Thursday, November 3rd, 2022


Ware House of Horrors

Nelson Mandela once said, "No one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones." If that's true, then a society should be held to an even higher standard when it comes to how it treats its imprisoned children. By that measure, our society has a lot of room for improvement. That's especially true when it comes to Louisiana's Ware Youth Center. This is a hard-hitting and hard to read piece from the NYT and Berkeley's school of journalism that has already resulted in the state's governor calling for an investigation. Megan Shutzer and Rachel Lauren Mueller: ‘Dying Inside': Chaos and Cruelty in Louisiana Juvenile Detention (Gift Article). "The Times/Berkeley investigation — based on more than 100 interviews with people previously held at Ware and current and former staff members, thousands of pages of records and court documents, and hours of security footage — reveals how a place meant to offer children care and rehabilitation instead descended into chaos and cruelty. Guards beat and choked their wards. Several forced children to endure sexual abuse as the price for phone privileges. They frequently maintained control by bribing children with food to assault other children." The kids' response was to attempt suicide in remarkably high numbers.


Dem Bones

Joe Biden is making his final pitch to midterm voters. The topic? The viability of our democracy. "There's an alarming rise in the number of people in this country condoning political violence or simply remaining silent. In our bones we know democracy is at risk, but we also know this: It's in our power to preserve our democracy." There's no doubt that this election is about precisely that. The question now is whether or not it's a message that can win on Tuesday.

+ WaPo: Obama to Arizonans. "If the Republican candidates here are successful, Democracy as we know it may not survive in Arizona. That's not an exaggeration. That is a fact." Are facts popular enough to win in a state where election denialism is all the rage?

+ Election denialism isn't the only terrible 2020 legacy that's gaining momentum. Roughly 5 million Americans would be willing to kill someone to achieve a political purpose, according to a new UC Davis study.

+ "Experts worry such investigations could exact a stiff price, chilling participation in the process, slowing down elections and fostering misinformation and distrust in the vote. These probes may be a harbinger of potential chaos in the midterms." ProPublica: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton hasn't just been pursuing supposed voter fraud. His office has also criminally investigated at least 10 election workers. And from Reuters: In the hunt for voter fraud, Republican door knockers are intimidating residents.


Heat Transfer

"He figured he would work up until the World Cup, sending his earnings back home while putting enough aside to buy a ticket to the final match. Only then would he go back to Nepal, triumphant, rich (or at least richer than his neighbors), and with a World Cup T-shirt featuring Argentina's Lionel Messi, his favorite player ... By the time he arrived at a Kathmandu hospital in debilitating pain, both his kidneys had given out, wrecked by working long hours of hard labor in punishing heat, according to his doctor." Time: Thousands of Migrant Workers Died in Qatar's Extreme Heat. The World Cup Forced a Reckoning. I doubt there will be any real reckoning. But the use of migrants with no other good options to work to death in extreme heat is definitely a trend we can expect to get worse.


Bark’s Bite

"He began with two Denny's Grand Slam breakfasts – six pancakes and bacon totaling around 1,660 calories, and a vanilla milkshake to wash it down. The lunch offerings, which have varied in the decades' worth of repeat tellings, included either Kentucky Fried Chicken, mashed potatoes, and coleslaw; half of the menu at Red Lobster; two McDonald's fish fillets, a large fries, and a Diet Coke; or two Texas-sized barbecue sandwiches. The dinner menu at a steakhouse included a T-bone, baked potato, and, of course, three desserts." In this book excerpt, Timothy Bella describes the time when Charles Barkley tried to eat his way out of the 76ers. It didn't work, but it sure sounds fun.


Extra, Extra

You're Not Gonna Need a Bigger Boat: If you want to predict future economic trends, there are few better places to look than at the shipping companies that move products around the world. Hence, this is notable. Shipping giant Maersk warns of dark clouds on the horizon.

+ Unswerving Irving: Kyrie Irving Accepts Responsibility for Post's Impact, but Doesn't Apologize. So Jewish Nets fans shouldn't apologize for not attending games or buying merch. We can't allow our public discourse to be hijacked by imbeciles who think the world is flat.

+ The Inside Dope: The last few civil suits against opioid dealers have been settled. Bottom line: The companies responsible for the $1.5 trillion-a-year US opioid crisis will pay a total of $53 billion for it.

+ PV Sea: "The biggest animals on Earth are forced to consume up to 10,000 of the tiniest man-made pollutants on a daily basis, a number far higher than previously thought." California study reveals whales eat up to 10 million microplastics a day.

+ Un Cool: "Alarms blared from cellphones, radios and public speakers and fishermen hurried back to shore in northern Japan on Thursday after North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile above its eastern waters, adding to a recent barrage of provocative weapons demonstrations that officials say may culminate with a nuclear test in coming weeks." Someone is trying to get the world's attention.

+ No No: "Cristian Javier's parents, Trinidad Mieses and Cecilio Javier, flew from the Dominican Republic to Philadelphia and sat in his hotel room late Tuesday night, in the buildup to the biggest outing of his life ... 'Let's try to stay positive,' Javier recalled hearing from his mother and father. 'God willing, you'll throw a no-hitter.'" Javier, bullpen combine on no-hitter as Astros tie Series.

+ A Can't Miss Relationship: "Mariana Varela and Fabiola Valentín met at the 2020 Miss Grand International competition in Thailand, where they represented Argentina and Puerto Rico, respectively. After making it to the pageant top 10, the two beauty queens appeared to remain close friends on social media. What fans didn't know is they were secretly dating the whole time." Miss Argentina and Miss Puerto Rico reveal that they're married.


Bottom of the News

"It's surprising how evocative conversations can get when you start asking people about Folgers. They try to remember the last time they tasted it. They reminisce about ancestors who drank it. They might even break into song. The brand is nearly 170 years old — a throwback at a time of fancy single-origin nitro lattes. Folgers remains the biggest seller of ground coffee in U.S. stores, over $1 billion worth a year. But it's confronted a painful realization: Its reputation is just ... not strong." I just had a cup in my father's Oldsmobile.

+ NYT: Dobby's Grave Can Stay on a Beach in Wales, but Please Stop Giving Him Socks. "After a grave site for the Harry Potter elf became a tourist attraction, tributes to the character prompted environmental concerns."