Opinion | A ‘Disgusting’ Yale Professor Moves On – By Frank Bruni – The New York Times

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David Lindsay: I am a graduate of Yale College, and this story is embarrassing, especially what happend to the spouse.

By Frank Bruni
Opinion Columnist

March 19, 2019

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“The bright side has been denied the attention it deserves,” writes Nicholas Christakis.
Credit
Demetrius Freeman for The New York Times

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“The bright side has been denied the attention it deserves,” writes Nicholas Christakis.CreditCreditDemetrius Freeman for The New York Times
An intellectual rock star, Nicholas Christakis has taught at the University of Chicago, Harvard and, since 2013, Yale. He has done trailblazing work — distilled in a TED talk, of course — on how our social networks shape us. All of the most esteemed academies that validate scholars’ brilliance have validated his. In 2009, Time magazine put him on its list of 100 most influential people.

But to many Americans, he is best known not for what he has accomplished but for what he absorbed: taunts and insults from furious Yale students who swarmed him in a campus courtyard one day. “You should not sleep at night!” one of them screeched, as he miraculously kept his cool, a mute punching bag. “You are disgusting!”

Perhaps you saw the video. It became a viral sensation in the fall of 2015, Exhibit A in the tension, on so many campuses, between free expression and many minority students’ pleas for an atmosphere in which they feel fully respected and safe. Christakis’s wife, Erika, who also taught at Yale back then, had circulated a memo in which she questioned a university edict against culturally insensitive Halloween costumes, suggesting that students could police themselves and should have both the freedom to err and the strength to cope with offense. She wrote that her husband concurred.

And all hell broke loose. Hundreds of students signed an open letter denouncing her and hundreds demanded that the couple be punished. There were protests. And when, in that courtyard, Christakis apologized for any pain that the memo had caused but refused to disavow its content, he was pilloried.

via Opinion | A ‘Disgusting’ Yale Professor Moves On – The New York Times

Opinion | Can This Man Oust Netanyahu? – By Bari Weiss – The New York Times

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“. . . .  Mr. Lapid is aware of this. “Security will be the first demand every Israeli in his right mind will talk to you about,” he told me.

“There several issues in which the majority of Israelis — 70 to 80 percent — think approximately the same,” he said. “We are all students of the disengagement of 2005, in which Israel did what the world asked us to do. We left Gaza. We dismantled the settlements. And I supported it at the time. But you know what? It was a mistake, doing it unilaterally. The only thing that happened is that less than a year later they voted Hamas into power. We left them with 3,000 greenhouses for them to build an economy and instead they built training camps” for jihadis.

So where does that leave the West Bank? Can the occupation go on indefinitely?

He paused. “It’s a very American question.” Because Americans think “everything is fixable.”

“Really, really wanting something or desiring something strongly is just not enough,” he said. “I’m not willing to see one Jew die because someone took an unnecessary risk in the name of values I really cherish. Like peace, like humanity, like people’s need for self-recognition.” “

via Opinion | Can This Man Oust Netanyahu? – The New York Times

A Mar-a-Lago Weekend and an Act of God: Trump’s History With Deutsche Bank – The New York Times

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By David Enrich
March 18, 2019

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As President Trump delivered his inaugural address in 2017, a slight woman with feathered gray hair sat listening, bundled in a hooded white parka in a fenced-off V.I.P. section. Her name was Rosemary T. Vrablic. She was a managing director at Deutsche Bank and one of the reasons Mr. Trump had just taken the oath of office.

It was a moment of celebration — and a moment of worry for Ms. Vrablic’s employer.

Mr. Trump and Deutsche Bank were deeply entwined, their symbiotic bond born of necessity and ambition on both sides: a real estate mogul made toxic by polarizing rhetoric and a pattern of defaults, and a bank with intractable financial problems and a history of misconduct.

via A Mar-a-Lago Weekend and an Act of God: Trump’s History With Deutsche Bank – The New York Times

Opinion | Dissecting the Dreams of Brexit Britain – by James Meek – The New York Times

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I have tried repeadedly to figure out the Brexit movement, I why the Brits didn’t just undo the terrible decision. Here is an op-ed that  sheds light, on a complicate subject. His piece ends:

“I believe now that a subliminal empire does persist in the dreaming of a large number of Britons, hinted at in a longing for the return of guilt-free racial categorization, in the idea that my country can be both globally open and privileged in an international trading system where it can somehow turn the rules to its advantage, in the idea of a safe white core protected from the dark hordes beyond by a mighty armed force.

How could this dreaming have survived so long after the fall of the actual empire? One answer may lie in the matchless political skills of Margaret Thatcher. She achieved the extraordinary feat of turning into political orthodoxy a plainly contradictory credo, that nationalism and borderless capitalism could easily coexist. The reality of the new Britain has been a shrunken welfare state, a country ruthlessly exposed to global free-market competition. The blindness of Thatcherism’s supporters has been to accept it as the patriotic solution to the globalism it enabled.

This idea, which begins to make sense only if your country happens to control a global empire, came from someone whose childhood dream was to be an official in the Indian Civil Service. It has been orthodoxy for four decades, not just in her own party but for a time, at least, in the main opposition. The bizarre and already disproved notion that the global free market might work as an avatar of Britain’s imperial power lies at the heart of the die-hard Brexit psyche. Propagating it was Mrs. Thatcher’s personal success, and that success, as we can now see, was her great failure.”

via Opinion | Dissecting the Dreams of Brexit Britain – The New York Times

Here is a comment I found useful:

Woof

It is important to understand what drove Brexit When the EU was enlarged to include Poland (wages 1/4 of France), Bulgaria (even lower) , Romania (yet lower) factories closed in high wage EU countries (UK, France) and moved East. A famous case study is that of the Whirlpool factory in Amiens , (labour cost Euro 35/hr) moving to Poland (Euro 7.80/hr) that nearly derailed the campaign of Mr. Macron. That is, wages moved to the EU average. That is they fell (in real term) in high wage countries and rose in low wage countries. Welcome in Poland (that however turned less democratic) and it was not welcome by the working population in Western Europe. Concurrently, under the EU policy of free movement, Polish plumbers willing to work for less , moved to London, putting British plumbers out of work. This was welcome by the British elite, that now could their plumbing in their Victorian Townhouse repaired cheaper and promptly, but not by British plumbers. Eventually, the lower middle class revolted (as we see in France with the gillets jaunes, and in the US with Trump voters) But the fault lies not with the lower middle class. The fault lies with the educated elite that should have foreseen the political consequences and installed a system of transfer payments from the elites (winners) to workers that lost good jobs) That a) would have helped UK workers and farmers, and b) would have lessened the increasing inequality that, lies at the bottom of all

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Becoming Greta: ‘Invisible Girl’ to Global Climate Activist With Bumps Along the Way – By Somini Sengupta – The New York Times

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By Somini Sengupta
Feb. 18, 2019,  159 c

STOCKHOLM — It’s complicated being Greta.

Small, shy, survivor of crippling depression, Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish girl skipping school to shame the world into addressing climate change, drew a parade of fans one Friday in February on a frozen square in Stockholm.

Six Swiss students had traveled 26 hours by train to seek her support for their petition for a tougher Swiss carbon emissions law. An Italian scientist told her she reminded him of his younger, activist self. A television news crew hovered around her. Women from an antismoking group came to give her a T-shirt.

Greta nodded, whispered, “Thanks,” posed for pictures. Made exactly zero small talk.

All this attention, she said out of earshot of the others, is great. It means “people are listening.” But then, a knife-blade flash of rage revealed itself.

“It’s sometimes annoying when people say, ‘Oh you children, you young people are the hope. You will save the world’” she said, after several grown-ups had told her just that. “I think it would be helpful if you could help us just a little bit.”

via Becoming Greta: ‘Invisible Girl’ to Global Climate Activist, With Bumps Along the Way – The New York Times

Editorial | Grown-Ups Get a Scolding on Climate – The New York Times

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Inspired by a Swedish teenager, students around the world on Friday will protest political inaction.

By The Editorial Board
The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher. It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section.

March 12, 2019

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CreditCreditChristine Rösch

The girl in long braids and lavender pants was in striking contrast to the rich and powerful adults gathered in Davos in January for the World Economic Forum, and her brief address lacked the usual niceties.

“Adults keep saying, ‘We owe it to the young people to give them hope,’” she said. “But I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.”

The applause was tepid.

Hers was not a tone grown-ups welcome from a 16-year-old. But Greta Thunberg is someone they should listen to. In fact, must listen to.

Not because the catastrophe she sees coming is news: The warnings of impending climatic catastrophe are already deafening — in the 2018 report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which warns that we are less than 12 years away from the point of no return; in the findings of 13 United States federal agencies that describe the grave threats posed by climate change to the nation; in the extremes of weather reported daily; in the vanishing Arctic ice, raging wildfires, violent tornadoes and other consequences of an overheating planet that appear with ever increasing frequency.

via Opinion | Grown-Ups Get a Scolding on Climate – The New York Times

Opinion | Whom to Elect for a Foreign Policy Crisis at 3 A.M.? – By Thomas L. Friedman – The New York Times

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By Thomas L. Friedman
Opinion Columnist

March 12, 2019,   166
Image  Credit
Tom Brenner/The New York Times

“As the 2020 campaign gets underway, we’ve heard about a Green New Deal, Medicare for all, breaking up Amazon and universal basic income — to name but a few of the ideas raised by Democratic presidential hopefuls. But one issue has been largely absent: foreign policy — the potential use of force, great-power competition and the management of alliances that will be more important during the next presidency than it has been in three decades.

Maybe I missed it, but I haven’t heard any of the Democrats running on the argument that he or she is the best person to answer the White House crisis line at 3 in the morning. They all seem inclined to let that call go to voice mail. I hope that doesn’t last, because that phone will be ringing. This will be an extraordinarily volatile and confusing time for U.S. foreign policy.

We’re in the post-post-Cold War era — an era when being secretary of state, let alone president, has become a terrible job. (If anyone asks you to become secretary of state, say you had your heart set on secretary of agriculture.) The post-Cold War era had its issues — 9/11, Iraq and Afghanistan, to be sure — but it was in many ways a unipolar belle epoque, in which an American hegemon stifled any serious great-power conflict.

The post-post-Cold War era, which has been slowly unfolding since the early 2000s, requires a president to manage and juggle three huge geopolitical trends — and the interactions between them — all at once.”

via Opinion | Whom to Elect for a Foreign Policy Crisis at 3 A.M.? – The New York Times

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT |NYT comments:

No One Is Taking Your Hamburgers. But Would It Even Be a Good Idea? – by Kendra Pierre-Louis – The New York Times

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. . . .    . . .    “The beef with beef
Agriculture was responsible for 9 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States in 2016, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. While the sectors with the most emissions were transportation and electricity generation, at 28 percent each, United States agricultural emissions were still greater than Britain’s total emissions in 2014, according to data from the World Bank.

Cows and other ruminants are responsible for two-thirds of those agricultural emissions. Their guts produce methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that’s more potent at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, though it also dissipates faster. Cows release some of that methane through their flatulence, but much more by burping.

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Deer, camels and sheep also produce methane. But in the United States, it’s cows that primarily account for the 26.9 percent of methane emissions, more than any other source. Natural gas accounts for 25 percent.

via No One Is Taking Your Hamburgers. But Would It Even Be a Good Idea? – The New York Times

Opinion | Ilhan Omar- Aipac and Me – By Thomas L. Friedman – The New York Times

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by Thomas L. Friedman
Opinion Columnist

March 6, 2011248 c
Representative Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, on Capitol Hill in January.
Credit
Jim Watson/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
“I’ve been watching with more than a little interest the controversial statements about Israel and the Israel lobby by Ilhan Omar, a freshman Democratic congresswoman from the Fifth District of Minnesota, because it turns out that we have a lot in common — up to a point.

The first thing we have in common is that I was raised in the Fifth District of Minnesota, specifically the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. I lived there until I was 20. It was a freaky place — a crazy mix of Minnesota Jews (we called ourselves “the Frozen Chosen’’) and Scandinavians that produced a uniquely tolerant civic culture and an interesting group of neighbors: Al Franken, the Coen brothers, Peggy Orenstein, Norm Ornstein, Michael Sandel, Sharon Isbin, Marc Trestman and lots of others you can find on the St. Louis Park Wikipedia page. Our little town was immortalized in the Coen brothers’ 2009 movie “A Serious Man.’’

I still feel very close to the community there and go home often. St. Louis Park welcomed Jews who wanted to get out of the inner city of Minneapolis back in the 1950s — when other suburbs still had restrictions on selling homes to “Hebrews.’’ So I was proud to see St. Louis Park also welcome Muslim Somali refugees like Omar a half-century later, and then elect her to Congress.

The other thing that Omar and I have in common, as others have noted, is that we both don’t like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) — the organization at the center of the Israel lobby — and have spoken in very blunt language about its strong-arm political tactics.”

via Opinion | Ilhan Omar, Aipac and Me – The New York Times

The World Is Losing Fish to Eat as Oceans Warm- Study Finds – By Kendra Pierre-Louis – The New York Times

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David Lindsay

Almost every day, I go fishing in the NYT.com for stories that seem important or useful. It is still early, but this might be the catch of the day.

By Kendra Pierre-Louis
“Fish populations are declining as oceans warm, putting a key source of food and income at risk for millions of people around the world, according to new research published Thursday.” (in the Journal Science) One scientist is calling this work a break through piece of research.

By Kendra Pierre-Louis
Feb. 28, 2019′   150 c

“Fish populations are declining as oceans warm, putting a key source of food and income at risk for millions of people around the world, according to new research published Thursday.

The study found that the amount of seafood that humans could sustainably harvest from a wide range of species shrank by 4.1 percent from 1930 to 2010, a casualty of human-caused climate change.

“That 4 percent decline sounds small, but it’s 1.4 million metric tons of fish from 1930 to 2010,” said Chris Free, the lead author of the study, which appears in the journal Science.

Scientists have warned that global warming will put pressure on the world’s food supplies in coming decades. But the new findings — which separate the effects of warming waters from other factors, like overfishing — suggest that climate change is already having a serious impact on seafood.

Fish make up 17 percent of the global population’s intake of animal protein, and as much as 70 percent for people living in some coastal and island countries, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

“Fish provide a vital source of protein for over half of the global population, and some 56 million people worldwide are supported in some way by marine fisheries,” Dr. Free said.

As the oceans have warmed, some regions have been particularly hard-hit. In the northeast Atlantic Ocean and the Sea of Japan, fish populations declined by as much as 35 percent over the period of the study.

“The ecosystems in East Asia have seen some of the largest decline in fisheries productivity,” Dr. Free said. “And that region is home to some of the largest growing human populations and populations that are highly dependent on seafood.” “

via The World Is Losing Fish to Eat as Oceans Warm, Study Finds – The New York Times