Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021


A Rorschach to the System

6 Days Until My Book Comes Out: Get Please Scream Inside Your Heart now at Amazon or

Election day 2021 is in the books and it looks like we're gonna get out of it with no violent insurrections or attempts to overturn the vote. So we're making progress. The Bellwether election of the evening was a shellacking by the GOP as Glenn Youngkin cruised to gubernatorial victory in Virginia and the NJ Gov race remains too close to call. Off-year elections tend to be a Rorschach test for political analysts, and what they usually see in the ink blots is a confirmation that they've been right about everything all along. Two interesting trends: The Virginia election, while being bad news for Biden and the Dems, didn't really seem to be all that much about Trump. And, as Jeff Greenfield explains: One Lesson of Virginia? The Culture War Still Works. (And that means we're gonna get a whole lot more of the culture war leading up to 2022.)

+ Boston's historic mayoral race encapsulates the story of the US's changing demographics.

+ "While sup­port­ers in­sist­ed po­lice would still be part of the de­part­ment, op­po­nents of the chart­er change ham­mered on themes that echoed in voters' rea­sons for say­ing no on ques­tion 2: Who's going to an­swer 911 calls? What's the plan for keep­ing the city safe?" Minneapolis voters reject plan to replace Police Department.


Auto Zone

"A Globe review of the recent incidents found there have been scores of people hit, dozens of injuries, at least three deaths, but precious little justice, much less sympathy, for the demonstrators injured, killed, or just plain terrified. Yet Oklahoma and 15 other states have considered bills protecting drivers, not protesters, as these ramming incidents have proliferated." A special report from the Boston Globe: In Harm's Way.


Lord of the Highs

"Practically every newspaper in the West has described Tse Chi Lop as Asia's El Chapo. The comparison could hardly be less accurate. Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, the leader of Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel, has claimed personal responsibility for up to 3,000 murders in a drug war that took some 300,000 lives. That is not Tse's way. He achieved the size of Sam Gor not by murder and torture, but by industrializing his business, reducing the cost per unit, providing an excellent product at a fair price, and establishing well-maintained networks of key partnerships. There's also the question of scale. El Chapo's cartel was worth, at its peak, $3 billion—a fraction of Sam Gor's value." The Company Man. "Tse Chi Lop, the suspected ringleader of a $21-billion crime syndicate, may be the world's most innovative drug lord."


Narcan Do Attitude

Fentanyl has changed the game when it comes to drugs in San Francisco. "Faced with a stunning rise in drug overdose deaths the last few years, the vast majority tied to fentanyl, San Francisco has launched mobile teams made up of paramedics and nurses. The new Street Overdose Response Teams (SORT), a collaboration between the city's health and fire departments, aim to deliver a broad range of support and care directly following an overdose."


Kid Gloves Come Off

"With the federal government promising enough vaccine to protect the nation's 28 million kids in this age group, pediatricians' offices and hospitals began inoculating children, with schools, pharmacies and other locations planning to follow suit in the days ahead." Roll up your sleeves: Kids' turn arrives for COVID-19 shots.


Fault Line Drawn

"In a post on Chinese social media site Weibo, Ms Peng said former Vice Premier, Zhang Gaoli, had 'forced' her to have sexual relations with him.
It is the first time such an allegation has been made against one of China's senior political leaders. Mr Zhang has not responded to her claims. The post has since been scrubbed from China's internet." Chinese tennis star makes sexual assault claims.


Brave Heart

The game of baseball "makes Freddie Freeman, one of the league's purest hitters and most upstanding people, log 15 seasons in the Braves' organization, including three straight 90-loss seasons, before getting to a World Series. There is also Braves coach Ron Washington, who had spent more than five decades in pro ball without a World Series ring, including one time as Rangers manager in 2011, when he was one strike away from a title three times.There also are Braves fans, who endured watching their team knocked out of 16 straight postseason appearances without a World Series title, an unmatched record of sustained futility. And then there is Brian Snitker, the Atlanta manager who doubles as the patron saint of dues paying." Tom Verducci in Sports Illustrated: Dues Paid in Full, the Braves Are World Champions.


The Grassy Troll

We tend to cover people at the extremes too much. It gets more clicks, yes. But it also divides us and makes us more alienated from one another. That said, holy bejeezus. "Scores of QAnon believers gathered Tuesday afternoon in downtown Dallas in the hopes that John F. Kennedy Jr. would appear, heralding the reinstatement of Donald Trump as president."



"Police smashed their way into a suburban house on Wednesday and rescued a 4-year-old girl whose disappearance from her family's camping tent on Australia's remote west coast more than two weeks ago both horrified and captivated the nation." 'My name is Cleo': Police weep upon rescuing Australian girl.


Bottom of the News

"Baleen whales such as blue, fin, minke, and humpback whales consume, on average, around three times more each year than previous estimates suggested, researchers report in Nature. A blue whale in the eastern North Pacific, for example, might eat between 10 and 20 tons of food a day. 'That amount of food is somewhere in the range of 20 to 50 million calories,' says Matthew Savoca, a researcher at Stanford University and the lead author of the new study. 'That is about 70 to 80 thousand Big Macs.'" (As long as they skip the fries, I think it's fine.)

+ "We sold it for a whole bunch of years, and nothing ever happened until this. It's kind of funny because that was the first time I learned what an influencer was." People are still biting into Martinelli's apple-shaped plastic bottles a year after viral videos.