July 12, 2020

American Decency Makes A Splendid Appearance

Not very long after a wildfire’s flames and heat rip through a western forest — in some places a week, in others a bit more — oak seedlings break through the ashes in tight clusters of green. Seeds of golden daisies, Indian paintbrush and scarlet larkspur, stirred by bright light, fresh air and open spaces, appear as little gardens of color on scarred hillsides of fallen trees and blackened soil. The emerging foliage after a …

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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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In China Authorities Knew About Corona Virus As Early as November and Lied; In U.S. Authorities Knew in Early January and Failed To Act

Seen from the screen of an electron microscope, coronaviruses are a single strand of RNA surrounded by a fatty outer envelope and contained in a crown of spiky hazard. Like Velcro, they are perfectly designed to latch onto host cells and inject genetic instructions that so confuse the cells that they produce more virus to infect more cells to produce more virus. Typically the consequence of a corona virus attack is an illness familiar to …

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Behind Trump’s Decisions, Unfathomable to the Left, Lies a Deep Reserve of Tribute on the Right

Three days ago, March 23, President Trump signaled his intent to relax guidelines on self-quarantining, saying “the cure can’t be worse than the disease.” Health authorities and citizens all over the country (including me) reacted with profound dismay at such a precipitous and apparently dangerous decision. But across a separate civic and political landscape — call it The Great Divide — the president’s decision to open the economy and tilt away from public safety is …

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