Friday in Whitewater will see scattered morning showers on an otherwise partly sunny day with a high of seventy-five. Sunrise is 5:15 AM and sunset 8:34 PM, for 15h 19m 07s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 91.4% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1777, the Second Continental Congress passes the Flag Resolution:
Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”
Recommended for reading in full:
Cary Spivak and Mary Spicuzza report Some Wisconsin lawmakers double as landlords — and have passed laws that undermine renters’ rights:
A series of sweeping laws promoting the interests of landlords at the expense of renters, local governments and even public safety have been pushed through the state Capitol since 2011 by a group of lawmakers who moonlight as landlords.
Backed by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos — a college-town landlord with 23 properties worth about $3.8 million — the Republican-controlled Legislature enacted five major bills largely benefiting landlords.
The measures speed up the eviction process, eliminate some tenant legal defenses, limit the power of cities to police landlords and cap fees tied to building code violations. They also allow landlords to toss renters’ belongings on the curb immediately after an eviction, instead of placing the property in storage.
In all, about one out of five of state lawmakers who voted on these bills owns or manages rental properties, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found in its review. At least five lawmakers who double as landlords sponsored the various measures, each of which passed on mostly party-line votes.
(This is a story about Wisconsin legislators, so it does not implicate local landlords who, for example, might have made a hash of development policy, leaving their communities in a low-income status, while promoting themselves at every turn.)
In the first episode of HBO’s miniseries “Chernobyl,” a Communist official suggests that the real danger isn’t the nuclear power plant that has just exploded, but the news of the tragedy. “It is my experience that when the people ask questions that are not in their own best interest, they should simply be told to keep their minds on their labor and leave matters of the state to the state,” says Zharkov (Donald Sumpter), a party member who seems to have been a young man during the Bolshevik Revolution. “We seal off the city. No one leaves. And cut the phone lines. Contain the spread of misinformation.” His suggestion is met not with horror, but with applause.
This speech might seem dramatic, but like the rest of “Chernobyl,” it represents a sincere attempt to convey the inhumanity, willful ignorance and lies that defined the Soviet Union in the 1980s. This quality has made “Chernobyl” a surprising must-watch summer hit in the United States. But in Russia, the series has run squarely into the historical revisionism favored by the Russian government and its amplifiers in the media, who treat critical explorations of the Russian and Soviet past as attacks on the country’s present.