Thursday, June 16th, 2016


Stop Signs

The debate over AR-15s and other assault weapons finally seems to be inching away from being just another gun control fight to what it really should be; a matter of common sense. In a front page story, The Boston Globe frames the issue and provides an overview on the state of violence connected to these killing machines, what is keeping them on the streets, and who is profiting (whether you are aware of it or not, that might include you). "Greed, legislative cowardice, advanced technology -- that is how we got here ... There is nothing more American today than a mass shooting." Make It Stop.

+ After a lengthy filibuster, Senate leaders are negotiating votes on gun-control measures (these are mostly focused on keeping people on the terrorist watchlist from purchasing weapons of war -- but at least it's a start).

+ The family of the AR-15 inventor said he never intended it for civilian use (and didn't own one himself).

+ MoJo goes inside the sometimes shadowy world of America's biggest gun makers.

+ "There is too much gun crime in the USA, and high-powered weaponry is too easy to get. That's the fact. So let's deal with it. We all have the right to bear arms, but we don't have the right to buy and maintain mortars. Even if you feel threatened by gangsters or a New World Order. No bazookas, no Sherman tanks, no hand grenades." Who said that? Bill O'Reilly. At long last, we're getting some movement from both sides of the aisle. Let's hope this means our AR-15 minutes of fame are finally up.

+ Full disclosure on my personal connection to guns. I'm here because of one.


Internal Combustion

Can we trust the people we're giving our money to when a crisis occurs? From NPR: "The American Red Cross spent a quarter of the money people donated after the 2010 Haiti earthquake -- or almost $125 million -- on its own internal expenses."


Britain Worst

From WaPo: British lawmaker dies following shooting and stabbing attack that stuns nation. There are reports that Jo Cox's attacker shouted "Britain First" before shooting and stabbing her to death.

+ From Jo Cox's husband: "Hate doesn't have a creed, race or religion, it is poisonous." Here's the latest on the incident from the BBC.


Cop Out

The Oakland police department has had three chiefs in a week following a major scandal involving the sexual exploitation of an underaged prostitute. From the East Bay Express: Badge of Dishonor. I'm linking to this partly because it's a big story. And partly as a reminder that the media is not just pundits spewing opinions on cable news. It's these kinds of important investigations too.


Facebook and Faces

As Obama visited Orlando, new details emerged about the shooter who made proclamations on Facebook, and visited the social network during his rampage, "apparently seeking to gauge reaction in real time."

+ "It's very personal, because you've gone through it. You understand how much they are suffering, just like how our family went through that suffering. When you think of it, all of these statistics have names and these names have faces. They are people who are now lost." Some thoughts on losing a family member to terrorism from a guy who's experienced it. Warriors coach Steve Kerr.


The Dope Show

"According to several people briefed on the discussions, the presumptive Republican nominee is examining the opportunity presented by the 'audience' currently supporting him." From Vanity Fair: Is Donald Trump's endgame the launch of Trump News?

+ I basically offered Trump this very same deal about a month ago.


Gap Kids

Quartz on the parenting happiness gap: "It's an almost immutable fact: Regardless of what country you live in, and what stage of life you might be at, having kids makes you significantly less happy compared to people who don't have kids." As of this week, I have two children, three cats, and two dogs. For what it's worth, with all the pets, I barely notice the kids.


Eat Dirt

"I was conducting interviews with pregnant women about iron deficiency anaemia. I was sitting on the floor of this woman's house, and I asked her what she liked to eat during pregnancy, and she said: 'Twice a day, I take earth from the wall of my house and I eat it.'" From BBC: The people who can't stop eating dirt.

+ Sarah Laskow: I Tried a Medieval Diet, And I Didn't Even Get That Drunk.


Six Pack Abducts

"The first time I was abducted, I was twenty-one years-old,' said a fifty-something in a visor and sunglasses, as casually as she'd explain the recipe for meatloaf. Her companion nodded, his gray ponytail swinging -- he'd look at home on the back of a Harley, or with a Bud Light and a bug zapper. 'That's when they come,' he responded wistfully. 'I know it.'" Adam Popsecu takes you inside the world's biggest UFO convention. (These days, humans have me perplexed enough...)


Bottom of the News

Circling back to today's top story on guns, here's Wired's Brian Raftery explaining why, when it comes to this topic, only The Onion can save us now.

+ Consumerist: 8 Gadgets Devoted Solely To Spreading Butter On Stuff. (Makes sense. There are about 8,000 products devoted to helping us share animated GIFs.)

+ Melanie Aquino could be the best coffee artist in the world.

+ My favorite news curator went out to edit the Internet and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.