War Cry

For soldiers, the edges of war zones often extend all the way back home. Compared to other Americans, veterans are much more likely to die by suicide. And lately, a lot of those suicides have been taking place on the grounds of VA hospital campuses. WaPo's Emily Wax-Thibodeaux on the desperate form of protest being carried out by the nation's protectors - that the nation is failing to protect. The Parking Lot Suicides: How common is the problem? "The VA's executive director for suicide prevention said the agency now trains parking lot attendants and patrols on suicide intervention." Somehow I don't think that was the reaction the protest was intended to elicit.


The Rule of Laundry

"New York, Los Angeles, and Miami have joined London as the world's most desired destinations for laundered money. This boom has enriched the American elites who have enabled it—and it has degraded the nation's political and social mores in the process. While everyone else was heralding an emergent globalist world that would take on the best values of America, Palmer had glimpsed the dire risk of the opposite: that the values of the kleptocrats would become America's own. This grim vision is now nearing fruition." Franklin Foer in The Atlantic: Russian-Style Kleptocracy Is Infiltrating America.


Red, White, and Bullets

"The nightmare has woven itself into the everyday informational stream: the stock market rises and falls, one team beats another team, restaurants open and close, Apple announces a new phone, a man enters a public place with artillery and massacres a bunch of strangers. It's news but not shocking news. There is a mass shooting – more than four people not including the shooter – nine out of 10 days in America." Stephen Marche: Guns v grief: inside America's deadliest cultural chasm.

+ "Pharmacies must lock opioids and other controlled substances in fortified cabinets. Explosives makers have to keep volatile materials in boxes or rooms capable of withstanding explosions. Banks, in order to maintain federal deposit insurance, have to hire security officers. But there are no such requirements for gun stores, and criminals are taking advantage." In an investigative report, The New Yorker tracks stolen firearms through the black market, from gun-store thefts to crime scenes. Easy Targets.

+ The House is holding its first hearings on gun violence in eight years (yes, you read that right). Aalayah Eastmond, a survivor of the Parkland shooting, gave an opening statement that provides an excellent summary of the situation.


Euro Trashtalk

"France recalled its ambassador to Italy for talks on Thursday, saying the situation was 'unprecedented' since the end of World War Two. It comes after Italian Deputy PM Luigi Di Maio met French 'yellow-vest' protesters near Paris on Tuesday." BBC: France recalls ambassador to Italy as diplomatic row deepens.


Vaxing and Waning

"The secretary general of the ministry of health told CNN that more than 50,000 people have caught the disease since October 2018 and there have been more than 300 deaths -- mostly children." That's the situation in Madagascar where there are numerous factors that leave the island nation off the coast of East Africa vulnerable. In the United States, the problems are entirely self-inflicted. WaPo: The unique dangers of the Washington state measles outbreak.

+ "For her part, Lindenberger's mother says her son's decision to seek out vaccinations for himself felt like an insult. 'I did not immunize him because I felt it was the best way to protect him and keep him safe,' Wheeler said of her son, calling his decision a slap in the face. 'It was like him spitting on me [saying] you don't know anything, I don't trust you with anything. You don't know what you're talking about. You did make a bad decision and I'm gonna go fix it." UnDark: Coming of Age Unvaccinated.


No Place Left to Hide

"Around 250 bounty hunters and related businesses had access to AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint customer location data, according to documents obtained by Motherboard. The documents also show that telecom companies sold data intended to be used by 911 operators and first responders to data aggregators, who sold it to bounty hunters. The data was in some cases so accurate that a user could be tracked to specific spots inside a building." Motherboard: Big Telecom Sold Highly Sensitive Customer GPS Data Typically Used for 911 Calls.

+ TechCrunch: Many popular iPhone apps secretly record your screen without asking. And there's no way a user would know.


Savage Mode

"The events of the last few days underscore the ways in which the hard power of government authority and soft power of online conversation can align in peculiar and insidious ways. As news began to spread on social media of 21 Savage's arrest on Sunday, the meme and joke ecosystem that uses trauma as oxygen went into overdrive, reacting with special intensity to the revelation that 21 Savage — one of the titans of Atlanta's rap scene — was in fact British." NYT: 21 Savage, American Rapper. (If ICE has time to arrest and detain 21 Savage, there is no emergency...)

+ "The City Council in Nogales, which sits on the border with Nogales, Mexico, wants the federal government to remove all concertina wire installed within the city limits. Otherwise, Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino said the city will sue." Another day, another city that tells the Trump administration they don't want the extra border protection to protect them from an imaginary crisis. Arizona city officials want border wall's razor wire removed.


Toilet Roll

"Not far from Howard Beach, he explains why he's the greatest toilet man in America. 'I had different theories about business ... and they all turned out to be correct.'" NY Mag: The porta-potty business is as dirty as you'd think. But one man keeps coming up smelling like roses. The Five Families of Feces.


There Are No Words

"Its first submission — bloodstained panties — was rejected. Undeterred, the organization teamed up with the National Health Service and submitted a new proposal for a blood drop." There are a lot of new emojis coming soon to your smartphone.


Bottom of the News

How right are we when it comes to our scientific takes on the food we eat? It might offer some clarity to go back 25 years and examine the incorrect things we believed then.

+ GQ: The Real-Life Diet of Aleksei Goloborodko, the Most Flexible Man in the World (and that description is not a stretch).

+ "You've got to have young guys. Otherwise, guys like me are going to play Hall & Oates or something." What sets the Warriors' practices apart? For one thing, they each have a DJ.

+ 11 Facts About Blazing Saddles on Its 45th Anniversary.