A potpourri of news items

While a few thoughts bounced around as potential themes, I felt it would be best to highlight a few items of note, in a world of many to choose from. In no particular order:

Ukraine troubles continue – One of the things that does not get stated in the downing of the Malaysian airplane is the pro-separatists do not have any planes, so why would the Ukraine military be firing in the air? The evidence points the finger where the missile was launched from and the group that says it had no hand in it is not letting people get to the site to investigate. And, the artillery launcher was moved, presumably back to Russia. Call me crazy, but when your arguments are contradicted by actions, then your credibility lessens. Putin has not learned this yet either. Folks, get to the table and negotiate a settlement to cease innocent people being killed and before your story falls apart. Plus, while I understand economic sanctions in this case as an alternative to military options, in general, I don’t like them, as they tend to punish the wrong people for leaders’ actions.

Israel, Hamas and Gaza – In my simple view, a country has a right to defend itself, but Israel has gone a “bridge too far” and is looking poor for civilian deaths. The UN is correct to assert their position and the violence on civilians and children must end. Hamas should also get poor marks for hiding among the civilians and setting the stage for pawns to be killed, as well as not acknowledging the right for the other to exist. Yet, the conditions are ripe for a group like Hamas to survive. Reasonable leaders (on both sides) need to advocate for a cessation to the violence which is killing its people. Reasonable leaders need to push for finding a way to co-exist. Reasonable leaders need to find ways to stop marginalizing people and look for ways they can thrive, live in peace, raise families and practice their religion. If they do not, then both sides are destined to live in an environment where innocent people are in danger and killed.

Afghanistan election is important – A major step forward for Afghanistan is still in the works. The Presidential vote recount is important to get it right and pass muster. This is the first election post Karzai and it needs to be successful regardless of the winner. The peaceful transition of power is a major element of a sustainable government. This is why the Taliban is in such a dither not to let it happen.

Medicaid expansion push gets a practical conservative voice – Please check out Dana Milbanks’ editorial article on a conservative GOP Mayor in North Carolina marching to Washington to advocate for saving a closed rural hospital in his town. A woman died because of this closing, as she could not make it to the next town in time, which was 75 minutes away. He had reached out to the North Carolina GOP leadership and was told they could not support anything to do with Obamacare. He said it plainly, this is not a political issue, this is an issue about people dying because we don’t have a hospital near by.

Kudos to Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Jeff Miller for collaborating – I mention their efforts in my previous post, but want to highlight how legislation used to and is supposed to work. Sanders is an Independent, who caucuses with Democrats and Miller is a Republican, yet they said failure to get some action to help our veterans is not acceptable. I hope it catches on as a trend. Again, as you vote this fall, if a candidate advocates strident ideology at the expense of collaboration, a “my way or the highway view,” show them the highway.

Treat others like you want to be treated, especially refugee children – America has had an immigration problem for a while, but legislators would prefer not to act, even though there are votes today in the House to pass the bi-partisan Senate bill passed last year. They also complain about securing the border, yet won’t fund filling open border patrol positions. Irrespective of this, people should not punish children, with some screaming at them, for our own failures. A recent Religion Polling survey noted that 75% of Americans want us to take in these children. We have already made this a political chess game. Let’s stop making it a game and show some stewardship and heart. My friend George Dowdell notes in his blog* about the concept of being a Red Letter Christian, meaning Christians should follow the words that Jesus spoke. So, WWJD?

Same-sex marriage train continues down the track – 19 states now allow same-sex marriage and fifteen more have ruled in favor, but are awaiting the appeals process. The Fourth Circuit US Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of same-sex marriage over the Virginia case, but their jurisdiction includes South and North Carolina. The Attorney General in NC said after the ruling this week, that he will no longer fight the current court cases, since the appellate court has spoken. I said a few posts ago, this train has left the station and eventually all states will allow same-sex marriage, as to do otherwise is discriminatory and unconstitutional. So, I repeat the question I asked then, if you are against same-sex marriage, where do you want to spend your time?

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There are many other topics worth talking about. I would love to hear your thoughts on these and other topics. Thanks, in advance, for your comments. Note, you can check out George Dowdell’s terrific post on Red Letter Christians with this link: http://georgedowdell.org/2014/07/28/take-seriously-what-jesus-said/#more-3033

 

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10 thoughts on “A potpourri of news items

  1. For our treatment of the refugee children, we should be deeply ashamed as a country. For sending armed militia men to the Texas borders to keep the kids out, we should be deeply embarrassed. What are these soldier “Wanna Be’s” going to do, start shooting the kids? Where are the “christians” on this, the churches, the “compassionate conservatives?”

    • Barney, I agree. Something bad is going to happen with all of these armed folks there. There are some Christians who seem to have forgotten what being a Christian means. There are others who have been very welcoming to the refugee children and the need to pass common sense immigration legislation. The latter tend to be ministers of multi-ethnic churches who are standing up for people. Your Gandhi quote which was uttered so many years ago is more significant today. Thanks for your comments. BTG

  2. Note to Readers: I am debating writing a post on this, but the very positive Sanders/ Miller collaboration noted above can be contrasted with the House GOP deciding to sue the President on the same day. I wrote a note to my Representative sharing how disappointed and disillusioned I was that such a vote was taken. I shared that I firmly believe this action will actually backfire on Republicans and it should.

    When a GOP led Congress fails to do so much to help the American people, fight tooth and nail with 50 repeal votes a Health Care Law which is largely a Republican idea but must be fought as the Democratic President got it through, and not pass job enhancing legislation such as infrastructure improvement that would spawn jobs, it shows how petty the party has become. It needs to stop being influenced by strident people who listen to inflammatory TV and radio personalities who tend not to let facts get in the way of a good story.

    I was speaking today with someone who represents clean air interests and we noted how people no longer care to look at more factual, science based data and would rather listen to industry who tends to have a vested interest in the process. Sorry for the rant, but this vote was extremely disappointing to this Independent voter.

      • Agreed. When people surmise this was done to placate the party extremists, the question I would ask is shouldn’t you listen less to people who obviously cannot get along with people in its own party not to mention everyone else?

  3. It all reminds me of the old saying, “Your walk talks and your talk talks, but your walk talks louder than your talk talks.” If it was really important then their talk would match their walk.

  4. The Israeli thing has me horrified and perplexed. A respected friend is very pro-Israel. Well, he’s Jewish, I guess he would be. BUT, it seems to me that both sides share blame for this mess, much as both sides of our congress share the blame for our country’s absolute stagnation.

    • Linda, I have heard some of the same blind support. Where people seem to have trouble is you can be justified in acting, but need to act with responsibility. Grant you, Hamas is very culpable putting people in jeopardy, but children are being killed. Civilians are being killed. We cannot be blind in our support for an ally and say everything is OK. Like us, they are not perfect. We invaded a country under false pretenses and took our allies with us. We cannot assume every action Israel makes is 100% supportable. It is like a family member who screws up. We still love them, but we need to be frank. Israel has been surprised by the reaction of the UN, Amnesty International, Europe and us. I heard someone say, we must hold those with democratic ideals to a higher standard. I believe that. We cannot condone the killing of children. Thanks for your note, BTG

      • That is well said, BTG. There is so much “he said/she said” going on that it sparks the flames if anger and hatred on both sides. What a mess.

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