I Will Hack for You
If you will hack for me....
It’s a tradition as old as the Wide World of News: Fourth of July Secret Uncle Samta!
I get you something, you get me something.
Not so much a quid pro quo as it is a mutual giving in the spirit of the season.
What you can get me:
A voluntary paid subscription or donation to support the INDEPENDENT journalism of Wide World of News.
You can subscribe here:
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Use one of these methods:
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There are no ads, sponsors, investors, staff, or corporate backers here.
It is just me doing this, seven days a week, even on cherished holidays.
Your support is much appreciated.
And, for you, I have these important life hacks:
1. Don’t tug on Superman’s cape.
2. If you still have a hankering for linear television, cancel cable/satellite and get YouTube TV.
3. Don’t spit into the wind.
4. Say “goodbye” to mushy, mealy peaches and say “hello” to The Peach Truck.
5. If you have kids who on occasion like to watch screens, get them into viewing Numberblocks, the finest educational videos for children ever created.
6. Follow Armen Adamjan on Instagram --- the guy has figured out….everything.
Have a wonderful, safe, and hilarious Fourth!!
On this occasion of appreciation for this nation, please read Ford Foundation topper Darren Walker’s perfect pitch essay from the New York Times op-ed page, in which Mr. Walker strikes the ideal balance between optimism and understanding, with both inclusivity and a reference to “the presumption of grace”:
Across our country, a foul spirit of nihilism has displaced a forgiving spirit of grace.
In our distorted media, the few loudest voices garner the most coverage and clicks while the conglomerates and social networks reap the rewards. These extremes beget more extremes, coarsening our discourse….
However we give voice to our patriotism, let’s step away from the extremes and from the edge, away from the sanctimony and certitude. Let’s build longer bridges, not higher walls. The cost of the alternative is greater than any of us can bear.
Let’s resolve to listen with humility, curiosity and empathy — with open hearts and minds. Let’s resolve to extend the presumption of grace and the benefit of the doubt.
The road to enduring justice runs through reconciliation, and the road to reconciliation runs through truth.
Then move from Walker’s thoughtful take on where we are and where we need to go to revisit my own discussion of The Presumption of Grace here:
Finally, please read University of Chicago philosophy pro Agnes Callard’s recent essay on the same page, in which she brilliantly explains the concept and practice of “friendship” in the context of cancel culture, implicitly touching on some of the American Experiment’s recent failures, and explicitly calling out those whose behavior confounds.
NEWS ON THIS HOLIDAY
2. The Wall Street Journal makes Joe Biden’s day:
A slide in all manner of raw-materials prices—corn, wheat, copper and more—is stirring hopes that a significant source of inflationary pressure might be starting to ease.
Natural-gas prices shot up more than 60% before falling back to close the quarter 3.9% lower. U.S. crude slipped from highs above $120 a barrel to end around $106. Wheat, corn and soybeans all wound up cheaper than they were at the end of March. Cotton unraveled, losing more than a third of its price since early May. Benchmark prices for building materials copper and lumber dropped 22% and 31%, respectively, while a basket of industrial metals that trade in London had its worst quarter since the 2008 financial crisis.
Many raw materials remain historically high-price, to be sure. And there are matters of supply and demand behind the declines, from a fire at a Texas gas-export terminal to better crop-growing weather. Yet some investors are starting to view the reversals as a sign that the Federal Reserve’s efforts to slow the economy are reducing demand.
3. The Journal also has a comic-tragic look at the latest China tariff dithering:
President Biden is expected to roll back some tariffs on Chinese imports soon, a decision constrained by competing policy aims: addressing inflation and maintaining economic pressure on Beijing.
People familiar with the situation say what comes next has been pending with Mr. Biden in recent weeks and that he could announce his decision this week. It could include a pause on tariffs on consumer goods such as clothing and school supplies, as well as launching a broad framework to allow importers to request tariff waivers.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is conducting a mandatory four-year review of the Trump-era tariffs. A comment period for businesses and others who have benefited from the tariffs will close July 5, giving the administration an opportunity to calibrate its policy.
4. The Washington Post puts housing costs (and the major supply problem) squarely on all of our radars, where it needs to be:
Rising housing costs, combined with persistent inflation for basic necessities such as gas and food, have left more Americans newly homeless and millions more fearing they’ll soon lose their homes. Shelters across the country are reporting a sudden increase in numbers of people looking for help as they struggle to cover basics. Inflation has reached 40-year highs just as many vulnerable families are readjusting to life without a boost from government stimulus or protections to keep them from being evicted.
5. Gavin Newsom versus Ron DeSantis gets the CNN.com treatment, on a topic that is as fascinating as it is, for now, largely irrelevant to the real lives of real people, even with the new Newsom ad he is paying to run/troll on Florida TV.