Aug 27


Monday Morning Read

Buffalo, the City of Good Neighbors? Not in light of the backlash against asylum seekers. But we may have a future as destination for climate refugees. Americans, of course.

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Our day will come, The New York Times says. That is, climate change is going to make Buffalo a destination for people fleeing the ravages of a warming and otherwise chaotic planet. “Detroit, Cincinnati and Buffalo … are in regions with more climate-friendly geography,” The Times noted. We have access to water, affordable housing and the infrastructure to handle a larger population. If only we could get out of our own way.

City of Good Neighbors? Not according to Buffalo News columnist Rod Watson, who responded the Buffalo State University’s eviction of 44 asylum seekers from its dorms with a stinging piece last week.

Community backlash against some of the world’s most vulnerable people is just one more indication that it’s long past time to retire the city’s self-congratulatory nickname. In light of the backlash against asylum-seekers looking to escape persecution and start a better life, calling Buffalo the City of Good Neighbors is either delusional, dishonest or both.

As I see it, Buffalo – the city and suburbs – is anything but a city of good neighbors. There was the white flight that occurred when the federal courts ordered the desegregation of Buffalo public schools. The continued segregation of the city east and west of Main Street, and the city from the suburbs. And now, the rise of hostility towards asylum seekers.  We haven’t been a city of good neighbors for a long time – if we ever were to begin with.

I often link to columns on politics written by Ken Kruly in his Politics and Other Stuff. Last week, Ken wrote about the media landscape in the Buffalo market, the decline of The Buffalo News, and the role Investigative Post plays in providing the community with needed accountability journalism. Wrote Kruly: “The future depends on enterprising activities like those at Investigative Post.”

Republicans are trying to make an issue out of Mark Poloncarz’s temperament. They’re hoping it helps their candidate in the upcoming election for county executive. Then again, their candidate is ChrissyCaBoom.

These guys helped elect George Santos, too.

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Writing for The New Yorker, Ronan Farrow did a deep drive on the growing power of Elon Musk, subtitled: “How the U.S. government came to rely on the tech billionaire – and is now struggling to rein him in.” Farrow followed up with an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air.

Governments across the globe are addressing climate change. Sort of. The Guardian reports that G20 nations last year doled out more than a trillion dollars in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.

Two stories on journalism from The Washington Post: 

Public service announcement: Covid hasn’t gone away and there’s an improved vaccine on the way that’s worth waiting for.

A fun read: Rolling Stone chronicles the worst decisions made in network television history, including Saturday Night Live firing Adam Sandler, Chris Farley and Norm MacDonald, the cancellation of Star Trek after just three seasons, and giving Donald Trump his own show.

Investigative Post

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