• Fantastic news I hope is not too late, but a turning point in regional non-profit journalism in the US. Goodness knows we badly need it.

    ProPublica to Launch New Regional Units in the South and Southwest; ProPublica Illinois to Expand to Midwest Regional Newsroom | ProPublica

  • I’m not sold on a perspective that seeks contentment by saying, essentially, “I wait, therefore I (still) am.” And yet, I cannot wait unless I am.

    Life is moving faster than ever, yet we spend just as much time waiting | The Correspondent

  • The US is … a country without a social contract. It’s a republic that has stripped away the “public”. And it’s led by a political party that can no longer be called a party in any real sense.

    Dear news media, stop covering the US as if it’s a democracy | The Correspondent

  • Might Americans finally be waking up to how climate is about to transform their lives? And if so — if a great domestic relocation might be in the offing — was it possible to project where we might go?

    Climate Change Will Force a New American Migration | ProPublica

  • The Illustrated Catalog Of ACME Products

    For the first time ever, information and pictures of all ACME products, specialty divisions, and services (from 1935 to 1964) are gathered here, in one convenient catalog.

    Wile E. Coyote meets Stewart Brand.

  • The war is over on paper, but the war is not completely over on the land. … I challenge anyone to say “in 200 years the job will be done.” So we can say the Démineurs are the last soldiers on the French territory.

    Clearing unexploded WWI munitions from Zone Rouge. [via Aeon]

  • How we unbroke the news in 2020 (and what we’re up to in 2021):

    Fundamentally changing what the news is about, how it’s paid for, and how it’s made doesn’t happen overnight.

    Nonetheless, The Correspondent exceeded my expectations this year. Please consider subscribing.

  • Dereliction of duty:

    Republicans started the session and recessed in both the Senate and Assembly in less than 30 seconds.

    WisGOP sits on its hands while bleating about the Governor’s emergency COVID-19 orders, too.

    Wisconsin Republicans take no action on policing bills | AP

  • Conflict of Intelligence

    President Donald Trump said National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe made the decision because the administration “got tired” of intelligence about election security leaking from Congress.

    Prior to becoming Director of National Intelligence, then-Rep. Ratcliffe represented the resident of the White House during impeachment proceedings. Three weeks after impeachment failed to remove his client from office, Ratcliffe accepted his client’s nomination as Director of National Intelligence. He is the first DNI confirmed by a partisan vote for a reason:

    Maine Sen. Angus King, an independent who caucuses with Democrats and a member of the Senate intelligence panel, said he has concerns that Ratciffe has limited experience in the intelligence community yet extensive experience in politics. “A dangerous combination,” he said.

    “Now more than ever it is vital that the DNI respect the critical firewall that must exist between intelligence and political calculations — especially if the truth isn’t what the boss wants to hear,” King said.

    Before being elected to Congress in 2014, Ratcliffe was mayor of Heath, Texas, and a U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Texas. When he was first nominated, senators questioned whether he had enough intelligence experience and whether he was picked because of his willingness to defend Trump.

    But given a second chance, Ratcliffe worked to separate himself from the president at his confirmation hearing, including by saying he believed Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, a conclusion Trump has resisted. He said he would communicate to Trump the intelligence community’s findings even if he knew Trump disagreed with them and might fire him.

    If your client only reacts to alarming reports about foreign interference in federal elections when they reach the press, the logical way to help him keep his job — and keep you in yours — is to stop delivering alarming intelligence reports to those who directly represent voters.

    Trump’s intel chief ends election security briefings to Hill | AP

  • The issue of reconstituting, rebuilding the social fabric is something that takes a long time and a lot of work.

    We needn’t live to see the cathedral we must build.

    This Bolivian organiser shows us: we can solve the world’s problems without politicians | The Correspondent

  • In February 2020, Nature Sustainability published this terrifying conclusion: California would need to burn 20 million acres — an area about the size of Maine — to restabilize in terms of fire.

    They Know How to Prevent Megafires. Why Won’t Anybody Listen? | ProPublica

  • Not long before he shot two people to death & gravely wounded a third, this armed vigilante was thanked by Kenosha police for being there — in violation of curfew orders. They provided him with bottled water.

    17-year-old arrested after 2 killed during unrest in Kenosha | AP

  • The Business Model of Education: A Moral Bankruptcy & Looming Financial Disaster

    Calling a halt to on-campus operations and going totally online, thereby waiving on-campus fees, was the right, moral choice. And yet it was the option that this reckless system could never take, because those inflated fees were needed to pay the fixed costs of the business model. Without sufficient state funds, universities are reliant on federal grant money, which requires students to enroll. If online courses drive away even a fraction of those students, the house of cards will collapse. For the university to do the right thing would be financial suicide.

    The article’s title is misleading. The business model of education is the root problem, but it did not start with state universities. State governments — enthralled by neoliberalism, harried by zealotical anti-tax lobbyists & myopic voters — have spent forty years divesting from funding education as a public good, forcing public universities to rely on a mix of federal funding, out-of-state/international tuition, an amenities arms race, & ever-inflating service fees.

    I don’t agree with the article’s proposed solution, but something must be done in the wake of the havoc on budgets — state and university — that will follow the pandemic.

    Correctional, police, & military budgets bloat without restraint while the viability of the Post Office and public universities are jeopardized. One can only conclude American society cares more about imprisoning & killing people than we do connecting & educating them.

    The Corner That State Universities Have Backed Themselves Into | The Atlantic

  • [H]e seemed to be unmoved by my request.

    Governor Evers, describing Assembly Leader Vos’ reaction — a day after Kenosha police shot Jacob Blake in the back at point-blank range — to Evers’ call for a special legislative session on police reform bills submitted in June.

  • The Postal Service uses advanced technology to deliver mail with handwritten addresses, huge volumes of periodicals, and packages of many different sizes. This video helps the public better understand the magnitude of the Postmaster General’s sabotage of the USPS.

  • [USPS] is in the process of removing 671 high-speed mail-sorting machines nationwide … that will eliminate 21.4 million items per hour’s worth of processing capability … [.]

    House calls emergency hearing over alleged White House interference at USPS | Washington Post

  • But even if the country and our system of government gets through the transition more or less intact…

    This might keep you up all weekend. You should probably read it anyway.

    Getting from November to January | The American Interest

  • He admits this sabotage is a bald attempt at election theft, voter suppression, & subversion of democracy. This corruption relegates the United States to rotten-banana republic status.

    President admits he is undermining USPS to make it harder to vote by mail | The Guardian

  • This is alarming:

    More than half of the nation’s 67 postal districts failed to meet any first-class mail delivery goals and 23 only met one.

    Postal delivery scores in five battleground states are missing targets as mail voting increases | APM Reports

  • This hurts to read, but I don’t think the author is too far off the mark. There are good people in America who want a society that includes and uplifts everyone, but there are too many, from top to bottom, who serve only themselves.

    The Unraveling of America | Rolling Stone

  • Billionaire CEO Judy Faulkner to Epic’s employees: “It’s not easy to be a hero.”

    Every employee interviewed requested anonymity out of fear of reprisal.

    ‘I Could Easily End Up On A Ventilator’: Epic Systems Employees Decry Company Policy Amid Pandemic | Wisconsin Public Radio

  • Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled legislature has been on vacation for over 100 days during a devastating pandemic. Put their dereliction of duty on display.

    Gov. Evers Should Keep Calling Special Sessions Until Wisconsin Republicans Take Action | The Recombobulation Area

  • Decades and lives wasted on terrible alternatives, when we’ve known how our system must change since the late Sixties.

    Why? Read on.

    Here’s a radical idea that will change policing, transform prisons and reduce crime: treat criminals like human beings | The Correspondent

  • Criminals Behind a Shield

    ProPublica looked at 68 cases of video-documented police brutality since George Floyd’s death in May. Among the cases where no officer has been identified or criminal charges filed:

    • A Houston mounted police officer uses a horse to trample a woman from behind.
    • Louisville police repeatedly shoot a reporter & camera crew with pepper bullets.
    • Austin police shoot a minor in the head with a beanbag round.
    • Unidentified police in Minneapolis open fire on a woman standing on her porch.
    • Minneapolis police pepper spray a reporter displaying his credentials as he lies prone.
    • New York police attempt to run over protestors with their SUVs.
    • Two Salt Lake City cops in riot gear shove an elderly man with a cane to the ground from behind.
    • Indianapolis police use excessive force to restrain a woman, then shoot her with pepper bullets & beat her with batons.
    • Los Angeles police run over protestors with an SUV, attempt to run over several more, then flee the scene.
    • Sacramento police place a man in a choke hold, then continue to apply it as he attempts to “tap out.”
    • A U.S. Park Police officer strikes two journalists with a riot shield and then throws punches.
    • Plainclothes San Diego police refuse to identify themselves while arresting a woman, then threaten to shoot anyone who follows them.

    We Are Tracking What Happens to Police After They Use Force on Protestors | ProPublica

  • If you cling to your convictions, you’re not likely to be receptive to new information. If we want to be informed – properly informed, then we have to embrace uncertainty.

    Why clever people say silly things | The Correspondent

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