Small Idea for the New York Times Paper Edition – by David Lindsay

To  the editors of the New York Times

I recently realized an idea that could help the survival  of the New York Times Paper Edition for several more centuries. Perhaps I exaggerate, but it is unlikely you will be around to know.

We read the New York Times paper edition religiously Friday through Sunday, and there is always an awkward and embarrassing conflict. We can not comfortably share the first section. While I am reading the front page and its leads into the depths of section one,  my fabulous lady cannot read the editorial page and op-ed page, since they are attached umbilicallly to the front page and page three, and vice a versa.

Alas, this conflict has disturbed the wa, or peace and harmony, of our household.

The solution is so simple. Just move the editorial page and op-ed page to the center of section one, as a two sheaf, with 4 printed paged Pullout, so one member of a household can read the front page, and the contents of section one, while another member of the household can read the editorials and op–ed.  

The only possible improvement to this simple idea, would be to cut the center sheaf  into two separate pages,  so that one could pull out both the editorial page and op-ed page separately, so that three people could enjoy starting with section one at the same time.

David Lindsay Jr. is the author of The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth-century Vietnam, which came out this September, and blogs at The TaySonRebellion.com and InconvenientNewsWorldwide.wordpress.com

Opinion | Europe’s Plea to Congress: Keep the Iran Pact – By Delphine O- Omid Nouripour and Richard Bacon

By Delphine O, Omid Nouripour and Richard Bacon

“The most important and promising step taken toward nonproliferation in the past 20 years — the one with the most impact — is known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. A document 159 pages long, it was signed in Vienna with the Islamic Republic of Iran almost three years ago by the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany. It is not only a historical landmark — the crowning achievement of 12 years of intense diplomatic negotiations — but also a safeguard against a nuclear Middle East.

Yet President Trump and his administration have threatened to pull out of this compact. America’s withdrawal would put the agreement at high risk; it might also prompt the Iranians to leave the pact, starting a nuclear race in the region. It would drive a wedge in the trans-Atlantic partnership and drive Europe into a kind of forced marriage with the Russians and Chinese to save at least part of the deal.”

Building a Better Coral Reef – By DAMIEN CAVE and JUSTIN GILLIS – NYT

ON THE GREAT BARRIER REEF, off Australia — After a plunge beneath the crystal-clear water to inspect a coral reef, Neal Cantin pulled off his mask and shook his head.

“All dead,” he said.Yet even as he and his dive team of international scientists lamented the devastation that human recklessness has inflicted on the world’s greatest system of reefs, they also found cause for hope.

As they spent days working through a stretch of ocean off the Australian state of Queensland, Dr. Cantin and his colleagues surfaced with sample after sample of living coral that had somehow dodged a recent die-off: hardy survivors, clinging to life in a graveyard.

“We’re trying to find the super corals, the ones that survived the worst heat stress of their lives,” said Dr. Cantin, a researcher with the Australian Institute of Marine Science in Townsville.”

David Lindsay:

Scientist are fighting back against the die off of the Great Barrier Reef, and coral reefs throughout the world, without knowing their chances of success.
Citizens are fighting back.
I am motivated to reduce my carbon footprint. This February, I had Earthlight Technologies put 17 more solar panels on the roof of my house, in addition to the 24 that C-Tec Solar installed three years ago. I can now plug in my new used 2014 Prius Hybrid Plug In, and drive around Hamden in a short-range electric car, that is fueled by the solar panels instead of gasoline. It only has a range of 10 miles, but it is a start. Earthlight also installed a EVSE outside my house, which is sometimes called a car charger. It is actually a Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment. It supplies electricity to the car charger built into my vehicle. With a new surplus of solar electricity, I can now start converting the natural gas systems of the house over to electrical systems.

Damage to Great Barrier Reef From Global Warming Is Irreversible-Scientists Say – The New York Times

SYDNEY, Australia — An underwater heat wave that damaged huge sections of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef two years ago spurred a die-off of coral so severe that scientists say the natural wonder will never look the same again.

Scientists said nearly one-third of the reef’s coral were killed when ocean temperatures spiked in 2016, a result of global warming, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.The damage to the reef, one of the world’s largest living structures, has also radically altered the mix of its coral species, scientists said.

“The reef is changing faster than anyone thought it would,” said Terry P. Hughes, the lead author of the study and the director of a government-funded center for coral reef studies at James Cook University in Queensland.

Opinion | Scam I Amn’t: Voters and the Tax Cut – by Paul Krugman – NYT

I don’t know what will happen in the midterm elections. But if Republicans pull it out – that is, if they lose the popular vote by a small enough margin that gerrymandering and the geographic concentration of nonwhite voters frustrate the public’s will – it will be the result of tribalism. It won’t be because the G.O.P. won voters over with a tax cut.That’s not what they expected. The people who rammed through a massive tax cut without hearings or analysis thought they could sell it to voters as free money for everyone; never mind the big bucks for corporations and the wealthy, look at the extra cash we’re putting in your pocket.

Opinion | Scott Pruitt Has Become Ridiculous – The New York Times

Despite stiff competition, Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, is by common consensus the worst of the ideologues and mediocrities President Trump chose to populate his cabinet. Policies aside — and they’re terrible, from an environmental perspective — Mr. Pruitt’s self-aggrandizing and borderline thuggish behavior has disgraced his office and demoralized his employees. We opposed his nomination because he had spent his career as attorney general of Oklahoma suing the federal department he was being asked to lead on behalf of industries he was being asked to regulate. As it turns out, Mr. Pruitt is not just an industry lap dog but also an arrogant and vengeful bully and small-time grifter, bent on chiseling the taxpayer to suit his lifestyle and warm his ego.

Opinion | Smearing Robert Mueller – By Nancy Gertner – NYT

By Nancy Gertner
Ms. Gertner is a retired federal judge.

“April 18, 2018Was Robert Mueller, the special counsel, complicit in one of the worst scandals in the F.B.I.’s history — the decades-long wrongful imprisonment of four men for a murder they didn’t commit?

This question, which has been raised before, is being addressed again — this time by some of President Trump’s most ardent supporters on the right, especially Fox News’s Sean Hannity but also Rush Limbaugh and others. My friend Alan Dershowitz, the retired Harvard Law School professor, has also weighed in.

In an April 8 interview with John Catsimatidis on his New York radio show, Mr. Dershowitz asserted that Mr. Mueller was “the guy who kept four innocent people in prison for many years in order to protect the cover of Whitey Bulger as an F.B.I. informer.” Mr. Mueller, he said, was “right at the center of it.” Mr. Bulger was a notorious crime boss in Boston, the head of the Winter Hill Gang, and also a secret source for the F.B.I.

There is no evidence that the assertion is true. I was the federal judge who presided over a successful lawsuit brought against the government by two of those men and the families of the other two, who had died in prison. Based on the voluminous evidence submitted in the trial, and having written a 105-page decision awarding them $101.8 million, I can say without equivocation that Mr. Mueller, who worked in the United States attorney’s office in Boston from 1982 to 1988, including a brief stint as the acting head of the office, had no involvement in that case. He was never even mentioned.”

How to Navigate the Complicated World of Credit Card Points – The New York Times

By Lucas PetersonApril 11, 2018There’s no such thing as a free lunch, but investing in a credit card rewards program can land you pretty close to the mark. Credit card points are generally more valuable than points or miles attached to a specific airline or hotel group. The reason? Flexibility. With a trove of credit card points, you can get flights, hotel rooms or even cruises. While Capital One and Bank of America are coming into their own, the three major players in the travel rewards game are American Express, Chase and Citi. Here’s a basic rundown of their current programs.

David Lindsay:

This is all beyond my budget. I don’t travel enough to benefit from these cards. However, I’ve done well, with the Citibank Drivers Edge card, which gives me cash back, around $1500 to $2000. every time I buy a new car, or now, a used car. Since I’m buying cars for two adult children, this benfit works repeatedly, before the dollars expire after three years. It has helped me get into a used 2014 Prius plug in hybrid that gets 50 mph city and highway.

Opinion | Earth, Wind and Liars – by Paul Krugman – NYT

“. . . . .  In the long run, these tactics probably won’t stop the transition to renewable energy, and even the villains of this story probably realize that. Their goal is, instead, to slow things down, so they can extract as much profit as possible from their existing investments.

Unfortunately, this really is a case of “in the long run we are all dead.” Every year that we delay the clean-energy transition will sicken or kill thousands while increasing the risk of climate catastrophe.

The point is that Trump and company aren’t just trying to move us backward on social issues; they’re also trying to block technological progress. And the price of their obstructionism will be high.”

Opinion | Blacks Still Face a Red Line on Housing – The New York Times

“For generations of white American families, homeownership has been a fundamental means of accumulating wealth. Their homes have grown in value over time, providing security in retirement and serving as an asset against which they can borrow for education or other purposes.

But African-Americans were essentially shut out of early federal programs that promoted homeownership and financial well-being — including the all-important New Deal mortgage insurance system that generated the mid-20th-century homeownership boom. This missed opportunity to amass wealth that white Americans took for granted is evident to this day in a yawning black-white wealth gap and in worse health, living conditions and educational opportunities for African-Americans.

The Fair Housing Act, which turned 50 years old last week, ended the most egregious forms of discrimination and brought a modest rise in black homeownership. But those gains — and the hard-won wealth they represented — were wiped out a decade ago in the Great Recession, which reduced the African-American homeownership rate to levels not seen since housing discrimination was legal in the 1960s.”

David Lindsay:
This editorial gets three stars out of three from me. The good news is we are leaving plenty of low hanging fruit for our children and their generation to fix up and improve upon.