Optimism On Korea Fades As Trump Cancels Summit

President Trump announced today that the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un scheduled for June 12 is cancelled.

Hope for the summit was sky high, and even more so after a dramatic thaw in relations between North and South Korea this year. Banned from the Olympics, North Korea accepted South Korea’s offer to include a handful of their athletes as part of a ‘Korean’ team for the Winter Olympics to be held in South Korea. And only last month, the leaders of South and North Korea met face-to-face and reached agreements to work jointly on several issues of mutual interest.

All that was followed by an agreement for Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, to meet with President Trump next month. Continue reading “Optimism On Korea Fades As Trump Cancels Summit”

Trump and the Iran Deal

President Trump announced yesterday that the United States was going to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran.

Iran, the United States and five other nations (Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China) had negotiated an agreement in 2015 that would limit Iran’s nuclear program for ten years in return for removing sanctions that had been imposed and releasing billions of dollars in Iranian assets that had been frozen. Continue reading “Trump and the Iran Deal”

Syria’s Crimes Against Humanity Repeated

In the last few days, there have been reports of chemical weapons attacks in Syria.  Though not enough time has elapsed to have a full investigation, eye witness accounts tell of the Syrian government attacking rebel-held areas with chlorine gas.  Given that we know that the forces of Syrian dictator Bashir al Assad have used chemical weapons on several occasions in the civil war in Syria, with investigation and confirmation of their use by several international organizations, there is little doubt that the government has used chemical weapons on its own people again. Continue reading “Syria’s Crimes Against Humanity Repeated”

Is Violence the Issue or Just Gun Violence?

The debate over violence cannot be solved with sound bites and pre-conceived, emotional reactions…

The shooting and killing at YouTube Headquarters this week was done in a state with the most strict gun control laws in the nation, by a foreign-born, vegan who spoke out against the ‘murder of animals’ (but apparently didn’t put humans on the same level) who did not use any automatic weapons.

Today, a series of seven  attacks in ninety minutes (a attempted mass murder, would we agree?) in London were done by a knife.

Earlier this week, two bombs were detonated in a Sam’s Club in southern California.  Fortunately, no one was injured in the blasts.

None of the examples this week fit the standard narrative, and so have resulted in much less ‘cries for action’ because the solutions aren’t that simple.

Two weeks ago, a serial bomber exploded five bombs in nineteen days in Austin, TX and was planning another until police caught him.  Several people were killed and more were injured.

The problem with violence we are seeing is a societal and social problem, which are complex. The problem is not how many things are nearby that can hurt someone, as those are varied and abundant and always have been.

 

 

 

Updates and Quick Takes

The passing of an American icon, Russia gets a hard slap on the hand, the latest update on sanctuary cities and states, kids can now legally be kids and other news of note that you will want to read to keep informed:

Passing Of An American Hero

Yesterday Linda Brown, the central figure in the historic Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court case that ended separate but equal, passed away.

To the family of Ms. Brown, may your personal memories sustain you and may the knowledge that Linda Brown fought injustice and forever changed our country in a positive way be a remembrance of a life that made a difference to millions of people.

Thank you Ms. Brown and may you rest in peace.  We are better for you living your life as you did.

A Coordinated Response To Russia

In an unusually widespread, coordinated response to Russian actions, at least 20 countries have expelled Russian diplomats in response to the March 4 poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury, England (A British law enforcement officer was also affected).

British Prime Minister Theresa May announced that an investigation into the incident had revealed Russian involvement, which was actually very similar to another incident involving a former Russian living in the UK a number of years ago.  The UK then expelled a number of Russian diplomats who, the Prime Minister said were using diplomatic passports to spy.  In support of the British and as a reaction to the Russian attempt to commit murder on another country’s soil, the United States expelled 60 Russian diplomats which was more than any in history.  Expulsion announcements on the same day included almost all members of NATO and the European Union, along with a number of other countries. Continue reading “Updates and Quick Takes”