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Friday, August 11, 2017

Will Trump-North Korea war of words be 9th time we have averted nuclear disaster?

Here is cartoonist Dave Granlund's take on the crisis facing the United States as President Trump ratchets up the rhetoric over North Korea's nuclear weapons.
Cartoonist Adam Zyglis of The Buffalo News comments on Trump's "working vacation" at his New Jersey golf resort.

-- HACKENSACK, N.J.

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

Thanks to President Trump's war of words with North Korea, Americans from Glen Cove to Guam are shitting in their pants over the possibility of a nuclear war.

"They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen," Trump tweeted on Tuesday after the rogue regime threatened to strike Guam, the U.S. territory where American citizens can't vote for president.

On Thursday, Trump "doubled down" on his threats, USA Today reported.

And today, a breaking news alert from The New York Times said Trump again warned in a Twitter post:

"Military solutions are now in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely."

It was the third time in a week Trump suggested he is ready to strike "the small, isolated Asian country that has been developing nuclear weapons capable of reaching the United States," The Times said. 

When he declared the opioid crisis a national emergency, also on Thursday, Trump called it "a serious problem, the likes of which we have never had."

I'll tell you what "the world has never seen" and the world has "never had."

It's a U.S. president who lied, exaggerated and conned his way into office -- to the delight of the news media, which breathlessly described him as an "outsider" and political "novice" tilting at the Washington establishment.

Now, many observers call his comments about North Korea "reckless."

See the Huffington Post review of the eight times the world was on the brink of a potential nuclear disaster before this latest confrontation:


Made-up news

Even after The Record of Woodland Park published an editorial stepping back from the paper's prediction of a "Summer of Hell" for rail commuters to Manhattan, reporters continue to use the phrase.

On Tuesday's front page, transportation reporter Curtis Tate claimed the Port Authority's PATH system has provided relief for NJ Transit riders facing a cutback in service during major track replacement work in New York's Penn Station.

Tate used the phrase "Summer of Hell" to describe the delays that weren't.

The PATH rail system doesn't extend into Bergen, Passaic or Morris counties, and is useless to the vast majority of NJ Transit rail commuters who live there.

Garden State

Only absentee owners like the Gannett Co. could run a front-page story in The Record declaring that "Garden State" is officially the state slogan now that Governor Christie signed a bill saying so (Tuesday's 1A).

New Jerseyans and the newspapers they read have used the phrase for decades to describe a state blessed with the Pinelands, the shore, hundreds of farms and, yes, the Garden State Parkway, one of the most beautiful highways in America.

Bad headline

Gannett editors know a good way to attract readers and draw them into a long story or column is to write a catchy headline -- even if it isn't accurate or true.

That was the case last month with Staff Writer Christopher Maag's Garden State of Mind column about a shoemaker in the city of Passaic. 

The headline, which appeared online and in the print edtion, said:

"Savvy, quiet and free, 
a Passaic cobbler goes his own way."

The headline was based on a sentence in the story about Reynaldo Acuna, a Peruvian immigrant in a city filled with them: 

"He uses time to mold his business in his own image: relaxed, savvy, quiet, free."

But the word "free" is never used again or explained. Acuna certainly doesn't work for "free;" he "accepts payments only in cash," Maag says.

Is the reporter saying Acuna is "free"? So are hundreds of millions of other Americans.

Really confusing.