British Pounding

The British are coming ... unglued. Let's take a brief digression from the madness of American politics and focus instead on the madness of British politics. And it's getting pretty mad. "Jo Johnson, the younger brother of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is resigning as an MP and minister, saying he was 'torn between family loyalty and the national interest.'" Meanwhile, brother Boris, when faced with notion of extending or delaying Brexit, suggested that he'd rather "die in a ditch." (Politically speaking, that may be happening already.) Here's the latest from The Guardian.

+ Buzzfeed: All The Ways Brexit Could Go Now, Explained For People Who Are Confused.


Belief System Error

"Millennials and Gen Z are not only unlikely to call themselves Protestants and patriots, but also less likely to call themselves Democrats or Republicans. They seem most comfortable with unaffiliation, even anti-affiliation. They are less likely than preceding generations to identify as 'environmentalists,' less likely to be loyal to specific brands, and less likely to trust authorities, or companies, or institutions. Less than one-third of them say they have 'a lot of confidence' in unions, or Silicon Valley, or the federal government, or the news, or the justice system. And don't even get them started on the banks." Derek Thompson in The Atlantic: The nuclear family, God, and national pride are a holy trinity of the American identity. What would happen if a generation gave up on all three? (We'd be left with the new holy trinity: Twitter, Netflix, and the Hurricane Heading for Alabama...)


Wall Mart

"Schools for the children of U.S. military members from Kentucky to Germany to Japan will be affected. A daycare center at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland - the home of Air Force One - will also have its funds diverted, the Pentagon said." Reuters: Pentagon pulls funds for military schools, daycare to pay for Trump's border wall.

+ "The former Trump Organization lawyer had been leading the effort to devise the oft-delayed peace plan. His departure casts further doubt on the proposal's future." Newshour: Trump's Mideast peace envoy is preparing to leave White House.


The Debt Offensive

"From the late nineteen-eighties to the present, college tuition has increased at a rate four times that of inflation, and eight times that of household income. It has been estimated that forty-five million people in the United States hold educational debt totalling roughly $1.5 trillion—more than what Americans owe on their credit cards and auto loans combined." Hua Hsu in The New Yorker: Student Debt Is Transforming the American Family. (Whatever university you start at, you always end up graudating from I.O.U.)

+ Speaking of universities and money, MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte made an already difficult situation worse with his remarkably tone deaf comments about taking donations from Jeffrey Epstein. MIT Media Lab founder: Taking Jeffrey Epstein's money was justified. "If you wind back the clock, I would still say, 'take it.'" (Someone should wind back the clock on that statement...)


Dorian Update

Dorian has weakened dramatically since obliterating parts of The Bahamas. But the (now) Category 2 storm is still wreaking havoc (including tornados touching down) on the Carolinas and beyond. Here's the latest from CNN.

+ The weather finally allowed relief workers and supplies to make it into the Bahamas where the grim death toll numbers are certain to rise.


Bad Date

"People put things in refrigerators with the best intentions, while letting them, the majority of time, live slow, miserable deaths." FastCo: There's a $218 billion design problem sitting in your fridge right now. "We could save up to 30% of food waste by changing expiration dates. So why don't we?"


Vitamin E(R)

"The chemical is an oil derived from vitamin E. Investigators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found the oil in cannabis products in samples collected from patients who fell ill across the United States." WaPo: Contaminant found in vaping products linked to deadly lung illnesses, state and federal labs show.

+ ABC: 2nd person in US dies from lung disease linked to vaping.

+ Wired: Vaping May Hamper the Lungs' Ability to Fend off Infections.

+ Michigan becomes the first state to ban flavored e-cigarettes. I'm just going by a feeling (a gut feeling, and a lung feeling) but I really think that — in addition to targeting kids — the flavors will prove to be one of the things that hurts the lungs the most.


Yuan China

"Our new relationship will deal with a One China policy; a One China policy that recognizes only Beijing as the official government administration." Reuters with an interesting look at how China is spreading its influence in the South Pacific and beyond. Solomon Islands to sever ties with Taiwan, shift alliance to Beijing. "Only 17 countries now recognize Taiwan."


Jack Out of the Box

"The best folks could do was piece his story together via his trail name. Baltimore Jack took his handle from the first line of Hungry Heart, Bruce Springsteen's 1980 hit song: 'Got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack / I went out for a ride, and I never went back.' The legend was that Jack had done the same, leaving a family for a life on foot that rejected convention, while seeking a higher truth along a dirt ribbon that winds through thousands of miles of forests, hills, meadows, and mountains." Outside: The Legend of Baltimore Jack. "To some, his choice to live off the grid was irresponsible. Others celebrated that he'd managed to break the shackles of convention."


Bottom of the News

"While Facebook Dating won't match you with your Facebook friends — which means you won't accidentally see your uncle on there — it does have a feature called Secret Crush that will let you flirt with people you already know. Secret Crush lets you choose up to nine friends to label as a crush. If one of those nine friends adds you as well, it notifies you." Buzzfeed: Facebook's Dating App Is Launching In The US (giving you the chance to get as screwed as your privacy...).

+ And if you can't get someone to give you their number via the dating app, there's still the old fashioned way. The phone numbers of 419 million Facebook accounts have been leaked.

+ Dorian washed up a brick of cocaine onto a Florida beach.