Tuesday, July 27th, 2021


Uneasy Rider

The border child separation policy wasn't just cruel, it was also unusually inept. That's why reversing the policy is a lot easier than reversing the damage. "The Trump administration kept little data on the families that were separated. In many cases, only scraps of information remain: a deported parent's name, a village in Guatemala or Honduras, a phone number that may no longer work. That information makes its way from the U.S. government through a chain of legal organizations and eventually to people such as Pop, a 33-year-old human rights lawyer in Guatemala's Alta Verapaz department who is crisscrossing the country in search of the missing parents." Kevin Sieff in WaPo (gift article for ND readers): A motorcycle-riding lawyer searches Guatemala's remotest corners to reunite families separated by the U.S.


Pro Virus Americans Taking Toll

Because of the people who were most antimask, mask requirements are coming back. The CDC is set to update its guidance, including the recommendation that everyone in K-12 schools wear a mask. The misinformation that ruined our politics is coming for our daily lives.

+ California, NYC to workers: Get vaccine or face weekly tests. (Eff weekly tests. Get vaccine or GTFO.)

+ Bhutan fully vaccinates 90% of eligible adults within a week.

+ "Depending on your politics, the scene at Backwater Jack's [at Lake of the Ozarks] is either a symbol of reckless abandon or unapologetic living in the face of a pandemic. It is one pole of the divide that has erupted across the country, which increasingly seems cloven into two Americas: vaxxed and unvaxxed." Why People at America's Hardest-Partying Lake Are Not About to Get Vaccinated.


Hearing is Believing?

It seems unlikely that people who have been able to repress, ignore, or deny what they saw with their own eyes will be moved by Congressional hearings. But it's probably worth continuing to yell the truth, because without it, democracy craters. Maybe the coming the subpoenas will help. GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger on the attacks he and Liz Cheney have gotten from those in their party: "I think that reflects more on people than it does on the situation at hand. This is a historic moment, and this is a democracy defending moment. And no matter the consequences, me, and I know Liz will stand and defend democracy." DC Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges summed up the role of Congress in the Jan 6 hearings. "As patrol officers, we can only deal with the crimes that happen on the streets, the misdemeanors and occasionally the violent felonies, but you guys are the only ones we've got to deal with crimes that occur above us. I need you guys to address if anyone in power had a role in this." Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn: "One of the scariest things about Jan. 6 is that the people that were there, even to this day, think they were right. They think they were right. And that makes for a scary recipe for the future of this country. I think that's why it's important that you all take this committee seriously and get to the bottom of why this happened and let's make it never happen again." Capitol riot committee holds first hearing. (The big question: If witnessing an insurrection didn't loosen the grip the crazies have on one party, will hearing about it again make a difference?)


Five Ring Circus

Inside the petite, powerful, gravity-defying, awe-inspiring body that has vaulted its way into American sports lore is a human being. Being reminded of that makes the past achievements all the more amazing. Simone Biles withdraws from gymnastics final to protect team, self. "We also have to focus on ourselves, because at the end of the day we're human, too. So, we have to protect our mind and our body, rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do." (Simone, when you win, we're happy for you. When you lose, we're bummed for you. And when you describe stress and anxiety, we can relate.)

+ "It's been really stressful, this Olympic Games. It's been a long week, it's been a long Olympic process, it's been a long year. I think we're just a little bit too stressed out. But we should be out here having fun — and sometimes that's not the case."

+ Flora Duffy claims historic first gold for Bermuda in the triathlon. Her run was amazing.

+ "There are moments at an Olympics that change a life. There are moments at an Olympics that redefine a town. And there are moments at an Olympics that make you say, 'That's why I watch. That's why I came. That's what it's about.'" WaPo: Lydia Jacoby, 17-year-old bluegrass musician, delivers the most stirring upset of the Olympics.

+ Sadly, the last memory about these Olympic games could be the element that stays with us for a long time. The Tokyo Games Could End Up Being The Hottest Summer Olympics Ever.


Some Of Them Want To Be Used By You

In Used Cars, Bruce Springsteen sings, "Now mister the day the lottery I win/I ain't never gonna ride in no used car again!" These days, you need a lottery win to buy a used car. Whether you call them used, pre-owned, vintage, or worn in, one trend is holding firm. Used cars have never been more expensive. There are a variety of reasons laid out by this excellent explainer from The Hustle.

+ Just don't ask for a REFUND!


Daddy Issues

"It started a couple months into the pandemic with the whole anti-lockdown protests. His feelings were so strong it turned into facts for him. So if he didn't like having to wear masks it wouldn't matter what doctors or scientists said. Anything that contradicted his feelings was wrong. So he turned to the internet to find like-minded people which led him to QAnon." Vice: I'm a Parkland Shooting Survivor. QAnon Convinced My Dad It Was All a Hoax.


Wave the Fee

ProPublica: "A Bronx man allegedly received $1.5 million in just ten months. A California real estate broker raked in more than $500,000 within half a year. A Nigerian government official is accused of pocketing over $350,000 in less than six weeks. What they all had in common, according to federal prosecutors, was participation in what may turn out to be the biggest fraud wave in U.S. history: filing bogus claims for unemployment insurance benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic."


Making Bacon Off Eggs

"Tyra, who is 37 and originally from rural Idaho, is clear with any potential dates that making babies is just a business transaction for her—albeit an all-encompassing one. During her online chats with Tory, she told him that she had a son when she was 17, and she gave him up in a legal open adoption to close family friends who couldn't have children. She stays in touch with her son and visits him a few times a year. While her job fulfills her, she's adamant that she doesn't want the responsibility of a child beyond a pregnancy—or beyond donating her eggs for IVF cycles, which she's done 14 times since she was in her twenties. When Reeder's not pregnant, she drives heavy machinery for a private logging company. She uses the money from her baby-making side hustle to travel to places like South East Asia and Zanzibar, where she has also donated her leftover breast milk to an orphanage." Rachel Lehmann-Haupt: Portrait of a Professional Baby Maker.


Something in the Water?

"Regular swimming has been shown to improve memory, cognitive function, immune response and mood. Swimming may also help repair damage from stress and forge new neural connections in the brain. But scientists are still trying to unravel how and why swimming, in particular, produces these brain-enhancing effects." Swimming gives your brain a boost.


Bottom of the News

"My patients are finding themselves not as horny as they thought they would be, not as sexually responsive as they thought they would be, and generally find themselves in a different headspace. Some people are back out there. But COVID just did a number on people's mood and self-esteem and confidence." Is Hot Vax Summer Even Happening?

+ "Reza Baluchi told the coast guard he was headed 1,000 miles north in a running wheel contraption but ended up 30 miles south." Florida man washes ashore after trying to ‘walk' to New York in bubble device. (Stories that include walking on water never end well.)