Thursday, February 4th, 2021

1

Fielder’s Choice

"Drew sat on his living room couch. He poured himself a glass of whiskey and then another. He stopped. He didn't have an alcohol problem and didn't want anyone to surmise otherwise. His thoughts crashed into one another -- about what it would look like and whom it would affect and who would find him. He was alone, alone until the end. At about 8 p.m., in one uninterrupted motion, he leaned to the side, reached out to the coffee table, lifted the gun, pressed it against his right temple and pulled the trigger. That was supposed to be the end of Drew Robinson's story. Over the next 20 hours, he would come to realize it was the beginning of another." ESPN's Jeff Passan with a piece that has very useful information about depression, suicide, and talking about one's feelings; along with just about the the unlikeliest survival story you'll ever read. San Francisco Giants outfielder Drew Robinson's remarkable second act.

2

That’s What She Said

"These are words of the past and they do not represent me." So said Marjorie Taylor Greene in defense of her lunatic beliefs about school shootings and Jewish lasers. (My words of the past about Greene are also my words of the present and future.) The GOP has backed her. The Dems are voting on removing her from her committee assignments. Kevin McCarthy forgot what Q-Anon is, so he's cool with her.

+ The GOP also voted to keep Rep. Liz Cheney in leadership position even though she had the gall to tell the truth about Trump and the insurrection. (145 members of the House GOP voted to keep Liz Cheney in her position. Dick Cheney has invited the other 61 quail hunting.)

3

Inside the Uighur Camps

"First-hand accounts from inside the internment camps are rare, but several former detainees and a guard have told the BBC they experienced or saw evidence of an organised system of mass rape, sexual abuse and torture. Tursunay Ziawudun, who fled Xinjiang after her release and is now in the US, said women were removed from the cells "every night" and raped by one or more masked Chinese men. She said she was tortured and later gang-raped on three occasions, each time by two or three men." BBC: 'Their goal is to destroy everyone': Uighur camp detainees allege systematic rape.

4

Your Attention Please

"Michael Goldhaber is the internet prophet you've never heard of. Here's a short list of things he saw coming: the complete dominance of the internet, increased shamelessness in politics, terrorists co-opting social media, the rise of reality television, personal websites, oversharing, personal essay, fandoms and online influencer culture — along with the near destruction of our ability to focus. Most of this came to him in the mid-1980s, when Mr. Goldhaber, a former theoretical physicist, had a revelation." Charlie Warzel in the NYT: I Talked to the Cassandra of the Internet Age.

+ Here's Goldhaber in Wired in 1997. The currency of the New Economy won't be money, but attention -- A radical theory of value. (Too bad these predictions didn't go viral...)

5

Urination State

"The consequences of the overflowing urinal would prove more insidious and persistent than any physical damage. The incident helped propel conspiracy theories and a disinformation campaign, already set in motion by then President Trump and his allies, which led to violent threats against Moss and other Fulton employees—all 34 of whom, except for Barron, are Black. Ultimately, all the disinformation would lead to lasting emotional and psychological strife for Barron, Moss, and the rest of Fulton's staff. Still, while democracy threatened to crumble around them, they risked their lives to hold it together." Johnny Kauffman takes you Inside The Battle For Fulton County's Votes. After 30,000 lies, it just took one to ruin lives and break a country. The Bigly Lie.

+ NYT: Fox News Is Sued by Election Technology Company for Over $2.7 Billion. "Smartmatic accused Rupert Murdoch's network of promoting a false narrative about the 2020 election that damaged the company." (Money seems to be the best weapon in the war to restore truth.)

6

Greed is Good (bye)

"It's impossible to participate in markets dominated by large institutional investors on both sides of almost every trade in a way that punishes the financial industry. Waging war against Big Finance by becoming a day trader is like waging war against the casino industry by becoming a gambling addict. Even if you're winning, you're still participating in a broader casino economy—buying drinks, eating dinner, throwing chips to dealers, filling out tables—that, over time, guarantees that the house keeps winning." Derek Thompson in The Atlantic: The GameStop Story You Think You Know Is Wrong.

+ WaPo: As GameStop stock crumbles, newbie traders reckon with heavy losses. (Don't worry, you get used to it after a while...)

7

Yemen of War

"The US has announced an end to its support for Saudi-led offensive operations in Yemen, citing the role the bombing campaign has had in creating the world's worst humanitarian crisis." This is right in line with what Congress had demanded in the past.

8

McKinsey and Co-conspirator

"McKinsey & Company, the consultant to blue-chip corporations and governments around the world, has agreed to pay $573 million to settle investigations into its role in helping 'turbocharge' opioid sales, a rare instance of it being held publicly accountable for its work with clients." NYT: McKinsey Settles for $573 Million Over Role in Opioid Crisis. (Like the Sacklers really needed a consulting company to tell them how to sell addictive drugs...)

9

Country Club Membership Revoked

"In one of the swiftest downfalls for a country star in modern history, Morgan Wallen was suspended indefinitely by his record label and removed from hundreds of radio stations across the country Wednesday after he was captured on camera saying the n-word." Wallen made news a few months ago when he got bumped from SNL after failing to follow Covid-19 protocols, but then apologized and got invited back at a later date. WaPo: Country star Morgan Wallen suspended by record label, dropped by hundreds of radio stations.

10

Bottom of the News

"A judge on Wednesday ordered corrections authorities to provide organic food to an Arizona man accused of participating in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol while sporting face paint, no shirt and a furry hat with horns." (Maybe pesticides give him fur balls.)

+ "A mask-less customer was turned away at Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles in Pasadena tonight. So he came back with a gun, held up kitchen staff, and robbed fried chicken, waffles and syrup."