Hot Town

Summer in the City – Lovin’ Spoonful

Atrios reminds me that Lifeguarding and Water Safety Instruction (you can go and get a dive certificate, but the American Red Cross has no more to teach you) is something I did professionally from the time I was 16 into my mid-Twenties.

I started in Stars Hollow and before you say “But ek, you told me Richard and Emily live in Hartford,” nobody actually lives in Hartford, it’s too urban. They live in Farmington or Glastonbury, if you can’t afford those there’s Rocky Hill but they say the schools aren’t all that.

Stars Hollow is farther away, and in a different direction, but close enough. I have siblings and didn’t go to Chilton Academy (could have, but Stars Hollow is pretty good) and didn’t get pregnant and drop out to run away and work at an Inn.

With 4 years of 10 mile-a-day Swim Team and my newly minted WSLI I marched in, filled out some forms, and bang, I was a Life Guard. At the most miserable and dangerous puddle in town. It was a stream dam that pooled into a 20 yard wide spot between the Beach and a Retaining Wall and tapered into a 10 yard wide ford about 40 yards upstream that only came half way up your calves, people would wade across to the picnic grounds rather than take the bridges at either end. In the Spring it was the site of a popular Fishing Derby and the deeper parts (it got to around 20′ right before the dam) were littered with snagged hooks.

There were 2 “diving boards” which were basically wooden planks with a canvas cover nailed to them, strapped to 2 concrete piers. The “shallow” board pointed at water a mere 3′ deep. Parents loved it because they could stand and catch their kids. The “deep” board pointed at water that was 8′ deep.

THIS IS NOT DEEP ENOUGH! You need 10′ and then feet and not head first. Real Pools are at least 12′ for a 1 Meter Springboard. Hope you had a good time, I always had a panic attack and opened my Manual to Cervical Injuries and made sure our Back Board didn’t have any crap in front of it.

The water was so dark that if you got ankle deep you couldn’t see your toes and if you knew anything about how the stream ran you’d realize it was about a mile from being fresh off the Town Dump.

I knew because I had to test every day.

But it never tested positive and indeed of all the imagined and real hazards I never had to deal with a single one, mostly because it was very, very slow and few people, even kids, got wet above their knees.

Though I spent most days banging a tennis ball against the back of the Guard Shack because I was so bloody bored, I established this reputation as some kind of Super Life Guard, probably because my occasional substitutes perceived my Area (correctly) as the horror show of liability and torts that it was and I had a perfect record.

They only ran it from Memorial Day to Labor Day but because I did scut work all Summer and was eventually one of their most experienced Life Guards (lots of turnover), they’d call me in early and late to work the “normal” pools so I was pretty much employed May – October.

Then I got an opportunity to go to Syracuse University, home of the Newhouse School of Journalism, and moved into the second phase of my career as a Professional Life Guard.

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Gazette‘s Health and Fitness News weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

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What To Cook


Sunday is Father’s Day. What better way to celebrate his day than with special meals of his favorite foods. Epicurious has lots of recipes starting with breakfast/brunch, ending with a special dinner and a dessert that will have him raving.

Buttered-Pecan French Toast with Bourbon Maple Syrup

I was never much of a fan of French toast until I discovered the wonders of brioche. It turns out that this dish, usually made with half-stale whole-wheat sandwich bread, is a very different thing when it’s made with fresh, buttery, eggy brioche! I added the Southern-inspired buttered pecans and bourbon maple syrup, because this is the delicious world I live in.

Brown Butter–Basted Steak

How to make steakhouse-quality steak at home. Step 1: Buy a great steak from a great butcher. Step 2: Salt it liberally. Step 3: Gradually build up a crusty sear. Step 4: Butter. Butter?! Yep—butter. Browned, nutty butter will deliver toasty flavor to every bite. It’s the secret to pretty much all the great steakhouse dinners you’ve ever had.

Rib-Eye Steak and Crispy Smashed Potatoes for Two

Looking for a special dinner for two? First, pan-sear one big steak to share. Then, while the steak rests, use the tasty beef fat left in the skillet to sear smashed paprika-spiced potatoes to crispy, golden perfection.

Pan-Seared Ribeye with Miso Butter

The beef is topped with savory miso butter for the ultimate steak experience.

Grilled Garlic-and-Black-Pepper Shrimp

Salt, pepper, garlic, acid, and a bit of heat are all you need to punch up this easy shrimp skewer recipe.

Sticky Maple and Bourbon Pork Ribs

Skip the same old boring barbecue sauce and opt for a sticky malt vinegar, bourbon, and maple syrup glaze to slick up these boiled-and-baked pork ribs.

Caesar Salad

Nailing this misunderstood classic (no, we don’t want grilled chicken) is all about restraint and, yes, anchovies.

Mushrooms with Béarnaise Yogurt

The frilly edges and large clusters of these mushrooms catch all of the spices and get nice and charred.

Triple-Cooked Fries

Don’t let the type of fat put you off—particularly because the fat pretty much makes the fry. I start the spuds in water, which preps them for the subsequent fryings. The double frying and the chilling create a light brown canvas of crevasses and fissures that, after two plunges into hot fat, produce irresistibly crunchy, crackly french fries.

French’s Green Bean Casserole

The quintessential casserole for the holidays. A creamy mushroom sauce surrounds tender green beans, topped with French’s Crispy Fried Onions.

Pecan-Orange Baklava Pie

This pretty baklava with a diamond-cut top can easily take the place of pecan pie on a Thanksgiving dessert buffet. The bourbon-honey syrup and orange zest in the filling add rich, savory flavor, and keep things less sweet than the traditional Middle Eastern treat.

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House

Call You Mine – The Chainsmokers with Bebe Rexha

A Little Respect – Erasure

Opportunities – Pet Shop Boys

The Breakfast Club (Going To Pot)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

England’s King John signs the Magna Carta; A deadly steamboat fire in New York City; Jordan’s King Hussein weds American Lisa Halaby; Arlington National Cemetery created; Singer Ella Fitzgerald dies.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

In the Halls of Justice the only justice is in the halls.

Lenny Bruce

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Six In The Morning Saturday 15 June 2019

Hong Kong extradition protests: Government suspends bill

The Hong Kong government has suspended its highly controversial plan to allow extraditions to mainland China, Chief Executive Carrie Lam has announced.

She had previously refused to scrap the bill despite mass protests from Hong Kong residents.

“I feel deep sorrow and regret that deficiencies in our work – and various other factors – have stirred up substantial controversies,” she said.

Protesters expressed concern at increased Chinese influence.

Ms Lam said she had heard the calls for her government to “pause and think”.

She also admitted that the “explanation and communication” of the bill had not been adequate.

Corbyn: no ‘credible evidence’ of Iran role in tanker attacks

Labour leader urges UK to ease tensions in Gulf after Foreign Office links blasts to Tehran

Jeremy Corbyn has called for the government to abstain from escalating tensions with Iran without “credible evidence” that Tehran was responsible for attacks on two oil tankers.

The Labour leader said Britain risked increasing the threat of war after the Foreign Office (FCO) said it was “almost certain” in its assessment that “a branch of the Iranian military … attacked the two tankers on 13 June”.

The FCO said: “No other state or non-state actor could plausibly have been responsible,” and pointed to a “recent precedent for attacks by Iran against oil tankers”.

Climate change: Arctic permafrost now melting at levels not expected until 2090

Series of ‘anomalously warm summers’ caused ground to thaw, researchers say

Alessio Perrone

Permafrost has begun thawing in the Canadian Arctic more than 70 years early because of climate change, according to new research.

A “series of anomalously warm summers” has dramatically accelerated melting rates at three sites despite average annual ground temperatures remaining low. Ponds and hillocks have formed as a result.

It had been thought that the permafrost – ground that remains frozen for at least two years – would remain until at least 2090.

Sudanese opposition leader calls for international investigation into protest crackdown

Sudan’s veteran opposition leader Sadiq al-Mahdi called on Friday for an “objective” international investigation into last week’s deadly crackdown on protesters, after the ruling military council rejected such a probe.

Mahdi’s call was backed by top US envoy Tibor Nagy, who urged an “independent and credible” investigation into the June 3 killings in Sudan.

Thousands of protesters who had camped outside the army headquarters in central Khartoum for weeks were dispersed in an operation which left dozens dead.

The crackdown followed the collapse of talks between protest leaders and generals, following the ouster of president Omar al-Bashir.

Faced with protests, Putin blinks — but don’t expect a Moscow Spring

Updated 0443 GMT (1243 HKT) June 15, 2019

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been in power for nearly two decades, but he still has the capacity to surprise: This week, he unexpectedly showed that the Kremlin — on rare occasions — has a reverse gear.

To recap: On Tuesday, Russian authorities dropped a criminal case against a top investigative reporter known for exposing local corruption. The journalist, Ivan Golunov, had been arrested on an attempted drug-distribution charge that he and his colleagues insisted evidence had been planted by police.

MEXICO MADE REFUGEE CONCESSIONS MONTHS BEFORE TRUMP TARIFF THREATS, DHS DOCUMENTS SAY


June 15 2019

BIT BY BIT, President Donald Trump’s story of winning concessions on immigration enforcement from Mexico is falling apart. Last weekend, Trump announced that the U.S. and Mexico “reached a signed agreement” to stem the flow of mostly Central American migrants entering the U.S. through its southern border — the fruits, the administration suggested, of his threats to impose tariffs against the U.S.’s southern neighbor.

That version of events was called into question by the New York Times, which reported that Mexico was already carrying out or had been planning to carry out the actions that the administration claimed were part of a deal. Trump responded by insisting that there were “secret” provisions. On Wednesday, he waved a purported secret deal with Mexico in front of reporters. One photojournalist captured a partially legible backlit image, revealing that the paper described “a regional approach to burden-sharing in relation to the processing of refugee status claims to migrants.”

 

 

 

 

Statement Regarding Illegal Contributions From Foreign Governments

Chair Ellen L. Weintraub, Federal Election Commission
June 13, 2019

Let me make something 100% clear to the American public and anyone running for public office. It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election. This is not a novel concept. Electoral intervention from foreign governments has been considered unacceptable since the beginnings of our nation. Out Founding Fathers sounded the alarm about “foreign Interference, Intrigue, and Influence.” They knew that when foreign governments seek to influence American politics, it is always to advance their own interests, not America’s. Anyone who solicits or accepts foreign assistance risks being on the wrong end of a federal investigation. Any political campaign that receives an offer of a prohibited donation should report that offer to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from> around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Michelle Goldberg: Trump to America: Who’s Going to Stop Me?

An unbound president invites more foreign election interference.

In a new interview with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos, parts of which were released on Wednesday evening, Donald Trump announced his willingness to betray and subvert American democracy, again. Asked what he would do if he were offered foreign dirt on an opponent in 2020, he said he’d take it, and pooh-poohed the idea of calling federal law enforcement.

“Oh, let me call the F.B.I.,” he said derisively. “Give me a break, life doesn’t work that way.”

That Trump has no loyalty to his country, its institutions and the integrity of its elections is not surprising. That he feels no need to fake it is alarming. With the end of Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation, House Democrats’ craven fear of launching an impeachment inquiry, and the abject capitulation of Republicans to Trumpian authoritarianism, the president is reveling in his own impunity.

Maybe the insult of it can jolt the country out of its current stasis. Every so often, Trump says or does something so grotesque that it cuts through the despairing numbness engendered by his presidency, galvanizing the forces of decency anew. It happened after Trump defended white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville, after he compared nonwhite countries to excrement, and after he bowed and scraped before Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. This should be one of those moments.

That doesn’t mean it will be. Much of the Resistance is exhausted by last year’s push to retake the House and deflated by the anti-climactic aftermath of the Mueller report. For two and a half years, as Trump has treated his oath of office the way he’s rumored to have treated a Moscow hotel bed, it’s felt as if something has to give. But day by day, what’s giving is the will to stop him.

Jamelle Bouie: Mitch McConnell, Too, Welcomes Russian Interference

Or at least he won’t let Congress do anything to stop it.

Why won’t Mitch McConnell protect our elections from outside interference?

His Republican colleagues in the Senate want to do something. That’s why some of the most conservative members of his caucus are working with Democrats to improve the nation’s election security.

One proposal, according to The New York Times, would “require internet companies like Facebook to disclose the purchasers of political ads.” Another, devised by Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, would “impose mandatory sanctions on anyone who attacks an American election.” Yet another, the brainchild of Senators James Lankford of Oklahoma and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, would “codify cyber information-sharing initiatives between federal intelligence services and state election officials.”

House Democrats have already introduced legislation to bolster election security and would most likely work with the Senate to put together a compromise proposal should a bill pass that chamber. But McConnell refuses to consider any legislation on election security during this congressional term. For the Senate majority leader, the problem has already been solved, and this rare show of bipartisan cooperation doesn’t matter. “I think the majority leader is of the view that this debate reaches no conclusion,” Roy Blunt of Missouri, a McConnell ally, said.

The easiest explanation for McConnell’s opposition to the various election security proposals is captured in one word: Trump. Only recently has the president acknowledged foreign interference in the 2016 election. “Russia has disappeared because I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected,” Trump said last month on Twitter, blasting Robert Mueller’s investigation. “It was a crime that didn’t exist.” Later, however, he returned to his usual position of denying any assistance or interference at all. “Russia did not get me elected,” he said.

The president’s endless denial makes sense: To acknowledge any election interference on his behalf is to undermine the legitimacy of his victory, even if the hacking and disinformation were not decisive.

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The Difference between Sanders and Warren

I am a registered Democrat, have been since I first voted which I did as soon as I was eligible and continue to in every election including Local, State, and Primaries but the one where I wrecked my car on the way to the Polls. I mostly vote straight ticket Democratic too, unless there are compelling arguments otherwise (think there aren’t? Weicker/Lieberman 1988), though more recently I take the time to record my vote as Working Family Party when there is a cross-endorsement.

But while I am a “democrat” I’m not a “Democrat”. I am an Anarcho-Sydicalist which means my political beliefs are Worker Control and Local Democracy. The Democratic Party of the United States is not nearly “Left” enough for me.

Bernie Sanders likewise does not identify “Democratic” and instead “Democratic Socialist”. This is a point of contention for some Democrats.

The bulk of them will pitch the disastrous Neo Liberal Economic and Social Policy that picked them as the vanity elite and has 40 solid years of unmitigated failure to recommend the process (looking right at you Joe Carson). Some of the more ‘Left’ say “I have a Plan for that.” True enough. Want to see how strong the ‘Left’ is? Add Sanders and Warren together. Bernie will never run out of money, Warren might- I’m very happy for her Polling rise as it will make fundraising easier.

Still, there is a fundamental difference in philosophy that I think is what Bernie was trying to get to with yesterday’s speech-

Warren represents a Teddy Roosevelt “Trust Busting” instinct which accepts that the goal of a Political Economy is Return on Capital Investment. Capitalism.

Labor is another form of Capital Investment- Wages, Healthcare, Housing, Education. A Capitalist expects a return on Investments in Labor Capital just as they would for a machine or a manufacturing plant or a marketing department.

Markets need to be tightly regulated to ensure “fairness”. Monopolies, when free to create, exercise disproportionate and negative effects on the ability to exchange goods and services across markets.

Sanders on the other hand is a ‘Socialist’. What is fundamentally wrong with the system, what will require a revolution, is changing the goal from Return on Capital Investment to Improvement of the Public Good.

Adopting this philosophy might lead you to radical acts like supporting Nuclear Power as a short term palliative measure in the live jive Global Warming Crisis (I don’t talk about it much because I have lain on the Holy Sacred Grave of Elvis at Graceland and contemplated Death and it’s not a pretty sight, a peanut butter, banana, bacon sandwich on a toilet), but do not be deceived. Solar is the real deal and it’s ready to rock and roll today.

No dead Eagles.

So anyway Socialism is an actual redirection of Returns (you can call it Profit if you like) to a Democratic Community’s priorities. You educate kids because you want them to be smart, not to fill some drone cubical spot in a MegaCorp hive. You subsidize artists because people like to see, hear, and read pretty things, at least by buying their stuff (and the Merch, I’m the Andy Warhol of Merch).

We’re All ‘Socialists’ Now
By Eric Levitz, New York
June 13, 2019

In a speech at George Washington University on Wednesday afternoon, the Vermont senator made several arguments for his political philosophy. Many of these aimed to dispel the misconception that the self-avowed socialist and his “political revolution” are trying to do anything “particularly radical.” Rather, Sanders suggested that what he calls “democratic socialism” is akin to 21st-century New Deal liberalism. Seventy-five years ago, the United States had a president who insisted that “true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence” and proposed the establishment of a “Second Bill of Rights” — one that would guarantee all Americans health care, housing, and “a useful and remunerative job.” In a sense, Sanders’s modest ambition is to revive and update the conventional wisdom of the Democratic Establishment circa 1944.

This is a sound rebuttal to the claim that Sanders’s vision is extreme or un-American. Though, for that reason, it does little to clarify why the senator insists on branding his ideology with a term that much of the American electorate still associates with Soviet communism.

Nevertheless, by coopting the right’s expansive definition of “socialism” — which holds that any major government intervention in the economy (that conservatives don’t like) is a fulfillment of Marx’s vision — Sanders was able to recast the terms of America’s economic debate.

“In 2008, after their greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior created the worst financial disaster since the Great Depression, with millions of Americans losing their jobs, their homes and their life savings, Wall Street’s religious adherence to unfettered capitalism suddenly came to an end,” Sanders said Wednesday. “Overnight, Wall Street became big-government socialists and begged for the largest federal bailout in American history — over $1 trillion from the Treasury and even more from the Federal Reserve. But it’s not just Wall Street that loves socialism — when it works for them. It is the norm across the entire corporate world.”

Americans already live in a country where unelected bureaucrats pick economic winners and losers, where public policy exerts a massive influence over the distribution of income, where some indolent Americans live off the hard labor of others, and where the state directs investment toward official, conscious ends. If these are the defining features of socialism, then the United States lost the Cold War before it began, and the real debate between left and right in the U.S. isn’t over whether “big government” should intervene in markets, or even how much it should, but rather who should have a say over how it intervenes — and whose interests such “socialism” should serve.

If some natural economic process dictates that wage growth must be tepid while corporations sit on cash, or that urban workers must be rent burdened while landlords live high off their labor, or that major financial institutions must be insulated from risk while underwater homeowners are left to drown, then one can plausibly argue that government action to alter such outcomes would be hubristic and self-defeating. Who is man to challenge the wisdom of the market gods? By contrast, if the electorate were to recognize that these outcomes are largely determined by public policy, then apologists for the existing order would have a much harder time rationalizing acquiescence.

Cartnoon

Since we’re talking about Flint.

Flint Water Prosecutors Drop Criminal Charges, With Plans to Keep Investigating
By Mitch Smith, The New York Times
June 13, 2019

Prosecutors stunned the city of Flint, Mich., on Thursday by dropping all pending charges against officials accused of ruining the community’s drinking water and ignoring signs of a crisis, casting doubt on what some residents had seen as a small but tangible step toward justice.

Fifteen state and local officials, including emergency managers who ran the city and a member of the governor’s cabinet, had been accused by state prosecutors of crimes as serious as involuntary manslaughter. Seven had already taken plea deals. Eight more, including most of the highest-ranking officials, were awaiting trial.

On Thursday, more than three years after the first charges were filed, the Michigan attorney general’s office, which earlier this year passed from Republican to Democratic hands, abruptly dropped the eight remaining cases. Prosecutors left open the possibility of recharging some of those same people, and perhaps others, too.

But in Flint, a city where faith in government was already low and where many residents still refuse to drink the tap water, the news was seen by some as a sign that they had been wronged once again.

“This is not justice,” said Melissa Mays, a Flint resident and advocate for safe drinking water. “It just seems like a political ploy.” She added: “The only thing it tells me is our lives don’t matter.”

Flint’s water crisis, which started in 2014, was a failure of government at all levels. A state-appointed emergency manager switched the city’s drinking water source from Detroit’s municipal water system to the Flint River in an effort to save money. Local officials failed to implement corrosion controls, allowing lead to leach from pipes. Health agencies assured residents the water was safe even as people complained that it smelled bad, tasted funny and was discolored.

Those officials were wrong: Children drank water with dangerous quantities of lead. At least 12 people died in a Legionnaires’ outbreak that prosecutors linked to the new water source. Trust in government was ruined.

As officials scrambled to fix the water system and rebuild trust, Michigan’s Republican attorney general, Bill Schuette, appointed a team that began investigating and announcing criminal charges. Still, from the start, some officials and legal observers raised questions about the prosecutors’ approach. And residents asked why the governor at the time, Rick Snyder, also a Republican, had not been charged.

After Mr. Schuette left office in January and was replaced by Dana Nessel, a Democrat, there were signs of a change in course. Todd Flood, the lead prosecutor appointed by Mr. Schuette, was dismissed. New prosecutors assigned by Ms. Nessel expressed concern about evidence collection and took steps to seize Mr. Snyder’s phone. Then, most drastically, Ms. Nessel’s team dropped all charges on Thursday and pledged to investigate more, saying “all evidence was not pursued” by their predecessors.

“Upon assuming responsibility of this case, our team of career prosecutors and investigators had immediate and grave concerns about the investigative approach and legal theories,” said the two lead prosecutors, Fadwa Hammoud and Kym Worthy, in a statement. They said they would meet with Flint residents later this month and noted they were “not precluded from refiling charges against the defendants” or adding new charges and defendants.

Flint’s mayor, Karen Weaver, said she took the prosecutors at their word and hoped they would follow through with new charges. She said that there was some confusion and frustration in her city about the decision to drop charges, but that she believed it could ultimately be a positive.

“It is frustrating, but I’d rather be frustrated at this end and know that they’re going to do a deep dive into what happened,” Ms. Weaver said in an interview. She added: “I think this way, they may have the evidence they need to be able to hold them accountable and throw away the key.”

Ms. Nessel, the new attorney general, defended her prosecutors’ decision to drop the charges, but she also sought to reassure Flint residents. “I want to remind the people of Flint that justice delayed is not always justice denied,” she said.

That message was a tough sell for some in Flint, where residents said they had waited for years for justice and been disappointed with the results. Monica Galloway, a member of the Flint City Council, called the decision a setback on Thursday and said she hoped new charges would be filed.

“I think anyone that lives in the city of Flint that is affected by this wants justice,” Ms. Galloway said. “And justice can only be done if this is not just redone, but done properly.”

My Scots/German is from Flint, my Viking and English pure Yooper. Richard and Emily met at Michigan State shortly after it’s foundation in 1855 (what about “mid-thirties” in 1926 do you not understand?).

The Breakfast Club (Eating With Friends)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Nazi Germany’s troops enter Paris during World War II; TWA Flight 847 hijacked; Stars and Stripes adopted as official U.S. flag; Leftist guerrilla Che Guevara and real estate mogul Donald Trump born.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

One of the delights of life is eating with friends; second to that is talking about eating. And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends.

Laurie Colwin

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Six In The Morning Friday 14 June 2019

 

Gulf of Oman tanker attacks: US says video shows Iran removing mine

The US military has released a video which it says shows Iran’s Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded mine from the side of an oil tanker damaged in an attack in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday.

US officials also shared a photo of the Japanese tanker, apparently showing the unexploded mine before it was removed.

A Norwegian tanker was also damaged.

The US accused Iran of being behind the mine attacks. Iran said it “categorically rejects” the allegation.

The blasts came a month after four oil tankers were damaged in an attack off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. The US blamed Iran for that attack, but did not produce evidence. Iran also denied those accusations.

Hong Kong’s digital battle: tech that helped protesters now used against them

Wary of being tracked and targeted like activists inside China, protesters are keeping a low profile online

Iearly June, Ivan Ip, 22, joined a public chat group on Telegram called “Parade 69”, named for a mass demonstration planned in central Hong Kong to protest a bill allowing for the transfer of suspects from the city to China. According to Ip, an administrator of the group of more than 30,000 people, they discussed things like bringing sunscreen, water, and umbrellas to block the sun or rain.

Two days after the protest, which saw as many as one million Hong Kong residents march against the proposed extradition law, authorities arrived at Ip’s apartment in the evening. Banging on the door, they yelled: “Police! Open up the door!”

Syrian refugees in Lebanon tear down walls to keep their homes

Syrian refugees are facing a wave of hostility in Lebanon, writes Richard Hall

The sound of a hammer striking concrete echoes around the sprawling refugee camp. Outside almost every tent, piles of broken breeze blocks show the hard work of the past few days. An exhausted Salah Mustafa, a 35-year-old Syrian refugee who fled to Lebanon five years ago, is one of the last to finish tearing down the walls of his home.

“I built these walls to keep my mother warm,” he says, during a break. “She has trouble with her kidneys so she feels the cold more than anyone else. But even with the walls, the winter is unbearable.”

The next winter is likely to be much worse for Mustafa’s family, and for the thousands of other Syrian refugees here in the Lebanese border town of Arsal, who have spent days dismantling the concrete shells of their shelters in order to save them from being demolished entirely.

Apocalypse NowA Moroccan Oasis Struggles with Climate Change

Droughts, sandstorms and flash flooding: In the southern Moroccan oasis M’Hamid El Ghizlane, the effects global warming is likely to have on the Mediterranean region can already be observed today.

By 

A sandstorm moves over the oasis town of M’Hamid El Ghizlane, coating buildings and streets with a fine yellowish coating that makes breathing more difficult and burns the eyes. Halim Sbai, 48, looks out at the remnants of the clay walls of his birth home on the edge of the oasis. “Whenever I’m here, the old and the new image of this place are superimposed on each other,” he says. “It’s then that I see the differences.”

Before the rain stopped falling and the sandstorms grew stronger, palm trees used to grow in this oasis in southern Morocco. Date palms reached to the sky while pomegranate trees, wheat and watermelons grew in their shade — so dense that Sbai had to fight his way through jungle-like vegetation when he wanted to swim in the Draa River near his home after it rained.

My video’s funnier than yours: Pakistan, India trade parodies before Cup clash

Islamabad (AFP)

A video parodying an Indian air force pilot who was briefly captured by arch-rival Pakistan earlier this year has gone viral ahead of a highly-anticipated World Cup clash between the two cricket-mad nations.

The 33-second video shows an actor posing as handlebar-moustached Abhinandan Varthaman, who was shot down over the disputed region of Kashmir earlier this year and held briefly by Pakistan.

He was released in a “peace gesture” aimed at defusing tensions between the nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours, who have been fierce rivals since independence from Britain in 1947.

Why Nintendo, Google and others may want to move some manufacturing out of China

Updated 0537 GMT (1337 HKT) June 14, 2019

China has long been the world’s manufacturing powerhouse. It has the suppliers, the assembly lines, the workers, the expertise. Companies, particularly technology giants like Google, depend on China to assemble their products.

Now, a year into a trade war provoked by a tough new stance by the United States, including costly tariffs, some companies are starting to look elsewhere.
Nintendo (NTDOF) and Google (GOOGL) are reportedly seeking alternative locations to make some of their products.

 

 

The Persistence Of Memory

I speak from personal experience that it can take months and months for you to get your YouTube feed right, that is- not suggesting terrible things like NewsMax and InfoWars when once you click, no matter how innocent your purpose.

Try watching any World of Warships video, or better yet don’t.

YouTube Famous

Amway Money

50 Years of Stonewall Pride

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