Like many others, I was sad to learn about the fate of the gorilla in the Cincinnati Zoo. It was a heartbreaking decision for the zoo to kill that magnificent animal.
Many second-guessed the decision. The most common complaint was that a tranquilizer gun should have been used. That is not practical. It takes time for the drug to take effect. Meanwhile, the animal is upset about being shot. Others want the parents prosecuted. Every parent has had a child get away from them. Should we throw them all in jail?
There are some basic facts that must be kept in mind. Primates are very strong and capable of violence. Unlike the other gorillas, this one ignored the sign to leave the area. There was lots of shouting and screaming which had to be upsetting for the animal. There were only two choices the zoo could make; kill the animal or let the gorilla kill the child. They made the right choice.
Zoos around the world should reexamine their barriers to prevent similar instances in the future. In the meantime, safety of the visitors should be their top priority.
It should be clear that I am no fan of Donald Trump. He is a brash, egomaniacal bully who is exploiting our fears. He makes wild statements with very little forethought. As a candidate, he is a mean and nasty pit bull.
That being said, he certainly is no Adolph Hitler. He is not proposing death camps, concentration camps or anything like that. Outside of his horrible comments toward Hispanics and Muslims, I cannot recall a single racist statement. Despite all this, a search on “Trump Hitler” yields 2,600,000 results.
I am sick and tired of those that exploit racial issues for political advantage. Barack Obama promised to be a post-racial president but he has worked to increase the racial divide. We need to recognize that the era of Jim Crow is long over and only a few on the fringe support those ideas.
There is so many negative things to say about Trump so let’s get over all this Hitler nonsense.
Few people outside of Vermont had heard of Bernie Sanders until he was elected to the senate in 2006. He certainly wasn’t a household name but most people knew himas that kooky old Socialist. When he announced his candidacy for president, it didn’t cause much excitement. Little did we know that it would be a two person race and he would seriously challenge Hillary Clinton.
Clearly she has won. Even if you forget about those superdelegates she easily has enough votes. You can’t blame him for wanting to stay in the race. After all, that’s what she did in 2008. What puzzles me is that he is upping the rhetoric and clearly doing the party and her campaign harm. So what does Bernie want? I have several theories.
One possibility is that he wants to push his extremist views regardless of the consequences. This is similar to what we saw with the Tea Party. They gleefully ousted candidates who could win for nut jobs that said they weren’t a witch and a woman’s body “shuts down” in the event of a rape.
Perhaps he wouldn’t mind a Democratic loss. The shattered party could be rebuilt and march arm in arm to a socialist utopia. If this is the case, I wonder who will lead it. He will be seventy-eight and Elizabeth Warren would be seventy next time around. Besides, few revolutions are led by geriatrics.
He may have been afflicted with Palin Disease. The primary symptom is a desperate desire to stay in the limelight after achieving a measure of fame.
Maybe it’s another political malady, Trump Disease in which a towering ego causes a loss of judgment.
My best guess is that he may just be a crotchety old geezer. I recognize it since I am in the early stages myself.
All of these may be right or all be wrong. I just don’t know.
Something clearly went badly wrong last year in Baltimore. On April 12 police arrested 25 year old Freddie Gray. He suffered traumatic injuries while being transported and ultimately died. Clearly one or more police officers did something that caused his injuries. That person or persons should certainly be prosecuted.
Riots broke out. The mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, said “we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well”. Rioters were allowed to do as they wished while police were held back.
Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby filed felony charges against six officers. It certainly seemed like a rush to judgement and was hard to believe that all six officers committed felonies. The mayor basically declared them guilty by saying there was no place in the city for those engaging in violence, brutality and racism.
The aftermath has not been pretty. Many businesses have been destroyed and homicide rates have skyrocketed. So far there have been two trials resulting in a hung jury and an acquittal. Hopefully there will be no further violence.
This should be a lesson to other mayors and prosecutors. A city is done irreparable harm if its public officials pander to mobs.
It seems like everyone, myself included, underestimated Donald Trump. I never dreamed he could actually get the nomination. Now people are asking if he could actually be elected.
Given their built-in electoral advantage, one would expect an easy win for the Democrats. However, they face a number of challenges. Right now they seem more divided than the Republicans. Unlike her husband, Hillary Clinton is not a natural campaigner. She is neither warm nor likeable. She is dogged by scandal. Voters want someone new and she has been around for a quarter century.
Recently some polls show Trump in the lead. In the past August and September polls have been wildly inaccurate so we should pay no attention at all to May polls. As everyone knows, we choose our president using the antiquated Electoral College.
I took a state by state look at the race. I assumed that any state Obama or Romney won by at least 10 percentage points is safe for their party (I am slightly less confident about Indiana so excluded it). That gives Clinton a 191 to 142 lead (it takes 270 electoral votes to win). I am pretty confident Clinton will take Minnesota and another electoral vote in Maine (they allocate votes based on results in congressional districts. I am equally confident Trump will get Arizona, Georgia and Indiana. That tightens things up but Clinton still leads 202 to 180.
That leaves twelve states. A strong turnout by Hispanics should give Clinton Colorado and Nevada. Missouri was once an unpredictable state but is definitely trending Republican. Although they have Republican governors, Michigan and Wisconsin consistently vote for the Democratic presidential candidate. The influence of federal workers and contractors is gradually turning Virginia into a blue state.
At this point Clinton would have a strong 246 to 190 lead with Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania too close to call. If all this comes to pass, Clinton would very likely win. Just getting Florida puts her on top. If she takes Pennsylvania, Trump must take all of the other states. Ohio plus any state except New Hampshire also gives Clinton the win. You get the picture.
Trump certainly has a chance but a lot of things have to go his way for him to come out on top. If you have to make a bet, put your money on Clinton. However, betting on politics sounds pretty stupid in the crazy, unpredictable year.
I can make a prediction about our next president that I am absolutely confident will come true. He or she will have an Ivy League degree. Donald Trump got his MBA at Penn’s Wharton School of Business. Hillary Clinton graduated from Yale Law School.
In fact they will be the fifth consecutive president to have graduated from an Ivy League school. George H. W. Bush got his undergraduate degree from Yale. Bill Clinton graduated from Yale Law School. George W. Bush has degrees from Yale and Harvard Business School. Barack Obama graduated from Columbia and Harvard Law School.
Obviously they are fine universities from which anyone would be proud to graduate. However, a very small percentage of our best and brightest will ever have the chance to attend. It is counter to our American ideals to establish an elitist system that most people, no matter how deserving, will not have the opportunity to join. Besides, having that Ivy League degree is no guarantee of success. I once knew a Harvard grad that worked as a secretary.
In four or eight years we will elect a new president. I hope it is someone without Ivy League credentials.
The New York Times and Washington Post have been great newspapers for a long time. No news organization has won as many Pulitzer Prizes as the Times. The Post will go down in history for its Watergate reporting.
Recently both papers seem to have decided that fine journalism is not their top priority. Instead, they want to help Hillary Clinton by doing a hatchet job on Donald Trump. The Post has assigned twenty reporters to dig up dirt on him (I wonder how many are looking into the Clinton scandals). So far their big expose is that Trump called a reporter twenty-five years ago pretending to be a publicist. So what?
Obviously attracting the women’s vote is a key strategy in the Clinton campaign. Part and parcel is the attack on Trump’s treatment of women. As if on cue, the Times responded with a front page story on how he has mistreated women. It opens with a 1990 account of a “debasing face-to-face encounter between Mr. Trump and a young woman he hardly knew”. There is just one problem. The woman says that the Times distorted what she told them. The story continues with allegations going back over fifty years to his days in prep school. Even his late father is criticized. The tone is often strident, not journalistic. His record of appointing women to powerful positions is barely mentioned.
I am in no way trying to defend Trump. I dislike him both as a person and as a candidate. We should all speak up when someone is being mistreated irrespective of our feelings about them.
A good newspaper should have strong journalists and editorialists. A great newspaper should be able to tell the difference.
One of the most unfortunate cultural developments in recent decades is so-called reality television. I’m not talking about shows where people compete based on their talent to sing, dance or cook or show with ordinary people doing things like running a pawn shop or driving a truck. They actually reflect reality. My complaint is about shows that have people do bizarre things like being stranded on an island or show people way out of the mainstream like bearded duck callers or bimbo sisters with no discernable talent.
Some might say this is harmless escapism. When I was young we had shows about witches, genies and (believe it or not) a dead mother that was reincarnated as a car. Those shows had no impact on our culture. Reality TV is a different story. News broadcasts are becoming more about entertainment. We will hear a lot more sensational crimes and political fights than what is really important to our lives. Even worse, it has changed we look at the world and our standards of acceptable behavior.
Now we are seeing a reality TV star running for president. Donald Trump is the ultimate reality star. The ability to entertain us, exploit our fears or come up with pithy quips should not be the benchmarks we use to evaluate presidential candidates.
Thomas Jefferson was in a long-term affair, Abraham Lincoln was ugly and Franklin Roosevelt was in a wheelchair. If they were running today, they wouldn’t stand a chance.
The presidential nominating process can get pretty nasty. The losers will lick their wounds but quickly get behind the nominee. The classic example is the 1976 Republican National Convention. Both Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan came to Kansas City with a chance to win. Reagan lost but gave an incredibly moving concession speech. If there is an insurgency or the loser is a true believer, healing is more problematic.
This time we have two insurgencies led by Trump and Sanders. While the focus is on the Republican divide, let’s first look at the Democrats. Everyone knows that Clinton has won but Sanders is still fighting. Will the two come together? I think Clinton made a huge mistake in the last debate. Instead of going after Sanders, she should have taken the higher road. Sanders will need to do a great job selling his supporters on her. I could be wrong but I think they will work it out. There is no way Sanders wants Trump to win.
Things are a lot more complicated on the Republican side. Trump has left a lot of carnage in his path. How do you endorse a guy that repeatedly called you a liar, insulted your wife and tried to tie your father to a presidential assassin? To make matters worse, he seems to be saying that it doesn’t really matter if the party is united. Certainly Republicans are horror-struck with the idea of Clinton as our next president.
The key factor is how Trump views himself and the Republican Party. His towering ego almost makes President Obama seem humble in comparison. He loves to talk about his ability as a deal maker. These deals are between Trump’s organization and other entities. Within his business he serves as an absolute dictator. If he views the Republican Party as his “business”, he will expect everyone to toe the line and likely not budge an inch. If he decides to negotiate, he might make some real headway. If I had to bet, I’d bet on the first approach.
Better stay tuned, this could get interesting.
When our Founding Fathers drafted the Bill of Rights, freedom of speech was right at the top. Now a cabal of states’ attorney generals is using their power of criminal prosecution to deny their opposition their first amendment rights.
They have met with environmental activists to explore using RICO, the federal law designed to go after crime syndicates, to silence those who don’t share their opinion on climate change. They are following two paths. They want to prosecute oil companies for defrauding their investors and the public for any statements they may have made. They are also using RICO to go after conservative organizations. The Virgin Islands attorney general has subpoenaed ten years of records from dozens of conservative groups.
Everyone should be outraged at these activities regardless of their belief on climate change. These people are just like the communist witch hunters during McCarthyism. They must be stopped.