Iceberg water

We’ve reached peak bottled water. From today, for a sweet £80, Harrods will sell ‘luxury water’ harvested from icebergs off the coast of Svalbard.

This is bad apparently because…..well, because why? She doesn’t manage to explain.

Best I can read between the lines is that she thinks it’s immoral to part fools from their money.


The gut-wrenching story of the Iraqi family spread quickly across the Internet on Tuesday, depicting what seemed to be among the most calamitous examples of a family torn apart by President Trump’s order temporarily barring people from seven countries from entering the United States. A Michigan man claimed his sick Iraqi mother died a day after being turned away from traveling to the U.S. as a result of the executive order.

“They destroyed us,” the man, Mike Hager, told Detroit’s Fox 2, claiming that if his mother had made it to the United States as scheduled, she would have received the medical treatment necessary to survive. A number of national news outlets published the account, linking to the original interview.

But late Tuesday night, the story began to fall apart. The local Fox affiliate “received many questions about the validity of Hager’s claims that his mother died waiting to be approved to come home,” it wrote. On Wednesday afternoon, the Fox station published a story with the headline: “Man who claimed mom died in Iraq after Trump’s ban lied, Imam confirms.”

Sources close to the family also told The Washington Post that the man appears to have fabricated the tale.

[Judge halts deportations as refugee ban causes worldwide furor]

A leading imam in Dearborn, Mich., who oversees a congregation of primarily Iraqi refugees, including Hager’s family, said Hager’s mother actually died at least five days before Trump’s executive order was put into place.

The imam, Husham Al-Husainy, said Hager sent him a message last month informing him that he would be traveling to Iraq to see his sick mother, Naimma. On Jan. 22 — two days after Trump was inaugurated — community members and posts on Facebook informed Al-Husainy of the woman’s death. She had been living in Iraq for quite some time, and she died in Karbala, Iraq of kidney failure, he said.

Al-Husainy, leader of the Karbalaa Islamic Educational Center in Dearborn, said he helped lead a number of community prayer services in her honor over the course of the next three days. Al-Hajar had lived in Dearborn on and off since 1995.

D’ye think people have forgotten what “fake but accurate” means yet?

Could be due for a revival as a phrase, no?

Losing it just a little bit maybe?

Donald Trump met with the heads of several monopolistic private health care corporations in Palm Beach on Wednesday. Bloomberg reports that “A person close to Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter said he also participated.” Trump was soliciting their advice on whether he should force the Veterans Health Administration (VA) to outsource more of the care of our nation’s veterans to monopolistic health care corporations. The comic book executive at least had no apparent conflicts of interests.

How the hell can several competing firms be monopolistic, and the VA the only and only provider of veterans health care, not be a monopoly?

Is the rest of Washington Monthly this bad too?

We’ve a name for this you know

Wake up an hour earlier each morning
I decided to start waking up an hour earlier every morning – 5.30am instead of 6.30am. I now start my day by doing a few sun salutations, followed by a prayer (which I use to be thankful rather than asking for anything), and then write in my journal. This change has helped me keep in touch with myself and my emotions.

Kelly, Indianapolis

Portion of the rosary and scribble in the diary. It’s hardly new this religious observance thing, is it?

Blimey, really?

A dozen years ago I talked about hope to a roomful of working-class community college students in Washington, citing the German philosopher Ernst Bloch to the effect that without hope there is no action but without action there is no hope. A woman said in a clear voice that she agreed, because if she had not hoped she would not have struggled and if she had not struggled she would not have survived Pol Pot and the Cambodian genocide.

Progressives see a leader in Bernie Sanders as they prepare to fight back
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That floored me. Sometimes hope is just that you will survive, or that you will escape. Then you can hope for more. I wish I knew her story, but that she was in North America, alive and well and confident enough to speak out, told me something of it. Even despotic regimes end, though it’s important to remember that not everyone and everything survives; you can be devastated for what won’t and hopeful for what will at the same time.

In the United States we are probably headed for a very grim phase of uncertain duration.

Surviving Trump will be like surviving Pol Pot?