Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Common Dreams:
"OSLO - President Mikhail Gorbachev, former leader of the Soviet Union and recipient of the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize, has appealed to world leaders to reduce the dangerous tensions, which today threaten to plunge human civilization and the biosphere into an all-destroying nuclear war. ...

Later the same day, in Iceland, President Gorbachev said: 'The worst thing that has happened in recent years is the collapse of trust in relations between major powers, The window to a nuclear weapon-free world…is being shut and sealed right before our eyes.'

The environmental consequences of a massive exchange of nuclear weapons have been treated in a number of studies by meteorologists and other experts from both East and West. They predict that a large-scale use of nuclear weapons would result in fire storms with very high winds and high temperatures, which would burn a large proportion of the wild land fuels in the affected nations. The resulting smoke and dust would block out sunlight for a period of many months, at first only in the northern hemisphere but later also in the southern hemisphere. Temperatures in many places would fall far below freezing, and much of the earths plant life would be killed. Animals and humans would then die of starvation." 

-->The NYT isn't interested enough in the end of the world to even do a story on Gorbachev's warnings. Too busy demonizing Putin and getting the American people fired up for that last big one. Hillary's New Cold War might really be "that's all, folks."


"New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for giving 'voice to the voiceless' on international social justice issues, wrote an op-ed in yesterday’s Times (10/30/16) arguing for increased government action on poverty. His calls for heightened attention to economic deprivation, though, were buried in a larger message that was familiar to longtime Kristof-watchers: that the poor aren’t actually poor because they lack enough money, but because of their own moral failings. ...

To drive home his point, Kristof explicitly argued that this surfeit of entertainment options despite the lack of bare necessities was a sign of how America’s poor are trapped in a 'cycle of poverty' that leaves them constitutionally incapable of adopting the behaviors that would enable them to live better lives. ...

None of this is new terrain for Kristof, who previously wrote (5/23/10) of African poverty that 'if the poorest families spent as much money educating their children as they do on wine, cigarettes and prostitutes, their children’s prospects would be transformed,' and insisted (12/9/12) that poor families in Appalachia were pulling their kids out of literacy programs to earn disability benefits."

-->Kristof is, of course, the voice of liberal white America, unwilling to give more than lip service to the suffering of the poor. Anything to avoid that horror of horrors, having to share the nation's wealth and opportunities in a fairer way.


Common Dreams:
"Police arrested 141 people in North Dakota on Thursday, moving in with pepper spray and armored tanks on Native American water protectors and other activists who for months have waged resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Tara Houska, an Ojibwe attorney and director of the rights group Honor the Earth, told Democracy Now! on Friday that the raid was an act of 'all-out war...waged on Indigenous protectors.'

Houska, who was reportedly shot in the face with a beanbag round during the onslaught, also said in a separate statement released by a coalition of Indigenous groups on Friday, 'Yesterday was a shameful moment in American history. Law enforcement is supposed to serve and protect the people, not corporate interests. Police enacted violence on people who were armed only with prayer.' "

-->Contrast this to the armed takeover of government lands by white militia that lasted for six weeks. The FBI and federal authorities allowed the militia members to drive in and out every day to get their mail and pick up more beer. If you are armed and white, you get off free. If you are indigenous and unarmed, the feds send in the Seventh Calvary. The NYT take on all this can be summed up by its recent article entitled "The View From Two Sides of the Front Lines at Standing Rock."

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