I still read the daily newspaper in its inky, crinkly hard copy (later useful for wrapping compost for the yard waste bin and for winterizing garden beds under a layer of leaf mulch). Our local Press Democrat pulls enough from the New York Times and Washington Post to give me intellectual nourishment. So on balance to the devastating National Climate Assessment (released on the down-low the Friday after Thanksgiving) and headlines like “Trump’s Falsehoods Run the Gamut,” I offer glimmers of good news from my November 24 morning paper delivery:
NEW YORK—A state judge in Manhattan ruled Friday that a lawsuit by the New York state attorney general could proceed against President Donald Trump and the Trump Foundation over allegations of misused charitable assets, self-dealing and campaign finance violations during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“Big Law” —a benign iteration of “Big Tobacco” and “Big Pharma”— described as a “nexus of power where partners are often plucked for top government posts” has emerged as a force working pro-bono to thwart the Trump administration’s immigration policies. From challenging the Muslim travel ban to fighting to preserve DACA (Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals) to assisting nonprofits trying to block the administration’s plan to add a citizenship status question to the next U.S. census, these large firms have been “vocal and visible in pushing back.”
NEW YORK— Corporate lawyers from Paul Weiss (where partners charge more than $1,000 / hour and clients include the NFL and Citibank) have become involved with the ACLU to contact roughly 400 parents deported after being separated from their children at the border. As of this month, the government has released the children of about 260, half to parents in their home countries, half to sponsors in the United States.
Day by day, bit by bit.
We are required to use resources to combat horrible policies instituted by a maniacal Republican party when we should be putting brain power and resources to meet the existential threat climate change is posing today. See “What’s New in the Latest Climate Assessment” and Bill McKibben’s sobering article in The New Yorker, “Life on a Shrinking Planet.”
Still, the good news glimmers, even in a piece on robots being used to replace the shortage of immigrant farm workers. Here’s the last sentence: “Delicate fruit like peaches, plums and raspberries, as well as vegetables like asparagus and fennel, will remain labor intensive for the foreseeable future.”
Backbreaking work though it may be, people—for now—are still needed.