And a fine morning to all of you. Everyone's hungover and regretting the caloric permissiveness that Independence Day brings, right? Revel in it. You're free.

Revel, too, in the hypocrisy of a nation that would bald-facedly celebrate the notion of freedom even while it ensnares wild cats. The cougar that had prowled East Portland late in the week was treed and tranqued, as I assume they say in the cat murder biz, then killed for not appropriately fearing humanity. I'm not saying that was definitely the wrong call, but I note that black bear from a couple weeks back got to live, and there is a bird that wakes me up every single morning that no one gives a damn about.

Yikes. Five people were shot yesterday outside of a SE Portland strip club, in what cops say was a gang-related attack.

The Ukrainian military has scored what looks like a big victory in ongoing skirmishing with pro-Russian rebels, rousting militants from one of their long-held citadels just days after ending a cease-fire.

With the US knocked out, we can all agree that the Netherlands must win the World Cup, right? Throw on your ugliest oranje get up. The Netherlands and Costa Rica square off at 1 pm. Also: Did you see that guy get his back broken yesterday?

Why, you might be thinking, were my traditional freedom chops so expensive yesterday? Because it turns out it's pretty hard to keep pigs alive long enough to slaughter them for meat. Hundreds of thousands of piglets are being stricken with deadly diarrhea.

New ugliness in Israel. After three Israeli teens were kidnapped and murdered recently, someone has burned a Palestinian teen alive. That discovery is, of course, causing more problems.

Did the NSA plant a mole in Germany's intelligence agency? Looking like it.

What Would Eric Estrada Do? A video has emerged of a California Highway Patrol officer savagely beating a woman who'd been walking on the freeway. The incident is under investigation, but I'm not bullish on this officer's prospects.

July 5 is officially the first day of summer, and now that that beachiest of seasons has finally arrived, know that you're probably going to come very close to the impassive razor maw that is the Great White Shark if/when you brave the Pacific. They're making a comeback. "“When we enter the sea, we’ve been within 10 and 15 feet of a shark several times in our lifetimes," says one expert.

At least you'll come close to violent death and dismemberment under sunny skies:


Stuff is weird.