The Rundown

We’re gonna dress this episode up a little differently. Rather than an organized panel of stories Imma provide some ramble on my amble instead. I’ll make like the hot brands and just sizzle my stream of consciousness until it’s done to your liking. I mean my liking. Maybe both. I blame this change-up on the fact I’m currently re-reading Milton’s Paradise Lost, which is as close to an acid trip as I’m ever gonna get.

The Rundown will be taking next Friday off, and nope, Delta had nothing to do with this particular cancellation. I just wanted to clear the runway for Frank “Beach Walks” Angle’s ode to July. I think I speak for Cincy when I ask, where has the fucking time gone? Okay, I was speaking for myself.

Let’s get to it . . . .

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced this week that he won’t be ordering the kiddie vaccine for his state. And I get how there are parents who ain’t gonna dosey dosage with their toddlers. But some will, and shouldn’t the Gov give his people the right to make up their own minds? Rights ain’t pick and choose. Rights are rights. Right? In some alternate reality, DeSantis is lead man for a heavy metal garage band but in this one he’s the front runner for the GOP in 2024. Unless chaos truly is our future and the Seinfeld administration we endured last term achieves re-run status.

With Joe Biden running up the kind of tab that would make a gold club gangsta rapper blush, the seams of our republic are begging for a leader to take the helm. What we’re getting instead speaks to the inflationary cost of hubris, where short change heroes dominate the landscape. And John Wayne isn’t walking through that door, because he was only saving the days when they were make believe.

It seems we’ve lost sight of compromise. We don’t value consensus when winning is the only thing that matters. Even comedy has gone tragic. Like, Dave Chappelle saying thanks but no thanks to having the Duke Ellington School of Theater renamed after him was understandable. The dude and his alma mater had gone fifteen rounds over his comments about the LGBTQ community on a Netflix special, after which he got torched for it. Chappelle says his material ain’t personal but the attacks on him were, so he wants to avoid any further distractions by exiting stage left. They’re going to rename the school the Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression and I have to ask. Why not stick with Duke Ellington’s name? Or is that old guy logic?

When smart people say dumb things: Gun rights advocates whine about how pols and celebs have armed bodyguards and so their calls for gun control are hypocritical. Did I miss where these bodyguards were responsible for our mass shooting epidemic?

The danger of our times is that grass roots efforts have been replaced with gluttony. Rights are no longer a collective dynamic, they’re a retrofitted designation. We don’t debate, we square off in the octagon. Our ethos is bought and sold inside a slimmed down power structure that favors the wrong kind of American dream, and the price we’re going to pay for not getting along is coming fast.

Gas pump memes as ludicrous as the skyrocketing prices - al.com

Which is why I thank the goodness of the world every chance I get. And I’m a fool for the stoics who cultivate hope in the now. People like Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov, who put his medal where the money was when he auctioned off his Nobel Peace Prize on Monday. He scored $103,5 million croutons in the doing, which is like twenty-five times more than an auction had ever raised for such a venture. The monies are going to Ukrainian child refugees.

Nobody asked me but . . . Ansel Engort is a home run in the HBO crime drama Tokyo Vice, and he reminds me of Michael Douglas in the ’70’s cop show The Streets of San Francisco. Which is my way of heaping high praise on the young man’s performance.

So there is plenty of good to dig on, and Cincy is helping to provide our walk-off story for this week. It’s about a young man named Miles Copeland whose achievement on the hardwood outshines anything the big leagues have to offer. Copeland is a firefighter for the Toledo Fire Department who also happens to play semi-pro basketball. When referee John Sculli collapsed during a game recently, Copeland showed off the kind of skill set that won’t ever get cut or traded. He spent half an hour bringing a man back to life, because it’s not just something he was trained to do, it was something he was born to do.

Even in the darkest of times, humanity’s got game.

 

 

 

The Rundown

A person runs through a pile of burning embers.

The above image (Courtesy of The Atlantic) is a ritual conducted during the Baikho festival at Gamerimura village, along the Assam Meghalaya border in India. A tribal priest runs barefoot through burning embers in order to show his devotion to God with the only rule being, don’t fall.

Um, not for nothing bub but here in the states, we toss the fireworks into the air. And while I’m not the biggest fan of fireworks, our ritual sure as hell beats putting your dogs through literal hell. Just saying.

Let’s get to the lineup . . . .

Deshaun Watson responds to report he had 66 different massage therapists

The Deshaun Watson saga is seedy cinema at its worst: It has lies, deceit, cover ups and celebrity privilege. Because if you think Deshaun Watson- Payless shoe store manager- is skating on the now twenty-four lawsuits alleging sexual assault and misconduct against him, you ain’t been paying attention. There is still the matter of when he will take the field as a newly minted $230 million dollar quarterback, and here’s hoping Watson gets to sit on the bench for an entire season. After which the league best go after the Houston Texans officials who behaved like pimps in creating a criminally complicit crib for their man. This story gets uglier every day, and sadly, more predictable as well.

Brooklyn firefighter Stefon Douglas was on his way home last Sunday when the fates penciled him into the lineup. Douglas came upon a house fire and he jumped into action, retrieving the breathing apparatus he had in his car from a school presentation he had conducted recently. Without hesitation, he moved into the burning building in his t-shirt, shorts and crocs, and while he wasn’t exactly dressed for the job, he was most certainly made for it.

Within minutes, Douglas had saved a three-year old girl and her mother. He says becoming a fireman was the best decision he ever made. Because of his heroism, I get to end this story with a nod to great literature and even greater men.

Thanks to Douglas, a family tree was saved in Brooklyn.

Top Gun: Maverick IMAX Poster Released

I wasn’t a fan of the original Top Gun movie, but the thirty-six year in the making(!) sequel is a completely ‘nother story. I saw it in IMAX, and I think I lost a few pounds every time Tom Cruise rolled a high number with the G’s. The casting is perfect and while the plot is cream cheesy, who cares when it’s being dished up at Mach 10!

APOPO- Hero Rats

Humanity has often been referred to as a rat race, and there’s a place in this world where the term is being used for good. No, I’m being serious! (For now).

Meet Dr. Donna Kean, a research scientist from Glasgow, Scotland, whose team is harnessing the power of the rat. They’re currently training them to help locate survivors trapped in the rubble of earthquakes. The rats are equipped with microphones and a tracking sensor. They’re nimble, diligent and quick learners and yanno, the more I read about these guys, the more I see the future of a Walmart workforce.

The hero rats are also being trained to detect land mines, and it seems like they’re a natural for this dangerous work. The more I read about these guys, the more I see the future of Congress too . . .

Muchas gracias to Dale for this really coot rat’s tail. I mean tale.

Both.

Michael Caine insists WWII was 'one of the best things' to happen to him | Metro News

Jeopardy! contestant Mazin Omer was chugging right along until he questioned an answer with epic fail-icity (Dear Merriam Webster, this is your free word, and you’re welcome). Omer was asked to identify the image above and he went with rock and roller Mick Jagger. What in the blessed fig pie was this guy thinking? It’s Morgan Freeman!

Welp, that’s a wrap for this week. Apologies to the Dow for not making it out of the Green Room for this week’s episode. That’s what happens when you drop harder than Steven Seagal on a trampoline.

Until next week, this is your host for The Rundown saying good night and good luck?

The Rundown

I was writing up this episode last night when I went to reference something for one of my stories and I came upon Smithsburg, Maryland. It’s the latest town on the map of a fractured country to become synonymous with gun violence. It’s how we learn geography in the states these days, and we’re getting really good at it.

For now, Imma share this thought by Martin Luther King, whose writings come to me as if biblical prose; to hold to and pray on in the worst of times.

“It may well be that we will have to repent in this generation. Not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say, “Wait on time.”

 

386 Circle Slash Symbol Stock Photos and Images - 123RF

As if the world isn’t already the biggest shit sandwich shop going right now, the CDC announced a new travel advisory for Monkeypox. They’re recommending that travelers wear masks and “practice enhanced precautions”, to which I say . . . Nope. Imma staycation my legs and binge watch the fuck out of anything that doesn’t involve travel. The CDC goes on to say that the risk level to the general public is low but that you should seek immediate medical attention if you exhibit any of the symptoms. They include fever, swollen lymph nodes and pain while swallowing. Oh yeah, lesions on your body too.

I need a few more streaming services anyways . . .

Dave Chappelle Donating Money From Buffalo Show To Shooting Victims – Deadline

Dave Chapelle booked a last minute gig in Buffalo last week so that he could give all the proceeds to the community in the aftermath of last month’s mass shooting that took ten lives. The victims families have a long and arduous road ahead of them, and the only solace they might hold to in these darkest of times is family, friends, faith, and the kindness of others.

Good going Mr. Chapelle.

Former ABC News president helping Jan. 6 committee with presentation of prime-time hearings | The Hill

What’s that? Fox News ain’t gonna provide coverage of the January 6 prime-time hearing? I’m shocked! But no worries, because they’ll be riding tight on the story provided them by Camo Cowboy’s Patriot Page about Hilary killing Hoffa, 8-Tracks and Pet Rocks. And it doesn’t really matter anyway, since CNN and MSNBC will run nothing but trial coverage. They’ll only break in if there’s a high casualty count going on somewhere else. Alas, I realize it’s too soon . . . but it’s also very true.

And not for nothing (because that’s what it’s worth) but House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy now claims everyone is to blame for the riot at the Capitol. As in all 332,403,650 Americans were complicit in the hostilities.

I have an alibi around here somewhere . . .

If you love LEGO’s as much as I do, then this next story is your jam.

Forty-something newlyweds Richard Whetter and his lovely new bride Anne were honeymooning on the Island of Jersey when the worst possible thing imaginable happened. No, they didn’t run into Snooki Polizzi who was on a European vacation. Okay, the second worst thing imaginable happened to the newlyweds. The new Mr. to the new Mrs. lost his wedding ring after a dip in the ocean.

Yikes!

Enter metal detectorist (Yes, it’s a thing) Steve Andrews, who was called into action by a hotel employee. In ten minutes time, Andrews had retrieved the ring and simultaneously extricated Mr. Whetter from the doghouse. After which he gifted the newlyweds with their ring and his calling card- the pic above shows a mini-replica of our hero. He says it was one of the quickest finds he’s ever had.

And it’ll last a lifetime.

5 Tampa Bay Rays players decline to wear LGBTQ Pride-themed jerseys

Who knew the Tampa Bay Rays could be such a political lightning rod? In the same week certain of their players decided they would not wear the team’s Pride Month logo recognizing the LGBTQ community because of their faith, they also got in a skirmish with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The governor vetoed funds for the team’s new practice facility in response to their support for gun control legislation.

Agree or disagree, the players who begged out on the pride patch weren’t being political about it. It’s just how they happen to feel. The Governor on the other hand, he’s in line to be the next Grand Poohbah for the GOP. And his move is entirely political, in a time and in a moment when we really need our leaders to be something better.

British Woman Who Fled War in '74 Closes Her Hotel to Tourists–Giving Ukrainian Refugees a Home Instead

Nitsa Michael’s family knows of war. Her family fled their home in Cyprus as a result of a Turkish invasion back in 1974, landing in Britain with no lifelines in place. They had to start their lives over in a foreign country and well, they did just that. And Nitsa, who is an 84 year-old great grandmother now, says she never forgot the fear and isolation she felt as a stranger in a strange land.

So when Russia invaded Ukraine this past winter, she decided it was time to close the doors of her family business- the Seaward Hotel. And at the same time, she decided it was time to open her doors.

Both.

You see, Nitsa was getting ready to welcome the tourist season when something more important than the bottom line came calling. Ukrainian refugees were leaving their homes en masse with no place to go and no lifelines in place. They were forced to start their lives over in a foreign country and yes, she understood this. All of this. Too well. And so she had the two things necessary with which to make the kind of difference this world needs plenty more of: The means, and an open heart.

So far she has welcomed twenty-two Ukrainian arrivals and she plans on hosting more. Because it’s never wrong to lead with your heart.

It’s how you find your way home.

Opinion | Robert Kennedy Was My Dad. His Assassin Doesn't Deserve Parole. - The New York Times

Imma go a bit off script but it’s the Kennedys and I’m still a fool for the dreams they once tilled on a soil in dire need of them. Robert Kennedy was felled by a lone gunman’s bullet fifty-four years ago yesterday. A big thank you to Dale for sending me this reminder, from brother Ted’s eulogy to his brother Bobby.

“My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it. Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world. As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him: ‘Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not.'”

Here’s to the better days we have in us all.

 

 

 

 

American Made

Columbine High School Shooting: Victims & Killers - HISTORY

The image above turned twenty-three years old on April 19th. It shows a group of students standing outside of Columbine High School after Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris laid siege to a student population, resulting in the deaths of twelve students and one teacher. Armed with semi-automatic rifles as well as several pistols and explosives, the teenagers roamed the halls and library of the school for twenty minutes before committing suicide.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department would later release a statement which read in part,

While our community struggles with (the question of why) and grieves those who were lost, we remain united in one hope—that our nation shall never see anything resembling the tragedy at Columbine High School again.

So much for that sentiment.

According to a recent article in The Washington Post, more than 311,00 students have experienced gun violence at school since Columbine, or more than six times the population of Littleton, Colorado for the sake of reference. The article goes on to say that there were more school shootings-42- last year than in any other year since at least 1999. So far this year, there have been 27 school shootings, which puts us on a pace to surpass that horrible mark. And the median age for these cold blooded killers? 16.

We are the culture of violence President Clinton once feared, spiraling downward from our darkest day and arriving at a point in time where grievances settled with guns has become a normative dynamic of our national fabric. Our kids were just taking their cue from the adults, who have moved the terrorist threat stateside. As of June 6, 2022 there have been more mass shootings than days on the calendar.

For all the souls whose tomorrows never came, their memories are being trampled by elected officials who play politics with mental health care and gun rights. After which they insist that the nightmarish tallies are a bigger mystery than the Ark of the Covenant. Meanwhile, we are decades removed from a grisly turning point and what’s even more frightening is the thought that we might be decades away from changing that course.

There’s a passage from Jack Kerouac’s Desolation Angels that reads like a modern day prophecy of this darkly complex age we’re living in. If he was around, I think old Jack would have lots to say about a republic that has lost its legs. And not for nothing, but I kinda think he would have learned the fiddle. For the irony.

“Pretty soon there’ll be a new kind of murderer, who will kill without any reason at all, just to prove that it doesn’t matter, and his accomplishment will be worth no more and no less than Beethoven’s last quartets and Boito’s Requiem– churches will fall, Mongolian hordes will piss on the map of the West, idiot kings will burp at bones, nobody’ll care and then the earth itself’ll disintegrate into atomic dust (as it was in the beginning) and the void still the void won’t care, the void’ll just go on with that maddening little smile of its that I see everywhere, I look at a tree, a rock, a house, a street, I see that little smile– That ‘secret God-grin’ but what a God is this who didn’t invent justice?–So they’ll light candles and make speeches and the angels rage. Ah but ‘I don’t know, I don’t care, and it doesn’t matter’ will be the final human prayer.”

Columbine High School took its name from the state flower of Colorado, a hardy perennial that holds its own against the elements. Its common name is derived from the Latin word for dove. The flower has been important in the study of evolution because of its ethereal ability to adapt. This delicate balance of beauty and strength is living proof that what doesn’t kill you will not only make you stronger, it will make you whole.

Adaptation is equal parts dynamism, cooperation and sheer will. It is not dependent on convenience and it has precious little use for indifference. It wins its future by remembering everything that came before. Whereas humanity skips history class in its bottom line quest for kingdoms, this delicate sweep of colors stays honest to its past.

Hell of a world, where flowers learn the lessons we miss and grow the generations we never get to see. It’s been twenty-three years worth of dying and our country remains stuck in that parking lot in Littleton, Colorado. And in all that time, it seems the only thing we’ve mimicked from the flower that named a school is the art of stillness. Because while this genus has proven expert at growing its future, we went in another direction.

We bury ours.

 

 

 

The Rundown

Uvalde funeral homes overwhelmed — but not alone — in preparing for burialsOutside of this heart wrenching image, I’m going to borrow from our leaders by spending precious little time talking about Uvalde today. I’m not going to ask why it is that our decision makers can be so indecisive on this matter of life and death.

So no talk about Texas. Oh sorry, that was last week. This week is Tulsa.

Don’t you worry, I won’t be rambling on about gun violence or how the long national nightmare of Columbine enters its twenty-third year with no end in sight. I won’t ask how we might actually be able to balance constitutional rights with common sense. But it does strike me as mildly ironic (No, make that downright maddening) that this little mention at the top of my Friday episode is way more than I’ve heard from most elected representatives on the matter. And nope, ‘thoughts and prayers’ do not count.

Let’s get to Friday.

Jackie Robinson opened MLB's doors to people of color 74 years ago on April  15 | Richmond Free Press | Serving the African American Community in  Richmond, VA

I know this story has mold on it by now, but I need to take some time to chime . . .

The White Sox and Yankees got into a scrum a couple weekends back when Josh Donaldson of the Yanks called Tim Anderson “Jackie” as in, the civil rights hero and cultural icon who changed everything Jackie. As in Robinson. On the face of it . . and with zero context, this looks awful, right?

Here’s the filling.

In an interview with SI in 2019, Tim Anderson boasted “I kind of feel like today’s Jackie Robinson”. His ridiculous proclamation was based on the fact that he was going to bring fun back to the game. Oh, and in the same interview, Anderson spoke of how he once called a player “a weak ass f—— n—–,”.  Yeah, that word. The word Jackie Robinson heard every single day. The word that Tim Anderson glories in hurling at others. And because stupid always finds more stupid, Sox manager Tony LaRussa called Donaldson’s reference “racist” and of course Anderson agreed with that.

Was Donaldson being a wise guy? Yes. Was he looking to get under Anderson’s skin by calling him on his shit? Absolutely. But that’s all it was. To call it more than that is about as dumb as, well, I don’t know . . .

Calling yourself the new Jackie Robinson?

When is the Johnny Depp trial verdict? How long jury has to make its decision in the Amber Heard court case

Johnny Depp was awarded $10.35 million dollars in his defamation case against former gal pal Amber Heard this week. The actress received a paltry sum of $2 million. And I didn’t watch a minute of it. Not because I possess a guilt blockage in my dark heart over having watched too much of the OJ trial back in the day. And not because Johnny Depp didn’t deserve the right to clear his name.

Nope, I didn’t watch a minute of this trial because it’s . . . and please stay with me on this . . . It’s not my fucking business. And it’s not yours either. The only people whose business it is were in that courtroom; and it’s them and theirs who have to face the truths and the lies and the accusations.

And them alone.

Hey, some May/December marriages do work and I have proof.

Nine-year old Peanut and three-year old Cashew tied the knot at the San Antonio Humane League last week. It was love at first bite for these two smooch pooches, who met after their respective dental surgeries. So they tied the knot at a mini wedding chapel after walking down the aisle, which was followed with some wedding cake, of course.

Here’s hoping they find furever together.

Platinum Jubilee 2022: How 70 Years of Queen Elizabeth's Reign Will Be  Celebrated | Vogue

I’m not gonna lie, when I first heard about the Platinum Jubilee, I totally would have shit the bed if I had been given a multiple choice question with which to provide my answer.

A) Dolly Parton’s latest album
B) A recipe from Ree Drummond
C) A Celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s ascension to the throne in 1952
D)The name of Kim Kardashian’s next child

If you guessed C, you win. For now. Because I guessed D and Imma stick with my answer because I’ve got a feeling this one might end in a tie.

Marjorie Taylor Greene hostile in testimony over eligibility | AP News

You have to accept the fact that the government totally wants to provide surveillance on every part of your life . . .They want to know when you are eating, they want to know if you are eating a cheeseburger which is very bad because Bill Gates wants you to eat his fake meat that grows in a peach tree dish, -Marjorie Taylor Greene

What’s most frightening is that more than thirty thousand people voted for Ms. Greene in the Republican primary for Georgia’s 14th district. So let’s make sure we’re all on the same sheet of music with this one. Are we going to direct our pointed questions at Greene? Or the people who made her possible?

Hey, I’m just asking what y’all are thinking . . .

Quotes About Guns and Gun Control - Awesome Quotes About Life

I promised I wouldn’t write about Uvalde, or the pandemic of gun violence in this nation that is still going strong almost a quarter century after Columbine. So instead, I’ll leave you with this impassioned speech by Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. The man knows first-hand the horror of losing a family member to gun violence. He was a freshman at the University of Arizona in 1984 when his father Malcolm was assassinated by a militant group called Islamic Jihad.

Malcolm was a college professor as well as an expert on the Arab world who was the President of the American University of Beirut at the time of his murder. It was during a time of civil unrest in Lebanon and Kerr knew the risks, but he considered Beirut to be as safe as any major American city. To which his wife quipped, “That isn’t saying much,”

So in lieu of yet another prepared speech by another elected official whose job it is to stick to this losing game plan of ours, Imma go with the coach today. Because he knows of what he speaks, and he supplies something they won’t.

He actually gives a damn.

The Rundown

The total lunar eclipse is seen on May 26, 2021, in Auckland, New Zealand. / Credit: Phil Walter/Getty Images The night sky produced the kind of show network executive can’t touch earlier this week when the Super Flower Blood Moon (Say that four times quickly) took the prime time stage. Shutter bugs and moon freaks alike got their heaping helping of the moon pie. Somewhere out there, Carl Sagan is jotting it all down on his cosmic scorecard.

Tom Brady's historic $375m Fox Sports deal shows familiarity breeds content | Tom Brady | The Guardian

How did I forget to mention this guy last week? Tom Brady inked a deal with Fox Sports to be their lead football announcer whenever he decides to hang up his cleats. The deal is for 10 years and $375 million, and not for nothing but . . when was the last time you tuned in to watch a game because of the announcer? Anyways, the Brady deal was front page news last week. When Fox Sports cuts a bunch of staffers as a result, well, good luck finding that story.

allengetty.jpg

My Hero(es) Of The Week! 

The Buffalo Bills will field a championship contending team this season and maybe . . just maybe, they’ll bring something special home to the good folks of upstate New York come next February.

And while it is illegal (In Florida, of course) for a Miami Dolphins fan to root for their rivals to the north . . let’s just say I wouldn’t be upset in the least if they do break on through to the other side and put the legend of Scott Norwood to bed for good and forever. Because these guys have come together for their community with everything they have. They have shown a mettle and a spirit that transcends athletic competition and speaks to who these men are and what they’re about.

This week it was announced that the organization and the NFL have donated $400,000 to local charities. But they didn’t stop there. Not even close. The team decided to visit the site of Saturday’s mass shooting; they laid flowers, visited with neighbors and distributed food to those in attendance. And then they let their town know their outreach was only just getting started. In an age when celebrity athletes come and go like tech stocks, these guys pulled an audible.

They’re here to stay.

The Boys' Creator Calls Out Trump Supporters Dressing as Homelander | IndieWire

Homelander’s attempt to take over the world was thwarted by Sen. Chuck Edwards, staving off a cataclysmic showdown between the archvillain and Thanos for galactic domination . .

Oh shit sorry, I got my comic book characters all mixed up. It was US Representative Madison Cawthorn who got shown the door in his bid for re-election this week. Which means North Carolina will not be serving as a pipeline of comedy fodder to late night shows anytime soon.

Donald Trump insists he was really never that into him . . .

NASA picture of Mars 'doorway' spawns conspiracy theories - this is what you're really looking at | Science & Tech News | Sky News

The Mars Curiosity Rover captured an image of what appears to be a doorway on the planet Mars earlier this month, and lemme tell you . . . it was magical. Until the experts chimed in with the bad news.

It ain’t a doorway.

What looks like a doorway is actually a fracture in the ancient sands that hardened over millions of years, taking on the appearance of a doorway without actually, yanno . . being a doorway. No welcome mat will be needed after all. Don’t bother clicking “Buy Now” for that doorbell camera on Amazon. And there’s no reason to be sending a motion sensor light to NASA. Of course, I could always do like the average American and just ignore the truth. Yeah, I think I’ll do that.

You know what? Ignorance is a hell of a lot more fun!

Baby formula shortage: Changes Abbott made ahead of Michigan plant restart | Fox BusinessThe US is in the throes of a major shortage in infant formula after U.S. manufacturer Abbott Laboratories issued a nationwide recall in February after complaints of bacterial infections were reported. And while the news that Abbott has been given the green light to resume production is welcomed news, it’s gonna take a double dipped effort to get back up to speed.

That’s why President Biden is invoking the Defense Production Act, to assist manufacturers in obtaining the necessary ingredients, toot sweet, in order to ramp up production. As part of the order, commercial airliners will also be importing baby formula from overseas to fill in some of the gaps.

Mitch McConnell doesn’t get any.

Life don’t play.

Chef Imad Alarnab knows all about that, after having been run out of his home after the Syrian uprising in 2012. Up until then, he had translated his passion for food into a string of restaurants and cafes in Damascus. This began a long and arduous journey across several countries and a two month stay in a refugee camp before he landed in the UK.

It’s where he started his life, and his business from scratch.

With his flow being low, he hosted pop-ups for charity. And then he started a GoFundMe page and then the dream started coming into focus. Again. In his new home. And now, his star is shining brighter than ever on the London food scene. Do yourself a favor and check out the video above. And you can thank Cincy “Beach Walks” Angle for it.

HODGES' HEROES: First-grade class honored after saving Limestone County teacher | News | waaytv.com

Did you hear about the serious incident that happened at Cedar Hill Elementary School in Ardmore, Alabama back in January? You probably didn’t. And that’s because it didn’t involve fear or sensationalism, which are the big money makers when it comes to moving the needle for many news outlets.

Tracy Hodges was presiding over her first-grade charges when her vision became blurred.

“I couldn’t even find the door and I couldn’t make out the three children who were sitting in front of me,” said Hodges.

Her body began to convulse and she fell out of her chair, hitting her head. Before she lost consciousness, she asked her kids to get help. And then everything went black and it was up to this room full of seven-year olds to respond. Quickly. And that’s exactly what they did; two kids staying behind in the classroom to keep watch while the rest of them split up and raced down several corridors to expedite the process.

After undergoing a battery of tests, Hodges came back positive for Covid, which resulted in her seizure. She credits her kids quick thinking and calm under pressure with making the very best out of a bad situation. “I was in the right place at the right time,”.

Her students received certificates and medals at a special ceremony held at the school. The town’s sheriff and district attorney, police chief and fire rescue team showed up to recognize “Hodges Heroes”, even if the kids weren’t all that interested in the spotlight. What mattered most of all was having their teacher back. They didn’t much care that the media caravans and the eyes of the great big world weren’t in attendance, because all the people who really mattered to them were already there.

Stop the presses.

Ahead Of The Rest

Buffalo shooting: what we know about the victims so far | New York | The Guardian

We’ve stopped counting all the losses.

There’s no reason to keep score at this point, considering how one tragedy bleeds seamlessly into the next. From Buffalo, New York to Orange County, California to some other town that is doomed to the same fate, real soon. To tell the truth about who we have become would be to admit defeat and that kind of self reflection ain’t in our DNA.

It’s been twenty-three years since Columbine introduced us to the future with a horror movie script that has become commonplace in 2022: The senseless carnage, all the warning signs left unheeded and the political war chests that cash in on the latest tragedy like vampires at the end of the world.

The reality of yet another lost day is that too many people have stopped pretending to give a damn. The media treats each new mass shooting like a severe weather forecast, focusing on the details for a day or two at most before moving on to the next storm front. Meanwhile, our elected representatives will stick to their respective company lines as if a quarter century’s worth of ruinous endings never really happened. What’s left unsaid is that these reckonings have become our national seal. And while we might be trailing the rest of the world in too many areas, we’re ahead of the rest when it comes to lost days.

There is no line in the sand when it comes to this perpetual cycle of violence, just as there is no middle ground when it comes to meaningful dialogue that could help to prevent more of the same. The indivisibility of our republic is being sold for parts by merchants whose menacing narratives feed the public forum with rage while liberty and justice get clobbered in its wake: Without reason, without compassion and without any indication that we’re going to be able to climb our way out of this nightmarish pit before it swallows us.

Ten lives were taken from the world on Saturday afternoon in Buffalo, New York. Six-hundred and forty seven years worth of living was stolen away to the mysteries of somewhere else. And we can only hope that the somewhere else they find possesses the kind of peace and reason and truth this world never has been very good at. Not even twenty-four hours later, on the other side of the country another soul was lost to the unrelenting madness.

There are questions that seep into my brain if I allow my mind to wander through all the decades worth of unimaginable losses which have gone unanswered. These questions come to me as if I just woke from a Mary Shelley fever dream, but the truth is she probably couldn’t have imagined such darkness inside her most manic of writing streaks. These questions speak to the division we have cultivated as a society and the seeds of hate it has spawned; seeds that have grown into angry redwoods, intent on blotting out the sun and replacing it with a never ending night.

What if this is how it’s always going to be? What if it’s too late to save ourselves . . from ourselves?

The answers are more frightening than that.

 

The Rundown

Russia to develop a new 'doomsday plane'

Vlad Putin was all set to roll out his Doomsday Plane at Moscow’s Victory Parade on Monday but the flight was grounded because of weather. The modified plane, referred to as the “Flying Kremlin” would house the country’s leadership in the event of a nuclear event. The plane has no passenger windows in order to protect its passengers from the after effects of a nuclear blast and it can be refueled in mid-flight, allowing the power brokers to remain airborne.

Sounds impressive, right? Okay, now let me repeat what happened to this powerhouse last week. A plane that was built to endure the effects of a nuclear event . . . was grounded because of rain.

The Wicked Witch of the West called. She wants her punchline back.

A Pill Available in Mexico Is a Texas Option for Abortion - The New York  Times

The insufferable hypocrisy of American politics is coming home to roost.

Scores of women along the southern border of Texas have been scouring pharmacies in Mexico for abortion pills since the state whose motto is Friendship passed a strict anti-abortion law last September. To make matters worse, we’re talking about unregulated pharmacies here. Sadly, these women are not privy to the options afforded all those holy rollers who want to flip the script on Roe v Wade. Because for all the proselytizing these peeps dish up, they’re going to play a game of hush when it comes to them and theirs. They’ll find the avenues that privilege affords them and to hell with everybody else. It brings to mind the words of Sister Joan Chittister in an interview with Bill Moyers, when discussing the truth of abortion.

“I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”

That says it all right there.

Patron the mine-sniffing dog is capturing Ukraine's hearts

Hail Patron! This two and a half year old mine sniffing Jack Russell Terrier who is my Hero Of The Week! here at The Rundown. The dude is so much more than just another pretty face, as evidenced by his prolific resume when it comes to saving the day. Patron has sniffed out more than 200 (You read that right) explosives since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.

For his tireless efforts in saving lives and educating the civilian population, Patron was awarded a medal for “Dedicated Work in the Ukraine Army.” He’s got a trophy case and an online following and that’s all well and good. But all he really cares about is doing the job, every single day. Because in life, some may want to write the lessons and others may want to teach them. But the ones who change the world?

They live them.

New Mexico | Bureau of Land Management

It’s Day 37 of the raging wildfires that have engulfed 237,000 acres in New Mexico while enlisting more than 1,800 fire and rescue workers to battle it and officials say there is no end in sight. The devastation began when two smaller fires merged and laid waste to more than fifty square miles in one day.

High winds and drought ravaged forests have pushed these men and women to the brink, but somehow they’ll keep moving. They will always have a reason to keep fighting back, because that’s what service looks like.

God bless them all.

Long-shot Rich Strike wins the 148th Kentucky Derby - CNN

80-1 underdog Rich Strike won the Kentucky Derby last week, and I was grateful to have the space of a week’s worth of time to deliver up this news. Because in horse racing, every result is a dubiously fitted fairy tale these days. The sport is rife with rich creeps who are expert when it come to writing up regrettable endings to feel good stories. But for now? Rich Strike turned the gambling books upside down and shook their pockets clean.

Okay, so the trainer Eric Reed has come under fire for some coarse things he may or may not have tweeted about Vice President Kamala Harris. And jockey Sonny Leon was suspended for careless riding in the race before his Derby win. But so far, no evidence has been presented that someone doped this beautiful creature.

It’s probably safe to celebrate the upset win now. Probably . . .

Corrections Officer Vicky White, who helped inmate Casey White escape, died from self-inflicted gunshot wounds: authorities - ABC7 Chicago

“On the Run with the Whites” is the working title for that guilty pleasure limited series that will be coming to a streaming service near you (And maybe it won’t be Netflix after all, but I’ll get to that in a moment).

Because the worst? Happened.

Okay, not the worst, since Casey Cole White fought the law and the law won, catching up with the runaway couple in Evansville, Indiana after a nearly two week manhunt. And now the man who fatally stabbed a fifty-eight year old woman in 2020 is no longer a menace to society.

Vicky White wasn’t going out like that. She knew she was facing hard time and so she put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger. And now the network vampires won’t get their day in court with a woman who threw it all away for fleabag hotels with shitty room service. Instead we’ll get the fictionalized version of these two.

You can put money on it.

Netflix Q4 Earnings: Why The Stock Is Tanking - MavenFlix - TheStreet StreamingBut don’t go putting any money down on Netflix, because they’re looking a hell of a lot like Rocky Balboa in Rocky III. And the other streaming services are Clubber Lang, intent on teaching the former champ a lesson in humility. Netflix stock has plummeted by 75% in just the last six months and the memory of their pandemic mighty has given way to plugging leaks with measures that won’t promote the growth they have come to expect. It happens to every heavyweight champion sooner or later.

Netflix got punched in the mouth. Now we’ll see how they respond.

I began this week’s episode in the air, and that’s where I’m gonna end things. The only difference being, Vlad ain’t got his hands in this mix so yeah . . it’s a story that worked out beautifully.

You know the action movie scenario where the pilot loses consciousness and one of the passengers is called on by air traffic control to land the plane even though they have no blessed idea how? Welp, Darren Harrison is the passenger I’m talking about and guess what? He actually lived to tell that harrowing tale.

Harrison was on board a single engine Cessna Caravan that was headed back to Florida after a Bahamas jaunt when the shit hit the fan or in this case, the propeller, when the pilot became incapacitated. It was a Jesus take the wheel moment with the only problem being that in spite of his beard, Harrison ain’t that guy.

This was the intersection of heaven and earth and the guy who had no idea how to fly a plane wasn’t ready to let the cosmos have the last word. Not so long as he had a chance to grab that winning lottery ticket more commonly referred to as terra firma. And then he was becoming fast friends with Robert Morgan, a certified flight instructor with over 1,200 hours of flight time. And then Harrison was focused on an A+ from his teacher, since the results of this particular excursion were pass/fail.

Morgan summoned every bit of his calm and cool and he gave a master class to his new pupil whilst pulling up images of the plane he was shepherding and also coordinating with Palm Beach International for the emergency landing. Which happened, without a single other hitch. After which Harrison got to thinking on the miracle of life. No, not this one. The one that will be happening later this year when he becomes a father.

I bet you he nails that landing too.

 

The Rundown

The Enormous Consequences of Overruling Roe v. Wade | Time

Nothing is sacred.

Lost in the hue and cry of the Supreme Court’s initial draft to reverse Roe v Wade is the fact that someone leaked these inner workings, including Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion on the nearly fifty-year old decision. This isn’t business as usual, far from it.

Don’t get me wrong, I vehemently disagree with Alito, whose rhetoric was filled with the kind of thinking that got us 2016. This idea that a woman’s right to an abortion shouldn’t be federally protected is as much of a breach of the public trust as the fact that someone decided to share it. I don’t agree with the leaking just the same as I don’t agree with Alito or his four other conservative compadres. Because it speaks to just how far we have fallen as a society, on both counts.

We keep waiting for better but we keep getting worse.

No Mow May' Gives You a Reason to NOT Mow the Lawn: Leave the Weeds to Feed the Bees

If you’re like me, the thought of mowing your lawn is right up there with dentist appointments and doing your taxes. Welp, now you can take the rest of the month off from those duties if you so choose thanks to a really great cause that will serve to help your local bee population. We are smack dab in the middle of “No Mow May” and as the kids would say, I am here for it.

By cutting this chore out (pun intended) of your May calendar, you won’t pillage a bee’s village of dandelions, clover and violets, thereby giving them ample time to grub and in turn grow their colonies for the coming summer months. So if your next door neighbor accuses you of being lazy, just tell them it’s all about bio-diversity. And if that doesn’t work, tell them to buzz off. (Big thank you to Dale for this bee-licious get).

When it comes to the defamation trial involving Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, I feel as if you can add a “Way” to the acronym TMI. Please make them stop.

Cheers to the Toronto Blue Jays . . . fans. You didn’t think I was gonna dish props to my beloved Yankees’ young and ridiculously talented rivals to the North, did you? Of course you didn’t. But when it comes to their fan base, I can bring the love because well . . they started it.

Missing Alabama inmate, corrections officer had 'special relationship': Sheriff - ABC News

It’s been almost a week since Corrections Officer Vicki White and inmate Casey White went on the lam in Alabama. On a completely related note, Lynyrd Skynyrd called and they want their song (all of them) back.

Anyways, officials have concluded the two were in cahoots and needless to say, her fellow officers are shocked and devastated. It’s an all around bizarre and regrettable story and you know what my takeaway is? Jon Hamm will play the inmate in a movie with the over/under on the release of the streaming masterpiece being two years.

You’re welcome.

Someone rushed the stage during a Chapelle appearance at the Hollywood Bowl this week, attacking the comedian before getting his ass beat by security. After the episode, Chris Rock comforted Chapelle on stage. You cannot make this shit up and really, why would you? 

Dodgers drama looms as no one 'wants to stand' with Trevor Bauer

Trevor Bauer is a major league pitcher with a million dollar arm (Actually, it’s a $102 million dollar arm) and not much else going for him . He’s been on the bench since last July after MLB suspended him over allegations of physical and sexual assault by a San Diego woman. Since the suspension, two more women have stepped forward with their own stories to tell. So Bauer becomes the latest major league creep to get found out but this time there’s a twist. The league office handed down a 2 year suspension at the conclusion of their investigation. That’s some heavyweight shit crashing down on the prime of his career and hopefully it’s a message from the league that enough really is going to be enough.

You listening Roger Goodell?

You know what the difference is between your drunk uncle and all those so called NFL “Draft Experts”? Neither do I . . .

I want to thank Frank “Beach Walks” Angle for filling in last week here at Sorryless. And as it turns out, there’s just a little bit more Cincy where that came from. Yesterday he sent me the amazing story of Denis Estimon, whose family immigrated from Haiti when he was in the first-grade.

In high school, the young man started a student group called “We Dine Together” with the idea being to give every kid a chance to belong. As a boy living in a new country, he had to overcome a language barrier and a completely uprooted existence. He understood first hand the challenges of feeling isolated and alone and he wanted to do something about it. So he did.

In a world that seems to provoke the sum of all our many fears on a daily basis, it’s important to remember just how much a simple kindness really can mean. The world is a complicated place, full of hits and misses, rights and wrongs, wins and losses. So the idea is to add to the win column, best we can, however we can. And it helps to know that beautiful outcomes are entirely within our means, because that’s how kindness works.

It’s a choice.

 

 

 

The Rundown

Pope Francis Calls for Peace on Easter | Time

Pope Francis looks out over St. Peter’s Square where more than 100,000 pilgrims gathered to hear his speech celebrating Easter Mass. The Pope prayed for peace in Ukraine while praising all of the people around the world who have opened their hearts and minds, their wallets and their homes to aid refugees of the war torn country. He called these acts of charity a sign of the hope that still exists in humankind.

Imma be taking a break for the rest of April, and while I would love to tell you that today’s post will be all sunshine and rainbows, of course I can’t. That’s not how the world operates, and it’s not going to do us any good to pretend. So instead, I’ll chase all the shower-soaked stories with the flowers we grow when we rise above.

Let’s get to it.

Five to split $50,000 reward in New York subway shooting case

Gun violence is our national seal, but if you’re looking for more urgency from our elected officials when it comes to enforcing tighter gun restrictions, good luck. Why should they be bothered when they can hide behind the fact that a majority of the population is just fine with the status quo? So we’ll keep getting stories like last week’s shooting on the northbound N train in Brooklyn, where Frank Robert James opened fire on morning commuters. James was wearing a gas mask and was carrying two smoke grenades, gasoline, a hatchet, fireworks and a Glock 9-millimeter handgun. At the conclusion of his rampage, ten people were shot and twenty-nine were injured, after which the shooter fled the scene.

Pregnant Brooklyn subway shooting victim recalls 'death trap'

Time stood still on that subway platform as people lay bleeding and dazed while others came to their aid and a few others gave chase. Inside the shroud of smoke and madness, unarmed civilians didn’t sit by and let James go. They tried to stop the man responsible for shattering their sense of normalcy. Ordinary people came together to make the kind of difference that doesn’t pretend away all the forgettable endings this world has to offer. They had a better idea than all those who cower in silence when action matters more than ever before. They didn’t accept what they were given.

Neither should we.

Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter, take it private | Fox Business

Elon Musk’s love affair with Twitter is like something out of a sordid Netflix documentary. You know the plot; Boy meets social media giant, they hook up and pledge their love for each other. And then things start going off the rails and the next thing you know, boy is stalking social media giant and things go from bad to hearse.

Musk agreed to join the board of directors for the San Francisco based company, and then he reversed course. And then he made a bid on the company he already owns 9 percent of. His offer of $43 billion didn’t go over well with the company’s major investors who cried bullshit over what they consider a lowball offer. They also ain’t digging on Musk’s contention that the social media giant has grown stagnant.

Meanwhile, Tesla investors are growing fidgety as they consider what a successful close by Musk would mean for their earnings. And Twitter employees think he’s just playing hit and run with their stock. And let’s not forget free speech advocates who fear what an unhindered Musk might do with an enormous thought engine like Twitter.

Like I said, look for this drama to end up on Netflix.

This is a crazy, unjust attack': Pink Floyd re-form to support Ukraine | Pink Floyd | The Guardian

Few things in life are forever, other than McDonald’s French fries, protest songs, the Simpsons and rock band divorces. But what happens if you took two great tastes that ended up tasting great together?

Pink Floyd did just that when they got (most of) the band back together again to create a song protesting the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The title of the song is Hey Hey, Rise Up and it’s the band’s first new track in twenty-eight years. David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Guy Pratt join Nitin Sawhney, with Andriy Khlyvnyuk of the Ukrainian band Boombox contributing vocals. Gilmour describes the song as a show of anger at a superpower invading a peaceful nation.

Big props to the band for letting Ukraine know there is somebody out there.

Here’s to Duke, a three-year old mixed breed whose long strange trip from Kosovo to the states almost didn’t happen.

Of all the Army bases in all the world, this handsome pooch walked into Sergeant Kelsey’s unit looking for some grub. And from there a friendship grew, one day at a time, one meal at a time, with lots of tail wagging and hugs to go around. And it got to where Kelsey decided that maybe it was time for the dog he coined with the name Duke to find a forever home with him.

And then one day, Duke stopped making the scene. When he was found several days later, Duke had been shot and was in rough shape. Paws of War- a New York based charity- sent an emergency veterinary team out and saved the dog’s life after which the Alamal Foundation provided foster care for him during his recovery.

These days, it’s all cake and war stories for Duke. But mostly cake.

It’s easy to believe the end of the world is circling our cosmic drain. We have plenty of reasons to start pricing compounds in the middle of nowhere, what with all the madness has seeped into our everyday.

Think about it. We don’t even slow the news crawl down for mass shootings unless there are a significant number of casualties, and even in those instances, we don’t stay with it for very long. The idea of world peace is a meme. Diplomatic efforts are oftentimes a preamble for bad shit on the horizon. And maybe it always has been this way, but God knows the price to be paid gets higher with each new laundry bill.

If you’re looking for a sacred patch of grass to rest your weary head on, we ain’t supplying. Not in a world where terrorist attacks become political capital and a virus that has claimed more than six million lives is believed by many to have been nothing more than a hoax. How do you even respond to that without screaming?

When did the world become one great, big hostile takeover? And how do we respond without losing our sanity? How can we trust ourselves when surrounded by so much doubt? Why do we insist on sticking to the blueprint of Rudyard Kipling, who preached patience and love in the face of an unrelenting storm?

Because maybe he understood full well that the stuff we don’t know is the stuff we can still do something about. The proof showed up last week, in a Times Square subway station of all places. And it filled that unforgiving minute Kipling once wrote about with a song that lets us know hope ain’t done with us just yet.

Not even close.

But wait . . .  there’s (one) more!