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.

Nicholas Kristof | Dealing With Our Segregated, Jim Crow Education System – The New York Times

“. . .  More broadly, we in the United States embrace a public education system based on local financing that ensures that poor kids go to poor schools and rich kids to rich schools.

Yes, it’s a “public” school system with “free” education. So anyone who can afford a typical home in Palo Alto, Calif., costing $3.2 million, can then send children to superb schools. And less than 2 percent of Palo Alto’s population is Black.

Rucker Johnson, a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, has found that since 1988, American public schools have become more racially segregated. Roughly 15 percent of Black and Hispanic students attend so-called apartheid schools with fewer than 1 percent white students.

In 1973, the Supreme Court came a whisker from overturning this system of unequal school funding, in the case of Rodriguez v. San Antonio Independent School District. Lower courts had ruled that profoundly unequal school funding violated the Constitution, but by a 5-to-4 vote the justices disagreed.

This was the Brown v. Board of Education case that went the other way. If a single justice had switched, America would today be a fairer and more equitable nation.

Educated white Americans are now repulsed at the thought of systems of separate and unequal drinking fountains for Black Americans but seem comfortable with a Jim Crow financing system resulting in unequal schools for Black children — even though schools are far more consequential than water fountains.  . . . “

Nicholas Kristof | What Your Taxes Are Paying For in Israel – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

“Saying Hamas must pay a “very heavy price” for belligerence, Israeli bombs destroyed a 13-story apartment building in Gaza that had a Hamas presence. And saying Israel “ignited fire” and is “responsible for the consequences,” Hamas launched more rockets at Israel.

We’re now seeing the worst fighting in seven years between Israelis and Palestinians, and again a basic pattern asserts itself: When missiles are flying, hard-liners on each side are ascendant. Civilians die, but extremists on one side empower those on the other.

The late Eyad el-Sarraj, a prominent psychiatrist in Gaza, described this dynamic when I visited him during a past cycle of violence: “Extremists need each other, support each other.” He lamented that Israel’s siege of Gaza had turned Palestinian fanatics into popular heroes.

The recent fighting was prompted in part by Israel’s latest land grab in East Jerusalem, part of a pattern of unequal treatment of Palestinians. Two prominent human rights organizations this year issued reports likening Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to apartheid. One group, B’Tselem, described a “regime of Jewish supremacy” and concluded, “This is apartheid.” Human Rights Watch published a 224-page report declaring that Israeli conduct in some areas amounts to “crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.”  . . . “

Nicholas Kristof | Lessons for America From a Weird Portland – The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/14/opinion/portland-politics.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Opinion Columnist

Credit…Imagespace/Alamy Live News

 

“PORTLAND, Ore. — As an Oregonian, I’ve always been proud of this picture-postcard metropolis, so I’ve been pained to see it portrayed as a war zone or dying city, and doubly pained when a local businessman recently recounted to me his effort to recruit an executive from out of state.

The executive came for a visit — and, when she saw today’s Portland, with its homeless camps and boarded-up shops downtown, declined the job.

I think that executive erred: Whatever the scars from big protests that began last summer against racial injustice, this city has strong fundamentals and is resilient. But the travails here are real and offer lessons for the rest of the country about the uses and abuses of progressivism.

Last summer President Donald Trump inflamed the crisis in Portland by sending in unneeded federal troops to deal with mostly peaceful protests. That aggravated the upheaval, provoked months of rioting and empowered fringe groups, and perhaps it also obscured the need to stand resolutely against violence by local troublemakers on both left and right. There was too much deference to people sowing chaos under the banner of social justice, perhaps for fear of seeming unprogressive, and after the feds left, the city never tried hard enough to pivot to re-establish order.

Just this week, there was new rioting in Portland after a white police officer in Minnesota shot and killed a Black man, Daunte Wright. Portlanders have reason to protest peacefully — the police arrest African-Americans in the city at four times the rate of whites, one study found — but violence doesn’t serve any cause other than the election of Republicans.

The local slogan is “Keep Portland Weird,” but businesses boarded up to protect against rioters suggest not weirdness but melancholy. A beautiful elk statue that had presided in a park for 120 years had to be removed after its base was vandalized by protesters. Activists have defied the law and taken over a building known as the Red House, frightening neighbors.

Underscoring the concern for law and order, this year Portland is on track to reach 100 homicides, far exceeding the record of 70 set in 1987.  . . . “

David Lindsay Jr.

David Lindsay Jr.Hamden, CT |NYT Comment:

Thank you Nicholas Kristof. Empty headed young progressive radicals are attempting to dismantle town government right here in Hamden CT. These idealistic idiots on the left are doing damage in many parts of the country. Their behaviour is so insidious, it is hard to describe or counter. Your op-ed is a great description of the damage done by well meaning liberals, who are essentally intellectually lazy.

Nicholas Kristof | Biden Plots a Revolution for America’s Children – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

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Credit…Richard Foulser/Trunk Archive

“The most revolutionary part of President Biden’s agenda so far is his focus on a constituency that doesn’t write whiny op-ed columns, doesn’t vote, doesn’t hire lobbyists and so has been neglected for half a century: children.

Biden’s proposal to establish a national pre-K and child care system would be a huge step forward for children and for working parents alike. It would make it easier for moms and dads to hold jobs, and above all it would be a lifeline for many disadvantaged children.

Imagine: You drop a kid off at a high-quality prekindergarten program in the morning and pick the child up on the way home from work. That’s how it is in many other advanced countries, and in the United States military.

When my wife and I lived in Japan in the late 1990s, we sent our kids to one of these nurseries, and they were a dream.”

Nicholas Kristof | How to Reduce Shootings – (regulate gun like cars) -The New York Times

“America has been shaken by new mass shootings, in Georgia and Colorado, with at least 18 people killed. This essay originally ran in 2017, after a shooter killed 26 people in a Texas church, but the issue is still tragically relevant — and will remain so until America tightens its gun safety policies.

America has more guns than any other country

The first step is to understand the scale of the challenge America faces: The U.S. has more than 300 million guns — roughly one for every citizen — and stands out as well for its gun death rates. At the other extreme, Japan has less than one gun per 100 people, and typically fewer than 10 gun deaths a year in the entire country.”