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    Argument: Azerbaijan’s Election Is a Farce Azerbaijan’s Election Is a Farce...



    Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomes Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev ahead of an informal Commonwealth of Independent States leaders summit at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow on Dec. 26, 2017. (Alexey Druzhinin/AFP/Getty Images)

    In the past few weeks, first in Russia and then in Egypt, leaders have used so-called elections to provide a patina of legitimacy for their grip on power. Russian President Vladimir Putin secured yet another term with nearly 77 percent of the vote; Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi did even better, nailing down 97 percent of the vote in Egypt. Neither of them deserved congratulations from Western leaders.

    In both cases, the outcome of the election was known well before voters went to the polls, as any serious opponents were prevented from running and the cards were solidly stacked in favor of the incumbents. These were not real elections in any sense of the term.

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    The same is about to happen in Azerbaijan onApril 11, in an election moved up from the original date ofOct. 17. There, too, we already know that President Ilham Aliyev, who has been in power since 2003 after succeeding his father, is guaranteed another term. Azerbaijan’s election is so rigged that key opposition parties refused to take part and instead organized a mass protest on March 31. Among other demands, demonstrators called for the release of the more than 100 political prisoners in the country.

    Aliyev’s Azerbaijan tends to be forgotten due to the West’s obsession with Putin’s Russia, but his regime is one of the most corrupt and authoritarian in the region.

    That’s because Baku benefits from being a significant oil producer and part of the northern supply route for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Azerbaijan portrays itself as a moderate Muslim-majority country in a challenging region, bordered by Russia and Iran and engaged in conflict with Armenia regarding the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Given the threats posed by Putin and the United States’ need for secure resupply routes to Afghanistan, some argue, America cannot afford to alienate Azerbaijan by pressing Aliyev on human rights.

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    By Patrick Basler
    Published April 21, 2016

    According to Donald Trump, his 1987 book is the best-selling business book of all time. According to the type of people who check those things, it probably isn't.

    Of course, that doesn't mean the book, which is co-written by journalist Tony Schwartz, wasn't a huge success. When it was released in the late '80s, it spent 51 weeks on the ' bestseller list, thanks in part to the real-estate mogul's burgeoning celebrity status.

    But since that stretch of time, when was the most famous non-building thing to bear the Trump name, the book has never been more relevant than it is right now. Part memoir, part how-to-be-me instruction manual, it's a glance into the mind of pre-presidential, pre- Trump.

    Spoiler: He's pretty much the same guy.

    Many critics of the Republican front-runner have been quick to write about the "reality TV" nature of his presidential run. The comparison is valid. Trump's showmanship and relative harshness on the campaign trail could be (and are) staples on network television. But the roots of his flamboyantly fantastic behavior go far beyond his days on . In fact, in the book's first few chapters, Trump spelled out what would later become his entire campaign strategy nearly 30 years later.

    "One thing I've learned about the press is that they're always hungry for a good story, and the more sensational the better," he wrote. "The point is that if you are a little different, or a little outrageous, or if you do things that are bold or controversial, the press is going to write about you."

    Even as early as the '70s, it wasn't just an idea to Trump. The book highlights his first dealings with the press and his attempt to create the larger-than-life persona he still wears today. From the extravagant buildings he developed (and named after himself) to the angry letters he wrote to critics (while simultaneously claiming not to take them seriously), the foundations of Trump, who would later reference his penis size on a debate stage, were already in place.

    "The final key to the way I promote is bravado. I play to people's fantasies," Trump suggested to the thousands of business hopefuls who would read his book. "People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That's why a little hyperbole never hurts."

    But perhaps more interesting in is that, general egocentrism and obsession with extravagance aside, the Trump who appears in the book actually seems more presidentially viable than the one who is currently running for president. For a candidate whose platform seems to stick to the single, grandiose mission statement of "make America great again," Trump's recollections of his business deals, large and small alike, are strikingly detailed, describing the inner workings of big-city real estate for an audience that likely will never spend $2 million on an 80-foot indoor waterfall. His apparent mastery of relationships amongbusinesses, government and the press seem more legitimate on the pages of the book than they ever have in numerous debate brags about his business prowess. The book's title isn't just more of Trump's hyperbole; he actually seems to treat business like an art.

    It's entirely possible that Trump only comes across as something of a (still pretty unprofessional) professional in his book because of Schwartz's influence and the editing process. But it's also possible that Trump's attention to detail just didn't make the jump from business to politics, a field he seems to have a less thansubstantial amount of respect for in .

    "I discovered, for the first time but not the last, that politicians don't care too much what things cost," he quipped about the New York politicians he dealt with regularly. "It's not their money."

    But as Trump moves closer and closer to becoming the Republican nominee for president, he's now one of those politicians, like it or not. And while he might have left his passion for details in the '80s (along with his less-orange skin), makes it clear that the uglier parts of his always-controversial personality have survived intact.

    Is he still fond of calling people losers?

    Does he still like to generalize entire groups of people?

    Is he still generally rude and mean to people who are in his way?


    stars a Trump at either his rawest or most filtered, depending on how you look at it, but it does provide some interesting insight into the type of president he would be. Under all the gaudy glamour, brash behavior and questionable character, there's definitely a man with some intelligence and savvy. But if it can barely be found in almost 400 pages of scheming, plotting, and bragging about scheming and plotting, then good luck finding it in time for Election Day.

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    The question as to what the Amazons really were, or rather, what gave rise to the belief that there was such a race of women, has been much discussed by ancient as well as modern writers. Herodotus 8 says, that in the Scythian language their name was Oiorpata, which he translates by ἀνδροκτόνοι ( androktonoi ). The Greek name Amazones is usually derived from mazos , the breast, and is supposed to mean "breastless," or "not brought up by the breast," "beings with strong breasts," or "with one breast." 9 Others derive it from the Circassian word maza , said to signify the moon, or from Emmetch , which, according to a Caucasian tradition, is said to have been their original name. KAANAS Womens Montpellier Espadrille Platform Wedge Sandal 119F354Pb

    Among the various ways in which it has been attempted to account for the origin of the story about the Amazons, two deserve to be mentioned. One opinion is, that the peculiar way in which the women of some of the Caucasian districts lived, and performed the duties which in other countries devolve upon men, together with the many instances of female bravery and courage which are noticed as remarkable even by modern travelers, were conveyed to the inhabitants of western Asia and the Greeks in vague and obscure reports, and thus gave rise to the belief in the existence of such a warlike race of women, and that these rumors and reports were subsequently worked out and embellished by popular tradition and poetry.

    Others think that the Amazons were originally priestesses of Artemis (the moon), whose worship was widely spread in Asia, and which they are said to have established in various parts. It is further inferred, from the name Amazones, that these priestesses mutilated their bodies by cutting off their breasts in a manner similar to that in which the Joie Womens Saima HighHeel Boots kAuum
    and other priests mutilated their bodies, and that thus the Amazons represented the male ideal in the female sex, just as the Galli represented the female ideal in the male sex. But it would be difficult, in the first place, to prove the existence of such priestesses, and in the second, to show how they could have occasioned the belief in a whole female race of this kind. Neither the poetical nor historical traditions about the Amazons contain anything to render this opinion very plausible; and, in the absence of all positive evidence, the first opinion has much more to recommend it. DKNY Kara brogue slip 4PTfuEZ

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