Weekend Quick Takes

Quick takes on this week’s news of note….

SCOTUS Anniversary

On this day, July 7, in 1981 President Ronald Reagan nominated the first woman ever to sit on the Supreme Court of the United states. Reagan nominates Sandra Day O’Connor to be an Associate Justice and she will go on to serve for 25 years on the Court.

Hate Restaurant Reopens

The Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, VA reopened yesterday after closing for two weeks in the wake of controversy over its refusal to serve people of certain political beliefs. The restaurant infamously refused to serve Sarah Sanders, Presidential Press Secretary, and forced her and her family to leave the establishment for the sole reason that she worked for the President.

But that was not enough for the hate-filled owner, who then followed Sanders and her family to another restaurant across the street and screamed and heckled them from the sidewalk.

The owner of the Red Hen said later that he felt so strongly because of the intolerant policies of the Trump Administration about gay and immigrant issues. He felt, apparently, that the best way to express his views on tolerance were to throw out customers because they disagreed with him and then stalk them once they left.

Intolerance Toward Children

In a video that has gone viral, a man was seen taking on a 16 year old and his friends in a San Antonio Whataburger restaurant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMIlXjg_WuQ

The man did not like a pro-Trump hat that the 16 year old was wearing, so he walked over, launched a verbal tirade against the kid (to show his superior maturity, no doubt), picked up a drink cup and threw the drink at the 16 year old and then took the hat off his head and told him “This is going to go great in my f***ing fireplace, b**ch.”

San Antonio police have said that the man, 30 year old Kino Jimenez, has since been arrested and jailed.  (Note:  30 years old is the reported chronological age, obviously not the age of maturity).

Cult Leader Executed

The leader of a cult in Japan whose followers released deadly gas in the Tokyo subway in 1995, was executed Friday. Shoko Asahara, was one of 13 people sentenced to death in connection with the attack. He was hanged Friday morning along with 6 people also involved in the attack.

Members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult carried bags of sarin gas onto five crowded trains on three subway lines during the morning rush hour on March 20, 1995. The attack killed 13 and injured thousands.

The cult had also been linked to more than a dozen other deaths, including a smaller gas attack a year earlier for which Asahara was also later convicted.

Such a barbarous attack on innocents, young and old, is a perfect example of the need for a death penalty. The fact that it took more than 20 years after the attack to carry out the sentence is a sad course. A number of people were not even alive when the attack happened—so there has been a long time of suffering for those who knew the victims and wanted closure, and there is little deterrent effect when decades pass before you see the consequences for your actions.

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.