) under my belt. But take a look, I've tweeked it a lot.
And after trying out hundreds of new themes.
I confident that the one I have, which is the same as this one, only bigger and with bigger text, is all the change I need. [More...]

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Tuesday Night Open Thread

From Tina Brown's memoir: Donald once poured red wine down the back of a gown worn by Vanity Fair journalist Marie Brenner (and told another journalist he had done the same to Leona Helmsley.)

In news worth reading: An investigation by the BBC uncovers a deal to let ISIS members leave Raqqa as it was falling. The Washington Post reports on Russia using video game images on the topic of the U.S. colluding with ISIS. Bellingcat's report is here.

A new report commissioned by Democrats on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee addresses how much land the U.S. could seize under eminent domain to build Trump's border wall. The Trump Administration has not disclosed what this might cost: [More...]

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Monday Open Thread

Bill Gates is investing $50 million in Alzheimer's research. He says men in his family have suffered from the disease.

I switched from iPhone5s to a Samsung Galaxy 8 last month and I'm still struggling to adjust to the differences. One thing that's great is AT&T (and maybe others) are offering Direct TV Now for $10 a month with no contract (including live and local channels) and HBO for life. With one click of your phone, and no Apple TV or other gadget needed, it mirrors to you big TV. Only downside: You can't change the language of the closed captions -- if the show is in Spanish, the captions will be too. Other downside: There's no recorder. Still, I'm not sure it's worth keeping Comcast at $200 a month for internet and TV. But I do miss my iPhone.

I'm not seeing any other news to report on at the moment.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Friday Open Thread: TL (Grand) Baby Karter News

The TL kids have sent out the first photos of their new 9 pound baby girl, born at 3:30 pm yesterday. She even has a cool name -- Karter.

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Tuesday Open Thread: Baby Day

Update 11/8: 3:30 pm: A healthy baby girl has arrived, 8 lbs. 15 ozs! Mom and baby are doing well!

The TL kids are at the hospital this morning where they will will hopefully deliver a healthy baby girl. I'm on pins and needles, so until I get more news, here's a new open thread, all topics welcome.

Update 10:45 pm MT: No baby yet, labor continues!

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Friday Open Thread

Time for a new open thread, all topics welcome.

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Senor de Los Cielos 5: The Finale

Note: No one has the time or the interest to read a post this long about a TV show in a foreign language. I've written it more for posterity than for reading enjoyment. Janis Joplin once joked that "Mercedes Benz" was a song with "great social and political import." Joking aside, that's how I feel about well-done narco-dramas, and Senor de los Cielos in particular. Yes, it's a fictionalized account of the life of a real life trafficker, Amado Carrillo Fuentes, and his family and loves, with exaggerated characters and events. But, unlike a Mercedes Benz, there are glimpses of political and social realities in the stories that I think give them a greater meaning. Also, I think many of the actors' performances, which take months to film, and the high production quality, deserve greater attention.

So don't feel like you have to read the whole thing, or any of it. It's enough that someone somewhere, googling for information about the show or its actors, will eventually come across it.

Update (recap and spoiler alert): By now anyone who is interested in Senor de los Cielos 5 has seen the finale or read what happens. It was good, and the best part is, there is going to be a Season 6. Here are 31 photos with captions from Telemundo, showing what happens in the finale. [More...]

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Friday Open Thread

Serial groper George HW Bush gets a pass because...why? His age, his wheelchair, his ex-presidential status? Three women have now come forward, and he's admitted his conduct.

A 10 year old leads police on a 1 hr chase because he was bored waiting for his sister to get ready for school. It was his second time stealing a car for a joyride in a month.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Thursday Open Thread

Here's a new open thread, all topics welcome.

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Monday Open Thread: This and That

I was just reading about the really high prices of Manhattan luxury condos, when I came upon this article in Curbed saying that a 90 story skyscraper is coming to Denver that will change the skyline forever. Then I saw the address: the building is going to replace the parking lot right next door to my office building. I think Denver needs a 90 story building like it needs a hole in the head. Aside from being an eyesore, it will stick out like a sore thumb.

The building will contain a "boutique hotel", 250 condos, parking for 500 vehicles, retail space, a spa and a pool -- 1 million square feet -- all in one half of a city block. Who's behind this? A New York company called Greenwich Realty Capital. [More...]

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Thursday Open Thread

Here's a new open thread, all topics welcome.

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Yom Kippur and Open Thread

It's almost sundown which means Yom Kippur will begin. Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, is the holiest day of the year for Jews. From sundown to sundown tomorrow, there is no work and no food.

Here is a link to the services live-stream from the Reform congregation at the 92nd St Y in Manhattan.

For those not observing, here's a new open thread, all topics welcome.

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