Happy weekend. Saturday in the park is an idea worth considering. I will need to check with my better half regarding her thoughts for the day. Below are a few rambling thoughts to salute the news of the week.
Pakistan has selected a new leader, a very charismatic former cricket star named Imran Khan. He has promised to end corruption and offer better governance. I wish him well, but a reporter once said on NPR, the corruption is ingrained and corrupts the best of intentions. It should be noted his rivals are crying foul and want a new election.
Speaking of the best of intentions, Theresa May is trying to take Great Britain out of the EU with some semblance of a plan. It is surprising it has gotten this late in the game without more planning achieved. I still hold out hopes that the Brits will realize they screwed up and remain in the EU. Voters were not told of all the facts and I fault people like Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and Vladimir Putin for their roles in deceiving folks. Decisions based on pride tend to lack prudence.
The now annual severe wildfires out west continue and are alarming. On the other end of the spectrum, stalled or slow moving weather patterns in the east are flooding various areas. In the middle of the country, severe heat is causing major concerns to drought areas. In 2011, a report put together by the largest pension trust managers in the world noted their financial concerns over not addressing climate change. They noted the increase in wildfires, concerns over severe droughts and stalled weather patterns as huge financial concerns. All of the above are a concern, but the fire and drought issues also shine a spotlight on our global water crisis, where certain areas around the world are in danger of diminishing access to fresh water. Yet, the leaders of our federal government are doing their best to avoid recognition or discussion of climate change action.
Another CEO, Les Moonves of CBS, has been accused of past sexual misconduct. It seems that men who lead (or are stars in) entertainment businesses that hire and promote attractive people cannot keep their hands and other body parts to themselves. Fox, NBC, Weinstein, and CBS have each had bad apples. But, as women know, this is a universal problem where men with power can impose their will on women in less senior roles. This is why the video of the waitress throwing the man, who felt up her fanny, to the ground is so inspiring. He was held and charged with sexual battery.
Finally, the stand your ground law in Florida has caused yet one more death. A white man, who has taken it upon himself to accost people who park in handicap spaces, was shoved to the ground by a black man who took offense at his remarks. From the ground, the man is seen shooting (and killing) the shover. The man was not charged due to this law, which has caused a split on public opinion. Two questions – would opinion change if the races of the men were reversed? Would a man be dead if a gun was not present?
Other news abounds, but I wanted to focus away from news that seems to suck all the oxygen out of the room.
I understand Khan is vehemently Anti-American. I can understand why and suspect there will be more like him as months pass…..
Hugh, I saw that as well. I also read he wants to do a trade deal with China. Again, with the global retrenchment with fewer diplomats coupled with a combative trade style and aporoach, more will look to China. Last night David Brooks said other countries are considering the US to be a “black hole.” The meaning is it is easier to deal with other countries. The President is doing a victory lap on second quarter economic results, which were aided by people selling things sooner to avoid his tariff war. Keith
I love these ‘bits ‘n pieces’ posts! Brexit … like you, I would have liked to see the UK remain a part of the EU, and the people were indeed mislead. But after a number of in-depth conversations with some of my UK friends, I have also come to realize that it is much more in depth than we sometimes think, and there were a number of reasons for the Brits’ dissatisfaction with their role in the EU. That said, I wish they could have gone to the table and worked through the problems instead of Brexit-ing, for I think there was much to be gained in international trade and security. The EU, in some areas, have perhaps become a bit too domineering, such as even determining for its member nations what shape a banana must take on!
The last year, in my opinion, has proven more than any before that climate change and global warming are indeed happening. The near lack of winter, the heat wave, storms, fires, flooding, droughts … how anybody with a brain can sit back and say, “Oh well”, is beyond me. The U.S. will quickly become an international pariah if we don’t soon change our tune.
When I read of Les Moonves, I wasn’t even surprised. It has become as common as eating an apple, which is a very sad statement of our society.
The case in Florida … I started writing about it last week, and was so enraged I had to put it aside. To your question … oh yes, if the tables had been turned and the black man had shot the white … he would end up on death row. Racism is not only ‘alive and well’, but it is burgeoning.
And now, I am going out for a day with the family, and hope you are enjoying your day in the park …
Jill, enjoy your weekend. Thanks for the seasoning, especially on Brexit. It is complex, but there are some straightforward questions that can dictate the path forward. Many foreign companies have EU headquarters and distribution and call centers based in the UK – several have and others are planning to move them with Brexit. Has that been communicated to the people? The freedom of movement within the EU is a huge benefit, but yes it has some drawbacks. This is even more critical between the two Irelands. What is the preference of the people knowing a hard Brexit may hinder that
The UK has its own currency which is different. Certainly, if they stayed a few concessions of the labor spigot could be better governed. This is like a pendulum – swing back a little, but don’t leave. Keith
The Stand Your Ground Law seems a recipe for disaster to me. I was quite relieved to discover that R.I. only has the Castle Doctrine. Ending up dead because someone perceives another as a threat is a frightening possibility. In this Florida scenario, the perceived threat was unarmed and ends up dead, while the threatened “luckily” is armed against all possible threats…why? Can anyone say gun control? Climate change deniers in the highest levels of our government can not claim ignorance, rather stupidity! Thank-you!
Ellen, I agree with there being a big difference in defending your home, which may have family members present, versus the mobile stand your ground law. The latter is a license to kill. There are more gun deaths due to a gun being present during an argument than from mass shootings.
The climate change denial amazes me as the same companies paying GOP legislators to look the other way, have policies supporting climate change action. The idea is to milk as much profit as possible.
I had a person say renewables cost seven times that of fossil fuel. I said that is a ten year old argument and the costs are more on par as renewable cost have dramatically declined. The new head of the EPA is a lobbyists for Murray Energy who still uses those ten year old arguments. Keith
To answer your (rhetorical) questions: Yes, public opinion would most definitely change if the races of the men were reversed. And, no, there would probably be a lot of unpleasant back-and-forths, but the man would still be alive. That Stand Your Ground Law (among other generally insane policies) is enough to keep me from visiting Florida anytime soon. Why feed the craziness?
Thanks Janis. I obviously agree with your conclusions. Rather than repeat what I wrote to Ellen about stand your ground laws, take a peek and let me know what you think. Keith
We live in willfully ignorant times, one in which we are expected to pretend that America has learned nothing since the pre civil rights era.
Rob, we are terrible students of history here. That is why it so important for people to step up and shine light on bigotry and bullying. Keith
One thing we can all do is remind people that what the right calls ‘socialism’ Regulated Capitalism. It is an American Idea and has little to do with the Marxist Ideal. Regulated Capitalism gave Americans the highest standard of living in the World. We also called it the New Deal.
It wasn’t perfect, but it worked.
Rob, well said. As you know, politicians who have a weak argument resort to name calling and labeling – both a lazy and insidious approach. Unfortunately, it works and still works – case in point, Donald J. Trump. Keith