December 3, 2020

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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Idaho’s Silver Valley: A Story of Wealth, Tragedy, and Transformation

KELLOGG, Idaho — Completed at a cost of $30 million and opened in 2004, the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes cuts a paved path across Northern Idaho, from Mullan to Plummer, following the course of a long-abandoned Union Pacific line. One of the country’s magnificent rails-to-trails, it’s ordained by natural flourishes that exist in abundance in this part of the Mountain West — tall peaks, forests of fir and spruce, big farm fields, wetlands, clear …

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From The Global Garden of Embryonic Hope, Safeguarding Oceans

Sylvia Earle, the renowned marine biologist and oceanographer, once called oceans “the real world bank.” She cautioned that people were making many more withdrawals than deposits. On June 10, National Geographic and several more prominent science and conservation organizations convened EarthX Ocean to elaborate on that point. During the two-day virtual conference experts from around the world described the urgent and deteriorating conditions of the oceans and spotlighted a number of useful responses. I was asked …

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Benzie County — Jumpy About Virus and Summer Visitors

BENZONIA, MI – Tucked away on the northern shore of Lake Michigan, the residents of Benzie County spent the final days of winter and the early weeks of spring confident they were safe, but agitated about what was coming. A scenic region of thick forests, clean lakes, and tiny villages, Benzie County lies 30 miles southwest of Traverse City, the nearest sizable city, 80 miles distant from the closest thruway, and 220 miles northwest of …

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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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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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