Cult Classics

From political movements based on falsehoods to QAnon to numerous Netflix documentaries on cults, we've been learning a lot about what draws people, often in search of meaning and connection, to these groups. But are people who succumb to the draw of cult leaders that much different from the rest of us? Zoë Heller in The New Yorker: What Makes a Cult a Cult? "The line between delusion and what the rest of us believe may be blurrier than we think ... In recent decades, scholars have grown increasingly adamant that none of our beliefs, rational or otherwise, have much to do with logical reasoning. 'People do not deploy the powerful human intellect to dispassionately analyze the world,' William J. Bernstein writes, in 'The Delusions of Crowds.' Instead, they 'rationalize how the facts conform to their emotionally derived preconceptions.'" (Don't let this academic, elitist hogwash distract you from your true calling: to subscribe to my point of view, follow my links wherever they may lead, and wear your t-shirt/uniform to protect you from the gamma rays. Actually, one of my most popular shirts does have a cult vibe.)


Standing Room Only

"A series of shortages has left warehouses depleted and prices rising at more than 11% annually as Americans resume BBQs and parties after more than a year of isolation. The industry cannot find workers, truckers and raw materials — a consequence of not just government spending but crowded ports, an explosion at an Ohio chemical plant and the devastating snowstorm that hit Texas in February." Patio furniture shortage tells US economic tale. (Long story short: We want a lot of stuff again, and it will take a little while for supplies to catch up to demand.)


Haiti Assassination

"Claude Joseph, the interim prime minister, confirmed the killing and said the police and military were in control of security in Haiti, where a history of dictatorship and political upheaval have long stymied the consolidation of democratic rule ... The country appeared to be heading for fresh volatility ahead of planned general elections later this year. Moïse, 53, had been ruling by decree for more than a year after the country failed to hold elections and the opposition demanded he step down in recent months." Haiti President Jovenel Moïse assassinated at home. Here's the latest from CNN.


The Horror, The Horror

Trump to sue Facebook, Twitter CEOs over being banned from their platforms. "The Founding Fathers inscribed this right in the very first amendment to our constitution because they knew that free speech is essential to the prevention of, look ... the prevention of horror." (James Madison just puked in his coffin.)

+ According to a new book by the WSJ's Michael Bender, "On a visit to Europe to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the first world war, Donald Trump insisted to his then chief of staff, John Kelly: 'Well, Hitler did a lot of good things.'"


Keep Qualm and Carri On

Already barred from her individual 100m race, Sha'Carri Richardson has also been skipped over for the 4x100 relay and will miss the Olympics following her positive test for Marijuana. USA Track and Field said in a statement that it "fully agrees that the merit of the World Anti-Doping Agency rules related to THC should be reevaluated, it would be detrimental to the integrity of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track & Field if USATF amended its policies following competition, only weeks before the Olympic Games." Sounds like the whole history of the drug war. We agree that the rules are crazy but we need to enforce them anyway.


Forecast a Spell

Elsa has been downgraded to a tropical storm as it hits Florida. California is bracing for another heat wave. And North America just endured hottest June on record. But don't worry, we have a solution for climate change worries. Rupert Murdoch is getting ready to launch Fox Weather. (Fake weather is the new fake news.)


Latest from Surfside

"Jadallah also reported the somber news that so far no new 'voids' have been discovered in the areas that became accessible for the first time after the demolition. Rescuers had hoped to find new pockets where there might potentially be survivors. 10 more victims found in Florida condo rubble; death toll 46.


Real Threats

"It was evening in Amsterdam when Peter R. de Vries stepped out of the television studio and into the busy downtown streets. Decades of investigating cold-case killings and mob hits had earned the silver-haired 64-year-old accolades and a reputation as one of the most famous journalists in the Netherlands. His career in crime reporting had also earned him death threats, but friends said he laughed off the danger, claiming recently that the last time he was scared was as a schoolboy. Shortly after leaving the TV studio on Tuesday, de Vries was shot." WaPo: A Dutch journalist exposed the mob and defied death threats. Now he's been shot in the head. (A reminder that it's crime bosses who see journalists as the enemy of the people.)


Oh Captain, My Mayor

"Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has won the Democratic primary for mayor of New York City after appealing to the political center and promising to strike the right balance between fighting crime and ending racial injustice in policing. A former police captain, Adams would be the city's second Black mayor if elected."


Bottom of the News

"Dubbed AiFoam by developers at the National University of Singapore, the so-called 'e-skin' is made of a highly elastic, spongy polymer material that is able to fuse easily into one piece after being cut, mimicking the self-healing abilities of the human epidermis." This Star Wars-Inspired E-Skin Lets Robots ‘Feel' Objects. (They're not gonna need us humans around here much longer...)

+ Jeff Bezos Hits Wealth Record of $211 Billion. Not a bad first week of retirement.

+ The cult is now multiplatform. Give me a follow on Instagram. It is so decreed.