Nicholas Kristof | Spy Cams Show What the Pork Industry Tries to Hide – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

“The hog industry hails the gas chambers in which pigs are prepared for slaughter as “animal friendly,” “stress free” and “painless.” That would be a good thing, since on average, four pigs are slaughtered each second in the United States.

But a California activist recently sneaked into a slaughterhouse at night and installed spy cams inside a gas chamber to record this supposedly humane process. The resulting videos are horrifying: They show the pigs squealing desperately, thrashing about and gasping for air before eventually succumbing.

“Everyone’s been lied to,” the activist, Raven Deerbrook, said. “It’s a massive consumer fraud.”

She may have a point. These gas chambers, which use carbon dioxide to render pigs unconscious, are how “animal friendly” modern meat plants across North America and Europe often prepare hogs to have their throats slit.”

Nicholas Kristof | Inclusive or Alienating? The Language Wars Go On – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

“Before the millions of views, the subsequent ridicule and finally the earnest apology, The Associated Press Stylebook practically oozed good intentions in its tweet last week:

“We recommend avoiding general and often dehumanizing ‘the’ labels such as the poor, the mentally ill, the French, the disabled, the college educated.”

“The French”?

Zut alors! The result was a wave of mocking conjecture of how to refer sensitively to, er, people of French persuasion. The French Embassy in the United States proposed changing its name to “the Embassy of Frenchness.” “

Nicholas Kristof | This Kenyan Slum Has Something to Teach the World – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

NAIROBI, Kenya — Here in the Kibera slum, life sometimes seems a free-for-all. Residents steal electricity by tapping into overhead lines, children walk barefoot through alleys trickling with sewage, and people occasionally must dodge “flying toilets” — plastic bags that residents use as toilets and then dispose of by hurling them in one direction or another.

Yet this is an uplifting slum. Against all odds, Kibera is also a place of hope, and it offers a lesson in bottom-up development that the world should learn from.

Nicholas Kristof | Are We in the West Weaker Than Ukrainians? – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

” “We will beat the Ukrainian out of you so that you love Russia,” a Russian interrogator told one torture survivor I spoke to in Ukraine, before he whipped her and raped her. That seems a pretty good summation of Vladimir Putin’s strategy.

It isn’t working in Ukraine, where Putin’s atrocities seem to be bolstering the will to fight back. That brave woman triumphed over her interrogators, albeit at horrific personal cost.

But I worry that we in the West are made of weaker stuff. Some of the most momentous decisions the United States will make in the coming months involve the level of support we will provide Ukraine, and I’ve had pushback from some readers who think President Biden is making a terrible mistake by resolutely helping Ukraine repel Russia.”

Nicholas Kristof | Trump Struggles, but America Is Still Feverish – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

“Has America’s fever broken?

An optimist could make a case. Donald Trump, the central figure in America’s febrile ailment, was further tarnished this past week, including by the conviction of his company for fraud. Trump wasn’t personally in the dock, but his reputation was — and the fraud involved checks he personally signed.

Meanwhile, the Senate Republican candidate whom Trump anointed in Georgia was defeated on Tuesday. That came after a midterm election in which some prominent Trump-backed candidates were trounced.

Trump’s willingness to socialize with Nazi sympathizers and his calls for a suspension of the Constitution also suggest that he is marching into extremist territory in a way that may leave him marginalized and less of a threat to the country. My own bet is that in the next presidential term from 2025 to 2029, there’s more chance that Trump’s federal housing will involve a prison than the White House.”

David Lindsay: NIcholas Kristof left the NYT times, moved home to Oregon, and ran for Governor. The State Supreme Court decided he had insufficent residency, and said he could not run.  Oregon’s loss, is the NYT community’s gain. Welcome back Nichola Kristof.

Nicholas Kristof | These Gun Reforms Could Save 15,000 Lives. We Can Achieve Them. – The New York Times

Mr. Kristof is a former Times Opinion columnist. He was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor of Oregon this year.

“Gun enthusiasts protest that now is the time for mourning, not politics, for national grief rather than polarizing debates about firearms.

But we’re tired of commemorating gun violence in America only with thoughts and prayers. We didn’t respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine simply with thoughts and prayers, or to the 9/11 attacks only with moments of silence, or to Pearl Harbor just with lowered flags and memorial services.

No, we resolved to act, even though these were hard challenges with no perfect solutions. Gun policy is likewise complicated and politically vexing, and we’re not going to make everyone safe. Still, experts suggest that over time we plausibly could reduce gun deaths by a third, or 15,000 lives saved annually, with a series of pragmatic limits on firearms and those who can get them.

Instead, we’re paralyzed in ways that threaten our democracy and our well-being. American children and teenagers are 57 percent more likely to die young compared with children and teenagers in other advanced countries, and guns are one important reason. One study found that Americans ages 15 to 19 are 82 times more likely to be shot dead than similarly aged teenagers in our peer countries.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
Thank you Nicholas Kristof, good to hear your thoughtful and clear voice. I am sorry the most recommended comments are so negative, or pessimistic.
I suggest that the NYT brings back the category, NYT Picks, but spruces it up a bit. Picks often pissed me off for various reasons. The Times might experiment with a new section, Picks by Mr A and Ms B. And you would be able to look up who they are, and what criterion they choose for choosing winners that day.
Or, in a limitless world, add two new categories, Picks in support of the journalist, and, Picks critical of the journalist. The argument for this effort, is to make the great experience even greater. The comments section of this paper is growing into an extraordinary and hyper valuable institution. Some old ass like myself, can read something, and not figure it out, or where I should stand on the issues. Diving into the comments makes many of us, a whole lot smarter. And grateful for the help in sorting though the chaff for the wheat.
David blogs at InconvenientNews.net

Nicholas Kristof Leaves The New York Times as He Weighs Political Bid – The New York Times

“After 37 years at The New York Times as a reporter, high-level editor and opinion columnist, Nicholas Kristof is leaving the newspaper as he considers running for governor of Oregon, a top Times editor said in a note to the staff on Thursday.

Mr. Kristof, 62, has been on leave from The Times since June, when he told company executives that he was weighing a run for governor in the state where he grew up. On Tuesday, he filed to organize a candidate committee with Oregon’s secretary of state, signaling that his interest was serious.

In the email to the staff announcing his departure, Kathleen Kingsbury, The Times’s opinion editor, wrote that Mr. Kristof had redefined the role of opinion columnist and credited him with “elevating the journalistic form to a new height of public service with a mix of incisive reporting, profound empathy and a determination to bear witness to those struggling and suffering across the globe.” “

Nicholas Kristof | The Biggest Threat to America Is America Itself – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

” “America is back” became President Biden’s refrain on his European trip this month, and in a narrow sense it is.

We no longer have a White House aide desperately searching for a fire alarm to interrupt a president as he humiliates our country at an international news conference, as happened in 2018. And a Pew Research Center survey found that 75 percent of those polled in a dozen countries expressed “confidence in the U.S. president to do the right thing,” compared with 17 percent a year ago.

Yet in a larger sense, America is not back. In terms of our well-being at home and competitiveness abroad, the blunt truth is that America is lagging. In some respects, we are sliding toward mediocrity.

Greeks have higher high school graduation rates. Chileans live longer. Fifteen-year-olds in Russia, Poland, Latvia and many other countries are better at math than their American counterparts — perhaps a metric for where nations will stand in a generation or two.”

Nicholas Kristof | Covid-19’s Impact on America Has Just Begun – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

“YAMHILL, Ore. — As more vaccinated Americans emerge, blinking, to survey our post-apocalyptic world, it’s becoming increasingly clear that many of our fellow citizens may never fully recover — even if they didn’t actually contract the coronavirus.

That’s because quite apart from the direct effects of the virus, the pandemic has aggravated mental illness, domestic violence, addiction and childhood trauma in ways that may reverberate for decades.

My friends who started out prosperous have ridden out the storm in vacation homes and seen their investments soar. Here in rural Oregon where I grew up, my friends who were already down and out are mostly struggling, homeless or even dead, and there is similar anguish across a broad swath of the United States.

That’s why President Biden’s proposals to invest in families and working-class Americans are so important. Just as we acted forcefully to address the virus, we should also move decisively to address America’s persistent pandemic of despair, addiction and educational failure.

Two of my friends overdosed on heroin during the pandemic, and the girlfriend of one is now self-medicating with meth and is wanted by the law. One of my homeless friends died; another, newly homeless, begs me for money; his mother pleads for me to refuse for fear he will use it to buy drugs and again overdose.  . . .”

David Lindsay

This is a pretty good arugment for Biden’s humongous, 6 trillion dollar spending and investiment plan.

Nicholas Kristof | How Biden Can Help Vaccinate the World – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

Let’s begin with a quick quiz question: What’s the highest-return investment you can think of? Private equity? A hedge fund?

Here’s something with a far higher return: a global campaign to vaccinate people in poor countries against the coronavirus.

So far the United States and other Group of 7 “leading” countries haven’t actually shown leadership in fighting the pandemic globally. American vaccine nationalism means that we are hoarding both vaccines and the raw materials to make them, in ways that lead to unnecessary deaths abroad and also undermine our own recovery.

“It’s a huge moral failure of the G7,” said Esther Duflo, an M.I.T. economist and Nobel laureate in economics. “We’re so focused on our own problems that we can’t see beyond.”

Abhijit Banerjee, her husband and fellow Nobel laureate in economics at M.I.T., added that because of the risks of variants emerging from poor countries, “It’s not only a huge failure, but I think it’s going to come back to haunt us.”

This is not, of course, primarily about money. It’s about lives. It’s about the trajectory of humanity. But for those who weigh costs to orient their moral compass, a new paper from the International Monetary Fund offers numbers that underscore the importance of investing in global vaccines.  . . . “

David Lindsay Jr.

David Lindsay Jr.Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:

I have read perhpas from Edward O Wilson, that there is a growing concensus that the the proper number of humans on the planet for a sustainable system is probably about 4 billion. Since we are at 7.8 billion humans now, (headed to 10 or 12 billion), and in the middle or beginnning of the sixth extinction of other species, losing 1 or 2 billion humans could be a weird blessing for the future of life on the planet, unless we can come up with a more civilized way to bring down overpopulation, over pollution, and the despoiling of the planet. I find that the argument by Nicholas Kristof fails to address this elephant or perhaps tiger in the room.