The Political Slant - Page 9

Pray for Trump – The Grass is not Always Greener

As things in and around the White House deteriorate before our eyes, millions of Americans continue to steadfastly support the President.  Meanwhile, millions of Americans revel in the idea of his ouster, assuming that any situation would be better than the one we’re in.  Assumptions tend to result in uncomfortable situations, and it may never be truer than in this case, as Pence might be worse than Trump!

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Hey Doc – a Little Help? Life In the Era of Opioids.

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* I did it. *

I turned down the Vicodin during the pre-op appointment.

When he asked why, I replied, “I like it too much.”

Vicodin

Instead of considering the acknowledgement I’d just made that I am to some degree addicted to opiates, or perhaps even complimenting me on my self-restraint and self-awareness, he pressed the idea that I would need some pain relief over the weekend, and we compromised on a prescription for ten pills of something ‘similar’ to Vicodin.

During interactions with doctors, nurses and support staff in the hours before and after my surgery, I told five other people that I like Vicodin too much. Each time I expected them to make a note in my chart but no one did, although Heaven knows that anything else you tell them gets noted and is then impossible to get deleted, even if it is in error!

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Securing Education – Guns or Metal Detectors?

* Where would we be without teachers?  It’s like asking where we’d be without the sun.

The warmth we need to grow, the illumination we need to see new things and the undying pull to keep us on the right trajectory are things we expect both the sun and our teachers to provide for us.  The sun doesn’t have much choice, and at least theoretically we can count on it to continue to deliver until it inevitably burns itself out.

Teachers do have a choice, and when they burn out society loses a little warmth, a ray of light and a steadiness of direction.

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Pride and Pessimism – Welcome Back to Nixonian Times

I felt such excitement watching Olympic women, Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins, win the first ever cross-country gold medal for the USA.  To know there are men and women competing for the USA; men and women who understand the importance of teamwork who love representing America – is a welcome distraction from the chaos in Washington.

But after a night of excitement, I knew I could count on FOX “SPEWS” to bring me back to reality with a suggestion that  former US Army General Michael Flynn  withdraw his guilty plea on lying to the FBI. This was apparently based on a judge’s order for the Mueller Special Council to turn over any exculpatory evidence to attorneys representing General Flynn.

And just like that, my American Olympic bliss was met by Shepard Smith’s judgmental stare.

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Targeting Teachers; Should We Arm Educators?

“I want to tell you about my idea for assault rifle vending machines,” said Fester Trim, one of the candidates for City Council in Pawnee, Indiana.  Fester’s solution to car theft is that we should all mount shotguns on our dashboards that kill anyone that tries to steal our car.  Fester also believes that the way to end schoolhouse slaughters is to arm our teachers.  Thank Goodness Fester is just a character in a sitcom; a caricature of an NRA Gun Nut, and that his over-stated suggestions would never be made by real politicians in real life.

What?  The last suggestion isn’t from Fester?  It’s from whom?  Are you sure?

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Election Interference – The Next Intelligence Failure

DAYTON — Special investigator Robert Mueller secured indictments for three Russian companies and thirteen Russian citizens with “a widespread effort to interfere with the  2016 presidential election,” according to Saturday’s Wall Street Journal.  The Russians had a “strategic goal to sow discord into the U.S. political system.”

Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, said that there is no allegation in the indictment that any U.S. citizen knowingly participated in the alleged crimes. That’s one of those statements that I would repeat, because a lot of readers will not believe it the first time they read it, and they will tune into or read some media that will falsely report that the Trump administration officials are next in line to be indicted.

Michael Flynn
Michael Flynn

Nowhere does it say the Trump administration  is still under investigation, although Michael Flynn, former national security advisor, has pleaded guilty, and “there was no indication Friday that Mr. Mueller wouldn’t seek more charges in the future.”

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Safety in Public Schools – NEA or NRA?

PORTLAND — If I were a kid or a teacher in America, as I have been in the past, I would not want to go to school tomorrow. If I found myself there anyway, I’m sure I would spend half the day looking over my shoulder to see if there was a kid with an assault rifle coming down the hallway.

It is beyond shameful that in this great country, loudly proclaiming “America First”, kids are last.  Our children are collateral damage along the path of payoffs, bribes, backroom deals and gentlemen’s agreements.  Of all the despicable things the current occupant of the White House is – and the list is long and varied – being a whore for the NRA is the worst.  Anyone with a shred of a human soul remaining and the power to affect change that is not in the pocket of the NRA would be compelled to do so.

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Israel and Sunni Arab States – The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend

WASHINGTON — Israel and the Sunni Arab states have formed a covert alliance due to shifting geopolitical dynamics in the Middle East. Longtime enemies over the Palestinian issue, Israel and Sunni Arabs can no longer afford to remain rivals due to precarious common threats that demand their attention: Iran and the Islamic State.

Islamic State Flag

During the 1950s and 1960s, at the height of Arab nationalism, support for Palestine and antipathy for Israel, largely united the Arab world. More recently, Sunni Arab states have refused to work with Israel without a proposed solution to the on-going Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which defines Israel as a perpetual enemy.

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Skating on Thin Ice – American Diplomacy in Pyeongchang

BOSTON —  The opening ceremonies of the 23rd Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea begin Thursday night.  In theory, the Games serve as a refuge from the geopolitical environment of the times. Nations put aside their conflicts and disagreements for what is supposed to be a peaceful and civil celebration of sport and competition.

The reality is that this is rarely true. From Jesse Owens defying Hitler at the 1929 Games in Berlin to American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos defiantly raising their fists in protest at the Mexico City Games of 1968 to the deadly Israeli hostage crisis at the 1972 Games in Munich, the Games have always been tinged with politics.

Jesse Owens
Jesse Owens

This year’s Olympic Games will be no different. The issue most obviously underpinning the whole Games is the escalating tensions between North Korea and South Korea (and their allies), which is only further exacerbated by the Games being held on the Korean peninsula. In the weeks and months leading up to the Games, it has often felt like a ‘two steps forward, one step back’ kind of situation between the two conflicted nations.

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NFL Protest Hypocrisy – A Foolish Irony

NEW YORK — Professional athletes have every right to protest law enforcement during the singing of our national anthem at sporting events. We can picture the conversations between players and coaches where a guy like Colin Kaepernick would insist that he’d feel like a fake, like a complete phony, if he were to put his hand over his heart to honor a country that he feels continues to treat people of African descent unfairly, or minority groups in general.  

Understood. And on some level Mr. Kaepernick should be commended for staying true to his beliefs. It is also easy to see why coaches, team managers and owners have not seen it fit to scorn anyone who refuses to do that which they feel uncomfortable; that which they see as going along with empty and hollow symbolism for a country they do not deem as worth honoring, or worth respecting in moments such as these.

No, they should not be forced to stand at attention, hand over heart, for the singing of an anthem they simply don’t believe in, and no one, anywhere, should be demanding that they do.  

The problem is not in these players taking a knee in protest of American law enforcement or America at large. The problem goes much deeper than such things, and is multifold.  

Colin Kaepernick
Photo Credit: Washington Times

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