Peter Norman finally gets his due in Australia

I have written before about Australian sprinter Peter Norman who joined with Tommie Smith and John Carlos in their dramatic gesture against racism at the 1968 Olympics. All three were vilified for their actions, with Norman suffering at the hands of the Australian sports authorities long after he had been embraced by US athletes for his act of solidarity. Carlos and Smith considered him a close friends flew to Australia to be pall bearers at his funeral. But finally, on the 50th anniversary of that event, Australia is honoring Norman.
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Poverty chic

One of the weirdest trends is where people pay enormous amounts of money for clothes items that look well-worn or are discards. We know that people are willing to pay more for so-called ‘distressed’ jeans that have holes in the knees to suggest that they are well worn when in fact the holes are created by the manufacturer. Rusty Blazenhoff writes about a more extreme example of this, where an Italian luxury brand company named Golden Goose charges $530 for a pair of sneakers that are worn down and held together by tape.

TThis is an example of ‘poverty chic’, something that rich people indulge in. It is well known that people who are struggling financially or are poor are the ones who try to dress as well as they can, to hide that fact from casual acquaintances. It is people who are rich who can afford to adopt the scruffy look because everyone knows they are rich. If anyone does mistake them for being poor, it is a source of humor to them. It is a form of condescension, a way of saying, “Look at me. I am so rich that I can dress like this.”

The Khashoggi case exposes the western media’s true interest

It turns out that Saudi Arabia was hosting a big Future Investment Initiative (FII) summit in Riyadh on October 23 and a lot of big name western media had been co-sponsoring it. The fact that that nation has been bombing the hell out of Yemen with US-made weapons, causing immense death and suffering to one of the poorest countries in the world, did not faze them in the least. It took the disappearance and possible murder of a journalist who wrote for the Washington Post to cause some of the media to withdraw their sponsorship.
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Showing the patience of Job

I like to think of myself as someone not easily provoked to anger. But I do have hot buttons that can be pushed and one of them is when people are rude and insulting, especially when it is without any provocation. So I was immensely impressed with the patience of Lyft driver Shawn Pepas Lettman who was at the receiving end of a racist barrage from an obnoxious customer Robert Ortiz who was outraged, simply outraged, because his request for music was not acted on.

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Jamal Khashoggi is neither the first or the only Saudi to disappear

Sarah Aziza reports that the mysterious disappearance and possible murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey is not the first such act taken against dissident Saudis abroad but simply the most daring. It is something that has gone on for decades but has been escalated dramatically by current strongman and friend of Jared Kushner, crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman. The situation has become so bad that expatriate Saudis wonder if there is any distance that they can put between them and their home country that will be safe.
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Brazen moped thievery in London

The traffic in London is horrible so moped use is booming. Food delivery services use freelance couriers on mopeds to deliver to their clients since they can get to their destinations in a reasonable time. But this has spawned the formation of gangs that attack these couriers, steal their bikes, and then use those bikes to commit crimes. The situation is so bad that couriers are forming their own defense groups.

The BBC gave out cameras to couriers to record what their life is like and captured a series of attacks by gangs.

Paul Simon partially stops performing

The acclaimed singer-song writer-guitarist has announced that he is retiring from concert tours. He has had a long and illustrious career and the Simon and Garfunkel songs were the soundtrack of my youth. There are so many songs that I love, many of them with quirky and cryptic lyrics, that it was hard for me to pick one to post here but I finally went withThe Boxer. Here is a live version performed in New York’s Central Park in 1981.

The Khashoggi story takes a very dark turn

The story about the Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a permanent resident of the US, who disappeared after entering a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, has taken a very ominous turn with grisly rumors about what might have happened to him.

It’s not yet certain what happened to Khashoggi, who wrote columns for The Washington Post. But media reports have uncovered a growing mound of information indicating he was killed by Saudi operatives while he was visiting the country’s consulate in Istanbul last week. Saudi officials deny this, saying Khashoggi left the consulate safe and sound.

The latest reports, in Turkish and international media, offer details of how Khashoggi might have been dismembered and identify specific members of a Saudi team alleged to have killed him.

The Post reported Tuesday night that prior to Khashoggi’s disappearance, U.S. intelligence officials had intercepted discussions among Saudi officials about capturing him. Citing unnamed sources, the Post said the plan was to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia and grab him there.

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