Mizzou, Yale and Free Speech On university campuses, First Amendment rights are colliding with inclusivity. nytimes.com|By Nicholas Kristof

Saint Nicholas: “Yes, universities should work harder to be inclusive. And, yes, campuses must assure free expression, which means protecting dissonant and unwelcome voices that sometimes leave other people feeling aggrieved or wounded.

On both counts we fall far short.

We’ve also seen Wesleyan students debate cutting funding for the student newspaper after it ran an op-ed criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement. At Mount Holyoke, students canceled a production of “The Vagina Monologues” because they felt it excluded transgender women. Protests led to the withdrawal of Condoleezza Rice as commencement speaker at Rutgers and Christine Lagarde at Smith.

This is sensitivity but also intolerance, and it is disproportionately an instinct on the left.”

On university campuses, First Amendment rights are colliding with inclusivity.
nytimes.com|By Nicholas Kristof

3 Peerless Republicans for President: Trump, Carson and Fiorina – Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times

The first eight comments in the comments section of the NYT are very good, but I wish that each had started with something like: Great column Nicholas Kristof. Thank you for your excellent writing and analysis.
I particularly liked the point that we over value CEO’s and that in the 1960’s their salaries were only 20 times the lowest workers. Now, they are 303 or so times greater. It is frightening, and dangerous. It is time for shareholders to revolt. It is easy to think clearly for a few minutes after such a magnificently written piece.

Kristof wrote: “More broadly, the United States has overdone the cult of the C.E.O., partly explaining why at the largest companies the ratio of C.E.O. compensation to typical worker pay rose from 20 to one in 1965 to 303 to one in 2014, according to the Economic Policy Institute.In any case, even if you were conducting a job search for a great C.E.O. to lead the free world, you wouldn’t turn to either Trump or Fiorina.”

Source: 3 Peerless Republicans for President: Trump, Carson and Fiorina – The New York Times

A New Way to Tackle Gun Deaths The passivity of politicians has simply enabled mass shootings. It’s time for a new approach to gun violence. nytimes.com|By Nicholas Kristof

Nicholas Kristof: “What we need is an evidence-based public health approach — the same model we use to reduce deaths from other potentially dangerous things around us, from swimming pools to cigarettes. We’re not going to eliminate guns in America, so we need to figure out how to coexist with them.

First, we need to comprehend the scale of the problem: It’s not just occasional mass shootings like the one at an Oregon college on Thursday, but a continuous deluge of gun deaths, an average of 92 every day in America. Since 1970, more Americans have died from guns than died in all U.S. wars going back to the American Revolution.”
…. “Daniel Webster, a public health expert at Johns Hopkins University, notes that in 1999, the government listed the gun stores that had sold the most weapons later linked to crimes. The gun store at the top of the list was so embarrassed that it voluntarily took measures to reduce its use by criminals — and the rate at which new guns from the store were diverted to crime dropped 77 percent.

But in 2003, Congress barred the government from publishing such information.

Why is Congress enabling pipelines of guns to criminals?”

The passivity of politicians has simply enabled mass shootings. It’s time for a new approach to gun violence.
nytimes.com|By Nicholas Kristof

Nicholas Kristof: Jimmy Carter, His Legacy and a Rabbit, NYT

Nicholas Kristof is right about the chorus of noise and derision against President Jimmy Carter. I often felt almost alone in my deep respect and admiration for Jimmy Carter, who I always thought was a great President, leader and human being. Thanks to Kristof’s op-ed, I don’t feel so alone. The excellent comments here offer more examples of Jimmy Carter’s outstanding leadership to the US and the world.

We owe Jimmy Carter an apology. He may well have done more to improve the lives of more people than any other recent president.
nytimes.com|By Nicholas Kristof

Saint Nicholas: The Power of Hope Is Real

Great news from the work of Esther Duflo at JPAL/MIT, and Dean Karlan at Innovations for Poverty Action. Thank you Saint Nicholas.
These economists and their colleagues are using micro-finance, randomized trials and psychology to show what works and what doesn’t in the war on poverty — very exciting.
The dark side to such valiant efforts, is that population growth makes their efforts less useful. Without education, family planning, and population control, all those donated animals will soon be eaten.

A new trial involving 21,000 people in six countries suggest that a cow or a goat and the belief in a better future can significantly impact poverty.
nytimes.com|By Nicholas Kristof

Saint Nicholas Kristof: Despite DNA, the Rapist Got Away – NYTimes.com

Only five states — Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Texas — require the testing of all rape kits, according to the Joyful Heart Foundation, which advocates universal testing. Nobody has any idea how many thousands of rape kits remain untested in police stations, partly because there is no national audit of them. Detroit found 11,341 untested kits in police storage. Memphis found 12,164. Milwaukee had 2,655. Tulsa, Okla., 3,783. In Seattle, one of the most progressive cities in the country, of the 1,641 rape kits collected between 2004 and 2014, only 22 percent were sent to a lab for testing.

“Primarily it’s raging incompetence that we find too often in police departments that we go into,” said Tom Dart, the Cook County sheriff, who has found untested rape kits in other towns besides Robbins. “It’s a combination of raging incompetence and just not caring.”

via Despite DNA, the Rapist Got Away – NYTimes.com.

Nicholas Kristof calls for saving the Rohingya boat people. Can we save them, and also stop the Sitxth Great Extinction?

Thank you Saint Nicholas for challenging us. I have to admit I fall short. I am almost obsessed with concern about climate change, which is caused probably by over-population. I’m reading the Sixth Extinction, by Elizabeth Kolbert, which is a book about how seven billion people are causing a giant extinction of species, as many kills as during the other great extinction periods.
Al Gore reported, it took almost 200,000 years for humans to reach one billion, around 1776. Humans then doubled to two billion people at the end of World War II, just 169 years later . Seventy years later, today we have jumped to seven billion humans. It is awkward to press countries like Malasia into accepting other nations’ refugees, when they have their share of over-population and ecological stress.
It seems right that we help organize the Nations of the world to alleviate refugee suffering and death, but there needs some recognition that too many people is a main cause of resource scarcity and tribal tension world wide. I am embarrassed to admit, that I am more concerned with the extinction of the African elephant, than with the saving of Rohingya boat people. Though I care about both, which is more pressing? Perhaps we could help the Rohingya, if we are willing to accept as refugees our share of their displaced numbers, whereas refusing them, forces them to work on their situation where they live. You are probably right, that there must be a civilized solution, but the most efficient would include keeping these people in the lands they come from.

American and Asian officials seem determined to avert their eyes as the toll climbs in the Rohingya refugee crisis.
nytimes.com|By Nicholas Kristof

Educating girls changes demography.

NIcholas Kristof wrote this in May, 2014.
“So why does girls’ education matter so much? First, because it changes demography.

One of the factors that correlates most strongly to instability is a youth bulge in a population. The more unemployed young men ages 15 to 24, the more upheaval.

One study found that for every 1 percentage point increase in the share of the population aged 15 to 24, the risk of civil war increases by 4 percent.

That means that curbing birthrates tends to lead to stability, and that’s where educating girls comes in. You educate a boy, and he’ll have fewer children, but it’s a small effect. You educate a girl, and, on average, she will have a significantly smaller family. One robust Nigeria study managed to tease out correlation from causation and found that for each additional year of primary school, a girl has 0.26 fewer children. So if we want to reduce the youth bulge a decade from now, educate girls today.”

The greatest threat to extremism isn’t an army. It’s girls reading books. Want to stick it to Boko Haram? Help educate a girl.
nytimes.com|By Nicholas Kristof