Facts and Opinions that matter this week

Here is F&O’s lineup of good reads, for your weekend lingering, or to launch the new week with information that matters. 

Pope Francis kisses a baby as he leaves at the end of his Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican June 17, 2015. REUTERS/Max Rossi -
Pope Francis throws down the gauntlet and On eve of encyclical, Pope Francis appeals for “our ruined” planet. © REUTERS/Max Rossi –

New Reports

The NRA’s primary goal is not to serve its members, but to ensure the gun manufacturers that sponsor and fund it make as much money as possible, writes Tom Regan. Above, the wares at a gun show in Houston, Texas. Photo by M&R Glasgow via Flickr, Creative Commons
Blame massacres on America’s National Rifle Association, by Tom Regan

Rachel Dolezal's official photo at the Inlander, Young Kwak/The Pacific Northwest Inlander
On wanting to fit in and Rachel Dolezal, by Penney Kome

New Commentary and Arts:

NB:  Check our CONTENTS page regularly for new work as we put it up.


With no exaggeration, this figure is staggering: one in every 122 humans in the world is now either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum. 

The number of refugees in the world has reached a historic record: some 60 million people are now displaced, said a United Nations report in advance of World Refugee Day today. “If this were the population of a country,” it noted, “it would be the world’s 24th largest.” 

Yet the staggering refugee report, documenting vast harm, was overshadowed by yet another story out of America about a mass murder involving its fetish with guns and ugly historic obsession with fabricated concepts of “race. In our lineup, above, you’ll have noted that Tom Regan has a distinct take on the South Carolina murders — in his column Blame massacres on America’s National Rifle Association. And Jon Stewart inimitably captures  the mood of what is clearly — yet controversially — a “terrorist” attack:

“We have to peer into the abyss of the depraved violence that we do to each other and the nexus of a gaping racial wound that will not heal yet we pretend doesn’t exist.”  “I’m confident, though, that by acknowledging it, by staring into that, and seeing that for what it is, we still won’t do jackshit. Yeah. That’s us. And that’s the part that blows my mind.”
“What blows my mind is the disparity of respose between when we think people that are foreign are going to kill us, and us killing ourselves….”  


In case you missed them:

Elsewhere on web this week:
The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism published its Digital News Report 2015, and serious journalists around the world —  so weary of the blood-letting, so hoping for news of better times ahead — wept. Buzzfeed is doing very well, though — which is welcome,  so long as you don’t give a fig about consuming junk media, ethical compromises, and overlap between advertising and evidence based information provision (aka,  the old fashioned term”journalism.”) 
To mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo Le Monde published — in the English language no less —  a virtual ode to Britain, urging those Brits who are lobbying to leave Europe,  “Messieurs les Anglais, don’t let the sirens of a fake independence pull you away from the continent.” The Guardian rued what might have been, in a column entitled, Napoleon’s dream died at Waterloo – and so did that of British democrats… “No amount of colourful re-enactment this week can conceal the fact that Waterloo was a victory for a reactionary and anti-democratic European order,” wrote Martin Kettle.

Last but not least, a recommendation: A multi-media production about refugees by the UN Refugee Agency.


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