News 08.24.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 08.24.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 08.24.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 08.24.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The Life Breonna Taylor Lived, In The Words Of Her Mother

Kenny calls me in the middle of the night. He says, Somebody kicked in the door and shot Breonna. I am dead asleep. I don’t know what he’s talking about. I jump up. I get ready, and I rush over to her house. When I get there, the street’s just flooded with police—it’s a million of them. And there’s an officer at the end of the road, and I tell her who I am and that I need to get through there because something had happened to my daughter. She tells me I need to go to the hospital because there was two ambulances that came through, and the first took the officer and the second took whoever else was hurt. Of course I go down to the hospital, and I tell them why I am there. The lady looks up Breonna and doesn’t see her and says, Well, I don’t think she’s here yet. I wait for about almost two hours. The lady says, Well, ma’am, we don’t have any recollection of this person being on the way.

Read the rest of this article at: Vanity Fair

News 08.24.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 08.24.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

In early July of last year, the first draft of a classified document known as a National Intelligence Estimate circulated among key members of the agencies making up the U.S. intelligence community. N.I.E.s are intended to be that community’s most authoritative class of top-secret document, reflecting its consensus judgment on national-security matters ranging from Iran’s nuclear capabilities to global terrorism. The draft of the July 2019 N.I.E. ran to about 15 pages, with another 10 pages of appendices and source notes.

According to multiple officials who saw it, the document discussed Russia’s ongoing efforts to influence U.S. elections: the 2020 presidential contest and 2024’s as well. It was compiled by a working group consisting of about a dozen senior analysts, led by Christopher Bort, a veteran national intelligence officer with nearly four decades of experience, principally focused on Russia and Eurasia. The N.I.E. began by enumerating the authors’ “key judgments.” Key Judgment 2 was that in the 2020 election, Russia favored the current president: Donald Trump.

The intelligence provided to the N.I.E.’s authors indicated that in the lead-up to 2020, Russia worked in support of the Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders as well. But Bort explained to his colleagues, according to notes taken by one participant in the process, that this reflected not a genuine preference for Sanders but rather an effort “to weaken that party and ultimately help the current U.S. president.” To allay any speculation that Putin’s interest in Trump had cooled, Key Judgment 2 was substantiated by current information from a highly sensitive foreign source described by someone who read the N.I.E. as “100 percent reliable.”

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

Tuscany Tote in Midnight

Shop the Tuscany Tote in Midnight
at Belgrave Crescent &

On October 23, 2008, Alan Greenspan, the Chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, was testifying before Congress in the immediate aftermath of the September 2008 financial crash. Undoubtedly the high point of the proceedings occurred when Representative Henry Waxman pressed the Chair to admit “that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right,” to which Greenspan admitted “Absolutely, precisely.”17 Fast forward 10 years to another famous mea culpa moment in front of Congress, that of Mark Zuckerberg on April 11, 2018. In light of both the Cambridge Analytica scandal and revelations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, Zuckerberg also admitted to wrong: “It’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm. That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy

Read the rest of this article at: Communications of the ACM

News 08.24.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 08.24.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

This spring I quarantined in Brooklyn with a friend who had stockpiled a collection of Mrs. Meyer’s hand soaps, which, if you have spent any time in cute cafes or cocktail bars, you likely know by sight or smell. They have been a Whole Foods staple for years, but you can find them at Wal-Mart or Target priced at a few bucks more than Dial or SoftSoap; in many supermarkets they are now the “budget” option, retailing for $4 or $5 next to the $7 specialty soap. “It doesn’t smell as much like chemicals,” my friend said, when I asked about the selection, “and it’s what they have in large stock.”

Mrs. Meyer’s products come in 25 different scents, most of them named after common plants and herbs, the better to “brighten days and bring all the loveliness of the garden inside.” We cycled through eight of them, and the opening of a new bottle became a minor event, inaugurating the smell we’d be smelling for weeks. Each scent was distinctive, but also distinctively like Mrs. Meyer’s: strong, persistent, not quite “natural” but very much like a “natural product,” which is a smell more familiar to me than bluebell or geranium. It makes me a little nauseous, but in context it made me a little nostalgic, too, not for a garden but for the act of going out and spending money.

The pleasantness of those scents seemed to match the “quarantine lifestyle” assembling on Instagram — bread-baking, craft-making, working out on the floor, practicing mindfulness — and clashed with the noises of ambulance sirens and coughing down the hallway. It seemed designed for a form of self-isolation, physical and psychic, that Covid only intensified, and called attention to its own deception: a product that encourages you to feel good when there is no reason to.

Read the rest of this article at: Real Life

News 08.24.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

It’s just after midnight on Friday, July 31, and the Todd Capital Options Community, a $20-per-month subscription Slack channel favored by thousands of novice options traders, is buzzing with life. Unemployment is soaring and governments worldwide are desperately trying to fend off economic collapse. But members of this online enclave are partying, quite literally, like it’s 1999—the infamously frothy day-trading year before the dot-com bubble burst in March 2000.

Despite the pandemic, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google have just released jaw-dropping financial results, a staggering $205 billion in combined quarterly sales and $34 billion in earnings during a stretch when U.S. gross domestic product plunged at an annualized rate of 33%. For weeks, the club’s youthful members have been loading up on speculative call options using the mobile trading app Robinhood. Now they’re ready to cash in.

“Literally, NOTHING will make me sell my AMZN 10/16 calls tomorrow. I don’t care what happens. . . . I’m holding everything. Keep ya boi in your prayers,” says one user named JG. As dawn approaches, “NBA Young Bull” announces: “Good morning future millionaires . . . is it 9:30 yet?”

For these speculators, the adrenaline rush turned to euphoria after Apple not only beat earnings expectations but announced a 4-for-1 stock split, luring more small investors to the iPhone maker’s stock party. At 9:30 a.m. Friday, when trading begins, the call options on Apple and Amazon held by many of these market newbies pay out like Las Vegas slot machines hitting 7-7-7 as both tech giants gain a collective quarter-trillion dollars in market value. Throughout the day and over the weekend, a stream of posts scroll by from exuberant Robinhood traders going by screen names like “See Profit Take Profit” and “My Options Give Me Options.” On Monday, August 3, the Nasdaq index sets a new record high.

Welcome to the stock market, Robinhood-style. Since February, as the global economy collapsed under the weight of the coronavirus pandemic, millions of novices, armed with $1,200 stimulus checks and nothing much to do, have begun trading via Silicon Valley upstart Robinhood—the phone-friendly discount brokerage founded in 2013 by Vladimir Tenev, 33, and Baiju Bhatt, 35.

The young entrepreneurs built their rocketship by applying the formula Facebook made famous: Their app was free, easy to use and addictive. And Robinhood—named for the legendary medieval outlaw who took from the rich and gave to the poor—had a mission even the most woke, capitalism-weary Millennial could get behind: to “democratize finance for all.”

Read the rest of this article at: Forbes

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.

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