January 27, 2023

Donald Trump and George Armstrong Custer: Lessons in History

BILLINGS, Montana – About 1,000 people a day make their way off Interstate 90 and head a few miles north to the Little Bighorn Battlefield, a national monument in eastern Montana. Established in 1878 , the memorial’s mission has evolved. Initially it was meant to honor the 210 American cavalry troopers, including their commander George Armstrong Custer, who died on June 25, 1876 in a “last stand” against a much larger mounted war party of …

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Where Is Trump’s Silent Majority?

Here’s a question for Trump’s silent majority, that self-described swarm of acolytes poised to storm out of hiding to re-elect the president. Why does Donald Trump look like such a loser?  He tried scaring the suburbs. It was a weak, ill-informed, poorly-timed message that did not work. Especially with the women it was intended to impress. He tried attacking Biden as a tool of the ‘socialist, radical left intent on wrecking America.’ That did not …

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Biden Will Win; America Will Reject Lies and Hate

Seven weeks to the election. The choice for the country is ever more clear. Will Donald Trump’s dishonesty, malice, and incompetence become the reigning constructs of American governance? Or will the country trust Joe Biden to manage crises, restore order, and respond effectively to the century’s rapidly evolving ecological, social, and economic conditions?  The 2020 election is a test of the character of our country. The winner, as I’ve said for weeks, is obvious.  Americans will …

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Violence Ahead Of The Election Won’t Lead to Trump Second Term

Supporters of the president convened by the hundreds in a parking lot outside Portland, Oregon on Saturday. At dusk they formed a convoy and drove into the city to confront Black Lives Matter demonstrators. Before the rolling protest concluded clashes occurred in several parts of the cities. One Trump supporter was shot and killed. The death in Portland followed just five days after Trump supporters and Black Lives Matter demonstrators confronted each other in Kenosha, …

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Voter Suppression, Racism, Conspiracy Theories, Stolen Elections – We’ve Seen It All Before

BENZONIA — Earlier in my life, I lived in Charleston, S.C. and spent almost four years roaming the South as a journalist. Later I did the same thing as a national correspondent for the New York Times. In the 1980s and 1990s, the South was emerging from the dangerous era of segregation that had allowed — by state authority — white people to abuse black people in virtually any way that whites thought was necessary …

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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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