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  • The Sunday Read: ‘Is There a Right Way to Act Blind?’ August 1, 2021
    Activists slammed the TV show “In the Dark” for casting a sighted actress in a blind lead role. But what if blindness is a performance of its own?This story was written and narrated by Andrew Leland. To hear more audio stories from publications like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.
    thedaily@nytimes.com (The New York Times)
  • From Opinion: Nikole Hannah-Jones and Ta-Nehisi Coates on the Story We Tell About America July 31, 2021
    You’ve heard the 1619 podcast right here on The Daily. And we’ve covered the backlash to the 1619 Project and the battle over critical race theory that followed. In this interview, Ezra Klein, an Opinion columnist at The New York Times and host of The Ezra Klein Show, speaks with Nikole Hannah-Jones and Ta-Nehisi Coates about these skirmishes, and how they h […]
    thedaily@nytimes.com (The New York Times)
  • The Story of Simone Biles July 30, 2021
    This episode contains mentions of sexual abuse.Simone Biles, 24, showed up on the national stage at 16, when she competed in and won the national championships. She equally impressed at her first Olympics, in 2016 in Rio.Going into the Tokyo Games this year, Ms. Biles — who is considered one of the greatest gymnasts of all time — was expected to win the all- […]
    thedaily@nytimes.com (The New York Times)
  • Why Is China Expanding Its Nuclear Arsenal? July 29, 2021
    For decades, nuclear weapons did not figure prominently in China’s military planning. However, recent satellite images suggest that the country may be looking to quintuple its nuclear arsenal. Why is China changing strategy now?Guest: David E. Sanger, a White House and national security correspondent for The New York Times.  Sign up here to get The Daily in […]
    thedaily@nytimes.com (The New York Times)
  • The Saga of Congress’s Jan. 6 Investigation July 28, 2021
    This episode contains strong language.The first hearing of the special congressional committee on the Jan. 6 riots was an emotional affair, but it was not quite the investigation that was originally envisaged.In January, lawmakers on both sides spoke of putting aside partisanship and organizing an investigation akin to the 9/11 commission, considered the gol […]
    thedaily@nytimes.com (The New York Times)
  • The Vaccine Mandate Conundrum July 27, 2021
    In the effort to raise America’s vaccination rate, some agencies and private organizations have turned to the last, and most controversial, weapon in the public health arsenal: vaccine mandates.How have the federal government and the White House approached the issue?Guest: Jennifer Steinhauer, a Washington reporter for The New York Times. Sign up here to get […]
    thedaily@nytimes.com (The New York Times)
  • Breakthrough Infections, Explained July 26, 2021
    For the past couple of weeks, some Americans have reported a curious phenomenon: They have caught the coronavirus despite being vaccinated.Vaccines are still doing their job by protecting against serious illness and hospitalization, but the frequency of so-called breakthrough infections has surprised experts.How do such cases happen, and what risks do they p […]
    thedaily@nytimes.com (The New York Times)
  • The Sunday Read: ‘The Little Hedge Fund Taking Down Big Oil’ July 25, 2021
    An activist investment firm won a shocking victory at Exxon Mobil. But can new directors really put the oil giant on a cleaner path?This story was written by Jessica Camille Aguirre and recorded by Audm. To hear more audio stories from publications like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.
    thedaily@nytimes.com (The New York Times)
  • Putting a Price on Pollution July 23, 2021
    Extreme weather across Europe, North America and Asia is highlighting a harsh reality of science and history: The world as a whole is neither prepared to slow down climate change nor live with it.European officials are trying to change that. The European Commission, the E.U.’s executive arm, recently introduced ambitious legislation aimed at sharply cutting […]
    thedaily@nytimes.com (The New York Times)
  • Who Killed Haiti’s President? July 22, 2021
    A promise of a well-paying assignment abroad for retired Colombian soldiers. A security company in Miami. An evangelical Haitian American pastor with lofty ideas. Trying to join the dots in the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse took us from the Caribbean to South America to Florida — and there are still plenty of questions.Guest: Julie Turkewitz, the […]
    thedaily@nytimes.com (The New York Times)
  • Reacting to Chinese Cyberattacks July 21, 2021
    The Chinese government’s hacking of Microsoft was bold and brazen.The Biden administration tried to orchestrate a muscular and coordinated response with Western allies. But while the U.S. has responded to cyberattacks from Russia with economic sanctions, when it comes to Beijing, the approach is more complicated.Why does the U.S. take a different course with […]
    thedaily@nytimes.com (The New York Times)
  • Facebook vs. the White House July 20, 2021
    Is misinformation on Facebook an impediment to ending the pandemic?President Biden even said that platforms like Facebook, by harboring skepticism about the shots, were killing people.Facebook immediately rejected the criticism, but who is right?Guest: Cecilia Kang, a correspondent covering technology and regulatory policy for The New York Times. Sign up her […]
    thedaily@nytimes.com (The New York Times)
  • Do We Need a Third Covid Shot? July 19, 2021
    The rise of the Delta variant has prompted a thorny question: Do we need a booster dose of the vaccine for Covid-19? Vaccine makers think so, but regulators are yet to be convinced.Principles are also at stake: Should richer countries be talking about administering extra doses when so many people around the world are yet to receive even a single shot?Guest: […]
    thedaily@nytimes.com (The New York Times)
  • The Sunday Read: ‘The Mystery of the $113 Million Deli’ July 18, 2021
    It made headlines around the world: a New Jersey sandwich shop with a soaring stock price. Was it just speculation, or something stranger?This story was written by Jesse Barron and recorded by Audm. To hear more audio stories from publications like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.
    thedaily@nytimes.com (The New York Times)
  • State-Sponsored Abuse in Canada July 16, 2021
    This episode contains accounts of physical and sexual abuse.The residential school system was devised by the Canadian government under the auspices of education, but very little education took place. Instead, children were taken from their families in order to wipe out Indigenous languages and culture.In 1959, when Garry Gottfriedson was 5, he was sent to on […]
    thedaily@nytimes.com (The New York Times)
  • Cubans Take to the Streets July 15, 2021
    This episode contains strong language.It was a surprise to many recently when protesters took to the streets in a small town near Havana to express their grievances with Cuba’s authoritarian government. Cubans do not protest in huge numbers.Even more remarkable: The protests spread across the island.Why are Cubans protesting, and what happens next?Guest: Ern […]
    thedaily@nytimes.com (The New York Times)
  • The Heat Wave That Hit the Pacific Northwest July 14, 2021
    The heat wave that hit the usually cool and rainy American Pacific Northwest was a shock to many — Oregon and Washington were covered by a blanket of heat in the triple digits.After the temperatures soared, a group of scientists quickly came together to answer a crucial question: How much is climate change to blame?Guest: Henry Fountain, a climate change rep […]
    thedaily@nytimes.com (The New York Times)
  • Will a Top Trump Deputy Flip? July 13, 2021
    In its investigation of the Trump Organization’s financial affairs, the Manhattan district attorney’s office has zeroed in on Allen Weisselberg, the company’s former finance chief, who spent almost half a century working for the Trump family. Criminal charges have been brought against Mr. Weisselberg in the hopes of getting him to cooperate in an investigati […]
    thedaily@nytimes.com (The New York Times)
  • A City’s Step Toward Reparations July 12, 2021
    For decades, the granting of racial reparations in the United States appeared to be a political nonstarter. But Evanston, Ill., recently became the first city to approve a program of reparations for its Black residents.How did this happen, and can it be replicated in other parts of the country? Guest: Megan Twohey, an investigative reporter for The New York […]
    thedaily@nytimes.com (The New York Times)
  • From The Sunday Read Archives: ‘Alone at Sea’ July 11, 2021
    For Aleksander Doba, pitting himself against the wide-open sea — storms, sunstroke, monotony, hunger and loneliness — was a way to feel alive in old age. Today, listen to the story of a man who paddled toward the existential crisis that is life and crossed the Atlantic alone in a kayak. Three times.Mr. Doba died on Feb. 22 on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro […]
    thedaily@nytimes.com (The New York Times)

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Newes From America on Twitter

  • RT @JonLemire: WASHINGTON (AP) — The Russian hackers behind the massive SolarWinds cyberespionage campaign broke into the email accounts so… 1 day ago
  • RT @JonLemire: WASHINGTON (AP) — US economy grew at a robust 6.5% rate in April-June quarter as vaccinations unleashed spending. 3 days ago
  • RT @StevenTDennis: USA now averaging more COVID cases than we were a year ago —@do you remember a year ago? 3 days ago
  • RT @ryanstruyk: US coronavirus cases/day via @CNN: Right now: 51,448 cases/day 5 days ago: 34,730 cases/day 10 days ago: 25,255 cases/day… 1 week ago
  • RT @HuffPost: COVID-19 cases have tripled in the U.S. over two weeks amid an onslaught of vaccine misinformation. huffp.st/cLTdkaC 1 week ago
  • RT @latimes: U.S. life expectancy fell by 1.5 years in 2020, largest drop since World War II latimes.com/science/story/… 1 week ago
  • RT @AnaCabrera: NEW: A real-life study of more than 100,000 veterans shows the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are more than 95% effec… 1 week ago
  • RT @NBCNews: BREAKING: Member of the U.S. women's gymnastics team, who authorities did not publicly identify, tests positive for Covid-19 j… 1 week ago
  • RT @ryanstruyk: US coronavirus cases/day via @CNN: Right now: 30,887 cases/day 7 days ago: 18,489 cases/day 14 days ago: 13,562 cases/day… 2 weeks ago
  • RT @lukeharding1968: Exclusive: Leaked Putin papers appear to show #Russia’s plot to put a “mentally unstable” Donald Trump into the White… 2 weeks ago
  • RT @CNNPolitics: The nation’s top military leaders discussed a plan to resign one by one rather than carry out dangerous orders in the even… 2 weeks ago
  • RT @KamalaHarris: The Delta variant is on the rise. Get vaccinated. 2 weeks ago
  • RT @nytimes: More than 93,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2020, a 30% rise from 2019. "It’s huge, it’s historic, it’s unheard of… 2 weeks ago
  • RT @dsupervilleap: US COVID-19 cases rising again, doubling over three weeks (from @AP) apnews.com/article/03150d… 2 weeks ago
  • RT @JonLemire: WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats reach $3.5 trillion budget agreement including money for climate, education, family progr… 2 weeks ago
  • RT @donwinslow: 34 states report a 50% increase in new #COVID19 cases. This is being driven by the non-vaccinated nationwide. 2 weeks ago
  • RT @JonLemire: Pfizer says it plans to meet with top U.S. health officials Monday to discuss the drugmaker’s request for federal authorizat… 2 weeks ago
  • RT @CREWcrew: AT&T, Comcast, General Electric, Home Depot, Pfizer and Walmart have continued bankrolling election objectors since the insur… 2 weeks ago
  • RT @atrupar: This story out of Denver marks the second time in the last week that a hotel employee has blown the whistle on a possible Las… 3 weeks ago
  • RT @DrTomFrieden: The higher infectivity of Delta means the threshold for herd immunity will be higher. 70% may have been enough before, bu… 3 weeks ago

I Won!

I’ll bet you don’t know who Jackie Gareau is, but some might know she was the real women’s winner of the 1980 Boston Marathon and she’s still running strong today, but I’ll bet you definitely know who Rosie Ruiz is. I should say was, because unfortunately she died in 2019 of cancer at the age of 66 and if anything, Ms. Ruiz was a true fighter. She went to the grave still claiming that she actually won that ’80 Boston Marathon and who can argue with that now? Of course, to ‘pull a Rosie Ruiz’ is shorthand for being a fraud and a cheater but Rosie made bald-faced lying seem almost funny. Bill Rodgers, the greatest American men’s marathoner and the men’s winner back in ‘80 is also still running strong today at 74 years old, but when he took one look at the women’s ‘winner’ Ruiz and her meaty legs and fake sweat, he immediately smelled a rat before anyone else had a clue that Rosie was a phony. Her time would have been the fastest female time in Boston Marathon history and after he asked Rosie what her splits were, she didn’t even know what the hell ‘splits’ even meant. He told the director of the Boston Athletic Association of his suspicions just before the awards ceremony, but no one believed him and shortly after that, Massachusetts Governor Ed King crowned Rosie Ruiz the women’s champion. Bill Rodgers was chagrined.

We all dream of being a champion in some endeavor, but only those who put in the work and actually beat everyone else in the world can truly be called the best of the best. Donald Trump has something to say about this but increasingly, nobody cares anymore about what this phony loser has to say about anything and interestingly, Rosie Ruiz would go on after Boston to a spate of crime; in 1982, Rosie was arrested for embezzling $60,000 from the real estate company where she worked and was sentenced to one week in jail, then she was arrested the next year for her involvement in a cocaine deal gone bad and was given three years’ probation. That’s all beside the point because she really was a winner after all. She beat cancer after she emigrated to Florida from Cuba in 1972 and by the time she cheated to qualify in the ‘79 New York City Marathon, getting away with it until her exploits in Boston became front page news, her only failure was that she actually won Boston, but since she didn’t finish in the top ten as she had planned, two Harvard students (and amateur runners themselves) recalled seeing Rosie jump out of the crowd of spectators on Commonwealth Avenue, a half-mile from the finish line and the gig was up. This is not dissimilar to the way our former president* cheated to win, because Trump expected to come in a close second against the real winner Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential election and simply winning the race changed everything for both of these liars — Trump and Ruiz — and the rest, as they say, is history.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit US shores last year, I felt I was ready to take it on and be a winner. I read detailed and troubling reports from Italy that this disease was something more than a flu, a novel (new) virus that was more closely associated with a bad cold than a bad flu. By late February, 2020, I was convinced to take this threat seriously, listening to the experts, I determined that this was a big deal and I predicted that it would take at least a year to get through the oncoming pandemic, however I had no idea what that actually meant. I suppose that my biggest goal in life — not be sick — animated my enthusiasm to avoid this weird new virus and at the age in life (54) when you start to brag to your friends about how early you get up in the morning every day, after quitting most of the vices that either kill you or make you miserable, I was a relatively healthy specimen of the human race but today, my good health, both mental and physical, is about the only thing I’ve still got going for me a year and four months after COVID-19 spread like wildfire across the globe. But everything is now changed forever. First and foremost during the pandemic, my financial health suffered a near death experience and now it’s as if my credit is on a ventilator because on July 1st, 2020, I decided to quit my job. Now when you quit your job, you don’t get unemployment insurance but that was fine with me because my mental health was suffering something fierce while serving clients who, frankly, went crazy on me as well, all looking for ways to keep busy, so for the first few months of 2020 all I did was talk about this damned pandemic with clients, family and friends.

Working without Zoom (with or without a bad internet connection) back then in my profession of television production, after setting up all the technical stuff, my primary job function could best be described as amateur psychologist. The thing with appearing on TV, beyond the jitters and butterflies in the stomach, is what the ‘talent’ should actually say and do in front of the camera in the first place and it’s 90% of the job. Most people tend to get very nervous when in front of a camera and even seasoned pros will admit that it’s not easy to record every move made, face expressed and word spoken for time immemorial, so amateur psychology has been a side hustle of mine since being the guy behind the camera over 20 years ago, but when the pandemic hit, (and with the advent of the hideous video and audio of the ubiquitous Zoom app that we all still rely on to ‘meet’ each other every day) everyone became a TV personality overnight and in 2020, I was robbed of my raison d’être.

With the advent of an earlier world-changing technology, namely cell phone video, I was already facing the prospect that almost anyone could do what I do with their iPhones in their guest bedroom and today, folks can now create better high quality videos than I ever could in the studio back in the days of analog, but thank the good Lord, people are always moving their phones all over the place when shooting video, creating sickening experiences for viewers (and of course the audio always sucks), unless these newly-minted directors of photography have a rudimentary understanding of 3200k and a wireless lav, (pro stuff I know about) paired with an Osmo stabilizer that anyone who wants to make good video should have, but I’d simply suggest a cheap tripod to anyone to looking to improve their phone video work, which they can buy for $5 on Amazon. Before the pandemic however, most folks couldn’t create their own high quality video productions without the help of someone like me, but that all changed when the only video tool I had available to me was the one that everyone else had access to and it’s still freaking free! Zoom changed our world in profound ways and for that accomplishment, Eric Yuan, the brilliant fellow who wrote the software for Zoom, should get a Nobel Prize, an Emmy, an Oscar and a Pulitzer for what he created and shared with the world, just in the nick of time to put me out of business — and now my finances are on life support.

In April, 2020, the implanted tooth in the very middle of my choppers fell out while eating a forbidden fruit, for which I paid many thousands of dollars to have installed, but to put a positive spin on it, after it popped out I figured, well, at least I’ll have my mask on in public and no one beyond my front door will be the wiser until dentists were back in the business of removing money from wallets. However on Zoom, bad connections or not, I would appear as a seasoned NHL hockey player, complete with a year-round playoff beard. The mask, it turned out, also irritated my eyes terribly and left reddened bags under them as an extra bonus, especially when I (proudly) wore my favored N95 mask because that’s how I roll. If you’re going to do something, do it right and today, I have a tattered and worn-out collection of old N95s that I will lovingly preserve for the rest of my life to remind me of this awful past year, but truth be told, I really hated wearing the damn things, however being on a ventilator or the prospect of a dead elderly friend (of which I had many, but fewer today) kept me masked-up until I was fully vaccinated. That mask became part of me, but now I say ‘was’ because I rarely wear one outside the house anymore unless a majority of those around me are wearing one and I’ll slip one of the old relics on to put folks at ease, Delta variant be damned — because we all need to get back to work.

My first mask-less job interview was few weeks ago, complete with hockey player grin (which I’m convinced is the reason I didn’t get the job) so last week I finally went to the dentist to cement that expensive sucker back in, then I emptied my wallet and can now flash my winning smile again for the first time in over a year, but I’m already missing all of those delicious nuts and forbidden apples that I ate with reckless abandon during the pandemic. Without income of any kind, looking back I was overly optimistic and naive when I quit my cushy television job a year ago, thinking I could pick up a few gigs until I found a hot new job, ideally, last Fall. In September, 2020, I had a white Apple Card ($0 balance) with perfect credit and a wide and wonderful network of family and friends. Now, after leaving my adopted home (where people and prices nearly doubled), I have $7,000+ charged up on my cards and now my Apple Card looks like a bright kaleidoscope of beautiful colors representing food, utility bills and a few annual charges for stuff I don’t subscribe to any more — but I would do it again because I survived this damned pandemic and my health is as good as it’s ever been.

Weirdly, I’m happier and healthier than ever because I know that I’ll eventually recover financially, but we are all still far from being back to ‘normal’ in my hard-won opinion. Those who chose to stay on and weather the storm while working a full-time job, I respect the hell out of what you went through and appreciate that this past year has been it’s own, intimately personal kind of hell for you and you’re all champions in my book. I also understand some of your resentment for us poor, healthy ‘freeloaders’ but I recommend you don’t quit your job while looking for a new start just yet (interestingly, over four million Americans left their jobs in April alone) because the pandemic isn’t ‘finally’ over. It just isn’t. The national emergency may be over, but the new reality of the economic backlash of the pandemic is just now settling in and we’re not across the finish line yet, after all, this experience has always been a marathon and not a sprint. Rosie Ruiz may have ‘won’ the Boston Marathon, but in reality she skipped out of the crowd, ‘outrunning’ the competition to win the coveted title, only to be caught in the act and humiliated for her entire life. I, too ‘pulled a Rosie Ruiz,’ but I happily join her on the dais of our lives, laurels in our hair to the cheers of well-wishers, but of course, Rosie and I don’t deserve the accolades, but for a brief and shining moment, we were champions of the world.

Carl Holt
June 26, 2021

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