Friday, March 26th, 2021


Kin and Able

"Andrew and Cody sit on opposite coasts and opposite sides of the political spectrum, each representing movements accused by the other of fueling domestic terrorism. It's unlikely they ever would've met, much less struck up a dialogue, were it not for their chance connection through a German settler who lived two centuries ago." Since one is Antifa and one is Militia, you'd assume that Andrew and Cody would get along about as well as the Montagues and the Capulets, the Hatfields and the McCoys, or a sideways container ship and a narrow canal. But once they realized they were cousins, they figured they'd give it a shot. NPR: How An Ancestry Match Led To An Unlikely Bond.


Bleach the Peach

"After the November election last year, I knew, like so many of you, that significant reforms to our state elections were needed." And with that wildly misleading statement, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp "signed into law a sweeping Republican-sponsored overhaul of state elections that includes new restrictions on voting by mail and greater legislative control over how elections are run." (2020: Stop the Count. 2021: Stop the Vote.)

+ "Even as Gov. Brian Kemp was denying charges that the sweeping elections changes he just signed into law didn't suppress the vote, authorities outside his office were dragging away a Black legislator who knocked on his office door during his remarks."

+ The "legislation will undermine pillars of voting access by limiting drop boxes for mail ballots, introducing more rigid voter identification requirements for absentee balloting and making it a crime to provide food or water to people waiting in line to vote." NYT: Why the Georgia G.O.P.'s Voting Rollbacks Will Hit Black People Hard.


Weekend Whats

What to Doc: I really didn't want to watch Allen v Farrow on HBO. But I'm glad I did. It's a case study in how a powerful, connected person can bend institutions and the media to create a story that so obviously flies in the face of reality. A guy so perverted that he married a girl who he raised as his daughter was somehow given the benefit of the doubt after sexually abusing his adopted daughter; and then continued to be a successful and highly regarded filmmaker. It's worth understanding how the hell that could have happened.

+ What to Watch: This week's installment of small movies that are up for best picture during a pandemic year: Minari. It's the story of a Korean family trying to make it in America in the 80s. But it couldn't be more timely.

+ What to Netflix: Need some Netflix picks? Bob Lefsetz ranks his favorite series on the platform. The NYT has a list of the 50 best series on Netflix. An Esquire picks the 60 Best Movies to Stream on Netflix Right Now. (If your TV consumption is anything like mine, that should barely get you through the weekend.)


Wipe Casting

"U.S. municipalities shell out at least $1 billion annually on maintenance to remove clogs caused by wipes." The pandemic made wipes ubiquitous; the clogs nearly so. CityLab: America's Obsession With Wipes Is Tearing Up Sewer Systems.


Trough Love

"The deputies walked back to the corral. There they found a girl sitting in a tub of dirty water up to her torso. When the girl stood, they saw her hands were zip-tied behind her back ... They found that this wasn't the act of a rogue employee. The facility had used the horse trough as a form of 'therapeutic discipline' for three years, according to state records." APM Reports: How Utah has let its many youth treatment centers off the hook. (There are too many stories like this. If you need a youth treatment center, research heavily and choose wisely.)


Treated Like A Sub Species

"Like workers at end-of-line stations all over New York City, Ms. Ochoa, 30, was expected to scrub away grime, sputum and even human excrement, she said, without adequate training or special equipment. Instead, the cleaning crews were given a few rags, a bucket of cleaning solution and, according to several workers, a simple set of instructions: 'Clean it like it's your house.'" NYT: What the ‘Invisible' People Cleaning the Subway During the Pandemic Want Riders to Know.


Fox Populi

"The truth matters. Lies have consequences. Fox sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes, severely injuring Dominion in the process. If this case does not rise to the level of defamation by a broadcaster, then nothing does." Dominion Voting Systems files $1.6 billion lawsuit against Fox News for orchestrated defamatory campaign. "Fox took a small flame and turned it into a forest fire." (And don't forget that this was all part of a big lie intended to damage democracy and overturn an election. Oh yeah, and then there were the endless lies about Covid that cost thousands of lives. If you work at Fox News, here's a tip: Don't.)


Too Big to Sail

The traffic jam behind the Ever Given wedgie is growing. "Joe Reynolds, chief engineer of the Maersk Ohio, told the BBC the number of vessels waiting at the canal's southern entrance was growing exponentially. 'It's going to affect shipping schedules around the world.'" (Is Flowed Rage a thing?)


Bluth Sayer

Jessica Walter died at the age of 80. In recent years, she was best known as Lucille Bluth in Arrested Development where she was a master at delivering classic lines. Here are 13 of her best.

+ Texas literary giant Larry McMurtry dies at 84. (What an unbelievable body of work.)


Feel Good Friday

"Isn't it funny, you tell somebody that somebody's burgled your house and yet you've all become the best of friends, nobody would believe you." Burglar and victims become friends through rehabilitation program. (This makes me more optimistic my kids and I can become close again once I get my AirPods back...)

+ Once nearly extinct, American bald eagle populations have quadrupled in last decade.

+ NPR: Asian Grandmother Who Smacked Her Attacker With A Board Donates Nearly $1 Million.

+ Michigan is offering free college for essential workers.

+ California Supreme Court ends cash bail for some who cannot afford it.

+ Smart's airless bike tires use NASA tech to defeat punctures.

+ Not enough? OK, here are some nature photos.