Today is a mash-up day. I’ve put together a list of interesting reads and places to visit over the Independence Day holiday. These should give you something to do so you can stay inside, or away from people, and remain safe.
Yesterday, during an interview on National Public Radio (NPR), I heard Tom Frieden (former Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) say that right now we need to be practicing the three W’s:
- Wear a mask
- Wash your hands
- Watch your distance
I really appreciate the clarity of the message. Seems simple enough, eh?
sources and resources on current events
Recently I’ve been reading a daily newsletter that comes into my email from Popular Information. Judd Legum, the guy who writes it, is a former political researcher. His writing is clear and his research seems to be pretty good as well. However, this is not his first rodeo, as you will see when you read about him. Recently, Legum and Popular Information have doggedly on the trail of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook for their consistent failure to monitor hate speech. Today this article came out about how Facebook has been losing advertising dollars from many companies (approaching 250) for both the failure and their reticence to correct the problem. In the spirit of full disclosure…I hate Facebook for all the reason Legum spells out and more.
In the realm of politics, there are several interesting thing to examine over the holiday break. First, this whole thing with Russia and the bounties on American soldiers in Afghanistan is big and getting bigger. The New York Times is reporting that Trump did learn about it in the Presidential Daily Briefing back in February. Then, Fox News seems to be putting out a story that GOP operatives may be trying to force Trump to leave the race. Interesting, huh? Not sure what to make of it but I did find this video that provides some context for the issue. Finally, with regard to the Presidential race, there is was an interesting article in The Guardian a few weeks ago by Art Cullen, Pulitzer Prizing journalist and editor of The Storm Lake Times, a family-run local newspaper in Storm Lake, Iowa. In The Guardian article Cullen argues that Midwesterns are doubting Trump putting his re-election at risk.
As the general election draws nearer, I’m finding myself drawn to websites and resources that give me more information than opinion. Here are several I’m finding useful:
- Snopes.com – I use Scopes.com to investigate the latest thing I’ve heard before I decide to believe it.
- Politifact.com – Politifact.com does something similar to Snopes.com except it focuses specifically on politics.
- AllSides.com – In a previous blog I also featured AllSides.com because it gives you the news from the left, the center, and the right in an effort to ferret out the media bias.
- RealClearPolitics.com – RealClearPolitics.com is a great site to visit for information on the latest political poles and the stories behind the polls.
There are at least four resources to help you have the challenging conversations you need to have with people in your life on issues such as race, politics, mask wearing, conspiracy theories, etc.
Talking About Race is a new resource from the National Museum of African American History & Culture at the Smithsonian. The website is designed to provide information and guidance on how to have conversations about race with one another. It is well done and offers resources for teachers, parents or caregivers, and anyone who is committed to equity.
There are three groups that are trying to bring people together across ideological divides to have important and courageous conversations. I’ll let their websites speak for themselves:
stories of covid-19
Three items related to COVID-19 have caught my interest recently.
First, there was a very good article today on the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Tracker. It was created last January by a PhD student at Johns Hopkins University. Data from the tracker are used extensively by many media outlets for following the progression of COVID-19 around the world. The story of the tracker is very interesting and gives some additional insight on how to use it.
Second, as story from NPR gives us good advice for using masks for outdoor activity. I know there…there is some debate about whether you even need a mask for outdoor exercise. Check out the article to learn more.
Third, earlier today Anthony Fauci (of the National Institutes of Health) warned that the U.S. is not in control of the Novel Coronavirus outbreak and the number of cases could rise to 100,000 per day. That’s not good news. In that same meeting, Senator Lamar Alexander chastised Trump for not wearing a mask at least some of the time.
chickenman – episode 73
Chickenman is on his way across the Atlantic Ocean…yellow raincoat and all!
Meteor watch day
Today, the last day of June, is Meteor Watch Day. Seems like a great day to go out on Perry Como’s “Catch a Falling Star.”