Friday, September 11th, 2020


Presage in a Bottle

You've been pretty good about separating out your plastic bottles and putting them into the recycling bin. Sadly, most of those bottles end up mixed in with the other garbage and buried under a mountain of bullshit. NPR: How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled. "We found that the industry sold the public on an idea it knew wouldn't work — that the majority of plastic could be, and would be, recycled — all while making billions of dollars selling the world new plastic. The industry's awareness that recycling wouldn't keep plastic out of landfills and the environment dates to the program's earliest days, we found. 'There is serious doubt that [recycling plastic] can ever be made viable on an economic basis,' one industry insider wrote in a 1974 speech." Corporations misleading the public for profit. It's the recycle of life.


(Re)Marking 9/11

"More than 7,000 military heroes have laid down their lives since 9/11 to preserve our freedom. No words can express the summit of their glory or the infinite depth of our gratitude. But we will strive every single day to repay our immeasurable debt and prove worthy of their supreme sacrifice." President Trump gave a new spin on fallen soldiers while Biden and Pence attended a ceremony in NYC. It's a solemn day made more so by the fact that 19 years after 9/11, Americans can't even unify in the fight against a deadly virus.


Weekend Whats

What to Read: "The aging motels along Florida's Highway 192 have long been barometers of a fragile economy. In good times they drew budget-conscious tourists from China, South America and elsewhere, whose dollars helped to pay the salaries of legions of low-wage service workers; the people who made one of the world's largest tourism destinations — 'the most magical place on earth' — run. In tough times, the motels degenerated into shelters of last resort in a city where low-income housing shortages were among the most severe in the nation and the social safety net was collapsing. Now they were fast becoming places where it was possible to glimpse what a complete social and economic collapse might look like in America." Greg Jaffe in WaPo: A pandemic, a motel without power and a potentially terrifying glimpse of Orlando's future.

+ What to Book: We still have no explanation for why Trump acts exactly as if he were reading from a script written by Putin. So it's worth reading Peter Strzok's, Compromised. There's also a lot of interesting stuff about how the FBI works and the case that inspired the show, The Americans.

+ What to Cup: At the Daily Beast, Jessica Booth explains that she won't drink coffee out of anything but these Bodum glasses. The same is true for me and our fearless proofer RD. So give them a try. These glasses are always half full.


Oregon Fire Trail

"Deadly wildfires in heavily populated northwest Oregon were growing, with hundreds of thousands of people told to flee encroaching flames while residents to the south tearfully assessed their losses. The number of people evacuated statewide because of fires rose to an estimated 500,000 — more than 10 percent of the state's 4.2 million people." AP: Evacuate now: Wildfires grow in Oregon as 500K flee.

+ "Many of the rumors claim without evidence that the fires were lit by political activists, either by the far-right group the Proud Boys or the leftist activists known as antifa." The Guardian: Rumors spread like wildfire. (So many seemingly disparate stories are connected by a increasingly disturbing one: Disinformation. Even with smoke too thick to breathe, people find a way to get their lies out.)

+ WaPo: In a small Oregon town, a wildfire devastates a Latino community.

+ Western wildfires rage in California, Oregon and Washington – in pictures.


Season of Wreckoning

As Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs' Super Bowl champion quarterback (and the NFL's top player) locked arms with his counterpart from the Texans, Deshaun Watson, in "a moment of silence dedicated to the ongoing fight for equality in our country," a significant smattering of fans booed. Moments later, as the season kicked off, they got on with their Tomahawk chant. It was an an inauspicious start to the NFL's season of reckoning.


Bahrain Check

"Like the UAE agreement, Friday's Bahrain-Israel deal will normalize diplomatic, commercial, security and other relations between the two countries. Bahrain, along with Saudi Arabia, had already dropped a prohibition on Israeli flights using its airspace. Saudi acquiescence to the agreements has been considered key to the deals." So read a joint statement as Bahrain becomes latest Arab nation to recognize Israel.


Hands of Time

"The couple had been struggling with coronavirus for 30 days when they were placed in a room together for a final goodbye." Married Couple Die of Coronavirus 4 Minutes Apart, Holding Hands for the Last Time. We can't forget the human side of this story.


Sound Off

"As the players drove the ball down the field, I suddenly heard the distinct crinkle of a plastic bag a full four rows in front of me, where a man was pulling out a chicken drumstick to eat." NYT: Sitting in Silence With 5,000 Fans: The New Sound of Japanese Sports.


Drive Shaft

Many have compared Trump to a used car salesman. But this week he was a car factory salesman as he rattled off, even for him, a wild series of lies of about his auto industry track record in Michigan. Detroit Free Press: Trump makes wild claims about revitalizing auto industry at Michigan rally.


Feel Good Friday

This morning, I could hear my 12 year-old daughter's class talking about what happened on 9-11, and at one point the teacher played this version of Bruce Springsteen's The Rising. And I felt, for the first time, that 2020 could be turning around.

+ "For four years, not only have they picked up litter in this lot, they've even swept the sand then sifted it to get the tiny pieces of trash." New Jersey man spots Ocean Beach trash volunteers on web cam.

+ Comedy Wildlife Photography awards 2020 finalists – in pictures. (I don't trust the dwarf mongooses one damn bit.)

+ Nashville community rallies around formerly homeless grocery store employee.

+ A Black man was detained while jogging for fitting a suspect description and later offered a job with the sheriff's department.

+ Giants' Mauricio Dubón makes wishes come true for Honduran child. (Bonus: Mauricio's nickname is Doobie.)

+ A farmer planted over 2 million sunflowers to provide a respite during this rough year.

+ Someone performed Cardi B's 'WAP' in American Sign Language and it made the song even more graphic. (What's the sign for I need a cold shower?)