This week’s cover story—Kill Zone—says gun control isn’t about rights in America’s cities. It’s about survival.
SUMMER IS the killing season in American cities. The temperature rises and, yes, tempers do, too. And many young men who might have been in school are out in the streets taunting, hunting, and shooting at each other. Collateral carnage like the slaughter of Tyquran’s mother is inevitable, and for many innocents it’s inescapable in neighborhoods where young guys spray bullets. In Los Angeles County, with an estimated 450 gangs that have 45,000 members, about half the murders are gang related. Young men get shot again and again, and those who survive show a calm pride when they’re wheeled into the trauma units. As a wide-eyed British correspondent reported last week, the doctors call them “frequent fliers.” In Chicago, gang and gun violence is endemic, with 12 shootings last weekend and one death. And in New York, although the murder rate is much lower than the other cities, in the rougher parts of town that’s no guarantee of immunity. Between Friday and Sunday the first weekend in June, 26 people were shot and seven of them killed.
Over the last few months I’ve spent time with the New York Police Department and alone in parts of the city where guns are a way of life, but not in the way that pro-gun-rights partisans usually mean. I met kids like Tyquran and cops like Deputy Chief Theresa Shortell, head of the department’s fast-growing gangs division. And something that ought to be obvious kept hitting me. The embattled streets of the city and the gunland of the heartland are wildly different places, and the failure to understand that difference, and overcome it, is the great American tragedy of our time.
Five mass extinctions have nearly wiped out life on earth. As Annalee Newitz writes in her new books, the sixth is coming.
BRB. We’ll be in our bunker.
“Now remember, feed the cats twice a day, water the plants once a week, and this is a list of the programs we want videotaped.”
Newsweek, August 6, 1984
Ha! They had cats in 1984.
“Three Cars For The price Of One” Guess the Year…
Can you guess the year?
Washington, D.C.: not as godless as you’d think!
Here’s the email from Tina:
To: All Staff
From: Tina Brown
I am very pleased to share the news that John Avlon has been promoted to Political Director for Newsweek & The Daily Beast.
John has been with The Beast since 2008 as senior columnist, juggling his online and video commentary for us with his role as a CNN contributor and finding time to write 3 books - Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America (published by us - and endorsed by President Clinton), and co-authoring two volumes of “Deadline Artists”. He was Rudy Giuliani’s chief speechwriter while he served as mayor and is also the author of Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics. John won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ award for best online column in 2012 - he will continue to write his column in his new role.
Says John, ‘over the past four years, I’ve enjoyed working with Tina and the talented writers at The Daily Beast and Newsweek spanning the spectrum of left, right and center. I’m looking forward to building on our reputation for excellence and edge in this new role, working with what I believe is the best team in the business.’
Please join me in congratulating John on this promotion!
“It’s as safe as Dawn dishwashing liquid.”
That’s what Jamie Griffin says the BP man told her about the smelly, rainbow-streaked gunk coating the floor of the “floating hotel” where Griffin was feeding hundreds of cleanup workers during the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Apparently, the workers were tracking the gunk inside on their boots. Griffin, as chief cook and maid, was trying to clean it. But even boiling water didn’t work.
“The BP representative said, ‘Jamie, just mop it like you’d mop any other dirty floor,’” Griffin recalls in her Louisiana drawl.
It was the opening weeks of what everyone, echoing President Barack Obama, was calling “the worst environmental disaster in American history.” At 9:45 p.m. local time on April 20, 2010, a fiery explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig had killed 11 workers and injured 17. One mile underwater, the Macondo well had blown apart, unleashing a gusher of oil into the gulf. At risk were fishing areas that supplied one third of the seafood consumed in the U.S., beaches from Texas to Florida that drew billions of dollars’ worth of tourism to local economies, and Obama’s chances of reelection. Republicans were blaming him for mishandling the disaster, his poll numbers were falling, even his 11-year-old daughter was demanding, “Daddy, did you plug the hole yet?”
Griffin did as she was told: “I tried Pine-Sol, bleach, I even tried Dawn on those floors.” As she scrubbed, the mix of cleanser and gunk occasionally splashed onto her arms and face.
Within days, the 32-year-old single mother was coughing up blood and suffering constant headaches. She lost her voice. “My throat felt like I’d swallowed razor blades,” she says.
Then things got much worse.
Like hundreds, possibly thousands, of workers on the cleanup, Griffin soon fell ill with a cluster of excruciating, bizarre, grotesque ailments. By July, unstoppable muscle spasms were twisting her hands into immovable claws. In August, she began losing her short-term memory. After cooking professionally for 10 years, she couldn’t remember the recipe for vegetable soup; one morning, she got in the car to go to work, only to discover she hadn’t put on pants. The right side, but only the right side, of her body “started acting crazy. It felt like the nerves were coming out of my skin. It was so painful. My right leg swelled—my ankle would get as wide as my calf—and my skin got incredibly itchy.”
[Photo: Benjamin Lowy/Getty]
Not entirely certain how reliable “The Daily Beast” is. taking with a grain of salt.
First off, this is from Newsweek. And the writer is a Fellow of the New American Foundation who has written about global warming for outlets including the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Time, NPR, the BBC and The Nation, per his bio. He is the author of six books that have been translated into sixteen languages. Put down the salt. It’s not healthy for you anyways.
How would you answer the question on this week’s cover: How safe is America, really?
Writing in Newsweek in the aftermath of the Boston tragedy, Christopher Dickey, Eli Lake, and Daniel Klaidman say it is impossible not to ask the same questions that came on the heels of 9/11: just how safe are we in our homes, in our workplaces, on our streets, and at our celebrations? Why on earth would the United States be targeted so often by so many people with so many grievances—why do “they” hate us? And given the destructive power now available to almost any lunatic, just how safe can we be?
Kim Jong-un: this week’s cover boy for Planet Pyongyang!