Two weeks after President Trump fired off a characteristically intemperate letter to the director-general of the World Health Organization, accusing him of incompetence in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, the reputation of the agency has been damaged far less than the image of the United States. That is, to judge by the reaction of global public health specialists.
I’ve been spending more time outdoors. And by outdoors, I mean the backyard. With camping and hiking season in full swing, I’ve been trying to access nature wherever I can, whenever I can, piecing together a sense of normalcy and trying to soak up enough vitamin D. Whether that’s by swinging in my hammock or spending more time at the grill, it hasn’t been too hard. But there are certain things I miss about spring and summer, the biggest one being campfires.
Enter the Biolite Firepit, a device that takes something that has been perfect for centuries, and just improves on it, ever so subtly, but very necessarily. This firepit is unlike any other you’ve seen before. Not only is it easily portable (with foldable legs) and lightweight, it also comes with a hibachi style grill grate, and rechargeable battery pack. Why a battery pack? At first I was skeptical—don’t mess with fire, right? —but the battery pack is easy to charge, attach, reattach, and it powers all 51 jets in the Biolite. These jets inject the fire with oxygen along key locations, creating a more uniform temperature and dramatically improving combustion, making it ideal for cooking with charcoal, or having an awesome campfire with firewood. If you want, you can control the power via a Bluetooth app on your phone. And whether you’re an expert firemaker or a novice, here’s the kicker: the Biolite is completely smokeless. No more running around in circles to avoid getting smoke in your eyes. The jets take care of that for you.
At first, I was amazed by the smokeless feature. And then I became a little annoyed, as I soon learned the hard way that a fire without smoke attracts mosquitoes. But to fix that, I just bought a little citronella candle, and now I have the best of both worlds: I smell like campfire day and night, but I’m not inhaling smoke in my lungs every time I want to have a fire in the backyard.
In the wake of Trump’s batshit executive order on social media, it looked as if Twitter was about to get fucked and fucked hard by Donald Trump.
The platform’s decision early Friday morning to conceal a Trump tweet for “glorifying violence”—so that users had to see that disclaimer first, and then click through to see the tweet itself—was stunning, and suggested that it just might be willing to fuck him right back. Trump’s tweet, quoting an infamous 1967 threat from then-Miami-Dade County Sheriff Walter Headley about how “When the looting starts, the shooting starts”—a threat that was aimed specifically at black teenagers—represented a new low even for President Good People on Both Sides.
Trump’s eagerness to call out the troops, guns blazing, marked one hell of an escalation in the Social Media Wars—with the president deliberately provoking not only corporate Twitter, but America. The echoes of Richard Nixon’s Roger Ailes-inspired 1968 “law and order” play are loud and sharp, and this time Trump will try to litigate them on Jack Dorsey’s platform. That means Donald has to play by Jack’s rules, if Jack keeps enforcing them.
“I understand the hurt, I understand the pain,” Donald Trump claimed Friday as he read from a prepared statement addressing the racial violence in Minneapolis following the killing this week of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, by the city’s police.
It was a subdued version of the president we’re treated to from time to time. Someone savvy on his staff whispers in his ear or he writes on an index card with a big Sharpie to remind himself that he is supposed to act like a human being in the face of tragedy.
But his words rang hollow, coming hours after he’d railed about “THUGS” on Twitter, expressing his real feelings. Trump has no intention of addressing the root cause of this killing—racially biased excessive force by police. He won’t and he can’t because he has built his political career by scapegoating people of color.
Four days and three nights of unrest after Derek Chauvin’s knee was on the neck of George Floyd, the now former Minnesota police officer was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said the state investigation moved with “extraordinary speed,” noting that his office has never charged a police officer in “that kind of timeframe.” And yet, after viewing the video of Floyd’s death, most wonder why Chauvin wasn’t charged sooner.
The answer is that the law deliberately stacks the deck in favor of police officers. All criminal defendants have a right to a unanimous finding by a jury of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. But because we entrust officers to use force, even deadly force, to protect the public, we make them guilty of a crime only when they clearly exceed their public authority. How much legal protection is too much?
Just after midnight on Thursday, with Minneapolis ablaze over the death of George Floyd, the president weighed in on Twitter. By now, you know what he wrote. He called all the protesters “THUGS,” not distinguishing between those in fear for their lives and those looting. And ended with a quote from a Miami mayor from the 1960s infamous for targeting young blacks: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
Into that waded Twitter, in a war of its own with Trump, warning that his second tweet violated its “rules about glorifying violence.”
For Trump, just as the pandemic gave him another opportunity to divide the country, the horrendous killings of blacks in Minneapolis, Louisville and Atlanta have given him one more chance to see bad people on only one side.
A young black protester was shot dead outside a bar in Omaha, reportedly by a white man, as unrest across the nation engulfed the Nebraska city.
The Omaha World-Herald identified the slain man as 22-year-old James Scurlock and said his family was planning on making a statement later in the day.
Police said Sunday that an unnamed suspect in the shooting was in custody, but provided no details about what led to the killing, except to say officers were not involved. Police Chief Todd Schmaderer called it a “terrible incident.”
The state of the union is deplorable, and all signs suggest things are going to get worse, perhaps much much worse, before they get better.
We are in the midst of the worst health crisis the United States has faced in a century. More than 105,000 Americans have been reported dead of Coronavirus and more than 1.8 million infected with the disease, though we know the real numbers are substantially worse.
We are in the worst economic crisis we have faced since the Great Depression. But the unemployment crisis, with over 40 million filing unemployment claims in the past two months, a quarter of the workforce, is the worst we have seen in our history.
The word “unprecedented” has been used ad nauseam in recent months, but when public health authorities tried on Sunday to predict the potentially catastrophic effect of nationwide police brutality protests amid a deadly pandemic, it seemed hard to find a suitable alternative.
After months of diligent social distancing to curb COVID-19 transmission, Americans in major cities all over the country took to the streets in huge crowds this week to protest the death of George Floyd—and decades of other black deaths at the hands of police officers—after the 46-year-old was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer who shoved a knee into his neck while he was handcuffed, face-down on the pavement.
Public health experts and city leaders now fear new waves of COVID-19 outbreaks could worsen infection numbers and deepen racial disparities among those severely sickened by the virus.
Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here
There are few things in life I’m as passionate about as I am about kitchen utensils. I’m not the biggest fan of one-use kitchen gadgets (also this thing is blowing my mind right now). No, instead, I like to organize my kitchen and fill it with tools I use on an everyday basis that I’m obsessed with: tools I can’t wait to use, and that I get to use all the time. They are tools you likely already have in some respect, but if you aren’t very passionate about them, trust me, they aren’t the right ones. These are some tools that will help your cooking on a daily basis, and I hope you fall in love with them the same way I have.