Hot, hotter / ‘Raw, intimate and graphic’ / What you missed

Hot, hotter. For two days in a row, Earth this week endured the unofficial hottest day in human recordkeeping.
 One climate scientist calls it “a death sentence for people and ecosystems” and another says there’s more of the same to come this year.
 The heavy rains that flooded the Chicago area Sunday are, in the words of The Associated Press, “stark reminders of urban centers’ vulnerability during extreme weather events.”
 Guess which state leads the nation in number of electric disconnections—even during heatwaves.
 In the latest of what may be a climate-driven trend, at least four swimmers off the shores of New York were reportedly attacked by sharks.

‘I purposefully slept through it.’ Columnist Matt Baron cites “an emotional hangover from the murders of seven people … last July 4th in Highland Park” for his decision to skip Oak Park’s Independence Day parade yesterday.
 A man who joined Highland Park’s memorial for those lost—not far from where his wife and son were wounded a year ago—told the Sun-Times: “It feels a bit strange. … There’s a lot of people here, and you’re just standing here thinking it could happen again.”
 Neil Steinberg cites a fellow Northbrook resident: “Death hangs over the 4th of July.”
 President Biden marked the anniversary with a fresh call for stricter gun control …
 … as gun violence continued to ravage the nation, including nine people shot and wounded early today in D.C.

‘She stonewalls.’ Lawyer Michael Shakman, who’s led a half-century-long campaign to keep politics out of government hirings, firings and promotions, is conflicted about the prospect that Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough might be freed from the anti-patronage decrees that bear his name …
 …but he tells the Tribune that Gov. Pritzker’s successful fight for release from the Shakman rules (2022 link) has led him “very reluctantly” to join a motion to shut down federal tracking of her payroll.

‘Raw, intimate and graphic.’ That’s how the AP describes students’ confidential documents stolen from schools and dumped online by ransomware gangs.
 University of Chicago research details how remote learning tech adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic threatens student privacy (February link).

‘The right-wing scheme to upend public education.’ Popular Information digs into curriculum recommendations given a Pennsylvania school district by [missing link added] a guy who “does not have any experience developing curricula for public schools” …
 … but who does have a degree in political science from Hillsdale College, the reactionary institution presided over by departing Wheel of Fortune host and Chicago native Pat Sajak.

‘If it dies or becomes a desiccated husk of its former self, I will … not mourn it.’ Columnist Mona Charen ponders the possibility that Facebook sibling Instagram’s rollout of a Twitter-like app called Threads could foreshadow Twitter’s last gasp.
 A Donald Trump-nominated federal judge has blocked the Biden administration from working with social media companies to tamp down what he considers “protected free speech,” even when it’s dangerous misinformation about public health matters like, you know, vaccines in a pandemic.

What you missed. If you suffered withdrawal symptoms during Chicago Public Square’s hiatus, you should be following Square on Facebook. Here’s some of what showed up there over the long weekend:
 Historian Heather Cox Richardson on Independence Day’s significance: “In a world that had been dominated by a small class of rich men for so long that most people simply accepted that they should be forever tied to their status at birth, a group of upstart legislators on the edges of a continent declared that no man was born better than any other.”
 Cartoonist Tom Tomorrow offered a glimpse of the world from within the MAGAverse.
 Media watcher Robert Feder stepped out of retirement to file an obituary for legendary Chicago DJ Dick Biondi—first to play the Beatles on American radio.
 Actor Alan Arkin dead at 89: “A move to Chicago in 1960, Arkin later said, ‘saved my life—literally.’
 The Trib: Employee who found 3 severed heads from donor bodies … let go after he alleged misconduct.
 … and: Climate change keeps making wildfires and smoke worse. Scientists call it the “new abnormal.”
 The Lever: Youth climate activists showed up at President Biden’s Chicago fundraiser to protest his administration’s continued approval of fossil fuel projects.

If you’re not all that publicly square … Sure, people who support Square can have their names published here for the world to see. But if you prefer to do so without recognition, please know it’s not required. You get a choice during the pledge process:
 And if you ever change your mind—either way—just drop a note to
 Public or not, your support for this service is always appreciated—and gets you $5 off a Square cap or T-shirt. Or both. (You can use the generated coupon code as many times as you’d like.)
 Mike Braden made this edition better.

Subscribe to Square.