May 30th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

America takes to the streets, Trump in his (Archie) Bunker, and a roundup of protest news.

America is facing a lot of extreme challenges … all at once. The country’s role in the world has been wildly diminished, the worst global pandemic of our lifetimes has hit us particularly hard, the economy has suffered an uppercut to the jaw, unemployment numbers have surged beyond imagination, our deep polarization is playing into the hands of of our archest rivals, our longest running and most depressing national storyline has spilled out onto the streets once again, and we are saddled with perhaps the worst president in American history; a leader who not only fails to ease the burden of history, but who, at every turn, actively makes matters worse. Fire, meet gasbag. As I mentioned yesterday, the American nightmare that has diffused from Minneapolis to the corners of the country is actually Trump’s political dream. WaPo with a headline and a lede for the moment: Gripped by disease, unemployment and outrage at the police, America plunges into crisis. “A global pandemic has now killed more than 100,000 Americans and left 40 million unemployed in its wake. Protests — some of them violent — have once again erupted in spots across the country over police killings of black Americans. President Trump, meanwhile, is waging a war against Twitter, attacking his political rivals, criticizing a voting practice he himself uses and suggesting that looters could be shot.”

+ “In scenes both peaceful and violent across the nation, thousands of protesters chanted ‘No justice, no peace’ and ‘Say his name. George Floyd.’ They hoisted signs reading: ‘He said I can’t breathe. Justice for George.'” AP on the protests. National Guard summoned to aid cities amid police clashes. The Marshall Project with a city by city roundup. And here are some photos from The Guardian.

+ The most powerful photo from the protests is not one that features fires or violence. It was a photo of unity. From downtown Louisville, photo shows line of white people between police, black protesters.


Bull(shit) Connor

President Trump doesn’t have much interest in protecting Americans (from disease, from politice brutality, from anything really), but he’s pretty enthusiastic about protecting himself. “Great job last night at the White House by the U.S. Secret Service. They were not only totally professional, but very cool. I was inside, watched every move, and couldn’t have felt more safe. They let the ‘protesters’ scream & rant as much as they wanted, but whenever someone got too frisky or out of line, they would quickly come down on them, hard – didn’t know what hit them. The front line was replaced with fresh agents, like magic. Big crowd, professionally organized, but nobody came close to breaching the fence. If they had they would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons.” (For a guy who doesn’t read, he’s sure memorized a lot of the greatest hits by America’s most notorious racists.) When the protesters are expressing anguish over their brothers, sons, and fathers being killed, they’re ranting. When they’re protesting about their right to get a haircut without a mask during a pandemic, they’re liberators.

+ Joe Biden challenges white Americans: “The pain is too intense for one community to bear alone.”


Killer Mic Drop

Some of those involved in the Atlanta protests turned to violence and created a lot of damage around the city. The moment was met by two remarkable, must-watch, impromptu speeches. Killer Mike: Don’t burn your city to the ground. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms: When you burn down this city, you’re burning down our community. If you want change in America, go and register to vote.


Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Pandemic

Vice: “Community bail funds are being flooded with thousands of donations, as organizers across the country struggle to keep demonstrators out of jails after three nights of protests and riots reacting to the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.” This is a reminder that these gatherings are taking place at the worst possible moment. Even without violence or fires, the pandemic could make these the most deadly protests in American history.


Chinese Checkerboard

“The U.S. is the largest source of financial support for the WHO, and its exit is expected to significantly weaken the organization. Trump said the U.S. would be ‘redirecting’ the money to ‘other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs,’ without providing specifics.” AP: EU urges Trump to rethink cutting funding to WHO.

+ Hong Kong officials say Trump ‘completely wrong‘ to end city’s special status.


Farm to Table Saw

“All of the roughly 200 employees on a produce farm in Tennessee tested positive for covid-19 this month. In New Jersey, more than 50 workers had the virus at a farm in Gloucester County, adding to nearly 60 who fell ill in neighboring Salem County. Almost 170 were reported to get the disease at a tomato and strawberry greenhouse complex in Oneida, New York.”

+ “The cost of food bought to eat at home skyrocketed by the most in 46 years, and analysts caution that meat prices in particular could remain high as slaughterhouses struggle to maintain production levels while implementing procedures intended to keep workers healthy. While price spikes for staples such as eggs and flour have eased as consumer demand has leveled off, prices remain volatile for carrots, potatoes and other produce because of transportation issues and the health of workers who pick crops and work in processing plants.” US food prices see historic jump and are likely to stay high.


Flynn There, Done That

In the never-ending case of Michael Flynn, each thing we learn just confirms or makes worse what we already knew. “Michael Flynn did something far worse than lie to the FBI. He betrayed the United States. That’s the major revelation of the just-released transcripts of the conversations he had during the presidential transition with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.”



Folks, I’m loathe to ruin today’s tsunami of positive news, but I’ve got to break the streak. Kylie Jenner is … damn … well … I hate to lay this on you … maybe not really a billionaire. “Earlier this year, Kylie Jenner sold half of her cosmetics company in one of the greatest celebrity cash-outs of all time. But the deal’s fine print reveals that she has been inflating the size and success of her business. For years.” (She should run for president…)


Murder, She Scrote

OK, this is something people in my bubble almost never do. But in the spirit of reaching out, there’s this. US gun owners aim firearms at their genitals to settle feud within community. This is what’s known as a gunfight at the This is Not OK Corral…


Feel Good Saturday

“It’s a sign of how Covid-19 has taken us back in time. Televisions had killed stoop culture. Those little stages for gossip, flirting and catching up went quiet as people retreated to the living room after work. Then phones killed the living room TV time and homes got quiet, too, each family member retreating to a bedroom or a far end of the sofa.” Nellie Bowles in the NYT: In Lockdown, a Neighborhood Opens Up.

+ For years, Pop-Up Magazine has traveled the country with writers, comedians, filmmakers, audio producers, and photographers. This time, we’re bringing the show to you. A rare pandemic positive: You get to see a Pop-Up Magazine show.

+ Half Moon Bay couple provides sense of belonging for kids, horses through Square Peg Foundation. (Great people, friends of mine, proud to be a longtime supporter!)

+ And, a perfect closing for this edition: Colin Kaepernick will help provide legal assistance for Minneapolis protesters after death of George Floyd.

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