Telluride AIDS Benefit: Metal Artist Issenberg Honors #25 ~ by Susan Viebrock/Telluride Inside… and Out


The Telluride AIDS Benefit continues to wave its “Fight.Fund.Educate” banner on high – and with good reason. With regard to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, today’s political environment is, at best, a giant question mark; at worst, toxic. On the scientific front there may be cause for optimism, but to date there is still no definitive cure for the virus. The Telluride AIDS Benefit is celebrating 25 years of community involvement and dedication to the cause: raising money to help HIV and AIDS clients of its beneficiaries, literally hundreds of individuals and families of all demographics living with HIV/AIDS from the Front Range of Colorado to Africa. TAB also remains laser-focussed on prevention through education.

Join in TAB’s week of events, beginning Friday, February 23, 6 p.m., with the Student Fashion Show at Telluride’s Michael D. Palm Theatre and culminating with the Gala Fashion Show at the Telluride Conference Center in Mountain Village. All happening between March 1 – March 6.

To honor TAB’s silver anniversary, artist Lisa Issenberg’s uber cool cuff is now on sale for $75 at the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art. The Gallery has represented Lisa’s work, primarily her jewelry, since 1992.

~ See full article in TIO with Telluride AIDS Benefit ticket information ~

A Reckoning with Women Awaits Trump By David Remnick, The New Yorker


Even Steve Bannon recognizes that female voters will punish Donald Trump for his cavalier dismissal of assault and abuse allegations.

Photograph by Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty


Donald Trump is the least mysterious figure in the history of the American Presidency. His infantile character, duplicity, cold-heartedness, and self-dealing greed are evident not merely to the majority of the poll-answering electorate but, sooner or later, to those who make the decision to work at his side. This is manifest even in Trump’s favored medium, reality television. Recently, fans of “Celebrity Big Brother” witnessed Omarosa Manigault-Newman, the unforgettably forgettable former White House aide in charge of nothing at all, tearfully confessing her global despair. “It’s not going to be O.K.,” she said.

No kidding. Sooner or later, Trump’s satraps and lieutenants, present and former, come to betray a vivid sense of just how imperilled and imperilling this Presidency is. In their sotto-voce remarks to the White House press, these aides seem to compete in their synonyms for the President’s modesty of intelligence (“moron,” “idiot,” “fool”); his colossal narcissism; his lack of human empathy. They admit to reporters how little he studies the basics of domestic policy and national security; how partial he is to autocrats like himself; how indifferent he is to allies. They are shocked, they proclaim, absolutely shocked. In the past few days, it has been Trump’s misogyny, his heedless attitude toward women and issues of harassment and abuse, that has shocked them most. And those who know him best recognize the political consequences ahead.

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Smartphone Detox: How To Power Down In A Wired World ~ NPR




If the Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov were alive today, what would he say about smartphones? He might not think of them as phones at all, but instead as remarkable tools for understanding how technology can manipulate our brains.

Pavlov’s own findings — from experiments he did more than a century ago, involving food, buzzers and slobbering dogs — offer key insights, into why our phones have become almost an extension of our bodies, modern researchers say. The findings also provide clues to how we can break our dependence.

Pavlov originally set off to study canine digestion. But one day, he noticed something peculiar while feeding his dogs. If he played a sound — like a metronome or buzzer — before mealtimes, eventually the sound started to have a special meaning for the animals. It meant food was coming! The dogs actually started drooling when they heard the sound, even if no food was around.

Hearing the buzzer had become pleasurable.

That’s exactly what’s happening with smartphones, says David Greenfield, a psychologist and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut.

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On Friday, the president had jumped into the controversy over the former aide, Rob Porter, who is accused by two former wives of physical and emotional abuse, defending him and offering no denunciation even for the idea of assaulting women. Mr. Trump, who himself has been accused of sexual misconduct, focused instead on Mr. Porter, saying that he was enduring a “tough time.”

The president’s seeming indifference to claims of abuse infuriated Republicans, who were already confronting a surge of activism from Democratic women driven to protest, raise money and run for office because of their fervent opposition to Mr. Trump.

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Donald Trump’s Twilight Zone ~ Matt Taibbi ~ RollingStone


llustration by Victor Juhasz


January 2018. We’re trapped in an intellectual prison from which there is no escape. The modern American experience has been reduced to a few grim lines: President Donald Trump says something crazy; we freak out. A leak comes out; we obsess over it. Someone gets fired; the deck chairs on the sinking ship of state get rearranged a little. Trump says something crazy again. Rinse, outrage, repeat.

It’s a fatal mind loop worthy of an early Twilight Zone episode, and if you think about it (although the next presidential tweet will likely pre-empt that possibility), we’ve been riding in this same moronic circle for more than two and a half years. Cycling through the Twitter opinions about the president’s latest brain belch has become an irresistibly shallow national ritual. It’s clearly a monster distraction from something. But what, exactly?

At the one-year anniversary of his inauguration, several crises seem to have quietly worsened under the cover of Trump’s insanity. A big one is the continuing collapse of the two major political parties – particularly the Republicans, whose dysfunction now seems beyond terminal. With characteristic myopia, the GOP establishment spent most of the past year trying to rid Washington of alt-right icon and former chief Trump strategist Steve Bannon, instead of worrying about the larger problem, i.e., the voter rage that put Trump in the White House.

An intense inside game of leaks targeted the self-proclaimed Lenin of the alt-right. Bannon was blamed for the violent neofascist-march fiasco in Charlottesville and booted from the White House in response to it, despite being the only staffer to correctly predict the boss’s inability to believably denounce Nazis in public. Then Bannon was chucked from Breitbart by Trump’s billionaire pals, the hedge-fund Mercers. That was after sleazebasket wallflower author Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury depicted Bannon dumping on Trump’s “treasonous” Large Adult Son and Fredo-esque ex-bed-wetter, the embarrassing Donald Jr.

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Floods Are Getting Worse, and 2,500 Chemical Sites Lie in the Water’s Path


Anchored in flood-prone areas in every American state are more than 2,500 sites that handle toxic chemicals, a New York Times analysis of federal floodplain and industrial data shows. About 1,400 are located in areas at highest risk of flooding.

As flood danger grows — the consequence of a warming climate — the risk is that there will be more toxic spills like the one that struck Baytown, Tex., where Hurricane Harvey swamped a chemicals plant, releasing lye. Or like the ones at a Florida fertilizer plant that leaked phosphoric acid and an Ohio refinery that released benzene.


More Than 2,500 Sites That Handle Toxic Chemicals
Are Located in Flood-Prone Areas Across the Country.


A Photo That Changed the Course of the Vietnam War

Nguyen Ngoc Loan, the national police chief of South Vietnam, executed a Vietcong fighter, Nguyen Van Lem, in Saigon on Feb. 1, 1968. Credit Eddie Adams/Associated Press

Fifty years ago today, the national police chief of South Vietnam calmly approached a prisoner in the middle of a Saigon street and fired a bullet into his head.

A few feet away stood Eddie Adams, an Associated Press photographer, eye to his viewfinder. On a little piece of black-and-white film, he captured the exact moment of the gunshot.

The police chief, Brig. Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan, stands with his back to the camera, right arm fully extended, left arm loosely by his side. The prisoner, Nguyen Van Lem, is a Vietcong fighter but wears no uniform, only a plaid shirt and black shorts. His hands are cuffed behind his back. Though in his 30s, he looks little older than a boy. His face is contorted from the bullet’s impact.

By morning, this last instant of his life would be immortalized on the front pages of newspapers nationwide, including The New York Times. Along with NBC video footage, the image gave Americans a stark glimpse of the brutality of the Vietnam War and helped fuel a decisive shift in public opinion.

“It hit people in the gut in a way that only a visual text can do,” said Michelle Nickerson, an associate professor of history at Loyola University Chicago who has studied the antiwar movement during the Vietnam era. “The photo translated the news of Tet in a way that you can’t quantify in terms of how many people were, at that moment, turned against the war.”

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Military Victory But Political Defeat: The Tet Offensive 50 Years Later ~ NPR


A unit of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, rests alongside a battered wall of Hue’s imperial palace after a battle for the Citadel in February 1968, during the Tet Offensive.



Looking back a half century, to when they were young officers, their memories of the battle of Hue are still fresh.

“What I saw was probably the most intense ground fighting on a sustained basis over several days of any other period during the war,” says Howard Prince, an Army captain who worked with South Vietnamese forces.

“We were under fire, under heavy fire,” says Jim Coolican, a Marine captain.

Mike Downs, another Marine captain recalls, “We didn’t know where the enemy was, in which direction even.”

The enemy forces were everywhere. Inside houses and tunnels and in the sewer system, and they captured the citadel, a massive castle-like expanse in this city that was once the imperial capital, just north of Saigon.

It was the bloodiest battle of the Tet Offensive and also the entire war — and it all took American officials completely by surprise, says author Mark Bowden.

“You had the incredible rose-colored reports coming from Gen. William Westmoreland, who was the American commander in Vietnam,” says Bowden, who wrote the recent book Hue 1968. “[He was] assuring the American people that the end was near, that the enemy was really only capable of small kinds of ambushes in the far reaches of the country.”

But then came Tet. North Vietnamese troops and their Viet Cong allies swept throughout cities and towns, into military bases, even breaching the walls of the U.S. Embassy grounds in Saigon.

Back in Washington, President Lyndon Johnson called his defense secretary, Robert McNamara, and asked for an explanation.

McNamara told him that the American people would realize that the enemy forces were stronger than they had been told, that the Pentagon was searching for targets but the Vietnamese enemies were still a “substantial force.”

A substantial force. But just six weeks earlier, a top White House official told New York Times reporter Gene Roberts the war was already over.

Roberts was heading off to Vietnam, so National Security Adviser Walt Rostow gave him a story idea. He told Roberts about a new U.S. agricultural program, Roberts recalls, “which would double the rice yields in Vietnam and would win the peace now that Americans had won the war.”