Tuesday, June 16th, 2020


Sonic Boom

A few weeks ago, in an attempt to take a babystep towards normalcy, I decided to stop using my social media and internet time to share angry (yet pithy and often hilarious) political rants and start using it to research some new speakers for my home office/jail (or as I call them, Speakers of the House Arrest). It turned out that asking Twitter for an opinion on tweeters resulted in responses that were more heated and opinionated than most political exchanges, but I completed my research, masked up, and picked up a new set of speakers; a purchase that, at least in the moment, satisfied my bass desires. Since then, I've played nothing but Run the Jewels and Rage Against the Machine, so my social media diatribes—while maintaining their pithy hilarity—have become even more angry (and they're now in stereo!). But at least I experienced some retail therapy and replaced the drumbeat of bad news with a plain old drumbeat. And apparently, I was among the last Americans to give this strategy a shot. AP: "US retail sales jumped by a record 17.7% from April to May, with spending partially rebounding after the coronavirus had shut down businesses, flattened the economy and paralyzed consumers during the previous two months." (The market is reacting positively to the numbers, but it's unclear whether it's the start of a trend. Maybe I'll start researching subwoofers. My country needs me.)


Red, White, and Really Blue

"It finds that just 14% of American adults say they're very happy, down from 31% who said the same in 2018. That year, 23% said they'd often or sometimes felt isolated in recent weeks. Now, 50% say that." According to a recent poll, Americans are the unhappiest they've been in 50 years. (This can't all be due to sound quality.)



"Thousands and thousands of utterly ordinary people who thought they were going to an ordinary protest event are finding themselves receiving a really aggressive police response. That itself is a bit horrifying. The police have actually succeeded in making people more angry." NYT: Here Are the 98 U.S. Cities Where Protesters Were Tear-Gassed.

+ "At the signing event, he railed against those who committed violence during the largely peaceful protests and made no mention of racism." Trump signs executive order on police reform. (The photo says it all.)


Roid is All The Rage

"Had the drug been used to treat patients in the UK from the start of the pandemic, up to 5,000 lives could have been saved, researchers say." The low-dose steroid treatment dexamethasone is a major breakthrough in treating patients with extremely serious coronavirus cases.

+ WaPo: Patients with underlying conditions were 12 times as likely to die of covid-19 as otherwise healthy people.

+ Are you wearing your mask? Hell yes! Are you protecting those around you? You bet! And are you washing your face covering after each use? Wait, what now?


An Unregulated Militia

"The heavily armed individuals who flaunted themselves at the protest, calling themselves a ‘civil guard,' were there for one reason: To menace protesters, to present an unsanctioned show of unregulated force,' New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a statement. 'To menace the people of New Mexico with weaponry — with an implicit threat of violence — is on its face unacceptable; that violence did indeed occur is unspeakable.'" WaPo: Members of armed civilian group arrested, suspected gunman identified after man is shot at Albuquerque protest.


Foe Mo

"The chief reason? A belief that the benefit of the erosion of America's postwar alliance network would outweigh any damage to China from continued trade disputes and geopolitical instability." Bloomberg: China Warms to Idea of Four More Years of the Trump Presidency. (Spoiler alert: All of America's foes are warming up to the idea of four more years of America dragging itself and its allies down.)

+ "There were hopes for improved relations between the North and the South and its close ally the US after Donald Trump met Mr Kim at the North-South border last June, but nothing materialized and the atmosphere has since deteriorated." North Korea blows up joint liaison office with South in Kaesong.


Black Lives Madder

"The Black Lives Matter Foundation, a Santa Clarita, California–based charitable organization that has one paid employee and lists a UPS store as its address, has a very different goal, according to its founder: 'bringing the community and police closer together.'" Buzzfeed: The Black Lives Matter Foundation Raised Millions. It's Not Affiliated With The Black Lives Matter Movement.


So Sou Me

"It's one thing for speculators to speculate before the existing Hertz shares get delisted, which the New York Stock Exchange has ordered ... It's quite another for the debtor—Hertz—to take advantage of its own badly misinformed shareholders by attempting to sell them new equity, knowing for sure that stockholders will get wiped out after a plan of reorganization is agreed to, leaving them with nary a sou. It's easily one of the more cynical financial ploys to come along in a season filled with cynical financial ploys. (And Hertz even admits in its prospectus that the investors in the offering could get wiped out in the bankruptcy.)" Vanity Fair: 'This Is Just F--king Unbelievable!: Bankrupt Hertz Is a Pandemic Zombie.


EBay of Pigs

Live cockroaches and spiders, p-rnography, a bloody pigface mask, a preserved pig fetus, and a funeral wreath were among the items sent by six former employees of eBay to the publishers of a newsletter that was critical of the company.


Feel Good Tuesday

"We are gonna begin an effort to cover 100 percent of our individuals in our black and African-American communities. We're gonna be putting dollars behind it." Kentucky governor Andy Beshear announces plans to provide 100% health coverage for black residents.

+ Ski Town Grads Ride The Chairlift To Collect Their Diplomas.

+ Ron Perlman will donate $50,000 to Black Lives Matter if Ted Cruz wrestles him.

+ You can now buy one of those unnerving animal-like robots you might have seen on YouTube — so long as you don't plan to use it to harm or intimidate anyone. (With that restriction, you might as well just get a Roomba.)