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Longing for the days of yore is very commonplace among people. It could even have positive effects: nostalgia is often a driving motivational force.

But some people go too far in giving in to old practices and archaic lifestyles...
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Catalonia. Referendum. Independence. Violence. Battle scenes accompanying an illegal, unconstitutional referendum for secession. All of this has clouded the sober assessment of the whole process of Catalonia's drive for independence. Many, regardless of their alignment, whether they sympathize with the Catalan irredentists or the supporters of Spain's territorial integrity, have allowed their opinions to be affected by Madrid's firm actions.

Why the idea of direct democracy is a tricky one...
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Russia Attacks CIA for 'Discover Truth' About Kremlin Job Offer

Russia is trolling the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency for advertising jobs for Russian-language experts at a time when a record low number of Americans are learning the language of Pushkin and Putin.

The CIA began advertising jobs for linguists with a Russian-language Twitter caption, telling Russian speakers with a college degree and an interest in national security that it could use their skills for a vital purpose: “Discover the truth.”
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I won't be delving too deeply into the technicalities (there's plenty of material on the Internet about that already), but yet another recent spat I had with a fellow "concerned mom" reminded me of the pseudo hype that's Oscillococcinum. This sort of "medicine" is allowed into pharmacies with little oversight, and touted as real medicine, while it's, to put it mildly, all bogus.

Read the rest...
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Hugh Hefner died yesterday at age 91. Reflecting on a life completely spent in the pursuit of pleasure (he was a self avowed hedonist) and not only objectifying (some would say degrading) women, he was one of the first to openly publish pornography.

But the iconic Hefner did much more than that...
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If anyone had expected even a semblance of diplomacy and nuance in Trump's address to the UN, they might've been struck by the depressing amount of predictability in the final product. Trump appeared before the UN session as a commander in chief rattling his nuclear sabres, rather than a statesman.

And this failed to surprise anyone...
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A few days ago Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN provided a glimpse into Trump's plans for his policy towards Iran. Sure, the details are yet to be forged out, but the international community got the idea.

And things ain't looking good at all...
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Who would've thought that posing with an axe, or lying in the bath-tub covered in noodles, or against the background of dead animals would help you hook up with a partner? Seems like these Russian girls have found the way! They must've realized that there's a buyer for every commodity. Just imagine these buyers!

A handful of specimens...
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"It's like a battlefield here in summer" and "This isn't tourism, this is an invasion!" Those are just some of the reactions of angry people from Barcelona, Venice and Dubrovnik. The three cities have led a rebellion against mass tourism. For them, it means unending crowds, noise, garbage, and skyrocketing prices. With protest signs reading "Tourists go home", mass rallies, and even physical clashes, some of Europe's most popular tourist destinations started meeting the enthusiastic newcomers who are flocking from planes, buses and cruise ships. The politicians have promised that flourishing tourism would bring economic prosperity, granted, but all that is now of secondary importance to the harmonious life of the locals...

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While the world was looking in dismay at Trump's umpteenth muscle-flexing statement that inflamed the tensions in various conflict areas like Korea, Afghanistan or Iran, the US were still busy, exporting shale gas to Europe. The purpose of the whole exercise is well-known of course: to break Russia's dominance at the European energy markets.

And we're not talking of a political act here, but a merciless trade war...
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All right, we got that everyone hastily equating the neo-Nazis to the "other side" of the "many sides" is a closet racist, fascist, Nazist, and other nasty sorts of -ist. Now that we've got that out of the way, could I please inquire about something?

Why the sudden surge of Confederate-related monuments planned for demolition? Why now? I mean, hundreds of memorials, memorial plates and signs, etc, have now been planned for removal. All of them related to the so called "Southern heritage" in some way. Even in places that were never on Confederate territory... The Civil War has been gone for a century and a half, and more. These memorials have been there for decades. Why this "spontaneous" attempt for a new reading of US history? Seems a bit strange to me, the timing I mean. Could it have something to do with Trump being president? Could it be an attempt to stick it to the Douche-in-Chief in some way? Could it have something to do with the orchestrated "Fake News" cannonade against him? (Would be sooo SAD if it were so!)

More dumb questions...
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Ever considered these?
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Apparently Chipotle Mexican Grill, the popular fast-food chain, cannot stop their own downfall...

It all started when they decided to occupy the niche of fast, but healthy foods. So they started selling GMO-free products that were fresh, raw, without preservatives, hand-made, bio, organic, etc.

And here's the big irony...
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The term has gone out of use for quite a while. In recent decades it was being seen as a disparaging term used by Russian nationalists and pro-Russian Ukrainian "traitors" who believe Ukraine should be part of neo-imperial Russia.

And now it's being resurrected, and in quite a quasi-official way:

Separatists proclaim a new state to replace all of Ukraine

In comes one Alexander Zakharchenko...
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It seems the Trump plan for US economic growth relies almost exclusively on corporate tax cuts and tax cuts for the wealthy. A "let's put all our growth eggs in one basket and hope for the best" sort of approach. During his presidential campaign, Trump promised to create 25 million new jobs and generate an economy that trots along at a 4-6% annual growth rate. Apparently, neither Trump promise is going to happen any time soon:

Forecast of weak economic growth raises big questions about Trump’s populist agenda

Or it could be something else...
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