May 25, 2020

Trump’s Call For Opening Puts School Kids At Frontline of Risk and Re-election

You might have missed it this week — a statement by President Trump urging education boards to open schools in September. It’s revealing and, I suspect, politically risky for Trump supporters. “Now when you have an incident, one out of a million, one out of 500,000, will something happen? Perhaps,” Trump said. “But you can be driving to school and some bad things can happen, too. This is a disease that attacks age and it …

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After The Pandemic, A Better Way

BENZONIA, MI — Okay. For the second day in a row I’ve awakened with personal vows. The first is to shed my frustration, my pathology of pissed off, my infernal disgust with the country’s division and its get-it-wrong-at-every-step president. The second is to redirect that stream of contempt to irrigate a meadow of possibility. The Dixie Chicks is one of my favorite bands, ever since 2003 when they publicly and courageously opposed the Iraq invasion. …

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American Mobility Curbed By Pandemic: Oil Sector in Free Fall

Of all the principles that defined American culture and shaped its economy over the last 70 years, arguably none have been as influential as this one: mobility. Think about the salient details of where we live, what we purchase, how we choose our destinations, our work, our social gatherings. Consider the public policy decisions that financed the highways and airports and water systems that spread America out. Don’t forget the economic investments in the apparatus …

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Earth Day At 50 — A Planetary Warning

In 1905, a year before he died, Nathaniel Southgate Shaler published a highly regarded book that advocated “a change in the point of view from which we commonly regard the resources of the earth.” In Man and Earth the famed Harvard scientist described the sun, clouds, soil, and water as a kind of life-giving membrane, a placenta, from which Mother Earth sustains all living creatures. Mindful of the coal dug out of the Appalachians, timber …

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No Mercy in Pandemic Era. Trump Incites Violence With Call to “LIBERATE!”

“LIBERATE MICHIGAN!””LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” “LIBERATE VIRGINIA!” Are we in this together, as the nation’s governors insist? Forget about it. Yesterday President Trump signaled — to supporters toting AR-15s — his blanket approval for acts of violence in pursuit of their economic security, particularly in states led by Democrats. The call to arms, such a characteristically Trumpian contradiction, was issued the day after the president made comments at the White House in support of governors who were …

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Social Distancing Saves Lives; Nearly 8 Million WorldWide Since Novel Coronavirus Emerged

One of the really creative and effective men I’ve known in my life is J. Carl Ganter. A native of Traverse City and a skilled photographer, journalist, and filmmaker who trained at Northwestern, Carl and I have done a few very cool things together. We partnered on New York Times assignments in the 1990s. He and his wife, Eileen Ganter, built MLUI.org, the first Web site for the Michigan Land Use Institute that went live …

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Back To Work During The Pandemic: A High Wire Act For Scientists, Economists, Government

Science defines an extinction level event as the catastrophic consequences to Earth’s biological systems from an event capable of wiping out most living creatures — like a big comet strike. On Monday crowds gathered in Columbus, Ohio’s state capital, and yesterday in the state capitals of Michigan and Kentucky, to demonstrate civic fears about an extinction level event of another sort. An economic ELE. Since March 6, when Ohio’s Republican Governor Mike DeWine cancelled a …

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One Cause of Covid-19 Pandemic: Trump Collapsed the Stable World Order

A savage civic war is coming when the virus danger fades and political hand-to-hand combat begins. Make no mistake about its danger to lives, communities, and the nation. Trump will be hailed as a hero for saving lives. The right will insist the response was overblown and unnecessary “fake news.” Democrats will be attacked as using the pandemic to foster a bigger, more intrusive government in American life. Progressives will be blamed for being weak …

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In Louisville, Covid-19 Slows Portland Neighborhood Recovery

LOUSVILLE, Ky. — Until the Covid-19 pandemic, Gill Holland spent six years and $35 million constructing new residences and renovating 19thand 20thcentury wood and brick warehouses in Portland, an historic Ohio riverfront neighborhood that is Louisville’s oldest and one of its most impoverished.  Mr. Holland’s Portland Investment Initiative has purchased over 60 properties and filled them with businesses and residents new to the racially diverse neighborhood, where roughly 10,000 people live.  The project has renovated …

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On Covid-19 News Coverage: Praising Mainstream Media, Reviling “Fake” Fox News

The International Society for Infectious Diseases, founded in 1986 and based in Brookline, Mass., is a global network of 90,000 scientists and health specialists from around the world. The Society facilitates the exchange of knowledge about dangerous diseases in people, animals, and plants. One of the celebrated projects undertaken by the society is its ProMed listserv that posts alerts of disease anomalies everywhere on the planet. On December 30, 2019 ProMed posted an “urgent notice …

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