June 6th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

The NFL enters the red zone, the beauty on the streets, Biden clinches, and the trouble with bad apples.

The eminently quotable John Madden once explained, “Some yards is better than none yards.” The NFL, an organization that has repeatedly fumbled most of its chances to do the right thing when it comes to player protests related to race, has been gaining none yards for a long time. After punting on the issue, passing the buck, and kicking players like Colin Kaepernick to the curb, it’s worth taking a look at a slow motion replay when the league manages to move the line of scrimmage a few inches forward. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell: “We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to N.F.L. players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter … I personally protest with you and want to be a part of the much-needed change in this country. Without black players, there would be no National Football League.” As Trump Rekindles N.F.L. Fight, Goodell Sides With Players. This comes during a week when people in the streets have pushed back, military leaders have pushed back, and religious leaders have pushed back. What’s missing? Mainstream corporate leaders (most of whom are looking for safety in numbers) pushing back. The NFL is as mainstream as you can get in America. With their immaculate rejection of faux patriotism that values anthem protocol over human lives, the league just created a slight crack in the frozen tundra. Who will take the ball and run through that hole?

+ Goodell didn’t arrive at this new position on his own. Like the street protests, the NFL’s change of tone was a grassroots movement. “The NFL’s public shift on the Black Lives Matter movement, which led to a Friday video from commissioner Roger Goodell condemning racism and admitting wrongdoing, started with an Instagram DM.” How a ‘rogue’ employee forced NFL, Goodell into new Black Lives Matter stance.


Keep Calm, Stop Carrying On

“This is our time to be kind, to be calm, and to be safe.” That message, along with some sensible policies, helped Dr. Bonnie Henry keep Covid19 “in check in British Columbia without harsh enforcement methods. Now, she is leading the way out of lockdown.” NYT: The Top Doctor Who Aced the Coronavirus Test. (Covering the people who are doing it right! What a concept.)

+ WaPo: Coronavirus infections haven’t spiked since Europe loosened lockdowns. There are many theories about why.


American Beauty

“From Paris to Berlin — as in demonstrations this past week in Japan, Sweden and Zimbabwe — people around the world once again turned out in solidarity with Americans protesters calling for justice in the death of an African-American man, George Floyd, at the hands of the police in Minneapolis.” There’s something happening here … and there. NYT: Huge Crowds Around the Globe March in Solidarity Against Police Brutality.

+ There’s been so much ugliness this week. Don’t miss the remarkable beauty. Here’s a video from Recount. The power of peace in action. Here are some moments of kindness and solidarity during George Floyd protests. And at the DC protests, a ‘Lean on Me’ singalong offered a moment of solace. (And from the looks of things, the week was just a warmup for the weekend. Check out Philly.)


How Do You Like Them Apples?

“After an elderly protester in Buffalo, New York, was pushed to the ground by police officers and left to lie there as blood pooled beneath his head, the head of the local police union, John Evans, said his colleagues were disgusted. Disgusted, that is, that two of the officers seen in the video were suspended without pay.” The Atlantic: Fifty-seven officers were willing to take a stand to defend misconduct rather than oppose it. Bad Apples in Buffalo.

+ Bad apples? Chris Rock already covered this topic. And like most of his jokes, this one is worth a listen.

+ Man who trains San Jose police about bias severely injured by riot gun.


Biden Route

Joe Biden officially secured the Dem nomination on Friday. “The opening contests in the 2020 nominating race in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada were humbling losses for Biden. Then came a commanding victory in South Carolina with help from African American voters. Rivals departed the race, and within days his coalition expanded to make him a lock for the nomination that was officially secured Friday night. This is how Biden won.” (I did a quick count on front pages across the internet. There are currently no stories about Joe Biden clinching the Dem nomination and 2.6 billion stories about Trump doing, saying, or tweeting something. Feels familiar somehow…)


Truth or Chair?

“Texas’ top Republican officials, including Gov. Greg Abbott, had condemned four GOP chairs for proliferating conspiracy theories on Facebook. The posts, from chairs of some of the largest counties in Texas, suggested George Floyd’s death was staged to erode black support for President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, a fifth chairperson posted a racist image of a Martin Luther King Jr. quote next to a banana. On Friday afternoon, The Texas Tribune identified similar posts from seven more GOP chairs across the state. Some of these posts suggested people who have been protesting Floyd’s death across the state and the country were being paid by Jewish billionaire George Soros — an oft-used anti-Semitic trope.” Conspiracy theories and racist memes: How a dozen Texas GOP county chairs caused turmoil within the party.


Can We See Some ID?

“It is the heaviest show of force in the nation’s capital since the protests and riots of the Vietnam War.” Politico Magazine: The Story Behind Bill Barr’s Unmarked Federal Agents.

+ Barr says he didn’t command officers to clear Lafayette Park. “I was frustrated and I was also worried that as the crowd grew, it was going to be harder and harder to do. So my attitude was get it done, but I didn’t say, ‘Go do it.'” (I said Chute, not Shoot!)


Allies is Plural for A Lie

“The official said the move was the result of months of work by America’s top military officer, General Mark Milley, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, and had nothing to do with tensions between Trump and the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, who thwarted Trump’s plan to host a G7 meeting this month.” Donald Trump orders 9,500 US troops to leave Germany.


The Doctor Will C3PO You Now

“In one of her recent experiments, a child entered a room and met a 2-foot-tall blue-and-white robot called a Nao. It introduced itself as Will and began asking about life at school. A forensic interviewer listening in another room devised follow-up questions. Bethel found that more than half the kids said they could confide in the machine in a way they couldn’t with a human.” MoJo: Kids Are Especially Tough to Interview About Abuse. Are Robots the Solution?


Feel Good Saturday

“Facebook and Twitter might have the bells and whistles, but the word processing software’s simplicity and accessibility have made it a winning tool.” How Google Docs became the social media of the resistance. (Yeah, the resistance against Microsoft Word…)

+ The Golden Gate Bridge sings now. No, really.

+ “One issue they’ll face is playing games without fans in the arena.” When the NBA returns it may use ‘NBA 2K’ for crowd noise.

+ And one small step for Florida, one giant step back to normalcy for humankind. Florida offers drive-through Botox to quarantined residents. (I just slapped my forehead so hard, my wrinkles flattened…)

Copied to Clipboard