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Gender: Female
Hometown: London
Home country: USA/UK/Sweden
Current location: Stockholm, Sweden
Member since: Sun Jul 1, 2018, 07:25 PM
Number of posts: 11,330

Journal Archives

instead of a blue exclamation mark, Twitter needs to use this to signal a fact check of a Rump lie


People Like Amy Cooper Are Why I Left New York City

When I moved to a white neighborhood, my life became a series of incidents like the one in Central Park.



In 2016, I was coming back to my apartment in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, after a long afternoon of playing basketball with old friends. I was about to head upstairs, but I saw a missed call that I figured I’d return outside rather than annoy my roommates through the thin walls. A few minutes later, I looked up and saw that two NYPD officers had cornered me. They wanted to see my ID, which I didn’t have. They asked if I lived in the building. They said someone had complained about someone loitering in front of their apartment. I assured them that I too lived there, and had every right to be there taking a phone call. They insisted that I prove it to them by opening the lock with my key. Sure officer, no problem.

I chose to live in Greenpoint because I really like the G train, which connects Queens and North Brooklyn with other Brooklyn neighborhoods to the south. I hadn’t once considered that there are a lot of white people who live there, and that I, an Arab-American, might stand out. I had lived in that apartment for about half a year. I went out of my way to present myself as friendly. Maybe it was the sweaty basketball shorts, or maybe the white woman on the bottom floor had gotten tired of me locking my bike to the handrail and wanted to send a message. There was no way to be sure. But I held on to that paranoia. I had always been afraid of the police. I had experienced enough of those “random” searches to catch on to the fact that they’re hardly random. As early as 14, I had my backpack emptied out on my way to school by a police officer who said I fit a profile, and that kind of extra attention became routine. They told me they needed to be sure. I learned to see the police as a threat.

It wasn’t until I moved to New York City in 2013 that I began extending that fear to my white neighbors. I first noticed it in myself. I assumed that white people would see me as threatening, so I’d try to disarm them and do little things to assure my innocence. Sometimes, it’s as innocuous as a wide smile at a gas station. Other times, it’d be more deliberate, like crossing the street when someone white was in my trajectory. I didn’t want to spook anyone, so I didn’t give them a chance to be spooked. In Central Park on Monday morning, a white woman named Amy Cooper was filmed by a black man who was there bird watching. He asked her to leash her dog, and she responded by calling 911 and lying to the operator that she was being threatened by “an African American male.” She emphasized his race many times.

There’s no doubt that she was aware how many NYPD officers handle encounters with black men. Cooper was pleading to the police to show up guns blazing because she didn’t like that a black man told her to put her dog on a leash. Both Cooper and the man in the video were gone when the police arrived. That’s lucky. I didn’t have to confront a white woman in the park to experience situations like this. Once I was put in handcuffs for being on a subway platform standing on my skateboard because someone told a police officer they felt unsafe. Another time I was in a car with other brown men, and we were asked to exit the vehicle so the officers could pat us down and search the car; it wasn’t clear if someone had complained, or if the officers were just making sure we knew we were being watched. Sometimes it was more mundane. Once I was at a bar and was confronted by a bouncer after putting down my empty glass on a table just past a huddle of white women. This all took a toll. I was anxious and suspicious of my neighbors all the time, because I had no idea who might see me as a threat. Eventually I couldn’t do it anymore.


Jonathan Pie - The Tale of Dominic Cummings

Italy Plans to Reopen to Travelers on June 3--but Not to Americans

The Italian government will lift quarantine restrictions and reopen its borders after a lengthy coronavirus lockdown, but only to its European neighbors.


On Saturday, May 16, Italy’s government announced that it would open its borders in early June, ending one of Europe’s strictest coronavirus lockdowns. It hopes to revive the country’s tourism industry, which contributes some 13 percent of gross domestic product. Starting June 3, the government will eliminate the 14-day quarantine for people arriving from abroad and will open both regional and international borders.

But before you start celebrating, these new regulations don’t apply to residents of the United States. According to the government decree, these new rules only apply to people arriving from member countries of the European Union, countries within the Schengen Zone, as well as the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, and the microstates and principalities of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican.

The government decree also says those who test positive for COVID-19 or have had close contact with people with the virus will still be subjected to mandatory quarantine measures. (Officials did not provide details on how exactly they would be checking or confirming travelers’ contacts.) As coronavirus cases continue to fall within Italy, the government also retains the right to institute “more restrictive measures” to and from certain regions in the event of worsening epidemiological data.

The earliest the European Commission is considering allowing nonessential travel into the European Union from outside member states is June 15, 2020. Since Italy went into lockdown in the second week of March, travel into the country and between its regions has been strictly limited. Airports and railway stations remained open only to allow those with proven work needs or other urgent or health-related reasons to travel with a form verifying their purpose. Italian citizens were also allowed to return home from abroad and foreign tourists could leave the country.


Foodie Culture as We Know It Is Over

A wave of culinary experts is responding to the pandemic with an accessible and empathetic approach to home cooking—and audiences can’t get enough.


In recent weeks, you may have seen YouTube clips of the Bon Appétit chefs fancifying boxed mac and cheese. Or a viral recipe for an easy shallot-pasta dish. Or Ina Garten getting real on Instagram about what her freezer looks like. Food media during the pandemic have, sometimes surreally, seemed to abandon elitism in favor of a less ostentatious approach to cooking. These cultural products don’t just emphasize accessible ingredients and techniques. They also present an inclusive vision of foodie culture that’s refreshing all on its own, especially at a moment when audiences are craving programming that cares about their daily realities.

The seeds of this new ethos were planted before the coronavirus crisis arrived. For years, The Great British Baking Show comforted viewers with its friendly, low-stakes competition—the spirit of which was captured by the Season 6 winner, Nadiya Hussain. Now the culinary champion is among those bringing that attitude afresh to American TV, via her Netflix cooking series, Nadiya’s Time to Eat. With good humor and charm, she visits “time poor” households and shares speedy recipes, celebrating food without sacrificing pragmatism.

The series is an engaging watch in large part because—like many other recent shows, YouTube channels, books, and blogs—it seeks to democratize the often-elitist landscape of food media. When Kim, an overworked mother of two, says she’s embarrassed by how haphazard her family’s meals have become, the host shakes her head. “This is real life,” says Hussain, herself a mother of three. “It’s hard juggling the cooking and trying to spend time with each other.” She then shares one of her quickest go-to recipes: a jazzed-up ramen that can be stored in the fridge the night before serving it. The dish is no panacea and can’t alleviate all of Kim’s frustrations, but the tasty, replicable meal acknowledges a daily quandary for many Americans.

Nadiya’s Time to Eat, which first aired on the BBC last year, wasn’t filmed with the prospect of a worldwide pandemic in mind. But as Hussain visits families, she speaks with candor and compassion about the profound, if mundane, stresses that many people face. This sensitivity to the concerns of everyday people—and to how those concerns inform the kinds of cooking they’re willing or able to do—feels timely. It’s common to see articles recommending lengthy baking projects and time-consuming individual dishes, which may be most appealing for those who can work from home or aren’t caring for young children. (Hussain’s fellow Baking Show finalist, the anesthesiologist Tamal Ray, recently wrote about how baking calms him after long shifts at the hospital.) But these kinds of diversions are often impossible for parents, especially mothers, whose schedules are even more congested now during the coronavirus crisis.


The End of Hong Kong

China has moved to take away the city’s autonomy, one of several aggressive actions by Beijing across the region.


Over the course of April and throughout May, while much of the world’s attention was trained on the coronavirus’s spiraling death toll, hardly a day passed in Hong Kong without news of arrested activists, scuffles among lawmakers, or bombastic proclamations from mainland officials. Long-standing norms were done away with at dizzying speed.

In that time, Beijing was undertaking aggressive actions across Asia. A Chinese ship rammed a Vietnamese vessel in the contested waters of the South China Sea, sinking it. Off the coast of Malaysia, in the country’s exclusive economic zone, a Chinese research vessel, accompanied by coast-guard and fishing ships—likely part of China’s maritime militia, civilian vessels marshaled by Beijing in times of need—began survey work near a Malaysian oil rig. The standoff that followed drew warships from the United States and Australia, as well as China. Beijing then declared that it had created two administrative units on islands in the South China Sea that are also claimed by Vietnam. Chinese officials have reacted, too, with predictable rage to Taiwan, whose handling of the pandemic has won plaudits and begun a push for more international recognition.

The moves were capped this week when China’s National People’s Congress announced that it would force wide-ranging national-security laws on Hong Kong in response to last year’s prodemocracy protests. In doing so, Beijing circumvented the city’s autonomous legislative process and began dismantling the “one country, two systems” framework under which Hong Kong is governed, setting up what will likely be a fundamental shift in the territory’s freedoms, its laws, and how it is recognized internationally. The announcement late Thursday evening stunned prodemocracy lawmakers, diplomats, and many of the city’s 7.4 million residents, who awoke Friday questioning Hong Kong’s future. The stock market plunged, interest in VPNs shot up, and Hong Kongers wondered whether 2047, the year in which China was set to take back full control of the city, had arrived more than two decades early. “I’m heartbroken,” Tanya Chan, the convener of the prodemocracy camp in the city’s legislature, told me. “Last night was a complete setback.”

Though much of the world has come to a standstill as a result of the pandemic, China’s regional ambitions and grudge settling clearly have not. Beijing has offered provocations—with a dash of propaganda and medical diplomacy—pushing forward its agenda despite the unfolding public-health crisis. “This is business as usual—in the South China Sea, towards Taiwan—it’s all the same,” Greg Poling, a senior fellow with the Southeast Asia program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., told me. “Business as usual during a pandemic that people partially blame on you—it is more scandalous.”


WaPo: Klobuchar, amid Biden VP search, scrambles to fix relations with black community


Just before February's South Carolina primary, Amy Klobuchar landed a coveted chance to address African American leaders. When the black activist and journalist Roland Martin learned about it, he was outraged. Martin fired off a text to Al Sharpton, the longtime civil rights leader hosting the event: How could he offer such a valuable platform to Klobuchar, who he felt had ignored the black community and brushed off his interview requests? Sharpton let the senator from Minnesota speak, but when she was done he instructed her to talk to Martin, pointing him out from the stage. "Y'all need to talk to the black press," he told her as the audience looked on.

The unusual public scolding underlined a chief weakness in Klobuchar's current drive to be Joe Biden's running mate: her strained relations with African Americans. The tensions, rooted in part in her record as a Minneapolis-area prosecutor, hurt her presidential aspirations and have come storming back into the spotlight now that she is increasingly seen as a top candidate to join the ticket. In response, Klobuchar is urgently courting the black community. In recent weeks she has aggressively reached out to African American groups, introduced a voting rights bill, joined an NAACP town hall, worked with black leaders and granted interviews to African American journalists.

But some say it's too late to improve her standing after decades of friction. "In the next two weeks? I don't know what that would look like," said Rashad Robinson, executive director of the Color of Change, a racial justice nonprofit. As a county prosecutor, Klobuchar was too harsh toward nonwhite defendants, particularly African Americans, critics say, and as a U.S. senator she's done little to help the black community. In seriously considering Klobuchar, Biden's camp is making "a dangerous and reckless choice," said Aimee Allison, a leading activist for women of color. Biden has strong support from African American voters, but many of his allies in the black community warn him not to take it for granted. On Friday, Biden told an African American radio host during a discussion of black issues, "If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black."

After a furor, the Biden campaign rejiggered a conference call with black business leaders, having the candidate personally call in to the meeting instead of just staff as planned. "Perhaps I was much too cavalier," Biden told them. "I know that the comments have come off like I was taking the African American vote for granted. But nothing could be further from the truth." The radio host — Lenard Larry McKelvey, who goes by Charlamagne Tha God on the show — told The Washington Post that Biden should definitely not pick Klobuchar, especially after Friday's remark. "I think that would be suicide for Joe Biden's campaign," he said. "If he did that, especially at this moment, after the comments that he made. . . . He would be a fool not to put a black woman as his running mate."


BBC: Coronavirus: Dominic Cummings visited parents' home while he had symptoms


Dominic Cummings travelled hundreds of miles from London to County Durham during the lockdown when he had coronavirus symptoms. Mr Cummings and his wife went to his parents' home to self-isolate, a source close to the PM's chief aide told BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg.

The source insisted Mr Cummings did not break official guidance because the couple stayed in a separate building. Labour demanded No 10 provide a "swift explanation" for Mr Cummings' actions. "If accurate, the prime minister's chief adviser appears to have breached the lockdown rules. The government's guidance was very clear: stay at home and no non-essential travel," a spokesman said. "The British people do not expect there to be one rule for them and another rule for Dominic Cummings."

The Scottish National Party's Westminster leader Ian Blackford said Mr Cummings should resign or be dismissed by Boris Johnson and that it was a "key test of leadership" for the PM. And Ed Davey, acting leader of the Liberal Democrats, added: "If Dominic Cummings has broken the guidelines he will have to resign, it is as simple as that."

No 10 declined to comment on Friday night after the story was first reported in the Daily Mirror and Guardian newspapers. Both papers reported Mr Cummings, the former Vote Leave chief who was the architect of the PM's Brexit strategy, had been approached by the police.


Tory bellend needs to get the SACK!!!!

Pat Lok 駱哲彦 'Gone Is Yesterday' EP [Kitsune Musique] (Tech House)

Free Stream >>>>>>> https://soundcloud.com/patlok/sets/goneisyesterday

Canadian producer Pat Lok has been on a massive run already this year with the high calibre releases of ‘Salvation’ and ‘Freefall’ (with Australia’s Thandi Phoenix), and now he’s come through with the goods in the form of his long-awaited EP ‘Gone Is Yesterday’ which continues the flow of good vibes all around.

What is most evident in ‘Gone Is Yesterday’ is the polish used to create a sophisticated blend of electronic/house music that you don’t normally see on the market. Lok utilises significant depth in production through a mix of industrialised and contemporary soundscapes to bring forth an artistically driven palate full of colour and drive that immediately gets you moving.

“Musically, I set out to write a dancier record, shifting towards the club with classic sounds (and hardware synths) and an almost pan-Asian sonic palette. My family is from Singapore originally, so I used various bits of percussion and melodic inspiration from the broader region (Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand). That’s probably most obvious on “Get Dawn” where I started with a simple theme, and then produced the rest of track around the climactic final scene.” – Pat Lok


The 25 Whiskeys You Need to Try Before You Die


The 25 whiskeys herein are not the best whiskeys in the world. There isn’t a rating system or greater calculus behind them. This is a list of whiskeys that, in one way or another, matter. Some, like Johnnie Walker Blue Label or Old Grand-Dad 114, tell a story about where whisk(e)y has been. Others, like Bulleit’s ubiquitous rye or Buffalo Trace’s Blanton’s line, quietly reshaped whiskey history. And then there’s whiskey that’s just so good, so unique and so iconic, it makes the cut by force of will; like Four Roses’ 2017 release dedicated to and co-designed by the legendary Al Young, or the cook-kid-scotch Lagavulin 16. These are the whiskeys every would-be whiskey drinker should try before they die.

Is there Pappy? Maybe.

Buffalo Trace Antique Collection

Shortened to BTAC by its followers, the crown jewel of Buffalo Trace’s whiskey-making empire is an annual show-off session for its best juice. The collection includes an uncut rye bomb, extra-aged Eagle Rare bourbon and Sazerac rye and, what every bourbon enthusiast is perpetually hunting down, George T. Stagg and William Larue Weller. The former is essentially extra-old, barrel strength Buffalo Trace, the latter is a barrel strength Pappy that can be even trickier to track down.

Availability: Allocated
Price: ~$250 to ~$750


Weller 12

A $20 Buffalo Trace bourbon available everywhere is now $200 and nowhere to be found. What happened? Hype. Whiskey writers, shop owners and bourbon lovers started calling it “baby Pappy” because of a shared wheated bourbon mashbill, and it began to disappear. Is it worth the skyhigh price it goes for nowadays? That can only be answered after you’ve tried it.

Availability: Allocated
Price: ~$200


Hibiki 21

A number of Japanese whiskies undory the Suntory flag could be here, but Hibiki 21 is a classic example of Japanese whisky decadence. As with all Hibiki entries, it contains spirit aged in American oak barrels, Spanish Olorosso sherry casks, ex-bourbon barrels, ex-wine casks and the iconic Japanese Mizunara oak barrel, which is easily the most expensive maturation barrel money can buy. It is the pinnacle of a line that was created to cater to the Japanese palate, and shows incredible finesse in its intense, almost tea-like floral structure. Its rarity and price in the US represent the downside of the category, which hasn’t been able to keep up with demand in close to a decade now. It’s always Suntory Time.

Availability: Allocated
Price: ~$900


Henry McKenna Single Barrel

This is a time capsule to whiskey hype in early 2019. What was once a $35 bourbon available everywhere became a $100 ultra-premium whiskey lining the top shelf overnight, all it took was a San Francisco World Spirits Competition crown. The price may droop from peak hype, but it’s unlikely you’ll ever see it next to your regular old Knob Creeks, Four Roses and Buffalo Trace again.

Availability: Allocated
Price: ~$75


Nikka From the Barrel

Nikka’s From the Barrel is the best widely available Japanese whisky to ever arrive on American soil. Unlike Suntory’s near-extinct Yamazaki and Hakushu lines (and its highball-focused Toki brand), From the Barrel has never been hard to find. It arrived in the U.S. in 2018 and Japan three decades before that and the makers claim there are more than 100 unique malt and grain spirits blended within. It’s prototypical Japanese whisky without the assumed Japanese whiskey price.

Availability: Widely Available
Price: ~$60


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