Current Events Write-Up: 8/4/2018

Time for my weekly Current Events Write-Up.

The Federalist: “The Facts Behind the Trump Tower Meeting Are Incriminating, But Not for Trump,” by Willis L. Krumholz

“The real colluders with Russia are the Democrats, intelligence agencies, and corporate media. The facts about the Trump Tower meeting only reinforce that.”  This article discusses what the Russian who met with Don, Jr. hoped to gain and states that the company from which Democrats sought information has ties with the Kremlin.

The Federalist: “Let’s Debunk the Misleading Panic Over 3-D Guns,” by David Harsanyi

What I got from this article: It’s already illegal for people to make guns themselves.  3-D printers are very expensive, so why would criminals go the route of printing out a 3-D gun?  AR-15’s need some metal parts so as not to malfunction, so would a plastic AR-15 from a 3-D printer even work that well?

The Federalist: “It’s Not ‘White Threat’ Harming Our Politics, It’s Tying Race to Destiny,” by Kyle Sammin

What Sammin argues: There were many working-class whites who voted for Barack Obama, so their voting for Trump was not because they were a bunch of reactionary racists.  Rather, one reason that they were upset is that a number of prominent progressives after Obama’s 2012 victory were gloating that the white vote did not matter anymore because the United States has a lot of minorities who will vote reliably Democratic.  What makes those progressives even assume that the minorities will always do that?

Tomgram: “The Con Game of America’s Anti-Muslims,” by Arnold Isaacs

Tom shares an article by Arnold Isaacs that argues against anti-Muslim claims that the Muslim Brotherhood is subversively seeking to overthrow the U.S. system and substitute sharia law, and that CAIR has links to terrorism.  Isaacs states regarding a Muslim Brotherhood document that anti-Muslim pundits like to cite: “When those aims are achieved, the writer argues, Muslims will be more united, politically and economically stronger, truer to their faith, and more committed to dawa (proselytizing), which will eventually realize the Prophet’s vision and establish Islam as the universally accepted one true religion. For many believers, dawa (also spelled dawah) has political as well as spiritual goals, including the ultimate establishment of an Islamic state. But the Brotherhood has traditionally conceived of it as a nonviolent process, conducted through persuasion and grassroots organizing, not a violent one carried out through acts of terror or sabotage.”  On CAIR: “The only link: that CAIR’s founder, Omar Ahmad, was associated with the U.S. Palestine Committee, an umbrella group for Holy Land and other organizations. Ahmad’s activities, however, took place in the early 1990s before Hamas was declared a terrorist group.”

Reason: “Freedom of Speech Is Important, the ACLU’s Top Lawyer Explains to So-Called Liberals,” by Jacob Sullum

To quote ACLU attorney David Cole: “In just the last year or so, my organization…has invoked the First Amendment to defend high school students disciplined for walking out from school to call for gun control, as well as other students penalized for posting pictures of guns on social media; a student newspaper denied funding after publishing a satire of “safe spaces,” as well as fans of a hip-hop band labeled gang members; Milo Yiannopoulos and the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, both of whom were denied permission to advertise on the subway by the Washington Metro Authority; and anti-Trump as well as pro-Trump demonstrators. We’ve defended flag desecraters, union organizers, and citizens blocked from their representatives’ Facebook sites for their criticism.”  That is what I like about the ACLU, when it’s at it’s best: it defends people across the political spectrum.

Democracy Now: “Noam Chomsky on Mass Media Obsession with Russia & the Stories Not Being Covered in the Trump Era”

Chomsky criticizes Trump on climate change, but he also thinks that Trump has a point in pursuing peace with Russia.  Chomsky also challenges the hooplah over Russian interference in the 2016 election, saying that the U.S. has much greater problems, in terms of elections.

Pat Buchanan: “Would War With Iran Doom Trump?”

Pat Buchanan not only forecasts dire geo-political, economic, and human consequences from a U.S. war with Iran, but he also quote what Rouhani said after declaring that war with Iran is the mother of all wars: “Peace with Iran is the mother of all peace.”

The American Conservative: “The Conservative Case for Universal Healthcare,” by Chase Madar

Madar presents some of the usual arguments for single-payer: that it will simplify the health care system and save money, and that it will result in lower pharmaceutical prices because the government would be able to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies.  Madar also forecasts that conservatives in the U.S. will blaze the trail for single-payer, as occurred in countries such as Great Britain.  Stranger things have happened, Madar notes: Conservatives now support Medicare, when they did not originally.  Obamacare has its roots in the Heritage Foundation.  All I will say here is that I’ll believe it when I see it!

Vox: “Democratic Socialism, Explained by a Democratic Socialist,” by Meagan Day

Meagan Day works for Jacobin.  This defense of Medicare-for-all stood out to me: “And if health insurance were not yoked to employment, just imagine how much freer workers would be to demand safer working conditions and better pay. Workers who are experiencing harassment or endangerment could press their bosses for concessions without fearing that losing their job automatically means becoming unable to afford life-sustaining prescription drugs, for example.”

Robert Reich: “The Roadblock to Common Sense Pension Reform”

“The good news is that several states – including Oregon, California, Illinois, Connecticut, and Maryland — now let such workers put money away in state-sponsored retirement plans that allow them to withdraw their accumulated savings, tax free, when they hit retirement.  The bad news is that the investment industry is aggressively seeking to block these plans, fearing the competition…Republicans in Congress – backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a coalition of Wall Street investment firms – are seeking to block states from implementing these plans at all.”

Townhall: “Congratulations to Rush for 30 Remarkable Years,” by David Limbaugh

David Limbaugh congratulates his brother Rush on the thirty year anniversary of Rush’s show.  He offers personal reminiscenses and assesses Rush’s talents and contributions.

 

 

 

 

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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