I wake up in the morning and I wonder
Why ev’rything is the same as it was
I can’t understand, no, I can’t understand
How life goes on the way it does
— excerpt, The End of the World, written by Arthur Kent and Sylvia Dee
Jazz version of this song first released by Skeeter Davis in 1962 performed here by Postmodern Jukebox’s Scott Bradlee and band with Niia’s vocals.
A few people in my timeline have asked over the last several months, “Is this the end of the world, or does it just feel like like it?”
It’s the end of something, that’s for sure.
Z is for Zika
I can’t make this clear enough to Congress: you’re playing with lives here, and it’s going to be ugly. It will affect your families if anyone is of childbearing age. I haven’t seen anything in the material I’ve read to date that says definitively studies are underway to verify transmission from Brazil’s Culex quinquefasciatus to humans. There’s a study on the most common U.S.’ Culex pipiens species which showed weak transmission capabilities, but once it’s proven quinquefasciatus can transmit, it’s just a matter of time before more effective pipiens pick up and transmit the virus, and they may already have done so based on the two cases in Florida. GET OFF YOUR BUTTS AND FUND ADEQUATE RESEARCH PRONTO — or risk paying for it in increased health care and other post-birth aid for decades.
Still Brexin’ it
Check out this piece in WIRED: David Chang’s Unified Theory of Deliciousness. I’m hungry after reading just a portion of it.
Hasta luego, mi amigas. Catch you Monday if the creek don’t rise.
Have a little indie synthpop if your day isn’t hot enough. The artist Dua Lipa lives in London; she originally moved to the United Kingdom in the 1990s with her parents who are Kosovar-Albanian. Imagine a UK to which artists like Lipa cannot easily immigrate.
Money, money, money
Daily dose of cyber
Tonight’s dinner and a movie: Jujubes and Ghostbusters. Yum. Stay cool, look after elderly neighbors and pets who need a reprieve from the heat.
Crazy stuff happens when there’s a full moon like last night’s. Crazier stuff happens under heat and pressure. Brace yourselves as the heat dome slides from the southwest to Midwest and east this week.
Stay cool — I’m considering popcorn for dinner at the local cineplex this evening until the sun sets and the temperature drops outside. Dinner tomorrow and Friday might be Jujubes and Good-and-Plenty.
Come on now, who do you, who do you, who do you, who do you think you are,
Ha ha ha bless your soul
You really think you’re in control
Well, I think you’re crazy
I think you’re crazy
I think you’re crazy
Just like me
— excerpt, Crazy by Gnarls Barkley
Why’d I pick this song today? Oh, no reason. Just kind of popped into my head while I was reading through my aggregators.
Ahem. Anyhow…not much time again today, lot of hurry-up-and-wait stuff demanding my time.
Turkey curry buffet
Quick lap around the track
That’s all I have time for now. See you tomorrow!
You want some magic this Monday to start your week? Check this short film Vorticity by Mike Olbinski. If you can launch it in full screen or cast it to a television, even better, and I hope you have decent speakers for the sound. Mike’s wife is a saint, a wholly different kind of magic off screen to support a guy who does this stuff.
Under the gun here today, too much real world stuff to check off my To Do List. Only a quick list of stuff worth looking at.
Bravo to Michigan’s Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint Township) who filed the Families of Flint Act last week to provide $1.5 billion in relief funding for water system repairs, additional health care, monitoring and education, as well as economic development to support the struggling city. Co-sponsors include U.S. Reps. Sander Levin (D-Royal Oak), Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn MI), Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield MI), and John Conyers (D-Detroit), along with 167 other House Dems.
Lean on House GOP members to do the right thing and support this bill when they are next in session in August.
Couple of things screwed up or left unfulfilled before Congress left town:
Catch you tomorrow, gotta’ dash!
Teh stoopid. So much, a bumper crop today. Put on your hip waders while we listen to a little ska-jazz from The Specials. [Go to bottom of post for update.]
LAST DAY OF THE MONTH
Don’t stand in front of the exit doors today at the House of Representatives. You’ve been warned.
Toobz filled with stoopid
I’ve not forgotten Nice. I can’t go there. Picking my way through French language news to read in detail about the deaths of children and teenagers is a hard limit for me. With children’s blood on its hands from wars to drone killings, the U.S. has no moral authority here. It has doubled down on its authoritarian, racist, kill-its-way-out-of-trouble approach to foreign policy. What can I write here which isn’t utter hypocrisy?
The only observations I can make are that the attackers may be ramping up, as the numbers and methodology testify. 84 dead including 10 children and teens, 52 injured and 25 on life support, all hurt or killed by a driver who was not a known terror suspect. A civilian stopped the attacker by grabbing his hands as he aimed a gun at human targets. Que Dieu soit miséricordieux sur Nice.
Smarter, kinder finish
And now to purge the taste of stupid before I start my weekend…
That’s a wrap, have a safe and restful weekend, including all you peeps at #NN16. Back at it on Monday.
UPDATE — 2:50 p.m. EDT —
The previously-classified pages of the 9/11 report have been released, conveniently during the afternoon on a Friday smack in the middle of the summer during a general election year. Can you say ‘news dump’? Here’s a link to the document at the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s site (pdf). Knock yourselves out with this beach read. Note the bit about the alleged Saudi intelligence officers, too.
UPDATE — 5:15 p.m. EDT —
An apparent coup is underway in Turkey; it began with reports of militarized road blocks about two hours ago. Social media platforms have had spotty service though landlines appear to be working. The Erdogan government initially denied a coup was in progress; media outlets in Turkey may not be accurately reporting events. Many European news outlets are still focused on Nice, France. Airports have been closed and a curfew declared. U.S. Embassy has asked U.S. citizens to shelter in place and stay indoors.
For more information about events in Turkey, here’s a selection of active Twitter feeds:
Recent report at Aid works about Turkey’s treatment of refugees at this link.
One thing before I go any further…look just above these words, below this post’s title and to the right of the date of publication. See the name ‘Rayne’? That’s me, that’s my byline. Please note there are multiple contributors here at emptywheel. The entire site is eponymously named for its owner, Marcy Wheeler, whose online name and byline is the same as this blog. Check the byline on our posts if you haven’t done so in the past. You’ll note we have different voices and opinions, different writing styles. I tend to be the most open about my dislike for what the Republican Party has become since 1978, when I last toyed with being Republican. Marcy and the rest of the crew tend to be more generous or less open in their vituperation. Take note of the byline when when you read and comment, thanks.
Still indulging in female artist K-pop, choosing this video for a very specific reason…
That’s it, what’s left of today and all day tomorrow — that’s all the U.S. House will be in session for July. Outstanding job this week trashing the EPA with bullshit riders, GOP members. Way to fucking go with extending your run serving corporations ahead of the people.
BAD GIRL (UK edition)
After today’s wash list of badness, I can hardly wait to hear what comes of May’s visit on Friday to Scotland.
BAD GIRL (domestic edition)
The list of accidents resulting from distraction by Pokémon GO grows by leaps and bounds. These are among the worst so far. Just a matter of time before a fatality occurs.
Keep an eye on this topic
Absent a search warrant, the Government may not turn a citizen’s cell phone into a tracking device. Perhaps recognizing this, the Department of Justice changed its internal policies, and now requires government agents to obtain a warrant before utilizing a cellsite simulator.
I’m sure there will be more on this case in the near future.
Catch you tomorrow for the last in-session day in U.S. House.
Let’s change the pace today with some K-pop — a little hyper-upbeat Korean pop music influenced by hip hop. You may already be familiar with K-pop if you are familiar with insanely popular tune Gagnam Style by the artist Psy, released in 2012. But K-pop isn’t just male artists like GOT7, Shinhwa, and BIGBANG. There are quite a few all-female groups like Red Velvet featured here, Girls’ Generation, Orange Caramel, and Girls’ Day. Americans may find a retro feel to female K-pop artists’ work, not only in content and performance, but production and presentation. They make hard work look like joy. For all the visual and audio effects, there are simple, unifying messages — love is everything, and girls just want to have fun.
So much that. We could really use some love and some fun.
*head-desk* Including today, that’s all the House will spend in session this month. Flint’s 8000 lead-poisoned kids still wait.
Carla Hayden, nominee for Librarian of Congress also waits. Some chickenshit anonymous Republican senator(s) have placed a hold on her confirmation. Why? Because she’s black. Swear to gods the GOP wants to become an irrelevant footnote in history; they certainly won’t win over minority voters this way, and they’re pissing off the publishing industry at the same time. UPDATE 5:00 P.M. EST — HAYDEN CONFIRMED Huh. Wonder what clued in the chickenshit anonymous Republican senator(s) who’d placed her on hold? Whatever, now the GOP can go back to focusing their normal obstructive intransigence on SCOTUS’ nominee Merrick Garland.
Don’t forget about China
Civil rights wronged
Okay, that’s quite enough self-abuse for one day. It’s downhill from here, see you tomorrow!
A little neo soul, something to ease the day. If you like this bit by 20-year-old Doja Cat, check out more of her work at her YouTube channel.
That’s all that’s left of in-session days in U.S. House this month, and nothing done yesterday to help Flint. Yet another report on Flint water crisis, this one featuring VA-Tech’s Dr. Marc Edwards on the lack of trust in water quality, governance and water science since the city’s transition back to Detroit’s water supply. But the necessity of filters means tap water is suspect; Flint residents never needed filters before the switch to Flint river water, and now much regularly take additional steps to check their filters and water quality. Just replace the damned lead pipes so they can take the filters off and they’ll trust the water system. They need assistance with speeding up pipe replacement, stat.
Oh, and deal with the collapse of property values in Flint. Who wants to buy a house there, let alone offer financing as long as the water system remains under suspicion?
Oh no, Pokémon GO
My kid has been playing this augmented reality game with his friends, driving around after dark to different ‘gyms’. We’ve had a few discussions about the application’s privacy problems as well as the game’s requirements for collecting points. This is NOT a game for kids to play by themselves without parent or guardian engagement if they aren’t old enough to drive. My son told me about running into creepy guys parked for hours late into the evening at key locations where Pokémon are found. Recipe for trouble, that.
Brexit means broken
TL;BRTLA (too long, but read this later anyhow)
Especially today — now that Bernie Sanders has endorsed Hillary Clinton — read how women were included in the Civil Rights Act as a joke. Hah. Funny. But very sad that 51% of the population is still not accorded their creator-endowed equal rights in spite of shrewd, dogged work by Michigan’s Rep. Martha Griffiths, and folks like Ida Phillips and attorney Reese Marshall.
Didn’t have enough time to cover China. Guess you now what I’ll tackle tomorrow, see you then.
[NB: Embedded video contains adult language NSFW]
I had a very disturbing conversation with some 18-to-20-somethings this weekend about privacy and networked communications. I can’t decide if I’m pissed off or terrified that these particular youngsters believed:
I know for certain not all youngsters in this age group feel this way, but what set this particular group apart is their privilege. They are going to school in business and education at some of the best schools in the country. Their educations are paid for in full and they know they have jobs waiting for them. Their political heritage is conservative — anti-tax, pro-business, with a Christian fundamentalist spin. They are the next generation of elected officials because they can afford to run for office.
They are what a well-to-do public school district created, and what will come out of a top ten business school: people who don’t give a shit about anybody else’s needs for privacy, because they simply don’t see any risks to their way of life.
The entire conversation began because they were questioning my opsec habit of covering my cellphone camera lenses. When I pushed back about their habit of waving their phones around without any respect for others’ privacy, the topic rapidly went south. It didn’t matter, nobody was following them, they didn’t need to worry; whoever wanted to track them already had all their information anyhow. And still not a lick of concern about anybody else’s privacy, safety and security, free speech, freedom from unwarranted seizure…
Stay away from me, kids. Far, far away. Go ahead and give me a hard time again about protecting privacy rights. Treat me like an old lady yelling at you to stay off my lawn, and I’ll find somebody to tell your super-conservative mother what kind of porn you’ve surfed while you claim you’re at the library studying on her dime. I’m sure I can get somebody to do it for the price of a Pokéstop lure and a Clefairy water Pokémon.
Meanwhile, protesters documenting civil rights abuses by hyper-militarized police have risked their freedom and lives doing so. Like the protesters and reporters seen in the short video taken of Baton Rouge Police arresting protesters gathered peacefully on private property yesterday, forcing their way into a private home and pushing around its residents. Or Ramsey Orta, who videoed the chokehold death of Eric Garner, harassed repeatedly by NYPD since then and jailed, or Chris LeDay’s suspicious arrest after he posted video of Alton Sterling’s murder by Baton Rouge police. These citizens and the journalists who covered them are surely concerned about their privacy and the chilling effect on their free speech a lack of privacy protections will cause for them as individuals and as activist groups and news outlets.
And it’s these people those privileged 18-to-20-somethings I spoke with will never consider as they navigate their way through the rest of college and into the business world. It’s no wonder they believe there’s no way to change the status quo; they aren’t taught to think outside the tight confines of their safe little world nor do they face any threats inside their narrow groove.
I grieve for the future.
That’s all that’s left for in-session days on the U.S. House calendar for July. I see nothing in the remaining schedule directly related to the Flint Water Crisis. Only California’s ongoing water shortage will have a hearing. While the House fiddles, Flint area nonprofits continue to raise money to buy bottled water for city residents. The city water system is allegedly safe, but we all know the entire city is riddled with damaged pipe causing one Boil Water Notice so far this summer. Lead pipes continue to service homes. The roughly 8000 children poisoned so far don’t need even a smidgen more lead from those water lines. But All Lives Matter, right?
I hope every journalist covering an incumbent’s House or Senate campaign will ask what the candidate has done while in office to address both Flint’s GOP-inflicted man-made catastrophe and future crises of a similar nature given underfunded EPA mandates for clean drinking water and equally underfunded infrastructure replacement.
Don’t even get me started on Congress’ weak gestures on Zika, especially after the first Zika-related death in the U.S. this past week and ~1133 patients who’ve tested positive for Zika, including ~320 pregnant women. Zero effort to encourage birth control among at-risk population, let alone adequate warning to the public that unprotected sex as well as mosquitoes spread the disease.
Po po no no
Enough. I’m already wishing for Tuesday.