Opinion | An American 13-Year-Old- Pregnant and Married to Her Rapist – by Nicholas Kristof – NYT

“Dawn Tyree was 11 years old when a family friend began to molest her. A bit more than a year later, she became pregnant from these rapes, and her parents found out what had been going on. But they didn’t go to the police; instead, they found another solution.

“It was decided for me that I would marry him,” Tyree recalled.

So Tyree, then 13, was married to her rapist, then age 32. She became one of the thousands of underage American girls who are married each year, often sacrificing their futures to reduce embarrassment to their parents. Statutory rape is thus sanctioned by the state as marriage, and the abuser ends up not in handcuffs but showered with wedding gifts.

Our State Department protests child marriage in Africa and Asia (worldwide, a girl 14 or younger is married every 11 seconds, according to Save the Children), but every state in America allowed child marriages. That has finally changed. Last month Delaware became the first state to ban all child marriages, without exception.”

This Land Is My Land (And Yours, Too!) by Nicholas Kristof – The New York Times

“NOT to boast, but that image is me enjoying a pristine alpine lake I own in the California Sierras. It’s property so valuable that Bill Gates could never buy it. Yet it’s mine.But wait! Don’t stalk off — it’s also yours! It’s part of America’s extraordinary, but now threatened, heritage of public lands. These lands are being starved of funds to sustain them and are the target of an ideological battle, with the new Republican Party platform arguing that certain federal lands should be handed over to the states. Which lands aren’t specified.

This objective is sad, because America was the first country in the world to take its most stunning scenic places and turn them into a shared space belonging to all — an element of what Wallace Stegner called America’s “best idea.” ”

Source: This Land Is My Land (And Yours, Too!) – The New York Times

Some Extremists Fire Guns and Other Extremists Promote Guns, Nick Kristof – The New York Times

“Over the last two decades, Canada has had eight mass shootings. Just so far this month, the United States has already had 20.Canada has a much smaller population, of course, and the criteria researchers used for each country are slightly different, but that still says something important about public safety.

Could it be, as Donald Trump suggests, that the peril comes from admitting Muslims? On the contrary, Canadians are safe despite having been far more hospitable to Muslim refugees: Canada has admitted more than 27,000 Syrian refugees since November, some 10 times the number the United States has.

More broadly, Canada’s population is 3.2 percent Muslim, while the United States is about 1 percent Muslim — yet Canada doesn’t have massacres like the one we just experienced at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., or the one in December in San Bernardino, Calif. So perhaps the problem isn’t so much Muslims out of control but guns out of control.”

Source: Some Extremists Fire Guns and Other Extremists Promote Guns – The New York Times

Here is a good idea from a good comment:


Heart of Texas 7 hours ago

“The problem is members of Congress who take money from the NRA. Nobody forced anyone in Congress to take money from the NRA, which now has more gun hoarders (predominantly white male) than game hunters as members. The NRA is a scourge on the planet, and everybody knows it. NRA-backed members of Congress rebuke the majority of Americans who want gun control. If you want gun control, vote them out of office. The NRA can’t buy voters. The media can help by listing every member of Congress who takes a nickel from the NRA, and running that list with every single story on a mass shooting.”

Is Hillary Clinton Dishonest? The “Crooked Hillary” narrative is fundamentally unfair. nytimes.com|By Nicholas Kristof

Nicholas Kristof:
“One of the perils of journalism is the human brain’s penchant for sorting information into narratives. Even false narratives can take on a life of their own because there is always information arriving that can confirm a narrative.

Thus once we in the news media had declared Gerald Ford a klutz (he was actually a graceful athlete), there were always new television clips of him stumbling. Similarly, we unfairly turned Jimmy Carter into a hapless joke, and I fear that the “Crooked Hillary” narrative will drag on much more than the facts warrant.”
“One basic test of a politician’s honesty is whether that person tells the truth when on the campaign trail, and by that standard Clinton does well. PolitiFact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking site, calculates that of the Clinton statements it has examined, 95 percent are either true or mostly true.

That compares to 49 percent for Bernie Sanders’s, 9 percent for Trump’s, 22 percent for Ted Cruz’s and 52 percent for John Kasich’s. Here we have a rare metric of integrity among candidates, and it suggests that contrary to popular impressions, Clinton is relatively honest — by politician standards.”

The “Crooked Hillary” narrative is fundamentally unfair.
nytimes.com|By Nicholas Kristof

The Real Welfare Cheats, Nicholas Kristof- The New York Times

“We often hear how damaging welfare dependency is, stifling initiative and corroding the human soul. So I worry about the way we coddle executives in their suites.A study to be released Thursday says that for each dollar America’s 50 biggest companies paid in federal taxes between 2008 and 2014, they received $27 back in federal loans, loan guarantees and bailouts.Goodness! What will that do to their character? Won’t that sap their initiative?The study was compiled by Oxfam and it comes on top of a mountain of evidence from international agencies and economic journals underscoring the degree to which major companies have rigged the tax code.”

Source: The Real Welfare Cheats – The New York Times

‘Every Parent’s Nightmare’ by Nick Kristof – The New York Times

“We as a society derided the Roman Catholic Church as an accessory to child sexual abuse, and we lambasted Penn State for similar offenses. Yet we as a society are complicit or passive in a similar way, by allowing a popular website called Backpage.com to be used to arrange child rape. Consider what happened to a girl I’ll call Natalie, who was trafficked into the sex industry in Seattle at age 15.“It was every parent’s nightmare,” Natalie’s mother, Nacole, told me. “It can happen to any parent. Fifteen-year-olds don’t make the best choices. I dropped her off at school in the morning, I was expecting to pick her up after track practice in the afternoon, and then I didn’t see her for 108 days.” The girl ran off to a bus station, was found by a pimp, and within days was being sold for sex on Backpage.
»Backpage has classified ads for everything from antiques to boats, but it makes its money on escort ads. It has about 80 percent of the U.S. market for online sex ads in America, mostly for consenting adults but many also for women who are forcibly trafficked or for underage girls. Children in at least 47 states have been sold on Backpage, by one aid group’s count.“We were an everyday, average family,” Nacole said. “Our children were involved in sports. She played the violin. She was on the soccer team. And she made a stupid decision one day that forever changed her life. And Backpage facilitated it.” ”

Source: ‘Every Parent’s Nightmare’ – The New York Times

After Super Tuesday, Bracing for a President Trump – Nick Kristof, The New York Times

“The general election campaign may have already begun.From Our AdvertisersIn the aftermath of Super Tuesday election results, betting markets show Hillary Clinton with more than a 90 percent chance of becoming the Democratic nominee, and Donald Trump with at least a 75 percent chance of emerging as the Republican nominee.This is the most astonishing presidential election since at least 1968, at the height of the Vietnam War. The G.O.P. front-runner is reviled not only by Democrats, but also by many prominent Republicans, and has less government experience than any president in history.Only two presidents — William Howard Taft and Herbert Hoover — lacked background in major elective office or in the military, and both had held cabinet posts. In short, a Trump presidency would be unprecedented not only for his bizarre policy positions and propensity to insult women and minorities, but also because of his staggering lack of relevant experience or knowledge.Nicholas KristofHuman rights, women’s rights, health, global affairs. The Killing Field The Party of ‘No Way!’ My Friend, the Former Muslim Extremist America’s Stacked Deck Are You a Toxic Waste Disposal Site?See More »Trump has shrewdly manipulated the news media and has proved a much more accurate reader of the electorate than we pundits. Yet I’ve never met a national politician so ill informed, so evasive, so bombastic and, frankly, so puerile.According to Dana Milbank of The Washington Post, most Republican candidates spoke at a high-school or middle-school level in the last G.O.P. debate, based on the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Index. Meanwhile, Trump spoke at a third- or fourth-grade level. After the Nevada caucuses, Ted Cruz spoke at a ninth-grade level, Clinton at a seventh-grade level — and Trump at about a second-grade level! (I checked Trump’s victory speech on Super Tuesday evening, a more moderate speech that seemed to reach for the center, and Trump had raised his rhetoric to a sixth-grade level.)”

Source: After Super Tuesday, Bracing for a President Trump – The New York Times

Here is a coherent comment, that contradicts my opinion that Trump will be easier for Hillary to beat than one of the other Rrepublicans.

Mark Thomason is a trusted commenter Clawson, Mich 19 hours ago

“Trumps’ speech patterns are deliberate, honed on reality TV. Make fun of that, make fun of reality TV, but it works. I don’t have to like it or admire it to see it.

Trumps policy positions are obscure. He clearly wants it that way. Again it is reality TV — everything for everyone, and keep up the suspense, make it emotional, give them hope for anything.

This is design, not “ill informed, so evasive, so bombastic and, frankly, so puerile.” He knows what he’s doing, because it works, and he’s consistent. That is a lot more dangerous than would be just ill-informed and puerile.

Trump is aiming at a group in both parties who have much reason to be dissatisfied.

Bernie aims at much of the same group, with sanity and organized thought and higher language levels. He can win over many who otherwise would vote for Trump.

Hillary represents everything that dissatisfies those voters. She has been an important part of government for decades. She has been a focus of attention in government for decades. She can’t pretend now she isn’t part of it all.

She is linked to all the powers-that-be in government over that time, trade agreements and the Washington Consensus, wars and the Serious People of Washington who demand and get them, Wall Street and the bankers who ruined those voters and bailed out only themselves, and the steady export of jobs.

Those are exactly what those voters reject, and exactly what Trump (and Bernie) promise to change.

Hillary is Trump’s ideal target.”

I still disagree with this analysis. The Republican hate machine will probably shred Bernie Sanders as an out of touch, Jewish Socialist and communist revolutionary. Not true, but they will create the narrative. I think analytically, that Trump will be easier for Hillary to beat than one of the other three remaining. Only Kasich is not a light-weight, deceiving puppet of big oil and gas money.

2 Questions for Bernie Sanders – by Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times

“I admire Sanders’s passion, his relentless focus on inequality and his consistency. When he was sworn in as mayor of Burlington, he declared: “The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer and the millions of families in the middle are gradually sliding out of the middle class and into poverty.” That has remained his mantra across 35 years. And yet, I still have two fundamental questions for Sanders:Can you translate your bold vision into reality?”

Source: 2 Questions for Bernie Sanders – The New York Times

In spite of what others say, the biggest threat to our nation and civilization is overpopulation and its associated global warming, and the wars and immigration flows these storm clouds will increase and make more severe.
I think Bernie Sanders and his ideas are terrific, now that I have learned of him. I still ardently support Hillary Clinton, for her extraordinary record of leadership, recently outlined in 15 points in the New York Times endorsement, and because we can not afford to lose the White House in the next election. Another eight years of ignoring climate change could reduce our chances significantly of ever dealing with green house gases before its too late. It was Ross Douthat who wrote in the NY Times that the Republicans are praying for a Sanders candidate. The polls of his running against any of the nine dwarves are meaningless, because he has never had to withstand the blistering broadsides and dirty tricks of the Republican political super pacs and attack organizations.
The Times reported that Republican super pacs quietly ran ads in Iowa supporting Bernie Sanders. They think that any of the climate change denying, anti-science dwarves can beat a Socialist in the big election.
Both Clinton and Sanders are such excellent people and leaders, that it my wish that both announce that they will include the other in their cabinets. We will benefit from a Team of Rivals, that are data driven, and concerned about all Americans, and non human species extinction.

America the Unfair? – Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times

“Martin Gilens of Princeton University and Benjamin I. Page of Northwestern University found that in policy-making, views of ordinary citizens essentially don’t matter. They examined 1,779 policy issues and found that attitudes of wealthy people and of business groups mattered a great deal to the final outcome — but that preferences of average citizens were almost irrelevant.“In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule,” they concluded. “Majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts.” ”

Source: America the Unfair? – The New York Times