How Harlem Shaped Warnock’s Faith and Politics – The New York Times

“Four days before the November midterm elections, Senator Raphael Warnock slipped away from the campaign trail in Georgia to deliver a eulogy in Harlem.

His mentor — the Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, a powerful and politically astute preacher who led Harlem’s storied Abyssinian Baptist Church — had died at the age of 73. At the memorial service, Mr. Warnock told the crowd of mourners about the intersections of faith and public life that had shaped Mr. Butts’s work, and his own.

“Calvin Butts taught me how to take my ministry to the streets,” Mr. Warnock said at a service that drew former President Bill Clinton, Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “He understood that the church’s work doesn’t end at the church door. That’s where it starts.”

Mr. Warnock now finds himself locked in one of the last and most closely watched elections of the 2022 midterms — a Georgia runoff on Tuesday against a Trump-backed Republican rival, Herschel Walker.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
Excellent article, thank you Katie Glueck et al. I am proud to have supported Warnock’s candadicy for the senate both his first, and now his secont time. His history and story are inspiring. My prayers and my actions are with you Senator.
David blogs at

Does America Vote Too Much? – The New York Times

“Americans casting their ballots in tomorrow’s midterm elections might be voting in their 30th or 40th contest in four years. In the same amount of time, a German citizen might vote in six to eight races.

Put simply, the U.S. has an unusually high number of elections. The federal government alone holds elections every two years, compared with around every four or five years in other advanced democracies.

Why does this matter? Some experts argue that the saturation of elections has significant downsides — exhausting voters and hurting the quality of governance by pushing lawmakers toward more campaigning, fund-raising and short-term thinking.”

The Default Tech Settings You Should Turn Off Right Away – The New York Times

“With iPhones, users can open the settings app and enter the privacy menu to change how they share data about their app use and location.

  • Select Tracking and toggle off Allow Apps to Request to Track. This tells all apps to not share data with third parties for marketing purposes.

  • Select Apple Advertising and toggle off Personalized Ads so that Apple can’t use information about you to serve targeted ads on its App Store, Apple News and Stocks.

  • Select Analytics & Improvements and toggle off Share iPhone Analytics to prevent the iPhone from sending device data to Apple to improve its products.

  • Select Location Services, tap System Services and toggle off iPhone Analytics and Routing & Traffic to prevent the device from sharing geodata with Apple for improving Apple Maps.indsay

David Lindsay. I do not agree with the assumption here that you should not let the corp. have any data to improve their services. The first point is the only one that I categorically agree with. “Select Tracking and toggle off Allow Apps to Request to Track. This tells all apps to not share data with third parties for marketing purposes.”   You should not go this far.

Opinion | Raphael Warnock: I Can Still Hear My Father’s Voice – The New York Times

The Rev. Warnock, a Democratic senator from Georgia, is the author of “A Way Out of No Way: A Memoir of Truth, Transformation, and the New American Story,” from which this essay is adapted.

“I can still hear my father’s voice.

“Wake up, son. Get dressed. Get ready. Put your shoes on. There’s something for you to do.” My dad almost never allowed me and my siblings to sleep late. It did not matter whether it was a weekday or a weekend, during the school year or summertime, the admonition was the same.

One sleepy-headed morning, I pushed back: “It’s Saturday. Get ready for what? What do you want me to do?” He paused and then blurted out, “I don’t know yet. Just be ready!” That was my dad. Loving. Gentle. No nonsense. A small giant of a man with a fierce work ethic and a profound sense of duty.

Jonathan Warnock was 52 years old when I was born, the same age I am now. As a young man, Dad was drafted in the U.S. Army during World War II and served about a year, all stateside. He experienced firsthand the indignities of that era’s Black military men, who served their country dutifully at a defining time in its history yet were treated as second-class citizens, particularly in the segregated South.”

Cihan Tugal | Turkey Shows What NATO Really Is – The New York Times

Dr. Tugal is a professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, who writes frequently on Turkey’s politics and society.

“In April, as the world was occupied with Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, a NATO member launched an attack on two of its neighboring territories. In a bombing campaign, Turkey targeted the camps of Kurdish militants in Iraq and Syria, inflicting damage on shelters, ammunition depots and bases.

The irony went largely unnoticed. That’s hardly a surprise: For a long time, the Western world has turned a blind eye to Turkey’s heavy-handed treatment of the Kurds. Across decades, the Turkish state has persecuted the Kurdish minority — about 18 percent of the population — with devastating zeal. Thousands have perished and around a million have been displaced in a campaign of severe internal repression. But Western nations, except for a brief spell when Kurdish resistance was holding back an ascendant Islamic State, have rarely seemed to care.

Turkey’s treatment of the Kurds is now center stage — but not because allies have woken up to the injustice of Kurds’ systematic oppression. Instead, it’s because Turkey is effectively threatening to block the admittance of Finland and Sweden to NATO unless they agree to crack down on Kurdish militants. For President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, seeing an opportunity to further cement his nationalist agenda, it’s a bold gambit. The tepid response from NATO allies so far suggests he might be successful.”

Zeynep Tufekci | Digital Technology Invaded Our Lives. Now Women May Pay For It. – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

Over 130 years ago, a young lawyer saw an amazing new gadget and had a revolutionary vision — technology can threaten our privacy.

“Recent inventions and business methods call attention to the next step which must be taken for the protection of the person,” wrote the lawyer, Louis Brandeis, warning that laws needed to keep up with technology and new means of surveillance, or Americans would lose their “right to be left alone.”

Decades later the right to privacy discussed in that 1890 law review article and Brandeis’s opinions as a Supreme Court justice, especially in the context of new technology, would be cited as a foundational principle of the constitutional protections for many rights, including contraception, same-sex intimacy and abortion.

Now the Supreme Court seems poised to rule that there is no constitutional protection for the right to abortion. Surveillance made possible by minimally-regulated digital technologies could help law enforcement track down women who might seek abortions and medical providers who perform them in places where it would become criminalized. Women are urging one another to delete phone apps like period trackers that can indicate they are pregnant.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
All important stuff, well explained. Thank you Zeynep Tufekci. The Europeans are apparently passing good laws for protection, that we could copy, and then we wouldn’t be starting from scratch.

What to Know About Tucker Carlson’s Rise – Nicholas Confessore – The New York Times

Night after night on Fox, Tucker Carlson weaponizes his viewers’ fears and grievances to create what may be the most racist show in the history of cable news. It is also, by some measures, the most successful.

With singular influence — reaching far beyond Fox and the viewers who tune in to his show — Mr. Carlson has filled the vacuum left by Donald J. Trump, championing the former president’s most ardent followers and some of their most extreme views. As fervently as he has raced to the defense of the Jan. 6 rioters, so has he sown doubt and suspicion around immigrants, Black Lives Matter protesters or Covid-19 vaccines.

A New York Times examination of Mr. Carlson’s career, including interviews with dozens of friends and former colleagues, and an analysis of more than 1,100 episodes of his Fox program, shows how he has grown increasingly sympathetic to the nativist currents coursing through U.S. politics, and how intertwined his rise has been with the transformations of his network and of American conservatism.

Here are some key takeaways from “American Nationalist,” The Times’s threepart series on Mr. Carlson.

Last spring, Mr. Carlson caused an uproar when he promoted on air the notion of the “great replacement” — a racist conspiracy theory, once relegated to the far-right fringe, that Western elites are importing “obedient” immigrant voters to disempower the native-born. The Anti-Defamation League called for his firing, noting that such thinking had helped fuel a string of terrorist attacks.”

Kathleen Belew | The Buffalo Shooting and the Danger of White Replacement Theory – The New York Times

Dr. Belew is the author of “Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America.”

“It’s not immediately obvious how the “great replacement” theory, often framed as anti-immigrant doctrine meant to preserve predominantly white societies, is connected to the shooting of Black customers and employees at a grocery store in Buffalo last weekend. Those at the store, who lived over 100 miles away from the man accused in the killings, were simply going about their lives (picking up groceries, buying a birthday caketaking their children for ice cream).

But the explanation for both the choice of targets and the brutality of an attack that killed 10 people can be found in the history of the theory. In the American context, it has in its cross-hairs a host of future targets, among them democracy itself.

The great replacement is the latest incarnation of an old idea: The belief that elites are attempting to destroy the white race by overwhelming it with nonwhite groups and thinning them out with interbreeding until white people no longer exist. This idea is not, at its core, about any single threat, be it immigrants or people of color, but rather about the white race that it purports to protect. It’s important to be cautious and not too credulous when reading the writings of assailants in attacks motived by race, but we should note an important pattern: their obsession with protecting white birthrates.

For decades, white power activists have worried about their status as a majority. They see a looming demographic crisis, and talk about when their community, town or the United States will no longer be majority white. Even when demographic change slows, this fear has not abated.”

The Complicated Legacy of ‘My Old Kentucky Home’ | Arts & Culture| Smithsonian Magazine

“My Old Kentucky Home, Goodnight,” as it was originally titled, was written by Foster in the 1850s as an anti-slavery songinspired by Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin and following the same story arc as Stowe’s title character. His initial working title was “Poor Uncle Tom, Goodnight.”

The song emphasizes the humanity and close family ties of the enslaved population at a time when African Americans were routinely dehumanized and caricatured. The opening scene in Uncle Tom’s Cabin features a slave trader explaining that black people do not have the same tender emotions as white people, a rationalization for selling their children for profit. “My Old Kentucky Home” is a rebuke to that racist thinking.

In My Bondage and My Freedom, abolitionist luminary Frederick Douglass, himself formerly enslaved, wrote that the song “awakens sympathies for the slave, in which antislavery principles take root, grow, and flourish.”

The great Paul Robeson, the black singer, Shakespearean actor, and political activist of the mid-20th century, delivered a rendition with most of the original sorrowful lyrics—including a racial slur that no one would use today—that makes Foster’s meaning painfully clear.

The verse sung at Churchill Downs, often by affluent, white crowds, looks different when taking into account that Foster’s singer was describing a slave trader coming to steal away a family member:

The young folks roll on the little cabin floor,
All merry, all happy, and bright.
By and by hard times comes a-knocking at the door,
Then my old Kentucky home, good night.

The day goes by like a shadow o’er the heart,
With sorrow where all was delight.
The time has come when the darkies have to part,
Then my old Kentucky home, good night.

Source: The Complicated Legacy of ‘My Old Kentucky Home’ | Arts & Culture| Smithsonian Magazine

Behind the Violence at Rikers, Decades of Mismanagement and Dysfunction – The New York Times

Jan Ransom and 

“The leaders of the New York City Department of Correction had already lost control over Rikers Island this fall when they went in search of one small measure of relief.

They needed 19 correction officers whom they had posted at the Queens criminal courthouse to fill in at the massive jail complex, where staffing was short, slashings and stabbings were up and detainees had gained control over some housing units. It was Columbus Day, a holiday, and the workload at the Queens courthouse was comparatively light.

But when the bus to Rikers arrived at the courthouse, many of the guards refused to board it. Instead, according to interviews, they claimed the onset of sudden illness. Seven of them dialed 911, complaining of chest pain, leg injuries, lightheadedness and palpitations. One produced a cane as proof of disability. More than a dozen officers left in ambulances. Rikers remained understaffed.

The Columbus Day episode underscores how easy New York City’s leaders have made it for jail guards to sidestep assignments they do not want, even as Rikers Island has been gripped by its worst crisis since it reeled from the crack epidemic in the early ’90s.”

David Lindsay: This article,. “Behind the Violence at Rikers, Decades of Mismanagement and Dysfunction” is massively important and disturbing. It makes a person of conscience want to vomit. What can be done. Can the new mayor take on the NYC correction officers union?  Can it be dismantled? Can the mayor call in the NY State national guard, to man the prisons, if there is a huge city wide strike.  Can the NYT help clarify what can and can’t be done?