October 19th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

What America can learn from Stockton...

“‘It’s easy to say, ‘Get these people out, build the wall,’ when it’s these people. When you put a live person in front of them, like their hairdresser or their kid’s best friend, then it’s different.” We begin today in the San Joaquin Valley with what, these days, might feel like the ultimate man bites dog story. It’s a community where conservative Trump voters and new immigrants live side by side. It’s not perfect, not by a long shot. But they’ve managed to keep one American tradition alive: They talk to each other. And that’s because they rely on each other. From CS Monitor: How Stockton, Calif., has resisted political polarization.

+ “It’s a great opportunity to have this conversation about all these factors. … Stockton is a proxy for America: its diversity, its people. It’s a place that’s emerging and has big bold ideas.” 3 years ago, Stockton, California, was bankrupt. Now it’s trying out a basic income (with a little help from big tech).

+ Alexis Madrigal: Free Money at the Edge of the Tech Boom.


Bug Off

“‘Our mistreatment of the planet has been recognizably bad for elephants and coral reefs, but it seems likely that it has also been just as bad for flies, moths, beetles.’ This is, to put it mildly, a huge problem.” From Ed Yong in The Atlantic: Insects Are In Serious Trouble. “Any truck driver in the developed world will tell you that they used to squash a lot of insects on the windscreen. Now the windscreens stay clean.”


Ordering to Go

“When we establish contact with a community, we maintain that contact. When we go to a place, we take care of that place until we feel it has the right conditions to sustain itself. That’s what a relief organization should be.” Puerto Rico is in dire straits. But not every recovery story is a nightmare. José Andrés and World Central Kitchen have prepared and delivered a million meals since arriving in Puerto Rico.

+ Molly Crabapple in Buzzfeed: How One Small Town In Puerto Rico Found Food And Community After Maria.

+ “During the decade before Maria, economic decline and depopulation, a slower-moving catastrophe, had been taking a staggering toll: The number of residents had plunged by 11 percent, the economy had shrunk by 15 percent, and the government had become unable to pay its bills.” Puerto Rico was already suffering a demographic crisis. Then came Maria.

+ “Maria blew through the island in a matter of hours, but what was left behind wasn’t just traditional hurricane damage. The storm uncovered and intensified long-term environmental challenges that have long blighted Puerto Rico and now threaten its future.”

+ Trump gives the administration a 10 out of 10 on Puerto Rico Storm Aid. (These stats tell a different story.)

+ She was 92, stranded in Puerto Rico nursing home. Her rescue: an Uber sent from Miami. She gave her driver “five stars.”


Photo Op

“She uploaded the photograph of Ronnie wearing his leather jacket. The results arrived in seconds: The man in the photographs was a model and actor from Turkey, called Adem Guzel. Emma was confused.” From Jeff Maysh in The Atlantic: A Catfishing With a Happy Ending.



“This means that people of every race, religion, and ethnicity can be fully and equally American. It means that bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed. And it means that the very identity of our nation depends on the passing of civic ideals to the next generation.” President George W. Bush is the latest leader to rip into Trumpism without directly naming Trump.

+ WaPo: John Kelly defends Trump’s call to Gold Star widow.

+ “The judge was incredulous as she questioned the lawyer for the government, at one point saying she was ‘astounded’ at the government’s apparent position that the teen’s only options were to either carry the pregnancy to term or go back to her home country.” From Buzzfeed: A judge just ordered the Trump administration to allow an undocumented teen to get an abortion.


Road to Nowhere

“Photojournalist Moises Saman was in Bangladesh this past week documenting the conditions Rohingya are enduring as they flee, whether wading through the river that marks the border between the two countries, making desperate efforts to obtain food and shelter, or finding dignified ways to bury their dead.” From The New Yorker: The Rohingya’s Desperate Journey Out of Myanmar.

+ Those photos show humans cruelty towards one another. The one taken by the UK’s Natural History Museum photographer of the year shows our cruelty towards animals.


Laugh Track

“What if raising truly empowered girls also means raising funny ones? What if we teach our daughters that humor is their turf — just as much as any boy’s?” Ellen McCarthy in WaPo: Want to raise an empowered girl? Then let her be funny. All kidding aside, my nine year-old daughter and I work on developing proper timing for different joke styles all the time. This is the first time one of my behaviors has been mentioned in an article on parenting correctly. It was hard for me not to lead with this story…


Canada’s House Band

“If anything, the Hip’s lack of success in the U.S. has only made Canadians more protective of them. CBC broadcaster and musician Tom Power called them Canada’s local band. He also called Downie ‘the greatest frontman this country has ever produced.'” This week, Canadians are mourning the death of Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau broke into tears as he explained, “We are less as a country without Gord Downie in it.”

+ “It’s sad that he’s gone, but it was nice to be alive in his lifetime. Good songs stay written. Good records stay made. They are always filled with the promise and hope and life essence of their creator. Tom made a lot of great music. Enough to carry people forward.” Bruce Springsteen and others pay tribute to Tom Petty.


Right Turn, Clyde

“Runners and walkers planning to take part in a 5K race in Asheville early next month might do better with a compass — a well-tuned political compass, that is.” In this 5K race, runners will meander NC’s Gerrymander. The race course does a pretty good job of hammering home how crazy gerrymandering has become.

+ MoJo with an investigative piece on voter suppression in Wisconsin.


Bottom of the News

“It was The Late Night Wars, oh ‘Jay’s winning, nobody likes me, and everybody likes Jay,’  … Now I think, what was that? Who’s at war here? There’s no war anymore. And I think, why was I in the war?” WaPo on Letterman: The Last Legend Of Late-Night TV.

+ Chad was added to the travel ban because it ran out of passport paper?

+ NYT: It’s One of North America’s Quietest Places. Along Came a Bear. “They then salvaged the recordings, and found a surprise: Footsteps, sniffs, huffs, a series of clattering crunches, then silence. (That’s pretty much what my kids hear every night when I sneak downstair for snack.)

+ California Restaurant Admits It’s Been Serving Popeyes Chicken for Months.

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