Wednesday, September 5th, 2018


Bunker Mentality

I'm not a prepper. I'm not ready for the apocalypse. If I have a leaky faucet or a fuse blows, I'm sweating. And if I lose WiFi; full panic. But I'm beginning to think, at the very least, I need some subterranean property in New Zealand. (I wonder if any of the Hobbit movie sets are available...) From Bloomberg: The Super Rich of Silicon Valley Have a Doomsday Escape Plan. "In recent months, two 150-ton survival bunkers journeyed by land and sea from a Texas warehouse to the shores of New Zealand, where they're buried 11 feet underground. Seven Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have purchased bunkers from Rising S Co. and planted them in New Zealand in the past two years, said Gary Lynch, the manufacturer's general manager. At the first sign of an apocalypse — nuclear war, a killer germ, a French Revolution-style uprising targeting the 1 percent — the Californians plan to hop on a private jet and hunker down, he said. 'New Zealand is an enemy of no one,' Lynch said in an interview from his office in Murchison, Texas, southeast of Dallas. 'It's not a nuclear target. It's not a target for war. It's a place where people seek refuge.'" (At least three countries re-aimed their nukes by the end of that paragraph.)


The Brett Inoffensive

The goal of anyone hoping to be confirmed as a federal judge is to give away as little as possible during their hearings. For all the hubbub surrounding Brett Kavanaugh's nomination, this part of the process is holding true to form. We're not getting much about presidential pardons, presidential subpoenas, or Roe v Wade. Aside from that, we're not learning much else either. Here's the latest from the hearings.


Hungary Like a Wolf

"There is no precedent for a European Union member state expelling an entire university. But Central European University — founded and funded by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's favorite boogeyman, liberal Hungarian American investor George Soros — has become the prime target of Orban's campaign to dismantle Europe's multicultural, tolerant liberalism and cement a culture that is unapologetically Christian, conservative and nationalist." From WaPo: Amid illiberal revolution in Hungary, a university with U.S. roots fights to stay. This sounds a lot like the early days of pre-WWII fascism. And sadly, some of the debate points will sound a little too familiar to today's Americans.

+ The Atlantic: Violent anti-immigration protests in the city of Chemnitz were dwarfed in size by a counter-protest. But they still speak to a dark and growing trend in German politic.


Russian To Judgment

"Speaking in the Commons, Prime Minister Theresa May said the government had concluded, from intelligence provided by UK agencies, that the men were part of the GRU intelligence service. The poisoning was 'not a rogue operation' and was 'almost certainly' approved at a senior level of the Russian state, she said." (The leader of a liberal democracy agreeing with the findings of their intel agencies? Weird.) BBC: Salisbury Novichok poisoning: Russian nationals named as suspects.


Inside Out After Outside In

In Brooklyn, Iowa, a diverse community of people who got along just wanted to quietly mourn. But then the venomous ooze of today's politics began to seep in. And things changed. "Soon, residents were retreating from their usual routines, avoiding the park, the grocery store, their own front yards, because the hatred being spewed out there had begun seeping in here, too. The wave of racist rhetoric prompted organizers to cancel two nearby Latino heritage festivals. At the high school, the principal used his annual welcome-back assembly to tell his students that prejudice had no place in their halls, even as one Latina student listening in the crowd would soon hear classmates whispering that people like her should go back to the border." WaPo: After arrest of undocumented immigrant in Mollie Tibbetts case, Iowa town tries to escape the inescapable: politics.


I Second That Emotion

"When I think about things like the fact we need a new septic system, or that we need to replace some doors and the deck on my house, I go into almost like a panic attack. I don't have a reserve of money for that and I don't want to dip into my future. I feel all the time that pressure to not even just get ahead, but to keep my head above water. I've missed a lot of things because of all the jobs I do." A photo essay from The Guardian: How I survive: American teachers and their second jobs. (I used to be a teacher, and between the in-class stuff, and the preparation and grading papers at home, it already felt like I had a second job.)


Oxy Con

"A company whose prescription opioid marketing practices are being blamed for sparking the addiction and overdose crisis says it's helping to fund an effort to make a lower-cost overdose antidote. OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma announced Wednesday that it's making a $3.4 million grant to Harm Reduction Therapeutics, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit, to help develop a low-cost naloxone nasal spray." (Oh my god, you guys, that is so nice.) From AP: Major opioid maker to pay for overdose-antidote development.


Behind Door Number One

"At times, though, the door would be closed. This was an anomaly at the Trump Organization. It meant that Trump was doing something that didn't come naturally. He was cutting off the flow of constant distraction; he was choosing to focus on something important. If Trump was discussing a deal, he liked to be able to call someone into his office and share how great the deal was. If he was meeting with someone especially rich or famous, he would make introductions. So closing the door meant that he was not to be disturbed; he was negotiating something so important and secretive that Trump allowed his door to be shut. The people allowed inside the room when the door was closed were the ones who would know Trump's secrets, this man told me. And those people were always the same." The New Yorker's Adam Davidson has been following this story as closely as anyone. Here's his take on where the Trump investigation will go next.


Dad Genes

"If you would have told me to pick who my father was, there's no way I would have picked him because I might have thought I wasn't worthy for him to be my father. I felt like my blessings came full circle because I'd always wanted to be somebody like him." ESPN: Kansas City Chiefs running backs coach Deland McCullough went searching for his biological parents. He found them where he never would have expected: Runs in the Family. (I could have saved this one for Feel Good Friday, but you seemed like you needed a little boost this week...)


Bottom of the News

"The biggest thing I have learned in all these years," she confided, "is that nobody wants the truth, but everyone wants a story." Buzzfeed: The Best Thing My Psychic Mom Taught Me Is No One Wants To Hear The Truth.

+ If you currently have a jade egg in your vagina, you might be owed some cash. (Also, pull it out.)

+ Well, this is certainly one way to deal with a protester.

+ 25 of the new words Merriam-Webster is adding to the dictionary in 2018.

+ On Sept 25, I'm going to be joining in on the 4th Annual Dreamforce Charity Poker Tournament in San Francisco. It's always a blast and raises money for The Michael J Fox Foundation. If you're unskilled and inexperienced, please request my table!